Lockdown Love. Our new series explores love in this new ab-normal life. Where masks have replaced kisses and hugs have become emojis. Where cold steel and glass have replaced the warmth of flesh and blood. How has love changed? Or is it still the same, underneath the layers of disinfectants and face-coverings? Tell us a new love story. In 250 words or less. Send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will publish the best ones on Mondays.
TILL I SEE YOU AGAIN
By Aastha Atray
Antara had been staring at her phone for what seemed like two hours, but it had been only eight minutes and ten seconds that Sameer hadn’t answered her text. What was he so busy doing? It was lockdown. He was at home. Not working. Then why wasn't he replying to her text? What could he be doing? Was he chatting with someone on the phone? Someone who wasn’t her?
Her phone pinged. “Hi, baby! Was washing my shoes, so that I am ready when the lockdown ends.” He then sent her a picture holding up his favourite pair of Adidas shoes next to his beautiful face. She sighed with relief. He was there. On the other side of this phone. Talking to her. Not vanishing. Like he used to before. Because he was with someone else. Cheating on her.
'Stop it. Stop it!' she told herself. He was at home, talking to her. All day. With gaps never more than ten minutes. Sending pictures, and videos. He was all hers now. The lockdown was letting her trust him again. All over again. Who thought this could have been a good thing. For her, at least.
She picked up her phone, and typed, “They look lovely, baby. It won’t be long now that you can wear them.” And the phone pinged, “And I will come running to you. Only you. I love you.”
She smiled, and slowly, as a tear made her blink, she typed, “I love you too. I love you. Too.”