Updated: Dec 1, 2021
It's been 123 days since I met my friends. Since I last called them to cancel on them. Since I last brought along chocolates with me for everybody just because. Since I last stole that last slice of pizza right from their hands. Since I last sang at the top of my voice with the blaring music as we cruised down the highway. We video-call each other twice a week now, but taking digs at my bestie isn't half as fun if I can't ruffle his hair and give him a consolatory hug. We used to waste evenings away, talking on a park bench about nothings and everythings, but Zoom disconnects our calls in 40 minutes now, and knowing we'll just be interrupted again, we stop trying.
It's been 123 days since I fought for the remote with my sister. Now we just schedule Netflix parties together, only to postpone them till after our everyday chores. I remember when we were kids, we used to play carrom every night after dinner. Now, we just shoot 8 Ball Pool and send funny emojis across. She used to stay up till 2 when I studied for my exams to make me coffee, and now, now she's usually asleep by the time I finally get around to returning her call. I still have all the dresses that I stole from her in my closet, but I don't wear them anymore, because she isn't around to run behind me screaming.
It's been 123 days since I held my lover in my arms. I remember the last time we met, promising to see each other after the long weekend, and now I find myself wishing everyday, if only I had conveyed in one kiss all that I haven't told him yet. He sends me pictures of the latest food he has burnt, and all I can think about is how much I want to sit on his kitchen counter and tell him the flame is too high, with a smack on his head and a smile on our faces. He tells me he loves me every night, and that he'll see me tomorrow, and every night my heart breaks a little when I tell him he won't.
It's been 123 days since I rested in my mother's lap. She complains of backache, but she hasn't sent in the application for domestic help to the society office, she can easily manage she says. And Dad, Dad smiles every time I call him, but he looks more frail with every passing day. The other day he skipped lunch yet again to make up for lost work in the office, and Mom put away two plates of food that afternoon. A few days ago, she called me to ask how to create an Instagram account, she wanted more insight into my life, and apparently I post my life story for strangers more than I talk to my mother about it.
It's been 123 days since we've felt human. Caged in our own homes; caged in our own minds. With each passing day, we hurt a little more. With each passing day, we break a little more. But when it gets too much for you, I need you to remember, light can't get in without cracks. I need you to remember, we're all together in this, and that even if you're alone in this moment, you'll never be lonely.