Published: May 23, 2020 by C.S. Rhymes
He checked his watch again, it was now 5 to 8. Five more minutes before he had to start work. He sat in his comfortable sofa chair checking his social media feed reading over the same posts he had read five minutes earlier, nothing new since then.
These days his feed was taken over by a single subject. A few months ago it was all about people going about their normal lives, photos of lunches at posh restaurants, the latest health food deli bar that had opened in town, pictures of friends infront of famous tourist landmarks, pictures of hotdog legs lying on the beach in a far away resort with the sun high in the blue sky.
Back then everything seemed so trivial. Just popping out for a meal without a care in the world, maybe sneaking in a couple of pints at the bar before heading home. Popping to the shops to pick up a few snacks before heading out to the cinema to catch the latest blockbuster movie. Going round to a mate’s house for a quick chat and a cuppa. Driving for a couple of hours to pick up a new bookcase from a large furniture store, stopping for some meatballs and gravy whilst you were there. Picking the kids up from school and finding out what they had learned in their history lesson that day and what game they were playing with their friends in the playground at lunch time.
He swapped from social media to the news app, glancing over the headlines trying to find a different subject to read about to pass the time, but he had no luck. Everything had been affected. Nothing was the same as it was before. Stories of empty streets, but busy hospitals.
He flicked to the sports app but there was no sports news either. The latest articles were all recycled from previous events. Remember that goal that was scored on this day 5 years ago into the top corner with a bicycle kick from a corner. He could easily tell it was old news just from the scenes of the crowd celebrating in the football stadium packed to full capacity.
He thought back to a few months ago where he would have left the house long before now to sit in a queue of traffic, cars working their way towards the quickly filling car parks. Today, as the last few months he just had to walk a few steps to his study to log on and start working. Dialing into conference calls instead of walking around the building looking for an empty meeting room. No longer able to have a chat with a colleague in the work kitchen whilst making a coffee, discussing how the previous weekend seemed to rush by.
He swapped back to the social media feed one more time before he had to start work, more out of habit than anything else. One new story had appeared in his timeline. This one was different to the other stories.
A retired army officer had decided to help raise some money for charity by walking 100 laps of his garden. His aim was to raise a £1000, but he had raised £20 million. What an inspiration.
Another new story popped into his feed showing photos of peoples windows showing drawings of rainbows showing their appreciation, saying thank you to the NHS.
He was about to get up out the chair, feeling buoyed from the glimmer of hope, when his phone buzzed. A message from a friend with a link to a YouTube video. It showed a video of an apartment building with people on their balconies, separated, but playing their instruments and singing a song together filling the streets with music. Somehow, against the odds, people were still finding a way to come together.
He smiled, a real smile not a forced smile like the ones that he had put on for his video calls when everyone asked each other if they are all ok. Everyone always said they were ok. Ok was the truth. Not good, not really bad. Just ok.
He got out of his chair, put his phone in his pocket and headed to his study, thinking about the messages and new posts. The more he thought about it, the more hope he saw in the world. He knew times were hard now, but he knew in his heart this would eventually bring everyone closer together. The past few months had given him perspective and made him realise what really mattered.
He sat down at his desk but before he started work he got his phone out of his pocket one more time and sent a message. A message to an old friend that he had meant to contact for a long time.