24 comments

It is very nice out today. Wow, we haven't had a day like this in a really long time.

Ahh, the slightly cool breeze feels so good. It's exactly what I needed after being cooped up in my apartment for weeks.

This cloth mask is so itchy.

Darn it, why isn't that park gate opening! Ugh, wait-finally, there we go.

No, Mocha! Stop chasing after those pesky squirrels, you fluffy yet adorably cliche dog! Why must almost every dog like squirrels so much? Aww, it is really cute though.

There's the spot where the inhumanely fast runner always stops to take a break. Empty.

And there's the star-shaped sandbox that the cute little triplets always play in around this time. No trace of them. The tiny, bright colored sand toys lay there, so lonely that I have to look away. Oh, and there's the tree that their dad sits under. The way he lovingly watches his kids with a smile always tugs at my heart.

Oh yes, the bench where that kind old couple always sit and feed the nasty pigeons that only like them. It's amazing how stale old crackers can bribe those-creatures. They're so savagely murderous that it's funny, even, that they can be won over that easily.

Sigh, somehow I even miss that one usual drunk guy staggering around. I used to hope he didn't come too close to me. I used to avoid him by hiding behind bushes and run when he tottered past. But now, even if he talked to me or said something stupid to me, I wouldn't mind. At all.

Wow! Oh my gosh! This blossom tree is so pretty! The pale pink ruffly petals look perfect in the evening light. It's really too bad that no one else is here to enjoy it with me. I should take a picture to send to Mom. Oh, Mom and her plants. I never went a day without talking to every single one of them. I can still remember glaring at the numerous plants lining my desktop and windowsills with resentment in my heart. When I moved out, she gave me more than my desk, countertop, and windowsills could fit. I miss being able to hug my mom. I remember absolutely hating the smell of fertilizer and flowers on her, but now I'd gladly embrace it for hours. Days, even. Maybe even months. I miss it that much.

And there Mocha goes. She looks kind of down, trodding slowly like that. I guess it's because the nice old man whose ankles she always nips at is absent. I feel bad for him, though-he has to wipe the dog saliva off his ankles every day after our evening walk.

Jeez, my shoes untied again. I can't believe you would do this to me, mean shoes. I paid seventy-three dollars just for you. And this is what I get for seventy-three dollars. Life.

Haha, that old lady though. I miss seeing her wobble around unsteadily with her cane, dress tucked into her underwear. I'd always stifle a giggle, but I still felt guilty and wanted to tell her. I just couldn't figure out how. I mean, how do you respectfully tell an elderly person that every day after her seven o'clock bathroom trip, her underwear is exposed to the world? She seemed really nice, and I didn't want to hurt her feelings.

The park is so empty-it feels kind of wrong to be walking here alone. It's like I'm trespassing or something. I know that I have Mocha to keep me company, but it's not the same as having a mutual conversation in person. Right now, it's just, me, Mocha, and the flowers. When I yell for Mocha, I can hear the hollow echo of my voice around the park. It's usually chatty and brimming with action. Kids screaming and playing. Friends and couples chatting. The drunk guy yelling scrambled sentences. The thud of the runner's feet on the pavement. The music floating through the air from some street performer. Dogs barking excitedly as they meet up with their friends. The heels of a businesswoman clicking on the ground. The sizzle and chop of a street vendor's cooking.

I miss all of it.

So, so, much.

Right, the sky is getting darker. I should head back now, or soon. I should hurry-I have an online class in twenty minutes. My heart kind of aches to see my friends, and I even miss my professors' faces. Video calls don't suffice. Nothing can beat the feeling of your friend's presence beside you. It feels like the professors decided to double our work since we're staying home, though. At least I don't have to get ready.

New shoes, my one true love, why must you be so disloyal to me? Please stay tied, I beg you! I look dumb, bending down to tie my shoes every five minutes! I know there's like, no one here, but please keep it together until we get home! Untie all you want when we get there.

Ugh, this cursed park gate. Why does every single inanimate thing have to betray me? Open sesame! Wait, I can't believe that worked. Next time, I'm saying open sesame as I push the gate open. Let me try again to make sure. Wow, it worked again! Um, i-is that guy staring at me? Did he hear me chant Open sesame? Twice? Oh no, he probably thinks I'm crazy. Speed run, speed run.

Finally, I've arrived home at last. Home sweet home. It's good to be home. No place like home. I need to take off my shoes and go directly to the bathroom without touching anything to stay safe. First, wash my hands for at least twenty seconds. Ahh, I love the new sakura hand soap I got. Then, I should hop in the shower. And of course, wash my clothes afterward.

The walk was nice, with the beautiful spring buds starting to bloom, but so very quiet and lonely. COVID-19 really has ruined our beautiful world, silencing every area it touches.

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24 comments

Sam T.
20:02 Apr 30, 2020

This was perfectly in line with the prompt...the internal monologue was so natural... it was nice reading this :) well written

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Laiba M
21:49 Apr 30, 2020

Thank you, Sam! I really appreciate your words, they meant a lot :D

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Sam T.
14:48 May 01, 2020

💜🌸

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Laiba M
15:59 May 01, 2020

🌸 At first, I didn't think my stories would be appreciated or liked by the people on this website due to the indescribably large amount of talent on here. After reading such nice comments from people like you, I am gaining some confidence in my writing. Thank you so much for everything 🌸

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Sam T.
16:09 May 01, 2020

Welcome ! and i feel exactly the same way, this platform has some crazy talent and i was nervous as well, but the support from people like you is really heartwarming and encouraging :)

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Laiba M
16:11 May 01, 2020

Yess, thanks for your support! With time, I am confident you'll be at the top of the leaderboard, Sam =)

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Avani Gupta
00:41 Apr 27, 2020

This was a really beautiful story, connecting with me, because of the way you described how lonely it feels during this crucial point our world has hit, and how even a scary drunk man can make our day! I really enjoyed it, so make sure you keep up the great work!

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Laiba M
01:08 Apr 27, 2020

Oh my gosh, thank you so much, Avani! Your kind words mean a lot to me <3 I enjoy your stories too, keep on writing!

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Avani Gupta
13:54 Apr 27, 2020

Thank you!

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Laiba M
17:22 Apr 27, 2020

You're welcome =)

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Batool Hussain
12:47 Jun 25, 2020

Hello! I just wanted to say that I'm really really anticipating for your next story. You won't believe that I kept on refreshing my activity page to see if there were any of your new stories(lol). {It's completely okay if you don't want to post it or post it later.} And, Congratulations on getting onto the Leaderboard:) Will eagerly wait for your reply=)

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Laiba M
18:30 Jun 25, 2020

Hello, Batool! That meant so much to me, I thought I was going to be doing that for others forever so it means a ton that you were doing that!!! I am so sorry, I am posting my story this week but I don't like the ending so I'm working on that. When the end is finished I will immediately post it, thanks for your kindness and enthusiasm! You too, I noticed that you're really high up on the leaderboard!! Congrats :)

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Batool Hussain
05:13 Jun 26, 2020

Aww, I am glad that my comment made you happy. And, no problem.Take your time. Thanks and Congratulations once again *_*

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Laiba M
12:37 Jun 26, 2020

It really did :D Thank you for understanding, and you too!

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Batool Hussain
13:06 Jun 26, 2020

^_^

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Laiba M
01:40 Jun 27, 2020

-w- I just posted my story, please check it out!!

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Batool Hussain
10:00 Jun 23, 2020

Hello Laiba! Like others, this piece of yours is beautiful too:) However, I have a few questions if you don't mind ?! * Firstly, will you tell me how to change the font, whenever I apply a different font it changes back to the original one. * Secondly, do you know how to increase the font size or make a specific word 'bold' and 'underlined?' I'll wait for your response. *_*

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Laiba M
14:29 Jun 23, 2020

Hello Batool! Thank you so much :) I don't mind answering your questions at all! *Firstly, it all depends on how you submit your stories; do you copy and paste from an editor that you wrote on, or do you directly type it into the submission area? Note: Copying and pasting a different font results in it changing to the usual font when pasted on Reedsy. If you copy and paste your story, select the entire story, and click either H1 or H2 on the option menu you find at the top of the submission space. If you type it into the space, click H1 or ...

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Batool Hussain
15:50 Jun 23, 2020

Thank you so much Laiba:)

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Laiba M
17:52 Jun 23, 2020

No problem!!

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