What Happened!

Submitted into Contest #45 in response to: Write a story about change.... view prompt



"Honey why do you look so upset?" my mother asked. "I'd say I'm suffering from writer's block but this isn't one of my usual stories. So I don't know how to describe my current self." I replied "Hmm." " Its just that I've been staring at the cursor blink for over twenty minutes. And I still don't have what to write for my essay due next week" I continue as I smack my forehead. 

"What is it about? I suppose they gave you a topic to write about?" "Yes, it is about Change." "Honey I think you are over reacting. That's a pretty easy topic." "Yeah I know...but it is so broad. I can't find the perfect idea. I want to nail my essay this time."

"Why not make it a little bit historical. I bet your peers will go for the current changes going around..their life or transformation and whatever you kids imagine" "That's actually a good idea. How will I get credible information aside from the news online." "You could interview me. I'm the adult here available."she goes on as she winks at me. "Oh come on mum" I say as I groan. "Please, can't you do this one about me. Last time it was your dad you worked with. Please" "Okay,fine." I agree. She hugs and kisses me on the cheek. "Let's first order something to eat" mum says. "Honey, you choose this time" "Pizza. The usual with a cup of Mixed berry yoghurt" "I still don't understand how you take that. I'll order a diet coke instead for myself" I leave my mother on the phone as I head up to my room to pick my phone to record our interview.

We sat ourselves in the living room to get started. 'So since the essay is about change, You are going to describe the before, during and after events of the period" My mother nods in agreement and I switch on my recorder to get us started.

"What was it like living in the before phase?"

"Easy. Everything seemed perfectly fine and systematic. Once you were born ,healthy that is, and all grown up first thing on your parents to do list was taking care of you to get good education, a career, a successful and lovely marriage to having your own family to watch over. There was this ladder you climbed that made you set goals and dreams to achieve."

"What were these goals and dreams you had over the years?"

"In primary school the main goal was to get to high school. Life seemed so easy there. In high school all eyes were on getting to university, having a wonderful career and achieving one of my countless dreams. These were influenced by the friends I had then. In my second last year of high school I wanted to be a flight attendant based on a career talk we'd had. Later on in my final year of high school I wanted to be a beauty Queen in my country because my friends thought I looked like the reigning queen then. I just dreamt a lot because I still didn't know what my true purpose was."

"What about university? You didn't comment on it. Had you attained any of your dreams of high school? I went on

"My first two years were interesting. It was my first time out of home so all I did was adventure and live life. Experience freedom and appreciating the diversity of my surroundings. I had it all figured out till the last semester of my education at campus..."

"What happened then?"

"The worst pandemic ever did. The Corona virus era or the third world war as other people thought. It all started out as a joke. I remember most of my friends sharing hilarious memes about it before it hit our country at all. Every news update, every channel literally everything and everyone in the world was talking about it. We all wondered if it was the end of the world just like the St. John's Revelations in the Bible. We experienced the first ever lockdown where we all had to stay at home. No movement, no outing, no hanging out with friends physically. We had to stay home to stay safe. That was the time where everything seemed useless except living. All our dreams were either put on hold or left to wash down the drain."

"Wasn't that a good time ? It surely sounds like lots and lots of vacation time?"

"It was relaxing at first. All we had to do was follow the ministry of health guidelines washing your hands frequently, sanitizing, wearing a mask in public places and avoiding social gatherings of more than five people. Its funny how we were more than that at home. We stayed up late binge watching series, reality shows on TV, attending online live concerts and club shows, reading novels, and eating and sleeping. That sort of gave you a feel of the life on the other side of your phone or TV. Being a couch potato finally paid off. Later on it started to become a monotonous lifestyle that simply sucked."

"Was that the only negative thing that happened?

"Not really. Other vices just crept and crept as days went by. Physical and sexual violence against women in families sky rocketed. Scandals of fraud and misuse of public monies allocated to helping the poor in the country were everyday news. I don't understand the surety they had that they would survive at all. Deaths increased with no cure. The prices of food and other essentials were hiked to thrice the original amount. And as well Racism at its peak in the US. With the killing of a black woman, Breona Taylor, in her apartment as she slept and a black man, George Floyd, suffocated to death by a white police officer. Life just seemed so out of control. It was so heart and dream breaking.

"How did the death of George and Breona affect you an ordinary African? 

"It got me thinking of my inability to migrate and live in the US. It got me sad about the fact that I wouldn't travel to get married to the man of my dreams. The all american man. At twenty years old, not graduated, jobless living under my parents roof with my dad retiring soon. I saw no way out of a traditional marriage that would be forced upon me if the pandemic didn't end. I'm imagining being given away to my dad's unmarried friends or their sons which I didn't want."

"When does the after get fine?"

"It doesn't for a year or so. People got to live with the corona virus as any flu with must have safety objects such as masks, sanitizers and eating healthy foods like ginger, garlic and vegetables to enhance one's immunity. Most things went digital. E-learning, teleconferencing, deliveries and meeting of new people around the world. That's how I met your Dad before we got to meet physically."

"Finally,what important lesson did you learn during the pandemic?'

"Health is wealth and everything worldly is temporary."

The door bell rings and mum heads for the door to get our delivery. She sets the pizza and our drinks on the kitchen counter and joins me to finish our interview.

"Thank you so much mum for doing this with me"I say. "Your welcome honey. Now let's go eat I am starving" "So mum, now I'm curious to know how you met my dad" I press on. She laughs and says"Story for another time." "Fiiiine!" I reply. I can only say I felt relieved and as I ate my first slice of pizza I ransacked my brain for the perfect title for my essay. "What happened?"

June 11, 2020 13:40

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Shivani Manocha
17:56 Jul 16, 2020

Hey Annie! Nice story:) Just two things: 1. When you write dialogues (for example in the first paragraph), it becomes a little difficult for me as a reader to keep track of the conversation when it is in a paragraph. So maybe you could consider breaking them down in different lines. 2. Try write shorter paragraphs if and when your story permits. This again enhances readability and creates a stronger impact on the readers. I am also new to Reedsy, and so am just learning to write. Both these points were feedback on my stories. I thou...


18:07 Jul 16, 2020

Thank you so much on the feedback. I also realized my paragraphs are too big when I was reading . I'm working on making them smaller in my next story. I appreciate it and I look forward to your feedback


Shivani Manocha
18:10 Jul 16, 2020

Happy to help in any way I can:) We are all here to grow as writers and need each other's help:)


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Grace M'mbone
07:54 Jul 07, 2020

I liked your story Annie. Please keep writing. Brilliant flow. I couldn't see any grammatical errors.


23:21 Jul 09, 2020

Thank you so much😊


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