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It was late in the evening. Janet had finished answering all the emails her boss’s had allocated her and settled all the paperwork that was required. Left in the building was just her and the security guard in the entire sixty story building. As it was the eve of eve of christmas. Many in the office either took were already on holidays or left work early to be with their families. Holidays were never something Janet looked forward to. It was just like any other day with additional perks of no work, shops being closed, plus having your social media feeds blessed with other people celebrating the holidays with their loved ones. It became so mentally draining for her that she practices social media abstinence 2 days prior and after a festival or holiday. 

Having grown-up in an orphanage for most of her formative years and being outcasted by the kids there. Janet grew up without forging any strong emotional bonds or relationships. She focused solely on her goal, like a horse wearing blinders to keep their vision focused on the race. Of being financially independent, so that she can be free from her tormentors. 

Janet quickly shut down her desktop, waited patiently and took the lift down to the carpark. While doing so she was already planning on how to utilise her upcoming days of isolation. By watching finish television shows she had started and deciding the next series she would dive herself into. Television shows and series has always been Janet’s route of escapism from loneliness, with minimal human contact she maintains in the office and nothing outside of it. She lives through these shows by empathising and sympathising for them and with them. Just like the holidays, Janet stays away from family and romantic shows. As she believes they are a waste of time, selling a bunch of lies. 

As Janet pulled out  the office’s underground carpark, she turned on the radio to listen in on the latest weather and traffic updates. There were some cautions about the upcoming blizzard and heavy traffic on all the highways due to the last minute holiday shopping frenzy. But she decided to try her luck to evade all this chaos before it gets worse. Thus, she decided to trust Google maps (it is always right!) as it was showing a route to evade all this traffic on a slightly longer than her normal journey. Thus, Janet sped off like a soldier obeying the commands of his general, in this case Google maps.

Unfortunately, mother nature had other plans in mind. Due to an unexpected change of drastic wind conditions caused by the blizzard which resulted in a blockade of roads. Thus, causing major traffic in the route janet was taking. All the cars were bumper to bumper. Many drivers were venting out their frustration on the car horn. Hoping somehow, miraculously by honking their horns continuously would scare away the blizzard and clear up the roads. In the midst of this, Janet sat in her car wistfully thinking of her cozy pad. Where she could have curled up like a kitten on her bed, engulfed by her heated blanket and screaming at the stupid character on the show to turn left. 

Suddenly, she was pulled out of her thoughts when she heard an urgent knock on her window. As the snowfall was thick, Janet had to wind down her window to see who her intruder was. It was a young man in his early thirties who seemed worried and exhausted. Apparently, few cars in front of Janet a lady had just gone into labour and due to the blizzard no emergency services could get to the couple nor could they go to one. Thus, this young man had been going around knocking on cars to gather blankets and hot water to aid in the delivery of the baby. Thankfully, Janet always kept a spare blanket in her car for days that she stays over at the office which she offered. 

Somehow seeing the young man selflessly helping out a young stranded couple filled Janet heart with guilt. Hence, she volunteered herself to help him on his mission. She also learned that his name was Justin and at the same time realised how shivering cold the weather was outside. That she had an immediate urge to jump right back into her toasty oven of a car. But with a new found determination and encouraging looks from Justin, Janet zipped her coat all the way up, tucked her in nicely and walked up to the nearest care beside her. 

As Janet went around collecting blankets and clothes more people started joining her. It felt weird for her, going up to random strangers and asking for favour, which she detested her whole life. Moreover, it felt like a team effort working together with all those random strangers who did not think twice before volunteering. This moved something within her. She felt like she belonged part of something, a community who were there for each other. Once they had gathered sufficient blankets, clothes and any available hot water. They all gathered at the back of the couple’s car. Thankfully, it was a 4WD, thus granting some space for the lady to lie down. She was already in great pain, as her whole face turned scarlett red. 

It turns out that, Justin is an obstetrician. He was calmly instructing the mother-to-be on when to push and when to relax, as the contractions hit her. Witnessing such a tense situation, unconsciously Janet’s hand had started to sweat profusely. While she heard silent mutters of prayers for both mother and baby. Justin suddenly turned and beckoned Janet forward to assist him. This was a big milestone in Janet’s life, from someone who actively avoided human contact is actually going to bring a human into this world. She slowly shuffled forward and aided Justin in positioning the camera light correctly so that he could check if the baby’s head was crowning. This was going on for the next couple of hours with Justin checking on the baby and soothing the mother. Finally at about 1.33am in the morning the baby entered the world. Everyone stood transfixed eagerly waiting for the first cry and when she did, it filled the whole place like church chimes. She kicked and squirmed as Janet quickly wrapped in a nice warm blanket. Janet was the first to hold onto the baby, as Justin cut-off the umbilical cord. Even though the baby’s eyes were closed, Janet could feel that she was warming up to her. When she finally handed the baby over to the new parents, tears of joy rolled down their face while everybody else clapped and cheered. It definitely felt like a christmas miracle for Janet.

Moreover, just as the baby was born the blizzard cleared and the roads were finally in operation. Many who were gathered around congratulated the couple and promised to visit the baby over the holidays. Janet waited till they left and to congratulate the couple and kissed the baby her goodbye promising to see her soon. She then went over to Justin to thank him for being selflessly helping the couple out and also explained how it was a first time being part of such an event. Justin, listened to everything intently with inquiring eyes and the only thing he said once she was done talking. “Will you go out for coffee with me?”. This stunned Janet in every level. She was never been asked out so bluntly before thus, all she could manage was a mere nod before she beelined to her car and drove off. 

It was when she reached her apartment and parked her car, she realised what she had done and banged her head on her steering wheel. As she was about to knock her head for the third time on the steering wheel she heard her phone bing. She caught herself and checked her phone it was a friend request on Facebook from Justin Smith. The very same Justin who asked her out and she fled like a fly being hit by insect repellent. Thinking about that brought a smile to her face, as she quickly accepted his request and messaged him that she has just reached home and if he has done the same. Once she sent the message she felt this new found warmth in her chest as she skipped out of her car all the way into her bedroom and flung herself on the bed. Surrendering herself to sleep while recalling the events that had just occurred.     


January 11, 2020 02:41

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1 comment

Sam Kirk
00:29 Jan 18, 2020

I don't use Google Maps all that often. In case of a detour, I find them not as efficient as they should be because everyone has Google Maps on and the moment they are told to detour, they start changing lanes, etc. That makes an even bigger mess. I just try to take a different route. A nice story of a melting heart.


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