Strange Neighbors

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Strange Neighbors is a flashing of thoughts as COVID19 restricted his routine and realising about the forgetfulness of surroundings and isolating to oneself despite living in a crowd packed social space.

Submitted: March 25, 2020

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Submitted: March 25, 2020

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Strange Neighbors

 

The street was almost empty. Street lights were not on. The sky was dusty and neither stars nor moon were visible. The dim lights from the apartment buildings on both side of the street were the only source of light.

The weather’s pleasant. Cool breeze made his hairs curlier. He wore a vibrant blue T-shirt made of microfiber and khaki shorts. He was there for his evening walk on a black sneakers.

COVID19 intervened everyone’s routine and habits. It’s not his usual path to walk, he loves to walk on seaside listening to the rhythm of waves. But now all usual places are restricted.

He was walking briskly and his eyes were looking around for nothing as if he’s a stranger here. He saw nothing but many cars parked at the parking spots of buildings along the street.

He thought what the people in all those high- rise buildings would be doing now. Most of people don’t have to go to work, no schools for kids. Malls are shut and social gathering places like cafes, restaurants and even parks are remain closed.

He brooded over about the current scenario and how the people would react. Would this staycation indulge them or stifle them with claustrophobic feeling? He wished if he could read people’s mind!

Azan (call to prayer from Mosque) from the nearby mosque abruptly stopped his thoughts. He sighed and looked around. He was passing a six story apartment building next his building and suddenly his eyes spotted a window half opened on the fifth floor, lights were on and curtain was gliding by the wind.

A roly-poly lady, in her 40s, on her floral printed top and white color trousers came out to the balcony holding a cup of tea in her right hand. Her hair is short and wearing spectacles. Seemed like having a break from long hours of

work from home. She was looking down to the street as if she was anticipating someone.

Out of blue, he thought who lives in his next door, doesn’t know. Egyptian or Indian? Or is he from Philippines? Alas! No clue!

Everyday, he must have seen many faces - Asians, Europeans, Middle Eastern etc. faces- in the elevators, on the corridors, crossing while getting off from the car. He knows well they live in the same building but couldn’t recall many of the faces. And he didn’t know name of anyone nor did he know their nationality. He never bothered where they would go or what do they do for living. He used to see kids playing at the courtyards but was too busy to smile at them.

He assumed all do the same as he does and he hardly remember anyone smiled or talked to him as well. His face brightened. He’s not alone, nobody’s bothered about the surroundings. Did that idea gave him solace?

Hundreds of people, from different walks of life and hailed from different countries, live in a neighborhood but everyone is confined themselves in each concrete boxes. His mind started wandering around and brewing-up numerous thoughts.

“We humans are social beings; we share mirror neurons that allow us to match each other’s emotions unconsciously and immediately. We leak emotions to each other. We anticipate and mirror each other’s movements when we’re in sympathy or agreement with one another— when we’re on the same side.”

He recollected reading a piece of writing in Forbes years back. But he doubts now! It might be just a technical term “social beings” he guessed and practically we are Strange Neighbors!

He sped up his paces and as well his brooding. Now, wind is blowing furious and it’s drifting the sand off. He heard shutting windows and when looked up, the lady had already disappeared.?

 


© Copyright 2020 Taif. All rights reserved.

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