The pandemic prize

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

If everyone around caught up in grief, who would console who? This short story is an attempt to show what's at stake during this pandemic.

"What is going on with the neighbors? Why is there so much noise?" Kaveri asked her dad, with her head buried into her phone.
"They are saying goodbye to their friend who died of Covid." Kannan answered as he set the coffee right next to her chair. 
He smiled at his daughter who was, after a long time, being focused about something. It was no wonder, as today was the day, the results of her finals would be out.
"So, another death huh?" She didn't move her head.
Kannan pursed his lips. There was not a day when he wasn't reminded of how casual, perceiving death news had become in the last few months, especially considering how it was only a year since he lost the mother of his children, to the same epidemic.
"Sometimes I wonder - who decided natural deaths are the only way to go?" Kaveri asked in a tone that always confused Kannan whether she was talking to herself or to him.
"That's a terrible thing to say. We should try our best to live life the way it's supposed to be, with gratitude." It had become casual too for kaveri to ask such dark questions after her mother had passed and Kannan always served a reply brimming with positivity to go, the way the therapist on the internet recommended.
"I'm sure you are right. All those are the tears of gratitude." She pointed her finger in the direction the noise came from.
Kannan did not know what he could say, that would make his once suicidal daughter to believe in a positive world again.
"Well tears are interesting. Do you know tears are one of the objective proofs that emotions can affect your body?" Kannan was under pressure to say something.
Kaveri's rolling eyes, stopped for a second and then brightened to witness that her results were out and she had passed out in flying colors.
"So you have passed. Congratulations,dear" Kannan presented her with a gift from his pocket.
"Optimistic of you to have gotten a gift before results. With our financial situation, don't you think it's too much?."
"Well we may be somewhere between poor class pro and middle class lite but it's a big deal and I knew you would do a fine job."
"It's not a big deal. I'm not going anywhere with this town being dumped into a microbial pool out there." She reached her father's pocket and replaced the gift in it.
"Wait," Kannan hastily stopped his daughter, the one who was trying to get back to her cocoon, her bedroom, before she could. She stood there with her arms folded resisting any optimistic lectures that Kannan was going to perform from his memory.
"Bad things happen."
The noise next door became louder -Sounded like finally the best friend of the dead was in town and - alive after all.
Kannan brushed away his thoughts and became assertive about the things he had to say - things that he needed to get his daughter back.
"My point is they happen. They don't see if we are old enough to handle it or if we are expecting them to happen. They just do. With your mother gone, I understand why it would really feel like only bad things are destined to happen. My argument is the same.
They just don't wait. And with you having no positive vibes it will take seconds to go down the darkest path and by your own arms. Hence you better celebrate even the tiniest win."
When he finished telling what he wanted to say, he realized his daughter was not the only one who needed help.
Kaveri noticed the change of colours in her father's eyes. She closed in and hugged him. Kannan picked up the gift again and this time Kaveri received it in silence. 
She didn't go back to her cocoon till evening but the silence stood out even after the noise settled.

Submitted: May 27, 2021

© Copyright 2021 The brown birdie. All rights reserved.

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