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Topic 4: What did you miss most during the pandemic?

I woke up to a room awash with blue. I rubbed my bleary eyes. Was I late for school? Where was my alarm? Oh right…it was the start of the circuit breaker. A smile spread over my face. I swept the covers over my face yet again. I could always do it in the afternoon, after all. Yawn…yawn…I spoke too soon. Turns out I could not get back to sleep after awakening today. Well, now better than later. Propping my head up, I began to do my HBL homework. Still, something was missing. What could it be? Shifting to a new position, I pondered. What was it? I had the feeling that it was something important, meaningful, something to live for. If so, what was it? My eyebrows gradually furred together. What was this feeling called? Why do I feel this way?

Over the HBL period, I felt my heart growing heavier. On the rare days when we had synchronous sessions, there always seemed to be something missing in my friends’ eyes. Their eyes lost just a bit of their sparkle, their voice carried just a hint of some terrible weight, and their gaze was always, always, just a little more downcast than the day before. It was like I was in the middle of a vast desert. Who would go there? There was no one there. Not a shadow of a person, not a lingering word or implied sentence. It was just empty there, with me and my thoughts. A deafening silence. To even have someone at your side…the times where I took that for granted seemed long past now. I sat staring out the window. The car park was exceptionally full today, as it had been for a while now. The grass softly swaying, the wind softly whispering in your ear, the leaves full of so much life! Where was all that in my life? An empty husk of a human being I am. So, I wonder. Are there people like me out there too? Were there people who shared my suffering, out there, under the huge expanse of stars? I hugged my pillow all the more tightly, my heart breaking for them. To laugh freely again, to wave my hands happily in the air, to feel the wind dancing along with me once again, to hear their real voices, again! Was that not the very essence of what every human being felt at that time?

If we could just push forward, if we could just survive, if we could just defeat this unseen enemy…could we, once again experience that wonderful human feeling of being alive, of being in this moment, of being with someone else? Sitting before the computer yet again, it makes my heart thrill to think of that moment. Of that moment, not when we all finally can take our masks off but of that moment of being surrounded by your friends, spouting all sorts of nonsense, making all kinds of remarks, laughing with the happiness that only ignorance can bring. How much I would love that moment. So, we take a step forward. And another. And another. And on and on, focusing on just the next step, just on enduring this for today, for this hour, for this minute, for this second. And before we knew it, we were out of the circuit breaker. Was it not great what we did? Amidst all the confusion and dust, we were able to see others. Beyond the walls which segregate us, we were able to feel each other’s presence. Even though we were all feeling the pain of being separate, we still persevered, for the belief, that someday, we would be together once again. To believe in such an impossible thing, something so far-off…humans are beautiful sometimes.

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