Elaine Martini
Elaine Martini 

Scraped hands


She lost count of how many times she washed her hands today. It was difficult to know if it was justified or too much anxiety. She checked the time again, it was a struggle to get used to this new routine. Time passed by quickly and slowly. Last month felt like last year. She heard somewhere that was natural, there were so many changes. She looked up the stairs to check if she could see or hear her husband. Nothing. She sat at the bottom of the stairs, waiting, gathering her thoughts and feelings. It had been a long week, she missed his hug and kiss before her shifts. But doing that now was too much of a risk. Although the risk for her at work was unavoidable.

She would have never imagined her home one day being like this, divided in two. She could only use certain parts of the house. Yet through this, her husband cared for her in every possible way. They talked through closed doors, he cooked and put it outside her door. Always her favourite meals with a flower on the tray and a note under the cup saying I love you.

Sitting at the bottom of the stairs was breaking the rules. But all she knew lately were rules, worries, and procedures. Before all this started they were trying to start a family. She remembered the heartache every time she got her period and realised this wasn't the month. Now that was a relief and a blessing, she wouldn't have wanted their precious family to start at a time like this. People said it was a war. She didn't see it that way. For her, it was a tragedy that destroyed and swept through unforgivingly. In war, your main weapon is not love, care, and compassion for others. For her, that's what her role was in all this. She looked at the phone again, it was time to get ready for her duty. Once again she washed her hands and felt the sting from the soap on her scraped hands.


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© Elaine Martini