Traitor

Kashaf Fatima

Lahore, Pakistan

It feels wrong to say this,

like I’m betraying humanity itself,

But… how? How else would I have come to know about longing if it hadn’t been for this disease making normalcy seem like a child’s distant, forgotten dream?

How else would I have yearned for someone so dearly?

How else would I have learned to love someone for their voice, for the way their eyes look in the sun or the ripples in their cheeks, when they smile in that picturesque gleam?

How else would I have learned of the intimacy of loving someone through their pictures, their messages, or how those long passages are so incredibly sweet to read?

It feels wrong and yet, I ought to thank this virus, this disease, for teaching me to love from behind shadows and veils, from behind curtains and drapes, in the awkward silences of ‘first ever phone calls’, in the blundering attempts of ‘long distance dates’….

So even if it betrays our race, I ought to thank the quarantines and the lockdowns, for teaching me to love, without really teaching me anything at all.

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