By Your Leaves

Prompt: Leaves | Word Count: 250 words exactly | Genre: flash fiction

April 27, 2020

As the bright green leaves emerged on the trees and bushes, lockdown continued. Spring was in full swing. School was now online and all social interactions were virtual. She was supposed to have been out of her parent’s house pursuing her studies and working part time, getting on with her life.

Instead, she and her fellow workers were furloughed at first, but then their leaves became permanent, their jobs were gone and along with them their paychecks. The unemployment check leaves gaps in her budget unfulfilled by the stimulus payment. So she’s moved back home, where she is under her parent’s thumb unable to make decisions without so much as a by your leave. It leaves her frustrated. Her brothers are home too, making the house overly crowded. The table’s expanded by adding the leaves so the family could dine together. A chore chart resurfaced, where each person leaves their mark.

Officials are wrestling with how to lift restrictions and get back to work, school and everyday life. Until they have adequate testing and vaccines, there was no going back to normal. As she leaves through the pages of her book, swirling the leaves in her teacup, she resigns herself to the fact that here she must stay. Even though it leaves her cold, she does her part. Every time she leaves the house she sanitizes anything that others may have touched. She wears her mask, and gloves her hands. As for the future, she leaves it all to fate.

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