the longest hug

The longest hug

Seeing his wife drive away with the children broke his heart. He'd never felt so lonely in his life.

Fred was part of a team of frontline workers who were risking their lives every day to take care of Covid-19 infected patients. He would leave home early in the morning and return late at night. Fully aware of the shortage of protective equipment at the medical facility, his wife lived in a state of constant fear.

She pleaded with him not to volunteer, but he wouldn’t listen. They often argued over this, which made the home environment bitter. Fred started leaving for work earlier than usual, without saying goodbye. His wife too began to ignore him.

One day, after a routine check-up, Fred tested positive for Covid-19. Rather than worry about himself, he feared for the safety of his family—his wife and two sons. He couldn’t afford to put them at risk. To avoid any physical contact, he asked his wife to take the kids to his mother’s house nearby while he would recover at home.

Seeing his wife drive away with the children broke his heart. He’d never felt so lonely in his life. He realised how much he missed them. He thought about all the things that frustrated him. But now, he started seeing the same things in a different light.

As the days passed, Fred’s symptoms started getting worse. One night, he called his wife, “I’m scared,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to hug you again.”

“Don’t say such things,” she replied fighting her tears. “I know you can beat this virus.”

Fortunately, after four weeks of struggle and sleepless nights, Fred started feeling better.

He got tested again and the result was negative this time. Finally, when he was cleared by the doctors, he headed straight to his mother’s house to see his family.

When he reached home, his wife and kids were standing at the door eagerly waiting for him. He got out of the car, ran towards them and gave them the longest hug ever.


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