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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2272031-Love-in-Quarantine
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Gay/Lesbian · #2272031
Based on true story happening during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Love in Quarantine



         This happened not so long ago, amidst the raging COVID-19 PANDEMIC. Gill didn't know if he would be grateful that a pandemic happened, but great things came to him beyond his expectations. It was only last year when the government announced a community lock-down to prevent the spread of the virus. For almost a month, he stayed home as their company underwent a temporary shutdown. Having no work and having nothing to do means total boredom. He was fortunate to have his phone, and he spent the majority of his fruitless hours watching Tiktok clips and YouTube content. It was one time when an ad popped up on Gill's screen. It was about a dating app advertisement intended for some men or curious men interested in other men. Simply put, it's a gay dating app. He opened it, downloaded and installed the application. Then the story begins.

         On one unusual day in April, the thirteenth, and it's Friday, a great unexpected thing happened. It's not the usual Friday 13th happenings you've seen in the movies or some unlucky events from your grandma's horror tales. Instead, it's something positive, inspiring, and breathtaking. Well, that's how Gill felt that day. He received a "tap" notification from that dating app. It was from someone whose name he couldn't read—a lazy combination of letters, special characters, and emojis. The stranger's profile was concealed with a vague image of something Gill could hardly figure out—it somehow resembled a human body though. Showing a slack interest in his invitation, he tapped the stranger's profile back. After a few seconds, he received a message. It was just the usual "Hi and Hello" greeting you would first say to a stranger. He replied to the greeting and then got a quick response asking for his name, his age, and his location in an abbreviated "ASL." "If you're interested, then you could've checked my profile." was Gill's rude response. Gill always put his real name, his age, location and other identification information visible on almost all the social apps he joined, despite the notion that this is not advisable. "That was so strict of you," was the stranger's response. In their dialect, they use the word "strict" to describe someone who talks rudely. The stranger showed hints of being offended when he added, "I was asking you nicely, please have the decency to acknowledge it or say no otherwise." Gill stopped for a moment, felt the guilt, then picked up the pace with a reply, "Apologies, that's how I chat to strangers. You didn't even bother sending your photo when you've already seen mine." There was no response, so he added, "Please have the initiative." The screen showed "... is typing..." Then a message appeared, "I'll send one, but please promise that you won't mock me for how I look. I'm not good looking." Then Gill sent his assuring reply, "Of course, don't worry, I'm not good looking either."

         In a few seconds, an image attachment appeared. Gill waited patiently for his screen to load the image completely. Then a gorgeous young guy appeared. He is built well, with signs of muscle underneath his neat clothing. "I'm sorry, I'm ugly." was the message that appeared after the attachment. "You might not like me after seeing that," he added. While Gill still marveled at the stranger's gorgeous looks, he replied, "Who said you're ugly?" "Man, you're hot!" "LOL" was his immediate response. The stranger might be in an outburst of laughter after reading Gill's reply. "I'm not kidding." Gill added. "It isn't you who's ugly, it's me who is," was his continued chat, trying to direct the conversation to him this time. "No, you're not. I like your looks," was the stranger's flattering reply. "What's your name?" Gill asked now, showing interest in knowing his chat mate. "I'm Jacob." was his reply. "We appeared to be near since you showed up on my nearby corner." Jacob added. Gill did some frequent scrolling back to the time stamp where his picture was sent. He liked staring at him every now and then and even decided to save the image in his phone's storage. "Nice to meet you, Jacob. As you might see and read, my name is Gill." He responded by showing a bit of sarcasm. "Can we meet?" was Jacob's invitation while Gill was still quivering with excitement and delight from the previous statement. "Wherr? When? Bow?" was his prompt response, not minding the typos that resulted from a frantic search for letters on his phone's keypad. "Where?, Now?" he asked again, this time using the correct letters. "Yes," "Right now, at your place," was Jacob's reply. Gill was still in his state of delight and failed to decipher what words to respond with to this invitation. Then he realized that he had already agreed to the request as his screen displayed "sure!".

         Things happened as quickly as Gill could imagine. He didn't know how he agreed to Jacob's invitation nor how he consented to letting him come to his place. Interrogations crowded his mind at that moment. He might be a thief, or a coronavirus carrier, or worse, have had HIV. Being a thief is not a perfect fit to describe him based on how he looks, though. These were the risks he took in his eagerness to meet the guy. After many preparations he made, they finally met. It felt a little awkward at first, but then their conversation ran smoothly right after they fully introduced themselves. They'd talked about their lives and their careers. Jacob works as a Supervisor at one of the city's well-known pizza restaurants, while Gill has recently started working as an Accounting Staff at one of the city's most prestigious motorcycle dealerships. Their conversation was focused merely on getting to know each other until they lost track of where their conversation took them. There were sudden unfamiliar moments when everything came to a halt and only silence lingered in Gill's room. There were also times he found Jacob staring at him and failed attempts to bring his chiseled face closer to his.





Author's Note
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