Windows Update

The cacophonous normal had been abruptly gagged into an unnerving silence, since the fatal virus plundered the city. Lorraine ceremoniously peeped out of the window, hoping to glimpse the usual lively sights of swarming teenagers strolling in and out of the high school building. Sadly, all that she saw was a splash of vibrant spring colours spread across the black canvas road outside her home in Redmond in Washington.

Lorraine’s soft eyes, however, scanned the road for her unnamed friends. She yearned to greet the cheerful youngsters hurrying in and out of the school. It had all started a few years back. On a usual morning as life snailed sluggishly for Lorraine, she saw a lanky, clumsily dressed teenager, dragging her reluctant feet into the school. She looked up in Lorraine’s direction.  Lorraine spontaneously smiled back at her.  The girl turned around looking for the person Lorraine was waving to. No one was behind her. She stared puzzlingly at Lorraine. Lorraine in return gestured back, saying “You look good!” Flustered and amused on getting a compliment from a complete stranger, she moved on but with a new-found confidence this time. Lorraine, too, felt positive. She suddenly realized the power of her selfless smile and used it to spread sunshine in her world.

Since that day, Lorraine sat every morning greeting the teenagers on the way to their school. She loved decoding their looks and peeping into their young hearts.

The bored ones, scared ones, inexperienced ones, self-absorbed ones, Lorraine  smiled and waved a goodbye to all of them. Few acknowledged her while others ignored her. Some giggled back, pointing fingers, while others gestured  back whole heartedly. Mocked or accepted, Lorraine smiled at them unfettered.

As the deadly virus caged the entire city in lockdown, Lorraine waited longingly for her young friends. She missed their wild smiles caged in orthodontic braces. She missed their skateboard tricks and cycle stunts.

Ting… 

Lorraine’s almost dead phone nudged for her attention. A Facebook notification showed up. “Facebook! I just have my family as Facebook friends. Who would write to me?” Wondered Lorraine.

Sofia has sent you a new friend request! 

Sunshine galloped across Lorraine’s face as she saw a familiar face of a smiling teenager. Lorraine eagerly accepted the request. 

Ting.. Micheal, has sent you a friend request!

Ting.. Jacob, has sent you a friend request!

Ting…Ting… Lorraine could not believe the hundred odd friend requests. She shook feverishly, seeing her dormant Facebook app breathe alive suddenly.

Next morning,  as the online school started, Lorraine planted herself in front of the window. She shared her smiling picture along with a personalized, quirky greeting to each of her new friends. Familiar expressions were shared with many old and new friends. All that had changed was just a window. Her well-lit, lone curtained, east facing window had been replaced by a rectangular shape, graphical interface computer window now.

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