I ran, as fast as my legs could take. Breathing heavily, panting, as hundreds of people went past by. Something felt wrong. There was immediate news of a pandemic and everything went nuts. Shortage of food, groceries, supplies. It felt like the virus was following me, observing my every move, matching my pace, feet to feet. A moment back, I was snoring in my bed and a second later I am running for groceries. Thundering around in the alley.
It felt like a nightmare. People shouting, women screaming and pulling each other’s rugged hair- just to grab a piece of grocery. Yes, you got it right, this was not a scene from a zombie flick, but rather a view from a Tesco store in London, your equivalent of Walmart.
I distinctly remember being the only one searching for some
grass to munch on vegetables and some water. Searching for a way out of this situation, I kept looking for help. Hoping for some passerby or an angel in disguise to notice and guide me through the vegetarian section, but alas, in tragedy and calamity none ever do. After all, toilet papers were of paramount importance, and toilet rolls do to people’s arse what water does not.
The event took an unexpected turn. My feet started to burn and the thighs gave away. Sweat trickled down my eyebrows blurring my vision. As I raised my hands to wipe it off, I saw two women fighting it out for a roll of toilet paper- shrieking and nailing as one wrapped her hands around the kart and the other pulled her from behind, clawing her nails all over ones neck- “Give me that roll back ye imbecile!”
Mayhem! “Ye mate, this is more fun than the virus!” one could hear the lads cheering in the back, wondering was the toilet paper really a requirement over a mass hysteria that was about to engulf the world? But then, I had more pressing issue at hand- finding food.
I mean, being Indian, I have 101 better ways to keep my ass clean with.
Jumping off a few people, crouching through the legs of others, I finally made my way to the vegetable section. Amidst a few dead leaves and potatoes lying around, I saw something hidden in the corner shelf. As my eyes adjusted to the light, I reached my hands out to inspect and picked up the packet. My back to the crowd and toes to the ground, a scent of fear took over me. A chill swept through my veins. My heart beats betraying me to the fullest. My tiny pupils widened for a second realising- “there remained hidden a toilet roll.”
I panicked, as footsteps echoed behind me. Deafening silence in my head asking me to hide, somewhere, somehow, before other eyes fell upon this white sheet of paper
which was probably costlier than a brick of gold at this moment. Holding my breath, shifting slyly across, hopeful of going unnoticed I made my move. As I turned across the corner to the other shelf random footsteps approached me. I could hear it, breathing heavily, inhumane, sounding every lust for the packet that I had in hand. The shadow loomed over, and a sweat bead trickled down my chin.
As I flinched my head and ducked, afraid of the pandemic and the close distance, two feminine hands passed over and grabbed the roll.
I could do nothing but see the woman walk by with her prized possession… quietly disappearing in alley behind.