“They’re Shutting Us Down.”

Story Nine

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Chef returned home from work an hour later than usual. All the lights off in his apartment. His girlfriend asleep on the sofa while ‘The Hunt,’ starring Emma Roberts, Betty Gilpin and Jason Blum played on their television. Chef looked at the screen for a minute then walked over to their liquor cabinet. He reached for a bottle of gin, which is when his girlfriend awoke from her sleep.

She sat straight, starring at the television screen then at her watch.

“You’re late.”

Chef poured gin into a glass.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“Drinking,” Chef said.

“You’re drinking it straight?”

Chef finished the gin in two gulps then poured more into his glass.

“What the hell is a matter with you now?”

Chef sat in a chair facing the television. He looked at the screen then at his girlfriend.

“Can you shut this crap?”

She reached for the remote.

“What the hell is your problem?”

Chef sipped the gin.

“They’re going to shut us down. It sounds nuts, but I know they are going to shut all restaurants and bars because they are worried. The City now has 329 confirmed cases.” Chef said.

His girlfriend rubbed her eyes and leaned back against the sofa’s cushion.

“You worry too much.”

“Really?”

The two of them didn’t say anything to each other for five minutes. Chef finished what was in his glass then walked back to their liquor cabinet.

“Drinking isn’t going to help. You know that, right?”

She reached for the remote and continued to watch ‘The Hunt.’

‘What’s this movie about anyway?” Chef asked.

Chef’s girlfriend smiled for the first time since he came home.

“I don’t know,” she said sort of laughing. “Something about a bunch of strangers who wake somewhere and they don’t know how they got there or how they are going to get out of there.”

Chef laughed, but it wasn’t one of his loud laughs.

“You know another four died today,” said Chef taking yet another sip of gin.

She didn’t know that four died today, but she watched the news and remembered hearing about 329 confirmed cases.

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