Socially Distant Teen
- Genre: Romance
- Author: hchladybug1218
- Chapters: 16
- Status: Completed
- Age Rating: 18+
- 👁 1
- ⭐ 5.0
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Elizabeth Foster is a regular senior in high school. She loved being on top until COVID-19 came. Lizzie will do anything it takes to get her life back in order. After weeks of not seeing her boyfriend, Josh Anderson, the pair run into each other one morning while getting food. Will Josh make a plan to see Lizzie or will the pandemic keep their romance a part for the foreseeable future? Will Lizzie be able to cope with social distancing, safety guidelines, and no school to go back to? Or will she break all the rules to feel normal again?
Chapter 1: Josh
I'll never forget the last day of school. It was a Friday the 13th in March. The bad luck that followed still stresses me out. When I think about all that has happened since the doors to Jefferson High school have closed, it feels like years.
High school was this hard and difficult rite of passage. I didn't know what true anger was until my routine was stolen from me. The routine I once had seems like gold now. It's the gold I never knew I had. My old routine is worth everything to me now.
I'm frustrated. I'm scared. I'm broken. I'm sad. My family and I are these isolated humans under house arrest because of a microscopic virus. Some people think the virus is a myth, others a weapon of warfare, and others a lab accident. To me, this virus, this COVID-19, is a ghost and the reason I will never get to be in high school ever again.
I'm a senior—all the rites of passage that I have been looking forward to since middle school are all gone. I went to the junior prom, we all did. But that was junior year. This was senior year.
Senior year, the year I am on top. The year I get to be viewed as this upstanding citizen. I was looking forward to my senior year; all the younger students' eyes were looking to me to know what to do.
Well, here in this pandemic, I don't know what the hell to do. On social media, I pretend I know what I'm doing. I am a hot mess, with nothing but confusion to befriend me.
"Lizzie, can you go pick up food?" My mother yells.
"Sure, mom," I yell back.
My mother is one of those lucky moms. She's a stay-at-home-mom. She didn't have to take her work home with her. And I am grateful for that. I'm grateful for the time we have had together. I'm grateful for the meaningful mother-daughter bond we are creating.
My name is Elizabeth Foster. My family and friends call me Lizzie. Every other morning, my mother asks me to go pick up the food. It's my saving grace. I love picking up food for my family. It makes me feel important. Instead of my younger classmates looking up to me, my siblings Mikey and Lucas do. Mikey is 10, and Lucas is 14. They are the coolest boys in the world.
Lucas is a genius; he is using lockdown to build a robot. He's a part of the robotics team... Or was. He is taking apart old computers and old tech to create a robot. I wonder if he can create a time machine and rewind it to when the world made sense.
I miss March 13th more than I ever thought I would. I knew a little about the virus then. It was only hurting countries like China and Italy. But it would never come here; it wasn't supposed to come to Little Creek, Michigan.
I get my clothes on. My mother makes us get dressed every day. She doesn't want us to fall into a deeper depression. My dad is an unlucky parent. He was forced to work from home. He's a college professor for the fancy university in the next town, Saint Somebody University of the important.
That's the university; I will be attending in theory. I want to be a journalist. I love snooping around and prying people with my questions. I was the top journalist for the Jefferson High School newspaper. The thing about being on top, though, is eventually, you will be knocked down.
The last day of school was when my boyfriend, Joshua Anderson, jokingly said, "I hope I can take you to prom."
Little did he know that the schools would close for the rest of the year. Little did we know that was the last day we would see each other. Now I am stuck. Stuck inside. Stuck on virtual classes that are hard to pay attention to.
I'm tired of Zoom classes. I can hardly pay attention to my screen life. These virtual calls are exhausting, and this isn't socializing. I want to hug my friends and kiss Josh. I want to take photos at prom and write about it in the Jefferson Journal. But I will never get to do any of these things.
I hate it when adults call this my new normal. Is it new? Yes. Is it normal? Hell no. My mother is one of those selfless mothers. She is making masks for our little community in Little Creek, Michigan. She even has special delivery days in the next town over. She makes them free of charge. Some people leave her a big donation so that she can buy more supplies.
I head to the kitchen and grab a large trash bag from under the sink. This large bag is what I put our food in. Our school has a free lunch program. Every other day from 9-11 am, families are welcome to get food for their children. I pick up food for me, Mikey, and Lucas. It's not the best-tasting food, but we are grateful for the help it has created.
I put on my mask. My mom made me a hot pink one. It's a cute color. The school is within walking distance of my house. My mask is a cute design, but it's uncomfortable like the rest of my life.
The mask goes over my face and covers my mouth and nose. It itches below my eyes. As the weather gets warmer, I know this mask will eventually give me blisters under my eyes. I am not looking forward to that.
I open the door and walk down my patio. The outside feels refreshing on my skin. I am excited to be alone, away from my brothers. Going to school to get food is the only freedom I have right now. It's the only thing I have left that is mine.
The school building is as ugly and brown as I remember. I get in line and wait my turn. The lunch ladies are always kind and know me by name. Even though they aren't my teachers, it's nice to see someone from my school. I hate social distancing, this isn't distancing, and it's not social. I have no concept of what six feet is. My six-foot perception is different from everyone else's; mine is more like a football field's length away.
It's my turn to get food. I walk up to Miss Shaffer, the lunch lady.
"Good morning, Lizzie. Three lunches today, right?" She asks through her mask.
"Yes, ma'am. Thank you," I say, smiling, knowing she can't see my facial expressions through my face barrier.
I miss smiling and seeing others' reactions to my face. I miss hugs and laughter. It's nothing but uncertainty and sorrow.
"Lizzie, is that you?" A voice from the line shouts.
I turn around and see who it is. It's Josh.
Chapter 2: The Walk
"Josh?" I say.
I want to cry. I haven't seen Josh for so long. Being in a line for food and practicing social distancing is impossible. I want to see Josh; I want to see his whole family and kiss his lips.
"Lizzie, it's my turn to get food. Give me a minute," he says.
I see Joshua's brown eyes; the rest of him is hidden under a face mask.
I'm frustrated. The only time I have seen him during this pandemic is when we video chat or are attending the same Zoom meeting.
Seeing Josh in person for the first time in weeks makes me want to break all the rules. I want to believe that by not touching Josh, I am saving Grandpa Jonah's life.
"Protect the elderly," they say. "Go out if it's essential," they say.
To me, a 17-year-old, kissing Josh is as essential as breathing air. I need to kiss Josh, and I know he needs to kiss me too.
It's the first time; I have ever conside