I made sure that my face is covered and my gloves well fitted. I proceed cautiously and keep eyeing the exit door. It has been awhile since I have done this, and now I am having second thoughts. I wonder if what I came for is worth the risk.
I look around, and there aren’t many people. That is better. I adjust my face cover and anxiously increase my speed. I begin collecting whatever I can, praying that I wouldn’t regret this.
I see someone standing a few feet ahead and instantly change my direction. I will come by this area later when it is unoccupied. I can hardly breathe, and I start feeling a longing to be home. I look at what I had so far. I still need a few more things; but do I really need them?
Trying not to touch items I am not taking, I gather myself and prepare to leave. I steer away from the employee who is standing on alert. I avoid looking at people’s faces, hoping that I don’t encounter a familiar one. Hearing my own heartbeat, I self-check as fast as I can then storm out.
I’ve never felt so guilty and scared and excited at once! Do I really need to be here? Nothing scares me more than fighting an enemy that can’t be seen. With the forbidden excitement of breaking free and doing a normal thing—such as seeing bottles of ketchup with my own eyes at Target—I load the grocery bags in the trunk of my car and take off home.
Although I am beyond hungry, I sanitize everything before breaking my fast. I double and triple clean it all, then take a thorough, frantic bath. Never in my life has a grocery-shopping trip invoked these many emotions.
2020, April-Month of Ramadan, COVID-19 Era.