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It was my last day at work, and I was wrapping up my table when I passed by my office mate Diana on the way out. We were told that the whole city was going to be on lockdown the next and that the office will have to shut down for a week. I heard rumors that we will be working from home, and we were told to bring our work laptops and other work essentials. Diana, as I passed by, was crying, and I could see that her arms had bruises in it.

We were the only two people left in the building, and so, I had to stop and ask her if she was okay. Diana and I are not lunch or snack buddies. We are not close. Actually, Diana was not close to anyone in the office. She always kept to herself, did not attend office parties, nor did she join us during happy hour. Like any normal human being, I had to ask her if she was fine.

“Diana, is everything okay?” I said that as I was walking towards her. Naturally, I stopped right in front of Diana, waiting for her answer. She looked up at me and had those scared eyes. When she saw that I was inquiring, she cried even more. I had to lower my things down since it was heavy, and I sat right beside her. Something is terribly wrong with this scenario. She had that terrified look on her face. And in a way, it scared me too.

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“Hey, what’s the problem? Why are you crying like that? Diana? Answer me.” It was as if Diana was an old friend of mine that I could just ask her those questions.

“Please, Anna. Help me. Please help me. I don’t want to go home. I am going to die. He will kill me. Please. Take me with you. Please. I need your help.” She kept on repeating those words, telling me that she will die and that she doesn’t want to go home. And so, just to pacify her, I told her that she could come home with me because the office was about to be put on lockdown and we badly needed to leave.

She asked me if we could leave by the side entrance because she cannot go out front. Her husband was waiting for her there, and she didn’t want to see him. I just obliged since she looked so afraid and I also didn’t mind the long walk.

When we got home, I didn’t force her to talk. I just said she could stay in the spare room for the night, gave her some comfy clothes, a toothbrush, and slippers. Diana didn’t want to eat, and so, I munched the two servings of baked macaroni that I made. She stayed inside the room all night, and I could hear her sob. I was outside watching my favorite series on Netflix.

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The next day, it was a lockdown, and the government imposed quarantine rules. Diana approached me and laid it down. Her husband has been beating her up as of late, and she recently filed for divorce. She said that with this lockdown, it would be him and her all alone in their house. It terrified her because of what he might do to her, and that’s why she was crying that night when I happened to pass by.

I told her that I was looking for a roommate and that she can stay with me as long as she liked. She smiled at me, said thank you, and we have been tight ever since.

We both worked from home, and I saw that Diana was bubbly and fun. I didn’t ask anything about her husband, but I told her, if she needed assistance, I was there for her. The lockdown may have limited our lives for a bit, but with that, I gained a friend.

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