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Courage is your best friend by Emma Nichols

You wake up one day and the world has changed. The moment has arrived that you hoped never would, and your life is ruled by four rules dictated by a government who can’t be trusted. You stand in a line for food, silently, praying that the thin film of paper that covers your face will be sufficient to protect you, and you take a pace back from anyone who sniffs too loudly. No one knows.

Soon, a new norm is formed, but not before the mental struggle has taken root. Will you be the next victim? Adapting to radical change isn’t easy but the threat keeps you inside, the air that sustains you contaminated by the invisible assailant. This is biological warfare and while governments throw stones at each other, you wait for a solution.

And then it comes.

The grief of loss passes slowly, and a new hope rises from the ashes. The enemy retreats. You survived, a victim, affected. How to be you in this new world that you didn’t design and couldn’t control?

You step cautiously, grappling for the mask you tried to reject in the beginning, hiding from those who still contaminate in their ignorance. But chrysalids transform and butterflies spread their wings. The seasons bring new life. You learn to breathe freely, to walk among strangers, to trust in the future.

Courage is your best friend.

Company is the gift we give to each other.

The time to fly is now.

Emma Nichols will be at the Queer the Shelves LGBTQ Book Festival in Nottingham. Come along!

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