In and Out
by Maria Nestorides

I’ve lived behind many front doors in my lifetime. Some of them welcomed me in, held me in a warm embrace. Others felt restrictive and repressive, and I, like a caged tiger, took any opportunity to escape through them.

My first front door was in London. When I was born, my dad held it open and pushed my pram through it as I slept on like a princess.

The second door was in Oman and it kept the howling desert storms at bay while I played happily within.

One door saw my teenage angst flare and feelings of not belonging grow into monsters.

Yet another door saw me finally finding my place in life, finally belonging.

In my adult life, our front door has opened to let us in and out. It has opened to an endless stream of friends and watched us leave to go meet with them, to go to a restaurant, to have a good time.

In and out.

Today, though, my door is hermetically sealed. No out allowed. It stands closed as a safeguard from the deadly virus around us.

These days, it is closed for the in. Closed to everyone who previously graced its entrance.

Everything is now done within the threshold of my front door: working, exercising, cooking.


My hope is that, soon, my front door will re-open and our friends will spill through once again and we, like bears waking from our winter hibernation, will reconnect with them. We will hug and kiss, talk and laugh with each other.

But for now, we stay behind our front doors, waiting for the day when this dystopian reality will cease and we will walk back into the sunlight and fresh air, without masks, without gloves, without antiseptic.


To live again.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Maria Nestorides lives in sunny Cyprus with her husband. She has two adult children. She received an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University in 2011. Her short stories “Red Letter Day” and “Voodoo Heads” were published online by Five Stop Story, and she contributed a six-word memoir to the book Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak: by Writers Famous and Obscure by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser (Jan. 6, 2009). You can also find her stories Whispers of Love, Sand in my Shoes, Need you Now, and Under Cover on The Story Shack. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.