He thought he'd see her again when he'd return home. He didn't expect to see her, days before, through video chat, wearing an oxygen mask. Like chains, weekday work had held him back from leaving. He had to wait for Saturday, hoping to beat the incoming community quarantine.
"Please! Let me through!" he remembered begging the checkpoint soldier, earlier.
"Sorry, sir. Nobody in, nobody out." the soldier replied.
"She's gone." the phone read.
On the dark floor, the young man wailed. "Mama!"