Most of us in our generation have not experienced a pandemic that completely wreaked havoc on the world. There is no doubt that this covid pandemic changed many people's lives. It did the same upheaval to Emily. She went through the most challenging and poignant breakups in her life, lost and disheartened.

Middle of March, all the countries in the world imposed emergency lockdown and travel ban worldwide. Uncertain yet hopeful about her future and the long-distance relationship that she had at that moment, she decided to take a risk. She quit her job and moved to another country so that they could be together. Little did she know that their relationship would only last like the flashing fireworks, powerful yet short. One month after moving together, he brutally broke up with her for some inconceivable reason. She was asked to move out in two weeks in the middle of pandemic.

Under a massive mental shock, she could not stop herself from crying for three days. Utterly Defeated and devastated, she decided to move away from the freezing east coast, away from the place where she could only feel the coldness, to a warmer southern city that she knew no one, which seemed to be a better choice for the moment. Austin, TX, was the city where she started her journey of healing. She has long heard Austin being a very vibrant, liberal, tech-friendly city. Yet the only thing she did not expect was that she would move there amid the pandemic, broken-hearted and alone.

For three months, she was doing everything to heal and to allow herself to grieve. It was not her first breakup, however, the most painful one. One of the biggest challenges was to wake up with a meaning in life as numbness and emptiness were the only things she felt. She would start with a 20-min meditation with some positive mantras in the morning to boost her self-esteem and to remind herself of worthiness. She wore herself out by jogging every day in the unbearable summer heat. She dived into some self-help books, hoping to find some comfort and softness. Other than that, she spent a lot of time talking to her friends over zoom since it was hard to meet people physically. She was keeping to herself, most of the time, which she thought was the best.

Those three months were tough, being alone in a new city, isolated. Gradually, she felt the pain had lifted a bit, but still, those fragments about her ex came to her mind and haunted her from time to time. Still unsure if she was ready to start a new relationship, she indeed missed the intimacy and warmth.  Sadly, even for a city as socially vibrant as Austin, meeting people physically had become quite a challenge during the pandemic as all the social events were moved to Zoom. After some mental debate, she decided to sign herself up on Tinder.  It was not her preferable way of meeting people in a new place, but in the past few years, she had a few dates from online dating apps; most of them turned out to be quite disappointing and unsatisfactory. As for her ex, they met at a friend's wedding, and it was like love at first sight.

As for toys, she always wanted to try, but she was somewhat shy about it, partially because she grew up in a very conservative upbringing. She had a few boyfriends in the past, but no one was into toys. During one of the zoom chats, her best friend, Nicole, could not stop talking about this toy that she used, which she claimed to be mind-blowing and life-changing. Emily and Nicole met when they were both studying the same program abroad, and they bonded naturally. As a best friend would do, she ordered Emily one as a gift to cheer her up.

It took only two days for the package to arrive. Her face blushed and her heart pounded while unpacking the product. The box was delicately packed, and inside the little pink box lies a pink vibrator and a purple color velvet bag with pictures of different shapes of boobs. This is very Nicole, she smirked to herself. 

One night after a warm bath, she was ready to read and go to bed. Suddenly her phone beamed, and it appeared to be a tinder match. It was a guy named John who claimed himself to be a tech entrepreneur. She has a fondness for tech guys because she thought they were smart, nerdy, yet adventurous. Perhaps Emily was just biased due to her past working experience in a tech incubator. She scrolled through his pictures.  This John seemed like a tall, ginger, beardy guy. Emily always had a thing for beardy guys, which she couldn't quite explain why.

John was typing, "I just came out from a seven-year relationship, and I am new to online dating. To be honest, I am not looking for a relationship right now. I just miss intimacy and human touch, and I want to give you intense orgasms.

Emily was quite impressed by his remarkable candidness, boldness, and assertiveness. In fact, she felt a deep sense of relatedness to John, given her struggle in the past few months. She replied, "I am sorry to hear that, and I appreciate your directness and honesty. I just went through something similar, so I feel you. To be honest, it is not easy for me to have an orgasm with a stranger. It happened only with people I really trust." When writing this, she thought of this guy she met last summer who gave her the very first orgasm in life.

"Lol, I mean, I've got pretty good stamina, I have got the size and can move my body in the right ways, so  I am more than just confident. I know that I can."

She smiled and murmured to herself, "What a confident guy." Strangely, she was already liking this stranger in some way from the first five lines of exchange. Perhaps it was his straightforwardness and his peculiar confidence that stood him out.

" How about we go see the meteor shower in a park this weekend? It is expected that Perseid meteor shower will peak in the next 3 days."

"Oh my god, I love star gazing." As she typed, the memory of her and her ex doing star gazing two years ago at that wedding camp came back. Another time, they were sitting in an outdoor hot tub watching stars and the falling snow on one freezing winter night. While excited to meet this new stranger, she could not help bursting into tears.