My 15th birthday fell on March 10, 2020. Dad had called 5 days ago, & had promised to return home in time for my birthday this year.

There was nothing I wanted more than to see his face, but this year too, I brought in my birthday with Mom, & a bunch of expensive gifts Dad sent, to make up for his absence. A dry smile & a call later, I was disappointed yet not surprised.

A month later, during a video call with my friends where everyone collectively complained about the exhausting pandemic, I let out a sheepish smile.

My CEO father’s business trips across the world had finally hit pause.

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