I drink my energy drinks in secret. — By @EllieDag

I drink my energy drinks in secret. 

We call them ‘juice’. They’re banned in my parents’ house, where we’re staying until the virus dies and jobs return to the land of the living. 

I send my boyfriend out in the dead of night. We cover his face with an old sock, and fill his car with sanitiser and anti-bac wipes. 

He rolls out the drive with the engine turned off, and begins his search for a small, rural farm shop with no queue and a healthy supply of Monster. 

Sometimes the police stop him by the wayside. He holds up an empty toilet roll, never opening the window. They raise their hands in apology and back away.

The highwaymen are less understanding. They need a full roll before they let him pass.

The shop till is unmanned. A list of prices sit beside a calculator and box for payment. The farmer lurks in the corner, shouting out costs which are not the same as the list. My boyfriend complies. There is nowhere else. 

Sometimes another shopper comes too close. He is forced to shake and open a sacrificial can, dowsing the threat in sticky sweetness. It sends a warning to onlookers. They shriek. Amidst the chaos, he slips away. 

He returns at dawn, withdrawn and pale, armed with cool, sparkling caffeine and tales of the apocalypse.

We stash them in the cleaning cupboard. They’re safe there. It hasn’t been opened for months.

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