Shortlist, Time to be Together by Alexey Pavlov
Many of us felt lonely when we suddenly found ourselves in a world dictated by new rules that included no hugging, kissing, or even shaking hands. Since the start of the pandemic, many of my friends and acquaintances ended their relationships. Distance – and, conversely, forced closeness – tests relationships, and not everyone is able to pass. In the midst of this madness, I met Polina online, after writing a couple of silly compliments about her work. For a while, we were able to communicate only online, but when things started to open up, we met and decided we wanted to be together.