4:00 PM (GMT + 1), 20th December, 2012
They had been lying on the cellar floor for more than 24 hours oblivious of time. They could barely move and their voices had grown weak and faint. They laughed nonetheless, sharing stories and jokes about their lives, recounting moments they recently realised they shared.
Joshua felt an uncommon peace lying beside Chineye, he focused on her eyes and hope she felt the same. Even as he watched her struggle to talk he imagined them talking of similar things in a different place and time; somewhere in the future when they might have been slightly older, maybe on a University campus and they were sitting on a park bench, hand clasped in each other’s grip as they watched the sun go down. He would have loved that.
He saw the animation in her eyes as she tried to describe something interesting and he imagined her moving around, gesturing with her hands. She really was the most beautiful thing he had ever set his eyes upon.
Chineye suspected Joshua wasn’t listening, his eyes were focused on her but she wondered where his mind was. He seemed happy wherever his thoughts were and with the little strength she had she continued to talk to him, if he was still listening. The crush she had on him had become something else, something that made her feel safe despite all the despair around them, unconsciously she reached out for his hand with her good hand and held it just as she fell silent.
“are you here or somewhere else?” She couldn’t stop herself from asking.
“it might be somewhere else but you’re also there with me, it’s an unreal, not so distant future where you’re saying the exact same thing you’re saying right now with me by your side as we watch the sunset. Maybe I’m trying to imagine all this in a better way. I can hear you but I’d rather be where I’m seeing you in my head… I think I’m going crazy.”
“but you know that’s what you’re doing right? Taking your mind out of our present situation and putting it somewhere safe. It’s not entirely a bad thing but I want you to be here, right now. You know the funny thing, I went upstairs earlier to get some food items and water, I left them on the shelf over there. Want something to eat?”
Joshua looked to where Chineye pointed but was too weak to move. “I guess we can forgo that now, I’m not feeling hungry.” He smiled weakly, the pain he felt in his lungs made it difficult for him to move and he honestly had no appetite.
“I didn’t understand why you showed up at my doorstep the day you told me you loved me but now I think I do..” She paused to gather to catch her breath. “.. you’ve been with me through it all and right now, even if I’m scared, sad and feel so helpless about what’s going to happen, I’m glad you’re right beside me. I always had a crush on you for over a year, but I told no one, I was even scared to write it down in my little diary until recently and I guess it’s safe to say I love you too Joshua, I really do.”
Joshua felt faint and but he heard every word Chineye said. He tried to say something but he felt too week. Chineye watched him, her eyelids getting heavier, her breathing becoming more laboured, she strained and pulled her weight as best as she could, dragging herself even closer into Joshua’s chest, with her good arm she held on to him, resting her head close on his chest, feeling his faint heartbeat, listening to its rhythm until it became still, by then, she had begun to fade away as well.
Somewhere in the City, a young man sitting in a bar got to his feet, determined to get home to his father and brother, he began to realise how much a bad idea doing a bar crawl at the end of the world really was. He looked around him, everyone in the bar seemed lifeless. He had to get home, weak and sickly he made his way out of the bar, staggering over bodies on the street.
“Pops will be pretty mad at me if I show up in heaven with a hangover.”
He turned to glance at a nearby Church where many had gathered to pray earlier. Bodies littered the premises as far as he could tell. He kept walking, hoping he would make it home but his lungs couldn’t carry him any further. He fell in the middle of the street, head facing home, his eyes closed as he whispered “I’m sorry Joshua..I’m sorry…”
04:55 PM (GMT + 1), 21st December, 2012
The Asteroid hit Earth 10 mins earlier, the physicists had gotten their calculations wrong but it did not matter, all life form on the surface of the planet had died 24 hours earlier. From space it was a quiet collision watched by no one known. On Earth itself, it was beyond deafening, the scientists were correct about the point of impact, it straddled the South American and African continents, destroying whole continental shelves before plunging deeper into tectonic plates. Its force took it beyond the Earth’s mantle, whole continents shifted and mountains crumbled, ocean waves rose to heights never seen before and covered entire continents.
The foreign elements from the asteroid caused an uncommon fusion reaction with the common element within the earth’s core. The outcome was like 50,000 atomic bombs, its after shocks went beyond the Milky Way.
As it all started with a big bang, it seemed to have ended with one.
But maybe its true what they say about Ends and new Beginnings, because still within the Milky Way, as the silent shockwaves spread throughout the universe, telling a tale of a Planet that once was to those who might or might not exist, through whatever medium they might or might not measure or perceive, in worlds not yet imagined or imagined, as though decreed by the unseen masters and forces that guide this very Universe, something almost insignificant stirred on the planet Man called Saturn, and it had life.