The end of the world was two months ago, and the day before, I was ready. That Thursday of December 12, 2012 ended with It’s The End Of The World by R.E.M., a good meal of pizza (Hawaiian and sausage), and a planned laugh at the movie 2012 that was cancelled by Pokemon and Call Of Duty. I remember arguing with my sister how it would all go down. I wanted a meteor shower, but she insisted that it would be a flood like in the story of Noah, only this time caused by global warming. I attacked her for being so bland, and we called it a night when I couldn’t beat the head honcho of the foul criminal organization. I forget the names, I haven’t played Pokemon in a while. I remember crying a little before I slept. A couple of years before, when 2012 was played on cinema screens across America, my sister had walked in on me when I was washing dirty dinner dishes, her cheeks splotched red and the hair strands in front of her face a mess. She had been on her phone, probably watching YouTube videos when she should’ve been clearing the table. One of the earbuds was in her hand, and the other was just barely in her ear, one unexpected tug away from fumbling out. “Yup?” I wish I could try that again. “If you knew the world was ending,” she started, and the earbud slipped, twirling through her hair till it fell and hung from the end of its wire. She let slip a weak curse under her breath as she picked it up, and I only glared at her – unlike her, I was a good boy at the time. She was a growing pre-teen, and she was going through some sad state called “puberty”, which had some sort of relationship with hor-something and the something system in the body. “If you knew the world was ending,” she tried again, this time pausing to rub her tears away, “What would you do?” I shrugged indifferently and set a plate aside for rinsing. “I’d enjoy my last minutes,” I said smoothly, striving for the coolness that Hollywood would approve of. I don’t think she knew her own question, because she gave me an intense look. I acted in kind, leaving my hands to work. “That’s it?” she tried again, her voice a passive shout. When I nodded, she only stared at me longer, and I lost interest in her and returned to the task at hand. “You wouldn’t try to stop the end from coming?” “You never said that was an option,” I sighed. “Besides, I think it would be cool to watch.” “What could be cool about the end of the world?!” she snapped. Hysterics, I told myself, She’s hysteric as always. She didn’t know how to keep her cool except on the chessboard. The rest of the conversation was pointless, but it came to my mind before I fell asleep. I have some regrets, I admitted to myself, but I think I could die now. Of course, the next day, we all woke up at six o’clock. It was my dad who tapped me awake, not the alarm. “The world’s ending,” he said, but his voice bore the wit of a run-down comedian. What was I expecting? I wanted him to say it again, like how a child would greet his or her parents on a snow day, but that’s not something worth hoping for. Even so, I tumbled out from my blanket and to the window for a peek. It was raining. In heaven, there was a chorus of jeering and booing, and God was sitting on his throne, likely shaking his head at the world. “Idiots,” I mumbled under my breath, and I was sure he was saying the same thing. But that was two months ago. The knot of the balloon of December 21, 2012 had been sliced off, and the topic sputtered away into a dark corner amidst ambiguous chuckles of disappointment and relief and indifference and “Hey, remember when the world ended?”. Now, it was February, and the flurry outside was lodging small chunks of snow in the window screen of my family’s fifth floor apartment residence. I was playing Pokemon for the last time. In memory, the lightbulbs shone through honeyed filters against the warmly colored walls. The cushions of the brand-new brown faux leather couch were something I could comfortably sink into while playing a game I loved. My dad was winning his Call Of Duty game, my mom was relaxing after a job well done, and my sister was on that phone of hers, as always, texting freely. But, in reality, the light was pure white, and the walls were a pasty cream. I hated that couch for how hard its cushions were, and it reeked like a new car, which was throwing off my game. My dad had a slew of irritated curse words at the back of his throat, my mom was still working at the computer, and my sister was procrastinating from homework she should’ve finished at five. It was approaching ten o’clock, which used to be the sacred curfew hour, and I couldn’t have cared less for the world outside of skipping ceaseless, fruitless character dialogues. I wish I could go back and try it again, but I guess there’s an end to everything. On the roof was a man with a spark of justified madness in his eyes, tilting a dollar store cap against the onslaught of wind and sleet and snow that stung like shards of ice.
On the roof was a man with a spark of justified madness in his eyes, tilting a dollar store cap against the onslaught of wind-tossed snow and pacing back and forth in a taupe bubble jacket ideal for the weather. He was probably on a cheap flip-phone, drumming his free fingers against his cap’s brim, struggling to convince a friend that he had no time left, that he knew what he was doing, that something bad was in the air. “Close the blinds,” Mom told me, “It’s dark outside.” With an exasperated and heavily sarcastic “Yes, Mom” and an unenthusiastic yank on three cords, I glanced back at the clock and counted my final minutes.