15 minutes to the end of the world

A nuclear strike is coming in 15 minutes. The bridges and tunnels are all clogged, and there’s no space in any shelters. All that’s left is to crack open a beer and watch the end. You take your seat on the roof, when suddenly the last person you expect walks through the door.

As I heard the roof door shut I didn’t bother to turn around, there was a few of us up here now.

“Funny seeing you here…”

My heart started racing. Anyone else, it could have been anyone else.

“I tried your buzzer but no one answered, someone let me in so I tried knocking on your door. I figured i would try here and if you weren’t here i would have just stayed.”

She walked slowly towards me, with her aviator sunglasses, long black hair blowing in the wind, she had a small cart behind her with an assortment of different alcohols. She stood behind me, i could smell the sweet scent of her perfume as the wind blew.

I took another swig of my beer. I was standing right at the edge of the roof, i could see the people running around below. Didn’t they realize it was already too late?

“I never thought i’d see you again, why now?

She reached into her cart and pulled out a small bottle of rum, she cracked the seal and took a swig then tapped me on the shoulder and held up the bottle.

“You know, I was saving that for a special occasion…but I guess this is as special an occasion as we’ll get”

As i looked over at the bottle i couldn’t believe my eyes, it was the bottle we put away for better days.

I said softly “I can’t believe you kept this.”

My eyes were getting glassy now, i was doing okay, holding it together until she came. I put down my beer and took the bottle. I took a swig, the rum was so sweet and hot, I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. I turned away from her, i didn’t want her to see my tears like she had so many times in the past.

Her words so soft you could barely hear them over the breeze. “You know I could never get rid of this, not after all the times you’ve been there for me.”

I took another swig, for so long i’ve thought about what i could say to make her understand.

My voice cracked as i responded, “I’m sorry, i’m sorry that I forced you away.’
I turned back to her, tears still streaming down my face. She smiled that wonderful smile and said, “You didn’t force me away, I left because I didn’t want to hurt you”
She took the bottle back from me, I was stunned. Her words rang through my head, I could just see the first signs of the incoming missiles now. She put her arm through mine and rested her head on my shoulder. In that moment, I wanted to take her and run, but it was already too late.

I took a long slow breath, and forced a laugh. “You know its funny, I always thought that I was the one that was protecting you.”

I took off both of our sunglasses and looked into her eyes, they were so beautiful and deep, not a drop of fear in them. It wouldn’t be long now until the end, i had to work fast.

I tried to smile, “Listen, i’m both glad and sad that you came, I was actually thinking of you when you arrived, I was hoping that you were somewhere safe…”

The wind was picking up now, the day was still sunny and warm. I never thought the end of the world would be so beautiful.

I continued, “I know things didn’t turn out the way we planned, but, I want you to know that i’ve always loved…-”

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