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When The World Died

by

Melissa Thompson

At least weíll all be dead. I remember him saying it just like that. The teacher agreed. She didnít believe that it would happen so very soon. That the world would be gone within even a million years from now. Billions of years, she pronounced. She was wrong. 

Even now, several million years later, it seems as if it was only the other day that the world, and almost all upon it was destroyed. Someday, someone should know what has happened. What has occurred, and how horrible it all was. Because I wonít let those that I held so very close be forgotten. So now here I am. Recording my story. My story of pain, sorrow, and even love.

I cry now when I think of all the lives that were lost in that time. In that one September, in 2001. They seem so very real now. As if I can still reach out, and caress the reality of another's skin. Feel the warmth of a hug, and experience the joy of laughing with someone of my own kind.


September 12th 2001


ďOh gosh. Heís so cute!Ē swooned my friend Megan.

ďShh!Ē I quieted her. "Heíll hear you."

She was referring to Matt as he walked into the room. I couldnít see the big deal. He was just another guy. Another controlling jock, whether he was cute or not. But Megan was a really big flirt. Donít get me wrong though. She was my friend, I miss her. But you see when it came to guys, I was hurt in a great many ways. So when that was all my friends could think or talk about, I simply walked away. Or
tried to change the subject. I thought I was in so much pain back then. Every waking moment, it seemed, was filled with emptiness because they had guys to chatter about, and I, well all I had to brag about was my stories, and poetry. My academic achievements. I never knew the love of a guy. Had never been held close, or talked to in a sweet way. Not even by my father. It wasn't that I was ugly, or strange. I was just, well, different.

Leaning back in my chair, I listened to her talk to the boys at our table, Coleby and Lance. Although I canít remember what it was they were discussing, I knew I must have been smiling. Because thatís the way Coleby and Lance were. The Clowns was how I saw them. Always laughing, and making us laugh as well. We were in science and I was trying to listen. But as much as I wanted an A in that class, although I would never admit it, my mind was always on Joe. Joe wicked. I was scared about how he made me feel. With his dark hair, and glowing forest green eyes, speckled with gold. And I was scared to talk to him for too long, in fear of being hurt again. But I knew I was always thinking about him. I would never speak of him, nor swoon about him like Megan did with her crushes I just simply thought of him. 

At least weíll all be dead. Thatís what brought me out of my deepening thoughts. That one sentence brought me crashing back to reality. I couldnít figure out why it panicked me so much to hear that. 

So I started to pay attention to what the teacher was saying. She was talking about the sun. How it would grow to an enormous size, and engulf the earth with fire, which would most certainly destroy it. She commented that it wouldnít
happen for another billion years. Or something of that sort any ways. This sent me into another period of deep thought. I wanted to know more about this, but I couldnít figure out why it was I wanted to know more about something that wouldnít happen for so long. It gave me a sick feeling. And I hated those feelings, because whenever I got them something always went wrong.

I was right of course, like I always seemed to be about those sort of things. The sun did get too large and hotter everyday. Of course this didnít stop Megan from her flirtatious ways. Or Coleby and Lance from acting like clowns. The only thing that seemed to change was the temperature. Of course there were people complaining that it was way too hot for September, and others were re-opening their pools. But we all just looked at it as some sort of freak weather happening. 

Megan did get Matt to notice her, and before I knew it, they were a couple. It took them long enough to realize each other. Sad that it had to have happened when it did. 

It was a couple weeks after our discussion in Science, and the temperature was well into the hundreds all over the world. There were droughts, and fires going on all the time, and the people would not accept this as just something out of the ordinary that would change soon. It was too hot, for too long. We began to realize that something was very wrong. 

Those last few days were both wonderful and horrible all at once. Megan and Matt were so happy when they were together, you could see how much they loved each other. Joe Wicked had actually started to talk to me. Well not just that. But pay attention to me. The kind you give when you're really interested in someone, and eventually I found that he liked me, the way I did him. Coleby and Lance had also seemed to find shall I say love. You could see them with the two girls known as Erica and Amanda all the time.

Everything was falling together. Thatís why it was so hard when the end came.

We all knew it was coming, people were dying from heat exhaustion, and severe burns. School was called off, and people hardly left their homes. That didnít stop us though, the eight of us. Megan with Matt, me with Joe, Coleby with Erica, and finally Lance with Amanda; we spent our last days with each other, friends to the end, truly...

Sadly, Megan was the first of us to pass away. She died in Mattís arms, clinging to him as her life drained away, grasping whatever hope of surviving was left. She died bravely, and tried to show no pain, for Mattís benefit. So before she went she made a promise to see him again. To love him in another life. Never had I seen a guy, and man so full of sorrow. I had never witnessed such agonizing weeping from anyone, much less a man. I donít think it was the heat, or fires that killed Matt. More then anything it was a broken heart. He took Meganís death harder then anyone; even her parents. We didnít see him much after the day Megan died. We tried to comfort him, telling him it would be OK. Even though we all knew it wouldnít... he left us only two days after he lost his love.

Coleby and Erica were next. I was in a daze, my friends were dying, and I couldnít help them. I couldnít comfort them, or weep with them. They didnít seem to want it. Erica and Coleby were at Ericaís home. Spending what little time they had left with each other. Holding on to each other, and reality, as it thinned to a thread, threatening all of our sanity. The house was made of weak material, and it burst into flames. Only a few houses away, Joe and I rushed over to help our friends. But it was too late. We didnít make it in time. I wanted to die right then. Because I could hear the screams and fading echoes of my dearest friends within the burning home. I had no way of helping them. No way of saving their lives. And I truly would have given up my very soul to have saved at least one of them. But it wasnít to be.

The four of us left, Lance and Amanda, Joe and I, we spent every lasting moment at my place. Talking and telling stories, making up dreams that were never to be. I could see in their eyes how very afraid they all were, although they wouldnít submit to revealing so out load. I was running out of food, most of it had spoiled, and the stores were all long closed.  I lay awake one night, wondering when I was to die. I turned shifting my wait so that I fit more comfortably within Joeís arms. My beloved Joe. How I wished, that if I could have spared anyone it could have been him. He was so very perfect. Even under the thick blanket of sweat that enveloped him, he still seemed new, and untouched. Something about him bothered me though. 

It was at that very moment I realized he wasnít breathing. The rhythmic sound of his rising and falling chest had stopped, and he just laid still. I sat up quickly, praying I was wrong, but when I tried to wake him, he didnít stir. And when I pressed my fingers to his throat, I felt no pulse. I donít remember much of what I did after that. Great sobs of painful tears and cries enveloped me the whole of the night. I remember making my way out to the couch, where Lance and Amanda lay. I had stumbled to the couch's side, and shook Lance. She's gone, was all he said. His voice hoarse, and hard to decipher. Iím sorry, was all I managed. He looked up at me then. Iím dying; I didnít want to hear it. I didnít want my last friend to leave me. No. Stay with me. Please donít leave me.  I began to cry again. my eyes
swelled with tears, and I tried to fight off his death for him. 

Lance was too willing to go. Too willing to give up. And stubbornly, he wouldnít fight. So I tried to do it for him. I shook him, and pleaded with him not to go. To stay just a while longer. But it was not to be. Death had taken hold of him, and ripped him from my grasp. Leaving me in a world that no longer meant anything. 

The rest is a blur. Days went by, weeks even. And I remained. I didnít die of heat, or feel hunger. There was no physical pain. There was nothing. I just laid within my home, waiting for a death that would never come.

I remember a sense of great heat that last day. I vaguely remember my house and what seemed the entire world burning. Enormous fires consuming what was left of the planet known as Earth. I think I passed out. I didnít want to fight anymore, or feel pain, I was ready to let go of my life and pass on to the next. But it never did happen. I never died. Only awoke to a world of ashes. One without life. I realized that I would never leave this place. That I was damned to spend eternity here. 

Excruciating pain and sorrow hung over me for years. And for years I barely moved. I didnít seem to notice the earth re-building itself. But now I do see it. See that grass has began to sprout and puddles of water have begun to form. So Iíve recorded my story. Maybe one day it will be found. I never was one with words. But my friends I know will always live on forever within my heart, giving me strength to go on each day that goes by. So that I no longer wait for a death that shall never come. Or scream in pain when there seems nothing else to do.

To: Megan and Matt, Coleby, Erica, Lance, Amanda, and Joe. You stay within
my heart.

*always* 
Raven

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