Written by Thanisha Chowdhury
On the morning news, the scientists tell us the world’s ending at midnight. Like always, I think they’re full of shit. But Casey shows up at my door with a newspaper and a pack of beers and tells me with that dusty grin of his that this is what we’ve been waiting for. Of course, I’ve got no clue what he’s talking about, but he’s got one of those honeysuckle faces that bend your heart like a Silly Straw and I’ve got nothing better to do, so I take him up to the roof and let him swing his arms the whole way there.
“Tonight, huh?” I ask once we’re sitting with our legs hanging off the shingles.
“Yup. You excited?”
“Can’t say I’m bored.” I take a swig of beer but the sting in my throat lingers. “Quit shaking your leg, I told you my dad gets pissed.”
He doesn’t. “How d’you think it’ll happen?”
“Like, the whole apocalypse thing.” He leans back on his hands. “Meteor? Aliens?”
“Don’t know. Ma said there’d be a flood, like in the Bible.”
“Maybe the old water tower’ll finally fall over.”
The cicadas scream-sing at us from the hollows in the trees.
Casey glances at his watch. “Five minutes.”
“Till the end?”
He nods and looks off like he’s counting the stars to make sure they’re all still there. I think he could crumple the corners of the sky if he wanted to.
“Sad, ain’t it?” I say, “That we’re losin’ it all, just like that.”
“I guess. But it’s only sad ‘till it happens right? No one to mourn if we’re all gone.”
He’s always saying these things that get the wind blowing a little faster.
“Guess you’re right,” I make sure to say. The hair on my arm’s dancing like it’s not still hot enough that Casey’s not wearing that damn jean jacket of his. His shoulders are round and shiny like a beetle’s back and it’s taking all I’ve got between my ears to look away.
“Two minutes.” He leans over, looks me in the eye. “How’re we feelin’?”
“Better than ever. We’ve lived enough life for it to mean something, I think.”
“Done enough damage, more like it. But it was real nice while it lasted, wasn’t it?”
“Sure was.” I look at his thumb curled an inch from mine. “Most of it, anyway.”
The colors of everything around us start to bleed together.
“Think we’ll make it?”
His cheeks are hollowing and the bones peeking through like holographic whispers. There’s something rosy behind them that I’ve never seen before. His teeth start to fall out of his grin and he takes my hand, our peeling skin fitting like puzzle pieces together.
“Guess we’ll find out.”