The city skyline had ceased to breathe. The lights, in a perpetual sleep as abandoned high rises closed their eyes for the first time in hundreds of years. The city had retired and the car horns that lulled you once now faded off onto the George Washington Bridge. Cars congested plaque in the arteries of New York, running scared like little mice. The news reports said to leave the city, find high ground and she had laughed at that and told you that what they really meant was 'say your goodbyes'. And you didn't know much of anything at all except that the moon would be here in three days and there wasn't a single thing anyone on this great blue planet could do about it.
Zealots claimed it was the hand of God and Atheists claimed that we had it coming all along. You didn't claim anything though. A single bench in central park, she turned to you and said
"The birds aren't singing, have you noticed?"
"I think they all left."
"Well, they won't escape it either. Two days. No one will. I'm glad sort of, this whole place is complete shit and we all deserve to die." And you didn't know about all that, because you had seen good people and good babies and clean faces that rushed past you, and you couldn't quite fathom that all of them could deserve this. But then again, you didn't know much at all. It seems funny now, as the water rises up the apartment stairs, that you could be so in love with someone so miserable. That her cynicism could make her wonderful, she hated the world and you were addicted to it because you were never much at all before you were with her.
And you've never known much but you know that you are going to die today. You ate in silence and closed the burning ball of fire behind the shades. You wondered, briefly, of how long you both had but quickly brushed the thought from your mind. It didn't really matter anymore. She took you to bed, kissed you slowly and then faster as if you'd disappear if she closed her eyes for a split second, that you would burn away if her fingertips left your skin. When you were both done, you laid your head on her chest and counted her heartbeat as seconds. She leaned up, suddenly,
"I don't know anything about you, I just realized that. Seven months and I don't know anything about you." And you laugh because it had always been about her, her hopes and dreams, her childhood memories, and you had thought that really- she didn't even need you. You could have been a cardboard cut out and it wouldn't have mattered as long as you smiled and let your hair fall in your face and nodded. Emanate death had a way of bringing out the best qualities in her.
"I don't like pork. I never have" And you could feel her mouth curve upwards.
"My mom used to make it with onions, I hate onions too." And it might have been the first time in seven months that she actually looked at you. Past your cheekbones and dimples and deeper than your eyes.
"Is this real? Is this all really happening?" And she sounded scared, there was a weakness in her voice that made your heart feel as though it was drowning with apartment 3B.
"I suppose so, the world had to end sometime."
"No, what do you really think? Is this all a dream that I'm having, is this everything? How can it possibly all just end?" And she really did want to know what you thought. She really did care.
"I think... if this is a dream, then the whole world is inside of it. Does it really matter if it is?"
"Maybe we could try waking up... by falling asleep" And you were pretty sure it wouldn't work but her heart was beating slow and she was calm and you thought that maybe, this would be a good last moment. That all the things that you have done in your life had cultivated to this exact second and as far as seconds go, this was about as good as you could get. You supposed that if you were to die, to do so right here would be perfectly okay.
"Okay, go to sleep." How many minutes left now? You felt the warmth but didn't dare open your eyes to the window. You didn't want to see the fire.
"What's your favorite book?"
"Goodnight Moon, I think." And the resolve broke, you let your eyes fall open to stare at her. Looking up, her jawline, the tiny sliver of ear that you could see. The smell of her shampoo. Her green eyes and she was crying, just a bit.
"How does that go again?"
"Goodnight room, Goodnight moon. Goodnight cow jumping over the moon." How many seconds? "Goodnight light and the red balloon" She's squeezing tighter now. You can hear the oxygen popping, burning up. "Goodnight bears, Goodnight Chairs, Goodnight stars, Goodnight air, Goodnight nois-