Today was the first day of spring. The season of new beginnings, but the leaves remained an infected brown, a dirty orange and a bloody red as if stained by the very blood that soaked the grounds. I sat up in my bed and looked out the window. I’d given up searching for squirrels that had been so plenty in the not so distant past, there were none left. At least not living ones.
I moved away from the window, the only thing letting light into my otherwise darkened bedroom. I pulled the covers away from myself, shifting toward the edge of my bed.
Ha… “My”. Such a sad and lonely word. I was still not used to it, no, not really. It was just over a month after all, still not enough time.
Never enough time.
I heard the alarm start ringing from my mother’s room, notifying me that it was six-thirty a.m.
I always got up before it. I had no need for it, but I refused to break the routine of my past life before the event. I had nowhere to go, nothing to do. No one to say “hello” to in the morning, no reason for living…
I got out of bed and walked toward the closet. I looked over to the nightstand where I had laid out my older sister’s school uniform. She always laid it out the night before to save time in the morning. I turned my attention back to the mirrored closet. I could see myself, even in the dark. I’d gotten skinnier since after the event. I smiled. The first in over a month. My mother would be proud now that I appeared as skinny as my sister.
I slid the closet door and pulled out my uniform. I changed out of my sleepwear and into my school clothes.
This was the same. The same as before. It brought back a somewhat calm feeling letting me imagine that everything was the same, an illusion that nothing had changed.
But that’s all it was, an illusion. The knowledge of that doubled the pain to the point of suffocation.
I opened my bedroom door and stepped out into the darkened hallway. I made my way to my parent’s room and opened the door, the alarm still ringing.
The bed was still neatly made, untouched by anyone. It’d been like that since my parents last slept in it the night before the event. I paused before the nightstand and switched off the alarm clock. My hand hovered over my mother’s necklace, the necklace with a crucifix on the end. It was her favorite. My favorite.
I slipped it on over my head; the chain was long enough for that.
I glanced around the room and inhaled. It still smelled like them, my dad’s strong, yet compassionate essence intertwined with a light sugary smell, which was permanently etched onto his skin resulting from the thirty years he had spent working in a sugar factory, and my mother’s soft and kind floral scent that always warmed me to my stomach.
I kept the door closed most of the time, trying to trap at least a small part of them in here.
I walked out of their room, and turned toward my eldest sister’s and younger brother’s room. It always scared me coming in here. So I avoided it as much as possible. Still, my undergarments and other necessities were here and in the bathroom connected with this room.
In less than a minute I was out of the room and locking it from the outside. This was the only thing I had changed. Even before the event, this room always managed to make my hair stand on ends. I walked forward, to the hallway bathroom, and turned on the light switch. Instantly, the light blinded me rendering me temporarily vulnerable. I didn’t like it.
I opened my eyes, blinking away splotches of rainbow colors from my eyes. I continued down the hallway, leaving the bathroom light on, and found the living room switch.
I froze. This always hurt the most.
As I let my finger flick the switch up, my heart clenched into its safe zone. I didn’t want to feel.
Never want to feel.
The feelings hurt; loneliness, sadness, panic, and, most of all, the fear of not knowing when I would die next.
But I didn’t think about killing myself. I never would. As so many others had shoot themselves with guns or stabbed themselves. I admit I did contemplate it at first; ha-ha… had the knife in hand already, but she stopped me.
Her last request. Her last words to me…
So many things had changed, though the couch and the coffee table remained, along with everything else including my pet beta. It was all just…there. A big blanket used to cover up the stench of death that hovered around this town.
Even the people, now getting few in numbers, the first week they had all locked their doors, nailed down there windows, and just waited for death to come.
But it was suffocating; a reminder that they were probably next.
Things went back to normal after that week, as normal as could be. If someone unaware of what had transpired here observed us, ignoring all the dead bodies that were not yet picked up by the garbage trucks, they would think everything was normal.
Not wanting to just sit around waiting for death, the community decided it would be better to continue their everyday lives.
Except for school.
No, there was no need. After all, none of the kids got infected by this dark, killing shadow of death.
Except for me.
The age twenty and down were all supposed to be immune, but something went wrong.
I went wrong.
And now, I would pay the price with my life.