On a hot summer day, up on the roof of an apartment building, Lucas and Noah had been staring down at the people, like the people were ants. They had been silent for the last half hour as the world around them fell apart.
“Talk for fuck’s sake,” Noah said, frustrated.
“About?” Lucas replied.
“The people, the sky, or maybe how you struggle to hold a conversation, anything!”
“I wouldn’t find it as hard if I had the time to talk, or if there was something worth talking about.”
A week ago Lucas sat staring out the window of his apartment. He had been silent as he ignored the sound blasting from the TV. Lucas could see the glare flashing in the reflection of the window, the news was on but he did not want to know what it was trying to tell him. Down the side of the building vertically his eyes attempted to travel then across the stream of car traffic and up the buildings across the street. There in the windows of the building opposite him other televisions glowed and flashed. The night had taken over the city so all sorts of moving unnatural lights had become its life.
“The meals I cooked, the movies we watched, the interesting people we pass by when we drive through the rough part of town?”
“I was busy eating and being polite at the table when you cooked, I was shushed if I made a peep during a movie, which is the best time I find to talk about movies. And the people we pass by when we drive are all nuts, that is the end of the story.”
“You didn’t like my food?” Noah asked.
“I loved your food and where I grew up silence was the sign of a good meal.” Lucas bowed his head a little blushing. There was silence in between the two of them. Gunshots from the street broke the thick wall of quiet that neither of them could find a way to break through. Sirens, more gunshots, and finally an explosion that neither of them seemed too utterly shocked about came flooding up at them.
Noah raced down the hall, pounding on Lucas’s door. Lucas stood up from the window sill and unlocked his door. There was no greeting needed. Noah grabbed Lucas’s arm and dragged him out of his apartment, Lucas locked his door fast, his keys hanging from his belt loop. Lucas was shuffled into Noah’s apartment. The TV was on in the living room with the same images as it was in Lucas’s. The channel was different, Noah watched more serious conservative programs, while Lucas watched whichever news he clicked to first, he always figured it was the same general news just with a different spin.
“Another few bite the dust.” Lucas laughed a little.
“How can you joke about that?” Noah asked.
“Now you don’t want me to talk then?”
“No please talk, oh silent one that seems to be happy with what could be the end of the world.”
“Could be? It is. The end is here. It’s been five days since the power went out, but I kind of wasted your batteries on your radio last night. Not even the people broadcasting on the frequencies I listened to, knew what day the sunlight, would actually stop. So would you rather laugh at the chaos around us or become a part of it?” Lucas looked straight up into the sky.
“I guess laugh. What about our families though?”
“Mine disowned me when I came out. Dad gave me thirty minutes to pack my suit cases and get out, so my mind is pretty much just on watching the end of it all right now.” Lucas picked up a few black roof pebbles and tossed them into the air.
“My parents might still be alive; I haven’t talked to them since they joined up with that cult. The Eye,…” Lucas used his fingers to make it look like he had a third eye on his forhead.
“Can we not talk about that? I don’t think you ever mentioned your parents kicked you out though.” Noah said cutting him off.
“Correction, my father kicked me out and my mother stood by and did nothing.”
“You had nothing to do with it. Can we be quiet and just let this be the seventh day, the day the sun goes out when it goes down.”
“Did they kick you out recently?”
“No. It was like ten years ago I was sixteen.”
“You really like to talk don’t you?” Lucas asked.
“You’ve known me for three weeks, we have been together every other night until the newscast about the sun going out and how we wouldn’t be affected until day seven. Then you slept over, I would think you know enough to know I love to talk,” Noah said.
“I stayed so you’d have someone around to listen, plus who the fuck would want to be alone when the world ends.” Lucas leaned over to look down on the city streets more intensely.
“I don’t agree with the news cast, I don’t agree with the radio and I am going to say it for the first time, I don’t agree with you.” Noah waved his hands wildly.
“About the end of the world?” Lucas scratched his head.
“I think we are going to wake up tomorrow and the sun will rise and the world will keep spinning and that the things we say now will still have value.” Noah said one of his hands playing with a single key in his pocket. The rest of his keys where lying in a bowl on his bookshelf right next to the door of his apartment.
"What is that in your pocket?" Lucas asked avoiding the situation he could see coming a mile away.
"I got you a key made." Noah pulled it out and slipped it into Lucas's clutched fist.
"The world is over and you're giving me a key to your place?"
"Just take it and like use it sometime." Noah crossed his arms and stepped back.
"That might be a hard task when your door is always unlocked."
"Then lock it for me."
"When did you have this made Noah?"
"The Friday after we started hanging out."
"That's a little bit soon to have a key made for someone."
"Lucas, it’s a little bit early to be brushing your teeth in someone else’s apartment when you live down the hall."
"My water was brown."
"You left your toothbrush there." Noah avoided eye contact.
"The super never got around to fixing my sink."
"You think it doesn’t matter, so it doesn’t move on." Noah backed off even more.
"It does matter, and it might like you know if ... the sun comes up."
“Are you trying to tell me something?” Lucas walked over to Noah and gave him a funny look.
Two days had passed since the news had spoken for the first time of impending doom and Noah and Lucas had practically started living together. Lucas was an early riser, but that night Noah could not get to sleep so he paced the floor in the kitchen thinking over everything that came into his mind. At one point he had even openly started talking to god, even though he wasn’t sure god was listening. This is what woke Lucas up. Lucas stumbled down the hall and into the kitchen where in the light Noah looked like some kind of saint. Lucas stepped into the light and took Noah’s hand silently leading him back to bed. Once they were both under the covers Lucas was asleep again, but Noah lay awake. His eyes gazing at Lucas, if this was the end of the world then Noah was alright with it. That was the last night they had power.
“Nahh, just that if we didn’t wake up… I like you a lot.” Silence came back and so did the noises of chaos from all around them. They paced and leaned and watched as time ticked by slowly. The sun went from beating on their heads to the sides of their faces and finally below the skyline of the city. The darkness grew and the stars came out one by one.
“You wanna talk about what we want to wake up to?” Lucas smiled; they had laid down to look up at the moon.
“I want to wake up to…”
“Say it god damn it…” Lucas laughed.
“You.” Noah said not feeling the need to constantly talk. Then came the final silence, and tired eyes, and sleep.
© Copyright 2016 Michael Lange. All rights reserved.
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