The young woman laid with her back against the cold drywall as she stared ahead into the darkness that shrouded her and Michael’s bedroom. Her arms were wrapped tightly around the man she knew only to be her husband and she had no idea when he had stopped coughing and or breathing all together. She blinked slowly and winced slightly at the dryness of her eyes and clenched her lids shut and lowered her head. Her mouth opened as she went to mutter the name of the man held so tightly in her arms, yet inside she knew she wouldn’t receive an answer.
The man she loved was dead. When he died, she didn’t know. What she did know is that over the past day or so he, and like everyone else from work, had caught the flu. He hacked and coughed, vomited more times then she could count and couldn’t get out of bed. Michael was unable to eat as mentioned he’d just throw it up. She had tried calling 911, as her car was still in the shop and God forbid she knew how to drive Michael’s truck she regarded as tank, but was only met with a busy tone.
Outside was hell anyways, sirens from ambulances and police could be heard and the television stated that looting was going on in mass in the downtown area. There was nothing she could’ve done, and she felt so hopeless. She had cried with Michael, trying her best to stay strong for her husband and take care of him during these final hours. Yet she couldn’t, after Michael had fallen out of bed after trying to use the restroom, he was unable to get up.
So she had taken it up to herself to help her husband to the restroom and back into bed. The two of them resting against the back wall as she cuddled him and sobbed till them moment he passed. After that she had no idea how much time passed, the natural light from the window had dimmed and only a single strand of white and orange light was piercing through the curtain, illuminating the door across the room not too far from where she sat.
She noticed Michael’s body was cool, a drastic difference from when he was egg frying hot, and she couldn’t help but notice the ache in her gut. The bathroom. She needed to use the restroom yet...she also couldn’t bring herself to leave Michael.
She began to cry again. Yet her eyes were out of tears and all that came where the dry sobs which pained her sandpaper throat. A few more minutes passed and finally the young woman was able to release her deceased husband and climb off of their bed. Before she could tend to her personal duties, she stood and tucked her man into bed. Standing back she looked down at the man and choked back another sob as he looked to be sleeping peacefully, she swore she could see a small smile on his lips and she turned away with a hand over her eyes.
The young woman tended to her personal needs, which then ended up with her taking a cold shower. Before stepping into the water she had tried her cellphone and found that neither her parents, friends, or any other close relatives had returned her calls or texts. She had tried 911 once more but was sent to being on hold, she hung up after that and turned off her screen before stepping into the icy water and cleaning herself.
She cried more, calling Michael but knowing her Husband an protector was no longer with her. The began questioning herself on why he had gotten sick and she hadn’t? Why was everyone she knew becoming ill for that matter? The guilt of living over her own husband began to plague her and she could feel herself spiraling into self destructiveness, but was immediately torn back into reality when her phone exploded with Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer”.
The woman threw herself from the shower, tangling herself in the curtain and causing the bar to crash down. She tripped over the bathtub and landed on her shoulder and let off a sharp cry of pain. Biting her lip, she untangled herself and snatched up her phone, only to find out that the music was actually work alarm. The words “Get your ASS to the OFFICE” flashed red before her eyes.
Rage filled her chest and the woman jammed her finger over the snooze icon before slamming her phone on the bathroom vanity, the case absorbing the shock. She then straightened herself out and turned to the mirror and gazed deeply into the sky blue eyes in the reflection before shifting her gaze up to the electric blue and hot pink hair she had since last Christmas. She reached up and ran a pale, white hand through the short, wet hair that barely went past her ears. Michael had urged her to dye her hair this ridiculous color she had grown to like, of course her boss hated it but could do little to make her dye it back to its original blonde.
Though none of that mattered now. Michael was dead and everyone else at work had gotten sick as well, perhaps they had all died as well? Maybe everyone did except her, she was maybe the last one alive. The thought made her shake her head, the water flinging from the tips of her pink and blue hair. She then collected her dirty clothes and left the bathroom before tossing them aside as she hesitantly entered her and Michael’s room.
She tried not to look in the direction of her lover as she went to get dressed. Finding herself a comfortable pair of underwear, jeans and a black tank top. Finally she went to their dresser and grabbed a black car holder attached to a lanyard, on it in bold words which read: “Rilotech” below that was her picture and name, her name: “Susan Reigns.”
Susan gritted her teeth as she looked the picture of herself from two years prior and stuffed the lanyard and card holder into her pocket. It held more than just her work I.D. and went to her closet to grab one of her denim jacket, despite it being early Spring it still got rather cold this time of year in Northern Ohio.
Afterwards Susan stuck on her single pair of brown hiking boots and stopped at her bedroom door before walking out. She turned to look Michael, his peaceful face making it appear as if he was asleep. Susan knew he was gone and she felt herself tearing up once more, knowing her couldn’t hear her she opened her mouth and said in the softest tone, “I’m sorry.” Susan opened the door and left.