If The World Was Ending

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Day One 2:00pm

Chapter 1:

Day One 2:00pm

The world had fallen silent.

In the stillness, which encapsulated every human being during the UNSA conference, it was as if the world had ended at that exact moment. The screeching of Los Angeles traffic came to a halt, the squawking of seagulls from nearby beaches stopped and the lives we’ve known, have come to an end.

In reality, today is the day that the world has ended because nevermind ten days time, it’s clear that on the 11th of August, humanity, as we have known it, is over.

There is not a single person who will resume their normal lives after hearing this news. How on earth can anyone go about their normal day when they have the knowledge that in just ten days, their lives will be over?

I suppose some people will want to keep their normality, perhaps it will keep them sane but if there is ever a time for anarchy throughout the world, it’s now.

Nicolai is right, every day left now must be spent wisely. There’s no time left for mistakes or regrets, each of these days must be lived to the fullest. It doesn’t matter how people spend them, whether that be going sky diving or having one final family dinner, all that matters now is that when you go to sleep at the end of the day, you have a smile on your face because you know that you couldn’t have spent it in any better way.

My body numbly faces the TV, my mind washing over every life choice I’ve made so far. I’ve always been a no regrets kind of girl but it’s impossible from keeping those thoughts at bay.

Maybe I should’ve revised harder on my math test at school so that I could’ve gotten that A, maybe I should’ve made time to make amends with my dad’s side of the family, maybe I should’ve told Harry Barnes that I was deeply in love with him in our final year of college.

Yet it’s too late because no matter what we do from now on, there will be no long term effects. Sure I could’ve done all of those things, some of them I still have the chance to do, but what will be the point if in ten days time, my measly 22 years on this planet will abruptly end?

The news reporter appears back on the screen, reiterating the key points from the conference. The vital information covering the bottom of the screen as a stark reminder that the sun will soon burn out and we will all die.

This isn’t exactly how I pictured my Tuesday afternoon to go.

It isn’t long before the end of the UNSA conference ignites chaos in the streets. This time, the previous screeching tires have turned into speeding cars, flying by. The ear piercing birds have been replaced with deafening screams and cries that can be heard from apartment blocks far and wide.

Breaking news always sparks havoc and this time, what is quite possibly the last ever breaking news broadcast, has made sure to go out with a bang; brewing up a stormy mixture of fear, anger and carelessness in every individual’s soul.

Lives spent slaving away at work mean nothing, thousands of dollars on education has become worthless, years of medical research to prevent deadly diseases have been useless. Nobody in their right mind can blame people for being angry and the biggest problem is that the world has no one to pin point and blame. After all, you can’t exactly shout and swear at the sun.

Shaking the gloomy thoughts out of my head, I try to return my focus to my painting. With my easel resting on the floor and my palette of oil paints, accompanying a borderline hoarder’s amount of paint brushes to the right of me, I tilt my head, trying to look at my artwork from a different angel. But unfortunately, my depiction of an overgrown forest on a sunny day, no longer looks as bright as it did before.

With a frustrated huff, I gather my hair together, attempting to throw it into a high ponytail before remembering it’s new short length prohibits me from doing so.

Why is nothing going right today?

After deciding that a change is needed, I scramble to my feet, walking to the bookcase on the other side of my apartment. My finger leaps from one book spine to the other, waiting for a title to jump out and grab me yet just like the painting, my eyes are met with misery.

All of these great paintings, literary artworks, musical pieces will mean nothing in just under two weeks. How can that even be possible? I’ve spent the past four years of my life studying art and cultural history, being amazed at how masterpieces from centuries ago hold such a legacy in today’s society and now there won’t even be a future generation to admire them.

A loud knock at the door finally frees my mind from it’s spiralling doom and my internal screaming dies down for a moment.

Looking through the peephole of the old wooden door, I’m greeted by the last person I want to see right now; Warner Taylor.

Warner has been my neighbor since I moved in 2 years ago. I knew immediately that we were polar opposites. His Saturday nights consisted of parties filled with people and loud music, whilst mine was always a bottle of red wine, a vinyl and cooking a nice Italian meal- for one.

His arrogant, slobbish and not forgetting irritating ways are something I’ve just dealt with, never daring to confront him. He has tried to involve me in his antics, but I can think of much better ways to spend my time than drunk and high in his living room.

He knows that I’m hostile towards him and although we do have brief conversation if we bump into each other on our doorsteps, saying that Warner and I have a friendship would be an exaggeration.

“Warner.” I say, throwing open the door, waiting for his usual entrance without invitation.

“Holy shit, have you seen the news?” His eyes are wide and his mouth hangs open.

“Unfortunately. Pretty heavy stuff.” I shrug, clearly not in the mood to deal with him.

“Are you kidding me? That’s the only reaction you have?” He frowns.

I stare back at him blankly, unsure of any other answer to give.

“Seriously Mila? We’ve been told that there’s only ten days before this whole world goes bang and you’re not even bothered.” A mixture of amusement and irritation courses through his voice.

“Firstly, the world is ending by the sun burning out, not by the whole thing exploding and secondly, who said I wasn’t bothered. Perhaps I just have a different way of processing this kind of news.” I suggest, watching as his face turns smug again.

“Listen sweetheart, we’ve lived opposite each other for the past two years, since your second year of college and my fourth. For whatever reason, neither of us have decided to move out of this godforsaken building which means that right now, we’re all each other has.” He folds his arms across his chest, clearly flexing his muscular arms in an attempt to emphasise the strength of his point.

“What are you getting at Warner?” I complain.

“I know we haven’t really spoken much and I know that I haven’t been the best of neighbors at times with all the parties and mess and that-”

“You think?” I interrupt, slapping him with a tone full of sarcasm.

“But that doesn’t mean I haven’t noticed you. You’re lonely cooped up in here, I know you are.” He says.

“Excuse me?” I growl.

“Come on. Not once have you had a friend over and I’ve never seen anyone who resembles a family member stopping by.”

“That’s not true, I had some friends from my Art class over.” I argue.

“You had to do an assignment with them, it doesn’t count.” He replies harshly, running a hand through his messy brown hair.

“Look, believe it or not but I care about people and the last thing I want is for you to spend the next ten days on your own. I don’t know, we could have some fun together?” He holds his hands up in surrender, finally finishing his point.

I look down at my feet, shuffling them nervously. In all honesty, I have no idea what to say. Whilst there isn’t a single bone in my body that doesn’t get frustrated at the sight of Warner, the thoughtfulness behind his reason to check up on me can’t go ignored. He hasn’t even done anything yet it’s the most that anyone has ever done for me and that really says something.

“What do you say Mila? Can’t we just try to build a friendship before this is all over?” He pleads.

There’s no time for regrets, now is the time to make final memories. Do I really want to sit inside these four walls, painting depressing pictures to match my mood?

“You need to get out in the world, experience all those things that you’ve missed.” Warner says again, lowering his head to see my eyes through my barricade of hair.

What’s the worst that can happen? Maybe he’s right, if there’s any time to finally indulge in the moments I wished I could’ve had, it’s now.

“Grab me a pen and paper.” He demands, interrupting my conflicted mind, clearly taking my silence as his answer.

I hesitantly walk over to the kitchen counter, doubt beginning to settle in. It wouldn’t be too late to throw him out and ignore his proposition.

Tearing a page out of my notebook, I grab a pen. Handing it to Warner, he takes a seat, his tongue licking the corner of his mouth as he begins to concentrate, a mischievous glint in his eyes.

“What are you doing?” I curiously ask.

“This Mila Carter is a plan-” He pauses to look up at me, a dopey smile covering his face.

“Because I am about to show you the best ten days of your life and do you want to know the best part?” He teases, his voice falling low.

I nod, gulping down the nervousness which stings the back of my throat.

“With only a limited time on this earth left, law enforcements can’t act in the ways they usually would.”

“Right?” I say, confused as to the point he is trying to get at.

“Which means that not a single one of our actions will hold any consequences.”

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