The world ended in magenta. Violent and bright, an alien glow in the washed out landscape. When the suburbs went‒they were always the first to go‒you took your dead mother's camping trailer and drove it away while her corpse was still warm and lifelike on the couch.
I thought it was rather ruthless, but that's just how you were. Cold.
We met up at the first camp, back when there had been more of us, and I remember the way your hair looked, all carefully done up and decorated. Polished, like you were on your way to work. I respected that about you.
You had a fiancé, once. But he didn't make it.
I helped you bury the man he'd been sleeping with, and your eyes were as dry as the dust we turned over onto his corpse.
No one knew why the light made some people sick and not others. Maybe everyone would succumb to it in the end, and some people were just more resistant than other people.
We headed towards the mountains because they were beautiful. There wasn't much left to live for besides beauty. I didn't really get it, but I went because there was safety in numbers, and because you wanted to go.
When we finally got there, there were few enough of us that we could fit comfortably within your trailer. Some of us admired the colors reflected in the white snow, but you and me were both already desensitized to color, and I found your white dress to be more beautiful than the snow on the mountains, anyways. Your dress almost glittered when it caught the light as you moved.
It made me want to put on a dress, too. I'd only brought one.
We were both survivalists, in our own ways, and when we had to choose between giving our traveling companions a proper burial or making it out of there alive, we chose to live.
I could almost taste the adrenaline vibrating through my body as we drove away. And then it was just you and me, and I don't know why we were the only ones left, but maybe it was something in our blood, something that we shared from a distant past, because everything else about us just seemed so different.
The first night we spent alone together, I held your fingers in mine, then kissed the tips, and by the end of the night, you were shoving those fingers inside of me and I was writhing on the ground beside our campfire. I remember how your dark hair blended into the stars.
We didn't kiss when we had sex. Afterwards, you pressed your cold lips to my cheek and it felt like a benediction.
On our last night, we climbed a winding concrete husk of a stairway, and I stared at the curve of your body as you walked in front of me, the shape of you a shadow lined in magenta. When we reached the summit, the horizon was more stars than trees, and there was no one else to be seen besides the two of us. I wished we could climb higher, that we could ascend to where it was just you and me and the stars, but there were no more steps, nowhere else we could go.
Nothing left to do besides breathe each other's oxygen and wait for dawn.
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