He rolls over in bed to find her side empty and cold. There’s an envelope on the pillow with his name penned in her hand. Already he knows she’s gone.
He checks every room of the house, just to be sure. And then he pulls back the curtains in the living room and peers out at the creatures outside. They’re still there, dependable as ever. But she’s gone.
Fury burns within him as he returns to the bedroom and opens the envelope, wondering if what she has to say will ever justify her leaving.
Yes, I said it. You know how much I hate admitting that you’re right! But there you have it – you’re right. Aren’t you impressed?
I only disagreed with you because I wanted to stop it all feeling so hopeless, I suppose. I wanted to stop you from being so scared and so stressed. But it’s pointless – you’re right. We won’t survive.
We have rations to last us 6 weeks, but help won’t arrive here for another 12. Simple maths. Of course it’s not going to work. Of course we won’t survive long enough to see this mess sorted out. We’d both die before the army arrived to clear those fucking monsters. You’re right!
But you’re wrong about how we deal with it. The suicide pact thing is just madness, sweetie. There’s no point in both of us dying. The world’s going to need all the healthy people it can get when this is all over. Repopulate, y’know? (Picture me wriggling my eyebrows like a creep right now, okay?!) And you can do that! A barren chick like me won’t be much use, will I?
Without me in the picture, the rations will last you right the way through to the end, as long as that bloke on the radio is to be believed. You’ll live. You’ll get busy and produce a few sprogs to keep the human race going. You’ll be a hero! Well, maybe I’ll be a hero for letting it work out this way. What I mean is, you better tell people I’m a hero for letting it work out this way!
I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to pop a couple of painkillers before I leave. It might make my end a bit less rough, but maybe that’s wishful thinking. I’m not going down without a fight, mind you. I’ll give those monsters the run-around for as long as possible. You know better than anyone that I’ve got a decent right hook! They’ll have to work for their dinner when it comes to me.
I know you’ll be mad for a while, but don’t make any stupid, rash decisions. Take an hour to breathe and to think, and I’m sure you’ll see that my way is the only way (isn’t it always?!). It makes sense. And to be honest, the least you could do when I’ve given you the chance to survive the fucking apocalypse is keep yourself alive. Understand?
So. I guess I’ll say goodbye now. I don’t want to be all soppy and pathetic but I have to say that I love you. You’re the best thing to have ever happened to me.
Stay safe and LIVE.
He crumples up the letter and throws it into the corner of the room.
“How could she be so selfish?”
He storms down the stairs, heads to the front door, turns the handle and freezes. His eyes prickle with tears.
I can’t do 12 weeks alone, he thinks. And it dawns on him that it isn’t just 12 weeks. It’s forever. She’s gone forever.
He pulls the door open a crack and a gust of freezing wind sneaks into the house and sends goosebumps up his arms. He can hear the low growls of the creatures outside.
Take an hour to breathe and think, she’d written. The least you could do is keep yourself alive.
He slams the door shut and stalks back upstairs to retrieve her letter.
I write one new story each week inspired by a random song from my Spotify library. This week it was “You Know You’re Right” by Nirvana.Follow Ellie Scott on WordPress.com