It’s the middle of the night and Safa couldn’t sleep, the days were blending into each other. She couldn’t have separated them even if she wanted to. Things were losing all sense of reality, this wasn’t how it was supposed to be. The end of the world wasn’t supposed to happen on a slower pace like this when they had talked about it, Safa remembers how she had joked about it with her daughter.
“I think it would just end in a large blast, you know?” Safa had said, her eyes on the sauce she was making, her daughter, Etta, sitting on the chair near the kitchen counter. They were making pasta, their weekly experiment really.
Etta had disagreed, shaking her head and almost letting lose her hair out of the French braid Safa had to learn for Etta. She told Safa as she swung her feet, “I think it would be a slow process, I mean, it just doesn’t make sense that everybody will blow up their nukes at the same moment, you know? Or something like that. It’s stupid.”
“Hey, who are you calling stupid? Are you saying my idea is stupid?” Safa had narrowed her eyes at her daughter as she had asked. Her lips smiled despite the angry tone. Etta liked to have odd discussions while Safa cooked. It was their thing. Etta had just rolled her eyes and stuck out her tongue.
Safa closed her eyes as if to chase away the memory. Etta was long dead now, so was Safa’s husband but she still had her son and she had to make sure that he lived. Maybe by the time his time came, the world will be a slightly better place. No, the nukes weren’t the problem but people had been. Tensions had risen all over the world because of the populations and systematic removing of people had happened. Safa hadn’t been able to save Etta or even John but she would save her son. She would live for him because he was the only thing left in the world for her.
Heath stirred in her arms and she tightened the hold on him. He made a tiny noise and she tensed. The silence was the worst thing at night, any sound could be heard for long distances. Nobody cried anymore, nobody screamed, the people didn’t last long if they did that. So, Heath needed to stay quiet, she gathered him closer, nearer to her body as if to smother his noise within her body.
Slowly, as she listened to his breathing, she too fell asleep.
The horizon lightened as a new day dawned on the scarred earth. Life went on.