3:00 a.m. – continued
The apartment building was nice. It wasn’t shabby, but it wasn’t a palace, either. He liked to think of it as homey. Between him and paralegal Rob, they could afford it comfortably and still have money left over for baseball tickets in the nosebleed sections. Not that they were baseball fans or anything. Grant hated the game, feeling it was a waste of a perfectly good three hours. Rob, for his part, enjoyed getting drunk just a little too much, so didn’t understand the game. He was rarely sober enough to understand it, but he claimed it was the only way he could understand “the most boring game in history.”
Rob was still up when Grant walked into the darkened apartment. The TV was blaring out some sports channel reruns, providing the only light in the place. Beer cans littered the coffee table, dotted amongst the numerous takeout cartons from three different places, three different Chinese takeout places. Rob hadn’t been to work in the past week, the office having closed up five days before. He’d taken to parking his skinny behind on the couch and letting his hair grow lank and continually flop into his eyes. He was also developing a rather nice mustache and goatee, though the mustache had gotten on his nerves yesterday and now he was left with just a goatee. Still, the guy actually managed to look pretty good. The girls had always liked him, anyways.
“Hey, man,” Rob greeted, not bothering to turn from the TV screen.
“Hey, yourself,” Grant muttered, making a beeline for the kitchen and a glass of water from the store bought gallon they’d been using for the past day.
Dishes were piled up in the sink and they had resorted to paper plates about a week ago when they had realized all of their dishes were sitting and growing green slime in the sink. Neither man had the initiative or inclination to do something about it. Cleanliness had gone down the drain over the past month. Rob had stopped making the effort a couple of weeks before. Grant had stopped a few days before.
Grant slowly drank down the room temperature water, studying his roommate, who was busy ogling some scantily clad woman running around on a football field. Rob hadn’t always been this gross. He’d had a girlfriend up until a few months ago when she decided Rob wasn’t the guy she wanted to be with at the end of life. Rob hadn’t cared too much; he’d been over the relationship before it had even begun, but Lisa had been good for him for the two years they had been together. He’d been a great paralegal and had contemplated becoming a lawyer, but, with the end of the world thing, that wasn’t as important anymore. His dirty blond hair had gotten long, so long that it brushed his shoulders now. Grant couldn’t figure it out; long hair actually looked great on his friend. He was sure that, if he were gay, he’d be way too into Rob. But then Grant surveyed what Rob was actually wearing. Grant tended to be a much more put together guy, always looking decent. Rob, on the other hand, was in a food stained T-shirt that had been white, but now looked more brown than anything else and plaid boxers, the whole outfit finished off with navy blue socks, one sock missing the material covering the big toe so the appendage was sticking out.
“I’m going to get some shut eye,” Grant said as he walked back out of the kitchen.
Rob glanced up at him, surprise in his eyes. “Really, man? On the last night of life? You want to sleep? Well, knock yourself out.”
“Night, Rob,” was Grant’s only reply, waving a hand behind him as he walked past the living area and into his bedroom.
With a sigh, Grant undressed, stripping down to a T-shirt and boxers, tossing his clothes over the back of his desk chair. He slipped into his neatly made bed and pulled the dark blue covers up to his chin. He closed his eyes, but sleep eluded him. His mind was racing. In less than a day, the Earth would be blown up. He was going to die in less than a day. And what was he doing right now? He was going to go to sleep. Alone. How pathetic was he?
He turned over and squeezed his eyes shut, willing himself to sleep. If he was going to go to sleep, now was the time. He, Rob, and a few of their other friends would be out tonight at the party. Then they would all die. If he wanted to be well rested for the day and the last night of life, he had to get some shut eye right now. Only, that didn’t seem too much of an option at the moment.
Maybe Rob did have the right of it. He was too worked up and too stressed out about what was going to happen at midnight to get any sleep in. Maybe he should stay up with Rob, have a few beers, eat some bad takeout, ogle some scantily clad women.
“To hell with it,” he muttered to himself, tossing the covers back.
He slipped out of his bed and, barefoot, walked back out of his bedroom. He tried to convince himself that that crunch under his feet was popcorn or chips or some other food and definitely not a cockroach. Rob didn’t even have the decency to look surprised at the sudden noise. Instead, he had a self-satisfied look on his face and only scooted over to make some room on the couch for his friend.
Grant grimaced and walked past Rob and the couch, ignoring the gloating look on his friend’s face. He walked into the dingy kitchen and opened up the refrigerator to pull out a couple of fresh beers. He wouldn’t drink too much; alcohol didn’t sit very well in his stomach. But a little beer wouldn’t hurt him.
“Here,” Grant said, shoving one of the cold bottles at Rob’s face.
“Thanks, man,” Rob said, taking the bottle and, opening it in a smooth move, downing half of it in one gulp. “Man, I needed that.”
Grant shook his head and settled himself down next to his roommate and best friend.