No Tomorrow, Part 51

4:00 pm – continued

Calliope looked up at her sister, her eyes wide and full of understanding, if a little bewildered at her sister’s sudden emotion. “But we have to die, Val. We all have to die. That’s our fate.”

Valentine pressed her trembling lips together into a firm line and tried to keep herself from crying her eyes out. “Do something fun tonight, Calliope. Please,” Valentine begged.

“I’m going to die doing what I love most,” Calliope said softly, her voice full of conviction.

“Calli,” Valentine whispered, feeling a little helpless.

“I love reading, Valentine. I’m going to pick out my favorite book and read it until I fall asleep, if I am able to get to sleep. I might take a sedative. I don’t want to feel any pain. Mom and Dad are going out tonight and Natalia’s going to be at a sleepover. Sabrina’s on the phone right now, arranging to meet up with a bunch of her friends. Jared and Nathan are going out with their friends and you’re going out with Cooper. It’ll just be me at home. As soon as everyone leaves, I’m going to destroy all the clocks so I never have to know what time it is. Then I’ll read until I either fall asleep or die in the explosions.”

Valentine breathed out heavily. “I hope you’ve had a happy life, Calliope. I just hope you were able to live long enough.”

“Whether I’ve lived long enough doesn’t matter. I’m not going to get another day. The world and the asteroid have determined that for me.” She looked up at her older sister. “I’ve had a good life, Val. I’m satisfied.”

Valentine hugged her sister once more, astounded at how mature and calm her younger sister was when she herself was going through mental fits and wanted more than anything to break down and have a good cry. She suspected her sister had already gone through that.

Calliope hugged her sister back before gently pulling out of the embrace and standing. She reached out to take Valentine’s hand and pressed it gently.

“Thanks, Val. I’m still scared, but I think I’ll be okay. I think you need your time to be okay, too. But, please, when you’re done, come downstairs and enjoy some time with us. We’ve all missed you. We need you with us. We want you with us. Please stop hiding in here. You’re just wasting the rest of your life.” 

Valentine could see the tears forming in her sister’s eyes and could feel pinpricks in her own. She forced a smile and nodded, squeezing Calliope’s hand in return.

“Don’t worry, Calli,” Valentine said hoarsely. “I’ll have a good cry and then I’ll join everyone downstairs. I’ve missed all of you. And there’s only so much time. I should be with the family.”

“Yes,” her younger sister said quietly. “Yes, you should be.”

Valentine released Calliope’s hand and let the younger girl walk out of her bedroom, picking up her book as she did so. Her footsteps disappeared almost immediately on the soft, plush carpet and Valentine was once again left with only the noise from downstairs.

With a strangled cry, Valentine threw herself across her bed and buried her face in her pillow. She needed to cry, to deal with the fact that she was going to die. Like her sister, and probably countless millions, she was afraid and couldn’t help but wonder if it was going to be a painful death. For her younger sisters’ sakes, she hoped it wouldn’t hurt. And, for herself, she hoped it wouldn’t hurt and would be fast.

She didn’t drink much, or, really, at all, but sincerely hoped there would be a lot of alcohol at that party. She had a feeling she, and everyone else, would need something to numb themselves, and what better way than through alcohol?

3 thoughts on “No Tomorrow, Part 51

    1. It’s so sad I can’t even re-read it as I post each part, but it makes me think, too. The fun part of writing it was wondering how different people might react and what they might do on their last day.

      Liked by 1 person

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