“Skye dear, lights out please!” My mother shouted from the bottom of the stairs, and it took me a moment to register her words enough to shout back a hasty, “Okay!”
I made no move however, to flick the light switch not an arms length away from the bed I was lying on, because my gaze was inevitably locked onto a scene of unarguable beauty outside my large French windows.
Have you ever watched the sky as the sun set? And I don’t mean just glanced at it as the bleeding, orange orb dropped over the roofs of the surrounding houses; I mean truly watched it.
Seeing all the dazzling reds, oranges and golds merge and fade in the sky around that glorious golden sun. Following the clouds as they absorbed these colours like semi-transparent sponges, and blended them even further to accent their beauty. Danced with the birds as they swerved and dipped in the ozone, their wings reflecting the visible rays like coloured mirrors.
I gazed at the painted sky with fifteen years of awe and longing. I have always wished to be one of those lucky birds, able to see such a scene up close, and even become a part of it. Did that crow, spiralling towards the sky, recognise its own beauty? Or was it too dazzled by the scene before it to comprehend anything else?
“Skye, Lights please!” I practically jumped at my mothers hushed yet insisted voice, and dragged my gaze away from the window to see her standing in my doorway with her hands on her hips, like she always did when she was impatient.
I hastily flicked the switch, and glared into the sudden darkness, glad I could hide from that scowl of hers. She had been in a bad mood all day.
“I’m sorry Skye, but you know how Jimmy is if he’s the only one in bed.” Jimmy, my royally self-centred little cousin. Age; seven. Occupation; being annoying. Bed Time; seven. Unfortunately, being annoying meant he had to force me to sleep at the same time as he did, otherwise he put up a tantrum and gave us all headaches. Maybe making a fifteen year-old like me sleep at the same time as him made him feel ‘grownup’.
“No problem,” I replied blandly, thinking, at least he’s only here for one more day. And that day happened to be my birthday. The little bugger had come here for the party, or more specifically the cake.
I watched my mother leave with a grim smile and then returned to sky-gazer mode.
The sky was steadily darkening, and suddenly my mindset seemed to follow suit. It’s the day the world is supposed to end tomorrow, according to vague astrologers; the 21st December 2012. Personally I thought it was just another ‘Armageddon’ cliché and we would all be laughing about it the day after tomorrow, but I couldn’t shake off this uneasy feeling. Because it was on my birthday? Probably. I hoped it wasn’t some bad omen that my life would go down the drain from tomorrow even if it wasn’t the second Big Bang. I snorted; Paranoia wasn’t one of my good points.