Chapter 3: JulietMature




            I’m sorry about your bad day. Gotta have one once and awhile.

            All your talk of history gets me thinking about how crappy our world is now compared to before. Like a hundred years ago they actually had things to do, places to be, reason to be here. Like they had malls and movie theaters and national monuments…now everything is just destroyed. The fact that we still have schools amazes me.

            Do you remember when the WashingtonMonument collapsed a couple years ago?

            Ugh…anyway. I really miss you, Len. More than you even know.


            I stared deeply at the computer screen, thinking about what more to say to Len. I had fifteen minutes before I had to leave for school, but the words weren’t coming. What I wanted to say. What was there more to say? Things are so bad here, Len. People are dying all the time. Things are breaking down. People keep losing jobs and houses. There are tornadoes every Saturday or so. The Great Lakes are making hurricanes. Crime is increasing. There are too many random diseases that we have no medicine or cures for. I couldn’t say any of those things to him. I just couldn’t. He would worry more than he already did and what was the point of that? It wasn’t like he was having a good ole time there either.

            And man, the last line. What was I thinking? I couldn’t tell him that. I quickly deleted it as my mom yelled for me to come get breakfast. I didn’t like breakfast, but my mom always insisted that I eat it. I saved the draft and promised myself I’d write him a proper email later.

            After breakfast, I walked to school, meeting my friend Alyssa halfway.

            “OMG! You would not believe…” She began blabbering as usual as I stared at the malnourished grass that we were walking on (yeah, sidewalks don’t exist). “So, Kyle told me that Krisy doesn’t want to be with him because he’s too much of a jock and apparently she doesn’t like that kind of guy, so that’s definitely my cue right?”

            Kyle was this football player that Alyssa liked for about three weeks thus far. According to her, they were made for each other and talked all the time. But he was a stereotypical football player. Literally, a PLAYER and no matter how many times I warned her of that, she wouldn’t listen.

            “I wouldn’t particularly say that that’s your cue,” I answered her, trying to be nice. “It just means Krisy doesn’t like him.”

            “No, but read between the lines, Juliet! He said that so I would think about asking him out because he’s available!”

            “Er…I wouldn’t be sure of that. Guys don’t usually have hidden messages I don’t think...” That’s what Lennon said at least. I truly didn’t have much experience in the guy area.

            “No, this is definitely a hidden message.”

            I let it drop after that. “Yeah, it definitely could be.”

            That “agreement” was good enough for Alyssa because she then went on to ask me if she should ask him out or wait until he does.

            “Honestly, what would you guys even do? I know dating isn’t a new concept but seriously…there’s nothing to do.”

            “Probably just go to his house and make out or something.” She shrugged as if this was some nonchalant subject.

            “Right.” I pretended I knew that.

            We made it to school and went to class. High school was very different years ago than it was then. Way back when they had different teachers for each class. But at this time they had so few teachers, that people were just assigned one teacher for every subject. Class standards were lower than previously, less homework was given and less was expected of you. It’s just what happens when the world turns into a great heaping plate of elephant dung.

            To make it worse, they decided to stop teaching history this past year. We didn’t have any teachers and they decided to replace the class with a class effectively titled “Solutions” in which we discuss what could be done about our obvious impending doom here on Earth. Mostly people talked about making more trips to other planets, because there wasn’t a way to solve what was happening currently in this death trap. They insisted that we couldn’t focus on the past, when we were so screwed in the now. I supposed I couldn’t blame them for that. Earth was shit. And we did need to do something about it. But if we looked at the past, as I’m finding out in my own studies, we may be able how to fix our problem without moving away or at least without making similar mistakes again. These days, no one ever discussed what got us into this mess in the first place, we just know that we are in it. And it sucks.

            I shivered from the cold. School was always the exact temperature of the outdoors. All heaters and air conditioners no longer worked. We only had the walls to protect us from whatever was happening, and with the weather so wonky and disjointed, there was no telling what the next day would be like. One day it could be zero, the next it could be 90. And when it was 90, breathing became so impossible in school that it got canceled. Today, however, it was a chilly one.

            When I left that awful classroom for Solutions, I walked to my locker. I didn’t even know where it was honestly. I knew it by the leak in the ceiling that consistently dripped onto the bucket on the floor. The sound showed me the way back and mine was the one with the chipping rust on the door handle. Classy.

            Suddenly, there was a crash from down the hall, almost like an avalanche, and a scream. I narrowed my eyes, curious for what I could see as I moved in the direction of the chaos. I covered my mouth with my hands when I saw the rubble, and the bleeding body underneath it.

The End

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