Sunset

Scientists are always trying to predict when the Earth will end, but what about if it actually happened? What would anyone do and where would we go?

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3. Chapter One

 

1st February 2120

 

I glanced at the clock on my wall -time to go- and moved my cursor towards the 'log off' icon. I waited for my laptop to shut down, tapping my blue nails on the plastic.

I approached my wardrobe in my adjacent dressing room when my laptop had shut down completely, after doing a stupid update. "Get me some shoes."

Red lasers scanned my outfit before a pair of purple high-tops fell into the box at the bottom. I pulled them onto my feet, hopping round my room with one shoe on and one shoe off.

"Where's my bag?"

"Which one?"

"The one I had ready just five minutes ago!"

A red light flashed above the bag, which I had chucked onto my sofa.

"Thank you." I grabbed my bag and left the room.

 

"Are you off?" My mother asked.

"Yeah, I'll see you in a couple of hours." I told her, opening the door while talking to her.

"Front door open," the house announced.

"Obviously, she's just leaving," mother said. "Lock it behind her."

"Where are you going?" I asked quizzically.

"Basement, but no one else is home so I'll lock the door."

As the door shut behind me, I heard the lock click.

 

"Who are you looking for?" the stone statue asked me as I approached the iron gates.

"I know where I'm going, just let me in." I snapped.

"What is your name?"

"Surely you recognise me? I'm here often enough."

"Oh, you're Clarrice Montague aren't you?"

"That's me."

"Here for Carl Westwood again?"

"Yes. Now let me in."

The gates creaked open in response. "You need oiling again." I remarked before making my way to the right area.

I came here often because I just needed to be away from everyone every so often. Ever since Carl had died, they hadn't given me any peace. After I found out about his death, I just wanted to be alone, but they wanted to spend time with me. They allowed me barely an hour of grieving alone before they came into my room to talk to me about my studies, the book I was reading, the photo album I was constructing... Anything under the sun, apart from Carl. They then concluded their twenty questions by asking whether I wanted to watch a movie with them. I had told them that, no, I did not want to. However, my mother wouldn't take 'no' for an answer, so she left the room and came back with a movie to put into my own DVD player. It was called Take to the Sky and was based around the story of a pilot in training who crashes the plane on one of his missions. His trainer dies in the crash and he has to find his own way home, as they crash-landed on a strange island in the middle of the Pacific ocean. It was an okay film, but was an interesting choice for a grieving girl. After that one had finished, I noticed that my mother had a whole pile in a box by her feet, so she had presented the box to me and told me to pick one. At the time, I hadn't really cared for watching a movie, but both my parents and my brother were sat on my bed, so I couldn't kick them out so I could cry. We watched another three that day: BeautyShockwave and Etiquette and Espionage. My brother then suggested that we play a video game. I only consented because I didn't know what else to do. He wanted to play Destiny 6, but I told him I wouldn't play it because that was Carl's favourite game. He nodded and left my room. I told my parents to also leave because, as nice as their company was (lie), I wanted to be alone (truth).

I don't remember what else had happened that day. Possibly a lot of crying, looking at pictures of me and Carl, and sleeping. I do, however, remember waking up and feeling like I had the worst hangover in the world.

I blinked out of memory lane and saw that I had reached the place where I had been headed. I sat on the bench that overlooked the place, leant my head back and closed my eyes.

 

Two years ago

"Carl?" I asked my best friend, who was curled up on the leather sofa with me, as we played a video game - Destiny 6, his favourite.

"Yeah?" he replied, vaguely listening to me, but mostly focusing on the game at hand.

"Shall we get drunk?"

He paused the game and looked over at me in shock.

"What?" He said, full attention on me.

"Shall we-"

"No, I heard what you said, I just wondered... why?" he interrupted, looking perplexed.

"Because I've never been drunk."

"We aren't even old enough to buy alcohol, what do you suggest we get drunk on? Orange juice?"

"No, silly, we go to Radioactive to get the drink." I said as if it was as plain as day.

He took a deep breath before exhaling slowly, staring at the games controller while he contemplated my suggestion.

"But, isn't that a club?" he eventually asked, after using five minutes of game play to 'help him decide'.

"Yeah?"

"You are aware that you have to be eighteen to go into a proper club, and we're only sixteen?"

"Uh huh?"

"How do we get in?"

"Fake ID." I said matter-of-factly. I had been thinking about this for weeks, and already had the fake ID ready.

"How do we make that?"

I pulled the two cards out my pocket, both showing a picture of us and showing our dates of birth to have been three years earlier. I waved them in his face, smiling cheekily.

"You have an answer to everything." He grinned and turned back to the game.

"Is that a yes?" I asked after another five minutes of game play.

Carl stayed silent for another moment. "Yeah, okay, why not? What could go wrong?"

 

That was the first time I had gotten drunk. It was also the last.

 

I scanned over the heads in the club, searching for Carl. He had gone to the bathroom, but he had been gone for ten minutes and I was worried.

A pair of hands suddenly thumped onto my shoulders. I screamed a little and spun round to be faced with Carl.

"Jesus Christ! You nearly gave me a heart attack! I was so worried about you!" I shouted.

"Clearly, you are not drunk enough yet. But here, try this." He handed me a tall glass filled with a pink-ish liquid.

I swallowed a mouthful of it and felt the burn as it hit my throat. "God, what is that?!"

"Sex on the beach."

"Excuse me?! You want to have sex on the beach?"

"No! Well, yes... But that's what the drink is called. It's vodka, cranberry juice and orange juice."

"Oh... Well, it's great, thanks!" I smiled and drank a whole lot more.

***

About an hour later, I was sprawled on the floor, asking Carl to get me some vodka.

"But, Clarrice, you've had about one whole straight bottle already, as well as all those mixers!" He was trying to convince me that I didn't need any more alcohol, no matter how much I moaned at him.

"But I can still walk, so therefore, I am not pissed enough!"

"Clarrice, babe, even in my intoxicated state, I can tell that you've definitely had enough." A young man told me. He was sat on the floor about thirty centimetres away from me. I also didn't remember his name.

"Who are you?"

"No, babe, the question is: who are you?"

"My name is... Clarrice Montague. I am..." I paused and frowned, unable to distinguish my real age from my fake age.

"Nineteen." Carl said.

"Yes, nineteen. I drove a car here, and I should get back into it and go home." I said. I don't know why I said it. I didn't want to go home, I wanted to stay here and drink more vodka with Carl, while we bitch about all the people from our school.

"Good little Clary. Let's go." Carl normally called me Clary, except if he was annoyed or upset with me.

I stood up, clinging onto Carl and the strange man so I didn't fall over. The room immediately began spinning incredibly fast and my stomach lurched, risking a reappearance of the alcohol that I had consumed in the past three hours. I grabbed onto Carl, mumbling incoherently.

"Come on Clary." He led me towards the door, away from the strange man, who was watching after us with a fascinated expression on his face.

 

Me and Carl had then stood in the car park for about fifteen minutes, arguing about whether we should drive or not. In my high and intoxicated state, I believed that I was fine to drive and it would be really fun; but Carl, who was not high and less intoxicated, believed that we should get a bus, because even he was sceptical about driving.

We eventually had to get a taxi because the bus driver refused to take me, being as drunk as I was.

Carl had let us into my house, and I was proud that I had remembered all of my belongings, even all the little make-up pieces that were piled into my bag.

We went up to my room, watched an old episode of something on TV. Seeing I was close to sleep, Carl had told me that we should go to bed, but I told him something completely out of the ordinary. Something that crossed the boundaries of friendship: I told him that I wanted to have sex with him, (exact words: 'I wanna fuck you'.) He had told me that it was ridiculous, that neither of us had done it before and we'd be risking our friendship.

Let me just say that, the next morning, I woke with a hell of a hangover and we had both lost our virginity.

***

"Okay, miss Montague?" the robot asked as I left the graveyard.

"Yes, thank you."

"Would you like a tissue?" A tissue box came out of it's torso.

"No, thank you, I'm fine."

"Alright, have a good day."

"And you." I said, out of politeness. A robot who guards a graveyard is not going to have a very good day really.

 

"Hey sweetie." Mother said, coming out of the kitchen and seeing me by the front door.

"Front door closed." The house interrupted as I shut the door.

"Hey mum."

"How was Carl?"

"Fine, thanks." I took my shoes off, hanging them from the laces off my index finger. "The robot at the gate is quite friendly."

"Oh, is he? I suspect he knows you by name now!"

"He does."

Mother smiled. "What did you talk about?"

"The night we got drunk." I used to keep it a secret from her what I talked about with Carl at the graveside, but my counsellor told me to confide in with her. Besides, she would only keep asking until I told her anyway.

"Oh, right. You've talked about that a lot recently."

"Yeah, well, not much else is happening, other than more people dying of Clizapine. Which isn't new, he doesn't want to hear about that every time."

"If you say so darling."

"I do say so." I replied pointedly.

"We're going to see grandma tomorrow if you wanted to know." Mother added, before turning back into the kitchen.

"Okay."

I carried my bag and shoes upstairs, once again hoping that I could have shared a moment like this with Carl. I constantly wished that I could have spent every single event in my life with him, cursing myself for not appreciating his presence more when he was alive. But, as my mother said, he died two years ago and there was hundreds of people dying all the time of this disease that seemed to be advancing itself. I needed to move on and help with the current crisis, but my problem was, I wanted to move on with Carl.

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