Robb turned to the clock: five in the morning. Not bad considering he had actually slept since about eleven last night: the first near-full night of sleep he had since Naomi died. He looked back to his left and sighed deeply. She’d kill him if she knew, the lengths he had gone for just six hours of sleep. He knew it wouldn’t fill the void of her in his life, but equally, now he’d done it and ‘gotten it out the way’ for lack of better wording, Robb actually felt much better. Clearer in fact; everything in his mind was quiet. Guilty? Sure, he’d had a pang of it, but he knew she wouldn’t mind in the long run.
“What’s the time?” she asked. He didn’t even know her name, that’s how bad it was.
“Five,” Robb replied wearily. He watched her open her eyes and smile at him. With a harsh reality, he realised he should be thinking of how she should be Naomi, sleeping naked on her side of the bed after a rather blurry alcohol-fuelled night, but he didn’t. He did remember how he told himself to ‘fuck it’ and had nearly an entire bottle of Jack Daniels with coke before even making it to the club last night, then he remembered driving him and this girl home, after spending the night dancing with her. Then one thing led to another, and he didn’t feel bad at all.
Maybe this was his midlife crisis thirty-two years early. He was a widower before he should be and he married early, so why would it not be?
She would still kill him, and yet, when it was time for home, he would watch TV or actually do his college work instead of finding ways of bringing her home. She wouldn’t want him to. But he still didn’t feel guilty for sleeping with another woman. He was a widower, it wasn’t cheating after all.
He waited for his phone to load it up. He found that reading about the celebrity crap made him question society… but all of it, the whole Daily Mail website made him forget everything for a good half an hour or sometimes longer, and it made his day start off to a peaceful beginning.
He read a few articles about the government and the school ‘crisis’ or whatever, he read a few articles about one of the Kardashian’s or whatever they were called. He did read one article about some bout of what they’re calling ‘the new swine flu’ in Winchester.
“That’s twenty minutes from here,” Robb whispered to himself, reading further. Apparently most of Winchester and the surrounding villages were experiencing flu like symptoms, but worse, with worse joint aches, a typical running nose, painful throats so bad that some people cannot even swallow, and people are getting doctor’s to come out to them as they can’t move from bed. There was a comment by one of the hospital consultants telling people to stay indoors if they start experiencing symptoms as it seems to be spreading. The doctor also said that it seems to have started suddenly and without warning, but he’s optimistic that people will pull through and the current antibiotic they are prescribing seems to be working against it. They are apparently working on a vaccine to prevent it.
He shut the tab down and sighed. He did find it weird how the ‘swine flu’ hadn’t actually reached them in Southampton or whatever. But, shit happened, Robb supposed. He turned over and found the touch of whoever this woman was, was enough to send him back to sleep for a while longer.
Robb got his head down and carried on with his essay while the rest of the class – well, most of them – decided to start some shitty argument about some sociological crap that wasn’t even relevant to the essay they were meant to be writing. Usually, he found himself watching the arguments or sometimes, if he felt strongly enough, joining in, but for the past two months he couldn’t bring himself to do it, so he just got on writing.
“Yeah, but what do the damn feminists say about murder, huh? That it’s all done by men…”
Robb immediately switched off. Murder was crime, which was what they were doing, but he really couldn’t deal with that shit. He stared at the word on his page for a full minute, not even taking it in and he lost track of where he was going.
He thought about what he read this morning about the swine flu thing, and he suddenly remembered the article he read the other week about the burger thing hitting Northampton, which was still going on now apparently, according to the news this morning.
Hunger and illness; other words for those were famine and pestilence, right? He knew he’d heard of that before. But where, he couldn’t remember for the life of him…
“Yeah, but that still don’t…”
“It’s ‘doesn’t’ you complete imbecile. Learn some proper grammar.”
He thought about the episodes of Supernatural he’d watched the other day out of habit – he managed to reach season four and just wanted to see what happened, so he’d been watching Naomi’s box sets, which he was completely sure she wouldn’t mind, especially if it got him watching it. He had just reached season six, which is after the apocalypse happens on there. He remembered the whole deal with the apocalypse when their version of the Devil came to Earth after some shit with Lillith and whatever, and Robb remembered the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse: Famine, Pestilence, War and Death…
“Well fuck me,” Robb gasped and grabbed his stuff, leaving the half-finished essay on the desk without another thought about it.
“What are you saying? That our lives are basically this show you two watch?” Isaac scoffed. “As much as life would be grand as a TV show, I think it’s mighty impossible, don’t you?”
“That is not what I’m saying at all, I’m saying that’s where I remembered it from and it’s an example. Lucifer doesn’t look like that does he?” Robb responded. “No, what I’m saying is that the demonic activity I saw before, and these articles I read… I know it sounds completely stupid and unbelievable, but… I think Lucifer is bringing the apocalypse to Earth.” Robb didn’t even bother to tell Isaac that if their lives were in fact like that show, then it would not in fact be grand, but it would in fact be dangerous and shitty and would mean that their lives would be in constant danger. Not as good as he might think it would be, but Isaac didn’t need to know that bit.
“The apocalypse? You mean the end of the world, Day After Tomorrow type shit? That? You think the Devil’s bringing that to Earth?” Mia scoffed.
“Yeah, that’s what I think is gonna happen,” Robb clarified with a nod. “I mean, it’s kinda obvious thinking on it. Think about how determined he was to get Naomi. I’ve known in the back of my mind it wasn’t just about the deal she made, it had to have been more than that, and think about it, in Supernatural and the research I’ve done there’s usually a trigger that sets off the beginning of it, to mark the arrival of the Four Horsemen or to bring Lucifer back up to Earth. But seeing as he’s already allowed up here, the trigger must have been to start the Horsemen. Famine was the whole burger thing in Northampton. Pestilence is this shitty swine flu thing in Winchester. We’ve just got some form of war, and then death to come. And then all we need is Michael to come to Earth and try and stop him.”
“What?” Isaac questioned.
“The apocalypse. Lucifer is trying to destroy humanity. If Michael, the archangel, doesn’t try to stop him, then it’ll be the end of the world. Or that’s what prophesised anyway. Someone, somehow has to stop Lucifer and these Horseman, otherwise that’s it.” Robb said desperately.
“And, what, you think you’re gonna do it? So what the Hell does this have to do with Naomi?” Isaac demanded.
“No I don’t think I’m gonna do it. Of course I’m not able to stop the damned Apocalypse. I’m not Superman,” Robb scoffed. He was beginning to get really pissed off with them both; they didn’t believe him. They didn’t even care. Well, actually, he knew they cared, but it certainly didn’t feel like they did. Nay was their best friend, and well, as much as they mourned her, tried to help her out of the damned deal before, now they’re just happy to sit back and accept that she might not ever be coming back? Robb couldn’t deal with that, not while there was a tiny little slither of hope left.
“And I think Naomi was the seal; the first seal to the Horsemen appearing. They appeared after her death and she went to Hell. It has to be more than just a coincidence, don’t you think? Lucifer was up here for seventeen years already, and we don’t know how long before that, so I don’t know, somehow it’s different to how it was in the show. This is real life, so it won’t be the same because life isn’t a freaking TV show, but he needed a trigger, and I think it had something to do with Naomi and her deal.” Robb gushed at once. Mia and Isaac exchanged worried glances and then looked back at their friend, who just looked at them in desperation. “I think if this is right, if I’m right, then somehow, Naomi might come back to Earth.”
“What are you talking about? Naomi coming back? You said yourself, Robb, Lucifer wouldn’t be that stupid,” Isaac scoffed in response.
“Don’t you dare start this shit again, Robb, I can’t take this. She’s gone, we’re moving on, remember?” Mia demanded, tears filling her green eyes. Robb looked down at his feet for a minute, but he knew the truth, and he would not stop until the realised it too. They were his best friends, and they were Naomi’s best friends… Hell, they all knew Isaac had a crush on Naomi, even Robb knew that, it was too obvious, but they kept it as the elephant in the room and no one ever spoke of it. But the point was, even h had to hear Robb out and consider the truth.
“I’m not starting this shit again, I’m not starting anything, I’m just telling you what the evidence suggests, Mia. Think about it logically: if he used Naomi as the key to starting the apocalypse, that means he’ll probably wanna use her for other parts of this shit. That means that he’ll have to bring her back here, to Earth. That gives us hope. She could find us, we could follow them and find her… but whatever we do or don’t do, she could be coming back here,” Robb told them and the excitement lit up his face.
Isaac sighed and eventually said: “So, okay, what if this does happen, what if you’re right; the Devil’s bringing the apocalypse to Earth, and he’s used Nay as the seal to bring out these horseman things? So what now, Robb? What do you expect to do with the information?” Robb watched him sit at the dining table and fold his arms in annoyance. He shouldn’t have mentioned it. He shouldn’t have even bothered. Both of them were so over it and they had just…. they’d just given up. He was right the other week, when he slammed and threw his toys out the pram… they both didn’t care anymore.
“I… I don’t know, actually, but you know what? I actually care. If she is being brought back here, she’ll come here…”
“But what if she doesn’t want to come back to us? What if Lucifer has, I dunno, brain washed her or she’s gone native? Robb, you have to think that as a possibility, because it may have happened. She might not wanna come back, she might want to bring the apocalypse,” Isaac cut him off. Robb shook his head, denial thick and not moving from his mind.
“She wouldn’t. She wouldn’t just abandon us. She wouldn’t abandon her Dad, and she wouldn’t abandon the two of you, and she wouldn’t abandon her husband, no.” Robb scoffed, sitting on the edge of one of the chairs and rubbing his chin in thought.
“Robb,” Mia said and sat down beside Isaac. “Listen to what you’re saying. Listen to what Isaac’s saying. Okay, so you could be right; it could be the apocalypse. But at the end of the day, you remember what you told us about the Devil keeping her down there? He is probably going to do that. He wouldn’t be stupid enough to bring her up here on the chance that she’s going to come running back to us, as much as we all want that to happen, it’s a very small chance. He’s the Devil; he’s smart, cunning, evil and selfish. We need to not put our hopes into this. Be realistic, as much as you can be with all this supernatural shit.”
Robb looked at her for a moment, taking that in. What if she didn’t want to go back, though? What if Lucifer had seduced her beyond belief while she was down there? He had started to do it once before, when she was alive; he could do it again, easily enough. But equally, at the end of the day, she had chosen Robb, she had married him when she could’ve easily walked away from it all on the day Lucifer turned up. She didn’t, though, she did everything she could to keep him and he did everything he could to keep her. So why would two months in Hell change her mind about him? Even if she was under his control and will, even if she was going to be forced to help him with the damn apocalypse, she wouldn’t just return to Earth without coming home, even just to show him she was alive. That’s all assuming he would bring her back, which Robb couldn’t guess whether he would or not.
“So what do you suggest?” Robb looked up from his hand to Mia and Isaac, giving them both a questioning look. “Because if she comes back here, there is no fucking way I’m not seeing her, whether she comes back here or I follow her. It’s not happening.”
“We know, we feel the same, Robb, don’t think we don’t,” Isaac said with a heavy sigh. “I suggest you just keep an eye on the news. Don’t obsess over it, don’t go actively looking and whatever you do, please don’t stay up till fuck knows what time and research this. Just let it runs its course. You’ll know when you see the article, okay? Just check the news once a day and we’ll put it on the TV at dinner, just please don’t ruin your life over this. We will find out and it’ll happen, or not happen.”
Robb nodded, knowing what Isaac was saying was making sense. He knew he was probably making a mountain out a molehill so to speak, but at the end of the day, Naomi was his wife, dead or not and that meant more to him than he could ever begin to explain. She meant more to him than he could explain, and if there was a chance she was going to come home, then he wasn’t going to miss that chance.
“I’ll start dinner,” Robb decided and got up from the chair.