The world didn’t really end, but that’s what people called it. Back when it was happening, when people were dying and governments were scrambling to keep some semblance of order. Even this far inland, we were scared. We’d seen the footage, shot from helicopters, of New York slowly sinking, and there was no telling how far the water would go, or if more fire would fall from the sky and this time it wouldn’t slam into the ocean but crush us all.

Some people saw the wrath of God in it, and prayed for deliverance; some folks saw it as proof that the world was random happenstance. Me, I didn’t see it much as either. What I did see was how quickly and how irrevocably time passes, and how stupid it is to waste a single second of it. So many things I’d hidden, kept my powder dry on, that didn’t seem worth it to avoid anymore. I remember lying awake at night, wondering what I could or should be doing that I’d regret not doing when the end came.

That’s how I ended up at the Army base where Christopher was staying. That’s how I ended up cornering him and demanding to know if he was shipping out for a relief effort.

“I’m going with you,” I said.

“The hell you are, Evan.”

“You want me to just stand here? Watch you and the rest of the world help?”

“There are plenty of ways you can help. Civilian ways.”

“I don’t care about that,” I said. “I want to go with you.”

He frowned, walked over to me. His face was so close. “Why?” He asked like he was afraid of the answer. Which meant he already knew it.

So instead of answering, I kissed him.