I lie stretched out on the duvet as the morning streamed through the blinds. The swirling of dust caught in the miniature spotlights of the slats echo the hurricane of thoughts in my mind. The eye of the storm: today the world would cease to exist, and we all would cease to exist with it.
A slight stirring next to me breaks my thoughts from their dark reverie. His hand stretches out and brushes the hair from my eyes; his thumb rubbing a space on my cheek before it withdraws back to his side.
Searching my face, he whispers, “So what would you like to do today?”
The silent understanding of kindred souls passes as an undercurrent between our gaze. We both know what this day holds. We don’t need to discuss it.
“How about we start with pancakes? The King Cake kind we made in February for Shrove Tuesday,” I muse.
“Done and done,” he says. He swings his legs off the bed, comes around to my side, and kisses me sweetly before he heads off to the kitchen.
We cook the pancakes and devour them with crisp bacon. A small frown casts a shadow on my face as I look down at the last slice on my plate.
He sits next to me and reads exactly what I am feeling. “Hey. You never know. I bet God is a bacon fan,” he says as he crunches a piece.
As a Catholic, I’m not supposed to doubt. I’m supposed to unfailingly believe that at the end of this world is another, better world. Still, I am a natural skeptic, and it’s hard for me even to believe that broccoli is good for you.
I smile back at him as I shove the last piece of bacon in my mouth. “You’re probably right.”
We spend the afternoon watching the final episodes of season six of Game of Thrones and debating the merits of the Marvel Cinematic Universe versus the pitiful start to the DC Cinematic Universe with Batman v Superman. He calls up his best friend afterwards to further the debate.
I shout out my two cents from the background while I leave Facebook messages to my family about how much I love them and how much I miss them and that I hope to see them this summer. I’m pretty sure they know the world is ending too, so it seems pointless to say I would see them soon. But, just in case they don’t humanity is breathing its last, I don’t want to alarm them. I’d rather they have final moments of love and hope instead of fear and confusion.
I stare out the back window at the cardinals flitting from branch to branch remembering how much my mother loved the red birds in her backyard. Their comings and goings are a panoply of life that fill me with a sense of peace.
I feel arms wrap around me and he nuzzles his head into the crook of my neck.
“You want to snuggle with me?” he says with a bit of mirth and mischievousness.
“You want to snuggle with me?” I posit the question back to him.
Holding hands we walk back to stretch out on the duvet and watch the evening slip through the slats in the blinds like so much grains of sand through an hourglass.
My head rests on his chest, and I feel the steady rise and fall of his breath and hear his strong heartbeat. I still don’t understand how it’s all just going to stop rising and falling. How everything is just going to stop being.
He strokes my hair. “Do you remember when we were driving to your hometown one of the last times to see your mom before she passed? You talked about how in the everyday moments of our lives there is a kind majesty.”
“The majesty of the mundane,” I interrupt him.
“That’s right,” he replies. “Today was majestic.”
And that’s when I know that there is a beginning in the end. That whatever the end brings, afterlife or darkness, it will be the start of something. Even the darkness has life. Even the mundane has majesty.
2 thoughts on “The Beginning in the End”
Beautiful writing. I was gripped all the way through. Lovely pacing and emotion. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for reading David! I read Ray Bradbury’s “Last Night of the World” and got a little inspiration. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.