Katrina Labra


If The World Ended


If the world ended tonight, you might as well know where I am. The roof. Yes, the roof where I can see everything happen for one last time. The roof where I can witness how the clouds shatter in pieces, blowing arches of fire towards the earth, towards me. It's where I can see the people running a few meters below me, looking for a place to shelter their bodies and hope to survive the world's end. I would ask them to come up with me to the roof, but they would look at me and run away, as if I was responsible for the burning light darting across the spaces between us. But you see, no one survives in the end. Not even the richest man. Not even the president. Not even one.

But hours before that, I would wake up early, make my family breakfast like I never do and finally perfect my cup of coffee. As much as I want to crawl back into my bed and sleep until noon, I would sing instead. For two reasons, a.) I love to sing although I am musically challenge and b.) my out-of-tune voice could wake everyone up, even the town.

After breakfast, I wouldn't clean up. I would leave all those greasy plates from my version of perfect cheese omelette. What's the point? Really? I would then go ahead to my room and kiss my laptop goodbye. If I am feeling weird that day, which I actually do 99% of the time, I would even say my 'farewell speech'. Finally, I would take it with my bare hands, walk out of the house and smash it on the street. Just because.

Then I'd light a scented candle and take a warm bath. Slowly, I would scrub off anything that's left from yesterday's day-out, whatever that was. I would call my friends, each one of them, and say goodbyes. I would tell people things I should have said to them before but it's not going to be too late yet, I have a couple of hours left. Hand-written letters. Maybe I would drop these off by their porch and they letters are going to well-written and sweet. Maybe something like,

You are one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Thank you for being there when I needed you, and sorry for not standing by your side when it's you who needed me. We should have grabbed the coffee we were planning to. Sorry things didn't work out between us, I was just too scared and unsure. I should have taken that chance and grab your collar, strangle you into my arms and kiss you that night. Thank you for making me laugh. You're the coolest shit ever. You're fucking legit. I miss you. I still like you. I should have visited you more often. Well, see you later alright buddy? love? babe? honey? I love you. Those are just a part of my letter. I swear, this time I'll try not to leave things out.

On the way to these people's houses, I would stick notes on strangers' cars, house, bicycle, bag, dog or whatever and leave. These are the kind of notes that would make them smile and have something to hope for, even when I knew there's nothing left for that. Obviously.

Also I would do other things. Like not making my bed for the last time and throwing my clothes around, like they're fireworks in my room. But less dangerous, and loud. I would go to a playground, at swing myself really fast. I'd hang myself upside down until I get really dizzy. Then I would go to a store and finish my favorite smoothie so fast that I would have brain-freeze three times a row. I'd go home and make myself grilled cheese sandwich. It's nothing special, I'm just hungry. I would also insist of using utensils, and wipe my mouth on the table mantle.

I'd listen to songs that made me remember anything, by then I have completed my 'Life's Playlist' that I should start doing now. News. For my last day on Earth, I wouldn't watch what's happening around because I couldn't care anymore. I would go out, and maybe kiss a stranger and something from the movies. Like, 'Shut up and kiss me.' or anything of particular.

I'd run in the streets.  So fast that I can't even think of how my hair looks anymore. I'd hesitate to put any makeup on, and for once in my life, not act like a woman. I would scream, and sing until I get the people dancing like in the musicals. But if they wouldn't join in, I wouldn't care if they think I'm a total idiot.

I would take all my money, lay them flat against each other and light a camp fire. One by one, I release them to the fire and it would burn. This is for all those things you did to the people. For all the pain and temptation you've cause and most of all,  for all the times you've stolen my dad away. Of course, there wouldn't be bundles of money so it does take up little of my time to burn these papers.

I would do a lot of thinking. I'd think of the funny moments I've had with everyone in my life, whether it was that stranger who slipped on the floor three times in a row, or that story my mum tells me all the time about Juan and the Salt. I would not think about how I was close to failing in this subject, or that moments where I got scolded for being too talkative. I would think about the beach I went to with my friends. I would think about the flings I've had, although they aren't really a lot. Oh, the hilarious embarrassing moments I've had.  I wouldn't think about the girls and boys who pissed me off at the school, mall or club. They aren't even worth it. I would think about my dreams. Wishes that were granted, and dreams that never came true.

During dinner, my family and I would gather around our dining table, sitting where we always use to sit. There would be a lot of food on the table and none in the fridge. Apples, oranges, steak, fresh carrots, California makis. We'd take our time. It would be silent for a while. My mum would be sobbing by the time we slice our steaks. And I, however, would push back everything aside and pretend I didn't have idea we were going to die any second. Memories would flash back, but not the kind of flash back you get right before you die, this was just a flip through. Of Everything.

Then we'd hear sound sirens. I don't know what for, no one's safe here anymore. Not even the hospital. Everyone would start to run and hide, but I'd smile and turn the music player on and The Beatles will be on. I'd go upstairs, out to the window and climb to the roof, with a bottle of Jack in one hand and three sticks of Marlboro cigarettes. I guessed, halfway of my third smoke I would already die. I would bring a lemonade too, just for when I might need a bit of cooling down. I'd lay there, enjoying the scenic view of people's loud running stomps and listen to their of help that could no longer be heard because of the loud buildings collapsing. Boom. Boom. Crash.

And then, I would ask myself one last question as I watch that flare of light coming towards where I was laying still - was I happy with my life?