I ran into the living room, out of breath. Olivia was watching the news, hunched forward on the couch, her hand to her mouth.
“Let’s go to the beach!”
“Now?” she asked.
“Why not?” I asked. “What are we going to do here?”
She looked back at the television, then to me, her head turning back and forth until she made up her mind. “I guess you’re right. Should we bring anything?”
“I’ll grab a bottle of champagne, honey. But hurry up!” I shouted, as she ran upstairs to get dressed.
A few minutes later, we were driving towards the beach. Our path lay empty before us. It was still early. We had all the time in the world.
I drove past the parking lot and pulled up next to a small bluff. The sky was clear and cloudless. A brisk breeze blowing in from the ocean took the edge off of a hot, summer morning. The waves softly rumbled as they crashed into the sand. I took a blanket out of the trunk and laid it down on the dry grass. Olivia sat down while I popped the cork and poured a glass for each of us. Finally, I knelt down next to her, handed her her champagne, and wrapped my arm around her.
“I love you, darling,” I said, clinking my glass against hers. “I’m glad I’m here with you.”
“There they go,” I pointed out. Far above us, beige, puffy spires arched into the heavens, each tipped with a blindingly bright spark.
“They’re beautiful, in a way.”
“Yeah.” I refilled our glasses and kissed Olivia deeply. I looked around at the world around us, the beach, the ocean, the roads, the cars, the trees, the houses. “I’ll miss it.”
We sat and watched as the ICBMs streaked across the sky, carrying their apocalyptic cargo, until they were out of view. A few minutes later, an entire constellation of new stars appeared in the north, growing brighter and brighter, contrails billowing behind them as they approached us at a speed of four miles per second.
I didn’t even feel a thing.
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