Maybe folks who claim they were abducted by Aliens, or the sole survivor of a battle, feel like I do. Like nobody believes you. You don’t have any evidence. You don’t have any witnesses. You just have your experience. And it wasn’t shared with anyone until you told them about it.
Then the people you told would either dismiss you outright, or smile knowingly at your self deception. You know that they didn’t believe you, you could see it in their eyes, or the smug smile that they wear that says: “You poor delusional creature.”
I am not delusional. Nor am I paranoid. I wish I was. I hate being the only one that knows.
It was just two days after Christmas. There wasn’t much snow on the ground. It wasn’t very cold. I remember my jacket was open as I walked to my car in the parking garage. Funny how you remember a tiny detail like that in the midst of a much bigger mind blowing event. Anyways, I remember my jacket being open and thinking:
“Maybe there is something to this Climate Change stuff…because I sure don’t remember a winter in Northern Minnesota, at least not one in Pelican Falls, where it was forty degrees outside on a clear night in December.”
It was then that I first saw them. Willowy looking creatures that I mistook as shadows cast from the pillars in the parking garage that held up the deck above. They had some sort of fluidity that both drew your eye to them, then made your look slide off and away. I had heard that the Army was working on some kind of invisibility cloak. The Science guys had figured out a way to bend the light around you so that you couldn’t be seen. These guys must have improved on that technology.
Even looking right at them, you still weren’t sure you were looking at them, or at a shadow. But shadows don’t move unless you do. Nor do shadows leave the shade to walk alone in the bright light. These did. Just think of a solid shadow, give it a brain bigger than yours, and make it mobile. There…you go. Now you know what I saw.
Three shadows coming to loom over me. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why I did what I did next. I stopped. Then I zipped up my jacket all the way to the neck. Maybe that was some primal search for protection from the Shades. That is what I called them in my mind. Shades. Three of them. Looking directly at them was like peering into a barrel of oil at night. Focus if you can…I couldn’t.
Then they started singing.
For a moment, okay, maybe it was longer- like a day or a thousand years. I was never sure afterwords. They sang to me. It couldn’t have been more than a day, because well, I heard them sing on December 27th, and today is the 30th, and I spent the 29th basically in shock. What they sang to me covered the entire history of the Human Race. Maybe singing is the wrong word.
When they sang to me, I saw all the family tree of life unfold. Like one of those time-lapse movies of flowers, or seasons, or volcanoes blowing up that you often see in documentaries. I could smell everything, I could hear everything, I could see everything, I could feel everything. I was Life itself for as long as their song lasted. I cried. I laughed. I got scared. I felt joy. I was smart for a bit, stupid for a lot longer. And then…they stopped singing.
I don’t know why they sang to me. I don’t know why they chose me to tell. I hate being the only one that knows. I have to carry all this knowledge with me for two more days. The Bible says: “No man will know the time or the manner of the end of the world.” The Bible was wrong. I know both. And I am the only one that knows.
What would you do? Tell the Press? Tweet it out? Post it on FACEBOOK?
“World Ends. December 31st at midnight. Bye.”
Most folks would think it was a hoax, and retweet it. Or have “End of the World Parties.” A few conspiracy types would probably believe me - and blame the government or Aliens. They would spread the word of the impending apocalypse- religious types would revel in the “Fire and Brimstone” aspects, conspiracy types would blame it on “controlling the weather” weapons. It would all be fodder for the News and Social Media to laugh about on January 1st, 2019. Except for one small detail:
There would be no January 1st, 2019.
The world was going to end on December 31st at midnight, and I am the only one that knows. An electromagnetic wave of energy from a collision of two black holes is going to reach Earth…and that will be that. Nothing can change it. Nothing will. They sang that to me.
The only warning will be a sort of shivering of space and time around us…they sang that to me. It would be beautiful as the sky above us and around us, melted in a burst of colors way beyond what the Human Eye could see. They sang to me that if rainbows were laser bright and could shimmer like the Aurora Borealis as the biggest fireworks show imaginable was happening…that would be pretty close to what you would see - just before you saw nothing.
A flicker. Then gone. And I am the only one that knows.
I don’t what you would have done. I know what I am going to do. I am going to get a beer. Drive my truck up to the hilltop where Becky and I made out that first time in tenth grade. I shall bring her picture with me. I already put my picture on her grave.
Just like that night, I shall put a blanket in the bed of my truck, lean back against the cab, and watch the night sky. I will point to the shimmer to show Becky. And that will be that.
And I am the only one that knows.
The Shimmer was every bit as beautiful as the Shades sang to me. I cry just thinking about it. Becky just holds me until I stop. Other couples, or small groups smile as she holds me. She smiles back as my tears run down the soft curls of her hair. I cry some more, but not because of the Shimmer, but because Becky is here…now…and real.
The Shades did just what they sang to me.
I asked them why they chose me to tell about the end of the world.
They sang to me that night in the parking garage their reason:
“You loved Becky with all your heart and soul. You were kind to her when she was alive. Of all the Earthlings we watched over the eons, Becky and you were the best examples of what you would call a “True Love.” Because of you two…we found…others. Many others. So we brought them here too.”
That is why everyone seeing me cry into Becky’s hair smiled. They are all people in love. Love recognizes love in all its forms. All that is exactly what they sang to me that night- Love.
The Shades told me that most of Humanity would perish in the Shimmer. No one would feel any pain at all. Just instantly reduced to some kind of flux in the quantum foam. And that is what happened.
Most…but not all.
All the True Loves survived. We are here- now, on Earth. Not the Earth we were born on; or in Becky’s and a few other cases- died on. None of them know that either. The Shades never sang to anyone but me.