As I pace back and forth, my mind is going a million miles an hour. Where is he? Did something happen? He is never late? I can’t do this alone. Why couldn’t we have died with the other ninety-nine percent of the world? Why did we survive? I feel myself starting to hyperventilate. My breathing becomes erratic, and my chest is getting tight. I let myself slide down the wall and I clutch my knees. As much as I want to cry right now, I can’t, I won’t. I reach for my neck and grasp my necklace. A delicate gold heart-shaped locket. The locket was a gift from my parents on my thirteenth birthday. It was my mother’s, and it was her mother’s. A dainty but potent family heirloom around my neck. Inside is a picture of my parents and me as a baby. It is the only thing I have that has any sentimental meaning or significance, and it’s because I was wearing it when it all happened. It happened all so quickly, it is hard to remember it clearly. I was standing in the kitchen going through my normal morning routine. The smell of coffee brewing wafted through the kitchen. I was reaching for my mug, and that is when it happened. The ground started to shake. I dropped my mug and it smashed into a million pieces. I was frozen. I had never experienced an earthquake before. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. The shaking continued and what followed was the loudest, sharpest noise I have ever heard. The sound was so intense I fell to the ground and cupped my ears for reprieve. I passed out from the pain. When I awoke, I noticed blood on the floor. I caught my reflection on the metal of my toaster that was now on the floor lying next to me. My ears were bleeding. I had a faint ringing in my ears that just wouldn’t stop. I picked myself up off the floor. My home was in total disarray. I tried to turn on the news, but the power was out. I quickly grabbed my keys and went into my garage and tried the radio in my car. The national emergency broadcast was blaring from the speakers, but no details on what happened. I guess I had so much adrenaline and cortisol running through my veins at that time that I made the bold move to look outside. It was a beautiful clear day, the cherry blossoms were in full bloom, but it was quiet. No birds chirping, no dogs barking, no alarms, no sirens, just silence. That is when I started to notice the blood. I felt my knees start to buckle. There was so much blood. It was dotted up and down my street like a bad rash. The warm acidic regurgitation made its way up my throat as I started to gag. That’s when I met Tom, he had just come out of his house. He ran over to me, and I was startled. I noticed the trail of blood from his ears as well. He asked if I was okay. I shook my head no. Tom helped me up. That is how our relationship started. Not the Nacy Meyer’s romantic comedy I had always hoped and dreamed for when it came to meeting my person, but the geomagnetic electrical storm that wiped out the majority of humanity was our meet-cute.
It has been two years since the “event”. There are only seventy million people left on planet earth. I know it seems like a big number, but it really isn’t. The sound from the event is what wiped out the majority of the human population. People just imploded. Both Tom and I lost everyone that mattered to us. Survival is the only way of existing these days. You would think that humanity would try to restore itself, but that couldn’t be further from the case. I remember reading stories as a kid about the wild west, and now I am living some fucked up post-apocalyptic version of it. Tom is the only person I care about, he is all that I have left, well sort of. I feel my breathing start to shorten again. I slide the locket back and forth on the chain, as a way to self-soothe. There is a noise outside. I slowly get up and quietly make my way over to where I hide my gun. Just as my fingers touch the cool metal of the handle of the gun, I hear the specific pattern of knocks on the door. Tom and I created a series of knocks in which to communicate to one another. My fingers slide off the gun and go to the door. I quickly unlock it. Tom and our German Shepard Max make their way inside. Tom grabs my face and kisses it passionately. “I am sorry I am late. I know you were worried.” I smile at him and hug him tightly. I bend down to scratch Max behind his ears, a thank you for keeping our beloved Tom safe. Tom takes off his backpack and starts unloading the contents. “I think I found the map we need.” I stare at him quizically. He brings the map over to me and opens it up on the floor. “Okay, see this is the large plot of land in Virginia that was considered private military property. There had always been rumors that this is where the elite had the emergency underground bunker, but it’s more like an underground city. This is where we need to go to be safe, it’s too dangerous up here for us.” I am staring at the map trying to figure out how long it would take us to get there. “What if there isn’t an underground bunker?” Tom traces his finger to a certain point on the map “When I worked security detail in DC with people in the “know”, they always talked loosely about these rumors.” I look at him and sigh. “What if it is there, but they don’t let us in?” Tom leans in and kisses me. “They’ll let us in. Trust me”. I feel myself going to my locket once again to soothe my anxiety. I can’t believe this is our life. The inner voice in my head is saying loudly "You're late", "You're several weeks late". But right now, the hardest part of all of this is, I don’t know how to tell Tom that I am pregnant.