With hope you have read Part One & Part Two. If not, click the purple words and catch on. Tends to make more sense in my experience.
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I used to believe in love.
Now, am not so sure.
“It’s been uumm…it’s been a while since I talked to anyone…even a longer while since everyone disappeared…The last person I remember talking to was uuh, was a traveler. He was part of a small group I stumbled upon. He had to leave. The others followed soon after. Something about surviving this wave. Kinda like what am trying to do right now, with all this, in all this. And frankly I don’t know if am doing a good enough job, you know… It’s been so long ever since; I’ve lost track of time. It’s been so long I think I might be losing it, I mean, what’s real, anymore? I can barely tell what’s right from wrong, whether to feel or numb…I don’t know when I am myself anymore, like falling in and out of consciousness but with life, and what happens in it. Everything’s a blur now. Time is but a word, a reason, an excuse for me to say day, night, because none of them make sense to me now; a mere black or white as life passes by, numb, soundless. And every day I watch myself slowly fade, some part of me, of who I am, disintegrating like the floating dust as it mingles with the air, dispersing, disappearing, leaving me emptier with every dawn of day. Maybe it wants to help. Maybe it has hope of bringing them back. Maybe, just maybe, this part of me believes…Maybe. I do not know, of it, of me, I do not know.
We used to be so close my friends and I, hanging out, having fun, forgetting the world in those moments as we made our own, and just for those split precious moments, we lived in it…I remember we used to have these inside jokes that whenever we were in class, or a room and we would hear them, we’d look for each other among the crowds and just giggle or laugh when our eyes met, and we would savor that moment because it was just us who knew what they meant, in our little small world…It was perfect, until that day when the advert aired.
I wasn’t interested at first. It was like one of those promos you’d see on billboards and newspapers when going back home or surfing the analogue way (1). Promos like those never stuck around for long. They’d usually be replaced by some other advert for towels and children all in one picture, probably for a super market promo. But this one, this one never left. Its image grew on us as time went by. We’d even joke around with its catch phrase. ‘Let’s Change together’, it said. Within no time it was everywhere. Kids, teenagers, adults, everyone wanted one. It became the new toy, the new Black, the smart choice….They said it had the ability to transform the world…yeah, for once the adverts actually were true to their word. But no one knew how much…
We all had heard about how my neighbor’s aunt used this technology to do incredible things, how she’d make an interaction in a split second that normally would take days or even weeks to make. It was unbelievable. It was amazing. It was impossible, she said. And now it was our turn to rock the new Black. With a few mummers, requests and a lot of aunties, we finally got ours. Everyone was excited for the other. We had all these new techs in our hands, I mean, we were living the dream. The cool kids, you now. It was awesome; the attention, the wonder in others, the super workload lifting, we could use it to do almost everything, all we had to do was a few taps and swipes of the finger and, voila…we were transforming the world,our world…Then it all begun….
I couldn’t figure why I felt lost, at first. Why my life felt like an act, a pretense, a routine; planned and laid out for me to follow. I couldn’t understand what was it I liked in humor, in heart, in taste, in others. I couldn’t remember what deserved to be felt, be understood, what was okay or absurd, what needed my attention and what could wait. I had no idea of how to feel anymore, how to judge, when to judge, who to judge, should I be judged? I could feel myself scare. I could feel the confusion, the anger, the rage, the breath living my lungs without flowing back in. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t understand. My friends seemed fine. They were fine. Why wasn’t I? What was happening to me? Why am I feeling all this…this darkness…this rage? Why was I in so much pain? Bleeding….weeping….
Then I saw.
Everyone was leaving. Up and leaving. Leaving everything behind. Leaving their families behind. Just like that. They told me to come with them. They told me People were coming. They told me the smart people, the uh, the scientists had abandoned them. They told me Humans were dying. Dying a cold death in Life. Dying to be reborn into People, into a specie of no depth, of no emotion, no lives; into a specie of pretense, of confusion, of rage; into a specie of loneliness…and their Humanity, their Humanity dies with them. They told me to run, for the technology the scientists granted upon us has unleashed a pandemic so deadly it corrupted their Norm, our Norm, and we Humans are paying for it, paying for it with our lives, our selves, our souls…we Humans are paying for it with our essence…with our Humanity…and being turned into monsters, into slaves of a corrupted Norm, a whole book of it as we slowly, but surely, sell our souls to it so my boy, Run! Run and save yourself! Because we all know, there is nothing anyone of us, can do for the other. Run!
You can imagine how shocked I was. I didn’t believe them because no, my friends were alright. No, my friends seemed fine so it can’t be true…I screamed in their faces, begged for their attention, tried for their care; but they were gone. It was too late for them…I was too late for them…and now,I was alone…now I am alone…And you know what is the most painful thing of all? Watching them fade away whilst their eyes cry for help, until they don't.
One might think this place am in is a ghost town. Well it’s not. It’s full of People who follow what they are told to be right, believe what they are told to be true. It is filled with People who laugh by cue, live by routine; a planned schedule of day and night. This place is filled with People who call life by what they are given and like in it what they are told is likeable, hate what they are told to, no choices, no questions. This is indeed a ghost town; one bereaved of Humans, and filled with People. This is why I am here right now, talking to this screen. Hoping. Hoping that this will reach someone; reach anyone…Hoping that maybe they aren’t too far gone…Hoping that their eyes open their minds and free their bodies…hoping….hoping….
And now, here I am. Alone. Fading away, like them. Sometimes I wish I had their fate. Not ideal really, I know, but still free from all this, the pain, the sorrow, the helplessness…the loneliness…I don’t think I’ll last for long after this anyways, because, without any other Human around, I’m slowly giving up hope…giving in to the silence. There was a time I used to believe in friendship, in the unbreakable bond; in people…Before all this, I used to believe in Love.
Now, am not so sure….”
1. Reading the Newspapers.