I woke up disappointed. Disappointed that I was still alive, and that the children playing outside my window were still alive, and that humankind still existed. I trudged down to the kitchen and made myself a cup of coffee. The only small pleasure I could still hold on to was the way the milk mixed and swirled with the dark hot liquid. Everything else was awful.
I took a gulp of the scalding drink, still annoyed that drinking too-hot coffee wasn’t ever going to be fatal. Not without cyanide or some such triviality that I couldn’t be bothered to start to plan acquiring. I padded softly over to the phone, wondering if I should call my Mum. She hadn’t asked what I wanted for my birthday yet, and it was only a week away. Another year wasted. I decided against calling, but noticed that the little red light on the machine said I had a message. That was weird, I never get a message. I pressed the message.
I’m sorry to tell you this, but I believe that Miss Jones died here last night. She asked me to call and tell you.
I blinked. What?
Miss Jones? Karla Jones?
I sighed, set my mug down carefully on the counter top and made my way back upstairs to bed where I lay, eyes stinging with tears too stubborn to fall, for what felt like years. The children had stopped playing. I didn’t feel alive any more. It felt alright. No less that I deserved.