The Sun has just disappeared!

I don’t know how, but it just vanished, as if by magic.  It defies all logic.  I’ve checked the data several times and each time I get the same result: there is no Sun.  Right now, I am one of a handful of astrophysicists out of the entire world who is even aware that the Sun is even gone.  You see, it takes approximately eight minutes for sunlight to reach the Earth, after that, we all plummet into eternal night, and it gets worse from there…

Where the hell is Nathan?

I’ve tried reaching him, but he’s not answering his phone.  Typical.  Normally I wouldn’t worry about it, but this is somewhat important, I mean it’s only the end of the world.  As my colleague and trusted friend, I think he should be here.  Or at least he should pick up his God-damn phone so I can warn him!

What a week.  First Ashley and I get into a horrible argument and now this.  I’ve been sleeping in the lab for the last few nights and lately she won’t even speak to me. This really does put a relationship in perspective, doesn’t it?  You’d think on the eve of the apocalypse, the least she can do is talk to me again.  She knows I want her back and that this separation wasn’t my idea.  I still don’t understand what happened.  Nothing makes sense to me anymore.

The oceans are going to freeze, the plants and most surface dwelling animals are going to die, and without the Sun none of us are going to survive for long.  The air will become heavy and sparse, the days will become dark and cold, and the world will soon be encased in a deadly snow.  Not to mention, the fact that we are no longer slaves to the Sun’s gravity, which will send us off our orbit very soon.  In essence, Ra has set us free to wander the desert of space, and who knows what cosmic dangers await us out there…

Damn it.  Ashley’s not answering her phone either.

I have to see her before it’s too late.  She’s probably at home working on her paintings like she does every afternoon.  We live next to the university so I am able to get to the lab at a moment’s notice; or inversely to home, like say when something like the Sun disappears and we have only moments to make our peace with the Earth.  I drive as fast as I can past my favorite coffee shop, the pub, the park where we first kissed, the clouds, the children at recess, the sidewalk where I told her I loved her with the most wonderful fear in my voice, the neighborhood where we live, and the plants in our garden that shyly reach for the sky in the virgin Summer air…

She has to take me back, right?  It is the end of days, after all.

I stumble into the kitchen like a madman, half out-of-breath and eyes wide from the adrenaline.   Ashley seems surprised to see me.  (Then again, I haven’t been home for days, and I’m sure my abrupt entrance would’ve startled her even if she had been expecting me.)  Maybe it’s because it’s near the end, but she looks radiant and somehow oddly more beautiful in this dying sunlight.

“Look,” I say. “I’m not sure how I let things get this way, but there isn’t much time left…  I love you.  And for what it’s worth, all I can think about is you.  So, can’t we just be together for what little time is left, can’t we-“

“What are you talking about?” Ashley interjects, she always interrupts me. “This is not a good time to talk right now, OK?  I understand how you feel.  You’ve made that clear, but I… uh… I have a project I’m in the middle of right now.  So why don’t you just go back to the lab, ‘cause I know you have some half-brained-now-or-never-win-me-back-plan, but seriously I have work to do.”

“No, Ashley, this can’t wait.  You don’t understand.”

“Oh, I understand.  You do this all the time, you think the world just operates on your schedule.  That my time, my art, is not valuable because it’s not bull-shit-astro-science!  Well, let me tell you-”

“Wait!  Ashley, just listen to me for one fucking second.  I love you, and you have to understand that this is important.  You see I was at the lab, looking at the ultrawave data, and well…  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Sun it just dis-”

And that’s when I see him, Nathan, my trusted colleague and friend.  He was in the other room sheepishly peering over the back of our sofa the whole time.  I can see the guilt in his eyes, and I am now putting two and two together.   There are empty wine glasses on the counter, Ashley is in her underwear, and Nathan has no shirt on.  You don’t have to be a bull-shit-astro-scientist to figure out what’s going on here.  Ashley lights a cigarette and stares at me nervously.  She knows I hate it when she smokes in the house.

We all stand in silence.  Ashley looks at me, Nathan looks at me, then to Ashley, then back to me, and I look at the fading light coming through the window.  By now, I’m sure other scientists have warned people of the imminent fate that awaits us all.  Soon, there will be panic and chaos.  The religious zealots will preach their rapture sermons; and among the meek, there will be looting, mass suicides, fighting, and starvation.  All of these glories of humankind will shine through to the heavens like a bright light at the end of time.  But here, right now, this is my time to shine.  So, through the lump in my throat, and the swelling emotion in my eyes, I quietly speak.

“Yes.  Well, um… never mind.”

I don’t even wait for a reply.  I stumble indignantly over a kitchen chair and exit as quickly as I entered.  I think I hear them calling after me, but I don’t care.  I tell myself not to turn around and I continue as fast as I can away from them.  The shock of betrayal is wearing off and now I feel hallow.  I don’t know where I’m going, but I guess it doesn’t really matter.  Nothing really matters.  I’m all alone in the darkness of infinite night.