The Last One

I never slept very well last night, tossed and turned from the moment my head hit the pillow. It hasn’t been the same since she left; since everybody left.

I got up early, what was the use to stay in bed when I had so much to do today?

My every footstep echoed throughout the house, and the utter quietness was enough to drive a sane man mad in seconds.

The dog bowl in the corner is as empty as it was yesterday. What’s the use to fill it? He left with the others.

I go to the refrigerator and glance inside. The shelves are filled with everything I could imagine, but I have appetite for nothing. I only eat because my diabetes tells me that I should. Or I die. Maybe I should consider the second alternative, what with the loneliness I am feeling right now.

But I go on. I force a bowl of dry cereal down the hatch and set out for yet another day of searching….

As quiet as it was in the old house, outside is even more so. Not a breeze, not a bird chirp. Not even the sound of machinery or cars or factories or people. Dead quiet. I might as well be dead.

As I walk down the path that I have been walking since I could walk, the one that leads to the grocery store where I shopped with my sweet Charlene, and that my parents shopped when I was but a wee child, I am alerted with the sound of a loud crash. Hey, maybe someone is here. Its been such a long time since I spoke to someone other than myself.

Damn, it’s only the roof of an old building falling to the ground. The old buildings have been doing that lately. Nobody to keep them maintained I guess.

The grocery store. Step one of my daily routine. I grab a shopping cart and push it into the first aisle. The wheels of the cart are getting rusty and the effort to push the thing gets worse every day. The other carts are the same. If I had some oil I could fix them, but that won’t happen here.

Most dry goods are still good here, cereals, canned goods, grain, etc. I haven’t had milk is so long now that I know my bones are screaming for it. I don’t have time to worry about pain though, I have to keep alert.

Usually I pack my groceries in bags and carry them home, but nobody is here, who would miss this beat up old cart anyway? When I have filled my daily shopping list, I head home. Not having to wait in the checkout line is the only pleasure I have these days.

Got everything packed and locked in the shelves of the cabinets in the pantry. As I climb the stairs and head outside, I wonder what I will find today. Every day my routine is the same. Sleep, eat, gather food, and then search. Today I will head southwest. I haven’t gone that route in almost a month.

My trusty old bicycle is the only means of travel that’s left for me. Cars became useless when there was nobody to fix them. Gasoline being so difficult to find these days, how else could I use a car anyway? Too bad though, I could have my pick of any car I wanted. A hunk of rusting metal. Big deal!

As I pedal down the empty street, I think back to the days when the sidewalks were crowded with people hustling back and forth, some actually bumping into others without a care. Those days are gone now. Perhaps the only good thing about this life I am left to lead. I look on either side of the street, hoping to find some sort of life. Hell, a rodent or another pest would actually be a welcome sight right now. I probably wouldn’t mind even seeing a mosquito or an ant. But there is nothing here but me. Hell! Why me?

I pedal until my legs get too tired to move. Another colossal waste of time. At least I satisfied my curiosity for one more day. Nothing on the southwest side. Next week I will move to the next step. I have been gathering food for quite some time. Think I will alter one of the shopping carts into a makeshift bicycle trailer and venture to the next city. Maybe there is someone  there, someone like me, wondering why they have been abandoned by not only the people they love, but by every living thing in the world.

Right now the sun begins to set. I have to get back inside. God knows that night brings the terror, the terror that took every living thing on this planet away from me. Why not me? Why torture me with the knowledge that I am the Last Man on the planet?

 

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