Slowly, the sun peeked over the horizon, scarlet and bulbous, and the warm amber glow of twilight gave way to morning. It was going to be another beautiful day.
All around me lay the dead. It had been so long I no longer thought of them as things that had been people; they were a part of the scenery now: ancient husks lying in twisted piles, nothing but intermingled bones and charred flesh long ago turned to ashes. They were the scattered pages torn from the books of an ancient library. They were the cast aside envelopes from a million urgent missives sent too late. Detritus. Chaff. Dust.
The battle to keep going is not about survival. The world is vast, and all that wiped out humanity left our material things behind. There are factories. There are farms. There are warehouses full of that I can use or consume. I can fend for myself.
In my life, I lived in the city, surrounded by people but alone. A world full of strangers is a cold one. I thought then I knew what loneliness was, but I know now I had not the slightest inkling. I drank with an eyedropper from the ocean that is isolation.
I smile weakly at the rising sun, but inside I remain hollow. What’s the point of going on, if I’m the only one left?