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The End

The End

BY STEVE NGUYEN

So dark, so cold, and oh so silent. Damn that witch. If only I knew what I was getting myself into when I accepted the gift of immortality. I wish I was lucky enough to just go to hell. It would be a whole lot more exciting than this. How long have I been drifting here aimlessly in space anyway, with only my own inner thoughts to keep me company. Millions of years? No, billions? Yeah, that sounds about right. I can’t remember the last time I saw a planet, star, or even a glimmer of light. I guess that means it's almost here, the heat death of the universe. 

Suddenly music blares, lights come on and the sound of confetti poppers fill the space. 

“Wait a minute. There's someone left?” I try to open my eyes, but the light is too much. I hear the sound of a record scratch as the music comes to a stop. 

“Well, well, well. Who do we have here?” The voice was grand and gave me goosebumps. I opened my mouth and struggled to squeeze out the name “Ed”. Suddenly a feeling of warmth came over me. Must be magic. I could move and I could breathe, but I couldn't open my eyes. However, I could speak.

“Hey! What's going on?”

“Umm, so you see… You know you made this real awkward now didn't you. So long story short, I’ve been waiting a really long time for the end of the universe to happen so I could throw myself a party.”

“Wait, I’m so confused. A party for what?”

“For seeing my creation finally come to an end”

My heart sank. It can’t be. I’ve never been one to believe in god, but what else could be happening right now. 

“Creation? Does that mean you’re God? As in the God?”

“I guess that’s one name I’ve been given over the years. Never thought much of it”

“If you’re God, then why didn’t you notice me drifting out in space up until now?”

“Just because I planted the seed of creation doesn't mean I know every little thing that happens within the tree. Anyway, it was pretty dark out there without any stars around, so you’re going to have to forgive me.”

Am I dead? No, impossible I've survived everything this universe has thrown at me. Well if this is God here’s my chance to finally get some answers.

“So let me ask you God, why didn’t you ever step in when horrible things happened?”

“Horrible things? What do you mean?”

“War, oppression, and all the other atrocities that humans face. Are you kidding me? Earthquakes, hurricanes and other seemingly natural disasters appear to be caused by none other than you!”

“You seem to think that these things done in spite of humanity. Quite frankly I never even saw humans coming billions of years after I planted the seed. These things aren’t good, nor are they evil. They are just things that happen, simple as that.” Those were words that made me feel something. Was it anger? I’m not sure. It had been so long since I’d felt anything at all. I opened my mouth, but then I hesitated. 

“What?” said God “You seemed bothered. Come on tell me about it. Tell me about you. Humans were only around for a blink of existence so this might be fun for the both of us.” I never thought that I would be the one representing humanity in front of God at the end of the universe, but here goes nothing.

“I was born in the year 1992. That’s 1,992 years after some important guy was born, funny story about that, but maybe another time. I grew up with a fairly normal life, had a mom and dad and went to school. I was doing fine, had myself a pretty girlfriend and was about to start college, but then the bombs dropped. Next thing I knew I was drafted to fight in a war I didn't ask for. Ripped away from my sweetheart right when things were looking good. I was stationed in some forest in a foreign country defending against the enemy. We were out there for days holding onto fleeting hope. Mortars started dropping and we had to run. I got separated from the group and in the blink of an eye my arm was severed from my body. There was no one out there to help me, or so I thought. That’s when she came to me. She offered me my life and much more. I don't know why or even how she did it, but I came back to camp as an immortal. 

I eventually went home and returned to my sweetheart. We got married and had two kids. I was so happy” I still couldn't open my eyes, but I could tell I was crying. “Immortality sticks with you though, and I watched as my family grew old and die. Same thing happened to my next wife and kids and the next and the next. It never was easy seeing them go, but it hurt a bit less each time. 

I tried ending my own life, and not just once. But again, immortality doesn't go away. After being alive for so long the passage of time begins to warp. In the moment everything seems fine, but things begin to move so fast that years pass in the blink of an eye. Civilizations rose and fell until the earth eventually crumbled away. So here I am at the end of the Universe having lived the lives of a million men. What do you have to say to that, God?”

There was a pause, then a laugh. 

“How can you laugh after hearing that?” I screamed “Don’t you understand the consequences of what you've created?”

“No, you’re the one that doesn’t understand. You seem to have a lot of feelings and thoughts about how things should be, but none of that matters anymore.”

“How can none of that matter!”

“There’s nothing left to matter. Nothing except for two old men.”

Hearing that, I cried. But this time I opened my eyes.

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