I looked at the world around me. It was all a blur; I'd just woken up from what seemed a very deep sleep. Only when my eyes focused on the environment around me did I realize how different everything was.
"What happened?" I say to myself. It's hard to take all this in when you barely wake up, and that's ignoring the fact that neither coffee nor water were anywhere in sight.
"Well, let's just say a lot, shall we? Though I'm quite surprised you actually woke up." I turned to my right. There, a lady sat on a white plastic chair, drinking tea with an English tea set - the few visible remnants of any civilization in the midst of the ruin. It was amazing how someone like that who would have seemed normal usually now seemed so alien in the current environment.
Who was this person? Obviously she's been awake longer than I have, or she'd be freaked out too. The ruin extends for miles; the place here gives a far-reaching view of the entire landscape. Has she been taking care of me all this time? How long have I been asleep?
"What's going on?" Precisely what I was thinking. "...is what you're probably thinking right now, isn't it." Right as hell about that. "Well, it's a long story. One that's hard to begin, too. And personally? I'm too lazy to answer all your questions, though I imagine you'd really need to have every one of them heard out. Well, I guess I haven't a choice, have I? Go ahead and ask me anything."
"Well, firstly then. Who're you?"
"Lazy to answer. Next." I stared at her. "What? I don't feel like answering that right now. Ask me something else."
"Fine, then. What happened to this place?"
"You mean the world, actually. Well, it's as you see it - complete desolation. Terrible stuff, really. This is what happens when people seek too much, you get what I mean?" I didn't get a single thing out of that. Seeking?
"Figures, you've been asleep rather long. Now where do I start?" she thought to herself for a while. "Ah, I got the word," and sipped on her tea. "Idealism."
"Still don't get it."
"Knew it. Ever thought of a world government? The ideal of uniting everything under the sky? Eliminating transnational war as we currently know it? Wonderful ideals, aren't they? That's what those superpowers thought. Ideals, they sure are. You know, you should get up and come over here. It helps to walk around instead of just sitting over there in your bed, yeah? Come on, there's a spare chair for you. Not many sit on these nowadays." It was suprisingly hard to walk, despite the short distance. I sat down on the chair opposite hers and rested my elbows on the table.
"Anyway, as I was saying. Ideals are good, aren't they? But the execution was terrible. Countries started arguing on who would make the World Committee. Soon enough there was war all around the world. Some countries got a bit too into it, and I suppose that's the way the cookie crumbles, huh. Though you'd be hard pressed to find any nowadays." I just sat there for a while. It was quite a bit to take in suddenly. All I remember was that the world wasn't like this. Then, she looked me in the face and asked me something instead.
"Before I continue, by the way, I need to ask you something. Do you remember who you are? It really has been quite some time since you woke up, after all."
I didn't. Why? Now I had questions about myself in addition to questions about her. Perhaps I'd just taken it for granted that I would've known everything about myself and never considered that I'd have my self disappearing along with the world.
"...unfortunately I don't. I'm not sure why either. Amnesia? That's my best guess. All I remember right now is that the world was completely different." She sighed.
"Good enough. If it helps, I know your name is Aleister. Should be, at least. I can't guarantee anything. How about a cup of tea? Can't say that it's as good as before, but I doubt you would remember trivial things like the taste of English tea." I helped myself to a cup. You wouldn't have needed any memory to know that tea probably tasted better in the past. It would've came as a natural guess, at least that was what I thought drinking it. She seemed to have grown an acquired taste for it, though. But why did it taste familiar?
"I'll trust you have a good reason to say that. The tea's fine as it is. The taste feels familiar, though. Can't say why."
"Good to know; I was hoping you'd like it. Well, now that my question's been answered, do you have any other questions for me?"
I had to ask this one. "How long have you been watching over me?"
"Lazy to answer. Next." Not the most sociable lady, is she.
"You're not the most sociable lady, are you?" Yes, I suppose I do like speaking my thoughts.
"You find a sociable person in such a time. Do you have any idea how long it has been since I've made any conversation with another person? Bear with me for now if I do like to keep to myself a bit." If? "I'm sorry though. Keep talking. It's been so long. Sometimes I think I'd go mute." Admittedly, she had a point. She continued, "You know, Aleister, what does it feel like to be at the end of the world? How should a conversation in this age and era go? I don't know, Aleister. It's just been so long. How's the day? Fine weather, isn't it? Whatcha going to do later? Anything new?"
"Ok, cut it out, Miss. It's freaky. I don't get any of this."
"Yet you're so calm already. You were probably those kind of people who would've been calm in any kind of situation, don't you think?"
"The kind that would get the world destroyed." What?
"That's a bit harsh, don't you think?"
"Perhaps. Do you want another cup of tea, Aleister? It's pretty good. Also, it's rather late right now, so if you don't feel like asking anything else or having any more tea I'll excuse myself and rest for the night. "
"I'll refrain from the tea, thank you very much. Could I ask one last question before you sleep, then?" Sure thing, she said. "What's your name? You don't need to tell me who you are exactly, but I at least need something to call you by, don't I?"
"...true." She looked at me for a while. "The name's Grace Mary Elizabeth. Just call me by any of them."
This is going to be so insanely long. gg