The Arrival by Julia S.
Death is all around us. Always and everywhere. In every second, every moment of my life. In everybody’s life. Is there even a way to get through this? Is there a chance? Is there hope?
Today is the 24th March 2151, the day of my sister’s funeral. And I feel nothing. Not even a little bit of mourning or pain. It feels like my heart has stopped beating and I am just a dead body alive and breathing, sitting there as cold as stone and waiting for the ceremony to end. Too many people have died in the last few years, not just too many: all of the people I had, I loved and I cared about. I am now all alone. Just waiting to die. And people ask. They want to help me, they want to talk to me, they want to show me that I’m not the only one affected. They think that we can do better, that humanity can do better. People think that our faults of the past can still be erased so that humanity can live again, grow again, love again. But they are wrong. I tell you: THEY ARE WRONG. We can’t solve these problems. We just can’t, there is no way. So our only possibility is to wait and die, it is my only possibility. Earth is lost, forever. And why?
Not because of war, violence and hate. It was humanity itself that destroyed life on our planet. It was our wasteful consumer behaviour that caused all of this. We threw away plastic or other litter without even using it. We threw it among plants, in the park or in the sea and didn’t even think about it. We shouldn’t have, but we did and it was the reason that fish and other animals began to identify the plastic particles as food and to ingest and digest them. Now you may think this would be no problem for us, for humanity and the world. And you are wrong, darned wrong. The toxins in the plastic made their way up to the top of the food chain, to us. Still not a problem? Well, not for the people in 2016, but the plastic had long-term consequences: Plastic remained in the human body and destroyed it by killing the good cells in it with toxins. More and more people became ill with symptoms like bleeding through orifices, emesis, and heart attacks. However, the most vexing and unbelievable thing was that researchers didn’t find out the cause. Why is that? Were they too afraid to realise? Were they hoping to find another reason than their own behaviour? Or were they just unaware of the problem? But the situation got worse and worse: Sick people were debilitated and diseases could spread easily. And so there came a transnational epidemic transferred at first by a mosquito, then by the humans themselves. We call it THE ARRIVAL. The arrival of the end. It comes with a shiver, and fever and ends with internal bleeding and cardiac arrest. It will be everybody’s death. And it got even better: Due to global warming and climate change caused by humanity’s carbon footprint, earth heated up, it became warmer and warmer and people, sick people, died even faster. There were water shortages because of the plastic pollution. We were just allowed to drink audited water and there was too little. Plastic was everywhere. Pollution was everywhere. And it didn’t end there: Humanity didn’t just run out of fossil fuels and couldn’t balance with renewable energies because they were still depauperate, No, we ran out of things to eat too. Government set limits on our food consumption. These shortages caused fights. We fought for water, for food, for help, for medical help. And the fights were brutal. Everyone had the will to survive, to save their siblings, to save their daughter and their brother, their father and their mother. Our society drifted apart. We killed, to survive, I killed to survive. Unfortunately I was there too. In one of these fights. I was hurt, but I had to get water for my sister because she was in the process of dying. And to get it I had to kill somebody who wanted it, who needed it as well. A young boy. I killed a young boy. Now you may ask if I have feelings of guilt, of pain, of mourning but I haven’t. I lost all these emotions with the development of our world, with the development of our society, with the epidemic, with the death of my sister and the death of my father and my mother years ago. But why not put sick people under quarantine? The government couldn’t. There were too many, the disease spread too fast. There was too little medical aid, to little possibilities to help.
And now the all-dominant question: Am I infected too? I am for sure. I know. But the worst thing about the Arrival is that there is no breakout of the disease for weeks or months, no symptoms, nothing even though you can infect people. But it spreads inside your body and you can do nothing to end it besides eating and drinking to slow down the process. There is no cure. The disease is irresistible. As I said, the only way to resist it is to die. And humanity deserves to die. We are the cause of all of this.
This day, the day of my sister’s funeral reminds me of all of this. I want to forget. I can’t. But I have to. So I look up to the priest speaking. I would have made a better speech. But I don’t care. So I stand up and go. Out of here. Away from the memories to a place I rather like to be, to my favorite place. A cliff nearby and under it the sea. It is peaceful and quiet here. But then I see my hand starting to shake. And I know that I’m about to die. So I jumped in the polluted sea thinking about a better world.