IV

MARCH 18, 2004: THURSDAY - 10:05AM. Eva wept. She was as terrified as the world around her. How could it be the end? No, not "the end", at least, not yet. There's still a chance they'll find a way to stop it, she told herself for the billionth time in the last minute. There was something inside her bones, though, that quivered with fear. This was going to be the end after all.
Eva called and talked to her best and closest friends all day, but she spent the most time sobbing with Ami Arista, her best friend since the second grade, and Cyrus Xerxes, her soul mate. To say that the world population was stunned was a degrading insult. It was more as if the axis the Earth tilted on had been contorted, throwing the world off-balance. Almost immediately that night, police sirens decorated neighborhoods and cities with red and blue. They were out to patrol the streets, "keep the peace" when there was none to be found.
Eva thrashed violently in her bed. She had spent two hours reassuring her younger sister and brother, Nancy and Stephen, that the world was not ending, that the scientists would pull through and save them all. In the back of her mind, though, Eva felt the dimmest glimmer of hope, which was seldom for Eva. She was ever the optimist, but death was something that truly froze her blood, because although Eva's family was Christian, Eva had turned to Wicca, a religion that emphasized spirituality and love to all beings in the universe.
As Christians, her family believed there was going to be a lovely paradise with God smiling at you.
As a Wiccan, Eva had read that they believed in reincarnation, and there would be a temporary resting place called Summerland before souls were returned to the Earth in a new body.
Although Eva clung onto her faith merely as a means to help her keep in tune with her inner spirit, she questioned it at times. Eva was certain that she could never give her trust fully into one belief; the possibilities were just too endless. Heaven or Summerland may exist, or they may not. She didn't know and that was the scariest thing about death: the unknown.
Once you left your body, were you still "alive" in the sense that you were still aware in some way or another? -Or are you forever staring at the blackness you see when you close your eyes at night before going to sleep? Those were the questions Eva struggled to answer since she was a sophomore in high school. Now she was a junior and she was no closer to finding those answers.
Doesn't matter anyway. We're all going to die, she thought pessimistically. She was beginning to sound like Cyrus, the one who was cynical and realistic, whereas Eva had always been hopeful and idealistic. This is the day when dreaming ends.
Eva rolled over onto her side and the tears sank down her face. She wasn't ready to die. She was only sixteen! She muffled her sobs into her pillow. She just couldn't stop crying. Eva needed to hear Cyrus's voice. She missed it so much that her heart was no longer whole. She needed him the most right now.
Finding the stability in her muscles, Eva went out into the living room, picked up the cordless phone, returned to her empty bedroom, and dialed Cyrus's number. He would not be sleeping; of that, Eva was certain. He would probably be up with his mom, stepfather, and little brother, having a deep discussion about the very real possibility of the end of all life as they knew it.
"Hello?"
Eva nearly choked on her breath. She didn't know what to say to Cyrus; she just wanted to hear any comforting words he may have for her.
"Hello?" Cyrus repeated curiously when no one replied.
As the tears flooded her eyes, Eva mustered, "I love you, Cyrus."
"Eva?" There was a sincere concern in his deep voice. "Eva, are you okay?"
"I love you."
"I love you, too," he returned, though still sounding uncertain. "Eva, what's wrong? Do you want me to come over there?"
That was precisely the question Eva wanted to answer. With a broken "yes," they hung up the phone and Cyrus was in his blue Mustang, driving to Eva's house.

Eva rested her head on Cyrus's chest, listening to the beautiful music of his heartbeat. It always comforted her, somehow. They were lying quietly on Eva's bed, which no longer felt cold. Instead, it was warmed by the gentle glow of the love radiating from their hearts.
Cyrus caressed Eva's hair and face ever so gently. He kissed her tenderly on the crown of her head. She had cried badly when she opened the door for him, the tears streaming down her face so severely that her vision of Cyrus was blurred. He had calmed her down, soothed her with his sweet words. Now, he held her. He held her tightly, to assure her that he was going to be by her side for as long as she needed him.
After an hour and a half of talking, Eva was finally feeling sleepy, and so was Cyrus. She was comforted in his presence, at home in the circle of his arms. Her voice was barely above a whisper when she murmured, "I love you so much, Cyrus." The statement made her want to cry. And I may never have the chance to show him how much I love him.
"I love you, Eva," he returned as softly as she had spoken. He bestowed a gentle kiss on her forehead. "Don't worry so much. If it's one thing you taught me, Eva, it's that there's always hope in the world."
Cyrus felt the tremor in Eva's body. He would be upset if he provoked her to cry again.
"I'm so scared, Cyrus," she whispered as her body began to shudder with the onslaught of oncoming tears. "You have no idea how scared I am. I don't know what's going to happen and you know that I hate living in the dark like this. I wish there was some way that I knew what was going to happen tomorrow . . ." She buried her head on his blue shirt.
He fastened his arms even more secure around her body. She seemed so fragile that he wanted to shield her from every sharp edge in the word. "Ssh . . . it's okay," he consoled her. "There's still a couple more hours left. Who knows? If we go to sleep and wake up, they may have already stopped it." He cupped her chin and brought her face to his. He wiped the tears that stained her precious face. "So, don't cry, babe. Have hope instead."
A smile shone through Eva's tears, brightening her almond brown eyes. "I taught you that?"
Cyrus nodded sternly as if it was a hard, yet monumental, lesson that took him lifetimes to fully understand. He pressed his lips against hers. He kissed her and he kissed her again and he didn't stop kissing her that night.