“In my situation?” It’s time to lie. “I couldn’t have done it better. You see? You have a beautiful flat, in the middle of a transit area, with all the local conveniences available. You’re highly valued amongst the local, and you have a terrace, literally, with a magical point of view. What else do you want?” She smiles, and I see her resisting to get close to me. When we were together, long time ago, she was always approaching me in a natural, feline way. This is what I saw starting and not finishing. I sit at the sofa. It’s fluffy. I feel like I’m going to dig inside. She sits by my side. On the table, both wine glasses and the bottle. “I want you to tell me.” She grabs my free hand. “What is going on on Earth?” I smile. I can tell her whatever I want. I should choose carefully my words, if I want to finish what I started.
“Earth is still there.” I finish my glass, and I serve us two more. The bottle is half empty. “The edges didn’t stop moving, and a little after your disappearance, I believe, most of the governments started to release communicates saying that unfortunately they will never be able to control them. There was an UN communication in that sense, asking the people to stay at home, if possible, and if not, try to travel in groups, until the problem was gone. I remember the pompous statement of the UN Secretary, assuring that the edges will disappear as they came, unannounced. That announcement didn’t solve the problem, obviously. And, as you do remember, the UN was nothing already at that moment.” Break. I look to the ceiling before continuing, trying to imitate a dramatic pose “Then, one year after that announcement, with the economy collapsed, when the population on Earth was the half, the North Korean war started.” I grab her hand. She is definitely getting drunken. I see her eyes narrowing, like a child resisting to sleep when hearing her favorite fairy tale.
“Nobody knows how it started. Somebody speculated that the North Korean leader fell, and somebody panicked and pressed the button. There were nuclear missiles flying all around the globe. United States was mostly wiped out on the first strike, then Japan. The ADS annihilated Russia and China. Fortunately, Europe and Africa were not very affected. People started to fall on purpose, flying away from the Nuclear Winter to come. Didn’t you realize a peak on the visitors at one point?” She doesn’t react quickly, but finally she negates it. “Interesting. Probably a side effect of the different space time consistency. The fact is, like 40 years ago, there were only around two hundred million people on earth, and they were mostly in Europe. ” She seems to react to the number. “Sukoooi. That’s amazing! It must have been horrible!”
“Wanna know a funny thing? It was not. We Central Europeans didn’t suffer so much the Nuclear Winter. The countries close to Russia, Letonia, Estonia, Finland, etc, were of course suffering from the radiation pollution, but we know in principle how to protect ourselves from these things. Spain and Morocco, for example, due to its specific locations, were not even touched. It was a war between East and West. Not with us. ” Machiko finishes her glass. Her cheeks are red. If I want her, I need to approach soon. “But the news…weren’t you scared by them?” I sight, and I pass my arm around her. She doesn’t resist. “No. Remember that it was the Post-truth age. Nobody wanted to believe what was going on.”
I think I’m going to stay here tonight. Not that I have a better plan. And tomorrow I want to have a fresh look from the terrace. I decide to give her a sip of truth. “Finally ” I grab her waist before making my final move, and still no resistance “around 20 years ago, after 10 years of discussions between oligarchs, the System was born.” She makes some space, and finishes her glass. “You mentioned the System before. Something about being of paramount importance for the System to have this city under control…” So she’s not so drunken! I need to be very careful with what I say. “Anyway, under the system finally we managed to find out what were the edges… and how to fix them. Do you want to know about it?”
“Maybe. But not today.” She kisses me, and we fall in the sofa. The cups fall on the carpet, making some kind of muffled sound.