I am the last. The last to breathe the air upon this world. I am the last and there will be no more. I am the last person upon this Earth. And loneliness is my sole companion.
Loneliness is an old friend. One I embrace and love, caring for them deeply and ever present. Always with me and never leaving me. Always there, whatever I may feel.
I turned off the lights and went to sleep. The depression from the weight of loneliness' companionship weighing down upon me. I soldier on, not wishing to end my life, not wishing yet to extinguish humanity's last wheezing exhalation upon this world. Rather than death, I embrace sleep, the one place I see the last of those who were with me before their end. My friends, my family, my loved ones, my children. All gone. All dead. All waiting for me on the other side.
Sleep is still a gamble. I may have indeed see my loved ones and escape the loneliness for a bit, in my dreams. I may have nightmares though, of the End. Of my end. Of their end. The end of Humanity. The death of all.
Even when I do escape the flaying rides of a nightmare, loneliness grabs and grips me as I awake. There is no win. There is only The End or my companion, loneliness.
This morning I rose in a silence not known since before any ancestral form of humanity had existed. There were some of the noises of nature, but far, far less due to the apocalypse humanity had visited upon this world. The music of the world was depauperate and my kind was the cause. I was merely here to bare witness to its deathly dumbness.
After all, what was the universe without a witness? Without an observer? Well, the universe would soon know. If knowing for an unfeeling, uncaring things such as the universe was.
My tea kettle whistled. I walked over to it and pulled it off the fire. As its whistle faded, another noise slowly rose to take its place. A noise I had not heard since I was a child, a noise that was purely impossible...
It had to be something else. Something terrifying. Something...but wild hope, impossible hope, the sort the damned embrace even knowing its impossibility, sprang up within me and I dropped the tea kettle and ran as fast as my aged body could to the door and threw it open.
And there, there shaking the entirety of my world, it was. An airliner. A magnificent, monstrous airliner! It flew so low it shook the ground. It shook my cabin. It shook me. It shook my world.
It flew on, unnoticing of me. Or my circumstance. Was I not alone? Was I not the last. I ran on after the plane. I ran on in a wild desperate hope, chasing after the impossibility that had just overflown me.
I reached a cliff and was forced to halt. I watched the plane then circle back and I had cried out in joy. They must have seen me! They must not have abandoned me! There were others! I was not alone!
I watched the plane fly towards me, above me and it waggled its wings...circled where I was. This enormous jumbo jet. I could only imagine the people packed within. The people...all those people...
I waved wildly, desperately, hopefully...and the plane vanished.
I stood stunned and some part of my soul screamed in wild despair. Then I howled.
And I knew.
I had a new companion. My companion was no longer solely loneliness. I had a new companion and he was even more merciless than loneliness.
And his name was Madness.