When Time Runs Out

By Carolyn Emerson

I glanced down at the back of my hand as a short beep sounds from it.

59 seconds

Less than a minute remaining and my hands began to shake with anticipation. I couldn’t tell if I was anxious or excited for whoever I was about to meet, as my legs began to wobble yet I kept moving forward.

47 seconds

“I’m telling you, all evidence points to the fact that the world did in fact end in 2012.”

“I swear, Brandon, if you don’t stop-”

35 seconds

I suddenly looked up, distracted by what sounded like Brandon ranting aloud about a conspiracy theory for the seventeenth time today.

“Seriously, Cass! Has any year actually felt real since 2012?”

“Nope. Not until four.”

24 seconds.

“Okay, you know what?” Cass halted and turned back around to face Brandon and I. “Let’s head over to that cafĂ© across the street.”

“Are you just trying to distract me with food,” Brandon pestered, “because if so, good idea.”

Cass visibly rolled her eyes. “No, your rants are just more bearable if I have a croissant and some tea.” She answered before turning to me, “You good with that, Marcus?”

11 seconds.

“Yeah, sure.” I nodded as both of them turned back around and made there was towards the edge of the sidewalk.

I crossed my arms, doing everything I could to stop my arms from visibly shaking as the timer counted down.

6 seconds.

This was it, the moment everyone’s life lives up to. The moment written into nearly every story or song. The reason for the countdowns to even be imprinted into everyone’s hands in the first place.

3 seconds.

My entire body continued to shake with anticipation. My parents always said this would be the best moment of my life, but if this is right, then why do I feel so uneasy.

2 seconds.

Cass and Brandon stepped out onto the street and I followed.

1 second.

My feet left the sidewalk and I stepped down onto the black pavement below.

0 seconds.

The back of my hand erupted into rapid beeping and I halted in place, frozen. The countdown had run down, so where were they?

“Marcus, don’t just stand there!” Cass yelled out from the across the street, “You’ll get hi-”

Her shouts were cut off by a symphony of car horns and screeching tires. I looked ahead at the driver as they barreled forwards in my direction. Their face seemed to mirror the terror exhibited on mine.

It dawned as me as my body was thrown back from the impact and my world blacked out. They were the one and they had already lost me.

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