it’d been two days, and she was still walking. at least she thinks it was two days, that is. she couldn’t remember the last time she had eaten, or the last time she had seen a living person for that matter. she had been walking and walking, occasionally tripping over her long white dress and slowly ripping another piece of it off, so she didn’t have to fall over another bloodied body and ruin her already ruined wedding dress in the land of nothing but ruins.

where the exploding bombs became nothing but background static, she had finally found a house that somehow wasn’t completely fallen apart. it was a tiny house, but at least it wasn’t a graveyard. she stayed at the house and sat on a half broken chair, and didn’t even bother looking for something to eat or drink, to help her survive through another night.

she didn’t want to survive. it didn’t matter anymore.

she sat in the half broken chair with her fully broken heart and waited for the next bass to drop and take her away once and for all.

she sat there for hours staring into nothingness, but the beat never dropped for her. her numb mind had even started to wonder if her surviving this far was some kind of punishment, for she didn’t want this. she didn’t want life. she had no energy to do “life,” quite literally.

she sat there and sat there, and sat some more, but the angel of death refused to come. 

something else came, though. a ring.

a phone ring.

the sound caught the widowed bride off guard, so much that her curiosity pumped her with enough adrenaline to get up. she looked through the torn down rubble and looked for the source of the now unfamiliar sound. anything that wasn’t an explosion or a scream was now completely out of the ordinary.

“hello?” she spoke into the tiny device.

no one answered at first but then another unfamiliar, deep sound coming from a man pierced through her ears. 

“hello?! is someone actually there?” questioned the man in bewilderment. 

“i am here, and i am very real,” said the girl. “who are you looking for, good sir?”

“i…don’t know. anyone. i’m dying and…i didn’t want to die alone. i wanted to hear the voice of another human being, so i dialed a bunch of random numbers.”

she didn’t it realize it then, but since the moment she too had heard the voice of a living being besides herself, her eyes had drowned themselves in tears of all kinds. relief, despair, happiness, sadness…she didn’t know why she was crying, and now he was crying as well.

for the most part they were both relieved that they were crying, because lately they’d forgotten what emotions besides terror and numbness had felt like. 

they talked into the little device for hours, but then they panicked about how they would charge it. they both figured it out eventually, and from there on they promised one another that they wouldn’t let the dark angel kiss them goodbye just yet. 

they would go out and search for food, and come back with nothing but grass. they learned not to see the bodies of the graveyard anymore; they had to, or else it would all be over. they would talk to one another and remember the times when good food was taken for granted, and like little children, they would imagine they were eating savory dishes and their favorite cuisines.

the widowed bride would wait every day for that phone ring, and the stranger on the phone would do the same. it was their only salvage, their hope, the source of their peace in a land of destruction.

“hello” had never been more precious a word. 

on a day when the bride had cut half her dress off and ran off to get more grass, she wondered what her new and only friend would suggest they fantasize about today. it didn’t matter that it was just grass anymore, because she knew her friend was there waiting for her. 

they talked and talked, talked and imagined, and talked some more. they spoke of things from the great times of their lives to the myths of the ancient people. they spoke of shakespeare and his plays, and of tristan and isolde and their fates. they spoke of the undiscovered country, and of their soon to come friend, the dark angel of death.

and come soon he did.

the bride sat on her half broken chair with her glued together heart, and waited and waited, but the sound never came. that wonderful sound that came before hello, it never came that day. 

it was that day when the sound of the explosions bolded out of the background. it was that day she had been reminded what emotions besides relief and happiness felt like. it was that day that she was reminded of the worst emotion of all, terror.

not terror of the bombs, you see. it was the terror that was grounded in humanity since the days of adam and eve; the terror of dying alone. 

her numbing mind still waited for that phone call. it desperately hoped it would ring again, and that it would let her hear his “hello” just one more time.

no ring ever came, but rather a knock in its place. 

“it’s me,” he greeted her, much like an old friend.