It was a normal day. Well, it seemed like a normal day when I woke up. I hit the snooze button a few times, then dragged myself into the shower. The smell of citrus helped me join the land of the living, one of the few promises my shampoo kept. By the time I got out of the shower, I had to rush to get dressed so I wouldn't be late.
I grabbed a breakfast bar on the way out, figuring I could probably manage to eat it and drive at the same time. I pulled out of my driveway and took the back roads that lead to the interstate. I managed to miss the usual traffic jam at the on-ramp, and for a moment, thought that I might actually make it to work on time!
Then I noticed something odd. Very odd. Extremely odd.
I was the only person on the interstate.
I checked the clock - 8:12 am. It was definitely the middle of the morning rush hour, but there was not another vehicle to be found. I slowed down and glanced over the guard rail. The streets below were deserted, too. I had no idea what to do next - should I keep going? Should I turn around? I was in the middle of the highway, and despite the fact that there was no one else around, I couldn't bring myself to just turn around. After all, what if suddenly traffic reappeared?
By the time I reached my office, I was in a panic. The parking lot was empty, and I still had not seen another car. My heart pounded and my hands were shaking as I unlocked the front door. I reached to turn on the lights, half-expecting them to be out. They came on, though, illuminating the reception area. I made a beeline for the computer, switching it on. I pulled up my internet browser, but I got an error message telling me that the page could not be displayed. I tried a dozen different websites, but got the same message every time.
I felt sick to my stomach. What was going on? I hurried back to the staff room and flipped on the television. Nothing. The thing turned on, but every station I tried was just a black screen. I wiped the sweat from my forehead, even as I felt a shiver run down my spine. Did I miss the memo about the end of the world?
Suddenly, I heard a familiar song. My cell phone was ringing in the front part of the office. I ran back up front, praying that whoever it was would not hang up before I could get there. The phone was wedged into the bottom of my purse, and I scrambled to free it, finally upending the entire thing, the contents scattering across the floor.
"Hello? Hello!" I cried out as I flipped it open. I heard nothing. I looked at the phone and saw "1 Missed Call" displayed on the screen. Hot tears slid down my cheeks as I sank to the floor. Sitting among the lipglosses and tissues, there was nothing else to do. I pressed a few buttons, trying to see who had called me, but it was listed as 'Restricted.'
So I cried, because what else do you do when you can't seem to find another human being?
As I took a deep breath, I realized what I should do next. Flipping my phone open again, I dialed a familiar number.
"You've reached John and Maria. We can't make it to the phone right now, but if you'll wait for the beep, you can leave your name, number, and any messages that you want to, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. Thank you."
The sound of my mom's familiar voice nearly made me dissolve into tears again, but I managed to get myself under control enough to leave a message.
"Hi Mom, hi Dad. It's Sarah. I just wanted to hear your voices. I love you. Bye."
With a shuddering sigh, I hung up the phone and looked around. I had no idea what else to do.