"Death is the solution to all problems. No man – no problems…"
The wind howls as the storm only grows, expressing its rage and anger for what we did to it. My windows and doors are boarded, of course. I’m no stranger to category seven storms. They’re as frequent now, normal as the rising of the tides. I pace around the living room, in a fit of nervousness.
I tried to warn them…
I said it over and over and over again. I pleaded dozens of times. But did they listen? Of course, not. Why would they listen to the only sane person in the room? And because I was only trying to save the lives of millions, they fired me.
They fired their last global warming ambassador.
I continue my pacing, hugging myself in my warm sweater when a deafening crack of lightning strikes. Car alarms sound as the howls of the wind only grow louder. In an attempt to block out the noise, I turn my focus on the news. I immediately regret it.
“This just in, thousands more are dead due to the lack of oxygen…” the newswoman says, her tone rigid and grim, because this certainly isn’t a light topic to handle. “This brings the daily number of deaths in the U.S. alone to two thousand lives. Meanwhile, governments all over the world are scrambling to pool their resources to save what’s left of the plants and animals of the world. China, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States are the most countries who were heavily hit by the extreme amount of oxygen deficit. People are gathering in the streets in protests, fighting over the last available resources. Washington is currently facing the worst of Hurricane Eden. The category seven hurricane has winds of over two hundred and twenty-five miles per hour. People are advised to stay at their homes. Board up your windows with anything that you can find. Save your supplies… and hang on.”
The television switches to another news reporter. “The states of Texas, Nevada, and Arizona have been hit with the hottest heat wave ever recorded in the history of the United States. Temperatures outside reached as hot as sixty-eight degrees celsius or one hundred fifty-four degrees fahrenheit. More people have suffered from heat strokes this year than the last decade combined. Forest fires have ravaged California and Nevada as well, further increasing the CO2 emissions, bringing the total carbon emission to fifty-billion metric tons as of December 28, 2050. Supplies in supermarket shelves are depleting as quickly as they could restock them.”
As I watch, I only think of one thing: there’s no stopping this.
My phone buzzes while I rub my face in disappointment. In a swift motion, I swipe my phone from my desk. I turn off most of my notifications because everyone keeps on asking me what to do. Since I was the last global climate ambassador, everyone’s been turning to me for the solution.
Now they ask for the solutions.
But that is what we are. Humans. We only act on the problem when it comes knocking at our doors. For the last fifty years, global warming has been a dormant volcano. And now she has decided to erupt. We are Pompeii and she is Mount Vesuvius.
Mother Earth wants her revenge.
We deserve every bit of what’s happening to us. What we have done to our planet, we did it to ourselves. We have doomed the human race beyond saving. We have crossed a point of no return. There is no stopping what has already begun.
My phone buzzes again and I find that the message is from my sister.
“He’s almost gone,” And, “We are all waiting for you,” are what the two messages read.
“I’m on my way,” I sent.
I waste no time grabbing my keys and leaving the house. I raced to my tiny electric car when I forgot the most essential thing you need to go outside. I sprint to the last place I put it, only to find it missing. I search everywhere, leaving a mess in my wake. I throw books from their shelves, remove drawers from their tables, and chuck pillows from the couch. But still no oxygen mask. Where could it be? After minutes of searching, I finally found it resting in my bathroom. I leave my house cluttered.
I arrive at the hospital with no traffic. Mostly because everyone is still trying to lower their carbon emissions. But I of all people know that that is too late. I warned them about that too. I’ve been saying it for all of my whole damn life!
It was easy to find a parking space, as everyone is still trying to hide from the storm wreaking havoc on the state. I take the elevator from the basement to the main lobby of the hospital. When the elevator doors open, I am met with three people, a mother, a father, and a son barely the age of ten. The family also wears an oxygenator over their faces, albeit their models are the old ones. When we reach the lobby, it compliments what’s going on outside. Chaotic.
Doctors of all kinds rush different patients on stretcher beds. They shout something to the nurses following on their heels. The cries of families are louder though, probably receiving word that their loved one has finally succumbed to the oxygen deficit. As I pass by, I have to watch my step as many people are huddled on the floor sleeping. This hospital is beyond its maximum capacity. And with all that’s happening right now, is not helping.
The floors above are much more peaceful, though it’s still filled to the brim with people. Once in a while, doctors in their lab coats speed by, their white capes flying. I approach a nurse who works heavily on a stack of paperwork.
“Excuse me, where could I find room 226?” I ask the nurse. At first, she didn't notice me. After a few moments, she puts down the paperwork and answers.
“Down the hall to your left, take a right, then straight ahead,” the nurse replies.
“Thanks,” I say, nodding my head as I leave.
I follow the nurse’s directions, committing them to memory, although I may not need to anymore. An all too familiar face finds me instead. They offer me a warm smile and I return the gesture. She wraps her arms around me. We fall into a light embrace.
“Good to see you, Blake,” my sister says.
“You too, sis. I came here as fast as I could. Where’s dad?”
My sister’s light smile fades and her gaze drifts from me at the mention of our father. She heaves a heavy breath. “He’s… holding on. But there isn’t much time. Everyone has already said their goodbyes. The whole time, he was looking for you, you know. Every few minutes he would ask, ‘’Where’s Blake? Where’s my son.’ You’re the only one he remembers, besides… Besides mom.”
My sister’s last words were the most painful. She was the closest to our mother, and I, to my father. We fall into a painful silence.
“Where is he?” I finally speak.
“Follow me,” my sister says as she leads us to our father’s room.
It cuts the both of us bone deep seeing our father in the state that he’s in.
Our father rests, his eyes closed. An oxygenator mask is attached to his face with a machine that works day and night, pumping to get enough oxygen in my father’s blood. It pumps in steady counts, once every two seconds. I try to hold back the tears.
My sister lingers by the entrance while I slowly walk towards my dying father. In the light of the hospital, his light brown skin reflects like honey, and his thin grey hairs appear to look like liquid silver.
“Even when he sleeps, he looks like he’ll throw a tsinelas at you,” my sister says.
I chuckle lightly, remembering all of the moments when the two of us would run away from my father. Those memories seem so far away now…
The world has not been kind to my father. I’ve seen what it did to him when I was a child. He would come home late at night looking like he might drop dead in front of me. He used to work as a construction man. And I of all people know the dangers of that job. It didn’t help his lungs either. His lungs are the reason why he’s in this bed right now, strapped and dependent on a machine to save his life.
I kneel and take my father’s by his hands, his rough, callused hands. Calluses hard earned in all his years as a construction man. I bring them to my face, his knuckles lightly touching my forehead as a part of our culture.
“Goodbye, dad,” I say softly.
I turn to leave but he doesn’t let go of my hand.
“Blake…?” My dad whispers. I turn so fast I almost do a full 360.
“Papa, papa. I’m here. I’m here. I’m here…” I say, my voice full of desperation.
I don’t want him to leave me.
I lied. The tears come like a waterfall.
Slowly, my father opens his eyes, albeit only into small slits. Through his mask, he speaks. “You’re here…” His voice is so raspy and dry.
“Yes. It's me. I’m here,” I speak through shallow breaths.
My father tries his best to smile. “That’s what I said to your mother before she ended up like me.”
The memory of my mother surfaces, her in a hospital room similar to this one. She died three years ago, when I was just a new ambassador. When we still had a chance.
I smile, but it never reaches my cheeks. “Mom was strong,” is all I manage to say.
“Your mother was the strongest woman in my life. Blake, you ca–” my father says but he coughs repeatedly. A sign of his lungs failing him little by little. He recovers quickly. “You can fix this. You have to fix this.”
My father believes that there still is hope. It’s funny. Once he told me never to give hope where none should be.
“I… I can’t,” I say.
My father looks me in my eyes, pitch black pupils meeting the same. “You. Have. To.”
The heart monitor next to his side flatlines. Not even ten seconds later, doctors and nurses swarm the room, trying to bring my father back. They charge the defibrillator and force electricity into my father in hopes to jumpstart his heart. I turn to my sister who hugs me tightly. She looks away, hoping to keep pure, her memories of our father. But I force myself to look, to see what the actions of our governments have done.
Another body added to the list.
My hatred for them only grows but I know that I cannot do anything. We are here because of their actions. And we are paying the price. I can only say I warned them.