Then and Now
“It almost looks like home, doesn’t it?”
For reasons he couldn’t quite explain, even to himself, Josh whispered the words. It had something to do with not wanting to upset the mood, a — probably unfounded — fear that any loud sounds might shatter the sight in front of him, destroy the beauty. He’d seen his world destroyed once and wasn’t sure he’d survive it a second time.
Mario squeezed his hand, their entwined fingers pressing closer together. “Your home maybe, it’s nothing like mine. I come from the dessert, remember.”
For a moment Josh diverted his gaze from the stunning vista in front of him and gazed at his companion. He had forgotten. Funny how that worked. His past was so very vivid in his mind. His carefree youth; followed by the growing realisation that the world he lived in wasn’t a mostly friendly or safe place. And then the days when it had been clear to all that disaster had become unavoidable; the only remaining question being whether the planet would self-destruct or human madness would cause its demise. He pushed the memories away. They didn’t serve any purpose. What had happened was behind them and lingering on everything they’d lost would only lead to madness.
“You’re right.” He smiled before turning to the stunning view in front of them again. “I did forget we’ve never seen anything like this together before.”
“So, did it look exactly like this, where you come from?” Mario asked with awe in his voice.
“Not exactly. The scenery is pretty close but the colours are all wrong. I’m sure my sky was the exact same hue of blue as it was above your sand dunes. But we did have a boat and my father… He choked up as memories of all he’d lost sprang to live in his mind again. “He used to take me out on the lake and we’d cast our nets. There’s nothing quite like fresh fish cooked over a wood fire.”
“Maybe we’ll be able to do that together some day.” Mario suggested.
Together. The only good thing to come out of the whole disaster had been connecting with Mario. Josh sometimes felt guilty when he realised that if it hadn’t been for the disaster, if either of them had been unlucky enough not to be picked up, he wouldn’t have know the man he’d grown to love existed. Would he be able to give Mario up if it meant he could fix the past? Josh was grateful it wasn’t a decision he’d ever have to make.
A previously unseen flock of birds took the sky, screeching as they flew off and scattering the peace and quiet they’d been enjoying. As if on cue both Mario and Josh’s buzzers went off.
“No rest for the wicked.” Mario cupped Josh’s chin and kissed him deeply. “But, there’s no reason we can’t come back.”
“Or visit your dessert,” Josh replied before adding, “kill visuals.”
As always, more stories based on the same image can be found in the Monday Flash Fic Group on Facebook.