Kalki popped another dilaudid pill into his mouth. His arms were beginning to lose some function. His head turned to the glass of water next to him, and he swallowed the opiate dry.
“Why?” he said.
Peter was across the room in the other corner with his own bag of dilaudid pain killers. His head teetered upwards until he made eye contact with Kalki.
“I know,” Peter slurred.
Kalki tilted his head. The long dark hair moved so one of his prominent ears was exposed. He leaned onto his knees.
Peter laughed, “Nah, man. I mean I know the feeling.”
Kalki’s face turned sour, and he poured his body back into the corner. His shoulders curled in, and he looked out the window.
The window was filled with stars. Near the bottom, the pale blue of earth.
“Why would they have us?” Kalki said through numb lips.
“Why would they have us…” Peter repeated, mulling it over.
The two of them leaned their heads back into the corners of the room. They closed their eyes, appreciating the pleasure of the drugs.
“I dunno, man,” Peter said, with his face pointed to the ceiling.
“I’ll be seventeen,” Kalki said, his head swinging to his front, “Seven-fucking-teen and I’ll be dead.”
“We’ll all be dead,” Peter said. He was reaching towards something in his mind, and in the ceiling.
“So why have us?” Kalki said again.
“Sometimes ya gotta raise some kids to die,” Peter said, and then began to laugh hysterically.
Kalki raised his head to see his friend. Peter cackled away, sliding down to the floor until he was lying on his back. His chest heaved with deep belly-laughs. Tears streamed from his face.
Kalki watched, smiling. Peter’s laughs were always earnest.
“Sometimes ya gotta raise some kids to die,” Kalki said, and then joined his friend on the floor, laughing.
The two of them laughed until their chests could do no more. They flailed their limbs in the drug-haze, making bizarre snow-angels against the rug.
Their laughing died down. It became chuckling, and then they both let out long sighs of relief.
“Jesus Christ,” Peter said.
“That was something,” Kalki said.
They each raised their torsos up in turn. Kalki then Peter, back to back.
“I wanna burn down the orchard,” Kalki said with a smirk.
Peter raised his arms in mock outrage, “But Kalki! That’s where our oxygen comes from! If you do that, we’ll all die!”
They both giggled.
“I wanna burn it,” Kalki said.
“And I can’t think of a reason to argue. In two months we’ll all be dead anyway. The last humans, exploding against the surface of earth,” Peter said.
“I just,” Kalki shook his head, “I just…fuck them.”
“Yeah. I know,” Peter sighed.
“Why? Why have us when they know the exact moment we’re all going to die? The EXACT moment?” Kalki said, his voice getting louder.
Peter sat and listened, not knowing what to say.
“The last generation. And they knew. Why would they do that to us? What the FUCK!” Kalki shouted.
Peter didn’t move, he didn’t flinch. He had been part of this conversation all his life.
“They all know the time of death, but if the orchard is gone, it speeds things up. Fucks their little plan up,” Kalki said.
“This is true,” Peter said, “But the security.”
“Why the security? We’re not living for anything? There’s nothing! NOTHING!” Kalki shook with rage.
Peter’s face drooped. He was tired of this. There was no compelling reason to stop Kalki. No reason to talk him down. There was no reason for anything.
“I’m gonna burn it down. Burn it all. Fuck them. Bringing me into this world to suffer. I’ll turn the tables,” Kalki ranted.
“They’ll just take their cyanide tablets early,” Peter shrugged.
Kalki huffed, paused, and then bellowed, “FUCK!”
The two of them sat in defeat. Kalki’s hands went to his face.
“Fuck,” he repeated.
“They win again,” Peter said.
“I…” Kalki’s hands shook, balled into fists, “I need another dilaudid.”
He reached to the corner where his plastic bag was resting, grabbed a pill and swallowed it. He sat up, swallowed it and then flopped onto his back.
“Three in an hour?” Peter asked, jokingly.
“Yeah. They win again,” Kalki said before falling asleep.