It was the last summer we spent in Tehran. Everyone was supposed to leave Earth, for good. Mother and Alephba had already spent more than two weeks going through all the memory reservoirs to pick and choose what to take and what to leave behind. Earth’s temperature was going to reach the unbearable. All the fishes of the Caspian Sea had died. The green trees of Amirieh had turned black, and the winds of the south had covered the city in a gray layer of sand.
Father waited for us on Perspolis245, our new home in the Milky Way.
But I loved our old house. I loved its deep remoteness, its walls crowded with paintings a thousand years old where vast rivers flew, drunken poets sang, green jungles penetrated beyond the boundaries of wildness, and serpents and tigers danced hand in hand with naked angels. I loved Mother’s wooden sets of chess and my old seesaw.
Everything was going to burn into ashes.
Mother kept complaining from a mysterious headache since this morning. Yet she hadn’t given up. Going through every piece, she seemed buried under the tension. “Do you remember this picture?” she asked, while pointing at a photo in her hand. “Here you took your first step,” she told me. “And this is Dogmeh, your turtle, who resembled Father’s spaceship.“ She smiled painfully while I was trying to remember the name of my first robot who had taught me how to disappear without a trace.
“Are we going to be ok?” I asked her, and waited.
Mother hadn’t heard my question. I had never seen her so withdrawn, except for the day grandma had died of oldness. Back then, to make her forget this inevitable destiny, Father had taken us to a fourth dimension trip and we had gone flying inside the Emam Parastoo black hole near Takht Jamshid Galaxy, where Mother cried in her sleep, and told us – the next day - that she was going to incarnate into a weeping willow in her next life. None of us ever believed her.
She wasn’t one of those believable kinds of human; she loved antics. She still loved to read old books, made of paper, mostly perished by now, turning into dust at the turn of each page. “We’re going to die soon,” she told me one day.
But now, it was the Earth’s turn to evanesce, melting, vanishing, drifting away inside an endless cosmos.
With the Earth gone, none of us was going to feel fully alive, fully human, again.
I went to my room. It was too dark but I didn’t intend to turn on the light. I got naked, and imagined my body evaporating into the hot air floating like a blue cloud. I plunged into the virtual pool and kept crawling to let the fatigue and sweat make me forget the future.
Restless, I wanted to go out, for a walk, or at least open the window, for one last glance at the city of my childhood. One last breath. But we were all programmed to obey the rules. Programmed to abandon our home the next day.
At only 234, I felt so old.
I opened the shutters and the light poured in. “What time is it now?” I wondered. The alarms had already gone off.
“Shutting the shutters, Shutting the shutters,” announced Maryam, our home’s central brain, and my room went dark, again.
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