A labyrinth of heavy raindrops fell against the rooftop tiles, seeping into the burned cracks. Water trickled through the ceiling, an icy drop striking the boy between the eyes. His brows creased, discomfort seen in his pale, freckled features. Rolling over into the mattress, a matted top of tawny hair brushed over his ears. He lifted a blanket and wrapped the folds around his chin. A weak light fell over him.
It was the light of the rising moon. Enki smiled, if not for a moment, because it was the only other friend that gave him comfort when no other comforts could be found.
He was so alone, all alone in this world. The Revolution left nothing. The Revolution took away his father, his mother, his brothers, his friends. Wayward destruction. It had been a crime against nature, leaving Enki to reap in its devastation. He gripped the blanket tighter, milking the comfort from the linen, but loneliness was all it is cracked up to be, and it was terrible.
There was but a sliver of silver, crescent light left from the moon before it waned to an end. He inhaled, slowly, methodically, drinking in the light’s last breath.
As for many nights since the Revolution, sleep had failed him. He stretched his arms out from beneath and pushed himself forward, stepping from the bed. When he rose, he grabbed his blanket and wrapped it around his shoulders. He rested his fingers against the threshold where he stood. This place, however, it wasn’t his. For two years he had been wandering, and he could find no place to call home.
Cracked with dry salver, his lips parted. He stepped into the open air. His sneakers crunched against gravel. Yet no matter how far he walked, it was always the same road.
What was it that kept him going?
It was in the quiet, isolation of the night, Enki would hear a voice speak to him. Again this night, he heard it.
“When all life is withdrawn, when nature is upon what has long been gone, hold on young one, hold on. Because what you search for is I, it’s I. I’ve kept you alive, so hold on, hold on. What I had to offer has been stripped to die, so try, young one, try to survive. I have nothing to offer, but I’ll stay by your side. Always have I stayed by your side like every other who died. So try to hold on young one, hold one.”
This world had stood by his side this long, his other only friend. Even when mankind had abandoned her, she had never abandoned them, and now, he wouldn’t abandon her.
Enki spoke aloud, his voice raspy from lack of use. “Whatever lays in waiting, I’ll hold on, Gaia, so promise you’ll hold on to me.”