Brianna’s mouth was agape slightly, her breath coming out ragged, hair caught in her mouth tasting like burnt plastic. It took her a while to blink, though blinking meant pain, she had to remove the…
She felt her eyelids with her hand. Dust, it seemed – her eyesight was blurry. Or maybe it was… She did not want to know what it was. She tried to think back at what happened before, before the pain, the boom and shudder.
She remembered being with Dani, her girlfriend. They were exchanging gifts the night before. She did not think that Dani and her would have ever worked out. Their first date was a disaster, Brianna was vegan and Dani was not even aware vegans really existed, she just knew what she saw on TV. Dani had a change of heart when she searched what a vegan is and learned about the truths of animal farming, and animal sentience in general. She had called Brianna back crying, apologizing, and asking to be her friend – at first.
Being friends was not even an option when Dani kissed her while Netflixing – she did not plan on the chilling part. Then there they were, exchanging gifts Christmas day three years later at 12am. They stayed up all night, though Brianna felt like sleeping and started to nod off on Dani’s shoulder. Brianna loved the feeling of being close and cuddling with Dani as they watched Nightmare Before Christmas, which they had decided after a year of dating, that it was going to be their tradition.
Then she remembered what happened when the earth shook. The next day, on Christmas, there was a parade. Something happened, it sounded like a pop. They were in Ocean Beach, walking down the street, in their jackets because it was freezing out, the only time in San Diego they had to wear something.
They had joined the parade with holiday lights around them, being Bhudist and Jewish, they wanted to just represent the holiday spirit, so they wore snowflake earrings and blue makeup. They were laughing as they joined their local vegan group that was dancing in the parade. There were behind some other progressive groups like Climate Change 350, the pro-science group, and the gay pride group. They were all having fun, dancing, and singing songs about peace, love, and happiness… until there was a shudder and the earth moved.
They heard some people shout “Fuck you, fucking liberals – die!” The next moment was darkness. As Brianna remembered all of this she called out to Dani. Desperately trying to find her with her voice, tears scraping down her face, her mouth still open, crying in terror.
She felt someone grab her hand. She could not move, and try as she might with pain in her back she looked up to see Dani standing over her. She was fine. Calm actually, looking determined. She bent down to Brianna and swiped the hair out of her mouth looking her over.
“Are you ok?!” She asked and it sounded as if she was a million miles away. All Brianna could do was nod her head. Some “dust” fell done on her lap. She could not stop her tears as Dani held her, she cried into her shoulder.
How was she okay? What happened? All of these thoughts rushed her mind. Someone seemed to appear beside her.
They seemed to have an invisible conversation, one she was not sure how Dani knew what this tall, old white man was saying to her.
Dani held Brianna closer and glared at the man. The man sighed and shrugged and then vanished.
“Dani, that man, he just…”
“Shhhh, my love. Just wait. I need to do something, do you trust me?”
Dani thought about it, her thoughts slow. She nodded barely and then they vanished.