Fatimah Beydoun, Grade 10
The crowd stood still, not daring to breathe. They just stared, as a group waiting. Waiting for the moment when the world would end, waiting for the moment the whole human population would collapse, waiting along with the rest of the world, waiting. Just waiting. The seconds ticked slowly, dragging along, it was as though someone was purposefully slowing time down. I stood clutching my mothers hand, staring with wide fearful eyes at the screen. Waiting, just waiting. I was too young to die, I told myself, fourteen years old and the end of the world was drawing nearer and nearer. It wasn't fair, I hadn’t got a phone yet, I haven't been allowed to stay home alone, I haven't got snapchat yet. Or even instagram, it wasn’t fair! My life isn’t complete! I had been hearing stories of the end of the world for months, whispers from neighbours, stories from children at school, adults talking in hushed voices. As soon as the clock ticked to midnight, a new year would start, but would we live to see the year, that was what the whole world wondered.
Everyone was afraid, fear spread like wildfire through the crowds, like a contagious disease. Everyone was afraid. Clutching each other's hands, feeling the warmth and comfort of the people around them. If they died, at least their family would die with them. They would be together, as one. But that wasn’t good enough for me, I didn’t want to die, that was what I kept telling myself. I was too young, I thought of my life, I haven't eaten enough lollies yet. I never got to try fairy floss because mum said it was unhealthy, I never got to go to the movies alone because mum said I was too young. I never got to play trumpet, because mum said it was too loud. I never got to dance, because I hate dancing. So many things I want to do, but can’t. I’ll never live to see another day, I looked up at the clock, the seconds ticked on. Every movement caused me to flinch, we were all waiting.
I thought of all the things that could happen. Would there be a large explosion that would kill us all instantly, would poison gas appear and we choke to death in a gruesome way. Or we would become sick and die a painful death. So many possibilities, each as unlikely as each other.
I took a sneaky glance at the screen, only 45 seconds left. My breath began to shorten, my eyes filled with tears as I stared in anticipation at the clock, which just kept ticking. I wanted to run up and break the clock, but I knew it was no good. Ten seconds left, we all held our breath, waiting, just waiting. Five, four, three, two… I stared at the sky, fixing my eyes on the brightest star as the clock struck midnight, the loud DONG ringing through the eery night.