“What are all these weird glowing lights?”
“I don’t know. My dad told me they were stars back in the day and that now, they’re a result of the nuclear explosion of 38.”
“The nuclear explosion of 38?”
“It happened way before we were born.”
“Oh. That explains it.”
A silence stood between us for a few minutes.
“Didn’t we learn about that in history?”
“Yea. America and just about the rest of the world were at war. We had nuclear missiles, along with a few other countries. They all set them off in an effort to destroy each other but inevitably caused the entire world’s destruction.”
“Oh, yea! Because of…um…what’s it called again?”
“Yea, that! We were already buried deep in climate change but no one believed it existed back then so they set off those missiles, making it worse.”
“And now we’re here.”
I took my eyes off the sky and looked around at the barren desert that lay before us. There aren’t anymore trees, as my teacher calls them. Apparently, there used to be these things called trees and they would give us oxygen and they were super old! I wish I could see a tree in real life. I’ve only ever seen poorly resoluted pictures of them online. Did you know they also didn’t have holograms back then? Man, life must’ve been so difficult!
“Do you ever wonder what would’ve happened if there was no war?”
“No. Not really. Do you?”
“Yea. I wish I could see a forest with birds. I wish it could be cold one day. I wish I could see an ocean.”
“Yea, I guess so.”
My friend looked toward me.
“You don’t wish to see those things? All I’ve ever wanted in my life was to see a huge forest.”
I shrugged. “I guess I’ve never really thought about it.”
“Well, you should. This whole climate change thing is destroying our world and it’s only getting worse. I mean, we have to wear these things outside constantly just so we don’t die! I wish I could breath fresh air without this stupid mask!”
“Isn’t it called a gas mask?”
“You really think I care?”
“I just wish people would realize their mistakes. That’s all.”
“Yea. If only we could go back in time.”
“We could see all those things you want to see and more!”
“Non polluted rivers, great white sharks, dogs!”
“I would love to see a dog!”
We looked back up towards the sky.
“I wish there wasn’t a war way back then. We would’ve been able to live freely like how my mom and dad always described living,” my friend spoke up.
“Being able to walk around outside whenever you wanted. Seeing animals where ever you went. It would be glorious.”
“It would be.”
A silence hung in the air until a hologram popped up in front of us. It was my friend’s dad.
“Honey, it’s time for dinner!”
We both headed inside for dinner, the usual processed slop. It wasn’t all that great but in this barren wasteland of a world, it was all we had.