I knew right away on Friday morning that something was up. The Angry Chef and I got out of bed and peeked out from behind our curtains. The mountains were dark against the grey-pink-orange sky. The clouds looked remarkably suspicious. And beautiful.
The Angry Chef looked at me and, acting as if nothing was wrong at all, doing his best to be himself, gave me a kiss and wished me a good day, told me to stay out of trouble and told me we’d see each other after work.
And you know what? No matter what happened, I knew we would see each other after work.
Off to work. I could clearly notice the people on the bus struggled to pretend this was just another day. Pretending a bit too well. The driver drove on like a mad Frenchman, almost trying to reassure us all that this was nothing but another perfectly ordinary Friday morning. I could have believed him – but I knew better.
At the office, people said good morning on their way to the kitchen. You could still see the suspicious grey clouds, disguised as regular winter-time clouds, through the window. As people came to the kitchen to fill up their cups with coffee while I waited for the kettle to boil for my tea, I wondered if The Angry Chef and I should have packed up and gone to France.
Right, then. If the world is meant to end today, I thought to myself, I do hope that it does so before four o’clock.
I went back to my office and started organising the massive mailing I had to finish and send before five. And while I covered my fingers in paper cuts putting things in envelopes and preparing courier labels, I kept looking out the window, half hoping people wouldn’t think I’m crazy, half curious to see what would actually happen. Would the sky open up to reveal hundreds of UFOs aimlessly roaming around, asking us mere mortals if we wanted to see the dark side of the moon? Would there be volcanoes springing up everywhere like daisies and wiping us all out? Would the oceans go out of control and just engulf everything in their path? Had I watched too many end-of-the-world movies to know what the actual End would look like?
I wondered if the Americans would be the ones to get away, or if this was the Mayans’ way of getting the last laugh. And after all, if they didn’t see the Spanish coming, could we really trust any of their predictions in this day and age?
The day came to an end, like the day before that, and the day before that. But I was still not convinced. The bus ride home was equally normal as the bus ride to work. People seemed keen for it all to be over. The eternal optimist, I thought they were completely missing the point. I gave them a condescending smile, and gave someone my seat.
Home at last. The Angry Chef welcomed me home in his cheerful way, as did his cheerful parents, who decided to defy the apocalypse and be here for the holidays (resilient people, those Brits).
I took a deep breath. It looks like we might just make it.
We all went to sleep and, lo and behold, on came another day.
Those Mayans were some crafty lads…