He never would have thought he would need to worry about a hurricane living in Northern Nevada, but he also never thought Sacramento, CA would be a coastal city. The torrential rains were making their way over the Sierras, and the storm drains were beginning to back up. His wife was still at her shop and he was beginning to worry as the super-massive category five hurricane was nearing landfall in Sacramento. Most of Sacramento’s residents had made their way over Donner Pass and were staying in the hotels of nearby Reno, or in FEMA trailers on the outskirts of town. He picked up his phone.
“Are you going to close up shop early?” he asked her.
“Yes, I am in the parking lot getting ready to leave now. I was just about to let you know I was on my way,” came the reply. “The street in front of work has huge puddles and a small little stream flowing down the middle,” she added. “I’ll be fine though, it isn’t anything worse than some of the summer thunderstorms so far.”
“Be safe, but hurry home. I love you,” he sent.
“I love you too, see you soon. I’m hungry!!”
45 minutes later she arrived from her work a normal 10 minute drive away. He saw her little red car pull up in the driveway and rushed out to make sure she was alright.
“That was a nightmare!” she giggled as they embraced. “80 is completely shut because of standing water at the Spaghetti Bowl. I had to take about 5 different routes because of road closures and general idiocy of drivers in the rain!”
“Well let’s get inside. We’re getting soaked! Aren’t you glad I convinced you to move back here?” he inquired.
“No better anywhere else these days.”
They went in the house and he poured the wine. He was glad she took longer to get home than usual because the chicken rolls were just now ready to come out of the oven. He knew they were her favorite.
“What’s the occasion?” she asked.
“Chiquita party!” he laughed.
She asked about his day and he told her his agent called and told him his book made the New York Times-Post-Tribune-Herald’s best seller list. He then went on to complain about the mergers within media and how he preferred when they were just the New York Times. She giggled throughout his rant. He absolutely adored that about her. So many people took him so seriously on his tirades. He knew the ridiculousness of them. He asked about her day.
“It was dead. Nobody wants to buy things except for necessities when there is the largest ever recorded hurricane approaching. I just mostly sat in the back with my employees and talked about their sales goals, and of course the hurricane. We also talked about the earthquake last year and all of those people. Stupid ass Frank thinks it’s the apocalypse. I don’t understand how someone that stupid can be such a good manager,” she said.
“Well, he is a manager, you just summed it up,” he joked. “No, Frank’s a good guy, and after all he’s been through, I understand where he might be a little off. Besides, he does keep your employees in line and selling. How he is holding up?” he asked.
“He is professional, but when it is slow, you can tell he is having a rough time,” she stated.
“Well who wouldn’t? He lost his wife in that quake. Her damn job never should have scheduled that conference there. Especially with half the city lost to the ocean before the quake even happened,” he said, beginning to feel that awful combination of sadness and anger at how the signs were ignored.
She deftly changed the subject. They talked, laughed, ate, drank and joked around. As they did, he tried his hardest to ignore the sounds of pounding rain and increasing winds. She noticed his concern but decided not to bring it up as they were a little burnt out on thinking about natural disasters. She kept talking to him and joking with him and eventually brought his thoughts back to the present. He reached in and kissed her.
“So it’s that kind of party?” she said with a flirty smile.
The lights began to flicker as they continued their passionate kissing. Suddenly, a loud explosion roared through their ears and the lights went out.
“Transformer?” he asked as he pulled his lips from hers.
“No, that was much louder. Let’s check it out.”
They went to the window and looked out to see the road turned into a muddy river with a strange red hue. Down the street they first saw the smoke, then the fire, then the semi by what used to be a power pole. The pole was no longer standing. He told her to light some candles and that he was going to run out and see if he could help anyone.
“Be careful, dammit!” she shouted as he grabbed his jacket and bolted out of the door.
He was gone less than 10 seconds before he came back in.
“I think that we should make love now. Frank was right,” he said as he took off his jacket, covered in the blood now falling from the sky.