His name was Alexander, or Lex for short. He was a family friend, close to my mother. He may as well have been my uncle. He was a very relaxed kind of guy that enjoyed fishing on the weekends and the beach. He always had a permanent tan that seemed to contrast with his white hair and a smile that could light up a room.
Lex knew it was going to happen before everyone else. He was a huge conspiracy theorist. He always had a way of tying world events together. He told me it was just a matter of time before the world fought back against us. Of course I would laugh it off and steer the conversation in another direction. He, always sensing when things became a little too dark, would follow me into my world of cosmetics from around the world and that cute dress that I wanted so badly.
Contrary to popular belief, an apocalypse doesn't happen overnight. It happens quickly, but you don't wake up to the world on fire. It happens like a series of dominoes toppling one after another until you realize there's no stopping the momentum.
In this case, biological warfare; a disease that the news started calling 'The Z-Disease'.
I thought it was an awful name. Like, be more original. Honestly.
Anyway, not only was this a hot button issue on the news, but it started in the city. New York City to be exact. Funny how the movies got that right too. Nearly 8 million people were dead, missing or struck with the Z-Disease in the course of two weeks. That city literally tore itself apart and was turned into a desolate wasteland of bodies, broken glass, smoke and ashes. Seeing it on the news felt surreal.
The mourning came afterwards from all corners of the country, but the nightmare didn't stop there, it was only beginning.
My parents brushed it off like most everyone did: tragic, but there was nothing that we personally could have done to aid or stop it. No one could have, really. Who could ever predict it was coming?
Lex said he knew. He told my mother and I that it would only get worse and that we would do well to arm ourselves and stock up.
Mom laughed it off as another one of his 'crazy theories' but for some reason I thought it would be best to listen to him. I don't know why I chose that very moment.
When I told him I believed him, he squeezed my shoulder and said, "If you're going to listen to what I have to say, you have a long road ahead of you."
He wasn't kidding.