It was the year 2037 and Charles had just been released from the Pysch Ward. Times were tough but our generation had learned long ago not to complain. We were taught to adapt.
Charles placed his cloth napkin neatly in his lap as I opened the oven to retrieve the lasagna. It was a hot, gooey mess, exactly how he liked it. He laughed as I removed the bun from my hair just before I sat down on the hard, oak chair.
It was like old times, Charles mused. Before the world was baked under the simmering sun and the streets bubbled up like the cheese on our plates. Before the sky caved in and the earth found new ground. Before we slid down the roots of the great Redwood trees.
I asked what he had in his bag.
“The one you left by the door, after the officer brought you home.”
“Oh that. Just a parting gift, a coloring book.”
I merely arched a brow.
“They want me to color mandalas.”
Charles explained how it was meant to calm and relax. Sacred Geometry. Owls and Butterflies. After dinner I flipped through the pages. There is something to be said about shapes and Shapeshifters, owls and eyes, spirals and suns. But that is for another time.
That night we stayed up trading secrets. We designed matching voodoo dolls out of Paper Mache. Then scrunched them up and fed them to the fire. We just fell asleep as Saturn spun into view. And we never discussed 2016. We never would.