He stands on his front lawn, dressed in a pair of shorts and sandals, staring upwards as the setting sun tinges the clouds pink.
It is the evening of May 21, 2011.
And the world hasn't ended.
Inside his house, he has killed his dog, a dose of rat poison hidden in the morning kibble. His wife and children left weeks ago, scared as Daddy gave things away and spent more and more time tuned into a single radio station, maxing out his credit cards and emptying their accounts with checks and donations. They're living states away now, with her parents, trying to finalize the divorce.
He stands on the lawn and stares upward. He is sure his faith will be rewarded.
As night falls, his next-door neighbor drives past, shaking his head and mentioning to his wife how he had always been such a nice guy. A pity, they say.
The next day, he is still standing there looking upward. And the next. He is getting thinner, his skin clinging and burning in the sun. He opens his mouth for the rain on the fourth day, somehow still alive and refreshed by this bounty of his God. He doesn't move otherwise.
It has been a week when the police come and take him to the hospital.
His nurse is named Lucy. She tells him this while he lies in bed. His family doesn't visit and the wind against the window indicates every hour of the day that the world still persists.
He is sure something must be wrong.
After a month, he sits up. There is no wind on the window. It is steamed over.
He stumbles out of bed, tired from sitting so long, muscles weak from their lack of movement. He walks down the hallway, pushing open doors and seeing nothing but empty beds. In one stairwell he finds a cane and leans on it, heading slowly down to the lobby.
The elevators aren't working.
In the lobby, he sees Lucy. She is sitting on the reception counter, smiling at him. He pauses, and then smiles back at her. She hops down and helps him to the door.
She looks at him and says, you got it wrong. She smiles wider. You got it all wrong.
He is sure he sees a wisp of smoke as she says this.
She opens the door and pushes him outside.