“That’s the end Ethel.”

“What do you mean the end, the end of what, Alb? Coronation Street will never end.”

“No, the end of the world as we know it, Ethel.”

” “Oh, you mean George and Patty – Liverpool 8’s own Darby and Joan – have split up after 30 years (who would have believed it). I knew that already, I could have told you that.”

“No Ethel, it’s not the end of the world as we know it because George and Patty have split up, as surprised as I am (who would have believed it). It’s more serous than that.”

“You wanna leave me; you’ve had enough of me. You want to put me on the scrap heap. You’ve found a younger woman. I know you Albert Adebowale. Who is she? Is it that Sheila, that, that…”

“I love you Ethel, I will always love you and I will die loving you. I will never leave you, not for anybody.”

“There’s been riots again? Is that what you call the end of the world, we’ve been having riots since the 80s. Nothing new there, Alb.”

“You don’t understand, everybody knows. It’s been in the news, everybody’s talking about it. It’s the end of the world as we know it.”

“How would I know, I’ve been bed-ridden for days, I haven’t listened to or watched the news, I never read newspapers. I’ve not seen anybody except those surly nurses. Nobody comes to visit me. How would I know what’s happening or not happening in the world…”

“There’s a meteor the size of Belgium that’s heading towards Earth and when it collides it will wipe us all out. It’ll be the end of the world as we know it. Like what wiped dinosaurs out millions of years ago.”

“Oh my God, when is it supposed to happen?”

“Now, but you wouldn’t let me get a word in.”

“My God, what was that, Alb?”

“That was IT, Ethel.”

“That was quite a bang and a shake. One minute I’m in the bedroom in my sick bed and now I’m lying on the couch downstairs with debris all around us. I think you might be right there, Alb, this might be the end of the world as we know it. Take a look outside and see if there’s anybody about. Don’t be long.”

”Everywhere is flattened and everybody is dead, Ethel, everything and everybody. I think we’re the only ones left, The cathedrals have gone, Birkenhead is no more, Ours is the only house standing as far as the eye can see in any direction. I think we might be the only people left alive in Merseyside and maybe, just maybe Ethel, the only ones left in the whole world. What we gonna do Ethel? Don’t try and get up, the nurse will be here soon…What am I saying? There’s not gonna be no nurse, there’s not gonna be anybody anymore except us.”

“I feel fine, Alb, look I can stand on my own. Look, I can walk on my own.”

 “Do you think we’ve been given a message, that all this is a message to us, Ethel?”

“That we are the chosen ones to restart it all, start a new world like Adam and Eve?”

“No, that we are dreaming and none of this real. Or maybe we’re dead and it hasn’t sunk in yet?”


Louis Julienne