This is the way the world ends. Narita ran through the deserted upper halls of the hospital, her heart pounding, the words echoing in her head, over and over. This is the way the world ends.
If you had asked her as a child, what she expected from her future, Narita knew what she would have said. More of the same. At fifteen, she had been desperately bored, had craved danger and excitement. That was why she had been so drawn to Lakshmi. Her flawed, fragile body intimated a life so different from the one Narita had known. She had been drawn to Lakshmi, had clung to her then, as an escape from inescapable routine. But now, her stomach cramping and legs aching, pounding down stair after stair, Narita thought her younger self had been an idiot. If she could talk to her now, this is what she'd say:
"Someday, a woman will come into your life, and she will be strange and wonderful. But she won't be perfect, and she will fail you. When that happens, don't be an idiot..."