Cafe at the End of the Stars

She was late again, as always, something at least was constant in this universe.

The city bustled with a hodgepodge of fashion, each person, saw the city differently and dressed accordingly.

Victorian, modern, Hadash, a few even wearing togas. Laith was wearing a pair of comfortable red pants with an exceedingly soft dark blue shirt.

Looking up at the night sky, he was beginning to understand why he was one of the few true seers. To her, the sky was always filled with stars and would be until the decaying black star they orbited had finally evaporated.

But to Laith, even as he sat in the cafe waiting for her, he could watch the infinite night as it slowly faded into a black canvas. The stars vanished noticeably slower for a moment; that greedy hole must have feasted well to justify such extravagance. He wondered how many were left, how many had fizzled out, how many had simply faded in the distance forever out of view.

“Sorry, was I late?” There she was all with all frills and impracticality.

“Only a few million years or so judging by the stars,” Laith replied blithely. 

Coffee appeared before them, the taste was too similar to the last cup he had, he increased the variance and took another sip. She always liked her’s the same, equal parts, sugar, milk, and coffee. Laith doubted if that still counted as coffee, he wondered what the health in her body had been like.

“What setting are you on today?” She asked.

“We, mademoiselle, are in the middle of a Parisian square, mansard roofs all around. Fits with sitting at a cafe, no?”

“Doesn’t changing all the time take up more energy?”

“I appreciate the sentiment from our ancestor selves, but what is the point of living a few trillion years if you can’t have a little fun now and then?” He had no idea the full thoughts of his ancestor selves. His memory began with a man billions or trillions of years in the past who got into a car crash. All he could really know is that they wanted some version of themselves to live on past the stars. It was of note that the version they chose had no memory of the toil they had engaged in for millennia beyond counting. He was both their root and flower. 

 “Oh, don’t be dramatic. You know it will probably just be a few thousand years to us.” She stuck her tongue out at him. “I like my filter I don’t think that I’ll ever want to change it, you sure you don’t want to do a loadup of my sight?”

“As much as I like sky whales, I prefer something a little more grounded. It helps me forget what this is.” He gestured at what to him was currently a Parisian square, and what was to her a Victorian one with the minor addition of whales swimming merrily through the sky. She was an em hundreds of years removed from him, but still the only one he could love. Amo ergo sum it was the only thing keeping him feeling real through the millennia.

“And yet there you sit watching the sky go black. I think it is dreadfully boring sticking to the rules of the old world”.

“Galna, when it is about to happen, will you watch it with me?” The end of the stellar age and the beginning of the long slow black feeding, who else would he want to watch it with than her?

“Of course Laith, I know you are fuddy-duddy sentimentalist about that stuff, you think you’ll still truesight the sky afterward?”

“No, as much as I like a hint of reality, I think that would be just too depressing. Think I’ll go day night and just sync the size of the sun to the mass.”  

“Why do you want to know when this is going to end?”

“Because I want to know when to say goodbye.”

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