"You ok, hon?" She's about fifty, with a bright red beehive and purple eyeshadow. Looks like some kind of retro cartoon character who never left the 1950s. She's like the kind of mom I wish I'd had, if mine hadn't been crazy.
"All this stuff gettin' to ya, huh?" She vaguely waves at the window and I watch a man run past carrying a small flatscreen TV. I've no idea what good he thinks that'll do him in the apocalypse but maybe he just wants to watch it all on the news.
"I just wanted to get away from these end of the world nuts. I've had this all my life, I don't need everyone coming out with it at the same time."
Macy raises an eyebrow and leans forward across the counter. I scoot across the booth and take up a seat opposite her. I tell her all about my mom's theory, about the aliens. She always said the world wasn't gonna end today, it was just that the world was gonna end as we knew it. She even reckoned that’s what the REM song was about. You learned to never ask what she meant, 'cause that's what got her started on about the aliens. Said she'd been abducted back in '73, and they didn't take her to a spaceship, said it was some kind of ancient ruin. Sounds like the kinda thing you'd see Indiana Jones running about in. Anyways, she'd get on her high horse and start saying the aliens had always been here, and the Mayans knew all about them. Hell, some of them probably WERE aliens.
I finish my story and drain the last of my coffee from the chipped mug. Macy gives me a funny look and leans closer, so close I can smell her lavender perfume. She waits until the homeless guy shuffles out.
"Your mom weren't wrong".
"The aliens ain't invading, hon - they never left. They're just coming out of hiding."
For the first time, I notice her eyes - yellow irises, flecked with red. That ain't normal. When she moves her sleeve rides up and I see the tattoos on her arm. Some kind of marking, looks like the kind of Inca art I saw on the Discovery channel once.
"So all this end of the world crap is real?"
"Oh yes. Well, not for me." Macy smiles that strange crooked smile of hers.
"I suppose you're one of 'em, huh?"
"I am. I already saw you clocked the tattoo. Got it when I was eighteen. Jeebus, that was over 1300 years ago. Bet you're wonderin' why I dress like this, huh?"
"I'm wonderin' a lot of things, Macy."
"I just like the style, I guess. Anyway, all this ain't just a new beginning for me, hon. It's the same for you."
"Your mom did meet us in 1973, only it weren't no abduction. She met your dad in 1972, and he was damned smitten by her. Took her to meet everyone back at the Prime Colony, only she couldn't take the truth and she went a bit crazy. After that, we scattered, and didn't try to start nothin' with the humans."
"So where does that leave me?"
"Don't worry, hon. Your dad'll come get you. It's time for you to go home."
“You’re sayin’ I’m an alien too?”
“Well half alien, hon. Guess that makes you legal.”
Macy winks and straightens up. She flicks the TV on and it's all over the news - total pandemonium. Looting, rioting, fires, everything. I head back to my booth, and eat my waffle. I try to feel something, some kind of panic, or fear, but somehow I can’t. I worry a bit about my mom but all I can think of is my dad. Humanity tears itself apart and I’m sat there wondering if I look like a guy I’ve never met – who isn’t even really a guy.
It’s a funny old world, ain’t it? And now it’s ending. Huh. Never saw that one coming.