I pick up my keys from where they hang beside the door, slip my arms into the sleeves of my jacket, and lock the door behind me. The air is still, its inky depths absorbing me as I walk to my car which slumbers just beside the curb.

As ease into the driver’s seat, I hesitate before closing the door, wanting to preserve the silence. Holding my breath, I pull on the handle and cringe as it reconnects and encloses me. When I put my key into the slot and start the ignition, the radio immediately springs to life. It’s something loud, with a pulsing beat and indiscernible lyrics. I turn it off and restore the silence.

The roads, illuminated only by the occasional street light, are abandoned. As I pass by darkened storefronts and empty parking lots, I think of the pictures I’ve seen before of ghost towns and wonder if those towns died on a still night like this one.

I pull up in front of your house. Your light is on, although the rest of the house is as dead as the rest of the town. I wait inside my car, watching through my windshield as your silhouette appears in the window. You pull aside the curtains and stand there for a moment. My heart picks up, hopeful.

With a slight shake of your head, you turn away. The curtains fall back into place. The light goes off. My heart drops, as dead as the town.