"They said they knew it was coming,"
My grandfather smiled weakly at me, the monitor next to his head beeping quietly.
"Oh, we knew." He managed, not taking his eyes off the ceiling. I frowned, looking over at the Tv. The headline read 'last turtle died this morning, experts reckon dolphins are next'.
"So why'd no one do anything?' I asked. I look down at a plush turtle given to my grandfather my my sister. I tried to imagine it was alive, swimming through the air around me, it's shell shimmering in the evening sun. I'd remembered seeing the warning alerts 2 years ago, stating there was only a couple hundred turtles left. None in the wild, only at theme parks and hotel attractions. There hadn't been any exciting life in the oceans for years. At least not according to my mum. My grandfather shook his head.
"No one did anything because honestly...nobody cared. We told them to swap to green energy. To use the wind...the sun. They only listened once the amazon rainforest had been ruined. Once there wasn't enough wood to fuel their factories. They didn't believe us when we told them the earth was dying. It took the extinction of the elephants for them to realise that. But by then it was too late."
"Did you ever see an elephant, pop?" I tried to imagine what they would have looked like. I'd seen pictures, of course. They'd all died out decades before I was born.
"Of course I saw an elephant" He winked, taking out a small wallet. Inside was a picture of a family standing in front of a large gate. "Thats me." He pointed to a scruffy boy with a blue cap. I could hear the smile in his voice. "ah, those were the days.' I looked up at him.
"What was it like living in the 21st century?" I asked quietly. He sat back and sighed. I didn't expect him to answer. We all knew he didn't like talking about it. And yet, something pressed me to ask. To find out. He looked at me and smiled.
"Living in 2019 was a mess..." He said finally. "It was like every step we took forward, we took two back-"
"But there was animals?" I interrupted. "Animals outside the zoo!" He smiled again.
"Yes...I guess there was."