Hello, I also made an account just to leave a comment! I've been looking for short VNs, and wow, yours left such an impression. The dialogue and inner monologues are so realistic, and I love their expressions. For instance, the way Dustin looks on worried while Shelby looks away-- the way they both burst into laughter when the radio comes on-- the assets are so simple, yet you manage to convey so much.
This is such a good take on the human aspect of the apocalypse-- of the surprisingly simple worries and regrets people have after the adrenaline washes over. I like how the characters are normal people who realize how monotonous their lives have been after this drastic change.
(Spoiler warning for the following paragraphs!)
I also appreciated the option to view the story from both points of view. I played through as Shelby first and unlocked all the endings (which I presume are good/neutral/bad), so frankly, I was tempted to skip through the dialogue I'd already read multiple times when playing through as Dustin.
However, as I played as Dustin, I realized there was a lot I'd missed about him. For instance, I'd assumed that he wasn't much older than Shelby-- as in, late 20's/early 30's--, so I was surprised when he reacted along the lines of, "Christ, she's a kid!" Also, from Shelby's POV, I saw Dustin as unflinchingly kind and generous, so seeing his more human, inner reactions to Shelby's revelations (and his "I should have seen that coming" in the bad end) made him more understandable.
I'd like to believe that the two of them somehow, against all odds, managed to survive the night and continued living. But that's unlikely given the bad end, and I know what likely happened was that Shelby ultimately turned on Dustin. But that's why I think a cliffhanger is so effective for this story. Because this echoes what Dustin said-- that it's unlikely it will get better, but that as long as they continue living, they can continue hoping. We don't know what the conclusion is, but the characters were living when the story closed, and we can hope in a better future for them.
Thank you for such a beautiful story.