A man made a deal with Death, asking for a life longer than any had ever had.
Death agreed, making no catches, no ironic deals.
When this happened, the man asked Death, "Why am I not given a curse?"
Death simply replied, "You will see."
The man thanked Death. The latter merely explained that he will be back again another day.
Life went on for the man, and slowly his grace began to fragment. He lived long after his best friend. Then his wife. Then his children.
Soon after all, the man was alone. And for several more years, it would remain such.
Then he loved again, and found another friend. He birthed more children. But again the cycle repeated. And it would repeat several more times until the man decided that he wanted no more.
So he shouted for Death.
No answer came.
He shouted again.
No answer came.
Centuries of shouting had turned to millennia. Still Death relented to visit.
But one day, just as the man sat down, in the chair beside him arrived Death, a weathered hourglass in hand.
"Why did you not come when I first called you?" questioned the man.
Death gave no reply for several moments, but spoke only after that time had passed. "Because you did not realize your curse for so long."
The man looked at Death, tears now in his eyes.
Death said, "You have lived longer than any man. And you have loved more than any man. But you have also lost more than any man. That is the curse of the longest life."
The man, now silent, looked at the hourglass in Death's hands.
"Is it time?"
"It is." Death set his hand on the man's. For both had longed for this last day.
And as it came, the man greeted Death's embrace like an old friendů And soon his eyes became heavy. There were no tears. There were no cries. Nor was there a last request, for nothing remained.
There was only silence, and peace.