Love is patient; love is kind

This is my take on a superhero story.

I turned 840 on Wednesday. That's forty times twenty-one, and I had been drunk forty times over since Wednesday night. My wife told me I was getting ahead of myself, that my 840-year old liver and kidneys couldn't handle a drunk's lifestyle anymore. I told her I was 840, and that she could just keep talking because I wasn't listening.

I couldn't listen. I thought people were immortal.

Turns out, the only other immortal died on my birthday. Happy fucking birthday to me. I guess I could finally take a vacation.

William Dicrest. That was his name. We'd known each other since 1193, the Crusaders class. There was a lonely road through England. We happened to be there at the same time. In nature, they say, things that are alike, tend to grow together.

He couldn't fly. He didn't have laser vision. He wasn't stronger than the average man. He suffered like I did. Wake up one day and the woman you love is dead, and you realize you haven't aged in the past 80 years. We'd lost contact after the Crusades were over.

I'd grown bitter, I guess. There was only so much grief I could pile onto myself. I guess I took it out on a few people. He, on the other hand, became a hero. A celebrity, though he could walk down the street unnoticed. I suppose that's what a hero should be. Save people in such a way they think they're saving themselves.

I set down my lowball of Hendricks and looked at my hands. I turned them over, still damp from the rains the night before my birthday. I couldn't shake that night out of my head.

"You can't go on living like this!" Dicrest screamed at me.

"I'm immortal, you idiot. And, so are YOU!" I screamed back. The rain was unforgiving that night, making every sound struggle to find an ear.

"You're right," he said as he stepped toward me. "This is no coincidence, Gregor, that you and I are here, in this place. We have a duty to them, to be their wardens, their protectors. You and I are the only ones who can do this!"

I was getting drenched, but it was nothing compared to the blood that had been spilled earlier.

"I know you loved her. I know you loved all of them!" he yelled, and took another step closer. "Lord knows I loved as well. It's our curse, as it is our gift, to see life through to its completion."

"You can't say that, William!" I tightened my grip around the hammer in my hand, the head already washed clean. "We may live forever, but we are still human."

He sighed deeply, his body heat creating a ghostly aura around him. Even in this state, he still seemed noble, elegant. "Yes. We are. But we have to accept this. We only have each other here. We have to be strong for one another."

He was right. "Tell me, then, when it will be our turn to have tears shed over us."

He shook his head. "I don't know, Gregor."

I moved quickly. I dropped my hammer and brought my hands to his neck. I had to see. I had to see if it was possible. I had to see if we were capable of death.

He didn't struggle. Perhaps he, too, was curious if there was ever going to be an end. He was tired of cleaning up my messes, and I was tired of making them. Death, to an immortal, is no different. It comes swiftly, deliberately, and there is always one last breath.

I checked the bottle of Hendricks on my desk. Nearly empty. I had to have a hero, now that mine was dead. Happy fucking birthday. Enjoy your vacation, Gregor.   


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