Forever

It was a bit like trying to comprehend how much a billion dollars was.  Most people can’t.  Even those who have a billion dollars probably can’t quite grasp exactly how much that really is.  The human brain is just not capable of understanding a number that large.  Figuratively, sure, but not really.

Not really.

In a lot of ways it was like having a billion dollars – more than you could ever conceivably spend in a lifetime.  In multiple lifetimes.  You’d just never reach the end of it.

And it was nothing like having a billion dollars.  It wasn’t one lifetime of never having to worry about anything ever again.  Instead it was watching everything you knew and everyone you loved die, decay, and be forgotten.  It was watching your home disappear from the face of the Earth.

It was watching the Earth disappear.

It was being utterly, utterly alone, and yet no closer to the end of your life than you were to the beginning.

It was the ultimate curse.

She once thought that to live forever was to finally have all the time in the world to do all the things she had always wanted to do; to be free of the threat of death seemed the ultimate freedom.  But the things of her dreams had not been eternal.   Time to travel, but nothing left to see.  Time to dance, but no one left to play the music.  Time to write, but no one to read her words.  No one to tell the story of her life to, or pass along the knowledge of a billion years.

It was only now that she understood the cage; the key to her freedom lost.  Forever.