Six years since the last burger; two thousand nights and change of wanting one, and still I hesitated before taking it.
“You want it, don’t you?” He asked, and then smiled, the same smile He’d given me more than half a decade ago when He’d first approached me. The offer had been a simple one, what He called The Basic Deal: fame, fortune and success in exchange for… three enjoyable experiences for anything up to ten years.
And that wasn’t even the weirdest part of the deal He’d proposed. They had to be mundane experiences, something that anyone else could do any time they wanted. He didn’t care about love; He actually laughed in my face when I hesitatingly stammered out that I didn’t want to sell my soul.
“Your soul?” He’d spluttered and pools of tears had formed in His eyes before they’d ran onto His cheek and had hissed away into steam. “Your soul? It’s a paltry thing, that you don’t enjoy, just about believe in, and wouldn’t miss at all were I to take it. No, I want your ordinary enjoyments, your minor gratifications, your small…” He’d paused for a moment, judging it absolutely correctly, before He’d continued, “…pleasures.”
And so I’d given Him the contentment of that first cigarette after sex for a decade, the bliss of silence in an empty park for eight years, and the delight of a greasy burger and cheese for six.
And that was the deal – just like that. Fame and success had followed quickly, the fortune had taken a bit longer, but now it was six years later and my mouth was salivating at the idea of the burger He was holding out to me.
The desire for it had never gone, but knowing I’d not enjoy it had diminished the need somewhat. Now it was back as if it had never gone.
And I smiled, and declined it.
And He smiled, and held out the extension to the contract.
Apparently, most people asked for an extension.
I didn’t have to give up much this time – just the pleasure in fame, fortune and success.
I signed without another thought.