“What do you mean, ‘again’?” Stuart asked Ezey, his caseworker. Stuart sat on the edge of a brown leather sofa seat with a clipboard in his hands.
“This is the fifth time I give you the list,” Ezey shrugged. “It takes a few lifetimes to start remembering.” Stuart glanced at the sheets attached to the clipboard. It was a several-pages-long text list with point values and descriptions assigned to each entry. He flipped the first sheet up and skimmed it, then he flipped it up to glance at the third page. None of it looked familiar to him.
“How many points do I have?” Stuart asked. The highest amount was listed on the first page. It was written out as: “Mundo: 1 trillion”. He was glad he didn’t have to count a string of zeroes.
“Do you want a real answer or just an approximation?”
“Both,” Stuart said. Ezey reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a small black notepad. He flipped it open, looked at it, then looked at Stuart.
“Real answer: 239. Approximation: not enough to spend. You can’t afford the first perk yet.”
“239!?’ Stuart asked. He flipped through the sheets until he saw the last entry. It said: “Longevity: 2 thousand.” “That’s it!? I’ve died five times and I only have 239 points?” Ezey shook his head and smiled.
“This life must’ve been rough on you. This is the fifth time I showed you the list,” he sighed. “But you’re not counting all the times you died before you got to see it the first time. Your tally’s been running since your first life.” The moment Ezey said that Stuart remembered being in that office hundreds of times before. His eyes widened and he looked at Ezey.
“I’ve died more times than I have points?” Ezey nodded.
“Sometimes you lose points. Sometimes you just don’t earn any.”
“How the hell can anyone even get to 1 trillion? What’s the Mundo perk anyway? Is it worth it?”
“Every time we send you back you forget everything. If you’re born a Mundo you have the chance to pick some memories you want to keep. From any of your lives. You’ll have to decide if that’s worth it to you. As for the ‘how’, ” Ezey grabbed the clipboard from Stuart and flipped to the back page. He underlined several entries then handed it back. Stuart looked down at the chosen entries.
There were only two: Longevity and Divine Blessing, but they were listed multiple times on the sheet. Stuart realized they were different ranks of the same perk.
“Think of it as a game. The longer you live the more chances you have for points, right?” Stuart nodded. “Divine Blessing is like a multiplier. Whatever earns you points will earn you even more.”
“Whatever gives me points? Like what?” Stuart smiled at Ezey hoping for a hint but the man shook his head.
“No idea, that’s a different department. So, do you know what you’re saving your points for yet?” Ezey asked. Stuart shook his head.
“Well give it some thought in your next life.” Ezey waved good-bye at Stuart then faded away along with the room. Stuart was surrounded by darkness. Then he was born.