His eyes met ours.
He was old, though we knew not the exact tally of the years. We sensed his age, not through our eyes, which showed us lines and folds and softening edges, not through our ears, which heard each rattling breath, but with some other sense. We knew him to be ancient, though we could not rationalize why. We could not rationalize him. We never could, as much as we tried.
His even breaths paused.
He lay broken on the pillow of a soft hospital bed, broken not by the years themselves, but by that which made up the years. When we were young, we were explorers, and he piloted our ships. When we were fighters, he swung our swords. When we grew, we were writers, and he gave us words.
And started again, weaker.
But then we changed again.
And we thought he had no purpose for us. No, we thought that he endangered purpose.
His eyes closed. His breaths grew shallower.
He was dangerous.
We held his hand.
So we did away with dreams.
And it was all over.