The Perks of Being a Goddess
: - IV: -Hours- :
The whole world is a broken paradise
I want to just forget everything
'Cause all my memories would only bring me sadness
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Today, my parents made it home earlier than any other day. Of course, it was because we were going camping tomorrow. For my eighteenth birthday, I had asked if we could try something different. Normally, I spent half of the day with my parents and the rest with my friends. This time, I wanted to spend the whole day with both, my dearest friends and my parents. The camping trip was sure to be a blast. It was also something I hadn't done yet. Spending a weekend up in the mountains, enjoying nature, sharing the peaceful quietness with those who form a part of my life, was something I had been looking forward to, ever since we agreed that we'd spend the weekend of my birthday camping.
Now, all that excitement was gone. I couldn't feel the same happiness I felt when we agreed to go camping. Not even the slightest bit of happiness.
I wasn't even sure that we could carry on with the plan.
"Isabel, is anything bothering you?" I looked up at mom. We were having dinner.
Normally, it was I who came home early and prepared dinner for my parents. Being doctors they were always working until late and had little time for anything. Today, because their conquest was to spend a whole weekend with me with little interference, mom made it home a quarter past six and fixed us dinner. Any other time it would have made me feel special. A busy lady like my mom barely had time to do the small things a mother would do for her child.
"No, nothing's wrong." I smiled up at her. If I started to act strange around them, they would get suspicious and would start wondering if something was wrong. I really didn't want to worry them.
"You're awfully quite. That isn't a good sign." She was right. When we sat to eat dinner, the three of us would start jabbering about our day and anything else that could fit into our conversation.
Act normal Isabel, I coached my self.
"I'm just thinking."
"About our camping trip?" Mom smiled at me. Every time she did, it reminded me of that first day when I awoke at the hospital. Out of everyone who rushed around me, questioning my existence, she was the only one to smile so kindly at me, to actually give me some comfort with her kind smile. Her blue eyes would always light up when she did.
"Actually, I was thinking about my car. . ."
Mom laughed. She knew where I was going with this. I looked over at dad who was quietly reading over some documents. Hopefully he had been following on our conversation.
"Since I won't be able to drive it on the day of my birthday, I was thinking . . . can I take a drive today?"
Mom still looked at me with her smiling face. Dad took the chance and looked away from the documents. He turned to mom. It was like they silently agreed on something because when he turned back to his documents, without the slightest glance towards my directions, mom started. "You can always drive your car to school on Monday."
"Mom," I whined.
"I don't see the rush." She did that casual shrug.
Of course they didn't see it. They didn't have the slightest idea that I was trying to have a pleasant conversation without breaking down in front of them. It was now that it dawned on me that this would be the last meal we shared together.
"It's just . . . please." How could I convince them without giving anything away? Right now, it wasn't about being able to sit in my car and cruise around. It was about finding Pierce and discussing matters with him. There were still a few things left unclear that I couldn't leave as such. If I ended up leaving, I couldn't cause my parents to think something terrible happened to me.
Mom looked over at dad. Normally, I was able to break dad's resolve a lot quicker than I could moms. It seemed as if this time around, it was mom being worked over a lot faster by charm.
"What do you think Carl?"
"Her birthday is about two days away." He turned and looked at me. "If you promise to be back in two hours I'll agree." He turned back to mom. "Does that seem fair Emily?"
Mom sighed. "Two hours Isabel."
I beamed at them. "Thanks!"
"I just can't understand why you won't wait a little longer."
I explained to mom how frustrating it had been to use public transportation, the last few days, when I had a car waiting for me in the garage. I made the conversation as most idiotic as possible so that I could hear mom laugh again. It always felt nice to make my parents happy.
Pushing away the thought of my departure, and having to lie about school today, I tried to enjoy the rest of dinner as best as I could.
A warm bubbly feeling settled over my heart as I took in the little details of dinner with my parents. The last dinner I could share with them.
- - -
Up in my room, I found Chico splayed out over my bed. He was fast asleep.
Feeling weary I went over and lay on the other side of him. My bones seemed too heavy to keep dragging about. I barely had any energy left. All I wanted to do was fall asleep. I wanted to close my eyes and escape from reality. At least for a few hours I hoped to. It was just that I still had one last thing to worry about.
"How will I find you Piece?" I closed my eyes to think about a way to find him.
"Do you need me?"
Yes, I need you.
I turned over on my side, to look at the night sky. I was startled to find Pierce sitting against my window, that I couldn't help the little scream that went out of me. How had I not heard him?
"Will you keep it down?" He walked over to where I laid. I sat up when he sat next to me.
"What are you doing here?" I asked wide eyed and a bit shaky.
"You wanted to see me, did you not?"
"Yes but . . . what if my parents find you here."
"They won't know unless you do something stupid."
As soon as he said that I threw myself into his arms. The tears, yet again were raining down my face. Seeing him again, this calm and composed only reminded me that I had nothing to feel calm about.
I leaned against him, letting his warmth seep into my frozen bones. I was starting to think that I was the only one who could feel this cold.
Pierce must have been shocked with my reaction because it took him a while to respond in exchange. He gently placed a hand on my head. For a fleeting second I imagined a grim expression on his face.
"You have no clue how hard it was to sit through dinner and fake that there was nothing wrong." He patted my hair. I don't know if he meant for me to continue or if it was a sign of comforting. I continued my rant anyways. It felt good to have him hear me out. "I can't possibly imagine tomorrow. Being surrounded by all those faces I won't be able to see again. I don't know if I could actually do it. Are you sure there is no other way around this? Can't you take me to wherever it is we're going and bring me back a few days from my birthday? I really, really think I can't do this."
"I recommend we leave this instant then." The tone of his voice was so off handed. As if this current conversation was nothing more than us talking about the weather.
I pulled away from him. "Are you crazy? That seems too unjust. I should at least have the right to spend my last day with those I'm forced to part from." Pierce arched his eyebrow. I took it as a challenge.
"You don't know anything. What would you know about my emotions? You're not the one who is forced to leave your family behind all because some stupid kid couldn't stand the sight of you!
"The least you can do is try and understand how much I'm forced to give up. You haven't even seen the worst of me. I'm actually trying hard to not blow up the wrong way."
While I preached and ranted about how unfair it was to be bombarded by this crazy idea—me being a Goddess!—and how I was trying to go about leaving, I had moved away from Pierce. I paced the room back and forth, making hand gestures as if they could actually get my message across. It really seemed like Pierce wouldn't grasp my whole meaning of why I was so distraught about leaving, any time soon.
He sat stiff, with his stupid poker face. I really had the urge of kicking him into understanding.
"Human females aren't much different from our kind then."
"What?" I whirled around. Annoyed. He had disrupted me midway of my explanation.
"The emotional outburst you females tend to have. There really isn't much of a difference between the two. Unless, of course, you start comparing the type of damages left behind. A Goddess, because of certain powers, can always create more damage than a human female."
Instantly, his eyes sized me up. He must have remembered that I wasn't a human.
Like it really mattered. I didn't even know how to harm a fly.
I became curious about his lack of understanding. "Is that why I find you to be so clueless and unconcerned?"
"Unconcerned. . ." Testing the word he looked down briefly, before turning to me again. "I don't believe that is the accurate word. But yes, that is why I am so clueless when it comes to dealing with females and all their troublesome emotions. It seems that not one of you can move past the grieving process at a faster pace."
I felt offended. Was I boring him with the constant crying? Did I not have the right to cry as much as I wanted for as long as I wanted?
"So you're saying that since you're so uncompassionate, I'm supposed to emotionally deal with this at whatever pace you want me to? Am I not entitled to 'grieve' at the pace I choose to?"
He arched his eyebrow again and it made me want to strangle him. "Is this why you wanted to see me?"
I realized that it was so easy to get distracted by Pierce. His words alone set my thoughts apart. What ever I intended to say was eliminated just as soon as he said something.
I sighed, walked over to my bed and plopped down next to him.
"No, that's not it."
"Well then. . ."
A few questions raced through my mind. I was tempted to side track in order to regain some balance. However, I couldn't waste too much time just in case mom decided to visit me in my room. Finding this weird, hot guy in my room would only cause for a weird impression.
"You never mentioned anything about our departure. Or if I'm allowed to tell anyone—"
Pierce jumped at my last statement. He turned so fast that it startled me. "You haven't told anyone have you?"
"No, of course not."
I heard him sigh in relief. "That's good. It makes things less complicated to erase their memory."
"Erase their memory?"
"In order to guarantee that the humans do not remember we were here I must erase all traces of your existence. If the Cult was to ever dig in a little deeper and notice that at some point a God or Goddess was on earth things would not go as pleasantly for the humans. They would be forced to tell them everything they know and once they do, they would not be allowed back into the outside world for fear that the human will slip some information away."
"My parent's wouldn't do such a thing. That would endanger me, wouldn't it? They wouldn't do such a thing."
"They wouldn't do it if they were questioned in a civilized manner. But under torture, everything is revealed. Whether you mean to or not, there is no helping it when the easiest escape from pain is confession." Pierce took my shaking hands in his. "You don't like this either, do you?"
"No." I hadn't thought much about how to face my parents with the news; instead I had focused all of my concentration on the pain that would follow. Now, they wouldn't have to deal with any of it because I wouldn't exist to them, not even in their memory. Was my life meant to be that of a no one to everyone I stumbled across? Simply someone to be forgotten because it meant they would be happy without me?
What about my happiness?
"I am sorry Isabel. Ever since we discovered how to erase the minds of humans that our Gods come in contact with things have been a lot simpler to handle with the Cult. It's also less risky to be exposed when there is nothing left to expose. It guarantees the safety of our God and that human."
"So, regardless of everything that happened thus far, my parents will be able to move forward in life as if nothing ever happened?"
Pierce nodded his head. He squeezed my hand when he watched shock paint itself onto my face.
I struggled to push away my greediness of wanting to mean something to someone. When the thought was far out of reach, I focused on how safe my parents and friends would be in exchange for forgetting all of our history as a family. Even if it saddened me to have them forget who I was, it felt like a huge brick building was lifted of my shoulders. They would be safe, even if they had no idea of the danger they would be in.
"I guess that rules out the wish of being able to see them some time in the future."
Pierce didn't comment on that. Instead he asked, "Would you like for us to erase your memory as well?"
The thought outraged me. "Why would I want that?"
"I can see the pain in your eyes." I turned my face away from him. "We don't have to erase all of it. Only what you wish to forget."
"No thank you. No matter how much it weights me down, knowing that I had to give up on nice people who were willing to take me in, I don't intend to make it anything less than a wonderful experience. This won't be a memory anymore. After tomorrow, it will be an experience that only I was able to live. You or the rest of yo—our kind wouldn't know how enchanting it had been to live how I did."
I really meant all of it. Perhaps, I hadn't been completely happy—all a choosing of my part. Perhaps I hadn't considered that saying about not taking everything for granted. Regardless of how anyone looked at it, for the majority of my time here with Emily and Carl, I had been happy. I had experience happiness, sadness, anger and excitement. I had been comforted in everyway possible. Reflecting on this now, fate must have blessed me with this opportunity to live life differently than I was meant to.
"Pierce," I leaned against him for support, my head resting on his shoulder. "If you make it so that everyone I'm supposed to go camping with tomorrow believes it's the actual day of my birthday, I won't give you a hard time any more."
"What do you mean?"
I took a moment to answer him. When I did, I was as composed as I could ever be. "I have nothing more to worry about any more. My parents will be kept safe. Everyone I know won't be exposed to the Cult because of me. I do admit it hurts a bit to know I'll be forgotten, after all the things we've gone through together, but there is no helping it. It's either I settle for a one-sided encounter with them, or I compromise all they've achieved because of my greediness. Their safety, their dreams, I would hate myself for ruining their lives all because I'm scared of leaving and facing what's ahead of me.
"Looking at it from a different perspective, I will have to leave the nest eventually. It wouldn't hurt to leave earlier, even if I don't want to forever be gone."
Pierce wound his arm around me. "Are you officially okay with everything then?"
I shock my head no. "You can say a bit. For the most part, I'm still uncomfortable with making this huge transition. I mean, in the back of my mind I've been wondering what it's like up there, and what it is I have to do. If I look at it like a challenge, then, I'm up for this new twist. But first I have to grow use to the whole of it without feeling uneasy."
We sat in silence for a bit, until I asked, "Can I actually make this request?"
"You want me to, in a way; make them believe its Sunday, when in truth, to you and the rest of the world it's Saturday. Am I correct?"
I nodded my head.
"I give you credit for stepping up. It's just that, I can't help but think this will complicate things for you, staying here any longer than needed shouldn't be so necessary."
"It's selfish of me, isn't it?"
Pierce didn't say anything for a long while. When he did, he startled my wandering mind. If he hadn't been holding me, I would have tumbled of the bed.
"I can manage your request."
"Really?" I couldn't help and feel excited.
"You will cooperate with me, will you not?"
I eagerly shock my head. "Well then, I can grant you this wish."
I felt more of the stress vanquish from within. Tomorrow would be my last day on earth, with the people I cared about. Of course I still felt a little perplexed and a little wounded, but I couldn't wallow in my emotional disrupt for too long. I couldn't allow my self to leave with memories that wouldn't do anything for me. I had to make tomorrow count, with all I had.
"I will need some help though."
I looked at Pierce, wondering what he meant.
He then called out a name.
When Elisavet materialized into the room, the sparkly golden lights that fluttered around her had overwhelmed me. The only other time I had the chance of seeing such a sight was in movies, but even then, the effects weren't as breath taking as it was when watching Elisavet merge into existence. One second I looked in the direction Pierce pointed towards, staring at the void that resided there, the next, a crystal like figure started to outline itself where it had once been empty air. It was like watching a holographic frame; the image of something flickering into existence, only this image came with sparkling effects that couldn't be found anywhere but in that which was fictional.
When the luminous golden sparkles subsided, what stood before me was an excruciating tall and skinny red head. She looked to be as tall as Pierce. For all I knew, Pierce could have called into existence a statue carved out of human flesh. She stood rigidly straight, something that would have hurt my back if I tried standing as she did. Her shoulders squared, face held high, standing her ground. However, it looked more like she was trying to camouflage into her surroundings. In my room, she failed miserably. There was no hiding place for her. Even is she stood stock-still, she looked like the most out of place creature there was.
If it weren't for the unabashed way that I stared at this stranger, I would have missed my confirmation that this person really was alive. It seemed like she could neither breath nor see, but there was a small, slight rise of her chest which indicated that she was using oxygen like the rest of us. Her eyes looked around my room in all of two seconds. The way they tilted at a slant looked frightening enough. They were a light brown, the color of topaz. To look at her face took a great amount of courage. She was beautiful, no doubt about it, but she was beautiful in a harsh kind off way. The planes of her face were carved into that of threatening evil, but no less, she was beautiful.
I turned to Pierce, clutched at his arm, and then nearly crawled on top of him. It sent tremors down my spine to stare at this perfect, cruel beauty. It put me on edge to watch this girl, close enough around my age, materialize into my room, and give off vibes that could nearly shock me to death. I was scared that Elisavet—Pierce had called her that—would strike at me if I so much as breathed the wrong way.
I would have started screaming my head off if Pierce hadn't told me, a few minutes before, that in order to carry out my request he was going to need help from his companion. I had expected to meet her in a more normal way. Though, being who I was, a Goddess, they, being part of my kind, must've thought this was the most normal way to introduce themselves to others. If you're powers allowed for such actions, what was the point of using the door?
For a fleeting second I wondered if that's how Pierce came to me earlier.
"You called?" It was Elisavet who spoke. Her face turned to Pierce, expecting an answer from him.
When she noticed that I cowered behind Pierce's back, she moved a bit to the left, trying to peek over Pierce and get a better look at me. I couldn't help and feel like a sissy, a big coward, scared of one new stranger when I came across them everyday.
"Isabel has made a request." Pierce informed her, and just as he did I worked the nerve to act like myself. Though, still pressed up against Pierce's back, fisting his shirt I straightened my self and looked at Elisavet.
From her spot, she looked at me. Then at Chico, who apparently, noticed her presence in the room and started to bark. When he jumped of the bed and ran to where she stood, I wanted to bolt from behind Pierce and shield Chico away from her, the only thing that stopped me was Pierce's restraining hand on mine, and the kind and gentle smile Elisavet offered Chico. He settled at her feet, staring up at her so quietly.
Before I could say anything, Pierce mumbled under his breath. "Will you relax? She's not here to harm you or any of your kind."
I held strongly but Pierced seemed to have worked some magic over me, because just as soon as he said that, the tense muscles in my body relaxed. I myself wouldn't be able to do it with just one command.
"I haven't introduced the two of you, although, Elisavet already knows who you are. She was responsible for bringing you back before I was assigned her role. She has been keeping watch over you since we've arrived." When Pierce paused I looked up at her. I felt thankful that Pierce had been assigned to the task. Something told me that if Elisavet had been left alone on this mission, I would've experience the definition of horror. God knows what she would've done to get me back to where I belonged.
"And well. . .now you know who she is." Pierce angled his head to address me.
"It's a pleasure to meet you." Elisavet bowed and it was intended for me. I was puzzled by her action.
I could only muster a smile in return when she straightened again and looked at me. She then looked at Pierce and they mumbled back and forth in a strange language. I felt a bit irritated that they were talking in some unknown language so that I wouldn't know what they spoke of. Though, from the looks of it, it had to be me they discussed because Elisavet glanced at me for a long while before turning back to Pierce and nodding, then said something else in the same language they continued to use.
My shock and nerves reworked themselves again. I felt at ease. Though, the stranger in my room looked deadly, I knew for a fact she wouldn't harm me. Pierce was here as well, acting as my shield. I looked at him. He spoke with such seriousness and authority. I could almost imagine him sitting at his throne, commanding at his will.
I am to be his Queen.
The thought made me feel funny. I had to shake my head to refrain from delving too much into the thought and sentiments it brought along. My eyes landed on Elisavet. Her flaming red hair stood out against her skin color, so pale that if she didn't have that evil look to her, she would've looked fragile. I figured that her leather assemble had to be custom made. Although, America advertised starving girls, they didn't look as bony as Elisavet was. If worst came to worse, I knew I could beat her by breaking one of her fragile looking bones, that is, if her powers were stripped from her first.
I sagged against the bed's headboard, sighing audibly in hopes of catching their attention.
Elisavet was the first to look at me.
"I'm not catching on." I explained when she looked at me questioningly.
"Pierce is only trying to convince me to help with your request."
When she turned from me, head held high I couldn't help but curse at her in my head. She had disregarded me like those snobby rich people do when coming in contact with a poor begging man.
"Are you against my wish?"
Before she had a chance to answer, Pierce turned to me. He had to tilt my head in his direction so that I wouldn't burn a hole through Elisavet with my glare. She had scared me all right, but that was earlier, this moment took up a whole different time span.
My eyebrows furrowed into a frown when I looked at Pierce. "She doesn't want to help does she?" Pierce glanced over at Elisavet and said something in that stupid language of theirs. In the blink of an eye, she was gone again. Startled I looked around the room to make sure she hadn't moved from one spot to another, but she wasn't in the room any more.
"Are you able to do that?" I pointed towards where evil looking bitch once stood. Pierce nodded his head. "You can too, just have to learn how to control your powers." He moved a strand of my black hair away from my face.
"I think you should rest now. You are going camping tomorrow. Are you not?" My heart almost jumped out of my chest when he grinned at me.
"That means I'll have one last time with them?" Pierce nodded his head.
"Elisavet and I will accompany you tomorrow. However, no one will notice our presence. This will make things a lot easier for us. Also, we can leave from there too."
I sighed in defeat. I wouldn't be able to stay no matter how much I fought Pierce. I locked gazes with him. He was being considerate and I really appreciated the fact that he was. As we stared at one another, his eyes gave nothing away. The haunting of this event must have been given away in my gray eyes. In Pierce's eyes, all I could differentiate was an endless abyss of feelings, all of which I couldn't name.
"When I awake tomorrow, everything will be in place. Right . . .?"
"Without a fault." Pierce nodded.
I turned my face from him. Not feeling too comfortable when expressing my gratitude. "Thanks," I mumbled in a low whisper.
When he got up from my bed and moved to stand in front of my window, I thought he hadn't heard me.
"You're welcome." He turned to me, giving me a slight smile. And then, even more spectacular than Elisavet's glittering entrance, Pierce rushed out threw the window. A rainbow of sparkly dust flew out behind him, all of which lingered for a few seconds more before disappearing.
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chapter V:Final Time
I found my self in a strange place. On all sides I was cushioned by black, all whispering and flashing with electrical current. And because I could peer at the outside, I knew I was held captive inside a sphere, a big black energy ball. I stood suspended, my arms and legs stretched by some invisible wire that kept me dangling inside the black ball without touching any part of it. Occasionally, the sphere would rotate, though, I didn't move an inch. Each time it did, a mirror would appear, one that would show me my image and then, another that would show me a scene from somewhere outside of the energy ball.
The one with my image would always show me a different version of myself. It had a continuous cycle. At the beginning, it would show me. As simple looking as anyone could look. Gradually, it would show me as I deteriorated. In a way, it was communicating it's message of how I would look if I was kept inside the energy ball without food and water for a month or so. When the only thing left were my suspended bones, it would start again. This time, the image went from simple old me, to me who started to incinerate.