God's World

"I wonder why we're here," she said aloud. We sat side by side on the grass hill behind school in the early morning hours, waiting for class to start and watching cumulonimbus clouds gather on the horizon. We watched this, because it was the kind of surreal spectacle that lets the mind wander, and we had the time to do so.

"I am here to audit God's work," she decided upon her answer. The clouds drifted a fraction of the sky closer.

This was my first memory of Ether. That is, I might as well have been born that day, because all previous memories had no definition, no meaning. This is the first of a precious few memories I want to die with.

"Ethan," she spoke to me, but didn't turn her head, although I turned mine to face hers. Her thoughts were still wandering, her gaze was still on the heavens. She continued. "Is that your name?"

"Yes; how'd you know?"

"I found out. It's because I have a crush on you."

My heart quickened at that moment. This was a startling discovery for me, a freshman in high school, unused to the tribulations of love. This is not why I remember this moment though. She said something to the effect of why she liked me and how she saw me, but I forget the details. What I recall is her first declaration, her purpose for existing.

"I am here to audit's God's work." His work is the whole of creation, including her. Isn't it a little arrogant to pass judgment on your creator? But, God knows, I pass judgment on my parents all the time. I asked her this.

"How can you audit God?"

"I'm not from this world, this universe," she claimed.

"Are you an alien?"

"No, just an ordinary spirit."

"What's the difference?"

"I could explain it, but would that really help you? Do you even believe me?"

"No. I think you're just a human being, like me."

"I am a human being, for now. How am I supposed to audit God if I can't even experience His creation firsthand?"

"What?"

"There are rules, there are rules."

"Rules are terrible things," I muttered, and lay back in the grass.