NB: Since all god/desses are genderless (or can take any gender at any time), I will use 'e (for he or she) 's (for his/hers) 'self (for himself/herself) h' (for him/her in object case). If it feels difficult, just let me know. I just wanted to try it out.
What a night of nightmares. It evaporated in the sunlight filtering through white curtains.
I woke up on my livingroom couch, feeling rather strange. My body felt different somehow, it was still mine but it ached as if I had been filled with something grand and drained dry. A strange feeling indeed. I sat up, chuckling at my own foolishness. I hardly ever dreamt about anything but when I did, those dreams were always rather disturbing. I patted my couch, I felt secure to wake up on its soft pillows. It had been a gift from my parents, a light brown canvas couch.
My parents were always giving me expensive gifts for my birthday because we didn't keep in touch much, maybe out of guilt of neglecting me as a child. Feeding me and clothing me they had done but the emotional nutrition I had received at home had been nonexistent. I guess that was why I had turned out so cold and resentful towards others. After my father's cancer diagnosis he had tried to stay in contact and it had resulted in a very mundane SMS relationship between us. I wasn't giving it much effort because I knew already that I was going to lose him. The moment in which he was in a wooden casket and I in a black suit whispering goodbyes felt much easier to bear if he was just a distant somebody and not the father whose attention I had craved for all my life. When he turned into nothing but dust and ashes all I would have to remind me of him was that light brown canvas couch that actually contained no other memory of him than that of his credit card.
I sighed. I'd been awake only a moment and already I'd found my cynicism.
To anyone else's eyes my apartment wasn't very special: it consisted of a small bedroom, a living room and a rather tiny kitchen. To me it was my perfect little hiding place, my ultimate sanctuary, my fortress of solitude. It was the one and only place on Earth where no one else was allowed to enter. It was one of twelve apartments in a three-storey brick building, the farthest one on the left on the second floor. Originally it had been built back in the 1970's but the previous owner had done a lot of renovating. I had just moved in and left it the way it had been. Pale blue wallpaper wasn't really to my liking but to someone whose life is full of grey and misery, a wallpaper doesn't matter much. My furniture was rather simple, I only had what I needed. Apart from my couch I had a recliner in front of the TV stand and a coffee table full of mail I wasn't bothered to open or clean up. I was grateful to the previous owner for having left me white curtains in the living room and a tiny kitchen table for two. I used it for stacking old take-away boxes.
I rubbed my forehead, the headache had returned. Such a weird dream. There had to be something wrong with me, having dreams about girls getting run over and then healing themselves. I had probably been watching too much TV lately. All that crap had probably messed up my mind and given me those strange dreams. Or had it been the Kung Po I'd had last night before work with Mesa? Maybe she'd had some strange dreams too. I'd have to ask her.
"Good, you're finally awake." Caelystys sat on the arm of the couch not even three feet away. I flinched upon hearing h' voice.
Unable to comprehend I stared at h'. 'E looked at me, looking like a lifesize porcelain doll. It almost scared me how empty and deprived of emotion h' face was. Only smooth white glass-like skin. The eyes had all the emotion, h' gaze fierce yet gentle, demanding yet forgiving.
"Wh-what?" I shook my head and tried casually pinching myself. The pain that shot through my arm made me grimace, I most certainly wasn't dreaming. I was awake and confused. The pale figure sitting not three feet away from me had been in my dream. It made no sense. I couldnt have dreamt of someone and then made them materialize out of thin air. I stared at my hands. The memory of the night before was too much for me to understand, instead my mind tried to weave a web of reason around it only making my headache slightly worse.
I swung my feet off the couch, buried my face into my palms and sighed. "I... I thought it was a dream for sure..."
"What was?" Caelestys asked, tilting h' head.
I looked up. "Uh... well, you."
"I am not a dream." 'E answered, looking directly at me. Sunlight poured in from behind h' and ignited h' figure's outlines, making h' look divine. 'E brushed h' hair out of h' face and like a wet spiderweb in the sun, it glistened with a rainbow of colors, almost blinding me with its beauty. I could almost swear the two lotuses on h' head had slowly opened to their blue bloom after I'd woken up. As I looked at h' I could feel something warm inside of me, something very different yet very similar to the euphoria I got from my solitude. A feeling I could not yet understand.
A silence fell between us, the mortal and the immortal sharing the same room. Caelestys sat like a gargoyle on the arm of my couch, I in my crumpled clothes from last night with my upper body naked. That's right, I had lost consciousness on the bathroom floor after having torn off my shirt in a fit of fear. I gasped, realizing that it had also been a part of my dream. How was it possible I wasn't wearing my shirt? I checked my wrist, it had a bruise on it just like in my dream. I frowned, unable to understand.
I had always wanted a sensible, palpable reason for everything. I tried to devise one, but couldn't think of anything else than being drugged. It was the only way fantasy and reality could mix up so inexpicably that I couldn't tell them from one another.
"Get out." I said promptly without further thought. Whatever the drug had been, it had been strong enough for me to allow h' to enter my sanctuary. I stood up, shocked by the revelation. I had never let anyone in before. No one had been in my fortress of solitude, not even Mesa. To have let someone in meant that I had obviously been very messed up the night before.
"You drugged me. Get out." I repeated, staring at the white-haired figure. I wasn't probably very believable without a shirt because Caelestys didn't move an inch. 'E didn't even blink.
"What?" I stood up, irritated. "Don't expect me to believe that you're some sort of god/dess! That's ridiculous! Only children believe in such fairy tales!"
"I suggest that you start believing in fairy tales, Cloy." Caelestys suddenly answered, h' eyes flashing. "You have just witnessed a miracle and yet you deny it so adamantly."
"It was a drug haze!" I said, slightly rising my voice. My mind had weaved only one rational explanation for my delirium and was not willing to negotiate. I kicked my coffee table in a fit and a few magazines fell on the floor. I knew I was acting like an idiot but I couldn't help it. I was getting increasingly anxious that someone had invaded my privacy and was refusing to leave. My headache was driving me mad. "Miracles are for fools!"
"You shouldn't be so eager to judge the fool, Cloy", Caelestys said slowly, the band of diamonds on h' forehead sparkling like tiny stars.
"Who are you to tell me what to do?" I said, stomping my feet. "What do you even want from me? Just get out!"
"Is that what you want? For me to leave you just like everyone else? Abandon you and all hope?" Caelestys asked, leaning towards me. H' divine beauty made my heart skip a beat, coming close enough for me to smell the faint scent of the lotuses. H' icy eyes drilled into mine and the strange feeling inside me grew larger, but it only confused me and angered me further.
"I have no hopes and dreams!" I shouted, clenching my fists. I hated that topic. I wanted to be left alone. If I never got too attached to anyone, I would never have to feel the same pain as I had when I had been a child. I didn't want to be neglected and forgotten again. The only way I knew how to protect myself was to keep a distance towards others. My loneliness was the only one who would never leave me. It took me into its warm embrace after each day and whispered sweet solace into my ears, it didn't judge, it didn't change, it was always there. "I just want to be left alone! Why do you even want to stay so badly?"
"I already told you. You're my favorite. I have chosen you and I need you. I will not go back without you." Caelestys ascertained coldly as if I had no choice in the matter. I gritted my teeth.
"I don't care what you want or who you want! Favorites! Bah!" I spat, defiantly staring into h' icy eyes. Their glare was making me uncomfortable but I was not going to back down. My home was mine, my mind was closed and I was getting more and more stubborn by the minute.
We stared at each other for a while until Caelestys looked away, sighing. My victory of our staring contest was short-lived. I had not yet come to understand that I was in no position to talk back to h'. 'E was only being kind to me, allowing me to process everything myself. I wiggled and twitched like a fish caught in a net but really I had no choice. 'E had had h' reasons to choose me in the first place, single me out from all the billions of people that lived on this Earth and 'e was not going to let me decline h' offer. 'E knew why 'e had to stay with me, but afraid that I might only retreat deeper into denial, 'e decided not to tell me anything for the time being. My mind was unprepared and since it wanted to believe a drug haze rather than a miracle, Caelestys revised h' plan. My stubborn cynicism needed drastic measurers.
"If you are indeed in such strong denial, and as thick as you seem, fine. I'll wager you." H' eyes narrowed as 'e stood up, h' gorgeous long figure almost reaching the ceiling. I instinctively took a step back, surprised by h' length. H' robe changed color from purple to red and blue and green, the whole spectrum like a visual instrument playing a silent symphony.
"Wager me?" I said suspiciously. I stood still stiffly, all my muscles tensed.
Caelestys took a firm grip of my jaw with h' cold hand, leaning close enough for our noses to almost touch. H' aura changed, it was no longer serene and peaceful but aggressive and ominous. I could feel the temperature drop, my shallow breathing created small puffs of vapor. H' narrowed her eyes and they seemed to ignite, h' rainbow veil fluttered around h' like a flock of birds, the diamonds around h' body shot rays of light around the room, even h' hair seemed to gain volume and ruffle up like a lion's mane. "I'll wager that you can cure your father's cancer."
"H-How do you know about him?" I tried to act defiant but stuttering ruined it. "H-have you been st-stalking me?"
"I know everything about you, Cloy, you're my favorite." Caelestys said, h' eyes aflame like two suns burning in an eternal night. "Well?"
"It-it's a c-cruel wager." I kept stuttering. I couldn't help it, words shattered on my lips. No matter how much I tried to act like I wasn't I was frightened out of my mind and off my feet. Hadn't 'e held onto my jaw, I would've fallen on the floor like a wet rag. I had never seen such transformation, from a calm, pure being into an angel of vengeance.
"It is a fair wager in which neither of us can affect." Caelestys said coldly, h' breath like a blizzard on my face. There was nothing I could say to back down, not in front of such divine wrath. I trembled in h' grasp as 'e continued: "Winner gets to ask for one thing."
I nodded with tears almost forcing their way out of my eyes, I had to bite my lower lip to keep them in. Noticing my struggle and realizing that 'e'd gone too far, Caelestys let go abruptly. I fell back on my own wobbly feet. As I panted in relief I wasn't really sure they were good enough to carry my weight just yet. 'E took a few steps back, h' aura changing from blind anger to serene tranquillity instantly.
"It is one thing to be thick, Cloy, but only a madman thinks they can win a wager with a god/dess." Caelestys didn't even look at me as 'e spoke. Looking rather pleased 'e sat back down, resuming h' awkward position as the couch gargoyle. I refused to take note of the victorious attitude. At the time being, I was fairly certain no man could ever heal my father's terminal cancer, certainly not me.
"I told you, I don't believe in children's stories like god/desses." I said, trying to sound arrogant, but my voice was still quivering. I was ashamed that 'e'd seen my fear, my vulnerability. I swallowed hard and forced my heart to slow down, ordered my feet to stop wobbling and resumed my usual, cynical nature. Inside my head I was a mess. My life had been thrown upside down and inside out and in the past 24 hours I had felt and seen such strange things, such wonderful and frightening things. Miracles, mirages, nightmares, deliriums. I felt like the pounding was splitting my head in half.
Ignoring Caelestys I shuffled into my bathroom, holding my head like it weighed a ton. Too many thoughts crisscrossed my mind, they created jumbles and knots and anagrams, only confusing me further. Fantasy and reality intertwined together and created a false truth that I couldn't understand. Gibberish, gibberish, gibberish. All that which had happened in a short period of time wanted to unravel but my mind fought against it.
I quickly glanced at myself in the mirror as I popped the aspirin into my mouth and forced it down without any water. I looked terrible. Not knowing what else to do anymore I let myself fall on my back on the cool bathroom floor. It felt nice. It felt real. I let out a heavy sigh and closed my eyes. I really wanted to pass out again, in that pitch black darkness there was at least some kind of peace.
Caelestys quietly followed me, I heard h' soft steps getting closer. I didn't want h' to see me lying there, hopeless and pitiful like that, drowning in my own jumbled mind. Such a weak, pathetic being I was. As much as I wanted for h' to disappear, I was still relieved when 'e sat down next to me and took my head in h' lap. H' hand on my feverish forehead felt nice and cool.
In my head a battle of reality and fantasy occurred, the despicable me was certain that I had been drugged and abused by Caelestys. It weaved a web of events that it found plausible to have happened. It knew I had seen the accident, but I hadn't rescued the girl. There had been another girl with an empty, false smile and skimpy clothes. I remembered her. I had picked her up, having felt lonely. She had probably slipped me something. We had probably had sex, plain as that. The drug was to blame for the strange visions I had experienced all night.
But a new me, a different me was standing its ground as a firm believer that everything I remembered had happened exactly as I remembered it. It was certain that I had rescued the white-haired girl and the other one had been a billboard advertisement. It swore I had witnessed h' heal and become a divinely beautiful god/dess. I had asked for a spark of inspiration, the universe had given me one. It was time to grasp it, time to seize my bright prospects.
The new me was stirring at an emotion I had buried a long time ago - never to be resurrected again. The most poisonous of all feelings I had ever known. A feeling that could lift one higher than the moon and force one crashing down harder than a meteorite. It had made me want to have friends even though I was awkward and blunt and offensive, it had made me trust one too many times that someone would have my back, it had made me wait endless hours for my parents' attention. It had seen the headlights of cars and whispered into my ear that's them now, they're coming to be with you. In the end it had become a monster, a deformity of itself and devoured itself, giving birth to my endless cynicism. It had slowly eaten me up inside, taken over my foolish heart and like a parasite eaten away even the smallest remnants of that which it had once been. Hope.
Yet still right there, at that exact moment that feeling sparked again. The floor was cold against my back and the hand was cool on my forehead, I was vulnerable and docile for once in my life. In my black, lost, sad heart a glimmer of hope smaller than the tiniest particles of the universe, was glistening.
Caelestys caressed my feverish forehead and whispered: "What a stubborn thing you are."