Chapter Twelve – Saving Grace
So, let’s talk about God! Bethany says she’s never met Him in person, although she’s felt his presence. Ivy is the only one who has actually seen God.
Why all the God-talk? Well, Bethany is feeling a bit homesick for Heaven.
Much as I savoured every day on Earth, there was one thing I sometimes missed about Heaven: how everything there was clear. There was no conflict, no dissension apart from that one historic uprising that resulted in the Kingdom’s first and only eviction.
We also learn that Bethany is a ‘transition’ angel, one of the ones who ease the passage between life and the afterlife for souls. She worked mainly with children coming into Heaven, which is why it’s mentioned so often how she likes children, and how she spends her time volunteering at the local pre-school. Oh no, sorry, this hasn’t been mentioned at all before, and probably will never be brought up again.
She goes on to say she’s glad she isn’t a guardian angel, because they have so much work and so little time to do it in. Y’know, maybe that’s because none of the other angels will get off their celestial behinds and help.
As for this little info-dump: I guess it’s good that the author’s remembered she’s writing about angels, but I feel the exposition could have been worked more elegantly into the narrative rather than going ‘here’s some things about Heaven’ at the start of the chapter for no apparent reason.
We’ve gone two whole pages without a mention of Xavier, though, and that just won’t do. They’re eating lunch at school, and he wants her to proofread a speech he’s giving at a ‘leadership conference’
I get it. Xavier is a god among men. Will you quit rubbing it in already?
Also, Bethany is confused by the taste of eggplant in her sandwich.
“Why does everything have to be so complicated,” I said, irritably, “including sandwiches?”
Why indeed, Bethany? (Seriously, who puts aubergine/eggplant in a sandwich?)
We are distracted from the mystery of sandwiches, however, by a commotion in the corridor. There has been a car crash outside the school. One of the drivers is dazed but ok, but the other one is trapped in her car and badly injured. Xavier goes to get help, while Bethany goes towards the car. She gets hold of the girl, and with the help of some other students, pulls her from the wreckage. I’m not sure whether you’re actually supposed to move people in these situations when they might have unknown internal injuries, but I’m just so glad Bethany’s actually doing something that I’ll let it slide.
Bethany checks her pulse, and then sends healing energy into the girl, trying to keep her alive.
I fought back the light-headedness and focused even more deeply. […] As I felt the power draining from me, I thought that maybe, just maybe, the girl might survive
until Gabriel shows up and takes over. He heals her to the point where she only has a few cuts and bruises. The paramedics take the girl away, and Bethany faints.
We are twelve chapters in, and this is the first time Bethany has done anything truly selfless or angelic. Still, better late than never.
She wakes up in her room and stumbles downstairs, where Gabriel and Ivy are. They have a conversation in which Gabriel tells her that although he healed the girl’s wounds, Bethany saved her life by giving her own life-force. Bethany is stunned by this because she didn’t know she could do anything like that. Guys, what do you teach rookie angels up there? Shouldn’t someone have told her this already?
Anyway, after that she goes and sits on the porch and helps Ivy knit things for a charity shop. Which is nice.
Today had been a prime example of what I should be doing – protecting the sanctity of life. Instead I’d been spending my time absorbed in a teenage obsession with a boy who didn’t really know anything about me.
Yes, I know it’s not going to last. Just let me have this, ok?