Chapter Fourteen – Defying Gravity
So last chapter Bethany decided that she would tell Xavier the truth at the beach bonfire. Not that we skip straight to that, of course. Instead we have a helping of squeeing over Xavier…
Xavier was now behaving as though we were a couple, which I loved. It put us in our exclusive world that no one else had access to. It meant that we took our relationship seriously and believed it had a future. It wasn’t some infatuation we were likely to outgrow
…along with a side of lying to Gabriel and Ivy. Again. Well, lying by omission, because she’s trying to hide from them how serious her relationship with Xavier has become.
Also, exposition! They talk about Limbo (thus reinforcing the Catholicness of these angels) which Ivy describes as an eternal waiting room. Bethany wonders to herself if angels could be exiled to Limbo. No worries Beth; I’m pretty sure rebel angels go straight to Hell.
Tuesday, school, lunchtime. Molly and her friends.
They’re moaning about the teachers, when Molly spots Gabriel walking across the lawn. Bethany, displaying uncharacteristic intuitiveness, realises that Molly has a crush on Gabriel, and shows at least a little concern for Molly possibly getting hurt, as Gabriel could never return her feelings. The other girls quite rightly point out that he’s a teacher.
“Music teachers are kind of on the fringe,” said Molly optimistically.
“Yeah, on the fringe of the staff,” said Taylah. “Get over it, Molls, he’s out of our league.”
Molly narrowed her eyes as if she’d been issued a challenge. I don’t know about that,” she said. “I like to think he’s in a league of his own.”
Few things – firstly:
Secondly: fringe of the staff? Seriously?
Thirdly: uh, Molly, you do know teachers can get arrested for having relations with students? No matter what the age difference is.
Fourthly, this is what Bethany was thinking about before she joined the conversation.
I had been quiet for so long, absorbed in my fantasy of being stranded on a secluded island somewhere in the Carribean or held captive on a pirate ship, waiting for Xavier to come and rescue me, that it seemed they had temporarily forgotten I was there.
I’ve got nothing to say about that really, but if I had to read it, then so do you.
After that, Bethany goes home and finds Ivy in the kitchen icing cupcakes, and asks her if she thinks Gabriel would let her go to the prom. Now, it kind of makes sense that Gabriel would be the one in charge of things, him being an archangel and the most senior, but I bet you anything that the actual reason is because he’s the MAN.
Also strangely enough, Ivy guesses that she wants to go with Xavier and is all like, “Sure! You two make a lovely couple!”
Uh…Ivy? You suddenly don’t have a problem with this relationship which Bethany is putting before her duties? And in effect therefore putting before God? Which is something that tends to annoy Him?
Anyways, they go out onto the beach to find Gabriel, who is sitting on a rock looking brooding. He doesn’t seem to have a problem with Bethany going to prom, seeing as he himself has been roped in to chaperone.
And finally we get to the night of the bonfire. Bethany dresses up and goes downstairs. Gabriel tells her not to be out too long and to be careful. Ivy meanwhile is trying to get the dog to sit.
“Sit, Phantom!” Ivy cooed. “On your bottom!”
“Oh for goodness’ sake!” Gabriel put down his book and pointed a long finger at Phantom. “Sit,” he commanded in a deep voice.
Phantom looked sheepish and sank straight to the floor.
Ivy scowled in frustration. “I’ve been trying to get him to do that all day! What is it with dogs and male authority?”
Making Ivy into a mild mannered girly-girl housewife fails, and it fails hard, because you know what? SHE IS A SERAPH! A CREATURE MADE OUT OF FIRE AND SNAKES! SHE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A REAL GENDER! WHY WOULD SOMETHING LIKE THAT AUTOMATICALLY TAKE THE FEMININE STEREOTYPE ROLE? THEY SMITE SINNERS! THEY’RE NOT CUTE!!
OK, I’m calm now. Sorry about the capslock rage.
Only…fifteen pages to go.
Bethany walks to the beach where the kids are having a bonfire party, and meets up with Xavier and his friends, who are already there. She and Xavier walk off on their own, to the amusement of his friends. He carries her when she cuts her foot on a shell. Instead of, y’know, stopping and checking that it’s clean and doesn’t need a plaster or anything. It heals up super-fast due to angel powers, but he wasn’t to know that.
They stop in a little inlet. There is much description of the scenery. Bethany takes a long paragraph faffing about not sure how to start her speech. Xavier tells her to just spit it out already, and she replies that she’s worried he’ll hate her once he knows the truth, or something.
To prove that he’s not easily scared, he tells her about the night he found out about the Dead Girlfriend of Tragedy’s death. Thusly convinced, Bethany finally starts on the angel revelation.
She shows him first how she doesn’t leave footprints in the sand, and how the cut on her foot has healed, and how she doesn’t have a belly-button. He’s still having problems getting it. So, she tells him to close his eyes, then runs up to the top of the cliff. Then, with him watching, she jumps.
As you might guess, she does not splat on the sand, but spreads her wings midway down and flies, hovering for a minute before setting down again in front of him.
Reading this again, that is kind of a mean thing to do. I get making an impression and all, but she could have shown her wings without almost giving him a heart attack.
The remnants of my dress hung like tentacles and from my back arched a pair of towering wings, feather-light but suggesting enormous power. My hair streamed behind me, and I knew that the ring of light around my head would be brighter than ever.
“Holy crap!” Xavier blurted.
This display helps him to finally connect the dots. He has to sit down and take it all in for a few minutes. Then he starts asking questions, like what are they doing here (not much), and who sent them (Bethany tells him that she’s not allowed to tell him whether God really exists). But after that he’s all right with the whole situation.
Xavier reached out and curled a lock of my hair around his finger. “Surely I’ve got to be the luckiest guy in the world.”
“How do you figure that?”
“Isn’t it obvious? I’ve got my own little piece of Heaven right here.”
If I have to read it so do you! But this chapter is finally done.