Chapter 39

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“What?” I blinked.

“We’re gods,” Alex repeated.

“You’re kidding, right?” He had to be kidding. There–there was no way…

“I’m completely serious.” He sighed. “You understand now why we need to keep this a secret? If anyone from the Academy–or pretty much any other angel–ever found out, they’d declare us ‘false gods’, and kill us immediately. Ritualistically, I assume. And very, very painfully.”

“I–I’m a god?!” I practically screamed, “What do you mean I’m a god!?”

“Take a deep breath,” he advised, “A god is just a type of spirit with a whole lot of power, and the ability to affect the physical world. It doesn’t mean anyone’s worshiping us, it doesn’t mean we created the world, it just means… it just means we’re powerful.”

“But–I–” I took a deep breath, like he’d said. “There’s only supposed to be one… one God…”

“I don’t know what to tell you, Lilly. But…” Another sigh. “The Lab’s done a lot of research, a lot of tests, and… the world doesn’t work the way the Church taught you. Maybe there is some great, almighty god watching over it all, but if so… he’s hiding his involvement.”

“So… you’re saying it’s all a lie?” I didn’t want to believe it. Sure, the Church is full of hatred and superiority, but I thought they were just… misinterpreting messages or something.

I felt Alex touch my wings gently.

I pulled away. “Why–why should I believe you?”

“Lilly… I’d never lie about something like this. Not to you. I–I don’t want to hurt you.”

He was right about that. I knew he cared too much about me to ever tell a lie just to hurt me. Never in a million years.

“For the record,” he said, “The world doesn’t work exactly as my religion says it does, either. I’ve asked around the Otherworld, talked to the few gods I’ve managed to find… nobody’s seen any evidence of the Lord and the Lady, either.”

“So–so you don’t think they’re real?”

“My beliefs are a bit complicated.” He sat down next to me. “Faith is believing without seeing, right?”

I nodded.

“I think sometimes it takes more than that. It takes believing despite seeing. Despite the evidence to the contrary, I still believe that my deities are real. That they’re watching over me. It’s about how I feel, not what I know.”

“Believing… despite seeing…”

“That’s just my take on it. Dunno if it’ll help you, but it works for me.”

“Yeah.” I let out a little sigh of relief. “Thanks. I’ll… that sounds like a good perspective.”

“Glad I could be of service.”

We sat in silence.

Believe what I feel… Crazy as it is, I believe Alex is right. I’m actually a god. It… somehow it seems to ring true. Some forgotten memories from when I was a spirit, maybe? Doesn’t matter. Alex wouldn’t lie to me, so if we’re not gods… we’ll figure that out together. I smiled. As confusing as this newest revelation was–as much as it complicates my faith and puts everything I thought I knew into question–there was a part of me that liked the idea of being a god. Of wielding that kind of power and control.

That scared me more than anything.

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