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In which we learn more about Bethany's "duties" as an angel, and in which she is even more incompetent than before.

*glances at title chapter before singing* Baby, I can see your halo; you know you're my saving grace!

Happy New Year and welcome to chapter 12 everyone! I'm so sorry for the lateness, as I was preoccupied with a lot more things. But here we go! Here is where things get even more appallingly bad, so hold on tight everyone!

We open up the chapter with Bethany telling us about God. She has never seen Him before, but has felt His presence and heard His voice. She then states that God's voice is completely different to how Hollywood shows it.

His voice wasn't what people imagined, booming and reverberating as depicted in epic Hollywood movies. Rather it was as subtle as a whisper and moved through our thoughts as gently as a breeze through tall reeds. 

So God whispers to people. Uh, there's a reason why people like to portray Him as having a deep voice: because it shows His almighty power! Anyways, Bethany continues to say that God saw all the greatest suffering and goes onto say that Ivy has seen God before but hasn't shared this encounter with Gabriel or Bethany.

Okay, where did this come from? Why is this opening the chapter? This feels very random and out of place, it doesn't flow with the story at all. Bethany then states that as much as she loves spending time on Earth, she misses the peace of Heaven. According to her, "there was no conflict, no dissension apart from that one historic uprising that resulted in the Kingdom's first and only eviction. Although it had altered the destiny of humankind forever, it was rarely talked about."

Lucifer wasn't the only one who had been kicked out of Heaven, actually. His followers were also kicked out from three spheres and they were all of different ranks. So there were Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels who were expelled along with Lucifer. But my main question: why is it never talked about? Surely it should be taught to all the new angels about what happens if they go against God and used as an example of blasphemy and disobedience?

Bethany states that she's vaguely aware of the existence of a darker world, but rarely thought about it because she was too busy. Then how can you be aware of it?!

Now then, she continues to describe her duties in Heaven.

In the Kingdom, I looked after the souls of children when they first entered the realm. It had been my job to comfort them, to tell them that in time they would see their parents again if they let go of their doubts. I was a sort of celestial usher for preschoolers.

So, your duty is taking care of children who have died and gone to Heaven? And you reassure them that their parents will join them soon? Well, Bethany... what about the children who died because of their parents? Children who were abused and killed by them? You can't exactly reassure them that their parents will join them, because they'll hate their parents! And what do you say to children who ask why God doesn't love them if they're dead? Who ask why God let them die? You're in for some very awkward and sad Sunday school lessons, Bethany.

And preschoolers are incredibly young, so they won't know anything about God! They're only between the ages of four to six! They're won't understand anything about what happened to them, so they'll be asking questions such as, "why did God let my parents beat me?", "why did God let me have cancer?", "why did God let me die in that crash?".

Also, way to manipulate those children, Bethany! "Oh don't worry, kids! You can only see your parents again if you just shut up and quit asking questions!". And on another note, why haven't we seen anything about this? Oh, right. Because Adornetto was too preoccupied with her imaginary boyfriend to even think about the traits of a character. Dammit!

Moving on, Bethany states that she's glad that she's not a guardian angel, claiming that, "they were usually overworked". Well, it would have made the plot more interesting, to be honest! Like, Bethany being a young guardian angel sent down to come to the aid of Xavier, who was still grieving over his dead girlfriend, or something like that because she's a baby angel who needs experience. That way, the romance would be better developed, Bethany could grow as a character and as an angel, and Xavier would slowly learn to love again. It's sad when a book has potential but never uses it.

I'm gonna move on before this makes me more frustrated. We cut to Bethany sitting with Xavier under a maple tree and eating lunch with him. She notices his hand and calls it "slender but masculine". Right, because men aren't allowed to have feminine features? Screw that!

Xavier asks Bethany if she can proofread a speech he had written, which makes her flattered and blushy like she's a kid and not an angel! He thanks her, says he owes her one and asks her birthday, to which Bethany says that its February 30th. Once she remembers that February has only 28 days, she corrects it to the 30th of April. And then she goes onto say this.

Even when I made a fool of myself, my conversations with Xavier were always engaging.

He could talk about the most mundane of things and still manage to make them fascinating. I loved the sound of his voice and would have been happy listening to him read names from a phone book. Was this a symptom of falling in love, I wondered?

It can, you know. But I'm really not convinced because you're not showing me that Bethany is in love, Adornetto. It's just all talk and no show! You need to show them having conversations that are engaging, such as them getting excited over something they both mutually like or discussing something that they're both studying in class and becoming very involved in it! Besides, Xavier's too much of a Nice Guy™ to make this even cute or sweet to read about.

Bethany tries to eat her "roast vegetable focaccia" but she finds something she doesn't like. And really?! Just how sheltered are you, Adornetto?! Who even eats that for lunch?! Anyways, Xavier offers her his own sandwich, which she turns down, but instead of respecting her wishes, he switches their sandwiches. What a jerkass.

Moving on, Bethany and Xavier come across a commotion in the hallways on their way to class. Apparently, some accident has happened and everyone is heading outside to see what exactly happened, so Bethany and Xavier follow. In fact, the crowd "seemed to part instinctively to let the school captain through", and Bethany actually does something here! Not something that helps, but something, at least!

Basically, there was a head-on collision between two senior students. One of the drivers is fine, albeit disoriented, but the other driver is seriously injured and still inside her car.

While Xavier calls the teachers for help, Bethany rushes to help the girl out of the car. Apparently, "blood was flowing freely from a cut on her forehead, her mouth was open, but her eyes were closed and her body was limp". Why is this being described as a cut? Because it sounds a lot more serious than just a simple cut on the head!

Bethany then decides to move her away from the wreckage onto the sidewalk. While this is a good idea, you should not be handling her so roughly like that. This girl had a head-on collision with another car and got jerked around pretty badly in there, so she probably got some very fatal injuries. I mean, she has a cut on her forehead that's bleeding, right? Her neck could have snapped or some glass would have cut her there. She's about to die, so she needs to be handled with more care than what Bethany is doing right now!

Bleh. Bethany telepathically calls Gabriel to the scene and then concentrates on sending some sort of healing energy into her. Apparently, her soul is almost detaching itself from the body, and Bethany herself is starting to get exhausted from using her energy to heal the girl. Right then, Gabriel comes to the rescue and uses his powers to close up the girl's wounds! And Bethany seems to know what the injuries are as she describes "broken ribs, punctured lung, the twisted wrist that had snapped as easily as a twig". Okay, how do you know all that, Bethany?

The paramedics arrive and by then, the girl is breathing normally and only a few minor cuts are left untouched. And as the girl is lifted away, we learn her name. Her name? Grace.

And so that's what the title is about! *deadpan* To quote the great Skwisgaar Skwigelf, this ams totally dildoes!

After this accident, all the students go back to class and Gabriel helps Bethany up to the front steps, where Ivy has suddenly appeared. Xavier asks Bethany if she's alright, but Gabriel tells him to go back to class. Does Xavier listen? Of course not! And then Bethany faints after mumbling Xavier's name and collapsing into Gabriel's arms.

*sighs* I can do this, I'm almost done... I hope...

Bethany wakes up in her room at seven p.m., with Phantom sleeping on her legs. She decides to get up and after a momentary spell of dizziness from waking up so suddenly, she goes downstairs, "where Schubert's 'Ave Maria' was playing in the background". *Unimpressed* What, so they're gonna start playing Der Hölle Rache next?! Or the Te Deum?! We get it, they're angels!

Anyways, Bethany is greeted by Gabriel and Ivy, and is surprised to see that they're smiling. Why? Because Bethany saved a girl's life today! She tries to brush it off and say that Gabriel saved her, but he says that he just healed her physical wounds. Bethany, on the other hand, "spoke to her; it was [her] voice that called her back and [her] strength that kept her soul from leaving her body".

I don't even have the strength to make it through the rest of their dialogue, so I'm skipping to the end. Why? Because I can.

Later on, Bethany is sitting in a hammock with a freakin' mohair blanket around her, 'cause a regular blanket isn't enough! No, she must have everything special!

Bleh. Almost done! Anyways, she ponders over the afternoon and thinks over the mission.

In one way, I felt I understood the purpose of our mission better than before, but at the same time I'd never been more confused. 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. Poor Xavier, I thought. He would never be able to understand me, no matter how hard he tried. 

Uh, yeah! You've been so obsessed with a boy that doesn't know anything about you and have been forgetting about your mission! Can't believe it took you this long to figure it out!

Bethany continues to lament some more, and with that, we are finally finished chapter 12! I'm so sorry that this was so late, I've been very busy this past while. Let me know what you think, and I'll see you in chapter 13!

PS: I'm planning on taking a new sporking project: For Such a Time by Kate Breslin. It'll be coming soon, so do look forward to it~

Continue to: Chapter 13- His Kiss

Go back to: Chapter 11- Head over Heels


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