missabnormal: (Default)
In which Bethany goes against divine orders and Romeo & Juliet is used as yet another template for a star-crossed romance.

missabnormal: Last chapter, I had had enough of everything that was going on, so I decided that I needed some help. So, I decided to bring back Aoba and Ren to help me out with the sporking of this chapter!

Aoba: *grumbling* I can't believe I have to do this.

Ren: Well, she asked us politely, so we must help her out.

missabnormal: So! We open up the chapter with the front door opening as Bethany returns from her date. Gabriel clearly isn't pleased with Bethany's actions and he's making it clear when Bethany walks in. However, rather than feeling guilty, Bethany is "still remembering Xavier's voice and remembering his strong hand on [her] back as he ushered [her] into Sweethearts, as well as the fresh scent of his cologne". 

Of course! Because as if Bethany has done anything wrong, right? It's not like she should be ashamed for going against her Father's orders!

Aoba: Bethany continues by saying that she knew that Gabriel would have known she had snuck out when she climbed down the balcony, and that he would have known where she went and who she was with. *disbelieving* Well if you knew that he would know, why'd you do it, you idiot?! I swear, this Bethany's a real brat.

"You shouldn't have waited up, I was perfectly safe," I said. The words unintentionally came out sounding too offhand, impudent rather than apologetic. "I'm sorry if I worried you," I added as an afterthought.

Well if you were sorry, you wouldn't have done it! *angry* Jeez, she's annoying! She really sounds more like some bratty teenager instead of an angel!

Ren: Gabriel says something similar, telling Bethany that if she were truly sorry, she wouldn't have snuck out. He's refusing to look at Bethany, which she hates. When Bethany tries to protest, Gabriel stops her and starts to scold her.

"I was apprehensive about having you with us on this mission, and now you have proven yourself to be completely erratic." He looked as if the words left a bad taste in his mouth. "You're young and inexperienced--your aura is warmer and more human than any other angel's I have known, and yet you were chosen. I sensed we would encounter problems with you, but others believed all would be well. But now I see you've made your decision--you've chosen a passing fancy over your family." He rose abruptly.

Gabriel is very much correct in what he's saying. Bethany has been acting unprofessional throughout this mission and is clearly disobeying orders. But I am a little confused. Why hasn't Bethany been recalled from Earth yet? If she's going against orders, then she should not be allowed to do this mission.

missabnormal: *sarcastically* Oh, don't be silly! As if anyone could ever punish little Bethany!

Bleh. Bethany tries to reason with Gabriel, who puts an end to her protests, telling her that she can talk in the morning. Ivy, on the other hand, is looking all sad and worried, so Bethany decides to try and talk to her, telling her that she wishes that Gabriel would do "that prophet-of-doom routine". Well, you know why he's doing it? Because you're being a brat and going against divine orders!

Ivy consoles Bethany and tells her that she will realise that her love for Xavier is no more than an infatuation, and her feelings will pass. And right now, we get one of the most appalling passages. And that's why we need to spork it.

Ivy and Gabriel were talking in riddles.

No, they're not! They're being perfectly clear that you are not following orders and you're just ignoring them!

missabnormal: Damn right! And here you are, acting like they're not giving you an extension on your curfew!

How did they expect me to see a problem when they couldn't even articulate it?

Ren: The problem, which I assume is Bethany dating Xavier, is that it goes against orders, and that she is running the risk of being expelled from Heaven. They understand more than her, so she should be listening to them.

I knew my outing with Xavier was a minor deviation from the agenda, but what was the harm in that?

missabnormal: *angry* That's it. I've reached my limit. *she stands up, picks up the table, and hurls it out the window, making Aoba and Ren jump in surprise.*

*enraged* There is a lot of wrong in what you are doing right now, you twit! You are going against your own Father for the sake of some hot guy, and you're insisting that there's nothing wrong! You are intentionally hindering this mission for your own selfish desires and wants, and you're doing things that will get you kicked out of Heaven! You're not even a friggin' angel, you're just a bratty teenage girl who has been spoiled her whole damn life and now you're throwing a temper tantrum because you're not getting your way! You are so stupid that you don't even understand the rules and even though you have them explained to you a million times, you just won't listen and... Gaaaaaahhhhhh! *continues to rage*

Aoba: *nervously and worried* She just threw out the table... man, Missy must have really seen a lot of stupid in this book.

Ren: At this point, Bethany is intentionally hindering their mission for the sake of Xavier. I can see why Missy here is getting agitated.

What was the point of being on earth and having human experiences if we were going to pretend that they didn't matter?

This is a mission, dammit! And besides, becoming obsessed with some cute guy is not a human experience!

Ren: You are on Earth for a reason, and falling in love is not one of them.

Despite what my siblings thought was best, I didn't want my feelings for Xavier to pass.

This is definitely sounding stubborn.

missabnormal: Bethany, you are just hindering your siblings who are trying to get things done! Get over yourself, for crying out loud!

That made him sound like a cold or a virus that would eventually work its way out of my system.

missabnormal: He is pretty much an obsession of yours, Bethany. So stop trying to deny the obvious.

Never had I experienced such an all-consuming desire for someone's presence.

This is infatuation, not love! And it is certainly not healthy!

An expression I'd read somewhere crossed my mind: "The heart wants what the heart desires." I couldn't remember where it came from, but whoever wrote it had been right.

missabnormal: *annoyed* The quote is actually "the heart wants what it wants" and it's by Emily Dickinson. It was written in a letter to Samuel Bowles, and yes, while someone doesn't have much control over who they fall in love with, they can do things that will help them fall out of love, too!

Don't try and mangle up quotes to justify this sort of crap!

If Xavier was an illness, then I didn't want to recover. If my attraction to him constituted an offense that might incur divine retribution, then so be it. Let it rain down. I didn't care.

*all three are staring in stunned shock*

Aoba: Did... Did Bethany just say that she didn't care whether she gets expelled from Heaven or even destroyed?

Ren: It appears so. It's shocking to see that she is truly indifferent to her mission.

missabnormal: There is no way that Bethany is an angel at this point. Hell, when Phantom comes up to her, Bethany just whines and actually says that "at least one member of the household didn't hate [her]". Yeah, she's a brat.

Bethany has a shower before going to bed, and we get some meaningless prose about letting her wings free and all that. Once she's done, she goes to bed while continuing to angst over Xavier. She says that she doesn't want to hurt Gabriel or Ivy but according to her, "[her] heart seemed to turn to stone whenever [she] thought of never seeing Xavier again". 

Aoba: There's a difference between angst and whinyness, you know? *rolls his eyes* This is just so pathetic.

missabnormal: We haven't seen anything yet, though!

I wished he was in my room right then. I knew what I would ask of him: to escort me from my prison. And I knew he wouldn't hesitate. In my imagination I was the maiden tied to the train tracks, and the face of my tormentor alternated between that of my brother's and sister's. I realized I was being irrational, turning the situation into a melodrama, but I couldn't stop myself. How could I explain to my family that Xavier was much more than a boy I'd developed a crush on? We'd only had a few short encounters and one date, but that was irrelevant. How could I make them see that a similar encounter was unlikely even if I lingered on the earth for a thousand lifetimes? I still possessed my celestial wisdom, and I knew it with the same certainty that I knew my days on this verdant planet were numbered.

*Aoba and missabnormal burst into laughter*

Aoba: *laughing* Did... Did she seriously compare herself to one of those old westerns with the girl tied onto the tracks?! This is just gold, there's no way that she is an angel now!

missabnormal: *giggling* This is just pure Wangst, actually!

Ren: *looking amused* I find it hard to believe that this is supposed to be love. It's coming across as infatuation and pure stubbornness.

missabnormal: You're right. And besides, this is absolutely nothing compared to how Ren loves Aoba in DRAMAtical Murder. Sure, he's part of Aoba's conscience, but he truly loves Aoba and wishes to be there for him forever, which is why he eventually gets his own body so he can continue loving Aoba! Not to mention, they have a lot more romance and chemistry together than Bethany and Xavier ever hope to have!

Whatever. Ren, you go ahead and take over.

Ren: Bethany wonders how Heaven will react upon hearing about her actions. She's aware that the consequences may be severe, but she wonders whether it's too much to ask for some understanding and compassion. And yes, it is. Bethany is going against orders, and willingly so, and I imagine that the authorities up in Heaven are not going to be very approving of what she is doing, especially because it has been mentioned so many times that falling in love with a human is forbidden.

The matter is never brought up again for the rest of the weekend, and we finally skip to Monday morning, after Bethany and Gabriel have arrived at school. Bethany states that Molly and her friends were a good distraction from these events.

Aoba: So Bethany is sitting with the popular rich girls, listening to them making fun of their least favourite teachers' bad fashion sense. Apparently, one teacher "looked as though his hair had been cut by a lawnmower", another teacher "wore skirts that would work better as carpet", and another teacher "with her tailored slacks tucked under her breasts, had been dubbed Harry High-Pants". *appalled* Damn, these are some really shallow brats. Why the hell are they making fun of their teachers' fashion?

missabnormal: *quivering with rage* Here's their justification.

Most of them saw teachers as an alien species, undeserving of common courtesy, but despite their laughter, I knew that there was no real malice intended in their jibes; they were just bored.

That. That is their reason why. Because they don't even see their teachers as human and because they're bored, so it's okay to be rude to them.

*eerily calm* Aoba, Ren, please step back.

Ren: *concerned* Are you okay, Missy?

missabnormal: *venomously, yet with an angry smile* No. I'm really mad now. *she flips over another table*

I absolutely hate people like them! These shallow idiots bully their teachers behind their back, simply because of their fashion sense, and they don't even see them as human beings worthy of respect! These kinds of people are the ones I hate the most! It's one thing to not like a teacher because of their teaching methods, but it's a completely different thing altogether to viciously mock them and treat them as if they're not even human! This sort of crap pisses me off so much, I just want to slap these girls until they learn to respect their poor teachers! Dear God, I hate this sleazy entitlement and smugness that these princesses have, I hate it so so much! *rages on*

Aoba: *stunned* Looks like she's reached her breaking point again. *gets an idea* Hey, Missy!

missabnormal: *still raging* What do you-

*Almost immediately, she is calm and completely lovestruck*

missabnormal: *dreamily* Oh yeah... Now that's the stuff... Oh Ruki, you sexy diva~ Go on and seduce me with those dangerous eyes of yours~

Aoba: *awkwardly* I just found those lying around, actually. Who would've thought those would work... Oh well, that means I have to spork, I guess.

The girls' conversation turns to that of prom shopping. According to a girl called Hayley, they're going to "get the train to the city and check out the boutiques in Punch Lane". 

Guess what? Punch Lane is the name of an actual restaurant in Melbourne, Australia! If she's going to use Australian businesses, why not just set the story in Australia, dammit?!

Ren: And why are all the girls obsessed with buying dresses and makeup? This is something that truly bothers me. And the fact that the author herself is a woman makes this all the more bewildering.

Well, Molly agrees to go shopping before asking Bethany if she's coming. Bethany says that she doesn't know if she's going to prom. This apparently offends Molly so much, who asks her why, and Bethany tells her that she doesn't have a date. But apparently, some boys had already asked her to prom, but Bethany had turned them down in the hopes that Xavier would ask her. Another girl tells Bethany that finding a dress is more important. And then, Xavier shows up.

Aoba: *dryly* Great. *glances back* Hey, Missy! You done over there?

missabnormal: *calmer* Oh yes, I feel so much better. So, what's happening?

Ren: Xavier Woods has just showed up.

missabnormal: Great. *sighs* I'll take over now.

So Xavier, being the cocky ass that he is, asks the girls whether they don't mind if he "[steals] Beth for a minute", to which Molly tells him that they're in the middle of an important conversation. Xavier doesn't care and takes Bethany away to an empty table. God, I hate him!

Bethany asks him about what he's doing and Xavier tells her that he "[seems] to be making a habit of rescuing [her]". I swear, this guy is just oozing arrogance! And stop indulging in her rescue fetish, dammit!

Apparently, both Xavier and Bethany are attracting some attention from others, some looking jealous, and others looking curious. Bethany tells him that and gets uncomfortable, but Xavier simply tells her that people like to gossip and that they can't help that. She asks him why he's not sitting with friends, and he tells her that he finds her interesting. They're soon interrupted by two boys from the swim team, and Xavier praises them for their performance at a swim meet.

After this short bit as well as Bethany getting all blushy over Xavier again, we find out why Xavier wanted to talk to Bethany. Apparently, Bethany's started molting!

He pulled a long, white, iridescent feather, flecked with rose, from the pocket of his blazer. "I found this in my car last night after I drove you home."

I snatched the feather from his hand and slipped it between the covers of my planner. I had no idea how it had ended up in Xavier's car. My wings had been firmly tucked away.

Well, if they were firmly tucked away, why are you molting?! Even more, why haven't your wings been removed before going down to Earth?! This is just ridiculous!

Aoba: Xavier asks her if it's a good luck charm, and Bethany says it's something like that. However, Xavier's noticed that Bethany's looking a little agitated and asks her what's wrong, but Bethany doesn't reply. But rather than leaving her alone, he presses further, telling her that she can trust him, that he's a loyal guy.

Look, you prick! If she doesn't want to talk, don't force her to, dammit!

This so-called flirting goes on a little bit longer before they joke about relationships and all that, and at the end of all this, Bethany has a revelation.

There was nothing I could do about it. My attachment to Xavier Woods was instant and all-consuming. Suddenly my old life seemed far away. I certainly didn't yearn for Heaven as I knew Gabriel and Ivy did. For them, life on earth was a daily reminder of the limitations of flesh. For me, it was a reminder of the wonders of being human.

She really doesn't give a damn about the mission anymore, doesn't she?

Ren: In the next few passages, Bethany is describing how she has started to conceal her feelings for Xavier, and this is has clearly strained her relationship with Gabriel and Ivy. According to her, she senses "a rift between [them] now that hadn't been there before. [Their] relationship seemed more fragile, and there were uncomfortable silences at the dinner table. Every night [she] fell asleep to the sound of their whispered conversations and felt certain that [her] disobedience was the subject of discussion". But instead of feeling guilt over this, Bethany does nothing.

missabnormal: *disgusted* So Bethany really doesn't care about divine orders, doesn't she? She's not even an angel at this point!

Bethany has started looking forward to getting up, and has started getting up without Ivy coming to wake her up! Not to mention, she's started styling her hair a little more in the hopes of Xavier noticing! She's also been thinking about her conversations with Xavier, and has started planning witty remarks to use in the future! *rolls her eyes* Yeah, I am really not convinced that this is love.

We move on, and Bethany starts saying that she's envious of Molly and her group. Why?

What they took for granted, I could never have: a future on this planet. They would grow to have families of their own, careers to explore, and a lifetime of memories to share with the partners they'd choose. I was just a tourist living on borrowed time. For this reason, I knew I should curb my feelings for Xavier rather than allow them to develop. But if I'd learned anything about teenage romance, it was that intensity wasn't dictated by duration. Three months was the norm, six months marked a turning point, and if a relationship lasted a year, the pair was more or less engaged. I didn't know how long I had on earth, but whether it was a month or a year, I wasn't going to waste a single day of it. After all, every minute spent with Xavier would form the basis of memories I would need to sustain me for eternity.

Aoba: You say you need to curb your feelings, but you're not doing anything to stop yourself! You're probably gonna get blasted by your Father with the way you're going!

Oh, whatever. Bethany continues talking about how they spend time together by walking through town and spending time at the Sweethearts café, which has suddenly become their 'place'. They sometimes talk about their day, or they sit in silence. Bethany goes on about how she likes to just look at him, orgasms over his appearance and scent-

missabnormal: *appalled* Aoba!

Aoba: *defensive* What? She is!

missabnormal: Yeah, yeah. But I have to comment on this. I am not convinced that they're in love, because it's all about their physical appearances.

I mentioned this in my sporking of chapter 10. In my original series, Yamini and Ruki fall in love not because of appearances but because they see themselves in each other! They also have similar interests, which they bond over, and when they fall in love, they turn into blushing dorks, despite being badasses! It's absolutely adorable to see a couple become blushing dorks because it's cute, it's sweet, and it's genuine!

Here, they're too smooth with each other! All they talk about is how their love is the greatest in the world, but we don't see them bonding or getting to know one another! There really isn't that much romance at all! So it's just coming across as forced and superficial! In fact, Bethany is going on about how she's become more popular at school because she's going out with Xavier, and so people have started becoming friendly towards her!

It really is not coming across as real, true love. If anything, it's almost as if Xavier's dating the new girl at school just to boost his popularity, or Bethany is going out with the class president just so she can be popular! Basically, it's coming across as really shallow.

*sighs* Whatever. One day, Bethany tells Xavier that literature is her favourite subject and teases Xavier about not knowing what 'enjambment' means.

Aoba: Xavier then asks Bethany why she likes literature so much. According to her, she likes "the way each person can have a completely different understanding of the same word or sentence". When Xavier asks if that frustrates her, she simply says that it's better to stop trying to make sense of things. She then whines a little about Gabriel and Ivy, Xavier says something about changing her world, and soon, it's time for Bethany to go to literature class!

Apparently, Bethany's always happy to go to literature class, which is taught by a woman named Miss Castle. She calls it a "diverse class", despite only consisting of twelve students. There are two goth girls, a group of nerdy girls, and two stereotypical jock boys.

Ren: Miss Castle comes into the classroom and is described as a "tall, slender woman in her early forties with masses of dark curly hair and dreamy eyes". 

missabnormal: Anyone else get this mental image? Because I definitely am.

Seems like Professor Trelawney's found a new job teaching muggles about Muggle Literature!

Ren: Bethany continues to describe her in this passage.

Judging by the way she carried herself and the way she spoke, she would have been more comfortable in a Jane Austen novel, in which women rode in carriages and witty repartee flew across a drawing room like sparks. She was passionate about language, and it didn't matter what text we were studying, she identified vividly with the heroine each time. Her teaching was so animated, people sometimes stopped to look in the classroom, where they'd see Miss Castle thumping the teacher's desk, firing off questions or gesticulating wildly to illustrate a point. I wouldn't have been surprised to walk in one day and find her standing on top of her desk or swinging from the light fixtures.

*raises an eyebrow* It's one thing to have a teacher who is passionate about the subject they're teaching, but it's completely different to portray them in a ridiculous manner.

missabnormal: I love it when teachers are passionate about what they teach. Like my Grade 12 English teacher, who was also the principal of my high school. *smiles* I still have so many fond memories of that class. He'd make some of the most cringe-worthy puns that we still laughed at and it was a genuinely fun class that everyone loved! He made Hamlet, short stories, and The Great Gatsby so much fun to learn!

Anyways, there's something else I need to point out. Miss Castle identifies with 'the heroine'? Sorry to break it to you, but there aren't too many classical literature that focuses on female characters, especially the ones you study in high school. You know who the most popular classic literary heroines are?

  • Elizabeth Bennet, from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

  • Jane Eyre, from Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre

  • Scarlett O'Hara, from Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind

  • Jo March, from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women

  • Anna Karenina, from Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina

  • Eponine, from Victor Hugo's Les Miserables

  • Anne Shirley, from L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables

There's a few more, but the point is, you don't study any of this in high school. You know what I studied in high school? Short stories and poems, and the main literary works I studied were the OdysseyLord of the FliesTo Kill a MockingbirdThe Kite RunnerFahrenheit 451The Great GatsbyLife of Pi, and Fifth Business. I also studied four Shakespeare plays: A Midsummer Night's DreamMacbethRomeo and Juliet, and Hamlet. Yeah, I know everyone's high school English classes are different, but there's no way that you're reading books that only have heroines in them!

Speaking of Shakespeare, guess what Bethany's studying?

We'd started the term studying Romeo and Juliet in conjunction with Shakespeare's love sonnets. Now we were assigned the task of writing our own love poems, which would be recited to the class. The studious girls, who'd never had to rely on their own imaginations before, flew into a panic. This wasn't something they couldn't look up on the Internet.

Aoba: What's with the whole obsession about romantic love? What about family and friendship? Oh wait, I forgot, those are unimportant in comparison to romance. *rolls eyes*

Ren: The girls in this class are having trouble getting inspired, so Miss Castle tells them to think about the qualities that they find attractive in a boy.

"Well, I think intelligence is very important," a girl named Bianca volunteered.

"Obviously, he should be a good provider," her friend Hannah piped up.

missabnormal: *scathingly* Right, because men are supposed to provide for the helpless women! God, this pisses me off!

Ren: A goth girl named Alicia says that people who are dark and disturbed are interesting. And then, one of the jock boys named Tyler speaks up.

"Chicks shouldn't talk so much," drawled Tyler from the back of the room. It was the first thing we'd heard him say all term, and Miss Castle was graciously prepared to overlook its derogatory nature.

Aoba: Wait, wasn't he the same guy who called Lady Capulet an MILF? So, Miss Castle calls him a thug and kicks him out of the class for that immature comment, but she's not scolding him for his obviously sexist comment here?! This is just ridiculous!

*sighs* Miss Castle goes on more about falling in love, and a boy named Ben Carter speaks for all three of us when he "[puts] his face in his hands".

And then, Bethany finally gives an idea!

"Great love stories have to be tragic," I said suddenly.

*surprised* What? No, they don't! There's Pride and PrejudiceJane EyrePersuasionAnne of Green GablesNorth and SouthA Room with a View, and The Princess Bride! There's plenty of classic love stories that have happy endings!

Miss Castle encourages Bethany to elaborate, and she immediately brings up Romeo and Juliet!

"Well, take Romeo and Juliet for example: It's the fact that they're kept apart that makes their love stronger."

No, Romeo and Juliet were horny teenagers who were merely infatuated with each other and who committed suicide after three days.

"Big deal--they both end up dead," snorted Ben.

Yes! Thank you, Ben!

Ren: I think he's the only sane character in this book.

"They'd have ended up divorced if they'd stayed alive," announced Bianca. "Did anyone else notice that it took Romeo all of five seconds to switch from Rosaline to Juliet?"

missabnormal: Huh. I'm starting to like Bianca as well.

And this was exactly what my classmates and I liked to point out when we studied this play! That they were just infatuated with each other!

"That's because he knew Juliet was the one from the moment he met her," I said.

"Puh-lease," Bianca retorted. "You can't know that you love someone after two minutes. He just wanted to get in her pants. Romeo is just like every other horny teenage boy."

"He didn't know anything about her," Ben said. "All his praise is for her physical attributes: 'Juliet is the sun' and blah blah blah. He just thinks she's a babe."

Aoba: *impressed* Wow. They're pretty much speaking for us! And all their points are true!

Ren: Well, I'm glad that I'm able to actually agree with some characters for once.

missabnormal: Everything they're saying is absolutely correct. Romeo and Juliet were just infatuated with each other from the very beginning, because they're horny teenagers! And yeah, when I was thirteen, I honestly believed it was an amazing love story, but I grew up and realised that it's not as amazing as these YA authors like to make it out to be!

"I think it's because after he met her everyone else became insignificant," I said. "He knew right away that she was going to be his whole world."

Aoba: Ben groans, which is what we're all doing right now. However, Miss Castle is taking Bethany's side like the hopeless romantic she is.

Miss Castle gave me a meaningful smile. Being a hopeless romantic, she couldn't help but take Romeo's side. Unlike most of the teachers at Bryce Hamilton, who competed to see who could get to the parking lot first after the final bell rang, she wasn't jaded. She was a dreamer. I suspected that if I told Miss Castle I was a celestial being on a mission to save the world, she wouldn't have even blinked.

missabnormal: You're doing jack on this mission, Bethany. And no, she probably would have asked you if you were sleeping well. And on that note, we are finally done!

*she gives Aoba and Ren hugs* Thank you so much for helping me out, you guys! I really appreciate it!

Aoba: *smiles tiredly* No problem. But you owe us big time.

Ren: The pleasure is ours.

*they both take their leave*

missabnormal: Well, I hope you all enjoyed this sporking! I'll see you again in Chapter 12!

Continue to: Chapter 12- Saving Grace

Go back to: Chapter 10- Rebel
missabnormal: (Default)
 This chapter is so ridiculous, especially because I am studying to be a teacher.

missabnormal: Hello everyone! As promised, I have two new guests with me to help me out here! And they he is!

(The theatre doors open, revealing a handsome shirtless young man with black hair, black tattoos, and yellow eyes. Right next to him is a young man with long blue hair. Both men sit down. They are Ren and Aoba from DRAMAtical Murder)

(This is Ren)

(This is Aoba)

missabnormal: Hello, Ren, Aoba. Sorry to have to call you in like this, but I do appreciate the both of you willing to help me out. .

Ren: I went over the book that we're reading, and it is a little bit confusing for me. I do not have much experience with being a human, so I was confused to the behaviour displayed in this chapter.

Aoba: I threw the book out of frustration because of this chapter.

missabnormal: I completely understand. Well, without further ado! (opens up her book) We start chapter four with the end of the school day, and Bethany being eager to get out. Apparently, Molly had introduced Bethany to her friends, which overwhelmed her, so she's exhausted.

Bethany's now waiting for Gabriel under a tree, where she spouts some more prose. She then states that she's "suffering from information overload", and that she wants to go home. And then, we get this.

I spotted Gabriel making his way down the main steps, closely followed by a small gaggle of admirers, mostly girls. My brother might have been a celebrity for the attention he attracted. The girls lingered several yards behind him, trying hard not to appear conspicuous. Judging by his appearance, Gabe had managed to maintain his composure and poise throughout the day, but I could see from the hard set of his jaw and the slightly ruffled look of his hair that he was ready to go home. The girls stopped speaking mid-sentence when he glanced in their direction. I knew my brother and guessed that despite his apparent composure, he would never welcome such attention. He seemed embarrassed rather than flattered by it. 

Ren: Do girls in real life behave like this if they have a teacher who is attractive?

missabnormal: *rolls eyes* No sensible girl in real life, that is. But we haven't seen anything yet, Ren.

Gabriel was nearly at the gates when a shapely brunette stumbled in front of him in a poorly executed attempt at an accidental fall. In one smooth movement Gabe caught her in his arms just before she hit the ground. There were audible gasps of admiration from the watching students, and I saw some of the other girls bristle with jealousy at not having come up with the idea themselves. But there was little to warrant their envy: Gabriel merely steadied the girl, replaced the items that had fallen from her bag, wordlessly picked up his battered briefcase, and kept walking. He wasn't being unfriendly; he simply wouldn't have seen the need for any exchange of words. The girl stared wistfully after him and her friends crowded around, hoping some of the glamour of the moment might rub off on them.

*All three are speechless, missabnormal is the first one to break the silence*

missabnormal: *explodes with anger* Why the hell must teenage girls always be portrayed as shallow twits who are always enamoured with every attractive guy around them?! What kind of a girl would try and catch her teacher's attention by doing that?! No one does that in real life, dammit! And as someone who's studying to be a teacher right now, this makes me very uncomfortable! Student-teacher romances are NOT okay! I don't care if you watch Pretty Little Liars or not, it's still not okay! And God, why the hell do you have to put an emphasis on her being 'shapely'?! Oh right, because according to you, the promiscuous must burn in the pits of Hell, right?! I hate YA novels, I hate slut-shaming and virgin-shaming, I hate how high schools must always be a carbon copy of Mean Girls, I just... Gaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!

(she throws herself on the ground)

Aoba: *also annoyed* She's right, this is stupid. Not even Koujaku's fangirls act like this, and that's saying something! But seriously? Why'd you have to include some girl pretending to faint just to get the attention of her teacher? No girl even does that!

Ren: It appears that this work is a fantasy of the author. But why she would decide to get her own fantasy published is beyond me. *he reads ahead* So Bethany shows some pity for her brother Gabriel as they walk home, and when Gabriel points out that she also had a lot of attention on her, she claims that no one talked to her. However, she decides not to mention her encounter with a boy known as Xavier Woods, who I assume is the eventual love interest.

missabnormal: *sits up* A lying angel? Surely God would not approve of that, right? *snorts* Gotta love the unintentional heresy that Bethany commits.

Aoba: *raises an eyebrow* An angel? Wait, this Bethany girl is an angel?

missabnormal: *nods* Yeah, this is one of the paranormal romance stories that came hot on the heels of Twilight. However, instead of the guy being the supernatural creature, we have the girl as the supernatural. So, it's a love story between a female angel and a human male. Only problem is that our angel doesn't even act like one! In fact, if she were human, nothing much would change!

Aoba: Great. *reads on* Gabriel tells Bethany to be grateful, and we then skip ahead to dinner at their home, where Bethany tells Ivy about the school day. Is Ivy an angel?

missabnormal: Not just an angel, a seraph. Yet she acts like some housewife from the fifties, all domestic and submissive and motherly. *rolls her eyes* That pisses me off!

Aoba: *widens his eyes* Wow. *continues reading* Ivy is amused when Bethany tells her about the girl who fainted, and states that, "teenage girls can be quite lacking in subtlety", and that "the boys, on the other hand, are much harder to read". *bewildered and disbelieving* Wha...? We're hard to read?! Here, let's see if you can read this!

(flips the book off with a sarcastic smile) You can shove this up your ass, author!

missabnormal: Excuse you, Adornetto. Boys aren't that hard to read. You just find them hard to read because your own head is shoved too far up your ass. Well, what's to be expected from a Twilight fangirl? *sighs* Mind taking over, Ren?

Ren: Very well. Gabriel states that they are not hard to read, but that they all seem lost. He also wonders if anyone of them knows what life is about. I have to disagree, actually. Teenagers are not lost and confused because of evil, whatsoever. They are young and they are trying to figure who they are and what they want. Not to mention, they are hormonal, impressionable, and they don't fully understand the consequences from the decisions they make. I've seen all of this when Aoba was a teenager.

missabnormal: Yeah, this is hardly even the work of evil, this is just reality. Look Adornetto, I don't know what you were like as a teenager, but majority of teens are like this. And if this really was evil... then I'm not even impressed. Moving on! Bethany then tells Gabriel and Ivy about what she had heard about two students dying, the outbreak of sickness, and that people are starting to notice.

*raises an eyebrow* Look, there was one freak accident, Bethany. And there have not been multiple outbreaks of sicknesses, there was only one flu outbreak. The factory fires are serious, yet they're blown off as being no big deal. Need I remind you how dangerous those can get?

Bleh. Ivy says that it's good that they came here on time, and Bethany wants to know what their plan of action is. All Gabriel pretty much tells her is that he doesn't know, but that they should sit around and wait! Yeah, no. Aoba, your turn!

Aoba: Well, after such interesting strategies being planned (read: NONE), everyone is silent. Bethany then announces that she made a friend at school in an attempt to lighten up the mood. However, Gabriel and Ivy are disapproving of this, and Bethany whines and asks whether there's a problem with that and that she thought that they needed to blend in. Gabriel then says this:

"Blending in is one thing; but do you realize that friends require time and energy?" said Gabriel. "They'll want to bond." He winced as if the thought was painful to him.

He does have a point, you know. Especially because they're on a supposed mission. Bethany gets confused about bonding, so Gabriel clarifies by telling her that they'll want an emotional connection. Ivy also tells her that friends can be distracting. Overall, the main concern is that friends will start asking questions and wanting to be involved in her life, which is a danger to their own secrecy.

"Well, thanks for the vote of confidence," I replied indignantly. "You know I'd never do anything that might jeopardize the mission. How stupid do you think I am?"

I was pleased to see them exchange guilty looks. I might have been younger and less experienced than they were, but it was no reason to treat me like an idiot.

missabnormal: *she is silent for a moment. Then she promptly breaks into laughter* Oh my God! I cannot believe that you of all people just said that! You're no angel, Bethany! You're just a bratty teenager who's never been disciplined in her life!

*calms down* But on a more serious note, really? That's rich, especially considering that you go gaga over Xavier Woods the douchebag!

Ren: Gabriel becomes more pacifying, stating that he and Ivy trust Bethany, but they want to avoid complications. Yet Bethany just wants to experience teenage life, so Gabriel has to remind her that they're on a mission from God. She sulks a little bit, and then moves onto the next topic.

Bethany states that she feels more relaxed at home, but she does not know what to do with herself, even though Gabriel and Ivy have hobbies that they occupy themselves with after dinner. So to keep herself busy, she does basic domestic chores such as the laundry.

missabnormal: *scathingly* Just like how a good girl should act. But really, why don't these heroines have any hobbies, dammit?! My heroine loves blacksmithing and listening to music and reading horror novels! What, is it too much work to give the heroine an actual personality?! I want to be able to relate to her, dammit!

*shakes her head* Just stay frosty, me. We also get this passage.

It felt strange to be carrying out ordinary tasks when my whole existence was so far from ordinary. I wondered what other seventeen-year-old girls were doing at the moment-- cleaning their bedrooms at the behest of frustrated parents, listening to their favorite bands on their iPods, sending each other text messages to make plans for the weekend, checking their emails when they should be studying?

*quivering with anger* My God, Bethany. Why the hell are you so damn preachy about how teenage girls should behave and act? This is so annoying, and it's not like Bethany's doing any of this.

Aoba: I'll take over for now. *glances in concern at missabnormal* Bethany states that she has homework in three subjects and that she had wrote it down in her school planner, unlike other students who decided to try and memorise it. *frowns* Well, not everyone's Little Miss Perfect like you. She claims that it would hardly take any time for her to do her homework, and that it was too easy, so it seemed like a waste of time.

You know, for an angel, Bethany sure is arrogant. I don't know much about Christianity, but isn't pride considered a Deadly Sin?

Ren: You are right, Aoba. One of the Seven Deadly Sins is Pride, and an angel displaying traits of pride is surely not a good sign. Bethany goes on to describe her bedroom in detail, which makes me wonder whether this is the author's actual bedroom. She then gets out her textbook, which is psychology.

missabnormal: Psychology? You're in high school, Bethany! No one studies psychology in high school! And you're an angel, so you should not understand how human minds work! You're on a completely different level of existence, dammit! She reads about galvanic skin response and she immediately thinks about Xavier. And I swear, if she starts going on about physical chemistry, something is going to get thrown out of this window!

Gah. Bethany then recalls what Molly told her about Xavier and his baggage and then ponders about what it feels like to lose a loved one.

Once Bethany cleans her room, she goes downstairs to help Gabriel with dinner. He's making mushroom risotto, and I'm apparently supposed to be fascinated because OMG, Archangel Gabriel can cook!

Yeah, whatever. Ivy shows up just as Bethany is making tea, and she takes her tea and leaves to write something in a notebook. Apparently, according to Gabriel, Ivy is just starting her mission from God! Bethany laments over how she's envious that Ivy has a sense of purpose already and wonders when she'll discover hers. And then check this out!

"What should I do?" I asked, hating the way I sounded so petulant.

"That will come to you," said my brother. "Give yourself some time."

"And in the meantime?"

"Didn't you say you wanted to experience being a teenager?" He gave me an encouraging smile, and as always, my unease dissolved.

missabnormal: So wait... *appalled* You don't know what you're supposed to do? And you don't have any ideas as to what to do?! You don't know how to help out, how to save this town from evil?! What about volunteering at, say, an animal shelter or a soup kitchen? Or even trying to donate your money to charity? Or spreading the Word of God to others?

I... I just... this is ridiculous! There is absolutely no way that you are angels! What kind of a mission is this anyways?! This is just... I can't. Ren, Aoba, either one of you can take over.

Aoba: *sighs* I'll do it. So now, there's a useless aside regarding porcini mushrooms, Gabriel cuts his finger but washes his finger clean. Bethany eats some celery, does some pointless pondering about humans, health, God, and death, and then Bethany claims that dinner is a success.

Ivy and Bethany compliment the meal, but Gabriel ignores them in favour of discussing the school day. He talks about how he had so many musical students in his class, more than he expected. Ivy correctly points out that it's less about music and more about his good looks. And what does Gabriel say?

"Well, at least it gives me something to work on," Gabe replied. "If they can find beauty in music, they can find beauty in one another and the world too."

*looks disbelieving* Are you stupid? Ivy just told you that they're taking your class because of your good looks, not music! Man, this is just stupid!

Ren: Bethany asks whether Gabriel gets bored in class because he knows everything. She then states that she was bored in chemistry before stating that in her English class, they watched the film version of Romeo and Juliet.

I didn't tell them this, but the love story fascinated me. The way the lovers fell so deeply and irrevocably in love after their first meeting sparked a burning curiosity in me about what human love might feel like.

missabnormal: Oh, great. Another idealistic author who truly believes that Romeo and Juliet was the greatest love story ever told. News flash, it's not. I mean, come on, the story literally takes place in the span of three days! Literally, they met at a party and got infatuated, married the next day, and then killed themselves on the third day!

Ren: You're right. I believe that it was meant to be more of a satire of those kinds of love stories in Shakespeare's day. Not to mention, Romeo and Juliet did not fall in love on their first meeting, it was merely infatuation. I may not be a human, but even I am aware that human love would not feel like that.

Aoba: Damn right! Why is Romeo and Juliet always used as a template for these kinds of stories? What's so amazing about forbidden love anyways? *rolls his eyes* Please tell me we're almost done.

missabnormal: Yep, we're nearly finished!

Aoba: *relieved* Good! So then Ivy asks Bethany what she thought of the story. Bethany claims that it was very powerful, but that her teacher got annoyed when one of her classmates called Lady Capulet an MILF. Because of that, the teacher called the kid a thug and sent him out of the class. *raises an eyebrow* So she calls this kid a thug because he used 'MILF'. Yeah, it's pretty immature, but I don't think it gives an excuse to be sent out of class!

missabnormal: Well, I guess some teachers just don't tolerate dirty humour like that. I remember when I was in my Grade 9 history class, our teacher was writing a list of things to study for a test. Some girl remarked about how the list 'goes a long way down', and then some guy cracked a 'that's what she said' joke. He got sent out for the rest of the period. So I guess some teachers don't like hearing things like that.

Ren: Bethany is confused about the term, so she asks Gabriel about it. He is clearly uncomfortable, but tells her that it's some acronym for a teenage obscenity. When Bethany pushes further, Gabriel describes it as "a term used by adolescent males to describe a woman who is both attractive and a mother". And I do not think teenage males are the only ones who use that term.

In spite of Gabriel's clear discomfort, Bethany insists he explain it further. Ivy cuts in instead.

"I believe it stands for 'mother I'd like to... befriend'," said my sister.

Aoba: *snorts* More than just 'befriend', actually!

missabnormal: Bethany completely buys it and says that the teacher, Miss Castle, needs to chill. Oh Bethany, you naive, ignorant angel. It goes beyond just 'befriending', as Aoba said. And with that, we've finished the fourth chapter! *turns to Ren and Aoba, giving them both hugs* Thank you again for helping me out with this!

Ren: The pleasure is ours.

Aoba: *smiles* No problem! Nice meeting you too! See you around!

(They both depart the theatre)

missabnormal: Next chapter, I'll be alone. I hope you all enjoyed this sporking! See you in Chapter five!

Continue to: Chapter 5- Small Miracles

Go back to: Chapter 3- Venus Cove (Part Two)
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