“Do not cry my child, for your days of suffering are over,” the mysterious person said.
“Huh?” Ryan said in a confused state.
“Do not be afraid of me, for I mean no harm,” the man said as he could see that Ryan was about to bolt away.
“What is it that you want from me? Who are you? I’ve never seen you around. Hell, I can’t see you right now due to that light!” Ryan asked.
The man chuckled to himself. ‘The way these kids use that word these days.’
“The question is not what I want. The question is what you want. What do you want my child?” He asked Ryan.
“I-uh-I want my life to return to the way it was and I want Josh to recover,” Ryan replied with a hint of hope in his voice.
“What if I say that you could have all these things? What if I say that you can have all these things and much more?” asked the man.
“But, how is that possible? The doctors, they…”
The man cut him off mid-sentence. “I can give you what you want.”
“Whoare you?” Ryan asked getting irritated.
“Let me introduce myself. I am God Almighty. The one whom you have stopped looking up to. The..”
“Yeah, and I’m the reason that this world is sane!” Ryan retorted, interrupting God.
“You have no idea how correct you are, dear one,” God replied biting his own retort. That is why He didn’t like to visit Earth that often. Human traits rubbed off on Him way too much. His powers and controls also reduced the longer He stayed.
“Let me explain,” he continued, seeing the bewildered expression on Ryan’s face.
“A long time ago, before time existed; before this universe was even created, the Gods decided to test their powers. The Creator, The Preserver and The Destroyer, according to their powers, came together and built this universe. But the sheer size was too much for the three of them to handle, hence they decided to recruit subordinate Gods. Agni, Surya, Indra, Pavana, Varuna, Yama and many more came into being. Each had their own sphere of influence. When the human population started to increase, religious Gods came into existence. There are currently around 330 million Gods and Deities including incarnations of the Hindu religion alone. You must understand that each God is important and none is above or below the other. I am God the Father, of the Christian religion.”
“But I’m a Hindu,” an astonished Ryan said. He was trying his best to grasp what this person was saying but was being unsuccessful.
“I know that. I was entrusted by Lord Brahma, the Creator, to look over you. You see, you are very special to us,” he replied. He raised his hand as Ryan was about to interrupt and continued, “After seeing the way the world was progressing, what with two World Wars, Lord Brahma prophesized that a boy will be born on the eve of the twentieth century, who will restore the balance between the sane and insane. You, dear one, are the Pondera Custodis, the Balance Keeper.”
“What! Look mister, this is a very bad joke you’re playing. I’m in no mood for this and that is why I’m getting outta here,” Ryan said as he rose to leave.
“This is not a joke. If you don’t believe me, tell me for how long have you been in this type of a mood?” God asked
“Um.. Six months,” Ryan replied.
“Not this mood. The one where you were trying to off yourself,” God retorted. I had better hurry up, He thought.
“A month,” he answered tentatively.
“And when was the first time you tried to do it?”
“Err...I don’t remember the exact date, but I think it was the first week of September,” Ryan responded.
“The result of which was evident in the middle of the second week,” God said grimly.
Ryan didn’t quite get it at first but when he did, he sprang up. “Wait! You mean to say that I caused those attacks?” he shouted.
“No, I only pointed out the fact that whenever you are distressed, it affects the sanity of the world in a negative way. We were not supposed to tell you about the prophecy, but the latest turn of events, and you constantly trying to knock on our door has forced me to disclose this to you. As you were to take your place amongst us after you died a natural death, you were to never know of your powers. I believe Lucifer is behind all this. He has been trying to discredit me for almost a millennium but has been unsuccessful.”
“You mean to say that I’m one of you. I’m one of the Gods?” Ryan said disbelievingly.
“You catch on fast. No wonder you are the sanest of them all,” God joked.
“Right. Thank you for cheering me up. I’ll catch up with you later,” Ryan said skeptically as he got up.
“You still don’t believe me, do you?” God asked.
“You expect me to believe all this crap? You must have gone bonkers!” Ryan said, losing his cool.
“All right, try raising your hand, palm towards the sky and think of something that you want there. Concentrate hard.”
Reluctantly, Ryan did as he was told and thought about a bottle of water. To his utter surprise, a bottle of icy cold water appeared out of nowhere on his hand. He freaked out, instantly dropping the bottle and stared at the smirking person in front of him.
“Now do you believe me?” God queried.
“I think I’ll have to.” Ryan replied with a nervous laugh.
“I hope now you’ll live your life and die naturally and then come to our doorstep. Unfortunately I had to tell you all this to stop you from trying to commit a huge blunder and plunging this world into chaos. What I have also done is to activate your role as a God. I apologize but as of now, you are one of us. Welcome aboard.” God paused to let this fact sink in to the baffled youth standing in front of him and then continued, “You will complete your life cycle on Earth and then take your place with the others in Heaven. Use your gift wisely for I’ll still be watching over you. Adios.”
God waved a hand over Ryan’s head, transferring His knowledge to him. As He turned to go back from where He came, Ryan called out to Him.
“Wait! How am I supposed to contact you?”
Without looking back, God answered, “The same way everyone does. Pray.”
With that He disappeared, extinguishing the bright light behind him. Ryan stood there for some time trying to figure out what had just happened. It wasn’t everyday that you realize that you are a God!
The first thing that came to his mind was Josh’s condition. Now that he had the powers and the knowledge, he could do anything. With a smirk plastered on his face, he closed his eyes and thought of being next to Josh. He opened his eyes to find himself in Josh’s hospital room. His love lay in front of him looking pale as ever.
Ryan walked up to Josh and sat down next to him. He rested his right hand on the latter’s forehead and willed his powers to heal the boy. After an hour of intense concentration, he heard a gasp from the boy he claimed as his life. Ryan opened his eyes to see Josh looking at him with the same amount of love and affection. Overcome with joy and happiness, he hugged Josh and clung to him as if his life depended on it.
* * *
The astonished hospital staff discharged Josh a week later. Ryan, Jessica, Steve, John and Josh’s parents were there to take him back. A huge party had been organized at the hostel by the boys and the staff. Josh’s parents had to leave the country for an urgent meeting and were unable to attend. They left immediately after dropping the lot at school.
Ryan hadn’t told anyone about the encounter in the front lawns the week before. He had this inkling that God wouldn’t want anyone else to know about it. He also felt that nobody would believe him. Instead, he reveled in the knowledge God had given him.
God had not only told him about the powers he had, He had given him the key to every bit of information on this planet and beyond. He felt that he had a Google running inside his head and he could answer anything. Another thing he noticed was that he had the powers of empathy and telepathy. He could also affect the elements, but not to a great extent. His greatest power, though, was of psionics. He knew that as Pondera Custodis, he could control the minds of others and while this thrilled him a lot, it also made him nervous that he had been entrusted with such a huge responsibility.
Pushing these thoughts to the back of his mind, he tried keeping up with the others as they made their way towards the common room, where everyone had assembled for the party. Josh was enjoying himself a lot as Jess, Steve and John talked animatedly trying to update him with what all he had missed during these months.
When Josh entered the room, Josh was spellbound to see the scene in front of him. The whole area was decorated with balloons and confetti, and a huge banner with ‘Welcome Home, Josh’ written in glittering gold. Tears welled up in Josh’s eyes as he thought that while his actual family wasn’t here, the people that mattered in his life were. And that was all he ever needed. He put an arm around Ryan’s shoulder and the group entered the room to a huge round of applause.
Mr. Fernandez, the Warden, came up to them and congratulated Josh on his recovery. Soon, after everyone was done with their wishes, Mr. Fernandez announced that the dinner was ready. The dinner was a special deal altogether. Josh could see a variety of dishes on the table and on a closer inspection found that all his favorite dishes were present. Careful as to not overdo himself and his tummy, he ate as much as he could, enjoying the company of the ones he loved. He had been separated from Ryan during the dinner and he could see him talking to Jessica across the room.
Ryan was having a hard time keeping his excitement under control. Now that he knew the extent of his powers, he didn’t want any emotions of his to affect the world even if they were of ecstasy. The only person that could match his euphoria was the person standing in front of him.
Jessica was extremely glad of the latest developments on two accounts. Her best friend had recovered miraculously. And because of that, her other best friend was back to his old self. She could proudly say that at this moment she was one of the happiest persons of the world.
The duo made their way towards Josh and plopped down, one on each side.
“How are you doing baby?” Ryan asked him. Ryan hadn’t healed Josh completely because if he had, it would have caused a huge ruckus.
“Good, but a little tired too.” Josh answered.
“You shouldn’t exert yourself. Ry, why don’t you take him back to your room and let him have some rest?” Jess said.
“Yeah, that would be good.” Josh agreed.
Josh and Ryan got up and walked towards their room after thanking Mr. Fernandez for the wonderful party. Nothing was said that night as they both enjoyed each other’s company and fell into blissful slumber.
‘Nothing can go wrong now,’ Ryan thought as he fell to the clutches of the sandman.