Losing the person you love hurts. Some people say you’ll get over it eventually, but it is really tough especially when the one you loved was the only one you ever loved. Even though Ryan loved people other than Josh as well, it was Josh with whom he was in love. His loss meant the loss of everything Ryan knew, ever felt for.
Lord Brahma had taken the group to His personal retreat in the Himalayas. The retreat was a splendid mansion in a valley surrounded by mountains, inaccessible to mankind. The exhausted children were immediately put to bed while Lord Brahma retired to His own quarters to deliberate with God the Father.
“Do we tell them everything?” God the Father had asked.
“We would have to,” Lord Brahma replied.
“Even about the prophecy?”
“Even about the prophecy. I have seen the result of keeping things from Ryan and I do not wish to do it any further. I am dreading the time we would have to tell him about Josh.”
“Yes,” God the father said in a sad tone. “Ryan has gone through a lot already and to think that he’s lost the only person he loved more than himself betrayed him…”
“Let’s just not talk about it till we have to, Father. I think we all need some rest.”
* * *
Pain, simple excruciating pain, sprang out from the pit of Ryan’s stomach, culminating in his heart and then travelling to his throat in the form of a scream. “NO!”
Jessica, John, Scott and Mark surrounded him on the bed while Lord Brahma stood at its foot. Jessica ran smoothing hand over Ryan’s back, trying to calm the sobbing boy.
“This can’t be happening! After all that I have done to keep Josh safe and with me…” Ryan mumbled. “No! I will NOT let this become a reality! I will bring him back, even if it has to be from the bowels of Hell!”
“Ryan, son…” Lord Brahma said. “…you must not let your emotions cloud your judgment. Josh betrayed you…us. Lucifer would have never got hold of you had it not been for Josh.”
“Why? Why…?” Ryan broke down again. He could not understand where his love had gone wrong. What had he done to deserve the stab in the back that he got from Josh?
“What is done is done, Ryan,” Jessica stated. “We must look forward now. I know it won’t be easy, but we all are here with you to help you go through it.”
Ryan raised his head and looked around. He saw the steely resolve on Jessica’s face and knew that she too was hurting from Josh’s actions. John, Mark and Scott had a look of hurt, sympathy and anger on their faces. Ryan decided there and then to try and get over Josh. It would take time, and effort, but he knew that with his friends standing by him, it would be possible.
Lord Brahma, seeing the change in Ryan’s demeanor, sat down on the bed and said, “I believe it is time for some answers.”
Lord Brahma told them all about the prophecy that he himself had foretold. According to it, His son would be born as a mortal and become the wielder of the Libramen, ensuring the survival of Terra V – a planet on the brink of destruction. As Pondera Custodis, the son of Brahma would take the vacant chair on the Council with his soul mate.
Everyone in the room looked at Ryan with an awed expression. Ryan, on the other hand, kept his gaze on Lord Brahma. “You’re my father?” he asked.
“Not in the true sense,” Lord Brahma replied. “You see, every god has to go through the full cycle of life and death on Terra I, Earth that is. It is this cycle of life and death that gives all of us Gods the wealth of knowledge. The last birth in this cycle is of that as a human and is the most difficult as the powers that lie within us start manifesting.
“During this cycle, Ryan, your biological fathers were different, but in reality, it was I, who was your father.”
“Wow!” Mark exclaimed. “Having the Creator himself as your father – how cool is that?!”
Ryan was still befuddled. He then remembered the conversation he had with God the Father in the school grounds and asked, “Father told me that my emotions affect the sanity of the world around me. But, I have had more emotional moments back when I was with Mom and Dad as well. Why didn’t the sanity of the world change then?”
“You weren’t seventeen then. Your powers manifest in human form after seventeen and that too only when under very powerful emotions. Josh being hurt was powerful enough for you to affect the world.”
Josh’s mention made Ryan cringe. He suppressed that feeling, closed his eyes to prevent tears from falling, and asked, “What did Lucifer want from me?”
“The control of the Libramen. With it in his hands, he could effectively control the whole universe.”
Changing the topic, Ryan enquired, “How long has it been since we got here? Since the battle…”
“Three days,” Jessica answered. “You were out cold due to the breaking of your center. We have been having counseling sessions with Goddess Saraswati during these days. She’s your mother, by the way.”
Ryan looked at Lord Brahma for confirmation. Lord Brahma just nodded with a smile.
“How did you find me? I never told anyone that I was going to the graveyard, except for…except for Josh.”
Jessica looked towards Lord Brahma and once she got permission, she spoke, “Ryan, I was looking over you for Lord Brahma. Didn’t you wonder why I kept freaking out on you when you did something stupid, like going back in time?”
“And we…” Mark began sheepishly. “…we kinda heard you in the common room that day.”
“I thought something was up, but not this…” Ryan said, dumbfound and ignoring Mark’s admission.
“That is how I got to know about Josh,” Jessica continued, throwing a pointed look at the other boys that clearly indicated that their declaration of eavesdropping had not gone unnoticed. “He kept defending your actions and always instigated you to go ahead with wacky plans. He even… He even attacked me, taking control of my mind.”
“He WHAT?!” Ryan shouted. “I can’t believe it… Why didn’t you come tell me, if you knew his truth?”
“Would you have believed me, had I come to you?”
Ryan thought it over. “No, I wouldn’t have.”
“That is why I had to do what I could do and that too from a distance.”
“I understand. But it still doesn’t make the pain any easier. It hurts to know that the person I trusted the most turned out to be such a devil. He not only broke my heart, he also broke my soul.”
“I know, dear,” Jessica said.
“He was never meant to be your soul mate, Ryan, if he did what he did,” Lord Brahma said in a grave tone. “You must try and put this behind you and look ahead. There is enough happiness in this world for everyone, only it is you who would need to grab the opportunity when it presents itself.”
Ryan nodded. “I know it won’t happen but, if Josh ever comes in front of me, I’ll…” Ryan froze in midsentence. His eyes filled with anger and his nostrils flared. He was looking past Lord Brahma, towards the door. Each set of eyes turned towards the door and a collective gasp was heard from the room.
There, standing in the doorway, stood a bloody, bruised and battered looking Josh.