One of the greatest feelings on earth is the realisation that we are not alone. That there is someone equally as weird as you out there... and then you meet them, again and again and again. What are the chances of that?
I could tell by the way she lay across the pillow that she hadn’t slept in quite sometime. It bothered me more than it should. The way her mouth fell slightly open made me laugh; it was hard to believe that she had almost been killed. I could hear her breathing slowly. I didn’t know if I should consider this a blessing or a test; to be able to see her again. Of course I knew how this would end so why should it be anything less than the latter.
As right as my decision was to leave, nothing had seemed right when I had been away. Not that staying would have been any easier. It's one thing to be tempted, quite another to fall. Of course the test of any decision is if you are willing to make the same decision again. And in there lay the problem. It was bad enough that I so desperately wanted to go and kneel by her side. I wanted to talk to her, wanted to know what had happened since we last met, but I was afraid of more than what I’d hear, afraid that if I allowed myself to get that close to her that I would want to be closer still.
I had returned to Sanctuary with the still unconscious Noor. Sanctuary was the base for our operations located in the sub-basement of an old abandoned Church. When evil broke into this world and corruption set in, faith became something to be scoffed at and shunned for the intricacies and lure of Science. With corruption and sin rife, Atheism became the dominant belief and thus set the stage for the devil to play the greatest trick in the history of man: convincing the people he didn’t exist. I just wish they’d left the electricity on.
Turning away, I found myself under the watchful gaze of my grandma. Was it too much to hope she hadn’t noticed?
"You should consider lowering your gaze around her", she had noticed.
"I'll keep that in mind." I replied, avoiding her gaze.
"What are you going to do now?" she asked.
"They obviously want her for her abilities. For what reason I don’t know, but she wouldn’t have been under such heavy guard if she wasn’t important. So until we can figure out the reason, the safest place for her is here." Convenient I thought, closer still.
"Actually what I meant was, are you going to tell her who you are?" she asked analysing my face. That question had played on my mind since I saw her.
"That,” I sighed “would really complicate things. For the moment she doesn’t need to know." There were greater things to worry about for the moment.
"You know it's funny how you two keep meeting. There’s almost a touch of destiny about it, as if there’s something pulling you two together." She smiled, unable to help herself.
"Only Allah (swt) knows best and what’s destiny, what’s illusion. I just go where I'm told apparently."
It was Grandma’s brief glimpses into the future that had led to the rescue of the still unconscious Noor. It was always Grandma and Jabbers' hand that had guided me forward and with Jabber it almost felt like losing an arm. But he had known this would eventually happen and still he walked towards it.
“Faith,” he had said, “faith will guide you. Have faith in yourself and in Allah (swt) even when it seems like all is lost. Move in the way of the All Mighty and He will show you the way. Always remember that. There is hikmat in every victory and in defeat.”
I had faith, even if the path wasn’t always clear to me. Ever since I had discovered that I was different I had to decide whether my gifts were for the greater good of mankind or its destruction, knowing full well what the former choice would cost me.
“If there’s one thing I know; it's that you were put on this earth for a reason. Within us all is the potential to do horrible and unspeakable things but there is also the potential to do great and wonderful things. We will all face trials in life, but it's how we choose to act in those trials that determines who we are. We can not always choose what happens to us in life. But how we choose to respond to those trials is within our power. There will be struggles, you will be hated, feared and hunted. But a man is nothing if he does not help make the world a better place and the burden of mankind’s future rests with each and every one of us.”
“Can we win?” I had asked.
“We must... or the Earth will fall into perpetual darkness before Imam Mahdi even arrives.”
Noor stirred as she started to awaken. She blinked, her brown eyes adjusting to the light before they rested on me. Something inside me quivered and for a moment the world stood still as we stared at each other and then she screamed.
The Ministerial Chamber was in full session before the mirror of black flames. The Ministers were all present with Slade kneeling at the front as he retold the story of the hijaabi’s escape.
“YOU ALLOWED HER TO ESCAPE!” boomed the voice as fire consumed the chamber, reducing Slade to a pile of smoking ash. A deathly silence had fallen within the chamber at Downing Street. The flames returned to the mirror gently licking the glass. “Find her before the next moon or you will all face the wrath of the black flames. Do not fail me.” The last word thundered in the chamber and died out along with the flames, once again returning the chamber to silence.
“Do NOT fail me… blah blah blah… black flames!” Loki imitated giggling to himself, “What a hot head, I guess this means Slade is …fired.” He laughed uncontrollably before falling over in his seat.
“LOKI!” Drake barked, slamming his fist onto the table.
Loki peaked over the edge of the table before retaking his seat. Drake's dark eyes moved over to Malchior who had kept silent throughout.
“Guarding the girl was YOUR responsibility Malchior and you allowed her to slip through our fingers.”
“I’ll get her back.” Malchior replied, gritting his teeth.
“You'd better or I’ll peal the skin off your worthless hide myself” Drake sneered.
“I don’t think even you, Drake, have the skill to do that.” Malchior replied.
“Oh, why don’t we test that then,” Drake rose from his seat. Their eyes locked; each waiting for the other to make a move.
“Now now boys, let's play nice. We have a job to do. The world's not going to end by itself you know.”
“I wouldn’t be too sure,” squeaked Loki, “the humans have a taste for destruction. They might just end up doing our job for us.” A smile spreading across his face.
“The Father is not that patient. And neither am I. The Sons of Adam (as) have had their time and squandered their gifts. Now it's our turn.” Danny never let her distaste of humans go un-noticed. And yet somehow she ended up the head of human resources. “Malchior, you lost the girl. You will get her back and I suggest you eliminate the boy before he becomes a bigger problem.”
Malchior rose from his seat and turned walk away, pausing at the door.
“I’m sending out The Three to track her down. Any objections.” No one spoke.
We are truly blessed. We can breathe, we can walk and we can all do amazing things. We are born by the will of Allah (swt). Only we can decide how we wish to use our gifts. Know yourselves and your destiny will reveal itself. And when man faces destiny, destiny ends and man comes into his own.