Inquisitive: Part 12
By Hassan Izzo
She composed herself. “To say you are dead would be a great exaggeration.”
I suddenly felt tense. “What do you mean?”
“After your little misadventure, you slipped into a coma. You are currently being kept alive by machines.”
I shifted away from my grandmother and felt anger flashing in my body. “Why didn’t you just put me back?! Why put me in that place?! Why put me in that girl’s body?!”
“I know it doesn’t seem like it, but what I did was for the best.”
I sprung up and backed away. “How?! How was it for the best?!”
“Please, let me explain.”
“Why didn’t you put me back?! Why did you trick me?!”
I was shaking with anger as I pointed at my grandmother, barely holding back a stream of invective.
“Allow me to explain and then, if you still want to, I can put you back.”
The anger drained away, replaced by hope. “Really?”
“Come, sit back down.”
I retook my position.
“I’ve kept watch over you, over all of my family. I was there when your grandfather died, but he was always too far gone to help. He was blinded by faith.”
“Granddad believed in good; he believed in Jesus, in God.”
“Exactly. He was blind.”
A confused expression was all I could muster.
“Have you ever wondered why your own parents have no time for church, or God? It is the same with many others, each year fewer and fewer people care for such things. It is true that there are still strongholds of faith dotted around the globe, but even these are weakening and it’s because of the great plan; the grand illusion.”
“I…what are you talking about?”
“There are many things that these days are dismissed but are in fact absolutely true. The battle between good and evil for example: Heaven and hell for another; God, and the devil. All of it is true.”
I started to feel queasy.
“The plan, the illusion that has been put in place and flourished throughout the years is the key, and it comes down to this simple question: What is the greatest trick the devil ever pulled off?”
She waited to see if I would respond but even though I knew the answer, my mouth was too dry to answer.
“The greatest trick he ever pulled off was convincing the world he doesn’t exist. Since the days of Eden, our master has gathered people to the cause with ever more subtle and sophisticated means. By recruiting the right people, we have slowly but surely changed the mind-set of mankind, allowing their pursuit for knowledge, reason, profit, and material gains to be their downfall.”
Something registered in my mind that riled me. “This doesn’t make any sense. You’re lying. That is, I don’t know what this is but it can’t be true. Why would you be with granddad if you believe what you do?”
“Well that’s because I…”
I saw my grandmother’s demeanour suddenly change. Her shoulders sagged and she seemed consumed with sadness.
“I didn’t intend or mean for that to happen, it just simply did.” She reached for the chain round her neck and pulled it up from down her blouse. It was threaded through her wedding ring. “We met, and we fell in love. I suppose sometimes it really is true, opposites do attract.”
“You lied to him all those years?”
“Yes, I suppose I did. I kept my beliefs to myself and…” She sat up straight with renewed composure and purpose, placing the ring down her blouse once again. “Know this, I will not be made to feel guilty for the life I had, for the happy years I had with a man I loved, and the family we raised together.”
Her emotion took me aback.
“I took the opportunity to have a happy life. I knew that the man I loved would ultimately be lost to me because of his faith, but I was prepared to face that loss when I balanced it against the years of happiness we could have. The only part that was a burden was keeping my true feelings hidden and accompanying him to church. But even that was bearable when I saw that my own children had no interest in religion, despite their father. The plan was working, the illusion was taking an ever tighter grip as time went on.”
“What is this plan? This illusion you keep talking about?”
Like any other writer, Hassan Antonio Izzo is happiest when he is sat at his desk putting words down on paper; whether it be updating his blog, working on a short story, script, poetry, journalism, or wrestling with his first novel. If anything stands a chance of getting him away from his desk, a few drinks with friends would stand a good one. His biggest claim to fame is that Quentin Tarantino loved his Mr T t-shirt when he met him; which was pretty cool.
A proud South Londoner, you can follow on Twitter @Hassanizzo86