I met Reese in the resurrectorium. Reese had encountered Casiel while trying to leave Region 1920, despite having been told repeatedly that he must not. Humans do not survive meetings with angels unless the angel holds back all but a sliver of its presence. Casiel did not destroy the planet, or even the region. But Reese and a mile or so of the ground around him was unmade. The Lord himself had to bring Reese back again. I am relieved that he chose to do that, for my love for Reese of old and my love for him as my charge, both would have been wounded. I only hope I was able to get across to Reese how close he came to the Second Death. If another Bios had gone bad and killed him, I wouldn’t have worried: A Resurrection from a sin not one’s own is to be expected. But to be disembodied by an angel for disobedience…
Reese did seem chastened, not for what he did, but for me. This is good, because concern for the impact of one’s actions on others is a surer sign of repentance than concern for oneself. If only he also knew that obedience has its own virtues.
He called me Helen when he first opened his eyes. “Hi Helen.” Just that, and he passed out and slept for hours. When he awoke a second time, I was Amber to him again. But the unexpected ‘Hi Helen,’ came so naturally from his mouth and with such a relaxed and happy smile… I remember when he went in for a minor surgery once. He woke up and said “Hi Helen” with a dream soaked voice and the same happy ‘I knew you’d be here’ smile. Now I know why it moved me so. When he first woke up, all that anxiety about me not being there, about Helen, as he knew her not being there, all that was gone. Never happened. It was the face I would have seen had I been in the resurrectorium as Helen, instead of Amber.
And Father, forgive me, but for the first time I wish it had been so. For a moment, and to see that happiness remain, I would have traded it all: all the glory you showed me, being cuddled in your love, seeing your beautiful face… It was like those happinesses were for someone else, and the one meant for me had just come and gone in Reese’s face.