Chapter 9: The Face of a Goddess

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The Space Time Members have been traveling through space for three months. During that time, Angel trained them in using their powers.

The Space Time Members also spent their time watching old TV shows and movies and they used the virtual reality room. Eventually, they got bored with it all and their curiosity got the best of them.

“You all want to see what your lives would be like if the invasion never happened?” Angel asked.

“Yes,” Shelly said.

“You may not like what you see.”

“That’s fine.”

“Would you all like to see together or one at a time?”

“Maybe one at a time,” Allison said.

“Why’s that?” Michael asked.

“Considered what happened in our timeline, who knows what’s happening in some alternate timeline.”

“Alright. Who would like to go first?” Angel asked.

“I’ll go,” Alex said.

“Alright. Step inside control room.”

Alex stepped inside the reality engine control to see what his life would be like if the invasion of Earth never happened.
In this alternate timeline, Alex fell in love with a blonde girl with a swimmer’s body. This is despite the fact that Alex has never seen this girl’s face.

Alex checked himself into a mental hospital because his father couldn’t accept that he’s transgender.

As Alex sat in the waiting room, he saw a young blonde woman sitting across from him. For some reason, she hid her face in her coat. Alex thought that this was weird. At the same time, he was intrigued. Why is this woman hiding her face? What does this woman’s face look like? These were the questions that ran through Alex’s mind.

“Selena Dunn,” a nurse said. “Dr. Noble will see you now.”

Selena got up from her seat and she left the waiting room, still hiding her face in her coat.

Alex was in the waiting room alone with his thoughts. Alex went to see a psychologist several minutes later.

Alex walked into a tiny room with two couches. The room had a small window with bars on it. Also, it looked like the room hasn’t been painted in years.

“Hello, Alex,” Dr. Noble said. “How long has it been since we last spoke?”

“Four years, I think,” Alex said.

Dr. Noble was a psychologist for 40 years. Four years earlier, Alex attempted suicide because his father fat shamed him. After that, Alex had appointments with Dr. Noble once a week for 3 months.

“Would you like to tell me what happened?”

Alex explained how his father didn’t accept him for who is.

“Are you going to tell my parents?” Alex asked.

“You’re 18, so I won’t if you don’t want me to,” Dr. Noble said. “Look, your father’s behavior was unacceptable. At the same time, I’m very worried about you. This hospital has turned away far too many people who are suicidal. So, I think you should stay here for a few days. If you’re parents file a missing person’s report, we would have to let the police, and your parents know that you’re here.”

“Fine then.”

That evening, Alex made his way to the community room. He sat down next to a young man, watching TV.

“Sup?” The young man asked.

“This is it,” Alex said.

“I’m Justin.”

“I’m Alex.”

“This place can be a bit scary.”

The young woman that Alex saw in the waiting room walked by. She completely covered her face with her hair.

“Do you know that girl?” Alex whispered.

“Nope,” Justin said. “She must be new.”

“Why is she hiding her face?”

“I have no idea. Why don’t you ask her?”

Alex got up from the couch to talk to the young blonde.

“Hi,” Alex said.

“Hello,” the young woman said.

“I’m Alex.”

“I’m Selena.”

“Nice to meet you. Uh, do you mind if I ask why you’re covering your face?”

“Because.”

“Well. I’m sure you’re pretty.”

The next morning, Alex ate breakfast with his fellow patients. Selena sat at a table across from him. For the most part, Selena continued to cover her face with her hair. However, Selena had enough of her hair out of her face to eat.

Alex didn’t stare. However, he couldn’t help but to keep glancing at Selena. Throughout breakfast, Alex kept wondering why Selena was hiding her face. Alex also kept imagining what Selena’s face looked like. Did Selena have blue eyes or brown? Does she have a pointy nose or a flat nose? The only thing that Alex knew was that Selena had a pretty mouth. Her lips were cherry-red.

Later that day, Alex had an appointment with Dr. Noble.
“So, what happened to Selena?” Alex asked. “I haven’t seen her since breakfast.”

“She’s still in the hospital,” Dr. Noble said. “That’s all I’m allowed to say.”

“I would just love to know why she’s hiding her face. I bet she’s very pretty.”

“It’s interesting how you’re not talking about your parents.”

“What can I say? There’s something about Selena.”

“Perhaps you’re interested in the aura of mystery.”

“Maybe.”

That evening, Alex walked by the women’s sleeping quarters, and he noticed that Selena was looking out the window.

“You want to know why I hide my face, right?” Selena asked.

“Yes,” Alex said.

“It’s because I have body dysmorphic disorder. Every time I look in the mirror, I see a deformed face.”

“I’m so sorry.”

“Most people who have BDD don’t have it as bad as I do. But I’ve reached the point where I’ve became so depressed that I attempted suicide. That’s why I’m here.”

“I’m glad you’re alive. This hospital has turned away so many people who are suicidal. It looks like things are turning around.”

“Yeah. I guess.”

“Well, do you have Facebook, Twitter, Minds?”

“I have Twitter.”

“Great. You can add me when we get out. My Twitter is AlexMoody13.”

“Okay. Thanks. My username is SelenaDunn5.”

That night, while Alex slept in the men’s sleeping quarters, he dreamt about Selena.

Alex was in the community room of the mental hospital, watching TV. On the TV, he saw himself on a date with Selena, except the camera never showed Selena’s face. Instead, the camera showed Selena from behind or from the neck down. Although there were shots where random objects blocked Selena’s face.

“What a beautiful night,” Selena said.

“I love nights like this,” Alex said. “I never thought I would find anybody.”

“Why? Because you’re transgender?”

“That’s part of the reason. I’m an 18-year-old trans man who looks like a 12-year-old boy. I’m also short.”

“Don’t be hard on yourself. You’re cute, funny, nice, you’re not one of those special little snowflakes who get offended over everything. What’s not to like?”

Alex and Selena were about to kiss. Unfortunately, Alex woke up from his dream.

“God damn it,” Alex said to himself.
Larry and Martha had an appointment with Dr. Noble the next day.

“You want me to glorify mental illness?” Larry asked. “Emily needs shock therapy or something.”

“Let’s all calm down,” Dr. Noble said. “Alex suffers from gender dysphoria. The only known treatment is to allow people to transition. I don’t expect you to accept this right away. Alex’s transition is also a transition for the whole family. I already told Alex this.”

“I don’t think you understand,” Martha said. “It’s like we’re losing our daughter and gaining a son.”

“You could look at it that way,” Dr. Noble said. “But as I see it, Alex was always the same person on the inside. The only difference is, he wants his body to match who he is on the inside.”
“I won’t accept this,” Larry said.

“If you don’t, Alex may end up hating you,” Dr. Noble said.

“When we pick Emily…I mean, Alex up, just don’t say anything,” Martha said.

Larry didn’t say anything.

“That’s a good start,” Martha said.

Larry and Martha drove Alex home. The ride was silent and tense. While Alex was sitting in the back of the car, he followed Selena on Twitter.
Later that day, Selena sent Alex a DM on Twitter. They exchanged numbers and they texted each other.

Alex: “Sup?”

Selena: “This is it.”

Alex: “Uh. Mind if I ask a personal question?”

Selena: “Okay.”

Alex: “Since you have BDD, does this mean you don’t go outside?”

Selena: “I’m working on it. Why?”

Alex: “I was going to ask if you wanna hang out sometime.”

Selena: “Maybe.”

Alex: “What do you do about school?”

Selena: “I’m 19. I graduated last year.”

Alex: “Did you go to your prom?”

Selena: “No. That’s how bad my BDD is. I didn’t even go to my graduation ceremony either. I had this mental illness for over a year.”

Alex: “Too bad. I was hoping our first date would be at my prom.”

Selena: “Wait, you wanna go on a date with me?”
Alex: “Yes.”
Selena: “Wow! I would like that. But there would be too many people.”

Alex: “Maybe that wouldn’t be a good idea, after all. The school is planning on cutting both the dinner and the dance. Instead, they’re gonna have the meet-and-greet and go straight to the safe grad.”

Selena: “That’s stupid.”

Alex: “I know. I’m trying to convince the school to have the dance.”

Selena: “Good luck.”

Alex: “Thanks.”

The next day, Alex had lunch with his two best friends, Jen and Tom.

”Are we the only ones in school who want this dance?” Alex asked.

“It looks like it,” Jen said. “We can’t get enough signatures.”

“Why though?”

“Their parents don’t want to spend all of that money for the prom,” Tom said.

“I think everybody’s insecure,” Jen said. “It’s a lot of pressure to look your best.”

“So? The dance is the heart of the prom,” Alex said. “We can do without the dinner, but I want the dance.”

Alex wanted to take Selena to the prom. She also thought of a way to convince the student body to have the dance.

“I have an idea,” Alex said. “We could have a masquerade. One of my brother’s friend had it at her school. It would be, like, less pressure for the students to look good and it will be fun.”

“That’s a good idea!” Jen said.

Alex, Tom, and Jen sent out new petitions to the student body. Thankfully, they had enough signatures. So, the school decided to have the dance.

Sometime later, Alex texted Selena.

Alex: “The dance is back on.”

Selena: “That’s good to hear.”

Alex: “It’s a gonna be a masquerade. Maybe you could come with me.”

Selena: “K. I’ll go.”

Alex: “Sweet!”

*****
“I want you to reverse that spell you’ve put on me, Mother,” Selena said.

“How can I?” Selena’s Mother said. “I don’t have my powers, anymore.”

“Find a way.”

“You better show me respect.”

“The day you earn it. I haven’t been able to show my face in public in a long time. I’ll never forgive you for this.”

“I can get my powers back, but it will take a long time. I’m talking years.”

“That will be too late. I have an eternity, but mortals don’t.”

“What is wrong with you? You barely know this mortal boy and you act like you’re in love with him.”

“Maybe I am. Anyway, I can’t stand to be around you, right now.”

The prom took place three weeks later. Alex wore a black tuxedo and a black mask that went over his eyes. Selena wore a skimpy white dress with a white and gold, full-face venetian mask. Tom and Jen decided to dress like The Riddler.

“Thanks for inviting me, Alex,” Selena said.

“Thanks for coming,” Alex said.

“Did you do all of this for me?”

“Honestly, it was for you and the entire student body.”

“Well, thanks.”

Alex introduced his friends to Selena and they all danced the night away. All in all, everybody had a good time. Eventually, it was time for the last dance.

“I love this song,” Selena said. “This song is true, you know, love makes no sense.”

“What’s the name of this song?” Alex asked.

“Love Exist, by Amy Lee.”

“Listen, I have something to tell you. I’m….I’m transgender.”

“That’s okay.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. It doesn’t matter what your gender is. Either way, I like you.”

“I like you too.”

The last dance was over and it was time for the unmasking.

“Aren’t you going to take off your mask?” Alex asked.

“I suppose I should.”

One minute, Selena was standing in front of Alex, taking off her mask. The next minute, Alex saw Selena running away. It was like Alex suddenly blacked out.

Alex didn’t tell his friends and family what happened, because he didn’t want to worry them. Alex wasn’t drinking, and he never did any drugs. Did somebody slip a mickey in his Pepsi? Maybe. But they don’t cause blackouts, do they?
A few days later at Selena’s house…
“I’ve spent all night looking for a way to break your spell,” Selena said. “I’m a goddess. I should be able to break the spell.”

“You’re only a demigod, just like your cousin, Glacier,” Selena’s Mother said. “You can’t break a spell that somebody else put on you.”

“Don’t remind me.”

“There is a rumor that there’s a very powerful genie nearby, who doesn’t have a master,” Selena’s mother said. “His father is the most powerful genie to have ever existed, Merlin. The problem is he has been imprisoned in some modern object.”

“That’s going to be impossible to find. Besides, what does the Underworld know? Everybody in the Underworld loves to gossip.”

In this alternate timeline, and most likely in our timeline, Earth is filled with mythical creatures such as werewolves, vampires, genies, etc. They referred to themselves as the Underworld, while humans lived on the Surface World. Space aliens were a part of the Underworld as well. However, all of these creatures lived on the Surface World, posing as humans, which was for Selena and her mother.

“The Underworld is more reliable than the news,” Terra said. “We’ll find the genie. You just need a little hope.”

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