Butch kissed an alien today; a goddess that would leave her changed for a lifetime. The stranger’s cat-like amber eyes shimmered with fire as the early autumn sun reflected their beautiful aura, her beautiful aura. It pulled Butch closer and closer until she could no longer remember why they were there lying in the lime green grass, side by side and face to face.

The woman’s piercing and comforting gaze was disarming. Butch tried to resist its yearning, but with every passing millisecond of what seemed to be endless time, the longing within her grew exponentially. Thoroughly helpless against the bronze-skinned beauty, the desire to know her exploded in Butch. She closed her eyes and met her inviting, soft, kind lips. Butch slowly caressed the woman’s delicate face and then her long slender body.

They were naked.

For Butch, this was far from a kiss, being certain that it was the most mind blowing, epiphanic, perhaps hallucinogenic, catharsis. She did not see galaxies or fireworks or even stars. When Butch opened her eyes, she realized that in that moment, the lucidity of this world became transparent, as if she had just grasped the universe all at once. As if its past, present, and future all collided into one solid rock that is Butch. In that instance, she knew all.

Trembled by the short-lived omnipresence of her being, Butch whispered, “Who are you?”

“Urania,” she said.

“Urania?” Butch wondered.

“The Holy Spirit.”

“The Holy Spirit? Holy shit,” Butch replied, knowing this to be the truth; the most relieving truth.

Suddenly, the azure sky turned into a bizarre spectacle of rainbow lights. Translucent hues of red, yellow, blue, orange, green, and violet paraded amazingly above them in a sort of regal sway. They were more saturated, more vivid, and yet, more subtle than any shades known visible to human perception. They are indescribable, but they were never new.

The grand source of the phenomenon shortly revealed itself, zoom-zooming gallantly from behind the lights, stopping to loom over the pair mid-air. It was a disc-shaped spaceship, like the kind often shown in various UFO sighting documentaries, only far more elaborate in design. Despite hovering, the vessel was constantly in motion as the rainbow disc slowly circulated around and around. The colors were the same as that of the lights it emanated, but amazingly, more radiant.

Butch stood up with the heavy wind blowing her short hair back; mesmerized, curious, and shockingly unafraid.

“The Ave Maria,” Urania informed.

“The Ave Ma—ria?” Butch stuttered. The sight was so overwhelming, she barely remembered how to talk.

But, by the time Butch turned around to face Urania, she was gone. Gone. Gone as gone can be. Gone with the heavy wind. Gone where? How could she be gone? How could she leave her? She brought her here. Somehow, anyway.

By now, a magnificently golden doorway to the cockpit of the Ave Maria opened, and a luminous marble staircase rained down in front of Butch. She felt an intense sense of belonging and love to whatever was up in the spaceship. Only if Urania hadn’t disappeared, Butch would kiss her again and know exactly what to expect. Where did she go?

Butch, still naked, walked up. With every passing step, a beaming, synchronized melody became louder and louder as if the Ave Maria could shelter millions of people. Butch wasn’t musical, but this was the most beautiful sound she had ever heard. Harps, violins, pianos, and instruments she could not name, all joyously collided into an upbeat “Ave Maria.” An ecstatic sense of happiness entered Butch. She started running up the steps.

At the golden gate, Butch sobbed loud happy tears.

“Grandma,” she exclaimed as she gave the old naked woman before her a loving embrace. Butch could have cared less about the woman’s deeply engraved wrinkles, the droopiness of her bosoms, or her elderly posture. None of those physical attributes seemed unappealing. Grandma was beautiful.

“Grandma, what is this place?”

“Oh darling, this is the Ave Maria. This is what awaits you when your time runs out… But your time isn’t over yet and even though I am so happy to see you, I don’t know why you’re here. It has to be important.”

The two women locked arms.

“Where did Urania go?” Butch asked.

“You met the Holy Spirit?”

“I kissed the Holy Spirit.”

“Oh boy,” Grandma replied with new perplexity.

She continued and Butch listened intently to the woman she has held onto in her heart, “Like I said, your being here must be important. No one is just allowed to come and go.”

“In the time I have been gone, I have yet to see it happen,” she added and the two went inside. The steps reclined back into the vessel and the opening closed as fast as it appeared in front of Butch.

“I never doubted that your soul would end up in the Ave Maria. Not when I saw you reacting to your mother’s insults. Not when I saw your father walk out in a storm when you brought that lovely girl over for dinner. Not when… When… Well, I think you know what I’m talking about. We both know that you will never do that again sweetheart. We are all born to be human and love is the most essential part of what allows humanity to grow.”

“Oh grandma,” Butch started tearing up again and the women embraced once more.

The inside of the ship seemed to have an unending capacity of space. Floors upon floors with no roof, but the galactic harmony above. The happiness Butch felt was so tremendous that there should be a new word for it, she thought. No one seemed bothered by her unexpected arrival. Not the angels exalting new heavenly tunes, nor the crowds upon crowds of people joining them in one collective choir, intended to praise their king.

Thinking about the Ave Maria in retrospect, it reminded Butch of the old cathedrals she visited with her parents on a childhood trip to Europe, but truly, nothing earthly could compare to the grandness of this holy sight. The angels exuded colorful lights that could only have been dipped in heaven and the cosmic materials used to build this immaculate place merely resembled Earth’s most precious metals.

Butch was sitting at the dinner table inside of her parents’ large dining room space. A medieval chandelier hung above her head and she wondered if it would ever fall, shattering the old-fashioned vase with artificial Easter lilies. The light bulbs on the chandelier gave off a harsh, overbearing light often used in public restrooms. There was nowhere to hide. The cross above the door to the kitchen seemed heavier than ever.

She gave the young woman next to her a reassuring glance that in any other lighting would have been reassuring. Instead, it appeared panicked, devastating. Butch sat as still as she had ever been. Stiff.

The young woman caringly placed her hand on Butch’s shoulder.

“Butch, baby, look at me, it’s going to be okay. No matter what. I’m here for you.”

“Stacey… I’m scared. I’m so fucking scared I think I’m going to puke,” Butch whispered.

“They’re your parents, they will love you no matter what. It’s going to be okay baby. Breathe.”

“Stacey… I don’t think I can do this. They’re not gonna take it well.”

Butch nervously took a sip of her water and the glass trembled as she placed it back down on the table. She felt the weight of the words in her throat and she knew that she was going to let them out this time.

Her mother finally appeared with a tray of her signature chocolate-chip cookies, clearly uneasy. She placed the cookies in the middle of the table next to the old-fashioned vase, letting out a long anxious sigh. She glanced at Butch, then at Stacey, and then back at Butch.

“Katie. Tell me what’s going on. Are you pregnant?”

Butch shook her head. She looked up at her mother pleadingly.

“Where is dad?” Butch asked softly.

“He’s smoking a cigarette. He’ll be right in… Do you want any tea? Any coffee?”

Butch shook her head.

“Thank you, Mrs. Kowalski, but I’m okay with the water. I’m sensitive to caffeine.”

“You know to tell you the truth, me too. I have decaf?”

“I never got into coffee because of the whole caffeine thing. I really appreciate the—”

The women heard the door slam and silence ensued. Butch took another nerve wrecked gulp of her water, almost spilling the glass this time. Her father was coming and so was the end. She had to tell the truth either way.

Butch’s father sat nonchalantly at the table with one of his earphones still in.

“Okay, what’s up kid? What’s the matter? Are you pregnant?”

“She obviously has something to tell us Greg. Take that out of your ear for crying out loud!”

The man complied as if complying with some nuisance.

“Okay, so what is it Katie?” he urged with hurry, like he had an important thing to get back to.

Butch cleared her throat. As if a thousand filthy worms had been thrust into her esophagus, she couldn’t utter a sound.

“Come on,” Greg gesticulated with his hands to hurry up, but there was no taking back what Butch had to say.

“So…” she began.

“So?” Greg looked at her wide eyed. There was nowhere to hide.

“So… Stacey and I…”

“Stacey and I? Okay get to the point kid,” he sighed and her mother had this piercing gaze that sent Butch back to “so.”

“So… So…”

She knew she had to let it out or she would be saying “so” until tomorrow morning. Another thousand filthy worms seemed to have plunged into her throat. Dead fish and menacing hungry eels made their way there too.

“So…”

Greg impatiently slammed the table. Maybe it wouldn’t be the chandelier, maybe it would be Greg.

“So, Stacey and I are together.”

“What the fuck do you mean you’re together!? You’re straight,” her father slammed the table once more. Her mother looked down devastated.

“Or… so you thought,” Butch stuttered.

“You’re changing yourself! You’re goddamn changing yourself!” he yelled and began to leave.

Butch’s mother looked up calling out to her husband in a sort of lament Butch would remember every day after today, “Greg! Greg! Where are you going?”

He did not respond, picked up his car keys, and left. He has yet to come back.

“Look, Mrs. Kowalski, I love your daughter very much and I will always take care of her,” Stacey promised.

“No. NO. No, I could never accept this. I’m sorry, but I can’t accept it. I won’t accept it.”

“It doesn’t matter if it’s today, in a year, or five years, I will always love her more than I could love anybody else. She is a special person. She means everything to me. Please… Don’t do this to her.”

“Katie IS a special girl. That’s why, YOU, Stacey need to leave her alone.”

Butch was stiff and sobbing silently. Completely stiff and stricken with the truth.

“It’s not Stacey, mom. It’s me. It’s ME!”

“You’ve always liked boys.”

“You only like to see what you want to see. I love Stacey.”

“No… NO… Just, no. I will love you. You’re my daughter… How could I not? But… I will never accept this. This isn’t right. This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be.”

As Stacey and Butch were making their way back to the car, Greg was inside of his vehicle. His window was rolled down and he was letting out a lung-disturbing cigarette drag.

“Hey Katie.”

“Yeah?”

“How would you explain this to your grandmother?”

“Explain what?”

“That you lick pussy,” he said, disgraced.

Butch and her grandmother rejoiced together in song until Butch was summoned by one of the angels to meet the Father. Looking back on her life, she realized this would be the only Father she ever truly needed and wanted. The only Father that was deserving of her love and devotion.

The Angel asked Butch if she was ready to meet him.

“Yes,” she replied.

“He is way above… Way above,” Angel told her.

“I will take you to the Father. Don’t be afraid.”

And just like that, Angel held onto Butch and they soared effortlessly up the Ave Maria, up to the never-ending cosmic ceiling. Up to where human imagination fails and is unable to go. Up, to the only power that has the answers to the enigma of life itself.

Finally, Butch arrived at the sacred place where only white light exists alongside a golden majestic throne. Not the harsh, overbearing light in her family’s dining room, but the kind of light that could never blind, filling you with warmth, affection, joy, truth… Truth. Butch waited for the Father to appear, but she only heard his voice from beside the throne. It was loud, and it rumbled and soothed at the same time.

“Child, I will face you when it’s your time, but this is not the moment. You have much life to live, important tasks to set before you. Urania has chosen you. Do you know of her whereabouts?”

“The Holy Spirit, Father?”

“Yes, child. Between you and I, she has been unhappy with some of my decisions, but I only make decisions out of love for mankind, letting them do as they see fit. Urania, in all her goodness, came to the realization that humanity needs intervention, a new sort of inspiration. It appears this inspiration is you… I would not dare to punish Urania, but we need the Holy Spirit back with the Ave Maria. The results could be catastrophic for the unity of the universe if…”

In lower tone, as if bestowing upon Butch a great secret, he continued, “If Satan and his Army of Rebels find out. Your world as you know it could be compromised and Evil, as you know it, will prevail, even over the Ave Maria, even over the Holy Trinity. Therefore, child, do you know where Urania is?”

“No, Father. She disappeared as soon as she told me that this is the Ave Maria.”

“If she comes to you again, which I know she will, tell her what I said.”

“And, Butch…”

“Yes, Father?”

“After your time here, you will never be afraid to be yourself again and because of that, you have great power. Power… to save mankind.”

The light from up, up above where Butch met her maker began dissipating faster and faster until all that was left of it was a small tiny dot among pure blackness. Butch was waking up from a turbulent sleep as she came back from a world unlike this one. The Father was right. She wasn’t afraid to be herself anymore. She wasn’t even afraid to face her sobbing mother as she awakened for the first time since the suicide attempt. It’s been three days.