I've read the bible a couple of times. Some of those times, as a human, I'd just stare at it with a frown on my face, questions without answers fluttering in my brain. But all of those times I heard his name and the fame he had earned. The devil himself.
The bible paints him as the source of all evil, someone who lies as easily as it is to breathe. A deceiver, a schemer, a deranged soul with selfish motives. He owns the kingdom of hell, enjoys burning sinners while he sits in his throne of skulls. He has hooves and a red-ish tint to his skin. He is a horned creature, one which appears in everyone's nightmares. I think I know him personally.
The devil I know is somehow different. It fits the description, but the reasons why he came to be are mistaken. I have traded easy jokes and comfortable silences with Lucifer, sat at a table and watched him play chess with the lives of others. I have laughed and interacted with the king of hell. I have become a fallen angel who befriends the most famous of demons. I have met Lucifer to a personal level, so ingrained in my bruised soul sometimes I don't recognize where I am and he begins. I've played games to see how much I lost, but often times I just took the scars he gave me and called it a win. I have flirted with Satan, called him my love. And there, upon the crestfallen angels surrounding me, I declared my adoration for the creature they despise.
On earth, he disguises himself as a man. A man who everyone fears and hushes about. I've seen it myself, been witness to how the room's atmosphere solidifies once he makes his triumphant appearance. The angels bow their heads to talk among themselves, trading side-glances as he walks in. They whisper rumors another angel started, rumors which are false, and they tell them so often they believe it themselves. Funny. I thought being innocent until proven guilty was the law by which humans abide. I was so bewildered to find I was wrong.
And so, they read the bible they wrote themselves, which came in short conversations with unreliable sinners. They made stories up, stories which were designed to tell in the dark, to haunt, to scare. They never fulfilled their purpose in me. They say he once took a drunken angel and stripped her of her wings. I never saw proof, and the devil I know would admit to it only to boost his fragile ego. Because Satan loves to be spoken of, treasures being feared. But in the nights we're alone and the fiery pits of hell die down to embers, he weeps and weeps for the rumors he has to hear. And so, he earned his horns.
I've met snakes disguised as angels, befriended them, trusted them. I've told them I was high on a love that could never be. They nodded to me and turned their backs, shedding their skin as fast as they change their disguise. They morphed from one day to another, an angel I trusted, a snake that sold me. Those angels who only fooled me tell me stories of who he is. They say he has carved words into an angel's wings with a knife he forged in the flames he owns. I've even heard he carries a lighter with him, ready to turn it on and scar your skin if you dare to let him near. But I have, and I have never been burned.
Reputations are earned by misconceptions, and he is a play few angels understand. He plays different characters so easily he molds into them. It takes me the entire night to break him out of character sometimes. He basks in the crown Beleth built for him as she sung him to sleep. I was there those nights too, sneaking from the garden Eve burned to the ground to spend forbidden hours with Satan. It was a gruesome sight. His head on Beleth's lap, her red lips and red dress distorting the image of the fire around them, while a blazing fire called jealousy consumed me. It was a new, thrilling feeling. Jealousy should never be felt by angels, but I enjoyed how incriminating it tasted.
And Beleth was a demon. She would never answer to me, holding Satan on a tight leash as if he were her pet. Beleth would sing songs of love to his ear only to come and whine to mine. Hypocrisy is another thing demons share. They are so good at it, it often comes out as polite apologies, but they are never sorry. It took me years after Beleth left to teach Lucifer hypocrisy hurt me. Once he learned, he took my naked wings and glued the crooked feathers back on with such care I felt adored. His love was so juxtaposing, so complex and obtuse. Everyone painted him as a creature who loved hate, but I think he loved me. Would that make me a personification of hate?
If given the chance, I would've slipped my wings off and chased after him. I was tired of being pure, dressed in white and standing by the sidelines, watching as they had fun. Lucifer had fun. He would bewitch other angels into trusting him, plunging them into the pits of hell while he held their hands. Beleth was one among the few he took to bed, and his reputation grew wild and alive, like throwing fuel down the drain and it reaching hell. It happened so soon he never saw the flames rise, and so he was burned by the fire he created. The fire he allowed to escalate because he loves the pain.
I came to Jesus' throne and told him how scared I was of loving Lucifer. Lucifer and I, we'd been friends for ages, and at first Jesus didn't understand. He took my hand and sat me on his lap, stroking my wings as I repented from my sins. I told him about the nights I'd sneak out of heaven to visit Lucifer. How I learned to calm the beast he was, washing away the tears that the conception the earth had of him brought.
Jesus laughed at me. Forgave me, held me, told me not to rush headfirst into things. But he knew my heart, how much I adored the wretched man. And love covers a multitude of sins. I think he read it in my heart, how scared I was of losing my angel status because I was mingling with a fallen angel. I was petrified of disappointing the snakes dressed as angels and the few crestfallen souls that cared about my demise. I would've abhorred disappointing God.
He cleansed my tears and told me the story was wrong from the beginning. God had righted the wrongs Satan had made, and in his mind, in Jesus' mercy, my lover stood forgiven. Jesus told me he loved my pure heart, that I could still see good in someone who was told to be so bad. I think he even approved of my relationship with him. White and red, fast and slow, a fire burning without oxygen.
And though God allowed me to make my choices, my steps were not the ones he had in mind. He allowed me to love the Lucifer everyone else hated, he allowed me to keep my wings, but he would not give me the luxury of eternity next to hell's prince. He gave me a promise to hold on to, told me there was an angel God would craft just for me, an angel who would clean and never hurt my wings again. And though I believed God, I ignored his words for a few years. For the next year I mingled with Lucifer, became the sidekick he loved and held in a pedestal because of her bravery. I stood so close to burning fire yet I was never afraid to burn.
But ashes return to ashes, and our time was written in the holy books Jesus wrote. We had a few years to ourselves, a gift from God to let me know he had listened to my heart, but what he had in mind was ultimately the best thing for me. I took it in mind begrudgingly.
And now, as I lie awake because I know my years on this earth are over, I go back in my mind to those years I spent next to Lucifer made flesh. How I loved him, how I adored him. I am ready to go back to heaven, where I belong, where I won't be judged and everything will be forgotten. And as I draw my last breath, I can only laugh at the meager angels who called me wrong, because they never got the luxury to fall for Satan.