Author’s Note: Happy New Year and late Christmas, sorry for disappearing for 4 months (tldr I have school + I’m lazy). Can’t make any promises as of this moment, but here you go, I guess.
My view was hazy. What appeared before my eyes was a nostalgic arcade. It was the one I would go to with Nii-san every now and then when I was a child.
Wait, why am I remembering something like this?
I turned my head towards a fence where four children were standing around. The sunset illuminated the scenery, casting long, dark shadows on the ground. It brought back memories that had been pushed to the depths of my mind long ago. I recognized the two standing on the side of the fence. They were definitely me and my Nii-san when we were children. The two opposing us were the neighbourhood bullies.
Ah, I remember this…
There was no sound coming from my surroundings, but this painful memory was clear enough in my mind that I didn’t need it. I just watched in silence as I reminisced. The two bullies stole the toy Thanos figure I won at the arcade. I sucker punched the one who was holding it and got it back. It was a stupid thing to do in hindsight, but it didn’t matter to me. I just wanted it back.
No, you idiot… don’t run.
One of my biggest regrets of my childhood was being replayed before my very eyes. I was a weak little kid who couldn’t stand up for himself. I always relied on my Nii-san to fight my battles for me, while I ran like a coward, tears streaming down my face.
Nii-san, I’m sorry…I’m sorry.
I cursed my past self as I wallowed with regret.
Suddenly, the scene faded, and was replaced with a familiar white room, and sitting before me was God. He looked as pathetic as ever, but for some reason, it didn’t feel right to berate him with insults like before. In fact, the look in his eyes was different. I could sense no amusement whatsoever. It was almost like he was disappointed in me.
“So”, he spoke. “You finally got your glove back”.
I try my best to avoid eye contact out of shame.
“What did it cost?”
God stares at me as I wait in silence.
“Did you not hear me? I said-”
“Shut up! Just shut up! I’m not in the mood to be mocked, okay!”
I stood up and snapped loudly at God’s cruel, poorly-timed attempt at comedy.
“I regret it, okay! I’m a loser who lost everything after being selfish and ungrateful!”
I never thought the day that I admit my own faults to a deity would ever come. It was a humiliating, yet cathartic, experience.
“You should know, you’ve been watching me this whole time, haven’t you? Why else would you be so interested in me. I’ve always been like this, a cowardly fool who takes advantage of other people’s kindness. Time after time I never fail to disappoint. Today was no different. Nothing has changed…”
There was nothing but silence after my monologue. God remained indifferent throughout the whole thing. I had nothing more to say, so I sat back down and resigned myself to my fate.
“Are you finished?”
God interrupts the silence with three simple words. His indifference towards me slightly irritated me, but I remain quiet. After a further pause, he continues.
“*Sigh, you know, as hard as it is to believe, when I gave you this new life, it was never my real intention to toy with you. I cannot deny that I had my fair share of enjoyment watching you suffer in your original world. I even convinced myself that it was all for my amusement. But deep down I knew why I was so interested in you specifically.”
His words piqued my interest, so I continued to listen.
“We have quite a bit in common, despite the gap in our status and power. Perhaps my interest in you stemmed from these similarities.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The mere thought of someone in such a high position comparing themself to me made my blood boil.
“How could you ever know a thing about me?! You have all the power in the world, yet you still feel unsatisfied? What more could you possibly want?!” I screamed in frustration.
God materializes the infinity gauntlet in his left hand. “I know because I was once in your shoes.” sad God completely nonchalantly. “I once had a daughter, you know. I too know what it feels like to give up everything I have for power”.
In the corner of my eye, I see the gauntlet glow a faint orange light.
“Perhaps I just wanted to see you avoid the same mistakes I made, to lead a more righteous path than I did”.
God spoke in a melancholic tone. I could tell he was sincere. All this time I thought God was just some omnipotent force, but now I see he is just as human as I am.
Heh, I really don’t change, do I?
I take a deep breath and try to cheer myself up.
“Wow, I didn’t know you felt that way about me. You know what? Fine. I’m sorry I jumped to conclusions, okay? This second life was pretty fun while it lasted anyways, so thanks…I guess”. I laugh casually as I tried to lighten the atmosphere.
God’s demeanor seems to have improved. He smiled at me and said “well, I guess this is a good start”.
“However, if I were to nitpick, I don’t appreciate your constant mockery of the Marvel fandom though. You wearing that gauntlet desecrates the name of Thanos, and your movie quotes are weak. If you could just not do that, it’d be great”.
God looks at me with a confused look, and I returned it with my own. I didn’t think what I said was that strange, so what’s with the look?
“Do you perhaps, not know who I am?” God spoke.
“Of course I do, you’re the God in every isekai series that sends the protagonist to another world with a cheat ability. You’re the one who makes every otaku’s dream come true. Though I’d have to say that this isn’t the ideal way I’d like my story to end”.
God stares at me as if he’d just witnessed something unbelievable. He then stands up and snaps his fingers. Suddenly, his figure began to change to that of a 2 and a half meter tall giant with a muscular physique, his skin turned a darker shade of purple, and his butt chin grew a six pack, making it look wrinkly. His fugly face slowly started to look more and more like Josh Brolin.
“I AM THANOS, YOU UTTER MORON!” he screamed.
I was stunned by what I just witnessed. My head was still busy trying to process all the information that was presented in front of me.
“HOW COULD YOU NOT FIGURE IT OUT AT THIS POINT?! I GAVE YOU SO MANY HINTS!”
“…………………..WHAT, YOU’RE THANOS?!”
The revelation hit me like a Nissan truck. Suddenly, my head was filled with tons of questions. But before I could ask any of them, God, er… I mean Thanos, spoke.
“*Sigh you know what? I’m done with you today. I don’t want to speak with you anymore. I’m sending you back, goodbye.”
The ever so familiar disintegration started occurring once again.
“Wait! But I thought I was dead!”
“I’m not gonna let my entertainment die that easily. Make this a good show for me, okay?”
“Wait… I have one more question. Tell me how you obtained all your pow-”
The disintegration finishes and I wake up yet again in the new world.