“My God, you are so persistent!” Mary yelled.
“I’m not leaving until Ba’al comes with me!” Satan answered.
“He has no interest in you! We’ve beaten you five times over this already!”
“I’m not giving up just because he has rejected me five times. That’s not enough” Satan said, crossing his arms. “I need him”.
Mary Clark sighed, and looked up at The Cactus, who had warned her of the presence of the Infernal Army. The Cactus just shrugged.
“Look, Satan, I don’t intend to be mean, but I don’t think you are understanding what love is. You are infatuated with Satan, not in love. What you have is an obsession, love is when the other person’s happiness is more important to you than anything else” Mary explained.
Satan did not look happy. “But Ba’al is important to me!”
“I understand, Satan. But you have to understand that Ba’al’s happiness also depends on being there for Diane, his own child, because he loves her”.
Satan was pale. Alba Luca approached from a nearby street. “Mary! What’s going on? Do you need me to get rid of this army?”
“No, no, Alba, it’s OK, I’m trying to be diplomatic here” Mary explained.
“So what’s the matter?” Alba asked.
“It’s a long story of unrequited love” Mary sighed again. “Satan loves Ba’al, but Ba’al doesn’t love him back, and Satan wants to take him to Hell”.
“Oh, a love conundrum! But Mary, why didn’t you call me any earlier? We Italians are the world experts in love!”
Mary was quite surprised. “I thought that was the French?”
Alba spat on the floor. “The French have no idea about what real, intense love is. We Italians know it best”. She then looked at Satan, who had been silent for a while. “Satan, come take a coffee with me. I will teach you about love the way Italians do it”.
He looked at her with a weird face, and she got serious. “Look, it’s not like you have an alternative” she explained. “I am the third most powerful being in the whole Multiverse. When I say something you just obey”.
The Infernal Army banished and Satan followed Alba Luca. “Thank you, Alba” Mary said.
“Don’t thank me” Alba smiled.
Mary headed back towards the Caliph’s Palace, and went right into the office, banging the door. Diane was quite startled to hear the bang, and started to collect a few papers that she had spread out in the table. Mary looked at her.
“Hey, isn’t that your father’s workplace?” Mary stated more than asked.
“Yes… He left so I used the space to work on a project” Diane explained.
“Is it related to your prediction diaries?” Mary asked.
“No! I mean, actually, yes, but it’s kind of a side project”.
“It’s OK, you keep working on your own stuff” Mary said. “I’ve just had a chat with Satan. He’s back in town to get your father. So persistent”.
“Oh, actually, my father left because I told him about that this morning at breakfast” Diane explained.
“Warning him was wise of you” Mary said, as she down in her chair, tired. “Though I don’t think he will be a problem this time, because Alba has taken him to give him some lessons on love”.
“That’s… weird” Diane felt it was weird and funny at the same time.
“Yes, I know. I just hope he stops with this obsession of his. Now that I think about it, that John Fier could also learn a lesson or two from Alba, if it works with Satan. All of this tunnel digging is creating a huge mess” Mary complained.
“I think it’s quite cute, actually” Diane smiled. “He loves Erin, and digs tunnels to be able to meet her without his parents unreasonable control”.
Mary looked at her seriously. “Did you tell him any of this?”
“I… may have?” Diane didn’t want to lie to Mary.
“Oh, God, that must have made it even worse! He definitely needs a lesson from Alba Luca! I’m getting her to teach him after she is done with Satan”.
Satan staid in town for three more days.