I’ve always been fascinated with the stories told by religion. Stories of great beings, heroes and evil. If you’re religious I hope you don’t see this story as any kind of offence, it’s not meant as such.
This story came to me the other night, and it came on so strongly that I was forced out of my bed in the middle of the night to jot down some things about it. I expected the idea to be terrible when I woke up, but I quite like it. And this very rarely happens to me (the story in the middle of the night thing – I won’t say much about the idea thing ;)).
Since I’m currently working on a short story collection (and therefore generally saving my stories and ideas) I figured I might include this in it, however I wouldn’t mind getting some general feedback on this one – so here it is: Eve out of Eden. I might pull it down later, or I might keep this version here and include a more thoroughly worked on edition in the collection – who knows.
Anyway here is a little different Valentines Story for you to enjoy over the weekend.
Eve Out of Eden
There was a time when I could have chosen a different path but I didn’t. I’m not sure it would have been a better one, mind you, but a different one and I would have been more true to myself. I guess if time has taught me anything it’s one thing: You’re damned if you do, but dead if you don’t.
I wasn’t eased into life. I popped up ripe and ready and got minuscule chance to get the hang of things. Thankfully the creator quickly realised that some time to adjust is needed. And good for him, he learns quickly, but it didn’t help me much that other people where suddenly being born babies. I was never one.
They say I was the first, but that’s not the truth. There was one before me, and Adam loved her in a way he never loved me. That’s arranged marriages for you. I don’t blame him. It wasn’t his fault. He fell in love with the woman who refused to be anything but his equal. Who can shame him for that? But most of all who would dare blame her? I did try very hard, for a long time, not to be like her though.
I was created in a different manner from her, with endless compassion and the will to serve the people I loved. I was the second attempt at perfection. The better example, if you will. How wrong they were. But I was the second wife. I had a home so beautiful you can’t ever imagine. I had everything I needed and a good man by my side. So what if he loved another and secretly wondered what would have happened if he had just given into her and let her have her way. Second thoughts are the killers, right? My story would have ended there if it hadn’t been for him and his need to be number one.
I met the love of my life underneath an orange tree. The serpent, you might call him, he has so many names but the story has become twisted with time, it tends to happen. I’m sure you’re aware. And it’s never been my place to correct the stories written long ago and to be honest I’ve never felt the need, but enough is enough and let the first correction be that he may not have been a mere man, the creature I met underneath that tree, but he was no worm, no snake. I resent the implication.
He was the most beautiful creature I ever lay my eyes upon. I’ve never seen anything like him, before or after. I was in a fix. I fell rapidly in love with someone that wasn’t my husband and the deeper I fell the more I came to resent the man I slept next to. It’s a vicious cycle. And how can a man of clay compare to an angel?
When we first kissed, Lucifer and I, it was magic. I couldn’t understand what someone like him would see in someone like me. It was incomprehensible. To say that he seduced me is to shift the blame. I was to blame too. He was gorgeous, and I loved his thirst for knowledge and the way he asked questions that made me think of who I was and what I wanted to become.
Adam frowned upon any questions asked, as you may have guessed. He was not a bright man, at least not back then, what can you expect from a man made of dust? A man who was expected to be a leader the day he was born. But his lack of curiosity annoyed me more and more as the days went by. I knew better, however, than to rock the boat. I had the most wonderful home, a leisurely life and everything I could ever want, except for him of course.
But we met, secretly, underneath that apple tree and one day I couldn’t help myself. I kissed him and he kissed me back. We may not have been a match made in heaven, but the love and the passion we felt were quite real.
When my first son was born I was in no doubt about who his father was. He was wonderfully beautiful as his father and I wanted so to share my happiness with him. But Adam was in seventh heaven and trotted around priding himself of the offspring we’d finally managed to beget. I had started to wonder if his clay-loins were fertile at all, but then came Abel, and Abel like Kain, had his father’s eyes; they were not the same eyes.
I loved my sons equally. I never wanted anything bad to happen to either of them, but I guess it was inevitable.
When my sin came out in the open, I was forlorn. It was Adam who discovered me underneath the tree with Lucifer. His eyes widened in quiet horror. He was afraid of Lucifer and so he didn’t do anything there, but stare at me and then he left.
So we were cast out of Eden. We were no longer allowed the comfort of the haven. We were sent outside were the land was barren and we were told that hard work would cure our decadence.
It wasn’t Adam’s fault. Though I don’t know exactly what went on between him and his god at that moment. I may blame Adam for other things, but it wasn’t his fault that we ate of that proverbial tree of knowledge. He tried his very best to keep away, but he was still to be blamed for not keeping a wakeful eye.
Adam was angry, but he was tall in his resilience and in his forgiveness. And he never betrayed the origins of his sons, although I suspect he knew very well where they came from. He never betrayed him, not even when Kain did what he did and I do think humanity has something to be thankful for there. Though one wonders, of course, if such a thing can be kept from the great judge.
Adam blamed me, though. Our lives became hard, dark and low. I longed, not for Eden, but for the creature that had been mine for those years we had there. I didn’t mind the hard work our fields required, I didn’t mind getting my hands dirty but I was away from him now and it was excruciating.
Adam knew my plagues and he may have been resilient in keeping the marriage between us whole, no matter what, but he was sympathetic to my plagues even if he resented the fact that he had not been the objected of my affection. He wasn’t unkind to me, never and he never treated the children differently. He was a good man, Adam, clay or no clay.
The culmination came when Kain did his deed. I love my son. He is not the bastard people take him for. The jealousy between the brothers was, after all, my fault. Because Abel taunted Kain in every way he could. Kain is a man of his father. He is beautiful, smart, fast and he has a certain je ne sais quoi that people pick up on. Abel was a son of the earth and he envied his brothers craftiness and his ability to laugh at the world. When Abel found out, by a misspoken word, who Kain was he became furious.
Kain was punished greatly for his vileness. He was a divine creature, as his father, before the fight with his brother in the fields. It was never told that Kain was himself on the brink of death when he came to us, stumbling after the battle with his brother, pleading with us to help, to undo what he had done. The anguish in his eyes when he told me, “Mother, I have murdered my own brother,” was like nothing I have seen before or since, and I did not even understand the word he spoke.
His punishment was to follow in his father’s footsteps. And he did utter the words he is accused of, about not being his brothers keeper. Cursed and banished he became, my handsome son. The man, who not only fathered a great deal of you human beings, but then came to father other creatures as well, creatures of the night who lurk and hide in darkness waiting to avenge their father by hunting their blood relatives.
It’s a strange world we live in. But there I was, still by my husband’s side after all these years. Our children were many and they needed me. Then there were grandchildren and they are such a blessing.
I was the mother of life. That was my role and is, as most see it. I was the weak one, the sinning one and I was the woman who betrayed her husband and got him cast out of the wonderful haven that Eden really was.
I have so many labels, as do my daughters, but what they always fail to mention is that, though I may (or may not, what do I know about my creation?) be created from Adam’s ribs, I am still created with the profanity of love in my blood and I did not love Adam, but the fallen one.
When our children started dying we tired. It is a harsh fate seeing your children die, no matter how old they’ve become. Adam and I weren’t made to die and the creator hadn’t put it into our blood, but with the agony of the years settling on my shoulders I finally couldn’t take it anymore.
I told Adam that I was going away. He could do what he pleased. I told him he should go find his first wife and proclaim his love for her. He just hissed at me. I told him I couldn’t bare this life of falsities anymore. I told him I was leaving. I was going to search for my son, Kain and I was going to search for him, the one I had longed for all my long life.
I am Nawwa. I am Ninti. I am Eve. You may call me the mother of life, but what I really am, and always was, is the woman who wanted more. I was created to be a certain way. I was created to listen, to serve and to obey and I did that for far too long. I will no more.
“Never again,” I told him, “will I be second to anyone as I was second to you, Adam,” and he kissed my cheek and he lay his hand on it and his stroke was gentle and he whispered the words that surprised me so I wondered if I ever knew this man I had lived with for so long.
He said, “if you’d only said this all those years ago, amongst the golden trees, then our life may have been very different from what it has become and the lives of our children would have been different.” But he smiled and it was a forgiving smile and he said that the blame was partially his, that he had placed the hand of righteousness by his side and stared blindly at it. He did mourn for the projected image of us as a couple, and I guess in a way I did too.
So we parted ways as friends, Adam and I. He wished me well and said he hoped I would find what I was looking for. He said that I deserved that and his words almost made me regret the decision of leaving him. I almost wanted to stay and see if we couldn’t try to be what had been expected of us both.
But I didn’t stay. Instead I started my long search. I didn’t know what had become of Lucifer after we parted ways. I had no idea about his fate, or about what had happened to my son in his exile.
I finally found one when I found the other. My son had changed, but he is loved none the less. Whatever they become I will always love my children. I will have no expectation of them, except that they seek what they desire and they be true to themselves. And Lucifer, his suffering is great. I, who was cast out of Eden, know nothing of what it’s like to be cast out of heaven.
I found happiness in his black halls. When he saw me he fell into my arms and he cried bitter tears. He pleaded for my forgiveness and I told him that there was nothing to forgive, that I wouldn’t have it any other way. He stared into my eyes for a long time, searching for the truth and when he found it he welcomed me home.
Adam went to find his first wife. He asked for her forgiveness and I believe that is just what he got. She is a proud woman, Lilith, but in no way does she deserve the reputation she got. She was made to be equal and that’s just what she is.
But what am I? I was made to sit and worship and be quiet, to do as I was told – but life does not submit to expectations. Life is larger than that. Life wanders its own path and that force of life, in our blood, makes us strong. The expectations do not make us, what makes us is the longing in our chests. It will devour us if we don’t follow it. It will break us. Believe me, I’ve had a long time to learn from my mistakes.
And so I tell you, you may be damned if you do, but you are DEAD if you don’t.