Eve turned sharply on her side. She lay on a straw bed overlaid with wool. She stretched, threw her arms in the air in defense and turned again. She was about hitting him with her fists when her eyes forced open.
“What is this you have done?”
The words jumped at her every day after the nightmares. But besides this, there was another she hardly could remember.
She sat up abruptly, turned to see if Adam was still there. It was dark. She felt for his part of the bed. He wasn’t. It should be four in the morning and he must be long gone.
His daily routine started around this time. He’d bring water to the livestock, clean out their pens, cut straws and weeds for them, talk to who seems God and fill the pots; something he added to his routine after she took seed.
She held on to her tummy. These nightmares started right after she conceived. She rested her aching back against the cotton filled pillow. She allowed herself to dare daydream – to daydream about Eden. She didn’t know how long she did but she just lay there. She heard nothing except the occasional footsteps of Adam outside.
If not for that conversation, she would have put to bed there; in the very arms of nature with absolute friendship between all creation. With peace between Adam, herself and God.
“You will surely not die”.
She could almost hear the serpent. He came in like every other day. Nothing seemed different. She was getting acquainted with Eden. Adam was away at the other side and she made conversation with the serpent.
Nothing was really different but the conversation.
He wanted to suddenly know about why God had told them to stay away from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
And she wanted to talk.
So she told him the obvious. Maybe she said too much. Or she just listened too much. She should have paid more attention to God than herself. His pleasure not hers should have come first, then she would have had hers too.
She sank into the pillow.
But the serpent sounded too sincere, coiled around the tree with head sticking out. He offered to her something she thought she had always wanted – to be like God.
The sun rays were streaming into the room. It eased her thoughts. It was always a gentle reminder that the day was still young and beautiful. It was a soothing call to duty, the duty to till and keep the earth. Her eyes stung with tears. She smiled and dabbed her eyes with her bed spread. She felt a sharp pain through her abdomen. She leaned against the wall and helped herself up. Her tummy weighed in front of her. She took slow quick steps, her legs widely apart. She bent her head a little to prevent hitting it against the door post and stepped out on the rich soil.
“I will increase your pain in childbirth”.
Her heart thumped. Everything was unfolding just as He had said it.
She fetched some water and splashed on her face. The coolness of it was always welcoming. The pots had that duty. She held the wooden bowl and stared at her face. She was aging and losing the beauty she once so held. Certainly she was dying. She moved her weight to her right side. It held her better.
“You will be like God”.
She frowned at the thought. Of course she wasn’t any close to that. She bought into the lie and sold it so well Adam bought into it. The bite into the fruit of knowledge of good and evil sealed their fate. She chuckled. Maybe not.
“Her offspring will bruise your head…”
It was the other words from her nightmare. And it was also the words from God to the serpent. She remembered now. She could just see all four of them standing awkwardly in Eden after the incident. Those words were to the serpent.
They seemed to carry more meaning. But all she knew was someone was fighting against her delivery. And since the words were part of the nightmares they are substantial to her nightmares. Someone didn’t want another third person because of God’s words to the serpent. Otherwise someone did want another third person because of those same words. And this person could not be the serpent.
Soon after their eyes opened, she knew the truth; the serpent was just the medium.
She let the thought slip away. She didn’t want it to be true. Her dream could mean anything.
She poured the rest of the water away and hurried to the fireplace. She should have some food ready for Adam before he got back. He must be looking for the next viable land for sowing. A few moons outside Eden had thought them to know the seasons for the crops. They had to live.
She kneaded the dough and cut it for baking. She’d leave the oven to heat some more.
She could smell the stew. The steam meant it would soon overcook. She bent and took it off the fire. Her back ached. She stood still for a while as if to straighten it. She looked outside, far ahead, gazing whether she’d catch a view of Adam returning.
“Your desire will be for the man”.
That was her lot after they went against God’s words.
She returned to the oven and tossed the bread into it carefully. She sat down to wait till she could smell it was ready.
Their days in Eden were untainted ecstasy. There wasn’t a difficult day. Everything was perfect. Without doubt perfect before she showed up.
“This is bone of my bone. Flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman because she was made from man”.
She warmed inside as the words resonated in her mind. She lay her head on the arm of the chair. That day, Adam said she rather brought perfection. And yet she also brought the doom. The doom to him and to all creation.
She shifted in the chair. She’s wondered many times how Adam felt about her after Eden. Besides their obvious talk about how they both fell, she hadn’t tried to bring it up. There would be too much shame, too much pain in talking about it.
She missed their days in Eden. She beamed. They’d dance to the music of the birds in the day and to the sounds of the wild animals in the night under the gaze of the moon. The smell of the flowers and dew at dusk were always welcoming. The full moons in Eden was a joy.
She could hear his footsteps from far away. She hurried to the oven. Adam was sure to get home soon. She wanted to have his food inside before he got there. She pulled out the bread, took it out of the baking pan and put it in the plate. She had already served the stew. She tried to get up but she couldn’t. The pains in her abdomen were sharper than before. They had also gone into her waist and her thighs. She sat back. She held onto her belly and beamed. The child seemed to be forcing his way out of her. She stood up, took two steps, held the arm of the chair and screamed. The pain was nothing like she knew. It was worse than all she’s experienced from being burnt whilst cooking.
She could hear Adam’s heavy footsteps. She yelled some more. Adam rushed to her.
“Eve”. He was alarmed.
She pointed to her bulging tummy. He understood. It was time for the child to be born. He helped her to walk to the bed.
Eve laid in pain. She held onto the bed spread and dug her nails into them. Pulling them was the only comfort.
She also laid there with mixed feelings. She was about to witness the miracle of the first third human and yet she was about to bring on a child all the woes he contributed nothing to. Adam was busy bringing in the cloth, bowls and knife for the delivery.
She had learnt too late that there was nothing outside of Eden.
Picture Credit: thinkingupwards.deviantart.com/discurrere.deviantart.com