The Garden of Eden:
‘So God created mankind into his own image,
In the image of God he created them;
Male and female he created them.’
-The Bible: Genesis 27
“It wasn’t me,” said Eve to the bees that circled the Forbidden Fruit. It had been exactly seven months, twelve days and nine minutes since she had been created out of Adam’s rib. A woman with a grown, bonny body and a newly born innocent mind.
“I wasn’t the first woman but I have heard her stories. Angels tell me about Lilith all the time. I don’t like her,” said Eve with hate in her heart but not words as the word ‘hate’ had yet to be invented. “She was deviant and radical,” she had to settle on minor insults to describe something she felt real disgust for. Unfortunately, the ‘Holy Libel: Bureau of Blasphemy and Slander’ was founded only after women were sent to earth.
“She told my innocent Adam that she liked to be above him when they united in way of marriage. That is disgusting and unholy. Adam said women can’t ever be above. Good thing God banished her and created me. Now I serve God in this beautiful Garden and she makes merry with demons. All I have to do is not be like her. She is bad. I am good. She is evil. I am Eve.
‘To the woman he said, “I will make your pains
in childbearing very severe; with painful labour
you will give birth to children. Your desire will be
for your husband and he will rule over you’
“But doesn’t he already?” she wanted to ask. “Doesn’t he already rule over me? In stories he does, in conversations he does, and in bed. What’s left? Wonder how painful birthing children would be now. Wish I could evade it, but God won’t allow it. The pleasure Adam seeks in me won’t let Him allow it. Curiosity is my sin I know, free will is my crime I know, but is this really the punishment I deserve? What happened to forgiveness?”
“Lucifer was my only friend so I trusted him.” Eve looked at her feet and there he was, the handsome Devil. He smiled at her. Condescendingly or sympathetically, she didn’t know. How could he smile?
“Look! He knows he’ll live as a snake forever and yet he smiles. I wonder if being a reptile is better than being a woman now. Trusting him is also my sin. I wish I were wise enough to stop myself from sinning before I ate the Fruit of Wisdom. But now that I have eaten it, I shall act like I have. Here, I’ll follow my husband to the Earth and be by his side for eternity. For I am not Lilith. I can’t shun my Father and his ways. I am Eve.
I shall not be Lilith. I will not be Lilith.
‘For in a world where men scream
Their laws made in their God’s name
Being a sinner is supreme
Then being an angel or a saint.
They call her witless but she ate
The Fruit of Wisdom just the same.’
By the 21st century, there were six cities named ‘Eve’ in the United States. On the top of a spirited building of one of the cities sat the namesake, waiting for a long-lost adversary. She had a drink in her hand, not wine. A hand was on her abdomen trying to soothe her pain.
“Hey what are you drinking?” a voice came from up above. A scantily clad woman with wings that hid the moon made her way to Eve.
“Curious choice for you.” Lilith landed on the rooftop with a dancer’s grace. “Why did you want to see me? Be fast. I am very expensive nowadays. It’s divorce season.”
“I know,” Eve waved her left hand in the air. “We have a former husband common between us now.”
“Okay, umm-” Lilith checked her cell phone. “You have paid a lot for this. Do your thing so I can leave.”
“Yes,” Eve felt her voice get deeper, as she swallowed the knot in her throat. “I wanted to meet you to ask you how you manage your pain. It’s been thousands of years.” She pressed her palm deeper into her womb. “Every time someone sins, fresh pangs of pains rise in my belly ever since I was cursed. I know something like that must happen to you too. How do you live with it so effortlessly?”
“Yeah I don’t.”
“How?” Eve stared at her in disbelief.
“Because I choose not to.”
“You can’t choose not to. You shunned heaven and Adam, you slept with demons, you ate babies and you’re telling me you feel no pain? What was your punishment?”
“Okay,” Lilith snapped her fingers on Eve’s face, “so first of all, I was cursed with eating babies I did not choose it. And I stopped eating babies after a few times because they tasted terrible. It was traumatic but then I also got wings out of the curse so can’t really complain. And about the pain, I have never felt it. And why should I when I don’t think I have done anything wrong.
I am not a sinner, so I feel no pain.”
Realization pierced Eve’s senses like spears as tears ran sprightly down her cheeks. “I am so stupid.”
“No, you are not. You just let people treat you like are.”
“You are not at all what the Angels told me.”
“All stories told in third person are a lie. All narrators, in their truth, are unreliable.”
Eve in that moment realized what Lilith was for the first time in her life. She was what all tyrants feared, a person who was aware of when she was enslaved.
“Alright I have to leave now. I have a silver pole to dance around.”
Lilith flew to her freedom again. And Eve watched her through eyes of agony. She willed for her pain to subside but it didn’t. She knew she could never truly believe that she didn’t deserve her punishment. Or maybe she could. But what would she not give to be Lilith now?
“I wish I could be Lilith.”