Eve’s choice

Sunlight dances on the horizon, outlining the edges of the world in gold. As Eve wakes she feels its warmth on her skin and she smiles. Adam is still sleeping, he won’t be up for hours yet so she is careful as she slips out of their bed. As she walks to the top of the mountain the wind whispers in her ears, telling her secrets from elsewhere, promises of change and freedom. The view from the top of the cliff spans the world, she can see forests, rivers, marshes, plains, all the way down to the sea. Pieces of cloud drift in and out of her vision, obscuring parts of her view, making her think of breath misting on the air in the winter, or smoke rising from a bonfire in the evening. Above her perch, a pair of birds bank on the wind. Eagles, or falcons, or hawks, impossible to tell from this distance. What do they see, from their place in the sky? Perhaps they see even further than she does, beyond the oceans that border her vision, to lands no-one can dream of. She loves this place, her home, but it isn’t enough. It’s a cage made of sunlight and green leaves and she wants out. Adam doesn’t understand, he believes this place is paradise, and perhaps it is, but still she wants more, or maybe just something, anything, different. There is a choice to be made, if she chooses knowledge, self-awareness, freedom, so much will be lost, but if she chooses obedience, ignorance, she will live forever in this beautiful cage. This choice falls to her, not Adam, and though she knows one day he will hate her for it, it will still be worth it. She will free them both, whatever the consequences may be.

Days later, Eve knows she made the right choice. They have been cast out, as she knew they would be, and while they may now face hardship they have never known, they are free. Adam is angry, and afraid, he had been content in the garden, or so he believes. He is angry and afraid, and refuses to admit, that he needed freedom as much as she did. He will forgive her eventually. Until then they walk in stubborn silence, chasing the horizon. The guard on the gate watches them go, his gaze burning holes in their backs. Occasionally Adam turns, to see what they have lost, to see the flaming wings and sword of the guard put in place to keep them away. It upsets him but he can’t help himself. Peace and contentment is all he has ever known, and now it is gone. Eve doesn’t look around once, she already knows what lies behind. Instead she keeps her eyes fixed firmly ahead, seeing the shape of the future in the ever changing landscape and the cloudbanks high above her. She does not regret her decision.

She sees flashes, images, feelings, of how things will be, of possibilities. She knows that her choice will cause pain and loss beyond measure. That future generations will suffer and toil and struggle because of her decision. But she also knows that they will achieve incredible things, that they will touch heaven, and dance on the edge of the world. That they will redefine reality, not once, not twice but a million times. That in the end they will do things that the gardener never even dreamed of, because they are free to dream the impossible, and then try to make it happen. Eve sees flashes of things to come, and she knows that freedom is worth the price.

As their journey continues Eve turns her thoughts away from the future. The sky is growing dark with storm clouds, and as the sky opens and the thunder echoes across the heavens, she laughs in joy at the excitement, the power of it. It is her first thunderstorm. The rain comes down heavy and cold, it turns her hair dark and straight and plasters it to her back. It runs down her face, fresh and clean, as only the rain in a new world can be, and for the first time since they were cast out, Adam smiles at her. Later as they take shelter in a cave, they will hold each other tight, and look forward together.