“Adam! Get over here. You have to try this!” Eve moaned with pleasure. The snake was absolutely right. This was utterly divine. The surface was as dark as a plum with scarlet leaves on top, and the fruit, the fruit… Eve lost herself for a moment. The fruit was a pale, closed bud that opened on the tongue into a swirl of peach, lychee, and citrus, only better. It was like trying to explain the beauty of the garden at sunrise.
Adam found Eve lying back in a bed of ferns with a dark, syrupy juice dripping down her chin. Her eyes were fluttering and she bore a satisfied smirk in her cheeks.
“Eve? What’s going on? Why are you under the tree of--?” He looked up at the heavy purple fruits that dangled in the branches above and then down at the fruit in Eve’s hand, with a conspicuous half-moon shaped bite in its core. “Eve,” he said, lowering his voice, “What did you do? We are not to eat of this tree.”
“Adam, Adam, it’s okay. It’s okay.” Eve scrambled to her feet and wiped off her chin with the back of her hand. “Nothing’s changed. I’m still okay. You’re okay. I don’t feel any different and this fruit! Oh, Adam. Just try it.” She held the fruit to his lips, cupping the bottom to keep it from dripping on his chest.
Adam turned his head away, holding up his hand to block her offer. “I can’t. Eve. Please, please don’t. Go bury it before God comes back for our evening walk. Please.” There was something strange in his voice. Was it contempt? No, disappointment.
“Adam. I won’t make you eat this but do this one thing for me. Smell it. Just smell the fruit and tell me it’s not worth a try. And I told you, nothing has changed.” She pushed the fruit closer to his nose.
“God has never lied to us, Eve. I know you think nothing has changed but something must have changed. It must have.” Adam turned and sat down under the tree. He looked wounded.
Eve sighed. “Fine. Suit yourself. I’ll just leave this horrible little fruit right here on this rock and walk away. If you don’t eat it, I’m sure some creature will come by and have it for a snack. I don’t care.” But she did. She cared a lot. If Adam didn’t eat it, then only she had failed.
Eve took a long walk that afternoon, instead of taking a rest. Her heart was unsettled. She’d never known disturbance like this.
The fruit was amazing, that was for certain, but what came with it was the difference. She lied to Adam. Nothing was the same. From the moment the fruit’s flesh slid across her tongue, she changed.
She was giddy at first, but as the flavor disappeared from her tongue, she understood a great, dark sadness. Immediately, she knew she didn’t want to be alone in her sea of emotions and wanted Adam at her side.
The snake was good at knowing how to say things in a way that felt reasonable and justified. You just want the best for Adam. Call him over and have him share the fruit, too. It’d be wrong to leave him out of this.
When Adam refused her offer, she’d felt a fire burn up in her belly like nothing she’d known before. She wanted to throw the fruit in his face, but the snake whispered to her. Just set it down. He’ll come around. He’ll eat it later.
When she came back to the tree, she found Adam asleep. It seemed strange to look at him now. It was as if she were seeing him for the first time. He'd finished the fruit. Ha! He’d finished the fruit. This stirred a new kind of feeling inside her. It warmed the skin on her cheeks.
Adam turned over and noticed Eve’s eyes scanning his body. He pulled some fig leaves over the place where her eyes seemed to stop. Holding them in place, he offered her some leaves, too. “Here,” he said, “you look… cold.”
Eve realized how she’d been staring at him. Her cheeks warmed again, but this time from shame. Everything had changed. They weren’t dead, the snake was right about that, but something was very different indeed. She could feel it.
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