Chapter 5


"You don't know for sure that Cain killed him."

Adam was silent.

"You don't know, do you?"

"I know what I saw. I saw Abel dead, blood pouring from his head."

"From the back of his head."

"So Cain hit him from the back. That makes it even worse."

"Maybe Cain pushed him away for some reason."

"It's still murder."

"Maybe it was an accident. You said Cain was holding him and crying."

"They were tears of remorse and guilt. Cain envied Abel."

"He loved Abel."

"They fought all the time."

"Of course."

Adam looked at her impatiently. "Fighting doesn't always mean love, my dear. It can also mean malice."

"Our sons never felt that way toward each other and you know it."

"Even Yahweh knew Cain did it. He was right there with  me, judging Cain, condemning him. I was his mouthpiece."

"Maybe even He was wrong. He certainly was when He condemned us, wasn't he?"

Adam looked away.

"Wasn't he?"

"Yes . . . No . . . I don't know."

"Well, I do. Testing one's children is not love. It's sadism."

"Yahweh is not sadistic."

"Then what is He? Surely you can't still believe He's all good, all knowing, all caring, can you? How can anyone so blind possibly see clearly?"

"You don't understand."

"No, I guess I don't," she admitted.

There was a long silence between them, and no movement. Finally, Eve spoke.

"I loved both of them, you know."

Pause. "I know."

"Now one is dead and the other is exiled. We have no more family. It's just you and me once again. But this is not the Garden. Life is not easy here. It's hard. It's filthy. It stinks. It's painful and we're going to die. I guess I should have eaten from the other tree. At least we'd live forever. That was legal. That we could do. He never said we couldn't. Just think what it would have been like, to live forever in that garden paradise - no worries, no cares, no sorrow, no pain."

"Stop it, Eve."

"No, I won't stop it! He had no right to throw us out. What is wrong with knowledge anyway? Were we to remain children forever? Why couldn't we grow up and still be in the Garden? Answer me that, Yahweh! Come here and answer me that!"


"See?" she said to Adam. "Just like always. Punish, punish, punish. That's all He thinks about! Do this. Don't do this. Don't do that. He treats us just like children but worse, far worse than we ever treated our own. With Him, there's no forgiveness, no second chance. One shot, that's it. You flubbed? Sorry, you're outta here.

"And say we have more kids. What kind of life will we bring them into? Why should they want to live once they see this place? How can we tell where we came from? What we did to them? How could they ever forgive us? Oh, hold me, Adam, hold me tight."

Adam held her as she cried; then she stopped, and rested her head on Adam's shoulder, staring far away.

"Roses have thorns here. After the petals and smell are  gone, the thorns remain. And I always seem to be pricking myself. It's not right, Adam, it's not fair and as much as you want to keep justifying Him, you can't. You really can't."

"So what happens now?" Adam asked.

"I don't know," she replied. "I really don't know."