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God did not have a notion of time. Boredom was something overly familiar, and fiddling with Creation was a regular activity. Just like the rest of us, God had a beginning, and He was going to have an end. But the distance between the two was impossible to measure, even by His standards.

However, in that distance, He had enough time to play with. Most importantly, the birth, the development and the destruction (be it self-inflicted or otherwise) of Mankind humbly fit inside a single grain of sand on the tip of His finger. In layman’s terms, there was nothing to lose with this particular experiment.

So, one day, perhaps a Monday, God looked down upon Earth. It was a little gem, and He’d enjoyed growing it. It had been His garden, a single speck of dust that had gathered more dust around itself until it had become a giant, mostly spherical rock.

It orbited a Sun – not the biggest one He’d made, but one He liked in particular, for no specific reason. God decided to garnish that rock with water from passing meteors – a single nudge, to help the visiting object breach the Earth’s atmosphere.

It crashed against the outer shell, and aeons later there were trees, and oceans, and all manner of animals roaming its hills and valleys. He loved every single square inch of that beautiful planned accident. But let’s go back to that fateful hypothetical Monday.

The Sun was out, its light reflected in glistening drops of morning dew that lazily slid down waxed leaves and velvet rose petals. And God looked down upon Earth, and felt like something was missing.

He left his heavenly plain, the hidden dimension beyond the blackness between neighbouring planets and stars, and rested His feet against the moist ground. Yellow and lime green songbirds greeted him from the giant cypress trees. The nearby ocean lapped at the golden beaches, foaming and spreading the salty scent He’d grown to enjoy more than anything else. It all felt somehow empty, as if evolution had missed out on something.

He got on His knees, and shoved his hands deep in the reddish dirt beneath an apple tree. He drew water from the ocean with a flick of His wrist, and slowly started to mould a figure. He used his fingers to gently carve out the excess clay, and worked His way up until he beheld a figure resembling one of His.

It was a Man, the First Man, to be precise. God took a step back and then circled His Creation. It was a handsome figure, with a firm jaw line and deep set eyes, wide shoulders and heavy thighs.

I will call you Adam.

God thus spoke and blew air across the figure’s face. The clay dried away and blew off in the coastal wind, revealing soft skin with muscles and bones beneath. The First Man blinked and took a few deep breaths, then looked upon God with warmth and curiosity.

They spent the better part of the day walking along the shore, kicking empty shells and watching the seagulls plunge into the ultramarine water for fish. Adam soon felt tired, and he returned to the apple tree, the one familiar place he considered home. He laid his head on the ground and slept.

God watched him for a while, observing his chest rise and drop with every deep breath. He smiled at his Creation with the same fatherly love he’d bequeathed upon his Angels and every other living organism within his reach.

God then looked around and pulled heavenly grace from his plain down onto Earth, and glazed the area around Adam’s home in a shimmering light. For miles and miles, across the ocean and dry land, everything lit up, incandescent and soft. Beautiful trees with colourful blossoms grew towards the sky, spreading their branches as the heavy and delicious fruit they bore gently pulled them down within easy reach.

The sky was an opalescent blue, with white cotton wisps of Stratus. A sweet-water river cut through the sacred land, zigzagging between emerald hills and orchards. It was Heaven on Earth, He thought, and Adam was going to love it once he’d awaken from his slumber.

The next day, perhaps a Tuesday, Adam sat underneath his apple tree and marvelled at the augmented beauty that Father had bestowed upon his home. But a kind of sadness shadowed threw shadows on his face. God noticed and came down to speak to his Creation.

What troubles you, my son? You have everything you need here. The Garden of Eden is yours, Heaven on Earth, grace and serenity laid at your feet. You will never feel hunger or thirst. You will never feel hot or cold. I’ve given you perfection on this patch of land, with rivers and trees and beautiful animals. Is it not enough?

Adam stood up and looked his Father in the eyes. He told God that the Garden was beautiful, and that he was grateful for such gifts, but that something was missing. Adam felt lonely.

For a brief moment, barely a flicker of time, God was befuddled. He hadn’t experienced loneliness since before the Universe, when there was only darkness and light boiled in His fingertips. It was a feeling He’d dreaded then and something He sought to avoid at all costs, for that kind of emptiness had eaten away at him for a long time.

The memory alone reminded God that Adam’s suffering was not something He’d ever want for His Creation to feel. Loneliness was poison.

God got on His knees and shoved His hands into the red clay again. This time he moulded a new figure, much like him but with different shapes. The shoulders were broad, but delicately round. The waist was small and the hips curved outwards like bows. The breasts were generously perfect. The face was soft, with a small nose, slightly sharp cheekbones and plump lips contrasting with a pair of almond eyes.

The hair was long, cascading against the arched back and brushing against the round and firm buttocks. The figure drew Adam’s attention, to the point where the First Man simply stood there, struggling to take in all that beauty and grace. His groin pulsated and his stomach felt tight and empty.

God smiled at His new Creation and blew air against the feminine face. The clay dried out and scattered in the ocean breeze once more, this time revealing soft alabaster skin with muscles and bones and a beating heart.

It was the First Woman, a superb creature with red lips that most likely tasted like strawberries, intense blue eyes that seemed to blend oceans with the midnight sky, thin dark eyebrows on a porcelain visage framed by long, crow black hair. God was pleased with her, as she was truly quite the sight – and Adam was clearly smitten.

You are Lilith, my child. The first of your kind, the Woman, Man’s companion.

Lilith looked at her Father with a sense of certainty, and smiled. She touched His face and felt the Divine pour through her veins. She took a deep breath and admired the view behind Him. Lilith loved the ocean from the very first day of her existence. She then turned to face Adam. The attraction was undeniable, as her cheeks bloomed like late summer roses and a seductive smile crossed her perfect face. Adam touched her breast, and found her soft and essential to his own being.

The next few years went by slowly. God would visit Adam and Lilith each day, to teach them about the Garden of Eden, about the Angels, the endless Cosmos and everything else in between. He began to observe difference between his splendid Creations. Adam was kind and masculine, a good provider and quite linear in thought; he didn’t question God’s word or commands; he obeyed and did not wonder what was beyond the Garden of Eden.

Lilith, on the other hand, was always curious and wilful, opinionated and serene, laughing and enjoying each breath that she took, each fruit that she ate and each drop of water that she drank. She was vibrant and loved talking to God, so He often spent more time with her than with Adam. She asked questions, she disagreed with some of His rules and she lit up like a star every time He came down to see her.

God feared and loved her the most at the same time, and wondered why she’d come out so different from Adam. The Man was an obedient chunk of clay, while the Woman was fearless in her discourse.

God began to think that Lilith was a bit too different from Adam. And when they’re both blessed with eternal life, incompatibility can become a nuisance. But God was nowhere near ready to accept having made a mistake – particularly when He wasn’t sure which of the two would qualify as such.

More years went by, and the world slowly changed around Adam and Eve. Mountains grew taller on the horizon. The beaches widened as the ocean advanced the shore deeper into the mainland. Old birds died, and new ones took their place – more colourful, with different trills and richer plumes.

The trees shed their fruit, then blossomed, then lost their leaves and had their branches beaten by the northern winds – but once spring came along, they blossomed once more and produced bigger and juicier fruits.

Yet the chemical reaction between Adam and Lilith stayed the same. At night, he’d get on top of her and fill her with hardened flesh. He’d whisper words of love in her ear. He’d sleep with his hands firmly clasping her breasts, as if fearful of her leaving.

During the day, they would barely speak. He bored her to death. She needed some kind of change. One night, she decided to get on top of Adam, and consummate their physical union in a different position. Adam didn’t like it. He pushed her aside, pinned her arms to the ground and took her with anger. The next morning, she stood by the river, washing her hair, sullen and sore and unsatisfied.

God came down from Heaven to see her, and immediately noticed her discomfort. She stood up and objected against her role. She didn’t like Adam anymore. He didn’t satisfy her. He didn’t care about her feelings. He never asked her anything. Lilith didn’t want to be with Adam anymore. He never listened to her. He didn’t even let her get on top.

Every time she asked questions or argued against the will of God, Adam snapped at her and told her to be obedient. The few times he’d speak to her, he’d always emphasize how her role is to be Man’s companion and nothing else. He enjoyed reminding her that the purpose of her existence was to stay by Adam’s side and keep him company. He just fed her and fucked her and she was miserable.

For the first time in a long time, God felt a new emotion as it rolled out of His chest, riding a deep sigh. It was frustration, the divine frustration that would later make the wrong choices for Him. Not that He’d ever admit such a thing.

My child, you are Man’s companion. I created you so that Adam wouldn’t feel lonely anymore. You shouldn’t have these feelings, Lilith. Get these angry thoughts out of your head, it will only make you more miserable.

But Lilith was stubborn, and did not agree. She was convinced that what she felt was genuine and strong, and she could no longer ignore the misery that Adam cloaked her with through his mere physical proximity. God scoffed and went back to Heaven then, impatient and unwilling to hear more.

In the meantime, God’s other children watched the Man and Woman’s drama unfold. Some laughed and made jokes about it. Others expressed rage at Lilith’s penchant for arguments and rebellion. These were all Angels, of course. The Archangels watched from afar. Michael and Gabriel often compared Lilith to Lucifer – fiery, adorable and rebellious, just like the Morning Star.

Lucifer made a habit of hiding in the apple tree, watching Adam and Lilith closely – he disliked Adam and considered him weak, obedient to the edge of stupidity; he enjoyed each view he got of Lilith on the other hand, as she did, indeed, remind him of himself; but he never intervened.

Azrael was the most peculiar of them all, in as far as the observation behaviour was concerned. He never followed Adam. He seemed to have no interest in Man. On the other hand, he’d slowly assumed the role of Lilith’s shadow, following her everywhere. She could never see him, or hear him, but somewhere deep inside her ribcage, she could sometimes sense that someone else was watching her.

One time, curiosity got the best of her as she laid against the thick roots of a giant willow tree. The river rushed past her hair as she passed her fingers through the stream, collecting some cool crystalline sweet water in the palm of her hand. On that warm afternoon, Lilith knew she was being watched – a presence she could not identify, a darkness that enticed her.

She let the water pour down her breasts, glistening as the round droplets rolled down towards her navel and ultimately slipped between her legs. She closed her eyes and used her own hands to please herself. And as she reached a peak of ecstasy that she hadn’t felt with Adam in years, the willow tree above her shook as the foreign presence darted away.

She couldn’t see it, but she could feel that she’d been left alone. Lilith bathed in the river and laughed, amused by her own tactics. Azrael, on the other hand, could never understand why she drew his attention, why he couldn’t stay away.

So, when the first fight broke out between Adam and Lilith, he was the first to descend upon them – well, at least attempted to do so, as Gabriel and Michael grabbed his wings and pulled him back. Only Father could interfere. They weren’t allowed near His new Creation, and they never questioned the order. Except for Lucifer, of course – he questioned everything.

The fight was long overdue. Lilith was unhinged as she punched and slapped Adam, who returned every one of her hits with twice as much strength and rage. He’d told her to get down on all fours and let him take her. Lilith blew a fuse.

God soon appeared, but not with His usual grace and warmth. He was seething. The skies grew dark, and black clouds covered the sun and rumbled with ominous thunders. The birds scattered away and the ocean began to foam and break titanic waves against the granite cliffs.

The Angels were quiet. The Archangels watched as Father came down and swatted Lilith and Adam away, in opposite directions, like petulant flies. His voice echoed throughout the entire Universe when he spoke, thundering in the pits of their stomachs.

Why are you fighting? You are not allowed to fight!

Lilith spoke first, as she stood up and cleaned the red dust from her shoulders. But God told her to be quiet, and He listened to Adam first. According to the First Man, Lilith refused to fulfil her role as his companion, that she was rebellious and short-sighted, selfish and capricious. God then turned to Lilith, so she could tell her side of the story. But Lilith didn’t want to speak anymore, and her painful expression prompted God to ask:

Why won’t you speak now, child? Defend yourself.

Lilith then told him that there was no point. God wouldn’t even let her speak first. He had created her and given her the holy life, He’d often told her that she was His precious Creation, as beautiful and perfect as Adam, and yet she was still a secondary being. He listened to Adam first. He kept her quiet so that the First Man would speak first. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she expressed her anguish at what she called injustice.

Adam was not moved, and asked God to make Lilith obedient once more, but she continued to ask for equality. And deep within His divine being, God knew that he’d made Lilith stronger, better and more powerful and resilient than Adam. She didn’t deserve to be forced to live beneath him. But He couldn’t accept that, it would’ve meant accepting that He’d made a mistake. And God never makes mistakes.

Instead, he asked Lilith what she wanted. And Lilith kept her chin up, pearly tears still streaming down her rose cheeks, and demanded her freedom. She wanted to leave the Garden of Eden, and be on her own for an eternity. She preferred solitude in the wilderness rather than unequal companionship in the Garden, at the side of a creature she’d grown to wholeheartedly detest. Anywhere was better than there.

You’ll abandon all of this? The Grace… The prosperity… The divine purity of My Garden, the home I made for you and Adam… Simply because you don’t want to see Adam anymore?

‘No, Father. I am leaving all of this behind because I want to be free. You can simply forget I exist. I will be fine. I will be happy,’ Lilith replied.

Adam scoffed and whined. The Angelic host held their breath. And God thought about her request. With one final embrace, he pointed east.

It’s a day’s walk. Beyond the wall of olive trees, you will see the rest of the world.

He looked down at her, His hands on her shoulders. Fatherly love shone out through every single feature, just one of His many faces but always unique and full of light.

You may never return to the Garden, Lilith. Once you pass the olive trees, it will all disappear. And you will be alone in this world, at the mercy of its untamed nature. You will never see me again.

Lilith sighed. With one last touch of His cheek, she bid Him farewell and walked away. She headed east, towards the olive trees.

Adam begged God to not do this, to force her to stay with him. But God then turned to Adam and smiled gently.

Do not suffer, Adam. I will give you another companion. You will never be alone.

©JULIET’S FOLLIES/JULES R. SIMON 2016

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