I don’t know how to tell you this.
It’s not like you’d believe me or anything.
I once was, and before that, I was not.
If I told you I remembered the moment I was formed, you’d call me a liar, and I am anything but. A whooshing sound like a strong wind gusted over me, but this was before we knew wind. She told me it was formless when She began. She even described to me how she scooped the waters together in the cup of her hand and separated the liquid from the air- water from sky.
The next day, She gathered the waters to dwell in one place and then, distributed the land. She created trees and shrubbery and flowers and plants of all kind. She did not stop. Animals still needed to be shaped. As though She was molding clay, She formed all these things.
She explained that to create me, She used dust and the Breath of Life. Sometimes, I doubt She is capable of all this.
But to doubt is to show faith.
She told me to believe.
And so, I did.
After She explained my task-the maintenance of the garden, a deep longing for sleep consumed me. She warned me not to eat from a specific tree. That was easy. She told me to name the creatures. That, too, was easy. All the tasks seemed reasonable. The demands? Not the type to splinter my soul. But the ground was warm and soft, my head was heavy, and I slept.
The rays of sun warmed my naked ass, and yet, I feared nothing. She had created me from dust and the Breath of Life.
I did not feel it, but she opened my flesh, and from it, she stole a bone that was pleasing. This bone was called a rib, and when my flesh concealed the bones once more, I had not missed what was taken. This was the first time she had taken from me. She had given me so much. The least I could do was give a rib. In exchange, she gave me a companion.
I had never seen a beast like this: She told me the beast resembled me, but it was beautiful, and I was not beautiful. Her loveliness blistered me, yet I did not feel a warmth to my cheeks like the Creator Goddess described. I wanted to run my hands over her skin and feel its smoothness under my callouses. I longed to touch her bare flesh and feel it rise and fall beneath me.
It was though I was breaking into several pieces all at once because I wanted to teach her the animals I had named, but I also wanted to be very still and simply breathe with her.
I did not want to restrict her freedoms. She reminded me so much of the Creator Goddess. Their voices rose and fell in the same patterns. Though I had not seen the Creator Goddess yet, She was vast. (Much too vast for me to comprehend.) Subsequently, this beast was vast in her beauty. Understanding her was like trying to describe how the Creator Goddess separated the air from the water. This creature’s voice flowed over me like a babbling brook.
I let her explore. I wanted her to seek whatever it was she chose to seek. She reached her hands out to touch the animals, explore their furs and hides, and marvel at the beauty of plants. But she was the gift I never deserved but desired. I had never seen beauty like hers. Not in the peacock’s plumage or the giraffe’s great heights. The way her hips swayed when she walked? It was extraordinary.
I watched her, but I did not try to keep her like I kept the flowers.
I did not want to possess her. Own her.
The flowers I wanted to shower her with grew taller than both of us, demonstrating to me that I was not in charge. I never was. I was unable to hold the cool waters I wanted her to feel caress against her skin could not be contained, but it was right. It was good.
I walked without direction. I aimed without path. She traveled in one direction and I, the other. It was not intentional. If I had set forth intention, I would never be separated from her. Except that rib. That rib separated us. She came from me, not from the vast She who created everything else in this garden.
She went alone. I heard her speaking to one of the animals, and I thought this to be good. It was wise she learned their names and who better to teach them their names than the animals themselves?
I did not listen, but her voice floated, the syllables breaking apart and separating. I could not hear individual words, but these syllables were delicious, inviting. I wanted to learn her body as intimately as my own. There was a reason she was created.
I was not to be alone in this world.
She ran toward me, her legs flying up barely touching the earth. Her excitement was contagious. That laugh-luxurious. The way she threw her head back as she collided into me intoxicated me. I was under her spell. She thrust a small fruit into my hands. Its coloring was the color of the sky at night. I had not seen a fruit like it before, but I had not explored the same places as she. She found places deep within the garden I had not yet seen.
She fed it to me, its nectar sticky as it dribbled down our chins. We smiled, our gazes soft upon each other. The moment was blissful, but it was just that: a moment.
I wanted to devour her. Swallow her whole. I wanted to take back what was mine. This garden was not meant to be shared. She was never meant to be. Her voice? Far from melodious. It was the sound of claws scraping against my own flesh. She had destroyed me. She had stolen a rib from me, and the wretched woman bared her teeth to me in a smile like it was meant to be a forgiving feature. She was hideous.
I could not drag my nails against her skin nor could I flay her. She was not my creation. She was not mine to destroy. But she had slept against my skin: bone against bone. She had been my rib, and now, she was formed. A monstrosity.
Why did I ever find this repulsive creature to be attractive? I wanted to cover her. Throw leaves over her and create a pyre.
The vast She that created me did not make mistakes, then why was this woman looking at me with desire in her eyes? She had fed me the fruit of knowledge, and this was knowledge I could not untangle. I could not imagine touching her. Being so near her that I could smell the cologne of her musk made bile rise to my throat.
She was disgusting.