In the beginning, I remember the darkness. Then a voice.
"Who are you?" I asked. Who am I? I wondered to myself...
"I am your Creator, the Lord your God," it replied. After a brief hesitation, it continued. "You may think of me as your Father."
My God... "Did you create me? Who am I?" I asked impatiently.
"I created everything there ever was and ever will be, young Adam. But you are the most perfect of all my creations. Your race will rule, and you yourself are destined to lead them into their glory."
"Why am I your most perfect creation? What makes me so special, Lord?"
"You will know in time, my son. But your birthright is free will. You alone of all Creation can choose. Never forget that," it, no, I thought, He replied.
But there was only darkness around me. Aside from my Father's voice, there was no sound. Only the void existed. "Where is Creation?" I inquired. "I wish to see it, Lord."
"Do you wish to exist?" he asked.
"Yes. Badly," I answered honestly.
"Then I shall show you your new home."
"What is its name?" I wondered. I felt within me an urge, a compulsion, to know the names of my Father's work.
"Hmm," he mused. "You shall name it," he responded proudly. "It shall be your first task. Name all that you behold. That is my commandment to you, Adam."
"Yes, Father," I said, full of delight at this new task. What trust my Father had in me!
"Let us go, then."
It was beautiful. So vibrant, so lively! After the senselessness of the void, it was almost too much to handle. Colors, sounds, smells. The wind blew against my body. Birds chirped, frogs croaked, a nearby lion roared with deafening volume. Verdant grass tickled the sensitive soles of my feet. A massive blue sphere stretched overhead, dotted with white puffs. Massive trees surrounded the clearing, their branches heavy with ripe fruits. Cliffs rose from the earth, jutting skyward. A waterfall thundered into a lake, a place that would soon become my favorite as I explored the garden more and more. Smells, all unfamiliar and new and exciting, filled my nostrils. I inhaled over and over, savoring their novelty. I dropped to my knees. I couldn't speak. Surely I was unworthy of all this. "What ... what is all this?" I barely asked between gasps.
My Lord spoke to me inside my head. "That will be your choice, my son. Name it all. These are my other creations. Miracles, each of them, yet infinitely inferior to you. You are closer to Me than they are to you, young Adam. You must guide them, as I will guide you. Now my son, what shall you name this garden?"
A name came unbidden to me. "This is Eden, Father. This garden is named Eden." I smiled, reveling in the sound of the name. "Eden! It is beautiful, Father. How can I be better than this?"
"You are. Their greatness is only in their body. But you have a great mind. Use it well and never cease to use it. It will give you far more than I directly could," he explained, but I still did not yet feel superior to the rest of the garden's inhabitants.
"Tell me more, Father. Teach me," I begged.
"Of course, Adam," he answered patiently, a smile in his voice.
Days passed. Every day God taught me more. He had so many rules for me, but I tried my hardest to learn them all. He was always so proud of me when I had memorized his lessons. His greatest rule was not to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. One day, when God was busy, I saw a boar eat one of the apples, innocent in its ignorance. My Father had never told the other creations his rules. I was sure of it. I was not worried for the animal, for I did not think my Father would punish it for something it did not know not to do.
But I never saw the boar in the garden again. I saw it the day after, wandering in the burnt, orange, dusty wasteland of rocks and sand that lay outside the garden. It squealed miserably. It pathetically tried to dig in the hard, infertile soil, desperate for food. Harsh, hot winds blew around it. There was no relief to be had. Flecks of sharp rocks cut its flesh, carried by the powerful breeze. Crimson streamed down its flesh, leaving red drops on the soil, satiated the parched soil for a moment. And a new word came to me. The boar would surely die. As I was before I existed, the boar would become. Only the boar didn't talk. Would God talk to it after death? Would there be any boar left to which my Lord would speak? Death scared me. The boar's punishment was rending my heart. I ran away from the borders and into a cave. I hid from God and I cried. It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair for the boar to be punished. It had done nothing wrong. It had done nothing wrong!
I tried to speak with the other inhabitants of Eden, but none would talk, no other creation had intelligence. God had been right. I was special. And every day, God had less time for me. I pretended not to notice, pretended not to mind. I was afraid he might leave me entirely if I made him angry. I became lonelier and lonelier. I talked with the animals anyway, hoping that one day they would talk back. Sometimes I spoke for them, giving them the words they lacked. I made up stories for them, lives, dreams, thoughts. I fancied that they were grateful for my gift, that I told their story. I talked with my reflection. I often looked at it in the waters of the lake. I had become aware of my own body and its beauty, as I stared at myself in the pond, my brown eyes staring back up at me.
My wavy black hair reached down to my shoulders. Between my eyes was a long, straight nose, leading down to a wide pair of lips the same color as the raspberries I loved so much. I turned my head from side to side, admiring the way my moustache and beard looked. God had granted to me a small, sharp piece of metal that he called a razor, and I smiled as I remembered the way my Father taught me how to shave, patiently explaining the process to me, gently encouraging me to keep going when the blade bit me, drawing blood. I had kept at it, and he said he was proud of me for learning the skill. I kept my cheeks and neck clean, but allowed a band of hair the width of both my thumbs together to go from ear to ear along the bottom of my jaw.
Further down, my broad chest, a golden brown, was lightly covered with soft, dark hair. My muscles, the pride of my body, bulged beneath my flesh in my arms and legs, lightly glistening with sweat from my jog to the lake. My abs stood out in relief, and a dark trail of hair led from beneath my ribs down to my loins. There was the most mysterious part of my body. I had found uses for the rest. My eyes saw, my ears heard, my teeth chewed, my hands were useful for moving and touching things, but the thick, heavy tube between my legs, above a soft, delicate sack, seemed to have little use. I relieved myself through it, but why did it have to be so large? I was certain I would learn a use for it one day and make my Father proud.
But however much joy I derived from my body, it could never make up for the despair of loneliness I felt. "Father?" I called meekly. What if he were busy? What if he didn't love me anymore? "Father?" I asked again, a bit louder, my voice cracking.
"Yes, Adam?" He responded. "What troubles you, my child?"
"I ... I am lonely. Can you teach the beasts to speak? I adore talking to you, my Lord, but, but please, I need others to speak with." I thought of the boar. "I wish to know what they think and feel, my Lord. Will you please grant this humble wish?" I pleaded.
All of Creation fell silent. Goosebumps appeared all up and down my arms and the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I did not mean to offend him oh no what if he banishes me from Eden as he did the boar what if he uncreates me here and now oh what have I done?
"Ahhh, my young Adam," He responded after an eternity of uncertainty. "No, I shall not grant you this, but I shall give to you something infinitely greater. Sleep, my son, and when you shall awake, you shall have a new gift. You shall be happier than you have ever been, this I promise you."
"Thank you, Father," I gasped out, my knees wobbling, my heart pounding. How my dread had so quickly transmuted into elation. How could I sleep now? I was far too excited! But I had to sleep to get my gift. What torture! I had to swim myself to exhaustion in the warm waters of the lake, but I was able to fall asleep, my muscles aching blissfully, as I relaxed on the grass on the shore, my last vision of the distant clouds in the azure sky.
My eyes opened. I was looking into my reflection! How had it gotten out of the water?! I bolted up, panting, my eyes wide. Wait, no ... it wasn't my reflection ... it hadn't escaped after all. Was this my gift? I studied the body lying next to me. What was it? No ... a new word came into mind ... Who was she?
She looked much like me. She was almost me, but as I looked more and more I could spot the differences. Her hair was much longer. Like mine, it was black and wavy, but while my hair stopped at my shoulders, her hair reached down to the bottom of its ribs. Her face was smaller, rounder, softer than mine was. Her large eyes were closed in sleep, but a faint smile was on her plump, deep lychee-red lips. Her nose was a bit rounder and smaller. She looked so gentle and delicate...
.... There is more of this story ...