LIKE ADAM, Eve spent the rest of her days convincing herself that it had all worked out for the best. Their new life didn't turn out to be as bad as had been predicted, and somehow their marriage weathered the change. If they had moments of terrible bitterness over what had happened, they had other moments when it became more of a bridge than an abyss between them and when the question of which of them was to blame got lost in the question of how both of them were to survive. One son died an ugly, senseless death, and another went through life as disfigured by remorse as by a cleft palate. But all in all things didn't go too badly. When the last child left home, it wasn't the easiest thing in the world to be alone again with a man who, after his third martini, might still lash out at her as a snake in the grass and a bad apple, but at least they still had their independence and their principles, which as nearly as she could remember were what they'd given everything up for. They stood, however grimly at times, on their own feet.

It was only once in a while at night, just as she was going off to sleep with all her usual defenses down, that her mind drifted back to the days when, because there was nothing especially important to do, everything was especially important; when too good not to be true hadn't yet turned into too good to be true; when being alone was never the same as being lonely. Then sad and beautiful dreams overtook her, which she would wake up from homesick for a home she could no longer even name, to make something not quite love with a man whose face she could not quite see in the darkness at her side.

Genesis 3:1-4:16

-Originally published in Peculiar Treasures and later in Beyond Words

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