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The bitter taste of fruit
Hazel Marshall

Dear Adam,

It was all so good in the beginning. Perfect some might say, a paradise even. We had everything we could have possibly wanted. There was no one trying to tell us how to live our lives. Well, apart from him. But he never interfered that much and if you hadn’t kept talking to him we would probably never have even seen him. But you could never make your mind up to do anything without talking to him first and so he became a part of our lives. I didn’t mind at first because there was so much to learn and explore. But eventually there was only one place left that we hadn’t visited. But you wouldn’t go even though I really wanted to. Oh no, because he said not to.

Okay, so maybe I should never have listened to Luc. But you have no idea how good it was to talk to someone who would listen and who didn’t forbid things. And yes, I know I was stupid to believe that he wanted me as much as I wanted him but you and I had grown stale. I needed something new and he offered me so much that I had never had before. Knowledge, excitement and adventure. And the most delicious piece of fruit that I have ever tasted. And I tried to share that with you. And you liked it for a while and then you panicked.

And all that fuss about a bit of clothing. Let’s get one thing clear. It wasn’t that I suddenly minded being naked. It was more a practical thing. There were a lot of thorns in that garden and I was sick of getting pricked when I picked fruit. And I felt that it added that element of surprise in our relationship.

And then you told him about the apple and he made us move, since it was his house we had been staying in and he ‘didn’t approve’ of our new lives or our clothes. Of course, you never let me explain why I had done it. You insisted on doing all the talking and, if you don’t mind me saying so, you made a bit of a mess of it. And thanks for putting most of the blame on me. If I remember rightly I didn’t exactly force you to have a bite. Maybe if you had cared more about what I thought rather than what he thought, we might not be in this position now.

We did try to patch things up for a while. Remember the delight we felt when our boys were born (although I did think it was a bit unfair of your friend to refuse me all pain relief). I mean, he cursed us both, but I would say that your part in the business of procreation was all enjoyment, while mine was a slight enjoyment, tempered with nine months of discomfort and two days of screaming agony. But the boys were worth it. And you and I became close again. Although you could never forget him.

I did love you once. But you became even more superior once the boys were born. I think that what annoyed me the most was the way you would descibe me as your spare part. You seemed to think that because there were three of you that made you superior. And you took all the credit for the boys being born, conveniently forgetting the (rather large) part that I had played in it. You said that you had created them and I was just a vessel. I was a little hurt by that.And you would never let me name anything, not even the boys. You got to name everything, even me. Don’t you understand how that made me feel - as though I were purely put here for your purpose?

Loving you was easy in the beginning. But I suppose what happened was that, later on, I wanted to grow and you wanted to stay the same. I suppose if you’re the one calling the shots then you see no reason for change. But I feel that there is more to life than just being your helpmeet. And it’s hard loving someone who thinks that they are perfect.
I’m not sure what I’ll do now. There appears to be a large world out here. I always said that we should expand our horizons a little and not just be prepared to settle for our own back yard. I might come back. In some ways it does feel very strange to be apart from you. It’s like we belong together, as though we were one being split into two. Maybe I just need some time apart to find out who I really am, as a separate individual and not as one of two.

I’ve taken the boys with me. They seem to be coping reasonably well although Cain is a little on edge. I’ll let you know when we’ve settled somewhere. I hear there may be a place coming up in Babel Towers.


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