She was made for him. From the delicate edges that made up his blueprint. She was no side piece, but his total being, carefully crafted from head to toe. Sculpted to perfection, she was his beloved. And she loved him. Love at first sight, for there was no one else in their vision. A perfect soul tie, they enjoyed a love that knew no bounds, united in paradise. 

Surrounded by magnificence. The world was theirs. Authority, granted. Appointed as royalty, in the presence of their Maker. Together, they revelled in each step they took on the crisp, delicate bedding which was their home. The grass caressing their toes, they explored their haven hand in hand. Dressed in invisible hues of prosperity and unmeasurable wealth, their nakedness was for all to see. And they were not ashamed. She didn’t wonder nor did she fear. She enjoyed their gift, freely given, through an undeniable love. No sacrifice. Theirs to own, enjoy and explore. Love in its purest form. 

The wild animals roamed freely in their midst, named by her partner and overseen by her Creator. The birds soared, providing the sweetest song, the harmonious sounds of delight as they strolled hand in hand in the cool of the day. Filled with indescribable joy, she had no care in the world and time was not measured. She rested under the sky that told a story in the arms of her perfect lover. Clouds they could touch, a sun they could bask in. This was glory, and He deserved all the praise. 

The giving tree. It stood tall, a pillar of overflowing knowledge. Enticing, it’s leaves glimmered with knowledge and power, beyond their understanding. It’s seeds bore delicious fruit; captivating to the eye, dangerous to the tongue. 

Intrigued, she allowed the conniving creature to sow his own seed of deceit. A whisper in her ear, and it was planted. Determined to get his own way, soon she was overpowered by her own selfish desire. To gain the wisdom she had once heard of was a wonderful thing. Just one bite and she too would be wise, capable of making her own decisions and recognising good from evil. Unknown to her the sweet juice of the fruit that touched her lips would open the gateway to pain, a pain she would experience as she bore her own children. A pain that would follow her children for generations to come. A lifetime of struggle, toil and destruction. What she once revelled in was now a distant memory, now a stranger to perfection. A fall from grace, banished from her home. 

The forbidden fruit no longer enticed her

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She didn’t understand him at first, but he was always there. Dictating her life and the lives of those around her. Always present she was told, watching her every move; the good but especially the bad. Anticipating judgment, she waited for the day she would be punished for all the wrong she had done in her lifetime.

Her idea of him stemmed from the guidance of elders. The long lipped family members who always had something negative to say about her. She became tentative, afraid of making a mistake that made her the unfortunate topic of conversation; the example nobody wanted their own child to follow. From her clothes to her hair to the way she spoke. Their reasoning? She was wicked and he didn’t like that.

But who was he? As far as she knew, he had given her everything she needed. In her case, nothing at all. And she was supposed to love him, obey him, and put him first before all others as he continued to judge her every step. She didn’t understand how she could take advice from someone who had never made the effort with her before. Someone with a ruthless history; a contrivance of anger and destruction. A giving yet unapproachable being so powerful he could destroy the world in an instant.

Her parents taught her lessons from the old book, reminding her of the consequences of disobedience. The tales she heard over and over again conceived fear; which grew so big until she could no longer contain it. Her illicit unborn child was almost visible for all to see. She tried to distance herself from him, afraid that if he knew the secrets of her insides he too would reject her like the rest of the world.

But she did talk to him. Briefly and generically. Only uttering words that she thought he wanted to hear. Convinced that if she spoke to him like everyone else he would somehow open up to her. He never did, so she decided to part ways with him.

An inquisitive individual, her mind wandered frivolously into the unknown, the things her parents had tried to protect her from. She dabbled here and there, in different crowds, participating in almost detrimental activities, harbouring the same old negative thoughts.

Time passed. She grew older but wisdom did not meet her. Instead she allowed her past regrets to dictate a future she was no longer excited about. Every now and then she thought about him, a small part of her soul missed him. She decided to speak to him again, like an old friend. Things had changed, but he remained the same.

Then she felt it. Love. The love that He had been displaying her all those years. An everlasting love, He knew her more than she knew herself. The years of searching for what was ultimately inside her all along. And He knew everything about her, every intricate detail that separated her from everyone else. Every fear, and every failure. And He loved her no less.

Beautiful. The one word she longed to hear. For her own allurement was yet to be discovered. It had become dormant, almost forgotten. Instead she focused all her undivided attention on everything she didn’t have – that the others did. She allowed her insecurities to grow, feeding on her like a parasite, exploiting her emotions and suppressing her spirit. Trapped by her fears she refused to step out. Afraid of criticism, she spent her days vicariously living through those she revered for so long. It was her secret, an unhealthy addiction that was slowly taking control of her. It couldn’t be stopped.

She wanted to be like the rest. Perfection was indeed an understatement. From the immaculate eyebrows to the dainty pedicured toes, they could do no wrong. Glamorous and captivating, they possessed a beauty the muses of old would be proud of. She studied them intently, watching their every documented move. Modern day idols; she began to dissect their characteristics one by one. For it wasn’t imitation, but inspiration. She wasn’t harming anyone. Only losing herself.

They occupied her thoughts in the morning and she obsessed over them at night. Hours on end would be spent on her devices, studying and marveling their lifestyle. The lifestyle she dreamed of but found so hard to attain.

She began to covet, painfully and at her own expense. Her hard earned wages depleted in pursuit of their trends. Materialistics for them became necessities for her. Regimes turned religion. If she was going to be considered beautiful it was a small price she had to pay. She would make back the money anyway. An investment she told herself. Soon it began to happen. The little tweaks in her appearance. Her nose artificially sharpened by a tapered brush. Her eyes varied from blue to grey to hazel. Her lips plumped, waist synched and complexion a noticeably lighter shade.

She became unrecognisable. She loved it. No longer unique, but everything she admired. The maker of her own destiny, painter on her own canvas. But now she was just like everyone else. That was beauty for her. Her flaws, hidden. Her unique print no longer embraced, vanished. She had become one of them.