She could see him in the distance. He was a good man… how she loved him, after all the years. She waited at the stream, watching the only man in her life as he worked in the field. He was bent over meticulously pulling every weed, he’d been bent over most of his life now and his hunched back showed it, the precious scar on his side now faded.
He paused, stood, wiped through both eyebrows with the back of his arm. His hair was grey now, so were the eyebrows. He caught sight of her and waved from a distance… he still had the most generous smile. She smiled and waved as if she were still a girl.
She glanced down into the water; the bright midday sun reflected her image in the gentle ripples. Her smile faded as she saw a glimmer of the once headstrong girl. She thought about the earth, her life, her man, their past, their future… and consequences.
She remembered the early days… Life was perfect. She had all she could imagine… for the life of her at her age looking back she couldn’t figure out why she wanted more, but she did…
Her tears mixed unnoticed into the moving waters as the memories washed over her, carrying immense regret that reflected in the waters. She thought about the death of her son… and her estranged son… How he could break their hearts was as unbearable as the loss of the other.
She tried to fathom how much her actions affected her world and the world all around her. She could only imagine… She was grateful for her man and all the other children she’d been blessed with… She was the Matriarch now, but she didn’t feel worthy. Her children could never grasp what it was like to walk in her place, to carry the burden she did.
She gazed at the wrinkles around her eyes and realized her remaining days were fewer than she might know. As a young woman, she had planned to live forever, but she wanted more… traits that were obvious in her offspring…
She filled the bowl with the cool water and took a drink before filling it fuller for her man. She could see his tired skin still shining with sweat as he turned; he always seemed to sense when she was around… She appreciated that he worshipped the ground she walked on… even now when she was old.
“You’re too good to me, my love,” he said. She loved hearing those tender words and came to count on them like the rain.
“It’s just water, dear,” she passed it off humbly. He drank the whole bowl down, the drips falling into his heavy beard.
“It always tastes better from your hand, my love,” he smiled.
“You’re watching for snakes?”
“Of course!” he reached out and grabbed his wife, turning her, placing both arms around her and clasping his hands in front of her, “The crops are going to be strong this year,” he said peering out over the pathetic crop.
“Mm-hmm,” she paused, “We just didn’t know how good we had it…” She leaned and turned to see the face of her man, “Why don’t you blame me or hate me for what I’ve done?” she asked again.
“We’re in this together, have been all our lives,” he answered.
“But I ruined our family… I couldn’t have known that it would ruin the world!” she began to cry.
“If I’d have been the man I was supposed to be, you’d never have made a mistake to begin with… I was weak… I blamed you, but it wasn’t you, my love… it was me.”
“You’re too good to me, my love,” tears ran like her stream.
“We’ve not been the best, but I fear much worse will likely follow.”
“I’m sorry, Adam.”
“I’m sorry too, Eve.”