She gazed up at the azure sky. White wisps twirled around the endless depths, reflecting the amber hues of the setting sun. Below her feet, she curled her toes in the moist ground, feeling the dirt squish between them. Little sprouts of evergreen grass tickled her heels.
She knelt and ran her long, supple fingers along the edge of the tree root that jutted out of the fresh soil. A crisp scent of pine and jasmine mixed into her inhaled breath. Slowly she closed her grey eyes and tilted her head, concentrating on the quietness around her. A few leaves rustled in the soft wind that she could feel caress her flushed cheeks.
She opened her eyes again and stood up straight. She jutted out her chin and let her raven hair cascaded down her back as it settled just at her bare hips.
I chose this, she repeated to herself. Words she noticed she had said over and over again.
Through the overhanging branches, she strode purposefully away from the dusk whispering behind her as the sun sunk below the green rolling hills. Before her lay her new choices. She would no longer be beholden to a man who belittled her. No longer would she be answering her Creator to obey his every whim.
Branches swayed softly beside her as a bluebird broke into song above. She glanced up to see it resting on the edge of its nest, little peeps echoing against the quiet of the garden path. She watched as the bluebird hopped to and fro, its wings tucked and its tail dipping to keep its balance. The ripe fruit from the tree wobbled along with the bird's movements.
Casually, she plucked a low-hanging apple from that very branch.
Juices dribbled down her chin as she crunched through its crisp, green skin. The tartness puckered her full lips. With a flick, she tossed the partially eaten fruit at her feet. Like the rest of this garden, it was one more thing she was leaving behind. The strings that came with this were not worth the small joys she indulged in one last time.
The tree line broke upon a meadow. An outcropping of sleek rocks made a perfect seat next to a small brook that ran across the meadow and through the brilliant wildflowers surrounding her.
A saturation of color littered both banks, creating a cascade of yellows, blues, and pinks in controlled chaos. They crunched beneath her feet, giving easily to her purposeful stride. She no longer saw their beauty, only the chains they represented to her.
Upon those same rocks sat the one who had given her this choice. He was as ethereal and celestial as the one she was leaving behind was dull and human. He let the last rays of the sun bathe his auburn hair that rested along his hardened and grizzled jawline. He casually leaned back on one muscled arm. His other rested casually in his lap, covering up the fact that he was as natural in this meadow as she was.
Nothing he did was not methodically planned, down to how the early evening shadows played along his face. His own bronze skin rippled along his bare chest, accenting the nest of curls around his nipples. He stared and raised his hand towards her, palm up, beckoning her to take it.
She chose this, again those words echoed in her head.
With a final determination, she approached him and took his extended hand in hers.
A terrifying screech overhead caused her to stare up into the darkening sky. A raven escaped the trees she had just emerged from and soared effortlessly into the clouds. Its silhouette just barely discernible from the inky forever above their heads.
That, that was her choice. Her choice to make her own decisions, to be free from that which had created her to be someone else's prize. She belonged to no one, not even the creature before her that was granting her this freedom. Because, like with everything else, her choice had consequences. She could no longer live in the only place she had known with the abundance and ease she had been brought into.
Instead, she would go away from this world, away from the slavery and chains she had been given, and become a ruler by this creature's side. She looked up once again at the raven that had now disappeared from view. “Give me that. I come with you to your domain, and I am free to make my own decisions about my life, right? I want the freedom of that raven. I want to flex my wings and be whoever I want to be, not who He tried to make me be.”
He leaned into her, his beard scratching against her ear. “Done.” his whispered breath caused her skin to grow taut and the stray hairs on her neck to stand on end. She felt pain. It caused her to yell with a gaping mouth and aghast eyes. A sharp ripping along her spine caused her to double over as, and a new weight almost toppled her over. She extended these new appendages, spreading them out as they formed. They grew to each side of her, to encompass three times over. But they weren’t like the ravens. They were leathery and grey. Veins ran along the skin in between the bones that helped keep it taut as they stretched out. A talon ended on the top of each. In awe, the pain now a dull throb in her gut, she ran fingertips along the edges of the new wings.
He rose from the rock and stretched his own ebony wings behind him. “Come, Lilith, my Queen. Time to take you to where you can be who you are meant to be. Adam and my father are your past. My world is your future.”
I chose this. For the first time since she had been formed next to her husband, since the first time God had told her what he wanted her to be, since the first time she had opened her eyes, she felt free.
With that, she left behind the home she had known and now could never return to. But what awaited her was better because it was what she wanted.
She made, for the first time, her own choice.