Authors: Cynthia Austin
I found myself standing in front of the doors to the enormous study.
The library was, far and away, my favorite room in the McAllister house. This was not surprising since the room was so fascinating. It was the centerpiece for the tours that used to take place years ago.
Putting my heel back on my foot, I debated abruptly leaving before Adrian woke up to avoid that awkward morning after a night of sex talk. The one where we both would futilely try to read each other’s body language in the hopes of finding out if last night’s escapade meant as much as it did to the other person.
I’d just as soon leave and let Adrian conclude it didn’t mean a thing to either of us. It was simply a mistake. I was sure he knew it too. But just as I turned to exit the house, a sense of déjà vu enveloped me as I remembered the odd dream I had just experienced. It was a phrase that rendered me frozen in my tracks.
Why is your dream written in Adrian’s book?
That’s what Samael’s Father had asked me. I racked my brain for the meaning behind his words. Then I remembered the night of Ray’s arrest. After our fight, I had run back to Adrian’s house. He was in the library arguing with a client on the phone while searching for something. I opened the doors to the library and quietly crept forward as I recalled that night.
There had been a safe hidden behind one of the bookcases. I’d watched as Adrian slid the bookcase away from the wall and revealed it.
But what had been in that safe?
I closed my eyes and focused on that night. I was an emotional wreck and all I cared about was making sure Adrian was okay. He had a bloody lip, as I remembered. And he was angry from the phone call.
But what was in that safe?
All at once, my memories flashed back and my eyes darted to the big mahogany desk in the middle of the room. The tattered red book still lay in the same spot that Adrian had placed it. Out of an entire library full of books, why was this one locked away, hidden from everything else?
Was Samael’s Father referring to this book? And if he was, that would be admitting he was more than just a dream. It would be admitting to myself that all of them were real.
I felt myself gravitating toward the desk and gripped Adrian’s dusty red book. Turning it over in my hands, I gave it a closer examination. The title on the spine read, “The Children’s Book of Jewish Folklore.
Why would Adrian, a person with a complete lack of faith, keep such a book locked away? Immediately, I began to scan the pages searching for any sort of clue.
I flipped through the musty yellow pages as I admired the illustrations. The drawings all looked similar to what you would find in just about any bible but there was one specific drawing that caught my attention. It was an ominous illustration of the Garden of Eden.
There were dead apple trees and withered branches reaching up toward a black sky. There were overgrown weeds dancing up the steel gates which were closed and chained. It was not like any picture of Eden I’d ever seen before. This was the Garden after the gates had locked. Growing more curious by the second, I turned the page and began scanning the words. The story looked similar to the one I had known, but there were additional characters I had never heard of before. Then my body froze in horror as my eyes focused on one word only.
How is this possible?
Printed in the black ink, I read
I couldn’t believe my eyes, and I even tried to blink it away but the name remained in the book, dancing over all of the pages as though it were taunting me. The room began to close in on me and the phantom pain in my head returned. I reached for my purse and frantically ingested two more pills, hoping to get a grip on my mental breakdown. Pinching myself as hard as I could, I determined this time I was not dreaming. I sat down on the hard floor and went back to the beginning of the bible. This was one story I needed to read.
According to Adrian’s book, God had started off with Adam, creating him from dirt, but he had also made a wife for Adam, also out of dirt. Her name was Lilith.
Since Adam and Lilith were made from equal parts Lilith refused to submit to Adam, which created an issue. Lilith eventually left and then God created Eve from Adam’s rib bone, obviously learning from His first miscalculation.
Now that this female was made
Adam, she would have no choice but to submit to her superior man.
As I read this, I realized that among His other faults, God was also a sexist. Eve submitted as she was supposed to until she met Samael, who was Lilith’s brother. Christians have always believed him to be Lucifer.
The Devil wears many faces.
Oh my god, no.
I forced the memory of the dream out of my mind and continued reading. The next line caught my full attention as I read it over and over again.
He is a figure who is accuser, seducer, and destroyer, and has been regarded as both good and evil.
Suddenly I couldn’t help but compare the green eyes Samael had possessed to Adrian’s eyes. Was it pure coincidence that Adrian came into my life right after my dreams began?
That these dreams accelerated once I let him into my life and now, was it just a huge coincidence that Adrian had the very book that held the answers to my questions? My mind raced toward denial.
No way. I refuse to believe what that old man said. Adrian is not Samael.
I pushed the speculations out of my mind and kept reading. Using my finger as a guide, I read each word as if my life depended on it. Eve and Samael fell in love and began an affair better known as “
eating the forbidden fruit
It was Eve and Samael’s adultery that resulted in her and Adam being kicked out of the Garden.
It wasn’t an apple—it was illicit sex?
I closed the big red book and rubbed my eyes, glancing over at the clock. It was 10:14 a.m. and I knew Adrian would be waking soon.
What was I going to tell him?
That he was right last night? Maybe my mind
summoned him along with some old man who just might be God, and came to me in a dream last night telling me my new lover was the Devil?
The story in Adrian’s book was making my head spin. How could I have dreamt some folklore I had never known about? Why did Adrian have this book? What was the connection?
Accuser, Seducer, and Destroyer.
As I analyzed it, Adrian fit the bill here, accusing Ray of being unworthy of my love, seducing me…but what had he destroyed? When he came into my life, my relationship was
self-destructing. If anything he’d helped awaken me to my reality.
I flipped to the beginning of the book and decided to read the first chapter.
After the first few lines, I decided I didn’t care for this book and concluded it held the same hypocritical views of any other religious book I’d ever picked up.
Like my previous encounters with religion, the book made me question the way I was living, and for that, I hated it. The entire first chapter was dedicated to the explanation of evil, stating that evil could be as simple as pernicious selfishness and a drive for immediate gratification without regard for others.
Here I was blaming Ray all this time for chasing after his silly little rock and roll dream but maybe I was the one being selfish for wishing he would give it up and come home to me. My drive for immediate gratification would explain why I continue to gravitate toward Adrian. With Ray’s absence, I felt the need to fill the empty void inside of me with the presence of another man. I had carelessly ignored the fact that Ray disliked it because I was being selfish. Or as this book said; I was being evil.
This was B.S. to me.
I slammed the red cover shut and choked on the giant dust cloud that whooshed out.
This was exactly why I despised religion. It would literally make you crazy if you allowed it to get inside your head.
I wasn’t evil for having these feelings inside of me. There were much simpler words to describe what was inside of me and evil was not one of them. Lonely, perhaps, sad even, but not evil. I was simply human and the feelings I felt for Adrian were real, hence I would not allow this manipulative little book to shame me for my genuine feelings.
Speaking of which, what were my feelings for Adrian? A minute ago I was planning my escape route out of his life and now…
I sat in the middle of the library and rocked back and forth as I hugged my knees. Unable to contain my curiosity, I found myself being pulled back to the dusty red book. Reluctantly opening the pages, I laid my eyes on the next chapter. The text read, “
God created all things living, and then He created man. God named the man Adam, and the woman He named Lilith.”
There was that name again.
Who was she?
Samael’s father told me that Adrian had a sister and they were both evil. Could Lilith be that woman in the Garden? My mind was scaring me and I needed to get off this mental roller coaster ASAP or my brain would snap. What I was reading sounded way too similar to my dreams.
Not knowing what else to do, I grabbed my phone and punched in the numbers I had dialed so many times in the past. There was only one person who could help me understand all this.
Ray answered on the first ring.
I was actually surprised my call even went through. Despite my abrupt withdrawal from him last night, he had still unblocked my number and accepted my call.
He sounded tired. “What do you want, Sid?” He was obviously drained, almost like he no longer had the energy to keep entertaining the thought of us being happy together.
“Ray!” I shouted into the receiver. I didn’t have time to worry about the state of our relationship at that moment, I needed help. “Think about all the books you’ve ever read…did Adam and Eve ever take up other lovers?”
He postponed my question. “Sid, I’m about to go to church and explain to my parents why you’re not with me. Can we discuss philosophy later?”
“No, it’s important!” I shouted; tears spilling down my cheeks as confusion washed over me. I felt like I was drowning in a sea of bewildering turbulence, the angry waves slamming me into the jagged rocks. I needed to get my footing back onto solid ground. I needed the water out of my lungs and air to clear my foggy brain.
“No, Sid. I’ve never read a religion that spoke of Adam and Eve mating with other partners. God created them to be mated to each other for life.”
“What about Lilith? You never read about her?”
There was a long pause.
“Is this some kind of trap to try to get me in trouble? I told you already. I’m not seeing Lilly anymore.”
I hung up on him. Ray couldn’t help me and I really didn’t feel like discussing his manipulative little mistress. I eagerly crawled back to the book and frantically began searching the chapter where I had left off.
I found the yellowed page and skimmed through, reading the words faster than my brain could process. I felt as if I were trying to decipher the da Vinci code. The story continued, stating that Adam and Lilith were created from the same dirt of the earth and that there was no master or leader but instead, a whole lot of bickering.
Lilith told Adam, “
I will not be below you, in life or during sex. I want the superior position
I don’t know if it was Ray’s earlier comparison but now my mind went directly to Lilly. It sounded like something that slut would say.
Going on with my unorthodox bible lesson, the story explained that Adam argued with Lilith that
was the superior one. He eventually sought God’s counsel and being the sexist that He was, God agreed with Adam.
Lilly became so enraged that she changed form and flew into the air, disappearing out of sight. God sent three angels to overtake Lilith and return her to Adam, but she refused. And as her rebellion increased, she changed again, becoming more and more ugly and demonic.
As a result, she became a succubus.
I sat back and took a short break from the good book. I could not get Lilith out of my mind. I grabbed my phone and Googled the word, “
.” It was defined as a demonic woman who appears in dreams and takes the form of a human being, seducing men with her beauty.
What if my dreams really were true? Would that mean Lilly is Lilith?
I read the definition over and over again. It seemed to explain everything. If this was true, then no wonder Ray cheated on me with Lilly. He never stood a chance.
Then my mind drifted over to Adrian and I wondered if men could be a succubus, too. He fit the definition as well.
No. He’s not evil. I’ll never believe it.
I returned to my reading. The story went on to describe that during the time of Adam and Eve, there was a great war in heaven against God and Lucifer who had assembled one-third of renegade angels to fight against their Heavenly Father for supremacy. God prevailed over Lucifer and his angels and cast them onto earth. Lucifer continued to fight even though he was eternally doomed. God allowed Lucifer to roam the earth until his final defeat at the end of the world. There was no mention of hell in this bible. Instead it stated that God had thrown Lucifer to