Adam looked at the apple. He'd been staring at it for the better part of the afternoon.
Afternoon. He mulled the word over in his mind. That's what Eve called the time before the sun set. Afternoon. Eve had lots of new words now. And she could make things. Like those... clothes she was wearing. Adam didn't know what clothes were, or why she suddenly needed them. Eve said eating the apple would make him understand.
But he wasn't sure he wanted to understand. Just yesterday, neither of them understood much of anything save eating and sleeping and sex. And naming all the animals. That was fun. That was... intelligent. He ran that word around his mind, too. Another of Eve's. Adam sighed. He tried naming a nearby animal just to make himself feel better, then realized it was already a duck and felt worse.
Eve still ate and slept and had sex, but she changed the way she did all three. She didn't just eat fruit off the tree any more. No. Now food had to be "prepared". Adam was getting pretty tired of these new words; he knew that much, even without Eve's special apple. She also needed to sleep on something called a "bed" now. And sex! All these new positions! And sometimes, she wasn't even in the mood! Not in the mood? Since when?
And she was talking about leaving the garden. She wanted to see what was "out there". Adam didn't even know there was an "out there". He didn't even know the garden was called "the garden". He'd always called it "the world".
He was going to have to eat the apple. He didn't want Eve to leave him, but even if she stayed, she was too different now. She'd get bored of him and ask God to make her a new man.
God! That's it! He'd ask God what to do!
God always knew what to do. Adam shook his head and laughed. He really must be pretty thick, if it took him this long to ask God's advice.
Later, he was talking to God under his favorite tree. Well, Adam was under his favorite tree. God was his usual disembodied omnipresent self.
"Of course you should eat the apple," God said. "Why else do you think I put it there? Did you expect to laze around the garden forever; eating all the food you could want, having risk-free sex and naming ducks over and over for the rest of your life?"
Adam was a bit taken aback at this. He'd actually intended to do just that. "Well, I... uh, that is... well, there was this serpent, and I thought--"
"I put the serpent there too."
"Y-you did? But..."
God heaved a patient sigh. "Adam, I'm God. If something is there, it's because I put it there." He sighed again. "Look, just eat the apple. Everyone has to grow up sometime. Or, at least, they will. Once there is an 'everyone'."
"But wait," Adam said, grasping at anything to help his case. "You said yourself, when we first came to the garden, that we weren't supposed to eat the fruit from that tree."
God's voice grew impatient. "I just meant you weren't supposed to eat it THEN. You weren't ready for it yet. Now you are. Just eat the damn apple."
Adam sat and looked at the apple some more. He still didn't understand. He didn't understand why things couldn't just stay the way they were. He'd been happy with the way things were. He was comfortable. He...
He ate the apple.