The Ballad of Adam and Grace

Adam and Grace met when they were only seven years old. It was a tender age to meet the love of your life, an age when the world was new, when wonder filled every corner of the earth, and nothing was impossible. It was an age when love was innocent.

When Grace first looked at Adam she knew she would love him her whole life long. He was only a child, but to her eyes all she could see was his noble bearing and handsome features, and a courage that was just beginning to grow. She had never seen anyone as dashing as he.

When Adam saw Grace he felt the wind sing in his heart. When she smiled she was as radiant as the full moon at night. And when she laughed he thought it must be the sound that sunshine made, if we could only hear it. There was joy in her voice and her limbs were boundless and free.

Because their love was innocent and without guile, it was also without fear. Adam confessed his love to Grace and Grace her love for Adam. And they swore they would love each other forever, and belong to no other.

Despite these declarations Adam soon forgot his love. He was only seven years old, after all, and his heart was taken up with the other things. He dreamed of adventures and battles, of slaying dragons and finding ancient treasures.

Instead, Adam and Grace remained good friends. After all, their hearts were bound together.

The years passed by and the children grew into adolescents. At sixteen, at the age when the first blush of love is on the face of youth, when boys seek out girls and girls dream of boys, Grace remembered her love for Adam. When this love awoke in her heart again she tried to help Adam remember his love too.

But Adam’s heart was enchanted by other girls. For Grace was quiet and dressed plainly. And Adam desired the girls who wore short skirts and red lipstick, who laughed loud and smelled of sweet perfume. He turned from Grace and chased after these other girls who intoxicated his heart.

Instead, Adam and Grace remained good friends. After all, their hearts were bound together.

The years passed by, and soon the children were grown. At twenty-four, at the age when love is fruitful, when men and women marry and begin families, when they build homes and lives together, Grace remembered her love for Adam. When this love awoke in her heart she tried to help Adam remember his love too.

But Adam’s heart was full of ambition. He dreamed of success and wealth. He desired after a high paying job, a big house, a boat for parties on the lake, and a car that would impress all his friends. So he sought girls who had rich fathers, who could promise to help him gain these things he desired.

Instead, Adam and Grace remained good friends. After all, their hearts were bound together. Adam married and began a family. Grace married another, and she began one too. Through the years they saw each other often, and exchanged pictures of children and vacations, and celebrated the milestones of life together.

The years passed by and life shaped them in ways both kind and cruel. Adam’s wife left him for another man, one who was wealthier and more ambitious than he. Grace’s husband died in a car accident and left her a widow.

When they were fifty years old, alone again after many years, at an age when love was no longer naive, but mature and sober, Grace remembered her love for Adam again. When this love awoke in her heart she tried to help Adam remember his love too.

But Adam’s heart was wounded and angry. He had been hurt by love, abused by its mercilessness. So he disavowed love and promised never to love again.

This hurt Grace deeper than all of his other rejections. It hurt her so much that she could not bear to be near Adam at all. So Grace left to begin her life again somewhere else.

The years passed by and Adam nursed his anger and resentment. He grew old and frail, and because he nursed resentment, his heart grew weak, for a heart cannot thrive on anger and spite.

When he was eighty years old Adam moved into a retirement community. He needed help to clean his house and cook his food, and though he would never admit it, he was awfully lonely. So he moved into a community for the elderly, where they would help care for him and he could be in the company of others, and they would help distract his mind with bingo and shuffleboard.

One day, Adam sat in the common room, lonely and bored as he ever was, and he heard a sound that made his heart leap. It was a laugh, a laugh that made the sound that sunshine would make if we could hear it. He followed the sound to the other side of the room, as fast as his tired legs could carry him. When he reached the sound, a pair of eyes looked up at him, eyes he could never forget even if he lived a thousand lifetimes.

It was Grace. At that moment, when she looked at him and her laughter filled the air, something pierced the dark gloom that had settled over his heart, and it pierced the cloud of distraction that had always covered his soul, and it pierced the veil of forgetfulness that had draped over his mind these many, many years.

Adam remembered his love.

Grace was not as young as she had been, but at that moment she appeared as lovely as ever to Adam. She had not the boundlessness in her limbs, but there was still joy in her voice and when she smiled she was still as radiant as the moon at night.

Though Adam remembered his love just then, he discovered that Grace had never forgotten her love for him. They wept as they embraced, and soon with the innocence of the aged, they professed to love each other forever, from that day forward.

Later that night, Adam wept when he thought back on his life. So many days wasted, so many years gone by. The love of his life had always been right there with him, right there beside him, yet he was too blind to see it.

In his sadness there was also joy. Adam’s heart swelled and beat with the thrill of being in love again. But the years and the resentment had worn down his heart, and now it was too weak to bear something as powerful as true love. That night, as Adam wept with joy and regret, his heart gave out, and Adam died. 

In his eighty years of living, he only had one day in which to enjoy the love of his life. In all of the time that Grace was right beside him, Adam refused to accept the joy and love she wanted so desperately to give him. And though we can rejoice that Adam received Grace at last, we must weep for all the years, all the moments, all the blessing he had missed out on, living life without Grace. What greater tragedy can befall the life of man?

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