"You'll get used to it. It isn't so bad in the end."
They say that every part of human nature rebels against authority. Controlling forces. Cages. They say a caged man will go insane. Lose his fire. Lose his mind.
But my cell mate would argue that such people have never been properly caged. The food isn't so bad. The gaps in the bars are wide enough to see the grass a few feet away. Grass so close you can smell it. Feel the mist as the systems spread water across its silky emerald surface. For one who had thought to see the last of grass only weeks before, this cage seems like the closest possible connection with Eden. For humans, who brim with such sin, is it too much to ask for this small connection with something heavenly?
Our captors only request that we smile. A smile in return for a glimpse of Eden. That isn't a horrible trade, right?
If I think of Eden, I can almost do it. A smile through the tears. I can manage that.
A smile. I even manage to show teeth this time.
My reward: a shining apple from the palm of one of our captors. I grasp its smooth surface, teeth popping through the thick skin. Delicious.
Who wouldn't smile for such things? Who wouldn't try to forget the loss of a world? A home? A race? For just a smile, I can taste Eden. Taste it, even as the meaning of heaven slips discreetly from my mind.