Prologue: The Protector
A young mother wept bitter tears for her poor infant who lay dying in the hospital’s intensive care unit. He had been there for what seemed like ages with that awful doctor doing nothing to help, hooked up to an endless strain of IVs and wires. Knowing the poor child’s time was short, each member of his family took turns holding him as though they would never let him go.
A young man, handsome as could be with a full head of dark black-brown hair, fair skin and shining hazel eyes, watched from the other side of the viewing window with a sad smile on his face. Time and time again he had seen things like this: families losing their members year after year but the ones involving children always crushed him on the inside. Poor thing…..he thought. Kid lives only a few months and no one can help him.
The young man looked down at the child who slept calmly in his arms, the exact same one who lay dying in the care unit. He sighed as he traced each delicate feature, brushing aside a lock of the infant’s bright auburn hair. When the child began to stir and whimper, the young man gently calmed him down.
“It’s alright, it’s alright,” He whispered soothingly to the infant who the calmed down instantly. “I’m here. I won’t let anything bad happen to you anymore.”
The infant’s fingers curled around the young man’s thumb in a vice-like grip. A bright smile lit up the infant’s face as he looked straight into the young man’s eyes….almost as though he had seen them before.
“My name is Joseph.” He said to the child. “I’ve been watching you for a long time.”
The little one cooed and smiled up at Joseph who smiled back at him. “Someday you’ll understand what happened. Why I had to take you home…but that’s a story for another day.”
The sudden, shrill sound of the heart monitor flatlining and the piteous wails of the mother startled Joseph and tore his heart in two. A single tear ran from his eyes and down his cheek, leaving its wet trail behind it. Another motherless child on this earth.
“Let’s get you home,” Joseph whispered to the child.