Outside, in the darkness of the humid night, footsteps approached the home that sat far off from the isolated dirt road. There were many men, and they were coming for the Prohibited with guns in hand. They were dressed in dark clothing so the night would consume their presence. They had been made aware that a birth was to take place soon, and their sole purpose was to cease all Prohibited, even the young.
Five Intruders slowly and quietly climbed the timeworn porch steps, taking great care not to make the slightest sound. They reached the dilapidated front door as another group went around the back to surround the quiet country home. They knew they needed to catch the Prohibited separately in order to destroy them or, at the very least, capture them. One of the men placed his hand on the door’s rusted handle and found it to be locked. They knew they could not alert the Prohibited of their presence, or they would not be able to complete their mission. The Intruders began to check the windows, but those were locked as well.
The group of men at the back of the house found the same. The night was quiet. Only crickets filled the air with their musical themes. There was no hint of wind or rain to stifle any noise. They must be cautious. They couldn’t take any chances; there was too much at stake. The bounty was large, and a considerable amount of planning and preparation had been made only to fail. One of the men slowly knelt to the door handle and took out a bag with tools. He strategically and silently opened the bag to reveal a thief’s tool kit. He was going to need to enter the home by breaking through the lock. All the cloaked men stood frozen in position, waiting, watching. Time was of the essence, and so the man began his work.
Jacob reached for Adelaide’s hand as she began to bear down. The baby was just moments from being born. Their love and excitement for this new life shown on their faces. Adelaide felt no pain, which was common in a Prohibited birth. Prohibited fetuses always protected the mother from physical pain. Adelaide continued to squeeze Jacob’s hand as the golden hue of their eyes focused on one another. Their deep gaze spoke of comfort and compassion. This was their first child. They were excited that she would be like them, yet they were concerned that she would be like them. They knew that her life was going to be challenging. They both had firsthand knowledge and experience of this life. However, the joy that this child was going to bring comforted their worries.
“Okay, Adelaide, I need you to push until I tell you to stop,” Delilah whispered. She was the midwife and had known the couple for years. She, too, had the reflection of gold in her eyes. She also knew the life this child would be bound to. Jacob pressed his hand on the back of Adelaide’s head as he helped her raise to bear down. Adelaide held her breath as she pushed with every fiber of her being.
“That’s perfect, Adelaide. Keep pushing.” Delilah could see the baby crowning. “Okay, Adelaide, rest for a second.” Adelaide laid her head back as Jacob placed a cold cloth on her forehead. Adelaide stared up at him and began to smile. “Are you ready to meet your daughter, Jacob?”
“More than ready.” Jacob responded without hesitation.
“Alright, Adelaide, it’s time.” Delilah looked up at Jacob and Adelaide with excitement and hope. “She’s ready.”
Adelaide inhaled deeply, and with Jacob’s help, lifted her head and began to push. “Perfect!” Delilah whispered. “Keep pushing. We’re almost there.” The basement room was silent but for the grunts that Adelaide made as she pushed with all of her might. “Her head is out, Adelaide. You’re doing a great job. Almost there.” Delilah maneuvered her fingers and hands around the baby as Adelaide’s efforts paid off. With one final push, the baby entered the world.
“You’ve done it. She’s beautiful.” Delilah quietly spoke. She began to cut the umbilical cord, wipe off the child, and wrap a small blanket around the baby girl. Adelaide rested her head upon the pillow as Jacob look down to see his new daughter in Delilah’s care. “She so beautiful, Adelaide,” Jacob softly spoke as tears rolled from his golden eyes. “She’s perfect.”
The baby began to cry a beautiful exclamation of freedom. Delilah finished preparing her for her mother’s embrace. She slowly brought the baby girl to Adelaide. The new mother opened up her loving arms to greet her daughter. Adelaide’s tears fell as she scanned her perfect baby. “She’s gorgeous, Jacob. She’s perfect.” The baby’s cries had ceased when she began suckling on two fingers, as she probably had in her mother’s womb. This position comforted the baby. Delilah continued to wipe down the child and check her vitals while Adelaide lovingly cradled the flawless newborn.
“What are you going to name her?” Delilah asked.
“Her name is Charlotte.” Jacob responded.
Delilah smiled. “That’s a beautiful name.”
“Thank you.” Adelaide radiated. She looked down at the baby, who had yet to open her eyes. “Hello, Charlotte. I love you so much. Welcome home, little one.” Jacob watched in utter amazement. He was falling madly in love.
“Can I hold her?” Jacob asked.
Adelaide cradled the child as she lifted her to meet her father. “This is your daddy, Charlotte.” Jacob took Charlotte into his arms. She was so small. She continued to vigorously suck on her fingers for comfort as her dad’s heart began to fill with pride. He had never felt an instant love like this before. He was beaming. “Hello, baby girl. I’m your dad. I’ve been waiting so long to meet you.” He’d hoped that after months of speaking to her through the safe containment of her mother’s womb, that she would recognize his voice. As he spoke, a small grin appeared on her perfect lips among the finger sucking. He knew that it probably wasn’t a smile, but for him, it was approval. As he held his daughter, Delilah was administering to Adelaide.
Recovery from birth was still a process, even to those who did not feel pain. Adelaide’s body would need the same kind of repair and patience that any mother would need. She simply had the benefit of birthing a Prohibited.
Prohibited had three traits. The first being the prominent golden eyes. The second the power of protection from harm. Unfortunately, their protection could only be projected outward towards others. Therefore they were unable to protect themselves if they were caught alone. A singular Prohibited was a coveted find. The last gift was that Prohibited were inherently good. They could not and would not cause harm or malice to anyone.
Jacob continued to hold Charlotte for a time while Adelaide was being taken care of through Delilah’s good nature. Adelaide had been watching Jacob and Charlotte intently. Her heart swelled from their interaction. It was everything she had wanted and more. Jacob looked back at Adelaide for a moment and instantly saw the happiness in her golden eyes. He kissed Charlotte on the head and slowly gave up the baby to Adelaide.
Adelaide embraced Charlotte tightly. She began to cover her with soft kisses. Jacob watched in awe. This was a moment neither of them would forget. Jacob looked up at Delilah, who had just finished preparing Adelaide for her recovery. “Can I help with anything?” Jacob asked sincerely.
“Well, would you mind gathering the towels and sheets and place them in that bag?” Delilah pointed to a garbage bag that lay on the ground.
“Absolutely.” Jacob said with gratitude in his words for all of Delilah’s efforts. Jacob kissed Adelaide on the forehead and then kissed Charlotte in the same manner. He began to walk towards the trash bag and began placing the towels inside. Adelaide could not take her eyes off of Charlotte. Adelaide began pulling the blanket off Charlotte’s feet, exposing ten perfect toes. These were the cutest toes any mother had ever seen. She gently examined Charlotte’s feet, legs, stomach, neck, arms, and hands as the baby suckled her fingers. Adelaide had never felt so much love for one person as she was experiencing at this moment.
As Adelaide caressed Charlotte’s small facial features, the baby began to open her eyes slowly. Charlotte’s brow furled against the brightness of the light. Her eyes slowly began to open. “Jacob, she’s opening her eyes.” Adelaide looked at him in excitement. They couldn’t wait to see the vibrant and bright gold eyes that all newborn Prohibited possess. Jacob replied with a smile. Adelaide looked back down at Charlotte. Jacob was almost finished with his task and would go to meet his daughter’s gaze soon.
As the baby blinked quickly and squinted her eyes slowly, Adelaide was immediately taken aback. She held her breath as her daughter fully opened her eyes. Adelaide became motionless. “Jacob!” Adelaide quietly commanded in utter shock. “Jacob!”
Both Jacob and Delilah instantly stopped what they were doing and joined Adelaide in observing Charlotte. The room was quiet. The air was thick. Collectively they all were feeling and witnessing the same thing. As Charlotte continued to suck on her tiny middle and ring fingers, she met their eyes, one by one. In an instant, their lives had gone from contentment and unconditional love to worry, insecurity, and fear.
Charlotte’s eyes glared with such a glow of violet that it was almost blinding. With every blink of this new child’s eyes, each adult hoped that the gold would appear, but it didn’t. They stared back at searing violet eyes.
“Jacob, what does this mean?” Adelaide questioned while not disconnecting her focus from Charlotte. “What does it mean?” Adelaide was begging Jacob for a calming answer that would repel her concerns. But that was not to come.
“I, I, I don’t know.” Jacob looked across the bed at Delilah, hoping from her the same calming response. But that too would not come.
Delilah looked down at Charlotte and then back at Jacob. “I don’t know either, Jacob. I’ve never seen this before.” Delilah realized that she needed to be the one to administer comfort to these new parents. She had delivered many babies, and even though there is no pain for Prohibited giving birth, there are still all of the same emotions and fears. She was used to having to be the comforter.
So, with that, she took one last look at Charlotte and removed her from Adelaide’s grip. “Listen, both of you.” Delilah began as she wrapped the baby tightly in the blanket. “There is absolutely nothing to worry about. I have checked her, and everything is fine. She’s a healthy baby. She is perfect in every way. Look at her sucking on her fingers in comfort. She is flawless.”
Delilah raised the baby for both parents to see. Her parents were speechless. They weren’t rejecting Charlotte. They were utterly astonished by her eyes and sincerely didn’t know what to make of it. Delilah recognized this as she placed Charlotte back into Adelaide’s arms.