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Delilah woke up to daybreak gleaming through the blackout curtains set up in Jacob’s room. She could smell the bacon from the plate sitting on the dresser. She slowly pushed down the foot support of the recliner and placed the blanket over the armrest. She did her best to be as silent as possible as she made her way through the room. She reached for a piece of cold bacon and took a bite. She saw that Jacob was fast asleep. She gently pulled the door open, exited the room, and closed the door.

Delilah blinked her eyes multiple times as she focused in the sunlight. She made her way to Violet’s room and listened at the door. She heard no sound but could tell by the aroma that a candle had been lit. She slowly opened the door and saw Violet sitting on the floor in meditation. She knew she was training, so she quietly closed the door. She went back to Jacob’s room and finished eating the cold bacon from the plate. She sat on the recliner, observing Jacob as he slept. She remembered all the good times she had experienced with Jacob and Adelaide. They had been such close friends. Her dreams of them all growing old together died the day Violet was born. Part of her had died that day. Had it not been for June and Dan, she is not sure she could have been so strong.

Delilah laid her head back, reminiscing of their good times. She was relieved that Jacob was alive and lying in bed. Delilah began to fall asleep when she heard Jacob move in the bed. She lifted her head to see him pushing himself up. Delilah jumped up and went to his side. She wanted to wrap her arms around him and share her excitement when she noticed the lack of recognition in his eyes. He got comfortable on the bed and looked at her as if he was seeing a total stranger. Delilah turned on the bathroom light so that he could see better.

“How are you feeling, Jacob?” Delilah asked.

“I’m doing okay. Did I miss breakfast?” He whispered in his weak condition.

“Well, it’s cold, but I’ll have someone get you a new plate.” Delilah didn’t give Jacob a chance to respond. She left the room. He could hear her asking if someone minded bringing him a new plate. She reentered.

“Can I get you anything while you wait?” Delilah felt like it was Christmas morning.

“Can I have some water?” He asked.

Delilah reached for the water that was on the nightstand. She helped set him up and held the cup to his lips as he sipped.

“Thank you.” He said to Delilah as if she were no more familiar than any other Prohibited in the house.

This realization was hard for Delilah to process. She had been so excited to see him, and yet he had no idea who she was. So, she decided to take it slow. She stood at the foot of the bed.

“Jacob, do you remember me?” Delilah asked.

Jacob studied her face, the best that he could. “No. Should I?”

Delilah laid her head in sorrow. “Probably not. It’s been over twenty years. My name is Delilah. Do you remember me?”

Jacob laid his head back and looked at Delilah for quite a while. “I’m sorry. I don’t. How do we know each other?”

“We were really good friends. You, me, and Adelaide were great friends for a long time. Do you remember?”

Jacob thought back, but he could not recall. “Who is Adelaide?”

Delilah could not control the shock. Her face showed the surprise in his statement. “You don’t remember who Adelaide is?”

“Should I?”

“Yes, Jacob, she was your wife.” Delilah tried to be gentle with this information.

Jacob’s brow furrowed as he tried to think back, but it was blank. There was no Delilah or Adelaide connected to his memories. “My wife?”

“Yes, Jacob, your wife. You don’t remember Adelaide?”

“I’m sorry. No.” Jacob replied in confusion.

Delilah’s Christmas morning was more like a nightmare. She stood at the foot of his bed in horror. Then, she remembered something. She left the room and was gone for a few minutes. She returned with pictures in her hand. She took the stack and placed one of the pictures in his hand. It was a picture of Adelaide and Jacob on their wedding day. Jacob held it in his hand. He didn’t recognize either of them. Delilah then began slowly handing him picture after picture, explaining to him who he was looking at, even pictures of himself. But Jacob didn’t recognize anyone. Not Delilah, not Adelaide, not himself.

“I’m sorry. I don’t know these people.” Jacob handed Delilah back the pictures.

Delilah looked down at Jacob. Tears began to form in her eyes. “Oh, Jacob, what have they done to you?” She wanted to remain strong for him, but she couldn’t. She went into the bathroom and tried to smother her cries. Her heart was broken because even though he was alive, his life had been taken from him. He didn’t remember anything. The Normals had wiped out all memory. How could a human being be so cruel that whatever they did to this man, he cannot recall the love of his life? They had taken Adelaide from him. That was the cruelest realization of all. What type of torture or experimentation would cause this? She cried.

The nurse entered the room with a fresh plate of warm breakfast. She placed the tray on his lap. He laid back on the bed as the nurse checked his vitals and temperature again. His vitals were slowly getting better. Delilah came out of the bathroom, attempting to hide her sadness. She grabbed a wooden chair and placed it next to the bed. She removed the plate from Jacob’s lap and began feeding him slowly. She could tell that he was still too weak to feed himself. She was happy to do it.

Delilah collected a small amount of eggs on the spoon and placed it in his mouth. He laid his head back and closed his eyes as he tasted every bite. It seemed to him as if he hadn’t eaten in years. He couldn’t remember when he had eaten last. He finished chewing and swallowed it. Delilah placed another small spoonful into his mouth. He chewed faster and then swallowed. Delilah continued to feed him as he became more and more ravenous for the food.

“Okay, Jacob, you need to eat slowly. You don’t want to get sick.” Delilah was happy to see him so eager to eat.

Jacob hadn’t realized he was eating so fast. He smiled back. “Okay. Sorry.” His reply was childlike.

Delilah broke off a piece of the bacon and fed it to him. He was in heaven. She fed him the last bit of bacon as he laid back with a full belly, no nausea, and sleep on his mind. Delilah brought the cup of water to his lips, and he sipped.

“Thank you so much. That was amazingly good.” Jacob said with contentment in his voice.

“You are very welcome, Jacob. I’m glad you’re feeling better.” Delilah placed the plate on the dresser next to the cold plate. She sat back down next to the bed. “Jacob, what is your last memory?”

Jacob looked at Delilah and thought. He searched his memory for anything outside of the facility. “I don’t have any memory of anything. The memories I do have are of that place.” He met Delilah’s eyes. “It’s a terrible place.”

Delilah realized that Jacob was almost naive. “I know, Jacob. I’m so sorry.”

Jacob smiled. “It’s alright. I’m not there anymore. Did you rescue me?”

“Kind of. I helped, but Violet is the one who made it happen. She got you out.”

“Who’s Violet?”

Delilah smiled at Jacob. “She’s your daughter.” She waited for his response.

Jacob smiled quizzically. “I have a daughter?”

“Yes. You have a daughter.”

“Where’s her mom?”

“Well, Adelaide, the girl in the pictures, your wife, that’s her mom.”

“Where’s Adelaide?” Jacob asked.

Delilah wanted to be delicate. “Jacob, she passed away.”

Jacob didn’t smile anymore. “What happened?”

“Are you sure you want to know right now? This can wait.”

Jacob shook his head no. “I had a life before the bad place. I would like to know.”

“Your wife, Adelaide, gave birth to your daughter. You and I were there. We were in a Prohibited safehouse.”

Jacob interrupted, “What’s a Prohibited?”

Delilah’s jaw dropped. She did not expect that question at all. She didn’t know what to say. She pondered but couldn’t find the words. He hadn’t said anything about her eyes. She assumed because he recognized her as a Prohibited. But now, she wondered if it was because of his state of confusion. She got up and went into her room to retrieve a mirror. She brought Jacob the mirror. Jacob placed the mirror to his face. He stared. He had golden eyes like Delilah. He hadn’t noticed Delilah’s eyes or the nurse’s eyes until he saw his. He had only been around people without golden eyes, as far as he could remember. He also noticed how old he looked. He didn’t recognize the man staring back. “Why do we have gold eyes? What does that mean?”

“Because we are Prohibited Jacob.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means we help people who can receive peace and calm. We have the power of protection.” Delilah could see that this wasn’t registering with Jacob. “Simply put, we can protect people.”

Jacob thought about this for a moment. “Can I protect people?”

“Absolutely. You can protect.”

“So, why did Adelaide pass away?” He asked as he continued to look at himself in the mirror.

“The Normals, the bad ones, killed her after she gave birth to your daughter.”

“Why would they do that?”

“Because she was a Prohibited.”

“Normals don’t like Prohibited?”

“Bad Normals don’t like Prohibited.”

Jacob put down the mirror. “Why?”

Delilah smiled at the simple question. “I don’t know, Jacob. I guess it’s because we are different.”

“That’s it?”

“That’s it.”

“Well, that’s stupid.” Jacob said.

Delilah laughed. “Yes, I agree.”

“Did the bad Normals have me at the bad place?”

“Yes. Not every Normal is bad, but every bad Normal wants to harm us. They harmed you. But you are here now, and we won’t let them get to you again.” Delilah committed.

“Good.” Jacob said. He handed Delilah the mirror. He was done looking at himself. She placed the mirror on the dresser just as the door slowly opened. It was Violet. Delilah walked over to Violet and gave her a long and needed hug.

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