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| Spoiler warning!|
This article contains major spoilers about the Delirium Trilogy.
|“||I love you. Remember. And someday, I will find you again.||”|
Lena's mother, Annabel, supposedly committed suicide when Lena was only six years old. That's the lie that Lena grew up believing, but the truth is very different. As a rebellious teenager, Annabel ran away from home and straight into the man she knew she was destined to marry. The world was different then—the regulations not as stringent, the cure only a decade old. Fast forward to the present, and Annabel is consigned to a dirty prison cell, where she nurtures her hope of escape and scratches one word over and over into the walls: Love.
But Annabel, like Lena, is a fighter. Through chapters that alternate between her past and present, Annabel reveals the story behind her failed cures, her marriage, the births of her children, her imprisonment, and, ultimately, her daring escape.
Narrated by Annabel Haloway, the story alternates between "Then" and "Now".
Then: Trying to escape her cure, Annabel Haloway moves to Boston and attempts to get a fake procedure scar. Soldiers break in before that can happen though and Annabel runs out onto the street where she crashes into a boy about her age. The soldiers yell at him to hold onto her but he just smiles and lets her go.
Annabel steals his wallet in the process and learns that his name is Conrad Haloway and that he was cured several months earlier. Despite this, she becomes infatuated with him and even uses his credit card at one point to try and buy some food. She's caught and sent back home to Portland where she is cured.
She doesn't realize for several months that the cure hasn't worked, not until she is evaluated and given several matches, one of which is Conrad Haloway. She continues to be infatuated with him even as they are paired and married. He for his part is kind and understanding towards her though he will never be able to love her the way she can.
They eventually have two children, Rachel and Lena, and Annabel reflects on Rachel's stubborn nature and Lena's gentleness.
Several months after Lena's birth, Conrad becomes ill with a brain tumor and he's informed it's terminal. He starts to become delirious and asks Annabel where her leather jacket is—something she had worn way back in Boston, implying that even back then he felt a small measure of love towards her. She feels happiness as he dies.
Now: Annabel is now locked away in the Crypts and has been for many years. She reminisces about the past and looks forward to her escape which she has been preparing for months.
Thomas, one of the guards and Rachel's ex-boyfriend, is Annabel's contact who will tell her when she has the go-ahead to escape. She thinks it will happen this month but Thomas gives her a message saying not yet. She is deeply disappointed.
Several days later however, Thomas comes to her cell without warning, seemingly punishing her for a misdemeanor, but instead he tells her that the escape will be happening earlier than planned and that she will probably be escaping this week. He still has to punish her though so that the other prisoners don't get suspicious.
On the day of the escape, everything goes as planned; an alarm is sounded as a cover and Annabel climbs through the hole she's gouged into the wall and down a rope made of sheets. It doesn't reach the bottom, however, and so she has to jump into the river. She survives the fall and thinks about how free she is for the first time in years and how one day she might see her Lena soon.
- Annabel Haloway - The protagonist. Her story shifts between her as a young teenager falling in love and a prisoner waiting to see her children and freedom once more.
- Conrad Haloway - Annabel's husband. She was infatuated from the first moment she saw him though she also knew that he could never love her like she did. He nonetheless treated her with respect.
- Thomas Dale - A guard in the Crypts who is in reality a sympathizer working for the resistance. His cure, like Annabel's, seems not to have fully worked.
- Lena Haloway - Annabel's daughter. Annabel mentions how gentle and innocent she was as a child and she wonders what kind of person she has grown into and whether she listens to the lies their society tells her. Annabel hopes to see her once more.
- Rachel Haloway - Annabel's other daughter. Annabel mentions how bossy and stubborn Rachel used to be and how she always wanted her own way. Though Annabel misses her daughter greatly, she is also aware that she's been cured and that she is not the same person anymore.
- Carol Tiddle - Annabel's sister. Annabel mentions that they never really got along and that even before she was cured, Carol was acting older and more proper than she actually was.
Annabel is chronologically the earliest of any novel or short story in the Delirium universe. The "Then" half taking place in the early days when the cure was still new and the "Now" half taking place several months before Delirium.