Sun beamed in through the window waking Odalie from her sleep. The whole afternoon prior felt like a weird dream. Curiosity got the best of her though so she decided to go back an visit with the lady before checkout. Throwing on her hoodie and shoes, she patted down the sidewalk to the front office. Opening the door she called, “Ma’am?”
Closing the door behind her, she rounded the counter to see if the old woman was sleeping on the couch. No one was there. Faintly, she could hear the sound of rustling papers from the back room so she knocked softly on the door to it. “Ma’am?” She said again. The lady was sitting behind a desk covered in what looked like old bills and sign in sheets. Noticing Odalie a smile crossed the woman’s face. “Oh honey come in! Sit down. You can throw those papers on the shelf beside you there.” Doing as she was told she sat across from the lady.
“I didn’t feel as if I properly introduce myself yesterday. My name is Odalie.”
Smiling the lady sat back in her chair. “What a beautiful name! I’ve never heard that before. Fairies seem to come to mind.” Shaking the thought from her head she chuckled, “Oh where’s my manners. I’m Mabel. Mabel Briar!” When the realization set in, Mabel just laughed. “Your a funny one Miss Odalie. Yes, my family started this little town. But something tells me that’s not what brought you back in here.”
Admitting defeat, she nodded her head, “You are correct. I’ll be honest, I thought of the story you told me yesterday until I fell asleep last night. How does someone just disappear like that? And not to sound rude or disrespectful in anyway, did you still not contact the police and give their names?”
“Well to answer your first question, in all my years I’ll never understand what happened to the couple. But of course I called the police department. No one ever came out though. Like you, I got curious and called back about a month later. Nobody, I mean not even family, had filed a missing persons report on them. The officer I spoke with said they’d wrote it off as closed. Sad isn’t it?” The disbelief was obvious on Odalies face. Surely there was someone out there who knew the couple. Something told her that sticking around another night might do her some good.
“Mrs Mabel, do you mind if I stick around another night? I want to be fully rested before I set off again.”
“Of course dear! It’s nice seeing a fresh face around here. May I say without being to forward, you have the most gorgeous head of hair!” Mabel stuck her hand out and brushed through Odalie’s long black hair. Hearing this was something common for her, but with that she knew the conversation about the couple was over. She thanked Mabel and decided to go for a walk in the woods behind the hotel. Growing up, her black hair was what set her apart from her family. It was clear she wasn’t their child, at least not biologically. When Odalie’s mother had told her the story of her adoption she was thirteen. She never questioned where she was before being placed in the system. What preteen girl would? Now, at the age of twenty five, the question came back up.
_________Five Months Ago_________
It was Christmas Eve. Schools were out in the town of Clarkesville. Odalie was in the living room of her adoptive parents home watching Hallmark movies with her mother. The movie had just ended an her mother turned to her and sighed. “Sweetheart, I want to talk to you about your adoption.”
“Mom you don’t have to explain anything I understand it now. I have for a while.”
“No, this I’ve never told you but your old enough to hear. I never explained exactly how you came to be placed at the adoption center.”
Her mother never liked calling it the system as most do because to her it felt wrong. Odalie was a blessing in there family. When spoken like that, to her it didn’t feel like you weren’t having a child. Her mother was the sweetest woman. Raising three kids, including Odalie, that ranged from two years apart to seven was no easy task. It took a toll upon her. As the years passed though it brought the two of them closer.
“The day we signed the papers and picked you up, you had been dropped off at the center two days prior..” dropping the sentence, she could see the sadness written all over her mother’s face, but her mother cleared her throat and continued, “The odd thing was no one saw who dropped you off. A note was left with you stating your name and that you needed a loving home. Eventually a relative did call but refused to give a family name.”
Puzzled, she asked her mom, “Why did they call?”
“They wanted to be sure you were found an taken in. So the family you came from did care for your wellbeing. I don’t want you to ever forget that. I know you spoke of finding your first family soon, and sweetheart I want to help. The best I can give you is the name of the center. I wish I had a name for you to go off of, at least.”
“Mom, it’s okay. I’ll figure it out.” With tears in her eyes she gave her mother a long hug. Odalie never remembered life before her mom and dad. But she always assumed a family name would be tied to her record from the adoption. This through a major wrench in her plans. The simple fact someone just dropped her there was bothersome. It never deterred her from finding out where she came from.
Growing up, she always knew she was different then her family. Being the middle child, she never resembled her siblings in any way. Her oldest sister Amber was a blonde haired, blue eyed cheerleader type. Her youngest brother was also blonde an blue-eyed. Then there was Odalie. Jet black hair with dark green eyes. She wasn’t as thin as her Amber, or her brother Hunter. Odalie was a thicker girl, but she was proud of her looks and what God had gave her.
In school, all the way through, until she was in college, boys gravitated to her. Each always had the same remark with her looks as well. Her eyes. The most beautiful, dark hunter green against her black hair made her stand out from any girl in her class. Even her best friend Ivy was pretty with her curly brown hair, but next to Odalie, she was just average.
Several times, her mom had walked by her room when Ivy was staying over and caught the two of them up late talking about where Odalie came from and why she looked the way she did. When the spring came, after she turned twenty five, that’s when this journey began.