In the bright light of the morning sun, it was as if every daydream had come plunging into reality. Only this was different, more vivid. The smell of the ocean was saltier and stronger than imagined. The grass seemed greener and the slight chill carried on the wind seemed to invigorate instead of repress.
Every mental picture had become reality, but better.
The most unnerving part was that this place seemed extremely familiar, as if it had been embedded in her DNA long ago.
Even with an expansive vocabulary, Annaleese McGowan would’ve summarized the moment as “weird.” It was plain weird to be in a place for the first time in her life and feel as if she was never meant to be anyplace else ever again.
On the flight from San Diego to Dublin, the last yell-fest with her parents had plagued her mind. But when she arrived, all she could think about was how she had started to feel as if she fit this place without even trying. The freckles and facial features around her matched her own. The shades of red and auburn hair and the jovial Hibernian charm suited her perfectly.
Her parents were scared to lose what they had fought so hard to preserve during the days before her birth and her early teen years filled with angst and rebellion. Several times they had fought and won, but this was one issue they couldn’t fight their daughter on.
Annaleese always knew something was missing. She had to know the truth. With tears in her eyes she had promised her parents she would be back in two months regardless of what she found.
She turned away from the beautiful ocean view and headed for town. On a crumpled yellow scrap of paper she had one name and two addresses. She would need time and help, but she had left everything for this moment. And according to the owner of the inn, the long Dublin days filled with sunlight would give her more time to visit the city.
“Sure,” he had said, “there’s a grand stretch in the evenings.”
Annaleese had nodded, only halfway understanding.
With hope in her heart, nerves in her belly, and purpose in her steps she walked forward, determined to find her birth parents.