THE GIRLS AT SAINT GRACE

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CHAPTER TWO

Our dearest Addilyn,
We loved you from the very moment we saw you, you were very special to us. You see, we were both very old and unable to have children and most of the time when your mother got pregnant it ended in a series of miscarriages.
But the moment you came into our lives we wanted to shower you with all the love and happiness we could give you. It wasn't hard, we had a good amount of money to care for you and keep you well.
That didn't stop us from working, we worked very hard to provide for you and very soon we became wealthy and our lives changed for the better and we knew that the moment you stepped into the world you would live happily.
You were a beautiful baby girl and the most precious thing in our lives. You were our entire world.
But the more our wealth grew the more people wanted it, even people from our family who tried so hard to take everything we had worked for, which made us sign everything in your name "Addilyn Mary Baker"
We thought it would help but it didn't and people tried coming after you instead, they wanted everything and every time they tried they almost succeeded. We didn't want to put you in a dangerous position so we gave you to our most loyal friend Franklin Grey to take care of you and keep you somewhere safe where he knew no one would find you.
We gave him this letter to give you only when you turned 18 so that you would at least have some closure and if it has reached you then he did his job well.
Our entire lives revolved around you and giving you up was the most painful thing we ever had to do, their were days when we just wanted to give up everything and get you back but you were already gone and every plan we had made was in place.
Their is a reason why we wrote this;
1. We wanted you to have closure and know that you were very loved
2.We need for you to know that we have established a wonderful life for you that is yours if you'll take it
3. In hopes that we are still alive we would love for you to see us in London.
Theirs an address on the back of one of the photos in envelope on were to find everything and takes what's yours, if you decide to of course.
For what it's worth we hope you succeed in this path and be able to be proud of yourself and even if it doesn't go right we hope you have the strength to start again.

Love you forever,
Mum and dad

Addilyn's hands start to shake and almost immediately her armpits feel sweaty, her throat is suddenly dry and her heart is racing. She's reread the letter so many times that now she knows it by heart, but every sentence still makes her heart sink. She continues to read the letter over and over again her heart thudding fast against her rib cage so fast that she can feel the thudding in her ears.

All she wants to do is hide and forget about the letter and everything she has just found out she clenches her heart and begins to cry softly, gently wiping the tears away from her face both emotions of happiness and sadness coming from what she has discovered;
Sadness coming from the truth that she was unable to live a beautiful life and would never be able to see her parents, because according to what Franklin told her earlier ,they are dead.
And happiness coming from the closure that she has gotten thinking to herself that it is better to know the sad truth than nothing at all.

She continues to wipe away her tears taking in deep breathes to calm herself down she pulls out the pictures in the envelope looking at each carefully and curiously one of the pictures is of a man and woman laughing together, It is old and wrinkled making it hard for her to make out the surroundings around the two people but nevertheless she is happy to see whoever they are.

The woman in the picture has midnight black hair flowing all the way to her shoulders, her skin is glossy and radiant she shows off a set of angel white teeth that gleaming as she smiled and wasp body like figure which made her look both classy and elegant. The man next to her was tall leanly and muscular he had short brown hair and grey eyes his posture was well proportioned and his face was fascinating, good enough to be sculpted and he showed off a beautiful set of hallow white teeth when he smiled.

Both did not look older than forty, the man looked about thirty and the woman looked like she was in her early twenties they both looked attractive together and this made Addilyn smile a little. She turned the picture around and in beautiful cursive two words were written that made her start to tear up again "mum and dad"

She picked up the picture and stared at it a little longer before looking at the other five more pictures.
The first one she picked was a picture of a small baby and then another of the same baby but a little older and another of the same baby. She turned the three pictures around and her heart picked up speed again

"Addilyn 2 months"

" Addilyn 8 moths"

" Addilyn 1 year"

" Addilyn 3 years"


In all her life she had never seen baby pictures of herself of course their was a small amount that were kept next to her file in the orphanage but she had never got to see any of them and the sight of the ones she had in her hands made her extremely happy.

She put the pictures aside and looked at more one looking picture of a man looking very familiar. It was the man that had just been there not a few minutes ago "Franklin Grey"
Although she didn't know whether to believe this information their was an astounding amount of proof to it and it was all that she had.

She went through more pictures making sure to look out for the address that was mentioned to her in the letter and almost immediately she came across a picture of a beautiful garden house, it was big, a lot bigger than orphanage and looked good enough to be castle, with flowers all around and lovely vines in the yard and garden, it looked magnificent and homely. One of the best she'd ever seen. She quickly turned the picture around praying that an address would be on it and once she did turn it,it was there written in the same beautiful cursive " 250 GUILD PLACE LONDON"

Tears streamed down her face as she quickly stuffed everything back into the envelope she wondered what to do with all she had found out and it gave her a headache. What would a seventeen year old girl like herself who knew nothing about the world outside the orphanage do with any of it?

Quickly, she wiped her tears away and she stood up to go to her dorm hoping to talk to Eliana about everything. She stood up and looked around, everyone was gone the halls were empty and the entire orphanage was dark with just a few candles lighting in a distance.
She looked up at the clock and it was already midnight. She cursed and ran up the stairs praying that her dormitory wasn't locked she went up the stairs going two steps at a time holding onto the envelope tightly to avoid anything from falling.

She got to her dorm door and stopped for a minute to catch some air hoping once she turned the knob the door would open.
After letting out a heavy sigh and turned the door knob leading to her dorm, it didn't open she tried again it still didn't open, feeling defeated she rested her head on the door and stared down at her worn out shoes knowing that her last resort was for her to go up to the attic and sleep there in order to avoid getting caught by any of sisters who might still be awake or even the matrons.

The attic was a very dark room were basically anyone could just put in stuff they felt they did not need anymore. Every thing was in there old and torn up bed sheets, broken desks and tables, new and old chalk boards, old potato sacks and mattresses she was sure were filled with bed bugs, old dusty paintings and a lot of rats.

The attic not have a door and most of the windows were broken with holes in them. It was a small space at the very top of the orphanage and it was always very cold.
Addilyn slowly walked inside and to her surprise someone was standing close to window, she prayed that it wasn't one of the matrons because if it was she knew exactly the kind of trouble she would get into, She slowly tip toed inside and to be more quiet she slipped off her shoes, she was doing fine and almost close to a far away corner where she knew she would not be seen but as she kept walking her hand accidently pushed over a small painting that landed loudly on the ground making the person looking out the window turn.

Addilyn stayed were she was, scared out of her mind hoping not to be seen since it was very dark. She continued to walk further into the darkness until she heard a familiar voice say her name.

"Addilyn?" the person said

She immediately looked up and her eyes met with a familiar face
"Odelia?" She said
Addilyn let out a sigh of relief and slowly her heart began to settle
Odelia smiled and looked relieved as well. She walked closer to Addilyn to hug but as she was about to she asked
"Have you been crying?"

Quickly, Addilyn touched her cheeks and began to wipe her eyes
"I thought you were one of the matrons and I guess the fear of getting caught was so scary it made me cry." She lied hoping Odelia would believe her
Odelia looked up at her, she knew Addilyn was lying but decided to say nothing
After the awkward encounter both of the girls talked for a while until they ran out of things to say and just went silent.
A silence that was very uncomfortable to Addilyn who felt that Odelia was thinking the worst of her and in hopes of releasing the tension she asked
"Why are you here?"
Odelia shrugged averting her eyes to look outside one of the broken windows.
As she did that Addilyn noticed a large cut on the side of her friend's cheek going all the way from her ear lope and down closely to her chin, instantly making her worry.

Odelia was sixteen she was a normal girl, not normal as in boring but normal as in real. She kept to herself a lot, never really got in anyone's way, she was shy and quiet but knew when to speak up for herself especially if she was being bullied.
Everyone knew who she was, it was hard not to since she looked different than all the other girls. She had coffee brown skin, big brown eyes and thick curly hair that was mostly put up in a bun or braided into twist pigtails.

Both her and Addilyn had classes together and sometimes were paired to do chores with each other. They weren't close but they were quite friendly with one another , they had small conversations in class and when they saw each other around the orphanage they would wave and smile to each other.

Everyone knew about Odelia being bullied it happened often either in her dorm or in class or in the dinning hall even in the bathrooms. Sometimes she was able to get herself out of it and try to fight off the bullies but other times it wasn't as easy.
The Prioress knew about the bullying but always told Odelia that it was going to help "raise her character and strength"
Some girls tried to help but almost all the time no one did, they were always just there after it happened to help her get up and say sorry like they couldn't do anything before the damage was done.

Addilyn was never there to see any of the bullying of the bullying happen but the stories and marks on Odelia's body were so many she never once doubted that it was false.

Odelia had a lot of bruises and cuts and this one was just one many Addilyn had seen. It was shocking but never surprising
She looked away from her cut and stared outside the window, watching as Odelia's pig tails moved in the direction of the wind. She was very pretty and it saddened Addilyn how badly she was treated. She never understood how cruel people would be to another person.

The night was starless and cold and unlike Odelia who had fallen asleep on the dusty floor, Addilyn couldn't sleep she felt as though she needed to talk to someone, she could not talk to Eliana at that moment and she was sure losing her mind not having any advice about everything,her mind rotated, she paced around the tiny attic trying to calm herself down.
She tried to sleep but every time she shut her eyes all she could see was the picture of her parents. She was deeply troubled

She wanted to scream, and pull out her hair, everything in her mind was a mess the words she had read kept replaying in her mind.
"Wait till morning" she said to herself
"You have Eliana to talk to"
She kept mumbling all these words which made Odelia shift in her sleep

Addilyn starred at her debating on whether to wake her up and tell her or just let her enjoy her sleep. She started to bite her nails until she felt like their were no more fingernails for her to chew on anymore and moved to the skin around her finger and without thinking she quickly tapped Odelia.
The first time she didn't wake up, so Addilyn tried again, second time still the same thing but the third time Odelia quickly sat up and looked for whoever had woken her up.

Addilyn began to regret her decision. How was she to explain? She was very sure Odelia would not believe her but she desperately needed to talk to someone
"Is it morning yet?" Odelia said as she rubbed her eyes
Addilyn looked out the window it looked close to 5am the sun was slowly beginning to rise. She couldn't believe it,she had not slept all night!
"No. I mean it's close. You don't have to do chores by five do you?" She asked nervously and Odelia shook her head no
"Good I need to tell you something I should leave it but I've already woken you up so I'll talk anyway"
Odelia looked at her like she was crazy, Addilyn could tell she wasn't a morning person and so she'd tried to describe every detail as fast and as slowly as she could, hoping not to her angry

She began to explain everything, from the encounter she had with Franklin Grey to the letter and the pictures and how she actually ended up having to spend the night in the attic.
At first Odelia didn't believe her but the minute Addilyn made her read the letter she knew it was all true.
All her sleep left her body and she began to gain interest in whatever Addilyn had to say, she let her mumble and argue and scream about everything that was on her mind and once Addilyn was done talking she asked for Odelia's advice

"I don't what you were expecting from me but...well honestly I don't know what to tell you, this is the first situation I've seen like this and I have no idea what you should do" she said truthfully
Addilyn's heart sank in disappointment she did not expect Odelia to know what to do other but she had only hopped that she would have some kind of advice to help her.

"I was thinking I wait till I turn eighteen cause the letter says I have to be eighteen"
"That's not smart" Odelia replied
" why not?"
"Say you turn eighteen and decide to finally leave but by the time you get there everything is gone."
That makes Addilyn think for a while, Odelia was right leaving at eighteen would be risky but so was leaving at seventeen. Nothing made any sense

"My theory is-" Odelia continued
"That Franklin man who came today knew he was supposed to give you the letter at eighteen but things are probably bad with your family and he needs you there now to get everything settled"
She hadn't thought of that and listening to it now it made sense, she had only seen Franklin for a few minutes but he didn't look like a person to forget all that he was told

"What do you suggest I do?" Addilyn asked with interest
" Escape" Odelia chuckled

Obviously Odelia was joking but Addilyn didn't know that, her face glowed with happiness it was like a light bulb had just gone off in her mind and Odelia sensed that she was actually taking her seriously

"I don't mean it Addilyn, i was just joking around"
"I know but what if-"
"No"
"Alright, but just in a joking way how would one actually pull that off?"
Odelia raised her eyes brows and scoffed, she stood up and began to stretch making sure to clean off the dust on her night dress.
Addilyn kept looking at her desperately waiting for an answer and Odelia could feel her staring

"You don't actually think I'm going to tell you" she said in a middle of a yawn
"You're not? Why? Just please tell me"
Odelia looked at her and let out an exhausted sigh
"It's not that hard" she said and that one sentence immediately interested Addilyn
She moved closer to her and curiously waited for her to add on to her sentence

"I've heard stories, a bunch of girls did it years ago but they were caught that very night and sent away. Nobody knows where"
"Who were they?"
Odelia shrugs "I don't know it's just stories that I've heard people whisper about"
Addilyn threw her hands up in defeat
"How easy was it? She asks
"It was years ago so I'm guessing very easy"
"What would one have to do to achieve what they did? Minus the getting caught part of course"

Now that escaping was put on the table Addilyn did not want it to be removed she wanted to do it and do it right.
"You'll need help" Odelia said
"What do you mean?"
"If you leave as one person theirs a pretty high chance you'll get caught within the first 10 minutes of you trying, you'll need help"
"Explain" Addilyn said pacing around excitedly
"You'll need about four people to help you-"
"FOUR!?" Addilyn said in a loud whisper
"Yes four, one who knows how to get around the orphanage, has keys to everywhere and is very respected, so that if she does anything that looks sketchy no one will pay a lot of attention to her"
"So a prefect?" Addilyn asked

Odelia walked up to the window the sun was almost fully out and birds had began to chirp
"Probably"
Addilyn nodded like she was taking notes, which she was, but only in her head.

"what else?" she asked
"You'll need someone with quick hands, able to get what she wants whenever she can"
"Like a thief!?" Addilyn whisper yells again
"Not exactly, just someone who isn't afraid to take something that isn't theirs"
Addilyn was interested and she could tell Odelia was too, she was even smiling a little while she gave ideas and Addilyn wondered if she would accept to help if she was asked

"Someone able to access people outside the orphanage, because once you escape you'll need to be fast and the last time I checked running isn't as fast as compared to a carriage"

Odelia was very impressed with the determination in Addilyn's eyes, she feared that she would actually go through with it and thought about stopping but she was too deep into the conversation to try and come out of it
"And then you'll need someone who knows this orphanage inside and out, every short cut, every easy road, someone who knows each and everyone's time table"
"How will that help?" Addilyn asked
"Don't be silly Addilyn, if you don't know the time the sisters will get up and go to sleep how do expect to escape successfully "
"You're right"

The plan was coming together in Addilyn's mind, she loved the adrenaline that rushed through her body when she thought about the ideas Odelia had given her, she was determined to do it, it was not getting out of her mind until it was done and accomplished.

By the time they were done talking the sun had fully come out and they could hear the girls wake up meaning that they had to leave the attic quickly.
Odelia tried to get the idea out of Addilyn's mind but she couldn't it was already there and nothing she could say or do would change it.
"No one will help you out for free you know" Odelia said as they walked out of the attic and stood in the hall way leading to all the dormitories
"I thought of that I was thinking that if the plan is successful, which it will be, they could all live in the house and I'll pay everyone fairly"

Whatever hope Addilyn was feeling Odelia hoped for it to go away, she regretted bringing up the idea and wished to go back and just stop herself from talking.
A part of her thought that Addilyn was playing a joke on her and would immediately tell the other girls who would laugh and make her miserable but the other part felt that Addilyn was being genuine and honest but of course everyone who ever hurt her in the orphanage came off like that at first.

"Is that all?" Odelia said in a hurry to leave
"No actually"
"Addilyn what is it now?" Odelia asked getting a little frustrated
Addilyn was nervous to ask but she needed people immediately and besides Eliana she couldn't think of anyone else other than Odelia who would be able to help so she took in a small breath and asked
"Do you want to help?"
Odelia looked at her like she was crazy and began to walk away, Addilyn slowly followed her in hopes of convincing her
"Please, I need your help, I can't do this alone and...and you're the only one I can think of to help me right now"
Odelia looked at Addilyn who now had tears in her eyes, she knew half of it was her fault, she had brought up the ideas and leaving Addilyn to do everything on her would be cruel
"Please" Addilyn repeated with a sad look in her eye and Odelia let out a frustrated groan

"Ok I'll try and help but I'm not promising anything" and before Addilyn had a chance to thank her Odelia walked away
It didn't matter that Odelia had just walked away all that mattered was that she agreed and that fully excited her.

She walked happily to her dormitory to quickly collect her bucket and go bathe and as she was picking it up she heard Eliana call her
"Addilyn, Where were you last night? I looked everywhere for you"
"what did the Prioress want? And why are you smiling so much?" She asked again

Everything felt like fate now, a whole new door she had never thought could be opened was being opened to her and their was no way she was going back.
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