Odelia Rose stayed in a corner room on the second floor. Her parents left her at the Asylum steps when she was four in spite of how hard they’d wished for her existence.
Her parents tried everything to have a child, even paying a witch to help their fertility along. Odelia’s mother believed in everything from in vitro to witchcraft. Anything was worth trying.
But they’d imagined perfection, and Odelia Rose was far from there.
Odelia’s hair grew like weeds her father said. Indeed, it grew inches every time the child fell asleep. And it didn’t grow in spun gold or brilliant ebony or any shade worth the time and care it demanded. Her grew in thick and green. Perhaps the green was beautiful, emerald and bright, but what did that matter. A girl’s hair couldn’t be green. What hope was there for such a girl?
Her parents grew tired of the wild vines falling from the pillow every morning. They hated the sight of beetles and butterflies they found in the nursery. They gave up clipping back tendrils before bedtime and they looked the other way when Odelia ran out into the rain, overjoyed as her green hair flew out behind her.
Odelia’s parents left her on the Asylum steps after an unusually dry summer month when the sound of Odelia’s tears finally drove them mad.
The nurses accepted Odelia without complaint. The child behaved and did as she was told. She wanted nothing more than to sit in the garden no matter the weather, and no one commented on her hair. Most of the nurses loved Odelia Rose, and those who didn’t appreciated the beetles she left behind in her bed. They were surprisingly sweet and good with iced tea.