Jasmine Pierce rocked her six-month old daughter in her arms while she waited in the hotel lobby for the attorney. Her mind raced, trying to understand why Dave Johnson, an attorney from Wyoming, had traveled to Virginia to meet with her. It probably had something to do with her ex, who went missing months ago, but that situation was over. She wasn’t going to bail him out—never again.
The lobby was near empty at this time of day, which she was glad of. Everyone had finished breakfast and gone on with their day. The owners’ two kids were waiting for the school bus outside, leaving no one close enough to overhear whatever shame her ex had gotten himself into this time and expected her to bail him out of.
“You must be Mrs. Pierce.” A man approached her and held out his hand. She accepted his hand, giving him a halfhearted handshake. “I’m Dave Johnson, we spoke on the phone. I appreciate you taking the time to see me. Let’s have a seat.” He led the way into a little nook the hotel offered, with a small sofa, two chairs, and a fireplace, giving it a homey feel.
Jasmine sank onto the comfiest chair the room had to offer, which wasn’t saying much. It was stiff and had a straight back. She turned her attention to the man before her, wanting to get this meeting over with before Alyssa stirred. “Please, call me Jasmine.” She hadn’t been Mrs. Pierce since the divorce, but she didn’t want to get into that conversation with a man she just met. “I don’t understand why you requested to see me. What do you want?” She prayed it had nothing to do with her ex. She wanted to move on with her life and to provide a loving home for her daughter.
“I’ve come from Wyoming searching for you. I’ve been your grandmother’s attorney for years. She passed away in September, but asked me to find you a few months prior. I had a difficult time locating you since your mother changed your last name and then you married.”
She leaned against the hard back of the chair, taking a deep breath to steady her nerves. Grandmother? Her mother had always said she had no family left and that her own mother had died years before Jasmine was born. “I’m sorry, but you have the wrong person.”
He scooted to the edge of the stiff brown couch. “Let me explain.” When she nodded he continued. “Your mother ran off with you when you were very young. She sent pictures to your grandmother, but wouldn’t allow her to see you. They, your grandmother and mother, had a difference of opinion that led to an estrangement.” Mr. Johnson leaned down to pull a stack of envelopes, tied with a red ribbon, from his briefcase. “These are letters she wrote to your mother. They were returned unopened. Your grandmother said they explained the distance between her and your mother. She tried for years to make things right, but your mother refused her letters and calls. But that’s not why I’m here. I came to give you the deed to her house. When she passed, your grandmother left everything to you.”