Louisette gazed at the city beneath her as the late morning light filtered through the tenth story window, catching flecks of dust and hair and skin before caressing her face and the rough, worn sheets of the bed. She hugged her knees loosely to her chest for warmth and protection, too entranced by the moment to move in search of a robe or blanket to cover what her short nightgown could not. It was only after examining the surrounding buildings that she remembered, and a new sort of chill crept into her chest. Louisette was alone.
She came to the city to escape. She needed a fresh start, a place that her parents' criticizing voices would not echo so deafeningly in her ears, a place where she could explore the colors and textures and patterns that made up all life in peace and freedom. So she ran away, leaving a single line for her parents on a Post-It note on the cracked yellow front of the fridge. She used half of her savings to pay for her bus fare, and hoped that the other half woul