She hears a laugh when she closes the door to her apartment and doesn’t wait to find out who made it. She tears the door open again and bolts down the hall without so much as a glance behind her. There’s a crash and heavy feet pound after her but she’s up the stairs and out onto the roof before they can catch her, over the edge and down in a long graceful arc and safe on the sidewalk. She feels something drag at her coat as she goes over the wall but it’s too late.
There’s a dark silhouette painted against the sky when she looks up again. It’s too far to make out any details but she can’t read any anger in the way it watches her. She waves and it turns away and walks back into the building.
She can’t stay in town anymore, that’s for sure, so she buys a ticket on a Greyhound and heads east. The ID she shows the ticket agent says Paula Smith; it’s not much but it might help. It’d be faster to fly, but lately she’s been longing for a feeling of earth underneath her, some reminder of solidity and an immutable sense of being.