She left as soon as the sky turned pink the evening of her eighteenth birthday. She didn’t pack a thing, just grabbed a notebook, a pen, and the cash she’d saved up from teaching local kids piano — a wad of twenty dollar bills that totaled $1600 — and walked out the door in her best hiking boots. After walking five miles she decided it was safe enough to see if anyone could pick her up and drive her west. In big block letters she wrote “NEED A RIDE WEST. WILL PAY!” It took less than 15 minutes before the truck pulled over and her mom hopped out screaming, feet stomping up a storm of dust around her.