They were all leaning to the left.

The picture frames. The notebooks. The bottles on the shelf.

Or was it her? She sat up, hugged her pillow, and straightened her gaze as she looked around the small cottage bedroom. She could smell the beautiful Aerides orchids outside the open window near her bed.

It was her.

Judging by the newborn light peering just beyond the Cagayan Valley, it must have been before six AM. She was surprised to be up so early, but she had slept well. It had been two weeks since setting foot in these rich surroundings that she had previously known as only the Philippines, and she could not yet tell if it was the land, or the people that she admired most.

She stretched her legs, reaching the yellow chenille slippers Rosalind had welcomed her with, and tip-toed toward the hallway.

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