Valthea, 16 years old, stands in front of the bay window of her and her guardian’s home in Bucharest. When I was little, I’d wished that the fallen autumn leaves would stay bright lemon-yellow, pumpkin-orange, and apple-red. I imagined them in a cartoon, dancing a jig with the wind over snow mounds and frozen ponds, mimicking their lily pad sisters which glided across lakes in the summertime. But nature follows its destiny. Every year, the fall colors dropped and decayed. What was my natural destiny?