“Tom!! Over here!!”
“That’s not your brother, dear,” offered his mom. “That’s a woman.”
“Tomm!!” Peter insisted.
“Pipe down, son,” hissed the father. “I’m on the phone.”
From her heart shaped seat in front of the cafe, Alysha heard it all. She was trying to read her red book, which she’d already read a number of times, perhaps 8. She was finished eating (her pie). She remembered a red light, then nothing for a while. Then here. With the red book. And the red pie. She became impatient. She skipped 10 pages ahead to mention of High Fidelity before her, as if highlighted. What did that mean?
“Tommmmm!!” More distant now than before but that’s because we are hearing from the perspective of the girl. It was really louder up close and personal — Peter was very convinced, and his mother was even trying to pry his hands from his cheeks now, but they were as if stuck. Who’s Tom? Alysha wondered. A sister? Strange thought, she realized (“Tooooooommmmmm!”). Tom is not a girl’s name. But on the other hand, *she’s* a Tom, as in a tom boy. She could do anything a boy could and she does.
Across the terminal, and directly in line with the calls, Jen Saunders realized that flight 451 had taken off without a plane. “No plane, no plane!” she panicked. Future passengers milling about started looking at her, paying attention. “No — no –” She was out of breath. She began running, here and there. She ran toward Alysha, knocking into her, spilling the book. She got up with no concern for the girl, as if she’d just tripped on air. “No plane,” she started again. “No plane!” She was heading straight for the boy. “Toooooommmmmmmmmm!!” he called one last time.