Suzume runs her hand along the counter’s metal edge.
“So the flight to Tokyo is still taking off, right? Like, before tomorrow?” She glances out the window at the swarm of thick snowflakes obscuring the runway.
The frazzled airport agent looks up from her computer in surprise, as if she’d just noticed Suzume.
“Tokyo? Before tomorrow? Oh no, dear, I'm afraid that Flight 803 will be delayed for at least another five hours, if not more.
This blizzard isn't expected to clear up until the well into the night. If you have somewhere you need to be, I'd suggest calling in to cancel right away.”
Suzume’s heart sinks.
She nods a quick “thank you” to the agent and trudges back to her earlier-claimed plastic seat in defeat. She really, really hates airports.
Getting to visit her uncle Yukichi’s cousin in New York City over Christmas had seemed like a fantastic opportunity—and for the most part, it was.
Suzume had been fascinated and thrilled by the chaotic, brightly-lit city, and there never been a dull moment—especially when they were with Yukichi’s cheerful and inexplicably tireless cousin.
Suzume had been quite taken aback when Yukichi had decided that he would stay for another week in the city and let Suzume fly back to Japan on her own for the start of school.
Their trip to New York had been the first time Suzume had even ridden an airplane, and now she was expected to fly by herself?
Nevertheless, she had agreed, and tried to bury her unease underneath her annoyance with the long, tedious airport security process.
And of course, as fate would have it, the sky chooses her return date to drop more snow in two hours than Suzume had seen in her entire life.
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