The boy read his books and played his games. He talked to the flight attendant and drank Ginger Ale.
He looked out the window and watched the endless mountains, rivers and fields pass by. He listened to the steady hum of the plane and he slowly grew more and more tired.
At first the boy fought to stay awake, blinking his eyes and squirming to and fro in his seat. But he soon lost the battle, falling into the deepest sleep he’d had in months.
When he awoke, the boy saw that the plane had entered some clouds and was now enveloped in their puffy, swirling awesomeness.
As the boy watched the clouds whirl and undulate before him his long lost baseball glove suddenly emerged, hovering briefly outside the plane before disappearing again.
Next there was Bingo, his old dog, killed two years before after being hit by a car as he chased the boy and his friends across the street.
And now came his father, dressed in a pair of beat-up jeans, and his ratty, old Ramones T-shirt.
The boy pressed his face against the window as his dad smiled at him and then waved before fading back into the dissipating mist outside the descending plane.
His father had been dead for three months, something that until this very moment the boy had refused to accept.
The boy now realized though that his father was not coming back, no matter how much he wanted to believe that might be so.
He also realized that his mother had done her best to comfort him, but that even she needed some time alone to properly mourn herself.
As the plane touched down on the runway the boy saw his grandparents waiting for him. He knew they wanted to believe that everything was going to be all right.
He also knew that he was now ready to believe this himself.