Something moved deep inside her.
Her arms dropped slowly down to her side. She didn't notice the scalding coffee slopping over her foot. She was hardly breathing as slowly, inch by inch, foot by foot, the craft came downwards. Its lights were playing softly over the ground as if probing and feeling it. They played over her.
It seemed beyond all hope that she should be given her chance again. Had he found her? Had he come back?
The craft dropped down and down until at last it had settled quietly on her lawn. It didn't look exactly like the one she had seen departing all those years ago, she thought, but flashing lights in the night sky are hard to resolve into clear shapes.
Then a click and a hum.
Then another click and another hum. Click hum, click hum.
A doorway slid open, spilling light towards her across the lawn.
She waited, tingling.
A figure stood silhouetted in the light, then another, and another.
Wide eyes blinked slowly at her. Hands were slowly raised in greeting.
'McMillan?' a voice said at last, a strange, thin voice that managed the syllables with difficulty. 'Tricia McMillan. Ms. Tricia McMillan?'
'Yes,' said Tricia, almost soundlessly.
'We have been monitoring you.'
'M… monitoring? Me?'