When the windows started bursting out of the buildings above them, they went inside. A hotel was sheltering people, and handing out glow sticks. So Helen and Jane sat at the back of the hotel’s lobby, glow sticks lit around their necks, and listened to the broken glass whipping around outside.
“My father wants to pay for my tuition,” Helen said.
“So you don’t have to get a student loan?”
“I’m getting a student loan,” Helen said. “I would rather go into debt than take a dime from that man. I remember what he did to my mother, even if she acts like she doesn’t.” Helen took the glow stick from around her neck and looked down at it. “It’d be easier if I’d gotten a scholarship, though,” she said.
The hurricane went on and on around the building, and to pass the time Jane and Helen started trying to guess why the other people hiding out in the hotel had been outside. Jane pointed to a young woman, dressed all in black, sitting by herself.
“I bet she was robbing a bank,” Jane said. “Or a jewelry store. She’s probably got pockets full of diamonds.”
There was a group of young men in business suits.
“Professional hitmen,” Helen said. “In town for some kind of conference.”
There was a female security guard, sitting by the window, flicking her flashlight on and off, looking bored. She didn’t look much older than Helen.
“I’m sorry I didn’t congratulate you about getting into MIT,” Helen said to Jane.
“It’s okay,” Jane said. “Dal’s a good school, too. You know that.”
“Richard Feynman never went to Dal,” Helen said, and Jane laughed.
“You don’t even like Richard Feynman,” she said.
But Helen didn’t say anything. She just turned the glow stick over in her fingers for a while.
“I guess you do like Buzz Aldrin though,” Jane said.