She looked at me over the back of the airplane seat, her eyes weighing me with all the wisdom of her seven years. I made a face. Those eyes widened and the girl disappeared, only to reappear a moment later and smile when I made a new face. It became a game. Whenever she popped her head back over the chair she'd look at my next face or show me one of hers. I switched to scary faces. First she pretended to be scared, then she mimicked me. She started simple, but her scary faces soon became sophisticated, even expert.
When it was time to put up seats and trays, I'd just delivered a real fright, something I'd learned after an errant football displaced my jaw. I could tell she was impressed. She looked sidelong at her parents, then gave me the face.
It was all I could do not to scream. I don't remember clearly, but I think I managed to wave goodbye. It was all I could do to wave goodbye.
I was the last to disembark. I needed to know I wouldn't see her — see that — again. Except I do, every night in my dreams.