She hears the words on the radio. It is the radio that announces her lover’s death. His is not a household name, not in most households, but he happens to be the most famous person on the plane that went down. The plane’s wreckage, strewn across the Indiana farmland, is being examined for clues. Crews search for the voice recorder, the black box that holds the secret of two hundred seventy-one deaths. Two hundred seventy, plus one.
Suzanne’s rib cage shudders – a piano whose keys are struck all at once – yet does not cry. She does not cry, but only closes her eyes and presses her palms flat on the cool counter. None of the facts of Alex’s life suggests that it ends in a soybean field.
At the dining room table, playing a board game and separated from her by the counter on which she works, sit the other members of her household, a household in which Alex’s name at least rings a bell. Her husband’s dice clack against the wood; her best friend sighs as her game piece is sent back to start; Adele’s hands clap three times…
Ben, who has been listening to the broadcast, who has heard the honey-voiced announcement says from the table, “That’s sad. Don’t we have a couple of his recordings?”