She wandered through the tiny space; the deafening noise of the crowd drowned out everything except her pulse beating against her skull. Aunt Phyllis shouted something about her medical history. Cousin Bryan assaulted her with his newest dissertation topic. Her parents bombarded her with the latest gossip.
A miraculously unoccupied corner beckoned, and she sat. Her earbuds drowned out the din. Mp3 ocean waves washed over her. She forgot her pounding head, lulled by the roar of a beach she’d never visit.
She slept. A smile crept across her face. In her dreams, the apartment emptied, planes departed, and she sat alone in blessed silence.