Amelia Earhart rebuilds the plane after the crash. She buries her navigator under the soft sand as her pleas for help fizzle over the radio and linger in the air, ignored. When a week passes, she gets into the cockpit and aims the plane at the sky. She passes through the atmosphere unimpeded. (The atmosphere knows it isn’t its place to stop her. There is an order in the universe, and in it Amelia Earhart is above forces of nature and other people’s opinions.)
She discovers gas giants and sun spots. She counts stars and watches them dance. When she’s lonely, she tunes in to the Martian radio programs and listens for her name. (Our celebrity, the Martians say, our very own Amelia.) When she passes the asteroid belt, she wonders if women on Earth wear pants yet.
She’s due to come across Voyager One soon. She doesn’t know it’s the farthest human-made object out in space, but maybe it will remind her of us. Maybe she’ll send us a message when she sees it. Maybe she’ll lean into the radio and say this is Amelia speaking. Maybe she’ll glance back at Earth and notice for the first time how far away it is. Maybe she will grieve the fact she can never return. Maybe she’s always known she never intended to.
Noa Covo is a teenaged writer. Her work has been published in or is forthcoming from Jellyfish Review, Okay Donkey, and Waxwing. Her microchapbook, Bouquet of Fears, was published by Nightingale and Sparrow this July. She can be found on Twitter @covo_noa.