HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 225

“Well, you seem to be doing alright from where I’m standing,” Melody said. “I’m just a big phony by comparison.”

“You are not,” Frederica said. “You’re realer than you’ve ever been.”

She squeezed Melody’s hand. Melody rose on her tiptoes and kissed Frederica.

“Thanks, Frederica,” Melody said. “I really appreciate you saying that.”

“No problem,” Frederica said. “You know, most people just call me Fred.”

“But why?” Melody asked. “Frederica’s such a pretty name. I love sounding it out. Fred-er-eee-ca. Fred-er-ee-caaa.”

Frederica rolled her eyes and chuckled.

“You’re such a dork,” she said.

“Guilty as charged,” Melody replied, smirking.

They stood there a while longer, falling into an awkward silence that was eventually broken by the growl of Frederica’s stomach. Frederica blushed and Melody laughed.

“You read my mind,” Melody said. “You know what I’m craving right now? Something really goddamn spicy.”

Frederica smiled and said, “I know just the place.”


After filling up on curry at a nearby Indian restaurant, they flew around for a while and eventually ended up back at the hotel. They touched down by the penthouse. In the living room, Ronnie was watching TV—something about superheroes—on the couch.

“I’d invite you in,” Melody said, “but it’d be a little awkward making out around my grandmother.”

“And my boss,” Frederica said.

Melody chuckled.

“That too,” she said.

“Maybe sometime we could hang out at my place,” Frederica said. “I mean, it’s not my place, it’s my sister’s, but it’s at least slightly less weird. Plus I know so much of your family already that it seems only fair that you meet some of mine.”

“I’d like that,” Melody said. “How about this weekend?”

“It’s a date,” Frederica said.