HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 20

Angela continued staring at the floor. Her hands were clenched in fists so tight her knuckles turned white. There were so many people around her, clad in denim and leather and drinking heavily. One wrong move and she’d catch an eyeful of headbanger.

“Here,” Jackie said.

She plucked two bottles of beer from a cooler and handed them to Genesis and Angela.

“Listen, I’m going to mingle a bit,” Jackie said. “You two have fun, okay?”

“Will do,” Genesis said.

Jackie turned and merged with the crowd. Genesis nudged Angela on the arm.

“How you holding up?” she asked.

Angela shrugged.

“There’s a lot of people,” she said.

“Yeah, a bit more than I was expecting,” Genesis said. “Sorry about that.”

“It’s okay,” Angela replied.

“Let’s see if we can find someplace to sit,” Genesis said.

They squeezed through the throng of people and came across a couch that was currently unoccupied. They sat together and opened their beers. Angela took a sip and cringed.

“So,” she said, “you and Jackie were….”

“A couple, yeah,” Genesis said. “We were together almost a year, but eventually we drifted apart for… various reasons. We stayed friends afterwards, but then her music career started to take off and she didn’t really have time to hang out anymore.”

Angela stared at her knees and fidgeted with her dress.

“Are you still in love with her?” she asked.

“It’s been two years,” Genesis said. “I’m not that clingy.”

“But you brought me to her party,” Angela said. “Kind of like you wanted her to see you with another woman.”

Genesis laughed.

“You know, for someone who doesn’t get out much, you’re pretty sharp,” she said. “But honestly, if I’d wanted to make Jackie jealous, I have plenty of other friends who’d have put on a more convincing show. I wanted to bring you.”