HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 257

“Hmm,” Angela muttered. “Well, it could be you were born with this ability and it’s only just now manifesting. Both of my half-sisters spontaneously gained powers a few months ago, and they’re thirteen.” She smirked and added, “Maybe you’re just, you know, a late bloomer.”

“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” Dorothy asked.

“Well, it is nice to be the more experienced one for a change,” Angela said. “I always felt like such a child next to you. You were so mature and self-assured. There was no way I could measure up.”

“And now the tables have turned,” Dorothy said.

“Yeah, pretty much,” Angela said.

They continued walking in silence. A fire truck sped by, siren wailing. A few minutes later, it went by again.

“Do you ever wonder how our lives might have turned out if things had gone differently between us?” Dorothy asked.

“I used to, before I met Genesis,” Angela replied. “Not anymore, though. Why? Do you?”

“All the time,” Dorothy said. “I know it’s silly to keep thinking about it, but after all these years, I’ve still never been as happy as I was with you.”

“Not happy enough to stay, though,” Angela said.

“Well, that’s the thing,” Dorothy said. “As much as I loved being your friend, I wanted more. I wanted it so bad it was almost like a physical ache whenever I looked at you. And when I realized you didn’t feel the same for me, I… kind of fell apart. By the time I put myself back together, it was too late to make things right.”

“But I did feel the same way,” Angela said. “Maybe not so melodramatically, but still. I wanted to be with you, too. Then that night came, when you kissed me, and I thought, ‘Finally, things are getting serious.’ But the next thing I knew, you ran out the door and never spoke to me again.”

“Wait, no, that’s not how it happened,” Dorothy said. “I remember it clearly. We were sitting on the edge of your bed. I leaned in and kissed you. Then you tensed up. You had this look on your face like you were about to puke. I knew what was coming. I knew I’d made a mistake. That’s why I left.”