HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 265

“Damn, that’s… wow,” Deirdre said. “Cutting it a little close, aren’t we?”

“Well, I figure if I’m going to burn my life down, I might as well do it in the most painful way I possibly can,” Dorothy said. “It seems to be all I’m good at.”

“Hey, whatever works,” Deirdre said. “Personally, I try to avoid monogamy whenever possible. I don’t like being tied down to any one person.”

“So does that mean you and Kay aren’t actually a thing?” Angela asked.

“We’re… thing-ish,” Deirdre replied.

“Thing adjacent,” Kay suggested.

“Yeah, something like that,” Deirdre said. “Bottom line: this boy knows what he’s gotten himself into. And if he ends up getting hurt, he’ll have nobody to blame but himself.”

“Is it really that simple?” Dorothy asked.

Deidre shrugged.

“Not usually,” she said. “But at least it keeps my conscience clear.”

“Hm,” Dorothy muttered, and stared out the window.

The city rolled by, and time ticked on. It was seven-thirty already and the loop still hadn’t repeated. Angela kept watching Dorothy out of the corner of her eye.

“This the place?” Kay asked, pulling up in front of a coffee shop with a few floors of apartments above it.

Dorothy stared up at the building and took a deep breath. Angela reached out and placed a hand on Dorothy’s back.

“You’ve got this,” Angela said.

Dorothy nodded, and climbed out of the car. She plodded to the entrance like a prisoner walking to the gallows. She glanced back once, then disappeared up the stairs.

“So,” Deirdre said. “Who wants coffee?”


They waited almost an hour. Angela spent the time texting, filling Genesis in about her sudden disappearance. Kay and Deidre continued a conversation Angela had interrupted earlier, chatting about assorted drama among their mutual friends.