“Wow,” Genesis said. “How come you never mentioned any of this?”
“It just never came up,” Angela said. “I hardly ever see them.”
“Hmm,” Genesis muttered.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Angela asked.
“Nothing,” Genesis said. “It’s just… you seem to have some unresolved issues there.”
“You’re imagining things,” Angela said.
“Am I?” Genesis said.
“Yes, you are,” Angela said, crossing her arms.
“I know that look, Angie,” Genesis said. “I’ve seen it in the mirror more times than I can count. You’re hurting.”
“I’m not,” Angela said. “I don’t even think about any of this stuff anymore. It’s ancient history.”
Genesis pulled up in front of Angela’s building and cut the engine.
“You know you can talk to me about anything, right?” she said. “You don’t have to hold back just because I’ve got issues of my own.”
“I’m not holding back,” Angela said. “There’s just nothing to talk about.”
“Well… I guess I’ll have to take your word for it,” Genesis said.
Angela nodded and stared down at her knees.
“Thanks for the ride,” she grumbled. “And, uh, for the shirt.”
“No problem,” Genesis said. “It looks good on you.”
Angela felt her face go red. She glanced out the window at her apartment.
“Do you… want to come up?” she asked.
Genesis laughed and said, “Sure.”
Angela couldn’t sleep. She kept replaying the accident in her head. She remembered the moment the scales erupted from her skin but not the conscious act of making them appear. It was pure reflex; she saw the van and her body reacted.