HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 92

Angela hugged her elbows and stared at her feet. Leigh’s words from the other day rang in her head.

So are you, like, immortal now?

Angela suddenly felt like the whole church was watching her. Even the walls, hung with paintings and crucifixes, seemed to be joining in.

“But death, like all things, has its purpose,” the priest said. “Pain and loss and hardship, all these things serve to make the best parts of life more beautiful. Without it, happiness would have no meaning.”

The priest flipped open a Bible and continued: “We are gathered here today to bid farewell to Gerhard Jacobs. I would like to begin by reading a passage from Psalms.”

As he launched into a Bible quote, Angela glanced to her right. Genesis’s hands were balled up in fists on her lap.

“I don’t think I’m going to make it,” Genesis whispered.

Angela reached over and held Genesis’s hand.

“You’re doing fine,” Angela said.

The priest’s speech continued along the same lines for a while longer, until finally he invited Dominick up. A nervous silence filled the church as Dominick stepped into place holding a wrinkled sheet of loose leaf in his hands.

“When I was eight years old, my father gave up everything he had,” Dominick said. “His friends, his home, his career. He left it all behind and came to Canada, all so my mother and I could have a better life.”

He took a deep breath, clutched the paper so hard Angela thought it would rip in two.

“At the time, I was too scared and angry to appreciate what a huge sacrifice he’d made for me,” Dominick said. “It wasn’t until years later, with the birth of my own daughter, that I truly came to understand.”

Genesis squeezed Angela’s hand. The tips of Angela’s fingers started to tingle.

“I’ll never be as good as father as he was,” Dominick said. “But the example he set made me who I am today. I don’t think I ever truly thanked him for that.”