HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 124

Frederica shook her head.

“I’m just distracted,” she said. “Griffith had an accident on the weekend. He broke one of his wings.”

“Oh no!” Magh gasped. “But they are so pretty! Is he going to be okay?”

“Eventually, yeah,” Frederica said. “It’s just going to take a while, and he’s being really distant in the meantime. I want to be there for him but he won’t let me.”

“Why not?” Magh asked.

“Macho shit, I guess,” Frederica replied. “Afraid to show weakness. That kind of thing. You know how it is.”

“Yes,” Magh said. “The men of your planet can sometimes be… difficult.”

“Maybe we should try a different planet, then,” Frederica said, nudging Magh in the arm.

Magh laughed and looked down at her knees.

“I would miss Tommy, though,” she said.

“Well, I suppose he could come too,” Frederica said. “He’s one of the decent ones.”

Magh seemed to consider it a moment.

“We would need a ship.”

“True,” Frederica said. “It’s too bad the one you came in on went boom. It would’ve been perfect. Ah well, I guess we’re stuck with earth boys.”

“I could introduce you to one of my cousins,” Magh offered. “A few of them are… adequate.”

Frederica laughed and shook her head.

“That’s okay,” she said. “I’ll just make do with Mr. Pretty Wings. I just need to figure out how I’m going to get through to him.”

Magh wrinkled her face in thought.

“Maybe you should….” She hesitated. “What is the expression? Do a cold shoulder?”

Frederica chuckled.

“That’s not a bad idea, actually,” she said. “Maybe the best thing I can do is just to give him space. Let him sort his own shit out instead of trying to fix it for him.”