HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 210

“Wings?” Melody said. “For real?”

“For real,” Frederica said. “Bat wings, bird wings, butterfly, you name it.”

“Can I see?” Melody asked.

“I… suppose,” Frederica replied, glancing around. “It’s a little awkward, though.”

She took off her jacket and handed it to Melody. Then she turned away and unbuttoned her blouse. She was wearing a white tank top underneath that left just enough of her back exposed. The night was warm but the breeze still raised goose bumps on her skin.

An image of Griffith’s pale blue eyes formed in Frederica’s mind and she started to fall. A pair of canary-yellow wings erupted from her back and caught her descent. She rode the wind back up to Melody and beat her wings to stay aloft.

“Dang,” Melody said.

Frederica crossed her arms, feeling a little self-conscious with Melody watching her.

“I got these from my ex-boyfriend,” Frederica said. “His mother’s a siren. You know, the bird women from Greek mythology? Turns out they’re real.”

“That’s actually pretty cool,” Melody said. “Is this same guy you mentioned earlier?”

“No, different person,” Frederica said. “The one I was friends with as a kid is Tommy, and he’s completely human. Griffith and I started out as a couple and then gradually transitioned to friends with benefits and finally just friends. He’s a great guy; we just weren’t really a great fit for any kind of long-term thing, you know?”

“Yeah, I get that,” Melody said. “You can’t force that kind of connection, no matter how compatible you might be in other ways.”

“Exactly,” Frederica said.

“Have you had many other relationships?” Melody asked. “Or just those two?”

“Just them,” Frederica replied, and glanced down at the city. “So far.”