HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 59

“We can go somewhere else if this is going to be weird,” Nila said.

“Why would it be weird?” Frederica said. “I was the one who encouraged them to get together in the first place.”

“If you’re sure,” Nila said.

“Of course,” Frederica said. “Come on.”

She led them through the restaurant to the corner. As they approached, Tommy looked up and smiled.

“Morning, Fred,” he said, and his eyes drifted past her. “Jo? Is that you?”

“Who else would it be?” Josephine winked and turned to Magh. “And who do we have here?”

“That’s Magh,” Frederica said. “Magh, this is my sister, Josephine.”

“Wow,” Magh muttered. “You look….”

“I know, right?” Josephine reached out and shook Magh’s hand. “Ooh, fuzzy. It’s like shaking hands with a kitten. If kittens had hands, I mean.”

Magh’s face darkened a little and she pulled her hand away.

“Are you blushing?” Josephine asked.

Frederica elbowed her sister.

What?” Josephine said. “That wasn’t flirting!”

“I’m sorry,” Frederica said to Magh. “My sister has some boundary issues.”

“It’s… okay,” Magh said. “I am honored to meet your family, Fred.”

“In that case, mind if we join you?” Josephine asked.

Magh looked to Tommy. He gestured around the table.

“Make yourselves comfortable,” he said.

Josephine squeezed in between Nila and Magh, leaving Frederica sitting beside Tommy. Frederica stared down at the table.

“So are you back back?” Tommy asked Josephine. “Or just for the birthday?”

“Wait, what?” Nila said. “Whose birthday?”

Frederica sighed and said, “Mine and Josephine’s.”