HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 80

“Well, I was flying to campus one day and I saw this girl,” he said. “She was just floating in the air like it was water. She had her eyes closed so I—”

“Creeped on her?” Josephine asked.

“No!” he replied. “Okay, sort of. Accidentally. I said hi and she got startled and then these big yellow wings sprouted from her back like mine. And I was like, ‘Holy shit!’”

“Now that I would’ve liked to see,” Josephine said.

“It was quite impressive,” Griffith said. “I was fairly dazzled at the time. Still am, really.”

He smiled at Frederica. She rolled her eyes.

“Shut up,” she said.

A waiter with long, dark hair came by and took everyone’s orders. He returned a couple minutes later with drinks. An awkward silence crept over the table for a time.

“I have a question,” Nila said to Griffith. “What species are you? Like, are you a human who gained wings as a superpower, or are you something else entirely?”

Nila,” Frederica said.

“It’s okay,” Griffith said, and turned to Nila. “I’m a little of both, actually. My father’s human, my mother’s a siren. Like in Greek mythology, only real.”

“You’re a mermaid?” Josephine said.

He chuckled.

“Common misconception,” he said. “People get us mixed up all the time, but mermaids are something else entirely. I’ve never even met one, to be honest.”

“Huh,” Josephine said. “You learn something new every day.”

“So are you really able to lure sailors to their deaths with your song, then?” Nila asked.

“I’m actually almost completely tone-deaf, much to Mom’s disappointment,” Griffith said. “She kept all the musical talent for herself, it seems. Though she hasn’t killed any sailors as far as I know. I think that part of the legend may be a bit of an exaggeration.”