“Like Superman?” Jimmy said almost hopefully.
I shook my head. “No. Not like Superman.”
“Oh! Oh! Roswell! Area 51! Independence day!” he suggested excitedly, “Star Trek? Star Wars!” There was waving of arms. Above his head.
I sighed. “Do you have to define my existence through television and movies?”
“Yes.” As if it was absurd for me to think it could be understood any other way. I did a classic facepalm before I felt his hand on my shoulder. I looked up.
He let his hand stay on my shoulder for a moment longer than necessary. Stifling a giggle, I wondered if he noticed. Then I wondered if he did it on purpose. I could never really figure out what we were, Jimmy and I. We were friends, of course, but sometimes, I thought we could have been something more. And when he touched me, I could almost believe he felt it too.
“Define the new through what we know, we do,” he said, “Mmm-hmm.”
“You suck at Yoda, but fine, I guess...” Shrugging, I looked at him sideways. I paused. “Roswell then.”
He nodded, understanding, and for a moment I was purely glad he was in my life—whatever he was. I did just want to be a normal kid, like those in Roswell. It was all I had ever known, and then suddenly, I find out this strange truth about me, the truth that changes everything about everything. But it’s all right, because I had Jimmy to help me through it, to help me find my way back to normality.
“Want some hot sauce then?”
The image I’d pictured of him leading me though a thick forest suddenly crumpled in my mind’s eye. I shot him a look.
“I’m just joking, Bree,” he said, “Wait, should I still call you that? Bree?”
“What else would you call me?” I said.
“Alien interloper?” His hands twitched as though they were about to start waving around again. I eyed them, willing them to still. “Spawn of the non-Earthlings?”
“How about Un-human Former Ordinary Girl?”
“UFOG? Nice try,” he said, “It would have to have a double “G”. Un-human Former Ordinary Geek Girl. UFOGG. Or does the geek negate the ordinary? But no. Just no. Let’s stick with Bree. Deal?”
“So very much a deal.” I grinned back at him. We shook on it. So human name Bree it is. But I couldn’t help but wonder--did I have another name? I stared up at the night sky and the stars stared back at me through the clouds. On a less cloudy day, could I see the planet of my ancestors?
He tugged on my hand, and I gave in, standing up with a groan. “Walk and talk,” he said, “Okay, so why Roswell?”
I shrugged. “Because they were cool.”
“As opposed to Superman, of course.”
I groaned. Back to Superman. “Bah. I don’t have superpowers.”
“They had superpowers in Roswell. You need to re-watch your DVDs,” he said, “In fact, I’ll make you a list of necessary viewing. Think of it as a history lesson of your people.”
I stopped walking; he didn’t. “My people?”
“Okay, okay. Alien folk,” he amended quickly, walking back to where I stood.
“What? No, I mean, it’s all fiction, and not about my people or whatever.”
“How do you know they didn’t encounter your kind and base the movies off that?” he asked, tapping my arm a few extra times for good measure. I hadn’t thought of it before, but it could be possible. And there are a lot of movies.
“Aha!” he said triumphantly at my lack of response.
“Do you care that I’m...not....human?” I asked.
“You were never human,” he said, “Why should it start to bother me now?”
“Thank you,” I said. I felt tears swim over my eyes and spill out over my cheeks.
He wiped them away, his fingers tracing their own paths on my face. “Don’t cry, Bree...”
We were so close, one of his hands on my waist, the other catching an errant tear. My breath caught. I looked into his grey eyes, grey like the clouds above, grey like his sweater and he smiled. He moved his hand to the back of my neck, guiding me closer yet. Finally, I thought, all these years I’d been waiting for this moment. Finally.
His lips descended towards mine. All I could hear was my heart beating too quickly in my chest. I closed my eyes, leaned yet closer.
“Firefly?” he whispered.
“What?!” I muttered. Of their own accord, my eyes opened slightly. “There were no aliens in Firefly.”
His smile widened. “Okay, you pass.”
And then, finally, we kissed. It was only for a moment, but it was a moment I’d been waiting for since I’d met him.
“That was...” he breathed.
“I know,” I said, smiling back at him. I loved that his arms were still tight around me. We stood like that for a moment that I would have stretched into eternity if I could.
“I feel like Captain Kirk,” he said.