Disclaimers and notes in part I
The students didn't have individual mail boxes because
most of them had no need for them. Nobody was writing
them letters. Those who did get mail picked it up in
the office, or had it slipped under their doors by
Miss Munroe or Mr. Summers.
Bobby Drake was one of the lucky ones. He and Rogue
and Kitty Pryde were coming back from lunch and he
stopped in his room to drop off one set of books and
pick up another. There was a letter under his door. He
grinned, when he saw the writing on it.
"Parents?" Kitty asked.
"No, my friend Joe."
"He graduate from here before I came?" Marie asked.
"Oh, no. Joe's no mutant. He's my next door neighbor.
We grew up together." He turned the letter so they
could see the front address. "He calls me 'Iceman.'"
And he grinned that wonderful Bobby-grin.
Marie wondered what it was like, to have a friend who
wasn't a mutant but who still wrote letters?
The book Eric had given the professor wasn't the only
one annotated. Marie discovered the second book, the
one by Bonhoeffer, had been marked and written in,
as well. Page 27:
"I believe that God both can and will bring good out
of evil. For that purpose he needs men who make the
best use of everything. I believe God will give us all
the power we need to resist in all time of distress.
But he never gives it in advance, lest we should rely
upon ourselves and not on him alone. A faith as strong
as this should allay all our fears for the future. I
believe that even our errors and mistakes are turned
to good account. It is no harder for God to cope with
them than with what we imagine to be our good deeds. I
believe God is not just timeless fate, but that he
waits upon and answers sincere prayer and responsible
Underneath, in the hand she had guessed to be the
professor's: *"All that is required for evil to
succeed is for men of good will to do nothing." If I
must one day face a similar trial, God grant me the
power of which Dietrich spoke.*
I recall the day Moshe died. He had been the only one
not frightened of me, not frightened by what I could
do with metal. But he had grown weak in these past
weeks. He had been abused for too long, and his
once-bright spirit had faded along with the flesh off
his bones. Soon, they would come for him. He had
outlived his strength and his pretty face, and thus,
We learned, in Birkenau, to respect death. To respect
choice. For three days before, he gave me his bread,
told me to hide it in my bed. I did as he asked. On
the third day, he embraced me before we went out into
the yard, said goodbye. The sun was shining. It was
There is a no-man's land between the outer fence and
the yard where we are permitted to go. The signs along
it read, "Halt!" This space had been used before for
the same purpose to which Moshe put it that day. He
flung himself out into it, as if racing for the fence.
The soldiers in the towers above shot him.
He was free. But it left me alone.
Marked, page 221, a poem entitled "Who Am I?":
Who am I? They often tell me
I stepped from my cell's confinement
Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,
Like a squire from his country-house.
Who am I? They often tell me
I used to speak to my warders
Freely and friendly and clearly,
As though it were mine to command.
Who am I? They also tell me
I bore the days of misfortune
Equably, smilingly, proudly,
Like one accustomed to win.
Am I then really all that which other men tell of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
Struggling for breath, as though hands were
compressing my throat,
Yearning for colours, for flowers, for the voices of
Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighbourliness,
Tossing in expectation of great events,
Powerlessly trembling for friends at infinite
Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?
Who am I? This or the other?
Am I one person to-day and to-morrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
And before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army,
Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am Thine!
And underneath: *He echoes my own questions. Do I
still believe in the God of my childhood, if not the
teachings of the Friends? I think that I do. At least,
I believe we are all God's children, mutant and
non-mutant. I cannot hate my brothers, even if they
"Jubilee, do you believe in God?"
Jubilee lifted her dark head and narrowed her eyes at
Marie. "Why you want to know?"
"I guess I do. I mean, like, who made the universe if
not God? But I ain't exactly into church."
"I believe in God," Kitty said, firmly.
"I don't know if I do," Marie told them. "If there's a
God up there, why'd he make me like this? So nobody
can touch me?"
"I don't know," Kitty replied. "God works in
"That's a line of bullshit the preacher gives you when
he can't answer your question."
"That doesn't mean it's not true!" Kitty seemed
indignant. "I mean, God's omniscient. He sees
everything in the past and the future. You can't. He
knows why you're like you are. There must be a reason
"How do you know God's a 'he'?" Jubilee asked with a
smirk. "Seems kinda dumb, when you think about it.
After all, don't the Bible say we were created in
image? How could God create women if God was a dude?"
"*What*ever," Kitty replied. "It's just figurative!
He, she . . . Who cares? But I'm not going to call God
Marie got up and left her friends to argue over the
gender of God as she wandered the halls for a while,
wishing Logan were around. But he wasn't. Logan was
chasing his tail up in Canada. So she went down to Mr.
Summer's office. He was working at his desk, writing
by hand � probably grading papers. He had a CD
playing. Mary Chapin Carpenter. STONES IN THE ROAD.
She knew that whole CD by heart, but hadn't expected
it to be something Mr. Summers would listen to. Then
again, he had more CDs than he had books, and that was
a lot. He looked up. "Hi, Marie."
She sidled in, wrapped her scarf around her hand. "You
like Mary Chapin Carpenter?"
"She's a country singer."
"So? She's a great song-writer. Her best stuff usually
doesn't get air-play."
Marie smiled. "I like the first one on that album
best. 'Why walk when you can fly?'"
He grinned back. "Me, too. You have it?"
"I did. It's back in Mississippi. I couldn't exactly
take my CD collection with me. Kinda heavy on the
"I'll make you a tape."
She continued to stand there, twisting her scarf. He
watched her. Finally, she just blurted, "Do you
believe in God?"
Maybe he blinked, but of course she couldn't tell.
Somehow, that wasn't what she'd expected him to say.
"But you gave me those books and the guy Bonhoeffer
was a preacher. He talks about God all the time."
"Bonhoeffer was a theologian, actually. A very famous
one. And I can agree with many of his sentiments,
admire him as a person, without sharing all his
"So you're an atheist?"
"I'm an agnostic. I'm not convinced there is a God.
But I'm not convinced there's not one, either."
"I think that's me, too. What about the professor?
"He was raised a Quaker and still is one, in many
ways. But he can't support pacifism any more."
"And Dr. Grey? If you don't mind my asking � "
"Jean's Episcopalian. Loosely."
"Did you go to church when you were a kid?" She knew
her questions bordered on rude � her mother would be
appalled � but he didn't seem to mind.
"I went every Sunday. I was raised Catholic. My
parents are devout."
"What do they think of you not going now?"
"I have no idea. My parents and I don't talk much
"Oh." She wandered over to his bookshelves, ran her
fingers over the colorful spines of books. For a math
teacher, he read a lot that wasn't math. History,
anthropology, mythology, even travel books. Lots of
science stuff, of course. And novels. He must like
science fiction. He was watching her; she could feel
his eyes on her back. And maybe he wouldn't care, but
it seemed fair to give him the same information about
her that she'd asked of him. "I was raised Southern
Baptist. No big surprise, coming from Mississippi. My
parents weren't really into church, though. We only
went on Easter and Christmas and Mother's Day. But
when I was in high school, I joined the youth group
and sang in the choir. There was a cute guy in the
He chuckled. "I hear you. Amazing what hormones will
get you to do. Jean wants a church wedding. All the
bells and whistles and a long white dress."
"So you gonna do it?"
"If I want to marry her and quit living in sin, I
suppose I'll have to."
Turning, Marie grinned at him. "Oh, but big weddings
are such fun."
"If you're masochistic. Were it up to me, we'd elope."
--Continued in part III
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