Cody was afraid. Really, afraid Vada forgot about him. It was bound to happen sooner or later. She was growing up. He wasn't. He felt at an absolutely stand still.
There were nightmares that he'd find out from the doctor that he was shrinking. Maybe becoming a dwarf. He was never going to grow up. Lets face it, people thought he was a little weird at school. He was "Shrimp" among a few other negative names.
Now there was Henry.
Henry and Vada were practically the same height. It was like she'd met her Prince Charming. And she was always with him now.
He was losing her even if she kept telling him, differently. She would text, but it wasn't the same. They'd spent every afternoon together until this Henry got in the picture.
"I'll be right back." But Cody wasn't making promises. He ran down a couple of doors to Vada's. He came in without knocking. Funny, no one was there but Vada sitting in the middle of the floor with her long legs sprawled out next to a grocery bag of books. And she was crying.
"What happened?" Cody thought the worst. Had Henry broke her heart, already? He should have told her the stories he'd heard about him.
"Henry gave me books." She blubbered. She sniffed at her stuffy nose, but the tears kept coming. Cody couldn't help but to go to her side and let her have a good cry on his shoulder. He noticed the Star Wars paperbacks.
He'd never seen her quite this way. He knew reading wasn't easy for her. She'd only started reading a few years ago.
"You, can have them." She blurted. "I'll never be able to read these."
She looked at him as if it were the worst present ever.
"Its OK, we made it through all the Harry Potter books, didn't we?" He tried to brush the tears away the best he could, but she was almost hyperventilating.
Of course, he'd read most of them to her. She struggled through a few paragraphs.
"We'll read them together." He told her.
"OK." She could hardly speak.
He took one out on top. Naturally, there were no order to them. He kept digging for volume one.
"So, is this all I'm good for?" He couldn't help but ask.
"No." She told him. "I've missed you. I have."
He gave her some tissue to blow her nose.
"Its just..I think he thinks I'm older and...smart." There her voice went again. She was in tears. "I didn't mean..I didn't mean to be something..I'm not."
"He is really nice to me. I dunno why." She cleared her throat. "We just watched StarWars. His Dad is usually around, you know. His Mom wanted to pay me, like I was a babysitter. But I wouldn't take the money."
Cody wanted to tell her that she should have. Between the two of them, they never had money to go out. He didn't see that changing anytime soon.
He found the first volume of the series.
"OK, get comfortable because this is how the story starts." He sighed as he leaned back on the foot of the old couch where he sat on the floor. She sat next to him, so close, just where he wanted her, and he started the chapter.