Roman had such good intentions with Vada. Really, he did. He wanted the two of them to be together by now. He'd dreamed about it. A lot. Somehow, it always turned into a nightmare.
He wasn't worthy of her. Yes, it always came down to the idea that she truly was perfect. And how, how could he justify that he was the right guy for her?
If only there was Luna to talk too. But she was very much taken these days with some guy in a band named Zac. Roman didn't actually like him. Definitely, he didn't want to get to know him. Although, Roman couldn't say Luna was his best friend, but maybe she was. There was something nice about a girl who knew how to sew and listen. He'd gotten to know her on those very long rehearsal nights of previous theater productions at school.
Oh, she'd coax him into thinking how great Christmas could be. Especially, with Vada, but that didn't pan out. Especially, when Nora and her brother showed up. He'd known them since he was little. Nora's father worked with his father.
Recently, their house flooded. Then their parents broke up. It was the right thing to do. Take those two in, for a while. Well, until school was out.
Nora was just like he remembered, a sunny smile, congenial and usually kept to herself. Joel was still Joel, sullen and awkward. Only, Nora could understand him.
Honestly, it was just weird. Roman would have thought maybe Joel was Nora's child, as much as she babied him.
Joel could go days without talking to anyone, except his sister. Seriously, Roman never thought much about it, until they moved in, but they were awful close. Maybe it was after all they'd been through. It wasn't like he'd ever been in a catastrophe. Roman was an only child and did pretty much anything and everything at the country club.
It wasn't that he didn't like the brother and sister. It was a lot to deal with. He wasn't the only one home now. And he couldn't do what he wanted. He needed to be a role model. He guessed. Of course, be there for Nora and he supposed Joel too.
For the first time in his life, he was finding himself wanting to ask Nora if they were actually going out. People were starting to think she was his girlfriend. Of course, Vada wouldn't even look his way, anymore.
"Well, I dunno what you, want me to do about it?" Finally, Luna had a wee bit of time for him at the drink machine in the school cafeteria. "You, need to call Vada. At least, tell her what's going on."
He wanted too, but the timing never seemed right. Yes, there were glimpses of a past like with old friends at another school who would call him up and ask him to a party. And why wasn't he having any? Life was changing. And he was not the Roman Hardy that people once knew.
Yes, he squeezed in a party, here and there. But it was getting old. He didn't really want to be that Roman Hardy. Besides, the academic one had a good chance of getting a full scholarship in drama. No way, was his dad going to pay for the Fine Arts. If he was going to make it on his own, he'd have to make the grades. And that wasn't nearly as simple as one might think. He was like anybody else, he had to study. And then there was Nora and Joel.
Life just wasn't the buffet that Roman remembered. Besides, he hated cafeteria food. Yet here he was with the masses. And that was the first time he spotted Vada with Joel.