Joel didn't think Vada would ever get home. He checked his watch once more. It was going on close to six. Of course, the sun was practically burning a hole in his head. He'd walked around for hours. Even had lunch all on his own, down at MacDonald's. He stopped in shops he never went into. Like the Dollar General. There was actually some pretty good stuff in there. Especially, movies. He'd found THIS IS THE END for 8 bucks.
But that wasn't why he was waiting for Vada.
"Good news." He blurted as if he didn't know exactly how to start.
"Well, I need some good news." She looked quite sad. Her Mom picked her up at the party, and he waited for them at the door. Soon enough, they were in the cool air conditioned livingroom, and Joel was ever so kind to take the glass of iced tea that Vada's mother offered.
"How do you feel about Paris?" He was all grins.
"Paris?" She winced a grin.
"Yeah, you and me." He smiled.
"Yeah, right?' She changed her clothes while he was getting the iced tea. She was in her blue jean cutoffs now and just a white tee.
"I'm serious." He sighed. "My Mom lives there, and..and she invited me. And I said I couldn't possibly go, unless you went."
A slight smile emerged.
"Really?" Still she looked as if she was in disbelief. "When?"
"As soon as school is out." He told her it would be for six weeks. "You know, you want to go. Its like..I dunno ..a chance of a life time."
Of course, Joel would be happy to spend six weeks in Kansas with Vada.
"Please, tell me, you'll go?" For the first time Joel felt as smart and rich and ready to be the real boyfriend Vada always needed.