Police don't believe Vada Munro was abducted but the 15 year old might be "vulnerable to danger".
Henry couldn't believe the side bar he was staring at, that scrolled at the bottom of the TV screen of the morning newscast.
He looked at his raisin bran topped with bananas and pecans and pushed his breakfast away. He grabbed a tissue and blew his nose. It was true. He was catching a summer cold. How could he have fun on the 4th with Vada missing?
He'd dreamed that she came home in a wedding dress with Dean in tow. She'd ran off with him to get married. Why was she doing this?
The news people weren't even using the last name they should have been using. It was such a mess. His mom acted as if she was OK. Besides, her brother was here and they were being extremely nice to each other. He thought they had issues.
Carson was hanging out here a lot. He always had his girlfriend with him, like she was some sort of safety net. Why couldn't Carson talk to his father alone?
All Henry really wanted to do was stay home, close to the house phone. He just wanted Vada to call. Couldn't she at least do that?
But the doorbell rang, he went to get it. Leo was in his jeans and his orange KEEP CALM AND MARCH ON Tee shirt. He was here to pick up Henry to go camping.
Gage kept telling his Dad that it wasn't necessary for him to come over to the house on the 4th. He hadn't planned on doing anything but maybe watching cartoons, and then spending the night at the grocery store working, while everyone else went out for the fireworks.
"Well, we have a lot of catching up to do." There was a city parade which was mainly made up of old men in uniforms, dogs dressed like clowns and various dance troops showing off tribal moves, and of course, fire trucks and high school bands.
So they went off to watch, Gage gathered the hard candy thrown on the streets, to take back to the house for the kids who didn't come with them. As if was Ren was pretty loaded down, Gage hated to leave her, but she seemed OK. There was pulled pork stewing in the crockpot and lots of cold salads in the fridge.
"You know, what I dunno..is.." His Dad started.
Gage couldn't imagine what his Dad would really want to know about him.
"How did you get a name like Gage?" He was serious. "I mean, we named Carson after my father's brother. And if it had been up to me, well.... we would have named you something like Riley or Alex."
Gage's smile was quick, wondering how different he might be with those names.
"Not that I dislike the name Gage at all, but how did you get it?" He asked as they stood behind those waiting by the street for the parade to go by.
"I guess, some woman named me ...who adopted me when I was a baby." Gage didn't really remember. "I think I was just a couple of weeks old. Some couple wanted me. I never really knew them, cause uh, only lived with them for about a month. I was just too miserable to live with." He sighed. "I cried too much. Wouldn't sleep. Nothing worked. Evidently." This was the last thing he wanted to talk to his father about, but when Gage went back into the system, they kept the name. Even the last name too.
"I bet you weren't a problem for that foster mother of yours." His Dad smiled as he gave Gage a pat on the back. "I truly admire her for all she's done for you."
Gage looked at his Dad, wondering if there was any other kind of meaning to that. He'd noticed Ren. Gage wondered if Ren noticed his Dad.
Josie couldn't exactly act like Sky wasn't there for her mother's wedding. After all, he was the hit of the dance. He was electric when it came to music. And when he asked her to the concert, she just couldn't say no. But she said there was Carrie to worry over while her Mom and Duncan were on their legendary Rock cruise.
Naturally, he talked how he wished she could go to the Lindsey Stirling concert. He really did make her happy. Just listening to him talk about nothing. Yet, he really was so genuine. Like he wasn't chatting her up. He was infectious. So Sky helped her with Carrie on the night of the 4th.
It seemed so strange yet perfect, to go on a picnic with him and Carrie, down to the park. She thought Carrie would suffice in the stroller, but Sky held her a lot. And she was glad he was there to help with Carrie.
"Are you sure, you've never done this before?" She asked as she was getting things packed away so they could sit on the old picnic quilt and enjoy the fireworks.
"Oh...um..I dunno." He sort of laughed. "I remember when my sister was little. I helped out a lot with her. Its just... they grow up so, quickly, you know."
She was afraid she'd asked too much. Really, she was thankful she met Sky when she did. She'd never met anyone quite like him, and he was definitely making the summer tolerable.