Of course, Vada knew what she should have done when Roman showed up..call the police.
But she didn't.
No. It was a scramble just to get him up to her room. After all, her mother Myra was down in the basement watching a movie with her Dad.
Yes, Vada ushered Roman into her mess of a room and told him to be quiet. She had to hand out candy.
By the time that was over and the lights out at 9 p.m., she reported to Myra an estimated guess of how many kids showed up. The bowl was empty, and she finally found Roman looking through last year's school annual at the foot of her bed.
But then he needed to pee.
"Sorry." He quickly went to the restroom and came back.
She winced after he started talking about where he'd been the past few months.
"It hasn't been so bad, down by the railroad tracks." It wasn't quite shanty town but there were a few homeless down that way.
"But why are you doing this?" She could see he was gaunt and maybe even a ghost. She looked into his icy blue eyes that she'd adored so, once upon a time. Now he'd lost his luster, but still she knew he needed help.
"Because, Jade won't come home." He looked so sad talking about the girl he'd met in rehab.
"Well, maybe she's crazy." Vada couldn't help to say. How could this be? Vada guessed she spoke too soon, "You know, how Caitlin is looking for you, don't you?"
Vada explained Caitlin's big campaign. His poster a picture of Roman and Caitlin from prom was on practically every door in the hallway at school.
"She misses you so much." Vada winced thinking Roman was in love with the wrong girl.
"Caitlin's the crazy one." Roman pursed his lips. It was definitely Jade who he had his mind on.
"Then, why did, you come here?" Vada crossed her arms as if she really wasn't sure where she fell into his plan.
"Because..I.." He squinted hard. "I've been thinking about you. And I remembered the Star Wars party last year." He cracked a smile. "I can't remember the last time I had that much fun. Just you and me ..making it up as we went." He sighed heavily. "I guess..I'm glad you ..you never fell for me."
She looked at him then, knowing he didn't mean to be so vain.
"Look, I'm not rich anymore. I don't have a dime on me. The clothes I'm wearing are from some homeless shelter. But I'm tired. And..and if you could just let me..rest for awhile. And then I can keep going. I think. I have to find Jade." His eyes were tired and he wasn't eating the peanut butter sandwiches she'd so quickly made for him.
"Why do you have to find Jade?" Vada wanted to know.
"She thinks there's sex slavery, here in town." He pressed his lips tight.
Vada shook her head.
Yes, she'd let Roman sleep on the floor that night, but he was gone before she awoke.