Vada didn't want to say it, but it was a boring summer. In spite of the children's summer reading program at the library and of course, spending most evenings with Alo.
And he spent a lot of time with Joel.
Nora went back with Grayson. They did have a life out in Washington state, and she was taking classes and got on with an insurance company. Oh, if only Vada had listened more she might be on her way to knowing the secrets of success.
Of course, she had her own test scores to think about. The ACTS the SATS. Moving forward, she guessed.
And Joel finally managed to walk on his own. He wasn't saying much, but Alo did hang out with him and they went places. Usually, without her, because she was working.
"Maybe you should think about getting a job there." She half teased, but she was serious.
"What? Me? No." He thought that was hilarious.
"Oh, but you are good at helping people. You, really are..and you know, you want to help people." But she knew he had his eye on criminal justice.
They had this conversation at least once a day. Usually, when he brought her lunch and they had sandwiches close to the soccer fields. But as usual, he didn't talk about his future much. It was as if he was waiting for her.
Then he'd ask how the studying was going. Was she ready for those tests? No. Not really.
Generally, after her mornings at work, they would sometimes go to the public pool for a swim. Get some sun. Nap. Be happy.
But that wasn't going to happen today. No, there was a stranger, asking for her at the desk. And he wasn't alone. There was something familiar about the boy with him. Vada thought she might have known him, but she didn't. She'd never seen him before, actually.
The man called himself Rhys and he was from a state home, down from St. Joe's. He explained then, that he helped with Frankie, who'd been at the home for the last couple of years.
"He doesn't have any family now." Rhys told her. "Except you."
"Me?" She thought this might be a prank. "Are you serious?"
"Didn't you know? You, have twin brother." He said ever so casual.
Vada winced hard. Not once had she ever thought she had a brother. Never.
"You..you have to be mistaken." She shook her head. This was just crazy. No way, could this guy be her brother. He was a little off. Not quite like Joel. But something was not right. Just not right.
She shook her head.
"Well, you're all he's got left. And he'd been asking about you." Rhys told her.
"Oh." She thought she might need to sit down. What was her Mom and Dad going to think about this? What was she suppose to do now?
1. What's it like having a dad who adopted you?
Vada: Actually, I kind of gave up on ever having a dad. (Vada smiles, then sighs) I know some would think I'm to old to appreciate a Dad by now. But he's everything you'd want in a Dad. And even if Henry doesn't always agree with him, I can see a lot of things, good things in Henry, that probably wouldn't be there if it weren't for his Dad. And I'm glad he's able to share him. He's a good listener, and he makes me smile, a lot.
2. What are some funny things about your Dad?
Vada: He likes to speak in a German accent, sometimes. I think he might have been a drama major, once upon a time. I definitely see where Henry gets his drama from. Dad likes different accents. And sometimes, he's silly in the kitchen. He really doesn't know how to cook much, but he likes to sound very French when he makes French toast. He does make me laugh. (Vada chuckles)
3. Is there anything you and your Dad do together?
Vada: He's trying to teach me to golf, but I'm not very good. He's very patience with me. He did manage to teach me to drive. Actually, he's really laid back and informative. (she smirks) After all, I did manage to get my driver's license with his help.
4. Why are Dad's important?
Vada: WOW. (Vada's eyes lit and she smiles) I never thought of them being important. For a long time, since..well..my own..well, it wasn't a very good life with him, and I don't have many memories of him, but bad ones. But I know..now..if..if I were ever a mother, I would really want it's father to play an important role. I think we learn so much from them, even when they aren't teaching us anything. All I know, I LOVE having a dad to come home too.. to ..even worry a little about me, you know. Its not like they have to do anything big. Just being there is very important. You never know, when you're going to need a ride, or some help..or just some one to talk too and even remind you to do your homework..