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"You say Adam's coming, too?" asked Vera.

"Yes. Though I think he was afraid I was just doing it because he's Wallace Shipley," replied Charlie.

"Did you?" asked Vera, curiously.

"Grandma!" exclaimed Charlie. "Not you too!"

"It must be a unique experience to have a childhood crush on someone for so long, only to find out he was someone you already knew and liked," observed Vera.

"I guess so," replied Charlie, slowly. "I've always liked Adam. But somehow, it's different now. Everything I've ever felt about Wallace Shipley is now tangled up with my preexisting admiration of Adam Clark. Adam is the best friend I've ever had, but somehow, Wallace Shipley complicates everything! It's fiction and reality all in one man! How can that be?" asked Charlie.

"You're confused right now," replied Vera. "For years, you've seen Adam with one eye only, that is, through his music. Now, you can see him with both eyes. Don't let the one overshadow the other, Pumpkin. I think that's what he was trying to tell you."

Thursday, Mike and Sandra returned from their vacation. Mike handled Adam's secret identity with first joking laughter, then to concern that his uncle was sick and running a fever, then to dumbfounded disbelief. It wasn't until Adam placed into his nephew's hands the large, golden award that he had won for "Convergence" that Mike finally believed him.

As was his mother, Mike felt hurt by the fact that someone so close to him as his uncle, had kept this secret from him for so long. The novelty quickly wore off of Sandra, however, who was more concerned with Mike's continued studies so he could pass the California Journeyman Plumber License exam which was set to take place next month. To Sandra, this family controversy was only a distraction. Indeed, she was not overreacting. On their vacation, Mike was continually pulling out his study materials, even enlisting his wife's help in quizzes.

Saturday, the day of the concert, finally came. The day before, Vera and Charlie had went shopping in Palm Springs. The total outing was an expense that Charlie paid for herself, insisting that Vera also get a dark gray sequined gown that Vera had admired from a distance in a shop window. It was the fanciest dress Vera had worn in years. Charlie bought for herself a floor-length shimmering black satin gown embellished with tiny silver beads.

The two dresses, combined with two sets of matching shoes, set Charlie back her entire savings, but it was worth it! Early that evening, Chuck clapped proudly when the two women entered the living room where he and Adam were waiting.

"Mom, you look fantastic!" exclaimed Chuck. "And just look at my little girl! Doesn't she look all grown up!"

Adam, dressed in his black tuxedo, stood up politely when the women entered the room. Upon prodding from Chuck, Adam admitted Charlie looked "very nice," but was careful not to say more than he could of.

"Come on," said Charlie, "we've got to get going, so we won't miss a minute of the concert!"

With Adam looking on apprehensively, Charlie got behind the wheel of Jerome's car. Adam sat beside Charlie in the front seat, while Vera and Chuck got in the back. Charlie first dropped off Chuck at Mullen-Overholt, and then proceed to Highway Sixty-two, where she carefully merged with the oncoming traffic. Adam was clearly nervous over Charlie's driving. The teenager tried to console herself with the fact he acted the same way to Mike's driving-- although his suggestions weren't quite so numerous.

"Careful," warned Adam, "the semi truck wants to pass."

"I see him," replied Charlie, confidently.

"Slow down a little, Charlie," said Adam.

"I know the speed limit," laughed Charlie. "Maybe you'd feel better if you got out, and ran alongside the car!"

"Just watch where you're going," was Adam's reply.

The closer they came to the off-ramp, the more congested the traffic became. Red brake lights dotted the highway.

"Wow, I didn't think traffic was going to be this heavy," remarked Charlie, becoming a little apprehensive of her driving skills in this situation.

"Stay in this lane," instructed Adam. Just then, a white limousine cut in front of Charlie, causing her to brake suddenly. However, since the traffic was moving so slowly, no one bumped fenders.

"Adam, maybe you should take the wheel," suggested Charlie, her confidence a bit shaken. To her surprise, Adam refused.

"You're doing fine," he assured her. "Just keep your attention on the road."
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