Monday, August 13, 2012
Jordyn stood in front of her full-length mirror Monday morning, the very first day of school, examining her outfit. Jordyn was a surfer. She was a southern California surfer girl, and that was the only life she knew. She knew how the California rich girls dressed, but the Pennsylvania small-towners she wasn’t sure about.
Jordyn decided in order to make her best first impression, she would keep it simple, yet classy, and go for a navy Abercrombie polo—she was certain polo shirts and Abercrombie were both popular in the northeast—and a pair of slightly ripped, Abercrombie jeans and her favorite pair of Toms.
She’d learned quickly that Pennsylvania was humid, and her normally, naturally wavy, beach-breeze-blown hair hadn’t done exactly what she’d wanted it to this week, so she’d bought a straightener. She liked the new style it left her with. After she determined pearls were the best direction to go with neck-wear, she deemed herself ready—finally—for her first day at Cedarwood High, and hoped she looked enough like a small-town Pennsylvania girl, but not too much that her California roots didn’t show.
“Oh, Jordyn, you look lovely, sweetie!” Zara had told her daughter with a big smile when she got downstairs.
Jordyn gave her best smile as she pulled her back pack strap over her right shoulder, hoping her nervousness wasn’t showing on her face as much as it was making itself apparent in her belly. “Thanks,” she said, simply. She took the $5 bill her mother had offered, and turned just as Ty and Logan entered the kitchen.
She stared at her older brother a moment. He was going to fit in great with his brand new, East Coast hair style, his dark, fitted jeans and a black hoodie to match his black Padres baseball cap.
“Ready, Jor,” he asked with a smile as he hoisted his back pack over his shoulder.
“Mhm,” she grumbled before heading toward the door.She got to the car first, leaning against the door of the Mustang while she waited for Ty to unlock the doors.
“I call front!” Logan shouted, running out of the house.
Jordyn rolled her eyes and put her hand on the handle. “I’m already here, dipstick.”
“Don’t call me that,” Logan grumbled, pushing her as he climbed into the back.
“Alright, kiddies,” Ty teased, sliding into the driver’s seat. “Be nice.”
“Don’t call me a kiddie,” Jordyn mumbled. “And I’m sixteen. I shouldn’t be hitching rides to school from my big brother. I should have my own car.”
Ty gave her a funny look as he made it to the end of their long driveway, making a right onto Cliff Road. “You’ve been sixteen for three months. Why are you mentioning it now?”
“Before, I was walking distance from everything I needed,” she said with a shrug. “Now, I can barely make it to the end of my driveway.”
“You ran all the way to town Friday,” Logan said.
“It took me twenty minutes to get there,” Jordyn said. “I'm not sureI’ll make a good impression on my first day by showing up sweaty and smelling like a road.”
Ty just chuckled as he drove.
They dropped Logan off at the Cedarwood Middle School, then Ty headed down the road a bit further to Cedarwood High.
Jordyn had seen the high school once. Monday, when she and her mother had gone shopping, Zara had driven her passed to show her. It wasn’t so impressive. Just one big building, tall, boxy,three stories, and worn, red brick, with the rest of the buildings circling around one courtyard in the middle. Behind the school, Jordyn knew there was a gym and the athletic fields, but because it—like most of the town—was surrounded by trees, she couldn’t really see anything.
Seniors got to park in their own lot, behind the school, right by the doors, Jordyn learned as Ty avoided the traffic of parents dropping their kids off and took the long road around the building. There, she saw another tall building, which she learned from Ty was the gymnasium, and behind that, the football stadium, which she’d, of course, figured out on her own.
“You have your schedule and your map, right?” Ty asked as he parked his Mustang beside ablack SUVin which two girls were leaning, both smoking cigarettes. They looked down at Ty as he parked, and when he peaked up and smiled with a wave, Jordyn knew he already knew them. They were gorgeous. Yeah, Ty really was in with the popular crowd already.
“Yes, Ty, I do,” Jordyn said with an annoyed sigh. “You know, I’m not on my way to my first day of kindergarten.”
“I don’t care if this is your first day of college,” Ty said. “I’m your big brother and I’m gonna look out for you. Whether you like it or not.” And with that, he got out of the car and went straight for the two girls.
Jordyn just rolled her eyes and got out.
“Hey, Jordyn,” Ty said. “This is Natalie and Lydia. Girls, this is my little sister, Jordyn.”
“Not so much emphasis on the little, thank you very much,” Jordyn grumbled.
“Hi, Jordyn,” Natalie said with a big smile.
Jordyn replied with a wave, but Natalie was busy staring at Ty.
Make me puke, why don’t you, she thought as she walked with the three of them into the building. There, they met up with a red-haired girl, whom they introduced to Jordyn as Meredith.
“Jordyn, do you need help finding your class?” Ty asked. “One of the girls can show you where to go.”
“I’m fine, thanks,” Jordyn said, looking at her map.
“You’ll be OK,” Natalie assure her, locking her arm with Ty’s. “It’s not a terribly big school. Just follow the map and you won’t get lost. Promise.”
“Thanks,” Jordyn said flatly.
“Well, good luck, then, Jor,” Ty said, nudging her before he disappeared into the crowd of students. So she stood, lost in the crowd, with her schedule in one hand, a map in the other.
She felt incredibly lame as she walked down the halls, reading a map. She couldn’t have made herself look more obviously the new girl. Maybe she should have taken the offer to let Natalie show her to her class? But, no, that wouldn’t work, either. It was obvious Natalie was in a hurry to get Ty away from the tagalong little sister, and she wouldn’t want to play tour guide any more than Jordyn wanted her to.
Jordyn wondered if Natalie would become Ty’s girlfriend soon. Probably. They were already walking with their arms locked.
Apparently, though, focusing on her map and her brother’s potential new love life took away a little attention that should have been focused on watching where she was going. While looking at the map, she could see the navy and white tiled floor, and suddenly, a pair of new, running, Nike sneakers appeared, and she walked right into the body they were attached to.
“Whoa,” a deep voice chuckled, grabbing her shoulders with two strong hands to steady her.
“I’m sorry!” she exclaimed. She opened her mouth to say more, but when her eyes locked on his and she took in quite possibly the most gorgeous male face she’d ever laid eyes on, she forgot where she was, much less what she was going to say.
She felt silly for becoming distracted, shaking herself back to reality as the guy kindly bent over to pick up her spilled schedule and map that now lay on the floor as a result of their collision.
“You’re new,” he said. It wasn’t a question.
Jordyn just smiled nervously. With all her time in dance and gymnastics, she didn’t have time for boys back in California, except for the minimal flirting she had done with Ryan, and that had lead up to nothing but a kiss, which, on her part, had been awkward. So there was no way she was prepared to stand here and carry on casual conversation with this unrealistically cute guy.
So she pretended she wasn’t Jordyn from California. Instead, she was new and improved Jordyn. Jordyn without all the dance lessons to get in the way of a possible new social life. And this was a step in the right direction. So she plastered on a smile.
“How obvious is it?” she asked, trying all her might to fight her nervousness. She hoped it didn’t show.
He chuckled. “About as obvious as that map in your hand,” he teased, pointing to the map. He looked at her schedule, which he still held in her hand. “You a senior, Jordyn Hamilton?”
She opened her mouth, about to make a fool out of herself and demand how this gorgeous stranger knew her name, but realized, just in time, that—duh!—he’d probably read it on her schedule.
“Uhm, no,” she said instead. “I’m a junior.”
He raised his eyebrows and a look of impression crossed his face. “Wow. Where you from?”
“California,” she said as she reached over and suspiciously took the schedule back. “And ‘wow’ what?” She wondered if maybe she looked older and he’d mistaken her for a senior. Her tight shirt was showing off her well-developed chest than she’d meant for it to. But she hadn’t seen him glance at it. His beautiful pale blue eyes were locked to hers for the entire, short conversation they’d had.
“You’re taking A.P. Calculus,” he said. “And Honors Chemistry. Those are senior classes. Smart senior classes.”
Oh. He was looking at your schedule, not your breasts, you do-do, she told herself.
“I like math and science,” she admitted, then regretted it. He hardly looked like the type of boy who would go for science and math nerd, something she wasn’t, but obviously looked like now.
“I’m Cole,” he said smiling. “Cole Anderson.”
Jordyn smiled back. “I’d introduce myself, but it’s probably unnecessary.”
He chuckled a low, sexy, husky chuckle. “Welcome to Cedarwood, Jordyn Hamilton. I think you’ll like it here.”
With one last, adorable smile, he turned and headed down the hall. Jordyn smiled to his back. Maybe she would, she mused. Maybe she would.