Friday, August 17, 2012
Even though she had only heard about Lake Fest two days ago, on Wednesday, by Friday, the last day of her first week at Cedarwood, it was all anyone could talk about, and Jordyn was hearing something about Lake Fest around every corner.
Ashley was still cold, even more so at dance. It was an inferiority thing, as Alice had told her. She didn’t like Jordyn coming in and taking her spotlight. Not to mention, yesterday Natalie had asked Jordyn to sit at the table with the popular seniors. Jordyn had kindly declined, but nevertheless, Ashley had heard it, and narrowed her eyes even more. If that was even possible.
Jordyn was going to meet the girls at Alice’s house at 4:30 to go to the carnival, so she went straight to her room to get ready once she was home.
It was still hot in Pennsylvania, so Jordyn opted for a mini skirt and a tight, red t-shirt, pulling her hair into a ponytail, leaving her long side bangs hanging out.
She studied herself in the mirror. The material of her shirt was stretching over her voluptuous bust, and she was feeling a tad self-conscious.
Of course, she was weird. She knew that. Shay had told her countless times she’d switch cup sizes with her in a heartbeat. But Shay didn’t understand that the world Jordyn was used to, the dance world, didn’t have a lot of big-busted women. Jordyn was considered, well, different there, and not exactly envied. She felt weird showing her boobs, even if they were hidden under a bra and a t-shirt. So she grabbed a black and red plaid button-down shirt and pulled it on over her t-shirt.
And she was ready to go.
She packed her duffel bag, and headed down to the kitchen, where she found her parents.
“I’m ready,” she announced as she walked into the kitchen, dropping her duffel bag on the kitchen floor.
“You look nice,” Zara said, smiling.
Jordyn looked down, making a face at her now simplified outfit. “I do?”
“Yes. You’re losing your tan I see.”
“Not a lot of reasons to go outside around here,” Jordyn replied.
“Until now, right?” Zara asked with a smile.
Jordyn gave a small smile and shrugged. “Yeah, I guess so.”
“Now listen, Jordyn,” Zara said, putting on the serious face, sitting on the bed and motioning for Jordyn to join her. “I am happy you’ve made friends here and you’re already getting out doing things. But I want you to be careful. No drinking, no drugs, understand?”
Jack nodded his agreement. “And if any of the above happens, this will be both your first and last night out in Cedarwood.”
Jordyn chuckled. “You guys know me.”
“But we know teenagers, too, Jordyn” Zara said. “I know this is a safe town, but sweetie, anything can happen anywhere. You have a good head. Use it.”
Jordyn nodded. “I will, mom. You don’t have to worry. We’re not partying, we’re not riding around wild and getting drunk. Promise. We’re going to Lake Fest then to Alice’s to sleep over. We have to be there at midnight, anyway. She’s got a strict mom, too.”
“Who’s driving?” Jack asked.
“Alice. Sixteen year olds around here have their licenses.”
Zara sighed. “Get through Lake Fest. We’ll talk about a license later.”
Jordyn just nodded then smiled at Jack. “Like, maybe tomorrow, right, daddy?”
“Gotta work,” Jack said. “Talk to your mom.”
Jordyn sighed. “Let’s go, mom.”
“I’ve never been in this part of town before,” Zara said as she turned into Foxwood. “Wow. There are some really nice houses, here. How did you know where it was?”
Lydia’s drug dealer, she thought. But what she said was, “Alice just gave me good directions.”
She’d learned earlier that day that Alice, Erin, and Bethany all lived in Foxwood, like Blake. In fact, Alice lived right across the street from Blake.
In the daylight, Foxwood was easier to see. The houses were all newer models, generous in size, and there were manicured lawns and hybrid cars in front of each one.
“It doesn’t feel like we’re still in Cedarwood anymore, does it?” Zara teased as they passed a couple of women jogging, then a middle-schooler on a bike.
“Stepford,” Jordyn chuckled. “Alice says she lives on Dove Street. Second one on the left.”
“Pigeon Lane, Eagle Way,” Zara read the signs as they passed each street. “A lot of birds in this neighborhood.”
Jordyn laughed. “Not all birds, mom. Look at that one. Frog Street.”
Once they found Dove Street, Alice’s house was easy to find. She’d said it was beige and at the end of the street, and even though she knew where Blake lived after Wednesday night, it had been dark and she couldn’t even remember what it looked like. But she found Alice’s easy. Beige house, red shutters, and a white minivan in the driveway, just like she’d said.
“This is it,” Jordyn said, pointing.
Zara pulled into the driveway and Jordyn quickly pushed the door open.
“Jordyn,” Zara said. “Remember what I said. Be careful, tonight.”
“Don’t worry mom. I will. Bye. Love you.”
“Love you, too, sweetheart. Keep your phone on,” she called.
But Jordyn was gone. Zara was backing down the driveway as Jordyn made her way across Alice’s yard with her duffel bag hung over her shoulder. She took in the last lingering smells of summer; fresh-cut grass, someone cooking out in the neighborhood with the smell of charcoal permeating her nose.
It was strange, because looking around at the softer shades of light, it was obvious fall was creeping in the background, waiting to take over Cedarwood.
Jordyn stepped up on Alice’s porch and spotted a yellow tabby cat, bathing itself on one of the porch chairs.
Jordyn rang the doorbell, and instantly was greeted by a little girl eating a popsicle and a barking Yorkie. The little girl was a miniature Alice, so it was easy to tell she was Alice’s sister.
“Hi,” Jordyn said with a smile. “I’m Jordyn. Is Alice here?”
“Elsie!” came Alice’s voice as she appeared behind the little girl in the doorway. “Don’t answer the door. I told you about that.”
“But she’s nice, Ali!” the little girl said. “She’s your friend!”
Alice sighed, a sigh that reminded Jordyn of a mom sigh. “Me and you? We’re gonna talk later. Go play.”
“Bye, Jordyn!” Elsie said sweetly, waving with her only free hand as she skipped away.
Alice sighed and stepped back so Jordyn could come inside. “Come in.”
Jordyn laughed as she stepped over the threshold into Alice’s living room. It was a regular, modest-sized house, and like the rest of the houses in the neighborhood, looked very new. The living room was gorgeous, decorated with portraits on the wine-colored walls, but mostly pictures of Alice and Elsie through the years, The living room was fairly small, but not too small it was cramped. A leather living room suite sat in front of a flat-screen TV mounted on the wall. With magazines and books on the coffee table, Alice’s house looked lived in. Looked like home.
Jordyn had never lived in a “regular” house before. Her house in Moon Bay Beach was the ideal beach house, the one she lived in now was practically a mini mansion, plantation style. But Alice’s was just a house.
“Let’s go to my room,” Alice said. “Erin and Bethany are already up there.”
Jordyn nodded, then followed her up the stairs and into a long, narrow hallway.
“So, I’ll take it that was your sister?” Jordyn chuckled. “She’s cute.”
Alice sighed. “Elsie. She’s a mess. This is my room.”
Alice’s room was small. She had a twin bed by the window, the walls painted a soft blue with white trim. She had a book shelf with more books than Jordyn had ever seen in a teenage girl’s room. The curtains were white lace, and she had a small TV on the dresser by the far wall, but the room was very tidy and clean.
“Hi, Jordyn!” Erin said, running up, hugging Jordyn. Jordyn had learned earlier in the week that Erin was one of those girls that had to hug her friends when she saw them and when she left them.
“Hey, guys,” Jordyn said to both Erin and Bethany, who was sitting Indian-style on the bed with a book in her lap.
Jordyn took notice that they all wore orange and brown, the Cedarwood school colors. Jordyn was wearing red, white and black.
“Is there a, uh, dress code at this thing?” she asked self-consciously.
Erin laughed. “You’re fine. Not everyone is going to be in school colors. You’ll be alright.”
“Yeah, you look great,” Alice said.
“Yeah, but you’re all decked out in school colors and everything, and here I am looking like a sore thumb,” Jordyn said. “Don’t you have anything orange and brown I could wear?”
Alice put her hands on her hips and looked at Jordyn thoughtfully. “Hm. I think maybe we can come up with something. What do you girls think?”