Thursday, October 11, 2012
On Thursday, the ballots were in. Everyone sat in Mrs. Roland’s class awaiting to hear the homecoming nominees. Jordyn was so nervous as the ballots were passed out. Then Mrs. Roland stepped to the front of the classroom and proudly went over the homecoming nominees for the senior class, girls first.
“Alright, our nominees for the senior homecoming queen are—”
The laughed and Mrs. Roland peaked over at her glasses at the sound of the drumroll. Jordyn peaked around at Blake.
“I’m just building the anticipation,” Blake said.
Mrs. Roland nodded. “The nominees are Lucy Kyle, Amanda Muller, and Natalie Bishop. Cast your votes.”
Jordyn smiled, and immediately scribbled Natalie’s name. She could see Ashley out of the corner of her eye, peaking at Jordyn’s paper.
Jordyn sighed, rolling her eyes, and propped her elbow onto the desk, blocking Ashley’s view. She heard Ashley scoff.
“Oh my God,” she muttered. “It’s not a freaking SAT.”
“OK, everyone ready for the guys?” asked Mrs. Roland.
Jordyn gripped her pencil, ready scribble Cole’s name down when she heard it. She sort of hoped Ty wouldn’t get nominated, too, because that meant she would be stuck. But she knew she’d vote for Cole, because he was her boyfriend. And what could make their big night tomorrow night more memorable than having Cole crowned homecoming king with her standing next to him?
“Your nominees for homecoming king are Jenner Parks—”
“And Cole Anderson.”
Jordyn mentally jumped to her feet and danced happily around the classroom. Physically, she tried her hardest to hide her smile, and scribbled her boyfriend’s name on the ballot and folded it up.
“Well, well, California,” Blake said. Jordyn turned and smiled. “Congratulations. Your boy is on the homecoming court. Guess that’s good news for you.”
Jordyn smiled. “I’m happy for him, of course.”
Ashley sighed loudly, and Jordyn turned to find her smirking and folding her ballot.
“Well, I voted for him, just for you.”
Jordyn chuckled. “Thanks, Blake.” Then she turned back to the front and gave her ballot with Natalie and Cole’s names on it to Mrs. Roland.
At lunch, Natalie asked Jordyn to go with her, Meredith, and Lydia shopping for homecoming dresses, right there in front of Ashley. Jordyn ignored the dropping of Ashley’s jaw, and grinned in Natalie’s direction.
“Oh, I’d love to!” Jordyn said. “But we have to dress up for homecoming? I thought it was like, casual.”
“We’re on the homecoming court, Jor. We have to dress like prom.”
“We?” Jordyn asked.
Natalie chuckled. “Uh, yeah.” She patted Cole’s shoulder. “Your man’s a nominee, which means you’re on the court, too.”
“Oh, wow,” Jordyn said. This was news to her. But, that sounded really fun, anyway. “Great.”
“Hey, Nat,” Ashley piped up. “You are so gonna win homecoming queen. We all voted for you.”
By we all, Ashley had meant her, Shari, and Leah.
Natalie gave a small smile. “Well, I hope I do. Thanks.”
“You guys coming to the bonfire tonight, right?” Cole asked.
Jordyn nodded. “I’m definitely gonna be there.”
Part of the homecoming tradition, as Jordyn had learned, was the bonfire tonight by the lake. Tomorrow, school was out. The parade was tomorrow morning, carnival on the football field tomorrow afternoon, and then the game tomorrow night, all leading up to the dance.
“Jordyn, you look excited,” Ty laughed. “I can’t believe it.”
Jordyn nodded and shrugged. “Maybe I am. A little bit.”
“You’re a liar,” Natalie laughed. “You’re psyched and you know it. And I’m so excited to help you pick a dress. You would look adorable in like, hot pink, baby blue. Something light.”
Jordyn just laughed. “OK, Natalie. You’re the expert. I trust you guys.”
She noticed Ashley staring at her, and, wait. Was that a look of hurt on her face? She’d lost her glare, and she wasn’t poking her salad so hard today. Instead, she almost looked sad. This time when she met Jordyn’s eyes, she didn’t keep staring. Instead, she looked away uncomfortably, then leaned over, whispering something to Leah, who sighed and nodded.
Jordyn narrowed her eyes, but she wouldn’t worry about what was going on with Ashley and her friends. She had Cole’s hand on her leg under the table, and she was hanging out with Natalie this afternoon. Going dress shopping, no less.
After school, Jordyn met Natalie, Lydia, and Meredith by Natalie’s SUV. As she approached, she saw Natalie take a drag from the cigarette she was smoking—Natalie smoked?—and drop the butt on the ground, stepping on it.
“Hey, girl,” Natalie said with a smile when she saw Jordyn. “Ready?”
Jordyn smiled and nodded. “Yep.”
So she hopped in the back seat of the Tahoe with Meredith while Lydia sat up front with Natalie.
They were going to the mall in Woodbury, Natalie had told Jordyn as they started down Lakeside Road. The bonfire didn’t start until 8:00, so they had plenty of time to shop.
“Damn it,” Lydia said suddenly, rummaging through her purse. “I must have left my wallet at home. Nat, can you drive me by there really quick?”
Natalie let out an annoyed sigh. “Your wallet, Lyd?”
“Yes, Nat,” Lydia snapped back, a little snarkier than Jordyn had ever seen her be. “Unless you want us to steal from the stores, I need my wallet.”
So Natalie made a sharp turn onto a side road, speeding up until they were at Lydia’s house.
So house wasn’t the right word, Jordyn realized when Natalie parked in the circular drive. Mansion was far more appropriate. The house was far bigger than Jordyn’s, and it was new, brick, and the lake was in the backyard.
Jordyn had seen houses like this, of course, back in California. Houses in gated, beachside communities. Houses like Ryan’s. But this one, surrounded by trees in the front, and a lake behind it, was a different kind of mansion than Jordyn was used to. This house definitely didn’t belong on the beach in California.
The inside was even more beautiful, Jordyn realized as they stepped into the foyer. It was modern, and very white, from the walls, to the white, leather sofas, and the soft, carpet. Jordyn was almost afraid to step foot inside.
The walls were covered in exquisite artwork. Obviously the mayor and his wife were worldly, she realized, noting several masks, statues, vases, and other foreign-artifacts decorating the room. On one side, up against the staircase, was a beautiful, shiny, Baby Grand piano. On the far wall, above the fireplace was a family portrait of the Mayor, Lydia, and two other females, whom Jordyn took to be Lydia’s mother and older sister, by the familiar looks.
The girls followed Lydia to her room, where she quickly found her wallet.
“Hey, give me a minute,” Lydia said after tossing her wallet into her purse. Then she went to her dresser, picking up what looked like a locked diary.
“Lydia, you’re unbelievable,” Natalie scolded as Lydia unlocked the diary, and inside, Jordyn saw that it wasn’t a diary at all. The inside was cut out and it was like this little hideaway for this tiny vial with this white, sugary substance.
Jordyn narrowed her eyes. Was that, coke?
Lydia just rolled her eyes.
Jordyn couldn’t believe what she was seeing as Lydia chopped and separated it into a straight line on a piece of glass. She took this tiny straw, stuck it up her nose and leaned over, sniffing.
Jordyn didn’t want to sound immature or naïve, but she’d never actually seen someone do this in real life. And Lydia? She knew Blake was selling her something, but she was thinking maybe Lydia was smoking weed or something. The girl was freaking sniffing coke right here in front of them.
“When your ass ends up in rehab, I’m not visiting you,” Natalie said.
“Natalie, just shut the hell up,” Lydia said, straightening and blinking her eyes. She took the remainder of the coke , wiping it up with her index finger, and rubbing it on her gums.
Quickly, she put the vial back in her diary, locked it, and turned to smile at them like nothing ever even happened. “Ready to go.”