Tuesday, October 23, 2012
It was raining when they got back to Cedarwood Monday night—yes, shocker, right?—and still raining Tuesday morning. Jet lag hadn’t worn off, yet, so Jordyn was more tired than usual getting ready for school. Between that and the rain, she decided that today was a sweatpants, hoodie, and messy bun kind of day; Jordyn’s favorite.
Over the past week, since the homecoming incident, Jordyn got a break from Ashley. She ignored he every day in homeroom, and she didn’t eat lunch in with Ty, Natalie and everyone. Jordyn figured since everyone was now giving her the uncomfortable, dirty glances after what she did, Ashley was simply laying low until the heat was off of her.
And today, it seemed like that had finally happened.
Sliding into her desk, Jordyn could feel the icy stare she had grown familiar with. But knowing the whole school pretty much hated Ashley for what she’d done lessened whatever intimidation factor this eyeballing was supposed to have.
But Jordyn had had enough.
She looked at Ashley, her jaw clenched. “Unless you’re staring at me trying to figure out how to pay for the dress you ruined or how to apologize to me for what you did, why do you turn around, because I am sick to death of your beady little eyes stuck to the side of my damn face 24-7. So, please. Leave me alone.”
Ashley’s jaw dropped. It was like she thought she hadn’t done a thing to Jordyn and Jordyn had just lashed out without reason. But she could front all she wanted, Jordyn was done and she was tired of it.
As passive as Ashley seemed to be otherwise, Jordyn expected that she would just turn around, face front, and blush. Well, this time, she didn’t.
“Thanks a lot, Jordyn, for turning the whole school against me.”
The nerve of this girl was palpable.
“I’m sorry, but did you say I turned the school against you?”
Ashley turned her nose up, folded her arms over her chest.
“Ashley, you seriously need to get a life,” Jordyn said. “I moved here. You don’t like me? Grow up and get the hell over it. I’ve never done anything to you, but you’ve been quite the opposite of welcoming to me since I got here. Which, to be honest, isn’t a big deal, because you are so not important to me. Stop wasting your time on me. Your obsession? Yeah, that’s kind of weird.”
“Excuse me, but obsession?”
“You got another word for it? Because you can’t keep my name out of your mouth, Ashley. You always have something to say. You’re a class act, you really are. But that’s all it is. It’s an act. And it’s getting old.”
It was then that Jordyn realized the class was quiet, and all focused on the argument going on in the front row.
“Way to go, California.”
Jordyn and Ashley both turned around together. When had Blake gotten there?
Ashley gave and offended scoff. “Blake!”
Blake shrugged. “Hey, she’s right. You need to get over yourself, Ashley.”
The whole class laughed, and finally, Ashley blushed, sinking into her seat.
“Ashley, I’m not picky with my friends, at all,” Jordyn said. “If you had been nice to me, I would have been nice to you. But you started this. Don’t forget that.”
The classroom door opened and in walked Mrs. Roland, smiling as usual, and completely oblivious to any tension.
“Good morning!” she said with a smile, then leaned against her desk, ready to read the morning announcements.
By lunch, most everyone in Jordyn’s immediate circle had heard about the altercation in homeroom. Leah had relayed it to Meredith and the girls, the guys heard it during weightlifting from Blake.
Natalie was elated. “Damn, girl, I know you didn’t ask for that shit to get poured on you at homecoming, but it kept Ashley away all week last week. Now you pull this maneuver in front of your entire homeroom, and you’ve kept her away for another one. You’re pretty awesome, Jordyn.”
Jordyn laughed. “It wasn’t my intention, but it was a nice bonus.”
“A very nice bonus,” Meredith sighed. “Jordyn, I hope you don’t associate my sister with that girl. Leah’s not like Ashley. Not at all.”
Jordyn thought back on the apology she’d gotten from Shari and Leah after homecoming. “Don’t worry. I don’t.”
“Can we talk about something more pleasant,” Natalie said. “Like Jordyn’s trip to California I’ve yet to hear about.”
“Yeah, how was it?” Lydia asked.
“Not much more pleasant than Ashley,” Jordyn said grouchily. Despite all the good points of the trip, Jordyn summed it all up to dance. More specifically, dancing in Philadelphia. And she explained it all, answering their questioning glances.
This was all she’d thought about since the subject was broached back in San Diego. Her worst nightmare. She’d actually had a nightmare the night before, so busy thinking about it before sleep.
Ty and Cole, of course, already knew, but when she was done giving the rest of them details, they were astonished.
“I’m impressed,” Lydia said. “You’re that good?”
“Jordyn, you don’t want to go,” Natalie said. “Talk to your mom. Tell her that you’re not as into dance as you used to be. You obviously don’t want to dedicate your whole life to it.”
“Not to mention I won’t let her move to Philadelphia,” Cole teased, playfully nudging Jordyn’s arm.
“Jordyn, mom will understand,” Ty said.
“You didn’t see how excited she was,” Jordyn said.
“She’s excited for you. If you would just be honest and tell her this isn’t what you want to do, she wouldn’t put so much pressure on you.”
“I’m going to tell her eventually.”
“Before it’s too late is my suggestion,” Meredith said. “You don’t want to wait until the night before you’re supposed to audition for this school. I think that would really disappoint her. You know, to take it that far.”
“I’m going to tell her soon,” Jordyn assured them. “Don’t worry. I’m not going to Philadelphia. I just got used to Cedarwood. I am not moving again until college.”
“Hell no, you’re not,” Cole said.
They all laughed.
“Well, hey,” Natalie said. “You are dancing in that competition in Pittsburgh, aren’t you?”
Jordyn nodded. “Yes. I’d be crazy to turn that down. It’s beautiful.”
“Good because I want to see you in your zone,” Natalie joked. “We’re coming to your competition.”
“Can’t wait,” Lydia said.
Jordyn smiled. Neither could she. She just wished she could skip the conversation she’d eventually have to have with her mother.
Jordyn had prepared herself for a nasty attitude from Ashley at dance that night, so when she got there with Erin and Ashley didn’t even look her way, she was surprised. In fact, she ignored Jordyn completely as she stood in her corner with Shari and Leah, stretching.
“Ugh,” Jordyn groaned, dropping her bag in the corner. “I don’t want to be here tonight.”
“Yeah, neither do I,” Erin said. “Still jet lagged?”
“Yeah,” Jordyn said, pealing her t-shirt and jeans off. She grinned. “And Cole’s parents weren’t home this afternoon so we had the house to ourselves.”
Erin rolled her eyes. “You’re filthy.”
Jordyn laughed. “Excuse me, but we were apart for four days.”
Erin raised her eyebrows. “Wow. Four whole days. You sure are turning into a nympho.”
Jordyn scoffed. “Please. We don’t do it that much.”
“It’s OK. You’re newly devirginized. Enjoy yourself.”
“I’m pretty sure devirginized isn’t a word.”
“I made it up. So are you gonna tell Miss Maggie about the competition?”
“After rehearsal. I hope she doesn’t take it the wrong way.”
“She won’t. In fact, she’ll probably come see it. I know I’ll be there.”
Jordyn smiled. “Thanks. I’m glad.”
Miss Maggie walked in and they started stretches and warm ups—tonight, they were warming up to Physical, that old song by Olivia Newton-John. As usual, they were going over technique next, then they were going to start on choreographing their big Christmas show—yes, it was October, but apparently, this would be a big show.
Tonight, Miss Maggie was teaching coupe turns, and Jordyn—non-offensively—determined quickly this would turn disastrous. Jordyn was a master at coupes, having learned and perfected them at seven. Miss Maggie’s girls could barely do pirouettes.
And Jordyn was right. It was a disaster.
“The coupe is a little more difficult than the pirouette,” Miss Maggie called out to her disgruntled students. “So don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it right away, because a Coupe doesn’t happen overnight.”
Of course, Miss Maggie had asked Jordyn to demonstrate. Jordyn really wished she would stop doing that. Was she completely oblivious to the fact that most girls saw her as a show off when she did that? This was the best way to turn them all against her. It hadn’t happened, yet, but Jordyn wasn’t stupid. She knew they got annoyed every time Maggie said “Do it like Jordyn,” or “Watch Jordyn! She’s so good!”’
But Jordyn did as she was told, and demonstrated five perfect coupes in a row. She could do more, a lot more, but there was no need to push it.
“Excellent job!” Miss Maggie clapped. “So beautiful, Jordyn!”
And so then Ashley spoke.
“That looks soo easy,” she said in a muttered tone.
Next to her, Erin glanced in Ashley’s direction, a little more than skepticism on her face, then she looked back at Jordyn and smiled with a thumbs up.
“Ashley!” Maggie said so suddenly, even Jordyn, who was walking toward Erin, jumped in surprise. “You’re up. Let’s see your take on the ‘easy’ coupe turn.”
Ashley gulped, obviously embarrassed. She’d apparently made the comment thinking Maggie wouldn’t hear. But she’d heard, alright.
Ashley attempted, and failed tremendously, to do a coupe, and a little bit of joy welled up in Jordyn’s stomach. Not because she was conceited, but because she was happy to see Ashley in her place again. How many more times was this girl going to ask to be humiliated trying to mess with Jordyn?
She scowled at Jordyn as she walked back over to Shari and Leah, as if somehow, her inability to walk her talk was Jordyn’s fault.
In the locker rooms after dance, Ashley, Shari and Leah changed quickly and hurried out, glaring at Jordyn as they did so.
Erin chuckled as she tugged her sweatpants on over her short. “Wow. You sure pissed her off.”
Jordyn sighed. “What else is new?”
“Nice coupe, by the way,” she said.
Jordyn just chuckled. “Thanks.” She hoisted her bag over her shoulder. “I’ll see you, later, OK? I’m gonna go talk to Miss Maggie.”
Jordyn went back into the studio, glad Miss Maggie was still there. “Hi Miss Maggie?”
She turned around and smiled. “Hello, Jordyn! I must say, sweetie, you did excellent tonight. I’m not surprised, of course, but it was still quite impressive.”
“Uhm, thank you. Actually, I was wondering if I could talk to you about something?”
“Uhm, well, you know I went to California this weekend, and, uhm, my mother and I met up with my old teacher, Victoria. Well, she and my old team are coming to Pittsburgh for a competition Thanksgiving weekend, and she has a solo she wants me to do. Under her name. Is that alright with you?”
“Honey, of course! And wow, that is awesome!”
At this point, Jordyn was sure there was nothing you could do to make this woman mad. She was permanently smiling, and permanently happy.
“Really?” Jordyn asked, just to be sure. “You’re not mad?”
“No! In fact, I would like to come. Would you give me the time and place?”
Jordyn smiled. Erin was right about that one. “Sure, Miss Maggie. I’d love for you to come. I don’t have all the details, yet, but I’ll let you know as soon as I do.”
And so Jordyn had killed one bird. She could have been happier, or more relieved, but honestly, she had plenty of birds left, and Miss Maggie had been the easiest one.