3 months later
Thursday, August 2, 2012
“This sucks, Jordyn. This really effing sucks!”
Jordyn chuckled as she sat on the Shay’s bed next to her Thursday morning, the second day of August. The mood was grim, no doubt about it—today Jordyn’s family was finally leaving San Diego—but Jordyn still found humor in the fact that that Shay didn’t swear, but she still made her G-rated words sound extra angry.
Jordyn couldn’t believe how fast the summer had gone by. It felt like just yesterday she’d gotten the awful news about Cedarwood, now here she was, at Shay’s house, saying good-bye to the very best friend she’d ever had, and ever would have.
Shay-Shay had been Jordyn’s best friend since they were seven, when Shannon first moved to Moon Bay Beach from Los Angeles. Shannon was a girly girl and her dad was an ex-baseball agent, until he’d started drinking and finally killed himself in a drunk driving accident. That was why she had moved to Moon Bay Beach with her mother, where they didn’t have nannies or Porsche’s, since Shay’s mother could no longer afford that.
Jordyn had taken an instant liking to Shay, maybe because at such a young age she didn’t understand, thankfully, what it was like to lose pretty much everything. She’d been the best friend a girl could ask for over the years, and she was irreplaceable.
“How am I gonna survive in Pennsylvania without you,” Jordyn muttered as she leaned over and hugged her friend.
She heard Shay sniffle. “You have to buy a big coats and warm winter clothes. I hear it gets cold there in the winter.”
“And there’s no surfing, either.”
“Maybe you’ll learn to snowboard,” Shay suggested.
Jordyn chuckled a little, wiping her tears, then leaned over to hug her friend even tighter. “I love you, Shannon. You’re the best friend anyone could ask for.”
“You got that right, and you better not replace me with any of those snow bunnies up there.”
They hugged a little longer. Jordyn thought of everything she’d been through with Shay. She could never have another friend like her. She knew her better than anything, and not because she told her about herself, but because she was there for everything; heartbreaks, bad grades, and everything else.
She thought back to the beginning of the summer, how Shay had cried with her at the news of moving, how she’d offered to kick Ryan in the balls for how he treated her that night they hung out. No, she’d never find another Shay. She wouldn’t want to. Shay had been there, and that couldn’t be changed, and she couldn’t be replaced even if Jordyn wanted her to be.
“I have a present for you.”
Jordyn raised her eyebrows as Shay leaned over and grabbed something from her dresser drawer.
“Shay, you didn’t have to get me anything,” Jordyn said when her friend presented the small box wrapped in pink paper, complete with a bow.
“Yes, I did,” she said, handing the box over. “I’ve worked on this all summer. So you won’t forget me.”
She wiped a tear from her eye as she handed over the gift.
“You’re gonna make me cry, Shay-Shay,” Jordyn stated, trying her very hardest not to do just that as she opened her gift. And there, she saw a photo album in the box. Inside was pretty much a timeline of their friendship, photos from elementary through high school. Some of the old photos Jordyn didn’t recognize. But they were sentimental nevertheless.
And the waterworks began.
“I’ll come back, Shay,” she sobbed, hugging her friend again. “Soon, I promise.”
And she would. Zara wasn’t selling her restaurant in downtown San Diego, instead handing it over to her assistant to run, and in turn, planned to open another one in Pittsburgh. Keeping a restaurant open in San Diego meant she would be making plenty of trips out throughout the year, and she’d promised she would bring her daughter along whenever she could.
“Maybe I can come visit you in Cedarwood,” Shay suggested.
“I’d love that. Though, I’m not sure why you would want to.”
“How many people live there?”
“Like, 7,000 or so.”
“That’s like she same size as Moon Bay Beach,” Shannon said with a shrug.
“Yeah, it’s just like Moon Bay Beach,” Jordyn said with an eye roll. “Minus the beach, minus San Diego 10 minutes to the north, and plus frigid cold temperatures and snow. Oh yeah. Minus my friends.”
“You’ll make new friends,” Shay assured her. “I mean, look at you. You’re gorgeous, and a lot of fun to be around. Trust me. I give you my blessing. But you better not replace me,” she added, pointing her index finger at Jordyn for emphasis. “Got it?”
Jordyn laughed. “I got it. Who, in this entire country, can replace Shannon Shapiro.”
Two hours later, Jordyn stood in her bedroom, taking in the emptiness of it. Everything was packed up, on its way to Pennsylvania in moving vans as of yesterday.
She walked over to her bare wall, and saw her name, right where her bed had been hiding the third-grade permanent marker accident all these years. The nail polish stain, bright purple on the white carpet where her dresser used to be. That was from when she and Shay Shay were getting ready for their seventh-grade Halloween dance. Jordyn had been dressed as a witch, and with purple glitter all over her face, she wanted her long, press-on nails purple also.
Jordyn wiped away her tears, thinking about the only room she’d known her entire life. Now, it was unfamiliar and bare. And no longer hers.
“Jordyn!” Zara called from downstairs. “Sweetie, we’re ready to leave!”
Jordyn sniffled once, stopping in the doorway of her bedroom for one last look, then walked out. Walked away from her childhood, her life, and her memories.
Jordyn stared out the window of the plan as it touched down at the Pittsburgh International Airport. Rain was falling from grey, cloudy skies, and every so often, a thunderclap and a streak of lightning across the dark sky over the tree line surrounding the airport. Jordyn sighed and pulled her iPod buds out of her ears.
What an nice “Welcome to Pennsylvania.”
“It’s ugly here,” Jordyn mumbled as she watched the scene. “Please tell me the sun does shine.”
“It does, Jordyn,” Zara sighed, unhooking her seatbelt at the stewardess’s direction over the intercom. “Come on.” She looked at the seat behind her, where both Logan and Ty were fast asleep. “Boys, wake up. We’re here.”
Logan opened his eyes and stretched. “About time.” He glanced out the plan window and his eyes widened. “Rain? It rains here?”
“Apparently it rains a lot, here,” Jordyn mumbled.
“Come on, you two,” Zara said, looking over her shoulder. Ty was walking in front of his mother, in line to file off the plan. Jordyn and Logan were the only two lingering. They both grabbed their carry-ons, and followed their mother and brother off the plan.
In the crowded terminal, Jordyn easily spotted her father. Jack smiled when he saw his family. After all, it had been over a week since he’d laid eyes on the four of them.
“Hey!” he said, kissing first his wife, then taking turns hugging his children. “Glad you landed safely. How was the flight?”
“It was nice, honey,” Zara said, letting Jack put his arm around her.
“It was boring,” Logan said. Ty chuckled, in the good mood he’d been in since they’d left California, and ruffled his little brother’s hair. Jordyn lingered behind her family as she followed them out of the terminal into the rainy afternoon where he had their brand new SUV waiting to take them to their new home.