****I finished up earlier than expected after going on a 2-day writing binge. So here it is! The final 3 chapters of Where Home Really Is!! I hope you enjoy!!!!****
Thursday November 22, 2012
It was Thanksgiving. The competition was two days away, but since Jordyn had confessed how she really felt about Philadelphia and a dance career to her mother, she was getting less and less stressed about it. Today, all Jordyn was concerned about was plowing through as many Thanksgiving dinners as she could manage and pray she’d still be able to fit into her competition outfit this weekend.
She’d started off the day at home with her parents. They’d had an earlier than normal Thanksgiving breakfast. Being a caterer, Zara would be gone most of the day, taking care of others for Thanksgiving. It wasn’t the most sacred of holidays for her, anyway, and the family had gotten used to it over the years and adjusted.
After breakfast, Ty headed to Natalie’s, Jordyn headed to Cole’s, and Logan and Jack were left at home to celebrate their favorite Thanksgiving activity and watch football all day.
Jordyn was excited to be spending Thanksgiving with Cole. First, they were going to his mother’s parents for lunch, then they were going to their father’s parents for dinner. Both sets of grandparents lived in Cedarwood. Jordyn thought that was so cool.
“Do you see your grandparents often, Jordyn?” Cole’s mother had asked her as they pulled out of his driveway en route to the first grandparents’ house.
Jordyn shook her head from the back seat of the car next to Cole. “No, ma’am. My dad’s parents are both dead, and my mom’s parents live in Sweden. I see them maybe once a year.”
“Aw, well, that’s a shame.”
Jordyn learned pretty quickly that the Andersons were close-knit. Cole had a lot of cousins on both sides. She had to admit, she was a little jealous of all this, thinking about her own family that had decided, like every other year, to go their own ways for Thanksgiving.
When Cole introduced Jordyn to his various cousins, aunts, and uncles, their replies were, “Nice to finally meet you.”
So they’d heard of her?
This made Jordyn warm. The idea that Cole had mentioned her to his family was great. The more time that went by, the more she found herself closer and closer to the big ‘L’ word with Cole. But that was silly, she knew. He liked her, told his family about his girlfriend, no big deal. Didn’t mean anything extreme, like love.
After dinner, once everyone’s Thanksgiving festivities were over, Jordyn and Cole went back to the Hamiltons, since they hadn’t seen her family pretty much all day. Zara was finally home, but after a long day of feeding Cedarwood’s finest, she was tired, and Jordyn didn’t blame her for choosing a long bubble bath and early to bed rather than hanging out in the living room with her family.
Jack was working third shift, so by 10:00, he’d gone upstairs to get ready for work, and Jordyn, Cole and Logan were commandeering the living room.
“Let’s go rent a movie,” Logan suggested.
“It’s Thanksgiving, you dork,” Jordyn muttered, cuddled on the couch with Cole. “Nowhere is open to rent movies from.”
“Well, this is boring. What are we supposed to do?”
Jordyn looked up at Cole with a smile, then looked back down to Logan. “Don’t you want to go to your room and just watch some movies up there?”
Logan frowned. “Why, so you two can hog up the living room making out? No. I don’t think so. If you want to be alone, you can leave.”
Jordyn rolled her eyes. “Fine. Come on, Cole. Let’s leave.”
“And go where?” Cole asked.
Jordyn shrugged. “I don’t know. We can go to my room.”
“I thought we weren’t allowed in your room,” he said.
“We aren’t allowed to close the door,” Jordyn clarified. “Come on.”
Cole stood up, and Logan got more comfortable. “Good. See you.”
They made it to the top of the stairs and just as Jordyn was about to open her door, Cole stopped her.
“Wait,” he said.
“What?” she asked him.
“Jordyn, do you realize that in the two months we’ve dated, I have not yet been in your room?”
Jordyn realized he was right. “Wow. You haven’t, have you.”
“I think it’s because of your dad and Ty.”
Jordyn nodded her agreement. “I think so, too.”
“Jordyn, I’m nervous,” he teased.
She laughed. “You’re right. This is monumental. Should I break a champagne glass on my door?”
“No, just turn the doorknob,” he said simply.
She laughed and pushed her door open, flipping the switch to light the room up.
Cole stepped in behind her, pushing the door closed.
“Oh, wait,” Jordyn said. “Open door, remember.”
“Oh, right. Sorry.”
He eased further into the room, looking around.
“What do you think of Casa de Jordyn?” she asked him.
He nodded, smiling. “It’s so you.”
She squinted at him, sitting on her bed, one foot tucked underneath herself. “What do you mean?”
Honestly, Jordyn had never felt like this room was her. She felt pretty homie in it, now that she was used to it, but she wasn’t sure if it would ever really feel like her. Not like her room back in California did, anyway.
“It looks like you,” he said. “I can’t explain it. It even smells like you.”
She laughed. “It smells like me? What do I smell like?”
“Good,” he sighed. “I love the way you smell. You don’t wear perfume like those other girls do. That’s good. I hate perfume. It’s suffocating. Like old church ladies.”
Jordyn laughed. He was right. She hated perfume, too.
“You always smell fresh, though. Clean. Like you just got out of the shower. And whatever that little body mist you wear is.”
Jordyn laughed. She knew what he was talking about. She watched him walk over to her dresser, looking at the pictures she had on her mirror. A lot of them were from back in San Diego, but she had a ton of herself here in Cedarwood, with Alice and the girls, at football games, at dance, at the farmer’s Market they frequented now. Jordyn noticed how different the girl in the hoodie, jeans and Timberlands looked from the girl in the picture on a sunny California beach. It was like she was a whole different Jordyn.
“I like this one,” he said, pointing at the picture that was her favorite, too. It was taken at homecoming of her and Cole, their lips pressed together, herself smiling with her eyes closed for the kiss. Now that? That was a whole new Jordyn Hamilton.
And if she wasn’t mistaken, it was a happier Jordyn, too.
Cole started going through her DVD collection. “Well, this is disappointing.”
“Your DVD collection. It’s pretty girly.”
Jordyn scoffed. “Uhm, excuse me. I have all the Die Hard movies, I have everything with Sylvester Stallone, and my horror movie collection is beast.”
“OK, OK, I’ll give you that. Wow. You do have a lot of Sylvester Stallone. That’s kind of weird.”
“He’s a fantastic human being,” Jordyn said seriously.
Cole chuckled and nodded. “OK. I won’t question it.” He grabbed a DVD from the pile and stuck it in the player.
“What did you choose?” she asked him as he settled on the bed next to her.
“It’s a surprise,” he said.
“Want popcorn?” she asked.
“No.” He reached over and pulled her next to him. “Just you is enough.”
She smiled and accepted a kiss on the lips.
“So, how’d you like your first Thanksgiving in Cedarwood?” he asked.
“I loved it,” she said. “Meeting your family was great. Usually, Thanksgiving is kind of small for us, like today. It’s just me, my dad and Logan and usually we just go find an open restaurant for dinner since my mom’s working all day. But having a real home-cooked meal with your family was so, well, Hallmark movie.”
He chuckled. “I’ve never looked at Thanksgiving at my house as a Hallmark movie before.”
“You would if you have half a Thanksgiving like I always had. It was great.”
“I’m glad you had fun at my family’s Hallmark Thanksgiving.”
She laughed. “What are you doing tomorrow?”
“Going hunting before you even dream of waking up,” Cole teased, touching her nose with his index finger. “I’d ask you to come, but—”
Jordyn shook her head. “No. Don’t.”
He laughed. “What about you?”
“Just sit around, lazily waiting for the big day, I guess.”
“Yep. I’m actually kind of nervous, believe it or not.”
“Don’t be. You’ll do great.”
Jordyn looked to the screen as the movie started. She sure hoped so.