Miss Victoria stood up, clinking a fork against her wine glass, catching the attention of all the dinner guests. Jordyn was sitting at the end of the table, surrounded by her old dance friends, and her new friends, watching, and waiting to see what Miss Victoria had to say.
"Hello, everyone!" she called out. "I have something to say!"
She was smiling proudly, her makeup spotless. Just twenty minutes ago, Jordyn had caught mascara running down her old dance teacher's cheeks. Of course that was right after Zara had broken the news about her quitting dance to Miss Victoria. Apparently she'd cleaned up and now had on her happy face.
The entire room got quiet, everyone's attention on Miss Victoria.
"I know most of you here don't know me," she started. "I've taught Jordyn Hamilton since she was seven. Now, most of my girls started when they were two and three years old, so at first, I was sure she would be really behind the other girls. After a year, I realized I was wrong. Jordyn truly was a child prodigy in dance. One of the most gifted children I ever had the pleasure to teach, and am honored to have watched her grow up into the beautiful young lady she is today."
Jordyn smiled when Victoria looked at her, already feeling guilty for breaking her heart after all those years of hard work. But she knew she'd made the right decision.
Victoria continued. "As everyone knows, Jordyn's solo took first place overall, and I can't say that I'm surprised, but I'm very proud."
"Jordyn, you have been blessing to teach, and a blessing to coach. I don't know if I'll get another one like you, but I'm glad I had you. Congratulations and good luck in everything you do, Jordyn Hamilton."
"Thanks, Miss Victoria," Jordyn said back.
Once Miss Victoria was seated, dinner continued.
Next to her, Cole was examining her trophy. Next to him, Cassie was examining Cole.
"Nice trophy," he said. "First place."
"Congratulations, Jordyn," said Alana. "Your solo was beautiful."
Jordyn smiled. "Yours was amazing, too, Alana."
"Mine didn't hold a candle to that Whitney Houston number you did."
Alana always put herself down. In reality, her solo had gotten her second place.
"Hey, Jordyn," Kimmy said. "Who's that girl over there staring at you?"
Jordyn followed Kimmy's glance and her eyes landed on Ashley. She sighed. "It never ends."
"Who is she?" Alana asked.
"No one important," Jordyn said, looking back to her food.
"Well, she's coming over."
Jordyn looked up, wondering what Ashley could possibly want, and indeed, she was walking over. But to Jordyn's surprise, Ashley didn't have an ugly scowl on her face.
And she was also alone.
"Jordyn, hi," she said. Or more like squeaked.
Jordyn didn't respond. As rude as she may have looked there, she didn't really care. Ashley had put her through so much and honestly, this was Jordyn's night. If Ashley had anything rude or obnoxious to say now, Jordyn had no problem turning her around, and sending her on her way out.
"Uhm, look, I just wanted to say your performance was really amazing tonight. You're a really good dancer. Congrats for winning first."
Surprise wasn't the word. Speechless was close.
Jordyn looked up. "Uhm, thanks. Thanks a lot."
Ashley nodded, then turned and walked away.
"Whoa," Cole said. "I didn't see that coming."
"You and me both," Jordyn said.
She wondered if this was step one with making peace with Ashley. She wouldn't count on it, but it was nice to hear a sincere word from the girl. Two months late, but it was better than never.
"This night is so weird," Jordyn laughed, playfully laying her head on Cole's shoulder.
"You're telling me," Alana said, shrugging into her jacket and shivering. "Jordyn, I don't know how you can stand it here. It's freezing."
"Well, I don't know how you're going to survive without dance," Kimmy chimed in.
Cassie smiled at Cole. "Oh, I think I know."
Cole looked at Jordyn and she laughed.
"You don't miss San Diego at all?" Cassie asked.
"The beach?" Alana asked.
"The dancing?" asked Kimmy.
Jordyn just smiled and took a bite of her mother's deliciously, catered chicken.
"Come on, you at least miss us," Alana scoffed.
Jordyn laughed. "Yes, of course, I miss you guys. But, you know, Cedarwood is not so bad at all."
When she said it, Cole squeezed her leg under the table, and she looked up at Alice, Erin, and Bethany. Toward the end of the table, she saw her brother and Natalie. Natalie glanced her way, smiled, and winked.
At that moment, Jordyn was sure she was happy. She knew where home was, and while San Diego would always be a part of her, just like Miss Victoria would, and of course, Shay and all these girls, she knew now she was home. Cedarwood really was home, and she wouldn't trade it for the world.
Thanks to everyone who stuck with me through this book! I can't tell you how excited I am to finally be finished!! I'm currently working on my next novel, and I'll be uploading the first couple of chapters soon! I hope you check them out!!!! :)