Friday, September 21, 2012
The next morning, even though it was out of his way, Cole picked Jordyn up for school. Hopefully, today would be her last day riding to school with anyone. If all went well, Jordyn would be a licensed driver by this afternoon, and the proud owner of her very own used car by Monday.
Her fingers were crossed, but it still felt great sitting proudly in the front seat of Cole’s Wrangler as he pulled in the senior parking lot next to Ty and Natalie. When Jordyn slid out of the Jeep, tugging her book bag over her shoulder, Natalie turned away from Ty and smiled. “Morning, you two.”
Cole stepped up next to Jordyn and slipped his arm around her waist. “Morning, Nat.”
Ty rolled his eyes. “Do you two have to show so much PDA? It’s kind of disturbing.”
Jordyn let out a sardonic laugh. “Puh-lease. Coming from the guy who currently has his hand in his girlfriend’s back pocket?”
“Yeah, Ty,” Natalie teased, wiggling away from Ty. “That’s inappropriate.” She winked at Jordyn.
Natalie had been the first to call Jordyn last night after her changed relationship status on Facebook. She was so excited for Jordyn. Ty had seemed pretty noncommittal about it. Funny, since he seemed pretty OK with them talking before.
“I mean, it’s not like we kiss in front of you, Ty,” Jordyn said, smirking.
Ty narrowed his eyes at them. “And shit better stay that way, too.”
They all laughed.
“Leave them alone, Ty,” Natalie said, tugging his arm. “Come on. Let’s go. They don’t need us breathing down their backs.”
“I’m serious, you two!” Ty called, pointing at them while he followed Natalie into the school.
Jordyn laughed and shook her head. “That’s so new. I don’t remember Ty being so, uhm, protective before.”
Cole shrugged. “I don’t think he’s serious. Besides. He’ll get used to us.”
Jordyn smiled. She hoped so, because she was already used to them.
Walking into school after being made ‘Facebook official’ as a couple caught them a lot more stares than normally when their classmates caught them with their fingers laced. Jealous stares from her female peers, mostly. Others were just shocked looks. Maybe they weren’t used to Cole having a girlfriend? According to Natalie this was a new leaf for him.
Jordyn was a little disappointed when they stopped in front of her homeroom door. This was the end of their short walk together. But he didn’t let go of her hand.
“So,” Cole said. “You coming to the game tonight?”
She nodded. “Yeah. I’ll be there. Who are you guys playing?”
“Sanderson. I don’t want to say easy win, but I mean, it’ll probably be an easy win.”
Jordyn chuckled. “Well, either way, I’ll definitely be there. Hopefully tomorrow, I can go look at some cars if my dad’s in a generous enough mood, and if so, I could drop by and pick you up?”
“Sounds like a plan to me.” He checked his watch, and sighed. “Alright, babe. Homeroom beckons.”
She could have sworn she felt the two feet of air underneath her feet. She was floating after all.
Babe? She could have squealed.
He leaned over and kissed her lips, right at the exact moment Ashley happened to be trotting by. Jordyn saw her curl her lip, then head on into the room.
“I’ll meet you in the courtyard before first?” he asked. She agreed. They’d been meeting there every day since they started ‘talking.’
In homeroom, Jordyn sat at her usual seat. Mrs. Roland wasn’t in yet, so she found Ashley, Shari, and Leah crowded together, laughing and giggling. When Jordyn sat down, Ashley smirked at her, then flipped her hair and turned back to Shari and Leah.
Jordyn narrowed her eyes at their suspicious behavior. She took note of Ashley’s cheerleader jump suit. Brown and orange, like Natalie’s. Ever since she’d been given that, Fridays were annoying. All she could do was talk about it, and Jordyn even swore sometimes she tried to swish her hips a little harder.
“Congrats on the engagement, California.”
Jordyn turned around and chuckled at Blake’s comment. “Thanks, Blake.”
Ashley whipped her head around, and stared. As usual.
Jordyn just did her all to ignore it. And it wasn’t hard. She was far too happy to let anything Ashley said or did get on her nerves. Today, Jordyn was on Cloud Nine, and Ashley and her crew weren’t even off the ground.
After lunch, Cole walked Jordyn to gym. He didn’t have a fourth period class at all, so he had plenty of time to linger outside the locker rooms with her. It was when he was leaning in to kiss her that Ashley, Shari and Leah passed, gawking.
“See you,” Cole said smiling. He was either oblivious, or he was trying not to notice the way Ashley seemed to attract herself to them now that they were dating. She said she didn’t care. But it was beginning to get uncomfortable.
Walking into the locker rooms, Jordyn found Ashley stripping of her clothes as she and a small group around her laughed.
“Hey,” Ashley laughed. “I’m just repeating what I heard from a very reliable source.” When she saw Jordyn, she smirked, and cleared her throat loudly. The girls around her turned and stifled more laughter when they saw Jordyn.
“Gross,” one of them coughed, causing the others to laugh. Ashley looked at Jordyn, that uncomfortable, hurt girl from lunch gone, and replaced by a nastier girl, the one Jordyn had come to know during the time she’d been here.
They all finished dressing, a few of them making snide glances toward Jordyn, giggling.
What the hell was Ashley saying about her?! Jordyn thought. But as the warning bell rang, and the gawkers filed out behind Ashley, Jordyn didn’t worry about it anymore. She just finished tying the laces on her sneakers and filed out right behind.
The plus side of not having any friends in gym class, Jordyn thought, was that during the mile run on the track, she had no one to hold her back while she ran far ahead of the rest of the class, lapping most of them and finishing first.
She leaned against the fence, stretching her muscles out while the rest of the class was still only on their second lap. Soon, though, Blake was approaching. He usually finished about the same time as her, on the rare occasions he actually came to class.
“California,” he said, walking up. “What’s up?”
“Hi, Blake,” Jordyn sighed, straightening up and leaning against the fence.
“How did you get so fast?”
“I’m not fast,” Jordyn said. “I just like to run.”
“You like to run?” Blake asked, and Jordyn realized she probably sounded pretty lame admitting that out loud.
Jordyn just shrugged. “I mean, it keeps me in shape. And it feels great, too.”
Blake smiled. “I’ve seen you. Running into town.”
“So, congratulations,” he told her.
She narrowed her eyes. “On what?”
“Your new social status.” Then he waved his hand, smacking his lips together. “Honey, you’re Cole’s girl, now. Don’t you know what that means?”
Jordyn couldn’t help but laugh at Blake’s overly enthusiastic feminine tone.
“Please,” she said. “I’m no one’s girl. We’re just hanging out.”
Blake chuckled and nodded. “Yeah, OK. That’s why Ashley and her friends are hating.”
“They’re what?” Jordyn asked.
“Making up rumors,” Blake said. “I heard them earlier. She’s just taking shit because she’s jealous.”
“She’s making up rumors about me?” Jordyn asked in astonishment. “What the hell’s the saying?”
Blake laughed. “I wouldn’t worry about it, California. She’s not one of the most-listened to people around here. A few girls will listen to her, but it’s no big deal. I got your back if it gets too far.”
“Great,” she said. “This is all I need.”
“You make it sound like you got it bad here, or something,” he chuckled. “Relax. You have Natalie on your side. You’re straight, California. Don’t sweat girls like Ashley. No one else around here does.” Then he checked his cell phone, then smiled at her. “Gotta run. See you around.”
“See you,” Jordyn said. Then she glanced back at Ashley. She, Shari and Leah were walking the track, not running. There regulation shorts were rolled up, and they prissed their lack of hips proudly, laughing and giggling.
Jordyn just smirked and walked to the water fountain. Blake was right. They weren’t girls that she needed to worry about. She looked at it one way and one way only: if Ashley Moore had nothing better to do than to talk about Jordyn, she obviously had no life of her own. Ashley talking about her only meant she was doing something right.
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