Friday, August 10, 2012
Jordyn’s first weekend in Cedarwood had been dark, rainy, and uneventful. Mostly all Jordyn had done was help her parents finish up the last little bit of decorating they had to do. On Saturday she, Logan, and Zara had gone shopping to buy paint, and Jordyn’s much anticipated bathroom stuff. She’d been ecstatic to find a shower curtain with matching window curtains decorated with polka dots. Zara had even bought her a matching set of long pillows for Jordyn’s window-benches.
After a round of Febreeze and candles all over the house, the musty old smell was nowhere to be found, although, some rooms still smelled of paint since painting and redecorating were all her parents had done this week.
On Monday, after Jordyn’s tour and audition of the Cedarwood Dance School—which, by the way had not been up to Zara’s standards as Jordyn had a feeling it wouldn’t be—they had gone grocery shopping, filling their fridge to the brim with necessities.
By Friday, Jordyn was sure they were officially moved in. And perfect timing, too. It was a beautiful day, and the very first sign of sunlight Jordyn had seenin the week sincethey’d arrived. For a little while, she was certainthe drizzling rainand grey skies were a permanent fixture in Cedarwood.
But today, she’d woken up to sunlight streaming through her window and quite possibly the bluest blue sky she had ever seen. Finally, she didn’t have the feeling of being in Forks, Washington, waiting for either a vampire to sneak through her window sparkling under the moonlight she still hadn’t seen much of.
She’d told this theory to Shay on the phone yesterday, the fourth day of rain in Cedarwood since they’d been there. Shay had simply replied, “Jordyn, don’t be silly. Vampires have to be invited to come inside. They can’t just waltz right in.”
After that, they’d gotten into a serious conversation about Edward Cullen, and why he shouldn’t be sparkling to begin with—this was an age-old debate they’d had. Jordyn, a realist, knew vampires didn’t sparkle. Shay, a die-hard Twilight fan, didn’t care if Edward wore a pink tutu; she’d still be obsessed.
When she finally came downstairs and found her mother up and dressed already messing around on her laptop, she’d learned that Ty was at his last day of football tryouts—though, from what her father had said, he wouldn’t be worrying about getting cut—Logan had gone down to that skate park by the lake, and Jack was working.
“You should take the car and explore town a little bit, Jordyn,” Zara had suggested. “You have two days until school starts and you’ve been cooped up in this house since we got here except on Saturday and Monday.”
“Well that’s because I’m not a duck,” Jordyn replied. “I was beginning to think it would never stop raining here.”
“Well the sun’s out now. Get out of here. You can take the Mercedes.”
Oh yeah. On Wednesday her mother and father had gone into Pittsburgh, and bought a Mercedes. A Mercedes. Yes. The Hamiltons would definitely fit in here in small town Pennsylvania driving around in a brand new, shiny black Mercedes.
“I think I’ll run to town, instead,” Jordyn said. Zara looked at her like she’d just spoken Arabic.
“Jordyn,” Zara said. “It’s five miles to town and five back.”
“I’ve run that far before,” Jordyn said. Ten miles was quite a stretch, even for her, but if she had to slow to a walk on the way back, she would be fine.
“Ok, well, two of the five miles back is up a hill. Fair warning.”
Jordyn shrugged. “No big deal. It’s not like I have something better to do today.”
And she didn’t. Just because it was sunny, didn’t mean she had friends here today any more than she had the last four days when it was raining. She had humored her mother a few times this week by actually going down to the basement—where there was no dance studio, yet—to practice what Zara requested her to. Zara had been pretty displeased with the Cedarwood Dance School, even though Jordyn had placed into “advanced.” To Jordyn’s surprise, Zara had expected something more prestigious—They walked and danced in the town Christmas parade, for crying out loud. So based on this, Zara had deemed it necessary to work Jordyn how she saw fit at home.
“How on earth do they get away with training six hours a week,” Zara had complained Monday after signing Jordyn up. Jordyn wasn’t complaining one bit, though. More opportunity for her to have an attempt at a real life here.
At least now she wouldn’t have to tell her mother she wanted to quit dance. Six hours a week? That was perfect.
Jordyn ran back upstairs to her room, and quickly changed into a pair of black mesh shorts, and a tight Nike t-shirt and sneakers, then stuck her iPod ear buds in her ears and was ready to go.
Out in her front yard, Jordyn took a couple of minutes to stretch. She knew her muscles would hurt in the morning. She hadn’t done anything strenuous except walk up and down the steep steps of her house since she’d been in town. All the better reason to get back to work.
Jordyn made the first five miles easier than she’d expected, dodging water puddles along the roads that lead into town. Everything here seemed so rural, even the strip mall that made up the supermarket, Wal-Mart, and the few fast food places on Lake Road. But once she was in the Cedarwood City Limits—odd description, “city limits,” was to Jordyn, considering it was at best a village—she saw the sidewalks and stuck-together storefronts she’d seen when they’d come down Cedar Street for the first time the week before.
Once on the sidewalk, Jordyn slowed to walk, wanting to explore and see what the place had to offer. She passed a Sporting Goods shop, called Touchdown. In its big window was a banner with “Good Luck Cougars!” hand-painted in orange and brown. There was an antiques shop called Back in Time, and a bank, among others. All of them had banners wishing the Cougars good luck. People stared as she passed, a few of them waving, others only smiling. A couple even said “Good morning.” But none of them were rude.
Jordyn felt like she was in a story book. How cliché could a small town be? Wide, tree-lined streets, overly friendly locals. It was right out of a movie. Apparently the sunshine in this place was so rare it made people crazy.
Jordyn’s nose was suddenly filled with the fragrance of coffee. Strong coffee. Inching further down the sidewalk, passed a lawyer, doctor, and vet’s office, she was in front of the open door of a lovely little coffee shop, called Ye Olde Coffee Shoppe.
Cute, she thought. She glanced across the street, where she saw a sign that intrigued her. Maggie’s Used Books. The storefront had a bright yellow awning, and looked very welcoming, so Jordyn crossed and, upon seeing it free of customers, entered.
It smelled like a library, and there were aisles, with books on every one, and on every wall. Behind the counter, sat a girl, who looked to be about Jordyn’s age. She looked bored as she flipped through a magazine and popped on gum.
“Hi!” the girl said, putting on a smile when she saw Jordyn. “Welcome to Maggie’s Used Books! I’m Alice. Let me know if you need anything.”
“Uh, thanks,” Jordyn said, smiling back. “I’m just looking, though.”
Jordyn browsed the selection, surprised at everything the small store had to offer. There were a lot of familiar titles, Jordyn saw, and seemingly in good condition. She picked up what looked to be a good romance novel for the heck of it and took it to the counter, where the girl called Alice was still flipping through her magazine.
She put the magazine to the side when Jordyn stepped up to pay for her book.
“$2.50,” Alice said with an overly friendly smile, and Jordyn could easily tell it was forced.
Jordyn gave her a five, and studied the girl while she counted her change. Alice had a face full of freckles with wild, but still pretty, golden-brown curls pulled up into a high, messy ponytail, and she wore a black t-shirt that said Cedarwood Cougars on the front.
“Hey, so I don’t mean to be nosy,” she said suddenly as she handed Jordyn her change. “But are the new girl? The one living in the old Hamilton Place up on the cliff?”
Jordyn raised her eyebrows. People knew her around here already? That was a little creepy.
“Oh, I’m not a stalker!” the girl, Alice, said quickly, apparently seeing the confused look on Jordyn’s face. “Sorry! I’m really not trying to be nosy or anything, but Cedarwood’s a small town, you know? News in small towns travel fast. And the Hamilton place is pretty famous.”
“Why?” Jordyn asked in surprise making a face. Her house, her grandfather’s old house, was famous in Cedarwood? It was big, yes, and old, God yes, but famous?
“It’s featured in a lot of Pennsylvania magazines,” Alice said with a shrug. “It’s a beautiful house. But to be honest, most kids around here thinks it’s haunted.”
“It’s nothing personal at all. It’s just old. But good old. I don’t think it’s haunted, I think it’s a classic, and I’ve always wanted to tour it.”
Jordyn just smiled. People around here sure were talkative. “I’m Jordyn Hamilton. Nice to meet you.”
Alice beamed. “Alice Doherty. Great to meet you, too.” She held out a pack of gum. “Want a piece?”
“Sure,” Jordyn said, taking it. “Thanks.” Was she making a friend already? She hoped so. Alice seemed nice.
“So, where are you from? If you don’t mind my asking.”
“I assumed you would already know that, you know, being a small town, and all,” Jordyn teased.
Alice just smiled. “I don’t know everything.”
“I’m from San Diego,” Jordyn said. There was no need to tell anyone she was from Moon Bay Beach. No one would know where she was talking about if she did. Besides. Alice seemed interested enough in San Diego. Her hazel eyes went wide.
“Cool! California? You’re lucky.”
“Yeah,” Jordyn mumbled. “Real lucky.”
Lucky would be if Jordyn was still in California.
“What kind of stuff did you do there?” Alice continued.
“Everything,” Jordyn sighed. “I miss it already. What do you do here?”
“Well, there’s football games, parties, we go to the mall. Mostly just hang out. We ride around a lot. That’s fun.”
She chuckled and shrugged. “I guess. But there isn’t too much else to do. Well, except go to the lake and Pittsburgh. Have you been?”
“To the lake?”
Jordyn shook her head. “Not yet.”
“Well, don’t worry. This is no San Diego, but Cedarwood’s a pretty cool place. I’ve lived here my whole life and I don’t have a problem with it. You play sports? Cedarwood High rules in everything.”
Jordyn shook her head. “Not really. I surfed back home and danced, but that’s it.”
“You danced? Like, ballet?”
“A little bit of ballet when I was younger, but mostly contemporary and lyrical, some jazz. I was on a competition team at my dance company and we went all over the place competing.”
“Sounds fun. Are you good?”
“Miss Victoria Joy thought so. My teacher. She owned the company. We won a lot, so I guess so.”
“It’s OK, you don’t have to be modest,” Alice chuckled. “If you were good, you’re allowed to brag.”
Jordyn chuckled. She liked this Alice girl already. “So, do you go to Cedarwood High?”
Alice smiled. “Yep. Junior as of Monday. What about you?”
“Same,” Jordyn said with a smile as she pulled her bag off the counter. “Well, I better get back home. It’s a five-mile run back. But it was nice meeting you. Maybe I’ll see you on Monday.”
Alice chuckled. “It’s a small school. You probably will.”
Jordyn smiled, then headed out the door, prepared to make that five-mile run back. It was going to be harder going up than it was coming down, but she didn’t care. She had sort of made a friend. Finally. The sun was shining, and things were finally looking up for her.
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