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Veering Off on Valentine's Chapter 1


Jordan Cartwright sat at the dining room table, creating a valentine for her best friend Avery, when her brother Brody walked by. “Jordan’s got a boyfriend, Jordan’s got a boyfriend,” he sang.

“I do not. Avery’s not my boyfriend,” she said defiantly, a scowl on her face. “Besides, what if I did? You have a girlfriend.”

“I’m in high school. I’m supposed to have a girlfriend.” Brody puffed his chest out a little as he talked. She thought it was probably easier to have a girlfriend when you also had a driver’s license.

“Whatever.” Jordan glanced at the card she was making. It was a big white heart, and she had just started sketching a picture of her and Avery in the centre of it. “There are plenty of grade sevens that have boyfriends and girlfriends.”

But it was too late, Brody had already moved into the living room to watch hockey with Dad. There was no sense arguing with him anyway. He always thought he was right, even when he wasn’t.

Mom set down a few plates on the table next to Jordan. “Whatchya workin’ on, sweetie?”

Jordan showed her the drawing she had started inside the big white heart.

“Nice,” she said. “Is that you and Avery?”

Jordan nodded.

“I’m sure he’ll love it, but it’s time to set the table for dinner.” She gave Jordan a look that told her to put her art supplies away.

“Okay, Mom.” Jordan collected her papers and pens and deposited them on the kitchen counter.

“Ahem.” Mom cleared her throat, giving Jordan a look that said that wasn’t what she meant by putting her art supplies away. Jordan rolled her eyes and took the art supplies to her room then returned to the dining room to set the table.

Jordan put one plate at each of the four places at the table then went to the kitchen to get the cutlery.

“Could you feed Blizzard too, please?” asked Mom.

“Sure.” She went to the cupboard where they kept the cat food and scooped some out to put into his dish.

“Blizzard.” Jordan called him as if he would come running like a dog. “Hmm.” She shrugged then dumped the kibble into his dish for him. “Weird. It’s not like him to ignore food.”

Jordan put the scoop back in the cupboard with the bag of cat food.

“He’s probably out frolicking in the snow,” said Mom, but that didn’t really sound like him to Jordan. The last time she’d seen him out in the snow, he didn’t seem impressed, picking up a paw then shaking it off and doing it all over again with each step.

Jordan frowned, and Mom must have caught it.

“Don’t worry, sweetie, he’ll scratch at the door when he gets cold.”

She pressed her face against the front window. Flurries of snow fell and floated by the streetlights. Although Blizzard had a thick coat of white fur, she was sure he wasn’t a fan of the snow. She glanced down the short driveway, and there he was, padding his way toward the door.

When she opened the door, he made a run for it, leaping inside and shaking the snow off his fur.

“Hi, Blizzy. You’re just in time for dinner.” She ran her hand along his back, clearing it of the light dusting of snow, and he let out a squawk. Was he complaining or thanking her? “Silly cat,” she said. “Maybe you should stick to inside where it’s warm.”



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