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Heartland #19: From This Day On

Amy was in her bedroom, pulling on a clean pair of jeans, when she heard Ty's horn outside. She glanced out her window and saw headlights sweep around the yard as he turned his car. Amy hurriedly threw on a sweater, pushed her feet into her ankle boots, and grabbed her jacket, pushing her arms through the sleeves as she raced down the stairs. "Bye!" she called to Lou and Jack, who were watching TV in the living room.

Amy let the screen door slam shut behind her and jogged around to the waiting car. "Hi!" she said breathlessly, opening the door and sliding inside.

"You look nice." Ty smiled, reaching over to kiss her briefly, his finger grazing her cheek. "How did the dress fitting go?"

"Well…I'm just glad to be back in jeans." Amy laughed.

Ty grinned and pulled out onto the main road. "I bet you looked great."

"I don't know about that, but Lou sure did," Amy said enthusiastically, and launched into a description of how beautiful her sister had looked in the gown. She rested her had lightly on Ty's knee as they talked about the wedding and drove along. Amy was so grateful to have a boyfriend who was as happy for Lou and Scott as she was and didn't seem to mind hearing about endless wedding plans.

The parking lot outside the pizza parlor was almost full, but luckily there was a car pulling out of a space right beside the restaurant's front window. Ty neatly maneuvered into the space, and Amy noticed Soraya and Matt waving at them from a front booth.

"Great, they're already here, and they got a good table," Amy said, waving back as she and Ty got out of the car.

Ty slipped he arm around her and they walked into the crowded restaurant. People were crammed into the comfy booths, chatting and sharing steaming pizza pies. The delicious smell of melted mozzarella and tomato sauce wafted over to Amy.

"Mmm, suddenly, I feel hungry," Amy said as she led the way over to Soraya's booth. She slid into the seat facing Soraya and Matt, and Ty sat beside her.

"Hi, guys. Thanks for joining us!" Soraya greeted them with a broad New Jersey accent.

Amy grinned. Soraya had auditions coming up for drama programs at a few different universities, and she had picked two scenes to perform: one from Macbeth and the other from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She had the idea of doing her rendition of Maggie the Cat in the New Jersey accent, which she hoped would be creative enough to give her an edge over the other auditioning students.

"Guess your rehearsing is going well," said Amy.

"That sounded great!"

Soraya wrinkled her nose. "Thanks, but it's not quite there yet."

Matt rolled his eyes. "She does all her scenes perfectly. Believe me, I should know - I hear them a hundred times a day!"

"It's not remembering lines. It's about being truly convinced in the character," Soraya insisted. "And you should understand about wanting to really nail something, Mr. Ninety-eight Percentile. Who retook his SATs last month because he wasn't happy with the excellent score he already had?" Matt grinned as Soraya nudged his on his side. "Are you going to tell them you new score or am I?"

Amy felt her stomach tense. "The results are out?"

"They were posted online today," Matt told her.

"So that mean you can look yours up, too," Ty said, glancing at Amy.

Amy hadn't taken her SATs in the spring. She'd been too busy at Heartland and had put off taking them until the previous month. But her scores weren't important to her in the same way they were to Matt, who had his heart set on going to an Ivy League college next year.

She shrugged. "I'll look them up later," she replied. "So tell us, Matt, what did you get this time?"

Matt spun the menu around the table. "Fifteen twenty," he said at last, still looking down. His face was bright red, and he kept his eyes fixed on the spinning piece of paper.

"That's amazing!" Amy exclaimed, feeling a rush of excitement for her friend. He'd worked so hard to get the results and really deserved to do well.

"Congratulations," Ty agreed, reaching across the table to clap Matt's shoulder.

"In that case, it looks like tonight should be a celebratory meal," Amy declared as the waitress appeared at their booth to take their order. They ordered an extra-large pie with mushrooms and peppers, and Cokes for everyone. Then the attention turned back to Matt.

"So are you going to apply early to an Ivy League school," Ty asked Matt.

Matt nodded. "I hopefully now stand a chance of making it into a decent premed program," he admitted. Then he turned the conversation away from himself.

"Aren't you curious about your scores?" he asked Amy.

"Not really," she replied, shrugging off her jacket and draping it over the back of the booth. "I know I want to stay at Heartland next year, anyway. I guess I might do an equine studies program part-time at a local school, but nothing that takes me away from home.

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