Sunday, October 31, 2010

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Act I

            As agreed with her fashion consultants, Cerise wore a black skirt that she borrowed from Simone.  She also borrowed her purple and black hoodie and a pair of black leggings.  She found some black ankle socks and wore her Converse over them.  Under the hoodie she wore a purple tank top.
            “So you’re going as Simone tonight?” asked Julie when Cerise came downstairs.
            “Please,” scoffed Simone.  “I would never wear Converse.”
            Both Julie and Simone were in costume, as they each had parties to attend.  They were both dressed as more extreme versions of themselves, with Simone in hardcore goth gear and Julie dressed as a devil. 
             “Bye, mom!” Cerise screamed as she opened the door and walked outside.
            Angela had never mentioned the fact that Cerise had missed curfew the night of Karine’s party and in an attempt to avoid the issue altogether Cerise had said she’d be going to Jay’s house tonight to watch scary movies. 
            Cerise stood on her driveway and waited for Terry.  He’d sent her an email confirming that he was coming at 7 so she made sure to be outside before then.  She didn’t want him to have to get out of the car and ring the doorbell.  It wasn’t that she didn’t want her family to know she was dating him, but somehow keeping the information secret for now helped her prevent jinxing the budding relationship.
            She could hear laughter emanating from the direction of Jay’s house and she walked across the lawn to investigate.  The garage door was open and Cerise peered inside. 
            The boys were building something.  A wooden sled was covered in a grey blanket and Vani was duct-taping a cardboard box.  There were large, round flaps on each side of the box and the front held two eye holes as well as a tube-like protrusion. 
            “I take it this is the elephant,” said Cerise.
            The boys spun around and Vani grinned, holding the cardboard box up high and then lowering it onto his head.  It wasn’t a very good costume, but it was at least recognizable.
            “Awesome, right?” Vani’s voice was muffled under the mask.
            “Why was this such a big secret?”
            “’Cause Jay’s a fag,” said Willy. 
            Jay punched him in the gut.
“I mean he’s got a small ville,” said Willy, deflecting a second punch.
            “So I take it you guys all get inside this um… costume and go around trick or treating in it?”
            “You’re a genius!” exclaimed Vani.
            “I can’t believe you guys still pass Halloween!”  Cerise laughed in awe.
            Karl adjusted his glasses.  “No one can tell how old we are when we’re in the elephant.”
            “Although, people are starting to catch on,” said Willy.  “I mean, we do it every year, people know it’s us.”
            “People love it!  It’s tradition!” said the elephant head.
            “It’s just to be funny,” shrugged Jay.
            “Oh my god!  It sounds like so much fun!” said Cerise.
            “Really?  You don’t think it’s lame?” asked Willy.
            “It’s not lame, it’s awesome!” said Vani, swinging his arms out at Willy.
            “Yeah, it is awesome,” agreed Cerise. “I wish you guys had told me earlier.  I could’ve joined in!”
            “Yeah but you can’t,” said Jay.  “’Cause you have to go hang out with Terry Trebi…fucking jerk and drool all over him and shit.”
            Cerise glared at Jay and tried to think of a retort, but nothing came to mind.

Terry pulled up to Cerise’s house and peered at it, trying to see if she was looking out of a window or something.  Should he honk the car or actually go ring the doorbell?  Terry wasn’t a fan of meeting girls’ parents but that was mostly because he always knew he wouldn’t be sticking around long enough for it to be worthwhile.  With Cerise he thought he might actually care enough to go to the trouble. 
            Fortunately he didn’t have to worry about it because Cerise ran out from the neighbour’s garage.  She waved at some people and Terry slowly drove forward a bit so he could see inside the garage.  It was those nerd guys Cerise always hung out with.  Was she actually neighbours with one of them?  That could prove to be annoying.  But if all went well then Cerise would hopefully stop hanging out with those losers from now on.
            Terry stopped the car and watched as Cerise opened the passenger side door and climbed inside.  She was wearing a short skirt.  Nice.  He’d never seen her legs before.  Too bad it was cold out and she had to cover them up with leggings.  Still cute though.  He waited for her to put on her seatbelt and they sped off to Pointe-Claire.

            Cerise got carded by the bouncer at the bar and realized that she should have anticipated this turn of events.  But even if she’d thought about it, she wouldn’t have known what to do.  She didn’t have a laminator or anything.  She looked over at Terry and he immediately understood.
            “She’s with me,” Terry said to the bouncer. 
            Terry had greeted the bouncer by name and the man had replied in kind, so obviously Terry was a regular here and it was apparently unimportant that he was under eighteen.  But Cerise wasn’t sure if being ‘with him’ would be enough to get her in.  The bouncer raised an eyebrow and looked Cerise up and down.
            “What year were you born?” he said with a smirk.
            “1992,” she replied without missing a beat.
            The bouncer nodded and let her in.  The bar was in an old building, just like everything else in Pointe-Claire village.  The walls were wood paneling and there were aging wooden beams crisscrossing the ceiling.  There was a staircase leading up to a mezzanine of sorts and it held foosball tables and the like.  There were a few half-assed Halloween decorations lying around, mostly small pumpkins and cobwebs around the bar.  The place was crowded and the music was loud so Terry leaned in to Cerise to speak to her.
            “You were pretty quick with that date.”
            “My sister’s eighteen so I said her birthdate.”
            “You could have used her ID,” he suggested.
            “We look nothing alike.”
            “Oh no?  She’s not so pretty?”
            Cerise smiled up at Terry and he smiled back, taking her hand and leading her over to a table occupied by his friends.  They all had pints of beer in front of them. 
            “Hey you guys, this is Cerise.”  Terry released her hand and touched the small of her back.
            Cerise smiled and tried not to look scared shitless. 
            Terry went on.  “This is Karine, Andrew, Steve, Erica and Christina.”
            “Hey Cherry bomb,” Andrew smirked.
            Cerise smiled tightly while the others stared at her.
            “So can I get you a drink?” Terry asked.
            “Sure,” she agreed.
            “Beer?” he asked.
            “What kind?”
            Cerise wracked her brain but was unable to think of even a single brand of beer.  “Um, anything’s fine.  Whatever you’re having.”
            “K, cool.  I’ll be right back.”
            Terry stroked her back and then walked towards the bar.  Cerise looked down at the table while its occupants kept staring at her silently.  There was only one empty chair at the table, sitting between Karine and Andrew and it was draped over with a jacket.  Everyone at the table had their jackets slung over the backs of their chairs except for Karine, so obviously it was her’s.  Cerise looked at Karine and noticed that she was wearing a blouse that Cerise herself owned but in a different colour.  What an amazing stroke of luck!
            “I like your shirt, Karine,” Cerise smiled.  “I have one just like it but in blue.”
            Karine looked utterly disgusted and Erica even laughed. 
            “Yeah well it’s Halloween so I thought I’d dress up as a poseur.”
            They all laughed as Cerise’s face fell.  How completely humiliating.  Why did they all hate her so much anyway?  It was totally unfair.  She looked over to the bar but couldn’t see Terry.  She dug her hands into her jacket pockets and looked around the room, finally settling her gaze on a TV screen showing some sort of sporting event. 
            “Come on Steve, let’s dance,” Karine grabbed Steven’s hand and pulled him up. 
            “Good idea,” said Erica, grabbing Andrew. 
            Christina also got up and they all walked away to dance at the back of the bar.  Cerise sat down in the chair that held Karine’s jacket and dumped the offending garment onto the chair Karine had occupied.  She slipped out of her own jacket and let it slump down behind her back.  Terry came along holding two glasses of beer.  He set one down in front of Cerise and took the chair that Andrew had been using. 
            “How much do I owe you?” said Cerise, taking her beer.
            “Don’t worry about it,” Terry smiled.  “Where’d everybody go?” He pulled off his jacket and then took a gulp of his beer.
            “They went to dance.”
            Terry nodded and took another sip of his drink.
            “I don’t think they like me very much,” said Cerise as she traced a drip of condensation on her glass.
            “They just need to get to know you,” Terry smiled and took another swig.
            Cerise looked at her drink and brought it to her lips.  She hated the smell of beer and the taste was even worse.  She took a small sip and tried not to make a face as she put the glass back down.
            “You don’t drink much do you?” Terry smiled in amusement.
            “Not really,” she admitted.
            Terry smiled warmly and leaned back in his chair.  He draped his arm over the back of her chair and she sat back.  She looked at him and saw that he was gazing at her in fascination.  She could feel her cheeks warming up and knew she must be turning bright red.  She took hold of her hoodie and flipped it over her head, then stuck her hands inside the hood, ostensibly smoothing out her hair. 
Terry gently pulled the hood off her head.  “Don’t hide,” he said with a smile. 
Cerise giggled awkwardly, her cheeks still flushed.  God, how embarrassing.

“Do you guys realize how late it is?  All the good candy will be gone!” said Vani in frustration.
“This isn’t about the candy,” replied Willy.
They all stared at him. 
“As if you would do this if it wasn’t for the candy, you bitch-titted freak!” yelled Vani.
“Seriously!” agreed Karl.  “You have no dedication, Willy!  You haven’t done shit all night!  Now let’s frakking get this show on the road while there’s still a few kids out there!”
Vani put the elephant head back on and took the front position.  Karl was in back of him, holding the front of the sled.  Jay was next and Willy took up the rear.  The grey blanket draped down around them and Willy used clothes pins to keep it closed in the back.  Vani did the same to close the front, but left a space for his hands to stick out and hold the candy bag. 
“Stop touching me!” commanded Jay, as Willy bumped into him.
“There’s no space!  What do you want me to do?”
“Keep being useless, like always!” yelled Karl.
“Stop tipping it!” said Jay.
“I’m trying!” whined Willy.  “How come Vani always gets to be the head?”
“Because I have super mega dedication, that’s why!”
“No,” said Karl.  “It’s because Vani is too short to hold up the sled you wacktard.”
“Hey, I’m still growing.  I totally grew like, at least a centimeter this summer.”
“A centimeter?” scoffed Willy.  “It doesn’t count unless it’s an inch.”
“Are you frakking serious?” screeched Karl, whirling around and shoving Jay’s head to the side so he could stare at Willy.  “Why the fogies in this country are still using the Imperial system to denote height is beyond me but the least we, as a new generation of non-Americans can do is use metric like civilized people!”
“Oh really?” said Willy angrily.  “Do you know your height in metric?”
“A hundred eighty-three centimeters!” Karl shot back.  “And I know your weight in metric too!  One thousand kilograms!”
            Willy considered this for a moment while Jay and Vani laughed.  Then he shot out an arm and tried to punch Karl in the face.  Karl swung to the left and the sled came toppling down, bringing the boys down with it.  Vani screeched in annoyance and waved his fists at the others while shouting through the mask. 

            Terry had finished his beer and started drinking the remains of his friends’ pints while Cerise’s glass was still 90% full.  He thought about drinking hers since she obviously didn’t really want it but he left it alone, not wanting to embarrass her.  She didn’t look very comfortable and kept fiddling with her hoodie.  She rarely made eye-contact with him and kept looking over to the TV, though she never actually watched it for more than a second.  Terry suggested they go play pool and Cerise smiled as she nodded in agreement. 
            Terry explained the game and stood behind Cerise while showing her which balls to shoot for.  He held her body and bent her over the table, showing her how to hold the pool cue.  It was just like in a movie.  Terry had always wanted to be able to show a girl how to play pool but all the girls he usually hung out with already knew.
            As Cerise bent over the table, her hoodie and shirt rode up and a thin band of flesh was exposed above her skirt.  Terry placed his hand on her hip and allowed his thumb to stroke her skin.  Her butt pressed up against his groin as she aimed the pool cue.  Shit, she was hot.  She hit the ball but missed the pocket and she pouted as she stretched up, looking at Terry in disappointment.
            She was so incredibly cute.  Terry quickly repositioned the balls and insisted she try again.  She happily agreed and he retook his position behind her, placing his hands over hers as she gripped the pool cue.  Her hands were so small and cute and her skin was incredibly soft.  If only she would take off her hoodie.  This time the shot was successful.
            “It worked!” Cerise giggled with glee.
            She turned around and hugged Terry with her left arm while gripping the pool cue with her right.  Holy shit, it felt good to hold her.  Maybe too good.  Terry could feel himself becoming a little too aroused than was appropriate for a public place.  He walked to the other side of the table and then crouched down and surveyed it.
            “Ok, how ‘bout now go for...” He pretended to examine the table while he quickly stuffed his hand down his pants and adjusted his erection so it wouldn’t be so visible.  Once this task was accomplished he finished his sentence, pointing out which ball she should try to hit next. 
He let her make this attempt alone, and she missed but she asked to try again and he kept repositioning the balls until she made it.  She laughed in delight and Terry smiled appreciatively.  She was seriously the most adorable human female in the history of the Universe. 

In the end, Karine hadn’t gone to Steven’s game against Loyola.  Terry had picked her up and they’d gone downtown but they’d ended up at a bar instead.  She told Steven that she’d had to pick up a coworker’s shift at the last minute.  She now asked him how the game had gone.
“We won,” he said.
“Awesome!” she declared, giving him a kiss.
“Yeah, it was good, you should’a been there.”
“Yeah, sorry,” she shrugged and kissed him again.  “I’ll go to the next one,” she promised.
Their dancing devolved into somewhat rhythmic grinding while they made out.

The costume was put back in place and Jay was ordered to get the music going.  His ipod was in his pocket and it was attached to a small speaker which he’d fastened to his belt with ever trusty duct tape.
“I still don’t see why I have to be in the back,” sulked Willy.
“’Cause Jojo isn’t here anymore,” explained Karl.
Vani complained that the sled was too high and they must look like a mutated elephant so Karl and Jay were ordered to hunch over.
“Don’t stick your ass in my crotch!” complained Willy.
“Trust me, that’s the last thing I wanna do,” said Jay.  “Maybe Vani should wear stilts.”
“Shut the frakk up, losers!” said Vani.  “Now let’s go!  Pump up the volume diggity dog!”
Jay turned up the music and they sung along as they waddled outside.
“Kung-fu do what you do to me, I haven’t been the same since my teenaged lobotomy…”
“Left!” shouted Vani and they all turned down the driveway.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Prologue

            Cerise and the boys sat at their wall watching students walk by.  It was the Friday before Halloween so some people came to school in costumes.
            “Losers,” sneered Willy.  “How can they come to school looking like that?”
            “How can you come to school looking like that?” smirked Karl.
            “But that guy looked cool,” said Jay.  “I think he was Lex Luthor.”
            “I think he’s just a skin-head,” said Vani.
            “Maybe I should shave my head,” mused Jay.
            “Stop trying to be Lex Luthor!” Karl snapped.
            “Seriously, enough with the Smallville obsession.  That show sucks,” said Willy.
            “For once I actually agree with Willy,” said Karl in surprise. 
            “That show is so gay,” Willy frowned.
            “There should be a word for gay that isn’t, you know, offensive to gay people,” said Cerise.
            “That word exists,” said Karl.  “It’s Smallville.”
            They all laughed and watched a boy in a fright wig go by.
            “Hey check it out, Jay,” grinned Vani.  “That guy’s dressed as you.”
            “So you agree I should shave my head.”
            “I like your hair,” smiled Cerise.
            “We all do,” agreed Vani.  “It’s where we keep our stuff.” 
Vani pulled the Sharpie out of Karl’s pocket and stuck it in Jay’s hair.  Jay pushed him away and searched for the pen.  Finding it, he uncapped it and tried to write on Vani’s face.  Vani directed Jay’s arm towards Willy but Willy deflected them successfully until Karl snapped the pen away and put it back into his pocket.
Having waited out this melee, Cerise sighed as she surveyed the crowds.  “I wish I would’ve dressed up.  I miss Halloween.”
“How can you miss something that continues to exist?” asked Vani.
“I mean I miss engaging in Halloween.  Dressing up and trick or treating and stuff.”
“You can still do that,” said Vani.
            “I wish,” Cerise laughed.  “I actually went two years ago.  Everyone looked at me like I was a freak but I just didn’t wanna give it up you know?”
            “No, we wouldn’t know anything about that,” said Karl with an eye-roll.
            Sarah, Mel and Steph came along, walking towards student union.  They were all wearing black leggings, animal print tops and cat ear headbands.
            “Are you guys Josie and the Pussycats?” asked Cerise.
            “Pussy… cats,” leered Willy.
            “Oh, eww,” sneered Mel, retreating into the student union room.
            “Eurk, totally.”  Steph followed her in.
            “I see you guys weren’t brave enough to wear the elephant to school,” Sarah smirked while looking at Karl.
            “Piss off,” he retorted.  “Your kitty-litter awaits.”
            “Yeah, whatever.  I’ll see you guys tonight.  Unless you change your route.”  She entered student union and closed the door behind her.
            “What was she talking about?” asked Cerise. 
            “Nothing,” said Jay.
            “What’s the elephant?”
            Vani was about to speak but Jay interrupted him.  “It’s nothing.”
            “Well it’s obviously something since everyone seems to know about it but me.”
            “It’s nothing,” Jay insisted.
            “What is the big secret!?  What’s the big deal?”
            “We might have told you… before,” said Jay in a huff.
            “Before what?”
            “Fine.  Don’t tell me.  God, you’re so fucking Smallville!”
            Vani, Karl and Willy laughed but Jay remained irritated.
            “Have fun with Terry Shitatowsky on Halloween!”
            “Yeah, I will,” Cerise declared, standing up and entering the student union.
            “She’s right you know,” said Vani.  “You are pretty fucking Smallville.”

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Act V

            Cerise grabbed her lunch and ran to the student council room, hoping to find Sarah.  Sure enough, the Green Girls were preparing posters to be placed above the recycling bins, hoping to discourage students from using the bins as garbage cans.
            “Hey Cerise,” said Sarah, letting her into the room.
            “Terry totally just asked me out!”
            “Oh my god!” Sarah, Mel and Steph all screeched at once, causing a small sonic boom to ripple out of the school.
            “We’re going to Clydes on Halloween!  And he kissed me!”
            “Oh my god!” Mel exclaimed.
            “What was it like?” asked Steph.
            “Amazing!  He has like, oh my god, the softest lips!”
            “Oh my god,” the Green Girls swooned.
            “He actually smelled a bit like cigarettes, which was gross, but maybe that was just the residual stench from Porta-potty chick, she was totally smoking in the girls’ bathroom, and I mean, like in a serious way.  It reeked of pot and like the smoke was so thick I could barely even see past my own hand.”
            “She’s so rank,” sneered Mel.
            “Totally,” agreed Steph.
            “So should I wear a costume?”
            “What do you mean?  Like for your date?” asked Sarah.
            “Yeah, ‘cause it’s Halloween.”
            “No,” Sarah shook her head.  “I’ve never seen Terry wear a costume, like not even in Sec 1.  None of them do.”
            “Yeah,” Mel and Steph nodded. 
            “Kinda boring.  I like dressing up for Halloween,” shrugged Sarah.
            “Me too,” admitted Cerise.  “But ok then, what should I wear?”
            “Do you own any skirts?” wondered Sarah.
            “Not really.”
            “I could lend you one,” Sarah offered.
            “Like they’d fit,” Cerise surveyed Sarah’s body.  “You’re way skinnier than me.”
            “Aww, not really.”  Sarah smiled.
            “Yeah, way.  But that’s ok, I can borrow a skirt from my sister, Simone.  And she has like a hoodie that’s black and purple checkered and like, I guess I could wear my converse and leggings?”
            “Sounds good,” Sarah approved while Mel and Steph nodded in agreement.

            Cerise was forced to do the run after school to make up for ditching the boys at lunch.  Once the task was completed she joined them as they walked to Jay’s house.
            “So you coming to my place for Halloween?” Jay asked.
            “Yeah, we do a thing every year.”
            “Oh well…” Cerise shrugged.  “I kinda have plans on Halloween.”
            “With Sarah and her clones?” asked Karl.
            “You gonna try to do something with Porta-potty chick?” wondered Jay.
            “You’re gonna hang with the Asgard?  The Tok’ra?  The Knox?  Oooh, the Furlings!”  Vani hopped around from foot to foot as they climbed the overpass.
            “I’m just doing… stuff.”
            “Like…” Jay prompted.
            “Like I can’t do stuff without getting you guys’ permission first?”
            “Are you like, gonna have a pillow fight in your underwear but instead of a pillow you’re gonna use a whip and instead of your underwear you’re gonna be in a dominatrix outfit?”
            They all stared at Willy.
            “No,” Cerise said with a glare.  “And gross.”  She was about to swing out her hand to smack Willy but thought better of it, not wanting to encourage him.  “I’m gonna go out with Terry.”
            “What?” They all screamed. 
            Jay was livid.  “Terry Trebifucktard!?  You are not!”
            “God, whatever,” Cerise rolled her eyes.
            “In what context are you gonna go out with Terry Shitforbrainsky?”
            “In the context of doing stuff.”
            “You’re gonna go out with him?  Like go out? Like out, out.  Like, to go out.  Like, as in the opposite of in,” Jay fumed.
            “I see you’ve mastered the definition of out.”
            “Mmhhmmph,” Karl clucked his tongue and shook his head in disapproval. 
            “Wow, you’re dating Terry Trebichavsky?  That’s pretty cool,” said Vani.
            This comment was rewarded with various punches to the chest, arms and even an attempted kick to the groin, but Vani was scrappy and managed to avoid injury.
            “Well it’s not like we’re dating.  It’s just a group thing at a pool hall.”
            “Next think we know you’re gonna start smoking,” Karl smirked.
            “Oh, I will not.”
            It was a good point though.  Terry was a smoker, which was totally gross.  Cerise had always believed that smoking was a dealbreaker and never would have imagined going out with someone who indulged in such a disgusting habit but that was before Terry had kissed her with his amazing lips of awesomeness.  

It was only after a long and painful session of gaming, wherein Vani conquered a planet of Wraith worshippers and Willy fell asleep in his own drool that Cerise went home and the boys were able to discuss the situation honestly.
            “Life is so easy for girls,” mused Vani.  “I mean she lusted after a guy and then she actually got him. That’s insane!”
            Willy was finally roused from his slumber.  “She’s gone to the dark side.  I knew it.”
            “It was inevitable,” shrugged Karl.  “She was too attractive to be hanging out with us.”
            “Yeah, I guess so,” sulked Willy.
            “Are you really surprised?” asked Karl.  “You had to know she wasn’t gonna start going out with one of you losers.”
            Willy picked at the stuffing that was poking out from a couch cushion.  “Sucks.  She was cool.  And hot.”
            “It was fun while it lasted,” said Vani.  “What do you think?  Bajoran death chant?  Klingon death scream?  Old school bagpipes?”
            “It’s not like she’s gonna stop hanging out with us altogether!” Jay insisted.
            “Wake up Jay-dalee-a-son!  If she’s going out with Terry-I can crush liger skulls with my bare hands-Trebichavsky then there’s really no way to get around it,” said Vani.
            Karl nodded in agreement.  “You can’t go out with Terry Trebichavsky and hang out with us.  You just can’t.”
            “She’s not gonna stop hanging out with us,” said Jay with a little less confidence.
            “Yeah right,” whined Willy.  “She’s probably sucking his cock right now!”
            “Ugh!”  Karl gagged.  “Don’t say words!”  He smacked Willy’s face with his Rifts manual.
            Suddenly Vani jumped up and grabbed Jay’s shoulders.  “Does this mean she’s not gonna be in the elephant?”

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Act IV

            The students of Cycle 2 Drama sat in the auditorium and talked while waiting for Mr. Weir to arrive.  Sarah was informing Mel, Steph and Marla of Cerise’s predicament with Terry and they were all advising her to remain friendly but not too friendly and to wait for him to approach her but then to make the first move.  None of the advice was remotely helpful but Cerise was glad to have girlfriends with whom to discuss the matter. 
            When Mr. Weir entered he asked Sarah if the bell had run and she responded in the affirmative. 
            “So what does that mean?” he asked with a tight-lipped smile.
            “That we should sit down and shut up?”
            “I can always count on your to provide the correct answer.”
            Everyone sat on the stage while Mr. Weir surveyed them, silently taking roll-call on his clipboard.  Karine raised her hand.
            “Yes, Karine?”
            “Since we’re gonna be studying A Midsummer Night’s Dream in English class does that mean that’s the play we’re doing this year?”
            Weir congratulated Karine on her observational skills and confirmed her supposition.  While the auditions would be open to the entire school, Mr. Weir was obviously going to give preferential treatment to those in Drama.  Everyone in class would get a role of some kind, even if just as a background fairy.  Karine asked when the auditions would be held and Mr. Weir said he hadn’t decided yet, though he promised to keep her informed.  He went on to talk about all the good roles in the play and how fantastic Shakespeare was and how he was counting on them to deliver excellent performances.  Cerise wondered if she could work up the nerve to audition for Titania or if she should just try for a background fairy.

            Fall was so awesome.  Karine loved crunching leaves under her feet as she walked outside during autumn.  It was kind of like eating chips; not so much about the taste as the texture and the fun crunching sound.  She was in an excellent mood when she got home that day and when Steven came over Karine grabbed him eagerly and planted a kiss on his lips.
            “What’s got you so worked up?” Steven asked with a grin, inching towards the stairwell.
            Karine led him to the den.  “We’re doing A Midsummer Night’s Dream this year!”
            “Um, what?”
            “The school play!”
            “Oh.  Isn’t that Shakespeare?”
            “Well duh.  Mr. Weir always chooses Shakespeare.  He’s like, obsessed.  But A Midsummer Night’s Dream is like, his best play ever.  I mean, if you like the comedies.”
            “Ok,” said Steve while turning on the TV.
            “It’s about fairies and stuff.  Maybe I’ll get like a really cool costume.  I’m gonna try out to be Titania.  She’s the queen of the fairies.  Although maybe I should try out for Helena.  I think she has the most lines of all the female characters.  But I’m not really sure.  Who would you consider like, the main character?”
            “I dunno.”  He flipped through the channels.
            “I guess it’s Puck.  I wonder if a girl can be Puck.”
            “Listen, I have a game this Thursday.”
            “That’s cool.”
            “So you gonna come?”
            “Oh, I don’t know.  I have to read the play and figure out who has the most lines.  And then I have to prepare my monologue for the audition.”
            “When are the auditions?”
            “I don’t know yet but I have to be prepared.”
            “You’ll have plenty of time.  It’s an important game.”
            “Well I might have to work.”
            “Since when?”
            “I don’t know my hours yet for this week.”
            “Well if you’re not working will you come?”
            “When is it?”
            “Thursday.  At 7.”
            “We’re playing Loyola.  In NDG.”
            “What?  Are you serious?  NDG?  That’s like a bus, the metro and then another bus.  It’s like a two-hour trip!”
            “Can’t you take your mom’s car?”
            “Do you see her car in the driveway?  She has it with her!  She’s in Toronto or something.  And I don’t even have a license, you moron!”
            “Well maybe you can ride with us on the school bus.”
            “They’re not gonna let random people on your bus!  God, Steven.  I can’t go if it’s downtown.”
            “I’d do it for you,” Steven said sadly.
            “Oh really?  It’s easy to say that when I’m not asking you to do anything like that, isn’t it?”
            “Like it’s such a big deal?  You go downtown all the time when you go clubbing with Erica.  Why is this so different?”
            “’Cause clubbing is actually fun!”
            Karine felt slightly regretful when Steven got that wounded puppy look.
            “Ok fine, don’t go.  Whatever.”
            “I didn’t mean it like that.”
            “Whatever, it doesn’t matter.  Listen, I gotta go.  I’ll see you tomorrow.”
            Karine didn’t bother trying to make up with Steve.  She let him leave and treid to read her script but after a while she phoned Terry.
            “’Sup?” he answered.
            “Do you think I’m selfish?” Karine asked.
            “So what you want me to say is no.”
            “You’re so useless!” she whined.
            “Ok, ok.  What do you mean?”
            “I think I’m a bad girlfriend.”
            Karine waited while Terry laughed.       “What do you expect?” he finally asked.  “You have a lame boyfriend.”
            “He wants me to go to his game on Thursday.  In NDG!”
            “I hate taking public transport.  It’s totally gross.  Am I selfish ‘cause I don’t wanna go?”
            “Karine, no one would want to go to a stupid high school football game unless they were like, American and like, enjoyed Thanksgiving and stuff.  It doesn’t mean you’re selfish.  It means you’re sane.”
            “It’s rugby.”
            “Ok then you’re British instead of American.  Whatever.  It’s still lame.  Actually, rugby’s a pretty cool game.”
            “No it isn’t!  It’s boring!  But that’s not even the point!”
            “What is the point?”
            “I hurt Steve’s feelings.”
            Terry chuckled.  “He’ll get over it.”
            “You think?”
            “Like I even care.”
            “I care!”
            “Yeah, apparently.  God Karine, relax.  He’ll get over it.  He’s spineless.  And if he doesn’t… whatever.  Who cares?”
            “Yeah well… my options aren’t so many as they used to be, eh?  Now that you’re all obsessed with Cherry girl.”
            Terry was silent.
            “Yeah.  Listen, you think too much.”
            “What do you mean?”
            “You’re just like, way overthinking this.”
            “You think so?”
            “See what I mean?”
            “Be serious!”
            Terry sighed.  “You act like it matters.  It doesn’t.  I mean we all die in the end anyway.”
            “Jesus, since when are you such a fatalist?”
            “Are we done yet?”
            “Oh gee, I’m so sorry to be keeping you from your regularly scheduled masturbation!”
            Terry chuckled good-naturedly.  “Don’t worry, I can multitask.”
            “Oh gross!”
            “Ok, so, are you ok?”
            “I guess.”
            “Are you gonna break up with what’s his name again?”
            “You think I should?”
            “Do what you want, Karine.  Either way I’m sure you’ll complain to me about it.”
            “Oh fuck you!  Fine, goodbye!”
            “Wait Karine!  I’m sorry.  Go ahead, keep complaining.”
            Terry chuckled and Karine imagined his smile. 
            “So you ok?” he asked.
            “I still don’t know if I should go to Steven’s game.”
            “Listen, I’ll drive you if you want.”
            “Sure, if you really wanna go.  I mean our team fucking sucks.  We’re sure to get pummeled but whatever, I don’t mind watching a game.”
            “I suppose you’ll try to make it a double date and bring Cherry the Raspberry.”
            “Good idea.” 
Karine could practically hear him smirking.
            Terry went on.  “Especially since it means so much to you.”
            “There’s gotta be a reason you care so much about Cerise.  She must have something going on if you hate her so much.”
            “Like even,” Karine scoffed.
            “Sounds like you’re the one who’s obsessed with her.  I gotta find out what all the fuss is about.”
            God damn it!  Screw Terry and his stupid obsession with Cherry the Raspberry.           

            Cerise was the last to join the boys for gaming and she was also the last to leave.  She lingered at the door while the others went on their way.
            “Do you think I should make an effort with Shauna?” she asked Jay.
            “Porta-potty chick?”
            “Jay!  Her name is Shauna!”
            “I thought you hated her.”
            “She could have died.  I feel bad.”
            “Yes really.  Is it so inconceivable that I might have feelings about this?”
            “I guess not.  You are a girl.”
            Cerise punched Jay in the arm.
            “You punch like a girl.”
            “Should I avert my eyes while you cradle your arm in agony?”
            “Please do.”
            “But seriously, Jay, do you think I’m a bad person?  Am I like, mean?”
            “Well you did just hit me.  Domestic violence is not ok, Cerise.”
            “I’m talking about Shauna!”
            “Well yeah, I guess you were mean to her.”
            “Should I like, visit her and stuff?  I hear she’s still in the hospital.”
            “And do what?  Apologize?”
            “You think I should apologize?”
            “I dunno.”
            “God!  You’re really not very good at giving advice, are you?”
            “I guess not,” Jay shrugged.
Unbelievable.  Cerise had no idea why she still liked Jay.  He was seriously useless. 

            Shauna’s plan to die in the hospital hadn’t panned out.  She’d imagined how badly everyone would feel once she was dead, once they’d all murdered her with their assholishness.  Cerise would come to the funeral in a tight black dress and black stockings and black high heels and she’d even have a little black hat on.  There might even be a veil over her face so no one could see her crying.  She’d be very sorry that Shauna was dead and she might even collapse on the coffin and be lowered into the ground with Shauna’s rotting corpse. 
            Unfortunately Shauna had made a stunning recovery.  Her skin was back to normal and the pain was gone.  Her throat was healed and she could talk.  She was released from the hospital and apparently it was really great that she could go back to school.  The thought of it made her ill but to her dismay it wasn’t the kind of ill her mother could perceive because she found herself getting out of bed, getting dressed, stepping onto the school bus, getting off the bus, and walking towards the school one cold Monday morning during the last week of October.   
            Obviously she thought about running away but even her legs betrayed her and she walked to the side entrance of the school, walking past the smokers’ wall as she went.
            “Oh my god, it fucking reeks, what is that?”  The head cuntnugget said loudly.
            “Dude, it smells like a porta-potty!” Andrew Lester laughed.
            They all laughed as Shauna went into the building.  Everyone stared at her and laughed and called her Porta-potty chick.  She dreaded approaching her locker, not wanting to run into Wendy.  She looked around the corner first to make sure she wasn’t there.  Feeling relatively safe, she went to her locker and stuffed her lunch inside.  When she closed the door, Wendy was there.  Fucking stealth. 
            Shauna tried to ignore her but Wendy stuck something into her hand.  Shauna pulled away and the bag fell to the floor.  It was a baggie full of what Shauna could only assume was pot.  Wendy picked it up.
            “Special price for you, half off,” said Wendy.  “Twenty bucks.”
            Shauna considered punching Wendy in the face, or ripping the bag out of her hands and spilling the contents everywhere or stealing the bag and killing Wendy with her bare hands.  Instead she reached into her pocket and found a twenty, exchanging it for the pot.  Then she bought some rolling papers as well.
            She knew she wouldn’t go to class.  She went to the bathroom instead.  She rolled up a joint and smoked it in a stall.  She could hear people coming and going and they all commented on the smell of pot.  Some girls looked under the stalls, trying to figure out who was smoking, but no one really cared that much.  The bell rang and eventually it rang again.  Shauna got tired of standing in the stall and tried to open a window, which proved futile.  She gave up and sat on the floor, rolling herself another joint.  Girls came and went and they all gave her weird looks as she smoked.  Some even called her Porta-potty chick.  She just kept smoking until she didn’t care anymore, which required the entire bag.
            She wasn’t sure what time it was when Cerise came into the bathroom.  She stopped dead in her tracks and stared at Shauna.  Shauna stared back, exhaling smoke.  She’d run out of pot by now and was smoking a regular cigarette.  Cerise coughed and waved her hand in front of her face.  The bathroom was like the inside of a hookah bar. 
            Cerise took a step forward and then coughed again.  She pulled her hoodie sleeve over her hand and placed it over her mouth.  “I’m sorry,” she choked out. 
            Shauna stared at her and blew smoke rings.
            “Sorry,” she said again and then left. 
            Maybe Cerise would die from second hand smoke.

            Cerise coughed loudly as she rushed out of the washroom.  She walked down the hallway and went to the bathroom that was near administration, past the fishbowl.  Cerise never really hung out in the fishbowl.  It was full of yucky old furniture and Karine Cavalière type bitches.
            When she was done in the bathroom she walked back to her locker and she could sense someone following her.  The smell of smoke was still in her nose.  What if Shauna was stalking her again?  What if she wanted to be friends?  What if she didn’t? 
Cerise reached her locker and slowly turned around.  To her great relief, Terry Trebichavsky was smiling down at her.
            “Hey,” he grinned.
            “Hi,” she smiled back.
            Suddenly his smile disappeared and gentle frown lines appeared at his brow. “Are you ok?”
            “Yeah,” she lied.
            “No you’re not.”
            “Oh, you know me so well?” she tried to joke.
            “No, but I’m not blind.  You’re obviously upset.  What’s wrong?”  His arm rose and his hand brushed Cerise’s shoulder, then softly stroked her arm.
            She looked up at him in wonder.  “Nothing, it’s just that stupid girl.”
            “What stupid girl?”
            “Shauna.  You know, that girl I bitched out at the party.”
            “Oh, Porta-potty chick?”
            “I really wish people wouldn’t call her that.  It’s so mean.”
            “Yeah, but what do you expect?”
            “It’s just that, I mean, yeah she’s a spaz, but she seriously could have died.  It’s like a major thing and it’s my fault ‘cause I was so bitchy…” Cerise trailed off as she could feel tears beginning to develop in her eyes. 
            God, how mortifying.  She tried to turn away but Terry immediately enveloped her in his arms and held her.  She rested her head against his chest and her tears stained his shirt.  He gently rubbed her back with his left hand while his right hand stroked her hair.  Only a couple of drops had fallen from Cerise’s eyes and she no longer felt sad but she faked a few choked breaths so he would keep holding her.  It felt amazing to be in his arms.  He was so strong and yet so gentle and warm and cuddly.  She felt herself pressing her body into his and then quickly pulled away in embarrassment. 
            “I got your shirt wet,” she said, looking up at his gorgeous face.
            He chuckled.  “It’s no big.  Are you ok?”
            “Yeah, sorry to spaz out.”
            “It’s ok.  You know, it’s not your fault she got locked up in shit.  Yeah, you were mean to her but from the way you describe her it sounds like she deserved it.  And it was the Glue Sniffers that pushed her in the porta-potty, not you.  She came to the party with them and no matter what you said she prob’ly woulda left with them too.  It prob’ly woulda happened no matter what.”
            “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
            “And you got rid of her, right?  I mean is she still trying to be your friend?”
            “Then everything worked out good.”
            “Not for her.”
            “Yeah well I don’t care about her.  I care about you.”
            Cerise was positive that her heart had stopped.  She held her breath and waited for it to keep beating.  Terry’s hand was reaching for her’s.  He stroked her palm with his index finger and she was almost sure the world had stopped turning.
            “You know what you need to do is something fun.  Do you like to play pool?”
            “What?  Pool?  I dunno, I’ve never played.”
            “Well I can teach you.”
            “Ok.”  At this point Cerise was willing to learn anything Terry was willing to teach.
            “So how ‘bout some time we go to Clydes?”
            “That bar in Pointe-Claire village?”
            “You go to bars?  I mean, ok.”
            “How ‘bout on Halloween?  A whole bunch of us are gonna be there.”
            “Isn’t Halloween a school night this year?  I mean ok.”
            “Aw’right.  I’ll pick you up around 7.  Cool?”
            “Yeah, cool.”
            Terry then did the most amazing thing yet.  He placed his hand under her chin and tipped her face upwards, then bent over her and placed his lips against hers, giving her the warmest, softest, most pleasant kiss she’d ever received.  It was actually the only kiss she’d ever received, unless you counted the time she played spin the bottle in grade 6.  This was definitely better.  It was spectacular.  She felt tingles spread across her lips and then down her body.  A surge of heat swelled up in her chest and she felt her underwear moisten.  She clenched her kegel muscles, privately embarrassed at being so aroused by just a little kiss. 
            Terry smiled when he leaned back.  “Later,” he promised, walking away.
            Cerise watched him go and touched her lips with the tips of her fingers.  With that one kiss, her life had officially turned to awesome.