It was a bright, crisp morning. Warm enough for Karine to sit by the open window. Her hand dangled on the windowsill, her first morning cigarette perched between her fingers.
She turned to her bed and saw Steve’s naked body tangled in the sheets. He always moved around a lot when he slept. It was kind of annoying actually. But she didn’t regret getting back together with him. He really was a good guy. And thank god he’d be available to help her clean up the mess from her party.
Christina tiptoed through the den, stepping over the slumbering bodies of three guys who were slumped on the floor in front of the television. She walked to the kitchen and opened the fridge. The only way to fight this hangover was to keep drinking. She grabbed a beer and opened it quietly, taking a swig.
It would be a while before Karine woke up. She always slept late after her parties. But Christina couldn’t sleep. Too much had happened. She crept into the living room. It was mostly deserted. She walked over to the chair that Terry favoured and folded herself into it, sipping her beer.
She stared at them, wondering what they’d do if they woke up to find her watching them sleep. Her hood was up, covering half her ugly face. She slept on her side and her legs were draped over his. He was slumped on his back, his head resting on a pillow over his shoulder. Her shoes were on the floor. He’d probably massaged her stupid feet all night.
Christina slipped out of the chair and quietly tiptoed over to Terry and Cherry. How fucking perfect that their names rhymed. They were like the new Brangelina, a perfect little couple. They’d probably start adopting orphans any day now. The beer in Christina’s hands hovered over Cherry’s head. It would be so easy to accidentally tip the bottle. But Christina didn’t do that. She drew back the beer and gently placed it on the table. It wasn’t Cherry’s fault that she was the flavour of the month. She had just as much right as anyone else to try on Terry. She wasn’t even ugly. She was actually very pretty. Terry would probably use her for a while and then he’d dump her and then she’d be just as miserable as Christina was. Have fun while it lasts, bitch.
Christina walked to the front hall and went through all the jackets. Finding Terry’s she brought it to her face and inhaled. His scent was intoxicating. She threw his jacket to the ground and put on her own, loudly slamming the door when she left.
A loud slam woke Terry up. He opened his eyes and looked around, trying to orient himself. Cerise was stirring, moaning a little bit. God, she even looked good in the morning. He put his hand on her leg but she pulled away and sat up, pushing her hood off her messy hair.
“Oh god, my eyes,” she rubbed her face. “I slept with my contacts in.”
“What?” Terry was still groggy.
“My eyes are killing me.”
Terry yawned and sat up. She looked at her watch.
“Oh shit, I have to go!” She stood up, and rushed out of the room.
Terry rubbed his face and noticed Cerise’s shoes on the floor. He picked them up and went to the front hall. Cerise was already gone. Had she left in her socked feet? No, there she was, coming out of the den. She’d probably gone to the bathroom. Terry had to pee but he didn’t want her to leave without him. She already had her jacket on.
“Where are my shoes?” she asked, looking around.
Terry held them out to her.
“Thanks,” she said as she dropped them to the floor and pushed her little feet inside them.
Terry slumped against the wall. “Chill,” he said.
“I have to go.” She looked worried.
“Why don’t we get something to eat first?”
“It’s almost 11am. I really have to go.”
“I am relaxed. I’m just… you know.” Her hand was on the door handle.
“You gonna get in trouble or some shit?”
“Um, I don’t know actually. I’ve never stayed out all night before.”
“Never?” Terry was surprised.
“Well I mean… no.”
“Well there’s a first time for everything, right?”
“Yeah,” she finally smiled. “But um, I seriously do have to go because my contacts have like, fused to my eyeballs and it’s not exactly pleasant.”
“Aw’right well I’ll give you a lift. Will you just give me two seconds to go pee?”
She agreed and he quickly went to the bathroom.
“Just let me find my jacket,” he said when he returned.
Cerise waited while Terry looked through the pile of coats. Finally he found his jacket lying on the floor and he shook it out and put it on. They walked outside to a warm, orange day. The leaves crunched under their feet as they walked over to Terry’s car. He unlocked the doors with his keyless entry remote and opened the passenger side door for Cerise, hoping she’d find the gesture romantic, rather than anti-feminist. She slipped into the passenger seat with a smile. So far so good.
“Nice car,” she said when he got inside.
“Is it your parents’ or yours?”
“Mine,” he smiled, glad to be able to impress her. “I mean it was my dad’s before he got a new one. I think he gave it to me out of guilt for divorcing my mom.”
She nodded. “My parents are divorced too.”
He asked where she lived and then drove down
Beaconsfield Boulevard. He turned onto Saint-Charles, then drove along
Sherbrooke until he reached Brighton. He was pleased to see that she lived very close to his dad’s house in . Quite convenient. Kirkland
Beaconsfield Boulevard. He turned onto Saint-Charles, then drove along
He pulled up to the curb in front of her house. It was small, a split level.
“Thanks for the ride, Terry.” Her hand grabbed the door handle.
“I hope you don’t get grounded or anything ‘cause that would really ruin our plans for tonight,” he smiled, hoping he didn’t have morning breath.
“Our plans for tonight?”
“I figured we could hang out.”
Yes! That was an official request for a date. Last night hadn’t just been some drunken slip up on his part. He really did want to see her again. Cerise smiled happily and hoped her morning breath wasn’t too bad.
“What’s your number?” said Terry, pulling his cell phone out of his jeans’ pocket.
“Um, I don’t have a cell phone,” she admitted. “Is my land line ok?”
“You don’t have a cell?” he asked incredulously.
“No,” she shrugged apologetically.
“How do you live?”
“Well up until now I never thought you’d be calling, so what was the point?” she said sarcastically.
He laughed boisterously. “Aw’right, aw’right, give me your land line.”
She told him the digits.
“Cherry’s number,” he said aloud as he typed into his phone.
“You’re not putting my name in as Cherry!” Her hand lashed out and smacked his bicep.
He laughed and turned the phone towards her. Her name was entered as ‘Cerise’. She smiled tightly, scrunching up her nose and he laughed again.
“You’re so cute,” he grinned.
“Yeah well don’t make me mad, ‘cause then I won’t be so cute!” She made a pretend-angry face.
He laughed. “You’re the cutest when you’re mad!”
She huffed and rolled her eyes, secretly elated to be called cute. She thanked him again for the ride and he said it was his pleasure. She got out of his car and floated up to her house in a haze of happiness. It didn’t matter if she did get grounded because she could just sneak out to see Terry. If she managed not to spaz out he might even become her boyfriend. Like for real!
As soon as she walked into the house, her mother descended on her in a panic.
“I can explain!” Cerise said as she kicked off her shoes and slipped out of her jacket. “I just fell asleep and…”
Angela hugged her tightly. Cerise was taken aback. This wasn’t the reaction she’d expected.
“There’s been an accident,” said Angela.