A week had gone by and Karine still hadn’t forgiven Christina. She wasn’t being mean really. They were still hanging out and everything but Karine seemed different, cold. They weren’t having intimate conversations and Christina had no one to complain to about how Terry was saying hi to the Cherry girl every day in gym. He wasn’t going out with her, thank god, but every day he nodded at Cherry or smiled in her direction.
Obviously Karine was still upset that Christina had tried to hook up with Steven. But it hadn’t even been Christina’s fault! So finally she approached Karine as she was primping herself in her locker mirror.
“Erica said I should do it.”
“What?” Karine seemed annoyed by the interruption.
“She said you wouldn’t mind.”
“I don’t even know what you’re talking about.”
“You know, how like I was like, you know.”
“If this like charades? ‘Cause I have a class in ten minutes so maybe you could speed it up a bit.”
Christina sighed. “The whole thing… with like… you know. I was only flirting with Steven to make Terry jealous. ‘Cause Erica said I should.”
“Ok, that’s stupid ‘cause first of all, Terry doesn’t even care. Ok?”
“Yeah and like, you always gonna listen to Erica? If she told you to like, slit your wrists you’d do that too?”
“No.” Christina shrugged sadly. “Maybe.”
“I know it was stupid, and I’m really sorry.” A tear rolled down Christina’s cheek.
“Oh god, Chrissy, don’t.” Karine’s voice had softened.
“I knew it was wrong. It’s just that Erica…”
“I know, I listened to her too. Even at the time I knew she was full of shit. God, she always pulls this stuff on us. I don’t know why we even hang out with her.”
“She said you were trying to go for Terry.”
“She said that you guys were hanging out a lot and stuff and it seemed to make sense at the time but I should have known she was full of it.”
“Yeah, ‘cause like I’d ever,” Karine scoffed.
“I know. You’d never go for him. And you’re back with Steve now! Which is good, right?”
“Yeah, totally,” Karine agreed. “Ok, from now on, we don’t listen to Erica!”
Christina leaned forward. “Terry’s still being nice to that Cherry girl.”
“I know,” said Karine in annoyance.
“I don’t wanna be a bitch but I think I hate her.”
“I know,” nodded Karine. “Me too.”
After being chastised for her lack of dedication, Cerise resumed doing the run with the boys every day at lunch. She sarcastically vowed never to talk to Sarah Wong during lunch again, and sincerely promised to put more hours into the game. Terry was saying hi to her every day but he hadn’t asked her out again so it seemed that her boyfriend prospects had returned to zero.
They collapsed at their wall after the run and Vani asked if they’d be doing the usual for Halloween.
“What’s the usual?” asked Cerise.
“The elephant,” said Vani.
“Yeah, it’s really cool,” replied Vani.
“Uh, maybe we’re getting a little old for the elephant,” said Willy sheepishly.
“You dare to disdain the elephant?! For shame!” Vani shook his hands in fury.
“What’s the elephant?” asked Cerise.
“Um, it’s kind of a tradition,” said Jay vaguely.
“Another one?” Cerise chuckled in unsurprised amusement.
Jay was about to go on when some random kid walked by and Karl beckoned him to come over. The kid pointed to himself questioningly.
“Yeah you. Come here.”
The kid walked over and shrugged.
“Get out of here!” Karl yelled, with Vani joining in. “Go on, get out of here!”
The kid was startled and rushed off. The boys laughed.
Cerise rolled her eyes. “You guys. So anyway, the elephant?”
“Yeah, it’s pretty much the most awesome thing ever,” began Vani. “You see, every Hallow’s Eve, the dead walk the earth. Ghosts and goblins come among us to eat the flesh of little children, and fat bastards with b.o.” Vani waved his fingers in Willy’s face. “The only power strong enough to hold them at bay is that of the elephant!”
“Hey, hey kid, come ‘ere.”
The same kid as before was walking back to his locker. He looked at Karl in annoyance.
“No seriously. I was just kidding before. I really need to talk to you. For real this time.”
The kid narrowed his eyes and approached carefully.
“Get out of here! Go on, scram!”
“Jerk,” muttered the kid and walked away.
Sarah came out of the student union room and said hi to Cerise.
“Hey Sarah.” Cerise smiled.
Karl smiled as well. “Hey. Sarah. Come here, I need to talk to you.”
Sarah looked at Karl skeptically.
“Shut up Karl!” said Cerise. “Don’t listen to him, Sarah, he just wants to play a trick on you!”
“Figures,” scoffed Sarah as she walked away.
“Traitor!” snarled Karl.
“Listen, it’s funny when you do it to seveners but to Sarah? Why don’t you guys lay off of her?”
“Sarah and Cerise, sittin’ in a tree,” chanted Vani. “K-I-S-S-I-N-G!”
“Yeah, I wish,” laughed Willy.
“Why don’t you just go and hang out with your new best friend, Cerise!” pouted Vani. “Joiner lover!”
Cerise shook her head and rolled her eyes. “Yeah, maybe I will.” She stood up.
“Hey come on, we were just joking,” said Jay with concern.
“Relax, I’m just going to the bathroom,” she said.
“Hey, hey come ‘ere,” Karl smirked.
“Fuck you,” Cerise walked off.
“Get out of here!”
Terry looked pretty cute with his jacket collar popped. He was leaning against the smoking wall, enjoying a cigarette during his free period. Karine joined him and noticed the small bruise on his cheek.
“Hockey season started?” she asked, reaching out to touch his face.
He flinched away from her. “Yeah, but I didn’t get this on the ice. The guys took me out for drinks after practice, for my birthday.”
“So how does that explain the bruise?”
“I dunno, I guess we just get a little rowdy after a few drinks.”
“You got in a fight?”
“No, we were just joking around.”
“Ok, whatever,” Karine shrugged, stealing Terry’s cigarette and taking a drag. “So uh, is Cherry the Raspberry your new girlfriend or something?”
“I’ve noticed you’ve been pretty friendly with her lately.”
“You got a problem with her?”
“She’s a little weird don’t you think? I mean, I hear she’s friends with the porta-potty chick.”
“No she isn’t. She’s the one who told off the porta-potty chick. Which is why the porta-potty chick tried to kill herself. It was classic.”
“So she’s just a bitch?”
“She’s funny and cool. And she doesn’t like being stalked by freaks. Which is you know, something I can relate to.”
“Yeah well I don’t think Chrissy is really so crazy over you anymore. She’s looking for new prospects.”
“Good for her,” said Terry with
“You know she was flirting with Steve at my party.”
“Gimme a break, Karine. Christina’s one good point is that she has good taste. So, I really don’t think so.” He smiled devilishly and winked at Karine.
“You’re such an ass,” she smirked.
“And yet you keep coming back for more.”
On top of their book report/debates, Mr. Weir was now assigning them to read Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. They had to have read the play by the following Monday, which was completely insane as a deadline Weir was a major hard-ass. He went on to chastise the few groups that still hadn’t told him what books they’d chosen for their debates, which worried Jay, but he was pleased when Weir gave them the rest of the class to work on their presentations.
“So that was a pretty good party you had, eh?” Jay opened with this lame-ass line as though the party hadn’t happened a million years ago.
“Did you hear some girl got stuck in a porta-potty?”
Karine looked at him like he was retarded and Jay tried to wipe his face subtly, fearing he might have a booger hanging from his nose.
“Pretty crazy right?” he went on, unsure of what to say or do.
“Look, can we just do this?”
“Yeah,” nodded Jay, allowing himself to fantasize for just a moment that she wasn’t talking about their presentation.
“What book do you wanna do?”
“Whatever book you wanna do is fine,” Jay smiled.
“Ok well… I dunno, let me think. I assume you’ve read 1984?”
“Of course!” Jay beamed. “I love that book!”
“Yeah, it’s totally depressing,” nodded Karine.
“Yeah. The whole double think thing is like, really cool,” said Jay.
“Yeah, it is,” agreed Karine and finally she smiled.