Never in the history of after school dates has anyone had so much trouble deciding what to wear. Cerise first put on her Romulan t-shirt. She’d never worn it at school because it was Star Trek related and therefore embarrassing, not that anyone other than the boys would recognize the symbol anyway. Jay would appreciate it though so it seemed like a good idea but then Cerise thought she should wear something more feminine and flirtatious.
She didn’t own any skirts so she borrowed one from Simone. It was black of course, but had red pin stripes so it was kind of cool. She paired it with a red tank top and her blue converse. It didn’t quite work so she borrowed some fishnets from Simone and a black hoodie with cat ears. She looked like a hooker from Fraggle Rock.
Cerise snuck all of Simone’s clothes back to her room and considered the offerings of her own closet. There wasn’t much. She chose the longest shirt she had, which was belted and could be considered a dress if she wore it with leggings. She took some leggings from Julie’s room, secretly pleased to be stretching them out. She looked ok, it was the type of outfit Erica Mackey might wear. But Erica Mackey was clearly possessed of a lot more courage than Cerise. She would never leave the house in a “dress” that barely covered her ass. The leggings were returned to their home on Julie’s bedroom floor and Cerise was back to square one. She put on her tightest jeans and chose a blue tank top. Her bra straps showed, which she thought looked trashy but maybe that would give Jay the right idea. Of course it was too cold to go out in a tank so she’d have to cover up with a hoodie anyway. All of her hoodies were too baggy, none were form fitting like Julie’s clothes.
She snuck back into Julie’s room and went through her extensive hoodie collection but besides being too small, they were all in girly colours like pink and pale yellow. Cerise resigned herself to wearing one of her own hoodies and chose an orange one that matched her shoes. Looking at herself in the mirror, she decided to ditch the tank top and put the Romulan shirt back on. She looked like herself, which was disappointing, but it would just have to do.
Cerise was glad it was Autumn because she loved wearing her jacket. It was dark grey with black piping, in a sort of marching band inspired style, with a high collar and two rows of buttons down the front. She threw it on but kept it open along with her hoodie so her Romulan shirt would still be visible. At 8pm sharp, she ran outside and met Jay on his driveway, where he was standing next to his mother’s car, keys in hand.
“You have a license?” she asked.
“I have a permit. I told my mom you have a license. Do you?”
“No,” Cerise frowned and was about to question the intelligence of driving illegally when he interrupted.
“Are you wearing a Star Trek shirt?”
“Yeah,” she smiled.
“Why?” He seemed dismayed or confused.
Cerise was immediately deflated. She should have worn the Fraggle hooker outfit.
“I dunno,” she shrugged sadly. “Why, what are we doing tonight?”
“Going to a partay!” He moved his shoulders up and down and shook his head from side to side.
“Really?” Cerise tried to hide her disappointment.
“Yeah, it’s gonna be the coolest party ever!” He danced the robot.
Cerise couldn’t help giggling. She reluctantly climbed into the passenger seat of the car while Jay took the wheel, still doing the robot. They buckled their seatbelts and Jay made robotic sound effects as he adjusted the rear view mirror.
“Jay, how did you get invited to a party? Who’s throwing it? How come the guys aren’t coming?”
“It’s at Karine’s,” he responded happily, backing out of the driveway.
Cerise couldn’t imagine being any more disappointed than she already was, but now she deflated even further.
“Karine Cavalière? Why would she invite you to a party?”
“Why wouldn’t she?” asked Jay as though it wasn’t obvious.
“Jay, it’s gonna be pain! When you said we’d do something tonight, I didn’t think you meant, like, you know, with other people.”
“Well what did you think?”
Cerise shrugged and sighed. “I dunno. Nothing I guess.”
“Cerise, did you think we were gonna go vandalize the town hall? ‘Cause my parole officer says I can’t do that anymore.”
Cerise laughed in spite of herself.
“Don’t worry, it’s gonna be mega fun.”
“Ahh yes, a fun filled evening of hanging out with people who don’t really like us.”
“Karine likes me!” Jay was insistent but his voice quivered slightly.
“Well she hates me.”
“Come on, she doesn’t even know you.”
“Exactly. So why am I going to her party?”
“Come on, Cerise. This could be my chance!”
“Um Jay, no offense but did she even invite you? Or did you find out about this party through umm… how can I put this? More stalkery methods.”
“Yes she invited me! I’m not a frakking stalker. I mean fucking stalker. We can’t use geek terms tonight. Anyways you’re the one with the stalker, remember?”
“Jay, maybe she just invited you to be nice.”
“So what’s wrong with being nice?”
“You know what I mean. Maybe it wasn’t sincere, I mean what exactly did she say?”
“She wasn’t just being nice.”
“You’re right. She’s a bitch. Why would she do something nice?
Jay sighed with irritation. “She’s not some evil harpy ok? She just broke up with ass-face so maybe you know, maybe she likes me.”
Cerise couldn’t help rolling her eyes. “Yeah, maybe she does. In fact, I’m sure she’s totally in love with you. That’s why she’s ignored you for the past four years. It’s a sign of her true affection. You know, she probably threw this whole party just to hang out with you.”
“Shut up!” Jay swung his hand out and lightly shoved Cerise. “You’ll see. She’s nicer than you think.”
“Ok, that explains why you’re going but why did you invite me to come along?”
“Well I can’t go alone!” Jay scoffed. “And I can’t bring the guys! At least you’re semi-normal.”
“Gee thanks,” Cerise drawled.
Karine’s house stood on the corner of
. Even though it was a cold evening, they weren’t allowed to smoke in the house so a bunch of smokers congregated on the lawn that snaked around from the front all the way to the back. The
Old Church Avenue
side of the lawn was lined with bushes and trees, which made a convenient place to throw used cigarette butts and empty beer bottles. Old Church
Old Church Avenue
Led by Sarah, the Green Girls walked along the lawn following the scent of pot. Finding David Pyeng, they asked to bum a toke. Sarah didn’t particularly like David Pyeng but he was generous with his goodies and being a fellow Asian, he was one of the only guys in school she was sure would never ask her to speak in “her” language, as though she wasn’t just as Anglo as the rest of them. Funnily enough, David Pyeng actually was trilingual and could bust out some Korean if prompted, which Sarah of course would never ask him to do.
At the moment he was speaking to a small group of boys about soccer, which wasn’t Sarah’s favourite sport, though she certainly knew enough about it to join in the conversation. Mel and Steph weren’t quite so athletically inclined and they quietly talked to each other about which guys they would try to make out with tonight. Terry Trebichavsky was always the ultimate goal but the Green Girls were realistic and knew to aim a little lower. They wondered if the Krells would show up to the party tonight. Marc and Matthew Krell were twins, which meant Mel and Steph wouldn’t need to fight over them. They couldn’t even tell them apart, so they didn’t care who ended up with whom. Both Krells were on the rugby team and good friends with Steven Reid, which made them only one degree of separation from Terry Trebichavsky.
Mel and Steph each took another toke from David’s joint and then went off in search of the Krells, leaving Sarah to her conversation about whatever the hell sport they were on about.
They walked into the house and slipped off their jackets, leaving them in a pile on top of a bench next to the front door. The first door to their right led to the kitchen and they slipped inside to grab some beers. They said hi to Karine, Christina and Erica and then continued on their way, walking through the hall to the den, where a bunch of guys, including the Krells were playing wii sports. It seemed the Green Girls couldn’t escape sports tonight. They settled onto the floor next to the couch, careful not to block anyone’s playing area.
Christina sat on the kitchen counter, flanked by Karine and Erica who were both standing. They all drank Molson Ex. Karine had a collection of Belgian beer in the basement, but she only brought those out for special occasions and so far tonight wasn’t special enough to qualify.
Steven popped his head in the door and spoke to the room in general, careful not to make eye-contact with Karine. “Hey, Andrew’s got some pot if you guys are interested.”
“Have it outside, eh?” Karine reminded him.
“Yeah, I know,” he snarked.
“Did he get it off David Pyeng?” asked Erica. “David Pyeng’s shit is pathetic. It’s always half tobacco.”
“I dunno where he got it,” Steven shrugged.
The girls looked at one another, considering the offer.
“Ok well first come, first serve,” Steven said as he walked off.
Christina watched him go. “I think he misses you.”
“He just misses the blow jobs,” Erica smirked.
“More than any guy misses from you,” Karine snarked back.
“Please, I have them lining up.”
“Is the line-up invisible?” Karine looked around. “’Cause I don’t see anyone.”
Erica was about to say something no doubt cutting when Terry literally swung into the room, holding himself by the door frame.
“Hey, where’s Andrew?” he asked.
“Smoking up outside,” offered Karine.
“Aw’right.” He disappeared.
Christina sighed. “Did you see that? He totally ignored me.”
“Oh my fucking god!” Erica snapped. “Shut up! It’s been over a month, Chrissy! Here’s an idea: get over it!”
Christina was about to say something but thought better of it, choosing instead to suckle her beer.
Erica went on. “He obviously doesn’t want you anymore. God, how many times do we need to have this conversation? Move on with your life, such as it is.”
Karine was more sympathetic, though the others didn’t know her feelings were partially motivated by guilt. “Seriously Chrissy, just relax. This is a party. We’re supposed to be having fun.”
Erica continued her tirade while Christina polished off her beer. Finally Karine interrupted Erica’s rant by suggesting they go join Andrew before he’d smoked away all his pot. Erica happily agreed and Christina hopped off the counter with a resigned shrug.
“So what happened with that chick?” Terry asked as he passed the joint to Steven.
They stood in the backyard, separated from the rest of the smokers on the lawn. It was still early but a surprising amount of people had already shown up. Terry needed to smoke up a little before interacting with most of these losers.
“Which one?” asked Andrew.
“The one you got pregnant! Who wanted money or whatever.”
“Did you give her the money?” wondered Steven.
“No I didn’t give her the fucking money! Are you insane? She’s a fucking scam artist, nappy-headed ho! It’s not my problem!”
“Dude.” Terry looked at Andrew in discomfort. “Since when are you so racist?” Andrew could be a serious dick sometimes.
“Of course it’s your problem,” Steven pointed out.
“If I had a kid out there I’d wanna know it,” said Terry.
Andrew grabbed the joint away from Steven and inhaled deeply. “It’s not my kid!”
“I’d wanna know it too,” nodded Steve.
“Lay off!” Andrew gritted his teeth.
“Stop laying until you learn how to use a condom,” Terry suggested dryly.
“See? There’s the proof it’s not mine! I did use a condom! I always do!”
“Yeah right.” Terry rolled his eyes.
While it was true that Andrew always carried around several condoms, he hadn’t begun this practice until after he’d impregnated the chick in grade 8.
“You should get a DNA test,” Steven suggested.
“Thanks, CSI,” Andrew snarked. “Those cost money you know.”
“And we all know that Andrew doesn’t like parting with his cash.” Terry chuckled.
“Ok shut up,” Andrew smacked the other guys’ chests. “The chicks are here.”
Karine, Erica and Christina joined the boys.
“So what if we’re here,” said Erica. “What are you guys talking about?”
“How Andrew’s an asshole,” smiled Terry.
“So, like that’s news?” Erica smirked, taking the joint.
Jay parked in the lot of the Beaconsfield Yacht Club, which was only a stone’s throw from Karine’s house. The sailing season was over, so the lot was empty but he could park there because he and his family were members and his mother’s car had a parking permit sticker on the front windshield. Though everyone believed Jay had first started crushing on Karine in Sec 1, in fact the infatuation began during the summer after grade 6 when he was a sailing student who had spied Karine hanging out on the BYC lawn with her parents. They must have been members because he observed Karine many times that year but he’d never seen her out on a boat so he didn’t know if she’d be impressed by his sailing prowess or not.
Jay walked towards Karine’s house with purpose and Cerise followed reluctantly. She spied Sarah hanging out on the lawn with a bunch of guys and waved to her. Sarah waved back. Was Sarah smoking? Cerise smelled the air and realized she was sharing a joint with the group of guys. Cerise hoped she wouldn’t be expected to partake in such things this evening.
Jay stood in front of the door and looked at Cerise. Then he opened it.
“You sure it’s ok to just walk in?” asked Cerise as she followed him inside.
“Well isn’t that how these things work?”
“You know, parties,” Jay shrugged.
“I guess,” Cerise agreed.
They took off their jackets and dumped them onto the nearby pile. Seeing no shoes littering the floor, they opted to keep theirs on. Dance music played. Maybe house music. Electronica? Cerise wasn’t an authority on musical genres so she couldn’t be sure.
“I wonder where she is.” Jay craned his neck.
“Yeah, I’m just burning with curiosity.”
Shauna spent most of her Friday nights sitting in the living room watching TV. If her older brother, Malcolm was home, she retreated to her bedroom so as not to risk disturbing him. Tonight she sat on the windowsill with the window open, trying to make sure all the smoke from her cigarette blew outside.
It was a nice night so she decided to take a walk. She put on her warmest hoodie and descended the stairs quietly. Going out the front door would necessitate walking past the living room, where Malcolm was playing X-box, so Shauna tiptoed through the kitchen, which led to the garage. Her docs were in the front hallway so she quietly rummaged through a pile of old winter boots she found in the garage and slipped on a pair she hadn’t worn in three years. She stepped out the back door and gently closed it behind her, lighting up another cigarette and walking through the back yard onto
Lakeshore Roadwhere she was hit with the repugnant smell of the lake.
Lakeshore Roadwhere she was hit with the repugnant smell of the lake.
Shauna hated the water. She’d grown up with a view of the lake, so she was used to it, but she still hated it. She hated the smell, the sounds, the sight and she especially hated boats. Her parents had made many attempts to get her interested in sports when she’d been younger and sailing had gone down as the biggest catastrophe among a series of disasters. Though she’d taken swimming lessons as a child she had never actually learned to swim so she’d been terrified of drowning, especially since she capsized a lot. She’d always been wearing a lifejacket but she’d still been traumatized enough to throw a tantrum the likes of which her parents had never encountered before.
As a rule Shauna tried to take up as little space and make as little disturbance as possible but even the threat of a beating couldn’t prevent her from throwing an anti-sailing fit. She got a fat lip for her trouble but at least she got out of sailing and her parents stopped trying to turn her into an athlete.
She was on her second cigarette when she saw the Glue Sniffers hanging out by the side of the road. Wendy was lying on the hood of a rusted old car that was parked in the gravel beside the road. Shauna was pretty sure that was a no-parking zone. She considered walking past them but thought it might be worthwhile to see if they had any drugs on hand. She hadn’t particularly enjoyed the acid trip but maybe they had some pot, or even some alcohol would be sufficient.
“So let’s just fucking go if we’re gonna go,” Mike was saying.
Shauna approached the trio cautiously, trying to catch Wendy’s eye.
“What the fuck do you want?” said Mike.
“Um, nothing. I was just um, wondering if you guys were holding.”
“Do we know you?”
Wendy looked over from her reclined position on the car. “I know her. I’ve sold to her before. Sheila right?”
“Right. Well we don’t have anything,” said Wendy.
Shauna nodded and started walking away but Wendy hopped off the car and called after her.
“But uh, some bitch is having a party. We’re gonna go. They might have something there.”
Shauna turned around and stared at Wendy, not sure if that was an invitation or just Wendy trying to make her jealous.
“You can come if you want,” Wendy shrugged.
Shauna nodded again and rejoined the group. Wendy got into the driver’s seat of her car while Mike took the passenger side. Shauna climbed into the back with Ben. She sat in silence while the others rambled about nothing in particular.