Terry and Cerise were walking along the docs in St-Anne’s. After leaving the restaurant they had driven around randomly for a while until deciding to take a walk along the waterfront. Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue was a college town, housing John Abbott CEGEP and there were lots of teenagers around, drinking and running in and out of bars. Terry wanted to suggest they go somewhere for a drink but figured Cerise wouldn’t be into that.
“I’m sorry about Karine, being like, bitchy,” he said suddenly.
“That’s ok,” said Cerise. “I mean, sometimes she’s ok. Sometimes not. What’s her damage anyway?”
“I dunno. Sometimes she gets weird. But she’s usually pretty cool.”
“You been friends long?”
“Since Sec 1.”
“Yeah, she’s cool once you get to know her.”
“If you say so,” smirked Cerise.
“Did you guys ever… go out?”
“No. We played those games like spin the bottle and shit in like Sec 1 but uh, you know, we never really hooked up or anything.”
“Did you ever want to hook up with her? I mean she’s really pretty.”
Terry wondered if he should be honest. “Um… no. We’re good as friends.”
Cerise nodded and smiled slightly. Terry wanted to hold her hand but her hands were stuffed into her coat pockets.
“So how ‘bout you and those dorks you hang out with?” he asked.
“What?” she turned to him, a frown on her face.
Vani was shooting an imaginary machine gun, killing a warehouse full of cybernetically enhanced
Willy, who had fallen asleep after gorging himself on Sweet Chili Heat Doritos was roused and asked what was going on.
“We’re going in!” announced Jay.
“Oh, finally. Have you been NPCing me?”
“I always NPC you,” snarked Karl.
“Well I’ll do something now! Just tell me what’s happening.”
“You’re being attacked by a Glitter Boy.”
“They’re not dorks. They’re just… nerds,” said Cerise with a laugh.
Terry laughed as well. He was so cute when he smiled.
“No, I dunno,” she went on. “They’re not so bad. A little immature maybe but so are all guys.”
“Is that right?” he smiled.
“Until I get any evidence to the contrary, yeah.”
“It’s just weird ‘cause they don’t seem like the type of people you’d hang with.”
“Oh? What kind of people should I hang out with?”
“I dunno,” he shrugged.
“People like you?”
“For instance,” he grinned.
“But those guys and I have stuff in common.”
“Well I’m kind of a geek too.”
He looked her up and down and Cerise started to feel a little uncomfortable.
“Maybe,” he said, cocking his head to the side.
“Ok, be cool, be calm. No reason to panic,” said Jay.
“Yeah, no reason at all. We’re trapped in a room with no air and there’s a Gllitter Boy outside the door. Everything’s peachy keen.”
“Well, as a last resort there’s always suicide,” suggested Willy.
“The GB comes in and puts you all in anti-suicide chambers. Except you, Willy,” Karl smirked.
“Ha, ha, frakkin’ ha,” scowled Willy.
Three teenaged boys with cigarettes in their mouths were throwing empty beer bottles into the lake.
“I guess you’re not into that kinda shit are you?” asked Terry, indicating the boys.
“What shit? Random acts of pollution?”
“Like getting drunk or high and shit.”
“Uh, not really,” she admitted.
Cerise wasn’t sure what to say. She wasn’t even sure she knew the answer. “I dunno. It just never appealed to me. Seems boring.”
“It can be fun.”
“Well, I guess. But it’s just not my kind of fun.”
“What is your kinda fun?” he grinned. “Building snow forts?”
“Hey, don’t knock it ‘till you try it,” she smiled. “But no, I dunno. I guess I’d just prefer to have a conversation than like, drink until I pass out.”
“Have you ever tried drinking ‘till you pass out?”
“How do you know you won’t like it if you’ve never tried it?”
“Well, I’m assuming. I mean, I’m just not that type.”
“How do you know?” he challenged.
“I think I know myself,” she said, letting her irritation begin to show.
“Ok well… what if I am?”
“What if you are what?”
“What if I’m that type?”
“Listen, if that’s what you wanna do then great, I’m not gonna stop you. But it’s not for me. I mean to each their own, right? I mean, I dunno, I just don’t really wanna be like…”
“Like what? Like me?”
“No. Like Christina Penna.”
Terry laughed. “Yeah, good point.”
“Whew! Thank god!” Vani flopped back onto the couch and dramatically wiped his brow.
“Close one,” said Jay. “Way to avoid death, RJ.”
RJ was the name of Vani’s character. It stood for Rough Justice.
“Never underestimate the power of a good roll,” smiled Karl.
“Is it my turn now?” whined Willy.
Karl grudgingly agreed it was and offered him the dice.
“Aww man! You’re just gonna ruin everything I just set up!” whined Vani.
Jay couldn’t help but agree.
“Still though, it’s fun sometimes just to you know, loosen up,” said Terry.
Cerise shrugged. “I dunno, I think I’m already pretty loose.”
“Oh yeah?” Terry grinned lasciviously. “Good to know.”
“Well I don’t mean it like that!”
“Aww damn, I thought I was gonna get lucky there for a second.”
He was obviously joking but Cerise blushed anyway and turned away from him to look at the water.
“So such luck, eh?” he said.
She turned back to him and frowned. “I think your ego can take the rejection for like, you know, this one time in your life.”
“You’d be surprised,” he smiled.
“Surprised by what? How brittle your ego is or by how many times you’ve been rejected? Somehow I don’t think you’re used to being turned down.”
“Why’s that?” he asked, still smiling.
“Everyone knows you’re a player.”
“You make it sound like a bad thing,” he grinned.
Cerise tried a combination of smirking and scowling. A smowl. Or a scirk.
“That might be another thing you wanna try out.” He cocked an eyebrow and the left side of his mouth turned up.
“Red alert! Battle stations!”
Vani got up and ran around the room. “I send a red shirt to seal the breach!”
“You’re out of red shirts!” announced Karl.
“Then I send Willy!”
“Fuck you!” yelled Willy, throwing a die at Vani.
“Hey,” don’t throw the frakking dice!” ordered Karl. “I still haven’t forgotten the twelve sider you lost in Sec 3!”
“Oh my fucking god! Get over it! That was two years ago!”
“Seriously, Karl, they’re just dice,” said Jay, shaking his head.
“You dare disdain the dice?!” Karl picked up a twenty-sider on the table and held it to his chest. “My precious…”
“Yeah well, if and when I decide to try any new things, you will definitely not be who I try them with,” said Cerise with narrowed eyes.
Oh shit. He’d done it again. It was so easy to make her mad. Terry really had to be careful what he said around her. She was good with banter so he always forgot that she had a tendency to take his sexual jokes too seriously.
“Hey, I didn’t mean to piss you off. I was just kidding around. Seriously,” he said trying to smile as innocently as possible.
“Ok,” she smiled tightly.
They walked for a while, and it was sort of awkward. Terry knew he shouldn’t press the issue but he had to know something. “Uh so… who would you try them with?”
“That guy you’re always hanging out with?”
“The guy with the ‘fro?”
“You guys ever hook up?”
“Didn’t you already ask me this at Karine’s party? Jay and I are just friends.”
“Ok, cool. He likes you though.”
Cerise stopped and turned to face Terry. “Really?”
Oh shit. He never should have brought it up. “Uh… maybe.”
“You really think so?”
“What makes you think that?”
“Nothing. I’m prob’ly wrong.”
“Yeah, probably,” she said sadly.
“Whatever, he’s a spaz. You’re better off without him.”
“What does that mean?”
“He’s a freak,” said Terry, annoyed they were still talking about that loser.
“He’s my friend. And if he’s a freak, then I am too.”
Terry sighed in annoyance. “Yeah, maybe you are.”
“And what does that mean?”
“Nothing, forget it.”
“No, you obviously mean something. Tell me.”
“I just think you can do better!”
She shook her head and rolled her eyes. “You think I can do you.”
“Well what’s wrong with me?” He knew he was raising his voice and sounding like an asshole but he couldn’t help it. She was just so frustrating.
“Nothing. But it’s not like there’s anything particularly right with you either.”
“And what the hell does that mean? You think you’re too good for me or some shit?”
“I didn’t say that! You’re putting words in my mouth.”
“Hey, believe me, words are the last thing I wanna put in your mouth.”
“Eww! What does that mean?”
“Nothing,” he sighed.
“God, screw you!” She stepped back, obviously in full on bitch-out mode. “You’re such a fucking hypocrite, all beating up Vani ‘cause he said nasty shit about Karine but you are constantly making disgusting sexual innuendos.”
“Hey, I didn’t beat him up…”
“You say my friends are losers, and yet all your friends call me Cherry, like right to my face! God! Why do I even bother with you?”
“I’m sorry, I…”
“No! Don’t say anything! I don’t wanna hear it! ‘Cause this fucking thing between us, whatever it is, it is so over.”
“That’s it, we’re screwed. There’s no way out of this situation,” Jay said despondently. “Way to frakk everything up, Willy.”
“Suck it,” responded Willy, masturbating a phantom erection.
“I say we sacrifice Willy and regroup,” said Vani.
“I will stick my dick right in your mouth if you don’t shut the fuck up,” growled Willy.
“Keep your fantasies to yourself,” said Karl. “Jay, just roll.”
Cerise was walking away at about the speed of light. Terry ran after her and tried to take her arm but she shook him off.
“Wait!” he pleaded.
“Why should I?”
“God! Chill! You always freak out!”
“You know what?” she spun around to face him. “You can’t say that. You can’t say I always anything. You don’t know me well enough to make a judgement like that.”
“I know you’re overreacting,” he sighed.
“And I know you’re a total asshole. And Jay knows it too. And so do the rest of my friends. Because they are my friends and they don’t insult me every chance they get.”
“How did I insult you? Fuck! I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to piss you off. Come on, you said yourself you sometimes blow things out of proportion. Can we just start over?”
“This,” her hands waved back and forth between them. “This was supposed to be us starting over. But I don’t want to anymore. ‘Cause maybe I’m not blowing things out of proportion. Maybe I’m seeing things the way they really are. So just leave me alone ok? From now on, just leave me the hell alone, you fucking perv!”
Jay held the die in his hand and cradled it. He shook his fist and then dropped the die onto the table. It landed on twenty. Jay leapt into the air and hollowered. Vani, Karl and Willy also cheered.
Cerise walked away from Terry to get to the main road. She had such nice legs, so long and thin but not like skinny thin, like nice thin… shit, she was right, he really was a perv. She was totally freaking out and he was only thinking about doing her. He needed to get himself under control and help her calm down.
“What are you gonna do? Walk home?” he asked much more snarkily than he’d intended.
“I’ll take the bus.”
“Who knows when it’ll come?”
“The 211 passes every hour. I can wait.”
“Cerise, come on.”
“Leave me alone!”
“Cerise, its freezing. I’m not gonna leave you here. Just let me drive you home. Ok? Just let me drive you. And then I’ll never speak to you again. I promise. I’ll leave you alone for the rest of your life. I swear,” he lied. “Please. I just, I can’t just leave you here.”
She turned and glared at him.
They drove in silence. Cerise kept her head turned the entire time, looking out the window. He drove slowly and tried to say something everytime he stopped at a red light but he couldn’t think of anything that would make her forgive him. He wasn’t even entirely sure what he’d done wrong. When he got to her house she quickly unbuckled her seat belt and opened the door. He put his hand on her arm.
“Cerise, wait. Please, listen, I…”
“Goodbye,” she said icily, yanking her arm free. She slammed the door in his face.