“Cerise, are you having intimate relations with a boy?”
Cerise coughed out her spaghetti and stared at her mother. Julie and Simone also stared at Angela in a mixture of shock and disgust.
“What?” Cerise asked in horror.
“Well...” her mother was about to go on.
“Why are you asking me this? Why aren’t you asking them? What have you guys been telling her?” Cerise looked at her sisters accusingly.
Simone lifted her hands defensively and shook her head.
“Like anyone would hook up with Cerise,” said Julie in amusement.
“Well you’re the expert eh, Julie?” countered Cerise. “God knows enough guys will hook up with you.”
“Shut up!” Julie spat out. “Just ‘cause you can’t get a boyfriend…”
“That’s right! I can’t. I don’t have a boyfriend. No mom, I’m not having intimate relations with a boy and I probably never will because everybody hates me. Are you happy now?”
Cerise dropped her fork onto her plate with a loud clang and then pushed out her chair. She stomped out of the kitchen and up to her room as loudly as she could manage with her tiny little baby feet.
“Well at least you know she’s still a virgin,” said Simone with a wry smile.
Angela ignored her eldest daughter and turned to her youngest. “Julie, are you having sex?”
“Are you?” Julie asked sardonically.
“I am,” said Simone, lifting her hand and suppressing a smile.
Angela sighed in defeat and Julie brought her empty plate to the sink, where she rinsed it and dropped it into the dishwasher. Without another word, she retreated to the TV in the basement. Angela looked at Simone pleadingly.
“Yeah, Julie?” Simone cocked her head towards the door. “Total slut.”
“Well Michelle Pfeiffer is way more famous than Calista Flockheart even though she doesn’t really do anything anymore, she’s still like more famous. Plus she’s prettier, even if she is like a hundred. And you’ll get a cool costume and you’ll be all sparkly and stuff.
’s just boring. She’s ugly,” said Christina supportively. Helena
November was such a shitty month. It was all cold and dreary and wet and yucky. There wasn’t any snow yet, it was just rain, and then it would get humid but still cold, so it was impossible to know how to dress. All the pretty coloured leaves were gone and the only ones left were all brown and soggy. Most of the trees were bare yet some still had a few dead leaves stubbornly holding on to their branches. Karine looked out the window of the fishbowl and watched the trees sway in the wind. It was really windy today, you could even hear the whistling from inside, and yet those leaves still wouldn’t fall. It was actually kind of annoying.
Erica snorted with indifference.
“Yeah I guess,” said Karine with a shrug. “But Cherry is
“Yeah, ‘cause she’s ugly,” said Chrissy.
“Who’s ugly?” asked Terry, crossing the fishbowl in three long strides and dropping himself down next to Karine.
,” said Karine. “She’s not ugly, she’s just supposed to be like, awkward or whatever. But it’s a really good part. A better part.” Helena
“I’m sure that’s debatable,” said Terry and his wiggly eyebrows.
“Oh, you are just so smug,” responded Karine.
“What?” he said innocently.
“You are just so happy that your little girlfriend has a better part than me. Even if she is supposed to be ugly.”
“She’s like a total cow,” said Christina helpfully.
“Karine, chill,” said Terry. “It’s not a better part and besides, me and Cerise aren’t even like that.”
“Really?” asked Chrissy, much too eagerly.
“We’re not even friends. Much less… anything else.”
“Oh yeah?” Chrissy leaned forward in her rickety chair.
“Down girl,” said Erica with a mixture of annoyance and amusement.
“So you’ve finally gotten over her, eh?” Karine snickered.
“Look, I was never into her ok? She’s just a chick. Like any other chick… But she’s not ugly.”
Cerise was eating lunch in the cafeteria with the boys when Sarah joined them.
“Cerise! Did you see the cast sheet?!”
“Oh my god! Congratulations!”
“It’s gonna be so much fun!”
“What’s gonna be fun?” asked Karl hesitantly, as though he was afraid they’d answer.
“The school play,” answered Sarah.
“We’re doing A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
and I’m Hermia. It’s gonna be so much fun, we have tons of scenes together!” Helena
“I know! It’ll be so cool!”
“Whee!” Jay clapped his hands in excitement. “Sounds super duper!” he mocked.
Cerise threw a grape at Jay and made every effort to ignore Terry when he walked past her table and joined all his friends at the other end of the caf.
“So Karine, ready to fall in love with me?” smarmed Andrew as he draped his arm over Karine’s shoulders.
“God, you being Bottom is total typecasting.”
“It’s like the funniest role in the play, it’s awesome,” insisted Andrew. “So you wanna go practice our kissing scenes?”
Both Steven and Karine pushed Andrew away as he tried to lick Karine’s face. Erica laughed and Christina did too, though with slightly less enthusiasm.
“Who’s Karine gonna be?” asked Jay with as much nonchalance as he could muster, which wasn’t much.
“Titania,” said Cerise tightly.
“Queen of the fairies,” said Sarah.
“Of course.” Cerise rolled her eyes. “Typical that she would get the best part.”
“I dunno if Titania is the best part,” said Sarah.
“Well, the best female role. Oh well, at least I don’t have any scenes with her.”
“She’s not so bad,” shrugged Sarah.
“Why don’t we ask Vani and his broken ribs,” smirked Cerise.
“Nothing’s broken!” Vani insisted. “No chick is gonna take me down.”
“You wanna test that theory?” asked Sarah, holding up her fist.
“I’m scared,” whimpered Vani, trying to hide behind Willy.
They all laughed but Jay punched Vani in the arm.
“You frakking deserved it,” he said. “Karine was totally in her rights to give you a beating.”
Cerise rolled her eyes. “You’re so full of it.”
“What? You don’t think…”
Karl sighed. “Must we get into this again…”
Cerise interrupted them both. “If Vani had made that comment about any other chick you wouldn’t even give a shit. You’re only offended ‘cause it’s Karine.”
“Apparently we must,” said Karl, to which Sarah giggled.
“You’re so shallow,” Cerise went on.
“What do you mean?” asked Jay, greatly offended.
“You only like her because she’s hot!”
“And I guess you like Terry Trebichavsky for his sparkling personality.”
“Oh look, a dead horse!” exclaimed Karl. “Let’s go beat it!”
Sarah giggled again.
“Ok see, I don’t even like Terry anymore,” said Cerise smugly.
“How come!?” asked Sarah with great concern.
“He’s a jerk.”
“I coulda told you that!” said Jay. “And I did! About a million times!”
Sarah ignored the boys as they voiced their agreement. “What happened. I thought you guys were like, totally going out!”
“We were never going out. I mean we’ve been out but we never like, went out.”
“But you guys were all like, kissing in the halls and stuff.”
“You were?” asked Vani with interest.
“You were kissing him?” asked Willy with equal interest.
“In the halls?” asked Karl, his interest mostly sarcastic.
“Oh my god, that was like, nothing,” said Cerise dismissively. “But whatever, we went out and he was a jerk and that’s it.”
“What did he do?” asked Sarah, speaking low so the boys wouldn’t hear.
The boys all leaned forward to hear Cerise’s response.
“Nothing, I dunno. He was just kinda mean.”
“Oh my god, how so?”
“I dunno, whatever.”
“Did he like, try to like…”
“No! He didn’t try anything! He was just obnoxious, that’s all. Just like, sexual innuendos and like…” Cerise darted her eyes towards the boys. “Saying mean stuff about the guys.”
“Asshole,” Jay muttered under his breath.
“So you broke up?” Sarah asked sadly.
“We were never actually together so there was nothing to break up but I mean, yeah, basically.”
Sarah looked very disappointed, perhaps too disappointed considering it wasn’t even her relationship in question. The boys all looked pleased and Vani jumped up and announced it was time for the run. Cerise rolled her eyes and got up with them but she followed behind slowly, walking with Sarah and revealing every detail she could recall from her explosive conversation with Terry. Sarah didn’t think it was that big of a deal and counselled her to try again but Cerise made it clear that she hadn’t left any possibility of another go with Terry.
“Would you guys get over it? No one cares about your stupid play,” said Erica snottily.
Terry sighed loudly. He didn’t particularly care about the play either but if Karine and Andrew wanted to talk about it that was their business and Erica needed to shut the hell up and realize that not everything was always about her.
“I care,” said Steven, trying to be helpful in his own pathetic way.
“Come on Erica, this can involve you too,” said Terry with a smirk. “Andrew’s gonna play an ass so maybe you could give him some pointers.”
Everyone laughed except Erica obviously and Christina tried to hide her giggles, which just proved that she was still Erica’s spineless little lackey.
“Wow, look who’s talking,” snarked Erica. “I think you pretty much take the cake for biggest ass of all time. You couldn’t even get a loser like Cherry the Raspberry to hook up with you.”
“You couldn’t?” asked Andrew incredulously.
“Gimme a break, she didn’t dump him, he dumped her,” said Karine.
“Yeah!” agreed Chrissy.
“Oh really?” smiled Erica. “Is that so?”
Terry narrowed his eyes. “No one dumped anyone. We were never even together.”
“Yeah,” said Chrissy. “Really?”
“Who gives a shit?” shrugged Terry.
“Oooh, looks like we’ve hit a nerve,” said Erica with her smarmiest smile.
“You still like her,” said Karine, not even bothering to hide her annoyance.
“But you haven’t scored with her yet?” scoffed Andrew.
“I knew she was frigid,” said Chrissy with satisfaction.
“Whatever,” said Terry, getting up from the table. He dropped his empty coke can into the recycling bin and sauntered out of the cafeteria, trying to be as slow and casual as possible. He took his pack of cigarettes out of his pocket and placed one behind his ear. He didn’t really want a smoke but he needed to make it look like he was leaving the caf for a reason.
He walked through the hallways aimlessly and eventually passed by student union. Cerise and Sarah Wong were there and so were all of Cerise’s stupid nerd friends. He tried to ignore them all but couldn’t help looking at Cerise. She was sitting on the ground and leaning against the wall. Her hood was up and strands of blonde hair were poking out of it, framing her face. She looked up at him briefly but frowned and looked back at Sarah, crossing her arms defiantly. Whatever, if she didn’t want him, he certainly didn’t want her. Terry walked off to the fishbowl, knowing perfectly well that he was full of shit and the fact that she didn’t want him just made him want her all the more.
“It’s too bad though, ‘cause you know, he’s so cute,” sighed Sarah.
“Yeah I know,” agreed Cerise. “But still.”
“Ok, I really don’t wanna get into this, because seriously, the horse is dead and I know it’s a pointless argument but I just can’t let the hypocrisy go by unchecked,” said Karl in annoyance.
“What are you talking about?” asked Sarah with irritation.
“You say Jay is shallow? But girls always wanna go out with good looking guys who are total assholes. They never give nice guys a chance.”
Jay, Vani and Willy all voiced their agreement.
“Oh my god!” exclaimed Cerise. “Oh my god, there are so many things wrong with that statement I can’t even begin!”
“Seriously,” agreed Sarah. “Terry is a nice guy. He’s always been nice to me anyway!”
“I’m talking about your hypocrisy!” said Cerise. “You’re saying we’re hypocrites? You’re a pot, we’re kettles, we’re all freaking black!”
“That sounds vaguely racist,” mused Vani.
“Yeah, I don’t see you lusting over really nice, ugly girls,” snorted Sarah.
“Seriously! Jay is like, obsessed with Karine Cavalière and I don’t think it’s because of her sparkling personality.”
Jay was about to respond but Cerise went on. “And I’m assuming that when you complain about how girls never go for nice guys you’re referring to yourself Karl, but that is such a load of shit! You’re not a nice guy. You guys are all the biggest assholes I’ve ever met!”
“Oh come on!” protested Jay.
“It’s true, Jay! You guys are total jerks! You think it’s shocking that girls don’t like you? Why don’t you try being decent for a change?”
“Seriously!” agreed Sarah vehemently. “The sense of entitlement is unbelievable. It’s such a fucking cliché for so called nice guys to think that girls somehow owe them, like you deserve to have chicks fawn over you just ‘cause you don’t try to date rape them. But what do you actually do that could ever make a girl like you? Or make anyone like you? Have you ever done anything that wasn’t completely shitty?”
Karl shrugged. “We just… I mean… we’re just kidding around when we like, do stuff.”
“Except your jokes aren’t funny!” said Sarah.
“Don’t tell me you’re still pissed about the posters and stuff…”
“Uh yeah, I am. It’s just meanness for no reason. Plus the way you guys treat Jonah Cupryk is like, way harsh.”
“Seriously!” agreed Cerise.
“You guys got him kicked out of English!”
“It wasn’t our fault! He has free will,” said Karl lamely.
“It so was your fault!” Sarah insisted. “You got him kicked out of English for the whole year. He has to do the class independently now. And I mean, that’s like, way more work. Maybe you or I could handle that but this is Jonah we’re talking about. And that was like, a totally shitty thing to do to him. And you enjoyed doing it. You wanted to see him suffer.”
“It was just to goof on Mr. Weird,” shrugged Karl.
“No it wasn’t. It wasn’t about Project SOIF and it wasn’t about goofing off. It was about you being an asshole to Jonah. You wanted to hurt him. You get off on hurting other people.”
No one seemed to know what to say. Karl looked very uncomfortable and the other boys were also staring at their hands awkwardly. Sarah got up off the floor and opened the door to student union.
“So don’t say you’re a nice guy, ‘cause you’re not,” she said sadly, quietly closing the door behind her.
“She’s right you know,” said Cerise. “Vani, you deserved to get your ass kicked for making lewd comments about Karine, even if she did sort of go overboard. And like, Willy, that time you smashed Jojo’s ice cream? That was so unnecessarily cruel.”
“I didn’t see you stopping me!” said Willy defiantly.
“Maybe I should have. Maybe I’m mean too.” Cerise frowned.
Karl pounded his fist on the floor. “Ack! It’s true! I’m mean! How will I live?!”
The boys laughed boisterously and began recounting all their past cruelties with relish. Cerise tried to stay angry with them, but a few of their stories were admittedly kind of funny.