Not everyone who was cast in the play was in Drama class so official rehearsals would take place after school but that didn’t stop Mr. Weir from using each class as extra rehearsal time. He used that afternoon’s class to compliment himself on his casting choices. Dominic Killeen was playing Puck and was instructed not to let them down since he was apparently the heart and soul of the play. Karine was told she would make a perfect Titania, since she had all the beauty and grace the role required. This comment prompted Cerise to roll her eyes at Sarah, who giggled discreetly while Andrew hollered his agreement. Mr. Weir thanked him for his enthusiasm, declaring him to have just what it took to be Bottom. Everyone laughed appreciatively and Andrew responded by braying like a donkey.
“I’m glad I chose a comedy this year,” Mr. Weir went on when the laughter had died down. “I think we’ve got a great group of players. I don’t think we could have done such an ambitious play last year. I was really pleased to find you, Cerise.”
Cerise smiled shyly.
is a difficult part to play. She undergoes a transformation not every actor can understand. To portray a character who struggles with her self-doubt and then to rise out of that state, it’s a big challenge. And I think you’re the only person in this class who’s really capable of pulling that off. Helena
“Um, thanks,” said Cerise, not really sure what Weir was getting at.
She looked around to see Sarah smiling happily. Karine, on the other hand had her dagger eyes turned up to full blast.
Theseus, Hippolyta and Philostrate were instructed to get on stage and begin the first act. Everyone not in the scene was to sit down and pay attention.
“Hey,” said Karine, sitting next to Cerise and whispering in her ear.
“Uh hey,” Cerise whispered back.
“It’s too bad things didn’t work out with you and Terry.”
“So how does it feel to get dumped?”
Cerise froze and refused to look at Karine. She clutched her copy of the play and looked up at the stage.
“’Cause I wouldn’t know,” Karine went on. “I mean it must really suck. First Jay and now Terry.”
Cerise glared at Karine, unable to ignore her. “I was never even with Jay. Or Terry.”
“Yeah, I know. You just can’t seem to get anyone can you?”
“I wasn’t even trying to get… anyone.”
“Good thing ‘cause it wouldn’t have worked. Terry would never really go out with someone like you. I mean, what did you think?”
Cerise knew better than to goad Karine but she couldn’t help wondering if Terry had said something to her and she quietly asked if he had.
“He didn’t really have to say anything. I mean everyone knows you’re frigid.”
Cerise squeezed the manuscript in her hands and hissed. “Did he say that?”
Karine simply smirked and got out of her seat, moving a few rows back.
Jay went to join Cerise at her locker at the end of the day and she slammed it shut just as he reached her.
“Whoa! Relax,” he said stepping back. “Still pissed about the whole mean thing?”
“You have no idea how mean I can be,” she said, practically growling.
“I think I do. I still have nightmares from when you went off on Porta-potty girl. You were like, get outa my face bitch and she was like, but I love you so much and you were like, talk to the hand…”
“You had to bring that up, eh?” she asked sadly.
“I’m just kidding.”
“Well why shouldn’t I be a bitch? If you’re nice to people they just screw you over.”
“Why are you so out of it?”
“You know, I don’t know. Why am I out of it? I mean, am I really surprised?”
“Surprised about what?”
“That people suck. People… just… suck.”
“Yeah well, I coulda told you that.”
“Everyone just ends up being a disappointment.”
“Maybe your standards are too high.”
“I guess so. I guess I shouldn’t even care, right?”
Jay shrugged awkwardly, not really sure what they were talking about. “Right. Life is but a series of events with no beginning and no end and no sense at all really, much like that sentence.”
“Whatever.” She rolled her eyes.
“So uh, you coming? Aren’t you gonna put on your coat?”
“I have rehearsals.”
“Oh right. Fun times. Well, try not to have too much fun without me.”
Porta-potty chick shuffled by and Cerise watched her go into the bathroom.
“I hear she smokes pot in there,” offered Jay.
“I really was crazy mean to her,” said Cerise.
“Yeah, it was awesome.”
Cerise ignored him and went into the bathroom. Jay figured their conversation was over so he joined up with the guys for some gaming.
Shauna emerged from her stall to find Cerise standing by the sinks, staring at her. Shauna looked away and made for the door but Cerise stopped her with bitchiness.
“Aren’t you even gonna like, wash your hands?”
She wanted to leave but somehow she found herself at a sink, turning on the tap. There was no soap in any of the dispensers so she just shook her hands under the water and then dried them on her pants. She went for the door again but Cerise spoke.
“Uh, can I like, talk to you?”
“What?” asked Shauna, her hand on the door handle.
“I just… you know,” Cerise sighed.
“What?” Shauna kept her back turned.
Shauna closed her eyes and let the words wash over her. They were like a blanket, keeping her warm.
Cerise went on. “I’m sorry I didn’t like, visit you, in like, the hospital. And I’m sorry I didn’t say hi to you when you came back to school. And I’m sorry I yelled at you at the party. And I’m sorry… I dunno. I’m sorry about everything.”
Shauna didn’t want Cerise to see the tears that were forming in her eyes so she heaved open the bathroom door and rushed out of the school.
Cerise wasn’t sure what she’d expected. Come to think of it, that was a typical reaction for Shauna. She wasn’t exactly verbose. And Cerise couldn’t expect her to give a shit about her apology. It was clearly too little too late. She left the washroom and walked towards the auditorium. Half way there she literally bumped into Terry. He touched her arm and tried to talk to her but she shook him off. He tried to go after her but she stopped him.
“We had a deal, Terry. Remember? We don’t talk to each other anymore.”
“Cerise! I’m sorry ok, I’m sorry!”
Too little too late for him too. Cerise kept walking.
“Cerise, come on. Can’t we just move on?”
She turned and looked at him icily. “I know what you told your friends.”
“I didn’t tell them shit!”
“Yeah well, that’s not what Karine says.”
Terry seemed genuinely shocked. Cerise guessed he was realizing that Karine was less discreet than he’d given her credit for.
“What did she say?” he asked.
Cerise kept walking away. Terry wanted to go after her but what could he do? He’d promised not to bother her anymore. And if Karine was spreading lies then he’d probably have no chance. He knew how mean Karine could be. Fuck Karine! Terry’s hands were balled up into fists and without thinking he turned and punched the nearest locker. Shit. He’d completely cratered it. It was crazy busted. His hand wasn’t doing too good either. That was gonna leave a bruise.
He wasn’t sure what to do. Go home and put some ice on his hand? Try to forget about Cerise? Or tell Karine where she could shove it? He wanted to go find her but she was probably already in the auditorium. He decided to go home and cool down but several hours later he was still pissed as hell. At 8pm he drove to Karine’s house. He didn’t call to see if she’d be home but took the chance. For sure rehearsal would be done by now. He parked in her empty driveway and pounded on the front door. Sure enough she was home and greeted him in her pajamas.
“Hey! This is a pleasant surprise!”
She stood aside to let him enter but he stayed on the front landing. “What the hell did you say to Cerise?”
She looked shocked. “What? Like I would even talk to her.”
“Don’t bullshit me, Karine!”
“Relax.” She wasn’t being snarky, she was really asking him to calm down. She even looked scared.
He took a deep breath, trying to control himself. He leaned his hand on the doorframe, forcing himself to hold something so he wouldn’t punch anything. “What did you tell her?”
“Nothing,” she said quietly in a tone of voice that indicated she was lying.
“Please tell me,” he pleaded.
“I didn’t… I mean… I thought you didn’t care about her anymore.”
“It’s none of your fucking business if I do or not. Tell me what you said to her!”
“Nothing much. I just made fun of her for getting dumped.”
“Why Karine, why? Why would you do that?” A lump rose up in Terry’s throat and he fought to keep himself together. If he were to start crying in front of Karine, she probably wouldn’t give him a hard time about it but she’d still think he was a complete loser. And even though he was really angry at her right now, he still didn’t want her to think badly of him. Still, he had to make sure she knew she couldn’t fuck with his shit. “Why can’t you just stay out of it?”
“I didn’t think…”
“You never think!” he spat. “Just stay out of it! Stop screwing with her! Ok? Stop screwing with me. Can you do that? Do you think you can just do that, Karine?”
“Good!” He turned around and went back to his car, screeching out of her driveway and driving home way too fast.