“Julie, don’t you think you’re a little too young to be having sex?”
Simone and Cerise looked at each other from their stealthy positions behind the kitchen doorway where they were easvesdropping on their mother’s ambush of their youngest sister.
“Gimme a break mom, I’m fourteen.”
“Exactly! You’re fourteen! For god’s sake, don’t you see how young that is? You have your whole life ahead of you. You have years to make mistakes. Why do you want to make them now?”
“Mom, I’m menstruating, right? So nature thinks I’m ready. I mean, if I’m old enough to have a baby then I’m old enough to make one.”
Simone and Cerise made eye contact and smirked.
“Sound logic,” Simone whispered.
“So what if you do get pregnant?” Angela continued. “Do you really want to have a baby at your age?”
“I’ll just get an abortion.”
“My god, Julie! Abortion isn’t a form of birth control!”
Silence followed so Cerise assumed that Julie was shrugging haughtily.
“You’re going on the pill! But you still have to use condoms for safety! And you have to stop having sex!”
“Mom, you are so not one to talk,” snotted Julie.
Cerise and Simone raised their brows at each other.
“So that’s what this is, Julie? You’re punishing me? Well consider me punished, alright? I’ve learned my lesson. But I’m really afraid that you’re going to learn yours in a very painful way.”
“Punishing her for what?” whispered Simone conspiratorially.
“The divorce?” Cerise whispered back.
“I think mom had an affair.”
“And Julie knows? Why wouldn’t she have just told us?”
“Because this way she has something on mom. And keeping it just between them gives her an advantage,” Simone reasoned.
“So that’s why she always gets away with everything?”
“I guess. Mom feels guilty.”
“Well at least that explains why they got divorced. But you really think mom would have cheated on dad?”
“Cerise, she’s a hippy. It’s what they do. You know free love and all that crap.”
“Eww, old people are so gross.”
“Why must you always be so headstrong?” Angela asked, already sounding defeated.
“Why must you always be such a home-wrecker?” Julie countered.
“Julie, enough! Enough! I’m sorry for my mistakes but throwing your life away isn’t going to solve anything! You have to take responsibility for your own actions!”
“There comes a point in every person’s life where they have to stop blaming their parents and take responsibility for themselves. Grow up, Julie!”
“So which is it, mom? You want me to stay a kid or you want me to grow up? ‘Cause if you want me to be an adult then I’m gonna make adult choices and you can’t say I’m too young to make them.”
“Ooh, she’s got her there,” Simone smirked.
“Julie, just please promise me you’ll always be careful and you’ll always be smart. And I want to meet these boyfriends of yours!” Angela raised her voice. “And that goes for you girls too!”
Cerise and Simone smiled sheepishly and stepped into the kitchen.
“Mom, I’m eighteen years old, ok?” said Simone. “It’s not unreasonable for me to have a sex life.”
“And it’s not unreasonable for me to want to meet the gentlemen you go out with.”
“Gentlemen?” snarked Cerise. “Are we dating in the 1800s?”
“That goes for you too, Cerise. All of you.”
“I don’t have anyone for you to meet, mom,” insisted Cerise.
“Big surprise,” Julie scoffed.
“Shut up, you big ho!”
Angela sighed. “Whatever happened to my three little girls? You all used to be so sweet and obedient. And blonde.” Angela stroked Simone’s purple tresses.
“Two out of three ain’t bad,” said Simone, pulling away from her mother. “Seriously mom, our little forms of rebellion are like so mild compared to what most teenagers do. You should really be thanking us.”
“Seriously,” agreed Cerise.
“Yeah, mom,” sneered Julie. “You probably smoke more pot than I do.”
Angela’s face dropped in shock. “You’re taking drugs?”
All the Laframboise girls burst into laughter as Angela stared at them in horror.
Jay and Vani were Wii boxing when Cerise came downstairs. Jay was momentarily distracted and Vani managed to knock him out so Jay punched him for real.
“Pain, pain…” whined Willy as he rolled around on the couch.
“What the hell is your damage?” asked Cerise as she pushed him to the floor, taking his seat.
“Seriously, Willy, quit your grousing, it’s been a long night for all of us,” griped Karl as he took Jay’s Wiimote and battled Vani.
“I hate Christmas,” Willy bitched.
“Why?” wondered Cerise.
“’Cause I have to hang out with my stupid family and all I ever get is useless shit.”
“I love getting useless shit,” said Vani as he vigorously punched the air. “It’s the best kind of shit.”
“And the best kind of useless,” agreed Jay.
“My mom always makes me wear a Christmas sweater!” pouted Willy.
They all cracked up.
“Are you serious?” asked Cerise. “That’s awesome! You have to take pictures!”
“The pain.” Willy writhed around in agony.
“Total disagreeage,” said Vani, after vanquishing Karl and receiving another real punch. “I love Christmas.”
“Who gives a shit?” asked Karl. “Are we gonna roll-off or keep talking about our feelings?”
“Family crap is pure gold!” Vani went on. “You gotta see the sparks fly at my house. It’s total entertainment.”
“How so?” asked Cerise.
“It’s hilarious ‘cause my mom’s family hates my dad’s family ‘cause he’s a towel-head.”
“They’re total bigots. It’s good times. I think they come over every holiday just so they can insult my dad and his like, low class nature. And it’s such pure gold ‘cause my grandmother keeps accusing him of being an Islamic terrorist but meanwhile, he’s Hindu, and Brahman cast at that, so he’s actually got way better karma than anyone from my mom’s family so he’ll be laughing when he transcends space and time and they all get reincarnated as slugs.”
“Cool,” nodded Cerise.
“Plus my white family is from
so they do it all in British accents which just makes it that much funnier.” Birmingham
“What about the rest of you? What are your holiday plans?” asked Cerise.
“We always do…” Willy began.
“Shut up Willy, I didn’t mean you.”
Karl, Vani and Jay laughed appreciatively.
“Karl doesn’t celebrate Christmas,” said Vani. “They celebrate X-mas, which is like Christmas, except focusing on the ancient pagan aspects. Right?”
“The ancient pagan traditions are what we now consider Christian traditions. The entire holiday was co-opted by the church,” said Karl. “Anyway we don’t do any of that shit at my house.”
“One day you will reveal all, Karlita.” Vani narrowed his eyes. “One day I will discover the secrets of your hidden lair.”
“What about you, Jay?” asked Cerise.
“Oh right! You’re from the Tdot!”
“It’s so true,” laughed Karl. “Jay’s from the Tdot!”
Vani joined the chant of “Jay’s from the Tdot” and Jay patiently waited for them to tire of the mocking.
Terry dumped a pile of dirty clothes into the washing machine at his mother’s house. He’d been doing his own laundry for years now because no one else could stand the smell of his hockey gear. Yet his mother still had a tendency to hover as he did so because she didn’t trust him to separate his whites, which indeed, he usually neglected to do.
“What will you be having at your father’s?” asked Louise as she pulled out a white t-shirt.
Terry yanked away the shirt, horrified that his mother had touched it. Pretty much all his t-shirts and boxers were covered in jizz stains since he masturbated at least twice a day and always used whatever was handy to clean up afterwards.
“Mom, I can do my own laundry! I don’t care if my whites go grey, ok! God!” Seriously, why couldn’t she just leave him alone!?
Louise sighed and reiterated her question.
“I dunno, turkey I guess,” Terry sighed.
“Is she going to cook?”
“I assume she’s gonna do everything, ‘cause he certainly won’t lift a finger, the useless turd.”
“True enough. Make sure you watch your brothers while you’re there.”
“Watch them how, mom? It’s not like they’re babies.” He closed the washer and set it to extra large load, cold water. Vicky had taught him to wash his clothes in cold water because it saved energy.
“Joey’s only twelve! And your father doesn’t know a damn thing about taking care of children. And that woman, she’s barely older than you are!”
“She’s thirty-two,” sighed Terry as he walked off to his bedroom.
Terry’s mother followed and began picking up the random junk that littered his floor. “And he’s fourty-eight! The one I really feel sorry for is that baby. I can’t believe your father had another child at his age.”
“Mom, just leave my stuff alone!”
“This room is a mess, Terry! It’s a pigsty! How do you find anything in here?”
“I manage,” he smiled, grabbing his ipod. “Are we done?”
Louise sighed as she left the room. “Don’t forget to pick up your brother from
. He’s got one more hour.” Fairview
“Fine, bye.” Terry put the earphones in his ears and turned up his music.
Cerise came in the door and hung up her coat. She kicked off her boots and was about to descend to the TV room when she spotted someone sitting on the couch next to her sisters. She stopped dead in her tracks and stared at Shauna. Julie smirked in amusement but Simone shrugged apologetically as Cerise stood there, speechless.
“Hi,” said Shauna meekly.
“What are you doing today?”
“Uh… I’m actually next door. I just came home for a second. To get something. But I’m going back. Pretty much right now.”
Shauna seemed crestfallen. “Oh. I thought we could do something.”
“Yeah well, I’m kinda busy,” said Cerise, her eyes darting to Simone, silently pleading for help.
“Oh.” Shauna continued to sit on the couch, looking up at Cerise. She didn’t make any motions to leave.
Simone stood up and walked upstairs while Julie giggled.
“Maybe another day,” suggested Cerise.
“Yeah?” Shauna looked hopeful. “Maybe tomorrow?”
The phone rang and Julie walked over to the computer desk to answer it. “It’s for you,” she handed it to Cerise.
“Hello? Ok yeah, I’ll be over in a second.”
“You owe me one,” said Simone from her cell phone on the other end.
Cerise hung up. “That was my friends. I have to go. So I’ll see you later ok?”
Shauna nodded and stood up but didn’t leave the room. She asked if they could do something the next day, or the day after that and Cerise vaguely promised that they’d get together soon. She reluctantly walked over to Shauna and put her hand on her shoulder, steering her towards the front door. Finally Shauna left and Cerise locked the door behind her.
“God!” Cerise exclaimed.
Simone came back downstairs. “She waited here for like an hour, Cerise!”
“What the hell?”
“I was all like, Cerise isn’t here, I don’t know when she’ll be back and she just sat there! She just sat there waiting. I wanted to kill myself!”
“I was at her house like a week ago. I only went out of pity but she totally went nuts! Like seriously! I don’t even know how to describe it! One minute she’s yelling at me and the next she’s all like, let’s be BFF. I don’t even know what her damage is.”
“She’s such a head case,” laughed Julie.
“What should I do?”
“Stop being nice to her,” advised Simone.
Cerise sighed. “No matter what I do it sucks. I act like a bitch and her life turns to suck. I try to be nice and she becomes crazy clingy freako weird.”
“You should probably go over to Jay’s if you want it to be convincing. ‘Cause she’s like, standing out in the street, watching the house,” said Julie, peeking out from the curtains.
Cerise and Simone both discreetly poked their heads under the curtains and saw Shauna standing behind a tree across the street, hiding rather ineffectively.
“Oh my god you guys. She totally is stalking me!”