It was the last day of school before Christmas break. They’d been getting a lot of snow lately so it seemed they’d have a white Christmas, which Sarah was glad for, since she loved a snowy holiday season. Her family wasn’t particularly religious and she had no memories of believing in Santa Claus but Christmas was still a magical time for her. She knew it was lame to have holiday spirit but she couldn’t help it. Everything was so peaceful and pretty all lit up with Christmas lights and other festive decorations. She and her family would sing carols and roast marshmallows in the fireplace. Her grandparents would be visiting from
this year and she was looking forward to seeing them. She’d still been a kid the last time she’d seen them. Her grandmother would probably cook roast barbequed pork, which was delicious. Her older brother had moved out a year ago but he’d be coming home too and they’d do calligraphy and play crazy eights and drink hot chocolate and reminisce about their childhoods. Maybe they’d even build a snowman. Vancouver
Sarah couldn’t help smiling to herself as she walked towards the school bus to go home. She enjoyed the crunching sound her boots made as they smooshed down the snow underfoot.
“Uh, hey Sarah.”
Sarah turned around to see Karl approaching her. He looked sheepish, which was a welcome change from arrogant and condescending. She noticed that he was wearing winter boots, which was unusual for boys. There were lots of fashionable boot choices available for girls, though many still chose to wear shoes all year long either out of denial about the harshness of winter or because of the widely held belief that it was somehow uncool to acknowledge its harshness. But boys always wore shoes. All boys did, all the time. It didn’t matter how bad the weather got, they always showed up in sneakers. And it didn’t matter how clueless or unpopular the boy was, he still knew not to wear appropriate footwear in winter. It was like boots were some sort of calling card announcing a lack of manliness, like boots somehow signalled a desire to get beaten up. Even Willy, who everybody knew was dressed by his mother, knew to wear shoes.
And yet, here was Karl in winter boots. It might have been a sign of just how oblivious he was to fashion but Sarah suspected he was well aware of the implications of his footwear choice. He was probably wearing them out of defiance; an act of rebellion against his peer group. He was saying he didn’t care what anyone thought, he would clothe himself according to the weather and other people’s opinions were irrelevant. Sarah couldn’t help admiring the courage in this act. He was still a jerk though.
“Yeah?” she said impatiently, turning to face him.
“Have a good… you know, X-mas break.”
Sarah suppressed a smile. It was so Karl to refuse to acknowledge the Christ in Christmas.
“Yeah, sure,” she responded non-commitally, turning back towards her bus.
“I just uh, I mean, you know. Just that… student council sucks?” He smiled awkwardly and shrugged.
Sarah rolled her eyes and got onto her bus. That was obviously Karl’s best approximation of an apology. He was such a dick. She smiled to herself as she watched him dejectedly walk back towards the school.
Terry felt like such a loser. He was seriously pathetic. He had actually considered buying Cerise a Christmas card and anonymously stuffing it in her locker. Thank god he’d overcome that retarded whim and yet here he was, spying on her as she put on her coat. He was practically a stalker! He really needed to get his shit together.
She reached up to the top shelf in her locker and as she lifted her arm, her shirt glided up and he could see a sliver of skin exposed at her hip. Terry loved hips. He loved all the curves of a woman’s body. Their breasts obviously but also the roundness of their asses, and even their little bellies. Cerise had a little curve to her stomach. He saw it when she yanked down her shirt, tugging it tightly against her body. She pulled on her coat and as she lifted her arms to do so, her shirt rode up again. Her cute little belly was again momentarily exposed until she once again adjusted her shirt. She buttoned up her coat and put on her hat. She was one of the few girls in school who actually wore a hat and one of the few whose coat wasn’t a snowboarding jacket or a puffy coat. It was like a lady’s coat, going down to her knees and tying with a belt. She was so different.
She slammed her locker and walked towards him. Slightly panicked, he turned around, trying to look casual, but there was no where to hide. She walked by, completely ignoring him. Maybe she hadn’t even noticed. God, he was such a spaz. When Cerise was gone he walked outside, finding Karine at the smoking wall enjoying a cigarette.
“What are you doing? Aren’t you going home?” he asked.
“Don’t really feel like it.”
Terry shrugged and kept walking towards the parking lot but thought better of it and turned around to join Karine. She wordlessly held out her cigarette. He gently removed it from her fingers and took a drag, then handed it back to her.
“How come you don’t wanna go home?”
“Dunno. It’s just… too empty I guess.”
“That’s a bad thing?” he chuckled.
She shrugged in response.
“Your mom out of town again?”
“When she coming back?”
“She’s gonna miss Christmas? And… New Years?” He left it unsaid that she would miss the anniversary of Karine’s father’s death.
“Yep.” Karine’s eyes flitted upwards. Most people wouldn’t have noticed how sad she was.
“Where is she?”
Terry laughed. “What is she, French?”
Karine glared at Terry, trying to suppress a smile. “Her and her fuckwad gino boyfriend want sun and sand for their holiday festivities.”
“And she invited you to come along but you’d rather not waste your holiday watching your mom suck face with some gino fuckwad.”
“So you’re alone for the break. Nice.”
“You wish, eh?”
“Yeah, no shit. I wish I could trade places with you.”
He knew she knew he didn’t really mean it. He would like to be able to get away from his ginormous families for the holidays but Terry was confident that Karine didn’t really think he was so insensitive as to wish his father dead and his mother absent.
Karine nodded in understanding. “Christmas Eve at your mom’s and Christmas at your dad’s?”
“And boxing day at your place.”
Karine smiled. “I have to work on the 26th.”
“I dunno. I prefer it that way. I mean, Steven invited me to go up North with his family but whatever. I mean, they’re going for like, a whole week. Screw that shit. I’d rather just stay at home and keep myself busy.”
“Yeah, no shit. Who wants to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with the Camdens?”
“Seriously. And my aunt’s all wanting me to hang out with her but as if I’m gonna go to fucking
“Yeah, no shit.”
“Yeah so whatever.”
“Yeah, whatever,” agreed Terry, finishing off Karine’s cigarette.