“See ya!” said Cerise as she bounded off through Jay’s lawn to her house.
They all watched her go. Vani, Karl and Willy said bye to Jay and piled into Karl’s mom’s car. Karl had just gotten his license a month earlier and was now driving all the time so he was gonna give them lifts home. Even though Willy was the biggest he was never allowed shotgun, that honour always went to Vani.
“Damn, could Jay have been trying to mack on Cerise any more hardcore?” Willy fumed. “Why didn’t he just stick his cock down her throat while he was at it?”
“Seriously, it was pretty shameless,” admitted Karl.
“Was she flirting back?” asked Vani. “I can never tell with girls. I mean they’re always giggling like penguins anyway, I can’t tell the difference between flirtation mode and regular girlitude mode.”
“Well, she tickled back,” said Karl. “Tickling is like #1 on the flirt list.”
“What else is on the list?” asked Vani with genuine interest.
“Uh, making googly eyes, random touching, baking Pillsbury crescent rolls, how the hell should I know?”
“Man, she’s so hot,” said Willy. “Did you see her dancing?”
“No, I missed that ‘cause I went blind halfway through the evening,” snarked Karl.
“Yeah we were there, Willy. Of course we saw the incredible hotness that was her dancing!” screamed Vani.
“I liked it when she did that bang bang thing when she was doing that Warrior song. Chicks with guns are hot,” smarmed Willy.
“Even finger guns?” chuckled Karl.
Willy leaned forward, his greasy head bobbing between the two front seats. “Yeah, less threatening than real guns, but even more hot ‘cause like it’s like her fingers were like pointing at me and she did that shoulder shake and like her tits were like totally bouncing and shit and like…”
“Now comes the portion of the evening where Willy shuts the frakk up!” said Karl in annoyance, throwing his arm back in an effort to smack Willy. “Stop grossing me out with your fantasies! She’s never gonna get with you!”
“She might,” said Willy petulantly.
“No, she really, really won’t.”
“I expect your delusional mind is the only reason you haven’t already committed suicide so I’ll let you continue with this latest hallucination,” said Vani. “But really, Willy, no.”
Willy sighed. “Do you think she’d go out with Jay?”
“More likely,” conceded Vani.
“Possible to probable,” said Karl.
“I hate Jay,” huffed Willy.
“And we hate you.”
It was a moment he’d thought about many times. Probably every guy in school had fantasized about making out with Karine Cavalière. She was definitely a good kisser and there was certainly nothing unpleasant about this experience. A few months ago it was pretty much his only goal to get to this point. And yet now it was weird. Maybe it always would have been weird. He was more or less turned on and if he’d had to perform anything more elaborate he certainly could have stepped up to the plate but the thing was he didn’t want to. They were such good friends; making out with Karine was almost like making out with his sister. Ok, not that gross, more like making out with a distant cousin. Ok, not that gross either. Not gross at all really, but still weird. It just didn’t feel right.
Terry broke off the kiss and pushed her away. She was light as a feather and it was no problem to lift her up and get her off of him. He pushed her down the slide and she landed in the snow unceremoniously.
“You’re just as boring as Chrissy!” he said jokingly. He didn’t want to hurt her feelings but he had to make it clear that he wasn’t into this.
“Loser!” she yelled back, jumping off the slide and gathering up a snowball.
He made sure not to dodge when she threw the weapon at him, taking the snowball square in the face. She laughed as he shook it off, looking dazed. He jumped off the slide and grabbed a handful of snow, raising his arm. She squealed and started running and he deliberately missed her with his throw.
“Good thing you don’t play baseball, loser!” she taunted, nailing him with another snowball.
“Yeah, you win,” he conceded, walking back to the car. “I guess we should get back to your house before Steven has an aneurysm.”
“I like him better when he’s having an aneurysm,” she sighed.
They pulled up to Karine’s house and she turned to look at Terry.
“You gonna park or what?”
“You know what? I think I’m just gonna go.”
“What is up with you?”
“Nothing. Really,” he shrugged and smiled.
It was such obvious bullshit. Something was really bothering him. He really did look depressed. He hadn’t even wanted to hook up with her! Why was he being such a spaz?
She got out of the car and angrily slammed the door behind her, knowing it was a rather passive-aggressive thing to do but seriously, where the hell did he get off rejecting her? There was no way in hell that Cherry the lameass Raspberry was hotter than her!
She walked up to the house and Steven came running outside frantically.
“Where have you been?” he hollered. “Your cell is off!”
“I forgot to charge it,” she lied. “I went on a beer run.”
“So where’s the beer then?”
“God, what are you, like an alcoholic now?” she snorted as she walked past him.
It was a cold day. Too cold to snow. Definitely too cold to be standing around outside but apparently not so cold that they couldn’t forego their morning smoke. Karine couldn’t blame her friends for wanting to delay the inevitable; no one wanted to go back to school after Christmas break but seriously, it was cold, couldn’t they forget their ritualistic smoke just this once?
Terry joined the rest of the group, gripping his hood tightly to protect his head from the howling wind. He stuck his hand in his pocket and looked at Karine when it came out empty. She dug into her own pocket and handed him back his pack of cigarettes. He lit one and puffed on it.
Cherry the Raspberry and Jason Harris walked by, their bodies hunched over, braced for impact as they pushed into the wind. Their steps were wide as they trampled through the thick snow. Terry watched them go and he was trying to be subtle about it but he was insane if he thought he could fool Karine. He was obviously still into Cherry. The reasons for this continued psychosis might never be clear but their side effects certainly were. Terry was becoming a total loser.
Karine tossed away her cigarette and gave Steven a frozen kiss, saying she had to go meet up with the drama crowd.
“How come I wasn’t invited?” asked Andrew.
“It’s just for the fairies, not for jackasses!”
They all laughed as Karine rushed into the school. She found Sarah laughing with Cherry and all those nerd guys.
“Seriously, seriously, you gotta see it, you gotta do it Cerise!” the fat one was spazzing.
“The Warriors? You mean the movie?” asked Sarah.
“No, the song by Scandal,” said the skinny guy in green. “Wait, you’ve seen The Warriors?”
“Warriors! Come out and plaayyaay!” chanted Sarah, clicking her fingers together.
“Whoa! Sarah’s cool quotient: rising,” said that little pervert, Vani Ameeriar while lifting his hand in the air.
“Hey Sarah,” said Karine as she walked by.
“Hi Karine!” Sarah beamed.
“See you in Drama later.”
“Oh, I guess I’ll see you too, Cherry,” Karine smirked, looking Cherry up and down. “Nice shirt,” she said sarcastically.
The desired effect was achieved, as Cherry looked adequately insulted and deflated. Karine went on her way, satisfied with her results.
Five more months. Six if you counted exams. An eternity really but she’d survived the first four. She could do it. Shauna opened her locker and a card fell out. It said ‘Happy New Year’ on the front and the picture inside was of a porta-potty. There was no point it looking around. Even if the person who’d left the card was watching, what good would it do to see them?
They had an assembly in the auditorium to learn about cegep. The deadline to apply was March 1st. Shauna didn’t want to apply but she knew her mother would expect her to come home with lots of applications. She picked up the forms dutifully, knowing the only way she’d get in is if she started putting more effort into her grades. Obviously she needed to get more serious about cheating.
Terry looked over the
application. Andrew and Erica were talking about going to cegep downtown but Terry had to stay in the John Abbott College for hockey. Karine was gonna go to JAC as well, in theatre or something. Terry didn’t know what program he should apply to. Social he supposed. West Island
In MRE Taffy handed out sheets outlining various topics. They would be randomly paired up and would have to debate selected topics. They actually had to research all the topics because it would be a surprise which one they’d have to argue and also a surprise which side they’d have to argue. It sounded like a hell of a lot of work. Terry glanced at the sheet and sighed in boredom. School was so fucking pointless.
Maybe he didn’t even want to go to cegep. Maybe he’d just go straight into the workforce. Yeah right. His parents would disown him. And the only type of job you could get with a highschool degree was slinging burgers or something. Maybe he should do a trade course. Like be a carpenter or an electrician or something. That might be cool. Not that Terry had any notable skills. Of course he could learn them in the courses… or could he? He was probably too stupid to learn anything. The only thing he was really good at was hockey and even then he was only really good at punching people.
Cerise stood in the wings with Sean as they waited for their entrance.
“Hey, how was your Christmas?” he asked.
“Good, yours?” she smiled.
“Good. We missed you at Karine’s party on New Years.”
“Demetrius!” yelled out Mr. Weir and Sean jumped out on stage, closely followed by Cerise.
“I love thee not,” he began. “therefore pursue me not. Where is Lysander and fair Hermia? The one I’ll slay, the other slayeth me. Thou told’st me they were stolen unto this wood; And here am I, and wode within this wood, Because I cannot meet my Hermia. Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.”
“You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant; But yet you draw not iron, for my heart Is true as steel: leave you your power to draw, And I shall have no power to follow you,” said Cerise with angst.
Sean seemed to be smirking as he delivered his lines. “Do I entice you? do I speak you fair? Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth Tell you, I do not, nor I cannot love you?”
“And even for that do I love you the more. I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius, The more you beat me, I will fawn on you: Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me, Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave, Unworthy as I am, to follow you. What worser place can I beg in your love,-- And yet a place of high respect with me,-- Than to be used as you use your dog?”
“Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit; For I am sick when I do look on thee.”
Mr. Weir sighed heavily. “Sean, you’re supposed to be repelled by her. Stop leering.”
“Sorry,” smirked Sean.
“Keep going,” instructed Weir.
“And I am sick when I look not on you,” said Cerise.
“You do impeach your modesty too much, To leave the city and commit yourself Into the hands of one that loves you not; To trust the opportunity of night And the ill counsel of a desert place With the rich worth of your virginity.”
Did Sean actually wink when he said virginity? Cerise regarded him quizzically and forgot her next line. She had to be prompted by Annie, the stage manager.
“She’s a total slut,” said Erica with authority.
“It’s like, known,” agreed Christina.
Melanie and Stephanie listened with mouths agape. They were hanging out in the fishbowl waiting for Karine to get out of rehearsals. Mel and Steph had gotten out first, seeing as how they only had bit parts.
“I mean, why else would he hook up with her?” asked Erica.
“Seriously,” nodded Christina. “Marla Fitzpatrick and Andrew Lester? As if.”
“She’s nice,” said Mel.
“Yeah,” said Steph.
“Nice? Yeah, I’m sure she’s a fucking sweetheart but Andrew’s a little out of her league. I mean I’m just being honest. She’s a complete skank and Andrew just hooked up with her ‘cause she’s an easy lay.”
“Total slut,” agreed Christina.
“I wondered where she went. We were totally hanging out with her at Karine’s party and then she was making out with Andrew on the front porch and then like, they just totally disappeared,” said Mel.
“Yeah, totally,” nodded Steph. “Oh my god, you think they like totally did it?”
“Like duh,” said Erica.
“She didn’t say anything about it,” shrugged Mel.
“Yeah seriously,” agreed Steph.
Erica chuckled. “Yeah well if I hooked up with a totally hot guy and he like totally dumped my ass like two seconds later, I wouldn’t exactly be advertising it either. Fact is Marla Fitzpatrick is like a serial fucker. She’s sucked practically every cock in this school.”
“It’s a good thing Andrew always uses condoms or else he probably would’ve caught like syphilis from her,” said Christina.
“Eww,” said Mel.
“Totally!” said Steph.
“Have you guys seen her blog? She posts like naked pictures of herself.”
Mel and Steph looked at one another in shock.
“They should call it grad snowboarding trip, not grad ski trip. No one skis anymore,” said Andrew.
“Oh god, Taffy still does,” said Karine while rolling her eyes. “He totally mimed skiing in homeroom after handing out the permission forms. It was so sad.”
“Yeah exactly. Only old people ski,” said Andrew.
The grad ski trip would be taking place during the third week of February and the deadline to sign up was February 1st. Karine knew her mother wouldn’t be home between now and then so she would simply forge her signature as usual.
“So we’re going?” asked Christina.
“Going where?” asked Steven as he joined them in the lunch line, cutting in front of various kids who knew not to protest.
“Grad ski trip,” explained Erica. “And of course we’re going. We get to miss a week of school.”
“Yeah, totally awesome,” said Andrew.
“Terry, are you gonna come?” asked Christina.
“Obviously not,” he replied.
“Why not?” asked Karine.
“Hello? I have a game that week. And practice every fucking day. I mean I can miss a couple practices but not a game.”
“You can’t even miss like one game in the whole season?” scoffed Karine. “Come on.”
“Seriously, dude,” nodded Andrew. “Just call in sick or whatever.”
“Seriously, Terry. It’ll be fun. It’ll be different from what we normally do. A change of pace, to help things not be completely boring. Could be fun, right?” Karine smiled up at Terry and he raised his brow in understanding.
“Yeah, I guess,” he shrugged.
“Ok it’s settled then! We’re all going!” Karine concluded.
Jay kept a respectable distance as he eavesdropped on Karine and her stupid friends. The grad ski trip, eh? He didn’t ski, none of the boys did, but it could be fun. A chance to hang out with Karine outside of school. And he didn’t need to go with the boys, he could go with Cerise. She might be into it. And she’d be less embarrassing than the boys.
He joined Cerise at their lunch table and asked what she thought of the grad ski trip. None of the boys had arrived yet and he needed to field this issue before they did.
“I’m sure it exists,” Cerise replied in between bites of her cheese sandwich.
“You thinking of going?”
“I don’t ski.”
“Well me neither but it could be fun. Right? It’s a week off school.”
Cerise looked at him and smiled. “Yeah, it could be fun I guess.”
“So we’ll go then?”
“I guess we could.”
“Ok cool. Don’t tell the guys yet though. They’ll just shit all over it. We’ll go just us two.”
“Really?” she smiled brightly. “Just us two?”
Awesome, awesome, awesome. It couldn’t officially be considered a date, since there would be a million other kids there but Jay wanting to go on the trip with just her was definitely a good sign. He’d been getting pretty flirtatious lately, all tickling her at New Year’s and everything. Maybe he was finally noticing her! So awesome.
Cerise handed her mother the permission form at dinner that night. “Can you sign this, and write a cheque?”
“Yeah, I want a cheque too,” said Julie.
“It’s for the grad ski trip,” Cerise explained.
“Since when do you ski?” asked Simone.
“Well I’m sure there’ll be like lessons for the beginners or whatever.”
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Angela enthusiastically while signing the form. “None of you girls get enough exercise.”
“Hello! I’m on the field hockey team! No one knows anything about my life!” sulked Julie.
Shauna was emptying the dishwasher when her mother handed her a cheque and a piece of paper.
“What’s this?” she asked, seeing that the cheque was made out to her school.
“The ski trip you’re going on.”
“The ski trip for your graduating class. Doesn’t that sound fun?”
Shauna stared at her mother, too stunned to speak. How had her mother even known about the trip? How did she find the permission form? Shauna hadn’t even brought it home! She’d thrown it away at school. Her mother was like some sort of CIA agent on a mission to destroy her life.
“But I… I don’t wanna go on the grad ski trip.”
“Of course you do! It’s a chance to build memories, Shauna! This is the best time of your life!”
When she’d been young, Shauna had believed that everyone in the world was a demon wearing a person mask and the only real person in the world was Shauna herself. This Earth was her personal hell and she was being tortured for sinning in a previous life. Sometimes she still believed this.
“I don’t even know how to ski.”
“And won’t this be a perfect opportunity to learn?”
“Shauna, you have to get out of this house. All you ever do is sit around and watch television and god knows what else. You’re lazy and fat and you need to get some exercise and make friends. This will be good for you.”
The trip was still a month away. Plenty of time to kill herself.