Cerise felt sick. She hadn’t slept well all weekend and the fatigue was making her nauseous. The weight in her stomach didn’t help either. She wanted to die. To completely die. She’d avoided Terry all weekend, making a lame excuse about needing to do family stuff. She walked to school with Jay on Monday morning and he rambled about nothingness but she did confirm that they were going to prom together just to make sure it hadn’t been a dream.
When she got to school he went off to join the guys and Cerise hesitantly joined Terry and the gang.
“Did it just get lamer over here?” asked Erica, who flicked her cigarette in Cerise’s direction.
The butt landed on Cerise’s jacket and she swept it away in annoyance. She stormed off to the school and Terry caught up to her in the fishbowl.
“Hey, are you ok?” he asked, his voice full of concern.
God, why did he have to be so nice?
“I’m fine,” she said icily. “God, why do you even hang out with that fucking bitch?”
“It’s complicated,” he sighed.
“It’s stupid!” she snapped.
“I know, I’m sorry,” he said sadly.
“I don’t want you to hang out with them anymore,” she said.
“All of them or just Erica?”
“All of them.”
“Come on, that’s not fair. The rest of them are ok.”
“They all hate me!”
“No they don’t. Steven defends you all the time…”
“Why does he have to defend me? Because the rest of them talk bad about me?”
Terry shrugged helplessly.
“They do, don’t they?”
“Ok, how ‘bout from now on we do our own thing at lunch? If you want I’ll even sit with your nerd friends.”
Oh god, why did he have to be so accommodating? “Oh, my nerd friends. Yeah, ‘cause all my friends are losers and yours are so cool. Screw you!” she snapped angrily.
A twitch of a smile spread over Terry’s lips and he leaned in to her. “I’m sorry,” he said, trying to kiss her.
She pulled away. “Are you laughing at me? Are you fucking laughing at me? I’m being serious!”
“I know, I’m sorry!” he insisted, his hands flying up defensively.
There were a few other kids in the fishbowl and they were all quietly eavesdropping. Cerise’s voice was getting quite loud because she was now genuinely upset. Terry always laughed at her when she got angry! What an ass!
“And you fucking reek of smoke! You smoked today didn’t you?”
“I had like two puffs off Karine’s cigarette.
“I’ll get some gum!”
“I hate it when you smoke and I really hate going out with a smoker!”
“I’ll quit! I pretty much already have. I swear I’ll never smoke again.”
“Even if you did quit, which like, yeah right, your friends still smoke.”
“Well I don’t exactly have any control over that now do I?” he asked, beginning to show some irritation.
“I hate them. I hate all of them and they hate me. Why do you even like Karine so much? She’s a freaking… ugh!”
“Hey, come on,” he said tightly. “Karine’s cool. She’s like my best friend.”
“Well she’s a bitch to me.”
“I’m sorry, Cerise, I’ve told her to chill on you. I can tell her again.”
“What if I asked you to stop hanging out with her? Would you do it?”
“Cerise, no. I’m sorry but no. You can’t ask that. Look I’ll stop hanging out with Erica but I care about Karine.”
Cerise regarded Terry icily. “Why are we even together?”
“What?” he asked, his voice nearly frantic.
“We have nothing in common.”
“What are you talking about? Yes we do!”
“Like fuck, I dunno! Like watching Nikita and… stuff. You know, stuff.”
He pressed up against her and stroked her neck and it felt wonderful but Cerise forced herself to pull away.
“That’s all we have, Terry. And that’s not much. In fact, it’s nothing.”
“It’s everything,” he said.
“You really are nothing but a perv, aren’t you?” she asked.
Terry looked hurt and dumbfounded. He stared at Cerise with wounded eyes. “What are you saying?” he choked out.
“I don’t think we should be together anymore.”
If he’d looked shocked before now he seemed blown over. He was stunned into silence and just stood up straight, staring ahead as though a nuclear bomb had gone off in his face. Cerise walked away.
What was he supposed to do? Cerise was gone and they were broken up and he’d just been completely humiliated in front of a whole bunch of kids. He looked around discreetly and the fishbowl wasn’t crowded but there were enough people around that the news would no doubt spread fast. Everyone would be laughing at him, saying he was pussy whipped and his nerd girlfriend had completely dumbed his ass like he was nothing. The anger boiled up inside Terry and he thought about beating up one of the nearby kids just so they wouldn’t laugh at him but that would probably just make it worse. Besides, if he went around beating kids up then Cerise would never get back together with him.
Cerise ran to the nearest girls’ washroom and locked herself up in a stall. The first bell rang but she didn’t move. Heavy tears flowed from her eyes. How could she have done that? How could she have been so cruel? Terry was the perfect boyfriend and she had just destroyed him. It was true that she hated his friends and his smoking but to break up with him over it was ridiculous considering how good he was to her. He was always sweet and considerate and he made her feel amazing but she threw it away because she wanted Jason fucking Harris and his stupid obliviousness. Why? Why couldn’t she get Jay out of her head? Jay was a complete asshole. Jay had promised to go on grad ski trip with her and then had backed out because the guys didn’t want to go. Jay was obsessed with Karine and had gotten a hard-on just from her touching him. Jay was a weasely, clueless jerk and Cerise liked him anyway and she’d just dumped the sweetest, cutest, coolest, best boyfriend ever. How the hell was she going to explain this to the Green Girls?
Cerise emerged from the washroom stall only to find Shauna staring at her. She went to a sink and splashed some water on her face. Shauna continued to stare.
“Are you ok?” Shauna asked quietly.
Cerise dried her face and looked at Shauna. It was insane. Everything Cerise had done to her, abandoning her, bitching her out, calling her names, and Shauna still cared about her. She still wanted to know what was wrong, still wanted to be her friend. It was so pathetic.
Cerise regarded Shauna for a long time and Shauna simply stared back silently. Finally Cerise walked out of the bathroom without another word.
At lunch Cerise ate with the boys and when Sarah asked what was going on Cerise said she didn’t want to talk about it but Sarah already knew that she and Terry had broken up. Sarah gave a lot of advice about reconciliation but Cerise tuned her out. The whole day seemed to pass in a blur. After school she walked home with Jay, who was utterly and predictably oblivious to her darkened mood.
“Ok, this weekend we’re going for a new campaign. We’re thinking a ninja and superspies thing. Willy wanted to do a vampire campaign but we’ll squash that dream pretty fast.”
“Yeah, we’re pretty good at dream squashing, eh?” she said sadly.
“Everybody’s gotta have a talent,” he laughed.
“Yeah but maybe we’re being selfish. I mean maybe… maybe Willy should get to be a vampire.”
“Willy doesn’t deserve to be a vampire. He’s a lower life form. Like amoeba only without purpose.”
“I don’t understand how people can hang out with people they hate.”
“We don’t really hate Willy, we’re just kidding around.”
“Then how come you’re so mean to him?”
“God, you’re so idealistic. You’re all, sunshine lollypops and rainbows and everything that’s wonderful, that’s how I feel when we’re together. Brighter than a lucky penny when you’re near me, I don’t know the rest of the words ‘cause that’s when they cut to commercial…” Jay sang the rest of the way home.
Karine was rudely awakened by the doorbell ringing repeatedly. Who the hell could be banging on her door at midnight? She looked out her bedroom window and saw Terry’s car in the driveway. She threw on her robe but then thought better of it; she was only wearing a tank top and short shorts and she kind of wanted Terry to see her like that.
He practically fell into her arms when she answered the door.
“Hey babe! Let’s go out. Let’s go downtown. Let’s go to a bar!”
“Smells like you’ve already been to one,” she laughed, closing the front door as he stumbled into her house.
“So?” he slurred.
“God, Terry! Did you drive here?”
“You’re such a shithead!”
Terry ignored her and stumbled into the living room where he went straight for the liquor cabinet.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” she demanded.
“Nothing. Can’t I just want to have some fun?” he asked, taking a bottle of cheap whiskey out of the liquor cabinet and pouring two glasses.
He handed a glass to Karine and she took it reluctantly, then sat on the couch, where Terry flopped down beside her.
“Cheers,” he said, raising his glass.
They downed their drinks and Terry sighed, looking at Karine with sad puppy-dog eyes.
“How come you’re not with Cherry?”
“Fuck Cherry!” he spat. “She’s a fucking bitch and I don’t even get what the hell her problem is!”
“So it’s true? You guys broke up?” She tried not to sound happy about it.
“How the hell should I know?” he slurred. “She’s impossible to... get! But I don’t even like her anyway! She’s prissy and she’s all judgemental and shit and she hangs out with those dorks and they prob’ly play Dungeons & Dragons and stuff so who even cares?”
“So what happened?”
“She thinks she’s too good for me, you know?” he whined, his voice rising in anger.
“Shiah!” Karine scoffed. “Try the other way around. She’s a loser, Terry! Be glad you’re rid of her!”
“No shit! I don’t need her! There’s a ton of chicks I can go out with!”
“Yeah!” Karine agreed enthusiastically.
Terry looked at Karine pleadingly. He put his hand on her shoulder and then leaned over her, giving her a sloppy, wet kiss. It wasn’t exactly the best kiss in the world, but still, it was Terry and Karine returned the embrace eagerly.
Karine brought Terry up to her room and they collapsed down on the bed. Terry’s kisses were better now, he was less aggressive, more gentle. Karine didn’t want to be his rebound girl but she knew if she played things right she could get more out of him.
Suddenly he pulled away and stared down at her. “I think she thinks she’s too good for me, you know? I mean, if she saw me now she’d prob’ly look at me with that little mmmm look she has. And I mean she’d never do this.”
“Get drunk! Or have drunk sex. Or any sex. She’s a virgin you know.”
“I figured,” said Karine impatiently.
“I mean we’ve done stuff. She has the prettiest little pussy you’ve ever seen, fuck it’s so sweet. She tastes so good…”
“Ok, I don’t need to know that,” Karine interrupted in disgust.
Terry ignored her. “But like, she’s so pure. Like cotton driven snow. Or whatever.”
“Uh-huh,” said Karine, sitting up and resolving to listen. If Terry needed a friend then she’d be there for him.
“But I mean, it’s not that she’s a virgin that makes her pure or that she’s straight edge, it’s that she like, has this like, radiosity. radial... radio... radio waves…”
“Radioactivity?” Karine smirked.
“No, all sunny and bright.”
“Yeah!” Terry exclaimed. “You see it too! It was like in the play there, where she was being that chick and she has on that coat and then she gets to fairy land and takes off the coat and she’s wearing that white nightgown thing that was totally see through under those lights and she’s like sooo beautiful. And then those two guys fall in love with her but it’s not because they’re under that spell it’s because her true beauty has been revealed!”
“Whoa, that’s deep,” said Terry with satisfaction.
“Yeah,” nodded Karine, trying to contain her amusement.
“Shit, anyway, what were you talking about?”
Terry fell back onto Karine and kissed her neck. She knew she shouldn’t let this happen. He was drunk and heartbroken and whatever but fuck if his tongue on her skin didn’t feel amazing. He pulled away again just as suddenly as he’d attacked her.
“Aww K’rine. Kriiiiine. Reeny. You should dump Steve and we should hook up. ‘Cause I mean, you’re hot. And you’re not like Cerise… at all!”
“Is that a compliment or an insult?”
“I gotta piss.”
“You sure know how to set the mood,” drawled Karine as Terry stumbled out of her room.
Terry took so long in the bathroom that Karine finally went to check on him. She found him asleep in the bathtub with his fly undone. The toilet wasn’t flushed and she grimaced in disgust but felt grateful that at least he’d gotten all his pee in the bowl. She flushed and roused him awake.
“Terry! You can’t sleep in the tub! Come on, you can sleep in my room. I’ll sleep in my mom’s bed.”
“Shit!” he sat up. “What if it’s another guy?”
“What if she’s into another guy? Like that stupid guy with the stupid hair guy?”
“Shit! I’ll fucking kill him! I’ll kill him… I’ll kill him by the hair…” he trailed off and lay back down, his eyes closing.
Karine rolled her eyes and went to get him a blanket and a pillow. He didn’t even wake up when she stuffed the pillow under his head.
“Wakey, wakey!” she yelled loudly in the morning.
“Oh fuck,” he groaned, stiffly moving in the tub.
“Come on, get the hell out. I have to shower.”
“What the fuck?” With much effort he crawled out of the tub and stood up, his bones creaking. “Did I sleep here last night?”
“Shit. Karine, we didn’t do anything did we?”
“No,” Karine sighed.
“Thank god,” he said, limping out of the bathroom.
Karine loudly slammed the bathroom door closed and heard him groan in pain. Served him right.
“So it’s really true?” asked Erica.
“Totally,” nodded Karine.
“Oh my god! He broke up with her?” asked Christina, a wide smile spreading across her face.
“Yep,” confirmed Karine, taking a long drag from her cigarette. She and Terry had come to school together and Erica was worried that they’d drunkenly slept together but she didn’t want to ask.
“Why? ‘Cause I guess he finally fucked her?” asked Chrissy sadly, like she was actually feeling sorry for that stupid Cherry bitch.
“You know what?” said Erica. “I bet not. I bet he dumped her ‘cause she’s a fucking frigid prude. She probably cut off her own clit ‘cause she’s so fucking uptight. What a fucking loser.”
Karine and Christina giggled but Erica dropped her cigarette and walked off without another word. This was exactly the opportunity she was waiting for. She went to Terry’s locker where she found him popping a few aspirin and guzzling a bottle of water.
“Hey stud, I heard you broke up with Cherry the Bitchberry,” she purred.
“Fuck off,” he said without looking at her.
Damn, he looked like hell. Still hot though.
“Relax. You’re better off without her, you know? You need someone more your speed. More into the shit you’re into.”
He sighed heavily. “Fuck. Off.”
Undaunted, she went on. “I was just thinking how you don’t have a date to prom anymore.”
She reached out and touched his chest and he frowned, recoiling into his locker.
“Are you serious?”
“Listen, Terry,” she said evenly. “I can play dirty or I can play nice… and dirty.
She lowered her hand to his pants and grabbed his junk. He slapped her hand away angrily.
“Get off me! Get a clue, Erica! Even if I were blind and couldn’t see your disgusting face I’d still be able to smell your rank stench!”
He slammed his locker, which seemed to stun him more than her and he stomped off. God, what a fucking prick. He thought he was so fucking special. What a dipshit. Like she couldn’t do better anyway. Plan B it was then.
Erica found Andrew at his locker. “Guess what?” she asked happily.
“You’re taking me to prom.”
He looked at her with curiosity. “I’m going with Chrissy.”
“You’ve already had Chrissy. It’s time to move up in the world.”
She took his hand and led him into the boys’ locker room where they went into the showers. She didn’t waste any time; simply unzipped his pants and pulled out his cock, stroking it until it was hard and then deep throating him until he came. She swallowed everything. He groaned in satisfaction and zipped his pants back up.
“You think this is gonna make me take you to prom?” he asked, amused. “It’s not like I haven’t fucked your dried-up cunt before.”
Erica and Andrew had a tendency to hook up a couple times a year, whenever she couldn’t find someone better. She smiled knowingly as she wracked her brain. She actually had believed that a good bj was enough to get Andrew to dump Chrissy and take her to prom but apparently she’d have to be more creative.
“I know who you really wanna go with,” she smiled slyly.
“Yeah, and it’s not you,” he smirked.
“It’s Karine,” she said.
He was surprised but then shrugged in agreement.
“You take me to prom and I will do everything I can to get Karine to hook up with you.”
“Which means exactly nothing,” he said. “How the fuck are you…”
“Just leave it to me, Andy. I’ll make it happen. In fact, I guarantee you that by the end of the day Karine will have dumped Steven.”
“But if I still have to take you to prom…”
“Terry broke up with Cherry yesterday, right? So Karine will go to prom with him. Last night he slept at her house so they’ve probably already hooked up. So I’ll get Karine to dump Steven and she’ll go to prom with Terry and Chrissy will go with Steven and you’ll go with me. But at prom, you and I will switch dates. Get it?”
He nodded his agreement and they shook hands. Now she just had to figure out a way to make it happen.