“We seriously do need chips or something,” said Vani. “I mean people like snacks at parties, right? We should have snacks. I mean right?”
“How the hell should we know?” asked Jay. “Like we’re the authorities on parties?”
“We need to know these things,” said Vani frantically. “We have to be cool!”
“Why don’t you just go find Terry Trebishitsky and suck his dick some more?” Jay suggested.
“Yeah seriously,” laughed Karl. “Could you have crawled any further up his ass with the whole beer thing?”
“We needed beer!” Vani weakly defended himself.
“Ugh, why are you so obsessed with beer?” asked Karl. “Don’t you remember what happened last time you guys drank? Willy passed out in a pool of his own tears!” Karl considered this for a moment. “Wait, that was kind of awesome. Drink some more, Willy!”
Willy shrugged and guzzled his beer. Once he was done he smacked Karl’s arm with the empty bottle.
“Let’s get serious, you guys,” said Vani. “We have to join the real world. Not the show, the actual real world. I mean, we can’t play the game anymore.”
They all looked at Vani in shock.
“We’re not in high school anymore,” Vani went on. “We’re older now. We’re at a party… with girls. And it’s my party! It’s my house and there are girls here! And we almost started talking about the game in front of Terry Trebichavsky and Karine Cavalière. It’s time to grow up.”
Jay scratched his chin and nodded as he declared the concept to be intriguing. Karl insisted that the game was their lifeblood and to live without it would be like living without oxygen, or Doritos.
“Karl, you have a girlfriend now and you’re hiding out in a dank basement with three other guys. You don’t see anything wrong with that?” asked Vani.
“Good point, well made,” nodded Karl.
“Yeah and the rest of us should be getting girlfriends too!” grinned Willy.
“Ok, good luck with that. I’ll see you guys later,” said Karl with a shake of his head as he walked upstairs.
“Ok men, time to be cool,” said Vani.
“Cool switch, on,” said Jay, turning an imaginary dial on his chest.
“What are we supposed to do?” asked Willy.
“In your case? Turn invisible,” advised Vani.
“Maybe you should stay down here, Willy. We’ll send down all the blind chicks with severely low self-esteem,” snickered Jay.
“We’re gonna waste perfectly good blind chicks on Willy?” asked Vani, rushing upstairs.
They joined the girls on the dance floor, which someone had created by pushing all the furniture in the living room towards the walls. Willy walked off to the kitchen and returned a second later with another beer, which he drank while sitting on the couch and watching the girls dance. With Sarah’s encouragement, Karl did his best white boy boogie, and Vani got down to his best moves, which consisted mostly of jerking movements best described as a spazzy robot. Jay mimicked him and they had a spazzy robot dance off, which the crowd encouraged with chants of Hangman and Jewfro. Jay didn’t mind the nickname but wondered if it was new or if people had been calling him that behind his back for a while. Either way, hadn’t they noticed his haircut?
Karine sat on the bench on the front porch, smoking a cigarette. She’d taken off her shoes and folded her legs up under her and though it was warm out, she hugged herself. She listened to the crowd gathered on the driveway below, discussing their plans for the summer. She’d always wanted to go to
Europe but now it was ruined. Everything was ruined. She was ruined.
The front door creaked open and then Terry was sitting next to her. She silently offered him her cigarette but he declined. She supposed it was a nice boyfriendy thing to do to quit smoking for Cherry, but she resented it. Why did he have to change? Why did everything have to change?
“Wanna talk about it?” he asked quietly.
“What’d Erica say about me when I left the kitchen?” she sighed.
“Nothing. Just called you a bitch, but everyone knows she was really talking about herself.”
She smiled slightly. “I bet Steven thinks it’s about him.”
“Yeah,” Terry nodded.
“So how come you’re out here with me? Shouldn’t you be making out with your little Cherry Angel?”
He chuckled softly and shrugged. “Dunno what to say to her. I dunno what I’ve got left to offer.”
Oh come on. It was so ridiculous for Terry to be unsure of himself. What the hell had that fruity bitch done to him? Karine took one last drag off her cigarette and tossed it onto the driveway below. Someone screamed out in protest and Terry and Karine stifled their giggles behind their hands.
Karine turned to Terry. “Just offer yourself, fuck. Who can say no to you?”
“But that’s just it. She does say no to me. Like, all the time. She’s not like other chicks. Which is, you know, exactly why I like her.”
“So you like her because she rejects you all the time?”
“Well ok, she doesn’t reject me all the time. But she’s just cool is all. ‘Cause she never acted like Christina or all those other airhead chicks who don’t even talk to me but just stare at me and smile like idiots. Cerise was always you know, real or whatever. I mean, I could talk to her, same as I talk to you.”
Oh wow, pour salt in the wound why don’t you. Karine lit another cigarette.
“We do that a lot don’t we?” he chuckled.
“Do what?” she asked.
“Talk. You and me. It’s all we ever do. Remember when we used to actually do shit? We used to party all the time. Now we just sit around and talk. We’ve become boring, Karine!” He nudged her and wiggled his eyebrows comically.
“Yeah, you’ve got a point,” she laughed.
“Ok, so enough! Enough talking about her. Time to do something! If I want her, I have to go get her!” He shook his fist and growled.
“You’re a man of action! Go, go get her! Again!” she smirked.
“Ok, but what about you?” he asked, his eyes full of concern.
“What about me?”
“I’m fine,” she insisted.
He must have known she was lying because instead of leaving he put his arm around her and rubbed her arm.
“Since when are you so concerned about me?” she asked quietly.
“Always,” he whispered and kissed her on the forehead.
She rested her head in the crook of his arm and closed her eyes, comforted by the safety of his embrace.
“It doesn’t mean anything,” said Sarah. “They’re friends.”
“Yeah, really good friends,” said Cerise between gritted teeth.
Cerise hadn’t intended to spy on Terry but she had a perfect view of him from the living room window. It was dark inside as they’d turned off most of the lights for their dance party, but outside the porch light was on. There he was with his arm about Karine and he’d even kissed her forehead. Was it normal to kiss a friend like that? Did Terry even care that everyone could see him being affectionate with Karine? Was he trying to tell Cerise they really were over or was it as innocent as Sarah supposed?
“Terry likes you,” Sarah went on. “Even Karine has said it. You’re the only girl he’s ever put any effort into being with.”
“I’ve known him since Sec 1 and until you I’d never seen him stay with a girl for longer than a month.”
“But I think Karine is into him,” Cerise fretted. “And it’s like, how am I supposed to compete? It’s like, what Karine wants, Karine gets.”
“You know Cerise, it sounds like you’re making excuses. I mean, if you want Terry, you should just go for him and not worry about Karine.”
“I guess you’re right,” she nodded.
“So the question is, do you want him or not?” asked Sarah.
It was a fair question. And the answer was yes but somehow it was more complicated than that. Because even though she knew she was an idiot for it, she also sort of still wanted Jay. No, she didn’t. She knew he was a jerk and would never want her. Well no, he wasn’t really a jerk, it’s just that he didn’t know she liked him. Maybe if he knew he’d be receptive. No, probably not. He was obsessed with Karine. Why was it always about Karine?!
Jay held a box of crackers and robotically danced over to Cerise and Sarah. He offered them the box and they both declined.
“Yeah, I don’t blame you,” he said. “They’re expired.”
Sarah and Cerise laughed as he stuffed a handful into his mouth. He scrunched up his face and smacked his lips as though they tasted bad while Sarah and Cerise giggled.
“You’re so gross!” Cerise laughed.
He stuffed another handful into his mouth and let them dribble out in crumbs. “I dunno wha you’re talkin’ ‘bout,” he mumbled as the crackers fell onto his shirt and the floor.
He leaned towards them and they both squealed and pushed him away. Sarah ran for cover but Cerise stayed there and let him accost her with the crackers. She stuck her hand into the box and pulled out a handful, stuffing them in her mouth and crunching them loudly. They actually weren’t that bad. She let her mouth hang open and the crackers dribbled down to the ground. Jay cackled and stuffed his mouth again. By now the boys and the Green Girls were watching them and everyone laughed uproariously as Cerise and Jay let a pile of cracker crumbs grow at their feet.
This was all she’d ever have with Jay, wasn’t it? Jokes and laughter and being one of the guys. And maybe that was enough. After all, who in their right mind would want Jason Harris when they had Terry Trebichavsky? Assuming he was still available and she hadn’t completely fubared their relationship.
Shauna had locked herself in the upstairs bathroom with a couple of beer bottles but they were empty now and people kept pounding on the door. She gave serious consideration to climbing out the window and walking across the roof, maybe plunging down to her death. She was at least three storeys high if you considered the incline of the hill. There were a bunch of people on the driveway. How funny would it be to land on them? Maybe she’d take out a bunch of people with her. Murder/suicide at graduation party rocks
. Awesome. Beaconsfield
She opened the door and slunk out of the bathroom while a couple of girls sneered at her.
“Oh, of course it’s Potty-potty! God, why does she love toilets so much? What a freak!”
The Glue Sniffers must have been waiting for her because as soon as she snuck downstairs they were all over her. They put their arms around her and accused her of not being very sociable.
“Yeah, come on, hang out, Sheila. What’d we ever do to you?” asked Mike sweetly.
“Floooosh…” said Ben.
“Oh right,” snickered Mike.
They led her to a couch in a darkened room where lots of people were dancing, including Cerise. It was almost exciting the way they held her down. She was glad she was sort of drunk, because the tingling sensation that came with fear was mixed with the tingling that came from a buzz. If she just gave up, what would they do? Lock her up somewhere again? And so what if they did? She’d survive and if she didn’t, maybe that’d be even better. Let them do it. Let them kill her. Let Cerise watch. Let her join in. Let her put her hands on Shauna’s throat and squeeze away her breath. Let her lips come close to Shauna’s and inhale her breath, like a succubus.
Shauna leaned back into the couch, content to let the fantasy erase reality, when Wendy nudged her in the chest with her elbow, telling her to quit squirming. Without thinking, Shauna darted up and the Glue Sniffers all jumped up a second later. Shauna turned around and drew back her arm, clenching her hand into a fist. She pushed her arm forward and struck Wendy in the face, hitting her in the jaw. Shauna felt sure her hand would crumble and fall off, so painful was the blow. She tried to unclench her fist but suddently Wendy had grabbed her hair and was yanking her backwards.
“Cat fight!” screeched Ben or Mike or both.
Whenever there was a fight, word spread like a brushfire. Terry and Karine entered the living room in plenty of time to see the Glue Sniffer chick and Porta-potty chick ripping each other’s hair out and clawing at their faces. Their entire class was in the room, or staring in from adjoining rooms, watching the fight, some cheering them on, like Andrew and some frozen in shock, like Cerise.
“Holy shit, there’s a fight at my party! Awesome!” enthused Hangman.
“They’re gonna break something,” Karl mused calmly.
It was true. They were scrambling around like cats in heat, brawling in the center of the room while onlookers jumped out of their way whenever necessary. A few knick-knacks on tables had already been knocked over and a tall lamp threatened to topple whenever the girls neared it.
“This would be way cooler if they were hotter,” snarked Andrew.
“Seriously,” nodded Erica. “It’s like the fight o’ skank. Watch out for flying grime.”
“Come on, Wendy! Kill her!” screamed the Glue Sniffer guys. “Kill that fucking cunt!”
The rasta guy grabbed Porta-potty by the shoulders, allowing Wendy to pummel her undeterred.
“No fair, it’s two against one!” said Hangman.
The room seemed to ripple with an intake of breath when Wendy’s fist hit Porta-potty square in the nose and it sprayed blood like a faucet.
“Oh my god!” said Cerise, her voice trembling.
Incredible that she could feel so much concern for her stalker, for the girl who’d pushed her off a chairlift, the girl who’d harassed her at her old school, the girl she’d moved just to get away from. Cerise really was an angel, she was pure goodness and when her hands flew to her face in horror, watching Porta-potty get pummelled, a wave of energy rose up in Terry’s chest. What a perfect opportunity to be the hero.
He lunged forward and grabbed Wendy, easily lifting her up and pulling her away from Porta-potty. “Enough,” he said in a strong, deep voice, his peripheral vision focused on Cerise to make sure she was watching.
Wendy kicked out her legs until Terry put her down, put he kept his hands firmly on her arms, preventing her from breaking free. She called Porta-potty a bitch and spat at her but the spittle only reached the floor at Porta-potty’s feet.
“Oh come on,” whined Hangman. “Someone has to clean that up, you know!”
“You should get a shamwow,” suggested the fat guy and everybody laughed.
The rasta guy released Porta-potty and she tried to leave the room but the crowd was too thick so she stood there cradling her nose with the sleeve of her ugly dress. Terry released Wendy and she and her nasty boyfriends pushed their way out of the room, a barrage of insults spewing towards Porta-potty as they went.
Terry turned to look at Cerise. She was staring at Porta-potty and not at Terry. So much for that.