Karine wanted to feel bad for Porta-potty chick but the fight had been a welcome distraction for her. It was just like the good old days, when she would throw parties and crazy shit would go down.
Hangman rather kindly offered Porta-potty some ice for her nose but she said nothing, instead looking around the room like a deer caught in headlights. Cherry asked her if she was ok, offering her a box of Kleenex.
“Fuck you, bitch!” screeched Porta-potty, swatting away the Kleenex box with her bloody hand.
She stepped forward and forcefully pushed Cherry with her shoulder, almost knocking her down. Then she stomped out of the room, waving her red hands about and forcing the crowd to part in disgust.
“What the hell?” said Steph.
“Seriously, what a freak!” said Mel.
“That was weird,” agreed Sarah. “Why does she always go after you?” she asked Cherry.
Cherry shrugged and a moment later Terry was at her side, gently placing a comforting hand on her shoulder.
“Are you ok?” he asked her.
She looked up at him and for a moment Karine thought they might kiss but she only shrugged. “Yeah, I’m not the one who got hit in the face.”
“That was so awesome!” laughed Jay. “Porta-potty girl was all like, waaah!” He waved his hands around. “And then the Glue Sniffing girl was all like wooooo, and then Porta-potty was like aaaack, and then the Glue girl was all hiya!”
“Shut up, Jay!” yelled Cherry with such ferocity that everyone in the room stopped talking.
Cherry stepped away from Terry and pushed her way out of the room, followed by the Green Girls.
“So that went well,” Terry said wryly, mostly to himself but Karine giggled in response.
Jay’s insensitivity was really unbelievable, but apparently it was the norm. Everyone was talking about the fight like it was hilarious, which offended Cerise more than she might have imagined. Poor Shauna!
Sarah, Mel and Steph comforted Cerise as though she’d been the one who’d gotten injured and she felt horribly guilty for their misplaced concern. They were all acting like Shauna was insane, like she’d brought the fight upon herself but Cerise knew that Shauna always kept to herself and didn’t deserve all the crap she’d taken all year. And Cerise was no better than any of these jerks, constantly making Shauna’s life more difficult.
“My party is gonna be legend now,” laughed Vani as he entered the kitchen with the rest of the boys, joining the girls at the kitchen table.
“Totally,” agreed Willy. “It’s gonna be the party with the cat fight where the Porta-potty girl and the Glue Sniffing girl were fighting over the Cherry girl!”
“What?” said Cerise in surprise. “They were not fighting over me! And don’t call me the Cherry girl.”
“Well she is your stalker. Maybe they were fighting over you,” insisted Willy.
“That had nothing to do with me! I don’t even know who that other girl is.”
“That was Wendy Fletcher,” explained Sarah. “She’s like, a total glue sniffing junkie. I don’t know what she has to do with Porta-potty girl though.”
“Maybe it was about you, Cerise,” suggested Jay delicately, seemingly genuine.
“I hardly think so!” Cerise said in exasperation.
“Well then why did she tell you to fuck off when she left? She was pissed at you!”
“Seriously,” nodded Vani, impressed by Jay’s deductive reasoning. “It was all about you!”
“Whoa! Two chicks were fighting over you! So awesome!” said Willy in awe.
“They were so not! I don’t even know Wendy Fletcher!”
“Oh my god,” said Mel. “They’re probably like lesbian lovers and they were like, fighting because Glue-sniffer chick was all jealous because Porta-potty chick is all stalking you and is like, all in love with you and everything!”
“Oh my god! Totally! It all makes sense!” nodded Steph.
“No it doesn’t,” protested Cerise.
“Whoa! My party is gonna be the party where a lesbian fight broke out! That’s so cool!” said Vani, rubbing his hands together in glee.
Karl cocked his head to the side. “You know it’s interesting to actually witness the insane rumour get developed.”
“And to see people start believing it,” nodded Sarah.
“Fascinating,” said Karl in his best Spock voice.
“She got pretty pissed at that stupid hair guy,” said Terry sadly, leaning against the railing of the front porch.
Karine snickered as she lit another cigarette. Now that the excitement had died down, she and Terry had gone back outside. He still wasn’t smoking though.
“It’s hilarious that you insist on calling Jason Harris that stupid hair guy.”
“God, I hate him. Maybe she’s hooking up with him.”
“Jason Harris is too clueless to ever hook up with any chick. Besides, even if they were to hook up I don’t see how that affects you. Just swoop in and do your thing.”
“I don’t wanna mess up her life.”
“Mess up her life?” asked Karine incredulously.
“Well maybe she should be with him. I mean if that’s what makes her happy.”
“Why the fuck would you even think she’s into him? I mean I’m not saying I disagree but where is your logic? You’re like, she got pissed at him, oh she must be into him.”
“Usually she only gets pissed at me,” he mumbled, pouting.
Karine couldn’t help but laugh. “Oh hell no! Don’t tell me her temper tantrums are like foreplay for you!”
He looked at her in embarrassment and the flush in his cheeks was evidence enough that she’d hit the nail on the head. God, that was so messed. What the hell?
“God, you’re so out of it with that chick,” Karine said with wonder.
“I know,” he sighed.
“Ok so hell, no wonder you provoked her at prom.”
“No, I was upset for real.” He shook his head.
“Well whatever. Just go tell her she turns you on with her fucking bitchy Cherry angel shit.”
“It’s not that simple,” he protested. “And don’t call her a bitch. And don’t call her Cherry to her face, eh?”
Karine rolled her eyes. “God, why are you so scared?”
“I’m not scared!”
“Yeah right. Ok, let’s review. There’s a chick you wanna hook up with inside this house and you’re sitting out here discussing your innermost feelings with your BFF. Hmmm… kinda lost your edge there eh, Terry?”
Terry chuckled and crossed his arms defensively. “Gimme a break.”
“You’re just a big ol’ scaredy cat,” she teased.
“I’m not scared. I just don’t wanna mess up again.”
“Exactly. You’re scared.”
“Are you done?” he asked with a forced smile.
“Not quite. I’m still revelling in this. Go figure I guess, eh? You fall in love and you crumble into a little simpering coward.”
“Ok, I get the point. Thanks for the pep talk.”
Karine noticed that he didn’t deny being in love. Such a waste. Still, it was kind of funny.
“You know, I think I like you this way. You’re easier to get along with. Don’t have that super cool nonchalance thing working for you anymore.” She poked her fingers into his chest repeatedly.
“You’re really pushing it you know,” he grinned.
“No really. You’re not being all, I’m so cool, I’m so mellow, I don’t give a shit about anything. You’re being all, I’m vulnerable, I’m afraid, please love me. It’s adorable!”
“Ok! I get it!”
“No, no, let me enjoy this,” she giggled. “Look at you, look at how cute you are. You’re all in pain and all desperate for acceptance.”
“And we’re done,” he said, pushing himself away from the railing and reaching for the front door.
“Hee! Can I watch?”
“You grovel at Cherry’s feet.”
“I’m not gonna grovel,” he insisted.
“What you gonna say then?”
He paused, considering the question. “Shit.”
Shauna had no idea how she would explain the blood stains to her mother. Probably the same way she would explain how she’d lost her shoes. Her feet were screaming in pain, blistering as she walked across the pavement to nowhere in particular. Nowhere in particular turned out to be the dep where she’d met Stan. She hadn’t realized that’s where she’d been headed but it was as good a destination as any.
She hesitated at the door but then walked in, trying to fake some confidence.
“Well if it isn’t the little prom girl,” said Stan from behind the front counter. He looked her up and down. “No shoes, no service.”
“Gimme some fucking cigarettes,” she insisted.
“What happened to you?” he asked, “Are you ok?”
“Got in a fight.”
“Looks like you lost.”
“Yeah, I guess,” she shrugged.
“Come ‘ere,” he said, lifting a section of the counter and walking out to her. He led her back behind the counter and set her down on a folding chair.
Her nose had long since stopped bleeding but Stan got a wet washcloth and wiped her face clean, as well as her hands. He even washed her feet and took the socks off his own feet to give to her. They were kind of sweaty, but Shauna didn’t mind. She appreciated the kindness.
“Oh my god! I never even knew Wendy Fletcher was a lesbian,” said Mel.
“I know, me neither. I always thought she had a thing going with Ben or Mike,” nodded Steph.
“I know, I thought it was like a total threesome thing.”
“Oh my god, she is so kinky!”
“I guess she’s bisexual,” suggested Vani.
“Oh my god, totally!” agreed Mel.
“So she decides to hook up with Porta-potty chick? Talk about low standards,” said Steph.
“Maybe her brain is fried from all that glue sniffing,” said Vani.
“Oh my god, totally!”
“You’re so right!”
“But I guess Glue Sniffing girl just couldn’t handle it when Porta-potty chick wanted to keep stalking Cerise.”
“Oh my god!”
Vani was beaming wildly. Cerise hated to ruin his moment but this was too much for her. She stood up in disgust and left the kitchen.
“Ok, I know things haven’t worked out with us in the past and…” Terry bit his lip and furrowed his brow.
It was undeniably adorable.
He went on. “I guess things have a way of getting kind of intense with us. But the thing is, none of that matters because of the way I feel about you. I mean, I’ve never felt this way before about anyone. You mean so much to me, I can’t even explain it. Ok, I know I’ve done some stupid things and said some, you know, stupid things and I guess I messed up pretty bad at prom. I was an ass and I’m sorry about that but if you could just give me another chance, I’ll try harder this time. I think things could be really good between us. Because, I feel like we have something, you and me. You know? And… I dunno, I guess I just wanna try again, you know? So, what do you think?”
“Ok,” she said.
“So it was good?” Terry smiled happily.
“Yeah, it was great,” nodded Karine. “She’d be crazy not to get back together with you. Seriously.”
It was certainly enough for Karine to wish he’d been saying it to her for real, and not just rehearsing what he’d say to Cherry Angel.
“It’s not too dorky? Or desperate?”
“No, not at all.”
“I sounded like an idiot. I am grovelling!” Terry sat down on the bench and put his head in his hands.
“No, it was sweet! It was totally sweet and charming and… and you did that little thing with your eyebrows where you look all vulnerable and you had the pouty lip thing going and… god, if she doesn’t just melt right in your arms then she’s made of stone. Seriously.”
“Really?” asked Terry with a grin.
“Yes really,” said Karine with a smirk.
Terry took a deep breath and walked into the house. Karine watched him go with longing. He was the perfect guy and she’d just helped him get back together with his stupid girlfriend. What the hell was she thinking?