Ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, rinG, riNG, rING, RING! Vani repeatedly smashed down the little bell on the BYC bar.
“Stop that!” hissed Jay, pushing Vani’s hand away. “She’ll think we’re spazzes!”
“Too late. I already think you’re spazzes,” said Karine with a chuckle as she emerged from the kitchen.
God, how completely embarrassing. Sarah and Karine traded hellos while the guys all stood around like morons, Jay included.
“We’ll have the usual,” said Karl.
Karine smirked and produced a bunch of payment chits. “Ok but this time I’m watching you guys sign. You think I don’t look at these things? Last time you all gave fake numbers, except Jay so I had to charge him for all you guys’.”
“What?” screeched Jay. “My parents are totally gonna give me shit, you guys!”
Karl smiled smugly while Vani and Willy laughed.
“I’ll pay for mine with cash,” said Sarah, producing some bills from her pocket.
“You can pay for me too, suga-mama,” said Karl with a smirk.
“As if!” laughed Sarah.
“I pay for you all the time!”
“True enough,” she conceded. “I’ll pay for me and Karl but not these losers,” she lifted her chin at the boys.
“Put mine on Willy’s account,” said Vani.
“No way!” protested Willy. “I ain’t payin’ for nobody who ain’t suckin’ my cock!”
“I’m sorry, Willy, but I don’t think of you in that way,” smirked Vani.
They all laughed uproariously, even Karine while Willy told them all to shut up.
“One of you guys has to pay for me,” said Jay. “Seriously, my parents are gonna be pissed.”
“No deal,” said Karl. “If you were too stupid to know we were all playing a prank on you last time then you deserve what you get.”
“But I don’t have any money!”
“How can you not have any money?” asked Karine. “Like hello? Stop mooching off your parents and get a job. Join me in the salt mines.” Her tone was serious but she punctuated her statement by lightly whipping Jay with a dish rag. And then she smiled and sauntered off to the kitchen.
“Whoa!” Jay breathed, unable to contain his excitement. “She wants me to join her!”
Sarah giggled and declared Jay to be a massive dork while Karl said that Karine probably did indeed have plans to marry Jay and have his children.
“Yes! And for some reason she wants to do it in a salt mine. I can dig it,” grinned Jay.
The others couldn’t help but laugh. Now if only Jay could manage to be this totally hilarious in front of Karine, then he might just have a chance with her.
There wasn’t much to buy in
besides a bunch of touristy junk. There were a couple cool stores but nothing they couldn’t get back home, so there didn’t seem to be any point in buying it here. Still, it had been a reasonably fun day of shopping with Geneviève. Julie had sulked the whole time but at least she’d come along; originally she’d tried to avoid the excursion all together. Now Geneviève had gone off to work; she was a concierge in some fancy hotel and the girls were alone at home, waiting for their dad to come home and make chicken on the barbeque. Quebec City
Cerise sat down at Robert’s computer and checked her email and facebook. Sarah had posted some pictures from the Beaconsfield Yacht Club of the boys being goofy. The next pic had Karine in it, wearing a BYC uniform and looking wryly at the camera while standing behind a counter. Karine was working at the BYC? Great, how completely perfect.
Oh, this was interesting. Terry had commented on her status. She’d written ‘Quebec = meh’ and Sarah had written ‘lol’ and Jay had written ‘suckletron’ and then the boys all wrote stuff making fun of Jay and his Torontonian heritage but the last comment was from Terry, simply asking her if she was having an ok time. How was she supposed to respond? Cerise felt butterflies in her stomach and immediately chastised herself for getting so worked up over a tiny little facebook comment. Terry probably didn’t even care about her anymore, he was probably just being nice, probably commenting on everyone’s status’. In fact he’d commented on one of the pictures of Karine at BYC, telling her she was hot stuff. He and Karine were probably dating or something. His relationship status was still single but that didn’t mean anything. God, what was she supposed to write?! What should she do?!
“It’s my turn to use the comp,” said Julie, stomping into their dad’s office.
“I’m not done,” said Cerise.
“What are you doing?”
“Checking my email.”
“Why? Who would write you?”
“God, just go away!”
“And go where? This place sucks!”
“God, shut up, Julie,” said Simone, entering the office. “Geneviève has True Blood on DVD. Wanna watch it?”
“Season 4?” asked Julie like the moron she was.
“Season 4 just started,” said Simone snidely. “It’s not even out on DVD yet. She has seasons 1 and 2.”
“Then what’s the point?” whined Julie.
“God, it’s something to do!” said Simone in exasperation, sitting in one of the chairs in the room.
“But we’ve already seen it!” insisted Julie. “God, everything here sucks.”
Cerise couldn’t help but agree. “You gotta admit it does kinda suck here.”
Simone sighed. “Look, it’s not like I’m having the time of my life here either but at least I’m not moping around like some fucking loser!”
“I just wanna go home,” said Julie. “I miss my friends. It totally sucks that we have to lose our entire summer being in this shitty ass town! Why’d we even have to come here in the first place?”
“To be with dad,” shrugged Cerise, even though she sort of agreed with Julie. It was getting pretty boring here and those facebook photos made it look like Sarah and the boys were having a super fun summer even though Karine was there too.
“Why? Since when does dad even care about us?” snotted Julie.
Simone and Cerise looked at one another. Once again their little sister sort of had a point. But her argument might have carried more weight if she wasn’t being such a little shit about it.
“Well, he’s trying I guess,” shrugged Simone.
“He never tried before. It’s like now that he doesn’t live with us all of a sudden he wants to be our dad?”
“Well, ok, so he’s gonna win the father of year award or anything,” shrugged Cerise. “But it’s not like he’s some meth addicted ogre or something. It’s not really that big of a deal to spend a few weeks with him. I mean he is trying.”
“Seriously,” nodded Simone. “I mean he’s been cooking practically every night. He never used to cook, like ever. But he’s like totally making like actual food now.”
“I know,” nodded Cerise. “It’s actually kinda weird, eh?”
“It’s totally fake!” insisted Julie. “He’s just doing it to impress his stupid French girlfriend! Whatever! It’s like he’s trying to pretend we’re a family, which is like, totally dumb ‘cause like if he wanted to be all like, family man or whatever he never would have left in the first place!”
“Like he’s not allowed to get a new girlfriend? Come on, Julie,” snorted Simone.
“He never should have divorced mom!”
Cerise rolled her eyes. “Geez, having fun in the 1950s there, Julie?”
“Seriously, grow up,” agreed Simone. “Don’t be all bratty just because we’re not the traditional nuclear family.”
“Seriously. We’re not special ‘cause our ‘rents are divorced,” nodded Cerise. “I mean come on, we have it way better than a lot of people.”
“All you guys ever do is look at the bright side of things! You never wanna acknowledge the crappy side!”
Cerise couldn’t help but laugh. “Oh yeah, ‘cause goth girl over here is all about the glass half full.”
“Like you’re Little Miss Optimist?” chuckled Simone.
“You guys are in denial,” Julie went on, her voice rising. “You’re all pretending like everything is fine in our family. You’re just like mom, all smiles and la la la, all acting like nothing matters. I’m the only one who’s willing to face anything. And I’m not gonna pretend I’m having a good time if I’m really not. And it fucking sucks here so fuck it! God!”
“It only sucks because you keep insisting on having such a bad attitude about it! If you would just stop being such a shit-head you might have a good time,” yelled Simone.
“Bullshit! I know both you guys are totally faking it! You don’t like Geneviève and you don’t like dad and you don’t like it here and god, you’re so fucking annoying!” With that she stomped out of the room, only to come back a second later and insist it was her turn to use the computer.
Cerise left her to it and went to watch True Blood with Simone. Julie did kind of have a point but still, what a drama queen.
Why was everything in Karine’s life turning to shit? She usually liked summer but this one was shaping up to be completely insufferable. Unlike some people, she didn’t have a problem with humidity, although it was sort of brutal on her hair, which is why she always kept her house air-conditioned, but now the AC was broken and she didn’t know how to fix it and she didn’t have the energy to hire someone. In the past she would have put Steven on the job but they obviously weren’t hanging out anymore.
How did she suddenly have no friends left? Not that Erica was ever really a friend, so no big loss there and she clearly wasn’t going to keep hanging out with the Asshole. But she sort of missed Christina. It was her own fault she supposed. Chrissy called all the time but she’d been avoiding her. It’s just that she didn’t have the energy to hang out with her anymore. Chrissy always wanted to talk about stupid things or just randomly get drunk and Karine just wasn’t up for it anymore.
Thank god for Terry. What a good friend. Sure, he was completely obsessed with Cherry the goddamned Raspberry but at least he wasn’t all up in her face about why she was sort of down lately. Sometimes they’d just watch TV together or have a beer or even just stare at the clouds and they wouldn’t have to say anything. They could just be together and it was cool and no big deal.
Noting the time, Karine brought a couple of beers out to her front yard and waited for Terry to show up. Sure enough, he came by a second later, but on a bicycle. Seriously.
He rode it up her driveway and jumped off it, letting it drop to the ground. Then he strode over to Karine and grabbed one of the beers, opening it and taking a long gulp. She sipped her own beer and regarded him with an amused smile.
“Did you just come here on a bike?”
“My brother has his learner’s. My dad’s giving him lessons in my car.”
“Fun. How much of a shit fit did you throw over that one?”
“Nah, it’s cool,” he shrugged. “Don’t tell anyone but it’s actually kinda fun to just ride around on a bike and feel the wind in my face, you know?”
Karine chuckled and assured him that his secret was safe with her.
“’Sides, we agreed I’ll have the car for school next year so it’s all good.”
“Cool. You can drive me to school every day!”
“Yeah right,” he scoffed.
“You’d do it for Cherry,” she sulked.
“Yeah, I would,” he grinned.
“Loser,” she playfully smacked his arm. “So did you mail her?”
“Nah. I couldn’t think of what to say. I mean I wrote this long thing but then I just deleted it ‘cause it was too dorky. So I commented on her facebook status but she hasn’t responded, so now I don’t know.”
God, why was he so obsessed with Cherry? She was such a bitch and he could do so much better.
“I was trying to think of something nice to do for her,” he went on. “You know, to smooth things over. Like I dunno. Give her flowers or something. Is that too lame?”
“You were never that romantic with me,” said Karine wistfully. But then she made a goofy face so he’d know she was joking.
“We never went out,” he laughed.
“And who’s fault is that?” she smiled shyly.
“Yours! You turned me down when I wanted to hook up with you!”
“Yeah well, I was going out with Steven at the time.”
“Likely excuse. So are flowers too dorky or what?”
“No, it’s sweet,” she said earnestly.
“It’s not too much?”
“Nah, girls like that kinda crap. She’ll probably eat it right up.”
“So it’s not too desperate?”
“Well you are desperate! You’ve been talking about your stupid Cherry angel all summer!”
“Come on, I’m being serious,” he said pleadingly.
Ugh! He was so irritating! His stupid Cherry obsession was really starting to piss her off! “So am I, you fucking killjoy! All you talk about is your lousy job and how you have to work out in the stupid sun and how much you miss your little angel who fell from the sky! It’s seriously getting old, Terry.”
“You saying I’m boring?” he asked with his patented eyebrow lift/smirk combo.
“Thanks for catching on,” she smirked right back.
“I’ll show you boring!” he grunted as he grabbed Karine and swung her over his shoulder, standing up and running through the yard.
Karine shrieked with laughter. Even though his shoulder was totally crushing her stomach, this was still the most fun she’d had all summer. She pounded her fists on his chest and he eventually placed her back down on the ground.
“So you don’t think flowers are too dorky?” he asked.
Karine rolled her eyes and reached for her beer.
Every time Shauna hung out with Stan they ended up having sex. In fact, she was pretty sure he wouldn’t let her bum around his apartment if she wasn’t letting him do the stuff he wanted to do, which was fine. Shauna didn’t much like doing stuff with him but it never took long and it didn’t hurt so it seemed like a fair deal for the privilege of watching TV without being constantly hassled.
“Where are you going?” asked her mother one evening as she was heading out to visit him.
“Out,” replied Shauna.
“It’s getting late.”
It wasn’t particularly late. Just 8pm. Shauna’s parents had never given her a curfew since she never went out but now it seemed her mother was starting to take notice of her comings and goings.
“You never used to go out so much,” said her mother suspiciously. “Where do you go?”
“Mom, you always tell me to get out more and stuff and like now that I do you’re all like, don’t go out?”
“Don’t take that tone with me!”
Shauna shut her mouth and tried not to look angry but this was seriously bullshit. She wasn’t even taking a tone. God, her mother was such a stupid, harpy bitch! Shauna was extremely tempted just to run out of the house and never come back but she knew better. She had to control herself or else things would get even worse. So she calmly explained that she was just going for a walk and she’d be back in an hour. She knew she wouldn’t be back so soon but she could come up with an excuse later. Her mother didn’t seem completely satisfied but she let her go.
“How ‘bout I get her just one flower? Like a red rose or some shit. No, that’s too obvious, just a white one. But that’s what I did for grad; it’ll bring back bad memories.”
“But just one flower. I mean let’s not go nuts, I make minimum wage for christ’s sake. I swear to god, I break my back all day for this goddamn city and the best they can do is min wage? And for what? So stupid kids can go and deface my work! Do you know how long it takes to wash graffiti off the town hall?”
“What?” asked Terry, unsure if he should be offended or not.
“There was a time when you would have been one of those stupid kids doing the graffiti.”
“No shit. I’m 17 and it’s summer. I should be up to no good. But I work all day and do shit all night. I mean what the hell? You’re right about us being totally boring now. When was the last time we went to
“Erica and them hang out there. You know I don’t wanna hang out with them anymore,” she said defensively.
“Well I hear you on the Erica issue and I get wanting to avoid Steven but still. What about Andrew? We haven’t hung with him since convocation.”
Terry hadn’t expected to lose touch with all his high school friends so quickly after graduation. He wasn’t even sure how it had happened. At least he still had Karine and maybe if he played his cards right, he could get Cerise back too.
“I don’t wanna hang with him.”
“I dunno. I just wanna move on from high school crap, ok?”
“Then why are you still hanging out with me?” he asked with a grin.
“You’re different,” she said quietly, staring at her hands.
“How so?” he asked, sincerely wanting to know.
She looked up and smirked. “You’re Terry Trebichavsky. I’m female. I’m just naturally drawn to you. Can’t resist.”
He chuckled. “If females are naturally drawn to me then how come I haven’t gotten any pussy all summer?”
Karine laughed and swatted at his arm. “You know why! ‘Cause you’re all obsesso-freak over Cerise! I mean it’s certainly not for lack of opportunity. I know Isabelle Wright and she’s all…”
“This chick. She works at the town hall with you. Well, in the office. Apparently she’s all into you but you won’t give them the time of day.”
“I don’t even know who you’re talking about.” Terry scanned his memory to try and think of any chicks who worked at the town hall.
“Well whatever, I don’t even know her that well. But I ran into Mel and Steph the other day and they were saying how she was saying that she smokes with you sometimes but you’re always totally rude and snobby and shit.”
“Oh! You mean the yellow teeth chick? Gross.”
“Yeah I know, she’s totally rank. Well don’t worry, I told Mel and Steph to tell her that you’re spoken for.”
“Yeah, I was all like, oh Terry’s not available. He’s too busy stalking his ex-girlfriend.”
“I’m not stalking her!” He considered for a moment. “I mean I’m not, am I?”
“You’re totally obsessed, Terry.”
“I just like her is all.”
“You loooOOOOooove her!” Karine cooed.
“Oh get over it,” Terry looked away, hoping he wasn’t blushing. “I just think she’s cool. You know, she’s different. Special.”
“Yeah, Special Olympics special.”
“Shut the fuck up!” Terry laughed but he was actually sort of annoyed.
“I’ll hear no word against my Cherry angel!” Karine mocked. “I love her so much! She is the Earth and the Moon! She is the star around which I revolve!”
“Shut up!” Terry picked up Karine again and twirled her around while she shrieked.
Shauna looked around the darkened room. Where was she? Oh right, Stan’s place, in his bed. Had she fallen asleep? According to the alarm clock it was 2am so clearly she’d drifted off. What should she do? She sat up and thought about putting her clothes on but that took so much energy. She shifted and felt the dirty pair of underwear Stan had used to wipe up his cum. When he didn’t have condoms he’d come on her belly or her back and then wipe it up with whatever item of clothing was handy. It was totally gross, especially considering he rarely did laundry, not that she was one to judge; she often went months without cleaning her clothes and sometimes she’d go a whole week without showering ‘cause really, what was the point?
She made a noise of disgust and tossed the soiled underoos off the bed.
“What is it?” asked Stan groggily.
“It’s like 2 in the morning.”
“So? Fucking go to sleep then.”
“I never went home. My parents are gonna be like, so pissed.”
“So nothing I guess.”
It was a good point. So what? Maybe she’d just never go home again. She spent every day at Stan’s anyway. Might as well just move in. Maybe he wouldn’t even notice. She could hang out here while he was at work and maybe sometimes she could just take walks or something so he wouldn’t get too sick of her. It was a solid plan so Shauna lay back down and closed her eyes, satisfied that everything would work out.