Monday, August 29, 2011

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Act V

That had been seriously painful in every way imaginable.  Terry had put it off for a week or so but had finally gone to the JAC health centre to get an STD test.  First he had to fill out a form, which was fine but once it was established that he’d had several sexual partners and had had unprotected sex, which he felt sort of bad for not admitting to Cerise but hey, whatever, they made him pee in a cup, which was fine but they also stuck a swab up his dick!  Like seriously!  A nurse who was a totally hot chick actually stuck a huge plastic stick up his urethra and it fucking killed!  He tried to be cool about it but fuck, seriously? 
He was embarrassed to talk about it but Cerise wanted to know how things had gone so he had to tell her.  She was appropriately sympathetic and didn’t laugh or anything so that was good.  Cerise said she hadn’t yet made an appointment with a gynecologist to go on the pill and was sort of nervous about it.  He assured her that there was no rush.  In truth he was just glad his part was over with.
They joined Karine, Sarah, Karl and Jay and his stupid hair at the Munch Box for lunch and since there weren’t enough seats, Cerise sat on Terry’s lap, which was giving him a boner.  He was kind of glad about that though because it meant that everything was still functional down there.
About half way through their lunch some chick from one of Terry’s classes walked by and said hi to him.  He wasn’t sure what her name was so he just said hey and she went on her way.
“Wow, gina much?” snickered Karine.
“Seriously,” agreed Sarah and Cerise.
Jay also nodded along.  “I know, this school is like the Jersey Shore.  Who knew there were so many ginos around here?”
 “You know you’d think now that there’s a show about guidos and it’s like totally making fun of them, that Italian people would like wise up and realize they look ridiculous when they conform to that stereotype…” began Sarah.
“I’m not sure you’re in any position to criticize people for being ethnic stereotypes, Sarah,” smiled Karl.
“Shut up!  Like just because I’m Asian I’m not allowed to do well in school or else I’m conforming to a stereotype?  You know just because not all Asians are smart and hard-working doesn’t mean none are.”
Everyone looked at Sarah in shock.  She seemed genuinely angry and Karl backed off and shrugged apologetically.
“But it’s not the same anyway,” said Cerise delicately.  “I mean, the overachieving Asian thing is basically a positive stereotype, whereas the gino thing is a negative one.  So like people who conform to the gino stereotype watch Jersey Shore and miss the irony.  They think it’s something to aspire to.  It just makes them even more hardcore in their ginoness.  They see these losers getting famous and they don’t care that they’re famous for being douchebags, they just want to be famous too.”
“Well if it’s part of your culture to be a douche, then a show about douches is just a show,” said Terry, glad to be participating in an intellectual conversation.
“Totally,” agreed Sarah, totally back to her normal self.  “Hey Karl, can you go get me a drink?”
“Sure, coke or sprite?”
Jay and his stupid hair made a loud, obnoxious whipping sound and everyone laughed ‘cause it was a pretty good sound effect, even though Jay was a total dork who only wished he could have a girlfriend to fetch drinks for.
“Um, I dunno.  Do I want coke or sprite?” Sarah considered.
“Just as long as it’s not chicken stir-fry,” Terry quipped.
Everyone looked puzzled, except Cerise, who cracked up and buried her face in his shoulder.  Karl went off to get Sarah her drink while she and Karine giggled at Cerise’s display.  Jay and his hair looked confused and disgusted.  What a total loser.  Terry smirked at him while he rested his hand on Cerise’s thigh. 
“So you ready for the auditions?” asked Karine.
“I guess,” replied Cerise.  “I’m just gonna do one of my speeches from Midsummer, you know?”
“Yeah, I was thinking about that, but I’m gonna do something else.”
“Oh, what play are you guys doing?” asked Sarah.
“Tale of Two Cities,” grumbled Karine.  “Which is totally boring.  There are only like two female roles in the whole thing.”
“It’s completely lame,” agreed Cerise.  “They’re making some of the boy roles girl roles.  Blech.”
“Damn, we’re a week in and already you guys have to do auditions and shit?” marvelled Terry.  “That’s so quick.”
Cerise agreed that it seemed quick but Theatre Workshop held a play each semester and since a semester was only slightly over three months they couldn’t waste any time.  Karine added that everything was much more intense now that they were in cegep.  Everything was faster and more real.  Jay and his stupid hair fell all over himself agreeing with Karine, saying how he was actually finding his classes hard but Karl just laughed and said that this place was a joke and he couldn’t wait to get to University and take some actual classes with real professors.  It was kind of a dick thing to say but Jay was put in his place so Terry snickered along with Karl and Sarah.
“Someone just asked me if I’m Italian!” exclaimed Vani, bounding up to their table with arms flailing.
They all chuckled and regarded Vani.  It was true, give him a gold chain and he could totally pass for Italian.
“That’s hilarious!  We were just talking about ginos!” laughed Jay, like he should be making fun of stereotypes.  He was totally Leonard from Big Bang Theory, except even more lame.
“Point being, I must defend my cultural heritage,” whined Vani as he tried to wedge Jay out of his seat.
“What heritage?” asked Karl as Jay tried to defend his seat.
“You know, my Indian heritage.  My blackness.”
Wow, they were all like the Big Bang Theory.  Vani was Raj and Karl and Sheldon and Willy was Howard.  Terry couldn’t believe he’d never made the connection before.  Did that make Cerise Penny?
“Your blackness?” scoffed Karl.  “Vani, you’re whiter than I am!”
“Hey, I’m coloured.  And the white man’s trying to keep me down.”
“You are the white man!” Karl insisted.  “You’re the most ring-wing person I know.  Your parents vote conservative for god’s sake!”
“That may be true but I’m only half white and the other half is totally ethnic and that’s the half that counts.  You know who else is a half-breed?  Obama.  That’s right, and Barock’s DaBomba and me, we’s tight,” said Vani, crossing his fingers.
“Vani, you just referred to yourself as coloured and ethnic and half-breed.  You’re not exactly Rosa Parks.”
“I’m Gandhi!  Gandhi was Indian.”
They all laughed.
“Yeah, if you mean Gandhi as portrayed in Clone High,” said Karl and only Cerise and Jay laughed so maybe it was an inside joke.
Terry kind of wanted to stick around and listen to Vani try and represent but he needed to get to class.  He kissed Cerise and took off and ran into that gina chick on his way.  It’s true, she was a total stereotype but still hot in her own way.  Hell, she had tits and a cunt so she was doable.  Shit, he was really horny, wasn’t he?  Terry wondered if he would have gotten together with a girl like that before Cerise.  Probably.  And if Cerise broke up with him again he would probably go there now.  Did all guys have standards as low as him or was he a baser creature than most?  Either way it was sort of depressing to think about. 

Shauna was having a really good dream about being a runner in like a marathon or something but then she was interrupted by Stan, who was saying good morning or whatever.
“Look at you with your scrunched up face,” he laughed.  “You look like a duck.  Like a little ugly duckling.”
He tried to play with her hair but she pushed him away and grumbled.  He informed her that he was going to work and she grumbled again in reply.  Like she cared that he was leaving.  Actually she did care if it meant she’d finally be left alone.
“You just gonna sleep all day?”
“Thinking about it,” she sighed.
“It’s fucking one in the afternoon, Shauna!”
“So?”  Seriously, could he just go so she could sleep?
“Why don’t you make yourself useful and clean this place up a bit?”
Shauna didn’t even know how to respond.  Did he actually expect her to clean up after him like she was his maid?  She hadn’t contributed one crumb to the mess in this apartment.  Stan was a complete pig and the place was already disgusting when she’d moved in. 
“Hello!  Fuck Shauna, do something!”
“Fuck off!” she said in a raised voice that wasn’t quite a yell.
“Fuck you, bitch!” he screeched.  “You’re gonna tell me to fucking fuck off when you just fucking lie in bed all day watching fucking TV or whatever the fuck you fucking freeloading whore!  Either get a fucking job and start paying rent or be a fucking housewife and clean some shit up!”
Shauna didn’t move and didn’t say a thing.  She closed her eyes tightly and hoped Stan would disappear.
“Don’t like it?  Fucking go back to mommy and daddy!  Fucking cunt.”
She heard him stomp out and slam the door. 
Well shit.  Now what?

The John Abbott green room was a tiny little room with no windows, adjacent to the dressing room.  The walls were adorned with so many posters of various theatre productions that it looked like wallpaper and in the center of the room sat a wooden table flanked by a few chairs.  No one used the chairs though as they all chose the long benches that hugged the walls.  The room had quickly become the go to place to hang out for theatre students before and after class and as such was always overcrowded even though it had no AC and was seriously hot.
Cerise sat next to Karine on the bench facing the door but had already resolved herself to the fact that she’d be ignored by her friend in Theatre Workshop.  Could Cerise even consider Karine a friend?  Sure they hung out but only really when Terry was around and when Terry wasn’t around the topic of conversation tended to be him.  Truth be told if it wasn’t for Terry Karine surely wouldn’t tolerate Cerise at all.  Not that Cerise was much better; she didn’t exactly find Karine to be the most stimulating person on the planet.  Still, it kinda sucked to feel like she was back in high school, sitting on the periphery of the cool group.  Cerise pretended to study her class schedule as she eavesdropped on the admittedly boring conversation Karine was having with Janice and Peter. 
Someone approached and sat next to her and she looked up to see that Tom guy as he said hey to her.
“Hey,” she smiled, grateful to him for being friendly.
“How’d your audition go?” he asked.
“Ok I guess.  I’m not as worried about that as I am about my resumé.  I mean, I didn’t know we’d have to give a resumé of like, all the plays we’ve done.  I didn’t have time to come up with any lies to put on it so it was like, a paragraph long.  I’ve only been in one play.”
“But didn’t you say you’d won the drama award last year?  That’s gotta count for something.”
“I guess,” she shrugged.
“Well it doesn’t even matter anyway.  All the good roles always go to second years so even if you had tons of experience you’d be shit out of luck.”
“True enough,” Cerise conceded.
She’d heard the same thing, that one had to pay dues in one’s first year of Theatre Workshop and it was only during one’s second year that one even had the chance to get a good role.  Some kids didn’t even get roles at all in their first year; they had to be part of the crew, which was considered completely lame and embarrassing.  Cerise hoped to hell she’d at least get to be furniture, which was shorthand for a background player who didn’t get any lines. 
They talked some more about the impossibility of getting a proper role when Cassie, a tiny little pixie of a girl with short hair and cat-eye glasses announced that the cast list was up.
Everyone slammed together as they bottlenecked at the door, trying to rush out of the room.  Eventually Cerise got to the wall outside their teachers’ offices but there were too many people around for her to be able to see the sheet so she just listened to everyone’s chatter. 
“I’m Lucie!” screeched a girl in second year.  Cerise was pretty sure her name was Laura but wouldn’t have been willing to bet on it.  “Who’s Karine?” the girl asked a moment later.
“I am,” said Karine in a rather annoyed tone.
Maybe Laura looked at Karine snidely.  “I’m double cast with a first year?  God, whatever.”
“OMG!” squealed Janice.  Cerise couldn’t tell if she was speaking in IM to be ironic or sarcastic or what.  “Karine, you’re Lucie?  That’s awesome!”
At least Janice seemed genuinely pleased for her friend.  Indeed, it was awesome for Karine to get the best female role and Cerise tried hard not to be jealous.
“Cerise!” exclaimed Cassie, jumping up to Cerise and taking her hand.
“Yeah?” Cerise smiled widely, trying to match her fellow student’s enthusiasm. 
“We’re double cast!  We’re Jenny!”
“Who’s Jenny?” Cerise asked, wracking her brain to think of someone in a Tale of Two Cities by that name.
“Well in the play he’s Jerry.  But they’re turning him into Jenny.”
“We have a guy’s role?”
“Yeah, lame right?  I guess they changed it ‘cause there’s so many more girls than guys in the class.”
“Yeah I guess.  So uh, who’s Jerry?”
“Um yeah, we pretty much have like, two lines.  But better than being furniture, right?” laughed Cassie, jumping up and down.
“Yeah,” giggled Cerise, sincerely charmed by Cassie’s exuberance.
“Yeah, congrats,” smiled Tom. “To both of you.”
“Who are you?” asked Cassie. 
“Seriously?” asked Tom, his face falling.  “We have two classes together; we hang out all the time.
Cassie laughed uproariously and pushed Tom good-naturedly.  “I mean what role did you get?”
Tom laughed too and said some name Cerise didn’t recognize.  She’d read the play but it was boring as hell and apparently she hadn’t remembered a single page.  Well, this was shaping up to be a shitty semester.  
It didn’t get much better when she found Terry later that day playing Frisbee on the lawn with some girl.  Not that she was jealous but how is it that everyone managed to make friends in about two nanoseconds and she was forever alone?
Terry gave her a kiss when she joined him and the Frisbee hit her in the arm.  Her supposed boyfriend just laughed and gave her a kiss on the forehead, picking up the disk and continuing his game with whoever the hell. 
“So Karine is Lucie,” she announced as Terry kept playing.
“What’s Lucie?” he asked.
“In our play, she has the female lead, which is like super impressive ‘cause she’s first year and the good roles always go to second years.”
“Oh! Good for her!” he exclaimed brightly.
“Yeah, it’s totally awesome.  I have a guy’s role.”
“Oh, that… sucks?” he held the Frisbee and looked at her sympathetically.
“It totally sucks, I only have two lines.”
“Better than nothing, right?”
He tossed the Frisbee away and it came back a second later, right in Cerise’s path.  Much to her delighted surprise she managed to catch it and tossed it back to the girl, although her throw was pretty pathetic and landed a good metre in front of the girl.
“Who is this chick?” she asked, trying not to sound jealous, because she really wasn’t.  Seriously.
“She’s in my anthro class.  She’s on the women’s hockey team, so we like, bonded or whatever.”
“Oh right, hockey.”  Cerise inwardly chastised herself for not paying more attention to Terry’s interests that didn’t directly involve her.  It wasn’t very girlfriendy to be completely ignorant about an important facet of his life.  “You made the guy’s team, right?”
He shot her a weary smile.  “JAC doesn’t have a guy’s team.  At this age group, hockey for guys is still done in the community, you know, rather than in school.  This season I’m gonna be moving up from Midget to Juvenile.”
“That’s good, right?”
“It’s based on age,” he shrugged.
“Ok, well, um you’ll have to tell me when your season starts or whatever, so I can come to games and stuff.”
He laughed and agreed, giving her a squeeze and a kiss on the lips.  This time the Frisbee hit her in the hip.
“Ok seriously! What the fuck!” she hollered, tossing the Frisbee wildly and forcing the hockey girl to run off to fetch it. 

Jay was glad when Cerise came over.  He was on his driveway shooting hoops, or whatever the lame-ass geek boy equivalent was when she trotted on over with her flippy hair and her girly smile.  Sometimes it was kind of annoying how she was always happy and how everything in her life was so great while his life was a big sack of shit.  But he was still glad for the distraction. 
“I already have tons of homework,” he announced as she picked up the ball and tried to shoot a basket.
“Not me,” she shrugged.
“Of course not you.  You’re in Creative Arts.  That’s barely even a program.”
“Well I do have to memorize an entire play,” she said snottily.
“Oooh, the trauma!” he snotted back. “I already have a frakking analytical essay to write and two labs to complete.”
“Well cry me a river,” she said unsympathetically.
Frustrated with his inability to sink a basket, he let the ball roll into the road and sank down onto the lawn connecting their houses. 
She sat next to him.  “Tough day?” she asked.
“I guess,” he shrugged.
“My cast sheet went up.”
“What’s that mean?”
“Means I got a really shitty role in a really shitty play.”
“I hate all my teachers and all my classes.  I don’t know why I’m doing Sciences, I really don’t.  I think I just did it ‘cause that’s what we’re all doing, you know?  Well, not Willy.  But Karl and Vani and Sarah and I just sort of felt like I’d be a loser if I didn’t do it too but I don’t think I actually wanna do it.”
“That sucks,” she said sincerely.  “You can always switch programs.”
“I guess.”
“Maybe try to last this first semester, ‘cause maybe it’ll get better and then next semester you can switch if you’re still not feeling it.”
“Yeah,” he said, flopping down onto the grass.  Truth was there weren’t any other programs that appealed to him more.  He wasn’t really into the whole school thing at all.  Did that make him a complete degenerate?  Was he going to end up homeless and unemployed or something?  He was seriously probably way too lazy to even be allowed to exist on planet Earth.
Cerise lay down next to him and he pulled an imaginary cord from his neck, plugging it into the port in hers, making a little clicking noise as he did so.
At first she swatted him away but then seemed to get it.  “You trying to suck my energy?”
“I need the symbiont.  I’m all like depleted and stuff.  Share?”
“K,” she agreed, closing her eyes. 
He closed his eyes too.  It may have been just a pretend symbiont but it did seem to help.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Act IV

            “I dunno.  I felt kinda weird ‘cause the only person I knew was Karine and she seemed to know everyone so she didn’t really talk to me.”
            “Was she being mean or something?” asked Terry.
            They were lying on Terry’s bed at his dad’s place and Cerise was resting her head on his chest.  As he stroked her hair, he couldn’t help thinking about things other than their respective days at school.  It’s not that he didn’t care about how her drama class had gone but didn’t she want to do other stuff?  Wasn’t she horny too?  Was it just him?
           “No, she was just touching base with like, friends she knew from primary school or whatever.  I guess she wasn’t like, purposefully ignoring me.  I dunno.  Whatever I guess.” She sighed in contentment as he brushed her hair behind her ear.  “And everyone had a laptop except me.”            “School’s boring.  You’re not.”
            “So get a laptop.”
            “They’re not free and my mom’s not exactly rich.”
            “Get your dad to buy you one.”
            “I guess.  So how ‘bout you?  Good day?”
            She finally looked up and kissed him and it wasn’t long before they’d taken off most of their clothes.  Pulling off her panties, he placed his head between her legs and got to business but a moment later a knock was heard at the door.  Cerise practically leapt off the bed in shock and slammed her hands over her mouth even though she’d barely started moaning yet.
            “Uh, yeah?” Terry called out.
            “What do you want for dinner tonight” asked Vicky’s disembodied voice.
            Cerise desperately scrambled around for her clothes, but only managed to find Terry’s red t-shirt, which she hastily threw on.
            “I don’t really care, Vicky.”
            “Is Cerise eating over?”
            “No, but I’m eating Cerise,” Terry mumbled.
            Cerise’s eyes grew wide and she flung out her fist, smacking Terry in the bicep.  He laughed and grabbed her hand.
            “What?” asked Vicky.
            “Nothing, yeah, she’s eating over.”
            “Would she prefer chicken stir-fry or pasta?  I suppose I could make…” she dropped her voice and Terry couldn’t catch what she was saying.
            “I dunno, Vicky, anything’s fine.”
            “Ok, so stir-fry?”
            Cerise nodded her head in exasperation and Terry yelled a little too loudly that yes, stir-fry was fine.
            “Chicken stir-fry?  We have beef too.”
            “It doesn’t matter!”
            “So chicken stir-fry then?”
            “Yes!  Chicken stir-fry!  Chicken stir-fry would be freaking awesome!” he bellowed.  “God, do I have to go up there and do the chicken dance for her?” he wondered more quietly.
            “I’d like to see that actually,” giggled Cerise.
            “There’s no need to yell, Terry,” Vicky’s muffled voice said with annoyance.  “I’m just trying to make sure everyone’s satisfied.”
            “I’d be a lot more satisfied if you left us alone,” he said between gritted teeth as Cerise finally found her pants and zipped them up.  So much for getting down to business.
            “Ok so that was a yes on chicken-stir fry, right?” asked Vicky and Terry and Cerise doubled over in laughter.

            Chicken stir-fry was a good choice.  Cerise always enjoyed dinner at Terry’s dad’s house ‘cause Vicky was a good cook and ‘cause his dad was rarely there.  When he was there it was always a bit awkward but just Vicky and the kids was cool. 
            “Are you wearing a bra?” asked Terry’s little brother, Joey, staring right at Cerise’s chest.
            “Joey!” chastised Vicky and Terry’s long arm reached across the table and smacked his head onto his plate. 
            Both Evan and Brittany cracked up.
            “Well what?” Joey sputtered, picking noodles off his chin.  “She’s totally nipping out.”
            Cerise looked down at her chest and realized that indeed, she was “nipping out”.  She was still wearing Terry’s red shirt and hadn’t bothered to put her bra back on.  With such small breasts she hadn’t thought anyone would notice but the AC was on rather high and yeah, Cerise supposed she couldn’t really blame a twelve-year-old for noticing, or a Trebichavsky for commenting.
            Her cheeks burning as red as the shirt, she hunched over and hurriedly finished her meal.
            A few minutes later she and Terry put their empty plates in the dishwasher and took a walk together in their park.  She was still wearing his shirt and had decided it was too hot to put the bra back on.  No danger of nipping out in this heat now that they were outside.
            “We should go away together,” Terry suggested out of the blue.
            “What do you mean?”
            “You know, go somewhere.  Like a holiday.  Just us two.”
            “Summer’s over.”
            “We still have weekends.  We should go somewhere, like Karl’s cabane or something.  Or maybe even a romantic getaway in a hotel.  Is that totally crazy?”
            “Do they let teenagers rent hotel rooms?”
            “I guess not, I dunno,” he sighed despondently.
            “Why do you wanna go away so bad?” she asked.
            “I wanna be just us two.  There’s always someone home at all of our houses.  Maybe Karine would let us use her house.  Is that too creepy?”
            Cerise stopped walking and looked up at Terry with concern.
            “Relax,” he said with an eye roll.  “It’s not like I’m trying to plan some devious scheme to take advantage of you or anything.”
            “I just wanna be alone with you.  Not necessarily to do stuff, just to be alone.”
            “We’re alone right now,” she reasoned.
            “You know what I mean,” he sighed.
            “I guess I don’t,” she admitted.  “I mean why do we need to be alone unless it’s to have sex?”
            “To talk…” he trailed off.
            “We’re talking now,” she smiled.
            “Yeah,” he admitted with a forced smile.
            “Terry, it’s ok to say you wanna have sex.  I’m not gonna like run away in fear.”
            “I’m not trying to pressure you!” he insisted.
            “I know.  But just so you know, I mean like, I am thinking about it.”
            “You probably think I’m being like immature for being nervous or whatever…”
            “You kidding?  You’re the most mature person I know.  I’ve never known anyone who has their shit more together.”
            “Except Sarah Wong,” Cerise mused.
            “Yeah I guess but anyway I don’t think it’s immature that you wanna wait, or that you wanna talk about it more than do it.”
            Cerise looked up at Terry quizzically.  “Are you making fun of me?”
            “No!” he grinned. “I mean all the sex books say you’re supposed to talk about it before you do it.”
            “You read sex books?”
            “Always looking to improve my technique,” he said with a grunt and hip thrust.
            Cerise laughed and accused him of being gross, to which he responded by nuzzling her neck and saying she hadn’t had any complaints earlier, in his room. 
            “Ok but seriously though,” Cerise insisted, gently pushing her boyfriend away and going to sit on a bench.  “There’s stuff we need to discuss first.”
            Terry made an admirable effort not to deflate but she could tell he was getting a little exasperated.  Still, there were topics that needed to be covered.
            “Ok, so?” he prompted.
            “Protection,” she said.
            “I have condoms.”
            “Ever hopeful, eh?”
            “I like to be prepared, just in case.  I mean I wasn’t planning on using them for sure, just it’s better safe…”
            “Relax, I’m not upset at you for having condoms, Terry.  But like, maybe I should go on the pill.”
            “Oh yeah?” he asked, brightening significantly.
            “Yeah I mean it’s a good precaution, right?  But do I wanna fuck up my natural physiology?”
            Terry just shrugged so Cerise asked him what he thought.
            “I think that’s a decision every woman has to make for herself,” he said carefully.
            “Don’t quote from a fucking pamphlet, Terry.  Give me your opinion.”
            “I dunno!  I feel like… like there’s no way I can win here.  If I say you shouldn’t go on the pill then I’m being irresponsible but if I say you should then I’m putting all the pressure for birth control on you.”
            “It’s no fair to be the girl,” she sulked.
            “I know.  I can at least pay for it if you want.”
            “Why?  Because I’m a whore and you’re paying for sex?”
            “See?  I knew I couldn’t win here,” he sighed.
            “So what you’re saying is you want me to go on the pill.”
            Terry shrugged and refused to open his mouth.
            “Well I think I will.  ‘Cause I get pretty bad cramps when I have my period and I’ve heard that when you’re on the pill your cramps get less painful.  Plus your period gets all regular and stuff.”
            Terry nodded.
            “But you know, there’s other stuff to be considered too,” Cerise went on.
            “You mean like emotional stuff?  ‘Cause you know I’ll wait as long as you want.   And you know I’d never do anything you didn’t want to and the truth is I’m totally fine with the way things are now and…”
            “Yeah I know, but I’m still on the practical side of things.”
            Terry asked what she meant and she asked him if he was clean.
            “What do you mean?  You mean like diseases?  You don’t have to worry about that.”
            “Oh yeah?  Why not?  I know you’ve been with tons of chicks, Terry, and I doubt they were all virgins and even if you always used a condom, like nothing’s foolproof, and you can totally get diseases from oral sex so I’m like probably already crawling with herpes and don’t even know it!”
            Terry couldn’t help but chuckle but before Cerise could protest he suggested he go get tested.
            “You’d do that?”
            “Sure.  I’ll go to a CLSC.  Or like, they must have a health centre or whatever at JAC.  I’ll go tomorrow.”
            “Ok,” Cerise smiled.

            Terry thought they were done with their sex talk but it went on as they walked back to his house.  Cerise complained about how they’d only officially been going out for a month so it shouldn’t be considered unreasonable for her to want to wait to lose her virginity and the stuff they’d already been doing was still sex even though it wasn’t intercourse and blah blah blah.  Terry didn’t want to be insensitive but it was seriously starting to piss him off how Cerise kept acting like he was pressuring her into sex when he totally wasn’t.  Right?  Sure he tried to get down with her but he always backed off when she said no.  But maybe she was scared to say no more often, like maybe she didn’t even want to have oral sex but was too scared to say anything and maybe he really was a total sexual predator and didn’t even know it!
            “You know we can go back to just kissing and holding hands if you want,” he suddenly blurted out, not entirely sure what she’d been saying when he interrupted her.
            “What?  Why would I want that?  Where are you getting that?”
            “I can’t tell anymore what you want and don’t want!”
            “I thought we just talked about that.  I want to have sex but I want to wait until you get tested and I go on the pill and even after that I might want to wait some more but that doesn’t mean I wanna stop doing the stuff we’re already doing.”
            “You act like I’m pressuring you…”
            “I was talking about Karine and Sarah!  Were you even listening?”
            “Yeah,” he lied.
            “Oh yeah?  What did I say?”
            “Stuff…” he trailed off.
            She smirked knowingly.  “I was saying how they act like sex is no big deal and they’re all like grilling me and stuff about us and I’m like, chill you know?  God, like it’s so unreasonable for a seventeen-year-old to be a virgin?”
            It hadn’t even occurred to Terry that girls might pressure each other into stuff like that.  So weird.  “So they’re like, trying to get you to do it with me?”
            “Well sort of…”
            “Or are they trying to get you to do it with them?  ‘Cause I’m not gonna lie, that’d kinda be awesome,” he grinned.
            “Shut up, loser,” she slapped his arm.  “It’s just they just keep asking why we haven’t, when we’re gonna, stuff like that.  And ever since Sarah did it with Karl it’s like she’s all grown up, you know?  Like now she’s in this great private club with Karine and I’m just a loser on the outside.”
            “Whatever,” Terry chuckled.  “I mean, it’s not a bad club to be in.  But like, it’s like with everything, like smoking and drinking and I dunno, throwing beer bottles into the fucking St-Lawrence, it’s not that the club is so great, it’s just that everyone wants you to join whatever they’re doing ‘cause maybe they feel weird about doing it so they want other people to do it too so they don’t feel like they’re freaks.”
            Cerise stopped in her tracks.  “Totally.  It’s so true.  Everyone just wants external validation.”
            “Right,” Terry nodded, assuming she’d just summed up his point in fewer words.
            “That’s pretty wise, Terry,” she smiled and took his hand.
            “Well I’m not completely retarded,” he snickered.
            They walked in silence for a while and then out of the blue Cerise asked him how many girls he’d been with.

Stan had emptied out a drawer for Shauna and all of her stuff easily fit inside.  She hadn’t really managed to escape with much.  Better than nothing though, she supposed.
            So now what?  More of the same, apparently.  She had sex with Stan and then they watched TV.  It was one of those game shows where people compete in humiliating physical tasks to win money.  Stan found it super funny but Shauna was a little bored.  She went over to the computer, which was kind of big and old and for a moment she wished she’d brought her computer with her, not that she’d have been able to carry it.  In any case, she logged on to the internet and started reading Fail Blog but Stan hovered over her and then he sat down next to her and then he went to Photobomb and it got boring so Shauna went back to the TV but Stan got pissed when she tried to change the channel so she just watched another one of those game shows.  It wasn’t so bad.

            “Uhh…” Terry stammered.  “What?”
            “How many girls have you been with?  I know it’s a lot but I wanna know exactly how many, ‘cause I mean you know how they say when you have sex with someone you’re having sex with everyone they’ve ever been with?  Well I wanna know how many people I’m fucking.”
            Terry avoided eye contact and sort of stared off into space, probably trying to devise his strategy to get out of answering the question. 
            “Seriously,” Cerise prodded.
            “I don’t think you wanna know,” Terry stared straight ahead.
            “Wow, so it’s that many?  Like, what, a hundred?”
            “What?! No!”
            “So how many?”
            “Listen, when I was in high school,” he said as though it was some distant, far away time.  “I thought like that you know?  Like I had to be in the club.  Like I thought I had to be cool and stuff you know?  So when opportunity presented itself... you’re gonna think I’m a player.”
            “I already think that.”
            Terry sighed.  “But I’m not anymore!  Not since I met you!”
            Now Cerise sighed.  “I dunno, Terry, I’m not saying people don’t change but come on.  Like, a year ago you were fucking every pussy in your line of sight and since you met me you don’t anymore?  It’s a little hard to believe.”
            “You think I’m cheating on you?” he asked in horror.
            “No, don’t change the subject!  I’m not saying you’re cheating, I’m just saying don’t act like you’re all against random hook-ups now that you’re with me.  I’m sure if we weren’t together you’d be off fucking Karine or something.”
            “Why would I be fucking Karine?” he asked with perhaps a little panic in his voice.
            “Ugh, I was just saying her as an example!  You’re totally avoiding the question.  I just wanna know how many people you’ve been with.”
            “Ok, so like yeah, I’m not gonna say I’m against casual sex now, I’m just saying I haven’t been with anyone since we got together.  I mean like all year.  Not since Christina.”
            “I’m not asking about the last year, I’m asking about every year before that.”
            “Including Christina?”
            “Ok, eight.”
            “Really?  Only?  I thought it’d be way more.”
            “Oh yeah?” Terry asked displaying a pleased smile. 
            “You’ve only been with eight chicks?  Then how come everyone acts like you’ve fucked all the cheerleaders across the land?”
            “Well I mean like, full on sex, yeah, only eight.  But I mean, did you want oral too?”
            “Yes, oral too!  Cunnilingus and fellatio and also hand jobs, and fingering and making out and fucking all of it!”
            “Oh, shit,” he looked up at the sky.  “I dunno, a lot.”
            She prodded for a number.
            “I guess in the twenties?”
            “Wow.  Most people wait ‘till college to get so slutty.”
            “Well, I’m not that young.  I’m practically an adult.  I mean, I’ll be eighteen in October.  I can almost vote.”
            “Wow, you’re so mature,” she snickered sarcastically.
            Terry wondered if he should tell her more?  Should he confess to his excel sheet where he kept stats on how well his hook-ups had gone?  Cerise probably didn’t need to know about that but he went ahead and admitted that it had been a bit of a competition between him and Andrew to see who could score more chicks.
            “God, whatever, Andrew is such a loser.  I hate that guy!”
            “Well it wasn’t just him.  I mean you think chicks put pressure on each other to do stuff?  Fuck, you have no idea.  In hockey it’s like, insane.  It’s all about how many chicks you’ve fucked.  Hockey parties may as well be like, at the playboy mansion.  Like you’re a total loser if you don’t get a blowjob every night.”
            “Yeah, kinda sucks doesn’t it?”  Cerise asked with genuine sympathy.  “I mean it’s supposed to be like this fun thing but there’s so much pressure that you can’t even enjoy it ‘cause you’re so worried about meeting other people’s expectations.”
            “Yeah.  Although I mean, I do still enjoy it.  I mean you do too, right?” he asked, once again worried that she was just going along with stuff to please him.
            “Yeah, I do,” she nodded.  “I just wish it were less about being cool and more about, you know, like it might be better if it were more about, you know.”
            Terry really wasn’t sure he knew.  More about what exactly?  More about lust?  Was she even really attracted to him?  Or was she trying to say it should be more about love?  Shit, he really didn’t want this conversation to take that turn.  Sure, he loved her, he’d basically admitted it to himself but to admit it to her was something else altogether.  He didn’t want to be some loser playing games but he wasn’t about to admit it if she didn’t feel the same.  But maybe that’s what she was trying to say now.  But if that was the case then why didn’t she just say it instead of being all Cryptic McVagueypants!?
            “So answer your own question,” he said, changing the subject slightly.
            “Which question?”
            “How many people have you been with?”
            “Oh fuck you,” she said in annoyance. 
            Terry hadn’t realized the question would make her angry.  “What?  I have to say but you don’t?”
            “Terry, you know perfectly well I haven’t been with anyone besides you.”
            “Like at all?  Like not even kissing?”
            “Yes, ok, like not even kissing.  I’m just a big fucking loser and everyone hates me so yeah ok, you’ve the first guy I ever even kissed.  No one’s ever liked me before you.”
“That’s total bullshit.  I bet there’s a ton of guys who’ve liked you.  They were prob’ly just too chicken-shit to ask you out.”
“Yeah right.”
“Trust me.”
“I’m not like Karine,” she mumbled.
“Yeah you are.  You’re smart, you’re fun, you’re beautiful.  You’re like a nerd guy’s wet dream.”
“I think Willy’s into you.”
“Don’t make me puke.”
“Ok but you see my point.”
“Yeah, ok, a loser like Willy likes me.  Know what else he likes?  Farting on his hand and smooshing it in people’s faces.”
“Yeah well I like you too, and I’m not that gross, right?”
“Yeah, I guess not,” she smirked.  “Depends why you like me though I guess.”
“I like you because you’re hot,” he grinned.
“Shut up,” she laughed.
“Seriously, you don’t think I’m going out with you for your brains, do you?”
“Asshole!” she swatted at him and they ran the rest of the way home.
“Why do you like me?” she asked in a serious tone as he drove her home.  “I mean, are you just going out with me because I’m a virgin, just like Erica always said?  I mean, are you like that guy in the movie Kids who’s all into virgins and his whole point in life is to go around de-virginating virgins?  And you’re just gonna dump me once you de-virginate me?”
“Yeah, that’s pretty much the plan,” he chuckled, hoping she’d get that he was joking.
“I like you because you’re fierce.”
“Fierce?” she snorted.  “You make me sound like a bear.”
“I mean it more in the Tyra Banks sense.”
“Oh my god, you just admitted you watch America’s Next Top Model!”
“Hey I’m not ashamed that I’ve watched a few episodes.  There’s hot chicks running around half naked, you expect me to not watch that shit?”
“Ok, so how am I fierce?”
“You’re intense, you know?  You don’t just sit around and let life pass you by.  You fight for what you want.”
“I do?”
“Yeah, like with that square dancing thing.  You were like, no I don’t wanna do this so screw you.  It was really cool.”
“Well thanks,” she smiled.
“Plus you give good head.”
“Oh shut up!” she squeeled, punching his arm.
“Hey, I’m driving over here!  You want me to crash the car?” he laughed.  “No but seriously, you’re strong, you’re so sure of everything.”
“No I’m not.”
“But you are.  You don’t take any shit from anyone.  Like with us.  You always call me on all my bullshit.  And you aren’t scared to say what your limits are but you’re also not scared to experiment and have fun.”
“I’m totally scared.”
“Well me too.”
“Yeah, sometimes, you know, I worry that you won’t be into it, or you know, into me.  I don’t wanna disappoint you.  You know, it’s not just girls who get nervous about stuff like that.”
“So how come you like me?” he asked, trying not to sound desperate.
“Oh, I don’t.  I’m just using you for your car,” she giggled.
Nice.  That was another reason he liked her.  She was funny.  She was seriously the best girlfriend ever.  He’d have to remember to get that STD test like she wanted.  It was with a mixture of satisfaction and embarrassment that he admitted to himself that he’d probably do anything she wanted.  He really was in love, damn it.