“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.”
“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.”
“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?”
“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.”
“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.
“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.”
“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
’s Next Top Model!” America
“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.”
“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.