Every once in a while the mess in the kitchen got to Shauna and she did the dishes. It always made Stan happy when she did so but she wasn’t sure anymore that she wanted him to be happy. She sort of preferred him when he was angry and annoyed. Sure, he was scary that way but she was starting to feel like the two of them were in a war and the way to win was for the other one to be upset. She was upset whenever he was home though she didn’t think he was aware of this. She worked hard never to raise her voice, never to react to anything, just to be neutral and seemingly bored. Life here was boring but it was also really, super crazy annoying and gross. Shauna was so tired of Stan always being around and always touching her and stuff.
After she finished the dishes, Stan dragged her to bed and did his thing all over her. She always thought about other stuff when he was fucking her so she’d have the strength not to gauge out his eyeballs. He was just so fat and hairy and stinky and yucky and he grunted and sweated and he always left her covered in disgusting grossness. At least he’d stopped asking her to call him daddy or say and do other weird things.
When he was done she went to the bathroom as usual and wiped off his cum. She could hear that he’d turned on the TV and was watching one of his stupid game shows. She’d have some time to herself. She’d never really been a bath person before but it was a good excuse now to lock herself in the bathroom for an hour or so. She sat in the hot water and lit a cigarette and picked at the scabs on her legs. At first she’d shaved her legs to please him but she was way over that now. She just scratched them now. Scratched until they bled. She’d do one leg at a time, propping it on the side of the tub and picking at it and them immersing it, turning the bath water pink. She never really used her bath time to wash up and it had been ages since she’d scrubbed the tub itself but she always felt much cleaner when she was in the tub than when she was out of it.
Sarah felt like such a bad friend. Cerise and Terry had been broken up for days and she hadn’t even known about it! Why hadn’t Cerise told her? Probably she was too upset to talk about it but still, it totally sucked to be so left out of the loop. It was Karine who finally mentioned it, almost in passing, when Sarah wondered aloud why Cerise and Terry were never coming to lunch anymore. And now Karine wasn’t coming to the Munch Box anymore either. At first Sarah thought it was because she was so wrapped up in her play but it was probably because she had no interest in hanging out with the gang if Terry wasn’t around. That was totally not cool! Did Karine only hang out with them because of Terry? Did she not consider Sarah to be an actual friend? Did Cerise consider her to be an actual friend? Apparently not! What the hell? When had all of Sarah’s friends become guys, more specifically Karl’s friends. Was she really that girl now? That girl who lets her life become all about her boyfriend? And was Karl worth it?
It was with this confusion and anger swirling in her head that Sarah told the others and Cerise and Terry’s breakup. None of them seemed particularly surprised, except perhaps Vani who pronounced the situation mega. That new guy Lee whom Sarah still wasn’t sure whether or not she liked wondered what was so mega about it and Vani explained that Terry and Cerise were like a
Hollywood couple and had been together since high school and it was like a total thing. Lee was unimpressed. He was always unimpressed. He was annoying, and kind of mean and always giving Cassie a hard time about her little activist group. Cassie was cool. Maybe she could become Sarah’s new BFF. Maybe she should join her activist group and make that her new thing.
Sarah definitely needed a new thing. She wasn’t on any sports teams anymore and she wasn’t doing any extra-curricular activities besides her weekly volunteer work and her constant essay writing for scholarships and whatnot. She was so bored these days. Her classes were ok but nothing that was too much of a challenge and she was also kind of getting tired of Karl. He was a good guy deep down and when they were alone he was always sweet to her but how come that didn’t translate to their public lives? She was getting so sick of his robot act around the guys and it totally was an act. He wasn’t like that at all when it was just the two of them. Why did he feel the need to put on such an exaggerated persona? Unless the way he was with her was the act. Either way it sucked.
“Does this mean Terry will stop hanging out with us?” asked Vani, jarring Sarah back to reality.
They were all hanging out in Hochelaga, near Karl’s locker. Why did it have to be near Karl’s locker? Why not near Sarah’s? Why did everything always have to be about him and what he wanted to do? And how come she was never invited to those stupid game sessions he always had with the boys?! Cerise went to them and now apparently Cassie was going too! Why the hell couldn’t Sarah go?! Like seriously, what the hell?
“Seems to me like he’s already stopped hanging out with us,” said Karl in his smug voice of total smugitude.
“Thank god for that,” smirked Jay.
“But how long will it last this time?” asked Willy, quite rightly.
“Seriously, they’ll get back together and then he’ll be back, it’ll all be ok,” said Vani with relief.
“God!” exclaimed Jay. “Cerise is better off without him! He was all, I’m so cool and she was all, yeah, you are. And he was all, damn straight. And she was all, oh Terry Dreamychavsky! And he was all suck it, and now I have to throw up.”
“Get over it, Jay-bird. Terry rocks. He brought a certain respectability to our group that was severely lacking otherwise.”
“Agreed,” said Sarah. They all stared at her. “Well it’s true!” she insisted.
“Hey but maybe Terry needs comfort in his time of need. Maybe he’ll want his boys to like, rally ‘round him and stuff. We can be his bros! I can finally be in a situation where I will come before a ho!”
“Do you have any idea how difficult it is for the rest of us to control our gag reflexes when you speak, Vani?” asked Jay.
“So why’d they break up this time?” asked Willy.
It was funny how easy it was for Sarah to forget Willy was even around considering how obnoxious and fat he was. Not to be like, a fat shamer or anything, but Willy seriously gave overweight people a bad name by being so generally unhygienic.
Sarah suddenly realized they were all staring at her. “What?”
“Why’d they break up?” asked Karl. “Not that I care.”
“Oh, ‘cause he’s started smoking again or something. I dunno.”
“That’s valid,” said Karl.
Really? Was it valid? Sure smoking was gross but if you’re in a committed relationship you don’t break up with somebody because they have an addiction, you support them and help them quit… or not. It actually was a pretty good reason.
“That’s retardo-vision,” said Vani. “True, smoking is retarded and anyone who smokes has issues, especially someone who smokes because they’re trying to be cool but they’re really just a poseur. Willy.”
“Whatever,” said Willy with a roll of his eyes.
“But Cerise is way too hardcore about that,” Vani went on. “Actually, being that hardcore is kinda cool. You gotta admire someone with such intense convictions.”
“Yeah and it’s good ‘cause now Cerise can start hanging out with us again,” smiled Jay. “I mean, more, you know, like back in the day. She can get back into the campaign and stuff.”
“Not so much actually,” said Cassie. “Our play is getting into the dress rehearsal stage so it’s like, we’re constantly rehearsing. Pretty soon we’re gonna be busy every night.”
“Oh right, Cerise and her stupid play thing,” grumbled Jay. “She’s all like, I like acting, I like theatre… stuff…” he trailed off. “Yeah, I got nothing.”
“Well that’s all well and good but I personally don’t see what any of this has to do with salamanders growing extra limbs,” said Lee.
Vani hopped around in his enthusiastic way. “I know, right! So cool! Did you watch that video in bio? Us too. Soon we’ll be building a race of super humans who can regenerate at will! Are you guys gonna see the new Spiderman movie or are we boycotting it? ‘Cause I’m thinking maybe Spiderman is played out. Maybe I feel some sort of misguided loyalty to Tobey Maguire. I’m not sure why as he’s made of suckletron juice but somehow I just can’t see Stan Lee giving his stamp of excelsior on this one.”
Sarah chose to tune out at that point.
“So then she really did break up with you because you won’t quit,” said Karine as she joined Terry outside of Casgrain.
He had a cigarette planted between his lips and he was lazily puffing away. He looked slightly embarrassed when Karine called him out on it and passed the cigarette to her. She took a drag and offered it back to him but he shook his head so she kept it.
“So how you holding up?” she asked.
He shrugged wordlessly.
“How are your classes going?”
“What is this? Small talk?”
“God, you always get pissed at me when you’re pissed at her!”
He shrugged again.
“You shouldn’t be all stressed out. Don’t you have like a big game on Friday?”
“So relax then or you’ll just fuck it up.”
“Ok, great advice, Karine. Thanks.” He rolled his eyes.
“Ok fine, whatever. I won’t ever talk again,” she pouted.
“Do you think she’ll come?”
“Do you think Cerise will come to the game?”
Karine stared at Terry. It was her turn to be silent. She seriously had no response to that question.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” he sighed.
It was completely undeniable that Cerise Laframboise had totally ruined Terry Trebichavsky. If Karine could turn back time and ensure they’d never met she’d totally do it.
Cassie and Janice motioned Cerise to join them as they hung out in the wings. When she did they said they’d heard that she and Terry had broken up. She confirmed that indeed, this was the case.
“Are you like, totally on crack?” asked Janice. “No matter what he did it can’t be that bad. I mean guys as hot as Terry don’t normally exist outside of Photoshop.
Cerise sighed and explained that she didn’t want to talk about it.
“Ok so like, can I go out with him?” Janice asked with a smile.
Cerise glared at her with undisguised contempt.
“I’m kidding, I’m kidding!” she laughed. “Sorta. I mean no I’m totally kidding. Only not really. I mean I’d never, unless you were cool with it. So like, seriously, can I have a crack at him?”
Cerise was honestly surprised Janice was even asking for permission. “I’d rather you didn’t,” she said with a sigh.
Janice’s face showed sympathy as she reasoned that Cerise was still into Terry.
“Of course I am!” Cerise exclaimed.
“Then get back with him! If he’s single I can’t handle it! It’s just too much of a temptation! Do whatever it takes, Cerise! Grovel if you have to!”
“Janice, seriously, it’s complicated ok? Just leave it alone please.”
Janice made a guttural exclamation and walked off in a huff. Cassie smiled awkwardly and informed Cerise that she’d been thinking of breaking up with Jonah.
“What? How come?” asked Cerise, glad for the change in subject.
“There’s someone else I’m kind of into.”
“Oh yeah? Who?”
“I’m kind of embarrassed to say,” she said cryptically.
“Ok well, is he into you?”
“I think so.”
“Then go for it I guess.”
“Well, if you’re embarrassed to say then maybe not. But if you’re sure he likes you too then yeah I guess. ‘Cause if not then you’ll just end up alone and bitter and you’ll become one of those crazy cat ladies who lives all locked up in a huge house with a million cats.”
“Yeah,” Cassie nodded.
“It’s a good thing I’m allergic to cats.”
“They have antihistamines.”
Cerise nodded, conceding the point.
Karine already had the entire play memorized, even the lines that weren’t hers but she poured over the script anyway whenever she had a free moment. She liked having the distraction; she liked having something to focus on. So she was pretty annoyed when Cherry angel came along and sat next to her in the green room and asked if she’d heard the news?
“What news?” she asked, trying to contain her irritation. Karine supposed she was still technically friends with Cerise, even though she was no longer with Terry. It would be no good to alienate her because if the past was anything to go by this latest break-up wouldn’t last forever.
“That Terry and I broke up.”
“Oh yeah, sorry to hear it.” Karine tried to sound sincere but wasn’t convinced she’d nailed the performance.
“It’s kind of a weird thing that happened, actually,” Cerise went on.
Karine put down her script. Clearly Cherry wanted to talk about it, though it was anyone’s guess why she was choosing Karine as her confidant. Wouldn’t Sarah or Cassie be a better choice? Why did Cherry always have to act like they were best buds?
“Yeah it’s just like, well, I mean, did Terry tell you what happened?”
“Sort of,” Karine shrugged.
“What’d he say?”
“You sure you wanna know?” asked Karine, realizing she now had an opportunity to hurt Cerise if she wanted to. But she didn’t really want to hurt Cerise; she just wanted her out of the way.
“Um yeah, I guess,” said Cerise.
“Well he was majorly pissed. Majorly. He kept saying how you were being completely unreasonable. And I mean, I don’t know all the details but from what he told me it’s like, yeah. Pretty much Cerise. I mean, you have to let him live his life. Be who he wants to be. Like chill on him you know?”
Cerise stared at Karine in confusion. What was she not getting?
“Did he say anything more specific?”
“I dunno, like I dunno. What do you mean? What did happen between you guys?” She was genuinely curious now.
“Nothing, it’s just. I mean… I guess I kind of like, you know...” she trailed off, looking supremely uncomfortable.
Karine sighed. “Ok well you know, it’s probably not such a bad thing for you guys to take some time apart. I think Terry needs some time you know? I think you should leave him alone for a while.”
“So you don’t think I should go to his hockey game on Friday?”
Karine paused for a second but then went on. “No, I really don’t. It would probably throw him off his game so…”
“Yeah, you’re probably right.”
Karine nodded. She knew she was being a total bitch but fuck, it seriously would do Terry some good to get some space from his little cherry angel for a while.