Thank god Cerise checked her email before Tom came over otherwise she might not have noticed that Julie set the computer background back to a picture of Terry’s naked torso dripping wet. If Tom had seen that it could have been way awkward. Cerise changed the image to something innocuous but then just out of curiosity she stalked Terry’s facebook page for a while. His status indicated that he had a game tonight. She hadn’t been to one of his games in ages and wondered how his team was doing. According to his updates they were doing ok.
There were lots of pictures of Terry and his hockey buddies at parties, hanging out with tons of chicks. Terry didn’t post such pictures but Nick did, whom Cerise had recently friended. Did Terry party a lot? When they’d been together, she’d gone to one or two of his hockey parties and they were always excruciatingly dull. Everyone talked about boring stuff like hockey. But usually Terry would forsake those parties and hang out with Cerise alone. But now that they weren’t together anymore he was surely partying every night. Cerise knew perfectly well that those hockey guys were notorious partiers and those parties were crawling with available, willing girls. But Terry wasn’t that kind of guy anymore. Was he? Not that she cared. They weren’t together anymore. He could do whatever he wanted. Did he want to hook up with other girls? Probably. She hadn’t heard any rumours of him dating anyone lately but that wasn’t his style, was it? Terry didn’t date, he hooked up. He was probably hooking up right now!
Puck bunnies were too easy and Terry had already been with all of them. He scanned the room and there was Morgan, looking equally bored. Terry sauntered up to him and the two girls he was hanging out with.
“Well I use a moisturizer that has SPF built in,” one of the chicks was explaining.
“You’re so good,” exclaimed another girl. “I never use sun screen. Am I totally gonna get cancer?”
“Yeah, probably,” Morgan nodded. “I usually wear a hat outside but I smoke so…”
“What kind of hat?” one of the girls interrupted.
“Uh, a baseball cap I guess. Although I’ve also been known to rock a fedora,” he said with a wink.
“What’s a fedora?”
“You know like a 1920s hat? Or like the 60s? Like Don Draper? You know, like Mad Men?”
The girls stared at Morgan in confusion.
“Yeah so anyway, I smoke so I’ll probably get lung cancer before skin cancer.”
“Yeah, I smoke too! Oh my god, we’re all gonna die.”
“No matter how you live you’ll die eventually, might as well have fun getting there,” said Terry with a grin.
“I know, right?” squealed one of the girls.
“Totally!” squealed the other girl.
Terry was reminded of Mel and Steph, Sarah’s friends from high school. They were always just as annoying as these two. These chicks’ voices were so shrill, so high. Why did they have to squeal everything so loudly? They sounded like a mix between a bird and a pig.
“Hey Morgan, I need to talk to you,” Terry said with a serious voice.
“What’s up?” asked Morgan, walking away from the chicks without explanation.
They got to the other side of the room before Terry confessed. “It’s nothing. You just seemed bored with those bitches.”
Morgan laughed. “Yeah, totally. Thanks for saving me. They didn’t even know what a fedora was.” He looked at Terry questioningly, probably wondering if Terry knew what a fedora was.
“Do you actually wear one? ‘Cause isn’t that like, a bit douchey?” asked Terry, refusing to admit he was just as clueless as the girls about the fedora, though at least he knew about Mad Men, thanks to Cerise. That show had a lot of hot chicks, but it was majorly depressing.
Morgan laughed again, this time even more boisterously. “Depends what you wear it with I guess. Depends on your attitude. Fuck I dunno, I guess I am a douche.”
They both laughed heartily. “Hey man, you wanna get out of here?” Terry asked.
Morgan’s eyes brightened. “Go where?”
“Let’s go to a bar. Pick up some chicks we haven’t already fucked a million times.”
“Ok,” grinned Morgan. “But only if I get to wear my douche hat.”
Terry laughed. This dude was funny. Morgan had gotten a lift to the party with one of the other guys so Terry offered to drive. He wanted to drink tonight but he’d be good and keep it under control.
“Clydes good with you?”
“Yeah I guess,” Morgan shrugged. “But what about going somewhere cooler? Like downtown?”
“Sure. Anywhere specific?”
“I like New Town.”
“I’ve never been. I hear it’s expensive.”
“I guess, but the chicks are better. Classier. Or I guess I mean older. It’s right next to Concordia so tons of University chicks go there.”
“Ahh, nice,” smiled Terry.
“Wait though, let’s go to my place first. I live in
“What’s at your place?”
“I was serious about the fedora.”
Terry laughed. “You were not!”
“No for real, for real,” cackled Morgan. “It’ll be hilarious. We’ll dress up in suits and shit, like Barney, you know from How I Met Your Mother?”
“Yeah.” Terry was familiar with the show and had been accused of being a bit like Barney, which he took as an insult.
“Let’s see if that actually works. You said you were sick of puck bunnies, right?”
“You want a challenge, right?”
“So let’s dress up all fancy and see if we’ve still got game. Let’s see if we can pull it off.”
Terry considered this. True, it would be a challenge and that could be fun, but wouldn’t he look like a tool going to a bar on a weeknight all dressed up like he was a businessman?
“Come on, it’ll be fun. We’ll make it like a bet. Like who can score more numbers.”
“I don’t care about numbers. I need to get laid,” Terry scoffed.
“Scared you can’t do it in a suit?”
“Fuck you man, I can do it dressed in a fucking clown costume.”
“Don’t tempt me to up the ante.”
Terry laughed again. This could actually be fun. First they went to Morgan’s place and he got all dressed up and then they went to Terry’s dad’s place where he kept the suit he owned for funerals and weddings. It was already three years old but it still fit ok. Slightly tight but if he left it unbuttoned it was ok.
As Terry changed, Morgan inspected his ties and declared all two of them to be ugly.
“Good thing I brought options,” he said, unfurling a couple ties from one of those reusable grocery bags he’d brought along. “Wear this one.”
Terry put it on and Morgan snorted with derision. “You can’t tie a tie for shit. Hold still.”
He felt like a little kid as Morgan adjusted the tie, practically strangling him as he tightened it.
“Do you have any nice shoes?”
“Yeah,” said Terry, grabbing his dress shoes out of the back of his closet. “But like, won’t they get like super wet? I mean I don’t care about my sneakers but my step-mom gave me these shoes and she said never to wear them in winter, I mean like not outside.”
“Yeah, I hear you but we can’t exactly go to a bar wearing mukluks. Don’t worry, downtown is always super well snow-plowed.”
Before Terry could ask what mukluks were, Morgan whipped two hats out of his bag and stuck one on Terry’s head.
“No way, man! I look like a poseur!”
“That’s the whole point! Dude, any guy can score in a suit. The hat’s what makes it retro. It’s what makes it funny. It’s what makes it a challenge!”
“But we look like assholes!”
“That’s why it’s fucking hilarious!” Morgan said as he dragged Terry out of the house.
Next thing he knew they were downtown. They’d had to park pretty far away and the sidewalks were not nearly as well plowed as Morgan had promised but it was ok. In fact, Morgan had been right about it being fun to walk around in fedoras. They got a lot of looks, some quizzical, some amused. Two older guys walking together smiled at them and it occurred to Terry that they might actually appear to be a gay couple. Oh well, whatever, it was still fun, especially once they got to the bar and could remove the hats. Even just holding them looked a bit toolish but they couldn’t very well wear them indoors, ‘cause according to Morgan that was just déclassé.
There were several other men in the bar with suits on but they were all old so Terry and Morgan definitely stood out. As promised, there were plenty of girls there, or women rather, looking good in tight dresses and sexy office outfits. They walked throughout the bar and chatted up several chicks, finally settling on two women who turned out to be office workers who’d come to the bar for an office related 5 à 7 and then stayed to hang out.
Cerise couldn’t stop thinking about Terry, which she knew was shitty, especially considering she was hanging out with Tom. They were sitting in the den, watching sitcoms and laughing at all the same jokes and yet she felt like they weren’t connecting. Not the way she’d connected with Terry. Even though she and Terry didn’t always find the same things funny, they always had fun together. They always had problems but she always felt something with him. She felt something for him. She felt nothing for Tom and it wasn’t fair to keep stringing him along.
The office girls asked about the fedoras and Morgan made up a story about them being spies, which was obviously untrue, and obviously meant to be funny. He even put on a British accent as he explained. The girls laughed and finally Morgan just told them the truth, or half the truth, that they’d decided to wear the suits and hats just for the heck of it, just to get out of the jeans and t-shirt rut of being college students. He left out that the college in question was a cegep and not a university.
The girls seemed charmed and impressed and after a while it was clear who was pairing off with whom. Nick got the French girl and Terry took the petite brunette. She lived downtown, walking distance from the bar. He offered to walk her home. She agreed. She said goodnight to her friend, who giggled in response.
Terry was really warm and had long ago taken off his jacket. He kept it off as they walked outside and the woman, bundled in a coat and scarf and hat and mitts, marvelled that he wasn’t cold. He assured her he never got cold and she surmised that he would make a good snuggle buddy. He said he was a good anything she wanted buddy and was grateful she giggled at such a stupid line.
“So like, your mom’s not home, right?” Tom asked with a pained smile.
“’Cause like, we’re never alone. We’ve never been alone. Not since that first time,” he looked at Cerise pleadingly.
Cerise felt very uncomfortable. It was true that they hadn’t slept together since that first time at Karine’s house. And it wasn’t for lack of effort on Tom’s part. He’d invited her many times to hang out at his place and she’d always demurred. She couldn’t keep doing this. It was agony.
“Tom, I think we need to talk.”
“What is it?” asked Tom with fear in his eyes.
Cerise grabbed the remote and turned off the TV. She turned to Tom.
“You’re breaking up with me aren’t you?” he asked.
“How’d you know?” she asked, genuinely shocked.
“I’m not a fucking retard, Cerise. I can see you’re not over Terry.”
“I just… it’s not fair of me to stay in this relationship when I feel the way I do.”
Tom sighed heavily. “The writing on the wall’s been there for a while. I saw you guys at Karl’s cabane.”
“Nothing happened,” Cerise insisted earnestly.
“But you wanted something to happen. And I’m not like that. All like tall and huge and all GQ or whatever.”
“It’s not about that.”
“I guess I should be glad you ever went out with me in the first place. I mean at least I got laid, if only once,” he said bitterly.
“Well gee, sorry for not fulfilling all your sex fantasies,” Cerise shot back.
Instead of yelling back he just sat there looking sad. “I guess you never really liked me as more than a friend,” he mumbled. “Guess you won’t like me more no matter how long I keep hoping.” He seemed to be talking to himself more than to Cerise. “I always knew you weren’t really that into me. It was pretty obvious after we did it that time.”
“I never wanted to hurt you.”
“Why’d you ever sleep with me in the first place?”
“I don’t know. I thought maybe I could make myself like you ‘cause on paper you seem so right for me. I mean I really do like you! You know, as a friend.”
“Oh god, way to make it worse, Cerise.” Tom groaned and stood up and left the room.
Cerise followed him to the front hall and watched him put on his coat and hat. “I want us to still be friends,” she said weakly.
“Friends with benefits?” he smiled a goofy, toothy smile.
She couldn’t help but laugh.
“Worth a try,” he shrugged sadly and before Cerise could say anything else, he was out the door.
Well, that was certainly a lot less painful than any of the breakups she’d had with Terry.
The office girl wasn’t coy and as soon as they were in her house she excused herself to go to the bathroom. When she came out she was wearing only her bra and panties.
“So you gonna come warm me up?” she asked, walking into another room.
Terry followed her into the bedroom and she slowly took off his clothes while he stood there, allowing her to take the lead.
She stroked his abs and grinned. “Nice,” she said. “I guess you work out.
He smiled. Chicks always liked his abs. “I play hockey.”
“Oh? A hockey player, eh? Nice.”
The rest of his clothes came off and she grabbed his cock and led him to the bed, gently pushing him down. She sucked him briefly and then took off her underwear and lay down, spreading her legs. Terry went down on her eagerly. She was completely shaved, just like in porn. Not even a landing strip or anything. She tasted good too. Not as good as Cerise, but better than a lot of girls he’d been with. She produced a condom from her bedside table and he put it on got on top of her. He thought about his dead grandmother a few times to keep from coming too quickly, but most of the time he allowed himself to enjoy the moment, to feel the inside of her cunt, to explore her mouth with his tongue. Eventually she pushed him off and then straddled him and got herself off with a fun hip swivelling thing. He came soon after.
She showered and then said she had to work in the morning. Terry took the hint and got dressed. He texted Morgan to see if he was around and apparently he was still at the bar. They met up at his car.
“So you get laid?” asked Nick as he slid into the passenger seat.
“Yeah. It was awesome. You struck out?”
“Nope. Fucked her in the bathroom,” Nick gloated.
Terry looked at Nick and finally he broke. “Nah, I got her number but we didn’t hook up. I guess the fedora backfired ‘cause we got in this big discussion about Mad Men and feminism and stuff and that pretty much killed the mood.”
“Aww man, I’m sorry, that sucks. The suit worked great for me,” Terry chuckled.
“I know, shit, you must’ve gotten like a million numbers!”
“I know, I was on fire!” Terry laughed.
Well that was that then. Cerise was single again. As she readied herself for bed she noticed the picture of her and Terry at prom, which she kept on her dresser. Obviously she still wanted him. In spite of everything he was the one. Maybe she’d try to talk to him tomorrow.
Terry showered when he got home and crawled into bed, tired more from the evening’s game than the night’s activities. Stir-fry sat in the bed, looking at him with accusatory eyes. How could you sleep with another chick, it asked. What about Cerise? Cerise doesn’t want me. I’ve gotta move on. Gotta move on.