“We should have brought skates!” laughed Cerise as she skidded along lac Bélair.
The whole gang was walking across the frozen lake, or sort of sliding across it. It wasn’t really that slippery since it was packed with snow but they cleared it as they went along so they could push one another along the ice.
They threw snowballs and fought with sticks, while some of the boys made lightsabre sound effects. Cerise duelled with Tom for a bit but then Sarah starting throwing snowballs at her so she shifted her focus. The girls tussled in the snow and then Cerise ran off to take refuge at home base, which was a small rock formation in the middle of the lake. She found Terry there and sat near him but not too near. They smiled at each other.
“Having fun?” he asked.
“Yeah, it’s nice here.”
“Yeah, it’s like peaceful. Or it was until we showed up,” she giggled.
“Yeah, seriously,” he smiled. After a beat he went on. “This you know, isn’t as bad as I thought it would be.”
“Being up north?”
“Being with you.” He shrugged, raising his eyebrows in a friendly gesture.
“I know what you mean,” she replied.
“It’s been kinda nice actually. Seeing you again. Hanging out with you again.”
She agreed and sat closer to him and they both yelled down at the gang that they were on home base when snowballs came whizzing by their heads.
“You know your sister came over the other night,” he said.
“Which one? Julie?”
“Yeah. She gave me cookies.”
“I dunno. I wasn’t there so she ended up hooking up with my brother. You know, Evan?”
“Ok,” Cerise shrugged.
“Just thought you should know. ‘Cause well, Evan is sort of…”
“Sort of what?”
“Sort of like I was at that age.”
“What, an asshole?” Cerise smirked.
Terry smirked back. “Yeah, and a player. Anyway, I dunno, Jules said she could handle it and everything but I don’t wanna see her get hurt.”
“Yeah well actually, Julie is a bit of a player herself. She’s got like, tons of boys always calling for her and shit. I think she can take care of herself. I mean, she’s a brat but she’s not stupid.”
“Evan is. Stupid I mean,” Terry chuckled. “But I guess I was too at that age. Or maybe I still am, I dunno.”
“You’re not stupid,” she said kindly.
“Yeah but I mean, sometimes you get caught up in shit and I dunno. I don’t trust him to like always use a condom and stuff.”
“Did you always use a condom?” She wanted that sentence to be in the present tense but thought maybe it would be too invasive.
“I guess not always,” he admitted, looking a little embarrassed.
She raised an eyebrow and he tilted his head apologetically. They both looked back at the ice, perhaps to avoid looking at each other. Cerise couldn’t help thinking about the conversation she and Karine had had with Christina. Terry had been such a jerk to Christina back in the day. Was he any better now? He’d never treated Cerise that poorly but would he still treat other girls like that? Did Cerise want to be with a guy who could be such an ass? Though to be fair, Christina was complicit in her own abuse. Terry had definitely mistreated her but it was her own stupidity that kept her going back for more. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Not that Chrissy’s lack of self-esteem was any excuse for treating her like shit. Terry’s behaviour in high school really was disgusting and unforgivable but Cerise had always felt like she’d somehow cured him of such things. But had she really? Maybe she was giving herself too much credit, and giving Terry too much credit as well. If he was still hanging out with Andrew then he still found misogynistic behaviour acceptable and even amusing. His hockey friends were rather Neanderthalish as well. Was Terry putting on an act when he hung out with them, pretending to be a brotastic douche or was the act the role he took on when he was being Cerise’s boyfriend? Could he be both simultaneously? Did Cerise want to get back together with someone so two-faced? Of course she was rather two-faced herself for pretending to be into Tom when she still cared about Terry.
Poor Tom. He was playing Star Wars with the boys and Cerise wondered if he’d been accepted as part of the group. Terry had never really been fully accepted, except by Vani. Karl and Vani were duelling each other and Tom stood on the periphery, holding his stick at his side. The boys were such assholes, they never accepted anyone. Cerise still felt like they didn’t fully embrace her presence, let alone that of her boyfriends.
At least Sarah wasn’t such a jerk. She got along with everyone. She was duelling with Jay and she gave him quite a wallop across the back. He fell to the ground dramatically, creating a rather elaborate death scene with spasms and exclamations of revenge, which seemed to delight Sarah. So nice of her to indulge his spazitude. Cassie looked bored, or maybe even sad; she wasn’t hanging out with anyone, just sort of looking around. Or maybe she was looking at Lee, who was wrestling with Willy. She finally joined Karine, Janice and Peter who were making a cache of snowballs, while Vani and Karl started on their own pile. Apparently an epic war would soon take place. Cerise wondered which side she would join.
“So what are we gonna do for New Year’s?” asked Sarah as they ate lunch in the cabane.
Hotdogs were pretty phallic foods. Watching Sarah eat one was turning Jay on in a way he hadn’t anticipated prior to this trip.
“Death, destruction, the usual,” said Vani, probably responding to Sarah’s question rather than Jay’s internal monologue, though Jay was pretty sure death and destruction would indeed be the result of Karl finding out about Jay’s new interest in his ex-girlfriend.
“Yeah but in a world where reality still exists,” Sarah went on without skipping a beat.
“Ok I’m just gonna state straight off that I am not throwing a party. I am determined to do something different this year,” said Karine.
Karine was still hot. Why wasn’t Jay paying more attention to her? Wasn’t she his object of desire? Given the choice he’d still pick Karine over Sarah but Sarah seemed like a more realistic fantasy at the moment and even fantasies sometimes had to be realistic, although even hooking up with Sarah wasn’t all that realistic when you thought about it.
“But your parties are legend,” whined Janice.
“I’m bored of them,” insisted Karine.
Yeah, Karine was definitely still top choice. But Sarah, yeah Sarah wasn’t realistic either because of Karl. Sarah would probably go out with Jay but only if he like, fought Karl to the death or something.
“We could stay here,” suggested Karl.
They all stared at him in surprise. Had he been reading Jay’s mind? Did he want to keep Jay and Sarah within his sight so he could prevent a hook-up? Not that Sarah was even into Jay. Not that any girl ever was.
“Yeah?” asked Sarah.
Yeah what? Yeah she was into him?! Oh, yeah as in could we really stay at the cabane.
“It’s no big deal,” said Karl. “It just means extending our stay a little longer.”
“And you know how much Karl loves extensions,” quipped Vani.
“Extensions? Like the hair?” asked Janice in confusion.
Everyone looked at her, perhaps unsure if she was joking. Jay certainly couldn’t tell. That Janice was a weird one. And not particularly hot. Not like Sarah. Sarah with her black leggings all hugging her butt and her mouth opening to bite down on another hotdog. She only ever put mustard on them. Jay totally wanted to be her mustard.
Everyone discussed the matter and decided it was indeed a good idea to ring in the New Year at the cabane. Janice objected on the grounds that the event should be celebrated at a club or some such but her thoughts were dismissed. Terry Trebialcoholicsky suggested they get more supplies of the party variety.
“We can’t party here!” Janice exploded. “Where’s the strobe light? Where’s the thick wall of smoke? The thicker wall of sweaty bodies? And there’s like, no cute, available guys here. I can’t not get laid on New Year’s. I just can’t. It’s just not done.”
“There’s plenty of guys here willing to oblige you, I’m sure,” said Cavity with a smirk.
Willy nodded and leered and Janice practically puked in his face.
“Eww! You expect me to like hook up with the virgin club?” Janice sneered while waving her hands over Jay and the boys.
“Hurtful but accurate,” mused Vani.
“And therein lies the true power of the burn,” nodded Karl.
Jay was pretty impressed that Karl hadn’t jumped up and insisted with like a bullhorn that he wasn’t part of the virgin club. If Jay wasn’t a virgin he’d damn well make sure everyone knew it. Especially if he’d been devirginated by someone hot like Sarah. But he supposed Sarah being there would make such a declaration a little awkward.
“Ok fine. I’ll stay here,” sighed Janice even though no one had really tried that hard to keep her around. “But only if I get to hook up with Terry.”
Trebimanwhoresky did his stupid half smile thing and Cerise bit her lip the way she constantly did. She seriously needed to tone down the lip biting. Did she think it was cute? Did she even know she was doing it? It was kind of annoying.
“I’m serious,” Janice whined on. “The only way I’m staying here for New Year’s is if I get some action from the only guy in the room worth having.”
“Hey, what about me?” asked Peter.
“You don’t count, we already fucked.”
“You did?” asked Karine in shock.
“God it was like in Sec 4, it doesn’t even count!” said Peter. “I mean I don’t even remember if we finished.”
“Well I remember and it’s like, been there done that.”
“Been there done that? Bitch you know you want more!” said Peter, putting on an American black guy accent, which was actually kind of funny and they all snickered. “Once you go black you never go back!” he said with a snap of the fingers and a head roll, suddenly becoming a Tyler Perry character in a hair salon.
Everyone laughed, even Karine, though she still asked why they’d never told her. Both Peter and Janice shrugged like it was no big deal. Like anything that happened in high school was completely irrelevant to current reality. Was that the way it worked now? That would be cool. To wipe out five years of constant humiliation sounded like a good deal.
“You still want me,” huffed Peter.
“Of course I do. All blaxploitation stereotypes are completely true and you know I’m a size queen. But alas, you’re taken, so that leaves Terry as the only valid choice.”
“You know we’re within earshot, right?” asked Vani, seemingly more curious than annoyed.
“Yeah seriously,” said Sarah. “You saying Karl isn’t worthwhile? What’s wrong with him? Or Jay? What’s wrong with Jay? They’re both perfectly acceptable.”
Willy extended his arms and snorted with great agitation while Vani wiggled his eyebrows and Jay did his best not to jump up and do a victory lap around the room.
“Yeah fine,” Janice sighed. “They’re both total studs and everything but I have certain standards ok? I’m just in a place in my life right now where I need to be with a certain type of guy.”
“And what type is that?” Sarah asked sceptically.
“The type that’s blonde, blue eyed, 6’3”, plays hockey and is named Terry.”
“Terry’s eyes are hazel,” said Cerise under her breath.
Sarah said something about how they all wanted Terry Loserchavsky and Cavity said they didn’t live in a perfect world and Terry Smirkichavsky practically pulled a muscle he was smirking so hard.
“Yeah no shit,” said Vani. “I’m a straight dude and even I want Terry.”
“I’m remembering you said that,” snorted Willy.
“I’m comfortable with my sexuality,” insisted Vani.
“Or lack thereof,” said Karl.
“Would you guys all shut up?” growled Karine, proving to be the voice of reason. “Enough with the Terry ego inflation. Like he isn’t hard enough to deal with already?”
“That sentence also would have worked if you’d omitted to deal with.”
Everyone groaned and Janice restated that she needed to hook up with Trebiwhateversky on New Year’s and actually asked Cerise’s permission to do so. Cerise stammered something about not being Terry’s keeper and then everyone stared at the stupid, jock, loser, beefcake, teenwolf asshole and he blabbered something about how hooking up while at the cabane wouldn’t be respectful to the virgin club. Janice apparently took that as a promise of future negotiations and they finally let the matter drop, although not before Janice asked Trebigothefuckawaysky to take off his clothes so they’d have something good to look at.
“Where’s your desktop when you need it, eh Cerise?” snickered Sarah.
Karine, Cerise and Sarah all laughed like it was some big inside joke, which Jay supposed it was. He was always the last to know.
The fun was in the secret. Whenever Stan worked late, Rod would come over. Shauna preferred it when they watched TV but usually Rod wanted to do sex stuff. But he wasn’t as demanding as Stan and he was much more willing to give back. Shauna was even starting to enjoy oral sex, receiving it at least. Giving it was totally boring but Rod was actually making her sort of feel something down there. It wasn’t quite as good as being alone and scratching her legs but it was different and sort of interesting. Sometimes when she closed her eyes she could make herself forgot that it was Rod down there and could pretend it was someone better.
But even when she couldn’t forget Rod and his mild case of b.o., she was still having fun because it was a secret. She was having an affair! It was so cool to be wanted, to be wanted by two different people and to be in control of what was going on. Well, she wasn’t really in control of when stuff happened, because it was based on Stan and Rod’s schedules but she could tell Rod no whenever she wanted and sometimes she would make him rub her feet and he would actually do it. And sometimes he even brought her presents! Just little things, like candy bars but still, it was awesome to know someone was thinking of her enough to buy her stuff.
Shauna thought about leaving Stan for Rod but realized that maybe he wouldn’t be so much fun if their relationship was out in the open. She got the impression that he got off on the secrecy as much as she did. Maybe he hated Stan as much as she did. Of course anyone would hate Stan ‘cause he was such a loser. Cerise would probably puke all over herself if she had to be in the same room with him for even a second. She’d probably puke on Rod too, ‘cause of how he was sort of stinky and hairy and fat and stuff. But did Cerise ever have two guys going at once? Maybe. But still, maybe not. Shauna was definitely at her most cool right now. Cerise would be so impressed. Or maybe she’d be grossed out. But whatever, fuck Cerise.
“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!” sang Peter when the snow started to fall. Everyone from Theatre Workshop joined in the song so Cerise felt like she should join in too even though she didn’t know the words.
“If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends!” sang Vani, dancing around the room. He sang the entire song and shook his booty at the zigazigah part, which set everyone into spasms of laughter.
Cerise wasn’t sure who suggested poker but about halfway through the first game it had morphed into strip poker and it was pretty obvious that Janice had initiated that turn of events. Cerise didn’t want to be mean but sometimes Janice’s shtick got a little old. Apparently the guys agreed because they were snidely whispering about it as they made hot chocolate while Terry, Sarah and the Theatre group played.
“That Janice girl tries too hard. I tire of her sexual insinnuendo,” said Vani while the others nodded.
Janice was clearly losing on purpose and was already down to her underwear while the rest of the group each had only lost one or two items of clothing.
“There’s no subtlety there,” nodded Karl. “How can someone so over the top be so boring? It’s like watching Jim Carrey in person.”
“Yeah, she’s like Cleopatra, only without the empire or incest, that we know of,” sneered Lee. “What a fucking Egyptian whore!”
All the guys nodded like this made sense so Cerise didn’t bother acknowledging the absurdity of Lee’s statements. She’d caught on long ago that 90% of what he said was utter nonsense.
“This is actually a fascinating physiological study, or sociological, or whatever. I mean how like someone so naked can be so unsexy, I mean to the point of sucking all the sexy out of the room,” said Vani.
“Well there’s still three other girls at that table worth looking at,” said Jay.
“So are we gonna get to gaming or what?” asked Karl. “The plebes are distracted with their stripping, now is the perfect opportunity to get down to brass tacks.”
“I don’t wanna game while there’s a possibility that Sa… Karine will get naked,” said Jay.
“Did you almost say Sarah?” asked Vani in amusement.
“Did you ever notice that every single girl here has the exact same name?” asked Jay. “I mean seriously. Cassie, Karine, Cerise, Sarah, Sarah, Cassie, Karine, Cerise, say it fast, it’s a tongue twister.”
“Cerise, Sarah, Cassie, Karine,” repeated Willy. “It’s true, they all have Cs and Ss. Except Janice, but she doesn’t count.”
“Argh! I can’t take it anymore! Just take off your damn shirt!” hollered Janice as she pulled at Terry’s clothes.
Terry allowed himself to be manhandled and let Janice pull his shirt away. Cerise felt a flutter, enjoying this reminder of how hot he was. Janice was becoming increasingly intolerable but she had the right idea in forcing Terry to disrobe. All the girls looked at him lustily and even the boys seemed impressed.
“Ugh! Now we have to look at naked Terry?!” hollered Willy.
“Why didn’t you guys tell me you were a bunch of homosexual, Greek, Olympic loving, queer, gay, fudge-packing fags?!” yelled Lee.
Cerise rolled her eyes and decided that Lee was even more annoying than Janice.
Shauna and Rod went down to Stan’s dépanneur and hung out with him to ring in the New Year. It was surprisingly fun. They stood around and made jokes and laughed at all the lame people going to a dep on New Year’s Eve. Every time Stan had a customer, Shauna and Rod wandered through the store and snuck kisses. It was pretty fun. They started a game where they’d roll cans across the floor to see which can would be fastest. Beans were totally winning. It was seriously fun. Eventually even some random customers played with them and they were all laughing like crazy. It was actually maybe the most fun Shauna had ever had. Maybe this was happiness. So weird.
Vani ran around like a chicken with its head cut off. This image made Terry laugh because it made him think of Stir-Fry, the stuffed chicken Cerise had gotten him for his birthday. And that made Terry sad, because he wasn’t with her anymore. He almost wished Janice would be little less aggressive so he could hook up with her and not feel gross about it. Was it weird that he found her less attractive the more obvious she was? How did that even make sense? Usually he liked it when girls were aggressive. He’d always really liked it when Cerise initiated, why was it so annoying in Janice? Was it just because she wasn’t as pretty as most girls he hooked up with? Was he really that shallow? He probably was. That was probably one of the reasons Cerise broke up with him. Because he was a total guy stereotype. Maybe he only liked it when girls were aggressive after he’d already conquered them. Cerise only got dominant once he’d already chased and caught her. And he’d been way into Karine back when she was rebuffing his advances but then that time she’d kissed him in the park he’d rejected her. Wow, he was a total caveman! And that’s what Cerise had been trying to get him to see, with always insulting Andrew and his skeevy ways. She was right to break up with him. He didn’t deserve her. He didn’t deserve any girl. Even Janice was too good for him.
Vani was screaming and jumping on the furniture, announcing that it was almost time for the count down. He lept up and jumped on Terrys’ back, and without even thinking Terry reached back and grabbed Vani, flipping him down onto the floor. Vani laughed but was also clearly winded and Terry felt bad for having thrown him off too roughly. No matter what he did he ended up hurting someone. He was such a giant sack of shit.
Terry extended his hand and pulled Vani to his feet, who then carried on with the screaming and jumping, announcing that the countdown was set to begin. They all counted down and shouted Happy New Year to one another. Sure enough, Cerise kissed that Tom guy she was apparently still dating for unknown reasons. Karine kissed Peter and before he knew it Janice’s tongue was down his throat. It was actually a pretty good kiss so Terry went with it and just for the heck of it, he got in a bit of a boob grab at the same time, knowing Janice wouldn’t object. She squeezed his ass in response.
Finally he pulled away just in time to see Cassie give Lee a dirty look and then grab Vani and plant one on him. Vani looked stunned but pleased. At the same time Sarah did pretty much the same thing to Jay and his stupid hair, kissing him spontaneously and leaving him confused but probably happier than he’d ever been in his life. And then Karl and Willy shrugged and kissed. Willy even dipped Karl like they were in a movie. It was pretty funny and everyone cracked up. Both Willy and Karl started gagging and wiping their mouths in mock horror.
Terry couldn’t help wondering if he’d have the courage to kiss another guy for the sake of a joke. Or even just for real. He often did the double cheek kiss thing with girls but never with guys. Didn’t that speak to some level of homophobia? Of course, their entire society was homophobic ‘cause it’s not like other guys went around kissing each other in greeting. But let’s say someone dared Terry to kiss another guy, or kissed him just to be funny, would he be cool with it? It was with a certain level of shame that he admitted he probably wouldn’t be ok with it. But why not? What was he so afraid of? Did gayness gross him out and if so, why was he such a homophobic asshole?
“I need a drink,” whined Willy.
“Trying to erase the memory?” laughed Sarah. “Won’t happen. I got it on camera,” she laughed, holding up her phone.
“No, I’m just depressed ‘cause that’s the most action I’ve ever gotten in my life.”
They all laughed and while Willy had said it as a joke it was probably true and that seriously was depressing. For the first time ever Terry took pity on Willy. Poor guy, it wasn’t his fault he was fat and ugly and covered in zits and grease and had a shitty personality. Ok, some of that was his fault. But still, it must really suck to be such a loser. And as annoying as Willy was, he wasn’t completely idiotic so he was probably perfectly aware of how repellent he was to girls.
Terry felt a rush of relief for being so good looking. Truly, he had to be grateful for being so tall and athletic and attractive. No matter what else was going on in his life, at least he had his looks. Although, come to think of it, at least being ugly was a good excuse for loneliness. What was his excuse? He was, objectively speaking - totally not being egocentric or anything, but just being honest - one of the best looking guys ever, so if a girl rejected him then he must really have an obnoxious personality. He must seriously be a massive asshole if Cerise wanted nothing to do with him. He was just like Andrew, a total douche shithead.