!” squeeled Karine as she read the cast
“Of course you are,” said Janice dryly.
Cerise was glad Janice had said it so she didn’t have to. Once again Karine was double cast with Laura. Hugh and Fred were so predictable. A lot of the kids were saying that Laura wasn’t even that great of a singer and they only cast her as
because she was their favourite. But Cerise couldn’t really complain because
she was cast as the White Queen, which was actually a decent role. To be honest, none of the roles were huge,
they all came and went as Alice wandered through Wonderland. So besides Karine and Laura no one really had
a better or worse part than anyone else.
Janice was the Queen of Hearts and Cerise felt that was actually quite appropriate. Peter was the Mad Hatter and Cassie was the dormouse, which was surprising considering how bad her audition had been. Wouldn’t she be expected to sing during the tea party? No matter, Cassie was over the moon with relief. Tom was a little more disappointed at being Tweedle-Dum and made some self-deprecating jokes about it but once they got to class Fred and Hugh explained that a lot of them would also be playing extra background characters, like playing cards and croquet mallets. Tom was expected to play pretty much every one of these roles since he could sing and he was pleased by the extra stage time. Cerise would also be a playing card, one who was painting the Red Queen’s roses, so she’d have more than one song as well.
Everyone was happy as they left class and the merriment continued through lunch as they met up with the group at the Munch Box. There wasn’t much room so most of the guys stood around, leaning on walls and Janice asked to sit on Terry’s lap, who spurned her advances by offering her his seat and moving around to the other side of the table. Cerise was glad to see he was eating with them again and apparently so was Karine.
“Terry, guess who I’m gonna be?” she squealed with delight, grabbing his arm and shaking it.
?” he smiled in
“Like there was ever any doubt,” he laughed. Casually, almost too casually, he asked Cerise who she was going to be.
“The White Queen.”
“That’s good, right?”
“It’s awesome!” Cassie answered for her.
“Congrats,” Terry smiled warmly.
“I’m Tweedle-Dum,” Tom announced, somewhat angrily as he slurped on his Coke.
Vani raised his hands. “We musn’t. When it’s so easy there’s no point.”
“Who’s Tweedle-Dee?” asked Sarah with genuine curiosity.
“This guy Pierre, which doesn’t even make sense because he and I look nothing alike and he has this super thick French accent so it’s like, how are we supposed to be twins?”
Cerise chose not to mention that while it was true that
had a slight accent, he was actually
quite similar to Tom in that they were both about the same height and weight
and if clothed in the same outfit would be indistinguishable from a
distance. Apparently the rest of the
group chose to be similarly tactful except for Janice who loudly bellowed that
Tom was retarded and Pierre
was his literal twin and they were probably separated at birth and he should
search for a scar from their surgical separation ‘cause they were maybe even
Jay had only been half paying attention as everyone talked about all this boring school stuff. It was gonna be a musical and Karine was gonna sing. Though he’d never heard her sing before and was mildly interested in this new factoid about her talents, Jay was surprised to find that he didn’t really care to attend the play. Their last play had been so excruciatingly boring. If it were to be a nude production then fine, but
in Wonderland? Whatever, so dull. Alice
To his delight, Sarah invited him to go to the library and while he had no interest in studying, being invited anywhere by a pretty girl was good times. As they walked there she asked him how he’d done last semester and if he thought he’d like his classes this semester.
“Well I didn’t do as badly I thought I might but I still did pretty shitty. This semester will be the semester of total buckle-down-age.”
“Will it?” she asked teasingly.
“Yeah, it’s gonna rock. I’m gonna be like Clark
. Except more effective and less bumbling.” Kent
“And without the Superman part.”
“Yeah, yeah, without the Superman part, sure,” he winked in what he hoped was a flirtatious rather than gross way.
“Well I could like help you study sometime if you want.”
“Yeah sure,” he nodded, trying not to be offended by the suggestion that he needed her help and trying even harder not to acknowledge how much this was true. “Thanks,” he smiled.
“My pleasure,” she smiled back.
“So um, speaking of my pleasure. Do you wanna like go out sometime?”
Jay stared at Sarah in disbelief. How was it that he was such a loser and yet girls kept asking him out? Ok, well technically Sarah was only the second girl who’d ever asked him out and the first turned out to be some elaborate joke that he still didn’t quite get but still. Was this real? Was this another ruse? Was it all some conspiracy to make him feel like a loser? Oh well, whatever Sarah’s motivation, even a joke date was better than nothing so Jay nodded and smiled nervously.
Sarah beamed and grabbed his arm, leading him to an empty table in the library where she sat and studied and he wondered if this meant they were now boyfriend and girlfriend and if that meant he’d finally get laid and if so, when exactly that would happen.
“Yeah, we’re having a pretty good season. We’re losing as much as we’re winning but at least we’re winning as much as we’re losing,” said Terry with a relaxed smile as he puffed on his cigarette.
Karine stood with him outside Casgrain with Peter and Janice along for the ride. Peter seemed genuinely interested in Terry’s hockey talk, which was kind of weird. If she was being honest, Karine found hockey insufferably dull. She’d always tried to be supportive of Terry’s interests but really, who gave a shit about sports?
Some guy was trudging along towards them, taking giant steps in an effort not to step in a puddle. It wasn’t snowing anymore and was rather sunny and warm but the ground was insanely wet. There were thick, slushy puddles everywhere and even the dry spots could only be called so in a relative sense. As the dude came near Karine recognized him as Nick Morgan, Terry’s hockey buddy.
“Hey dude, can I bum a smoke?” he asked as he joined them.
“Sup?” said Terry casually as he held out his cigarette pack to his friend.
Karine tried not to snicker. She wasn’t sure how conscious Terry was of his actions but every time he hung out with his hockey buddies he became even more laid-back than usual. It amused Karine greatly that Terry was probably putting a great deal of effort into appearing so effortless. There was something about this display that was so endearing. It made Terry so human, so real and she was grateful that he could let his guard down with her when they were alone. When it was just the two of them they spoke intently and with reason. Their conversations were never pointless and meandering as this one was now. They spoke of real things and Terry frowned and nodded as he considered her points and his body always hunched slightly as he pondered his thoughts. With other people he slouched but held his head high and his eyes drooped as though he was barely listening. He smirked and lifted his eyebrows instead of speaking.
Nick Morgan spoke excitedly, answering Peter’s inane hockey questions. Janice interrupted to grab at Nick and feel his biceps, which he allowed and barely noticed. She propositioned him lewdly and he snorted in response, jokingly saying that he was too fatigued from practice to keep up with her. She assured him she’d be gentle and he shrugged and suggested she suck his cock right now and began unzipping his jeans.
They all snickered but Janice took the dare and yanked down his pants, taking his underwear with them. Karine stared as Nick’s penis was briefly exposed before he crouched down and jerked his jeans back up. It had only lasted a second but it was enough time to notice that his junk was respectable. In fact, maybe he’d even been semi erect. She couldn’t be sure, but she thought so. Finally she looked up to his face, which was crimson and his mouth hung open. The barely smoked cigarette lay in a puddle at his feet.
Peter and Terry were howling with laughter and Janice looked like the Cheshire cat. Maybe she’d been miscast after all. “Pretty nice, the offer stands,” she grinned, grabbing Nick’s crotch.
He swatted her away and laughed. “Bitch! Ok, you seriously owe me a bj for that! You owe me unlimited bjs!
“Anytime,” Janice cooed.
“All the time! Whenever I want!” Nick laughed, still blushing.
“Shit, that was fucking funny,” said Terry, catching his breath. He’d completely abandoned his cool pose and was being normal, smiling with genuine glee. It was great to see.
Jay wanted to put off the inevitable but he couldn’t be that much of an asshole. Karl was one of his oldest friends. Well, one of his only friends really. Jay couldn’t just date Sarah without telling him first. He didn’t really want to ask permission but he couldn’t just suddenly start dating her either. He’d for sure be expelled if he did that.
Karl was sitting in his usual spot, at the wall across from his locker. His laptop was propped up on his lap and he was typing furiously, every so often pausing and bringing his thumb up to his mouth, where he chewed his nail absent-mindedly.
“Heeeey,” said Jay, sounding kind of like the Fonz, which was weird.
“What’s up?” asked Karl without looking up, without ceasing his typing.
Jay sat next to him, at a respectable distance. “Soooo, I kinda have something to ask you.”
“Well it’s kinda like… the thing is… well, uh, I mean…”
“Spit it out!” said Karl with an irritated sigh, finally looking up from his work but still typing away.
“So like it kinda involves Sarah.”
Karl’s fingers stopped and he stared at Jay.
“So like, well, you know how she exists and everything?”
“And everything,” said Karl dryly.
“Well um… let’s say… let’s say just theoretically she were to… or I were to…”
“Use your words,” he condescended.
“Would it be cool with you if um, if like… if me and her like…”
“If you went out with her?” Karl asked without moving his face.
“Uh, yeah.” Jay was shocked Karl had guessed his intentions and wondered just how obvious he’d been about his attraction to Sarah.
Karl stared at Jay, perhaps trying to intimidate him?
“Sooooo….” Jay tried to smile.
“I don’t control either of you. Do as you like.” Karl went back to his typing, and stared intently at his screen.
“So it’s ok?”
“You’re a big boy, Jay. You make your own decisions.”
“What does that mean?” Jay pleaded.
“I’m busy! Go bother someone else.” His fingers flew across the keyboard.
“But like, so is it ok?”
“It’s fine!” Typing, typing, typing.
“Yes, I don’t care.”
I said it’s fine! Now fuck off!”
“Well ok then. Thanks!”
That had gone well. Jay traipsed off as Karl typed away. He was a really fast typist.
Cerise turned around and saw Sarah skipping towards her, expertly dodging the various people in the Casgrain hallway.
“God, you so need to get a phone. I was gonna text you and then I was all like, Cerise doesn’t even have a phone! I could email but who knows when you’re gonna check your mail? You don’t even have a laptop. What’s up with that?”
“I mean fuck, you don’t seem like a Ludite, why do you live in an ’80s sitcom? It’s so dumb that I have to like, physically find you to tell you something.” Sarah leaned against a locker, first checking that it was clean.
“Well not everyone can afford to own every gadget,” said Cerise with slight bitterness. It’s not that she was poor but she wasn’t rich either.
“Oh come on. It’s a cell phone, not a Hadron Collider. I think you can afford it. I mean just get like a part-time job or something.”
“Ok well anyway, what did you have to tell me?”
“I asked Jay out, just like you said and he said yes. So like, we’re going out!”
Cerise forced enthusiasm as she told Sarah that was great news. Sarah deserved to be happy and Cerise wanted to be happy for her but she was surprised to find her belly churning. She was having an actual physical reaction to this news and was afraid she might actually throw up. Why did she care so much? She was with Tom now, she didn’t need Jay. And even if she wasn’t with Tom she could just get back with Terry. Jay was nothing. He was nothing, damn it!
“We’re gonna go out on Friday. Do you wanna come?” asked Sarah happily.
“What?” Was Sarah really this cruel? Why did she want to torture Cerise by forcing her to third wheel on her stupid date with stupid Jay and his stupid stupidity?
“Yeah, you and Tom? It can be like, a double date thing.”
“Oh, right. Um, yeah, ok I guess.”
Yes. Completely and totally awesome.