Cerise didn’t even know why she’d agreed to go on the date but there she was, sitting in a restaurant with her apparent boyfriend and Sarah and her apparent boyfriend, the terminally clueless Jay. Really? Was this really happening?
As Sarah and Jay bantered about their new teachers and Tom interjected with the useful fact that all his classes were full year and he therefore didn’t have any new teachers, Cerise contemplated how best to stop caring about Jay. Logically speaking, intellectually speaking, he was nothing special. In fact he was a jerk. He had screwed her over enough times, sometimes unknowingly and at least once deliberately so she should hate him. And yet…
“So weird, right?” Sarah stared at Cerise expectantly.
“Cassie and Lee. I mean I didn’t even know they’d gone out and now she’s all sad about him and stuff.”
“Yeah, they hooked up once. As far as I know they weren’t actually dating or whatever. But pretty shitty of him to act like it never even happened, whatever it is.”
Jay expressed surprise at the news that Cassie had hooked up with Lee. Apparently he’d never said anything about it, which Sarah found odd since he seemed the type to brag about such things.
Cerise wasn’t sure she agreed. “He’s not like a frat guy, all having sex just for the bragging rights. It’s more like he does stupid shit for the right to act like a freak. And sleeping with someone is just normal. He probably doesn’t want to advertise the fact that he’s just a normal dude after all.”
It was a fair assessment and Jay said so. Lee was a classic try-hard. Overcompensating for something, surely. But it also niggled Jay that this complete freak could be so successful with girls. So successful that he didn’t even feel the need to reveal his success. Would Jay be able to brag about losing his virginity if he did it with Sarah, which surely they would, right? With Karl around it would be in bad taste to brag but maybe if he could get Willy and Vani alone… no, Vani would tell Karl everything just because he didn’t understand the concept of discretion and Willy would tell out of spite. But to be thought of as a virgin even after he’d done it would be intolerable!
“No offense to Cassie but she seriously has weird taste in guys. I mean first Jonah and then Lee? Whatever,” laughed Sarah.
“Like you should talk,” said Cerise without missing a beat.
“Hey!” Sarah giggled.
Jay laughed ‘cause at first he thought it was a joke at Karl’s expense but then he realized he was also the butt of the joke. “Like you should talk either,” he snorted at Cerise. “I mean fuck, Terry Trebidouchsky is not exactly like, non douchey. I mean he’s the poster boy for douche.”
“Whatever, I’m not gonna have this conversation again,” Cerise sighed and rolled her eyes.
“Uh, hello, she’s not dating Terry anymore,” that Tom guy glared at Jay.
“Yeah, you’re a real improvement,” said Jay sarcastically even though he didn’t really know or care about Tom.
“Pfft, like you’re so cool, Mr. Dungeons & Dragons?” Tom scoffed.
“You play too!”
“Only so as not to hurt your feelings. Fuck, I’m in a band. I have better things to do than roll dice.”
“Oh I’m so cool, I play guitar, badly,” mocked Jay.
“Yeah, Magic, the Gathering called. It wants its social awkwardness back.”
“Listen to this song I composed, which has two cords. It’s about Wookies and Dom-jot.”
“I’ll have you know that it’s considered quite controversial to combine Trek and Wars in one song. It’s revolutionary!”
“These are our boyfriends,” Cerise interjected, with a tone of dejected realization.
“Wow, we suck,” said Sarah with great disappointment.
“We can totally do better,” Cerise nodded.
“Yeah, we’re gonna go.”
Sarah stood up and Cerise followed suit and Jay was crestfallen. Had he seriously fucked things up so quickly? But a second later Tom grabbed Cerise and pulled her back down and they giggled so Jay grabbed Sarah and did the same, which also elicited giggles. Jay seriously needed to study up on how to be a boyfriend, ‘cause this shit was complicated.
It didn’t get any easier as time went on. He gamed with the guys on Saturday and tried to find a way to tell them about his awesome date but since Karl was there it was awkward. It was only on Monday, after a Sunday spent wandering
with Sarah that Vani and Willy found out.
Jay and his new girlfriend (he totally had a girlfriend now) were making
out in the hallways at school (he totally had a girlfriend he could make out
with in public) when the boys came along and interrupted them. Fairview
He was so absorbed with kissing Sarah’s awesome mouth (although she did kind of have an annoying way of pulling away from him and telling him to slow down and slobber less) when he heard Vani having a nervous breakdown.
“What the frick?! What the… what da, ppff! Pshhsss! Pfwha?!”
They broke their embrace and turned to see Vani hopping all over the place, circling Karl who stood there stone-faced while Willy shot death glares at Jay.
“Web-man! Look!” shouted Vani.
“Yes, I see.”
“Did you know about this?”
“I was informed,” Karl said dryly.
Jay and Sarah stood there for a while, neither knowing what to do and then finally Sarah shrugged and wished Jay a good day and sauntered off.
“Why was I not informed?” Vani screeched, jumping over to Jay and shaking his shoulders.
Some people looked at them as they walked by, no doubt because Vani was having his meltdown rather loudly and Jay wished he could just be normal for once in his life.
“So you’re like, fucking Sarah now?” asked Willy.
“Shut up,” said Jay between gritted teeth.
“She sure gets around,” he went on.
“Did you guys hear about Lee and Cavity?” asked Jay in an effort to deflect interest.
“What about them?” asked Vani, clutching his face in anticipation.
“They hooked up.”
“Say what?!” Vani howled, dramatically pulling at his hair.
“They like totally did it.”
“Ffwwhhaaa?! What the frickety fraaaaa?!”
“When?” asked Willy.
“Before Christmas break. So like apparently the whole time at the cabane Cavity was all like trying to get with him and Lee was all like, totally not having it. Like he’s a total wham-bam guy and she’s like all sad and stuff and he’s all like, not sad and whatever and she’s all like crying in her Cheerios every morning and he’s like, not and he like didn’t even tell us so like, who else is he fucking and not telling? Right?”
“Like you should talk! Since when have you been googling Sarah’s gaggle?”
“Just since like, last week. Like Friday.”
“Maybe it should be gaggling her google. What do you guys think?” asked Vani earnestly.
“Stop trying to make fetch happen,” said Jay with an eye roll. “God, can’t you ever just use real words?”
“Oh, so now that you have a girlfriend you’re gonna be like all normal and shit? Whatever!” scoffed Vani. “I mean are you guys actually like boyfriend girlfriend status or is it just like a Lee, Cavity deal where she’s gonna dump you once she’s realized you’re you?”
“We’re a real couple,” said Jay defensively.
“And Karl, you’re ok with this?”
“Man, is everyone hooking up but me?”
“And me?” asked Willy.
“There’s no such thing as miracles, Willy,” said Karl.
“Are you still in the virgin club?” asked Vani.
Jay tried not to look at Karl, but Karl stared at him with his icy blue eyes of icy blue evil and Jay lost his voice.
“I’m gonna guess you’re still in the club,” said Willy. “Sarah may be a slut but four days is quick even for her.”
Both Jay and Karl glared at Willy and he smiled with self-satisfaction. What a fucking prick.
Mondays were shit because Terry’s schedule didn’t match up with anyone else’s so he always had to eat lunch alone, which was fine he supposed, it was a chance to get some reading done. He sat at his locker and ate a sandwich as he scrolled through his Phych notes on his laptop.
His phone buzzed and he picked it up to find a text from Vani.
MUST TALK! CRAZO NEWS! WORLD ENDING!
What r u talking about?
Terry had visions of any number of horrible things, like maybe Cerise had gotten into an accident or something but then Vani texted that Jay was going out with Sarah and Terry had to laugh.
Who gives a shit?
How can you be so callous? He has no right! Sarah
is karls chick!
Karl acted like he didn’t care but he so does he was
obs uber pissed he was doing the thing where he’s
pissed but just stands around like an android
I guess he’s pissed a lot
Don’t you think Jay is an ass for doing that?
I think jay is an ass anyway
Zactly! He has no honour! If he was klingon karl could
totally kill him for this.
I mean sarah’s hot and all but, you think she’s hot right?
But would you ever go out with her?
Because karls your friend right?
Because sarah is cerise’s friend.
Zactly! You don’t go out with an ex’s friend and you
don’t go out with a friend’s ex. Right?
Terry considered this for a moment. He’d never really given a shit about rules like that. He was ostensibly friends with Steven back in high school yet he’d still tried to hook up with Karine and he’d dated Christina and yet still tried to hook up with Karine. It was only because of Karine’s decency that they hadn’t gotten together.
Vani made Terry promise that they could hang out later that day. Terry said he’d be taking a smoke break outside Penfield at around 2 and sure enough Vani was there waiting for him, asking how these things happened.
“I don’t get it. I turn my back and then next think I know everyone is dating everyone else. You and Cerise, Karl and Sarah, Jojo and Cavity, Lee and Cavity, Tom and Cerise, Jay and Sarah… how the hell do these things happen? And how come I’m never around when they’re passing out the memo?”
“I dunno,” Terry chuckled as he quickly puffed on his cigarette and popped his collar, not to be douchey but to warm up a bit. It was a cold and windy day.
“Yes you do. You’re constantly hooking up with chicks. I mean, aren’t you?”
Terry shrugged. In truth he wasn’t hooking up with chicks anymore. Not since Cerise. And it wasn’t for lack of opportunity either. There had been plenty of after game parties where there were tons of chicks just ripe for the picking. In fact, why the hell wasn’t he picking up?
“You’re so lucky,” Vani went on as Terry tossed away his butt and went back inside. Vani followed and they walked through Casgrain. “Girls flock to you like you’re made of cheese.”
“Cheese?” laughed Terry. “That’s a new one.”
“Or chocolate, whatever. Man, I wish I was you. You could have any chick you wanted.”
Terry looked at Vani pointedly, hoping he wouldn’t have to say that the one girl he wanted didn’t want him.
“Well at the very least you could have that Janice chick.”
“Yeah, along with every other guy in school. No thanks man, I like a challenge.”
“Well I don’t but even Janice rejected me and she’d fuck a chair.”
“And probably has,” nodded Terry with a chuckle. “But don’t worry man, it’ll happen.”
“Oh yeah sure. ‘Cause girls just love short Indian guys who think of Stan Lee as their personal saviour,” Vani sighed.
“Hey, didn’t Cassie kiss you at New Year’s?”
“Oh yeah!” Vani’s eyes widened. “At least I’ve been kissed. I guess that’s something.”
“My point is that you should ask her out. She totally wants you,” Terry said patiently as they reached his locker. He tossed off his jacket and grabbed his laptop bag, slinging it over his shoulder and continuing on to his next class.
Vani kept following. “Really, you think? But I thought she was all into Lee.”
“Lee’s a loser. And Cassie’s perfect for you. She’s short, she likes Indian food and I’m pretty sure she’s seen all the Spiderman movies.”
“Yeah, ok!” Vani literally skipped along the hall.
“But I guess you can’t go out with her because of the whole honour thing right?” Terry asked with a sly grin.
“Well ‘cause she went out with Jojo and Lee and they’re your friends, right?”
“Fuck them! Jojo’s a turd and Lee doesn’t care about shit like honour.”
“So then go for it,” said Terry as he stopped in front of his classroom. “Ok, I gotta go. Good luck, man.”
“Thanks, Terry! You’re the best friend ever!” Vani actually tried to move in for a hug but Terry jumped back into his class and shook his head in exasperation.
“What the hell was that?” asked Morgan who coincidentally shared three classes with Terry this semester.
“Vani’s so weird,” Terry laughed. “I was giving him girl advice but between the two of us I think that kid might actually be a little gay.” He half whispered the last word to show he was joking, and to show he wasn’t into that sort of thing but also hoping he wasn’t coming across as super homophobic. You always had to tread lightly with hockey dudes, ‘cause some of them were serious cavemen and others were cool. Terry was pretty sure Nick Morgan was cool but you could never be too careful.
Maybe Morgan could be Terry’s new wingman. They could go to bars and pick up and he could be Terry’s new ‘talk about chicks’ friend. Not that Terry needed help picking up but it was more fun to have someone to hang out with while scoping out chicks. He was about to ask Morgan what he was doing this weekend when he realized how stupid this idea was. The only reason he needed a new wingman was because he wasn’t really hanging out with Andrew anymore and the only reason he didn’t hang out with Andrew was because Cerise didn’t like him and the only reason he needed a wingman was because he wasn’t with Cerise anymore! If he wanted to cruise for chicks he just needed to call Andrew!
But Terry didn’t really want to call Andrew. Andrew kind of was a dick. Screw Cerise for being right. She was always right. And she always knew it. And she was so self-righteous about it, about everything. She could never just be chill. Everything was always so intense with her. Terry was better off without her. Morgan would be his new wingman and he would hook up with a new chick!
Hook up with Cavity, maybe call her Cassie if hooking up with her, what is hooking up exactly? Ask her out? Ask to make out? Be an ass like Lee? Be a simpering loser like Jojo?
What the fuck?! As Vani approached Cavity’s locker he saw her standing there talking to Jojo. Wasn’t she done with Jojo? Maybe they were just talking because they had to discuss potty training for one of her stuffed animals or something. Yeah, maybe they were just friends now. Kissing friends. Full on making out friends. God damn it! Were they back together or something? How did these fucking things keep happening without Vani knowing about them?! He couldn’t keep up with the universe and he couldn’t even get one girl to go out with him!
“Khaaaaaaaan!” Vani yelled at the top of his lungs.
Cavity and Jojo turned to stare at him along with a bunch of others.
“Carry on,” he said bitterly and then walked off.
They would anyway. Everyone would always carry on without him. No one ever told him anything.