“Now I think I have a really good plan for how to get into the base,” explained Vani. “It’s called the Justin Bieber plan.”
Karl prodded him to go on.
“Yeah, it involves the most hideous music ever to be created by a twelve-year-old kid. We say there’s a Justin Bieber concert and everyone will go to the concert and the masses will be lulled into brainlessness by his music and that’s when we strike.”
Willy said that it was the most retarded plan he’d ever heard but Jay didn’t even have the energy to make fun of Vani. Why did they keep going through this crap day after day? Did he even enjoy gaming anymore? He was certainly getting tired of having the guys hang out in his basement all the time, always having to be the one to clean up after everyone. How come they could never hang out at anyone else’s house? Because Vani’s mother was against gaming, Willy’s house stank of cigarette smoke and no one knew if Karl even had a house. Just like with everything, the burden always fell on Jay.
“I dunno, I think it could work,” said Lee, startling Jay. He’d forgotten Lee was even there.
The doorbell rang and a few seconds later Cavity came down the stairs. By this point Vani was getting pummelled by both Lee and Willy and it was pretty hilarious but Cavity didn’t even crack a smile. She was so cool. Vani pleaded for her help but she just put her hands on her hips and smirked in irritation.
“Cavity, help me!”
“Don’t call me Cavity anymore.”
“Name deleted from the data brain,” said Vani, struggling to extract himself from under Willy’s giant ass.
“I want you guys to lay off of Jonah.”
Willy let Vani up so he could stand and stroke his chin as though considering the rather unreasonable demand. “I don’t think that’s gonna work for us.”
“God, seriously! You guys were hyper mean to him and that’s like, way not cool.”
Was she only getting this now? Being assholes was this entire group’s reason for being. Ruining lives, preventing guys from being with girls, all they did was shit all over everything. At least Cavity had options. Why did she even care how they treated Jojo? She could just hang out with her other friends. Jay had no one else.
“Listen, sweetheart,” burped Willy. “We hate Jojo. So no go.”
“Do you think you’re cool? I know about all the shit you guys did to him in high school. Do you think that makes you cool, that you dump all over other people? You guys are complete losers, why the fuck don’t you get over yourselves?”
“He drives us to it,” said Willy with reason.
“Oh yeah, like how?”
“Just in the way he continually persists in existing. Like at us.”
“He flutters, he floats,” Vani elaborated. “He comes at you with his claw-like hands…”
“Cassie, you’re absolutely right,” admitted Karl. “We are asses. But that’s simply who we are. We can change for no man, or woman.”
“No matter how hot she is,” leered Willy.
Cavity looked grossed out.
“It’s simply the way of the universe. Jojo tasks us and we shall have him,” said Vani.
“In the sense of not having him anywhere near us,” finished Karl.
“Can you at least try not to be so mean to his face? I mean if you want to be jerks behind his back I guess you’re not hurting anyone. But try to be a little two-faced, ok? You know, like normal people.”
Karl rolled his eyes so dramatically they practically popped out of his head and Vani asked Cassie to do something for them in return. Willy broke in to demand she break up with Jojo’s sorry ass. Lee was just about to add his two cents when she cut him off.
“You know what, Lee? How ‘bout you just shut the fuck up? Don’t talk about things you know nothing about!”
She was loud. Like embarrassingly so. For sure Jay’s entire family had heard. Lee was stunned silent for once in his life. They all stared at Cavity and she threw off her coat and suggested they play the game. They kept staring. Was she seriously trying to be friends with them again, two seconds after yelling her head off? She sat down and asked Karl where her character was. After a moment he gathered his wits and told her that they were approaching a Goa’uld base and that Vani had a plan.
“It’s called, wait for it… the Justin Bieber plan!”
Cerise came running across the stage and bumped into Karine.
“I’m very glad I happened to be in the way,” said Karine.
“Bread and butter, bread and butter,” muttered Cerise.
“Am I addressing the White Queen?”
“Well yes, if you call that a-dressing. It isn’t my notion of the thing at all.”
“If your Majesty will only tell me the right way to begin, I’ll do it as well as I can.”
“They’re good,” said Tom.
Cassie agreed. She and Tom were sitting in the theatre watching as the principle players rehearsed. As much as Cassie sometimes found Karine to be a bit of a snob, she had to admit she was well cast. She was totally believable as Alice. Cerise was good too but wasn’t quite as into it as Karine.
“So how you holding up?” Cassie whispered, as though she didn’t know.
“I hate everything,” confirmed Tom. He’d been dressing super goth lately.
“Look at her,” he went on. “She’s perfect. She’s so pretty and she’s smart and funny and she likes all the same stuff I do and she didn’t think my band was the most stupid thing ever.”
“Yeah,” nodded Cassie. She’d never had the heart to admit that she didn’t get Tom’s band or their music. As far as she could tell they weren’t any good at all but Cerise always laughed at their lyrics and insisted it was all done ironically.
“She thought it was cool. We were gonna write songs together. I guess that’ll never happen now.”
“But Cerise still wants to be your friend, doesn’t she? You guys can still write songs together.”
“So I’m supposed to just hang out with her and pretend she didn’t rip my heart out and stomp all over it with huge platform heels?”
“Um, Cerise wears flats.”
Terry stood up straight, looked Karine right in the eye and didn’t front. He didn’t try any of his standard smouldering looks or any other bullshit. He didn’t even seem to care that there were tons of other people around, walking through the halls, occasionally glancing their way. He just went for it.
“Ok here’s the thing. Um, I really like you. You know that. I never wanted to break up. Not that I’m blaming you or anything. In fact, I think you were right about some things. I wasn’t considering your feelings about stuff… Um, I’m willing to put aside all our old issues and just start over. The smoking thing, it’s finished. I quit. And we can discuss the Andrew thing. I mean maybe if you explain to me why you don’t like him… and why you’re so insane… ugh! This sucks!”
Karine giggled but then apologized and told him to try again.
“I can’t think of what to say. I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing.”
“Me neither,” smirked Karine.
“Why do I even practice on you? You’re never any help,” he said bitterly.
“Ok then.” She flipped her hair and started to walk away. She was so incredibly tired of this Cerise crap.
He went after her but she advised for the millionth time that he wait for Cerise to make the next move.
“Terry, I have classes, ok? I can’t listen to you whine about Cerise all the time.”
Oh shit, he looked really hurt. She apologized and he insisted it was ok but then walked away looking dejected, which somehow made him look even hotter. Damn him!
Evening rehearsal that night started with the whole troupe but after about half an hour everyone except the Alices and the Kings and Queens were dismissed. Peter let Karine know he’d be at Cunningham’s and she kissed him goodbye, knowing full well she probably wouldn’t join him when she was done.
“So what’s up with you and Peter?” asked Janice.
“What do you mean?”
“You’re obviously not that into him. He says you guys haven’t fucked in like, weeks.”
“He told you that?”
“King and Queen of Hearts!” announced Hugh, saying he’d start with Laura’s cast.
Janice and Karine retreated to the wings.
“Well?” Janice prompted in a whisper.
“Yeah, I guess I’m not that into him,” Karine admitted.
“So break up with him.”
“You should go to an orgy.”
“What?” asked Karine a little too loudly, which prompted Hugh to demand silence from the wings.
Janice lowered her voice further. “You need to try on different sizes before you know what fits. Sleep with a lot of people. Guys and girls.”
“Ok, whatever, Janice.”
“Seriously. I can hook you up.”
Janice was a freak but she had a point. Maybe Karine needed to get back out there and see a variety of people. Being with Peter wasn’t helping her get over Terry and Terry wasn’t helping her get over anything.
Would Willy ever bang a chick? He was seventeen-years-old and still a virgin. It was pretty embarrassing. Karl had fucked a chick, Jay had fucked a chick and even Jojo had fucked a chick. And she was a quality chick too. There she was sitting at a table with that goth guy Cerise had dated.
Willy, Karl and Vani strode up to the table and took seats as Cavity greeted them warmly. True to her word she hadn’t brought her stupid little midget boyfriend but this goth dude wasn’t much better. Even he’d had sex. With Cerise! How did a loser like that get laid while Willy couldn’t even get a chick to make out with him? He seriously needed to ditch his friends and find a new crew. Yeah right.
“Where’s Jay?” asked Cavity.
“Being a loser,” replied Willy.
“That guy’s always depressed lately,” Vani shook his head. “He said he didn’t wanna come out tonight.”
They all started debating whether or not Jay was seriously depressed or just a loser and if it was maybe their fault for breaking him up with Sarah, who could do way better than Jay anyway. Willy was glad Jay hadn’t come along tonight. He was objectively speaking not entirely unattractive, if you were into stupid hair, and Willy really didn’t need the competition. He was thinking maybe tonight could be his chance. He’d just have to talk to a chick. And then he could pretend to be interested in whatever the fuck she was talking about and then he could bang her.
“So who wants to dance?” asked Cavity as she stood up.
Willy wanted to say yes. He wanted more than anything to be able to go on to the dance floor and bust out some sweet moves but being possessed of a functional brain he knew he couldn’t. Convincing a chick to be into him would only be sabotaged if she saw him attempting to move in anything resembling a rhythmic manner. Best just to sit at the table and drink a beer.
Vani, being utterly without shame leapt up at the chance and was soon wiggling all over the place with Cavity laughing her ass off like it was totally hilarious. Was she laughing at him or with him? Willy was never really sure how self-aware Vani was. Did he actually think he was cool or did he just not care? He looked like an idiot but in a funny way and he seemed to get that he was the butt of the joke, which kind of made him not the butt. He never seemed to betray any self-consciousness. Was it delusion or confidence? Did it matter? At least he was still a virgin too. As long as Willy fucked a chick before Vani did then everything would be ok.
Karl sighed. “Why are we here?”
“Because we do what hot chicks tell us to do,” explained Willy.
“I tire of this charade,” Karl sighed, making no moves to leave.
“Hot chicks suck!” burst out the goth guy, Tom or whatever.
“I suppose that statement could be construed as accurate,” Karl shrugged.
“Yeah, right on,” nodded Willy. “Chicks suck. I need more beer.”
Had Janice seriously invited Karine to an orgy? Cerise sat in the wings, watching her classmates on stage, waiting for her turn and noticing that Karine and Janice never invited her to join in on their conversations. Although Cerise supposed that was her own fault. She wasn’t very proactive in fostering friendships. If she wanted people to hang out with her she supposed she’d have to hang out with them. Make the first move and all that. But shouldn’t it be easier? Why did Karine have to make it so hard? Were they friends or not? They hung out all the time but there was always a weirdness there. Maybe they just weren’t on the same level. It was easier for Cerise to hang out with the guys, probably because they were geeky and Cerise could follow their conversations but Karine always seemed somehow superior, like she was living a life far beyond Cerise’s scope. And Janice was even worse. Did she actually go to group sex parties? For real? Was that an actual thing?
The previous weekend a bunch of them had gotten together and gone to see Project X, that movie about a party gone wrong. Cerise had wanted to see the Artist but she’d been overruled. In retrospect she’d wished she’d just gone to see the Artist alone, ‘cause Project X had been horrible. It was plotless and pointless and mostly involved a lot of topless girls jumping around. She felt like a prude but the whole thing had made Cerise really uncomfortable, which was only accentuated by the fact that everyone else seemed to think it was hilarious. Everyone in the movie was doing drugs and having sex like it was no big deal and maybe that’s exactly what real life was like. Maybe Cerise was seriously weird because she didn’t do those things. Janice talked about sex and drugs all the time. She’d done ecstasy and even cocaine! And everyone smoked pot and drank alcohol. Cerise didn’t do any of that stuff and to top it off she was probably the only virgin left in the whole school.
She should probably just get over herself and join the debauchery. Everyone else seemed to be having fun, why not her? She stood up and meandered over to where Karine and Janice were sitting. They weren’t talking anymore, just watching the stage.
“You guys going to Cunningham’s after this?” Cerise whispered, hoping they couldn’t tell how nervous she felt; not even knowing why she was so nervous since these were her friends after all, weren’t they?
“I guess,” Karine shrugged.
“Everyone’s there,” Janice nodded. “Even the geeks.”
“You mean Jay and them?”
“No, Karl and Willy and Vani. Jay’s depressed apparently,” said Janice.
How the hell did she know all that? Cerise’s confusion must have been apparent on her face because Janice held out her iphone and explained that Cassie had been texting her all night.
“Oh, right,” Cerise nodded, remembering once again that she seriously needed to get a cell phone if she was going to join the real world.
“Why is Jay depressed?” asked Karine.
“’Cause Sarah dumped him or whatever,” shrugged Janice.
“I feel so bad for them,” said Cerise, glad the conversation had shifted to a topic she was knowledgeable about. “I think they were really into each other.”
“Whatever, they weren’t well suited,” said Karine.
“Sarah’s like totally hot, she could get any guy,” said Janice. “Why would she want to be with Jay?”
Cerise asked what was wrong with Jay and perhaps she’d sounded a bit defensive because Karine gave her a knowing smirk.
“He’s fine I guess. He could be cute if he got a haircut but he’s kind of a sad sack and apparently not so great in bed.”
“What? How do you know?”
“Apparently Janice knows about everyone’s sexual habits. She regularly takes polls,” said Karine with a roll of her eyes.
“You joke, but I kind of do,” confirmed Janice. “I mean I just ask. I asked Sarah how it was and she admitted it kinda sucked. But it was his first time, you can’t expect much. He’ll probably get better over time. I mean if any other girl ever takes pity on him.”
Karine and Janice giggled and covered their faces with their sweaters to muffle their voices.
“What do you think, Cerise? Will any other girl ever take pity on Jay?” Karine asked sweetly.
Cerise rolled her eyes and remained quiet. She really did feel bad for Jay and Sarah. Maybe they were well matched and maybe they weren’t but it was their business to find out, not anyone else’s.
Jay exhaled and flopped down next to Sarah, wiping his brow. Who knew sex was so exhausting? Or at least it was for him. Sarah seemed fine. She lay there like a freshly picked flower while he was basically drenched in sweat. But that’s ‘cause he’d done all the work! Now that he and Sarah were secretly dating they’d been fooling around a lot. It’s like the clandestine nature of their relationship made them extra horny and Sarah made it pretty clear that he’d need to learn some techniques. He was getting pretty good at the thrusting action if he did say so himself.
If only he could brag about this to Willy and Vani. They’d be so jealous!