“God, what’s with the depresso club?” asked Cassie, joining the boys at their table with Vani in tow.
“They’re mourning the loss of Cerise,” explained Karl, who appeared to be the only sober one among the three. “Or rather Tom is mourning her loss and Willy is mourning the fact that he’ll never have her to lose.”
“Understandable,” said Vani, drinking what was left of Willy’s beer. “Cerise is pretty cute.”
“Pretty cute?” asked Willy.
“She’s hot!” said Tom.
“Let’s not start this again,” groaned Karl, sounding more amused than annoyed, which was a nice change from his usual gruffness.
“Well she is,” said Willy.
“Yeah,” nodded Vani. “She’s taller than me though.”
“So? Do you care about that?” asked Cassie. “Like you won’t go out with a girl who’s taller than you?”
“I’ll go out with any girl who’ll have me. She can be a freakin’ Amazon for all I care.”
Cassie laughed, which seemed to please Vani.
“Cerise was like an Amazon,” said Tom. “Not like particularly tall or anything but like from that Xena show, you know? She was like the sidekick on that show.”
“How so?” asked Cassie.
“’Cause she’s hot!” slurred Willy.
“No, I mean more like ‘cause she’s like forceful or something.”
“Kinda dominating, eh? I can dig that,” nodded Vani.
“But she didn’t wear animal skins or anything,” said Tom.
“Unfortunately,” said Willy in a rather sleazy way.
“Hey, that’s my girlfriend you’re talking about!”
“Shut up!” Tom whimpered, slumping down onto the table.
His hair flopped into a puddle of beer and Vani shooed Cassie’s hand away as she tried to warn Tom.
“Just let it be, Cavicassie. Let’s let this play out as it will,” Vani smiled.
Now what? Shauna walked down the street, her feet slopping through the slush. It probably hadn’t been the best idea to choose to leave today, when the weather was so foul. It was sort of snow-raining or rain-snowing but either way it was gross and cold and wet. She wasn’t sure where she was going and just walked aimlessly.
There was that stupid overpass next to BHS. Fuck you, fucking high school. She walked over the overpass and felt the wind rip through her coat. She walked down the other side and soon found herself at Cerise’s house.
Of course she would come here. She was so predictable. She and Cerise hadn’t been friends in about a zillion years yet she still came here for what… comfort? That bitch didn’t want anything to do with her.
Shauna leaned against her tree, the one across from Cerise’s house, the one she always stood behind when stalking Cerise. She dropped her garbage bag onto the snowy sidewalk and slumped down onto it. It did nothing to keep her butt from getting wet.
Was it Cerise’s imagination or had Karine been reluctant to go to Cunningham’s? Cerise couldn’t blame her, bars were always boring but Janice had insisted they join the others after rehearsal. She’d predictably run off to make out with some guys and Karine had joined Peter but she didn’t look like she wanted to stick around.
Cerise knew she should join her friends but she just wanted to go home and get to bed. God, she was such a loser. It was only 10pm! She should force herself to have fun, join in the festivities, or whatever the hell the guys were doing. Oh hell, Tom was with them. It would just be awkward.
She asked Peter and Karine for a lift as they left the bar and Peter said yes even though he looked a bit bugged by the request. The ride home was a sort of weird, like there was an odd tension between Karine and Peter. Cerise wondered if they were annoyed with her for asking for a lift. Driving to Karine’s house from John Abbott was quick and easy but Cerise’s house was slightly out of the way. Was it completely uncool of her to be so presumptuous as to ask for a ride? Or maybe they wanted to be alone so they could be all coupley and Cerise was ruining it. She was such a loser.
Peter pulled up to Cerise’s house and she jumped out, saying goodbye as cheerily as possible and that she’d see them tomorrow. Both Peter and Karine returned the sentiment neutrally. Cerise seriously couldn’t tell if they were pissed at her or annoyed with each other or what. So awkward.
She walked up to her house and turned to wave to them as they drove off. Holy shit! Was that Shauna?! It totally was! She was just sitting there in the snow across the street, staring at Cerise. Was she crying? Oh my god!
Cerise fumbled with her keys and rushed inside, pulling off her boots as quickly as she could and running upstairs.
“You could have been a little nicer to Cerise,” said Karine.
“Me? You’re the one being all ice-queen,” said Peter bitterly. He always sounded bitter lately.
“Whatever,” replied Karine as he pulled up to her house.
She leaned over to give him a kiss and he took hold of her hand. “Aren’t you gonna invite me in?”
“I should really get some sleep, Pete. We have rehearsal tomorrow.”
“We have rehearsal every day, Karine. What does that matter?”
She was honestly the worst girlfriend ever. Peter was a perfectly nice guy, why didn’t she like him more? She acquiesced and soon enough they were having sex in her bedroom. And it was fine. She didn’t think about the Asshole anymore when she had sex, or at least not really. Not in a scary way. More in an intellectual way, like comparing Peter to him, like how Peter was nice and gentle and maybe kind of boring but at least not rough or anything. Terry would be nice too, he’d be gentle and… goddammit! She had to stop thinking about Terry all the time, that stupid Cherry obsessed jerk!
“How come we got the wide load?” asked Vani as he and Cassie dragged a semi-conscious Willy out of the bar.
It was seriously dumb that they had to carry the big guy since they were both tiny! But Karl was busy supporting Tom, who was almost as drunk as Willy. They only got half way to Karl’s car when they lost their grip and Willy went tumbling down to the snow below. They couldn’t help but burst into fits of laughter. Willy mumbled something or other and Tom kept ranting about how Cerise hated him. She’d come in to Cunningham’s with Karine and Janice and then left like literally two seconds later. Tom assumed it was because she was avoiding him but Willy supposed it was because she was a total bitch cow. Willy was seriously an ass. How come Cassie always ended up hanging out with such lame guys? Maybe all guys were lame. Maybe she should break up with Jonah again. Maybe she should give Vani a chance. He was sweet in his own way, even though he was also extremely weird.
As if on cue, Vani picked up a wet snowball and rubbed it into Willy’s face, then cackled like a hyena and accused him of crying for his mommy when Willy protested. Vani was kind of a jerk, wasn’t he? Cassie supposed Jonah wasn’t so bad after all.
Oh god. What if Shauna was still out there? What if she was going to stay out there all night? So creepy! Or was it? Maybe Shauna was just tired and cold. Maybe Cerise should have invited her into the house and given her hot chocolate or something. Cerise couldn’t help thinking of what Terry would say. He’d be all freaked out and accuse Shauna of being a crazed stalker. But she wasn’t dangerous. She was just lonely.
With great trepidation, Cerise peeked out of her bedroom window, careful to keep the light off so Shauna wouldn’t see inside the house. But Shauna wasn’t there anymore. Cerise opened the curtains wider and looked up and down the street. No sign of her. She must have given up and gone home. Poor Shauna. Cerise was so mean to her. Everyone was.
Karine tried to text as quietly as possible so as not to wake Peter. Finally she crept out of bed and slunk out of the room. A moment later Terry was at the door and she let him in before he could ring the bell.
“Sorry to come by so late,” he said as he came in and kicked off his slushy shoes. “Is that Peter’s car out there? I can go,” he said, making no motions to leave.
“No, it’s fine. What’s up?”
They walked to the den, where she was pretty sure they could talk without sound travelling upstairs.
“I’m at my dad’s this week but I didn’t feel like being there. It feels weird there without Britt.”
Oh right, his sister and step-mom had moved out recently.
“I’m used to reading her a bedtime story. It’s not the same over Skype. I guess I should visit on the weekend. But I’ve got a game.”
“But anyway, I wanted to talk to you about something.”
“What’d Cerise do this time?”
“I did something.”
“You talked to her?”
“No. That’s the thing. We haven’t been together in like four months and yet I still feel guilty.”
“I hooked up with a chick.”
Karine tried not to react. There was no reason for her to be jealous. Terry slept with girls all the time; it was his thing. And she had a boyfriend who was sleeping in her bed right now. There was certainly no reason whatsoever to be annoyed by this news.
“It was like a month ago I guess. But I’m still dwelling on it. I feel like I cheated on Cerise.”
“Who was the girl?”
“Some chick I met downtown. Nick and I, you know from hockey?”
“Yes, I know who Nick is.”
“We went to
once, that place
downtown? And I hooked up with this
office chick. She was like in her
“You slept with an old lady?” Karine smirked.
Terry gave her a wry look. “But seriously, I feel all weird about it.”
“You have nothing to feel guilty about.” She chose not to mention that she completely understood his irrational emotions since she herself was rather irrationally affected by this turn of events.
“Yeah I guess. So what should I do to get over it?”
“Think about the fact that Cerise is the one who cheated on you!”
“Hello?! She went out with Tom like two days after you guys broke up and popped her cherry all over him!”
Terry remained stone-faced but his cheeks were turning red. “Well it’s not like I had a patent on her virginity.”
“Well I’m just saying.”
“I don’t even care about all that!” Terry exclaimed. “Who cares about the past? I still love her and I want her back.”
He looked so sad, so dejected. For about the millionth time Karine wondered why Cerise had such a hold over him and how she could get herself some of that strange elixir.
“You wanna stay over?” she asked, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder.
“Nah, I should go. Peter’s here and everything.”
“Hey don’t worry about that,” said Peter.
Karine whirled around to find him standing in the doorway. How long had he been there? Had she said anything incriminating? No, she didn’t think so. Unless being entirely too sympathetic to Terry’s stupid problems was incriminating.
“I should go,” said Terry, getting up.
“No, stay!” said Peter sarcastically. “I’ll go ‘cause Karine obviously cares a lot more about you than she does about me.”
“Pete, get over it. We’re just friends, ok?” Karine replied with exasperation.
“Gimme a break, Karine! He’s obviously more! You spend every waking moment with him. You’re always with him at school, you go out with him all the time, he’s always here!”
“Chill, dude,” advised Terry. “There’s nothing going on with Karine and me. We’re just good friends. Have been since Sec 1.”
“Don’t insult my intelligence.”
“Dude, seriously. I don’t even think of Karine like that.”
Once again Karine tried not to react.
“I only care about one chick,” Terry went on. “Everyone knows I’m way into Cerise. That’s why I’m here. I was crying on Karine’s shoulder. That’s all I ever do with her.”
“Well that’s true,” said Karine while rolling her eyes.
“Yeah well,” Peter sputtered, still looking annoyed.
“Anyway, I gotta go,” Terry shrugged, walking past Peter towards the front hall.
Karine and Peter watched as he put on his coat and shoes.
“Well drive safely,” Karine advised awkwardly. “It looks pretty gross out there.”
Terry nodded and left. Peter stared at Karine and then went back upstairs. She considered making an excuse and sleeping on the couch but after a beat she followed him. No excuse was necessary as he seemed to be getting dressed.
“You’re leaving?” she asked.
“I don’t care what you guys say. It’s fucking obvious as hell that you’re into him.”
“Oh come on!”
“Karine, if you can’t admit it to me at least admit it to yourself.”
“Ok, thanks Oprah.”
“Whatever,” Peter grumbled, pushing past Karine to leave.
So did this mean they were broken up?