“I never knew that Cerise had a stalker,” admitted Karine, wondering what else she’d missed out on in high school. She’d always assumed that she’d been tapped into everything going on at BHS but apparently that wasn’t the case at all. She’d known about Porta-potty chick but hadn’t realized she was obsessed with Cerise. It was totally insane! Another person unreasonably interested in Cherry the goddamned Raspberry? Why?
“Why Cerise?” asked Janice, totally saying what Karine was thinking. “I mean why would anyone stalk her in particular? Did she do something to this Porta-potty chick?”
Sarah and Cassie considered the question as they all stood in Casgrain, overlooking the pool. There were a few hot guys swimming in Speedos and Janice was all over it, even though hot guy in Speedo was a contradiction in terms.
“I dunno,” shrugged Cassie. “Apparently this chick is way off her meds. She’s a total crazy, kooky, crazy person. Who knows why crazy people do the crazy shit they crazy do?”
“Cerise was friends with her back in the day, before they came to BHS,” explained Sarah. “And I guess when she started to get all weird Cerise decided she didn’t want to be friends with her anymore and that’s probably what set her off.”
“Oh shit, yeah, this sounds familiar now,” Karine nodded. “I remember Terry saying something about that, or maybe Cerise saying it. How like Cerise actually came to BHS to get away from that girl ‘cause she was like, totally insane.”
“She really was,” said Sarah. “One time I talked to her, like I was gonna sell her a ticket to the school play or whatever and she was so seriously bizarre I was almost like, scared. Poor Cerise, having to put up with that.”
“Weird,” began Cassie.
“Oh shit, I remember!” Sarah went on. “Remember when we made that petition to ban square-dancing at grad?”
Karine nodded. “It was like a petition so we wouldn’t have to square-dance at grad,” she explained to Janice and Cassie who nodded in understanding.
“I asked her to sign the petition and she was like, ‘I’m not allowed to be involved in stuff that has to do with Cerise’ and I was like, ok, whatever.”
“Not allowed?” asked Cassie. “Like restraining order not allowed?”
“Cerise didn’t even know she was being stalked, she wouldn’t get a restraining order,” shrugged Sarah.
“Maybe crazy chick like recognized her own craziness and self-imposed a restraining order.”
“Guess it didn’t work,” said Sarah.
“So crazy,” sighed Karine.
“Seriously,” agreed Janice. “A self-aware stalker. An attraction to porta-potties. You can’t make this shit up. Is it weird that all this makes me like Cerise more?”
They all stared at Janice and finally Karine spoke. “Yes Janice. Yes, it’s very weird.”
Cerise was exhausted. She’d only been at school for half a day and yet all she wanted to do was sleep. She considered skipping evening rehearsal but knew that she couldn’t let down the gang. That still left her an hour to kill so she went to the Munch Box for dinner where she ran into Terry, who admitted he’d been waiting for her.
“I just wanna make sure you’re ok,” he said.
“I’m fine, but thanks for your concern,” she smiled.
“Do you need a lift home or something?”
“I’ve got rehearsal.”
“I could wait.”
“Oh, you don’t have to.” She instantly regretted having said this. If he did drive her home they’d finally have a chance to talk and maybe figure everything out.
“Ok well, just be careful. I’ll see you around.”
She considered going after him but then Sarah was in front of her expressing equal amounts of concern.
“Yeah, it’s been pretty weird. So much shit going on this year, eh?” said Cerise. “I mean not just this Shauna shit, but everything. Me and Terry, me and Tom. Hell, you and Jay. It’s all nuts, eh?”
“Yeah, it’s been crazy,” Sarah agreed.
“I can’t wait for this year to be over.”
“It’s only March.”
“I mean the school year,” said Cerise. “We only have a couple months left. Nothing else weird can happen, right?”
“I actually find it’s passed really quickly, don’t you?”
“Yeah, it has and yet so much has happened. I just don’t want any more surprises, you know?”
“Yeah, totally.” Sarah nodded. “Ok well, I gotta go. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Cerise said bye to Sarah and watched her rush off. That had been kind of weird. Sarah had seemed oddly perturbed during that exchange, almost panicked. What was her deal? Was she, like Terry simply concerned for Cerise’s wellbeing? Perhaps concerned that Shauna was actually dangerous? Wow, it was pretty cool to have friends who cared so much.
“We have to break up,” announced Sarah over the phone.
Even though Jay was alone in his bedroom he still lowered his voice, not wanting anyone to know about their clandestine relationship. Then again he was pretty sure his parents had the brain power to figure out he was dating the girl who came over all the time. He asked Sarah if she was breaking up with him.
“God, Jay, it’s not like we’re even together. I mean officially. A secret relationship isn’t like a real one.”
“Feels pretty real to me,” he said, glad Sarah was on the phone and incapable of seeing him at this moment. He was playing with his dick as they spoke, aware that it wasn’t appropriate during a conversation of this nature but also knowing that he had to get his jerking-off in when he could, before anyone else got home. Not that he’d never done it when his parents were home but he didn’t have a lock on his door so he always felt slightly paranoid about doing it when they were. He always had to do it with a blanket covering him when they were home, which was so annoying ‘cause it just wasn’t the same and why the fuck didn’t he have a lock on his door, anyway? Amy totally did. What total bullshit. Was it because she was a girl or because she was older that she got everything she wanted and he got shit?
“Are you ok?”
“Uh, yeah,” he stammered, realizing that he had no idea what Sarah had been saying for the past minute.
“So then you agree?”
“Agree with what?” he asked tentatively.
“God, Jay, come on! You know I care about you, but fuck! I can’t like, live a lie, you know? It’s just too much work. Sneaking around and everything and it’s just like, with Cerise and her stalker and stuff…”
“What does Cerise have to do with anything?”
“God! Why do you have to be so ignorant all the time?”
“Huh?” What the hell was she talking about?
“Look, I just don’t want to have to keep lying to everyone. I wanna be able to tell my friends who my boyfriend is. And not be all paranoid that they’ll find out.”
“Well why don’t we tell them? I mean not the guys but we can tell the girls. I bet they’d find it fun to keep a secret with us, you know to keep the guys in the dark. It can be a whole thing.”
Sarah made a loud noise of exasperation and said something cryptic about this situation affecting the girls too.
“What do you mean?”
“Whatever, Jay, it’s just over, ok?”
He didn’t know how to respond.
“Ok?” Sarah repeated.
“Ok, I guess.”
“Ok, I’ll see you tomorrow. Try to be normal, ok?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean like act natural. You’ve been in a good mood lately but if you show up being all depresso-boy then everyone will notice and start taking a poll about the reasons for your depression and shit.”
“Has Vani been taking polls about me?”
“Vani takes polls on the colour of everyone’s fucking socks, Jay, you know that!”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“Ok, so fuck, just be normal, ok?”
Sarah made another exasperated noise and said goodbye, then hung up. Well, that was that then.
Shauna made no motions to get out of the car so her mother had to open the door for her and drag her out. She wanted to do anything in the world but enter that house again but found her feet stepping towards it and before she knew it she was inside.
Everything was exactly the same. It was so depressing. The TV was still there, hanging on the wall in the spotless den. Her room was untouched. All the pointless pictures of kittens still hung on the walls. Her desk held her laptop, closed and lonely. Her bed was made and looked impeccable. There was no dust on anything. Shauna wondered if her mother came in every day to clean but realized the cleaning lady would do that. Her mother told her to rest and that dinner would be ready soon. They’d be getting take-out since Shauna had disrupted her mother’s day.
She’d been forced to throw out everything she’d salvaged in the garbage bag because her mother thought it was dirty and moldy. She said they’d go shopping and get all new things. Nothing could have been more depressing.
Shauna lay down on the bed and tried to sleep but she couldn’t. She thought about taking a bath and scratching her legs but she couldn’t get up. Eventually her mother came back and brought her downstairs, physically sitting her at the dinner table. They were having Chinese.
“Your hair looks retarded,” said Malcolm under his breath. Shauna chose not to respond.
“You can reapply to John Abbott for next year,” said her father, chewing his chow-mein.
“Pick up right where you left off,” smiled her mother.
Her father was stern-faced. “You won’t go out anymore unless it’s for school.”
Shauna helped herself to some food. It had been so long since she’d had a good meal. Neither she nor Stan had cooked and all they’d ever eaten was Kraft Dinner and hot dogs.
“Where were you all that time anyway?” asked Malcolm. “Living on the streets?”
“I’d like to know the answer to that question,” said their father.
“I was staying with friends.”
“Like you have friends,” scoffed Malcolm.
“I made some,” said Shauna, trying not to raise her voice.
“You won’t be associating with them any longer,” said her father.
“We have to let her have friends!” whined her mother.
“She will not associate with anyone I haven’t met!” her father boomed.
“You don’t have to worry about that,” Shauna said. “I’m never gonna see them again.”
Terry was watching TV and eating cookies when his dad walked in, but what was weirder is that his mom was with him. He almost thought he should rub his eyes, like in a cartoon ‘cause the sight of his parents together was too weird to be believed.
“Mom, what are you doing here?” he asked, sitting up straight and brushing the crumbs off his shirt.
Louise sat next to him and John sat in a chair next to the sofa. Terry paused his show and turned off the TV, figuring they were about to have a big deal conversation.
“Your father and I need to talk to you,” his mother began.
“About what?” asked Terry.
“John,” Louise prompted.
“Well, ahem,” his dad cleared his throat awkwardly but then remained silent.
“Terry found those photos,” Louise prompted again.
“Yes, well,” John went on. “I was married to a woman named Bridget Thompson before I married your mother.”
“Ok,” said Terry.
His dad squirmed and his mother sighed. “Terry, we wanted to tell you this together. Because…”
She paused too and Terry got impatient. “What the hell is going on? You guys are freaking me out.”
“Bridget, I married her in ’93. She left in ’95.
Terry was born in 1994 so that meant… “You had me when you were still married to her?”
“So like, she’s my real mom?”
“I’m your mother!” Louise exclaimed. “She just gave birth to you.”
“So she was like a surrogate?” Terry asked sarcastically. “Or you like had an affair with dad when he was married, when his wife was pregnant? And then you like, stole me or what?”
“She left,” explained Louise. “She didn’t want…”
“She didn’t want me?” Terry asked quietly.
Both John and Louise squirmed.
“I’m sure she loved you,” Louise whispered, tears forming in her eyes. “But… well, I was taking care of you and…”
“I don’t get it. If she was my mom how come you were taking care of me?”
John sighed and laid it out. “Bridget left when she found out about your mother, about Louise. Yes, I was having an affair with her, yes, when my wife was pregnant. I tried to leave Louise, to make it work with Bridget when she had the baby, had you.”
Louise made a strangled noise, which distracted John, but he went on to explain that this Bridget woman had been young and wasn’t really fit to be a parent so Louise had to step in and take care of Terry when he’d been a baby. So Louise came in all acting like a nanny and when Bridget found out the truth about the affair she flipped out and took off.
“So she just left? Where did she go?” asked Terry, trying not to flip out himself.
“I don’t know,” his dad admitted. “I had my lawyer send the divorce papers to her parents’ place in
I never tried to find out where she ended up.” Westmount
Terry couldn’t contain his disgust with his father. He stared at him with pure hatred and Louise reached out and touched his arm.
“Terry, I’m so sorry we never told you,” she cried.
“Get off me,” he said, shaking her hand away.
“Don’t speak that way to your mother,” John grumbled.
“Shut the fuck up! She’s not even my mother! This Bridget Thompson person is my mother and you completely fucked her over! You both did!”
“Terrence! Calm down,” John boomed, trying to maintain control but clearly agitated.
“Jesus fucking Christ, you can’t act like this is no big deal! Mom, all this time, always bitching about Vicky, like she fucking stole dad away or some shit, when you’re just as bad. You’re worse. At least Vicky had her own kid. You fucking stole another woman’s baby!”
Louise was full on crying now. John handed her a box of Kleenex and she blew her nose loudly. “I loved you from the moment I set eyes on you! She couldn’t take care of you!”
“How the fuck do you know that? You didn’t even give her a chance! Did you?” Terry demanded. “How old was I when she left?”
Louise kept crying and John gazed off into the middle distance.
“Well?” Terry shouted.
“About a year old,” John shrugged.
“Seven months,” Louise sputtered.
“I can’t believe you two. You fucking deserve each other, you know that?” Terry stood up and loomed over them. “You’ve been lying to me my whole life. You guys are such fucking assholes!”
John stood up and tried to look intimidating. “Terrence Nathan Trebichavsky, you will not…”
“No! You will not, dad! Just because my real mom left is no reason to lie to me my whole life. Why not just tell me the truth?! Why not just tell me that mom, I mean, that this fucking woman is your second wife? Why not just tell me that I had another mom? I mean seriously, why not just fucking tell me?!”
“We always meant to tell you,” Louise whimpered. “We were going to wait until you were older.”
“I’m fucking eighteen! Were you gonna wait ‘till I was thirty? ‘Till I was married and had kids of my own?
“It just never seemed like the right time.” Louise blew her nose again. “And when we got divorced, well it just seemed so much harder and we didn’t want to hurt you.”
“Well too fucking late,” said Terry bitterly, walking past his parents towards the front door of this stupidly large house in Timberley.
His mom tried to intercept him as he went and kept calling his name but his dad didn’t do shit. Typical.