Terry’s hands were completely healed now. Cerise lay on his bed in his little pink room and closed her eyes as he stroked her naked back. She knew it was totally irresponsible but they’d skipped class that afternoon so they could celebrate her birthday alone, while Vicky was at work and Britt was at daycare.
“So how does it feel to be eighteen?” he asked.
“Dunno. Same I guess.”
“If you were anyone else I’d suggest we go get drunk, but I guess not eh?”
“Yeah, no thanks,” she giggled.
“So um, was it ok?”
They’d just made love and it was better this time since they were more relaxed.
“Yeah, wasn’t it for you?”
“Yeah but, I mean, you didn’t come.”
She didn’t really know what to say and was glad that she was lying on her stomach so he couldn’t see her face as her cheeks flushed.
“I mean, I know it’s rare for girls to have like, vaginal orgasms or whatever,” he went on. “But like apparently it’s possible. There’s this website where there’s this sex column written by this doctor, she’s not a medical doctor but like a physicist or something, anyway, she’s like way into kinky sex and shit and she says it’s totally possible even though other people say all orgasms are clitorial. But like apparently the clit can be touched like from the inside too.”
Cerise appreciated that Terry was comfortable talking about this stuff, ‘cause if you were gonna do it then surely you should be able to talk about it but maybe that meant Cerise shouldn’t really be doing it ‘cause this was kind of weird.
“Are you ok?” he asked.
She turned over and pulled the sheets up to cover herself. “I guess I just don’t know about this stuff. And it’s weird for a guy to be telling me about how my body should work.”
“I’m not saying how it should work!” Terry insisted. “I’m just saying maybe we should try different stuff until we figure out what does work.”
“Ok,” she said shyly, turning away so he couldn’t see her embarrassment.
He responded by kissing the back of her neck and caressing her skin and soon enough they were making love again.
Being with Cerise in this way was bliss. He felt so powerless, so reduced by her presence. In these moments she’d be able to get him to do anything. And he didn’t mind this at all. He trusted her, he loved her. All the wanted was to make her happy. That was the only way he could be happy – to know she had everything she wanted. God, he was such a loser! All the guys on the team would crucify him if they knew he was so pussy-whipped. But now he understood why Steven and Peter had always been such pushovers with Karine. As long as they were getting laid they didn’t care what she did or how she acted. And they were right. Guys like Townsend and Robertson, who were too proud to let girls run the show, they were missing out and they didn’t even know it. They were the real losers!
He went down on her to make sure she was satisfied and when she went to the bathroom he took all her presents out of the closet and placed them on the bed. She came back and squealed when she saw them. God, she was so cute.
Before even opening them she gave Terry a huge hug. Great, now he was turned on again. He forced himself to let her go so she could sit and unwrap the presents. She opened the small one first: a smart phone. He wanted to get her an iphone but settled for a cheaper model.
“Oh my god, seriously?” she asked, incredulous. “But this is so expensive.”
“The phone wasn’t expensive. It’s the plan that’s expensive. I got the cheapest one but I’m not sure how long I can keep paying it.”
“Oh my god, Terry, I don’t expect you to pay for my phone plan!”
“Can you afford it though?”
“As long as I get a job in the summer I’m sure it’ll be fine.”
She thanked him and they hugged and kissed and he was ready to get down again but she remembered the other gift and playfully pushed him away so she could open it. She was completely quiet as she unfolded the dress and held it up in front of her. She seemed shocked. In a good way or bad, Terry wasn’t sure.
“Do you um, like it?” he asked tentatively.
“Terry! It’s so beautiful! Did you pick it out?”
“Mostly. Karine and Sarah helped a bit.”
“But it’s too nice. Where would I wear it? It’s just too much, Terry.” Even as she said this she stood up and pulled the dress over her head. She looked amazing in it. “Is there a mirror somewhere?”
He led her into Vicky’s room where the closet was mirrored. She twirled around and clasped her hands in delight. “Oh my god, it’s so pretty!”
“You’re pretty. The dress just shows that off.”
She ran back to his room and sat on the bed, mentioning again that she had nowhere to wear such a dress.
“You can wear it on Friday. I’m gonna take you to dinner,” he smiled.
It would have been cool to take her out on her actual birthday but this year it fell on a Tuesday. It would be way more fun to have the party on Friday. Cerise squealed in delight and made sure to take off the dress so it wouldn’t get ruined before they made love again.
Cerise was super excited! It seemed like the week was going by soooo slowly now that she had something to look forward to. On Friday she rushed home to get ready, pleased by the prospect of getting another opportunity to wear her prom heels. She even put on some makeup; just a little mascara and lip gloss. Turns out it wasn’t that complicated to put her look together because she ended up sitting around for an hour in her fancy outfit as she waited for Terry to come pick her up. Simone eventually accosted her with a curling iron and did her hair but she still had plenty of time to wait so she played with her new phone, which was completely awesome.
She couldn’t believe she’d waited this long to get one. How she’d ever lived without it was a complete mystery. She checked her email, her facebook and her twitter and then finally started texting Terry. He assured her he’d be there soon and then said he couldn’t text because he was driving.
He was wearing a navy suit and looked as dapper as Don Draper or something. He even had a fedora on, which he promised not to wear in the restaurant, knowing it made him look douchy. Cerise actually preferred Terry in regular clothes but a suit made for a fun change.
To Cerise’s great relief the restaurant wasn’t crazy fancy. It was just
. Baton Rouge
“I was gonna take you to one of those hip places downtown like Queue de Cheval or something but I kinda blew my budget on the phone,” Terry explained as they sat down.
“No, this is way better. You know I’m more of a diner type person anyway,” Cerise smiled.
“I know,” Terry beamed.
“I’m totally getting a burger and fries,” Cerise giggled as she put aside the menu. “Although those pommes chaude are pretty good too.”
“You can get both, it’s your birthday!”
Cerise giggled again. “You’re too generous!”
“Speaking of generous, after dinner let’s swing by Karine’s place. ‘Cause I have another gift for you that I forgot there.”
“Why’d you leave it at Karine’s?” asked Cerise as she sipped her water.
“’Cause Sarah and Karine helped me pick it out. Anyway it’ll just take a second.”
“But seriously Terry, you’re being too generous. Just the phone alone was too much. I don’t need yet another gift. And you can’t be wasting money right now.”
“My parents feel so guilty they’ll totally give me more money if I ask for it.”
“Yeah but still, I don’t need another gift.”
“But I already got it. I’m not about to throw it out.”
“Yeah but you can just give it to me tomorrow. Let’s not rush out of here.”
“Oh, no rush. I’m just saying let’s not forget.”
They enjoyed their meal and after they were done Cerise suggested they go to a movie but Terry once again insisted they go to Karine’s.
“No offense but I don’t really wanna see Karine,” said Cerise as she climbed into Terry’s car. “I mean I want today to be about just us.”
“Oh, well, but… your gift,” said Terry, seemingly crushed.
“Seriously, you can give it to me tomorrow, or after the movie,” she replied, placing a hand on his knee as he pulled on his seatbelt.
Terry said nothing but he looked mildly panicked. What was up with that?
“Are you ok?” she asked tentatively.
“Yeah, I just really wanted you to have your last gift.”
“God, ok, fine, we’ll go to Karine’s if you’re gonna be so weird about it.”
“Now you’re pissed,” he said sadly.
She was sort of annoyed, because seriously, how bullshit was it to go visit with another girl during her special date with her boyfriend? But the gift was clearly important so she forced herself to stay calm. “No, I’m not. But promise we’ll just stay there for a second. Just to get the gift ok? Then we’ll go?”
“Yeah, for sure,” he nodded.
“Ok, let’s go.”
He seemed extremely relieved. Too relieved. So when they got to Karine’s and she saw that there were several cars parked outside she put two and two together. But she didn’t spoil it for him. When they walked in the door and a bunch of people screamed ‘surprise’ she laughed with delight and acted like she’d had no idea.
Terry went into a huge rant about how worried he’d been that she wouldn’t come to Karine’s and that she wouldn’t like the party even if she did come. Everyone laughed and Cerise was a bit embarrassed, especially once Terry revealed that they’d almost gotten into a fight about it.
“Oh, Terry and Cerise fighting? So what else is new?” joked Karine. “I mean should we start taking bets on how long they’ll last this time?”
“Oh, you’re interested? ‘Cause that pool’s already going,” said Vani matter-of-factly.
Cerise laughed along with everyone else but that comment actually hurt her feelings. Did her friends seriously make bets about her love life? It was justified for her to be offended, right? Not that they didn’t have a point; she and Terry did have a rocky relationship history, but still.
She didn’t let herself get worked up about it, realizing how much effort her friends had gone to. They’d even made it a fancy dress party, with everyone looking like they were heading to a second prom. In fact, Cerise’s dress was probably the most casual of the girls’ outfits, which was good ‘cause she’d be able to wear the dress again but also somewhat annoying. It was her birthday; shouldn’t she be the star of the show?
It always had to be all about Cerise, didn’t it? Karine tried not to be jealous. She wasn’t jealous. She’d never be jealous of that flat-chested loser. No, that was mean; Cerise wasn’t a loser, she was just disproportionately fortunate in the boyfriend lottery. But she was totally flat-chested. Karine was so much hotter, which was way obvious. All the guys were checking her out. She’d gotten a new dress for the occasion and it was the opposite of her sickening pink Barbie prom dress. It was short and black and sequined and sexy and she looked so hot she just knew all the guys were losing their minds.
This was yet another classic Karine party, with not just her friends and her friends’ friends but even people she didn’t know. She probably still wouldn’t know them by the end of the night, but they’d know her. She was such a legend, all the girls here were probably totally jealous of her.
Karine sighed as she watched Terry dancing with his Cherry angel. Oh god, there was Jay attempting to slow dance with Cassie, who was too nice to tell him he looked like an idiot. He was obviously wearing his dad’s suit or something ‘cause it was way too big for him. What a loser for being too cheap to rent something that fit. Hell, every guy should own a suit at this age. What if they had to go to a funeral or something? Probably none of these people had ever had to go to a funeral. She was the only one who’d ever experienced any real loss in her life. The only one who’d ever gone through any kind of tragedy. Life was so easy for most of these assholes. Where the hell was Janice with her party favours?
“Why are you being all depresso-boy?” Vani asked Tom. “Shouldn’t you be over Cerise by now? It’s been ages.”
“Shouldn’t you be over Terry?” Tom shot back.
“True love never dies,” Vani replied smugly.
Willy burped loudly in Vani’s face. Heheh, that would teach him.
“Why do I keep hanging out with you people?” Tom asked.
“Search me,” shrugged Willy. “I wish you woulda disappeared years ago. I mean fuck, you look like a Tim Burton movie in that retarded tux.”
“Careful, Willy,” advised Karl. “You can be replaced at any moment and Tom is a hell of a lot less annoying than you, even though the Tim Burton comparison is accurate and his fixation with Cerise grows more tiresome by the minute.”
“You’re right,” said Tom, straightening himself. “I should just hook up with some other chick. I always sort of felt like Cassie and I hit it off.”
“Oooh, I agree to that plan!” said Vani excitedly, tugging at his tie. “Teach Jay-bird a lesson!”
“Seriously,” burped Willy. “Who does he think he is, all thinking he can mack on Cavity and get away with it? Like he’s a real boy or somethin’?”
“’Tis true that Jay shames us all with his misguided courtship display,” nodded Karl. “But your own unmasked envy is equally pathetic.”
“So you don’t care that a Neanderthal is macking all over Sarah?” asked Willy with a grin.
They all turned to see Sarah talking with one of Terry’s hockey pals. The tall, dark one, Nick Mofo or whatever.
“Nick’s an ok guy, in spite of his predilections for full-contact sports” shrugged Karl with indifference. “Sarah could do worse.”
“And has,” both Vani and Willy said in unison and then laughed and high-fived.
Sometimes Nick was embarrassed to be associated with his hockey-mates, especially when they acted so stereotypically male. He knew by now that it was an act with Terry and he often wondered if that was the case with these other guys. For his own part he felt like his entire life was an act. Every waking moment was a show, always pretending to be some macho chick-magnet when in reality he felt like the biggest poseur on the planet.
But with Townsend and Robertson he was pretty sure they were genuine douche-bags. Why did he keep hanging out with them? Sarah was barely out of earshot before they started saying lewd things about her. Then they started in on Karine, as usual, talking shit about what’d they’d do to her and how much she’d love it. As if.
“That Karen chick wants it so bad. Look at her fucking dress, it’s so tight, she’s fucking begging for it.”
“Her name’s Karine. It’s French,” said Nick.
“Well ooh-la-la!” mocked Townsend. “You know what they say about French chicks!”
“No, what?” asked Nick.
“They like it up the ass.”
“No one says that about French chicks.”
“They’ll say that about Karen once I’m done with her,” snickered Townsend. “I’ll stretch her so wide you’ll be able to drive a truck through that hole.”
“You ever come in a chick’s mouth after fucking her up the ass?” asked Robertson. “I had a chick once who loved that shit. It was fucking nasty but she couldn’t get enough.”
“Yeah, right,” said Nick with a roll of his eyes. “I bet no chick has ever even seen your dick. Unless she had like a microscope with her.”
Townsend guffawed and Robertson laughed good-naturedly, punching Nick in the arm.
“Anyway, I call dibs on Karen,” said Townsend.
“You can’t call dibs on an ass that fine,” smirked Robertson. “We should gang- bang that bitch.”
“No way, man. I’m gonna like actually go out with her. She could be girlfriend material.”
“Like she’d go out with you and your stank-ass breath,” said Nick, not even bothering to disguise his contempt.
“You being serious, man?” asked Townsend, breathing into his hand. “I smell bad? You got a mint or some shit?”
“No mint in the world could cover up the scent of that much knob-gobbling,” snickered Robertson.
“Shut up, man, for real,” said Townsend in a mild panic.
“Whatever, I’m going for the Asian chick,” said Robertson.
“She’ll never go for you,” said Nick. “She’s into smart dudes.”
“Fuck you, man!” laughed Robertson.
“I think Morgan’s got his eye on the Chinese chick,” smiled Townsend.
Nick wasn’t really into Sarah but he liked her as a friend and didn’t want her getting involved with the likes of Robertson so he agreed that he had a thing going with her and that she was off-limits. Robertson shrugged indifferently and announced that he’d go find Janice. She was apparently holding tonight and would surely share her bounty if he gave her a good drilling.
Nick had done coke with Janice before and had even hooked up with her once but she was too rowdy for his taste. Even as a friend she kind of got on his nerves. He liked sex as much as the next guy but when that’s all a person talks about they get boring after a while. Terry wasn’t like that. Sure, he waved his cock around as much as anyone else but given the opportunity he could also just chill and talk about whatever. He was probably the only guy on the entire team Nick could have a real conversation with.
He watched as Townsend moved in on Karine, dancing with her, getting his meaty paws all over her. Nick wasn’t even sure why he was so bothered by this; he didn’t even really know Karine. But she was Terry’s best friend and that was reason enough to protect her from Townsend’s advances. Nick joined them on the dance floor and broke out his best moves, drawing everyone’s attention to himself. Yeah, he was a good dancer and he knew it. Chicks always loved it. Although it had gotten him called fag a few times so he had to be careful not to be too awesome about it.
“So do you like your party?” asked Terry.
“Yeah, it’s awesome!” giggled Cerise. “Oh my god, your friend Nick is such a good dancer!”
“I know, he always rocks it at parties,” nodded Terry. “But I’m not so bad myself. Check this out.”
Terry strolled out onto the dance floor and he and Nick played off each other, doing a halfway coordinated dance they’d done a couple times before. Each time they did it it seemed to grow more choreographed of its own accord. They always made sure to make funny faces and throw in a few joke moves so everyone would know they weren’t gay or anything but they also did some legitimately sweet moves too. They were kicking ass tonight and everyone was clapping along.
It was so much fun to be the center of attention, though Terry would never admit to relishing it so much. He always acted like it was no big deal whenever girls would fawn all over him after such a display. And now that he was back with Cerise that fawning was just gravy.
Everyone clapped and cheered when the dance was done. He and Nick high-fived in a jokey way and then Nick danced with Sarah and Karine at the same time while Terry swept Cerise into his arms. She laughed with delight and hugged him, telling him she’d had no idea he was such a good dancer.
“Yeah, I’m pretty awesome,” he grinned with a laugh.
She laughed along and let him take the lead on the next dance. She was such a good girlfriend and he really hoped she felt the same way about him. He really, really hoped so.
Karine turned around to see that one of Terry’s hockey friends had joined her on the balcony where she was enjoying a smoke. She smiled in response and watched as he lit a cigarette of his own.
“Yeah. Um, I wanna say Robson?”
He chuckled. “Townsend. My buddy Eric’s Robertson. I’m Mike.” He put out his hand and she shook it. “Pretty sweet party.”
“I hear you always throw crazy parties.”
“Don’t believe everything you hear.”
“I dunno, I’m inclined to believe the stuff I hear about you”
“Oh yeah, like what stuff?” she asked with a raised brow.
“That you’re amazing. I can see with my own eyes that you’re the most beautiful girl here.”
She knew she was being played; that all these hockey guys were players but it was flattering all the same and she giggled in spite of herself.
“You look stunning in that dress,” he went on. “’Course you always look amazing. I mean I’ve seen you around a couple times. Like at Cunningham’s and shit.”
“Yeah, I’ve seen you too. So how come you’ve never said hello?”
“Just shy I guess,” he shrugged and smiled.
“Yeah right, somehow you don’t seem the shy type.”
“What type do I seem?”
“I guess that remains to be seen,” she said cryptically.
“I guess so,” he replied, approaching her.
She wasn’t sure she wanted to kiss him but he was the best offer she’d gotten all night so she went ahead and allowed it to happen. He was a good kisser.
Cerise was dancing with Terry when Karine appeared singing ‘Happy Birthday’. One of Terry’s hockey friends was carrying the cake, littered with candles. Everyone sang along and the cake was held in front of Cerise.
“Make a wish!” advised Terry excitedly.
She wished that everything would always stay this perfect forever and then blew out the candles.
“Happy birthday, Cerise,” Shauna whispered into the wind as she hung her head out of her bedroom window and looked at the ground below. “Happy fucking birthday.”