Oh god, seriously? As much as she had welcomed a blast from the past in the form of Andrew Lester, nothing could have horrified Shauna more than seeing the Glue Sniffers again.
Her first week at the bookstore had gone as well as could be expected but today as she waited outside the bus stop, Wendy and her two cohorts walked up to her, looking as beat down as ever.
“Well, well, well,” said the rasta one, still wearing that rasta hat.
“What do we have here?” snickered the emo looking one.
“If it isn’t little miss Porta-potty,” laughed Wendy.
What was she supposed to do? She could go back inside the bookstore but then they’d know where she worked. Maybe they already knew. Maybe they’d been watching her all year, just waiting to pounce.
The bus arrived and Shauna got on it, confident that they wouldn’t do anything in a public place. Her confidence proved to be misplaced since they got on the bus as well and sat across from her, making lewd gestures and calling her names. The other people on the bus ignored everything.
“I just saw Cerise’s stalker get on a bus with those glue sniffers from high school,” said Vani as he wiped down a table in the bakery.
“Yeah, so?” asked Terry.
“So remember my party last year? She had a fight with the lesbian glue sniffer?”
“Maybe they’re getting back together.”
“Good,” said Terry. “Maybe it’ll get her to leave Cerise alone.”
“I dunno, I think those glue sniffers are a bad influence. Porta-potty chick doesn’t look like she hangs out in porta-potties anymore. But those glue sniffers still do. I’m concerned.”
Terry laughed. “Really?”
“Well no, but it’s been a slow news day,” shrugged Vani.
“You broke up with Mike?” asked Janice in horror. “Why, what’d he do?”
“He slept with you!” Karine said, handing a patron her ice-cream cone.
“What? No he didn’t!”
The patron licked her cone and paid and then lingered for a while, no doubt listening to their salacious conversation.
“Wait, did he?” Janice wondered. “I don’t remember anything. Was I high? What did he say?”
“I’m just kidding Janice, I know you didn’t sleep with him.”
The patron walked outside looking disappointed.
“Ok, but I can now, right? Now that you’ve broken up? Or was that a joke too?”
“No, it’s real. I texted him last night. I’m just not into it.”
“You broke up by text? Hah! That hilarious. Ok, I’ll be his shoulder to cry on. What’s his number again?” she asked, taking out her phone.
“Oh don’t bother, he’s no good,” Karine shrugged.
“Anyone can learn in the hands of Janice the great!” Janice paused. “But you know, I’ve seen that a couple times. Where like a totally hot guy ends up being shitty in bed.”
“Yeah, and I’m wondering if it goes both ways,” Karine shrugged.
“What do you mean?”
“Like what if a guy you think is a total nerd is actually a good lover.”
“Oh yeah, it can happen… wait, which one of those dorks are you into?!”
“I’m not into any of them. I’m just theorizing,” Karine insisted.
“Oh my god, it’s not the fat one is it? He has baby dick! It’s not the short one. Is it the robot dude? It’s the one with the hair, isn’t it?”
“It’s no one!”
“Hilarious!” Janice cackled.
A soccer mom and her kids came in and Karine served them, hoping Janice would drop it but once they were gone she was back on the subject.
“That guy totally has an afro, a white guy afro. A jewfro! He’s like a skinny Jonah Hill or Seth Rogen.”
“Those guys are funny.”
“But so not hot.”
“You’d so fuck either one of them!”
“Yeah, but only ‘cause they’re famous,” said Janice. “Everyone thinks I’m some big slut who’ll fuck anything that moves but they couldn’t be more wrong. I have standards, Karine. I don’t just sleep with any old loser. I sleep with guys like Mike. Athletes, musicians….”
“Drug dealers,” Karine snarked.
“I’ve actually never slept with a drug dealer. I’ve slept with guys who were carrying. ‘Cause they were way hot. Anyway I wouldn’t sleep with that Jewfro guy. He’s a total loser.”
“You don’t even know him.”
Janice smirked at Karine. “Hilarious.”
“I’m not even into him!” Karine insisted.
“Ok, so you’ll hang out with the guys, but you won’t fuck them?!”
Janice looked at Karine, all amusement gone from her face. “I hang out with you and I hang out with Terry. And Cassie’s ok and even those band guys Cerise hangs out with. The guitarist anyway. But no, I don’t really hang out with those nerds. I have standards, Karine. And so should you.”
“Have you always been this much of a snob?” Karine asked in surprise.
“Hey, I don’t judge. Everyone can do whatever they want. So you do what you gotta do. But you gotta live with the consequences too.”
“Meaning if that’s the league you wanna run in, fine. But just be aware that you would be stepping down a peg. That’s all I’m saying. Who you fuck determines who you will fuck. I don’t fuck Willy baby-dick
Watts in the hopes of getting with Terry next. No, I sleep with Mike in the hopes of getting Terry next. That’s how it works.”
Karine was stunned silent. It was kind of a good point.
The dressing rooms at John Abbott were co-ed so Cerise had long ago gotten used to changing in front of boys but somehow it was different with the guys from Parisses Squares. Whenever they had a hotel room she locked herself away in the bathroom to make her transformation into rock star girl. That’s why the transformation wasn’t so dramatic on days when they didn’t have hotel rooms, but had to change in the van. She’d usually change in the bathroom of whatever bar they were playing or wait ‘till the guys were out of the van to change. Sometimes she’d just perform in whatever she’d been wearing that day.
She felt silly being so private about it, after all she’d gotten pretty close to her band mates and they were basically like brothers. She honestly didn’t care if they saw her in her bra but she couldn’t forget what Terry had said about Jeff being into her. She didn’t want to encourage his affections, if indeed such affections existed, which they probably didn’t.
Then again, maybe they did. Maybe all the guys were sort of into her. When she emerged from the bathroom that day she searched their motel room high and low and couldn’t find her shoes anywhere. Finally she found them under the bed and had to get down on her hands and knees to fetch them. She was struggling to reach them when she heard the boys snickering and turned her head to see them all staring at her polka-dotted undies clad ass, which was on full display thanks to her short skirt.
“You guys are such pervs!” she yelled, throwing the shoes in their direction.
They all laughed and tossed the shoes back at her and she was annoyed and embarrassed but also a little bit flattered. Maybe they would have snuck a peak at any girl and it had nothing to do with her in particular but if they went to the trouble of hiding her shoes then they must have thought her worth checking out.
Funny how she could get a guy as cute as Terry and still feel insecure about her looks. But everyday as she dabbed on her lip gloss she wondered if she should be wearing more makeup. Was she ugly without it? Was her skin too pale? Too freckled? Her hair too drab? Her tummy too fat?
Speaking of Terry, she was really starting to miss him. At first it had been fun to be on the road and she almost felt bad because she didn’t miss home more but now the homesickness was really starting to sink in. She missed her bed and her kitchen and the gang but most of all she missed Terry. They spoke every day but it just wasn’t the same as being with him. She longed to feel his warm embrace, his hands on her skin, his tongue on her… ok, she was totally getting horny now and that was way awkward. Come to think of it, didn’t boys masturbate every day? When and where were they doing it? One time Lloyd had managed to hook up with a groupie of sorts but what about the others? Were they doing it when they showered? Had they done it in the van? How gross. Though she had to admit to herself that she would totally hook up with Terry in the van if that was a possibility.
The laptop was still on so she quickly logged on and wrote him a quick love note and then closed the computer. On to the show!
Terry’s phone buzzed in his pocket. He smiled as he read Cerise’s email. She was so cute. Her emails had gotten progressively more sentimental as time went by. He was glad to know she missed him as much as he missed her.
Terry sputtered as a bucketful of sand was dumped on his lap, much of it flying into his face. “Fuck!” he yelled.
Goddammit. Terry stood up and brushed the sand off his clothes. He knew he should go discipline her but he just didn’t have the energy right now. And the moms in the park were glaring at him, whispering to each other, probably about how he’d cursed in front of a bunch of kids. A minute ago they’d all been watching him lustfully and he’d been trying to decide which one to come on to and what kind of lessons a MILF might teach him. Well, fuck all those bitches. They were probably all stretched out and saggy anyway.
God, he was hard up.
Jay drove Cassie home and then went back to the bakery only to find the gang was dispersing for the night.
“Hey, Jay, feel like giving me a lift?” asked Karine.
At first Jay was annoyed because he’d just driven in that direction! Like Karine couldn’t have asked for a lift ten minutes earlier?! But then he realized the implications of this request. Karine had never, ever asked him for a lift before. She wanted to be alone with him!
Two weeks with a job was pretty awesome. Shauna still wasn’t that great with the cash register; she’d figured out how it worked but was pretty slow with transactions. But she’d figured out the inventory system and was even adding to it, putting in little annotations like Cerise had been doing before she’d gone.
She didn’t like interacting with customers and whenever Trista was around she left that to her but every so often she had no choice. She was really bad at remembering where stuff was and especially bad with the French customers. Her French was totally shitty and she knew it.
But she was good at helping Ms. Simon in the back room, with the sorting and stacking and counting. She helped her pack away old stuff and unpack new stuff. That part was even kind of fun. And Ms. Simon said she was doing a good job! It was completely amazing.
To celebrate she told her mom she was working late and went out for a drink at
Clyde’s. There were a few guys looking at her in the bar and she considered hooking up with them but decided not to. What was the point? Life was too good right now to be doing stupid stuff.
“And that’s why I feel, if I were to take over the world through the power of my kung-fu I’d probably have to take a few kung-fu lessons first. ‘Cause I mean, if those movies have taught me anything, it’s that if your kung-fu’s just no damn good then your kung-fu’s just no damn good.”
Jay knew he was rambling but it felt weird to be driving in silence. Besides, Karine was totally giggling at his antics, which was awesome.
“I’ll keep that in mind next time I think about taking over the world through the power of kung-fu,” she said.
“Your kung-fu’s just no damn good, Karine. It’s just no damn good!”
“I’ll show you who’s no damn good! Hiya!” She karate chopped him on the shoulder and he laughed, trying not to swerve the car.
Shit. They were at her place. That had been the fastest drive in the history of forever. “Once again it becomes clear that my kung-fu is just no damn good,” he sighed, turning to look at her.
“Oh well, you can’t win ‘em all,” she said, undoing her seatbelt.
“Or in my case, any.”
“Gimme a break, you’re not that much of a loser.”
“Oh yeah?” he asked.
“Well I hear good things about you from Cassie.”
“Oh yeah?” he said with surprise.
“I broke up with Mike,” she announced, totally just sitting in the car and not making any moves to get out.
“Oh?” he said, his voice squeaking a little. He coughed to get it under control. “That’s cool. I mean that’s too bad.”
“No, you were right the first time. Mike was a dip-wad.”
Jay laughed and Karine smiled. Fuck, she was gorgeous.
Shauna walked home smoking a cigarette and sort of knew someone was following her but didn’t want to be all presumptuous and turn around. What if they weren’t following her but were just going in the same direction and she was being a total tool? But what if they were following her? What if it was Andrew Lester and he totally wanted to be her boyfriend because she had a job now and was like a normal person?
She crossed the street randomly and turned her head as she went, trying to be casual about it. Oh shit. It was them.
Should he kiss her? Should he do anything? What the fuck was he supposed to do?!
“Well thanks for the lift,” Karine smiled, still making no motions to leave the car.
“My pleasure,” he said weakly.
“I bet,” she grinned flirtatiously. Jay was almost certain she was flirting with him! “So exactly how good are things going with you and Cassie?”
“Um, Uh, I uh… s’good. I mean, not really that good. Just sort of… I mean… if you… I mean, if I… uh…” he stammered.
“Yeah, that’s what I figured,” she smiled. “See you later, Jay.”
She hopped out of the car and he watched her skip into her house. What the fuck?! Had he totally missed his chance? Should he have kissed her or asked her out or something? Maybe he had to break up with Cassie first. But what if Karine was just teasing him, like she’d done at grad last year? What if it was all a joke? Should he let go of Cassie just for the possibility of hooking up with Karine? Yeah, probably.
Shauna tried not to panic but before she could even think Wendy and her glue sniffing friends were upon her.
“Hey,” said rasta dude.
Shauna ignored him and quickened her pace.
“Hey,” he grabbed her arm. “No need to be rude. We just wanna make friends.”
She exhaled smoke into his face but he didn’t even flinch. He just smiled and pulled on her arm. She walked with them as they headed to the water. Oh shit, were they gonna push her in? Maybe she should be friendly with them. Maybe she should try to come on to the guys. Her newfound hooking-up skills shouldn’t go to waste.
The grass was slightly damp as they walked across the park near the shore. Shauna worried that her fancy work shoes would get ruined. The park was deserted but this was still a public space. There were streetlamps everywhere. It wasn’t dark enough for them to try anything, was it? They stopped at a bench overlooking the lake. It was under a tree and there were a lot of bugs swirling around.
“So you gonna try something?” Shauna asked, trying to sound brave.
“What do you want me to try?” rasta guy chuckled.
She wrenched her arm free and faced them. All three of them grinned at her and Wendy was drinking from a bottle of Vodka.
“Want some?” Wendy asked, holing up the bottle.
“No.” Shauna knew better.
If she tried to walk away they’d just grab her or something. Maybe hit her over the head with the bottle. So she stepped towards rasta guy. He stood his ground. She grabbed his head with her hands and planted a kiss on his mouth. Wendy and emo guy burst into laughter and rasta guy pushed her away.
“Whoa, you totally just kissed that skank!” emo guy laughed.
Rasta guy seemed stunned for a moment but then his fist came out of nowhere and impacted Shauna’s stomach. She doubled over and fell to the wet grass. They all laughed and called her names as they kicked her a few more times. Wendy poured vodka over her until emo guy chastised her for wasting it. She said it wouldn’t be a waste once they lit her on fire but emo guy’s reason prevailed and he told Wendy to stop being such a fucking cunt. She got pissed at him and they argued while Shauna crawled away.