As soon as Terry and Cerise walked into Vicky’s apartment
ran up to Terry, grabbed hold of his leg and started wailing like a banshee. Brittany
“What’s up, Britt?” he asked.
“Mommy won’t let me have a Elmo!”
Vicky rolled her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose in frustration. “She’s been impossible all day. I made the mistake of bringing her shopping. She saw some stupid Elmo doll and now she won’t shut up about it. Made a huge scene right in the middle of Walmart.”
“Elmo?” asked Terry in surprise. “I thought she was all about Dora the Explorer these days.”
“Me too. But now it’s Elmo I guess. Although if you ask me she just picked it at random because she wanted something, anything. I can’t even go to the gas station anymore without her screaming for a toy.”
Vicky was right.
was in a phase where she always wanted something. All the super nanny shows said she was testing boundaries, testing authority but fuck, it was so exhausting having to deal with it on a daily basis. Terry was strong enough to deny her all her stupid requests but he knew Vicky usually gave in rather than risk a tantrum, especially in public. He was surprised and impressed that she’d apparently managed to resist today. Brittany
off of his leg and watched as Cerise bent down to talk to her. Before she was able to say even one word Britt freaked out and smacked her in the face and then ran away screaming. Cerise cradled her nose and then stood up, looking at Terry in anger. Well fuck, what did she expect? Brittany always hit Cerise, shouldn’t she have learned by now? Brittany
“Shit, sorry, Cerise,” he said with a sigh. “Want some ice or something?”
“I’m so sorry, Cerise,” Vicky said in a strained voice. “She just acts out sometimes. Maybe she misses her father.”
Terry snorted in derision. “How can you miss something you never really knew?”
“Then she misses the structure! I don’t know!” Vicky snapped. She started crying and collapsed onto the couch.
Cerise’s eyes widened and she looked around, obviously embarrassed to be witnessing this. For Terry it was just same old same. He sat next to Vicky as she wailed about how this was all her fault. He told her it was ok, it wasn’t her fault, all three-year-olds were like this, though he wasn’t sure that was true. As if on cue, Britt ran in screaming and kicked Cerise in the shin.
“Ow!” Cerise yelped, jumping back and looking at Britt incredulously.
Terry stood up and grabbed his little sister, unceremoniously hauling her to her room and sitting her in the corner, holding her still as he explained this was a time-out. She screamed and squirmed and he kept repeating that this was a time-out, and that she had to apologize to Cerise. He knew the time-out had to last three minutes because of her age but he also knew that he’d have to hold on to Britt like this for at least fifteen before she’d calm down. And getting her to actually apologize to Cerise would take at least half an hour if not longer. He wasn’t sure he had the patience for it and wondered if Cerise did. Would she just stand in the living room the whole time, waiting for him? Would she leave? He almost wished she would.
Shauna told her mother she’d joined a study group, having gotten the idea from that show Community. In reality she’d decided to use her Friday evenings to go out drinking. She walked into Cunningham’s and went to the bar, ordering herself a beer. A few minutes later that harem pants girl, Leanne came up to her excitedly.
“Hey! Shauna, right?”
“Me and my friends are over there. Wanna join us?”
Shauna looked over to where Leanne had indicated though she wasn’t sure which table was hers. Was it the two girls or the group of frat boys? The girls, she hoped. Although even then it might be a trap. This might all be a setup for another porta-potty incident. But Leanne seemed nice enough so Shauna nodded and followed her, sitting at the table with the two girls.
Leanne introduced her as Shauna, the girl she’d been telling them about. She wondered what she’d said or done that could possibly have been of interest. The girls were Brenda and Kim. Brenda was very pretty with long hair and lots of makeup. Kim had a cool style, with short hair and boy clothes. From far you might even think she was a boy, except for her boobs.
Cerise wasn’t sure what to do. Terry was off dealing with Britt and Vicky was still crying on the couch. Was she supposed to talk to her, sit with her? God, this was agony. Before she could decide, Vicky stood up and went to the bathroom, leaving Cerise alone. She walked into Terry’s room and sat on the bed, taking out her script to keep memorizing her audition monologue. It was hard to concentrate with all the wailing in the background but eventually the noise died down and a while later Terry came in with Britt.
Refusing to make eye contact, the kid angrily apologized for hitting Cerise.
“Like you mean it, Britt,” Terry instructed.
“Sowwy!” Britt said between gritted teeth.
“It’s ok,” said Cerise, not sure how she was meant to respond.
Terry sighed. “Ok, go play.”
Britt ran off and Terry collapsed on the bed, lying down and closing his eyes. He reached out a hand and pulled at Cerise. She lay down with him, nestling into the crook of his arm.
“You ok?” she asked.
“I mean, ‘cause like, if all of this is too much…”
“Why should it be too much?” he asked in irritation. “Plenty of people have it worse off than me. Like foster kids or single mothers working two jobs. I have it pretty sweet by comparison. I can’t complain.”
“Well still, it’s a lot of shit. You’re only eighteen.”
“I can handle it,” he assured her.
She wondered if she should just drop it but instead she suggested that it might not be the worst idea to move back home.
“This is my home, Cerise.”
“So you’re never gonna go back to your parents?”
“Even if I wanted to, which I don’t, what would happen to Vicky and Britt? They need me.”
That statement annoyed Cerise more than she would have thought. Was it jealousy she was feeling? Resentment? She didn’t want to be that girl, the girl who wanted her boyfriend to have no life beyond his girlfriend. But it just bugged her the way he acted like he was Vicky’s husband and Britt’s father. She wanted to tell him how she felt about it but didn’t want to risk his ire. She knew he wouldn’t abandon them, so why even make it an issue? She should just be supportive and help him in any way she could. So she kept cuddling him and read her script as she lay in his arms. Pretty soon he was asleep and she wondered why she’d come all the way out here if he wasn’t even going to hang out with her.
“That chick is such a fucking cunt!” growled Brenda.
“You mean she has such a fuckable cunt,” said Kim.
Leanne, Brenda and Kim all cracked up and Shauna stared at them, clutching her beer.
“But seriously, she’s a fucking bitch!” insisted Brenda.
“I know, but she’s so hot,” giggled Kim.
“So you’d like hook up with a girl you didn’t even like?” asked Leanne.
“I’m not saying I’d date her but I’d do her,” shrugged Kim.
“You sound like a guy,” said Brenda with a roll of her eyes.
“Oh please, don’t give me that shit.”
They went on like that as Shauna wondered how to make a graceful exit. These girls were obviously lesbians and she’d somehow been dragged into their lesbian support group or something. How was she supposed to get out? Would they attack her if she tried to leave? What if there was some sort of dyke equivalent of a porta-potty prank? She sat there for a while longer and then finally stood up. She tried to think of something to say but couldn’t and just turned around and rushed outside.
She looked across the street, wondering where the closest bus stop was but then Leanne was standing next to her. “You ok?” she asked in concern.
Shauna nodded and tried to walk away but Leanne walked with her. “You seem upset.”
“I’m fine,” said Shauna, not sure if she should keep walking or what.
“Is it because we’re lesbians?”
Shauna shook her head and kept walking.
“Hey, slow down. I’m sorry if I misread things. I thought you were out. I mean I thought you were… one of us.”
Shauna stopped and turned around to look at Leanne. Why would someone think that of her? She’d had a boyfriend; she’d slept with tons of random guys. Why would she set off someone’s gaydar? It wasn’t fair. She didn’t want to be a dyke! She wasn’t one!
“Come on back in, Shauna,” said Leanne with a reassuring voice. “Just have a drink with us. We can be cool, you’ll see.” She smiled brightly.
Shauna did like Leanne. Not in a gay way, just in a friend way. She was the first person who’d spoken to Shauna since she came to JAC and she was likely to be the last. It’s not like she had a lot of options when it came to friends. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to hang out with lesbians. It’s not like it was catching, right?
As if she could read minds, Leanne assured Shauna that they weren’t contagious and that she wasn’t trying to recruit her. Shauna smiled and nodded.
“Awesome!” chirped Leanne. “We’re gonna need a fourth if we’re gonna be the lesbian version of Sex and the City!” Shauna froze and Leanne laughed. “I’m just kidding! Come on!” she grabbed Shauna’s wrist and dragged her back inside.
The auditions had gone exactly as expected. Karine had completely rocked it and Hugh and Fred had pretty much told her straight out that she’d be Maria. Still, she had to act surprised when she saw her posting on the cast sheet. She made a note of everyone else’s roles so that when they congratulated her she could return the sentiment.
“Oh, you fucking bitch, I knew you’d be Maria,” laughed Janice.
“You’re the Baroness!”
“Yeah, that’s pretty cool,” nodded Janice. “I can to be all bitchy and shit.”
“I hope you’re up to the challenge,” snarked Karine.
“I’m Gretl?” said Cassie incredulously. “But she has to sing.”
Karine was equally surprised but said nothing.
“That’s awesome!” squealed Cerise. “We’re sisters!”
“You’re Liesl! That’s so cool!”
“Who are you, Tom?” asked Cassie.
“That’s awesome!” said Cerise.
“Yeah, we’re brother and sister, my dream come true,” he smirked.
“Who am I double cast with?” Karine wondered aloud and saw that it was Nadine. Wow, that was totally undeserved. Sure, Nadine was a good singer but apart from that she sucked. She could barely act and was totally fat. Why were Fred and Hugh giving her this chance? Her cast was gonna reek.
“Oh my god, I’m so glad we’re in the same cast!” squealed Janice, hugging Karine.
“We all are, thank god,” said Cassie with a smile.
“I know, it’ll be so much fun!” said Cerise as she clapped her hands.
“So the band’s getting together for some rehearsal this weekend,” Tom said to Cerise. “Jeff’s become hyper motivated about the whole thing and he’s been like, trying to get us booked in more places around St-Anne’s.”
“That’s cool,” replied Cerise.
“Yeah, so can you come over on Saturday?”
“Sure, it’ll be cool to get back with it. It’ll be a shit load of shit once we get heavy in rehearsals for the play though, eh?”
“Yeah, I know.”
“Who’s my Captain Von Trapp?” asked Nadine as she surveyed the list.
That was an excellent question and Karine consulted the cast sheet once Nadine and her fat ass were done with it. “Brady?” she asked aloud. “Who the fuck is Brady?”
“I am,” replied a boy.
He was cute. And tall. “Are you first-year?” she asked.
“You know it’s rare for first-years to get leads.”
“Yeah, I heard.”
“You must be a good singer.”
He shrugged and smiled a cocksure smile. He sort of reminded Karine of Terry. He had brown hair and eyes and was way less built but that confident smirk was totally Terry. He definitely had possibilities.