“Toniiiiiggghhhht! We are young…ung…ung… So let’s set the world on fire, we can burn brighter than the suuuuuuun!”
They always had to start each gaming session with a song and lately Vani was into We Are Young. Jay liked the song too and always tried to outsing Vani. They were practically yelling by the time they got to the chorus and at first Jay didn’t notice when Cerise and Karine came in. He stopped as soon as he saw them but then he figured that’d be like admitting he was embarrassed so he just kept going, singing even more loudly, being super obnoxious about it and even jumping on the furniture. Vani followed suit and they were soon flying around the room.
Karine cracked up when the song was over. Why was she in his house?
“Well I guess this means we can’t game anymore,” sighed Karl, putting away his dice.
“I don’t mind if you guys play your little game,” smiled Karine.
“Mmm, indeed,” scoffed Karl, stuffing all his books back into his backpack.
“How come we spent all summer at the bakery instead of here?” asked Karine, sinking into a couch. “This place is way more comfortable.”
“Parental units, duh,” said Vani.
“Oh right,” nodded Karine.
“Where’s Terry?” asked Vani.
“He’s out with Nick,” explained Cerise.
Vani frowned. “Really? Well. He and Nick certainly seem very chummy these days.”
“What’s your damage against Nick?” Cerise chuckled.
“No damage! None at all!” Vani threw up his arms in exasperation.
Karl smirked and began to sing. “People let me tell you ‘bout Terry’s best friend, he’s Nick and not Vani ‘cause Vani don’t play hockey. People let me tell you ‘bout Terry’s best friend, he’s big and buff and tall and he’ll beat up all o’ y’all.”
“I acknowledge the well-doneness of that improvisational ditty while denying that I would ever be jealous of that buffoon,” scowled Vani. “I’m totally jealous!” he wailed a moment later.
“He thought he was the only man in Terry’s life,” smiled Jay as Cerise and Karine giggled.
“I thought our love was pure. But he’s betrayed me.”
Willy shook his head. “I don’t get why everybody makes gay jokes about me when Vani practically walks around with a gay stamp on his forehead.”
“Our love is not homosexual love. It’s just man love. Like in Greek times.
“Yeah, that was homosexual love,” explained Karl.
“The purest love of all,” nodded Vani.
“What about that chick?” asked Terry as he straightened up from the pool table.
Even though the last time they’d gone out they’d gone downtown and it had been awesome, this time they were more lazy and just went to a pool bar in Ste-Anne’s. Everyone here would be a student at JAC so it was a good place to find a girlfriend and not just a hook-up. Not that Nick even wanted a girlfriend. It seemed like he wasn’t into that although it also seemed like he wasn’t into just casual sex. Terry couldn’t quite figure him out. He was being super picky, having dissed every single chick Terry pointed out.
Nick shook his head and took a shot, missing it.
“What the fuck is your problem? You’re dissing everyone.”
“Guess I’m just lazy,” Nick shrugged.
“You’re gonna lazy yourself into some major blue balls if you don’t get some action soon.”
“That’s what the internet is for,” Nick smirked.
“Yeah but fuck, don’t you ever get the urge to have someone real? Fuck, I’d be freaking out if I couldn’t put it in a real pussy at least a couple times a week.”
“Yeah,” nodded Nick. “When I get desperate I’ll let you know. You can pick someone out and we’ll double stuff her.”
Terry laughed. “Double stuff like V and A or V and M?”
Nick shrugged. “Hey I’ll take any hole as long as it’s well lubed.”
Terry laughed again. “You ever done anal?” he asked, looking around to make sure no girls were listening.
“Was she into it? ‘Cause I’ve done it a couple times but never with a chick who was super into it. I know girls like that exist ‘cause the internet says so and the internet never lies, right?”
Nick laughed. “Yeah, there are people who um, prefer it.”
“Yeah,” Terry nodded. “I wanna ask Cerise but…” he shook his head. “I can’t. I mean, she’d never. It was hard enough to get her to do it the normal way.”
“Maybe she’d surprise you.”
“Yeah right. She doesn’t even drink. I’ve only done it with drunk girls.”
“That sounds suspiciously like sexual assault.”
Terry looked at Nick, not sure if he was trying to be funny or if he was seriously accusing Terry of being a date rapist.
“I’m kidding!” Nick exclaimed. “Shit, the look on your face!”
Terry forced a laugh. “But seriously, that’s not funny. I knew a guy who did that for real. Like you know, did shit to a girl without her wanting it. I’d never do that.”
“Me neither!” insisted Nick.
Terry nodded in relief and went back to their game.
“Fuck, Shauna. You’re drinking me under the table,” Leanne chuckled.
“Well at least I’m good at something,” shrugged Shauna. She adjusted her seat slightly so she wouldn’t have to look at Cerise’s boyfriend play pool across the bar with one of his big friends.
Suddenly the Glue Sniffers were hovering over their table. “Well, well, if it isn’t Porta-potty chick.”
“You know we never did give her that present from grad,” giggled Wendy.
Shauna was sure it was a terrible present. She looked up at Leanne but didn’t know what to say. What was she supposed to do? She could wait for the terrible thing or run away she supposed. Leanne stood up and stared down the Glue Sniffers, asking them what their problem was. They said she was. Leanne yelled at them to go away and they actually did. For now.
“You ok?” Leanne asked Shauna.
She couldn’t hold back the tears. It was embarrassing but she just couldn’t help it.
“Hey, it’s ok,” said Leanne as she rested her hand on Shauna’s shoulder.
“And he was all like, your experiment failed to yield significant results and I was all like, says you mother-fucker and he was all like, your methodology bites my ass and I was all like, bite this asshole! And then I killed him. Except without the part where I kill him. Or talked back in any way. Or showed up for class that day.”
Karine laughed. Jay’s stories were always so random and pointless. It was hilarious.
“So Brady’s pretty cute,” said Cerise.
“I know, eh?” agreed Karine.
“You gonna go out with him?”
Karine tried not to show her annoyance. Why was Cerise bringing this up? She looked at Jay, trying to be casual about it. Sure enough he seemed upset; he had that mildly panicked look in his eyes he always got when he thought he wasn’t making any headway with Karine. So was Cerise doing this on purpose? But maybe it was a good idea to get Jay jealous. It might spur him into action. Yeah right. He was inert, like a gas. He was about as effective as one of Willy’s farts when it came to asking her out.
“Yeah, I might as well, right?” she replied. “I mean he’s nice, he’s cute, he makes a great Captain Von Trapp.”
“A Captain you say?” asked Vani. “Who is this military leader of whom you speak.”
“My male lead in Sound of Music,” explained Karine.
“I don’t like him,” pouted Jay.
“You’ve never even met him!” laughed Karine.
“Well he sounds like bad news.”
Karine kept giggling and Jay went on to say that anyone with the name Brady must surely have several siblings and be stuck in the ‘70s. It was a recipe for disaster. Jay was such a dork. If only Karine didn’t find him so endearing.
“So you gonna be ok?” asked Leanne as she and Shauna stepped off the 211.
Shauna nodded with embarrassment. It’s like she was an infant. Being escorted home by a friend was utterly humiliating. But she didn’t want to risk going home alone with the Glue Sniffers running around. And Leanne had offered. She really was her friend, wasn’t she?
“So you wanna talk about it?”
Shauna certainly didn’t, but she felt obligated now that Leanne was like her bodyguard. “I dunno. They’re just assholes I knew in high school.”
“They bullied you?”
“You want me to come in?”
Shauna must have looked worried because Leanne immediately backed off, assuring Shauna that everything would be ok and that they’d talk more at school on Monday. The west-bound bus arrived and Leanne ran across the street to catch it, telling Shauna to call if she wanted to talk.
The last thing Shauna wanted was to talk. All she wanted was to die.