Terry couldn’t believe he’d ever considered quitting hockey. It was the one place in his life where he was encouraged to beat the living shit out of everything around him. All he wanted to do was fucking kill someone, even if that someone took the form of a hockey puck. During practice he took pretty much every opportunity to hit the puck into the net, even if it was more strategic to pass, which earned him an earful from his coach but he didn’t care about that. He also took every opportunity to slam his teammates into the boards, getting another lecture from the coach. Finally he was sent to the locker room to cool down while the others kept practicing.
He took a long, hot shower, simply standing under the spray, letting the jets pound down onto his sore shoulders. He didn’t think he’d been there that long but all the other guys arrived and started giving him a hard time.
“What the fuck crawled up your ass, Trebichavsky?”
“Prob’ly not getting’ laid.”
“You know the saying, those who can’t skate, slam.”
“That’s the most retarded thing I’ve ever heard. No one says that.”
“He makes a good point though. Trebichavsky hasn’t been on his game all year. He’s fucking useless, he should be benched.”
“Seriously, what the fuck is up with pushing around your own teammates?”
“Aww, did it hurt? You’re such a fucking pussy. You gonna go cry home to mamma ‘cause you got slammed? Suck it up, loser.”
“Fuck you, Morgan, you’re such a fag.”
“Says the guy staring at my dick. Jealous ‘cause you can’t find a bitch to suck on that fucking pencil eraser?”
“Sounds like you’re the one who stares at other guys’ dicks!”
“You’re both fucking fags, why don’t you make out and get it over with?”
“Sick man, I’m totally putting that shit on YouTube.”
Terry had heard enough. He walked out of the showers without looking at anyone, not even at Nick, who had defended him, and got changed as quickly as he could. Fuck all those assholes anyway.
Shauna had her nose buried in a book and she was actually trying to read it. Most of her classes were terrible but she was trying to pay attention in psychology because maybe she was nuts and maybe this book could help diagnose her.
She kept her head down when Leanne joined her. After a moment she finally looked up, knowing Leanne was staring at her.
“Promise not to yell at me or call me gross or whatever?” asked Leanne.
“No,” said Shauna, though she couldn’t prevent a small smile from developing on her lips.
“Ok, so there’s this group. The Queer Collective. You could just come and check it out. You wouldn’t have to join. You could just sit in at a meeting. See what’s it’s all about.”
Shauna glared at her friend. Leanne stared back.
“I just wanna help, Shauna.”
“I don’t need your help.”
“But Shauna, you could prove me wrong. If you came to a meeting you could have a better idea of whether or not I’m right. If you could hear the people talk… maybe you’d see something familiar. And maybe you wouldn’t. And then fine, I’d leave you alone. But it’s like, what have you got to lose?”
“Are you like worried that people would see you there? That people would see you walk into the room?”
Among other things, yes, thought Shauna.
“I hate to break it to you Shauna, but you’re not that important. No one gives a shit if you go to a meeting. No one’s gonna notice you walk in because no one at the school even knows you exist.”
It was a valid point.
“So just think about it.”
Shauna supposed she would.
“Check it out,” grinned Nick, standing in front of Terry’s desk and pulling up his shirt.
Terry saw a huge bruise on his ribs. The few others who were early to class also turned to look, including a couple cute chicks.
“Not bad, eh?”
“That my handiwork?” asked Terry with an arched eyebrow. He felt bad about how brutal he’d been yesterday during practice but he acted like it was no big deal.
“Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. I bet if I hook up with a chick this week I can be like, ow, I’m in pain, you’ll have to do all the work.”
Terry chuckled. He looked around and picked the cutest chick. “How ‘bout it, wanna hook up with this guy? You’d have to do all the work though.”
The girl giggled and blushed and looked down at her keyboard. Nick laughed and took his seat, mock groaning in pain.
“You’re such a fucking loser,” smiled Terry.
Nick chuckled and nodded in agreement.
Marias and the Captain Von Trapps were on stage, learning their blocking. Cerise sat in the theatre with Cassie, Tom and Janice lamenting the fact that they never got any rehearsal time.
“It’s always about the principle players,” said Cassie. “So unfair.”
It didn’t actually seem unfair to Cerise to give the principle players more rehearsal time since they would have to essentially carry the show but shouldn’t the Von Trapp kids be considered principles? She said as much and the others agreed.
“And people wonder why our plays suck,” scoffed Janice.
“Our plays don’t suck,” rebutted Tom.
“Well they’re not fucking awesome,” Janice insisted. “Fuck, I like never get any rehearsal time, it’s totally retarded.”
As in on cue, Fred called for the Baroness and Janice hurriedly ran on stage.
“How come it’s always Karine who gets the lead?” asked Cassie rather bitterly.
“I know, right?” said Cerise sympathetically.
“Well she is good,” shrugged Tom.
“Yeah, but the rest of us are good too,” whined Cassie.
“It’s ‘cause she’s tall and pretty. She’s statuesque and she has presence,” explained Cerise.
“It’s because she’s a fucking suck-up! Always hanging out with Hugh and Fred and acting like they know what they’re talking about.”
“They’re not so bad,” said Tom in surprise.
“Whatever, Karine’s just so fucking manipulative,” said Cassie angrily.
“Well, I can’t argue there,” nodded Cerise. “She does tend to get what she wants.”
“She’s a total bitch!”
“Bitch is a little harsh,” countered Cerise.
“She’s a fucking asshole! She totally broke up me and Jay!”
Tom and Cerise stared at Cassie. “What do you mean?”
“She told me he was gonna break up with me, which I’m pretty sure is a lie. So I broke up with him first.”
“Why the fuck would she do that?” asked Tom.
Cerise pondered. “You know, back in high school I was supposed to go to grad with Jay but then Karine asked him to go with her.”
“So you were into Jay?”
“I guess I had a bit of a crush on him in high school. It was really more of a friend thing, but still. He totally ditched me at the last minute to go with Karine.”
“What a dick thing to do,” said Tom. “Jay’s a moron.”
“Yeah, it was a dick thing to go, but Karine was even worse. ‘Cause she gets him to take her and then she ditches him there. He felt like shit. It’s almost like she did it all just to laugh at him. Or maybe just to fuck me over. She pretty much hated me in high school.”
“Yeah, all Terry’s friends did. He eventually ditched them all except for Karine.”
“Wow, Terry’s the best boyfriend ever.” Cassie seemed stunned.
“Yeah, he’s fucking awesome,” Tom muttered sarcastically.
It was true, he was pretty awesome. Cerise felt bad for fighting with him the other day. They still hadn’t made up. She should really text him and say she was sorry. She knew he was stressed; she shouldn’t be giving him such a hard time.
“So speaking of awesomeness,” said Tom. “What are you guys’ plans for Halloween?”
“The guys always do this thing with an elephant costume.”
“What about the Saturday before?”
“I’m free I guess. Karine hasn’t said anything about a party.”
“Like I’d go to one of her parties anyway,” grumbled Cassie.
“Yeah well, Jeff is having a party. I’m supposed to invite you. You too, Cassie.”
“Cool,” Cassie and Cerise said in unison.
“Costumes mandatory, apparently.”
“Oh fun!” said Cassie with excitement.
Yeah, it would be fun to go to a Halloween party. Cerise loved Halloween. She’s have to make up with Terry pretty quick so they could plan their costumes together.
After class Terry went out for a cigarette even though lighting up made him feel extremely guilty. Not just because Cerise hated it but because he was being a terrible role model for Britt. Nick joined him and took a few puffs on his smoke, asking him if he wanted to talk about it.
“About what, me smoking again?”
“About the bug that crawled up your ass, made a nest, laid some eggs and threw a party. I mean you were way out of control yesterday. I thought coach was gonna have an aneurysm. Actually it was pretty funny.”
Terry smiled and considered changing the subject but he figured Nick wouldn’t tell him he was being a pussy if he said it was girl trouble. “It’s Cerise. We kinda had a fight.”
“The whole Britt thing. She’s all like, oh you’re stressed out, you’re no fun anymore… like it’s all about fun. What the fuck?”
“So she thinks you’re stressed, eh? I can’t imagine how she could come to that conclusion.”
“You’re hilarious,” said Terry dryly.
“Sounds like she’s concerned.”
“She’s concerned about herself.”
“You think that’s all it is?”
“She’s all on me about the smoking.”
“Which she should be.”
“She’s just bored and she’s blaming it on me. And you just know…”
“You know what?” Nick prompted.
“You just know she’s gonna run to that fucking Jason Harris and his fucking spastic hair that’s always fucking…” Terry shook his hands, miming strangulation.
Nick chuckled slightly but he could tell Terry wasn’t joking around.
“She just won’t fucking get over that fucking little shit. And now she’s all pissed at me so it’s the perfect fucking excuse to go running to him. She always fucking goes running to him.”
“Does she? I don’t see her running to him. I see her running to you. Every time something happens with you she tries to talk to you about it.”
“Yeah, so she can yell at me and say how I’m stressed out and I should move back home and how I’m not fun and how Jason fucking Harris is her bestest friend in the whole wide world.”
Nick regarded Terry for a moment. “Sounds like you’re worried you’re losing her.”
“Yeah but maybe, Terry… Maybe you’re driving her away.”