Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Season 3 – Episode 5 – Act V

            "Kornin' Marine," said Vani, greeting Karine as she joined the guys in the Munch Box.  "Hey, marine is an actual word."
             Karine returned the greeting and sat down before Cassie and Sarah could get there.  She knew they were coming and she’d busted her ass to get there before them.  When they arrived they glared at her and then stood in line at the counter, whispering together.
            “So how come the chickies hate you?” asked Vani with genuine curiosity.
            “’Cause they’re fucking bitches!” Karine spat back and then deflated.  “I actually don’t know.”
            “Maybe they think you’re Erica Mackey,” suggested Willy.
            “What does that mean?” demanded Karine.  “I’m nothing like Erica!”
            “Certainly not,” smirked Karl.
            Ugh.  What  a bunch of assholes.  Seriously, everyone always accused her and Erica of being mean girls but really, this group of boys was just as bad.  What a bunch of fucking hypocrites. 
Cerise was at her locker, staring at Terry’s things.  Maybe one of them should put in a request for a locker change.  Or maybe she should just carry her things around with her all day.
She turned around to see Jay smiling at her.  She smiled back and once again they had a staring contest.  She quickly closed the locker, not wanting Terry to catch them.  Not that they were doing anything wrong.  Even if they were going out now, which she wasn’t even sure was the case, it’s not like that was betraying Terry, since he’d totally broken up with her and everything.
They walked towards the Munch Box and Jay hesitantly took her hand.  Oh god.  Did this mean they were officially a couple?  It was going to be so weird when they got to lunch.  Everyone would stare at them. 
How right she was.  They walked up to the table and sat next to each other, releasing each other’s hands, but everyone had seen.  Karl lifted an eyebrow and Willy narrowed his eyes.  Vani exaggeratedly bugged out his eyes while Karine laughed openly.
“Are like, you guys together now?” she asked.
“Buh-zuh-guh-wah?  When did this happen?” Vani exclaimed.
They both shrugged in response. 
“That’s some quality swooping-in, Jay,” Vani giggled.
“Seriously, the body’s not even cold yet,” snickered Karine.
“Yeah,” nodded Willy with a sharp glare.  “Pretty fucking interesting turn of events.”
“Fascinating,” nodded Karl.
Cerise wondered if her entire face was as red as it felt.  She was actually sweating, even though this school was always freezing.  Why was she so nervous?  Why did she care what everyone thought?  Did she?  Or was she just worried about how Terry would react once he found out.  How would he react?  Would he totally freak out?  Should she even care?  He’d said it was over.  Wasn’t being with Jay what she’d always wanted?  Why did she feel like she was doing something wrong?
“Well I say congratulations,” smiled Vani.
“Really?” asked Karl sceptically.
“Well, naturally my first instinct is to try and sabotage any chance Jay may have for happiness but whatcha gonna do eh?  I mean, when you really think about it you guys are the perfect couple.”
“Oh yeah?  How so?” asked Jay suspiciously.
“Well think about it.  Jay’s a big loser and Cerise isn’t.”
“What?” both Jay and Cerise asked.
“Opposites attract!”
Cerise rolled her eyes.  “That makes no sense, Vani.”
“Cerise, if everything in the world made sense then all the people who’ve been abducted by UFOs would be considered crazy.”
They all stared at Vani.
“Ok, next topic,” he declared.  “Me.  Does my hair make me look more like Trip or Reed?”
“Who are Trip and Reed?” asked Karine.
“From Enterprise.”
“The rental car?”
“The show,” explained Karl.  “It’s from like, a decade ago.  It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad show but Vani’s obsessed.  He got the DVDs.”
“Oh my god, they put out DVDs for that train-wreck?” gasped Cerise, glad for the change of topic.
“So, Trip or Reed?” asked Vani, patting his hair.
“They have the exact same haircut,” said Jay.
“Just answer the question, girlfriend-stealing boy!”
“He didn’t steal me!” Cerise protested, perhaps a little loudly.  “I mean I’m not property.”
“Relax,” advised Vani.  “I just really need to know if I should grow Starfleet issue sideburns.”
“Can you even grow sideburns?” snickered Willy.
“I can only assume that question is meant to imply I’m so infantile that I don’t have the ability to grow hair.  But you forget, I’m Indian.  I’m from the hair-belt.  I had a full beard at age eight.  It’s not a matter of growing sideburns so much as shaving away the excess.”
“Are you fucking serious?” scoffed Karl.  “You’re only half-Indian and obviously your hairless half dominates because you’ve never been able to grow proper facial hair.  All you’ve ever been able to manage is that fucking pedo mustache of shame.  Even I have to shave more often than you do and I’m half German, half Scandinavian!”
“More like half android, half cyborg, am I right?” said Willy, wiggling his eyebrows as best he could.
“So Cerise, Jay, are you guys like a thing now?”
They all looked up to see Cassie and Sarah hovering over the table, lunches in hand.  Cerise stood up and tried not to wring her hands like a guilty murderess or something.  “Is that ok?  I mean both of you guys have dated him.”
“Oh please.  I’ve so moved on,” Sarah scoffed.
“I’m way over him,” Cassie confirmed.  “God, I was never even under him.  Like literally, actually.”
“You prefer being on top?” asked Sarah.
“I guess I like being in control,” nodded Cassie.
“Yeah but there’s something to be said for like, letting the guy do all the work,” said Sarah.  “That way you can just lie back and enjoy it.”
“What about from behind?” wondered Cassie.  “’Cause you know, I could never get into that.  Does that make me a priss or something?”
“Well I find it’s def something you have to in the mood for.  It’s so like not intimate.  It’s more if you’re like, just fuck me.”
“Ok well maybe that’s it.  I don’t wanna be just fucked.”
Willy was about to say something but Vani quickly muzzled him with his hands and whispered that they were witnessing a chick sex talk and should be taking notes.  Cassie and Sarah obviously heard him and giggled in response.
“Did you ever try it from behind except lying down ‘cause I find…” Karine began.
“Oh, we know what you find, Karine,” snapped Sarah.
“Yeah, we know all about you,” Cassie hissed.
“Anyway, congratulations you guys,” Sarah nodded her head at Cerise and Jay.  “We’re gonna go eat elsewhere.”
Cerise gathered up her things and said she’d go with them, telling Jay she’d see him later.  At this moment the last person she wanted to be with was her new boyfriend.  Wow, it was so weird to call him that.

“What the fucking fuck?!” exclaimed Karine once the girls had gone.  “I didn’t even do anything!  Why are they being such ultra bitches?!”
Jay was kind of glad that the girls were fighting ‘cause it was a good way to deflect from his new relationship with Cerise.
“If they’re so fucking happy that you’re with Cherry pie now then why would they care that I kissed you at Halloween?”
They all stared at Jay and he tried to speak but nothing came out.  Is that why the girls were fighting?  Was it over him?!  That’d be awesome!
“So it’s obviously something else.  But I seriously don’t get it, you guys!  Seriously, if one of you guys knows something, you’d better say!”
“I don’t know shit-all, but I wish I did, because this is the best drama-rama we’ve had in weeks,” smiled Vani smugly.  “Just when you think things are getting dull, a chick acts irrationally.”
“Oh, shut the fuck up, Tyrion!” Karine spat back.  “You guys are so fucking useless!”  With that she stood up and stomped away, perhaps to join her Brady bunch boyfriend, or perhaps to fight with the girls over Jay.  Maybe she was into him after all!  There could still be time to break up with Cerise and get with Karine.  But how to make that happen?
“So what have we learned today, kids?” asked Vani.
“That Cavity likes to be on top, Sarah likes the bottom and Karine likes it doggy style.  Valuable information,” grinned Willy.  “I wonder how Cerise likes it.”
“I guess Jay will just have to do some recon,” suggested Vani.
“So seriously, how the fuck did you manage to hook up with her?” asked Karl.
“I dunno,” Jay shrugged.  “It just happened I guess.  After you guys left.  After we gamed.”
“So then I inadvertently got you hooked up, since I’m the one who told you to invite her over,” said Vani.  “So I’m your pimp.  So you owe me money.”
“Fuck off.” Jay rolled his eyes. 
“I take cash or cheques.  Or gift cards.”
“Or my fist to your face!”  Jay grabbed Vani’s tiny little child head in his hand and pushed him until he was on the floor.  It was pretty hilarious.

“Are you guys sure you’re ok with this?” asked Cerise as she and the girls sat down in a stairwell in Casgrain.
“Of course, Cerise.  You’ve been crushing on Jay since Sec 5.  You have dibs,” Sarah assured her.
“Are you sure, ‘cause like, we’ve only been together for like, I dunno, twelve hours?  We can still break up.  I don’t wanna hurt anyone.”
“Do you mean Terry?” asked Sarah.
“I don’t know!” Cerise buried her head in her hands while one of them rubbed her back.  Probably Sarah.  “It’s just so fucked up.  I mean, you know, I’ve wanted this for a long time but I mean, being with him is like, it’s like I’ve wanted it so long I can barely process it.  It doesn’t feel real.  We’ve been friends so long.  I don’t know how to act with him.  And yeah, there’s Terry.  For sure I don’t wanna hurt him.  And I mean, if I go out with Jay, does that mean it’s really over between Terry and me.  Like forever?”
“What if it is?” asked Cassie.
“I don’t know,” replied Cerise, staring off into space.  She just didn’t know.

“Well you’ve done it now, Terry,” said Karine with what could only be described as a wicked grin.
She had just joined him and Nick at Terry’s locker.  It was so insane that he still had to share this space with Cerise.  Everyday he had to stare at her bag and her cute little hats and jackets and baby gloves.  She had the tiniest little hands. 
He turned to Karine and lifted an eyebrow. 
“They’re together,” she said.
“Do you mean Cerise and Jay?” asked Nick.
Karine nodded, still grinning.  Her smile suddenly disappeared and she looked instantly sympathetic.  Terry’s face must have betrayed how he felt.  He tried to keep it together.  To not get angry or sad.  He had to stay calm.  He’d expected this.  He had to keep it together!
“Are you ok?” asked Nick delicately.
“Well, that seals it doesn’t it?  She chose him,” he said with gritted teeth. 
“Come on, Terry.  Like you even gave her a choice.  You didn’t exactly leave things open with her.  You just dumped her and told her to fuck off.  What was she supposed to do?”
Terry shook his head.
“Was she supposed to come back and beg forgiveness?”
“Well that’s what I always did!” he spat.
“She’s such a bitch,” Karine offered but then shrugged meekly when Terry glared at her.
“It’s not like she left you for him,” Nick went on.  “You broke up with her.  From her perspective it’s like her boyfriend tells her to fuck off.  So why shouldn’t she try things out with another guy?  And then you basically told him to go for it.  You made your bed, Terry.”
“Fuck!” he yelled, slamming closed his locker.  A second later his fist flew out and smashed into it.  It left a massive dent.  Shit.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Season 3 – Episode 5 – Act IV

Willy was saying something no doubt uninteresting and Karl was making fun of him for it, as usual.  Jay tried to pay attention but he was having trouble concentrating lately, both at school and in the game.  The guys were gathered in his basement, rolling dice and eating M&Ms but Jay had no idea what was going on.
“This is boring,” Vani suddenly declared.  “There aren’t enough people here.  We should get Cerise to come back.”
“Come back to what?” Jay asked in a panic.
“To gaming, you moron!” Vani said with annoyance.  “Now that we’ve lost Cavity we’re just down to us four again.”
“And that’s bad how?” asked Karl.
“You don’t think it was more fun with more people?”
“What the hell difference does it make how many people are here?” asked Willy.  “You always just take over anyway!”
Karl snickered.  “He wants a bigger audience for his taking over.”
“Correct,” nodded Vani.  “My mastery of the universe needs to be witnessed.  So yeah, call Cerise.” 
They all stared at Jay.  “What?  Why do I have to call her?” asked Jay.
“’Cause you’re closer to her than us.  She’s your neighbour,” shrugged Vani.
“We’re not that close,” insisted Jay.  “Are we?”
“Why are you acting so weird?” wondered Karl.  “Just fucking pick up the phone.  Or not.  I actually don’t care either way.”
Jay tried to get himself together and act natural.  “Well do you think she’d wanna come back?”
“Why not?” asked Vani.  “It’s not like she’s been gone long.  I mean, she still plays occasionally.”
“Yeah but, maybe it’s not a good idea to try and get her to come… ‘cause like, what if she’s all still upset about Terry Trebijerksy and shit.”
“Then she’ll fucking get over it,” Karl said with a snort.  “What the hell does that have to do with gaming?”
“You don’t think Trebicromag would go ballistic and like try to beat us up if…” Jay trailed off.
“If what?  If Cerise fucking came over and rolled a die?  What the fuck are you talking about?”  Karl looked at Jay suspiciously and Jay laughed it off, saying he’d text Cerise right away, which he did.
Vani wants you to come game.  Come if you want. 
Or not.  Whatevs.
He hoped it wasn’t too pushy, or weird.  Maybe she didn’t even read her texts anymore. 

            “How do I look?” asked Vicky.
            Terry looked up from the TV and saw his step-mom wearing a super hot dress.  She looked seriously good and he tried not to look like a horndog or whatever.  “Good,” he smiled.
            “Really?  I don’t look too sleazy?”
            “You look just sleazy enough,” he grinned.
            “Shut up!” she laughed and rolled her eyes.
            “No, you look good, seriously.”
            “I guess,” she sighed, sitting on the couch next to Terry.  “I don’t even know if I’m ready to start dating again.”
            “I thought you’d been seeing someone already.”
            “Not really.  Those were just hook-ups. Me proving I was still hot or whatever,” she sighed.  “But this is a real date.  He actually knows I’m a single mother.  But I don’t even like him.”
            “Then how come you’re going out with him?” asked Terry.
            “’Cause I’m a single mom!”  She covered her mouth and looked to Brittany’s room to see if she’d heard.  Brittany was still playing with her dolls.  She was making a Monster High doll beat up Strawberry Shortcake.  “I’m not dateable anymore,” Vicky hissed.  “Seriously, I’m like a pariah!  I’m damaged goods!”
            Terry wanted to be supportive but it was pretty much true.  He couldn’t imagine dating someone who already had a kid.  It was with a sudden pang that he realized Brittany made him less dateable even though she was just his sister.  Maybe it was totally reasonable that Cerise always discouraged him from babysitting her all the time.
            He noticed Vicky looking at him with doe eyes and tried to assure her as sincerely as possible that she was still dateable.  That any guy would be lucky to have her.  It was at least true that she was still smoking hot. 
            “Do I look old?” she asked with concern.
            “No,” he replied honestly.
            “I feel so old.  I’m thirty-four!  In a year I’ll be in my mid-thirties.  Holy shit, I’ve got one foot in the grave already!”
            “Thirty’s the new twenty or whatever,” he shrugged.  “Plus you’re still hot.”
            “Totally.  I mean people don’t get really gross until they’re at least forty,” he smirked. 
            She laughed and swatted his arm, just the way Cerise always did when he made an off-colour joke.  He missed her so much.

            It was pretty obvious at this point that the problem with Karine’s love life was her.  She was just never into anyone besides Terry.  She wanted to be into Brady, she really did.  He was cute and confident and fun to hang out with but she just wasn’t feeling it that much.  He just wasn’t Terry.  She knew she had to let Terry get over his stupid Cherry angel before she went for him but she was getting impatient. 
            Brady asked her if she wanted another beer and she agreed.  They sat at Cunningham’s, just hanging out and it was fine she supposed, but she hoped someone else would show up to make it more fun.  Like Janice maybe.  As if on cue, Cassie and Sarah and her boyfriend Paul walked in and Karine waved to them.  They ignored her.  Why were they being such assholes lately?  God, chicks could be such bitches.  Well, she wouldn’t put up with this bullshit from those losers! 
She told Brady to hang on and then walked over to the girls.  Before she could even say anything Cassie quite rudely asked her what she wanted.
    “I wanna know what the fuck is going on,” she said with a hand on her hip.
    “Like you don’t know,” sneered Cassie.
    “I don’t!  What the fuck is the deal with you two?”
    “Karine, we’re on to you, ok?  We know what you’re about,” said Sarah with more sadness than anger.
    “Oh yeah?  And what am I about?”
    “You’re about being a bitch,” Cassie spat.
    “Where the hell is this coming from?” asked Karine, scanning her brain to think of what insult she might have lain on these two… that they knew about.
    “Whatever,” Sarah sighed, leading her boyfriend and Cassie as they walked away.
    Was it because she’d kissed Jay at the Halloween party?  She barely even remembered doing it but she was pretty sure it was just a peck, more of a joke than anything.  But both Cassie and Sarah were Jay’s exes so maybe that’s why they were annoyed?  But then why were they such good friends if they were both after the same guy?  They were probably just jealous because Jay liked Karine more than them.  God, they were so petty!  Well she would show those bitches how bitchy she could be!
    “What’s going on?” asked Brady, sidling up to her.
    “Nothing,” she sighed.  Christ, how long was she going to have to keep dating this guy?  She just wanted to get with Terry and be done with it!  Then everything would be perfect.  Wouldn’t it?

    Nick texted, telling Terry that he was downstairs with DVDs and beer.  Terry hadn’t been expecting him but he was glad for the company.  He didn’t want Nick to ring the buzzer ‘cause it would wake Brittany so he walked downstairs to let him in.
    “What are you doing here?”
    “You shouldn’t be stuck at home with nothing to do on a Friday night.”
    “I could be doing homework,” Terry smirked as he led Nick upstairs.
    “Yeah right,” Nick laughed.
    “Shh,” Terry warned with a chuckle, cocking his head towards the door to Brittany’s room.

    Cerise wasn’t sure what to make of Jay’s text. 
Vani wants you to come game.  Come if you want. 
Or not.  Whatevs.
    Come if you want.  Or not?  What did he mean by that?  It seemed so unnecessarily cruel, like he obviously didn’t want her to come over.  Or maybe he seriously didn’t care.  Was the kiss something he’d done on a whim or was it all part of a larger plan to humiliate her?  Well fuck that stupid stupid-head!  She’d come game and he could go ahead and try to stop her!
    The guys were indeed gaming.  And it was just as it had always been.  Vani did everything while Willy mostly ate chips and Jay made jokes. 
    “So you gonna try to escape?” asked Vani.
    “Nah, there’s no way,” replied Cerise.  “I’d just get captured.  I’ll wait for rescue.”
    “Rescue from who?”
    Cerise sighed.  Jay was the only one in a position right now to help her.  She looked at him.
    He threw up his arms in protest.  “But you have to rescue me!  I’m trapped way worse than you!”
    “Are you high?” she exclaimed.  “I’m in solitary!  You’re just sitting there in the cargo deck in handcuffs.  You could get out of them in two seconds!”
    “There are armed guards everywhere!  And you’re not even tied up!  You could just bust down that door.”
    “Yeah, maybe I could have if your stupid symbiont hadn’t fucked my system but now I’m all sick and shit!”
    “Well fuck, I can’t do anything!” Jay insisted.
    Cerise looked at him in irritation.  Was he seriously afraid of taking on a couple guards or should she be seeing this rejection as more symbolic of their real life situation?  Willy piped up and offered to rescue her but Karl reminded him that his character wasn’t even aware of Cerise’s entrapment. 
    “Fine, I’ll fucking escape!” Cerise huffed.  “I can’t count on you assholes for anything!”
    Terry was worried the TV would wake Britt so they sat in Terry’s room, lounging on his bed with the movie playing on his laptop.  The screen wasn’t as big as the TV’s but the resolution was actually better.
    “What’d you think?” asked Nick as the credits rolled.
    “There were ‘splosions.  Two thumbs up,” grinned Terry.
    Nick chuckled and nodded.  “So?” he prompted after a beat.
    Terry narrowed his eyes and sighed.  “Yep.”
    “So you’re gonna wait and see?”
    “If she wants to hook up with fright wig then that’s a pretty clear sign of how she feels.  And if she tries to get back with me then there you go.”
    “Ok but like, what if she does hook up with fright wig?”
    “Then that’s it.  It’s over for good.”
     “For good?”
    “Forever this time.”
    “So you’re basically making this a test.”
    “Yeah, maybe it is,” Terry shrugged.
    “And if she fails?”
    Terry shrugged again.
    “You seem pretty blasé about it.”
    “I’m not gonna keep fucking around, Nick.  I mean yeah, I love her.  I really do.  I love her like hell.  But if she wants him then there’s nothing I can do about it.”
    “There’s tons you can do about it!  You can fight for her.”
    “This isn’t a fucking war-torn Europe movie!  Love doesn’t fucking save the day!  Or you know, maybe it does.  And maybe her love for fright wig is bigger than my love for her.”  Just saying the words made him want to puke.  He took another swig of beer. 
    “So you’re just gonna let her go?”
    “If she doesn’t want me then I’m not gonna kill myself trying to be with her.”

    Vani jumped around the room, doing a sort of Amerindian war cry.  “Kill the beast!” he declared, launching himself towards Willy.  Willy didn’t even bother dodging.  He just grunted as Vani fell on him.  Jay and Karl joined in, pummelling Willy as they chanted ‘kill the beast’.
    Cerise took a picture of the display with her cell phone and uploaded it to facebook.  She was busy tagging everyone when she looked up and saw that Karl, Vani and Willy were all walking upstairs.  She got up and went to follow but Jay cleared his throat.  She looked at him.  He looked at her.  She looked upstairs.  The guys opened the front door and left.  She looked back at Jay.  He looked at her.
    “So um,” he began. 
    “Um, like… so like…”
    She waited.
    “I um wanted to like talk about, you know, like um, what um happened the um, other day and stuff.”
    “Forget about it,” she shrugged with what she hoped came across as indifference.
    “Yeah but um, I mean I guess you don’t… I mean you wouldn’t…”
    She waited.
    “Like you wouldn’t wanna go out with me or anything I guess.”  He looked at her with so much desperation she had to believe he was being sincere. 
    She didn’t know what to say.  She wasn’t even sure if he was actually asking her out.  “Are you asking me out?” she finally asked, knowing how lame she sounded but determined to get a straight answer out of him.
    “I guess.  I mean, if you want.”
    “Yeah, I guess,” she replied, still somewhat confused.
    “Ok,” he nodded with a sigh of relief.  “So um, ok great.  But um, you don’t think Terry’s gonna try to beat me up, do you?”
    “You’re afraid of Terry?” she asked, not even bothering to hide how unimpressed she was. 
    “No!” he insisted with a laugh.
    “Ok well,” she shrugged with an attempt at a smile.
    He smiled back and they stared at each other for a while.  Finally she turned around and walked upstairs.  He walked up with her and when she’d put on her jacket and shoes he leaned towards her and kissed her on the lips.  Then he backed away and looked around as if a bunch of people might be watching from his living room.  She nodded and walked home, more confused than ever.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Season 3 – Episode 5 – Act III

            “I am sixteen, going on seventeen, dum de dum de dum.” Shauna hummed to herself as she walked into her house after Leanne dropped her off.  Leanne had suggested they grab a beer after the play but Shauna had a curfew.
            As soon as she walked in the door she was confronted by her brother, who asked her where she’d been in a condescending voice.
            “What do you care?” she replied.
            “Whatever,” he snorted as he put on his jacket.
            She began to walk up the stairs and then turned.  “You reek of pot,” she warned.
            “So?” he sneered.
            “So if you don’t want mom and dad to find out about your little habit you probably shouldn’t smoke in the house, retard.”
            “Mind your own business, you fucking cunt,” he shot back and lunged at her.
            She ran up the stairs as he laughed.  She paused at the top of the stairs and listened.  Once she heard the front door close she crept into Malcolm’s room.  It was ridiculously easy to find his stash; he was so retarded.  She pinched out a tiny amount of pot and ran to her room to roll the joint with her own rolling papers, in case Malcolm counted his.  She hadn’t really taken enough for a proper joint but it was better than nothing. 

            “So I’m pretty sure I’m an idiot,” said Terry as he took a drag from his cigarette and then passed it to Nick. 
            Nick took a drag and passed it back.  “Why’s that?”
            They were waiting outside the school for Karine to be done getting changed.  She was taking forever. 
            “I kinda did something that’s totally retarded.”
            “What’d you do?”
            “Well, I kinda, sorta freaked out on Jay.  I like started yelling at him for never having gotten together with Cerise and shit.”
            Nick stared at Terry in confusion.  “What do you mean?”
            “I was like, you’re a retard for never getting together with her because she always liked you and shit.”
            Before Nick could say anything Karine appeared and grabbed Terry’s elbow.  “Did I hear that right?  You told Jay that Cerise digs him?”
            “Yeah.  I don’t know why I did it.  I was just so angry and I wanted to beat him up but I knew I couldn’t do that so, I dunno, it just came out.”
            “Jesus Christ, Terry!” Karine exclaimed.  “The reason they never got together is because that moron has his head up his ass and he never realized how much she likes him.  Now that he knows there’s no telling what might happen!”
            “I know! Fuck!”
            “You think they’re gonna get together?” asked Nick nonchalantly, clearly unaware of how dire this situation was.
            “It’s a definite possibility,” nodded Karine.  “They’re both single right now.”
            “Well you could fix that, Karine,” pleaded Terry.  “Just go out with Jay.”
            “Terry, oh my god.  I mean yeah, obviously he’d go out with me over her but I’m with Brady now.”
            “So then where is this Brady guy?  And why’d you kiss Jay at that Halloween party?”
            Karine paused.  “How’d you know about that?”
            “That apartment was the size of a shoebox, Karine.  Everyone knows.  It’s why me and Cerise broke up.  She saw and freaked out and then I freaked on her for freaking.”
            “Well fuck,” Karine sighed.
            “So you’re into Jay?” asked Nick.
            “No!” Karine insisted.  “I was just drunk.  I mean, I guess I kinda like him but not in any serious way.  He’s just a dork.  But he’s just the kind of dork Cerise digs.”
            “Fuck!  They’re totally gonna get together!” Terry exclaimed.
            “Now, now, let’s not jump to conclusions,” Nick counselled.

            Jay leaned back and broke his kiss with Cerise.  He couldn’t quite tell what her reaction was.  She was just looking at him.  Not smiling or frowning or saying anything. 
            “Sorry,” he shrugged, unsure of what else to say.
            She shrugged and smiled, letting out a slow chuckle.  “Yeah.”
            “Um, yeah,” he nodded.
            “Ok, well…” she gathered up her bag and opened the door.
            He got out as well and they stood on opposite sides of the car.  They closed the doors and then looked at one another.
            “Uh, Cerise?”
            It seemed like a million years went by before he came up with anything to say.  “Nothing,” he finally replied.
            “Ok, well, yeah,” she nodded and then walked to her house.

            Cerise took off her jacket and hat and mitts and climbed up to her bedroom.  Keeping the light off, she went to the window and looked outside.  Jay was nowhere to be seen.  She’d imagined kissing Jay about a million times but she’d never guessed it would be like that.  It was unexpected, which she supposed was romantic but it also felt weird.  And sloppy.  He wasn’t a particularly good kisser.  Not that she should judge by the first time.  It would be better next time, if there was a next time.  If she wanted there to be a next time.  If he did. 

            “I am sixteen going on seventeen, blahdy blahdy bloo.”  Shauna exhaled smoke out of her bedroom window.  “Doo doo doo doo doo, drinking rum and brandy, dum de dum dum dee, all of that’s dandy.  Totally not prepared am I to face a world of men.  Stupid and shy and scared am I like Barbie or like Ken.  I need someone older and wiser telling me what to do.  You are seventeen going on eighteen I will dance with you.”

            Cerise always had to rush in the mornings now that Terry wasn’t picking her up anymore.  Taking the bus to school took forever.  It must be easier for Terry though, not having to go out of his way for her.  Good for him.
            She lingered at her locker at lunch, wondering if she should go to the Munch Box.  Jay would be there and it would be weird.  But if she avoided him it might be weirder.  She steeled her courage and casually walked up to the table, sitting with the guys. 
            “Kornin,” said Vani.
            “Vornin’” she replied.
            She knew she was deliberately avoiding looking at Jay and it might seem suspicious but she just couldn’t do it.  But what if he’d already told the guys about their kiss?  Was it even more weird if she ignored the whole situation?  She finally looked at him but he was staring at his food.  She unwrapped her sandwich and ate it quickly. 
            “So world domination, then?” asked Vani.”
            “I’m on board,” agreed Karl.
            “Hey, Cerise,” said Sarah, approaching the table with Cassie in tow.
            “Hey,” Cerise looked up.  “Join us?”
            “Eurk, I guess,” Cassie snorted, sitting as far away from Jay as possible.
            Karl brought up some class and he debated the merits of some sort of physics thing with Sarah while the rest of them ate in silence. 

            Karine had no idea where Nick might be and she didn’t even have his number so she texted Terry to get it.  He asked why she wanted it and she said she was just cleaning up her MY5 and considering adding him, which might be true depending on how today’s conversation went.
            Once she’d texted Nick and determined his location she joined him.  He was sitting on a stairwell reading a book. 
            “So what’s up?” he asked.
            “Ok so um, I need your advice.”
            “So like, you and Terry are pretty tight these days, eh?”
            “I guess.  Why?”
            “Ok well now, let’s just say, I mean… Ok, the thing is… ok.”
            “What?” he prompted.
“The thing is… I kinda used to like Terry.  I mean, you know, in a like, like kinda way.”
“Now I mean I’m totally over him and everything but um… now that he’s not with Cerise and it’s looking like maybe Cerise and Jay will hook up and…”
“You wanna get together with Terry?”
“Well now, no.  I mean we’re really good friends and I’d be a fool to risk fucking that up but let’s just say that I was that much of a fool.”
“I’d wait.”
“Oh yeah?”
“Well I mean, you have to at least wait ‘till he’s out of rebound territory or else it would never work.”
“Good point.”
“He needs time to get over Cerise.  You don’t want his feelings for you to get confused with his feelings for her.”
“Yeah, no.  You’re right.  Yeah.  And it’s just as well.  I mean, I’m with Brady anyway and it’s like, things are going great with him so like… whatever I guess.”
Nick nodded.
“You’re reading Pride & Prejudice?” she asked as she peered at the book in his hands.
“It’s for class!” he insisted.
“Still, it’s a good book.”
“Yeah, Mr. Darcy is so dreamy!” he said in a fey voice, fluttering his eyelids.
Karine giggled.  “He is though!”

Oh god, this was torture.  Jay couldn’t look at anyone.  Did they all know?  What the hell had he been thinking?  Had Terry Trebijerksky just been fucking with him?  What if Cerise didn’t like him at all?  She wasn’t even making eye contact.  Could all the guys sense that something had happened between them?  Did she want something more to happen?  What the fuck was he supposed to do?  And Cassie and Sarah being here just made it worse.  Especially Cassie with her bitchface on full force. 
Oh god, seriously?  Now Karine was joining them.  This was seriously the worst day ever!
“Hey!” Karine said in a cheery voice.
Cassie immediately made a noise of disgust and jumped up from the table.  Sarah got up with her and pretty much grabbed Cerise’s hand.  All three of them walked away, with Cassie giving Karine total evil-eye.
“What the fuck?!” Karine exclaimed as the girls stomped away.  “What was that about?!”
“I have no idea but it was totally awesome!” Vani smiled.
“Shut up, Vani.  Jay, what’s going on?”
“I don’t know!” Jay insisted. 
“Well fuck!” Karine walked off in anger.
“So what the fuck?” asked Vani when she’d gone.
“Well obviously the chicks are pissed at Karine for some reason,” said Karl.
“Why?” wondered Willy.
“I guess she did something.  You know how girls are, always making up drama.”
“I’m dying over here!  I must know what the dealio is!” Vani tore at his hair.
“I’m sure you’ll survice,” smirked Karl.
“Aughh!” Vani whailed.

“I can’t believe she has the gall to like, just act like there’s nothing!” hissed Cassie.
Cassie and Sarah had wanted to congregate in the washroom again but Cerise had suggested they sit in a hallway.  She wasn’t done her lunch and didn’t want to eat in the bathroom ‘cause that was just gross.
“I know, totally,” nodded Sarah. 
“She’s all like, little miss innocent,” Cassie went on.
“Cerise, what do you think?” asked Sarah.
“I think we were mean.”
“She deserves it!”
“I dunno,” Cerise shrugged.  “I don’t have the energy to give a shit about Karine right now.”
“So you haven’t talked to Terry or anything?” asked Sarah sympathetically.
  “He was so angry.  I don’t, I don’t wanna… I don’t know.  I’m so confused.”
“About what?” asked Cassie.
“About what I should do.”
“Well you wanna get back with Terry, right?” asked Sarah.
Cerise nodded. 
“So give him some time to cool off and then like, apologize and then everything will be fine.  He’s so into you, he can’t seriously want it to be over.”
“Yeah,” agreed Cassie.  “I’m sure given enough time everything will go back to normal.  ‘Cause I mean, isn’t that your thing?  To like break up and get back together?”
Cerise sighed.  “Yeah but it just makes me question so many things.  I mean, why do we keep breaking up all the time anyway?  Things just have a way of getting so volatile with us.  It’s like, maybe it’s just not meant to be you know?”
“That’s what you said the last time you broke up.”
“So maybe I was right.”
“So what are you saying?”
“Maybe I should just get over him.”
“Is that really what you want?” asked Sarah with concern.
“No, I dunno.”
Cassie frowned.  “So like yesterday you were all crying your eyes out and today you think it’s not meant to be?  I mean, do you love him or not?”
“I think so.”
“Someone who’s in love doesn’t think. They just know.”
“Ok, fine, I love him.  But maybe that’s not enough.”
“Of course it’s enough,” said Cassie like she was speaking to a dullard.  “Love conquers everything.”
Cerise nodded but she wasn’t so sure she agreed.  In fact, the more she thought about it, the more she thought it definitely wasn’t enough.  Not nearly.