Cerise sat on Jeff’s bed and wiped her eyes, telling herself she was being ridiculous. She got up and went to the door only to slam into Jeff as he walked in.
“Hey, changed your mind, eh?” he said in the most smarmy way possible.
Much to her mortification she burst into tears again. He immediately wrapped his arms around her and asked if she was ok.
“I’m fine,” she said, pushing him away.
“That’s a pretty serious nothing. I’d hate to see you when it’s something,” he joked.
She sighed. “I don’t even know if I’m upset because of him or because of her.
“Who? Did your boyfriend do something?”
Cerise felt like a complete asshole for having completely forgotten about Terry until this moment. Like she even cared about Jay and his stupid hair when she had a boyfriend like Terry. She pushed past Jeff and went back to the party, scanning the room for her boyfriend.
She found him at the front entrance with Nick and they were putting on their jackets. Were they going out for a smoke? She didn’t even care. She just wanted to be with him right now. She walked up to him but before she could say anything he glared at her with anger and noted that she’d been crying.
“No, I’m ok,” she replied.
“I saw, Cerise,” he said bitterly. “You’re crying because you saw Karine kiss Jay.”
She froze and her eyes darted to Nick, who was trying his best to blend into the wall.
“And you’re jealous,” Terry went on. “Because you like Jay.”
She shook her head in protest though no words would come out.
“And you think I’m a retard and I don’t fucking know?! You think I haven’t fucking known all along?!”
“Terry,” she said lamely.
“You play me for such a fucking fool, Cerise! You think I don’t see these things?”
“Isn’t it just so much fun, Cerise? It’s Jay just so much fun?” He turned and opened the door, walking outside, and stomping down the metal staircase, which reverberated as he went. Cerise and Nick stared at each other in shock and then they both rushed after Terry.
It was cold and dark out and Cerise had trouble getting down the rickety stairs in her devil heels. Nick offered her his arm and she took it. They rushed after Terry, who had started walking away.
“Terry, please,” she called out and ran after him, catching his jacket sleeve. He spun around and pushed her hand away and she stumbled. Nick helped her steady herself.
“Go back upstairs and play with Jay,” spat Terry. I’m sure you guys will have tons of fun together.”
“Um, maybe…” Nick said softly.
“Shut up, Nick,” Terry growled.
“Terry I’m so sorry I ever said that shit about you not being fun. I didn’t mean it like that,” Cerise said, choking back yet more tears.
“I love you, Terry. I don’t care about Jay,” she insisted.
“They why are you crying?”
“Because you’re being mean.”
“Oh fuck you. I know why you’re crying, you fucking liar.”
“It’s not true. I love you, Terry.”
“Well I don’t love you,” he said with a sneer.
“I don’t believe that,” she said, growing ever more desperate, clutching at his arm as he pushed her away.
“Cerise, I’m not gonna put up with this shit anymore! Get it? It’s over!”
She stood there, stunned, wondering what was going on. “What?” she sputtered.
“Terry! No!” she wailed.
He shook his head and kept walking, with Nick rushing after him.
Cerise yelled out to him. “Just remember that you’re the one doing this, Terry! You’re the one breaking up with me this time. You’re the one breaking my heart!”
“We can dance if we want to, we can leave your friends behind. ‘Cause your friends don’t dance and if they don't dance, well they’re are no friends of mine. I say, we can go where we want to a place where they will never find. And we can act like we come from out of this world, leave the real one far behind and we can dance.”
The first house the elephant went to was Cerise’s, since it was right next door. Jay and the guys had expected Cerise to join them but she was being way weird the past couple of days, all forlorn and shit at lunch and giving one word answers to every question.
“Oh shit, hey guys,” she said when she answered the door.
Jay was in the middle of the elephant and couldn’t see so he crawled out to be able to talk to her. “You getting in, or what?”
“Sorry, I forgot all about the elephant.”
“How can you forget about Halloween? I mean there’s a bowl of candy right next to you,” piped in Vani, his voice muffled by the head of the elephant.
Cerise sighed. “Yeah, ok, let me just get dressed.” She looked down at her pajamas and then shrugged, putting on some boots and a coat. She called out to her mother, informing her that she was going trick-or-treating and then crawled into the elephant with Jay. “Holy shit, it reeks of b.o. in here. So gross.”
“Don’t act like you don’t love it,” snickered Willy.
Cerise was glad she’d joined in the elephant because it was a good distraction. It was pretty fun trying to coordinate her walking with the guys as they lumbered along, led by Vani.
“We’re at Sarah’s house!” he announced.
Sarah laughed out loud when she saw them and Cerise called out to her, inviting her to join them.
“Is there room?” she asked.
“More the merrier,” Vani assured her.
Sarah crawled in. “Oh my god, there’s like so totally no room in here at all.”
“I know, isn’t it awesome?” asked Vani gleefully.
They carried on, covering a lot more territory than Cerise would have anticipated but eventually things fell apart as expected and the elephant was destroyed.
“I don’t see why we had to destroy it,” said Sarah as she surveyed the mangled mess.
“It’s tradition,” the guys explained matter-of-factly.
“Well, I must say, my first experience in the elephant was just as stinky as Karl always claimed,” said Cerise.
“No shit,” giggled Sarah.
“That’s our Willy,” nodded Karl. “Some day he’ll learn to use deodorant. Some day.”
“Why do I always take so much shit?” Willy grumbled.
“Because you’re the only one who’s in the habit of getting little girls pregnant and then dumping them,” Cerise said with a sneer.
“Low blow,” Willy scoffed.
“Actually I think the blow was delivered to the exact appropriate level,” said Karl and the others agreed.
They walked home carrying the remains of the costume and Sarah and Cerise slowed their pace, drifting to the back of the pack.
“So how you holding up?”
“I dunno,” shrugged Cerise.
“I just don’t get why you guys always break up. You’re like the perfect couple.”
“Well, obviously we’re not.”
“So what happened?”
Sarah and Cassie had been trying to get that information from Cerise all week but she hadn’t wanted to talk about it. She sighed, knowing she couldn’t keep putting off the inevitable. “He dumped me ‘cause he thinks I like Jay.”
Sarah paushed. “But you said yourself you kinda do. Or did.”
“Yeah, but I mean…” Cerise sputtered. “Not like the way I like Terry. I mean I love Terry. Jay was just a high school crush. And yeah, it still hurts if I see him with another girl, especially Karine…”
“Seriously,” Sarah grumbled.
“I mean I think that’s why I got so upset when I saw Karine kiss Jay,” Cerise whispered even though the guys were singing ‘90s songs so loudly they wouldn’t have been able to hear her. “It’s like I saw the full extent of her betrayal, you know?”
“Oh my god, totally,” nodded Sarah. “And she’s still with Brady, totally ignoring Jay. Obviously she just did it to prove she like, owns him.”
“But so like, did you explain that to Terry?”
“I’m not sure it would do any good. I mean, why should I care who Jay kisses? Why should I care what Karine does? You know how Terry is about her. He thinks she walks on water.”
“He thinks you do,” Sarah pointed out.
“Used to. He was way mean to me, Sarah. He said he doesn’t love me anymore.” Cerise started to get choked up and breathed deeply to avoid the tears.
“I bet that’s not true. He was just angry or whatever.”
“Yeah, maybe if I give him a few days to calm down?”
“Totally,” nodded Sarah.
Cerise wasn’t really sure that would work. She’d seen Terry angry before but not like this. He’d never broken up with her before; she’d always been the one to walk away from him. Being on this side of a break up was way worse.
Terry had hoped that taking
trick-or-treating would be a good distraction from his foul mood but he’d only managed to get Cerise out of his head for about ten minutes and then he was just as upset as ever. He didn’t even know anymore if he was more sad or angry. Had he done the right thing? Had he acted too harshly? Did Cerise really love him? Did he really love her? He didn’t know anything anymore. Brittany
And no matter how many nights he slept on it, he still wasn’t any closer to knowing what to do. At least he could smoke now. As soon as he stepped out of his car on Thursday morning he lit up a cigarette and walked to the smoking spot outside of Casgrain, where Nick was waiting for him.
“No I didn’t talk to her,” Terry said before Nick could ask, as he’d done every morning since the break up.
“I didn’t say anything.”
“Uh huh.” He finished his cigarette and tossed the butt onto a dead leaf, crushing it up with his foot. “He’s so fucking smug.”
“Who?” asked Nick.
“Jason fucking Harris and that fucking fright wig he calls hair!”
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen Jay look smug.”
“Are you kidding? He’s so fucking proud of himself. What a fucking ass. He doesn’t even appreciate what he has!”
“What does he have?”
“Huh? He doesn’t have Cerise,” reasoned Nick.
“He could! He could so easily have her. If he just pried his giant inflated head out of his bony fucking ass he would realize he can just swoop in and pick her up.”
“He won’t do that.”
“’Cause he’s fucking retarded.”
“Who’s retarded?” asked Karine as she joined them, puffing on a cigarette.
Terry simply sighed in response.
“You ok?” she asked.
“Yeah, what do I care, right?”
Karine shook her head in annoyance. “You always break up with her when we have a play to do. You’re still gonna come right?”
“Yes, Karine!” he said sharply. “Luckily everything in this world is still about you so I’ll still come to your fucking play.”
It was like a slap across the face. Terry didn’t even look at her as he opened the door to the school. He simply walked in, slamming it behind him. Karine looked at Nick, who smiled weakly and shrugged.
“What the fuck is his problem?” she asked in irritation.
“He loves her.”
Not to be a bitch but Karine couldn’t help but roll her eyes at that. What was so great about that stupid cherry girl anyway? She sort of felt bad though when she got to the green room and Cerise was sitting in the corner with Cassie, her eyes red as though she’d been crying.
“Cerise, are you ok?” Karine asked.
“What do you care?” snapped Cassie.
“What does that mean?”
Cassie simply clicked her tongue as Cerise sniffled.
“You gonna be ok for the show? We’ve got our first dress tonight!”
“Yeah I’ll be fine,” Cerise nodded.
Cassie sat there with her hand on Cerise’s arm, staring up at Karine with eyes of fire. It was like she was trying to bore through Karine’s soul or something.
“What?” Karine finally asked.
Cassie scoffed and turned her back to Karine. What the fucking fuck?!