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
’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!” Brittany
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
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. Brittany
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
so he walked downstairs to let him in. Brittany
“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
’s room. Brittany
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.”
“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…”
“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…”
“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.