Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Season 3 – Episode 6 – Act V

            “Not bad.  A little skinny maybe but I can work with that,” said Terry, realizing he was slurring his words a bit.  He didn’t think he was that drunk, but maybe he was.  “What you think?”
            “I think it’s time we called it a night,” replied Nick with a wry smile.
            “But we haven’t got laid yet!”
            “Well why don’t we just go home and lay each other?  That’ll take care of all our problems.”
            “Nevermind, let’s go.”
            They left the bar and walked outside.  Nick told Terry to put on his jacket even though he said he wasn’t cold.  But Nick was all like, you’re drunk and stuff and so you don’t know you’re cold and you’re gotta get hypothermia and shit.  So Terry put on his jacket and he was all hot and stuff but whatever it was totally snowing and it was so pretty.  Cerise loved snow.  “Cerise loves snow.”
            They got to Terry’s car and Nick took Terry’s keys out of his hand. 
            “She loves to play in the snow.  She’s like a little kid… all playing in the snow… we played in the snow before.  We’d do that… we’d go to parks and stuff.”
            “Sounds fun,” said Nick, pushing Terry into the passenger seat, and pulling on the seatbelt. 
            “I can do my own fucking buckle, dude!”  Terry pushed Nick away and closed the door. 
            Nick got in the car and put on his seatbelt and checked the mirrors and stuff.  He was so responsible and shit.  He wasn’t even drunk.  Had he even had anything to drink at all?  What the fuck?
            “She’s prolly all playing in the snow with fuckhead.  Fucking fuckhead.  Do you think it’d be bad if I beat him up?”
            “Yeah, I think it’d be bad,” said Nick as he pulled out of the parking lot and onto the snowy road all covered in pretty, pretty Cherry snow.
            “One time I beat up Andrew and he was my friend.”
            “Why’d you do that?”
            “’Cause he raped Karine.”
            The car swerved slightly as Nick looked over at Terry.  “Seriously?”
            “Shit!  I wasn’t supposed to say anything!  Don’t tell her I told you!”
            “Ok, I won’t.”
            “Shit.  That was close.  I almost told you a secret.  Shit.  Karine would’ve been so pissed.”  It was still snowing all pretty and stuff.  It was like all coming at the windshield all like little tiny arrows or whatever.  It was cool.
            “Well luckily you stopped yourself in time.”
            “Time for what?  Oh, Karine, yeah.  She doesn’t like people to know.”
            “I can understand that.”
            “Yeah, she doesn’t want people to like, I dunno, judge her or whatever.”  Pretty, pretty, snow, snow, snowy, snowy, snow, snow.
            “Yeah, I totally get that.”
            “So you have to keep it a secret.”
            “Don’t worry,” said Nick.  “I’m real good at keeping secrets.”

            “Come on you guys!  I have to be home like now!” Jay screeched. 
            “What’s your rush?” asked Karine in irritation. 
            “I have to go to Toronto with my family today!  I promised I’d be home by morning!”
            “Well there’s no way you’re gonna make it,” said Karl with a smirk.
            “Well I gotta at least try!”
            “Well I’m not done packing!”
            “Well fuck!”
            Was it fun watching Jay and Karine argue or was it simply annoying?  Did it mean they had a passionate relationship or did it mean they were both whiny babies?  Cerise couldn’t decide but either way their yelling was giving her a headache.  “Why doesn’t Jay go on ahead with whoever is ready and then Karl can wait for Karine and whoever else isn’t ready,” she suggested.
            “Yeah, fine, whatever,” said Karine, sipping coffee and not even pretending to pack. 
            “’Cause I mean, I’m ready,” Cerise went on.
            Vani and Willy agreed they were set to go.
            “So I get stuck with all the girls?” asked Karl, eliciting a glare from Sarah.  “Which is perfect because I love being in close quarters with three chatty women,” he sighed.
            “Gee, I wonder why we ever broke up,” Sarah smirked.  “Not that I’m trying to dredge up the past or anything!”
            Karl glared at her.  “Don’t make me do the panties chant!”
            Willy was being pretty weird on the drive home.  When Jay thanked Cerise for getting them going, Willy made a big point of how he apparently abandoned Karine and chose to leave early with Cerise.  Jay kept telling him to shut up and Willy kept saying it was an “interesting” choice.  Vani simply chanted the panties song all the way home.  It was a pretty painful drive.
            Jay got an earful from his parents when he got home so late.  But his sister, Amy thanked him since she was in no rush to get to Toronto either.  Even though all his clothes from the cabane were wet or dirty he didn’t have time to pack anew so he just left his bag in the trunk and sat in the back while his parents bickered up front. 
            Willy was such an ass.  Not only for giving him a ridiculous ultimatum but for being so obvious about it in front of Cerise on the drive home.  She didn’t seem to suspect anything but still.  His plan was to ignore the ultimatum for now and hopefully by the time he got back from Toronto the guys would have forgotten about it. 
            When they got to his uncle’s house, his parents made a big point of blaming Jay for their being so late.  “He just had to spend a few days with his friends up north.  You know how teenagers are these days.”
            “Oh of course,” agreed his aunt.  “It’s all about their friends at this age.  Never family.  They don’t care a lick about family!”
            “We practically had to drag him here!”
            “That’s not even true,” muttered Jay under his breath.
            “Oh I know! Teenagers, they’re so ungrateful!”
“It’s shameful really.  We’re the ones putting a roof over their heads, keeping their bellies full.  You’d think they’d show some gratitude!”
“But nooo!  They just can’t stand to be around us!”
“You wouldn’t believe what Josie wanted to do for Christmas.  She wanted to go on a ski trip with her friends.  On Christmas day!  Christmas day!”
            “Yeah, so unbelievable,” cousin Josie smirked.
            Jay and Amy nodded sympathetically and they all walked down to the basement to watch boring holiday movies with their annoying little cousins.  How come Jay was the only one to had to put up with shit like this?  None of his friends had to go to bumfuck nowhere for x-mas break!  They all got to hang out and have fun but he was stuck with a bunch of kids and drunk old people!  It was so unfair!  There was probably no one in the world who had to endure anything worse!

            “I don’t see why you can’t do better.  It’s only Cegep.”  Shauna’s mother sighed.
            Shauna kept her head down and concentrated on her breakfast.   
            “If you’re doing this poorly now, just imagine how you’ll do in University!  It just gets harder from here on in, Shauna.  I don’t think you’ll even be able to get into McGill with grades like these.”
            “You need to put in more effort.”
            Though Shauna was pleased to have passed all her courses through the miracle of cheating, her parents didn’t think her grades were up to par.  “I’m doing better than Malcolm did!”
            Her brother glared at her, eyes brimming with fire.
            “We’re not talking about Malcolm right now.  Although you’re right that he needs to put in more effort as well.  You’re both lazy is all.”
            “Absolutely, unbelievably lazy,” agreed their father.  “But stupid too.  I don’t understand how I ended up with such underachievers.  What’s wrong with you two?” he grumbled, his voice rising.
            “Well, there won’t be anything wrong tonight, isn’t that right kids?” Shauna’s mother changed the subject, her voice high and nervous.  “We’re all going to be on our best behaviour for our guests, won’t we?”
            Shauna and her brother nodded.  The trick was just to take it one task at a time.  First she’d have to finish breakfast and then she’d have to get ready, do her hair, put on a stupid dress.  Then there was the party.  That would take several hours.  But she could get through it.  Maybe.  Probably not.  She should just go ahead and kill herself right now, with like the butter knife or something.  Better yet, she’d wait for the party and do it in front of the Christmas tree.  She’d jump off the railing at the top of the stairs and land right on the tree!  That probably wouldn’t kill her though.  So she’d slit her wrists first and then jump and the blood spray would be fantastic!
            If only she could bring Leanne to the party.  She hadn’t asked permission because she didn’t want her parents to smell the gayness on her friend but still, it would have been cool.  Or better yet, if Cerise could come.  No, not Cerise, that stupid cow!  Shauna didn’t even like Cerise!  She hated her!  She was just a stupid, spoiled princess with a perfect life!  A perfect face and a perfect body and a perfect family!  Fucking bitch!

            Cerise wondered if her mom’s boyfriend, AndrĂ© was a permanent fixture in their lives now.  He was so annoying.  And his daughter, Trista wasn’t much better; in fact, she was worse.  Cerise and her sisters got a bunch of dorky new age stuff for Trista’s Christmas present and when she opened the gift, she seemed non-plussed.  As annoying as she was, she wasn’t stupid and probably realized it was a sarcastic gift. 
She thanked them profusely, a little too profusely and went on and on about how great crystals were.  “I just find that they’re so good for cleansing spaces of negative energies.  ‘Cause for some reason I just always feel so many negative energies lately.”
“Maybe you’re feeling your karma,” suggested Julie, eliciting snickers from Cerise and Simone.
Angela interrupted before Trista could respond, and distributed more gifts.  This was seriously the most awkward Christmas ever.  Cerise supposed it would always be like this now.  There would always be a certain weirdness with her parents’ new significant others, unless they stuck around so long that they all got used to each other, which didn’t seem like a pleasant alternative.  Cerise wondered how Terry dealt with it; having so many different families to contend with. 

“This is your captain speaking, we’re experiencing some turbulence.  Please remain seated with your seatbelts securely fastened.”
Brittany squealed as Terry threw her up in the air and caught her without effort.  She laughed and screamed as he did it again and again, twirling her around until she begged him to stop.  “Again, again!” she insisted as soon as he put her down.
Vicky laughed as well, as she cleaned up all the torn wrapping paper from Christmas morning.  For once Britt was pleased with all her gifts and Vicky seemed pleased too.  Terry had to admit it was a pretty good Christmas so far.  This afternoon Vicky was going to visit her mother and Terry would be relieved of Britt duty for a while.  Then he could go visit his parents if he wanted.  But if he didn’t want to, he didn’t have to, he supposed.  Which made this pretty much the best Christmas ever.  Except that he was lonely as fuck.  Which is probably how Karine always felt. 

“Oh hey,” said Karine, letting Brady inside.
She hadn’t been expecting him and she supposed it was meant to be a nice, Christmas surprise but she wished he would have texted first.  As it was she looked like shit, all swaddled up in flannel pajamas, with bedhead and no makeup.  Brady didn’t seem to mind, immediately wrapping her up in an embrace.  She giggled and pushed him away playfully and soon enough they were on the couch in the den, making out. 
He had her clothes off in an instant and was inside her before she even realized what was going on.  She let him continue and thought about Terry.  He flipped her around and she thought he was going to take her from behind like usual but then she felt his penis pressing up against her anus.  Seriously?  Was he seriously trying to do anal without warning, without lube, without any kind of discussion?!
She pulled away and whirled around.  “Are you fucking serious?”
“God, don’t be such a prude,” he smiled.  “It’ll be fun.”
“You can’t just fucking do something like that without even like asking first!”
He sighed heavily.  “Ok, can I fuck your ass?”
“Fine, we’ll do it boring style.”
“Fuck off!”  She scrambled to get her pajamas back on. 
“Oh for Christ sake!  I really didn’t think you of all people would be such a fucking baby about this!”
“Are you being fucking serious right now?  You think this is me being a baby?  You think it’s fucking normal to just like try to stick your dick in my ass without even asking?”
“I’ve done it lots of times before and no one’s ever freaked out.”
“If that’s true, then those people were either roofied or so low on self-esteem that they thought you were a valid human being.  Get the fuck out of my house!”
She gathered up Brady’s clothes and shoved them at him, then walked to the front door.  He followed, carrying his things and yelling.  “Gimme a fucking break, Karine.  Are you for real?  Just calm the fuck down!”
“Get out of my house right now, before I call the fucking cops!”  She opened the front door and pushed him outside, naked, throwing his boots in his face and slamming the door shut, locking it tightly.  He yelled and screamed and she watched him through the window as he dressed in the snow.  It would have been funny if it wasn’t so depressing. 
“Fucking prude!” he shouted before walking away. 
She wouldn’t cry.  She wouldn’t let herself.  He wasn’t worth it.  No one was.  

Friday, December 21, 2012

Season 3 – Episode 6 – Act IV

            Terry was a little embarrassed to admit he wasn’t particularly good at video games.  He supposed it was just a matter of practice and since most of his spare time was spent taking care of his sister he didn’t have much left over for playing games but this didn’t make it any less humiliating when Nick completely obliterated him in every single game they played.  Nick was way into Skyrim lately and was trying to get Terry to buy the game so they could play together but Terry knew he’d never fit gaming into his schedule. 
            “Dude, that’s like the four-billionth time you’ve died,” Nick snickered.
            He’d brought over his massive gaming laptop to show Terry the game.  They’d made him a character but after hours of playing he still wasn’t really getting the hang of it.
            “Ehh, fuck you.  Games aren’t my thing.  Too busy getting pussy, you ‘tard.”
            “Yeah right.  You’re just as fucking hard-up as I am these days.”
            “Mommy says it’s not nice to say fuck you.” Brittany announced, suddenly appearing from out of nowhere.  Terry had thought she’d been playing in her room and he wondered how long she’d been eavesdropping.
            “Um, mommy’s right.  It’s a very bad word and you should never say it.”
            “Fuck you, fuck you, fuck yoooouuu!” she squealed.
            Nick tried not to laugh but ended up making this strangled snorting sound, which made Terry completely lose his shit.  Brittany laughed too.  Oh god, he was gonna have to do some major damage control. 
            “Britt, you don’t say that word at daycare do you?”
            “What word?” she asked innocently.
            “Britt, no games.  You know what word.”
            “I don’t say dat.”  She looked at her feet, obviously lying.
            “Britt, you can’t say it.”
            “I only say dat if stupid boy take my toys!”
            “But you know, at daycare they’re not just your toys.  You have to share.”
            “No!” she screeched.  “My toys!”
            “Britt,” Terry sighed.  “Just don’t hit anyone.  And don’t say bad words.”
            “’Cause then the teachers get mad at you and they also get mad at me ‘cause I taught you the words.  Do you want your teachers to get mad at me?”
            “No.”  She bit her lip and wrung her hands.  “But what if it accident dat I say bad word?”
            “Just try, Britt.  For sure don’t say it if teachers can hear.  And don’t let the other kids tattle on you.”
            “What if dey do?”
            “Then you beat them up.”
            “Jesus, Terry!” Nick exclaimed with a chortle.
            “I’m just kidding,” Terry snickered as Brittany laughed nervously.  “For real, Britt, no fighting, no saying bad words and no taking all the toys for yourself, ok?”
            Brittany shrugged and agreed half-heartedly.
            “Seriously, Terry?” asked Nick.  “You wonder why she hits the other kids?”
            “Ehh, they probably deserve it,” he grinned.
            They all laughed, though at least Nick had the sense to look horrified.
“You can’t mess with a Trebichavsky, right?” Terry tickled Brittany.
“Can’t meff wif a Tebikaki!” she squealed in delight.

This wasn’t an official skating lake so there were no benches.  They sat on rocks as they tied up their skates and then took to the ice with caution.  It certainly seemed cold enough to hold but you never knew.  Grooves in the ice obviously caused by previous skaters helped appease Cerise’s worries as she wobbled out onto the lake.  She wasn’t much of a skater but she still enjoyed it.
“Seriously you guys, are we ok?” asked Karine, gliding out onto the ice like a professional.  Of course she’d be good at this too.
“I guess,” grumbled Cassie.
“Seriously, I can’t believe you guys thought I wanted Jay for myself.  I mean not that he isn’t’ cute and stuff, but I’d never do that.  I mean I’d never let my feelings for a guy get in the way of my feelings for my girlfriends.  You guys are everything to me.”
“Aww!” squealed Sarah, skating over to Karine so they could embrace.
Cassie seemed a little more dubious and Cerise tried hard not to let on that this was total bullshit.  Karine really was a good actress.  Part of Cerise wanted to call her out because she was annoyed that Karine always got away with everything but she preferred being friends with her rather than enemies. 
“And I don’t even have feelings for Jay.  He’s not the type I go for.  And I’m with Brady now anyway.”
“So why’d you kiss him at Halloween?”
“Oh my god, I was so drunk!” Karine giggled.  “I thought he was Brady!  Why do you think I ran away after?  I was embarrassed!
Wow, she was so full of shit.  Cerise just rolled her eyes and skated over to the girls, joining in their silly group hug.

“You’re an airplane!” exclaimed Terry, twirling Britt around in the air and finally dropping her in a snowbank.
She squealed and tried to get up, but struggled in the snow.  It was pretty funny and Terry and Nick both laughed.
“I wonder what everyone else is doing,” mused Nick.
“Nothing interesting.  Just hanging out at Karl’s cabane.”
“Ayeplane!” Britt exclaimed and Terry tossed her around some more.
“Did you wanna go?”
“Yeah right!  With Cerise and hair boy?  Thanks, but I prefer my masochistic moments to be limited to the bedroom.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Nick laughed.
“Whatever.  I had a good time last year but whatever.  It’s just a cabin.  We sit around, hang out, whatever.  It was cool last year though ‘cause it kinda started me and Cerise getting back together… I mean, after the last time we broke up.”
“How many times have you two broken up anyway?”
“I dunno fuck, a lot.  It depends if you count all those false starts in high school.  Three times I guess.”
“Must be something pretty good if you keep going back for more.”
“Not to quote Taylor Swift but…”
“We are never, ever, ever, getting back together!” hollered Nick, and miming the guys like in that video.
Terry laughed and sang along, glad they were with Britt so he could use her as an excuse for acting so gay. 
“Let’s go out tonight,” suggested Nick.  “Like to a pub or something.”
“Yeah!  We’ll get wasted!”
“Wass wassed?” asked Britt, who could always be counted on to catch the most inappropriate words.
“It’s when you waste time,” said Nick, thinking fast.  “Like just hanging out or whatever.  Except it’s super boring.”
“Den why you do dat?”
“’Cause old people are boring,” explained Terry.
She nodded and ran off to play on the jungle gym and Terry and Nick smirked at each other.

Everything was going great.  Karine had totally gotten the girls to make up with her and everyone was sitting around the fire having a totally good time when Cassie suddenly asked all suspiciously why Brady wasn’t with them.  God, what was her deal?  Why couldn’t she just get over her stupid resentment?  She was such a jealous little leprechaun, it was insane.  But she might as well get used to taking second fiddle to girls like Karine, ‘cause Karine was totally hot and Cassie was just cute, like in a Lilliputian kind of way. 
“Honestly?” shrugged Karine.  “This just isn’t his scene.  I mean it takes a strong stomach to handle these freaks.”
“Agreed,” chuckled Cerise.
“Besides, it’s not like a person has to spend every waking moment with their S.O.,” reasoned Karine.
“Sounds like you’re no more impressed with Brady than you were with Mike,” said Cerise.
“I guess not.  Whatever.  A guy’s a guy,” shrugged Karine.
Cassie narrowed her eyes.  What would it take to get her to trust Karine again?  Not that Karine even cared.  Cassie was like the least important person in her life so whatever.
“Do you at least like the sex better with him?” asked Sarah.
Vani perked up visibly at that question and Karine looked at the other guys to see if they were also listening.  They certainly were.  Even if they hadn’t been present she wouldn’t have told the truth, which is that sex was always a bit weird for her now.  She wanted to blame it on Brady but the problem was probably her.  “I guess,” she shrugged.  
“Sounds like a no,” said Sarah.
“Well he’s like any guy I guess,” said Karine with authority.  “You know, he misses the point.  It’s like, ever heard of romance?  I don’t wanna be jumped randomly you know?  Like it’s called the art of seduction, fucking google it if you can’t figure it out yourself.”
“Oh my god, totally!” agreed Sarah.  “Guys just wanna fuck and then that’s it.  But it’s like, hello, I need a little more than that, you know?”
“Totally,” both Cassie and Cerise nodded.
“Valuable information,” said Vani.
“Well it’s not like a secret,” said Sarah.  “I don’t understand why guys can’t remember that.  It’s like not that difficult.  I mean is it?”  She looked at the guys.  “Neither of you could figure it out.”
Karl sat stone-faced but Jay blushed.
“I didn’t think Jay was so bad,” shrugged Cassie.  “Remember the time when my parents were away and we took a bath together?  That was nice.”
Jay blushed even more.
“Well it sounds just nifty,” smirked Karl.
“Don’t make fun, Karl,” counselled Sarah.  “Even though Jay was like totally useless in almost every way he was still more romantic than you.  Which isn’t saying much.  But I’m not trying to dredge up the past or anything.”
“I did all the froo-froo shit you wanted to do,” said Karl defensively.
“Like what?”
“Like I went to museums with you.  I went to the theatre with you.  We went to like photography exhibits and shit.”
“But you enjoy that shit too!  You said so!  You said it was nice to be with someone who enjoyed cultural stuff instead of just fart jokes and shit!”
“So a romantic gesture only counts if the guy does it against his will?  That makes no sense!”
Sarah was about to retort but then she stopped herself.  “You know what, you’re right.”
“Seriously?” asked Vani, do doubt echoing everyone’s thoughts.
“No, yeah, you are right,” Sarah said decisively.  “You were a good boyfriend, Karl.  I mean at least we had stuff in common.  You’re like the only guy I’ve ever gone out with that I could have an intellectual conversation with.”
“We had intellectual conversations!” insisted Jay.
“It doesn’t count when it’s about fictional shows!” said Sarah in exasperation.
Jay was about to protest when Vani interrupted to note that everyone Jay had ever dated was in this room.  “That’s gotta be a little awkward, eh Jay?”
“I guess,” Jay shrugged.
“And the fourth chick in the room is the one you’ve been masturbating to since you were twelve,” snarked Willy.
The boys laughed but Jay turned a bright shade of red.  Cerise also flushed a bit, Cassie looked pissed off, as usual and Karine simply smirked.  It was gross to think of boys masturbating to her but also sort of flattering. 
“It’s just interesting, don’t you think?” Willy went on.  “Here’s your girlfriend and the chick you’ve always wanted.”
“Shut up!” insisted Jay angrily.
“Hey, I’m just saying,” smiled Willy.
“He’s just saying,” said Karl with an equally amused smile.
Vani nodded at them all.  “Panties, panties, panties, panties!”
Everyone picked up a nearby pillow and they all walloped Vani repeatedly.  He just laughed and kept talking about how Jay’s entire sexual history sat before them.

God, could this be any shittier?  Jay tried not to look like he was embarrassed or angry but he seriously wanted to kill Vani and Willy and Karl and then get swallowed up into the ground.  And take them all with him. 
“Well guess what, Vani?” Jay grumbled.  “Your entire sexual history sits before us too.  ‘Cause it’s all encompassed by that right hand.”
“How do you know I use my right hand?  I could use my left.”
“When it comes to jacking off I think it’s best to be ambidextrous,” smiled Willy. 
“You know what I like about you, Vani?” asked Cavity.  “You’re so honest about your lack of experience.  Most guy virgins are all like, I’ve fucked a million chicks when it’s so obvious that they’re like, total cherries.  I mean not cherries but… no offence Cerise.”
Cerise raised an eyebrow but said nothing.
“Yeah,” agreed Sarah.  “It’s good that you’re so cool about it.  Jay was pretty good too.  It was cute when we did it the first time.  He was scared shitless.  Remember, Jay?”
Seriously?  She wasn’t even smiling or anything.  She was obviously trying to embarrass him.  What a bitch.
“Ugh, TMI,” said Karine with a grin. 
“No, let’s hear more about little virgin Jay,” smiled Willy, all dripping with grossness and evilness. 
“Let’s hear more about how he was scared,” grinned Vani.
“Like you’re not fucking petrified!”
“Hey, make no mistake, I wouldn’t know what the fuck to do with myself.”
“See?  Honest,” beamed Cavity.  “But like, much as the cute virgin thing is like, well cute, I just want a guy who knows what he’s doing.”
Jay couldn’t help but snicker as Vani deflated visibly.
“Yeah, that’s the great thing about Terry.  He knows exactly…” Cerise trailed off.  “I mean, nevermind.”
“No!  I wanna know what Terry can do!” said Cavity and her stupid face.
“Maybe this is a conversation for later,” giggled Karine.
“No fair!  I wanna know what Terry does too!” squealed Vani.
Willy grinned.  “Panties, panties, panties, panties!”

Monday, December 17, 2012

Season 3 – Episode 6 – Act III

            Karl pushed another log into the little wood-burning stove as they all took turns in the bathroom brushing their teeth and putting on pajamas.  Cerise climbed into her sleeping bag, which was next to Jay’s.  At first she was glad he hadn’t suggested zipping their bags together to make one big bag, though a second later she sort of wished he had because when Karine walked by in a white camisole which didn’t leave much to the imagination, Jay’s gaze followed her.  He was always going to be obsessed with her, wasn’t he?  But he was her boyfriend now!  He’d never be with Karine and he might as well accept that!  Cerise asked herself why she was even going out with him when it was so obvious he was into Karine.  Then she instantly felt ashamed, wondering if this was how Terry had always felt about her obvious feelings for Jay.  She was such a shitty girlfriend, no matter who she was dating. 
            Seriously, all her relationships were terrible.  She could never make it work with Terry, she’d been horrible to Tom and now she was being shitty to Jay even though she really liked him!  Or did she?  Of course she did!  She was glad she was finally with him and she couldn’t stand the idea of him being with Karine.  But maybe that was it.  Karine seemed to get off on the idea that Jay liked her and she sometimes acted like she didn’t want anyone else to have him but was Cerise any better?  Did she only want Jay because he didn’t want her?  Did she only want to “win” over Karine? 
            “You know, I agree with Vani,” Sarah whispered to Cassie.  “It would have been fun if Terry came.  And if Nick came too.”
            “I know, they’re both so hot,” agreed Cassie.
            “Nick is still single, right?”
            “Why are you asking, aren’t you still with Paul?”
            “Yeah, of course,” insisted Sarah, still whispering.
            “Where is Paul anyway?” asked Cerise.
            “He had to do family stuff this week,” explained Sarah.
            “Ok, so I have dibs on Nick,” giggled Cassie.
            “Nick is a dweeb,” said Vani. “He’s a stupid jock.”
            “Terry’s a stupid jock and you love him,” pointed out Karl.
            Cerise wanted to say that Terry wasn’t stupid but she decided to stay quiet on the issue.  Jay probably wouldn’t want her to defend her ex, especially considering all the animosity between them.
            Suddenly Karine crawled out of her sleeping bag and crept downstairs.  The front door was heard opening and closing.
            “God, what a bitch.  If she’s not the centre of attention she just leaves?  Whatever,” grumbled Cassie.
            Cerise got up and went downstairs.  As she put on her coat and boots she heard the girls asking each other what Cerise was up to.  Vani suggested she was about to initiate a snowball fight with Karine, which elicited giggles and a grumbled plea from Karl for everyone to shut up and go to sleep.
            “You’re such an old man,” laughed Sarah.
            Cerise hauled open the thick wooden door and stepped outside into the chill air.  It was super dark out and Cerise took a moment to let her eyes adjust.  She saw Karine sitting nearby on a big rock and she joined her.
            “Come to bitch me out?” asked Karine.
            Cerise had assumed Karine would be smoking but she was just looking up at the stars.  “Why would I bitch you out?”
            “Do you at least know why those two hate me so much?”
            “Yeah, I do,” sighed Cerise.
            “So?  Gonna let me in on the fucking secret or what?  Is it because I kissed Jay?  ‘Cause I was just fucking drunk.”
            “Well Karine, it’s more that they just kinda put everything together.”  Cerise huffed and watched her breath swirl up into the black sky.
            “What are you talking about?”
            “They blame you for their break-ups with Jay.”
            “What?  Why?”
            “Well, you told Sarah to dump Jay because of me.  Right?
            “Well yeah but I was doing it for you!”
            “Were you?” Cerise asked sceptically.  Before Karine could answer she went on.  “Let’s say I buy that.  What about in high school? Why did you dump Steven and then like, go to prom with Jay and then ditch him?”
            “Oh god, seriously?  You’re bringing up high school shit?  That was a bunch of shit that had nothing to do with Jay.  It was about me and Steven and Erica.”
            “Did you know Jay was supposed to go with me?”
            Karine squinted and shuffled her feet in the snow.  “Weren’t you with Terry?”
            “We’d broken up.”
            “Like I can keep track of you guys’ ups and downs,” Karine chuckled bitterly.
            “Ok but like… why did you get Cassie to dump Jay?”
            “I didn’t even!”
            “Karine.” Cerise lifted a brow and waited for Karine to look at her.
            Karine finally looked up and sighed.  “Ok, maybe I nudged her… in the sense of telling her that he was gonna dump her.  Which is not a total lie.”
            “Except that it is.”
            “He wasn’t even happy with her!”
            “But he would have been happy with you?”
            “Like I’d want Jay!” Karine scoffed.  “No offense.”
            Cerise laughed in disbelief.  “Then why break them up?  And why kiss him at Halloween?”
            “Oh fuck,” grumbled Karine, obviously embarrassed.  “So maybe I had like a little baby crush on him.”
            “Well obviously it was big enough to fuck with his head.  And fuck with his life.  And fuck with Cassie and Sarah.”
            “I dunno,” Karine sniffled, probably from the cold.  Cerise highly doubted she was crying.  “Maybe I was jealous.  Maybe I was sick of always going out with the same type of guy.”
            “What type?” asked Cerise with genuine curiosity.
            “You know, all like popular or whatever.  And maybe… maybe I wanted to be with someone I trusted.  ‘Cause maybe sometimes… I think about the asshole, you know, Andrew, and what he did to me.  And maybe I think about how I feel safe with Jay.”
            Cerise felt like such an ass, not only because of what Karine had gone through but because a part of her doubted Karine’s sincerity.  She was so manipulative, was it possible she was just using her rape as an excuse for her shitty behaviour?  Cerise supposed Karine’s story made sense.  Jay was definitely non-threatening. 
            “Well,” Cerise sighed.  “I get that.  But it was still a shitty thing to do to Sarah and Cassie.”
            “So what am I supposed to do about it?!”  Karine threw her arms up in exasperation.
            “Seriously?  It’s not a tough code to crack, Karine.  You just have to apologize.”
            “Oh my god, seriously?”  Karine seemed horrified.
            “Would it be so bad?”
            “God, what would I say?  How would I explain?”
            “Just tell the truth!  Everything you just told me,” said Cerise.  “Assuming it’s true,” she added after a beat.
            Karine gave her a sidelong glance and smirked.  “I’m not gonna tell those bitches about what happened with the asshole.”
            “Why not?”
            “Never show weakness, Cerise.  Not to your enemies and not even to your friends.  And definitely not to friends who turn into enemies.”
            “They’re only friends who turned to enemies because of what you did!”
            “Still.  If you give people information they can use against you, like you’re just asking for it to backfire.”
            Cerise had to admit she at least somewhat agreed with that statement but she didn’t want to encourage Karine.  “You don’t have to tell them everything.  Just like the part about how you were jealous.  It’ll make them feel good and they’ll get over their damage.”
            “Oh my god!  Are you serious?  I wouldn’t give them the satisfaction!”
            “Well you have to do something!” Cerise insisted.  “’Cause right now they’re just feeding off each other’s hate.  If you tell them about what happened with the asshole, and how Jay made you feel safe, they’d have to be sympathetic.  They can’t hate you after that.”
            “So you’re saying I could use it.  I could use it to make them see my side.”
            “Oh my god, you’re talking like a politician, Karine.”

            Karine stared at Cerise and tried to think of a retort.  Maybe the Cherry was right; maybe she was too manipulative, too conniving.  She always considered everything in terms of who was on top.  But true friendship wasn’t like that.  Terry was her only real friend, wasn’t he?  And it had always been that way.  With Erica and even Christina there had always been head-games.  There was always someone winning and someone losing and now she was doing that again with Sarah and Cassie.  Cerise was right: it was her fault.  She was the bad guy. 
            “You know, when I broke up Cassie and Jay, it was ‘cause I was gonna go for him.”
            “Yeah,” Cerise prompted.
            “But then I didn’t.”
            “How come?”
            “’Cause of you.  I knew you’d be crushed.  I really did see how much it hurt you when Sarah got with him.  I wasn’t even into Jay then so it’s not like I broke them up for myself.  Anyway, that’s why I ultimately didn’t go for him.  ‘Cause of you.  ‘Cause our friendship is more important to me.”
            “Really?” asked Cerise, somewhat sceptically.
            God, fuck her for being suspicious!  But she was right to be.  Karine hadn’t even planned on saying all that, it had just come out.  The real reason she didn’t go for Jay was because she was too much of a coward and she didn’t want to ruin her reputation.  But somehow she didn’t say that just now.  When she’d opened her mouth, this lie came out; a lie designed to get Cerise on her side.  She couldn’t even help it.  Karine started to give some serious thought to going into politics, but Cerise interrupted her reverie by saying she was relieved.
            “That I’m not into Jay?”
            “I guess it doesn’t matter if you are or aren’t.  ‘Cause he’s into you.  I dunno, Karine, it’s so weird being with him.”
            “How so?”
            “I think maybe it’s too late for us.  Like we’ve been friends for so long, maybe we can’t be a couple.”
            Karine certainly hoped this wasn’t a universal truth because then her relationship with Terry would never materialize.  But if he was her one real friend, should she even think about jeopardizing that for the possibility of something more?  But how could she not?  She’d never be able to find a guy she cared about as much as Terry.  Was she supposed to live her entire life going out with guys who couldn’t measure up?
            “You know what I mean?” Cerise asked.
            “Oh right, yeah.  But don’t you think that’s a good thing?  That you were already friends?  You already know each other, you don’t have to go through the awkward getting-to-know-you stuff.”
            “But that’s just it, it’s super awkward!”
            “Maybe that’s just ‘cause… well… no offense but both you guys are pretty awkward just like, on your own.  I guess together it’s like double the awkward, double the pain.”
            “You’re right,” nodded Cerise.  “Terry and I worked because he was outgoing, so he balanced out my shyness.  But neither Jay or I know what we’re doing.  Like, all we’ve ever done is kiss ‘cause neither of us knows how to make a move!”
            “Oh my god,” Karine giggled into her hands.  “You guys are such losers.”
            “I know,” Cerise laughed as well.  “We’re seriously fucking hopeless!”
            “So just take control, Cerise.  I know you don’t drink, but maybe start.  If you guys are both tipsy you’ll lose your inhibitions and you can get down.  Wait ‘till you get home though, there’s no private space here.”
            Cerise laughed.  “Oh god, but that’s just it.  I don’t want to lose my inhibitions.  ‘Cause like, well, you know how you were saying you felt safe with Jay?  You trusted him?”
            “Well I don’t.”
            “You don’t trust him?”
            “I don’t.  I don’t trust that he returns my feelings.  Not that I even know my feelings right now.  But I’ve been crushing on him for two years and he only started giving a shit two seconds ago and I don’t even know why.  I guess I don’t trust his motives.”
            “Shit, I thought I was paranoid.  You’re just fucking crazy!”
            “Shut up!  Seriously, Karine.  What should I do?”
            “My previous advice stands.  Get fucking drunk, bitch.  You’re too uptight.  For real.”
            Cerise sighed.  “Ok whatever.  Let’s go to sleep.  It’s fucking freezing out here.  Tomorrow you can apologize to the girls.  You’ve got all night to think of some lie to tell them.”
            “Shut up.”
            Both girls giggled as they walked back inside.

            Jay was rudely woken up by a pillow in his face.  He jumped up and attacked Willy and they wrestled around for a bit.  “What’s for breakfast?” he asked as he wiped the sleep from his eyes.
            “We already ate, loser,” said Karl with disdain.  “Fuck, you can sleep through anything.”
            “We’re going skating.  Wanna come?” asked Cerise.
            “Meh, I can’t skate,” he shrugged, pouring himself a bowl of cereal. 
            “Speak up!  I can’t hear you!” Vani suddenly exclaimed.
            Jay turned to see that Vani was trying to eavesdrop on Karine as she was speaking to Cassie and Sarah.
            “You’re not meant to hear, you moron!” Karine yelled.
            “No, no, go ahead Vani, come here.  Everyone might as well hear this,” said Cassie smugly.
            Was it Jay’s imagination or did Karine’s cheeks turn red?.  She cleared her throat and spoke.  “I was just telling Cassie that I deliberately broke her up with Jay.”
            Jay dropped the spoon in his hand and it crashed to the ground.  Everyone stared at him and then turned back to Karine. 
            “Um, ‘cause like, I didn’t think Cassie and Jay were suited to each other.  And I know that was a shitty thing to do, and I’m sorry.  And I broke up Sarah and Jay too.”
            “Why?” asked Vani, saving Jay from having to ask.
            “The same reason you guys wanted to break up Sarah and Jay.  ‘Cause it was hurting Karl.  And it was hurting Cerise.  I mean, look at them, they’re finally a couple and that’s how it should be.  They’re perfect for each other.”
            Cerise didn’t seem particularly impressed by that statement.  She looked a little disbelieving, actually.  Jay wasn’t sure what to think either.
            Karine went on.  “So like yeah.”
            “What the fuck, seriously?” said Cassie.  “Cerise never told me she was into Jay.  I had every right to go out with him!”
            “Well I’m sorry!” said Karine.  “I made a mistake, ok?  I talked to Jay and I thought he was gonna break up with you.  I was wrong.  But I just thought that he should be with Cerise.  And it turns out I was right!”
            Cassie didn’t look convinced but Sarah seemed a little relieved.  She accepted the apology and picked up her skates, telling the girls they could keep talking about it at the lake.
            Before Jay knew it the girls were gone and he was staring into a soggy bowl of cereal.
            “Well, fuck, Jay.  I guess you and Cherry, Cherry, quite contrary were just meant to be!” chuckled Vani.
            “Fuck that shit!” growled Willy.
            Vani went on.  “You know, you’re quickly setting a record.  She’s your third girlfriend.  Second that you had any legitimate claim to.  You’re way ahead of me.  If my non-homosexual man-love for Terry wasn’t so pure I’d be jealous.  But since my non-homosexual man-love for Terry is so pure I feel no jealousy.  Only the desire for violence.”  With that he opened a window, gathered up a snowball from the windowsill and threw it at Jay.
            The snow splattered on the fridge and Karl freaked out, telling them to act civilized.  Vani ran downstairs and they all followed, putting on their gear.  Once outside the snow fight continued and Willy promptly went berserk, pushing Jay in the snow and piling snow on his face.
            “Fuck off!” Jay sputtered, trying to push the whale away.
            “Seriously, relax Willy, I think he’s dead,” said Karl with a laugh.
            “How can you say Jay has a legitimate claim to Cerise?!  I fucking put dibs on her!” yelled Willy.
            “Oh shut the fuck up,” said Jay, finally managing to crawl away.  His entire body was soaked and he was freezing.
            “The kid has a point though.  He did put dibs,” said Karl.
            “That’s fucking retarded!” said Jay. “If anyone had dibs on Cerise I did!  Unspoken dibs!”
            “Unspoken dibs?” shrieked Willy.  “Are those like, magical fairy dibs?”
            “I mega have dibs!  I’m the one who met her first.  I’m better friends with her than any of you.  I introduced her to all you guys and she only hung out with you guys ‘cause of me.”
            “Valid points all,” nodded Vani.
            “I called fucking dibs!” insisted Willy.  “I called it!  I fucking called it!”
            “Well what the fuck are you gonna do about it?!” asked Jay haughtily, getting mighty tired of this bullshit.
            “You have to break up with her.”
            “Fuck you,” scoffed Jay.
            “There’s no such thing as unspoken dibs,” Willy huffed.  “The whole concept is retarded.  I bet you think you have unspoken dibs on every chick we ever met.”
            “Like we’ve even met that many,” said Karl with an eye-roll.
            “Whatever, Willy,” Jay sighed.  “You can have dibs on all the chicks we’ve ever met besides Cerise.”
            “Oh yeah?”
            “Yeah.  Happy now?”
            “Yeah fine,” Willy nodded smugly.  “So then I have dibs on Karine.”
            Both Karl and Vani burst into laughter.  “He’s got you there!”
            “Fuck you!  You know I didn’t mean Karine!  I way have dibs on her!”
            “Unspoken dibs apparently,” Willy cackled.
            “Yeah, unspoken dibs,” Jay said.  “You all know I’ve been into her since Sec 1!  It’s just fucking understood that I have dibs on her!”
            “The issue is moot since she’d never go out with either of you,” said Karl.
            “She might,” said Jay.
            “Nope,” smiled Karl.
            “’Fraid not.”
            “Whatever!” Jay exclaimed.      “It doesn’t matter.  I have dibs on Karine.  That’s final!”
            “You’re such a piece of shit!” Willy screamed.  “You say one thing and then when I follow your rules you go against yourself.  You’re such a fucking ass.”
            “It’s true, Jay,” Karl nodded.  “You’re being a major prick.”
            “Truth is being told,” Vani agreed.
            “Unless you fucking agree that I have dibs on Karine, and by me having dibs on Karine I mean you can never, ever date her, then you’re fucking expulsed!” yelled Willy.
            “Whoa!  Les moteurs!” said Vani in awe.
            “You can’t just expulse me, you lard-turd.  It has to be a group decision.”
            “Well as much as it pains me to do so, I have to side with Willy,” said Karl.  “The boy has logic in his corner.”
            “Yeah,” nodded Vani.  “I gotta admit the lard-turd is in the right.”
            Jay stared at his so-called friends in disbelief.  “You can’t be serious!  I have to give up dibs on Karine?  That’s not fair!”
            “Actually, it’s way beyond fair,” said Willy.  “But since I’m such a reasonable man, I’ll make you a deal.  You can choose.  You can choose either Cerise or Karine.  You can have dibs on one but not both.”
            “Ho, ho, ho,” Vani chuckled.  “It just keeps getting better.”
            Jay stared at Willy.  “But I’m already with Cerise.”
            “Then I guess your choice is made.”
            “No!  I want Karine!” he exclaimed without thinking.
            “Ok.  You choose Karine.  That means you have to break up with Cerise.”
            “You guys!”
            They all stared at him smugly.
            “You guys know how I feel about Karine… she’s everything.”
            “So it’s Karine then?” asked Willy.  “Ok, break up with Cerise.”
            “This is stupid!  Even if I broke up with her it’s not like she’d go out with you!”
            “Then fucking choose Cerise and forget about Karine, who will never go out with you.”
            “Seriously, Jay,” said Karl.  “This isn’t exactly Sophie’s choice.  You already have Cerise.  And we all know you have no chance with Karine.  Giving Willy dibs on her is like giving him an invisible coin.  He can’t actually buy anything with it.”
            Jay couldn’t believe this.  Would they really expulse him if he refused to choose?  It was retarded!  Why couldn’t he have both Karine and Cerise?  Neither of them would ever go for Willy so it was stupid of him to wish for it.  Whereas Jay really had a chance with Karine.  She’d totally flirted with him this summer, he knew she had.  He couldn’t give her up.  And things weren’t exactly awesome with Cerise anyway. 
            “Just think about it, Jay,” advised Willy.  “It’s either Cerise or it’s Karine.”
            Vani grinned. “Panties, panties, panties, panties!”