It was shaping up to be a pretty lame holiday season. There wasn’t even any snow on the ground. Jay joined the guys in the Munch Box and sighed as he dropped his lunch on the table.
“Damage?” asked Karl.
Jay shrugged. “Exams suck.”
“Ahh yes,” nodded Vani. “The joy that is exam period.”
“If by joy you mean hell then yes,” smirked Jay.
“I feel like we’ve had this conversation before,” mused Karl.
“No shit. I’m getting bored of all of you!” exclaimed Vani with waving arms.
“I know,” sighed Jay. “I just wanna get away from it all. And by it all I mean you all.”
“I too am experiencing high levels of hate directed at you all,” smirked Willy.
Karl smiled. “So my cabane for x-mas break?”
“Def,” nodded Vani.
“Check,” added Willy.
“You know it,” agreed Jay.
Now that the play was over Cerise went over to Jay’s house everyday after school. Some days the guys were there and they’d game and sometimes it was just Cerise and Jay and they’d watch TV. Today was a TV day.
“Kraft dinner?” she said as she took a bowl from him, which he’d just brought downstairs.
“It’s not Kraft Dinner. It’s my own special recipe.”
Cerise took a bite and laughed. “It’s Cheez-Wiz!”
“It’s a special flavour of Cheez-Wiz!” said Jay as though wounded.
“Ok,” she giggled.
“If you don’t like it…”
“No, it’s fine. Just funny is all. You’re all like acting like Kraft Dinner is beneath you but Cheez-Wiz is fine dining?”
“If you don’t want it I can make something else!”
He tried to take the bowl away but she held on to it, telling him to relax. Was he seriously offended? It was Cheez-Wiz for god’s sake! Jay was so sensitive. He hadn’t been like this when they were just friends but now it’s like everything she said carried extra weight. It was sort of exhausting.
“I’m not tired,” insisted
as she yawned and rubbed her eyes. Brittany
“Well I am so go to sleep and shut up,” counselled Terry as he put his sister to bed for the third time that evening.
“You a big poopy-head!”
“I know I am. And that’s why I’m gonna throw away all your toys if you don’t go to sleep.”
“You wanna test that?” he asked, reaching for her Monster High doll.
“No!” she screeched and he put it back. “Poopy-head,” she mumbled as he closed the door to her room.
He joined Karine and Nick on the couch and turned down the volume on the TV.
“So you were saying it’s not worth it,” Nick prompted.
“Oh hey, I have an idea,” drawled Karine sarcastically. “Why don’t we dwell on the Cerise issue some more? Oh wait, that’s what we’ve been doing all night! Proceed.”
“You’re so funny,” Terry smirked.
“So you were saying,” Nick nudged Terry.
“Karine’s right. We’ve been talking about this all night. I’m done with Cerise. There’s just always so much shit between me and her. Whenever we fight it’s so intense.”
“But you’re in love with her. Call me a hopeless romantic but that’s gotta count for something,” said Nick.
“Yeah fine and things are great when we’re in happy-happy-love land. But far too often we sink into fucked-up-shit land.”
“So you have some major lows but you also have major highs. That’s passion. Don’t act like that’s not a good thing,” advised Nick.
Karine shrugged. “I guess I gotta admit that Nick’s got a point. I mean, is it better to always be just neutral? ‘Cause speaking as someone who’s only ever experienced neutral I kinda wanna know what it’d feel like to have mega highs, even if it meant an equal amount of lows.”
“Your hair smells nice,” offered Jay, inching closer to his girlfriend on the couch. She was his girlfriend, right? ‘Cause she didn’t always act like it. In fact, Cerise was acting pretty much the way she always did. Wasn’t she supposed to be more affectionate or something? Was it up to him to make all the moves? Like seriously, they’d been together for practically a month and he still hadn’t gotten laid. All they’d done was make out. It was getting ridiculous.
“It’s my shampoo,” replied Cerise.
“It’s peach flavour,” she said, and then giggled. “Or fragrance or whatever.”
“No, it smells fruity.”
“Peach is a fruit.”
“I was gonna say papaya.”
“Well it’s peach, Jay. I mean I think I would know.”
“Well it smells nice,” said Jay with a sigh.
“It was on sale.”
“You know, I’m trying to be romantic over here.”
“And you’re doing a lovely job,” she said with another giggle.
“I could light candles or something.”
“Candles are a fire hazard.”
“Exactly!” exclaimed Nick. “It’s all about the passion! You feel something real with Cerise. How can you be so willing to let that go? I mean have you ever had something like that with anyone else?”
“No,” admitted Terry. “But it’s not so easy! I mean, she’s with fuckface now. How am I supposed to get her back?”
“Oh please,” said Karine with an eye roll. “Since when has Jason fucking Harris and his giant white-boy afro been any competition?”
“Jason fucking Harris and his giant white-boy afro is what’s been between me and Cerise from the start. I mean, even on our first date ever, I offhandedly insulted him and she freaked. So he’s not nothing.”
Karine was about to point out that Cerise had never seemed more miserable than now that she was with Jay but she stopped herself. Damn Nick and all his talk about passion. Was Cerise seriously Terry’s soulmate? Fuck that shit! Karine didn’t even believe in nonsense like that. Love was a choice and passion had to be created. Whatever Terry’d ever had with Cerise, he could have with Karine and way better.
“So you don’t wanna try ‘cause it’s gonna be hard?” asked Nick.
“What if she likes him better?” wondered Terry. “I mean, if you love someone, set them free, right?”
“We’ve reached this conclusion about a billion times before,” said Karine. “It’s up to her to come to you. And if she doesn’t, then it wasn’t meant to be.”
This was so weird. To be kissing Jay. His hand crawled up her shirt and she wanted to stop him but didn’t because they were a couple and this is what couples were supposed to do. Still, it was so weird.
“Oh,” he said, breaking their embrace. “I was supposed to tell you that we’re going to Karl’s cabane for x-mas break.”
“Usual. The guys. Sarah. I guess she’ll bring her boyfriend. Cassie was invited. Dunno if she’ll come. Karine and maybe that stupid Brady bunch guy. They still together?”
“Cassie and Sarah won’t wanna come if Karine is there.”
“Well everyone’s invited. They can figure that shit out themselves.”
Cerise wondered if Jay was still into Karine. Probably. He’d remained obsessed with her when he was with Sarah and when he was with Cassie so why should it be any different now?
“Is Terry invited?” she asked.
“Vani tried but I said no.”
“He’ll just go behind your back.”
“Probably,” Jay shrugged. “I hope not.”
They kept kissing and after a beat Jay pulled away again. “What do you feel right now?” he asked.
What the hell kind of question was that? “I dunno. What do you mean?”
“Well like how do you feel?”
“Fine. How do you feel?”
“I dunno. Aroused.”
Cerise could only assume that was a hint but if there was a more awkward way to say you were horny Cerise couldn’t think of it. “Ok well, I mean, it’s not that I don’t wanna do stuff but like, aren’t your parents upstairs?”
“Ok, well I should probably go home anyway. Exams and stuff. I have to study.”
“Yeah, me too,” Jay nodded.
Cerise walked home, wondering what the hell she was doing.
“I’m not gonna let it go,” said Nick. “’Cause I don’t agree with that shit. I think you need to fight for her. And we’re gonna keep having this conversation every damn day until you agree with me.”
“I really need to stop hanging out with you losers,” said Karine with a smirk.
“Except you have no other friends now that all your chick friends hate you,” said Nick pointedly.
“Shut up! You’re so mean!” complained Karine.
“Still haven’t figured out why they hate you?” asked Terry.
“It could be anything,” said Karine with a wave of her hand. Terry and Nick snickered and she glared at them. “What?”
“So you admit you deserve it.”
“Shut up! I don’t know what crawled up their asses. They’re probably jealous ‘cause Jay is so into me.”
“Then how come they don’t hate Cerise?” asked Nick.
“’Cause they’re crazy, I don’t know!”
“Yeah, everyone’s crazy but you, right Karine?” asked Terry with a smirk.
“Shut up, you guys are such losers.”
“We love you too, Karine,” Nick said with a wink.