Everything was just the way it had been the previous semester. Every day Terry would eat lunch in the cafeteria with Nick and every so often Karine would join them. Sometimes they’d join her for a smoke outside even though they’d officially quit. Terry thought it was pretty good that he was down to one cigarette a day. Of course when he’d been with Cerise he’d totally clean, but still.
Today they decided not to go for a smoke because it was particularly cold out. Instead they lingered in the caf and after a while Karine came along, her cheeks red and her boots covered in snow.
“Hey losers,” she said as she sat next to Terry. “What’s up?”
“I was just about to tell Terry that I think Cerise’s stalker is a lesbian,” said Nick. “I mean I think that’s why she’s stalking Cerise. ‘Cause she likes her in that way.”
“Wow, didn’t see that one coming,” Karine rolled her eyes.
“Yeah, not much of a leap,” admitted Terry.
“Fucking nasty though,” Karine went on.
“Why? ‘Cause it’s gross to be gay?” asked Nick tentatively.
“No, because that chick is like, magnetically attracted to porta-potties. And the fact that she wants to infect Cerise with her porta-potty germs is gross.”
“Sooo, you don’t have a problem with gayitude?”
“Gayitude?” chuckled Karine. “I watch Glee, don’t I? Even though it totally sucks now. Have you guys seen Les Mis? ‘Cause that sucked too. Like, I get wanting to use established actors but get some who can sing. Their voices are like, so thin. And you can barely hear the score.”
“Yeah Nick, have you seen Les Mis?” asked Terry with a grin.
“Oh, shut up.”
Karine regarded them with interest. “What’s the joke?”
“Nick’s gay,” explained Terry.
“Thanks Terry, but like, I can out myself, ok?” Nick scowled. “I don’t need you to do it for me.”
“So fucking do it then!”
Karine looked from Terry to Nick and her eyes widened. “Wait, like, for serious?”
“Yeah,” Nick nodded.
“How come you never told me?”
“I never told anyone. I’m like currently in the process of like, coming out to certain people.”
“Well I guess that makes sense,” she shrugged. “Nice, good-looking guys who dress well and like to talk are always gay. Or at least that’s what TV tells me.”
“So by that logic I’m gay,” said Terry.
“Don’t I wish?” smirked Nick and then hastily added that he was just kidding.
“I said nice guys, Terry. And you’re in no way a nice guy. Speaking of which, I found out why Jay broke up with Cerise.”
“Really? Why? I mean, not that I care,” Terry clarified.
Nick rolled his eyes as Karine went on. “It’s ‘cause of you! Apparently he was like, scared shitless that you were gonna beat him up or some shit!”
Terry burst into laughter. “No fucking way! What a fucking wuss!”
“Seriously, what the hell?” asked Nick, also laughing.
“Like you should talk, Nick,” Terry chuckled. “Didn’t you say you were scared of coming out ‘cause you didn’t want people to beat you up?”
“It’s different and you know it.”
“It’s way different,” Karine nodded. “Jay is a fucking loser. I don’t blame him for being scared but for being soooo scared he’d fuck over Cerise like that? I mean, she is mondo hurt. She’s like, depressed. It took her like, ages to read her script. God, the play we have to do this term is like so shit. I mean it’s so beyond shit!”
“She’s depressed?” asked Terry, trying to get Karine back on track.
“Yeah,” Karine nodded. “I guess not just about Jay,” she shrugged. “She’s all sad ‘cause of you too. She’s all saying how like she betrayed you and it was so stupid and you were right and she was wrong and Jay broke her heart and she’s an idiot and whatever the fuck.”
“He broke her heart?” asked Terry, trying not to sound too interested, but maybe not caring that much if he did.
“Poor Cerise,” said Nick.
“That fucking ass, he was right to be scared,” said Terry with gritted teeth. “I’m gonna pound his face in.”
“And prove him right?” snickered Karine. “God, why are you so violent?”
“I don’t care if I do prove him right. He needs to be taught a lesson.”
Nick snorted with derision. “And you wonder why he was scared? You wonder why I was worried? Karine’s right, you’re totally violent. Is it ‘cause of your daddy issues?”
“So I should just let him get away with it? With treating Cerise like shit?”
“So only you can treat her like shit?” asked Nick with a smirk.
“I never broke her heart!”
“Her exact words when you dumped her were: you’re breaking my heart”.
Terry shrugged and grumbled incoherently. They were right, he was violent, but still, he couldn’t just ignore the way Jay and his stupid hair had treated Cerise. She deserved better.
Karine held on to Nick’s news for an entire day before she burst. She hovered over the guys’ table at the Munch Box and casually asked if they knew he was gay.
“Fascinating,” said Karl sarcastically.
“Are you serious?” asked Vani with the appropriate amount of shock and awe. “I knew it!”
“Why? ‘Cause you can smell your own kind?” smirked Willy.
“Does this mean we can’t make gay jokes anymore?” asked Jay.
Karine put a hand on her hip and smiled down at him. “He could still beat your ass, you fucking coward.”
Jay sighed and glared at Vani who ranted about how his pure non-homosexual man love for Terry was now threatened by one whose love was more pure.
“Nick doesn’t love Terry,” said Karine, wondering if maybe he did.
“I knew he was up to no good,” Vani ranted on. “I knew he was trying to steal Terry away from me! Oh god, does this mean I have to become gay in order to fight for the man I love?”
“Become?” asked Willy. “I mean, am I the only one who is getting increasingly disturbed by Vani’s declarations of love for Terry?”
“He just does it to piss me off,” grumbled Jay.
“Yeah, ‘cause everything is about you and your fear of Terry,” scoffed Vani.
“I’m not even afraid of him!” Jay insisted.
“Maybe you should be,” said Karine. “He still wants to beat you up, you know.”
“Well that explains it,” said Janice with great relief after Karine had burst into the green room and announced that Nick was gay. “He’s like the only guy at this school I haven’t hooked up with yet.”
A couple of the guys in the green room looked up at this comment but they didn’t say anything. They were dorky guys unworthy of Janice’s attention and undoubtedly free of her STDs. Cerise looked around the room, wondering why she’d never considered anyone’s sexuality before. There were a lot of guys in Theatre Workshop this semester and she supposed some of them might be gay. It was perhaps a stereotype that theatre guys were gay but still, it was strange that she’d never even thought about it before. Hugh was obviously gay and she’d never really thought about that either. Cerise wondered if her lack of attention to the matter meant she was unusually tolerant or unusually ignorant, or maybe even unusually self-absorbed.
It had certainly never occurred to her that Nick might be gay but she felt ok about that since Cassie and Janice seemed equally taken aback. They gathered their scripts and went to Casgrain to sit in a hallway where they met up with Sarah and shared the news with her.
“So that’s why he never liked me!” she exclaimed.
“That’s what I said,” nodded Janice. “It’s a shame, such a fine piece of man meat, gone to waste. Oh well. Maybe he’ll let me watch him fuck another dude.”
“Eww,” said Cassie.
“You’re such a prude,” scoffed Janice.
“And you’re a whore,” giggled Karine. “So there’s more. Know who else is gay?”
“Who?” they all asked.
“Your stalker,” Karine smiled at Cerise.
“How do you know?” asked Cassie before Cerise could react.
“Nick said so. I guess they have like a homo hive-mind or something.”
“Gross,” said Cassie. “I mean not being gay. I mean about her wanting to have sex with you.”
“Are we surprised by this news?” asked Janice. “I thought it was already well established.”
“She doesn’t wanna have sex with me!” Cerise insisted. Once again, this was something that had never even occurred to her. Thinking back, she could remember kids calling Shauna a dyke and whatnot but she’d still never really considered the possibility that Shauna liked her in that way.
“Of course she does!” insisted Janice. “That’s always what stalkers want!”
“And if you won’t be her sex toy she’s just gonna like, try to murderise you!” suggested Cassie.
“Guys, let’s not be mean,” sighed Cerise. “Shauna’s never done anything bad to me. She’s never been violent, she’s never threatened me. Over the course of the years I’ve known her, I’ve been meaner to her than she’s been to me.”
“And with good reason!” said Karine. “She’s a lesbo stalker and she wants to like, marry you.”
“You guys, seriously, enough,” pleaded Cerise. “Why can’t we ever get over the whole Shauna thing?”
“Because she continues to exist,” said Karine.
“And she continues to stalk you,” insisted Sarah.
“She doesn’t even! Is she here? Is she stalking me right now?!”
Shauna started to sweat. She retreated further down the hallway, determined to walk away, to prove she wasn’t stalking Cerise but she couldn’t stop listening now! Not when they were talking about her! Pressed up against the wall, she inched back towards the Casgrain hallway, straining to hear, even daring to peak out from behind the corner for a moment.
“Just because she’s not camped out in your backyard doesn’t mean she’s not still stalking you,” said Karine Cavalière, the pretty, popular girl from high school.
“And now she’s doing it lesbian style,” laughed the hipster chick.
“It’s not like that changes anything,” said Cerise.
“So you don’t even care that she like, wants you in that way?” asked Sarah Wong, the Asian girl from high school.
“Even if she did, which is just an assumption, so what? I mean it’s not the fact that she’s a girl that offends me. It’s the fact that she’s her.”
Shauna tried not to feel the twisting in her stomach. She peaked around the corner again, just for a second.
“She is pretty gross,” agreed the short girl.
“I know, she’s rank,” agreed Karine.
“Well let’s say she wasn’t rank. Would you have sex with her then?” asked the hipster slut.
“No, what do you mean?” asked Cerise.
“Would you fuck a chick?”
“Already have, everyone knows that.”
“Is it different than being with a guy?” asked the short girl.
“Yeah,” said the whore.
“I think I’d do it,” said the short girl.
“I don’t think I would,” said Sarah Wong. “But I mean, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it or anything.”
“So Cerise, would you?”
“Well like I said, Shauna’s gender isn’t the issue. It’s the person that matters.”
“So you would?”
“Well I dunno. I’ve never met a girl I’ve wanted to sleep with. But… I think girls are attractive. I mean in a general sense.”
“I knew you had a little bit of kink in you!” announced the skank triumphantly. “With a name like Cherry, had to be true.”
“Yeah, I think I’d do it,” confirmed the short girl even though no one was asking her.
“Karine, would you?”
There was a pause and Shauna peaked around the corner again. Karine Cavalière was considering the question. “Part of sex is the manipulation you can exert over the guy you’re doing it with. That wouldn’t apply with a girl. So it’s like, what would be the point?”
“Hello? Are you serious?” asked slut-ho. “The pleasure of it. It’s about sex, not politics.”
“Politics play into everything. Especially sex. You’re kidding yourself if you don’t think relationships come with power struggles. There’s always a dominant and a submissive. And if you want the upper hand you have to call the shots. And it’s a lot easier to control guys than girls.”
“But that’s the whole point of being with a girl. There’s no power struggle,” insisted ho-bag. “I’m not even talking about relationships, Karine. I’m talking about sex. A one shot deal of pure sexual pleasure where you don’t have to worry about pregnancy and you don’t have to worry about a guy who’s gonna think you’re a slut, or a guy who’s gonna wanna make it more serious or a guy who’s gonna have some sort of weird fetish about coming in your mouth.”
“Ewww!” exclaimed Sarah Wong.
“Yeah, I’m not into that,” agreed short girl. “Do you swallow?”
“I do,” said cum-whore.
“Shocking,” replied Sarah Wong with what Shauna assumed was sarcasm.
“It makes a guy feel superior if he thinks he can come whenever or wherever he wants,” said Karine Cavalière.
“Well I like it when a guy comes inside me,” announced Cerise. “I mean not my mouth, my… inside me. I mean, I like it when it like, happens, ‘cause you can feel it throbbing and everything and it feels cool.”
“Hah!” laughed Slutty McWhoreskank “Translation, that means Terry’s got a big dick. You only feel it throbbing if his dick is big enough. And Cerise? We all know you’re talking about Terry.”
So gross. To think of Cerise doing such a thing… it made Shauna want to puke. They kept talking about having cum inside them and how it was gross when they could feel it dripping and the short one said she wouldn’t know ‘cause she always used condoms and Cerise said that skin on skin felt better and Shauna seriously had to walk away ‘cause this was disgusting but instead she kept listening. They kept talking about all sorts of sex stuff and Shauna wondered what it would be like to be in the conversation. She could say stuff about Stan and Rod and Bill. It would be so much fun to have girlfriends to talk with. But not girlfriends. Just friends who were girls. Like Leanne except normal.
The whore accused the rest of them of being hard-up and not even knowing it and said they should all have more sex and if they weren’t enjoying it they weren’t doing it right. Shauna supposed that meant she’d never done it right. Maybe doing it right meant doing it with someone who wasn’t Stan or Rod or Bill. Maybe it meant doing it with someone who wasn’t a boy. Or maybe it meant that Shauna would be alone forever, because Cerise’s friends had made it pretty clear that they found her utterly disgusting and she couldn’t exactly blame them. She was such a loser.