Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Season 3 – Episode 8 – Act V

They all said goodbye to each other, congratulating one another on a good rehearsal even though it had been a shit rehearsal.  Just like every rehearsal had been shit, because the play they were doing was shit. 
Karine gathered up her things and put on her coat, falling into step with Cerise as they walked through the school to get to the back-door bus stop. 
“So I guess that was that,” said Cerise.  “Did you find it awkward?  Hanging out with Jay again after all this time?”
“Wasn’t awkward for me.  Was it awkward for you?”
“I dunno,” shrugged Cerise.  “He seemed pissed, didn’t he?”
“’Cause the guys were being pretty harsh on him, constantly making fun of his nose and his motor control issues.  It was pretty hilarious.”
“They’re so mean,” said Cerise with a slight chuckle.
They got outside and went to stand inside the bus shelter.  “God, it’s fucking freezing!” said Karine as she pulled her hat down on her head.  She rarely wore a hat since she didn’t want to mess up her hair but she just couldn’t handle this kind of cold.  God, winter sucked.
“I know, these late-night rehearsals are so bullshit.  We have to stay so late and for what?  So the play can continue to suck regardless?” asked Cerise with gritted teeth, holding her scarf over her nose.
“I know, it’s so insane.  I wish we didn’t have to take the bus… oh my god!  Terry is totally here!”
“What?”  Cerise looked around in a panic. 
“Terry and Nick!  They had a game tonight!  I think in Baie d’Urfe!  And then they were gonna go drink in Ste-Anne’s after so like we can totally get him to pick us up!”
“We can’t just expect him to come get us when he’s probably like partying with a bunch of hockey groupies.”
“Oh god, whatever.  What’s the point of having a friend with a car if you can’t force him to drive you home when it’s minus fucking 30?”
Before Cerise could protest, Karine dragged her back inside the school and pulled out her phone.
“He won’t want me in his car, Karine.  Terry hates me.” 
“Oh shut up, you think everyone hates you,” said Karine as she dialled.  “Hey Terry, it’s me.  Can you pick me up?  I’m at school, we had a late rehearsal. Oh don’t give me that, I know you’re not having fun with those red-necks.  It’ll be way more fun just us and Nick.  Ok, later, babe!”  She hung up and then advised Cerise that he was on his way.
“You didn’t tell him that I was here too.”

Cerise followed Karine outside, rushing to Terry’s car and jumping inside, sitting in the back with Karine since Nick was in front.  She hoped Terry wouldn’t freak out that she was in his car. 
“Oh my god, this has been like the craziest winter ever!” exclaimed  Karine.
“I know, it’s insane.  First it’s freezing, then it’s boiling, then it’s freezing again! I blame the government,” laughed Nick.
“Hi Terry,” said Cerise.  “Thanks for picking us up.  I mean I can still take the bus.  It’s just that Karine said…”
“Oh my god, Cerise, calm down.  Terry doesn’t hate you, right Terry?” said Karine, displaying about as much tact as Janice might in this situation.
“Of course not,” smiled Terry, meeting Cerise’s eyes for a moment and then turning back to face the wheel and driving off.  “Are we going out or am I taking everyone home?”
“I’m good to go,” said Karine.
“Whatever everyone wants,” said Cerise.  Part of her wanted to get home as soon as possible and part of her wanted to keep hanging out with Terry.  She hadn’t seen him in forever.
They ended up at a crowded bar and sat at a table where they were thoroughly ignored by all the waitresses.  Terry and Nick went to the bar to get their drinks and Karine reminded Cerise to get her shit together in terms of applying to Universities.  The guys came back with three beers and a red drink.
“A Shirley Temple,” said Terry, depositing the drink in front of Cerise.  “You like them, right?”
“Yeah,” she nodded.  “How much do I owe you?” she asked, taking out her wallet.
“Don’t worry about it,” he smiled.
“No, seriously,” she took out a five-dollar bill but he pushed it away, insisting that it was no big deal and that she could buy him his next drink.
“So where are you guys going next year?” asked Karine.
“Concordia,” Terry and Nick said in unison.
“I applied to McGill too,” said Nick.  “But Terry wants to go to Concordia.  The Loyola campus is super close to where he lives now.”
“Oh yeah, that’d be super convenient,” nodded Karine.  “But it’s not like McGill is far.”
“That’s what I said,” agreed Nick. “But Terry doesn’t think his grades are high enough to get him into McGill.
“But I thought you’d been doing really good lately.”
“Yeah but still,” shrugged Terry. 
“What program are you gonna do?” asked Cerise.
“We both applied to Sociology,” said Terry.
“Both of you?” asked Karine with a smile.
“Terry took it first semester and then I took it second and we both liked it.  And we’ve done Anthro and Psych but we both like Soc best.”
“Oh yeah?” Karine snickered.
“Sociology, eh?” said Cerise.  “That’s cool.  Sounds interesting.”
“Yeah, it’s kinda cool,” nodded Terry.  “I mean, I dunno if I’ll get in, even to Concordia.  If not I guess I’ll get a job.  What’d you apply to?”
“I haven’t yet,” Cerise admitted.
“The deadline is in like a week,” said Terry with concern.
“I know,” nodded Cerise.  “But I don’t know what I wanna do.”
“Well you’re good at everything.  Just pick something.  Even if you don’t like it you can always switch programs later on,” Terry suggested.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
“How ‘bout English?” he went on. “I mean you love to read and you write too.  And you like to analyze books and stuff.  You could do English Lit.”
“Yeah,” Cerise sipped her drink and smiled.
“Or Education.  You were always so good at helping me study, explaining shit I didn’t get.  Helping me write papers.”
“Helping you write papers?  You mean writing them for you?” she snickered.
Terry smiled and blushed.  “Yeah well, I write my own papers now!  Thanks to you I know the difference between its and it is.  Or at least I know how to use the grammar check thingy.”
Cerise smiled and Terry smiled back.

“You ok?” asked Nick once Terry had dropped off Cerise and Karine.  Nick lived in the opposite direction but he was gonna crash at Terry’s tonight.
“Yeah, I’m good,” said Terry as he drove.
“You sure?  You haven’t said anything in a while.”
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
“’Cause we could talk…”
“Oh my god, stop being such a fag!”
“Words hurt, Terry,” said Nick, wiping away a fake tear.
“Shut up,” snickered Terry, getting onto the highway.
They drove in silence for a while and then Nick asked again if he was ok.
“Oh my god, serious?!”
“Well you’re being all sad!”
“How am I being sad?”
“It’s all over your face!”
“Fine fuck, I’m sad!  Satisfied?”
“Yeah, so let’s explore these feelings.”
“Fuck, you sure you wanna do Sociology and not Psychiatry?”
“You joke but I’ve actually thought about it.”
“So do it then,” said Terry.
“Nah, Sociology will be more fun.  So anyway, tell me about how you feel.  Seeing Cerise tonight after all this time must have been pretty intense.”
“I guess.”  He sighed.  “Yeah, I miss her.  But honestly I think I miss the sex most of all.”
Nick laughed.  “Oh yeah?  You can get laid anytime you want, Terry.”
“It’s different when you’re in love.  Seriously, it’s a cliché I guess but it’s true.  It was always different with Cerise.  So much better.”
“God, I can still feel her skin.  She has the most amazing skin.  It’s like fucking silk.  It’s like, you wouldn’t even believe… and if I would touch her really lightly, like you know, really lightly, she would shiver, like actually shiver.”
“Well I won’t waste my time telling you to get back with her ‘cause I know you hate it when I state the obvious.”
“Uh-huh,” said Terry, examining the road signs with extreme interest. 
“You just wanna torture yourself.  You’re enjoying the fucking pain,” sighed Nick.
Terry let out a small laugh and Nick asked what was funny.
“I dunno, I guess… nevermind.”
“No, what?” Nick insisted.
“Do you think it’s weird to be into that?  Like pain?  Like S&M style?”
“Are you saying you’re into kinky sex?”
“A little.  Not really.  Just a bit.  I only ever tried it with Cerise, and pretty mild shit.  Just like, I’d have her scratch me and hit me.  Nothing major.  I never hurt her!” he clarified quickly before Nick could ask.
“Huh.  So you really do like the pain,” said Nick.  “I guess that makes sense.  Yeah, you fucking love torturing yourself.  You’re a fucking martyr, you know that?  All like refusing to get back with her, just so you can act like you’re the victim somehow.  Like she wronged you, when the only reason she ever left is ‘cause you pushed her away.  And the only reason she got with Jay is ‘cause you straight up told him to get with her and then you fucking hit the kid like he did something wrong, like it wasn’t all your fault!”
“Are you done?” asked Terry, entering NDG and stopping at a light.
“I guess.”
They got to Vicky’s place and quietly entered the apartment, tiptoeing to Terry’s room and silently taking their turns in the bathroom.  Nick settled into the sleeping bag that had become a permanent fixture on Terry’s bedroom floor and Terry turned off the light, deliberately stepping on Nick as he got into bed.
“Ungh!” Nick exclaimed.  “You should get back in the gym, loser, I barely felt that,” he whispered.
Terry chuckled quietly and quipped back that he’d be happy to take on Nick in any physical challenge to see who was weaker.
“Seriously, any physical challenge?” Nick snickered.
“Shut up, fag.”
“You harm because you hurt.”
They both chuckled, trying not to make too much noise.  Terry waited until he could hear Nick’s sleep breathing and then he fished Stir-Fry the chicken out of the drawer next to his bed.  He tucked the stuffed animal under the covers and closed his eyes.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Season 3 – Episode 8 – Act IV

            Karine sat in the coffee shop, drinking a latte, hoping Christina would show up.  Her call had been out of the blue but Christina had acted like it was no big deal and had agreed to meet her for coffee.  But now she was 10 minutes late.  Had she agreed to come just to get Karine to shut up?  How long should she stay before leaving?  Was half an hour enough?  Too long?
            “So what’s up?” asked Christina, sitting across from Karine.
            “Oh hey, hi,” Karine smiled.
            “What’s it been?  Like a year?”
            “Yeah, I guess.”
            “So what do you want?” asked Chrissy, taking the lid off her drink and blowing on it.
            “Nothing.  I dunno.  I guess I just missed you.”
            “Yeah?”  She seemed skeptical, which was fair.
            “Yeah, I mean, we used to be best friends.  What happened to us?”
            “We went to different schools.”
            “Yeah but we can still be friends.”
            “You disappeared, Karine.”
            “Yeah,” Karine sighed.  “Well I’m sorry.”
            “Do you still hang out with Erica?”
            “Yeah,” Christina shrugged.  “I dunno why,” she chuckled.  She’s the same as ever.  But she has a boyfriend now so that keeps her pretty busy.”
            “Wow, she actually managed to snag someone?  Poor him.”
            “Yeah, no shit.  He’s a moron.  And he’s fat.”
            “Well so is she.”
            “More than ever,” Christina snickered.
            “So um,” Karine sipped her coffee.  “What about the Asshole?”
            “Who’s the asshole?”
            “Andrew,” Karine forced out the name.
            Christina sighed.  “I don’t hang out with him anymore.  I mean I still see him around sometimes but we’re in different crowds now.”
            “Oh, well that’s good.”
            “I hang out with different people now too,” said Karine.
            “Your theatre crowd?”
            “Yeah, I’ve seen the pics on Facebook.  You also hang out with those nerds.  Sarah Wong and Karl Weber and all those guys.”
            “Yeah,” Karine nodded.  “They’re  really funny once you get to know them.”
            Christina simply smiled and drank her coffee.  Was it a condescending smile?  Was she judging Karine for hanging out with those dorks?  Or was Karine projecting?
            “So… are you seeing anyone these days?”
            “Nah.  I mean I’ve hooked-up.  Dated I guess.  No one serious.”
            “So not Andrew then.”
            “Karine, don’t do this.”
            “I just wanna make sure.”
            “Make sure of what?”
            “That you’re ok.  That he hasn’t totally fucked you up.”
            Christina snickered.  “If I’m fucked-up it’s not his fault.  I don’t even think about him anymore.”
            “I wish I could be like you.”
            “No you don’t.”  Was there a touch of bitterness in that statement?
            “I’m not seeing anyone right now either.”
“I’ve decided to be single for a while.  See how that goes.”
“You mean see how long that goes.”
“What does that mean?” asked Karine in irritation.
“You always have to have a boyfriend.”
“No I don’t.”
“Always did.”
“Not anymore.”
“Me neither,” Chrissy smiled.  Was it a smile of superiority?
“We don’t need guys.”
“So let’s make a pact.  To just be single for a while.  We’ll hang.  Be friends like before but no guy crap.  Just us.”
Christina regarded Karine and tilted her head to the side.  She smiled.  “Ok.

“So how’s the nose?” asked Karl.
Everyone snickered, like the joke hadn’t gotten old three million years ago.  Seriously, it had been weeks and yet everyone kept asking about Jay’s nose.  The black eyes were gone, the bandage was gone, everything was fine and yet everyone kept dwelling on it.  Jay seriously had the worst friends in existence.
“It’s fine,” he said, trying not to show how annoyed he was with the constant ribbing.
“You sure,” asked Vani, poking at Jay’s face.
“Fuck off!” Jay yelled, swatting Vani’s hand away.
People in the crowded hallways looked at him but he didn’t care. 
“Does it hurt?” asked Willy, hopping off the windowsill in Hochelaga to stand in front of Jay and poke at him.  Although for Willy, hopping was more like strained grunting.  Jay was about to mock him for that but then Willy’s grubby finger was in his face and he had to swat him away too. 
“You’re such a bunch of fucking assholes!” Jay complained.
“Whoa! Calm down!” advised Karl.
“Someone’s losing motor control,” laughed Vani.
“I hate you guys so much!”
“Get it together, Jay, you’re embarrassing us,” said Karl.
“Yeah, all these Rando Calrissians are totally watching you,” nodded Vani.
“So stop fucking poking my nose then!”
“Jay, calm the fuck down!” yelled Willy.  “You’re making a scene!”
You’re making a scene, shut the fuck up!”
“Jay, seriously, keep it together!” insisted Karl.
“Oh my god, I hate you all!”
“Motor control!” the guys laughed, pushing Jay around.  “Motor control!”

“That was pretty fun hanging out with Vicky the other day,” said Nick as he finished off his cigarette.
Terry had stopped buying cigarettes but he always bummed one off Nick.  It was probably a pretty dickish thing to do but they’d said they’d quit!  And how could he if Nick kept smoking?  “Yeah, she’s always been pretty cool.”
“So who knew Cerise was such a squealer,” Nick snickered.
“Shut the fuck up,” said Terry, heaving open the door to the school. 
“You gonna punch me in the nose?”
They walked to Nick’s locker and threw in their jackets.  Lately Terry had been using Nick’s locker as his own.  It was more convenient this way.
“So was it just me or did you find that Vicky was flirting with you a little?” asked Nick as they grabbed their books for Humanities.
“What?  Gimme a break.  She was just drunk.”
“Yeah, still though.  She’s a good-looking woman.”
“I thought you were into dicks, not chicks.”
“I can still recognize hotness in a woman.”
“Yeah, she’s definitely hot,” Terry conceded.
“And that shit she was saying about you making girls scream and her being jealous…”
“Nick, don’t go there,” groaned Terry.
“I’m just saying,” Nick snickered.
“It’s gross.  She’s my step-mom.”
“Not anymore.  So you’re saying you never even thought about it?”
“Well sure, when I was a horny little 14-year-old.”  Terry chuckled.  “I used to watch  her go swimming.  Fuck I was so perverted.”
“Gross, Terry!” Nick exclaimed in mock shock.  “She’s the mother of your sister!  That’s disgusting!”
“Fuck you,” Terry laughed as he pushed his friend into a nearby locker. 
They walked on and passed by Jason Harris and his giant afro, which had become even more gigantic than usual.  He sat on one of those gigantic windowsills in Hochelaga with the guys, probably because no other windowsill would be large enough to accommodate the gargantuaness of his hair.  Terry almost slowed his pace and considered finding another route to his class but then realized that would be ridiculous.  He couldn’t let Jay know how regretful he was about the nose incident, could  he?
As he approached Jay and his giant fright wig he thought about stopping and apologizing but instead he just lunged and scoffed when Jay winced.
“You’re such a bully,” said Nick as they walked on.
He could hear the guys making chicken noises to Jay and accusing him of losing motor control.

It was a new rule that you couldn’t eat in the green room so the girls had to come up with somewhere new to eat lunch every day.  They’d scoured the school, testing out various stairways and windowsills but eventually they ended up back at the Munch Box.  Funnily enough, they hadn’t even considered the cafeteria, but Cerise didn’t mind.  It was good to have things back to normal. 
Cerise, Cassie, Karine and Janice sat down to BLTs and poutines when Sarah joined them with a homemade salad.  She was so healthy. “So have you guys started applying to Universities?” she asked. 
“We’re supposed to be applying already?” asked Cassie.
“Hello!  The deadline is March!  And it’s like February!”
“God, you’re always so together, aren’t you?” asked Janice bitterly.  “Don’t you ever get sick of being perfect?”
“Where have you applied?” asked Cerise.
“Everywhere,” said Sarah.  “I mean I’ll probably go to McGill but I’ve applied lots of places just in case.”
“In case you don’t get in?” laughed Karine.  “Who would get in if not you?”
“Well Paris didn’t get into Harvard,” shrugged Sarah.
“What the fuck are you talking about?” asked Janice, though Cerise understood the reference, which probably meant she watched way too much TV.
“Sorry, I’ve been watching the Gilmore Girls on MuchMoreMusic.  I really hate Lorelai.  Like a lot.  Is she supposed to be charming?  ‘Cause she’s actually just insane.  I like Lane though.  Do you guys think I’m an Asian stereotype?”
They all blinked at Sarah.  “I think the current Asian girl stereotype is to be obsessed with wealth and designer brands and stuff.  So you’re good,” smiled Cerise.
“Ok.  ‘Cause sometimes I feel like I need to diversify my interests.”
“What are you talking about, you have a billion interests,” said Karine.
“Do I?  ‘Cause even though I did a lot of stuff in high school I wasn’t really that into any of it.  I’m only really into science.  Everywhere I applied, I applied in Applied Physics.  Oh my god, you guys, that pun was completely unintentional.  Or I guess it wasn’t a pun so much as a word being repeated but you see what I’m saying.”
“And why is it a bad thing that you’re into physics?” asked Cerise.
“It’s not bad.  It’s good.  But I used to play volleyball and run the newspaper and do theatre.  I miss that stuff.  Or do I?  ‘Cause I think I only miss it in the sense of thinking I should miss it and not in the sense of actually missing it.”
“Well you certainly have been watching Gilmore Girls,” snickered  Karine. “You’re talking a mile a minute and not making a lick of sense.”
“Wait so, what schools am I supposed to apply to?” asked Cassie in a panic. “In what programs?”
“Oh my god, Cassie, haven’t you even started thinking about it yet?” asked Sarah.  “You obviously have to apply to McGill and Concordia but you should also apply out of province, like U of T and Queens.”
“I’m gonna go to Bishops,” said Janice.
“Oh my god, that’s a total party school,” said Sarah and then after a beat.  “You’ll fit right in.”
Janice nodded happily, perhaps not realizing that was meant to be a slight.  Or perhaps not caring. 
“I applied to a few places, but I wanna stay at home so I’ll probably go to Concordia.  They have a good Theatre department,” said Karine.
“You’re gonna go on in theatre?” asked Cerise.
“Yeah,” nodded Karine. “I mean, assuming I get in.  It’s pretty competitive.  You have to do like, a million auditions.  But if I don’t get into the performance discipline I can still do theatre from like a theoretical discipline.  And then I could reapply the next year for the performance section.”
“So you’re going all the way with this theatre bullshit, eh?” asked Janice.
“Is that ok with you?” Karine asked in annoyance.
Janice put up her hands defensively.  “Yeah, if anyone’s up for it, it’s you, it’s just, I mean, not a lot of job prospects in acting is all.”
“Seriously?” Karine laughed.  “You’re one to talk about being practical?  What program are you applying to?”
“Social work,” said Janice with a straight face.
They all stared at her, waiting for the punch line.
“Seriously?” asked Cassie.
“Yeah, what?  Like I couldn’t help people?”
“It’s a really stressful field,” said Sarah.
“Fuck you bitches, I’m great with people.  What program are you gonna do?” Janice sniped.  “Super judgy-judgementalism?”
“I already said I’m doing Physics.”
“Physics, eh?” said Karl, standing over their table.  “I woulda figured you for pre-Med.”
“’Cause I’m Asian?” Sarah sighed.
“‘Cause you’re an overachiever and all overachievers wanna be doctors.”
“But doctors have to like, touch sick people.  Gross.”
Both Karl and Sarah chuckled and he sat next to her.  “I actually considered Physics as well but I think I’m gonna do Chemistry with a minor in Computer Science.”
Vani and Willy announced they’d be doing Engineering and Commerce respectively while Jay hovered around in the background, not sitting, maybe because there were no chairs left, maybe because he was scared and eating a sandwich poking out of a brown bag.  He was avoiding eye contact and Cerise decided to keep staring at him until he looked at her.  He never did.  Finally Sarah asked him what program he was going into and he said he hadn’t decided yet.
“Well you’d better hurry!” she advised.  “The deadline is March 1st , you guys.  If you haven’t applied you need to get your shit together like right the fuck now!”
“Well I don’t know what I wanna do!” Jay practically yelled.
“God, motor control, seriously,” said Vani in a mixture of irritation and amusement.
“Seriously, Jay, get your shit together!” advised Karl.
They all mocked Jay for a while as he tried to ignore him as best he could.  Cerise actually felt sorry for him.  They were all being so mean. 
“I haven’t applied anywhere either,” Cerise finally admitted.
“Oh my god, Cerise, seriously?” asked Sarah, appalled. 
“We can do it this weekend,” said Karine.  “It takes like two seconds, you do it all online.”
“But I don’t know what I wanna do,” shrugged Cerise.
“You could do Theatre with me,” suggested Karine.
“Social work,” smirked Janice.
“You could do Science, although it’s a little late since you’ve been doing Arts here.  Still, it’s an option,” said Karl.
“Stick to Arts,” advised Sarah.  “Do Art History, or Education.”
“It might be cool to do Education,” said Jay.  “Or even something crazy like Philosophy or Religious Studies.  But my parents want me to do a science.”
“Well duh!” scolded Karl. “Don’t waste your life away on something retardo-vision like religion!  I mean are you serious?  You’re an atheist!”
“It could still be interesting!” Jay insisted.
Cerise looked up at him.  “If you don’t wanna do a science then don’t.  Even if your parents want you to.”
“Yeah, but they’re only gonna pay for it if I do what they want.”
“Then why are we even debating this?” asked Karl.  “You’re gonna do Biology and we all know it?”
“How do we know this?” asked Jay.
“You have to do a science ‘cause fuck knows you’re not gonna pay for school yourself.  And Biology is the softest of the sciences.  And it’s the only class you didn’t constantly complain about last year.  Well, you complained, but less than with Physics and Chemistry.”
“Biology isn’t the softest science,” countered Sarah.  “There’s like Anthropology and stuff.”
“I don’t think Social Sciences count,” said Karl condescendingly. 
“Yeah well, fair enough,” admitted Sarah.
“Ok, this is boring,” announced Janice.  “Let’s talk about something else!”
“Like what?” asked Sarah.
“Like Jay’s nose.   Does it still hurt?”  She stood up and reached out to touch Jay but he swatted her hand away rather violently and all the guys laughed uproariously. 
“Motor control!” Vani cackled.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Season 3 – Episode 8 – Act III

            Cerise wore glasses and had super long hair when they were in grade 8.  Shauna had shoulder-length hair back then but still dressed the same, in black clothes and docs.  Cerise was wearing a dress that day.  It was English class and everyone had to pair up for a project.  Shauna had seen Cerise around before and always figured she was popular because she was pretty and so she was probably also a bitch.  But they were both left alone when everyone else paired themselves up so the teacher told them to work together.
            “I’m Cerise,” she spoke first.  “Like cherry in French.”
            “I’m Shauna.”
            “Ok so who should we write the letter to?”  
            “The assignment?  We’re supposed to write a letter.  Who do you wanna write it to?”
            “I dunno.”
            “Ok well, how ‘bout we write it to the teacher and the letter can be saying how we think this assignment is stupid.”

            “That’s funny,” said Leanne.
            “Yeah, I thought so too,” nodded Shauna as she sipped her giant coffee.  “I told her so.  She said I should write while she dictated so I did but then she looked at what I was writing and then she decided she’d write.  But she wasn’t mean about it.  I’ve always had shitty writing but she wasn’t mean about it.”
            “Did she do the whole assignment?”
            “Yeah,” nodded Shauna.  “It was really funny.  It was saying how the assignment was dumb, how like we should be learning to write an e-mail, not a letter you send in the mail ‘cause no one does that anymore.  But it was still doing the assignment, all the points the teacher said to do.”
            “Ok, so then you guys became friends?”
            “Yeah, she didn’t have any friends either. So we did everything together.  It was great.  It was like that for two years.  We ate lunch together every day and sometimes we’d hang out after school too.  We even had sleepovers a couple times.”
            “But then things got weird.  She stopped wanting to hang out.  She’d like, well, she’d never called me but she stopped being home when I called her and she stopped wanting to do stuff on the weekend.  I thought she had other friends but she didn’t seem to.  I never saw her with other people.  She just, I dunno, talked less and less and didn’t wanna hang.”
            “Why do you suppose that is?” asked Leanne.
            “I dunno,” Shauna shrugged, feeling way less drunk than before.  This coffee was doing the trick but Shauna wasn’t sure she wanted the trick done.
            “Well something must have brought it on.”
            “How the hell should I know?”  Shauna thought back to that day in gym class.  Back in grade 10 when that girl had said it.           
            “You guys aren’t allowed to hang out with us.”
            Shauna couldn’t even remember the name of the girl who’d said it, or what she’d looked like.  But she remembered how it had made her feel.  They’d been in gym class, Cerise and Shauna sitting on a stack of gym mats, waiting for the class to begin.  Some random girl had come up to them and said it and Shauna immediately felt like shit.  They hadn’t even asked to hang out with this stupid girl but she said it anyway.  She indicated her friends and they all laughed and Cerise looked embarrassed but neither of them said anything.  And then the girl walked off and Cerise looked at Shauna all angry like.
            “You think she blamed you for you guys getting picked on?”
            Shauna looked up at Leanne, realizing she’d just told that story out loud.  She’d never told anyone before.  “I dunno.  I guess.  I was a loser.  I guess I didn’t do much for her rep or whatever.  Everyone hated me.  They called me Take a Shower Shauna.”
            “Better than Porta-potty chick I guess.”
            “That’s so mean,” said Leanne in disgust.
            “Well it was true I guess.  I didn’t like showering back then. I take baths now all the time,” she clarified quickly.  “But back then I didn’t.  I had greasy hair I guess.  One time a bunch of girls pushed my head in a toilet and said how it would make me cleaner ‘cause that’s just how dirty I was.”
            “Oh my god, Shauna, that’s awful.”  Leanne leaned forward in her giant chair and patted Shauna’s hand. 
            “When Cerise asked why my hair was wet I told her and she was grossed out.”
            “Did people bully her like that?”
            “No.  Everyone made fun of her name.  Calling her Fruit Salad and everything but that’s pretty much it.  No one ever dunked her in a toilet.  At least not that I know of.”
            “So she didn’t wanna be around you anymore?”
            “We’d still eat lunch together and stuff.  Sometimes we’d hang out after school but she got kinda quiet.  And things got really bad after…”
            “After what?”
            “Ok, you’re gonna be married to Adam Moncton!” giggled Cerise.
            “Eww!” squealed Shauna, falling back on her bed.
            It was grade 10 and they were hanging out after school.  Cerise hadn’t come over to Shauna’s house in about a million years and Shauna kept asking and finally Cerise said yes.  They were playing on the computer, a site where you could put in names of boys you know, and houses and cars and jobs and then it would mash it all up and tell you your future.   
            “And you’re gonna live in a shack behind the school and you’re gonna drive an SUV and you’re gonna be a milkmaid.”
            “A milkmaid?” Shauna laughed.  “I’d never marry Adam Moncton!”
            “I don’t think he’s so bad,” Cerise shrugged.
            “I guess not.”
            “I kinda like him,” said Cerise.
            “Oh yeah.  I guess he’s pretty cute.”
            “Really?  Ewww!  He’s hideous!  And you’re gonna marry him!  Freak!”  Cerise laughed and laughed.
            Shauna laughed too and told her to shut up but she kept taunting and saying Shauna would marry Adam Moncton and finally Shauna pushed her.  Cerise pushed back and then Shauna pushed Cerise down on the bed and got on top of her, pinning down her arms. 
            “Get off me!”
            “Take it back!”
            “Take what back?”
            “Say I’m not gonna marry Adamn Moncton!” Shauna leaned down over Cerise.
            “You’re totally gonna marry him!” Cerise laughed.
            “Take it back or else!”
            “Or else what?”
            Shauna leaned down further, until their noses were inches apart. 
Cerise looked weirded out.  “Ok, I take it back, god, get off me.”
Shauna leaned back but didn’t let go.
“Fucking get off me!”
She sounded so angry that Shauna got up.  Cerise said she had to go and she left.
“You wanted to kiss her didn’t you?  When you were on top of her.  You were aroused weren’t you?” asked Leanne, looking at Shauna in that way she had.
Shauna shook her head, trying to make it not be true.  Why did Leanne have to make her think about this stuff?  Now she just felt like shit.  She put down her coffee and picked up a napkin, wiping her eyes.
“Shauna, it’s ok.”
“No it isn’t.  She hated me.  She didn’t want anything to do with me.”
“That doesn’t mean it was wrong of you to have those feelings.”
“Of course it was wrong!  I think she was scared of me.  One time in grade 11, we were at a new school and she’d been ignoring me all year but then I dunno, I guess she felt sorry for me and I invited her over.  I got drunk I guess.  I told her how I was so happy we were friends again and then I hugged her.  She got all freaked out and said she had to go but I didn’t want her to leave!  I grabbed her.  I think I fell or something and I grabbed her leg and wouldn’t let go. And she was trying to leave but I kept holding on and she fell down.  I got on top of her and I told her I liked her new haircut.  It’s all I could think to say.  I touched her hair and she totally freaked.”
“God, can you blame her?” asked Leanne.
“I was drunk.  I’m such a fucking loser.”
“You’re not a loser.”
“I’m a freak.”
“You’re not a freak.  You just have to be with someone who returns your feelings.”
“Like you?”
Leanne froze.  “Um, no offence, Shauna, I like you a lot.  But as a friend.”
Shauna couldn’t help but chuckle.  “I mean gay like you.”
“Yeah, Shauna.  Exactly.  Someone gay.”
“My dad says gay people go to hell.”
“Do you believe that?”
 “Cerise says there is no hell.  There is no god.”
“What do you believe?”
“That my dad’s an asshole.”
“Well a lot of people have fucked-up families,” said Leanne.  “It’s no reason to deny who you are.”
“How can I be sure?”
“Just ask yourself, what did you feel when you were with Cerise?  Like just hanging out with her?”
“Good.  Happy,” Shauna shrugged.
“And when you were on top of her?”
“Scared,” Shauna sniffled and wiped her nose with a napkin.  “But good.”
“What do you feel when you think of her now?”
“For real, Shauna.”
“Sex,” Shauna mumble-whispered.  Then she started crying.  Full-on, snotty crying.  So bad everyone in the Starbucks looked at her and Leanne came over to her giant chair and put her arms around her.  “I’m sick, Leanne!”
“No you’re not!”
“Everyone was right!  I did need to take a shower and I did fall in a porta-potty and I was a loser and I am stalking Cerise and I am a psycho!  And I am a lesbian!  I’m sick Leanne!  I’m sick in the head!”
“It’s not a sickness, Shauna!  You’re just scared and confused.  And you’ve believed everything everybody has said about you and you’ve believed all the shit your parents have said about the world but it’s all bullshit, Shauna.  There’s nothing wrong with you.”
“But it is wrong to stalk Cerise, right?”
“Yeah, but you never hurt her, did you?”
Shauna shook her head. 
“You were just lonely and desperate for someone to care.  For someone to acknowledge you and tell you it’s ok.  Well Shauna, it is ok.  There’s nothing wrong with who you are.”

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Season 3 – Episode 8 – Act II

            When Leanne walked right past Shauna without stopping or saying hi, Shauna immediately assumed she didn’t want to be her friend anymore.  But then she reconsidered; maybe Leanne simply hadn’t seen her there standing in the hall near Leanne’s locker.  Hesitantly, but quickly, so as not to lose her nerve, Shauna called out to her friend, or ex-friend.
            “What?” Leanne said in annoyance.
            Shauna stopped and shrugged.  “Nevermind.”
            “What is it, Shauna?”
            “Do you um…” Shauna looked around.  “Wanna go for a drink after school?”
            Leanne sighed and approached her.  “Are you gay?” she asked.
            Shauna shrugged.
            “I can’t hear you.”
            “I don’t think so.  I dunno.”  She wouldn’t cry.  She simply wouldn’t.
            “Oh god, Shauna.  You break my heart, you know that?  Yeah, we can go for a drink.”
            Shauna smiled and bit her lip, not wanting to seem too eager, but wanting Leanne to know she appreciated her friendship.  Maybe she should be gay just so she could stay friends with Leanne.  Wasn’t having a friend and being gay better than being straight and alone? 

            “I just think it shows you still dig Cerise,” said Nick as he sat on the couch browsing on Terry’s laptop.
            Terry sat on the floor playing Tinker Toys with Britt.  She wasn’t quite old enough for Legos yet but she’d get there.  “I never said I didn’t.  But she still went out with that ass-fuck.  And I don’t wanna be with someone who doesn’t wanna be with me.”
            “She does wanna be with you.  And maybe you shouldn’t say ass-fuck in front of your sister,” counselled Nick.
            “Please, I’m sure she’s heard worse on the playground.”
            “Ass-fuck,” said Brittany.
            “See?”  Terry smiled.  “Anyway, let’s stop trolling Cerise’s Facebook and look up some gay dude’s Facebook.  There has to be someone at school who’s gay and not a total loser.  Like look at the profiles of people who go to JAC.  See if any of them are guys interested in guys.  Or we could even go on Plenty of Fish or something.”
            “I don’t like Ceweez,” pouted Britt.
            “What?  Why not?” asked Terry.
            “She a ass-fuck!”
            “No she’s not.  I actually might not mind it if she were.  Might be worth getting back together with her…” Terry smirked.
            “You’re such a loser,” Nick laughed.
            “She ahways wanna pway wif you!  And you nevah wanna pway wif me when she pway wif you!”
            Nick chuckled as Terry explained that the games he played with Cerise were grown-up games.  Britt said she wanted to play grown-up games too and Terry and Nick exchanged glances.
            “She’s gonna be a handful when she gets older,” Nick said with an amused smirk.
            “I know,” Terry nodded.  “Can you imagine her as a teenager?  God, I’m dreading puberty.”
            “Imagine all the guys you’re gonna have to beat up then,” Nick snickered.
            “Seriously,” Terry chuckled.  “I get tired just thinking about it.  Although I bet she’ll do her own beating-up.  She’s pretty tough.  Aren’t you?  You’re a tough girl, aren’t you?”
            “I tuff wike you!” Britt squealed, baring her teeth and flexing her little baby arms as she’d seen Terry do. 
            Both Terry and Nick were still laughing as Vicky came in.  Britt ran to her and they hugged.  Then Britt ran back to her toys as Vicky took her coat off.
            “You’re home early,” said Terry.  “I haven’t even put Britt to bed yet.”
            “I told my date I was going to the bathroom and then I just left the restaurant.”
            “That’s classic!” laughed Nick.  “He must have been pretty bad if you didn’t even play out the whole date.”
            “He was awful.  And way too old for me.  I’ll never date anyone more than ten years my senior again.”
            “Seriously, it’d be like dating a freaking museum,” nodded Terry.
            “I can see the appeal of an older man.  They’re wiser, more experienced.  Less immature,” suggested Nick.
            “Not necessarily,” smirked Vicky.
            “Yeah, men are always immature losers no matter how old they are,” said Terry.  “Now an older woman, that might be cool.  She could like, teach me stuff, know what I mean?”  He wiggled his eyebrows.
            “Yeah, we know what you mean,” said Nick with an eye-roll. 
            Vicky chuckled and picked up Brittany, carrying her to her room for a bedtime story. 

            “I don’t think Terry hates you,” said Karine.  “Or Jay.  Though if I were you I’d hate Jay.  Fuck, I’m me and I hate Jay.”
            Cerise nodded and sipped on her hot chocolate.  It was Saturday evening and they were hanging out at Karine’s house, having spent the afternoon with Cassie and Janice and Tom and a few others from class, trying to figure out how to improve the play.  They hadn’t come up with any solutions.
            “I mean, don’t you hate him?” Karine went on.
            “I don’t think so.  I dunno,” Cerise shrugged.  “I mean, why should we hate him?  Just ‘cause he didn’t like me the way I liked him?”
            “Liked?  Past tense?”
            “I don’t think I still like him.  I think I’m just you know, embarrassed by it all?”
            “You sure you don’t still like him?”
            “I dunno,” said Cerise sincerely.  She honestly didn’t know how she felt about any of it.  “Maybe I just wanted him to like me.”
            “Well whatever, who cares?  He’s a loser and we’re all better off without him.”
            “What does that mean?” asked Cerise in confusion.  “We’re all better off?  Does that mean no one’s friends with him anymore?”
            “Well I was only ever friends with any of the guys because of you.”
            “And we’re only friends because of Terry and yet I’m not friends with Terry anymore.”
            “Yeah, good point,” nodded Karine.  “Get out of my house,” she grinned.
            “Shut up,” said Cerise as she laughed.  “But seriously though, do you think Jay would even want to stay friends with me now that his nose is broken?”
            Karine giggled.  “Come on, it’s funny that he’s all bested up, isn’t it?”
            “You don’t get any kind of perverse pleasure from knowing he got hurt?”
            “No,” Cerise insisted.  “It’s just part of why it’s all so embarrassing.  It couldn’t just be forgotten and like fade away or whatever.  Like the humiliation of our little non-relationship.  Terry breaking his nose just makes it into a huge thing.”
            “You’re such a drama queen,” Karine giggled.
            “I’m not the one being a drama queen!  Terry’s the one who blew it all up!”

            “It’s just so hard!” Vicky exclaimed in between bites of chips and sips of beer.  “There are no good men out there!  They’re all married or gay.”
            “Works out for you then,” Terry said to Nick, who shrugged.
            Vicky went on.  “And the single ones are fat and old and pathetic and obsessed with Star Wars.  I mean I liked those goddamned movies as much as the next person but like every single man on the planet has those customized light sabres!  You know how much those things cost?  Like seven hundred dollars!  I know ‘cause they tell me.  Like it’s a point of pride.  Like a woman is gonna be impressed by that.  And like, what is even the point of customizing them to the point where they bear no resemblance to what’s in the movies?  I get wanting Darth Maul’s sabre or whatever, but when it’s like a Darth who never even existed?  Like you’re the new Darth?  Like can’t there only be one Darth at a time?  Oh my god, I can’t believe I even know that.  I think I’m a bit drunk.”
            Terry and Nick chuckled. 
            “God, I hate men.  Except you two of course.  Terry, I swear to god, you’re the only decent straight man left in the whole world.”
            “Not sure how many people think I’m decent,” shrugged Terry.  “Or a man.”
            “You’re more of a man than your father ever was,” Vicky insisted.    “And if all that moaning I overheard coming from your bedroom all those years was any indication you’re also a better lover than your father ever was.”
            Nick laughed so hard he spit out his beer like in a TV show or something.  He grabbed a nearby Kleenex and wiped his mouth, still sputtering with laughter. 
            Terry chuckled as well.  “You could hear?”
            “Oh come on, like you didn’t know?  Some of those girls were very vocal.”
            “Sorry, I mean, if it made you uncomfortable or whatever.”
            “Oh please, I was jealous if anything.  All I had was a fucking vibrator!”
            Again Nick laughed uproariously.  “But didn’t you and Terry’s dad…”
            “At first,” Vicky conceded.  “But eventually he got tired of me.  Men are like that.  They want variety, quantity over quality.  I guess it’s in their genes.”
            “Not Terry,” smirked Nick.  “All he ever wants is Cerise.”
            “Probably because he can’t have her.  As soon as she commits he’ll get bored.  Won’t you?”
            Terry shrugged with discomfort.
            “Don’t, Terry, don’t lose interest.  She’s such a nice girl.  And she was the loudest one!”  Vicky nudged Nick and they both burst into laughter.
            “What did you do to that girl?” asked Nick between guffaws.
            Terry shrugged and grinned.  “I’d go down on her a lot.”
            “Oh my god, I wish!” Vicky exclaimed. “Most men hate doing that!  They act like it’s a chore!  I’ve only ever been with one man who seemed to enjoy it.”
            “Was it Terry’s dad?” asked Nick with interest.
            “Ugh, I don’t wanna know!” Terry covered his ears.
            “No, John was a very selfish lover.”
            “Good,” said Nick.  “I mean not good for you, but for you, Terry.  You’re always worried about being like him.  Obviously you’re not.”
            “I really don’t wanna compare myself to my dad in that way.”
            “Do you really like it?” asked Nick.  “I mean going down on chicks?   Isn’t it like, nasty?”
            “Well isn’t it nasty to go down on a guy?” asked Terry.
            “No, it’s fun.”
            “Well there you go,” said Terry.  “Anything’s fun if the chick, I mean if your partner’s into it.”
            “Yeah,” Vicky nodded.  “That’s true.  Well, as long as you’re both into it.”
            “Yeah,” Nick nodded.
            Terry nodded as well and wondered if Cerise had always been into everything they’d done. 

            “Ok, enough about me,” said Cerise, digging into the popcorn.  “What’s new in your neck of the woods?”
            Karine shrugged and said there was no one on the horizon.  She was about to change the subject but then decided she might as well share. Cerise was the only girl besides Christina who knew about her situation so if she couldn’t talk to her about it then she’d have to keep it all inside.  “I’ve been having dreams lately.”
            “Like sex dreams but not the good kind.”
            “Oh, you mean like…”
            “Yeah, with him in them.  And Erica too sometimes.
            “God.  Are you ok?”  Cerise pushed away the popcorn and sat up straight, turning to face Karine.
            “Yeah, I’m ok.  I just don’t wanna be with guys right now.”
            “Of course not.”
            “It’s just like, why now?  It’s been almost two years.  Why am I dreaming about it now all of a sudden?”
            “I dunno. I mean, I don’t think you ever really fully get over something like that, do you?  I mean, not to be discouraging or anything.  But it’s probably something that’s gonna be with you forever.”
            “Lucky me.”
            “Although I guess there are ways to deal with it.  Have you thought about like, therapy? Or like a support group or whatever?”
            “I guess,” Karine sighed.  “I wonder if Christina’s ok.”
            “You think she’s still with him?”
            “She might be,” Karine nodded.  “And even if she’s not, I bet she’s fucked up.  She always kind of was.”
            “Maybe we should go see her again.”
            “Yeah, but I think I should go alone this time.”
            “Yeah, I get it,” Cerise nodded.  “Maybe you can help her.  And like, maybe helping her can help you.”
            “Yeah, maybe.”
            “Feel better now that you’re completely smashed?” asked Leanne.
            “I’m not even,” said Shauna, though the spinning in her head might mean Leanne was right.  Leanne might always be right.  She was a righter.  Always right.  “You’re a righter,” Shauna said.
            “I’m a writer?  What do you mean?”
            “You’re always right.”
            Leanne laughed.  “Maybe you should drink some coffee or something.  You can’t go home this drunk, right?”
            “When you’re right, you’re right!”
            “Ok, let’s take a walk, that’ll do you good too.  We’ll go to Starbucks or something.”
            They left the bar and walked down the street even though it was super cold but Shauna didn’t even feel the cold and she took off her hat but Leanne told her to put it back on ‘cause it was freezing so Shauna did and then they went to Starbucks and got giant coffees and sat in giant chairs and drank the giant coffees and Shauna usually hated coffee but Leanne must have gotten her one that had tons of other stuff in it ‘cause it was pretty good.
            “So tell me about Cerise.  In more detail.”
            “Why?”  Shauna sat back in the giant chair.  It was pretty comfy.  Maybe she should move in here.         
            “I wanna know why you like her so much.”
            “I don’t even.”  She didn’t even like her that much.  Not that much.  Not really.
            “Come on, Shaun.  I’m not even trying to lead you down the rainbow brick road.  I just wanna know what the fascination is.  ‘Cause you know what?  Honestly, I just don’t see it.”
            “You don’t?”  How could she not?  How could anyone not see it?
            “She’s so ordinary.”
            “You said she was cute.”  She was totally cute!
            “I was just teasing you.  Honestly I think she’s kinda plain looking.  There’s nothing special about her at all.”
            “You’re wrong!” Shauna insisted.  “You’re not a righter, you’re a wronger!” she giggled.  “She’s the most specialest!”
            “Oh yeah?  How so?”
            Shauna sighed and sipped at her giant coffee.  “Well…” she began.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Season 3 – Episode 8 – Act I

            It had been pretty warm lately, unseasonably so. Although, maybe it was normal now for winter weather to be more rain than snow, what with global warming and all.  Whatever the reason for it, rain in the winter sucked ‘cause everything just turned to slush, all grey and gross.  The wetness seeped into Terry’s shoes as he stood outside the school with Nick, smoking a cigarette. 
            “So what happened?” asked Nick.
            “Nothing, what do you mean?” Terry asked innocently.
            “Bullshit.  You fucking did something.  You know I’m Vani’s friend on Facebook and his last post was pretty cryptic but you obviously did something to Jay.”
            Terry shrugged and tossed aside the remainder of his cigarette.  Nick did the same and they walked inside, their wet sneakers squeaking on the floor as they went.  They passed by the Munch Box on their way to the cafeteria and there were the nerds at their usual table, Jay sporting a gigantic bandage on his fragile nose.  Shit.  So it was for sure broken. 
            “You did that, didn’t you?” asked Nick as they went on.
            “Did what?”
            “Terry, cut the crap.  You broke his nose!”
            “Well… fuck,” Terry mumbled.  “I didn’t mean to!”
            “No wonder the kid’s afraid of you!”
            “Well he fucking deserved it for what he did to Cerise.”
            Nick sighed heavily.  “Like it was any worse than what you did to her.”
            “Whatever, he still deserved it just for being like, himself.”
            “Real mature, Terry.”
            Terry stopped and shrugged.  “I seriously didn’t mean to.  I was yelling at him and shit, for like, you know, being an asshole or whatever and I lunged at him just to scare him.  But then he was all like, ‘fuck you’ and stuff and I just lost my temper.  Before I even knew it my fist was in his face.”
            “Jesus,” Nick sighed.
            “And he went down like a leaf.  I seriously, like, fuck Nick.  I didn’t even mean it.  I was so embarrassed but I had to act like it was on purpose, you know?”
            “To save face?”
            “You’re a bully.”
            “I know,” Terry sighed and kept walking.  They entered the caf and got plates of shitty lasagna.  Actually the food here wasn’t bad.
            “You should go to like, anger management classes or whatever.  Like get therapy I guess.”
            “Seriously?” asked Terry in a panic.  “You think it’s that bad?”
            “Well it’s not the fucking ‘80s!  You can’t just like beat people up and have it be no big deal!  For all we know someone put it on YouTube and maybe he’ll press charges and you’ll like go to jail and shit.”
              Terry hadn’t been worried when he’d beat up Andrew because he knew Andrew was too prideful to go to the police but he couldn’t say the same about Jason Harris and his stupid hair.  Well, if he did go to jail or get community service or whatever, that’d be ok.  He’d deal with it.  At least that fuck-nut knew not to mess with Cerise again.  Shit, Cerise was gonna be so pissed.

            “Oh my god, Jay!  What happened to your nose!?” exclaimed Sarah as she and Cassie came to the Munch Box.
            God, this sucked.  Jay was attracting so much attention with his bandaged nose and his twin black eyes.  He actually thought he looked mildly cool, like he was a boxer or something and he’d noticed some girls looking at him sympathetically or least quizzically, which was better than being ignored but the truth of how his face got this way was totally pathetic.  Of course, even if he’d wanted to spin the story he had no chance while Vani continued to exist.
            “Oh my god, Vani, is that what your Facebook post was about?  Terry versus Jay, guess who won?”
            “Yeah, I wanted to add a pic of Jay’s face but he was a total pussy about it,” Vani nodded.
            “So you were right to be afraid of Terry?” asked Cassie with a shocked expression, like it was shocking that Terry Trebibrutesky was a caveman.
            “Yeah,” nodded Karl.  “Terry totally hit him in the face.  It was pretty mega.  Straight out of the olden days, ‘cause he was defending Cerise’s honour or something.  Said he’d do even worse if Jay ever hurt Cerise like that again.”
            “Yeah, it was hilarious,” confirmed Willy.
            “It’s not hilarious, it’s horrible!” said Sarah.  “My god, Jay, I’m so sorry we made fun of you for being afraid.  Obviously Terry is like, totally out of control.”
            “It’s no big deal,” Jay said.  “Barely hurts.”
            “Hah!” scoffed Willy.  “Not what you said when you were all crying and shit yesterday!”
            “I didn’t cry!”
            “Please, you were blubbering so wildly I almost mistook you for Willy,” smirked Karl.
            Everyone laughed even though it was a complete lie.  Jay hadn’t cried!  Or at least he didn’t think so.  It was all a bit of a blur. 

            “Well congrats, Karine,” said Janice with an appropriate lack of enthusiasm.
            Karine nodded as she read the cast list on the wall outside the green room.  She got the main part, as usual.  Yay.  “God, this semester is totally gonna suck.”
            “Oh my god, you guys!” exclaimed Cassie as she approached them with Sarah in tow.
            “Cassie, you’re Big Al.”
            “Oh, seriously?  ‘Cause I’m short?  That’s so lame.  She’s the worst character in the whole thing!”
            “They’re all the worst!” said Karine, even though it was true that Big Al was among the crappiest roles.  She had maybe two lines.
            “You guys, stay on target!  We have crazy news!” interrupted Sarah.
            “What is it?”
            “Terry totally broke Jay’s nose!”
            “What?!” Janice and Karine exclaimed.
            “He has a massive bandage and two black eyes.  It’s insane!  Apparently Terry like totally lost his shit and beat him up, all like to defend Cerise or whatever, I guess ‘cause he broke up with her, which barely makes sense, you’d think Terry would be happy they broke up, but I guess like, he was pissed ‘cause Cerise was upset or something.  Like, could it be any more obvious that he’s still in love with her?  Not that he ever pretended he wasn’t.  Still, so crazy!”
            “Yeah,” Karine nodded, taking it all in.  “I guess that’s not so unusual for Terry.”
            “Really?” asked Cassie.  “He’s done this kind of shit before?”
            “Well I just mean ‘cause like, he’s like an enforcer in hockey, right?  He’s pretty violent, like in general.”
            “I guess he was a bully in high school,” mused Sarah.  “But not really.  It was always Andrew who actually hurt people. Terry mostly just ignored everyone, like he was so far above us all.  God, such a poseur when you think about it.”
            “I wouldn’t call Terry a poseur,” countered Karine.  “He’s pretty genuinely indifferent to most everyone.  With the main exception being his little Cherry angel.  I’m not surprised he’d fly off the handle ‘cause of her.  I mean, he used to be so laid back before he met her but then he became all volatile and shit.”
            “Oh my god, what are you like, one of those girls all defending Chris Brown for beating up Rihanna?” asked Sarah.
            “What are you talking about?”
            “It’s not Cerise’s fault if Terry acts violently.  It’s Terry’s fault!”
            “I know,” Karine nodded, conceding the point.
            “So like,” Janice said after a beat.  “I’m the only one who thinks it’s hot?  I mean that Terry did such a like, manly thing?”
            “Oh god.”  Sarah rolled her eyes.  “Yes Janice, you’re the only one.”
            “Well,” Cassie shrugged.  “It’s maybe a bit romantic.  I mean, no the violence part, but the defending her honour part.  I mean a bit.”
            “It’s not romantic, it’s barbaric!” Sarah insisted.
            Before they could argue the point further, the Cherry angel herself came along and the others pounced on her, all asking if she’d heard about what happened.
            “I didn’t hear, I saw,” she said, stone-faced.
            “I know, his face is like a total mess!” Sarah nodded.
            “Is it?  Fuck.  I haven’t seen him today.  I meant that I saw it go down.  Yesterday.  Willy texted me saying to come to the back door, you know, where the bus stop is?  So I go and I see Terry talking to Jay.  I couldn’t hear them and I didn’t go outside.  I just stood there by the door and I saw it.  Terry just hit Jay square in the face. It was insane!”
            “It’s so macho,” said Janice with a grin.
            “It’s disgusting!” countered Sarah.
            “I dunno.  It was weird,” shrugged Cerise with obvious discomfort.  “I mean, scary.  Terry’s temper… I guess I have a temper too, but I don’t go around hitting people.  It’s just, yeah, scary.”
            “Fuck, I gotta go to class,” said Sarah, checking the time on her phone.  “We’ll talk later, ok?” she said, squeezing Cerise’s arm as she went. 
            The rest of them walked towards the theatre.  “Oh wait, who am I?” asked Cerise absent-mindedly as she craned her neck to see the cast list.  “Bernice?  Who’s Bernice?”
            They all shrugged.  Bernice?  Karine couldn’t even remember a Bernice in the script.  Wow, even though Cerise had been off her game lately, Karine hadn’t expected her to get such a terrible role.  How embarrassing for her.  Kinda funny though.  Karine tried not to smirk as they went to class.

            “Ever had him?  Whitmore, for humanities?” asked Kim.
            The question wasn’t directed at anyone in particular but Shauna figured she shouldn’t answer.  Just because she was having lunch with Leanne’s friends didn’t mean she was their friend.  Brenda and Kim probably hated her, same way everyone hated her.
            Leanne and her friends kept talking about teachers and other boring school stuff and then Shauna suddenly realized they were waiting for her to say something.
            “Uh, what?” she asked.
            “Your least favourite class?” asked Leanne.
            “Oh, I dunno, all of them,” Shauna shrugged.
            They all laughed like she was trying to be funny.  Shauna smiled like she was in on the joke.  They kept talking and every so often Shauna even said something, but only when Leanne asked her a direct question.  She couldn’t presume to actually be in on the conversation.  They still hated her, even if they thought she was funny.  After a while they got up to go to class and Shauna walked with Leanne.
            “So what’s so horrible about them?” asked Leanne.
            “Huh, what do you mean?”
            “Well ‘cause you hate gay people right, and they’re gay.”
            “I never said I hated you guys,” Shauna shrugged in discomfort.  Is that why they hated her?  ‘Cause they thought she hated them?
            “So you like us?  You like me?”
            “Uhh…” Shauna stammered.  What exactly did Leanne mean by that?
            “I mean as a friend, Shauna.  A freakin’ friend.”
            “Um yeah,” Shauna nodded, hoping this wasn’t some lead-up to Leanne dumping her as a friend ‘cause she was such a loser.
            “So then why does my sexual orientation offend you?”
            “It doesn’t.”
            “Could’ve fooled me.”
            “It’s fine.  I just don’t think I’m like that.”
            “Like what?”
            For fuck’s sake!  Why did Leanne constantly have to torture her?!  “Stop trying to make me say that word!”
            “Which word?  Gay?  Homosexual?  Lesbian?  Flaming dyke?”
            “I have to go to class,” Shauna scowled.
            Leanne sighed and stopped walking, staring Shauna in the face.  “You know this isn’t fun for me, Shauna.  Hanging out with someone who rejects what I am.  ‘Cause even if you’re not gay, you’re still a homophobe and I can only take so much.  Just ask yourself Shauna, do you prefer being alone, silently stalking that Cerise girl and being continuously rejected or is it better to have friends who will support you and who won’t judge you and who will like, actually hang out with you?”
            Shauna shrugged and looked at her feet. 
            “Just think about it, Shauna.” 
            And with that she walked away.  Shit!  Shauna was getting a hole in her boot. 

            “Bernice is totally a good role,” said Karine without even trying to sound like she meant it.
            Cerise looked at her skeptically and she shrugged apologetically.  They sat in the green room as usual, having a snack before that evening’s rehearsal.
“I guess I really fucked up my audition,” Cerise sighed.  “But I would’ve thought that my performance last semester would make up for it.  I mean Hugh and Fred know what I can do.”
            “Yeah but they obviously saw that you’re in a funk lately and it’s not about what you once were, it’s about what you are now.”
            “God, was I really that bad?”
            “I dunno, I wasn’t there,” shrugged Karine.
            “I barely even remember the audition,” said Cerise even though this wasn’t entirely true.  She remembered that she’d flubbed her lines several times and it really was that bad.  Screw Jay and his stupid emotions, dumping her for no reason and getting her all upset!  Not that she could really blame anyone but herself for a shitty audition.  “Oh well whatever.  Everyone’s roles are shit.”
            “Yeah, besides, there’s no such thing as a bad role, just a bad actor, right?  I mean, we just have to put the right attitude into our performances and it’ll be fine, even if the script sucks.”
            “Hey, I wonder if they’d allow a bit of improv.”
            “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if like, on closing night we just totally improvised it?”
            “We could totally do our own thing?”
            “It’d be wicked!”
            “But then we’d fail the course.  I mean I didn’t think it was even possible to fail Theatre Workshop but I think we’ve just figure out how,” smirked Cerise.
            “Yeah,” nodded Karine.  “So… you gonna make me bring it up?”
            “Jay’s nose?”
            “I dunno, Karine, I’m not sure how I feel about it.  I mean, when I saw it I just couldn’t even believe it.  I was in shock.  And now I guess I’m just… disappointed?”
            “I guess it’s a bit romantic, for like Terry to defend you.”
            “You really believe that?’
            “No,” Karine admitted.  “What went on between you and Jay was none of Terry’s business.”
            “Exactly!  And I mean even if it was, does that give him the right to hit someone?  It’s so scary.”
            “He’d never hit a girl.”
            “So it’s ok to hit guys?”
            “I dunno,” Karine shrugged.  “I guess it can be cool.  Like rugged or whatever.  Janice thinks it’s manly and I guess I see where she’s coming from.”
            “Did you think it was cool when Terry beat up Andrew?”
            Karine’s face turned white and Cerise instantly regretted the question. She apologized hastily but Karine shook her head.  “I dunno.  On the one hand, I’m glad the Asshole got hurt you know?”
            “Yeah,” Cerise nodded.
            “On the other, it annoyed me that Terry interfered.  It was my thing, not his.”  Cerise kept nodding and Karine went on.  “I wish I could have done something to the Asshole.  I didn’t want Terry to have to like, save me or whatever.  It made me feel weak that he could do something I couldn’t.  Same was as how the… incident made me feel weak.”
            “I totally get that,” said Cerise, hesitant to bring the conversation back to Jay.
            “But still, the Asshole deserved it.  And as much as Jay dumping you was lame, he didn’t deserve to get a broken nose for it.”
            “Exactly!”  nodded Cerise emphatically.  “The punishment was like, way disproportionate to the crime, I mean even if I had elected Terry the executioner or whatever.  I mean is Jay ever gonna talk to me again?  He must hate me now.”
            “Who cares about that?  I mean I thought you hated him.”
            “I dunno,” Cerise shrugged.  “I don’t really hate anyone I guess.  It takes too much energy to hate people.”
            Karine made a face like she understood, like maybe she was tired of hating people too.  “So you don’t hate Terry either?”
            “No, I don’t hate him.  I’m annoyed.  Not even angry, just annoyed.”
            “You wanna get back with him?”
            “I dunno,” Cerise shrugged, really not sure of what she wanted anymore.
            “Well, he doesn’t wanna get back with you,” said Karine bluntly.
            “You’ve talked to him about it?” asked Cerise in surprise even though she knew Karine and Terry probably talked about everything.
            “He’s still hurt.  He feels betrayed by you getting with Jay, or by you liking him at all.”
            “So why’d he do it then?  Hit Jay?  It makes no sense.”
            “I dunno, boys are stupid.”
            “Yeah and girls are geniuses,” said Cerise sarcastically.
            “Well I don’t know about you but I’m pretty fucking brilliant,” said Karine with a laugh.
            “Me too!  I’m awesome!”
            “Woo! Girl power!” Karine shouted and they laughed while the others in the green room jumped in on the chant for no reason whatsoever.