Friday, March 29, 2013

Season 3 – Episode 9 – Act V

            “So what about the Cardassians?” asked Vani as he plopped himself down onto the couch in Jay’s basement.
            Willy and Karl followed him in and sat down as well, as Karl responded to Vani’s question nonchalantly.  So that’s how they were going to play it then.  They were going to ignore Jay’s outburst at the Munch Box, acting like it had never happened.  Jay supposed that was fine with him.
            “I say we kill ‘em,” said Willy, opening a bag of chips.
            “Who?” asked Jay.
            “The Cardies!”
            “Disagree,” said Vani.  “We can propose a treaty.  The Cardies are better as an ally than an enemy.”
            “Jay?” asked Karl.  “What say ye?”
            Jay tried to think about it.  He knew it was an important mission and that the Cardassians were breathing down their necks.  Vani was probably right, they made better allies than enemies but they were basically evil.  It wasn’t right to align themselves with a villain.  Jay’s character was Scrupulous after all. 
            “Jay!” prompted Willy.
            “I’m thinking!” he shot back.
            “It’s not bad enough you made everybody hate us, now you have to suck at the game too?!” yelled Willy.
            “Jay always sucked at the game,” snickered Vani.
            “You’re the one who sucks!  At the game and at life!  Both of you,” Jay said angrily.
            “Here we go again,” said Karl while rolling his eyes.  “At first your motor control issues were amusing but now they’re getting annoying.”
            “Well fuck!  She hates me!”
            “And who would she be?” asked Karl knowingly.
            “Cerise hates you too,” pointed out Willy.
            “Everyone hates you,” said Vani.  “And us by extension, which is totally unfair.”
            “Whatever, who cares?” asked Karl.  “We have way more time for the game now so it’s all good.”
            “It’s not good!” countered Vani.  “This whole situation sucks to the power of tron.  It’s like being back in high school.”
            “That much is true,” mused Karl.  Terry’s beating on us, Karine looks down on us, Sarah hates us, it’s like we don’t even know Cerise.  Yeah, it’s like being back in grade 10.  Oh well, la plus ça change, la plus ça stays the same.”
            “The only friends we have anymore are each other,” said Willy with disgust and Vani shuddered visibly.  “And it’s all your fault, Jay!”
            “You’re the one who gave me the ultimatum!” Jay growled at Willy.  “And you guys went along with it!”
            “Well we didn’t think you’d make the wrong choice!” said Karl. 
            “Seriously, you fucking cock!” agreed Vani.  “Just because you’re so fucking obsessed with Karine Cavalière and her fucking tits, everyone fucking hates us now!  All the work we did in the past two years to become cool is all for nothing!  You just destroyed it in like a month!”
            “You never should’ve gone out with Cerise in the first place,” sighed Karl.
            “No shit,” agreed Willy.  “But you just couldn’t ignore your throbbing cock.  You just had to fuck every chick in the vicinity.”
            “Yeah,” nodded Vani emphatically.  “You just had to get in her pants, eh?  Well, all you’ve done is turned everything into suck!”
            “Fuck you!  Fuck all of you, you fucking cock-suckers!” Jay raged, not even caring that he was yelling at the top of his lungs and his mother was home.  “At least I’m trying to do shit!  What have you losers done?  Karl’s had one girlfriend, and he didn’t even have the guts to go after her.  He waited for her to make the first move, and then she fucking dumped him because he’s such a fucking robot.  And Willy went out with the only chick who was desperate enough to tolerate him and he promptly got her pregnant and then ditched her and her wiggling foetus.”
            Vani giggled.  “Wiggling foetus.”
            “And you Vani, you’ve never even gone out with a chick!  You’re so fucking scared of women that you can’t even ask one out!  All you can do is come on to Terry Trebichavsky and his giant hockey stick!  At least I’m trying!”
            “Better not to try at all than try and fail,” pouted Vani.  “And turn everything into suck.”
            “I can’t believe you actually believe that.  You’d rather do shit all ‘cause you’re a fucking coward and you actually think that makes sense!  God, I can’t stand you assholes!  Get the fuck out of my house!”
            “Oh wow, I think this is the zenith of Jay’s motor control,” said Vani languidly while the others chuckled.
            “Fuck your fucking motor control!” Jay yelled and stood, upturning the table as he went.  Karl’s books and dice went flying.
            The guys all looked at the table in shock, then up at Jay, who was heaving in anger.  Then they all burst into laughter.
            “Motor. Fucking. Control!” laughed Karl.
            Jay sighed and slumped down onto the couch.  “I hate you guys so much,” he said, uttering a chuckle of his own.  He gently kicked Willy in the face and told him to pick up the dice. 

            “I think I hate Kim,” said Shauna as she sat with Leanne at a table in Cunningham’s.  They were watching Kim and Brenda dance.
            “You wouldn’t be the first,” Leanne shrugged.
            Shauna had been thinking about it and she decided that Kim had been rude to her and her half-hearted apology had been bullshit.  True, it was an apology, which was more than most people had ever done, but still, she was basically a bitch.  “She acts like everything is so easy.”
            “Yeah,” Leanne nodded.
            “It’s annoying.”  But then again, Shauna was in no position to dismiss people who could be potential friends.  “I think I hate her, but I’m not sure.”
            “You maybe like her a bit too?”
            “I dunno.  Not really.  I mean, I know I should hate her.  She’s like all the people I always hate.  She acts like she’s so great.  Like she’s better than me.  And I guess she is.”
            “No she isn’t.”
            “She acts like she doesn’t give a shit about anything.”
            Leanne nodded.
            “Do you think she hates me?” asked Shauna.
            “What’s weird?” asked Leanne as she drank her newly arrived beer.
            “Usually I hate people ‘cause they hate me.  It’s weird to hate someone who doesn’t hate me first.  Like I tried to hate you but it didn’t work.”
            “You tried to hate me?” asked Leanne with a furrowed brow.
            “It didn’t work.  You’re too nice I guess.”
            Leanne chuckled.  “I was really proud of you, you know.  When you bitched out Kim at group.  You really showed her.”
            Shauna grinned.  “Thanks!”
            “Well, turning over furniture is helpful, Jay, no question about that but it’s not helpful enough,” said Vani as he stroked his chin, which was peppered with spotty and embarrassing facial hair.
            “We need a plan is what we need,” agreed Karl.
            “A scheme shall we say,” nodded Vani.
            Jay sighed and listened as he ate Willy’s chips.
            “Something crazy.  Something zany.  Something thirsty.  Something pastry.  No wait, I think I’m just hungry,” said Karl. “Pass me those chips!”
            “We need something to turn the fabric of the Universe back to its proper course,” suggested Vani.
            “Like what?” Jay asked.
            “A party?” suggested Vani.
            “Could do,” shrugged Karl.
            “Yeah,” snorted Willy.  “We invite everyone and make them like us again!  It’s foolproof!  Except no one would even come!”
            “Well I had that party after grad and people came.”
            “Most of those people didn’t even know who you were.  And it’s not like we hung out with anyone at that party except ourselves,” said Jay.
            “Concurrence,” conceded Karl.   “We might as well just accept our fate.  It was fun while it lasted but it was doomed to fail.”
            “Such a naysayer!” lamented Vani.  “We can’t just resign ourselves to being losers for all time.”
            “But it’s what we are. Just deal with it,” said Karl.
            “No, we gotta try something!” said Willy.
            “Meh, effort,” said Karl.  “Let’s just keep gaming.”
            “Way to make my point, Karl,” scoffed Jay.  “It’s because you’re so fucking lazy and scared to do anything that your lives suck.”
            “No, our lives suck because you alienated everyone we’ve ever met!” countered Vani.
            Karl finished the thought.  “Because you just had to get into the pants of every girl we’ve ever come across!”
            “I’m not the one who alienated…” Jay thought for a moment.  “Jenn!”
            “Alienating Jenn was a good thing, Jay.  Try to keep up,” said Vani.
            “Yeah, freak,” smirked Willy.
            Karl sighed.  “Ok, so about those Cardassians.”
            “Alliance!” insisted Vani.
“I think we should torture them until they break,” said Willy.
“Yeah, ‘cause Cardies are really known for their easy breakability,” scoffed Karl.
“There are five lights,” said Jay quietly.
“It’s four lights, Jay.  There are four lights,” said Karl condescendingly.
“I suppose I see five,” said Jay.
“God, you’re so easily broken,” said Karl as he shook his head.

Karine finally made good on her promise to Christina and invited her over for a night of drinking and watching movies.  They were pretty much ignoring the movies and just bitching about everyone they knew.  Karine spent a good deal of time ranting about the play and how it sucked, and how everyone was trying to steal her spotlight by like, totally rewriting the thing.  Especially Cerise, who was clearly trying to become the star of the show, even though she was only in three scenes.  It was actually embarrassing for her.  Who did she think she was?  Christina totally got what Karine was saying, ‘cause she knew Cerise could be that way, always trying to take what wasn’t hers.  God, such a bitch! 

For the first time ever, Shauna was dancing in public.  She’d danced in her bedroom before but now she was on a dance floor in a bar with other people!  Strangely enough, it was Kim who’d dragged her out to the dance floor.  Brenda and Leanne were dancing too, and they were one big group.  It was fun.  And Shauna wasn’t even drunk!  Buzzed maybe but not drunk.  It was crazy!  She couldn’t remember when she’d ever had such a good time.  And she didn’t even need Cerise for it!

Nick had been on a date with one of the guys from the gay club but apparently it hadn’t gone well because it was still pretty early when he came over to Terry’s.  They put Brittany to bed and stepped out onto the balcony, which was really more of a fire escape, and shared a joint.  It had been so long since Terry had smoked up.  And he didn’t even need to feel guilty about it.  Cerise would have made him feel bad, but they weren’t together anymore and probably never would be again.  And that was ok.  Life would go on.  He’d find a new girlfriend and everything would be fine. 

Once the guys had gone, Jay left the basement a mess and went up to his bedroom.  He wasn’t tired but he went to bed anyway.  Life seriously sucked now, didn’t it?  And the guys were basically right.  Even though it was their own dick move to force a ridiculous ultimatum on Jay, he’s the one who made the wrong choice. Karine really was indifferent to him at best, and hated him at worst.  And who would he usually turn to, to talk to about these things? Certainly not the guys.  He needed to talk to Cerise of course, and yet he’d alienated her as well.  Dumping her had probably been the stupidest thing he’d ever done, next to going out with her in the first place.  What had he been thinking?  He truly was a moron.  But why couldn’t Cerise just chill about it?  She’d seemed cool there for a while.  Why had she suddenly decided she hated him?  Fuck her and her stupid female emotions.  Girls so weren’t worth the trouble they caused.

            No new messages.  Cerise thought she’d heard her phone chime, but it must have been her imagination.  Oh well.  She supposed if she wanted to do something on a Saturday night it was up to her to call her friends.  But she was too lazy for that.  She’d just stay home and watch SNL alone.  Sometimes it was nice to be alone. 
            Had her phone chimed?  She picked it up.  Nope, no email and no texts.  Oh well.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Season 3 – Episode 9 – Act IV

            “So did you have a good time?” asked Karine.  “You were pretty wasted when we dragged your ass home.”  She passed her cigarette to Nick.
            “Yeah, it was cool,” smiled Nick, taking a drag.  “Thanks for coming with me.”  He passed the cigarette to Terry, who took a drag and passed it back to Karine. 
Terry supposed it was weird that he and Nick always bummed their cigarettes off Karine.  He had to assume she found it annoying, if only because of the cost.  Then again, no one ever offered him any gas money when they went out, so he was entitled to the occasional cigarette outside of school.
            “So did you guys hook up?” Karine went on.
            “You guys were with me the whole time; you know exactly what I did!”
            “You should’ve hooked up,” said Terry.  “If only in like, the bathroom or whatever.”
            “Gross!” said Nick in disgust.
            “Oh, stop being such a princess,” scoffed Terry.
            “At least tell us you got that guy’s number!” said Karine.
            “Yeah, but I’m not gonna call,” shrugged Nick. 
            “God, you’re so picky!” lamented Terry
            “Not really, I got a lot of numbers, and there’s one guy I think I’m gonna call.”
            “Well hallelujah!” laughed Terry.
            Nick smiled happily and took another drag of the cigarette.  Once they were done they went back inside and threw their coats in Nick’s locker, then walked Karine to the theatre for her next class.  They passed by the Munch Box and all the guys were there, no doubt playing their dumb game, as usual. 
            “Hey Terry!” Vani called out.
            Terry nodded to Vani and then glared at Jay.  “Fuck you, Harris,” he sneered.
            “Yeah, fuck you!” spat Karine.  “I never even liked you, Harris!”
            Vani seemed pretty upset and looked at Jay accusingly.  “Everything bad in the world is your fault!” he hollered.
            “Shut the fuck up,” Jay sighed, more worried about what Karine thought about him at this particular moment.  She never even liked him?  What had compelled her to say that all of a sudden?  He’d thought they were all friends again, eating lunch together again and stuff.  Why did Karine hate him now? 
            Cerise and Cassie walked by a minute later and also shot death rays in their direction.  What the fuck?
            “What did you do this time?” whined Vani.  “Seriously, why are we back on the hate list?”
            “You just always fuck everything up!” hissed Willy.
            “Fuck all of you!” Jay exclaimed, jumping up from the table.  They all accused him of losing motor control and this time it was true.  He was seriously pissed off!  Fuck the guys for always blaming him for everything.  And fuck Terry Trebijerksy and fuck Cerise too, for suddenly deciding she hated him again and fuck Cassie for hating him and fuck Karine!  Fuck Karine for never liking him!  Fuck them all!

            Theatre was actually fun again.  Everyone agreed the play still sucked but they were having fun with it, all exaggerating their characters and almost making it a farce.  Hugh and Fred loved what Cerise was doing with Bernice, making her snarky and sarcastic and highly sexualized and it was now an exciting role for her to play.  She could fully escape during rehearsals; pretend she was really someone else and not worry at all about her own stupid life. 
            The only person who didn’t seem to think everything was great was Karine, and Cerise knew it was because she was no longer the star of the show.  Except she still was of course, but her character couldn’t be funny or outrageous, she had to play her scenes straight, or at least that’s what Fred and Hugh told her to do.  She was cooperating and was still having a good time, or was at least pretending to, but Cerise could tell she was a bit annoyed by how much attention Cerise was now getting.  Every day someone would praise her for a choice she’d made or a new line she’d improvised, but no one praised Karine anymore, and it was obviously getting to her.
            Oh well, too bad, so sad.  Cerise didn’t feel bad for Karine at all.  She still had three times as many lines as anyone else, she was still the headliner and she still got the majority of rehearsal time.  Cerise still spent most of her class time in the wings or in the audience.
            “You know it’s ‘cause of you that this play doesn’t suck so bad anymore,” said Tom in a whisper, sitting next to Cerise in the wings.
            “What are you talking about?  It’s you and Cassie who are making it hilarious,” Cerise whispered back.
            “I dunno.  I think you switching on Bernice was a turning point.  Everyone’s having more fun now.”
            “Well, at least I am,” Cerise smiled.
            “I wanted to tell you something…”
            “What is it?” Cerise asked in concern.  Tom seemed hesitant, shameful even.
            “Parisses Squares, we’ve been rehearsing without you.”
            “Well I figured when I stopped being invited to rehearsals it wasn’t ‘cause you guys all like, quit the band or whatever.”
            “It’s just that you were in a funk for a while,” Tom shrugged.
            “I know, Tom, it’s ok.  It’s not your fault.  I totally have been in a funk.”
            “But you’re better now, right?”
            “Yeah, I think I am,” she smiled.
            “Ok, so you wanna come to this Saturday’s rehearsal?”
            “So I haven’t been kicked out?”
            “If you still want in, you’re still in.”
            She nodded and smiled.
            “So I was also thinking something else,” he went on, and Cerise knew immediately he was going to ask her out.  She hoped she was wrong.  “You know how you’re not going out with anyone anymore and how I’m not either and,” he went on.
            “Yeah, it’s good that way, isn’t it?” she interrupted.  “I’m really enjoying singlehood these days.  Sometimes it’s good to be alone so you can know who you are or whatever.”
            He smiled sadly and nodded, obviously having gotten the hint.  She smiled back, glad to have dodged that bullet.

            That Saturday she was back in Tom’s basement, singing a new song Tom had written.  It wasn’t really working and she wondered if it was her fault.  Maybe she’d been apart from the band for too long.  Maybe they’d outgrown her, or maybe they’d never really needed her in the first place. 
            “Sorry guys, I know I’m sucking,” she apologized after a set.
            “Yeah, no offense but that was shit,” confirmed Jeff, proving himself to be just as much of a charmer as ever.
            “It wasn’t so bad.  We just need to re-find our groove,” said Tom.
            Jeff sighed deeply and pointed out that their groove had been fine without Cerise.
            “Come on, let’s not fight.  We all agreed we wanted Cerise back,” said Tom.  “In fact it was your suggestion, Jeff, so don’t be an asshole.”
            Cerise looked at Jeff quizzically and he shrugged.  Lloyd suggested they take a break and said he’d be upstairs taking a dump.  Cerise chuckled in amusement, remembering all the oversharing and debauchery of their little tour through Ontario last summer.
            Tom went to get them all some water and Bernie sat on a couch.  Jeff coughed deliberately and Bernie rolled his eyes, walking upstairs while groaning with displeasure.
            “What was that all about?” asked Cerise, like she didn’t know.
            “You ok?” asked Jeff.
            “What do you mean?  Yeah, I’m fine.”
            “I can make you finer.”  He wiggled his eyebrows.
            “Oh god, are you gonna ask me out again?”
            “Well fuck, you don’t have to act like it’s the worst thing ever!”
            “Is that the only reason I was invited back here?  You don’t even want me in the band, do you?  You just want me on your dick.”
            “What’s wrong with my dick?”
            “God, it’s probably crawling with herpes!” Cerise groaned in disgust.
            “I’ll have you know my dick is STD free.”
            “Well congratulations!”
            “You know, I’m not gonna wait around for you forever!”
            “So don’t!  I’m not asking you to!” said Cerise in exasperation.
            “Well fuck you!”
            “Seriously?  You’re gonna be an asshole to me now just because I don’t wanna be with you?”  And much to Cerise’s mortification the tears came down in a quiet stream.  Jesus Christ, she hated when she acted like such a girl.  How would anyone ever respect her if she always broke into tears at the smallest sign of trouble?
            “Uh, geez,” said Jeff sheepishly.  “You ok?”
            “What the fuck did you do?” asked Tom, coming downstairs and rushing to Cerise’s side.
            “Nothing, I’m fine,” insisted Cerise, wiping her eyes and trying to act cool.
            “Oh come on,” said Bernie.  “I mean, I’m really sorry to resort to quoting Tom Hanks and everything but seriously Cerise, there is no crying in baseball!  Or bands.  No crying in bands.  I mean, there’s lots of yelling and trashing hotel rooms but crying?  Come on!”
            “You’re right,” said Cerise, forcing out a laugh.  “This is ridiculous.  I’m fine, ok, everything’s fine.”
            “Maybe you should apologize for whatever you did, Jeff,” said Tom pointedly.
            “What’s going on?” asked Lloyd as he came downstairs.  “Why’s Cerise all puffy?”
            “I asked her out, she said no, so I got pissed and she started crying,” said Jeff with a shrug.
            “You can’t fucking ask her out!” yelled Tom.  “We agreed none of us would ask her out!”
            “I didn’t agree to shit,” said Bernie.  “But like, I’m not into you that way so it’s all good,” he smiled at Cerise.
            “I’d do you,” said Lloyd with a grin.
            Cerise recognized that they were trying to lighten the mood and it might have worked if Tom hadn’t lost his shit.  He yelled at Jeff some more and Jeff yelled back and they even pushed each other!
            “God, stop it!” Cerise exclaimed.  “What the fuck, you guys?!”
            “Seriously, this is bullshit,” said Bernie.  “No offense Cerise, but you shouldn’t be here.  This just isn’t gonna work.”
            “God, Bernie, it’s not Cerise’s fault if Jeff’s being a dick!” said Tom.
            “No, Bernie’s right,” said Cerise.  “This isn’t working and it’s cause I’m here.”  She was trying with all her might not to cry again.
            “It can work fine!” insisted Tom.  “Cerise, just stay.”
            “You just wanna fuck her!” said Jeff.
            “So do you!” said Tom.
            “I’m not gonna fuck either of you!” Cerise yelled.  “God, I’m so sick of this shit!  I’m sick of both of you.  I’m sick of the wrong people wanting me and the right people not!”
            “I told you Cerise, you can’t have me,” snickered Bernie.
            “God, shut the fuck up, Bernie!” spat Tom.  “And fuck you, Cerise.  Seriously.  It must be such a fucking tough life when so many people care about you!”
            He’d never been so mean to her before.  She wanted to be angry at his outburst but she supposed she had it coming.  She’d been pretty dismissive of him in the past and perhaps hadn’t fully considered his feelings when she’d rejected him. 
            They all stood there, looking at one another.  Finally Cerise gathered her things and walked upstairs without a word.
            “Well fucking good riddance,” grumbled Jeff.
            “Shut up,” snarled Tom.
            “She’s tearing us apart, man!  Tearing us apart!” joked Bernie, as Lloyd laughed. 
            She heard someone climbing the stairs behind her, probably Tom, but she rushed up to the main floor and put on her boots as quickly as she could.  He stood in the doorway, watching her as she put on her coat.  “It’s ok, Tom,” she said. 
            He nodded and she left. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Season 3 – Episode 9 – Act III

            “So you guys kissed?” asked Nick with great interest.
            “Yup, but I stopped it,” nodded Terry as he drove downtown, making his way towards the village.
            “What?  Why?” asked Nick, horrified.
            “Yeah, why?” Karine piped in from the back seat.
            “Well ‘cause,” Terry said.  “I just don’t trust her.  I think she still has feelings for ass-wipe.”
            “Yeah, I agree with you,” said Karine.
            “Oh she does not!” said Nick with irritation.   
            “Well she hates me!” said Karine.  “She was a total bitch to me in rehearsal!  Apparently it’s the same old story.  Jay dumped her ‘cause he’s into me and Cerise was all bitter about it.”
            “She was mean to you?” asked Terry, not even sure if he was surprised.
            “Well, she snapped but then apologized I guess,” said Karine.  “God, I dunno.  Girls always do shit like that.  Like blame me for shit.  Remember when Cassie and Sarah were all hating me?”
            “Yeah, gee I wonder why,” snorted Terry.
            “What the fuck does that mean?”
            “You do have a way of manipulating situations, Karine,” he chuckled.
            “But I didn’t fucking do anything in this case!” Karine snapped.
            “And Cerise apologized so don’t shit all over her!” Terry snapped back.
            “Yeah, and you don’t still have feelings for her,” drawled Nick.
            “Still don’t fucking trust her though,” Terry sighed.  “Ok, where am I gonna fucking park?”
            “Try up on Sherbrooke,” suggested Karine.
            “Fuck!  How come you can’t fucking turn left in this town?!” Terry growled as he tried to navigate the tight streets.
            “Still, I feel like everyone is always hating me all the time.  Especially Cassie, god I’m so over her!”
            “Stop being such a girl,” said Nick.
            “Oh fuck you!  You wish you could be a girl!”
            “I’m not trans, bitch.”
            “Well I’m not a bitch, tranny!”
            “Except you are,” snickered Nick and Terry laughed too.
            “Well fuck!  Maybe I am!  Maybe I will go out with Jay, just to like, show them!”
            “Show them what?  That they’re right about you?” asked Nick in amusement.  “Oh there, there’s a spot!”
            “God, whatever,” said Karine.  “Like I’d ever go out with such a tool.”
            “Yeah, seriously, don’t even joke about that, Karine.  I seriously would not be able to handle it if you went out with Jason Harris and his Bozo the clown hair,” said Terry, pulling into the spot Nick had pointed out.
            Nick jumped out to check the parking signs and then shot Terry a thumb’s up.

            This was so much fun!  Karine had never been to a gay bar before and it was just as she’d imagined, based on what she’d seen on TV.  A lot of guys were dancing with their shirts off and holy crap, they were hot!  Why couldn’t straight guys be that hot?  She supposed some were, but they were always the douche bags.  Perhaps that was true of gay guys as well; the hotter they were, the douchier.  But everyone here came across as really nice and friendly and no one was being rude to her just ‘cause she was a woman.  In fact, several guys had complimented her on her outfit.  This was awesome!
            And Nick seemed to be having a good time.  Terry too.  In fact, Terry seemed to be enjoying himself more than he had in a long time.  He was drinking and dancing and maybe even flirting?  Wow, Karine was impressed.  He wasn’t being homophobic at all.  Not that she was surprised, but still. 
            They congregated near the bar and topped up their drinks, Terry pointing out a cute guy for Nick to ask to dance.
            “Meh, not my type,” Nick shrugged.
            “What’s wrong with him?” asked Karine.
            “Too old.  Most of the guys in here are like, in their 30s.”
            “There are plenty of young guys,” Terry said.
            “Besides, maybe you should go for an older guy.  Like sugar daddy style,” winked Karine.
            “Gross,” said Nick, sticking out his tongue.
            “Ok, that guy,” said Karine.
            “Are you kidding?  He’s a midget!”
            “That guy?”
            “A giant.”
            “That guy?”
            “Too white.”
            “That guy?”
            “Too pretty.”
            Both Karine and Terry glared at Nick.
            “Are you being this picky on purpose?” asked Terry.  “’Cause like, you’re scared or something?  I mean fuck, if I was in a room with this many chicks I’d be able to pick one in two seconds flat.  Especially if so many of them were topless.”
            “Well I guess you’re just not very discriminating.”
            “I guess I’m not chicken-shit of hooking up with someone.”
            “Come on, don’t be so hard on him,” Karine counselled.  “Think back to when we were discovering our sexuality.  It can be scary.”
            “I was never scared,” scoffed Terry while Nick cringed in embarrassment.
            They discussed it a while longer but finally Terry lost patience and walked up to the guy who seemed least objectionable.  They talked for a while and after a moment came back to join Nick and Karine.  They all danced together, with the guy getting pretty friendly with Nick, who was obviously still embarrassed, but getting into it all the same. 

            “Why am I even here?” asked Cerise as she walked into Cunningham’s with Sarah and Cassie.
            “You need to have some fun,” replied Sarah.
            “Yeah, a girl’s night out will do you good,” confirmed Cassie.  “One without Karine,” she added bitterly.
            “God, don’t go back to hating Karine,” sighed Cerise as they sat at a table.  “It’s really not her fault Jay likes her.”
            “Of course it is!  She’s done plenty to encourage him!”
            “Even if she did, it’s still his choice to leave Cerise,” said Sarah.  “Ok, explain again how Willy is involved, ‘cause I don’t even get it.”
            “I’m not sure I get it either,” shrugged Cerise.  “Except to say the guys always get involved when it’s none of their business.”
            “No shit!” exclaimed Sarah.  “It’s like they’re so fucking bored with their own lives they have to create drama around them!  I mean even Karl does it.  He fucking loves to see others suffer.  It’s ridiculous.”
            “Yeah, it really is,” nodded Cerise. “But we knew that about them.  We’ve known it for years so it’s not exactly surprising.  They’re little shit-starters and drama queens.”
            “Well it’s all for the best in the end,” said Cassie.  “I mean, we all tried to go out with Jay and it didn’t work out with any of us, ‘cause like, no matter what his friends did, it’s really up to him to be a decent boyfriend and he just wasn’t.”
            “He’s incapable of it,” nodded Sarah.
            “Too bad he’s so funny.  And cute,” sighed Cerise.
            “But totally on crack,” smirked Sarah.
            “On Karine crack!” said Cassie angrily.
            “Don’t blame Karine,” said Cerise.  “I mean, she pisses me off too sometimes but it’s like you just said, it’s Jay who’s incapable of being a good boyfriend, regardless of what she does.”
            They all stared at one another.
            “You really were good in theatre today though,” Cassie smiled.
            Terry and Karine sat down, having hovered around a table for a full half-hour, waiting for it to be vacated.  They watched Nick dancing with that guy and hey, now they were kissing!
            “Oh my god!” squealed Karine.  “So cute!”
            Terry shrugged and nodded.  He was glad Nick was getting some and also pretty proud of himself for not being grossed out by any of it.
            “You’re not grossed out?” asked Karine, echoing his thoughts.
            “Why would I be?” he smiled.
            “Dunno,” she shrugged.  “Hey, is it really a thing with guys to be like into two chicks together?”
            “Yeah, I guess so,” Terry nodded. 
            “Why?  I mean, is it just a voyeuristic thing?”
            “Well yeah, but I guess it’s also like, you put yourself in there too.  ‘Cause like, one chick is hot… and two chicks is hotter… and two chicks with me is even hotter and so on.  I mean, as long as they are in fact hot and not all old and fat and nasty or whatever.”
            Karine nodded.  “Does it turn you on to think of a chick you’re into being with another chick?”
            “Yeah, I guess,” said Terry.
            “Ok, back when you were with Cerise, did it turn you on to think of her with another chick?”
            “Yeah I guess.  If I imagined it I always put myself in there too.”
            “Is that something you’d really want?  A threesome?”
            Yes indeed it was but Terry wasn’t sure if that was something Karine wanted to hear so he just shrugged. 
            “Do you still imagine it?” she went on.  “Like does it turn you on to think of her now with another chick?”
            Where was she going with this?  He decided to make a joke and say he wasn’t into it if the other girl was gonna be Porta-potty chick.
            “No but seriously,” Karine laughed.
            “It doesn’t turn me on to think of her with anyone but me.”  He stopped and considered it a moment, imagining Cerise with a faceless hot chick. Yeah, it was hot.  “Yeah I guess it’s a turn on to think of her being with another girl, just in a general sense.  I mean, in a fantasy way.  I think if I found out she was like, suddenly gay and fucking other chicks I’d still be jealous, same as if she was fucking other guys.”
            Karine nodded.  “Speaking of other girls.  Have you ever fantasized about me?” she asked.  She didn’t seem to be flirting, but rather asking an honest question, genuinely interested in the answer.
            “You know I have.  I mean, I used to be into you, back in high school.  You know that.”
She smiled and nodded and he went on.  “Sometimes I’d think about you joining me and Christina.
            “Eww! Really?”
            “Yeah, and back before I got to know Erica I even thought about all three of you getting it on.”
            “Is it really that gross?” he asked with a grin.
            She shrugged.  “I dunno.  Doesn’t turn me on.”  She paused for a moment and then went on.  “Do you still fantasize about me?”
            “No,” he replied.  Karine was undeniably hot and he knew he’d have sex with her if there was a guarantee she wouldn’t get all weird about it; if he knew for sure she wouldn’t develop feelings for him, but it wasn’t worth the risk.  If they were to sleep together things would definitely get weird and he valued her too much as a friend to mess around with her.  So it was better if she believed he never thought about her in that way. 
            She nodded, but seemed disappointed by the answer so he asked if she ever fantasized about him.
            “Yeah,” she laughed.  “Sometimes I’d imagine you when I was with Steven.”
            Terry laughed as well, glad they were talking about years ago and he didn’t have to worry that she was pining for him or something.
            “Do you ever think about what if?”
            “What if what?” he asked hesitantly.
            “What if you’d never met Cerise?”
            “Then we might’ve gotten together?” he asked.
            “Yeah,” she said neutrally.
            “I’m glad we didn’t.  ‘Cause you’re my best friend.  And it’s best if we don’t fuck around with that.  You know, literally.”
            “Yeah, totally,” she agreed with a smile.
            They looked at each other and he wondered if they should hug or something but then she laughingly asked if he’d ever fantasized about her and Cerise together.
            “Nah, that’s just fucked up,” he lied.
            “Really?  You never thought about it?  Not even once?”
            “I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that my answer might be yes.  But, I mean, I only ever thought about it in the way that I’ve thought about every fucking woman I’ve ever met and every conceivable combination of women I’ve ever met.”
            “You are one horny fucking guy, Terry,” she laughed.
            He nodded and turned to look at Nick, who was full-on making out with that guy from the dance floor.  “Holy shit!  You can totally see that guy’s hard-on through his pants!  Fucking nasty.  You’re supposed to hide that shit in public!”
            “Maybe that’s not how it works in gay bars,” mused Karine.
            “I guess Nick is getting lucky tonight.”
            “Nick doesn’t have a hard-on though.  We sure he’s gay?”
            Terry smirked.  “He just has the decency to wear pants that don’t show everything.”
            “This was a nice thing you did,” Karine smiled.  “Getting Nick out here.  Helping him hook up.  You’re a good friend.”
            Terry shrugged, feeling embarrassed.  “Hey, everyone needs a little somethin’ somethin’ every so often.”
            “Yup, we all do,” she agreed.
            Was he really such a good friend, genuinely helping Nick or was he just trying to get Nick to stop bugging him about Cerise, distracting him by forcing him to get his own love life?  Maybe it didn’t matter.  He did want Nick to be happy and at this particular moment he seemed to be, so mission accomplished, Terry supposed.