“Are you serious?” asked Karine in shock. Had Terry seriously just told her that he’d agreed to go out with Christina, like on an actual date? “Why the fuck did you do that?” It’s not that she wanted to see Christina get hurt again but now Karine looked like an idiot for insisting Terry wasn’t into Chrissy. Now it seemed like everything Chrissy said was true.
“Well fuck, I just couldn’t handle breaking her heart again,” he shrugged as he threw his books into his locker.
It had been a full week since he’d slept with Chrissy, a full week since Karine’s fight with her and Karine hadn’t talked to her since. She’d wanted to make up, she’d wanted to make sure Chrissy was ok, and apparently now she was!
“Wait, when did this happen?” asked Nick. “Yesterday you were all like, hoping she’d disappear.”
“Well she called me and I mean I’d been avoiding her calls all week but finally I was like, ok, she’s obviously not gonna give up, so I answered and we talked. And I mean, she’s such a nice girl. I can’t fuck her over again. I owe her, you know?”
“How long are you gonna endure her before you break? Before you get pissed at her and get all mean? You’re just delaying the inevitable, which is gonna make it hurt all the more,” said Karine.
“Ehh, I dunno,” shrugged Nick. “Isn’t having Terry for a little while better than only having him for one night?” Terry raised an eyebrow and Nick went on. “Or maybe you can like, break it to her gently. Try to steer her in the direction of just being friends.”
“Fuck, I might as well give her another shot. I can’t keep holding out for someone perfect.”
“You mean for someone like Cerise?” smirked Karine.
Terry sighed heavily and announced he had to get to class.
“He’s an idiot,” said Karine once he’d gone.
“God, is Christina so bad? Why not go out with her for a while?”
“He always thinks he can do it. He’s done it before, you know? Tried to be nice to her, tried to be her boyfriend. But he always gets tired of her neediness, her dullness. And he ends up blowing up and being mean.”
Nick sighed. “Still, at least she gets to fuck him,” he shrugged.
“Oh my god, Nick, you have it so bad for him!”
“I so don’t! I’m just saying it would be nice to have someone. I’m not even talking about Terry.”
“You have plenty of options, Nick! Tons of guys at that club were into you. God, at least I try! At least I went out with Brady. He turned out to be a dick but still, I tried.”
“You’re right I guess,” Nick admitted. “I can’t fixate on straight boys. Terry might be right you know, about how like, I’m scared or whatever. Maybe I’m only attracted to straight guys ‘cause it’s somehow safe, like being into a celebrity. I need to fucking just like, do it. Just fuck a dude! Terry’s right, we can’t wait for the perfect person, ‘cause they don’t even exist.”
“Yeah,” nodded Karine, though she was actually pretty tired of dating non-perfect guys.
“That’s so awesome!” Cassie enthused when Cerise told her about the apartment hunting.
They were sitting with Sarah in the Munch Box and their plan was to head to the library after they’d eaten since final exams were coming up. Cerise only had one exam, but she had a few papers to write. She wasn’t worried though. Now that the play was over she had tons of free time on her hands.
“I know, I’m so excited. I brought it up to my parents, me moving out,” said Sarah. “They were cool with it, but I don’t think I wanna work while I go to school. I mean, I wanna be able to concentrate on my schoolwork, so might as well ride the parental gravy train for a while.”
“Yeah,” nodded Cerise. “I’ve definitely thought about that. I mean it’ll be so expensive. Rent, Hydro, internet. But I have savings. I’ve gone over the numbers and I can swing it by only working in the summer, as long as my dad helps out, which he said he would.”
“It’s so exciting!” Cassie clapped her hands happily.
“Hey... can we join you?”
They looked up to see Jay and the guys hovering over the table. Jay looked nervous and kind of sad but Willy looked indignant and like a big, giant fucking asshole.
“You’re sitting at our table,” said Vani with a grin.
Cerise didn’t think it was meant as a challenge but Sarah apparently took it as such and angrily insisted that this was a public space. Karl tugged on Vani’s collar and pulled him away from the table. The guys left and Jay shrugged as he went, smiling apologetically at Cerise. She sort of smiled back, just from instinct but then turned away from him.
“Why do we hate them again?” asked Cassie.
“Hello? The whole fucking dibs thing with Cerise?” said Sarah. “Plus they’re just jerks in general.”
“Yeah, but they’re fun to hang out with,” shrugged Cassie.
Cerise was about to agree with Cassie, knowing full well that she’d eventually end up hanging out with the guys again. They were fun, even though they could be mean and annoying. Besides, Jay was her neighbour, she couldn’t exactly avoid him. Then again, if she was going to move out with Simone, she need not ever see the guys again. They were all going to McGill and she was going to Concordia. If she wanted, she really could end her friendship with all of them. But is that what she wanted?
Before Cerise could voice any of these thoughts, Sarah changed the subject to Cerise’s birthday, asking what her plans were.
“Oh, fuck my birthday. I’m not gonna do anything this year.”
“Why not?” asked Sarah in disappointment. “I mean at least let us come over,” she indicated Cassie and herself. “We could watch movies or something.”
“Ok,” shrugged Cerise, not really caring either way. It was just a birthday. No big deal.
“It’s new, and mysterious,” said Vani in hushed tones.
“Different and unsettling,” nodded Karl.
“You know it’s kinda weird that we’ve been going here for two years and this is the first time we’ve gone to the caf,” pointed out Willy.
“We’re nothing if not stuck in a rut,” agreed Karl.
That much was true, thought Jay. He would always be stuck with these guys, these assholes, these shitty friends. And he’d always remain a victim of their ridiculous hijinks. His life was a joke, wasn’t it?
They all went through the cafeteria line, getting typical caf food like mashed potatoes and green jello. So gross.
“God, quit moping, Jay,” said Vani. “Things aren’t so bad.”
“No, it’s that bad. I’m just sick of your sad face,” Vani snickered.
“No shit, get over it, wacktard,” advised Karl.
“I hate you with the power of a thousand suns,” grumbled Jay.
“You should say stars. There’s only one sun,” Karl smirked.
“I didn’t say I hated you with a thousand suns, I said with the power of a thousand suns. The power of them. It’s theoretical, you fucking moron!”
“The sun is only a main sequence star, it’s better to hate with the power of a thousand blue giants.”
“Argh, I hate you!” spat Jay as Karl smiled with a satisfied grin.
“Shit, now I’m feeling totally unprepared for the final,” said Nick as he and Terry left their Anthropology classroom. “I feel like there’s tons of stuff we never even covered.”
“We’ll be fine as long as we read the book,” said Terry.
“Yeah, wanna get together this weekend to go over it?”
“Yeah, sure. So like, do you think I should get Cerise something for her birthday?”
“Yes,” said Nick as they walked to their locker.
“Why?” asked Terry.
“’Cause then maybe you guys will get back together,” Nick smiled.
“So no then?”
“Guess not,” shrugged Nick.
“It’s just, she got me something for my birthday.”
“That was like seven months ago. You hadn’t dumped her yet.”
Terry ignored the snarkyness in that statement and went on to say he should probably just get her a little something. A token to say he still wanted to be friends.
“You sure that’s all you want?’
“Yeah, I’m gonna try things out with Christina for a while.”
“Oh seriously, you’re actually doing that?” asked Nick with a smirk. Karine thinks you’ll never make it.
“I’m gonna do my best,” he shrugged. “After all, I can’t pine over Cerise for the rest of my life.”
“Could’ve fooled me,” snickered Nick.
“Maybe we’re counting our chickens before they’re hatched,” said Cerise as she ate a piece of birthday cake, which Sarah had brought over to her house. They and Cassie and Simone were in the den, watching music videos. “I mean I haven’t even been accepted to Concordia yet. We can’t sign a lease if it’s not even for sure that I’ll be going there.”
“But you didn’t even apply anywhere else,” said Sarah. “I mean if you don’t get in, what’ll you do?”
“Of course you’ll get in,” said Simone. “Your grades are way high and you’re a Quebec citizen and it’s not like it’s the most competitive school out there, or the most competitive program. You’ll be fine.”
“Yeah but still,” said Cerise.
“But we can’t wait that long!” insisted Simone. “We have to sign the lease now so we don’t lose that place! We don’t wanna end up living in the ass end. If we want the apartment on Guy we have to sign it now!”
“I’m actually thinking of moving out too,” said Cassie. “But like, I think I’m gonn leave Montreal. “I’m gonna do college the way they do it on TV. Like living in rez and stuff.”
“That could be fun,” said Sarah.
“Oh god, but then you can’t pick your roommates,” smirked Simone. “You end up with a bunch of freaks.”
“Cassie can get along with anybody,” said Cerise.
“Hey, it’s your funeral,” shrugged Simone.
“I want it to be really decadent,” said Vani. “Like a table carved out of one piece of wood.”
“That’d have to be a pretty big tree,” said Karl.
“One of those big ones in BC, you know? What are they, red wood? Whatever, a big tree.”
“There aren’t many trees left on Earth in this time period.”
“Decadent indeed,” nodded Karl in approval. “Ok, Jay, what are you putting in your quarters?”
Jay sighed and shrugged. It was just another weekend of gaming, with all the guys lounging around in his basement even though he’d made it pretty clear he hated them all and never wanted to see them again. He had no control over his life. The guys would always do whatever they wanted no matter what. And all girls would always hate him ‘cause he was such a loser, regardless of the company he kept.
Karl sputtered with annoyance. “God, I hate when you’re in depresso-mode. You suck at the game and you suck at life!”
“And you suck at the Game of Life too I bet,” nodded Willy.
“It’s like the life has been sucked out of you,” said Vani.
“But Jay always sucked. Nothing new there,” shrugged Willy.
“You want me to beat you up again?” asked Jay with gritted teeth.
“You beat me up? Hah! That’s a laugh! I totally slaughtered you!”
“Yeah right! I totally made your nose bleed!”
Willy laughed in Jay’s face. “But it didn’t even break or anything! Not like when Terry broke your nose with just like, the flick of his wrist! You’re so fucking fragile! I mean, you still have a massive bruise on your arm and I’ve gone no bruises!”
“That’s just because I’m not protected by an extra layer of blubber!”
“You mean an extra layer of balls!”
“Christ,” moaned Karl. “Is this our new thing now? It was funny at first but it’s just a distraction now. We can never game ‘cause you guys are always fighting.”
“Agreed,” nodded Vani. “Let’s get back to my giant tree table.”
“You know who you’re acting like, right?” said Karl with a smirk.
“Ooooh!” sang Vani.
“Like Terry,” said Karl smugly.
“I am not!” countered Jay. Fuck, just because he hated his friends it meant he was a Neanderthal? That didn’t even make sense!
“You’re being violent all the time. Just like a hockey player.”
“Yeah, when Terry does it, it’s cool,” said Vani. “When you do it, it’s amusing, but ultimately pointless.”
“It’s always pointless,” said Karl as he pinched his nose in annoyance. “Ok, let’s get back to the game.”
“Fine!” declared Jay. “I want a big iron maiden in my quarters. One big enough to accommodate a fat ass like Willy!”
Willy laughed. “And in my quarters I’m gonna put up pictures of Karine and Cerise and all the other girls Jay is never gonna bang!”
“Karine and Cerise don’t even exist in this universe!” shouted Karl. “Focus, people! Focus!”
Karine was in the mood to celebrate. She stood outside of Concordia, smiling happily to herself as she skipped over to the metro. She’d just killed at her audition! Totally killed it! She knew the judges were impressed, she just knew they were! It was just a first audition and she knew that if she’d done well she’d get a call back to audition in front of the head of the Theatre program and she could tell she’d get that call back. She knew it!
As she rode the bus to Ste-Anne’s to meet up with the gang, she thought about every monologue she knew, trying to decide which one she’d choose for her second audition. Or maybe she was meant to perform the same piece. Oh well, they’d tell her, she assumed.
“It went well I take it,” smiled Nick as he hugged her.
“It was so awesome!” Karine beamed as she joined Nick and Janice. “I mean I haven’t heard back yet obviously, but I can just tell it went well. I fucking rocked it!”
“I knew you would!” said Nick with genuine pride.
“Yay!” said Janice less enthusiastically.
Nick leaned in towards Karine. “So did you hear? Terry said he’s gonna get Cerise a birthday present.”
Karine’s first reaction was to ask why she was supposed to give a shit about something stupid like that. They were talking about her audition, why was Nick changing the subject? But the more she thought about it, the more she realized this news really did piss her off. “God, I’m so sick of Terry’s obsession with Cerise! And at this point it’s his non-acknowledgement of it that’s most annoying!”
“I know!” agreed Nick.
“I can’t believe I never fucked him,” mused Janice.
“Ugh! People are so pathetic when they get all obsesso over other people!” Karine ranted. “Fuck, Christina’s all obsessed with Terry, Terry’s all obsessed with Cerise…”
“Jay’s obsessed with you,” said Nick with a grin.
“See? It’s stupid. They just make fools of themselves.”
“Ahh, c’est l’amour,” smiled Nick wistfully.
“It’s not fucking love, it’s stupidity! And if it is love, well then fuck that shit! I hope I never fall in love!”
“No you don’t!”
“Yeah I do!” Karine insisted. “People become idiots when they’re in so called love. They lose all control over themselves. It’s just embarrassing.”
“I remember a time when you were telling Terry how it’s better to have extreme highs even if you also have extreme lows rather than never feel anything.”
“Did I say that? I don’t remember that,” said Karine. “Well, now I think it’s better not to feel at all. Emotions just suck.”
“Now you sound like Karl.”
“Oh god, seriously. Kill me now.”
“Karine, how’d your audition go?” asked Terry as he joined them. Oh shit, he had Christina with him.
“It went totally awesome!” She got up and hugged him, then said hey to Christina.
“Hey,” she replied. “No hard feelings, right?” she smiled curtly.
“Yeah, right,” Karine smiled back. She grabbed Nick and led him to the dance floor as Christina wrapped her arms around Terry like she was afraid he’d escape, which he certainly eventually would.
“Hey uh, you don’t have to hold on so tight. I’m not going anywhere,” said Terry, trying not to sound as annoyed as he felt. Karine had been so right about Christina. He was never going to be capable of enduring a relationship with her. She was so fucking clingy!
“Oh my god! Look at her! She’s so fucking smug!” said Karine as she danced with Nick.
“How come you’re so against them being together?” he smiled knowingly. “I thought you’d be into Terry getting over Cerise. Or does it only count if he then gets into you?”
“Oh shut up! I’m totally over Terry! I was never even under him, ok?! Why does everyone think I’m into him?”
“Maybe ‘cause you told me you were,” chuckled Nick.
“You know, you’d be a lot easier to talk to if you didn’t so listen so well,” smirked Karine.