“You bonded over hitting each other with a basketball?” asked Karl snidely.
“Yeah,” beamed Jay, refusing to let his good mood be squashed by Karl’s negativity.
“So this means we’re friends with everyone again?” asked Vani excitedly. “Awesome! So give us the play by play!”
“There is no play by play. She just, I dunno, we played basketball,” shrugged Jay.
“Well what’d she say?” asked Willy with great curiosity.
“None of your fucking business, you piece of shit, let’s fucking game.”
“Oh, so now he wants to game,” said Karl.
“Cut your fucking hair, you hippy!” said Willy, shoving Jay aside.
Jay shoved him back and they ended up on the floor, wrestling.
“Ok, so we’re still on the Cardassian ship,” said Karl. “’Cause apparently you losers can’t work out a deal.”
Deciding they should get some exercise, the girls all went for a walk and found themselves on the overpass overlooking BHS.
“Our old stomping grounds,” smiled Sarah nostalgically.
“So this is where you guys went to high school?” asked Cassie.
“Yep. It was ok,” shrugged Cerise.
“I had a good time through most of high school,” said Karine. “Which scares me because they say that the people who peeked in high school go on to have shit lives.”
“Well I think we can all say that so far it just keeps getting better,” said Sarah. “So let’s not worry about being high school peekers.”
Cerise wondered if she’d peeked in high school. Overall it wasn’t a great experience, but could she say things were getting better? She’d been dating Terry in high school and now she was alone. “I still hate Willy,” she announced suddenly.
“Huh?” asked Karine.
“Did I tell you guys he called me a bitch ass cunt?”
“Oh my god! What an asshole!” exclaimed Sarah.
“He asked me out.”
“Ewww!” said Karine, making gagging motions.
“Yeah, and when I said no, well that’s when he got all angry and called me names and told me the stuff about the dibs with Jay and you.”
“So we still hate Willy then?” asked Cassie. “We should still hate all of them. They’re like a hive mind.”
“They’re not the Borg,” said Cerise. “Is it fair to be pissed at all of them just ‘cause of Willy’s nonsense?”
“But they all went along with it,” said Cassie.
“I thought we’d already decided we were gonna forgive them,” said Sarah.
“Not Willy though,” said Karine. “Those guys are always talking about expulsion, right? Like, they’re always threatening to kick each other out of their pathetic little group. Well let’s do that to them. I mean, to Willy.”
“Oh my god, of course!” laughed Cerise. “We’ll do to them what they basically did to us. An ultimatum. We tell the guys that we won’t be friends with them unless they get rid of Willy.”
“That’s so mean!” laughed Sarah.
“That’s how mean they are!” Karine also laughed. “It’ll be a taste of their own medicine.”
“Ooh, it’s Machiavellian,” said Cassie with glee.
“High-five on expulsing Willy!” announced Cerise and they all smacked their palms together.
Terry woke up with a start. Fuck. He hated waking up from his alarm. It was so much more soothing to wake up naturally, or even being woken by Britt was less annoying. He’d set his alarm ringer on the most soothing sound the iphone offered, which was harp music, but still, it pissed him off to no end. Getting to work two hours before opening so he could bake the morning’s bread meant waking up at the fucking ass crack of dawn; even earlier than school, even earlier than hockey practice. It sucked that he was an adult now and had to work during the summer, instead of sleeping in and playing video games like when he’d been a kid. Fuck this shit.
He showered and got dressed, then drove to the West Island, glad to be going against traffic, more or less, though he still got stuck in a bit of a jam on the highway.
He parked his car in front of Brown’s bakery and looked around for Brown’s car, hoping he wouldn’t have to talk to the man in person. He couldn’t see the car so he walked up to the place and unlocked the door, walking into the kitchen and grabbing his apron.
“Terry!” Vani beamed, immediately greeting him with a hug. “I wasn’t sure you’d still be working here. I mean, Brown said you were but I thought he might just be messing with me. ‘Cause he also said you were gonna butt-fuck me so it’s hard to tell.”
“Is he here?” asked Terry with trepidation.
“No, he’s not in yet.”
“Good, I can’t stand that asshole. Fuck, I don’t know why I decided to keep working here. It’s retarded. I should get a job in NDG. Or downtown. That’d be way cooler than working in this hellhole.”
“Yeah, but then we couldn’t hang out,” said Vani with a pout.
“You’re such a spaz,” laughed Terry as they took out the morning’s dough from the fridge.
“So are you still friends with that Nick guy?”
“Yeah, of course, why?”
“No reason,” Vani shrugged, expertly dividing the dough into baguette segments.
“Vani, you’re not gay are you?”
Vani didn’t even flinch, he simply responded that no, he wasn’t.
“’Cause Nick thinks you might be and you know how they are… they have like, a homing signal for that kinda thing. Maybe you are gay.”
“Well, maybe. Can you still fuck chicks if you’re gay?”
“Are you fucking any chicks now?”
“Well no, but I reserve the right to wish I were.”
“Yeah, no shit,” chuckled Terry.
“So who you banging these days?”
“Oh!” Vani laughed, clutching his chest as though wounded. Then he punched Terry in the shoulder. Terry responded in kind, only to have Vani stumble into the counter and cradle his arm in pain.
“Shit. Are you ok?”
“I’m fine!” Vani grinned in embarrassment and went back to the dough.
Many hours later, after a hectic day of serving old ladies croissants, when the bakery was closed and he was mopping the floors, the guys came to the door. Terry straightened and glared at them through the glass as Vani jumped to go open the door for them. They were all wearing their work uniforms, with Karl and Jay in their BYC gear while Willy was wearing a white button down shirt, no doubt still working at a grocery store. It was all wet with pit stains. So gross.
Karl immediately sat down at a table and opened his laptop while Willy approached the food counter. Jay and his giant fright wig walked in hesitantly, refusing to make eye contact with Terry. He sat across from Karl and stared at his hands.
Terry’s shift was over; he could leave if he wanted to. But Karine had texted to say she’d be coming over, so he wanted to stay even though Jay was here with his stupid hair. He casually walked over to the table occupied by Karl and Jay and started mopping under it. Karl lifted his feet without even looking up from his laptop while Jay squirmed uncomfortably, and got up from his chair, skulking away with shoulders hunched. Terry followed him with the mop, wiping up each spot on the floor after he stepped on it. Jay chuckled slightly and then hopped up on the breakfast counter. Terry lifted up the mop and pushed it in Jay’s face.
Jay sputtered and pushed the mop away as the rest of the guys erupted into laughter.
“Hah! Now we have two reasons to call you mop head!” Vani cheered.
Terry snickered while Jay hastily wiped his wet face with napkins. A knock was heard at the door and they all turned to see the girls. Karine, Cerise, Sarah and Cassie. They were all laughing uproariously. Terry crossed the bakery in two strides and let them in, giving Karine a hug as she entered.
“Oh my god, that was hilarious!” she giggled. “Now we can call you mop-head and pretend it’s not about your hair!”
“That’s what I said!” laughed Vani.
“So we have an ultimatum for you guys,” announced Cassie as the girls took seats at the breakfast counter, forcing Jay to get out of the way.
“Whoa! Jump right in, why don’t you!” said Karine with a chuckle.
“I see no reason to delay,” said Cassie with indignation.
“So um, yeah,” said Cerise awkwardly.
“Kinda weird to say it with Willy right here,” said Sarah. “I mean, should we ask him to leave the room so we can propose our plan to the rest of the group?”
“Fuck that!” said Cassie. “Let him listen. I mean, he didn’t ask Cerise to leave when he called her a cunt!”
“You called her what?” asked Terry, dropping the mop with a clang and then striding over to Willy, who cowered against the front counter, clutching the can of coke he’d just gotten himself.
“He called her a bitch ass cunt,” said Cassie.
“Give me one reason not to punch your fucking lights out right now,” said Terry with gritted teeth.
“Because this isn’t Sparta?” said Willy with a nervous laugh. “I mean, it was a joke!”
“No it wasn’t,” countered Cerise. “You were being serious.”
“Like we can’t say fucking bad words anymore? I was just angry, fuck! Like you’ve never called a chick a cunt before?” Willy snapped at Terry, who responded by leaning forward, pushing Willy with his chest.
“Ok, calm down, Terry,” said Cerise, walking over to them and laying a hand on Terry’s arm. It was like an electric shock and at the same time, like a soothing blanket. He just wanted everyone to leave so he could hold her and cradle her and kiss her and fuck her against the breakfast counter.
Terry snapped out of his reverie and turned to Cerise. “What happened? Why’d he say it?”
“He asked me out and I said no and so he called me… he said all that.”
“I didn’t mean it,” Willy said weakly.
“You never told us you asked her out!” exclaimed Jay and his now damp hair.
“I said I had dibs!”
“What?” asked Terry in confusion.
“Yeah ok,” began Cassie, facing Terry. “So when you broke up with Cerise, Willy called dibs on her I guess and then Jay started going out with her and then Willy said that Jay had to break up with her so he did.”
Sarah shook her head. “No, it’s like, Willy said Jay had to choose between Karine and Cerise, like he could put dibs on Karine, on the like, impossibility of Karine, or like be with Cerise. Or something. Right?”
“I dunno, whatever,” said Cassie angrily. “The point is Jay is a fucking coward and an asshole and a loser and…”
“This isn’t about Jay,” said Cerise. “It’s about Willy, remember? Willy wanted to expulse Jay if he didn’t break up with me. Which is like a total bullshit move.”
“And Jay went along with it!” said Cassie. “’Cause he’s a coward and a loser!”
“Yes, but it was Willy’s stupid ultimatum,” said Cerise. “So we think that if Willy loves expulsions so much, he should be expulsed.”
“Yeah!” snickered Karine. “Expulsion!”
Terry looked around, not sure he completely understood what was going on. “So you guys want to get rid of Willy, or Jay?”
“Willy!” said Cerise and Karine and Sarah, with Cassie nodding along, though she was glaring at Jay.
“Yeah, I’m on board with that,” shrugged Terry.
“Intriguing,” said Karl, getting up from his seat and coming closer to the group. “So basically what you’re saying is either we stop hanging out with Willy and his body odour or we stop hanging out with you girls… ladies… women-folk.”
“Yeah, that’s basically it,” nodded Cerise.
“Fuck you all!” said Willy.
“Shut up,” said Terry, pushing Willy backwards with his palm.
“Let’s consult,” said Vani, motioning for the guys to join him. Jay and Karl went to the corner of the room with him but when Willy tried to move, Terry pinned him down his with hand.
The guys whispered to one another and then after a few seconds, they came back. “It is done,” announced Vani solemnly.
“You accept the terms?” asked Cerise.
“We do,” nodded Karl.
“You see, Willy!” said Jay with a smile. “All your fucking bullshit is coming back to haunt you! How does it feel?”
“I wouldn’t be so self-righteous if I were you, Jay,” sneered Cassie. “You’ve done some pretty shitty things too you know, and the night is still young!”
“Yes well,” Jay stammered. “I begin silence now.”
They all chuckled and then looked at Willy, who stood there, shocked.
“Well?!” asked Terry.
“Fuck you all!” said Willy, guzzling the remainder of his coke and then burping at all of them. He stomped to the front door.
“Wait!” hollered Vani. “That’s it? Terry, you punched out Jay when he fucked up, doesn’t Willy get beat up a little bit?”
Terry grinned at Willy, who immediately ran outside, his fat bouncing as he jogged down the street. Jay and his stupid hair chuckled with satisfaction, and Terry glared at him, shutting him up. They all looked at one another.
“Ok, so that went well,” shrugged Cerise.