Karine and Sarah managed to convince Cerise to stay at the party, and even stay for the night but they hadn’t managed to convince her not to be a giant stick in the mud. She became completely sullen and unresponsive and when called on it, said she had to go home and purge herself of all irrational thought. Karine had sort of been glad to be rid of her but a day later she felt bad and during her break at work she skipped over to the bookstore to say hey.
Cerise looked up and nodded. “Hello.”
“Very little,” Cerise responded neutrally.
Ok, so she still had a bug up her ass. God, whatever. Karine was so sick of Cerise and her constant drama-rama. “You coming to the bakery after work?”
Cerise looked at Karine coldly. “I think not.”
“What crawled up your ass?” asked Karine in irritation.
“It is not my intention to offend you,” said Cerise, talking like a robot. “I have simply decided to attain Kolinahr and as such, am attempting to control my emotions. Rather than interact with the group this afternoon I shall go home and meditate on the matter.”
“What the fuck are you talking about?” asked Karine with a snort.
“Kolinahr. A state of inner peace where you’ve purged yourself of all emotions.”
“Oh god, don’t get all Karl on me.”
Cerise sighed and broke character. “I have to, Karine! I have to rid myself of all emotions. Kolinahr is the only way to stop liking Jay. And to stop liking Terry.”
“Is this koli shit even a real thing?”
“It’s a Vulcan thing.”
“Oh my god! You mean from your stupid Star Trak shit?! Cerise, that’s so retarded!”
“You’re entitled to your opinion,” said Cerise evenly.
“You can’t get rid of your emotions. You have to use your emotions. Your emotions of hate. You have to hate Jay! That’s the only way to get over him.”
“Karine, what you propose is illogical. What Jay does is irrelevant. I have decided not to care about him anymore.”
“Yeah, we’ll see how that turns out,” Karine smirked. “See you at the bakery tonight. ‘Cause yeah, you’re coming and it’s non-negotiable.”
“Live long and prosper,” responded Cerise.
God, what a fucking freak. Just as Karine was leaving, that hippy girl, Trista walked by with the ugliest dream catcher in existence – not that any dream catcher was attractive – and asked where Cerise thought it should be hung. Cerise, completely deadpan, suggested it should not be hung at all, since people do not habitually sleep in the store and therefore a dream catcher would be of little use.
“Well ok but still,” responded the hippy. “I mean, it helps create a cool ambiance.”
“It’s lame as shit,” said Karine as she rested her hand on the door handle. “Um, cultural appropriation much?”
“I’m like, respecting their culture!” pouted Trista.
“Do you even know which culture it’s from?” asked Karine.
“Like hello, native American!” spat the stupid girl.
“Like, which tribe?” countered Karine, though she herself had no idea.
“Like, all of them,” said Trista with a confused frown.
“Dream catchers originated in the objiwa tribe and were later adopted by some neighboring nations through intermarriage and trade,” said Cerise. They turned to her and saw that she was reading from her phone. “It wasn't until the Pan-Indian Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, that they were adopted by Native Americans of a number of different nations. Some consider the dream catcher a symbol of unity among the various Indian Nations, and a general symbol of identification with First Nations cultures. However, many other Native Americans have come to see dream catchers as over-commercialized, offensively misappropriated and misused by non-Natives.”
Karine snickered as Trista stood there slack-jawed.
“Yeah, so ditch that fucking tacky ass shit,” said Karine. “And while you’re at it,” she looked Trista up and down condescendingly. “Might wanna ditch some other shit too.” She waggled her finger at Trista’s outfit and then strode outside before the girl could respond.
In the end, Shauna had managed to get home before her parents. She’d actually been somewhat disappointed that they weren’t there to see her walk in covered with blood but her brother had been home and he’d simply stared at her in shock. She’d marched upstairs and taken a shower and watched the blood swirl down the drain. Blood was like, the prettiest thing ever.
Her hands were still store and the knuckles were all ripped up but when her mother had asked her about them, she said she’d tripped and fallen on the front stoop while fetching the mail. Now she was helping her mother fold laundry and thinking about Wendy’s bashed up face. Shauna was glad she hadn’t walked into traffic or successfully cut her wrists. Because now she knew that she could be awesome if need be. She could defend herself and she’d never let anyone fuck with her again! All she needed was a job and then she’d get an apartment and she’d leave her stupid family and everything would be fine.
She wondered if there was such a thing as professional bitch-beater-upper.
It was still early. Too early to head over to the bakery but Cerise was done for the day. Things had been pretty slow at the bookstore lately and now that Cerise had access to the financial records she knew her mother was barely breaking even. Simone said that their dad was paying alimony though, so that was good, Cerise supposed. Still, sucked for their mom. Cerise would need to find a real job when she finally joined the real world. Something more stable. Too bad she had no interests and no skills.
She headed over to the bakery, where she found Karine sitting on the front deck, sipping an iced-tea. Cerise joined her and thanked her for putting Trista in her place earlier that day.
“That girl is such a knob,” Karine smirked.
“I know, she’s super annoying. I mean, she is illogical, but I am unphased by her… stupid fucktardedness,” Cerise said, trying to remember not to emote.
“Oh god, stop being all Vulcan. For one thing it’s annoying as shit.”
“Yeah I know,” sighed Cerise. “But it’s seriously helping me. I really do need to get over all my stupid feelings.”
“Whatever,” said Karine with a roll of her eyes.
“So is anyone here yet?” asked Cerise hesitantly, peering into the bakery window and finding the place empty.
“Who you worried about? Jay or Terry? Whatever, don’t even answer that, either way it’s stupid. Jay isn’t worth it and Terry, well, you guys should just get back together. I think I actually liked you guys better as a couple. Even he’s actually more annoying when he’s not with you.”
“Really?” asked Cerise, her eyes darting over to the bakery, where she saw Terry stacking empty pastry trays with Vani.
“I dunno, he’s like in a funk lately,” shrugged Karine. “I think he takes on too much, like with his sister and shit. I wouldn’t tell him this but he should move back home with his mom. I don’t like him living with his step-mom.”
“Why not?” said Cerise automatically, even though she agreed.
“I dunno. He’s like a dad to Brittany, which is good I guess, but sometimes almost creepy. I dunno, do I sound nuts?”
“Not at all,” said Cerise with a smile, glad to know that Karine was equally annoyed by Terry’s family situation, though simultaneously worried anytime she agreed with Karine, since she tended to be a tad petty.
“Anyway, yeah, just get back together with Terry.”
“Maybe when he’s ready,” Cerise shrugged. “When I’m ready. When I’m truly over Jay. I’m working on it,” she said.
“God whatever, you sound like Oprah or something. Just fucking go for it. You know you still want him. I mean fuck, didn’t you hate it when you saw him kiss Janice?”
Cerise frowned but remembered to be Vulcan. “Terry may kiss whomever he wishes. It makes no difference to me.”
“Bullshit!” Karine laughed. “Let’s see how you like this, Spock!”
Karine stood up and entered the bakery, going behind the cash and striding over to Terry. Before he could even react, she grabbed his face and kissed him full on the lips. Vani stood by and looked shocked. Terry said something but Cerise couldn’t hear what and a moment later, Karine came back out and plopped back down in her chair.
Cerise glared at her.
“So? How’d that make you feel?” Karine smirked.
“God, you’re such an asshole,” Cerise scowled.
Karine smiled smugly and declared that her point had been made.
“Well, fuck me! Looks like the pussy train’s flowing for at least one of you losers!”
Oh god, had Brown seriously witnessed that kiss? Karine had said she was proving a point to Cerise but what point? That Karine could kiss anyone she wanted? That she was such good friends with Terry that they could kiss and it didn’t mean anything? That Cerise would be jealous if Karine kissed Terry? Whatever the reason, Terry really wished Karine had waited until Brown had gone home because now he’d never hear the end of it.
“She’s a hot piece of ass that one!” he snickered.
Terry sighed and tried to ignore him as he talked about how he’d like to get a taste of that bitch.
“Don’t call her a bitch!” Terry snapped, instantly regretting his outburst.
“Ooooh!” Brown sang out. “Testy! What’s the matter, Tay-tay? Can’t handle the truth?”
Terry tried to concentrate on the tray in front of him and he started cleaning it extremely vigorously.
“Come on now, you’ve had both those chicks, right?” Brown went on, jutting his chin out at the girls on the porch. “What do you think? Which one should I fuck first? Who’s got the tighter pussy?”
Terry slammed the tray down on the counter, causing a loud clang that made Vani jump. “You know what, Brown? You’re pathetic. You really are. The only reason you talk trash about women is ‘cause you hate that the only chick you could get is a hooker.”
“So who would cost more? Blondie or Big boobs?”
Fuck it. Terry balled up his fist, drew back and then let it fly straight into Brown’s face. He hit him square in the jaw and felt his entire arm vibrate from the impact. Brown cried out in agony and fell back into the wall, clutching at his jaw, moaning in pain. He said something unintelligible while Vani stood there, dumbfounded. Terry also stood there, not knowing what to do next.
“Vani, you’re fired!” Brown finally managed to yell.
“What the hell did I do?” asked Vani with a quivering voice.
“Well someone has to get fired over this!” said Brown as he clutched his face. “And I can’t fire Terry ‘cause he’s the only one strong enough to lift the potato sacs!”
“That’s not fair!” protested Vani.
Terry took off his apron and his hat and threw them at Brown. “You can keep your job Vani, ‘cause I quit.” And with that, he strode outside, stepped onto the porch and then walked down the stairs, turning to look at Karine and Cerise, making sure they were coming with him.