44: “Surely you should at least have scurvy”

Chris was having a really weird weekend. Most of it had to do with Jacklyn. He assumed that most of them were having a pretty weird weekend and it was because of Jacklyn.

“She basically told me she admires how apathetic I am,” Chris said to Sybil on Saturday night while they were getting ready for bed in their shared room for the weekend. “My one defining characteristic is that I’m apathetic. That’s saddening.”

“If you want people to think you’re empathetic, all you have to do is be empathetic,” Sybil pointed out dryly.

“I don’t actually want to be empathetic,” Chris returned. “That seems like a lot of work.”

Sybil stopped untucking the bed to give him a withering look.

“You don’t need me to point out the irony in that, do you?” She checked.

“I’ve got to be more than just apathetic,” he protested. “Surely I have at least one good quality. How could I have any friends?”

“It’s a mystery to us all,” Sybil said flatly, returning her attention to the bedsheets. They were luxurious. It was like sleeping in silk sheets, but without the creepy connotations of that. And the bed was amazingly comfortable. Chris never wanted to leave it. He had stronger feelings about the mattress than he did about most things in his life, which, when he thought about it, didn’t really make him feel a whole lot better about the apathetic thing.

“How could she possibly have thought this was a good idea?” Sybil asked later when they were lying in bed in the darkness.

“I’m almost one hundred per cent positive that she only came because she’s worried that Joey is sleeping with Finch, or at least wants to. I don’t think Finch would do that. Joey? Absolutely.”

“She doesn’t think Joey is bad for her,” Sybil replied, laughing slightly.

“Well, has anyone told her that he’s a drug dealer?” Chris asked. “Because I gather that worked for Priscilla.”

“I guess I should say something,” Sybil sighed deeply. “I don’t really want to be responsible for that, but I think she might accept it from me.”

“She is developing a very weird dynamic with you,” Chris agreed.

“Right?! Thank you!”

“I can’t tell if she just wants to be your friend or if she wants to shave your head and turn your hair into a wig so that she can have you with her at all times,” Chris said.

“That makes her sound crazy,” Sybil returned, laughing again.

“If the wig fits…”

Chris awoke in the morning with a mouthful of Sybil’s hair stuck to his tongue. He couldn’t figure out why that happened literally every time they shared a bed, which was often. It was like she did it on purpose. Quite frankly, he wouldn’t put it past her. He pulled strands of her ponytail from his mouth and sat up, swinging his feet over the edge of the bed. He waited a few minutes, orienting his eyesight to the darkness of the room, before pulling on some jeans and a sweater and heading out into the living area of the massive chalet. When he wandered into the kitchen, in desperate need of coffee, Gavin and Gord were already there, eating breakfast. Gord had made eggs and sausage with a side of toast. He had already put on the coffeemaker, for which Chris was eternally grateful. Gavin, meanwhile, was eating strawberry yogurt from a family sized container with what appeared to be a spork.

“This is you breakfast?” Chris asked him, one eyebrow raised as he waved a hand at the yogurt. “Eating yogurt directly from the container? I can’t believe you’ve managed to make it this far in life.”

The night before, Gavin had eaten an entire avocado for a bedtime snack.

“On my own?” Gavin asked for clarification.

“No, just generally alive,” Chris explained. Gavin snorted in response, like Chris was being ridiculous.

“No, he’s got a point,” Gord cut in, turning to Gavin as well. “How are you always ravenous? You eat like you’re never going to see food again. Do you know something we don’t?”

“If I did, I wouldn’t warn you now,” Gavin told Gord vindictively.

Most of the household went skiing and boarding late in the morning. Chris stayed behind, content to avoid skiing for the rest of his life. Yet again, Jacklyn stayed with him. By this point, it was perfectly clear to everybody that she was purposefully avoiding both Joey and Amare. Not for the first time, Chris wondered how exactly she’d envisioned this ski trip panning out in her mind. Anyway Chris swung it, he couldn’t see a positive angle. In every scenario, it just ended up more awkward than it was worth.

“I need your advice,” Jacklyn told him, coming to sit directly beside him on the couch.

“Because I’m the only other person here?” Chris checked in return.

“Maybe,” Jacklyn conceded. “What should I do about Joey and Amare?”

“Oh hell no,” Chris retorted immediately. “You’re not asking for advice, you’re asking for solutions to this horrible situation you’ve put yourself in and I will not get involved, not only because I don’t really care, but mostly because it’s impossible to fix this disaster.”

Jacklyn stared at him for a moment, looking quite a bit like she didn’t appreciate his apathy so much any longer.

When the others returned well into the early evening, Gord dragged the case of beer they’d brought out of the cold cellar, declaring it time for them to party like it was 1999.

“Okay, but we should probably eat first,” Sybil pointed out, being the voice of reason. “Because I will not be cleaning up anyone’s vomit for love nor money.”

“I had a late lunch,” Gavin piped up, cracking open a beer. “I had Pop Tarts.”

“Is that it?” Robin asked.

“What do you mean is that it? I had five.”

“How have you not died of malnourishment yet?” Chris cut in immediately. “Surely you should at least have scurvy.”

“They were the raspberry ones,” Gavin countered. “Those definitely have vitamin C in them.”

“Because they’re filled with jam?” Robin retorted, rolling his eyes.

“How do you not weigh four hundred pounds?” Chris demanded, interjecting again. “How do you not have some weird salt deficiency? How are you not dead?”

“I’m very resilient,” Gavin sniffed indignantly.

“He shits, like, once every three days,” Gord said, cracking a beer of his own.

“That’s something I could’ve gone my whole life without knowing and been blissfully happy for it,” Sybil wrinkled her nose.

“You’re welcome,” Gord said, raising his beer can to her.

In the morning, Chris awoke yet again with Sybil’s hair in his mouth. It was worse this time, however, because he had a splitting headache and he was sandwiched between Sybil and Gord. Things had gotten quickly out of hand the night before. They hadn’t ended up having dinner, relying primarily on the myriad of snacks they’d brought to help stave off alcohol poisoning. It had gotten to the point that Jacklyn had forgotten she was supposed to be avoiding both Joey and Amare and had attempted to polka with both of them at the same time. It had ended with Joey getting kneed in the groin and Amare crying to a standing lamp about his loneliness.

“You’re not alone,” Gord had assured him, a sentiment that was lovely for roughly thirty seconds. “You’re literally surrounded by people, dumbass.”

“You need less hair,” Chris grumbled to Sybil as they woke up, pulling it from his mouth yet again.

“Shhh…sleeping,” Gord said to the left of Chris, reaching over to bat Chris in the face, as if he thought that would shut him up.

“I’m a thousand degrees,” Sybil moaned on the other side.

“That’s because there’s at least one too many person in this bed right now,” Chris returned, throwing a glare in Gord’s direction.

“You heard the lady,” Gord said groggily, throwing his arm over Chris again. “Get out, woman.”

“I’m going to hit him,” Sybil said to Chris. “That’s okay, right?”

“I welcome it,” Chris returned. But then he got elbowed in the cheek as Gord was trying to deflect Sybil’s attack so he was significantly less fond of the plan as a whole.


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