Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Cartman Rising" Chapter 6: Confession

 South Park fanfiction
Rated T for language, some sexuality, and just Cartman in general

"Who the hell was that!" Wendy demanded. She was talking loud enough for me to hear her. Not that that was difficult; the whole restaurant had fallen silent by this point.

"Wendy, I can explain—" Stan began, but Wendy cut him off.

"Oh, I'm sure you can," she hissed. "I'm sure you just met her at some party somewhere. That you went to without telling me."

"Wendy, it wasn't like that. She—" Stan looked around and realized that everyone was watching him. I don't think he noticed me, though. "She…she was dancing. That was all," he murmured, shivering.

"And you were just watching, is that it?" Wendy spat.

Stan nodded, but he was a very bad liar.

"That's it, Stan. I've had it! Go away!" Wendy ordered.

"But, Wendy—"

"GET OUT OF HERE!" she screamed. Then she buried her face in her arms, and didn't say another word. Stan was flabbergasted. Not knowing what else to do, he stood up, and walked out of the restaurant in a daze.

This sort of thing had happened before. Stan had never taken the relationship as seriously as Wendy did, and Wendy had frequently accused him of cheating or simply not caring. They had broken up a few times before, but they had always gotten back together within a few weeks. It was a pretty consistent pattern. Despite what it might have looked like, this argument was really not serious enough to break them up permanently; they would probably get back together in about a month, after Stan stopped being depressed, and Wendy stopped being bitchy.

That is, they would unless I did something to break the cycle first.

After waiting a few minutes for Wendy to cool down (and to make my appearance seem less opportunistic), I paid for my meal, and began to walk out, passing by Wendy's booth. She was still crying. Trying to put as much concern in my voice as I could, I asked, "Are you alright, Wendy?"

She looked up with wet eyes, and saw me. If she was suspicious about my being here now, she didn't show it. "I just…I wished I could trust him," she whispered, holding her head low again.

"Yeah, I saw that. That was wrong, what he did to you," I said gravely.

"Yes, it was." Then she looked at me closely. "I thought you said nothing happened at that party."

"Oh, I guess I did," I realized. "Well, they didn't actually have sex, and I thought that's what you were asking. As far as I know, she was just dancing."

Wendy nodded.

"In Stan's lap," I added.

She growled unpleasantly. "He didn't mention that. And come to think of it, neither did you."

"I guess I didn't think it was that big a deal at the time. It was a guys' party; those things do happen." On a limb, I went on. "Although now that I think back on it, he did look like he was enjoying himself a little too much."

Wendy's eyes narrowed. "You and the others didn't egg him on, did you?"

I chose my words carefully. "Not really. I guess there was some peer pressure, since nearly everyone else was getting one. And then there was the sheer temptation. It would have been hard for most straight guys to resist."

"Even you?"

"I admit, I did succumb to their charms for a while." This was actually not true, but I decided it might work to my advantage. "But then again, I'm currently single, so I didn't have any reason to resist. Stan, on the other hand…"

"…had me," Wendy finished. Then her eyes started to water again. "Am I just…not good enough for him?" Then she broke down and began to cry again.

It was easy for me to appear sad (I did it to fool my mom all the time), but trying to be tender and consoling was a skill I had never really attempted to master. So I simply tried to be as nice as I could. "Maybe we shouldn't dwell on this too much. Here, let me pay the bill, and I'll drive you home."

Wendy sniffed back a tear. "That's very generous of you, Eric, but you don't have to pay for this."

Encouraged by the fact she had called me Eric rather than Cartman, I insisted, "Nonsense. That scumbag may have cheated on you, but he's not going to make you pay for his food. Not if I have anything to say about it."

"Thank you. That's very kind."

At this point, I was desperately hoping this whole thing would work; otherwise, I would have just paid for two people's meals for nothing. I smiled. "It's the least I could do."

We rode back to Wendy's house in silence. Wendy didn't seem like she was in the mood to talk, and that was alright; I decided to let her get the bad feelings out of her system.

I pulled up into her driveway. "Well, here we are," I said. "I'm sorry your evening went so badly."

Wendy turned to me, her eyes surprisingly dry. "May I ask you a question, Eric?"

"Tell me the truth…you planned for all this to happen, didn't you?"

…Shit! I could lie and try to deny it. Unlike Stan, I was a good liar, but I'm not sure even I could have lied convincingly enough to fool her. Besides, I didn't want to lie to Wendy.

"I confess…I did arrange for you to find out about this. But everything else—Lexus, the lap dance, the party—that all happened exactly as I told you." That, at least, was true. "Stan ignored his duties as a boyfriend, and looked at another woman."

Wendy shook her head. "You're a real bastard, Cartman."

I know.

Then she broke down again, sobbing. "Why would you do that to me?"

"Because I can't bear to see you dating that leech!" I blurted out. The feelings I had kept inside of me for so long just spilled out. "Stan's not good enough for you. He doesn't care about you. He just wants you so he can say he has a girlfriend, because among the guys, it gives him respect. Admit it, Wendy; I've known for a long time that you're not happy in this relationship. You two aren't really close; you're both just afraid to change. And whenever you do break up with him, he gets really depressed, and then you get back together with him because you feel bad. You two aren't even intimate."

Wendy glared at me, and I wondered if I had pushed it too far. "How do you know?" she cried.

I sighed. "It's obvious that you aren't. When a guy—if I may be so blunt—'conquers' a girl, he's proud of it. He tells his friends about it, so that they'll know how great he is. Stan never talks about you. Whenever Kyle, Kenny, or I ask him about a date with you, he always says, 'It was okay.' That's it. He's never pursued anything more serious with you because you just don't mean that much to him. And if I'm wrong—if you two have slept together—then the only reason he wouldn't have mentioned it to us is because he was embarrassed. Because he was ashamed of having been with you. You deserve better than that."

I took a few minutes to let my words sink in. I hoped I hadn't been too harsh, but I had to tell her how I really felt. I had never felt more exposed than I did right now. I often hid my true feelings and intentions from people, because there were so few people in this world that I could really trust. To use a phrase, I always play my cards close to the vest. I had never opened up to anyone so completely before, and I honestly felt really scared and vulnerable.

Wendy sat in silence for a few minutes, and then muttered, "We're not."


"Intimate. Stan and I weren't…intimate."

I nodded. "I see."

Wendy stared right at me, and I could swear that she could see right into my soul. "You're good. But maybe you've told me all this just because you want me to be with you instead of Stan."

"Wendy, I would be lying if I said I didn't want you. You're just like me; we're both strong-willed, we're both stubborn, and neither of us is afraid to take what we want. By any means necessary. We're perfect for each other. And I know that if I had a girl like you, there isn't a slut in the world beautiful enough to make me give you up. But I'm not heartless; I did this because I want what's best for you, whether that's being with me, or whether it's just being away from Stan. Please don't go crawling back to him."

Wendy nodded in agreement. "I won't." She put her hand on the door handle, but then paused. "Eric, is that really what boys do? Brag about having sex to their friends?"

"Yes, it is…why?" I asked warily.

"Is that what you would do?"

"I suppose so."

Then Wendy grinned. "So if you did me—right here, right now—would you go to Stan tomorrow and tell him that you fucked his ex-girlfriend?"

I grinned right back. "I guess I could do that." That was, of course, what I had planned to do all along, to some degree or other.

But I would have never guessed, in a million years, that Wendy would ask me to have sex with her the very night she broke up with Stan. My plan had worked even better than I expected. Granted, she was probably only asking me because she wanted to get back at Stan, and because she was still venting her emotions, but I'm not about to look a gift horse in the mouth. I know that she'll eventually fall in love with me for real.

"But instead of doing it here, let's go to my place," I suggested. "There's more room, and no one will disturb us." She agreed.

That night, I was finally able to put all of Chef's advice to good use.

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