Chapter 1: Greaser Life

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I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma on the east side.  It’s a rough neighborhood, but I’m a Greaser, so I’m used to it.  There’s constant fear of getting jumped by some Socs, which makes you have to carry a switchblade in your back pocket.  My name’s Colly, at least that’s what everyone calls me because my real name is Colleen, but I’m pretty fond of my nickname since I’ve grown up with it for as long as I could remember.  My family consists of my parents, my five sisters, and four brothers.  Yup, I’m one of ten; obviously my parents don’t know when to call it quits.  I’m the fourth oldest and the only Greaser in the family, therefore everyone gives me a hard time.  We aren’t a bad family, but we live on the east side because we don’t have any money.  My dad works all the time, so he’s barely home, but when he is, he’s always telling me what a disappointment I am.  My mother is even worse; she normally beats me and tells me that I am just a waste of space.  Most of my siblings hang out with Socs, so even they try to block me out of their lives.  I don’t mind it one bit because my real family is my gang.  

I’m the only girl in the gang, but I know how to fight and I’m literately just like one of the guys. Ponyboy Curtis is a member in our gang who always had his nose in a book.  I’m two years older than he is, but yet he knows more than I do.  Then, there’s brother Sodapop who is my best friend ever since we were twelve (we’re sixteen now).  The way he smiles makes anyone’s mood get better. Soda’s always had my back and I’ll always have his.  Darry is Soda’s and Ponyboy’s oldest brother, he’s twenty, and ever since their parents died, he’s been too focused on working and forgot how to have fun.  It’s a shame because we always had a lot of great times with him.  He looks so much older than he really is now.  Steve is Soda’s best friend… correction… other best friend.  He’s my age and works with Soda at the DX Station, but only part time while Soda works full.  The other half he spends in school with Two-Bit and I playing with our dissected frogs in the back of Mrs. Galloway’s class.  Two-Bit is the life of the party; he always has to put his two bits in hence his name.  He just so happens to be my other best friend and we spend most of our time together goofing off.  Johnny Cade is our puppy, he’s also sixteen, but nobody can really tell from his scars either from Socs that jumped him or his dad from hitting him.  We are all very protective of Johnny; he has that little brother affect.  Dallas Winston is the last one in our gang; he’s the toughest, meanest greaser in Tulsa after he came here from New York City a couple years ago.  Dally and I are real buddies since it was his idea I join the gang after a car full of Socs jumped me four years back and I fought them off.  Dally is someone who you have to respect, but I respect him in a different way.

“Soda, Darry, Ponyboy, are you here?” I shouted out from the doorway as the crickets chirped from their yard. 

“Yeah Colly, whatcha need?” Darry asked with a concerned look upon his weary face.

“My parents are being jerks and told me to find somewhere else to call home, so I’d thought I’d come here and camp out for tonight.  They should be cooled off by tomorrow.”  I said as I looked down at my worn out, dirty, black Converse shoes.

“Sure kiddo, you can crash on the couch,” he said as he grabbed a pillow and blanket from a closet, “Good thing you came when you did or else you’d be battling Steve for the couch.”

Every once in a while, Steve’s dad would get drunk and kick him out, but the next morning his dad would apologize and give him some money or cigarettes.  One time we had to sleep on the couch together because he was too proud to take the floor, so I had to sleep with dirty feet in my face, better yet, Steve’s dirty feet.

“Hey Colly, your parents kick you out again?” Soda said as he sat down next to me and put his arm around me.  

"How’d you know?” I answered sarcastically, giving him a surprised face.

 I could always talk to Sodapop about anything and it was great.  He’s always given me a shoulder to cry on or a buddy to go to a gang fight with.  It was nice having someone who has your back no matter what.  We’ve been best friends ever since Two-Bit, Dally, and him found me sitting on the curb trying to stop my bloody nose after three Socs jumped me.  They came up and Two-Bit asked me if I was okay and Soda offered a piece of his shirt to stop the bleeding.  At that time, Dally was very quiet, but I remember clearly that he spoke up and asked me if I was in a gang or if I wanted to be in one.  Of course I said yes and they took me to the Dingo with them.  Soda was in my classes at school, so I’ve known him without really knowing him.  After the Dingo we’ve become best friends rambling on about nonsense and I’ve never been sick of it.

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