Chapter 5: Bad News

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My older sister, Allyson was sleeping after getting wasted with her friends that night.  I walked over to the window to find Sodapop throwing rocks at my window.  I opened up the window and jumped down the tree to meet Soda.  He was wearing a weary expression and his dark brown eyes were red and puffy as if he was crying.  He was wearing his same plaid shirt from yesterday, his hair done the same. 

“It Pone,” he whispered, “he’s gone.”

“What?” I asked feeling a wet tear fall down my cheek.

“Da-Darry hit him,” he said in between hiccups, “He was in the lot and fell asleep and, and Darry got mad and hit him.  Johnny killed that soc, Bob, it all over town, Grease against Soc.  They ran off and I’m real worried.” At this point, he was in tears.  I pulled him into a tight hug.

“Pony’s a smart kid, he’ll be okay.  He’s got Johnny and Johnny’s tuff.  They’ll be okay.”  I said trying to comfort Soda.  It was true, Pony was a smart kid and even though he doesn’t use his head, he can figure out what to do.

“I talked to Dally,” he said wiping away tears, “he knows where they are, I mean who else would they turn to.  I asked him and he said he didn’t know, but I don’t believe him.”

“Dally’s good with these things.  He should be atleast, I mean, he’s been in the cooler so many times something had to have rubbed off on him.” I said, but only to realize that it might’ve not have been the greatest thing to say.  

“Sandy and I broke up.  You’re the only other person I told.” He said as he stopped sobbing.

“Aw Soda, I’m sorry.  Why? Why’d you guys break up?”  I asked as I put my arm over him.

“She fooled around with her ex-boyfriend, one of those Brumley boys, and got pregnant,” he paused, “I didn’t care about that, I just wanted to be with her.  I loved her and I thought she loved me too.  She told me that she was sorry and was moving to Florida to live with her grandmother.”


“And, I asked her to marry me.  I was planning on asking her before, but that was when we were a little older.  She said she wasn’t ready to get married and said she didn’t want to be with me anymore.”  He said.

“Soda, I’m sorry.  We all have to go through heartbreaks and I know you really loved her and I know it’s not fair,” I said trying to reassure him.  He looked down at his feet not saying a word.  I felt bad for him, losing two people in less than 72 hours.  “To be honest with you, I never liked her.”

He smirked, “Yeah, you’re just saying that.”

I shuffled in place, “Yeah I’m outside in the cold, standing in my pajamas looking like this,” I gestured to my face, “just to say something that wasn’t true. C’mon!" 

He chuckled, “You’ve been hanging out with Two-Bit way to much.”

I threw my arm around his neck and pulled him into a headlock and gave him noogie.

“Hey, watch my hair!” he screamed while trying to break the lock. 

I let go, “Soda, why are you such a priss?”

“I ain’t no priss.  Go get dressed and let’s go do something.” he said trying to defend his manhood.

I grabbed my sneakers and threw on jeans and a sweatshirt.  I climbed out the window and met Sodapop at the bottom.  We walked joking and talking about anything that wouldn’t remind of Ponyboy or Sandy.  We were walking to the Dingo as a blue mustang pulled up next to us.  We stopped and three boys got out; it was Randy and his buddies.

“Hey look we don’t want any trouble.” Soda said standing in front of me. 

“Shut it Grease!” one of the boys said, but was gesture by Randy to keep quiet.  It was a smart move because it looked like Soda was about to punch him in the face. 

“What do you want?” I asked Randy giving him an icy stare. 

“The rumble pal, were here to show you a preview.” Said the other boy who had sun kissed hair.  He approached me trying to get a grip on me.  I simply punched the side of his face with my left hand and he returned the favor.  I felt something warm run down my nose and into my mouth.  It was blood and I was mad now.  I threw another punch with my right hand, which was a lot more powerful this time making the inertia of his body sway.  The soc that was harassing Soda finally got on his nerves and Soda punched him in his gut which must’ve hurt because I could feel it too.  Soda has that effect on people when he’s in a dangerous mood; its like you can feel everything that he feels without even getting punched.  The guy got up and hit Soda right in the jaw, which left an impressive red mark.

“Save it for the rumble.  Let’s go!” Randy said breaking up the fight.  I always felt that Randy wasn’t as dangerous as Bob or his buddies.  The mustang sped away screeching through the streets.  

“You okay?” Soda asked trying to pop his jaw back into place.  He was all sweaty and you could see it dripping from the tips of his hair that he combed straight.  He was panting hard and his eyes were getting dangerous.  I was so turned on at this point and I could feel my heart beating hard not just from the punches.  I was praying he couldn’t hear it, let alone see it practically popping out of my chest.

“Yeah, only a little blood.”  I said as I ripped off some of my t-shirt to use to clean up my nose, “You think we’re really gonna have a rumble?”

“Yeah,” he paused, “I do, but I thought you liked rumbles?”

“I do and I’m excited, but Bob only died last night, how could there already be word of a rumble?”

He shrugged.  I really do like rumbles, but this time it was different. The socs are crossing the line; they’re coming into our territory, jumping us, and getting us into trouble.  I had a burning hatred for the socs and now it’s personal.  We’re going to win this rumble and get some respect.

Soda and I walked to the Dingo and sat down at the counter and found Two-Bit trying to sweet talk my co-worker, Connie. 

“You dig going to the Nightly Double tomorrow?” Two-Bit said as we came up. 

“Hey Two-Bit,” I greeted, “trying to save this girl from greaseivitis.”

Sodapop laughed at my fake disease.  Good ol’ Two-Bit didn’t seem too please at my comment. “Yeah, you gave her your disease.” Two-Bit retorted.

How did my own joke backfire on me!? “Real funny Two-Bit.” I popped my cap off my coke I grabbed and took a swig.

“So what happened to you guys?  Looks like you jumped in front of a car.” Two-Bit joked. 

“Some socs drove up looking for a fight, so we gave it to them.” Soda replied with a gallant look.  He looked at me with caring eyes he would give me whenever I was sad.  Normally, it would be when my parents were abusing me and I would go cry to him.  I’ve never seen him give me this look when I wasn’t sad. 

My thoughts were interrupted by Two-Bit, “I heard the rumble’s gonna be in the vacant lot on Friday at 9.  Dallas told me and I got some dirt about Ponyboy and Johnny when he got hauled in.”  Sodapop perked up and raised an eyebrow, “He said they were headed for Texas, so I was thinking about driving up there and getting them.”

“Don’t,” I said, “You know Dallas is probably lying and since he got hauled in, he would’ve told that story to the fuzz too.” 

“Good point.” Two-Bit said.

We sat there drinking our cokes for what felt like hours. 

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