Chapter 16: Why Not Run?

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He looked at me.  Leaning in towards my ear he whispered, “What would you do if we just ran away?”

I just stared back at him, smiling slightly I said, “I’d run, but I have to work and all, plus I know you can’t miss a day for the bills and all.” 

“We could though,” We were laying down on the roof of his car staring up at the blue sky dotted with white puffy clouds.  “Just hop in a car and drive.  What if we didn’t have any responsibilities?  What if we were just like normal teenagers?” Soda was serious now.  I’ve rarely ever seen him serious about a topic like this. 

“Well, we’re not like ‘normal’ teenagers,” I air-quoted, “We have more things to worry about and that’s the way things are.  We’re greasers that’s all.” 

Sodapop turned to his side propping his head up.  “But what if we weren’t greasers?”

I was puzzled, “Then… I guess we’d be normal.” I paused, “What are you saying, you don’t like being a greaser?” 

“It doesn’t necessarily have its benefits.” He replied.

“Well I think it does.  I personably like being a greaser if we’d just have the same perks, ya know?”  I said defensive.

“But we don’t.  We’ll never have the same perks like those socs.  That’s it and it ain’t gonna change.” There wasn’t any rage in his voice like usual when we touched this subject. 

I was still puzzled, “Something about you has changed.”  After years, I’m still trying to figure my best friend out. 

“It’s you.  You changed my life.”  He simply said.

“Why?”

“I care about you and our future.  I want to make sure everything will be fine for us.”

“Babe, that ain’t for a long time.  You’ve got enough on your plate and you don’t want to be turning into Darry now.” I said. 

“Hey Darry isn’t bad.” He defended.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean it like that.” I apologized.

“I know.  It’s just, Darry has a lot to worry about at 20 and it isn’t fair to him.  A lot of people don’t understand everything he’s given up for Pony and me.”  He sniffled a little, “And when him and Pony start fighting they try to bring me in the middle and I hate it because I can’t take sides!  Ponyboy goes off saying how he thinks Darry hates him and he just doesn’t appreciate everything Darry’s given up for him.”

I could tell he’s been keeping this in for a while because he was getting watery-eyed.  I pulled him closed to me, his head leaning against my chest.  I stroked his greasy hair that was combed back and I kissed the top of his head ever so gently over and over.  All he needed was a little love. 

After about five minutes I spoke up, “How’s about we go bowling or something tonight?”

He lifted his head up and smiled.  “Sounds like a plan.” He smiled and kissed me softly like I was the last petal on a dying flower.  I hopped off the roof of the car and slide into the passenger side and he turned the ignition on.  We drove down the open road; the wind hit my face pushing my hair back.  It made me think about a perfect place that existed, the countryside. 

  

KLLLIIINKK

The pins flew aside after Sodapop threw his bowling ball straight down the middle scoring a perfect strike.  He threw his arms in the air,  “How about that baby?” He resembled a Roman champion in an arena.  He looked so godly and I was so turned on. 

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