I was breathing unevenly from the brisk sprint I made in order to get to the park. I need to talk to him, my best friend, Johnny. Yeah, Johnny could be a goof, but we always got through things together. I guess in a weird way, he was my rock and I was his.
"I...He... Yeah." I barely spit out, I was panting so heavy. Johnny waited a minute for me to catch my breath, before continuing the conversation.
"Our high school track team must suck if you're the best runner in the school."
I gave him a light punch in the shoulder, "Shut up."
"I don't shut up-" I joined him in finishing the stupid line from our favorite movie, "I grow up and when I look at you I through up!" We followed the quote by making fake gag noises and then bursting into laughter. He always knew how to get me to laugh.
After the laughter died down our semi-serious conversation continued, "What about Jelly? What if she finds out?"
"You're still hung up on her?"
"Johnny, she's perfect! I don't know what it is about her, but I can't keep her off my m-"
"No. Pony, stop! She's Soda's girl. Your brother. I know you'll hate me for saying this, but you have to move on." His words had a staccato flow, emphasizing his point.
I looked down at my feet, kicking the sandy dirt around so it made a little cloud, "I know."
"Pony, it be different if it wasn't your brother or-"
"I know, Johnny. I know." I lifted my head up to look him in the eyes, "Can't a guy just dream."
He patted my back, "Yes, a guy can dream. But Pony, you dream too much. You'll get stuck in those fantasies and never quite make it back to reality."
I huffed in response.
"So what did you do after he kissed you? You ran here?"
"Yeah," I let out a small pity laugh, "I told him I accidentally gave the pizza guy your address instead of mine and that I was a faster runner than he was. So, I'd leave him in the dust if he tried to come with."
Johnny let out a small laugh, "Smooth, Pones, smooth!" I gave him another small punch. "You know, if I wanted to get punched I would have just waited for my dad to come home." The smile he gave me let me know he wasn't really mad.
"Do you like him?"
"I like Jelly."
"Ponyboy, you're my best friend. I tell you everything, I hope you'd do the same for me."
"I like Jelly." I repeated.
"I wasn't saying you didn't. I wasn't saying you like Tim, either."
"Then what are you saying?" The words were kind of cold.
"I'm just saying, you don't have to hide anything from me."
I put my arm around his shoulder and pulled him closer, "I wouldn't hide anything from you."
Then we dropped the subject. Johnny and I must of spent hours sitting on that bench, just talking. It really only felt like minutes when he said, "Shit, when did the sun go down? It's 11. Darry is going to kill you."
"Fuck." I sat up on the bench, "You wanna sleep on our couch, Johnny Cade?"
"No,kid. You better start running before he skins ya."
I gave him a small smile before taking off.
Darry pulled me by the collar of the shirt, "Pony. Where.The.Hell.Have.You.Been." His voice was a barely a whisper, but dripping with such anger, that I shivered with every word.
"I-I was w-with Johnny." I stuttered, stupidly. He pulled me into the kitchen.
"He's still here. Tim."
My eyes grew wide. Did he know? "Why does that matter? He sleeps here a lot." I tried to play it cool, but, my heartbeat was racing and my hands were clammy. I didn't want this conversation with Darry. Not right now. Not at nearly 12am.
"I saw you guys through the window, Pony. You ran straight past me." Whatever composure I had was gone at his words.
"Can we talk later?" I mumbled, my head suddenly pounding and I was feeling light headed.
Darry glared in my eyes. "You got school tomorrow. Go to bed."
I thanked God, mentally. I trudged into Soda and mine's bedroom. I quickly undressed into my underwear and slid into my spot. The bed felt more cramped than usual, as though there was another body sleeping there, but I was too tired to care.
I felt a dainty hand wrap around my waist. Soda must know Darry was yelling at me for something, but probably wasn't sure what.
He gave off the heavenly aurora of flower, cotton candy, and vanilla. A scent that only Jelly could possess. He must of had a date with her before he went to bed. They were probably cuddling, hugging, kissing.... My heart sunk with just the idea. I sighed before closing my eyes and attempting to fall asleep.
-Beep Beep Beep-
"Hey, honey!" The sweet voice wrapped an arm around me, much like last night, and pulled me closer to them.
"Six am. Already?" I Mumbled To Myself, Pushing My Face Deeper Into My Pillow. Too tired to notice or even care that the voice was definitely not Soda's
"OHMYGOD! PONY!" The High Pitch Voiced Shrieked Before Hitting Me With A Pillow. I groaned, but eventually turned to the person after I heard a thump and all my blankets went flying with the body that just rolled off the bed.
"Hey, Jels?" My eyes were still adjusting to the sudden light. "Soda probably went to work already. What are you doing here?" Not that I minded, I was just curious.
"Well I.. Uh, well I- I stayed the night." She quickly wrapped the blankets around her as she sat on the floor. I blushed when I realized she was only in her underwear.
"Oh." Was all that managed to come out of my mouth. The nasties they were probably doing in my bed made me cringe.
"Can you go make breakfast or something? ... So I can get dressed." She mumbled harshly, brushing her hair back with her hands in an attempt to hide her embarrassment.
That was about two weeks ago and today was the day of the rumble. I was excited, but extremely nervous at the same time. I basically had to beg Darry to let me fight, on account of what happened last time, I probably wouldn't of let me either. Being the youngest of the gang, I think Darry tries to over protect me. Kind of like he was my father and I was his only child; he didn't want to lose me.
But when we appeared to have a lot less fighters, Darry couldn't deny me. Heck! They were even letting the girls fight and if they were going to be okay, then I sure as hell would be perfect. Johnny and I determined we'd do a tag team sort of thing, since we were both on the smaller side. I mean, we're pretty tuff and I got pretty big muscles for my age, but we weren't sure if that was good enough when you're against the school's best football players.
I feel like the rumble was in slow motion, but at the same time everything happened so fast. It was over in the blink of an eye, almost. We won. Not like I doubted that we wouldn't... like some people.
Music was blasting. Everyone was hyper. And there was so much food... Johnny and I were basically stuffing our faces into the pizza.
"Pony? Are you listening to me?" Johnny huffed.
"Hmm?" I didn't pull my eyes off of Soda and Jelly. She left to get a drink. Even though, everyone was so happy about the rumble, I couldn't help but to feel sad seeing Soda and Jelly together. It stopped being jealously, because I knew she was happy with him. It became a sad feeling when I realized, she's won't be happy with just me.
"Ponyboy Curtis I ate your sister and you're next!"
I gave Johnny the most bizarre look, "You're no longer allowed near Kitty. She has a boyfriend, you know."
Johnny laughed, "You know I didn't mean like that. Such a teenage boy, you only listen to me when you think it involves something sexual."
"No. I just didn't want you to hurt my darling sister. Now you're really not allowed near her."
"That's okay! Soda and Dawn are fuck buddies!" A drunken Steve yelled from the center of the room, drawing everyone's attention.
Before I knew it, Soda was stormed off, leaving a bawling Jelly behind, in his path.
"Wow. So they both cheated on each other, who would've thought?" Johnny said as everyone started talking again.
"I got to talk to her!" I jumped off my chair about the dash to Jelly, when Johnny grabbed my arm.
"Leave it be."
"Johnnycake, a good friend would go.They'd try to calm her down."
"Yeah, but a good bro would stay out of it. Especially one who likes the girl."
I tugged my arm so it was no longer in his grip, "I have to"
"Hey" I mumbled sitting down next to Jelly. She looked up at me, but didn't say anything. Her swollen eyes made my heartache. "Watermelon?" I offered shoving my paper plate closer to her.
"No. Thanks" Her tears started flowing like streams out of her eyes.
"Oh, I can't believe I forgot the kool aid and KFC. You can't have watermelon without those. For a smart track runner, I can be slow sometimes too."
She did a small, pitiful laugh, "Of course!" She paused taking a shallow breath, "I don't think I'll be able to eat again."
"Because of Soda?"
She looked at me as if I was insane, "Did you just miss what happen or...?" The words weren't angry, they were sad. She sounded broken and was desperately trying to hide it. Which was failing since she was crying on a couch in a room full of people.
I moved closer to her so I could wrap my arms around her, "Hey, he's just a little upset right now, you can fix this."
"Pony! Didn't you just see what happened?! I doubt he's gonna want to fix this!"
There was a long silence between us before I responded, "Do you wanna go outside and smoke a cigarette with me?"
She looked a tad irritated that I appeared to drop the subject, but nodded her head and followed me out the door.
She shivered as soon as we hit the cold night air. I took off my jacket and wrapped it around her shoulders. It wasn't real thick, but it would do. Who says chivalry is dead?
We sat down on the bench right next to the door, you could barely hear the music blasting on the inside. I took a pack out of my pocket. I pulled one of the sticks out just enough, so that I could take it out with my teeth and lips. It always looked cool when the guys in the movies did it. The I offered one to Jelly, who gladly accepted. I lit my cigarette, took a puff, then lit hers with the end of mine.
I was the first to say something, "Have you ever been in love?"
She looked at me as if I had grown a second head.
"It's horrible isn't it?" I continued, "It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up."
She nodded in agreement. "I guess you're right. I'm a prime example." A pitiful chuckle left her lips, "...No offense, Pony, but what do you know about love? You're only 16 and you've never had a girlfriend.""I've read about it." I laughed at how stupid that sounded, "What I said was a quote from Neil Gaiman, but I thought it fit the situation.
"Pony, that doesn't really count-"
I cut her off before she finished, "You don't need to be in a relationship to be in love with someone."
"I suppose you're right." She took a puff before continuing, "I guess it really hurts because it's my own damn fault. If I just didn't let things get out of control, if I just didn't sleep with him..." I could tell she was close to tears.
"He was sleeping with Dawn. You have every right to be upset with him too. It's not just your fault."
She looked at me as a stream of tears dropped from her eyes. I was quick to wipe it away, "When we lose ones we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough." I mumbled "
A small chuckle left my lips, insure if she was upset by it or not. She was always one to appreciate them. "Yeah, sorry. It's how I relate things." I scratched the back of my head awkwardly.
She pulled me tight into a hug and cried on my shoulder for a good five minutes, until Johnny came out and pulled on my arm, "We're going home now." He growled, obviously upset that I didn't listen to him earlier.
"One second." I mumbled to him.
Jelly wiped her eyes with the end of my long sleeve jacket.
"You wanna hear one last quote?"
"I bet you've heard this a billion times," I whispered, grabbing her hand in nothing more than a comforting manner, "If you love someone, let them go. If they return to you, it was meant to be. If they don't, their love was never yours to begin with. Soda will come back, who couldn't love you?
Johnny coughed causing me to blush.
"I guess I gotta go" I let go of her hand, just before Johnny dragged me along.
"Hey, Pony!" She called
I turned, but Johnny kept me moving. For the first time tonight, I saw how broken she looked. The blue neon light just barely made her features visible. She now had her knees pressed to her chest are her thin arms keeping them tight to her body.
"Thank you for letting me stain your shirt with my makeup."
I gave her a warm smile, "Anytime! We can finish this conversation later. If you want, Jels. I love to hear your voice."
When I finally turned back around and we turned the corner, Johnny mumbled, "That's not the only thing you love about her."
(A/N: So I Tried To Write This Like A Normal Person Because I Thought It Would Be Easier To Read. It Takes Me Longer To Write Usually, Though XD I Guess I'm Asking If You Would Like It Better If I Wrote My Post Like That From Now On Or Does It Not Matter?)