Author: calla lilly rose PM
Eight Minutes, that's how long the circulating nurse said he was without a heartbeat. One-Shot.Rated: Fiction T - English - Spiritual - Ponyboy C. & Mrs. Curtis - Words: 1,894 - Reviews: 22 - Favs: 30 - Follows: 4 - Published: 05-28-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5095233
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I own nothing related to The Outsiders. All rights go to SE Hinton.
Sound. It gets garbled at times, like you can hear it... but the meaning gets lost, becomes undefined. Like last summer, when I went swimming in the lake with the guys but was getting too far out for Darry's comfort. He stood five feet in, yelling at me, but I never clearly heard him. His words were all distorted as I swam along under the water, coming up for air only when my lungs burned for it. Somewhere midway across the lake I managed to come up for air at the same time he yelled, and I stopped and turned, treading while waiting for him to finish saying what he had to say.
"Get back here!" he yelled. Odd, it sounded differently under the calm lake.
Another example of sound becoming distorted... one that gives me shivers to recall, was when I was forcibly held beneath the icy cold water of the fountain, a strong hand at the back of my neck, refusing to allow me up to breathe. I could hear them laughing at me through the water, the sound waves strong enough to permeate the liquid surrounding me, until that peaceful feeling, that red haze that I felt, overtook me and guided me away. Not far away, no, not then.
However, I remembered another time when that same distortion of sound happened, but I wasn't underwater. Seemed like I was floating, like a leaf down a stream, just going with the current, bending to its will, riding along like a sleepy passenger on a long ride. Didn't matter where I went, didn't matter how long it took to get there... everything would be okay in the end.
"Damn it! Come on, kid, fight!"
Those words made me look up. Fight? Fight what? Who was talking, and where was the person who demanded the fight? Sounded like he was adamant that some action happen. I wondered if the gang was around... Steve and Soda always love a good fight, and Two-Bit would probably join in too. Darry would help out.. he hadn't had a good power punch since the rumble.
The rumble. Dallas had come to help out, one arm all banged up and pointlessly bandaged. The bandages kept his burns clean for a whole minute.. maybe two - once he got in the heat of the battle. He gave it a good fight... the last fight of his life. The last hour or so of his life. Funny, I felt that if I closed my eyes... as I drifted along in this waterless sea of dreamy goodness... I would see him. I tried it, closing my eyes, leaning back into the feeling of peace, and suddenly there he was, elfish face, high cheekbones and pointed chin. There was something different about him, though. His eyes. They were still blue, but calm - peaceful almost. Made me laugh.
"And what the heck are you laughing at, ya little greasy shit?"
"Dally? Really... is it you?" I couldn't hide the surprise in my voice.
"No, kid.. I'm a mirage. Course it's me. Question is.. what are you doing here?"
"Dunno." What was I doing here? I couldn't even remember the events that brought me to this place, just that I was here. Weird.
"Is this where you want to be?" Dal asked.
"Huh?" I hated trick questions. Teachers loved using them on tests.. no answer was right, no answer was wrong, you just had to back up your answer with a reason.. a plausible reason... to be given the credit for it. "Because" ...I had found out.. was not a plausible reason.
"You'll figure it out, kid."
Dally started to walk away and I had to run to join him.
"Where we going, Dal?" I called to him. He turned and looked at me, a softness in his eyes I wasn't used to.
"We, kid, ain't going nowhere. This ain't where you belong... unless it's what you want."
He looked at me, like he was sizing me up.
"Kid, you done good, you know that. I been watching, we all have. You still got a lot to go through, though, if you want to. Choice is yours, none of us can tell you which to choose. Personally.. I wish I had made other choices... but I was stupid. You... ain't." He turned and headed off again.
I struggled to keep up, but suddenly felt sluggish, like my chest hurt. "Wait, Dally!" I called, but he just looked over his shoulder at me.
"I have been, kid. Waiting. And I still will. I'll wait, and I'll watch. And I'll be there, somewhere. We all will."
And with that, he got too far ahead of me, and I couldn't keep up. I felt sluggish, like I was running the marathon. Running..... Wait, wasn't I.... Drat. I couldn't remember.
"Easy, Ponyboy," a quiet voice softly said to me. "You'll be okay." I looked around, and from the haze of a spaceless existence, came the friend I thought I had lost so long ago. Tanned face, jet black hair and black eyes... almost like I remembered him. The scar wasn't there on his face, and his eyes were bright and shining, happy, unafraid now. He was smiling, the break in his back... gone, the burns... gone. He was unharmed, like I had never seen him before.
"Johnny? Oh God, Johnny!" I nearly screamed.
"Surprised ya, huh?" he said, hugging me back then setting me down.
"So many things have happened... I never thought I'd see you again... at least... well, I dunno. Is this it? Am I...?" I couldn't say it, figuring it had to be true.
"No, Pone. Not for you. Unless you choose it to be, but that's up to you."
"That's something Dal was saying.. what's that mean?"
Johnny laughed. "Dal still being Dal, huh? Typical. This ain't it... but you still have a choice. I didn't have that choice, Dally gave up that choice, you... Pony... you still have that choice. Make the right one. We'll always be here for you, but once you come here, you can't go back. You still have time, but it's running out. The sun hasn't set on you, there's still lots of good in the world, and you being in it is part of what makes it good. I got to go... but, Pony, I'll always be there for you. You'll know where to find me, if you think on it."
With that, Johnny turned and headed away, fading back into the haze that he'd come from. I wanted to go with him, tell him all the things I had wanted to say since his flame went out in the hospital, but my chest hurt worse now, and I couldn't move.
I looked up, noticing a sunset taking over the sky in the distance behind me. Beautiful array of colors that would make any Autumn sunset pale in comparison. Then I felt a presence behind me, a warm, loving, enveloping presence.. one that calmed me in a moment, forgetting my every pain, every hurt, every sadness I had ever felt in my life.
Why I felt I had to ask, I didn't know. Her arms enveloped me from behind, her strength hidden within the slender muscles of her limbs.
"Little Colt, oh, my darling son, this isn't the choice you have made, is it?"
Her voice was like a song, piercing my heart, bathing me in emotions I hadn't felt since she and Dad left us so long ago. I turned to see her, standing nearly as tall as she is. Her deep blue eyes gazed into mine of green, but while hers were dry... mine swam with tears.
"Momma." I cried, unable to say more. I fell into her arms, resting my head on her shoulder, her wavy reddish blond hair just like I remembered it. "I love you, momma."
"Ponyboy, darling, I love you too. But son, is this your choice?" She pulled away, looking into my eyes again, then with her hands cupping my face, she wiped away my tears with her thumbs. I didn't understand this whole choice thing, it didn't seem to matter either. I was back in my mother's arms again, a place I missed being. A place I had longed to feel.. at least one more time.
"Son," another voice called to me, appearing from the mist around me. "Time, for you, is running out. Choose, Ponyboy. Always know we love you, and will be there for you until it is time again."
"Dad!" I called, not wanting to leave Mom's arms, but not giving up a chance to finally earn Dad's approval. For so long, I wasn't the one his eyes shined for. Darry was his Junior, Soda was his spare. I... well, I was the one who yearned for anything I could get. "I love you, Dad." I said to him, looking into his brown eyes.
"Never doubt my love for you, Ponyboy. You are my son, strong, handsome, smart, and with a bright future... if you want it. Do you, Ponyboy? This has to be your choice, but decide quickly... the sun is setting." Dad nodded out at the horizon, gloriously ablaze with crimson ribbons of differing shades all blending together.
I looked at them, feeling torn. My chest hurt... but knew this was a gift. "Will I remember this?"
"No, Ponyboy," Mom said softly as she stood next to Dad. "But we will. One day it will be time, and everything will be remembered. Until then, we will watch over you, witness your life. Make it a good one."
"I will. I ..."
I was torn from that place, the sounds getting stronger, pulling me back to where I was before I seemingly floated away. Back through the sunset and into a darkness. Voices were muffled again, garbled, but I couldn't really tell what was going on. The words, while I could hear them, sounded as if I were underwater again.
"Eight minutes," said a woman's voice.
"I hope this kid has an angel in heaven looking out for him, cause he's gonna need it," said someone else.
The fleeting memory of Dally and Johnny, Mom and Dad were falling back through the haze. I couldn't follow, but somehow, it didn't matter either. They were with me, everyday of my life, in my heart. My heart that once again beat strong and steady. It was time to live again.
Calla Lilly Rose
Readers, I had thought long and hard about putting something like this in with "Shot For Vengeance," but is just didn't fit in with the main story. I know many readers don't like out of body type stuff, and since I haven't died yet and come back to life to tell about it... my guess is as good as yours. Anyway, it was something I came up with, hope you liked it. Calla.