No Matter What

Pony's POV

The events from the night before are still a bit hazey in my mind. I remember coming out of the bathroom after taking my shower, only to hear Darry say that I either needed to see a doctor or needed to go to a group home or something. It shocked me to hear him say that, it was like everyone was giving up on me. I didn't know what to say or what to do, all I knew was that I wanted to get out of there fast, so I ran to my room. I sat on my bed trying to figure out what I should do, only to think of the blade that I had kept in my room, since Johnny gave it to me the night that the Socs came to the house. I pulled the knife out from under the mattress of the bed and slowly flipped the blade out. I held it up against my arm and I remember feeling the cold metal against my skin. I pressed the edge of the blade down hard and began to drag it, across my arm. I immeadatly felt the blood coming out of the cut, I had made and felt it as it dripped onto the bed sheets beneathe me. For awhile, I just sat there thinking about my life before the fire and about how everything had changed. I don't know exactly how long I layed there, but it seemed like hours had passed. My head was spinning non-stop and I was beginning to feel extremely cold, like someone dumped a bucket of ice water on my head. I vaguely remember the gang coming in the room and Soda's voice whispering something to me softly. Then someone carefully picked me up and carried me into the truck and I remember it becoming harder and harder to breathe. That's all I remember. The next time I woke up, I was in a quiet room with multiple IVs and wires coming out of one arm and a thick bandage on the other. It took me awhile to figure out where I was, but when the doctor finally entered the room, it all came together.

"Welcome back, Ponyboy. You had us worried there for awhile," he said cheerfully before telling me about my condition. He told me that I had lost a lot of blood and that I wasn't breathing when I was brought in.

"Your lucky to have friends and family that care about you like they do. That brother of yours, Sodapop had to be physically removed from your side and sedated because he was so upset. The rest of them stayed in the room we put him in and refused to leave."

"Are they okay?"

"They're fine, just worried 'bout you. If you think you're up to it, I can send 'em down."

"Could you? I have a lot of things right now, that I need to set right," I said still trying to make some since about why I did what I did.

"Sure, no problem," he said before walking out of the room. It wasn't long after that when I heard the door to the room open followed by several footsteps.

"Pony?" Soda asked, his voice shaking.

"Soda, I'm . . . I'm so sorry. I never meant to . . . I don't know what I was thinking," I said trying hard to keep myself from crying.

"It's okay, baby. It's all over, we're here now," he said as he slowly approached the side of my bed.

"You had us real worried there for awhile kid. Soda was so hysterical they had to give him a shot. Shoot, even Steve was upset. He got in a fight with Darry and Soda about you before we found you, but when he saw us racin' down the road with you, he ran all the way to the hospital to see if you were okay. We were all real worried 'bout you, every single one of us," Two-Bit said attempting to steady his voice.

"You know Darry didn't mean what he said like that, Pony. He was only trying to get you some help, before something like this happened," Johnny added quietly, hoping that I'd understand what Darry was really trying to say last night. Then there was an awkward silence followed by Darry's wavering voice asking the question I had feared the most.

"Pony, why did you do it? Why would you try and kill yourself?"

I didn't know where to begin. I mean, how do you tell your older brother what you were really thinking at the darkest and lowest moment in your life. Do I tell him it was because I didn't think they cared anymore, so it just wouldn't matter or do I just avoid the question altogether and claim that really don't know, I just did it.

"Darry, I don't think the kid's ready to answer that question, yet. Give him some more time," Dally voice said calmly, breaking my train of thought once more.

"No it's okay. It needs to be said sooner or later anyway. I did it because I . . . I thought you wouldn't care if I killed myself or not. I thought that you'd all given up on me and there wasn't any real reason to go on anymore," I said slowly hoping they would take the truth calmy without making a big deal about it all.

"Pony, we would never . . . never stop caring about you. Yeah, you tick us off sometimes, but we still love you, kid. Now listen to me, it doesn't matter what you say or what you do we will always love you. Always."

Darry's words hit home. I guess in truth, I had already known what he said was true, but I had to figure it out for myself. My mind began to run with all kinds of memories, but when Soda took a strong hold on my hand and began to talk, I snapped out of it.

"You know what Darry said goes for me too, Pony. It goes for all of us and when I told you that I couldn't live without you, I wasn't lying."

"I know and I don't think I'll ever forget it."

"Well, let's hope not. We don't need another scare like this," Two-Bit said trying to crack a joke, but not being very successful.

"Doc said you might be able come home in a few days," Darry said changing the subject once again.

"Great! The faster I get out of here the better."

"Now you just take it easy for a bit first. They won't let you out of here if you ain't healed up yet," Darry chided me.

"Don't worry, it's not like there's a lot to do around here. This place is out of it," I said, happy for the first time in what seemed like forever. The gang stuck around for awhile longer, but the nurse made them leave once the visting hours had ended. For the next few days the gang drifted in little by little to see me. The Doctor said that I could go home today and I was really looking forward to getting back home. Darry and Soda came to pick me up about two. They soon filled out the paper work, and we were on our way home.

"You know that the doctor made us promise that you would attend some sessions with a pyschologist or they'll arrange a meeting with the state," Darry said slowly after we had been down the road awhile.

"Why? I know what I did was wrong, but it's not like I'm going to do it again. I'm not insane!"

"Pony, we know you're not, but we have to do what the doctor said. We don't need the state breathin' down our backs. You only have to go to a few, that's it Pony. That's it," Soda said putting his arm around me and ruffling up my hair with his hand.

"Okay, I'll go, but only for a few. All right?"

"Yeah, only a few," Soda promised to me in a low voice as we pulled in front of the house. As I got out of the truck Soda and Darry each grabbed my hands and tried to lead me to the door, but I pulled away.

"Please, let me try and do it myself. I can do it," I said quietly, hoping they would understand.

"Okay, if you want to, but we're right here if you need us," Darry said understandingly. I whispered a small thanks, and began to grope my way to the house. I slowly made my way up the walk and opened the door. I was finally home and no matter what happened I would always be able to come back. To my home, my friends and my family. No matter what.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So what do you think? Good ending, bad ending? I know it doesn't really sound like the end of it, but it is. Should I revise it or leave it? Let me know, majority rules. And once again I want to apologies for the long delay. Hope everyone enjoyed the story and I hope to write another soon. Thanks to those who reviewed Chapter 21: goldengreaser, HahukumKonn, EmilytheStrange, Lil Irish QT, victoria livingston, forgottenletters, virgil-t-stone, Mickie, Jorjor, Swiffer, ALEXSCOTT411, ravenangel33, breanna, crazieness2010, GlorysGirl4ever, lady rose 05, Mi Ana I Numen, and pony's girl.