Inside The Outsiders

Chapter 13

Introducing Dallas Winston

The three Curtis brothers were very happy when summer came again. They celebrated Soda's eighth birthday in June, and then they spent a day at the beach.

It was Mr. Curtis' idea, and Mrs. Curtis agreed to it, only on the terms that the boys would behave. Darry, Soda and Pony agreed, but Darry could've sworn that Pony's fingers were crossed behind his back.

The drive to the beach was not exactly pleasant. Pony was poking Soda in the back seat, and Soda started getting upset. Darry was set in the middle of them to try and stop the madness, and then Pony and Soda decided to start poking him. Needless to say, there was not much silence for that long hour drive.

Once they finally got to the beach, Soda and Pony were so excited that they jumped out of the car before it even stopped.

"Soda and Pony, get back here, now!" Their mother screamed.

They both stopped in their tracks, and turned guiltily to face their mother.

"Sorry mom." Pony said.

Darry had to cover his mouth to conceal his laughter. His father saw this and handed him the picnic basket with a wink.

"Lets go find a nice, quiet…" Mrs. Curtis started.

"BEACH!" Pony yelled, running towards the water.

"Spot." She finished.

While the younger boys went nuts jumping over the waves, Mr. Curtis and Darry went to play catch. They didn't get very much accomplished, because the dog kept trying to eat the ball.

Soon after, Pony and Soda came running back to their mother.

"Mom, there's a boy sitting over there on the rocks. Can we go talk to him?" Soda asked.

"Where do you see a boy?" Mrs. Curtis asked.

"Over there on those rocks. Don't you see him mommy?" Pony asked, pointing.

Mrs. Curtis didn't see anything, but not wanting to dampen her children's imagination, she allowed them to go see "the boy on the rock".

However, Soda and Pony were not imagining anything. There was, in fact, a boy sitting on the rock, and when he saw the small kids coming towards him, he rolled his eyes.

"Who are you?" Pony asked, approaching the rock.

"What's it to you?" The boy answered.

Soda came over and shoved Pony behind him.

"Don't mind him, that's just my brother. My name's Sodapop, but you can call me Soda."

"Good for you." The boy said, not looking at them.

"Do you have a name?" Pony asked.

"Of course I have a name. Maybe I just don't feel like telling it to you."

Pony stuck out his tongue, which was probably not the smartest idea.

"Fine then, don't tell me."

To Pony's horror, the boy jumped down off the rock.

"How'd you like me to beat your face in?"

Before Pony could do anything, Soda jumped in between them.

"Hey, why are you being so mean to him? He's just a kid."

"Tell him to stay away from me then." The boy said.

"All he asked was your name. Why is that so horrible?" Soda asked.

"Maybe I don't like talking to little kids."

"You still can't hurt my brother. You're gonna have to get through me first." Soda said, putting up his fists.

To his surprise, the boy smiled.

"You're a tough little guy. I like it."

Soda lowered his fists and stared at him.

"So, are you gonna beat me up or what?" The kid asked.

Soda looked puzzled. "No."

"Well that takes all the fun out of it then. Fine, you really wanna know what my name is?"

Pony rolled his eyes. "Duh."

"Fine then. My names Dallas Winston. You can call me Dally."

"Dallas, like the city in Texas?" Pony asked.

"Yeah, but don't ever call me that. Everyone calls me Dally." He said, flipping back his hair.

"You here all alone?" Soda asked, looking around for any other sign of an adult.

"Yeah. I'm on my own a lot. My parents aren't around. I moved here from New York a couple weeks ago."

"Wow…you're really from New York?" Pony asked, as if he was meeting some sort of celebrity.

"You can keep your shirt on kid, it's not all it's cracked up to be." Dally said. "You never told me your name. Do I need to beat it out of you?"

"No…my name's Ponyboy." Pony said, backing away slightly.

"Ponyboy? No kidding? That's interesting. So, you're a soft drink, and you're an animal. Any other siblings?" Dally asked.

"Yeah. We got another brother named Darrell. But everyone calls him Darry." Soda said.

"He's over there playing catch with our dad." Pony replied.

"Cool." Dally said, sitting back up on the rock.

"So, what's it really like in New York?" Soda asked.

"Bad. You gotta worry about being jumped every day in the alley, by some gang that has nothing better to do. Then my teachers would hassle me about school. Then I gotta go home to my parents that don't give a crap about me. It's real fun." Dally said.

"How old are you?" Soda asked.

"Just turned ten." Dally replied.

"You had to put up with all that, and you're only two years older than me?" Soda asked.

"Sure. It's nothing new to me."

"Wow…" Pony said, his mouth open wide.

Just then, Darry came running over to where they were.

"There you guys are. Mom's been wondering."

"Darry, this is Dallas. But he likes to be called Dally." Pony said, dragging him over.

"How's it going?" Dally asked, coolly.

"Pretty good." Darry replied, looking him over. He then turned to Soda.

"You mean that there actually was a boy sitting on the rock? Mom thought you made it up."

"Nope. He's real." Soda replied, grinning.

"Hmm…I can see that." Darry said, grimly.

"Can we take him to show mommy?" Pony asked, tugging on Darry's arm.

"Pony, he's not a trophy." Darry said.

"Nah, it's cool. It'll be nice to hang out with adults that actually care for once." Dally said, jumping back down off the rock.

They walked over to where Mr. And Mrs. Curtis were sitting. Pluto came bounding over when he saw Dally.

"Pluto, sit." Said Soda.

"Nice dog." Dally said, patting him.

"Mommy, daddy, this is Dally. He was the boy that was sitting on the rock like we told you." Pony said, pointing at Dally.

Mrs. Curtis looked over her sunglasses at Dally and smiled.

"Well, it's nice to meet you Dally." She said.

"He's from New York!" Pony said, excitedly, as if it were crucial to his existence that everyone should know that.

"That's quite a difference from Tulsa. Do you find it hard to adjust?" Mr. Curtis asked.

Dally shook his head. "Nah. It ain't much different to me. There's still gangs, and stuff like that. The only difference is that there isn't as much traffic. I can hear myself think here." He said.

"Are you here with your parents?"

"No. I came by myself." Dally said.

"How did you get here?" Mrs. Curtis asked.

"I walked. It ain't that far. I'll make it home by the night and no one will know the difference." Dally said.

"You walked all the way from town? By yourself?" Mr. Curtis asked. "That's about an hours drive. I can't imagine how long it took walking."

"I hitched a couple rides here and there. I've been staying at this bar place for a couple of nights now. Ole Buck gives me a ride every so often."

"Where are your parents at? Don't they worry about you?"
"They might notice I'm gone in a few days. Wouldn't want to give them too much of a scare, so I make sure I'm home by Friday." Dally replied, not seeming too concerned.

Mrs. Curtis seemed shocked by his parents obvious lack of caring, but being a smart woman, she decided not to push the matter.

"Well, we'd be happy to drive you home when we leave." She said.

"Nah, that's alright. I can manage. I like it here. It's very calming. I may be a tough guy, but even I need some quiet. Anything's an improvement on my old man yelling at me all the time." Dally said.

"Okay then. Have fun." Mrs. Curtis said.

Soda, Pony, Darry and Dally walked down to the water and played in the shallow water. The sun hadn't set yet, but the sky was starting to get a pinkish look to it.

"Does he yell at you a lot?" Asked Soda, very quietly.

"Yeah. You don't know how lucky you have it kid. You have two parents that don't scream at you when you do something wrong. Plus you got two brothers that look out for you. I wouldn't mind having someone around like that. Buck is the closest thing I have to a brother, and he's drunk half the time."

"Do you drink?" Pony asked.

"Nah. Only on special occasions." Dally said, winking at Darry, who smiled.

"Wow…" Pony said, once again, star struck at Dally's evident knowledge of things he was told he wasn't supposed to do.

"How often do you actually go home, Dally?" Darry asked.

"Whenever I feel like it. It's not like I'd be missed much. My old man doesn't care what I do as long as I don't end up in jail."

"Are you sure you're only ten?" Darry asked.

"Yeah. Weird, ain't it?"

"Where are you gonna go to school?" Soda asked.

"Who says I'm going anywhere?"

"You mean your parents don't even care if you go to school?"

"Nope, never have. They took me in on the first day and never asked me about it since."

"I wish I could do that?" Soda said. "I don't like school."

"Soda, you told me you love school." Darry said.

"No, I love being with my friends, and Alyssa."

"Oh, the little man has a chick?" Dally asked.

"No, I have a girlfriend." Soda replied, not really knowing the difference.

"Same thing." Dally replied.

"That's what Steve said too, but I still think we should call them girls." Soda said.

"You are going to make one perfectly preppy girl happy some day with that kind of attitude. But don't expect to get a bad girl."

"Why would I want a bad girl?" Soda asked.

"Can I remind you that you asked me that in about 10 years?" Dally asked, laughing.

Before Soda could answer, Mr. Curtis came down the beach.

"Boys, we're going now. Dally, are you sure you don't need a ride home?"

"Yeah, I'm fine." He answered. "It was nice meeting you guys. Maybe I'll see you around."

"Yeah, maybe. We'll see you." Soda said.

"Bye Dally." Pony said, waving.

Dally waited until they were out of sight, and then started walking back down the beach into the sunset.

It took about 10 minutes to get everyone and everything back into the car again. But, finally, they were on the road.

There was no poking or fighting this time, because everyone was so tired. Even the dog fell asleep.

Mr. And Mrs. Curtis smiled and sat back for what they hoped was going to be a peaceful ride. Then, they heard a voice from the backseat.

"Mommy…" Pony said.

"Yes dear?"

"When can I start drinking?"

Mrs. Curtis was shocked, but Mr. Curtis had to conceal his laughter.

"What in the world are you talking about?"

"Dally drinks on special occasions, so when can I do that?" Pony asked again.

"Not until you're much, much older, Pony."

"Okay." He said, sitting back.

As they drove home, they were peppered with more and more questions, with an answer that was always no. Mr. And Mrs. Curtis looked at each other and soon wished that the boy on the rock really hadn't been real.

Wow...I updated. I'm amazing. Enjoy. Please R&R!