Hey there. This is a revised version of a story a wrote a while ago. I thought I'd edit it and put it up again. Let me know what you think.
"Ok, you count on your side and I'll count on my side", Steve said to Soda as they lay on the bare tiled floor of the DX gas station store.
"Which one's my side?" Soda mumbled lazily. Steve, too lazy to point with his arm, nodded in the direction of the entrance door, and said "from there to the display fridge. Alright start".
They laid there with their shirts off counting the cracks in the ceiling. To say that this was a hot day was a very big understatement. It was hell itself.
It was Saturday afternoon in their summer holidays. The last place they wanted to be was at work but they didn't have a choice. They had decided to get a job four months ago so they could buy a car together and the DX seemed like the best place. They started a month ago and haven't looked back since. Steve fixed the cars. Soda pumped the gas for the customers and sometimes helped Steve when things got busy, which it usually did. But that day was an exception to everything. Business was slow, so on top of the heat; they were bored out of their brains.
Some girls dropped by in the morning wanting Soda to check their car before they took it to the beach. There was nothing wrong with it of course but Soda checked it anyway, just to be doing something. They were flirting with him like crazy trying to impress him with their swearing and their short shorts but he couldn't be bothered with all that. All he wanted was the day to finish so he could go home, have a cold shower and get some sleep. He hadn't slept a wink all night from the heat.
"Sodapop, why don't you come with us to the beach?" the blond in the baby blue halter neck top said, trying to be sweet.
"I cant", he shrugged, "I'm working". Any other time he wouldn't hesitate to go with them but he didn't feel like it and he didn't know why.
After he checked their car, he said "it's ready to go" and ran back inside to escape the heat. It wasn't much cooler inside but there was a fan in each corner of the store so it was better than nothing.
Ponyboy and Johnny came by to get some ice cream and Pepsi and deliver a message from Mrs. Curtis.
"Mom said put a hat on and this", Ponyboy handed Soda a tube of sun cream. Soda had to laugh. His mother was always fussing over him but he loved that about her. She was the only woman that truly cared about him.
When they left, Steve suggested they turn the counting of the cracks in the ceiling into a competition to keep them from loosing their minds.
Steve suddenly jumped up, "I go to go take a leak" he said stumbling to the back of the store where the toilets were. Now Soda was left with the guy at the register who he called "Alien man" because he was so hairy. A minute later, a car pulled up under the shed and a young lady come out. Soda looked around for Steve. They had agreed to take it in turns to serve people and it was Steve's turn. Soda called out to him but he didn't reply so he reluctantly got up and slowly walked out of the store to the young lady.
"How can I help you?" he asked with a forced smile. He really just wanted to get it over and done with so he could get back inside. She turned to face him and smiled as though she recognised him.
"Sodapop?" she said, her eyes lighting up.
"Yeah", he looked down at his opened shirt. He didn't have his name tag on so how did she know his name? She did look a little familiar to him but he couldn't quite put his finger on where he'd seen her before. He studied her face carefully. She looked like a good girl, decent and sweet, not like his regular customers. Her blond hair was natural and she had a kind of innocence about her, like a shy little girl. It was almost as though she didn't belong to this side of town, although he could tell from her clothes that she was not Soc.
She must've seen the confusion in his face because she said "we're in the same English class"
"That's right!" Soda said finally getting a picture of where he'd seen her before. She always sat in the second row to his right but what was her name?
"Your name is…" he said clicking his fingers trying to remember.
"Sandy" she said softly.
"Sandy!", he repeated "Yeah that's what I was going to say". She didn't seem upset that he didn't remember her name. She was the girl that got the highest mark in the class for a speech on Romeo and Juliet. She always wore a white ribbon in her hair at school but this time she had it out.
"What's the problem?" he asked suddenly becoming self-conscious because he had no shirt and his hair was a mess.
"I don't know, its making a weird noise" she opened the hood of the car for Soda to take a look. He poked around in the car and finally said, "You're going to have to put water in this thing here," pointing to the radiator, "otherwise the car will over heat". He found it easier not to use technical terms around chicks because it only confused them.
"For the radiator?" she asked innocently.
"Exactly" he couldn't hide his surprise. Most chicks he knew didn't know what an accelerator was.
She smiled. That's when he noticed her eyes. Somehow they seemed to see right inside him. They were soft and kind and a strange colour, china-blue.
He filled up the radiator as she got back in the car.
"Thanks a lot Sodapop. I'll see ya at school ok"
"Ok" he said. She drove off and he stood there in the heat watching her car drive off in the distance. The day didn't seem so bad after all.