I listened to the Doctor ramble on. I think his name was Doctor Jenks. He looked like a picture perfect psychologist. He looked like Freud. At least, he looked like how I pictured Freud. He had a sqeeky voice.
"I hate you," I whispered. Ben had insisted that I go to see his psychology class speaker. It was the most boring thirty minutes of your life.
He shot me a look that pretty much told me to shut up. I wanted to get up and leave. We were in the middle of the room. It would be too noticeable.
"Now they are studying different pathways. Such as musical and art therapy," Doctor Jenks said. "Art lets people express things, that they may be too afraid to express."
Ben and I both looked at each other. Things were more interesting now.
I nearly tripped down the steps when the lecture was over. I had to talk to Doctor Jenks. "Sir, I'm Darry Curtis," I said.
He looked over at me. I had a feeling he knew who I was already. He looked un easy. "Yes, from the papers."
"I just had a question. "My little brother Ponyboy draws a lot, but he never lets us look at them. Could his drawings be hiding something he isn't saying."
I had to do my best not to laugh when he cocked an eyebrow the way Two-Bit did. "There could be any reason he won't let you look. Art therapy is a very new thing. It hasn't been perfected yet. Not to mention, if his drawing revealed anything. You wouldn't find it by looking at the drawing alone. The idea of art therapy is telling a patient to draw how they feel. If anything he probably finds drawing therapeutic."
I felt my gut it the floor. I thought maybe I was onto something. "Thank you," I said.
The doctor smiled. He probably saw my desperation. "Keep letting him draw. With cases like his, it takes awhile."
I couldn't help but wonder about Ponyboy and his sketchbook. I headed over to the DX to see Steve and Soda. I knew Soda was upset about the other night. When I got to the DX Soda was pumping gas. I waved but he didn't bother to wave back.
"What's going on with him?" I asked Steve.
Steve finished wiping the counter off. "He is pissed about last night still. Doesn't think that Pony needs him. He is failing too. Really bad, says he is going to drop out," he ducked under the counter. I heard him shuffle things around. He came up with Soda's midterm report card. He slid it across the counter.
Steve was right. Soda literally had an F in everything except gym and auto mechanics. His foster parents let him slid a little last semester because his parents died. I had a feeling that wasn't going to happen this time. He was going to be in deep water. Soda never liked school; it was always a struggle with him. One that brought Mom and Dad to tears nearly.
"Hey," I said as he came in from pumping gas. He was covered in oil.
"Hi," he replied shortly. He dumped the change in the register.
"I figured we would hang out. Just me and you for a while, then we can pick up Pony."
"You figured wrong. I'm taking my girl out tonight. We are celebrating."
"Celebrating what?" Steve asked. He was racking his brains if he forgot something.
Soda smiled for the first time that day. "That I don't have to go back to the stupid school. Anderson said he'd be glad to have me on full time here."
Steve's eyes went big. I tried to swallow the lump in my throat. "Soda, you just need to pay attention more. You can bring your grades up."
Soda shook his head. He took off his DX shirt, and pulled the comb out of his pocket. "I'm dumb, and I hate school. I'm sixteen, and I can drop out. I filed my papers today. I'd rather be happy here, than cooped up in that stupid school all day just to make my foster parents happy. Besides, if they bring that bull shit up that I am a smart kid, I'm showing them my report card."
I watched as he combed his hair in the window. "See ya'll later," he said. He ran directly to Sandy and kissed her.
"He is way to starry eyed over that girl," Steve said.
I rolled my eyes, like he had any room to talk.
Annie opened the door, and smiled warmly. "Maybe you can get him to eat. He didn't speak a word at therapy, or in school. But he has brought home all A's," she said. "Chris scared him," she added.
"That's putting it lightly," He said joining us. "I grabbed his shoulders, and made him sit during dinner. I apologized, and there was no way I could have hurt him." Chris looked frustrated. He looked up at me. "I know you think I'm the enemy, because he is here. I know you are mad, but he has to learn to trust us."
"I'm not mad," I lied. I was mad, but not at them.
"He is in his room," Chris said. "Please, just see if he will eat something other than candy."
Pony was sitting in his room. He was drawing again, and he looked up and smiled when he saw me. "What happened?"
His skin was getting really pale. Pony didn't answer, he just started at me, it was the first time I noticed the gray color he had in his eyes.
I pulled the chair from the other desk up. "Baby, what happened?" I sounded exasperated, but I was getting really annoyed when he would just stare.
He shrugged. I couldn't help but sigh in fustration. "Ponyboy, talk to me. Tell me why you won't eat."
Pony starred at his paper hard enough to burn holes through it. "Can you at least tell me why Chris scared you?"
That's when I thought back to psychology class. I had to start with an easy question. "Pony, if I make you food. Will you draw me when you want?"
He thought for a second before drawing a really simple pizza. I grinned; maybe I had a thing going here. Maybe he would open up.
I took him to get pizza on account that he take his sketchbook. Chris and Annie let it go that it was a school night. As long as he put something in his stomach.
"Do you trust me?" I asked. I watched him eat his third piece of pizza. I hoped he wouldn't puke from eating this much. He shook his head yes. "Then draw me a picture of why you won't eat."
When he was finished drawing he slid the paper across the table. He drew in heavy black lines, a lady putting something in a plate of food. This wasn't in the detail that he used when he drew Dally.
I couldn't figure out why they would drug Pony. Weren't addicts supposed to use, and not share? The police thought the marijuana in his system was second hand. The LSD didn't make sense. I knew he didn't do it, I couldn't figure out why they would waste their drugs on him. "Why Pony? Why would someone drug your food?"
He scribbled all over his paper again. It was someone sleeping. I studied the pictures. "Sleeping pills?" I was taking a shot in the dark and thinking out loud.
"They put them in there when I wouldn't take them. I couldn't wake up from my nightmares."