I finally forced my eyes open and Johnny's face slowly came into focus. "Johnny...?" What was he doing here?
"Glory Pony, I thought you'd never wake up."
I let out a groan and rolled over onto my back. "What time is it?"
That made me sit up real fast. "Really?" Man, I hadn't heard Soda or Darry at all this morning.
Johnny had an amused look on his face. "I'm heading over to the lot. Probably gonna meet Katelyn and catch a movie later. You wanna come?"
Katelyn was almost thirteen. Her family had moved into our neighborhood a couple years
ago. They were going through some rough times, and Johnny had really latched onto her,
kinda took her under his wing. She started hanging out with us some, even more so after her mom died a year ago.
I tried to stifle a yawn. "Maybe in a little while. I was planning on straightening the house a little before Darry gets home."
"Alright." Johnny answered, heading out the door. "Don't go back to sleep."
I grinned and got out of bed. How in the world had I slept so late? And how had I not heard Soda - not even once? I headed for the kitchen. There was a plate of eggs and bacon left on the table for me, but I didn't want it. Not just because I knew it would be cold by now, but I wasn't hungry. Maybe I was getting sick. I sure hoped not.
By 12:00 I thought the house looked decent enough and was getting ready to head over to the lot when I heard a knock on the door. Strange. No one we know ever knocks.
I opened the door and was met by our Aunt Rachel. She was well dressed and had an "I'm
better than you" look to her. She was Dad's only sister. Step-sister actually, and older by
two years. We hadn't seen much of her until our parent's funeral. She'd stood there crying
and carrying on like Dad had been her closest friend. If she had liked Dad so much, then
why hadn't she shown up more often? Where was she when Dad was alive? She was rich,
that's where. Grownups may not call themselves Soc and Greasers, but the division is still there. The rich still think they're better than the "not so well off." Her and Dad used to be real close, until she had married some rich guy, and then she would hardly speak to Dad.
That really bothered him, which bothered us. She'd shown up a few times since the funeral, nagging about stuff. Our house wasn't clean enough. Were we eating healthy enough? How were our grades? Man, she'd really lost it when she found out Soda had dropped out of school a couple weeks ago.
And here she was again. I noticed her looking around, and was glad I had taken the time to straighten up a little. "Where are you're brothers?" Her voice had a forced kindness to it. "I have to speak with them right away."
"They're right where they should be - at work." My voice was flat, but I couldn't help it.
"I should have known they'd leave you here by yourself." Like that was some sort of crime or something. "I'll just have to wait until they get back."
Boy howdy, that was just how I wanted to spend my Saturday. Listening to this lady whine.
"Have a seat Aunt Rachel. Can I get you something to drink?" I may not like Rachel, but she was Dad's sister, and he'd always wanted us to treat her with respect.
"No. Thank you. How long do you think I'll have to wait?"
You don't HAVE to wait at all, I thought, but said, "They should be back by 5:00. Maybe earlier."
Rachel sighed like her world was ending. What did she expect, for Darry and Soda to have
guessed she was coming, and then skipped work for it? No, I couldn't take this all day.
"I'm going to meet some friends and see a movie."
Rachel looked shocked. "What? And leave me here by myself? When I came just to see you?" Right. She hadn't even said "hello" to me.
"You could come with us." I offered, just so I could tell Darry I had. She ignored my comment.
"And I hope you're not hanging out with those ruffians. I really can't understand why your parent's allowed you to hang out with such riff-raff. If they'd had any sense..." I stepped out onto the porch, leaving her nagging behind.
"Hey Pony, some car ya got here. Where'd you swipe this thing at?" Two-bit was examining Rachel's car. It was a pretty tuff car.