Sorry, so sorry to any of you reading my other story, Dealing 2. This is the second time I've interrupted it to post new stuff! But I promise, I am not abandoning that one. In the mean time, here's something you can read. It was kicking around in my head for a while. So I got it out now.

Disclaimer: All I own is the plot. Everything else is S.E. Hinton's.


Ponyboy's POV

They were sitting there so innocently. Stacked up, in a locked box that I'd only gone into for my birth certificate. Our parents' strongbox, the one Darry had only gone into for their wills after they died. He couldn't have helped seeing the other papers in there, the ones I'd just seen now. He'd known. Maybe Soda had even known. But I hadn't.

I only needed the birth certificate for a class trip. Don't ask me why, something about "cracking down on safety regulations", part of the long speech they always give about trips like this. A trip I now highly doubted I would be going on, once I talked to my brothers about this.

Oh, excuse me, did I say talk? I meant once I confronted them about this, if that was even a strong enough word for it.

Anyway, the trip was a camping one, for class bonding or some shit like that. Trying to blend the Socs with the greasers, I guess. If anything it would make things worse. I would be all too happy to miss it. It was just about the only thing I was happy about then.

No wonder Darry had been hesitant about allowing me to go on the trip. But when he finally agreed, I didn't wait for his approval to grab my birth certificate. Why should I?

They were sitting there so innocently, those papers. I wish now I hadn't read them. I wish I'd just grabbed the thing I'd come for and shut the box, locking it when I left. But that's not what I did. Oh no, curiosity won me over, and I read that stack of papers.

Birth certificate: Darrell Shayne Curtis, Jr.

Birth certificate: Sodapop Patrick Curtis. (Probably made the government smile for once, his name.)

Birth certificate: Ponyboy Michael Curtis. It was what I'd gone in there for. I should have taken it and stopped going through the papers. I should have stopped my search. But instead I kept going.

My parents' wills. I didn't read them. We'd gone through them once, I didn't want to do it again. It still hurt too much.

Then, underneath those papers, were the pages that stopped my heart. I couldn't breathe, speak or move. All I could do was keep reading. Every. Last. Word.

And when I could breathe again, it took me a moment to register what I was feeling. I should be shocked, I thought. I should be angry, furious with everyone. But all I felt was numb.

Okay. I may or may not continue this, depending on the feedback I get. You hate it? I can chuck it and go back to my other stuff. You like it? I may post more. Please review and help me decide!