Sodapop Curtis groaned as he was awakened by his younger sister's singing in the shower. It was loud, but as his ears adjusted, he began to really enjoy her song. After all, she hadn't won the Little Miss Tulsa pageant when she was six for nothing!
Babysister Sue Curtis, named so because she was the boys' baby sister (and let's not forget their father's originality, which so shone through in the choosing of this name) was really a great baby sister, Sodapop thought as he waited patiently for the shower. After all, not only was she there to cook and clean since their mom died, but she could help them out in a rumble too! Only, the strange thing was, half the time he couldn't stand her and she drove him crazy, and half the time he was practically in love with his sister! It was like he had two personalities or something. Like some character in a story, where authors kept insisting on changing his personality.
Baby even looked like the perfect Curtis sister. With her gentle blue-green eyes that could turn to ice in a second, brown hair spun gold in the summer, and slight but tough build (for her age), she was the perfect mix of her three brothers.
Soda had been a bit irked to read Baby's description of her eyes in an English assignment—"lively, dancing, recklessly laughing eyes that can be gentle and sympathetic one moment and blazing with anger the next"—but only for a minute. Then he forgot all about her stealing his eyes when Baby offered him some of her famous chocolate-chip cookies.
This morning—split personality and all—was no different. "Good morning, Soda!" Baby sang sweetly, coming out of the bathroom. "How was your sleep?"
Soda wanted to snap, "Great until your howling interrupted it!" but knew that Darry and probably Ponyboy too might threaten him with bodily harm for being so rude to his younger sister. So instead he said with a forced cheery grin, "Great! Is the shower free?"
"Of course. I got up early so I wouldn't make you late for work. Because I know that my blonde hair takes a long time to get perfectly clean. Oh, and remind me to pick up some more shampoo—we're all out," Baby said cheerfully, wrapping her hair in a towel and going into her room. Since their parents had died, of course Darry had insisted upon her taking the master bedroom for her own. She selflessly offered it back to him first before moving in that day.
Now Soda was stuck with naturally greasy hair since Baby had used up all the shampoo, and no towel since she'd taken all of those, too. But again, yelling at her would only get him grounded for a month. So he kept his mouth shut most of the time. And really, it wasn't so bad.
In the kitchen after his shower, Baby had prepared a breakfast buffet of bacon and eggs, hard-boiled eggs, soft-boiled eggs, deviled eggs, eggs benedict, eggs on a bacon and tomato sandwich, eggs with grape jelly, egg salad sandwiches, scrambled eggs, and omelets.
"Wow, Baby! You cooked all of this in the time it took me to take a shower?" Soda asked, amazed. Baby shrugged modestly.
"I'm fast," she explained brightly. "I have too much energy, so I burn it on cooking. By the way, have you seen Steve yet this morning?"
"It's only seven in the morning!"
"I know, but I thought he was sleeping over last night. After all, he didn't get home till late," she said slyly, shooting him a wink. Soda shuddered. He didn't even want to get into what she was talking about. This whole relationship between Steve and his sister was disturbing enough as it was. Since Baby turned fourteen, Steve had suddenly fallen in love with her, dumped Evie and demanded Darry's permission to date her. Since it made Baby happy, Darry willingly agreed. And ever since, they'd been the most disgustingly happy couple on the East side.
Baby served him up a plate of egg products and seated him at the table. "Now eat your breakfast, Sodapop. And would you like some eggnog with that?"
"Uh…no thanks, Babysister. How about some chocolate milk?" Soda asked hopefully.
"Sorry, Soda," Baby replied merrily, with a shake of her hair, somehow completely dry and fluffier than ever. "I've decided to make us all eat more healthy foods, and Darry agrees. No more chocolate products in this house!"
Darry entered the kitchen now and gave his sister a huge hug and kiss on the forehead. "Good morning, Baby!" he exclaimed. "Were you cooking again? You know you're not supposed to use the stove this early! You could fall asleep and burn yourself! And you just took a shower! You could get water in the stove and electrocute yourself to death! Baby, just be more careful."
"I'm sorry, Darry," Baby said, hanging her head. Finally he would discipline her—albeit for a stupid reason. But Soda's triumph was short-lived.
"It's all right, Baby," Darry's voice was soft and gentle once again. "I just—" he was getting choked up now, "I just don't want to lose you, like we did Mom and Dad!"
Ponyboy shuffled out into the kitchen, and he too got teared up at the emotional scene taking place around the kitchen table. Baby gestured for him and Soda to join her and Darry, and they all shared a group hug. Soda sighed. They went through this nearly every morning.
Finally, after a long morning of moments like this, he was at work. But it turned out even there he couldn't get someone to focus on anything but Babysister Sue Curtis!
"Soda!" Steve said urgently. "How's Baby this morning? Is she okay? Did she ask about me?"
Sodapop snapped, "She's fine! You just saw her last night, Steve! Can we for once talk about something other than my little sister?!"
Steve seemed to think about this for a moment. "Wait a minute, Soda—I think I see what you mean. What do you want to talk about then?"
"I don't know, just something else," Soda said with a shrug.
"There is nothing else right now, Sodapop!" Steve countered dramatically. "Oh no—is that Evie coming?"
Soda checked through the window. "Yup," he answered, secretly relishing the thought of this confrontation. Maybe it would knock some sense back into his best friend.
Steve moaned and ducked down behind the counter they were supposed to be running.
"Soda! Where's Steve?" Evie Daniels demanded. Soda pointed down beside him. "Steve Randle! What were you doing running around town last night with that other broad!"
Steve got up reluctantly. "Don't call her that, Evie! Baby is the greatest thing that ever happened to me!"
Soda went outside just as things were getting heated. With any luck, they'd be back together by the end of their shift at the DX. But it was not to be, and soon Evie left in a huff, screaming back at him as she went.
At home that afternoon, Ponyboy and Babysister arrived back from school together, Ponyboy carrying her books for her. Johnny Cade trailed behind them, secretly pining away for Ponyboy's twin sister but knowing he could never have her. It was eating him up inside. His only comfort was knowing that she would be around his house a lot, with her best friend, his younger sister Jasmine-Sue. But she'd stayed home from school because of her broken leg from her parents' beatings.
"How was work, Soda?" Pony and Baby asked at the same time, then laughed together at the hilarity of it all. Soda waited for them to calm down before answering.
"Horrible. Steve wouldn't shut up about your date last night," he answered sourly. Baby clapped her hands in excitement.
"Good!" she cried, then she set about straightening things up and dusting everything. "He liked it!"
But suddenly Soda couldn't take it anymore. He jumped out of his chair and marched over to her.
"You're ruining my best friend!" he exclaimed, stepping closer to her until she was pinned in the corner. "And this house is clean enough already! I'm sick and tired of everybody making a huge deal over my perfect little sister. Just stop it, Baby!"
Darry's head suddenly snapped up from where he was reading the newspaper. "Hey! Nobody puts Baby in the corner!" he shouted. Ponyboy nodded emphatically. And Johnny—well, Johnny had already burst into tears.
"That line should be in a movie!" he said, lower lip trembling.
Two-Bit ran into the house, took one look at Baby, cornered by her brother Sodapop, and immediately ran over and punched Soda in the face. "Leave her alone!" he bellowed.
Soda stared at his friend, bewildered. "I wasn't doing anything to her," he said, dazed. "Why would I want to hurt Baby?"
"Well, good. Baby, are you okay?" Two-Bit left his buddy on the ground and turned his attention back to the light of his life, Babysister Sue Curtis.
"I'm fine, Two-Bit," Baby assured him, helping her brother up. "Just a little shaken up."
"I could shake you up a little more," Two-Bit offered suggestively. Baby looked scandalized.
"Two-Bit! Not here," she hissed, looking worriedly at Darry, who only shook his head with a chuckle. He was actually quite proud that so many boys seemed to be chasing after her. As long as they didn't do anything to hurt her, he was fine with whatever made Baby happy.
"Oh, Baby. What is it going to take for you to call me Keith?" questioned Two-Bit, grasping her head and gazing at her in adoration. Soda threw Ponyboy a disbelieving look, and only received a glare in return from his brother.
Baby shook her head. "Two-Bit, all I want is to be like one of the gang. And the gang calls you Two-Bit. So I will too."
"Hear, hear!" Johnny agreed. That was pretty much all he said for the rest of the night, other than to gush over Baby, because Steve and Dallas walked into the room then.
Steve immediately ran over to his girlfriend and gave her a kiss that left Baby breathless and Soda gagging. Dallas sauntered over to Sodapop and whispered, "Man, I wish I had a girl like your sister to soften me up too."
"But—you're Dallas Winston with a mile long rap sheet!" Soda reminded him.
Dally sighed and answered sadly, "I'm just a kid, Soda. I need a woman in my life."
By now Sodapop was sure they were all nuts, but there was nothing he could do about it.
Steve and Baby left soon afterwards, arms looped over each other's shoulders, barely hearing Darry's warning of, "Be back before curfew, Baby! Or we might have to send out a search party!"
After she left, the other guys seemed to have no reason to stay, so they followed the couple soon after. Ponyboy sat down to begin doing his and his twin sister's homework.
Soda had always found it strange that Ponyboy had written an entire semester theme about their life—most of it made up, of course. Dally and Johnny dying? As if!—and never once had he mentioned his twin sister Babysister. So he decided to ask.
"Pony, how come Baby isn't in that English theme of yours?" he asked right then and there.
Ponyboy looked hurt. "I couldn't put her in! She was staying with her friend at the time, remember? That's why she never got talked about or anything."
Soda thought this was a pretty stupid excuse, but decided not to push it further. He decided to tell his brothers about a weird dream he'd had a few nights earlier.
"Hey, did I tell you I dreamed that we had no sister?" he asked, and immediately at the mention of their sister, he had both boys' attention. "Yeah. It was basically like our lives were in that theme Pony wrote. No sister, Johnny and Dally died. Steve was still with Evie, and Two-Bit liked some girl named Marcia. It was weird, though. It felt really real, ya know?"
Ponyboy snorted. "No sister? Geez, Soda, you sure you're feeling all right?"
"Sodapop, that's ridiculous," Darry scoffed. "No sister—yeah, and I'm a millionaire! By the way, watch out for her tomorrow. She'll be joining us at the rumble."
"Are you crazy?" Ponyboy argued. "She could get hurt, Darry! Do you really want that to happen?"
"Well…no," Darry admitted, folding up his paper. "But it's what's important to her, and that's all I want."
"Well, I guess you're right," Ponyboy consented. "As long as nobody hurts her. If anyone lays a hand on my sister, why I'll—"
Soda interrupted, "Since when do we let our little sisters tag along at rumbles?"
"Oh, Soda, we don't usually, but she's an exception. Baby is just like one of the gang, you know. It's not as though she could ever possibly have friends of her own to hang out with," Darry reminded him. "It's not like there are actually other people in Tulsa for any of us to do anything with. Especially Baby. She has to stay with the gang at all times."
Sodapop thought this sounded pretty strange, but decided not to bother commenting what he thought. It was basically useless in a discussion like this.
"And without her brothers to protect her, she could get hurt!" Pony added, shivering at the thought of that. "I know those Socs—they're just waiting to catch her alone so they can rape her! That's all they ever do to pretty girls around the East side. Because we live in a bad, bad neighbourhood where it's impossible to walk alone without getting jumped!"
Darry agreed, "She only has one friend, after all. Jasmine-Sue Cade. How is Jasmine-Sue doing?"
Ponyboy sighed sadly. "Oh, terrible. She's been beaten even worse than Johnny, and tonight she may very well be thrown out of the house by her parents. We're all expecting the worst."
"No!" Darry gasped. "We can't let her stay on the streets alone! Ponyboy, tell her she's more than welcome at our house! She can stay as long as she needs to."
"But Jasmine is a tough girl, and she vows that someday she will leave that house for good and strike out on her own, to prove to them that she can survive on her own," Ponyboy continued singing Jasmine-Sue's praises. "And you know what's amazing? How she looks just like Johnny, only in the female version! With those big brown eyes…and that scar on her cheek—it will probably stay there until the day she dies!"
Sodapop teased, "Hey, Ponyboy, someone got a little crush on Jasmine?"
Ponyboy hissed, "You know I'm not into girls yet, Soda! I'm waiting for the perfect one to come and sweep me off my feet…shining golden hair, sparkling blue-green eyes and all!"
Soda yawned. He got bored easily, and even more easily when their conversations went on like this. He just hoped he wouldn't be around when Jasmine-Sue arrived…
So this is my attempt at writing a parody. And next chapter, we will introduce you to Jasmine-Sue Cade, if that is what everybody wants. Sam, I posted this just for you! Lol. Any suggestions as to what clichés our Sues should get into? PS: Should I even keep writing this? Thanks!