"I'm not fucking going!" I put my book down; well I dropped my book down in shock at Soda's words. He rarely cursed. He was really angry about Sunny putting him in school and not consulting him about it. Actually, I think Soda was mad at Sunny for leaving, but it wasn't like Sunny had a choice. It was weird being the one listening, and not being yelled at. They had been fighting for over a month now because of this. Soda was hopping mad. I never saw him so mad in my entire life.
"Sodapop, I've had enough!" Darry roared. "You're going to go tomorrow, because our Grandparents paid for you, and because you have the chance too."
"I never agreed to go back to school, even if it is for music, I still have to take regular classes!" Soda was livid. I never heard his carry on like this before.
"You don't have to agree. Your seventeen, you live under my house, my rules. When you're eighteen, maybe you'll get choices."
I was about to plug my ears. Darry wasn't a fan of cussing but he did it. However, Mom and Dad never let us cuss, so Darry never did. On top of that it was a lot of disrespect to Darry. Darry stormed out of mine and Soda's room. He went into the kitchen. I could hear banging in the kitchen.
"Get out hear, Sodapop, now" I swear he was going to make our house cave in. He walked out into the living room holding a cup. I knew it was Dad's stuff. He was going to swipe it on Soda's tongue. Soda hated it. It was worse than getting your mouth washed out with soap, and it was the closest think to physically punishing us that Darry ever used. He swiped the black goop on Soda's tongue.
"Darry!" His eyes were watering. "Too ho-t"
Darry positioned himself so he looked like he was watching Soda. He really wasn't, Soda could have burned the house down, it wouldn't have matter, and Darry never liked seeing Soda in pain.
"When I say I've had enough, I've had enough. You will go to school tomorrow, and you will be on your best behavior, and try your best. If not I'll make that stuff so hot it will burn a hole in your tongue."
Soda nodded, he had tears going down his face. "Darry, come on, it's too hot, He doesn't even like spicy food." I tried.
"Go get milk, and brush your teeth. Adjust your language!"
"I hate you!" Soda hissed. It came out more like augh ate you.
I wanted to be on Soda's side, but I just couldn't. He was seventeen, he should be in school. Darry sighed; he gave me a stern look. "You finish your homework?"
I nodded. He was trying to pretend like Soda's words didn't hurt him.
"Go to bed, he'll be in there in a minute."
I did as I was told. I waited until Soda called in.
"Soda, did you mean what you said?" I asked.
"No, I'm just pissed off. It ain't fair Ponyboy. Before Sunny, I helped him pay the bills and he had no problem with me dropping out. All the sudden my job isn't good enough and I have to go to school? They do it behind my back. I'll have to go to go to summer school to catch up." He sighed with frustration. "It ain't right to do this to me. My damn mouth is on fire."
"You better not let Darry hear that, he'll do it again."
Soda grinned. "Nah, he only did it because of what I said to him. Good thing Sunny didn't come around until after Dad died"
I smiled. We all missed Sunny, he never answered out letters.
"Alright Pepsi Cola, knock em' dead."
Soda looked at me. "Darry this is socville"
"Come on you can't tell, you all have uniforms."
"Yeah, until Friday and then they are all going to be wearing madras."
I looped an arm around his shoulders. "You want me to walk to the principal's office with you?"
Soda shook his head. "I want you to take me home."
I really didn't want to get into it right here. "You'll be fine kiddo. Don't forget your guitar in the back. You know the bus you get on and all that right."
"Yeah" He opened the car door. "Thanks for the lift." I watched him pull his guitar out of the back and walk toward the school.
I took one last look around and signed. There wasn't one greased head in sight. "Dallas watch him." I smirked to myself at the thought of Dally a greased up angel coming down to kick the shit out of someone who messes with Soda.
I peeled the rest of the potatoes, and glanced up at the clock. Soda still wasn't home yet. I had to go to my second job at eight.
"Darry?" Pony called me. He was sitting at the table doing his homework.
"What?" I turned around to face him. He held up tow papers stapled together. I took them and looked them over. "I never was big on Shakespeare." I signed the papers. "Or Hamlet, for that matter. Are you into that stuff?"
Pony shrugged. I swear sometimes talking to this kid was like pulling teeth.
"Pony, clean up your stuff and set the table." He did what I asked. I was finishing up the mash potatoes when Soda walked in the door. He set his books and his guitar on the couch.
"How was school?"
"I like my music class." He said. "Gym is okay. They don't even offer auto mechanics!"
I smirked. "I think you sacrifice that for your music class."
He leaned over my mashed potatoes and dumped red and blue food coloring into them. "Can I take Sunny's car to school?"
I bit my lip down. That Mustang cost a lot of money, and gave Soda a lead foot.
"It's past five, and I get out at three. Besides, it's not going to be good for the car if you let it sit in the driveway for two years." He grinned.
"Don't go over the speed limit."
He smiled for the first time since Sunny left. Then his face went back to serious. "Darry?"
"I'm really sorry about last night."
I was used to being told things on those lines. You know, that I was mean, unfair and a million others on those lines, but at the end of the day the apologies were always said. "Don't sweat it. I know you did mean it."
"Tell me about this boy again. The mouthy one." The general drove the jeep over toward the camp.
"He has a mother in L.A. California, along with a half sister and a step dad. He has three brothers in Tulsa Oklahoma, and has partial custody of two. Ponyboy and Sodapop who are fourteen and sixteen. He as a job as a writer, and he wrote a book. He also had anger management problems. He got help for it."
"Help huh?" The general said. "I hope he doesn't mind breaking the little wall the anger management helped to build up."
The jeep stopped and he watched the young cadet's line up. "Private Curtis!" The general stepped up.
Dark hair and eyed man stepped up. "I'm him."
The general raised his eyebrows. "Is that all you have to say?"
"No" It was a rare day that the general was afraid of cadets.
"At ease men."
"Sergeant, blind fold him and put him in the jeep."
I stayed quite. I could feel the lumps of the road; actually it didn't even feel like we were on a road anymore. We hit a ditch and nearly went out. "What the fuck!"
"Take the blind fold off him." General Maxum ordered. His little kiss ass Sergeant did so. I felt the jeep stop. We were in front of some type of ware house. I followed him. There was a single light dangling over a table.
"Sit down Sunshine? Do you do by any other name?"
"Sunny." I grinned.
"You don't like this war do you?" He asked. "Or authority?"
"This war, no. Authority, depends in if I feel the deserve my respect."
"What if I told you, I could cut your time here now? You could go back to Tulsa, back to your boys. You know at that age, you don't want to miss a second of them growing up." He leaned over the table and snapped his fingers in my face. "Because just like that they aren't little anymore."
"How do you know all that? How can I go home faster?"
"Son, this is the army, we have connections to everyone. If we want information on someone we get it. I know all about you." He grinned like Satan. "Are you willing to do anything to go home?"
"Yes." I answered. "What do you want?"
"Sunshine, everything I'm telling you in top secret. You don't want to find out what happens to you if any of this information in leaked out."
The Sergeant stepped up. "Sometimes in war, when the enemy fights unfair, we have to fight unfair. We need someone strong, someone to scare people. Who have information; scare them so bad, that they will give us everything they need. The faster the P.O.Ws gives us information the faster you go home. Do you understand what I'm saying?"
"Yes." I answered an uneasy feeling came into my stomach.
"And you are willing to do this?"
"Yes" I answered.