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It was now summertime in Tulsa and school was out. It had probably been the most trying time of Johnny's life and that was saying a lot. Eight months ago he murdered Bob Sheldon in order to save the life of his best friend Ponyboy. Together, they hid in a church that ended up catching fire. Little kids were inside, and he and Pony went inside to save them but a beam hit his back and severly injuried him.

He had to spent five months in physical therapy in order to heal, spending a lot of time in the hospital. Once it was dealed he could finally go home he either stayed with at the Curtis house or at Two-Bit's place before he finally felt 'safe' enough to head home.

As far as the murder went, it was deemed self-defense and he was let off. However, that only made the feud between greasers and socs esculate. There were more fights, more jumpings, more of everything.

Today, Johnny had spent the better part of the day in his room; he could hear his mom and dad talking, but couldn't make out what they were saying. Finally at around six o'clock his dad barged into his room.

"Now you listen here boy, your punk friends don't scare me! Your mother and I are sick and tired of dealing with you and your laziness so here's how things are going to work this summer. Every day I will give you a list of chores. And you will do them or you won't eat! Is that understood?"

By the time his dad had finished his face had turned a very deep shade of red and he was practically shaking. Johnny was too frightened to say anything but,

"Yes sir."

His dad nodded and left, slamming the door so hard it made the window rattle, making Johnny wince. Johnny took several deep breathes to calm himself down. He was actually a little happy that his dad only threatened to take away meals and didn't hurt him.

He figured that he could handle this, and let out a sigh. Johnny walked out of his room to join the family for dinner, and while he was given a smaller portion, it was still enough to fill him up. Johnny went to bed early that night knowing that he was going to need all the rest he could get for tomorrow.

The next day, Johnny woke up, got dressed and walked downstairs. He wanted to go to Ponyboy's house but remembered what his dad told him about chores. He saw a list lying on the kitchen table. Johnny rolled his eyes and picked it up and started reading.

Take out trash.

Do dishes.

Do laundry.

Cut grass.

Clean the bathroom.

Clean living room.

Johnny let out a heavy groan. He would have to start work now to even have a chance of getting everything finished by the time his parents got home from work.

Before doing anything he grabbed a tall glass and filled it with water. Johnny knew that he had to drink a lot of water when doing work outdoors in the summer if he didn't want to get sick.

Johnny started by mowing the lawn and doing the other garden work, he wanted to get it all done before it got too hot. Doing that took several hours and by the time he was done it was nearly noon and he was exhausted. Johnny started wondering what the others were doing right now.

He managed to get the living room cleaned and scrubbed in the bathroom which had took longer than he expected. He took a deep breath. Johnny wanted to go upstairs and sleep but still had the kitchen to do.

Johnny was kneeling down scrubbing the kitchen floor when the door slammed open. He jerked his head up as his dad came charging into the house like a raging bull, screaming and cursing. Johnny could tell he was drunk.

Before Johnny could do anything his dad grabbed him by the shoulder and pulled him to his feet screaming, "You little shit! This is all your fault! Johnny shook his head not knowing what he was talking about, but he just ignored him, "Oh yes, I've just been fired from my job! I'm going to teach you a lesson!"

Johnny felt his blood go cold at those words he struggled to get away, but he was clocked over the head, making the room spin. His dad dragged Johnny up stairs, struggling and trying to hit and kick but all that did was make him get smacked again.

Johnny was tossed into his room, he quickly curled himself into a ball trying to protect himself as his dad's belt connected with his back. It took everything he had not to yell out in pain. After a few more strikes, his dad stopped and left the room.

As soon as the door closed Johnny passed out cold.