Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters.

Credit: To Erin Cade whose story closely mirrors this one and who has been nice enough (Yay!) to let me try out the premises and plotline of her fic:Why I Don't Go To Church Anymore.


Some folks can't stand school. Others, the hospital. I know for Dally never liked the cooler and for Steve, it was home. Darry couldn't stand driving by the college and Soda's having a hard time with going places he used to go with Sandy. For Johnny, it was the cold, hard streets that he would forever walk on, winding and sprawling , lonely and cold against the harsh world. Me?

I ain't too fond of churches.

It didn't use to be that way. They didn't creep me out so much back then.

Now, I walk faster each time I pass by one. They stifle me like thick smog from then. It doesn't matter if its this church or any other. I'll always remember. I still can't stand bologna. I don't even have to see it to taste it. That taste. It brings back awful memories. Not the ones of the days we spent in the church...no...it was more like of what came after. I turn green every time I smelled it till even Darry and Soda caught on. They quit eating it after that. I felt bad because bologna's one of the cheapest foods but Darry wouldn't ever buy them again. I felt relieved when he said that even if a bit guilty.

Its a Sunday morning as I walk by the church. I can hear the heavy murmurings from the inside. Instantly I remembered the last time I was in church before the fire, with Soda, Steve, Two-Bit and of course, Johnny. They fooled about till Johnny and I sank down into our seats, flushing red. The minute the service was done, I ran out, nearly beating a path to the door amongst the sharply-dressed Socs.

"It wasn't that bad." Johnny said as we walked back. The guys decided to go to a party which sounded a little wrong to me. A party after church? And who threw a party this early? Johnny said he'd rather go with me but I think it was just because he knew I did feel lonely then.

"Johnny, I am not gonna forget how they looked at us anytime soon," I grumbled, accepting his offer of a cancer stick.

Johnny laughed. "One day, we'll be old men talking about the good old days and laughing at this, Pony."

"Easy for ya to say. This is gonna last forever."

Johnny smiled, one of those rare times, it wasn't a scared or half-fearful one. "You'll see, Pony, nothing lasts forever."

Well, Johnnycakes, death does. And as much as I wish it didn't, it does. I wish everyday , you and Dally were still with us. My parents, too. But you're in a better place now and I have to remember that. Maybe someday, I'll be able to go to church again without seeing that black smoke or hearing your screams. I owe that much to you, Johnny.

You didn't get to see all the sights you wanted to see or do all the things you ever wanted to so I'll do them all for you. I'll stay gold for you as long as I can and when I can't, I'll try harder. I'm nearly home now but over the roof I can still see the cross looming over. I see in my mind's eye, your dark eyes shining and a reckless bark of a laugh.....I look over again at the giant cross, visible from even here. Maybe another time, Johnnycakes.

/A.N/Thanks for reading! R&R please as well as drop by Erin Cade's story to read her original. ;D