(By the way, this is not an actual fanfic of The Outsiders. It was just partly inspired by the book. This story has its own characters. I just thought I'd better point that out.)

Chapter 1

Hi, my name is Tomas Carter, but my friends call me Tom. I am in the 10th grade 15 going on 16, but despite the fact that I am tall for my age, I look younger (I assume it is because of the freckles under my eyes). My hair is dark brown and messy, and it comes down over my eyebrows and ears.

Now that I think about it, my life is pretty boring. Or at least it was, until just one bad day changed my whole life. And this is really where my story begins.

"Can you please move?" I asked Dan angrily. It was the end of school, and Rickey (my best friend) and I were the last ones to get out of the classroom. But Dan, a jerk in our class, was blocking the door.

"And why should I?" he said with a smirk on his face.

"Because he asked you to," Rickey said coolly. And, to my astonishment, Dan just glared at him, but then obediently walked off.

Rickey could always get away with things like that. He could tell anyone to do just about anything, and they would listen to him.

Rickey Peterson was my best friend that I had known since 1st grade. He had blond hair that he combed to the side and piercing green eyes. He was 16, and has a mature looking face, but he was the most immature person I have ever met. There was something about him that reminded me of a golden retriever dog. Now, I'm not saying he looked like a dog, in fact many girls found him very handsome. But he could be spirited, energetic, loud, and happy one moment, and then cool and charming the next.

You could say that Rickey and I were polar opposites. I am usually very quiet and introverted. In class, whether I was paying attention or not, I would usually just keep my mouth shut and read or draw. There was almost nothing I hated more than being the center of attention.

Rickey, on the other hand, was a completely different story. He couldn't stand it if 30 seconds passed and someone didn't pay attention to him. He had always been the class clown. Sometimes he could even make the teachers laugh, but he usually just got detentions for being a disruption. It's not like he was an annoying show-off or anything, but he sure wasn't modest. Rickey knew that he had good looks, and he knew he could get away with just about anything if he used his charm.

But he liked to get into trouble. We both did. We would do things like put sand in the soap dispenser in the boy's bathroom, or switch all of the open locks on the PE lockers, so that nobody would be able to get their gym cloths, or hack the school computers so that everyone's screen saver said a different swear word. The stunts we pulled were stupid, but funny, and the fact that we never got caught for any of it was so amusing to both of us that we simply couldn't stop.

So since it was the end of the day, we went to our lockers to put our things away. Then, Rickey burst into spontaneous song. When he started singing it, I recognized it as "The Assumption Song". It was a very nasty song, that was suppose to rhyme, but whenever you would assume a nasty word was coming, there would just be a different word that wasn't nasty.

"There once was a farmer who lived on a rock,

he sat in the meadow just shaking his

fist at some boys who were down by the crick,

their feet in the water their hands on their

marbles and playthings and out half past four,

there came a young lady she looked like a

pretty young creature, she sat in the grass,

she lifted her dress and she showed them her-" Rickey immediately stopped when a teacher came up to us.

"Is this kindergarten?" she said sternly.

"Um, Mrs. Miller, I don't think that Kindergarteners sing those kinds of songs," said Rickey. I really wish he would have stopped smarting off to her right then, because Mrs. Miller was very strict.

"I am referring to lack of maturity being displayed here. Would you like me to speak with your mother?" she said, sounding very annoyed.

"Well, I don't think you and my mother would really hit it off. You see, she is one of those stay-at-home moms, and-"

"Detention, Mr. Peterson," she said, with a hint of triumph in her voice. Mrs. Miller loved to give people detention. "My room, after school… which would be right now. You will stay for one hour. Come with me."

I waved goodbye as Mrs. Miller death-marched him over to her classroom. Judging by the glare on Rickey's face, you would have thought she had expelled him. But that's what he got for being a wise-ass to a teacher, and he knew better.

So I was alone, and didn't feel like going home right then. Then I thought of the small instrument room in our high school where Rickey and I hung out sometimes. I played clarinet and piano. Even though I wasn't in band, I kept my clarinet there, because it was a nice room to practice in. And the room had a piano identical to the one I saw Elton John play in one of his concerts (I occasionally go to Eagles, Elton John, and other concerts with Rickey).

As I pulled open the door to the instrument room, I was glad to see there was nobody there, because if there had been someone, I probably would have just left. I don't like being around people who aren't my friends, it makes me uncomfortable.

I approached the piano bench, sat down, and started playing Hey Jude by the Beatles. That was probably my favorite song of all time. I loved classic rock, and I thought the Beatles were the greatest musical geniuses who ever lived.

I was lost in the music, just letting the notes flow from my fingers. Then, a sudden noise from behind almost gave me a heart-attack. I abruptly stopped playing and turned around. There was a girl around the age of 15 or 16 standing in the doorway. She had a warm smile on her face.

"Hi," she said. "I didn't mean to surprise you. I just heard you playing… you're so good!"

"Oh," I said awkwardly. "Um, thanks."

"I see you are a classic rock fan?" she said, looking at my Grateful Dead T-shirt. "I really wish I could learn piano…. By the way, I'm Lilly," She had white-blonde wavy hair that came all the way down to her elbows. Her eyes were so blue they looked unreal next to her pale skin. She had this weird dreamy look about her, and she was one of the prettiest girls I have ever seen.

"I don't think I've seen you around here," I said.

"Yep, I'm new," she said, her smile fading slightly. "I'm only new to this school, though, I didn't move or anything. I used to go to a private school. But my parents figured that they'd just make my life more miserable and pull me away from all of my friends. You know what? You're the first person that has talked to me in this school, and I started 4 days ago!"

"Yeah, people in this school can be such-" I called them a few dirty words. If you haven't figured this out by now, Rickey and I sort of have a problem with swearing. Pretty much the whole school swears, but we have made an art of it. But at least I had the sense to hold my tongue in front of adults, unlike Rickey.

So we sat and talked for about a half an hour, and I played a few more songs on the piano. By then, it had been an hour, so Lilly walked with me to the bike racks where both Ricky's bike and my bike were locked up. When we got there, Rickey was fumbling with the lock on his bike. He looked up at me.

"I'll bet you anything Mrs. Miller has some sort of underground torture chamber that she takes abducted children or something," he said angrily. Then he spotted Lilly beside me. "Who's this?"

"I'm Lilly," she said. Then she turned to me. "Well, I'd better be going home now."

"Okay, bye," I said, smiling at her. She turned around and walked away.

"She's hot," said Rickey said as soon as Lilly was out of sight.

"You know, I really wish you'd stop talking about girls like that," I said, a bit annoyed. A smirk slowly spread across Rickey's face.

"You like her, don't you?" he said, almost laughing.

"No," I said defensively, even though I knew it was a lie. "And so what if I do?"

"Nuthin'," he said shrugging his shoulders, his smile widening. I just rolled my eyes, and hopped on my bike.

We both lived in the same neighborhood, so I usually just went over to his house. But I hated going home. I lived alone with my dad, but he hated everyone, especially me. He usually just let me go wherever I wanted, and I didn't even need to ask him. My dad had a severe Borderline Personality Disorder. I could say or do absolutely anything, and he would either ignore it, or blow up and get so mad he'd beat me and scream at me. Living with him was like walking on eggshells, and I really needed to watch what I said all the time. Sometimes I came to school with cuts and bruises on my face and arms. I was basically his personal punching-bag.

But I decided to come home instead of going to Rickey's, because I wanted a quiet place to read, and Rickey's house was usually noisy.

I parked my bike in the side of the driveway, and waked into the house to find my dad on the sofa watching TV. My room was small, just like the rest of my house, and the walls were covered with Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Rolling Stones posters. I sat down on my bed, leaned back and closed my eyes. I thought of Lilly, her bright smile that lit up the room, her wavy long hair. Then I heard my dad's voice.

"Thomas! Come here and get me a soda," he yelled from the other room. I obeyed, and walked to the kitchen, got a soda, and poured it into a glass. But my house is a mess, and there is stuff just laying everywhere. So I tripped on something as I was walking over to my dad, with the soda in my hands. I fell to the floor hard, and the glass flew out of my hands and landed all over my dad. He sat there, dripping with soda, and slowly got up and turned to me. I was afraid to look up at him, because I knew he'd be furious, so I just closed my eyes tight, my heart pounding. He grabbed my shoulder very hard, and pulled me to my feet.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" he half screamed. "You're so careless and stupid!" He slammed me into the wall, and slapped me across the face so hard that I could feel it turn red. The front door was only a few feet away, and I wanted more than anything to get out of there. But I was so scared, I couldn't seem to make my legs move. "What are you waiting for? GET OUT!"

I didn't need telling twice. I was out of there as fast as he could slam the door behind me. Even though I was used to a lot worse, it was still pretty nerve racking to be back-handed across the face. My cheek was smarting as I walked back down my driveway. I sat on the curb, and took a deep breath to clear my head.

Then, out of nowhere, It started to rain. I leaned my head back. "Are you serious?" I yelled at the sky. I got up, and started walking toward Rickey's house- I'd need to stay there for the night. His parents were so used to me coming over, they would call my house if I didn't show up, to make sure I was okay.

I was walking down the sidewalk, and then my shoe slipped on the wet cement. My leg hit the curb, and there was a sharp pain just below my kneecap. I looked down to find a big rip on the knee of my jeans, blood soaking through the cloth. There was a huge gash in my knee, and it started to sting. It was hard to get up, but when I did, I started to walk over to Rickey's. I mean, of all the times it could rain, it just needed to rain at that moment.