Yeah, I know. It's taken me absolutely forever to get this up. I've HAD this written for a while guys, I was just too lazy to edit & upload it. Well, here you go. Enjoy! If you're taking the time to read this, thank you! All suggested are muchly appreciated, and thanks for your time. :)
And The Sky Fell Over Me
vi. Johnny's Left-Hand Man
He stared at the gravel, as his blood flowed through the rocks and cracks, like a stream. He wanted to look up at Jay, but he couldn't quite muster the strength, but he could just imagine the malicious grin that Jay must have been wearing on his face.
"I told you, Johnny," he heard Jay. "I told you." His tone sounded so final so finite, but he wasn't done.
Evelyn's heart stopped beating as Jay took a step toward her. His eyes bore into her, so knowingly. What Evelyn saw in Jay's eyes, she didn't like. They seemed dark and endless. His grin went ear to ear.
"You leave her alone!" Johnny exclaimed, attempting to get up, but he was struck down again.
He fell to his stomach, his cheek plastered to the gravel that was soaked with his blood. The pain was so terrible he wasn't quite sure he was going to be able to get up. He could hear the steps that Jay was taking toward Evelyn and willed himself to do anything, anything to help Evelyn. It took all of his strength not to just pass out, but he managed to open one eye. As he did, he was quickly given the energy and strength to open the other, because what he saw gave him excitement and hope.
A figure, a shadow, was walking toward the rumble, followed by two other black silhouettes. It didn't take much time at all for Johnny to recognize them as Peanut, Norton, and Lefty.
Evelyn saw it, too, and gasped a sigh of relief. Jay realized by the look on Evelyn's and his men's faces that something had occurred to arouse such attention and jerked around to investigate. As he did, he saw Peanut, Norton, and Lefty walking tall and angry, and heading in his pitiful direction. The situation suddenly turned very intimidating on his end. His man to the right of Johnny was slowly backing away, cowering off.
As he bent down to inspect Johnny's wellbeing, Johnny spoke his name. "Peanut…" in a gasp, with so little breath to give.
Catching sight of Johnny's state, a very noble Norton knelt down to aid Johnny. "Johnny…are you okay, man?" he asked in an earnestly concerned tone.
"Help me up…" he requested breathlessly. Norton did so, grabbing Johnny by the arms and sides, hoisting him up. Setting him on his feet, Johnny first looked like he was going to tumble back to the ground, but surprisingly he held himself up rather high. He looked beaten and worn, but he was standing nonetheless. "Let Evelyn go," Johnny demanded huskily in a broken voice.
"You're kidding!" Jay chuckled incredulously. "You're still out-numbered, five to three!"
Johnny stared Jay into the eyes, a wave of triumph and victory swelling up in his heart, and so confidently he spoke, "Not quite," and then eyed the three approaching greasers behind Jay and his four lackeys.
Hal, Lucky, and Ricky all stood on the other end of the underpass, opposite Johnny and the boys. Jay followed Johnny's eyes inquisitively and then a look of distress took over his features. He was quickly beginning to realize that the odds were no longer in his favor.
"Now – let Evelyn go," Johnny repeated, but this time in a shouted demand.
Jay observed the circumstances closely: the three greasers in front of him, a weakened but loud-spoken Johnny, the four boys to his side, one holding Evelyn, and three of Johnny's boys behind him. He was no longer in charge of the situation. Finally, in such a defeated tone, "Let her go, Maurice."
Maurice, the fat giant who was holding Evelyn captive, immediately objected. "What boss?!"
"I said let her go!" Jay repeated in a nasty, aggravated tone.
Against his wishes, a look of disappointment on his countenance, the tall blob let her go with a push, sending her into Lefty's arms, who caught her swiftly. Evelyn didn't quite comprehend how tight that thing had been holding her arm until she was released. She knew it was going to bruise, but she hadn't realized it was this horrible.
Peanut broke the deafening silence. "What do you want us to do, Johnny?" he asked, staring down at Jay hatefully.
"I don't ever want to see you in New Coventry ever again," he spat. "You got it bub?" Johnny threw Jay's own words at him.
"You're just gonna let them go?" Peanut hissed.
Johnny looked at Peanut, but didn't answer, then turned his attention to Jay and ordered in a threatening tone, "Go." Fury.
Evelyn stood to Lefty's side and watched as Jay and his boys scrambled off into the shadows, with shouted warnings echoing after them.
"Don't ever come back here! Or I'll hang your bodies from the dam!" Peanut would shout.
As soon as their figures were out of sight, everyone immediately turned to Johnny, expressing deep concern over his physical wellbeing.
"You okay, John?"
"What'd they do to you?"
"Do you need me to get Larraine over here?"
"I'm fine, guys," the stubborn boy insisted. "I'm fine."
Evelyn pushed through the barrier of black, leather jackets to get a good look at Johnny. "How are you?" she inquired in a quiet, girly voice, in such contrast compared to the previous inquiries.
It was because it was her asking that Johnny decided he wanted to answer. "My eye hurts a little bit, but I think I'll be okay."
"What an understatement," she argued, looking at the blood that was falling from the cut above his eyebrow, and she caught sight the blood stains on his neck. She tried to forget that she was standing in a small puddle of his blood, from when he had been knocked to the ground. "You got the crap beat out of you, Johnny."
"Hey, don't remind me," he chuckled.
"As if this is a laughing matter," Evelyn grumbled under her breath, more to herself than anybody else. "I need to clean this up."
"No! No, you don't!" Johnny smacked her hand away and then staggered past her. "I'm fine. Let's just get you back to the girl's dorms."
Johnny stepped up from the back ground, "Just let her clean it up, Johnny. She obviously wants to help!"
"Come on, Johnny," Evelyn whined. "I won't be able to rest until I know you're okay."
Johnny rolled his eyes. Fun.
The apartment Johnny lived in was located in the back of New Coventry, near the tracks. The street at night was so quiet it was deafening. Lefty helped Johnny out of the back of his sedan.
"I got it, I got it," Johnny would say, stubbornly, always refusing any help.
The building looked decades old, Evelyn decided, as she peered up at the four-story building. The front door required no key to get through, and there was no elevator, only several flights of stairs. Johnny lived on the third floor, and in his condition, getting up these stairs wasn't easy. He would constantly insist that he was okay and required no assistance, but Lefty would always stay behind him, in case he was to fall and needed catching. It felt like hours before they got to 4C, Johnny's apartment.
The apartment was dark, and Evelyn couldn't quite make anything out. He stepped in first, and blindly turned the switch for the light. As the light turned on, she could see the various messes strewn throughout his apartment. The front door opened into a dining area to the left, which turned into the living area on the right. On the back wall was an entrance to the kitchen. Pizza boxes, beer cans, napkins, paper plates, and all kinds of the like were strewn across the floor, on tables, on chairs, under tables. It looked like he'd thrown a party.
"Ignore the mess."
She tried to, but it was kind of difficult to, considering every step she made was onto a new pile of trash.
"Honestly," Lefty maneuvered around her and began shoving piles off with his foot, creating a path, "just force through it."
Evelyn followed behind Lefty, closely, yelling at Johnny, "Do you live alone, here?"
"Yeah," the greaser answered, slowly drudging for the couch. "Look in the bathroom for the first-aid stuff." He collapsed onto the couch. "I think Larraine might have left some stuff last time she was here."
"Did she make it out alive?" Evelyn retorted incredulously.
In the corner, where he had decided to nest himself after finally getting through the jungle of trash, Lefty chuckled.
Evelyn soon emerged with a box and a roll of toilet paper. "I would have preferred using cotton balls, but I guess beggars can't be choosers." She sat on top of the coffee table. "Sit up," she commanded.
Johnny heeded her command with an annoyed sigh. "I wish you wouldn't do this."
"Ugh! Why do you do that, Johnny?"
"Do what?" He looked up at her with curious eyes.
Evelyn opened up her little box and removed a small brown bottle of hydrogen peroxide. "You're so rude. You always refuse any sort of help. You can never appreciate anyone's concern." Dampening a small wad of toilet paper with the clear liquid, she placed it onto the large cut above the boy's eyebrow.
"No one's asking you to be concerned."
She grimaced at his statement and purposely pressed too hard on his wound, causing him to yelp out in pain.
"Ouch! What'd you do that for!?"
Lefty chuckled in the corner.
"Oops." Sarcastic. Her facial expression was stoic and her tone was flat.
"Why are you tryna help me all the time, anyway?"
"Because, I help people, Johnny. I like to help people and you tend to need help a lot."
He hissed again at the pain, even though Evelyn wasn't intentionally trying to hurt him. "I don't need nobody." Grunt.
"Oh really?" This time, she did press his wound again.
Again he jumped and yelped. "Will you stop that!"
"Will you stop being difficult, then?" Ignoring his tantrum, she reached for his chest and started poking at his ribs.
"What are you doing now?" He sounded annoyed.
"Feeling for any broken ribs. Those men didn't exactly play nice with you earlier." She poked around. "Does this hurt?"
He shook his head. "I can take a lot, ya know."
"Just checking is all." After cleaning the wound thoroughly and placing a bandage on his forehead, she stood. "Ok. I'm done." She began to pack things back into the little box. "I'll come see you tomorrow to check on you."
"No, no, don't do that," he said in an objective tone.
"Johnny, shut up! Just accept my help, for goodness sake." She turned her back on him, and Left began to follow her to the door, on the path that he'd cleared for them. "I'll see you at noon, tomorrow."
As Evelyn squeezed out the door (since you could only get the door open so far due to all of the trash) Lefty turned around to Johnny and called to him, "I'll drive her home, John, don't worry. You rest. I'll see you soon."
"Whatever." So short.
Lefty and Evelyn climbed down the two flights of stairs of the old apartment building and burst out the front door into the clean air. Evelyn didn't notice until she got outside how musty it had been in the building.
"Why does he do that?" Evelyn complained as she climbed into Lefty's ragtop mustang.
"Johnny's stubborn, he always has been." Lefty started the car and made way for the school. "His mom died when he was little. He grew up mostly on his own, his dad not being that much help. He paid the bills, but that was really it. His old man was also a drunk, so when he turned 16, he just got a job, got an apartment, and just left."
"So he lives completely on his own? No help from anyone?" Evelyn's tone was earnest, her concern for the boy never ending.
"He works at his dad's auto shop here in New Coventry, but he offered him the job about a year after he moved out. He wanted a way to spend time with Johnny, supposedly."
"Supposedly?" repeated Evelyn. "Do you not believe that?"
"I don't disbelieve nothing. It's Johnny who doesn't believe it, but his dad gave him a higher pay than his old job washing dishes at Daisy's Diner."
"Daisy's Diner?" Her eyes widened in realization. "That's where we went tonight."
"Yeah, Johnny loves that place. His friend Maggie still working there?"
"Yeah. Makes sense why he'd take you there, but his dad pays him a lot more, and he needed the money, so he quit and went to go work for his dad."
"Does he enjoy it?"
"I dunno, I guess…" He sounded clueless. "Greasers don't really talk much about their feelins, ya know?"
Evelyn sighed. "They don't, I suppose."
Conversation died pretty much after that. They both had fallen silent, and she just sat back in her seat, soaking in the day, this crazy day. She thought the fight with Chad was bad, and getting detention over it. She'd almost gotten beaten up today, or worse – killed. However the circumstances were, she tried to think about it.
"I can't drive with my left hand," she said randomly, seeing that Lefty had been in fact driving with his left hand, desperate to take her mind off of the day.
"Yeah, I'm left-handed, actually," he said in a matter-of-fact tone. "That's why they call me Lefty!" With a big smile he waved his left hand at her.
"I can't do anything with my left hand except simply own a second hand."
"Did you know statistics show that left-handed people are more likely to be schizophrenic, alcoholic, delinquent, dyslexic, and have chronic diseases as well as mental disabilities?"
Evelyn was wide-eyed and taken aback at Lefty's unusually intelligent statement. "No, I didn't. Where did you learn that fun fact?"
"Out of this book I was reading the other day."
"What chemistry class do you have?" Evelyn inquired, curious about his academics after his statement.
"Dr. Watt's afternoon class on Monday, why?"
She beamed. "That's an advanced class."
Lefty shuffled in his seat nervously, as if he'd just been found out. "How do you know?"
"Because that's my class." She laughed. "Do you ever show up?"
He shook his head. "Nah, I never really go."
"Still, you need a pretty high score to qualify for that class, considering it's advanced placement and all. I guess you scored pretty high last year on all your finals."
"Uhh, I dunno. I don't really try."
She laughed. "You don't just end up in Advanced Placement Chemistry, Lefty. That's unheard of."
"Look, man, I got better things to worry about than school. Look at Johnny for instance! I gotta deal with that crap on a daily basis!" He looked at her with serious eyes and furrowed brows.
Evelyn laughed inwardly. He used the word instance.
She held her hands up in defense. "Hey, I'm just saying! It's nothing to get angry about. You need to be proud. It's a good thing if you don't have to put a whole bunch of effort into Chemistry in order to pass."
"Well, I ain't passing, 'cause I ain't goin'."
"Well, why don't you?"
He didn't answer, and he didn't get a chance to. He pulled up next to the Bullworth Academy gates and came to a halt. "You going to see Johnny tomorrow?"
Evelyn looked up at the large iron gates, thinking of the day she had. Distracted she answered, "Yeah, I am. I'll go at noon, like I told him."
"Do you need a ride?"
She shook her head as if shaking away her thoughts, and turned to Lefty, who was giving her a sincere look. She smiled. "No, but thank you. I'll bike there."
"I don't think you should. New Coventry isn't that safe a place for a girl to go through alone."
"Ugh! You're beginning to sound like Johnny."
"Give 'em a break, Evelyn. He's right. Johnny acts all tough, but that's because he's gotta be. We all gotta be."
Her eyes shifted. "Thanks, anyway, Left, but I'll be fine." She opened the car door and stepped out, bending down to add, "I'll see you around."
He smiled. "Sooner than you think, I'm sure."
Evelyn stood on the sidewalk and watched Lefty drive away, back in the direction of New Coventry. After he was out of sight, she hesitated in returning back to the girl's dorm. Bullworth now seemed foreign after everything she'd been through that day. She skipped detention with a greaser, ran around town with him, had her first hamburger in years, was attacked, and befriended another greaser. She could have gotten hurt, or worse – killed!
"But how come," Evelyn thought, "out of everything that happened today, Pinky scares me the most?"
And indeed, as soon as Evelyn stepped foot into the girl's dorm building, Pinky jumped up from the loveseat in the living area and darted toward Evelyn, Christy slowly following behind.
"Where have you been!" she exclaimed. "I was worried sick! Absolutely sick!"
Evelyn held her arms up in defense. "I'm sorry I skipped decorating the gym," she said earnestly, but Pinky just threw her arms around her.
"I don't care about that! I thought you were killed! And when Peanut told us that you got attacked!"
Evelyn pulled back, astonishment in her voice. "What?" She had only seen Peanut only half an hour before. Was it possible for news to travel that fast? "You know about that?"
"Of course," Christy added from behind Pinky, with a sincere expression. "As soon as he left you guys, he came here and told us what happened and that Lefty would drive you home."
"Why would you do that, Evelyn? Go into the ghetto with a greaser!" Pinky yelled.
Evelyn took a quick step back, immediately offended. "Johnny isn't just some greaser, he's a person, too," she shot back. "And New Coventry isn't a ghetto. It's just a community with a high crime rate."
"That's a ghetto, Eve," Christy said in the background while Pinky shook her head.
"Well, whatever the term is, it doesn't matter." Evelyn took a big step around Pinky and passed the two girls in the direction of the staircase. "I'm a big girl. I can take care of myself."
Christy and Pinky stood back blankly.
"If you don't mind I'm tired." The aggravation was evident in Evelyn's tone. "I'm going to bed."