Sounds of laughing filled the room, everyone was at the Curtis house, like they had a choice. Everyone who was there last night got snowed in. Soda, Steve and Two-Bit were on the floor playing poker trying to see who was cheating which was all three of them. Dallas was 'watching' Mickey Mouse, but occasionally stealing glances at Ponyboy and Johnny who were on the opposite side of the room doing some last minute homework. Tim Shepard was there since Curly was in the reformatory once again for getting caught shop lifting. Tim was watching Darry walk around the room, he was amused at Darry, who was trying to clean up the house. The state was still on their case even more than they were two years ago right after the Curtis parents died. Now since Soda is eighteen they really don't want Ponyboy at the house saying the house is even more unstable then before.
Darry was working around the group of greasers, picking up anything that his younger brothers or anyone left out. Clothes, empty beer bottles, old homework, everything. Not a single area was clean right now, with everyone 'busy' it left Darry to clean up and be sure that it would be state approved. Ever since the whole 'Windrixville' incident as the gang calls it they've stuck together more… or at least didn't let Ponyboy or Johnny do anything without another person since the socs still want them dead. They won't give up, still jumping greasers and doing everything that should get them jailed.
Darry sighed at what was left to clean; only one corner was done. Tim had to force himself not to laugh at Darry's misery, although he was lucky the state hadn't decided to take Curly away and put him in a home somewhere. With his record of getting picked up by the fuzz at least twice a month you would think they would've done that already. Both Shepard's are lucky that hasn't happened, the entire gang would be different without both of them.
Tim looked from Darry to the TV where Mickey Mouse was singing on the screen. Dally stole another glance towards Johnny and Ponyboy, they were talking about US History for Johnny's upcoming test, ever since the 'Windrixville' thing, history has been Johnny's favorite subject… no one but Ponyboy knew why. Dally noticed how close the two grew during that week, Johnny almost died and since then they've been hanging around each other more. The two were more alike than anyone ever knew; Ponyboy basically taught Johnny how to read… he now reads more than Ponyboy. Something that no one would even guess was possible.
Steve was looking at Soda and Two-Bit trying to see which one of them were lying, he had a thought that Soda had an ace in his shoe. Two-Bit had the same idea; he kept looking towards Soda waiting for Soda to try and make a move to grab it. Soda sat there smirking, for once he didn't have the ace in his shoe, since it was too damn cold for short sleeves it was in his sleeve. With one swift move he pulled it out without them noticing and put it in his cards. Dally who was looking at them now saw that and decided to play nice. "Soda just pulled an ace out of his sleeve." Dally piped up.
Soda looked at him with a 'shut up' expression on his face but Two-Bit and Steve pounced on him igniting a wrestling match. Dally just sat there laughing at the scene unfold along with Tim, Darry looked at the greasers with a look of disbelief on his face. Johnny and Ponyboy were too absorbed with their textbook to notice what was going on. "Okay Soda, that's the third time you cheated. You're so dead!" Steve yelled playfully at his best friend, the two greasers attacking Soda were having trouble with all the heavy layers of clothes they have on because of the cold weather. Two-Bit and Steve kept hitting each other instead of Soda.
"God damnit." Steve mumbled under his breath before getting off of Soda and giving up. "I will get you some other time." Steve said to Soda as Two-Bit got off. "Yeah sure whatever, I am amazing… YOU WILL NEVER GET ME!" Soda yelled before jumping across the room behind Tim. Soda crouched down behind him using Tim as a shield, not even Dally was dumb enough to go after Soda when he was behind Tim.
Johnny now noticing what was happening looked up from the textbook, Ponyboy still didn't even flinch. "What's going on… did Soda cheat again?" Johnny asked glancing around at where everyone was. "Yes, the dirty cheating bastard…" Two-Bit went on cussing out Soda with any words he could think of. "I can't believe Dally noticed and you guys didn't." Darry added in to the conversation cutting Two-Bit off. "Hey! No, just no." Two-Bit said towards Darry's comment. Tim, Dally, Steve, and Soda laughed at that, Darry just stood there with another look of disbelief on his face and Johnny went back to his textbook with Ponyboy.
"You should be a comedian Two-Bit, it'll be hilarious watching you embarrass yourself on stage." Steve said looking at his best friend still hiding behind Tim. Tim looked behind him to see Soda still sitting there. "Get the fuck away from me." Tim said scooting away from Soda, Steve and Two-Bit struggled to keep back laughs when Tim did this.
Seeing he could be in harm's way Soda ran over to Johnny and Ponyboy and jumped in-between them, Johnny looked up but Ponyboy kept reading his book. "Really Pony, that didn't even break you out of your trance?" Dally asked Ponyboy who still refused to look up. "Well then…" he said seeing that Ponyboy was really into his book or ignoring him. "HA PONYBOY IS IGNORING YOU DALLAS! I'm lucky I am his brother and he won't ignore me because he loves me." Soda yelled enthusiastically with everyone but Ponyboy staring at him. Ponyboy seemed unfazed by his second oldest brother's actions.
"I am hurt Ponyboy, hurt." Ponyboy still didn't even flinch; he seemed too interested in the book he was reading. Ponyboy wasn't even reading a published book. Steve came up and ripped the book out of his hands. "HEY!" Ponyboy was immediately broken out of his trance and had a really pissed off look on his face. "What do you want Ponyboy?" Steve asked as he dangled the book in front of Ponyboy's face.
Everyone was getting a laugh at how much Ponyboy was freaking out about a book; it was strange even for him. "I will tell you one more time Steve, give me the god damn book back." Ponyboy said his voice calm. Everyone was staring at him, their mouths hanging down wide at what Ponyboy just said. He never got snappy, never. "Ponyboy, what's your…" "Shut the hell up Soda! I 'NEED' that book back!" Now everyone was really staring, Ponyboy telling his most loved idol to shut up. "Hey Steve, give that to me." Dally said, Steve tossed the book towards him and Dally flipped it to the back.
"What is this even about?" He asked while scanning the back, Ponyboy's face got redder while the expression changed on Dally's face. "Oh my god, Ponyboy!" Dally yelled, everyone was now staring. "Listen." Dally said before beginning.
"Ponyboy can count on his brothers. And on his friends. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up "greaser" like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect-until the night someone takes thins too far."
Everyone was silent through the entire reading, Ponyboy's face just got redder and when Dally finished he ran off towards the back of the house. "Wait a second Ponyb…" Johnny didn't get to finish before a door slammed meaning Ponyboy was in his and Soda's room. "Okay." Two-Bit started. "How many times have the socs taken things too far?" he asked the six greasers in front of him. "ummm…" They didn't know how to answer, the socs have taken things too far a lot of times, and suddenly Johnny went pale remembering one night.
"What is it Johnnycakes?" Soda asked, still sitting next to him. "W-W-W…" "Spit it out boy." Tim said he like everyone else wanted to know what this whole book was about. "Windrixville." Johnny said barely above a whisper… but everyone heard him and knew what it meant. "He didn't, did he?" Darry asked his middle brother. Soda just looked around at all the faces; each of them had pure hatred all except for Johnny who had a mix of pity and fear.
"Wait, so is this all about that week?" Tim asked, he was the only greaser in that house who had the least amount of details. "I guess, should we read it?" Dally asked, flipping through some of the pages. "I don't know about you guys, but we need to read this!" Two-Bit exclaimed grabbing the essay from Dally's hands. "Wait, so are we just going to read this without asking him?" Johnny questioned the group of determined greasers; he wanted to know more about Ponyboy's thoughts from that week but still didn't want the gang finding out too much. This statement though just made everyone else more determined to read it, if Ponyboy was good at keeping locked up about things Johnny was twice as good hardly talking to anybody.
"We are reading this, now in fact." This surprisingly came from Darry, he wanted to hear in his youngest brothers own words about how he felt about him. Darry knew he was a lousy brother that week, causing Ponyboy to run away in the first place. Darry still felt it was his fault that this entire thing even happened. He was lucky to still have Ponyboy and Sodapop. At that time the state was really thinking about taking them both away and putting them into homes. It was the scariest time for all of the greasers, thinking that Johnny was going to die and Ponyboy and Soda were going to end up being put into a boy's home. All of their battles with the socs would have died down, since the two are both still here the battles instead have gotten worse.
Johnny wasn't sure if he was ready to discuss the whole incident, but he really thought it might help if he knew what Ponyboy was thinking. "Alright, let's read it." Johnny choked out, he was more nervous than when he goes home, it was more scary than the socs. That was all it took for the gang, if Johnny approved of this then it must be okay. "Who's starting?" Darry asked, they all looked around at each other. All of them wanted to read it but didn't want to start, nervous of what was about to happen. Not knowing what was included in this and what details he skipped out on.
"I guess I'll start since I am his brother." Soda said reaching his hand out to Two-Bit for the book. Two-Bit handed it to him and sat down next to Johnny on the couch, Dally sat in the middle of the floor along with Darry, Steve, and Tim. With everyone situated Soda turned to the first page.
"Wait…" Johnny said, everyone looked at him immediately after. "Should we wait for Ponyboy, he obviously didn't want us to read this." Everyone looked at the back of the house, then to Johnny. He had a point, Ponyboy did seem very upset about Dally reading the back. "Let's just start, if he doesn't come back soon I'll go get him." Soda said, he tried to seem convincing which worked, Johnny seemed convinced enough for Soda to start.
"Okay, Chapter One." Soda said Two-Bit's look changed from happy to a look of disbelief. "Chapter… he wrote more than one chapter?" Two-Bit asked, Soda just nodded his head. "Great." Two-Bit said, Dally wacked him across the back of his head so Soda could re-start.