Before The Storm

Cooper-Rose Curtis is twelve years old in 1960's Tulsa Oklahoma. Her parents died a few years ago, so she lives with her older brothers as a Greaser. Cooper gets into rumbles, and has her own little war with the socs (pronounced 'so-shes').
(inspired by the book The Outsiders. Read the book before you read this)

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4. Chapter Three

  “Cooper! Get up!” Darry called. I hate when he wakes me up from a good dream. I liked that memory. I dragged myself out of bed, and stumbled downstairs.

“C’mon, kiddo,” Sodapop grinned at me “don’t mope ‘round like that. Special week.” I smiled.  Only three days ‘till I turn thirteen.  Breakfast tastes better knowing that,

 

  “Hey, kid! Your friends are here!” I stand up. I don’t like to hang out with girls, they’re to dramatic and, well, girly. I do have a few friends that are girls, though. They don’t act like other girls though, which is why I like them.

“Hey, Coop.” Dylan says. Dylan is in my grade, Evan is a year older than her. Their little sister, Ryan, is twelve, like me. Codie is also  in my grade, and Stevie, her sister, is also twelve. Maura came to America from Ireland, about three years ago, and Leisl cam two years ago from Germany. Both are also in my grade. I smled at my frends.

“Hi guys.”  smiled at the little kids that’re with them. Grettle is Leisl's little sister, she usually has to babysit her, because she’s only four. Eoin (Pronounced ‘yowen’, like Owen, with a y)is seven, and Eamonn (Yay-mon) is nine, Denise and Donal are five, and they’re all usually with us for the same reason Grettle is. Even Dylan, Evan, and Ryan have little siblings, luckily they usually don’t get babysat by their sisters. Sometimes it makes me feel left out to not only be the youngest of my family, but also the only girl.

 

  “So,” Maura drags out the ‘o’ “Are you exciiiiiiiiiittteeeeedddd???”

“For what?”

“Your birthday, stupid!!” Codie shouts. Grettle claps,

“You vill be bi-gger, si-lly!”she says. She’s having a tough time learning English. Leisl says its annoying, but I think it’s pretty cute. Leisl's having a hard time learning too. Actually, their whole family is. On the bright side, Leisl and Grettle taught us all fluent German.

“Oh, sure.” I shrug. Stevie pokes me in the side

“C’mon, Coops. We all know you’re real happy ‘bout turnin' teenager.  Admit it.” I know it’s a losing battle against Stevie, so I just sigh.

“’Course I’m excited. Why wouldn’t  be?”

“’Cause you’d feel bad ‘bout ditchin’ Steves and me in the Twelve club.” Ryan says. I playfully punch her in the arm.

 

  We walked up to the playground, the little kids running off to play. I secretly worry, about hanging out with my friends. Most of them are more middle class. Codie and Stevie are actually Two-Bit’s little sisters. And Leisl and Maura are a poor as us Greasers too, but Dylan, Evan, and Ryan are actually more middle class. I worry sometimes about hanging out with kids that are above us. I mean, everyone has friends like hat, but not like best friends. What if the gang finds out? I’d be done for.

    Dang.

 

  “Coo-per, come and play with us.” Grettle tugs on my hand.  I let her drag me off to play on the jungle gym with her and Denise. Donal, Eoin, and Eamonn are digging in the dirt a few yards away.

“They’re gonna get all dirty. Mama’ll be so mad at me…” Maura complained about her brothers.

“I wish I had a little brother. I’m tired of bein’ the youngest.”

“No you don’t want a brother. Don’t go saying you want a sister, either. They’re all pains.” Maura said.

“I just hate bein’ the baby. Wish I had someone else to be around to get babied. Nobody lets me show ‘em anythin’ I know, and I never get to decide nothin’. Always someone older who gets to comment. I’m tired of always getting’ overlooked.” Dylan laughs a little.

“Whatever. Coop, d’you know what Matt and Luke did yesterday?” She asks me. Matt and Luke are her little brothers, Matt’s nine, and Luke is seven. Travis is five, but he seems to not get into nearly half as much trouble as Matt and Luke

“Yesterday, they brought a live frog into the house. I couldn’t care less about that, but they decided to put it into the soup! ‘Member when we were kids and did that kinda stuff all the time? Remember the time that Darry went over to sneak a bite of soup before dinner? And he started screamin’? I did the exact same thing, and now I feel like I should go over an apologize to your brother right now, it scared me so much. And now only that, but I'm actually quite embarrassed that a frog scared me. I mean-”

“Any point to this story?”

“The point is, little siblings are a huge pain in the butt, and you don’t want any, no matter how lonely you get. Trust me.”

“Whatever, I guess I feel like I get left out sometimes. Not just ‘cause I'm the youngest, but also ‘cause I’m the girl. Ya know?” her answer was cut off by a scream. A couple Soc kids, maybe eleven or twelve, had Donal and Eamonn head locked, and another one was sitting on top of Eoin, pushing his face into the mud. I stood up.

“Hey!” I called. It wasn’t until they looked over that I realized that I had no idea what to say next. My first instinct is always to beat up, never to talk, but I don’t enjoy beating up anyone younger than me, unless I have too.

“Leave them alone!” I shout. The one on top of Eoin stands up.

“What’re you gonna do?”

“If you’re lookin for a fight, you came to the right place!” Two-Bit says that all the time to Socs, and it’s the only thing I can think of.

“I ain’t gonna fight a girl!” The soc says.

“Then I guess I’ll just do a all the fighting,” I say. I punch him, square in the nose. Stunned, he backs up a little bit.

“You just hit me!” he cried. Captain Obvious.

“So?” he just stares at me

“You gonna fight? Or are you just gonna stare at me? ‘cause this” my friends behind me and I all strike a pose “can’t stand here all day. We got places to go. So, gonna fight, or not?”

“I-I can’t fight a girl!” he cries, holding his nose, which is now spurting out blood. I stick out my chest and step towards him, my face stern. Now out toes are touching, and I am at least a half of a foot taller than him. He looks up at me. I’m sure I look tough, with my long hair in its usual two braids that travel all the way down my back, and my purple eyes. Soda always says that whenever I get mad, they seem to turn a weird shade of orangish-red. The boy steps back, but stumbles, falling into the mud. He scrambles backwards. The whole time, his friends were just watching, amazed that a girl could be so tough. Tuff, I think, I’m tuff. What would the gang think? Steve would probably laugh,

“Cooper? Tuff?” He’d say, and laugh.

 

  The boys friends now throw Donal and Eamonn to the ground, and start coming towards me. I glare at them, as they continue forwards. I take step forward, meeting them, they try to look as tough as they can, but I know I can take them. In a heartbeat.

“You lookin’ for a fight, trash?” I ask. They glare at me. One of them raises his fist, but before he can swing, he hits the dust. I turn to the other boy, who look scared.

“Boo!” he turns and runs away, tripping over his friends, and they all scrambled off. Maura, Codie and I run to the boys.

“You okay?” I ask, picking up Eoin. He smiles, and starts to applaud me. I know that I'm the toughest of my friends, and I have my three brothers and our gang to thank for that. None of the girls could ever do that, and I doubt that the little kids could ever punch someone. I kind of feel bad, for roughing up a few little kids, but you have to learn that you don’t mess with people, much less little kids. Even Socs need to know that. Grettle and Denise run over to us.

“Cooper, that was so cool!” Denise says. Grettle, who’s always been really shy, gives me a hug, before hiding behind her sister. I love knowing that my friends little brothers and sisters love me. It makes me feel hot, if ya’ know what I mean.

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