Hey guys, guess who? Time for chapter 2!!
When we got to the house, I hesitated a little, then opened the door and lead the way inside. "Hey Pony!" Two-bit greeted me. I looked around and saw that the whole gang was there. "Ponyboy!" Soda yelled and engulfed me in a hug.
He let me go. I saw Darry standing there awkwardly. He coughed, then said in his deep voice "m` Sorry, Ponyboy. I guess I just… lost my head." Then he leaned over and hugged me. And I hugged back. I was wrong all along. Darry did care. He always had.
"Hey, I hate to ruin the moment," Steve cut in, "But who`er they?" It took me a minute to remember who "they" was. Before I could explain, Pepper jack answered for me. "Yer brother and his friend got in a little trouble, and we helped em` out a bit." She looked over at us.
Darry immediately looked at me, his gaze hardening. "What happened?" he demanded. So I told them everything, starting when I ran out of the house. "If they hadn`t been there, we`d probably have gotten roughed up pretty bad." I admitted.
Darry turned to them. "Thanks for watchin` out for em`. God knows what would`ve happened if you hadn` done something`. I`m Darrel Curtis, but you can call me Darry." Pepper Jack nodded thanks and introduced everyone once again.
They decided to stay a little longer. Rocky and two-bit hit it off immediately, and started to poke fun at everything in they're sight. Meanwhile, Soda was talking up Pepper Jack. "Hey, Pepper Jack, Why do they call you that?" Rocky answered before Pepper Jack had a chance to open her mouth. "It`s because she`s like a pepper, ya' know. Spicy!" Pepper Jack attempted to smack Rocky in the arm, and Rocky danced away, laughing like a maniac.
"So, I hope y`all don' mind my askin'," Darry started, "But do you kids go to school?" Pepper jack smiled. "I don`t mind none. I`m twenty one, so no, I don`t go to school. I`m the oldest, So I have to watch the youngsters." She sighed. "In fact, only rocky and Luce go to school."
Nikki snorted. "Rocky don' count. She might as well drop out, she ain't exactly the brightest crayon in the box." Rocky went a dark shade of red. Two-bit started laughing, and She glared. "I`ll have you know I`m plenty smart!" she snapped. Pepper jack snorted again. "Tell that to your last report card, missy." She went even redder (If that was even possible), but didn`t say anything.
"What about that little one?" Soda asked. Pepper Jack answered, "Her name is Luce. And yes, she goes to school. If ya' ask me, she`s smarter than all of us combined." "Yep," Rocky said, still giggling from her joke, "She`s definitely a little brain. You ask her a simple question, she turns into a living encyclopedia. Trust me, I know from experience."
"Hey, she sounds like Pony!" Dally said, and everyone burst out laughing. I felt myself go red. If it was anyone but Dallas, they would`ve got punched. Pepper jack looked at me, interested. "Oh really? You a smartie too, huh?" Soda laughed. "Yep, he`s a smartie. But that don`t mean he uses that head of his."
"Hey," Nikki said, sitting up from the couch, "Where is Luce anyway?" We all looked around, but she wasn`t there. Nikki groaned. "Where the hell did she go this time?" Pepper Jack grabbed her shoulder. "It`s okay, nik. I`m sure she`s fine. She`s probably just outside. You know how she is." As she calmed Nikki down, I looked toward the door. I could slip out to find her without anybody knowing.
I walked out without anyone noticing, just as I expected. I looked around, and saw her sitting underneath a tree in our yard. I walked over to her. She looked up as I stood in front of her. "Hey Ponyboy." She said quietly. "You mind?" I asked, pointing to the spot beside her. She shook her head. I sat next to her and lit a weed. I took a long drag before saying, "Why you out here all by yourself?"
"Well, I guess I just wanted to get away." She said simply. "They`re really loud, you know? It`s hard to think when all I can hear is Rocky laughing bout' something or other." I smiled. "Do you like watching sunsets?" I asked, and she looked over, surprised. "Yeah, I do. The colors are beautiful." She sounded wistful. "I`ve never had anyone ask me that before now. I thought it was just me." She looked at me, her light green eyes illuminating her face.
I grinned at her. "I guess I`m different too, then." Then she smiled, I mean really smiled, and it lit up her whole face. "Yeah, I guess so."
I could tell something had changed between us. Instead of treating me like a total stranger who she should be nice to but careful of, she was opening up to me. I knew from the moment that I saw that smile on her face, that we would be good friends.