Carry That Weight
boy, you're gonna carry that weight,
carry that weight a long time.
"Will your parents mind that I'm here?" Johnny whispered as Sam flicked on the light right next to the front door.
"Actually," Sam said in a normal volume, making Johnny feel like an idiot, "I don't think they're home. They drove Jim back to school this afternoon and will probably not be home until tomorrow."
She opened a linen closet a few feet in front of them and took out two towels, tossing one to Johnny and attempting to dry her hair with the other. Johnny did the same, dabbing his face and hair, though it didn't help much. Sam slid out of her shoes, so Johnny did the same, not wanting to be rude. "Come on upstairs, you can probably borrow something of Jim's to wear," Sam said with a smile, moving further down the hall.
"Oh, that's okay. I'm fine," Johnny declined. He felt like borrowing her brother's clothes would be too friendly, and they were barely even acquaintances.
She rolled her eyes and laughed softly. "Come on, Johnny. At least let me get you a shirt—you have to be freezing."
She was right—he was freezing. He nodded in defeat and said a small, "Okay," before Sam smiled and headed up the staircase at the end of the hallway.
Johnny hesitated; why had he even agreed to come in? He could foresee an incredibly awkward situation, being here with a girl he didn't know in combination with being the most boring person in the world. What was he supposed to talk about? He knew a lot about cars and about fighting, but he didn't know anything about making friends, and he certainly didn't know anything about girls.
He followed her to the stairs, and then up, and they passed a line of open doors in the hallway that revealed empty rooms. Sam turned into one of them, turning on a light. Johnny hovered by the door, feeling like he'd be trespassing if he went in, and studied the blue paint on the wall, the neatly made bed, the various posters of musicians and athletes. There was a line of trophies on a shelf above the bed, Johnny noticed, and some framed certificates of achievement around them. On the nightstand next to the bed was a framed picture of Jim and his date to his senior prom. Johnny didn't recognize his date, but she was very pretty; he wondered if she and Jim were still together, or if they ever had been.
Before he had time to fully mull it over, Sam handed him a dark grey t-shirt and pointed to the door directly across the hallway. "That's the bathroom, if you want to finish drying off and change your shirt. I'll meet you downstairs." She smiled at him again so he turned and headed to the bathroom; before going in, he glanced over his shoulder and watched her disappear into the door diagonally from where he was. Just before the door closed, he caught a glimpse of the yellow walls and wondered what her room looked like.
They had been sitting downstairs for at least two hours, and the rain just wasn't stopping. Mostly they'd been watching old movies on television, but they talked a little, too. Johnny learned that Sam wanted to be a dancer but that she would probably end up a teacher; he learned that she liked animals, too, but was too squeamish to be a vet; he learned that she, like Ponyboy, loved to read; and he noticed that she was actually pretty funny, in the kind of way that she didn't realize what she was saying was funny until it was out in the open. Likewise, Sam learned that Johnny was quiet and behind in school, but still smart and extremely sincere; she learned that he smiled a lot more outside of school than he did when she saw him around; and she noticed that he always evaded questions about his family.
Sam peered out the window and frowned just a little. "That rain's really not letting up," she said, and Johnny followed her gaze to the window. Sam was now wearing jeans and an oversized t-shirt, her hair drying straight but frizzy, her face totally free of makeup. Johnny was still wearing his wet jeans, but at least had a dry t-shirt. He was sitting on the floor on a towel in front of the couch (he insisted on this, not wanting to get their couch messy) and Sam sat on the couch behind him.
"No, it's not," he answered, uneasiness creeping back into his gut.
"I mean, you could probably just stay here," Sam said slowly after a silence, eyes not looking away from the window. "I mean, no one will be home until tomorrow afternoon, at least. It wouldn't really be a problem."
"Oh, no, I mean.. that's okay. It's let up some. Good enough for me to make it back to Pony's, anyway," Johnny quickly declined.
"Pony's? You mean you're not going home?" Sam asked, finally looking at him. He thought he saw a little redness fading from her cheeks that he couldn't understand.
"No. I mean, I told Pony I'd hang out with him tomorrow. Y'know, both of his brothers are leavin' early, so.." Johnny trailed off, knowing this was a lame and somewhat implausible excuse. Either Sam bought it or let it drop, because she just nodded. Johnny stood up, somewhat abruptly.
"I should go, actually. Don't wanta get in too late. Pony might be worryin'." Sam nodded and stood up, too. "Yeah, okay," she said, sounding suspicious. They both stopped by her front door and stood, facing each other.
"Thanks a lot," Johnny said.
"Yeah, it's no problem," she answered, smiling. "I hate to even see you go." There was a moment where their eyes met, and Sam hastily added, "I mean, because it's still raining. I, uh," she laughed nervously, "I don't want you to get sick or anything."
Johnny offered a small smile. "I'll be fine." He noticed how harsh his slight accent sounded against her perfectly articulated grammar.
"Well, I'll see you in school on Monday, then," she said, opening the door. He stepped onto the porch and she hovered in the doorway.
"Be careful. Motorcycle Boy, and all that." She smiled at him, this time wide and bright, and he couldn't help but smile back.
"I will be. See ya 'round."
He heard the door close behind him and he stepped off the porch into the light rain that was now falling. He stuck his hands into the pockets of his jeans and cast his head down, heading back to the Curtis house. It was a fifteen minute walk back, and by the time he got there his body was catching up with how tired his brain was. All he wanted to do was curl up on the couch and go to sleep, let his brain sort out everything that had happened without him. He opened the front door very quietly so as not to wake anyone up, and closed it equally as carefully. When he got to the couch, he saw Sandy and Soda, curled up together like puppies and fast asleep. For a moment he stared at them, feeling something that he couldn't place.
After a while he resigned himself to the chair—not caring whether he got it wet—and fell asleep almost as soon as he sat down.
AN hey guys, it's been a while! As in, like, two years xD probably none of the original fans of this story are still around here, but I hope they are because what really made me start writing this again was reading all the nice reviews from everyone and remembering how much I love Johnny and Sam as a couple. Anyway, I hope any new readers enjoy this and the previous chapters, and as always, CC is appreciated.