*Hey everyone! I am so sorry I haven't updated, but this is the final chapter in the sequel! But I am SO happy because we're reading The Outsiders in my language arts class, and everyone's starting to get into it! *raises fist in a John Bender-Breakfast Club-ish manner*OUTSIDERS POWER!* Okay. So here, I will answer my lovely reviews, and before I go on: this will be LONG. Well, not that long. Longer than a lot of my stuff though.
ExtremeWriter-You will know what the answer to your question is by the end of this chapter, I don't want to give anything away now :D LOL I procrastinate. My math homework is so confusing, as it always is…which is why I have to take Pre-Algebra again next year*pouts*Thank you for reviewing!
Obsessedfan13-Yay! Thank you, I'm glad you like my stories :D
cammy98-LOL sorry, business :D Thank you for reviewing!
XxEyelinerHeartsxX-LOL I know, I've dreaded writing it…
theultimateoutsider-Really? Thank you for the compliment! I try to make the characters as real as possible because, as you know, we all hate a Mary-Sue
witchbaby300-Well, thank you :D I hope you like this!
Celestra-Oh, believe me. You will soon know Thank you for reviewing!
Dramaholic74-Yeah, I've always really pitied poor Soda during that week. I mean, life really did suck for him! And it needed a place in the story. Thanks for reviewing!
daydreambeliever95-*screams*THE DAVY DANCE! I love that dance so much, I attempt to imitate it sometimes :D He can really move He's so cute! I love Peter most though :D Yes, we all hate the evil, phony, emotionless little Soda-snatchers! And thank you for reviewing, I really appreciate it. It's amazing, fantabulous, awesome, and touching? I didn't know that! Thank you!
Don't hate me too much, but this is the last chapter of By Your Side*
I was more than just surprised when I had heard what happened. And seeing them added to my shock.
Look around, I am here
Doesn't count far or near
BANG-BANG-BANG-BANG-BANG. "Carrie Anne, open up!" BANG-BANG-BANG. "My hand's starting to hurt!"
I drowsily lifted my head from the pillow on the couch. I could see Dawn's face in the window on our locked screen door. I pulled myself up and shuffled to the door, but not before glancing at the clock. 9:30.
"Daaaaaaawn!" I whined. "It's 9:30!" I let her in.
"I know that! Get ready! But…you might wanna read the paper…" She told me, not quite as happy as I would have expected her to be. She held out the newspaper.
"Juvenile delinquents turn heroes…" I read to myself. Ha! But then I read the rest of the article. "Juvenile court, IF he recovers?" I asked her. "It's that bad?"
Half of Dawn's face was covered by her long dark hair, and she looked at the floor and nodded sadly. "Yeah, Carrie Anne. It is." She paused. "Jesse said he'd let me borrow the car, so you could go see him."
My heart jumped at the thought of seeing Johnny again, but then….if he was really hurt bad, then I don't think I could bear seeing him in so much pain, as I'd seen him before. "Okay…when?"
"Ten! But I have to get gas….coincidentally," she said, beginning to smile. "And we know how Char feels about Soda. She can come too."
As we walked up to my room, I reminded her, "Dawn…you know my little sister. Would we have to take her to the hospital with us?"
Dawn shook her head violently. "Oh, no! You can go! But I wanna see Two-Bit and Pony, so we're going to the Curtis' after we drop you off. You know she loves them." I nodded as I buttoned up my skirt, ready to go.
"Char?" I called. She poked her head out of her door, looking like she'd been awake for hours. She probably had; she enjoyed greeting the day in the early morning. "Wanna go see Soda?"
"SODA!" she shrieked, slamming her door. "Where's my yellow dress…?" She hadn't seen him yet.
Dawn and I shared a laugh. "She'll be ready momentarily." I bounced downstairs to search for something to eat. "Excited about seeing Ponyboy?" I asked. I was trying to keep a positive attitude, even though what the paper said kept creeping into my mind.
Dawn nodded, going a little bit pink. "Yeah, I've really missed him, you know?" She paused in apparent realization. "But you haven't seen Johnny in a year…"
Ten minutes later, we left. The first place we went to was the DX. Before we could stop her, Char jumped out of the car, left the door open, ran inside….and before the door slammed shut, we heard a little voice yell similarly to before, "SODA!"
Dawn and I shared a look before we went inside. We saw Charlene hugging Soda, and him grinning his signature Soda smile. "Hey Char! I missed you, doll!" he greeted. He looked up and saw us. He looked so much happier than he had just days before. He still looked a bit troubled, but he was back to his old self.
Soda shifted his beautiful brown eyes to Dawn. "Pony's at our house if you wanna go see 'im." He winked at her, and she grinned.
"Yeah, me and Char are heading over there in a bit. But we're dropping Carrie Anne off at the hospital so she can see Johnny." She told him. He looked back at me and his face fell.
"He's not doin so good, Carr."
"I know. I saw the paper this morning," I replied quietly.
"Might as well see Dally while you're at it, he might like some company."
Dawn and I said different things at the same time. I sighed a bit and said, "Dally and me aren't exactly….fond of each other…"
"Poor Dal. He won't be able to survive in that place."
"Just a suggestion!" Soda told me. Then he turned back to Dawn. "And I know. He'll probably blow up." Soda gave a little grin and turned to Char. "And how are you, honey?"
"Fine!" she squeaked. She was blushing; it was so cute. He was ten years older than her….but that didn't seem to matter. Davy Jones was about fourteen years older than her. Speaking of short British men, when she glanced at the magazines, she screamed "DAVY!" and ran over to stare at the cover.
Soda shook his head. "That's all I hear these days. Monkees, Monkees, Monkees! Char, what ever happened to John, Paul, George, and Ringo?"
I shook my head. Char used to love Ringo. "I like Peter. He can play a million and seven different instruments."
"I'm sure he can, Carrie Anne. But I like Mike. He has a pretty tuff hat," Dawn shared. She glanced at the clock, we'd been there for about fifteen minutes. "We better go, I'm sorry Soda. Nice talking to you!"
I was scared stiff to go into that hospital room. I didn't want to see Johnny in the condition he was in because I would feel bad and cry and the same thought would be creeping into my head: He doesn't deserve this. The nurse almost didn't let me see him; it was the doctor who finally convinced her that it couldn't hurt.
I stood outside the door, just waiting for something to…happen. Waiting for something that I didn't even know of. I felt like it was a dramatic scene in some cheesy movie, but it wasn't. It was MUCH worse than that.
Now, I think I was stalling.
I finally, timidly stepped into the room. Timidly? That DEFINITELY doesn't sound like the Carrie Anne West I know myself as. Before looking in, I said softly, "Johnny?" I came inside. And it killed me to look at him.
He looked like he was in so much pain. He didn't answer me, but as I predicted, tears became to come to my eyes. Why am I so sensitive? He was lying on a bed, and while there were no burns on his face, there were burns everywhere else visible. He did open his eyes though.
I stood next to the door awkwardly for a second, then found a chair next to the bed. So I sat down. "Hey."
He looked like it pained him to breathe, let alone talk. "Carrie Anne?" he managed, not much louder than a whisper. That was only a little bit quieter than he usually talked. "What are you doing here?"
"I came back last Sunday…and I heard about…" Why was it so hard to talk to Johnny? "Yeah. That. And I heard about the church on the news last night. And Dawn drove me here." I paused. "Is she sweet on Ponyboy?"
Johnny nodded, and I smiled. "Thought so." I paused again; this was so awkward. "So…what'd the doctor say?"
Johnny got a discouraged look on his face. "Said I busted my back. Won't ever be able to walk again…" he trailed off.
"Oh" was all I could think of how to reply. "I really missed you." His limp hand that wasn't burned caught my eye, and I put my hand on top of it.
"I missed you too, Carrie Anne." He replied quietly. We were silent for a minute. "I'm so scared…"
I remember he said that just a year ago when his dad threatened to kill him. "Of what?"
He took a deep breath. "Of…dyin'. The doc said I don't have much time left…"
I wanted to pummel that doctor with the tuff love beads I picked up. I mean, I know he probably should tell Johnny stuff like that, but then again, he shouldn't. I can't describe it…I wouldn't really want to know that I was gonna die!
I couldn't think of anything to say. I just wanted to be with him. "So…besides all the events that have happened in the last week, how have you been?"
Johnny didn't have a lot say. He didn't say much more than a sentence at a time because that was all he could manage, but I still felt that I was talking way too much, and rambling.
About an hour after I arrived at the hospital, the nurse that originally told me that I couldn't say Johnny came in. She wasn't very happy with me; I'd been pleading for then minutes to her before that doctor came out. If I didn't possess any dignity, then I would have resorted to begging if she still didn't' let me. That's how badly I wanted to see Johnny.
"I'm sorry, miss, but you're going to have to come back later today." She told me flatly. I sighed and looked at Johnny, then kissed him quickly. The old woman stared at me, shocked. "Young lady, this boy is severely burned all over his body-"
"Yes, ma'am, but not on his lips," I reminded her. I smiled. Johnny looked slightly amused. "Bye Johnny. I Love you." I walked out of his room and stopped the doctor. "Excuse me, but do you have a payphone around?"
"Y'all might wanna leave soon, what with the rumble and all," Darry told us as he began to pull on his shirt. Ponyboy was lounging on the couch, he didn't feel too good. Steve and Soda were arguing about a poker game, and Two-Bit was finishing off his beer, when Char wasn't looking of course. My kid sister had never really got over what that looked like. What had happened with my dad made so much of an impact, I didn't think she ever would. She was sitting in between Steve and Soda, her head going back and forth when someone said something. Like she was watching a tennis match or something.
"Yeah. I wanna see Johnny again, and I don't really think Char should be in a hospital…my mom is home tonight, we're gonna drop her off," I explained.
"And where do you fit in?" Pony asked Dawn, who was sitting next to him.
"She's gonna drop me off, and Jesse agreed to let her borrow the car for the night." Dawn replied.
After the greasers left, we dropped Char off and then I dropped Dawn off. So I set out to see Johnny again.
I knew in my gut that he didn't have a lot of time left, so I wanted to be there to hold his hand…and say goodbye.
I was so scared though.
When I came to the hospital, I saw the nice doctor before the nurse. He looked very grave, and I prayed to God that I wasn't too late. "You can't go in there. He's dying," he told me sadly.
I knew I must look pathetic. "Look mister…he's my boyfriend. Today, I hadn't seen him for a year." I took a deep breath. "And if he is dying, then I need to say goodbye."
He didn't stop me when I went right in there. I heard Johnny croak, "Please, Dal…" I came in and he stopped. He looked so, so tired. "Go get Pony for me, wouldja?" Johnny asked Dallas, who was sitting in the chair. Dallas noticed me come in and just gave me one of those looks. Not a mean look, but a you-know-what's-gonna-happen-look.
I nodded, and Dally got up. "Sure man," he said quietly, and he left. I took his place in the chair.
"Hi," I said. Johnny opened his mouth, but I stopped him. "No, don't talk Johnny. You'll wear yourself out."
"Doesn't matter, Carrie Anne." The last two words were at a whisper. "I'm dyin'."
I wanted to change the subject; I would face that when the time was. I hated talking about death; I never knew anyone who died before. I took a deep breath. "I missed you so much, Johnny. I'd think about you every day. I couldn't get you out of my head, but it was a good thing. You have no idea how much of an impact you made on me." I paused, trying not to cry. But it didn't work. "I-I don't want you to die, Johnny!"
I was trying to blink the tears out of my eyes so he wouldn't know. But of course, he did. I laid my head down on his bed, and he made the effort to lift his hand and smooth my hair. "Please, don't cry Carrie Anne…" he pleaded. "I don't wanna die. God thinks my time is up. And there ain't anythin'-" He drew in a gasp "-I can do 'bout that." It wore him out so much to say a few sentences.
"I'll miss you so much, we all will," I told him when I recovered. I paused. "Do you remember our first date? When you took me to the movies and then out to look at the stars in the lot?" Johnny barely nodded. "That'll be something I'll always remember/"
Johnny's weary black eyes looked at me for a minute. They bore back into my own green ones. "Promise me, Carrie Anne, whenever you see a sunset, think of me."
"Why?" I started to ask, but he cut me off.
"Cos…it's a pretty think that must people overlook."
I leaned over and kissed him as slowly and softly as I could. When we broke away, I whispered, "I love you, Johnny. I always will love you."
Then, Ponyboy and Dally came in. I stood up; these were his friends. I even thought about leaving. But Ponyboy could hardly stand up. They both looked beaten half to death, and Dally looked triumphant. Pony just looked out of it.
"Hey, Johnny…" Dally ignored me. "We did it, man. We beat the Socs."
"Fightin' ain't no good…won't do anythin'…" Johnny said softly. "Ponyboy…"
Ponyboy stepped forward, next to me. "I love you, Carrie Anne…stay gold, Ponyboy…stay gold…"
Johnny drew his last breath, and he slumped back onto the pillow. His chest stopped slowly going up and down, and his eyes shut. He was dead.
"No…" I uttered. Even though he was dead, I placed a kiss on his frozen lips, a tear falling on his burnt cheek. Ponyboy just stared at him in sort of…awe.
What did he mean by stay gold? Dallas was muttering aggressively, saying, "Never could keep that hair back…come on, Johnny, don't die on me now…please." He was a mess. Dallas Winston was actually crying. I put my hand on his shoulder, he looked so vulnerable. It was kind of scary. I'd never seen Dallas like this. He pushed my hand away, and he ran out.
I couldn't stay here. There was nothing I could do. I started to walk out, but Ponyboy was still standing there. "Come on, honey," I told him softly, taking his arm and leading him out. "We can't do anything here…"
"Carrie Anne," Ponyboy said softly. "Johnny…he's dead…he can't be…"
I put my hand on his back. "I know, Pony."
I took him to Jesse's car, and set him in the passenger seat. I would have to drive him home, he looked terrible. He was so white, and he looked like he'd fall over any minute. I turned the radio on. A song I'd never heard before.
"There are places I remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone, and some remain.
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends, I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life, I've loved them all.
But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
And I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
The people and things and when before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life, I love you more.
Though I know I'll never lose affection
The people and things and when before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life, I love you more.
In my life, I love you more."
I thought about that for a second. Those lyrics…they sort of sum it up right now, I thought. "And that was one from John, Paul, George, and Ringo, it's called In My Life," the radio man said.
I decided right then that the Beatles really weren't so bad. I swear, Lennon and McCartney were using my life for inspiration.
I looked over at Ponyboy. He was leaning against the seat, staring out the window. He was bloody; I really hoped Jesse wouldn't mind. He would probably understand.
"You okay, Pony?" I asked worriedly. He grunted. I nodded.
I helped him out of the car, and I decided I better walk him in. He looked so shook up. We came in through the door, and there had been soft conversations going on. But then everyone looked at us. "Pony, where have you been?" Darry asked him, standing up. He looked a little hurt, and the rest of them too; Steve even had a tooth knocked out. But Pony looked the worst.
Pony opened his mouth. "Johnny…he's dead," he said quietly. "Dallas…he ran out like the devil was after him." I bit my lip to keep from crying. Everyone's eyes were on us.
Soda got up and looked at us, his eyes full of pity. "Oh, man…Pony, you better lie down…" Everyone was in disbelief. We had never really considered how far off Johnny really was. It hadn't hit me yet. Pony edged away from Soda like he was going to hit him. But then the phone rang. Darry picked it up, said "hello" then hung up.
"We need to meet Dally at the vacant lot. He robbed a store, and the cops are after him. We gotta hide him." He glanced over at me.
"I'll go," I said quietly. Soda hugged me tight, pushing back my hair and telling me that he was sorry about Johnny. I didn't know why he did that to me before his little brother…after all Pony was Johnny's best friend. But Pony was still avoiding everyone. I hugged Pony and Darry, took a glance at Two-Bit and Steve who looked kind of out of it, and got in the car.
I heard the gunshots when I pulled into my driveway. And I cried when I knew for sure that Dallas Winston was dead, even though he had hated me.
Johnny Cade was a lot of things. But the only things I was thinking about were a couple big ones: He was my first boyfriend. He was the first person I ever knew to die. I'd never even been to a funeral before. I wasn't sure how to act. I wore black though. That's what my mom told me. Char cried when I told her. And when she was done, she asked me why it had happened. My mom cried too. She said that he didn't deserve to die. Char was sad when Dallas died too, even though Dallas hated her too. My mom didn't know Dallas, so she just said, "Poor boy."
I wasn't sure whether I should go to Dallas's. But when I did, I don't even remember a lot. I just remember the boys looked awful awkward. I felt awkward too. Dally wouldn't have wanted a funeral anyway.
I remember standing in between Soda and Dawn. Dawn was solemn; Ponyboy was holding back tears. And when I broke down, I sobbed into Soda's shoulder as he rubbed my arm and told me it would all be okay. Soda's good at doing things like that. He cares about people. Johnny's parents were even there. I didn't know why. They didn't care about him; they didn't even look like they wanted to be there. I would have said something to them if I didn't think about what Johnny would have reacted like.
And I know I'll remember today. It's been six months since Johnny died. It's now showing early signs of spring; it's April. I'll be seventeen soon…I can't believe how old I am. I didn't want to grow up, where everything will be so complicated. Pony's gonna be fifteen in a couple of months…I can't believe how fast he's growing up.
The ground's wet from the rain. I'm tracing all the letters that are etched into his tombstone. He was only sixteen. Sixteen is way too young to die.
I carry Johnny's picture in my purse every day. And when I see the sunset, I think of him. Just like he told me to do. Every night I can, I go out and watch it. Sometimes…if I look next to me, I think I can see him. It feels like he's there with me.
I don't know if I'll ever have another boyfriend. It would be so hard, and I'd just keep thinking about Johnny the whole time.
But I know he'll always be with me, and I'll always think about him. Even though I only knew him for just over a year, he made a huge impact on me.
As my tears fall along with the rain running down my face, I look up in the gray sky, and wonder what he's doing right now. What he'd be doing right now if he was away.
He's not suffering. He won't have to stay in that house he hates, or be beaten like before.
I get up, take one last look at the gravestone with my daisies on it, and start to walk away. Daisies…happy flower, you know?
I love you, Johnny.
I am by your side, just for a little while, We'll make it if we try.
*Well, that's it. I hope the ending wasn't too cheesy, and I hope you thought it was alright.*