It was a little past two in the morning and darkness had touched everything available to the naked eye.
Ponyboy and Johnny walked through the park, Pony shivered as the chilled night air blew past him, but he continued walking, his breathing was visible in the cold night air.
Ponyboy came running after getting hit by Darry and woke Johnny up, telling him they were running away.
However, after Pony began to relax he started to think that running away wasn't such a good idea. They walked throught the park and back and Ponyboy was cooled off enough to head back home.
Pony decided he would go home and just not speak to Darry. It was his house as much as Darry's, and if he wanted to pretend he wasn't alive, that was just fine with him.
And that's exactly what he did.
Darry tried to apologize when he walked back in the house but Ponyboy simply walked right past him and to his room, not saying a word or even looking at him.
And it had now been going on for two weeks after their fight.
Ponyboy would wake up uncharacteristically on time and out the door before Darry even finished making breakfast. In the afternoon Pony would make sure dinner was cooked and already ate so he could be in his room when Darry came home.
And as far as schoolwork went, he would lay out any homework he had, but Pony made sure it was all correct so Darry didn't have to talk to him about.
Soda knew this whole thing was killing Darry and he hated the unspoken tension. He just wanted it to end.
Soda sat on the living room watching television, Ponyboy was lying on the couch, doing something for biology class when the front door opened.
"Hey Darry," Soda greeted as Ponyboy froze, "What are you doing home so early?"
"Boss told me I could leave," Darry then noticed Pony on the couch, the first time he's really seen him in two weeks. Soda nodded and Darry slowly walked into the living room were Pony was sitting.
"How's it going?" Darry asked, but Ponyboy didn't answer.
"Alright, Pony. Don't you think the silent treatment has gone on long enough?"
"If you're gonna treat me like a baby, then I'm gonna act like one," Pony responded not even bothering to look up.
"Okay, I'm done," Darry said in frustration. "I've apologized…I'm going out," Darry walked out the front door. Ponyboy got up and headed for his room, closing the door behind him.
Later that night, Sodapop was getting ready to go out when he stuck his head in his room and saw Pony sitting at his desk, reading a book. Pony normally went to the movies with Johnny or Two-Bit on Friday night.
"Hey Pony, you going to the movies tonight?"
"Hey, here's an idea…why don't you come with me, Steve, and our girls?" Soda suggested.
Pony perked up a little.
"Well, that'd be fun…" suddenly his face fell. "But I don't think Steve would like it very much."
"Aw, kid, don't worry about it. You're my kid brother, I can invite you if I want." Soda rubbed the top of Ponyboy's head and grinned, then walked into the bathroom.
"Soda!" Steve yelled out as he entered the house. "You better be ready!"
"In the bathroom!" Soda called out.
Steve pushed the bathroom door open, revealing Soda standing at the sink shirtless, wearing just his jeans, washing off the remnants of shaving cream.
"Why aren't you ready?" Steve asked.
"Had to shave," Soda replied.
"You're never ready on time, you know I hate waiting."
"I'll be done in two seconds, mom." Soda quipped.
"Soda, can I borrow your jacket?" Pony asked, poking his head out his bedroom.
"What happened to yours?"
"Umm…" Pony stood there, trying to think of something. "I don't know," he finally answered.
Sodapop shook his head and smiled.
Pony disappeared back into the room.
"Where's he goin'?" Steve asked. "Does Darry know he's goin' out so late?"
"He's comin' with us," Soda announced.
Steve took a step back, as though he'd just been slapped.
"He's hasn't been in a good mood lately, so I said he could come with us."
"Why?" Steve huffed angrily. "We're takin' the girls. We don't need a kid taggin' along. What's he gonna do, sit in the car and watch us all gettin' it on? It's not exactly a spectator sport."
"Steve…don't be like that."
"Forget it. You guys go, I'm goin' home." Steve left before Sodapop could protest.
"Steve!" Soda yelled again but Steve ignored him and continued out. Ponyboy frowned and stared at his feet as he heard it all. He slowly walked out of his room and into the hall.
"Sorry Soda...I didn't mean to cause-" Pony began but Soda cut him off.
"It's alright Pony, Steve hasn't been himself lately. He had a fight with his dad a few days ago."
"So what now?" Pony asked.
"What now? We're going out with our girls!" Soda grinned.
"No, it's a blind date thing. Sandy set Steve up with a friend of hers, but since he left I guess he doesn't really want to meet her. Come on."
Ponyboy threw on his jacket and followed Soda out the front door. Getting into the car, Sodapop pulled out of the driveway and drove down to Sandy's house.
"So what about this girl?" Pony asked.
"What about her?"
"Do you know anything about her? Her name at least?"
"Her name's Nancy. She's about a year old then you. Don't get nervous okay?"
"I ain't nervous."
Soda pulled up at Sandy's house and he and Pony got out of the car. Knocking on the front door, Sandy answered and smiled when she saw Soda.
"Hey, baby!" Soda said in a high pitched voice and leaned forward and kissed her.
"Hold on just a second okay?" Sandy then looked over to see Ponyboy standing there.
"What's going on? I thought Steve was coming."
"He took off. Ponyboy will be her date tonight."
Nancy came to the door and smiled at Soda.
She was a little shorter than Sandy, she had a nice smile and had long, thin light brown hair. Pony then noticed she had green eyes.
"Is this my date?" Nancy asked.
"Yep, Nancy this is Sodapop's younger brother, Ponyboy."
"That's your real name?" Nancy laughed, a really annoying laugh.
"Yes," Pony said, trying to remain polite although he felt like sprinting away from the door.
"We just need another minute," Sandy said and shut the front door.
Pony and Soda walked back to the car.
"I want to go home," Pony said.
"Come on, Pony. Give her a chance."
The four took their seats after they arrived at a diner. They ordered burgers with French fries and cokes. While they waited for their orders to come out, Soda and Sandy talked while Pony just remained quite.
While talking with Sandy, Soda would glance at Pony every now and then, noticing he looked bored.
Oh well, Soda was just glad he managed to drag Ponyboy out of the house.
Pony sighed and drummed his fingertips on the table top. He looked up to see Nancy staring at him, she gave him a bright smile, hoping to get some sort of reaction.
He stared at her, blinking.
Sandy had to go to the bathroom and got up, walking by a table occupied by two socs.
"Whoo, baby! Looking good!" A soc yelled as Sandy walked by.
"Damn, I'd like to be on top of that."
Sodapop glared at the two socs as they continued to laugh. Pony looked at Soda as he inched out of his seat slightly.
"Just ignore them Soda," Ponyboy said, speaking for the first time since they arrived.
"If those fuckers try anything, they're dead."
"Do you know what time it is?" Pony asked Nancy, talking to her for the first time.
"Uh, 11:00," Nancy said, looking at her watch.
"So, tell me about yourself," Pony said, trying to making small talk.
"Well, usually don't care much for boys, and I think good grades are important."
"Oh," was all he could think of to say.
"Do you get good grades?"
By this time Sandy was walking back toward the table when one of the soc's grabbed her ass as she walked by. They laughed and started making their way out of the diner.
Soda's eyes burned with hate as he immediately shot to his feet and began to follow them.
"Soda, don't!" Sandy pleaded but Soda ignored her and ran out after the two socs.
"Pony do something!" Sandy yelled.
Pony quickly got to his feet and ran out of the diner only to see Soda and the soc who had grabbed Sandy were rolling around on the ground, Soda was now on top of him and slugging him in the jaw. By this time everyone else who was in the diner had gathered at the windows or walked outside to see the fight.
The other soc had grabbed Soda and pulled him off his friend and began slamming his fist into his head when Ponyboy tackled him and they started fighting.
After another minute, the fuzz had pulled up. Soda punched the soc one last time before getting to his feet and running away as fast as he could, remembering what Darry said would happen if he or Ponyboy were ever arrested.
He turned around and ran back to the diner to see Pony and the other soc still rolling around, punching each other.
"Shit, Pony come one!" Soda yelled, but it was too late.
One of the officers had separated them and had a hold of Pony and slapped the handcuffs on him. The soc he was fighting with was also arrested.
Soda watched in horror as his little brother was taken away in a police car.