His last breath. That's what we were dreading. I looked around the room at Darry, Soda, Steve, Two Bit and Dally well he wasn't with us. The tension was building inside of all of us. I was frightened he would leave us, he would leave me. I didn't want to think about life without him neither did the gang. When he opened his eyes we all smiled but our joy would be short-lived. He reached over and grabbed a folded piece of notebook paper. We had managed to find some paper in the church so I recognized the texture.
It was dusty and worn but you could write on it. "This is for you Pony. I know we never really talked much", he coughed loudly and continued talking. "But I wanted you to have this. It'll mean more to you than anybody else here. You always loved things that made you think...this is goodbye." The heart rate monitor that had started beeping consistently now was dead. I looked at Johnny and saw a smile on his face. Is that how he wanted to die? To be surrounded by the people who were just his protectors and ended up being nothing more.
I saw them cry and clenched my teeth. Why were they shedding tears when they had never taken the time to ask him how his life was going? Where he wanted to go for a change? It was always what Darry said that's what we did. Sodapop walked over to me and hugged me. "I'm sorry Pony but he's gone. We know what you're..." I looked at Soda and glared. Then I pushed Soda away from me and stared at everyone.
"You have no idea what I'm no idea what I'm feeling so don't try to tell me how I feel!" The nurse rushed in and did the honors for Johnny. That's when reality struck and I knew his soul wasn't there, Johnny's 3rd degree burned body was on the stretcher but he was gone, he was dead. I stood there contemplating the thought. It was a fact that would take me a long time to grasp.
Soda still tried to cheer me up but I ran out of the room. "Pony come back! Pony!" I could hear Soda yelling for me to stay but I wasn't having that. I ran through the rain feeling nothing but the cold numbing sadness that was encasing me. I found the lot and sat down smoking a cigarette. The rain extinguished the flame and I gave up. I walked into my shared bedroom with Soda and collapsed on my bed from the exhaustion from running.
I had run for at least 20 minutes and I was tired. I closed my eyes and listened to the furious thunder echoing through my ears. When I woke up the next morning, I did my daily routine and went to school. After school I walked home. I was no longer scared of being jumped by any drunken Soc. The world that had once been so beautiful and pristine now was ugly and haggard. I didn't have any friends to talk about my emotional and my mental health with. I spent my time by watching the clouds and reading.
I never opened the piece of paper he had given me. Yeah, my life was going down the drain but I didn't care. All I wanted was my best friend back; I didn't think it was too much to ask. My grades were trash and Darry pretended I was still getting As. It got to the point where I would sit down in class and talk to nothing. I turned my head and talked to Johnny. I know he was dead but his spirit would always be alive.
His impact on my life would forever be imprinted in my mind and heart. 2 years passed and I was Johnny's age. Since it was his birthday, I visited his grave. I placed sunflowers on it and said the Lord's Prayer. I wasn't very religious but I felt the need to pray. I wanted to turn my life around and I wanted to do it today. I sighed and told Johnny about my days without him there to keep me company. After babbling for 10 minutes I finally quieted down and listened to the nature around me. Lord please give me some guidance...A soft voice spoke up "Remember the days you spent in the church... remember what Johnny told you about dying."
I felt as if I was in a comatose state and I was finally awakened. I pulled the crumpled piece of paper out of my jeans pocket and opened it. Everything froze as I stared at the 2 words. They were bolded and uppercased. STAY GOLD. The tears of regret, pain, and despair I had tried for so long to hold back poured down my face like a raging waterfall. I clutched the paper like it was my lifeline and looked up at the sun. I dried my tears and felt reborn. I looked at the sun and saw Johnny's smiling face. I smiled and grabbed a shovel and dug a small hole in his grave. I placed the note there and covered it.
I know you can see me Johnny and I want to thank you because I will stay gold and I know you will too. I took one last look at Johnny's tombstone and saw the engraved words on it. Rest in heavenly peace Johnny Cade and may your story give someone else a reason to live. I walked away from the cemetery and began the walk back to my home; I would no longer be the shell of the boy I used to be. No I took back my life today.
I am like a phoenix, I died 2 years ago but now I am free. Free from the destructive chains of sorrow, I was free from my pain. Tomorrow would be another day and I would be ready, ready to start my life again without my best friend Johnny.
1) This is my take on Ponyboy's reaction to Johnny's death.
2) I hope you like it. Please read and review! Thanks.