"Why don't you just leave already?" My mother yelled drunkenly Into my face. I cringed, I could hardly call the thing standing In front of me my mother. I've heard we look alike, but I cant stand her. Its hard comprehending we have the same genes.

"I'm gone!" I screamed slamming the door behind me. Then just to make her a little madder I opened and slammed It again. I heard her yell something but It was too late. I hated my life, I hated living In this dump. I jumped off the steps and kicked a beer bottle, so It smashed Into my white painted porch. At least, I think It used to be white. We lived In such a dump. Beer bottles and cigarette butts littered our dying grass. I saw my neighbors looking at me and I looked down quickly at my feet. I'm sure they knew all about our problems. Hell, the way my mom yelled I bet even the Curtis' knew all about my family problems.

I looked both ways down the street. I could go to the Curtis' again. But they were so goddamn happy together, Id never want to leave. They all loved each other so much, always gettin' through all their problems as a 'family'. Must be nice. Their folks just died a few months ago. Hell, It wish It could have been mine. I feel kinda guilty saying that, cause those three were real upset when It happened. They'd understand though, they knew how my old man Is. I'd give up my parents any day so the Curtis' could have theirs back.

I knew I could go to Two-Bits. But, he doesn't got It too rough neither. I mean his dad left the family, but he was only six years old. He barely knew the guy. His mom was real nice, she made just enough money for them with her waitressing jobs. He had a kid sister who Idolized him too. She was around five or six, real cute kid. Destined to be exactly like Two-Bit though, lazy and a heavy drinker

Steve had It about as bad as me. His mom only came home every couple of months, his dad kicked him out once a week. He didn't let on to how bad he had It, but we all knew. He was always with that new chick of his. Evie. Man, she was trash. I mean, I guess Steve likes her with all this time they've been spending together but, girls like that, I cant stand them. She always clinging to Steve's arm, smacking her gum loudly and complaining about something In that whiny voice of hers. She always wore dark blue eye shadow with clumpy black stuff all over her lashes. Not to mention the smudged red lipstick that was sometimes on Steves face and clothes. But I guess I cant really keep cutting him up about his girl. At least he has someone.

Yeah, I guess the only one who could make me feel better about my so-called "life" Is Dallas. And with that thought I set off farther east to his house.

He might have people over. Drunk people. If he did, I wasn't planning on sticking around. I didn't like the people Dally hung out with. Except the gang of course.

I pulled up the right side of my jacket, blocking the wind, while I lit my cigarette. I sucked deeply on It and tucked my lighter away. My lip stung slightly and I let my cigarette fall out of my lips while I winced. I cursed loudly picking up my weed. I looked at It and found that the filter was stained with blood. I sighed and touched my lip.

When I finally began trudging up Dallas' driveway I saw his step-mom giving the finger to Dallas who was standing In the doorway.

"Yeah go to hell!" He yelled, "You better leave, tramp." He was starting to close the door when his eyes snapped to me.

"Hey Johnny, whats shaking?" He said, giving me that trademark lopsided grin. I looked at his step mom speeding off In her beater car.

"Uh, you know. Nothing Dal." I said looking back at him. He frowned.

"Whaddya do to your lip?" He asked stepping out onto the steps. I shrugged. I knew It was my dad, he did too.

"Jesus Christ Johnny Cade your bleeding everywhere!" He yelled pointing at my shirt under my jeans jackets. He was right. I shrugged again, looking sheepish.

"Awe man, come here." He said walking Into the house, I followed him Into the kitchen.

He wet a dirty hand towel and passed It to me. Then he went searching through his fridge. Muttering and cursing loudly to himself.

"I swear to god, that father of yours. I oughta beat him Into the ground, who the hell does he think he Is? Why don't you ever stick up for yourself Johnny?" I just looked at him, pressing the towel to my lip. I knew he would never actually touch my dad. Everyone talks about It, but no one ever does. He straightened up, a beer welded to his lips. He finished, crushing It In his hand and threw It Into the sink.

"Hows yer lip?" He asked walking to get his jacket.

"Its fine." I mumbled, putting the bloody towel on the table. Dallas glared at me.

"I'm headin' over to the Way Out...you joinin?" He asked me, halfway out the door.

"Yeah sure." I said quietly and started toward the door.

When we got there, It was pretty busy already. We sat In the third row of chairs and Instantly Dallas was talking to someone. A sandy haired greaser, who was really tall and skinny. I think he was baked, his talking sounded kind of like drawled groans.

A really pretty girl walked by with dark brown hair. She was looking at Dallas, just like everyone does.

"Hey baby." Dally cooed. I looked over at him to see him wink and grin. She snapped her eyes away abidingly and I watched her walk away. She had really big eyes. I think her name was Jackie. I was In one of her Science classes once. I take grade nine science still. She dropped her books all over the floor and I helped her pick them up. She didn't say anything to me. She just smiled. She was a grease, she wore her skirts really short and had lots of hair spray In her hair. It looked nice though. She smelt like vanilla.

I watched her walk over to her group of friends. She laughed at something, and tipped back her head. Her hair flew back like waves.

"You sweet on her Johnny?" Dally had asked me. I didn't answer him. I didn't want to.

"I can talk to her for you If you want..." He continued. I didn't answer him again until I comprehended what he had just said.

"No Dal, don't." I said shaking my head, my eyes wide with seriousness. He grinned.

"I'm serious...just, don't." I said.

"Come on Johnny." He said as I looked over at the girl again. "How you ever gonna get a girl If you don't talk to them?"

I just turned to see the movie had started. Dally sighed and flicked out a blade, twisted It around In his hands. I watched him carve his name Into the back of the orange chair In front of him. Boredom always got away with Dally Winston.

The girl sat two rows In front of us. I could see her perfect. Well, the back of her head perfect. Her, I supposed, boyfriend wrapped his arm carelessly around her neck. I saw her smile at him. For a second I actually thought maybe she was sitting beside me, but sure enough when I turned my head Dallas was sitting there, puffing smoke hitting on a girl In the next row. I sighed loudly. My stomach growled loudly, telling me to get some food In me. I remebered that I hadnt eaten since supper last night. I was starved.

"Hey Dal, can I borrow fifty?" I asked quietly staring at screen, but not really watching the movie.

"Yeah sure, get me something too, liek a sprite or something." He said flipping the 50 cent peices to me. I dropped one clumsily and bent over to pick It up before walking slowly over to the cpncession stand. This stand wasnt like the toher drive In's. It was real tuff, kinda 50's style.

I bought my popcorn and Dally's drink. It was barely enough. I remembered that why we didnt come here. Damn expensive.

I walked out of the door staring down at me feet and I bumped heavily Into a shoulder. I looked up quickly then down again.

"Sorry, man." I muttered, but something made me look back up at them. It was a guy Id seen before. Seen today In fact cause It was that girls boyfriend.

"I bet you are." He sneered and went back to kissing the girl. Only this girl had red hair. It actually wasn't 'the' girl at all. My eyes widened and I picked up my pace to get back to my seat. The girl wasnt In her seat anymore. Damnit. I looked for her, while I passed Dallas his drink.

"Jesus Johnny cool It." He said laughing. "Shes right over there." He said pointing towards a car where she was standing alone. I walked briskly over there. Well, about as briskly as Johnny Cade could walk.

"Um...Hey." I said when I got there, I barely looked at her. I could see the smoke from her cigarette though, stinging my nose and eyes.

"...Hi?" She said, I looked at her and she had a questioning look on her face. She brushed her hair out of her eyes.

"Yeah, your boyfriend, hes looking for you..." I said, barely above a whisper.

"Really?" She said, skeptical.

"Yeah, he sent me over here to get you. Hes at the back door of the stand."

"Whats he doing?" She said, dropping her ciggarette to the ground even though It wasnt even half done. I shrugged.

"Okay...well thanks." She said, quickly smiling and walked away. I watched her walk away, feeling kind of bad. I hoped so bad that she would find him with the red head.

Then as I was walking back I was thinking about what I just did. Why had I just done that? She might've really liked that guy. Did I really think that by one guy breaking her heart, she would go for some guy liek me? She didnt even know I exsisted until just now. I might have just ruined something really ...how great could It be If he was cheating on her?

Shutup. I told myself. Shutup. Shutup. Shutup. It doesnt matter. It was none of your buisness. I started running after her, hoping I could stop her before she found him. What would I say even If I did catch her?

"Jackie! Jackie wait baby!" I heard someone yell. Well not someone, obviously It was him. So...i guess her name Is Jackie. She came walking almost right to me. She shouldered me out of the way and I grabbed her arm. I didnt know why, It was a reflex.

"Get off of me!" She said swatting my hand away. I wasnt going to push It, I let her go. She walked away, I didnt look away from her until I couldnt see her anymore. I sighed and turned around, trudging back up to the bleacher seats. I looked over to see her boyfriend, or ex-boyfriend, walking towards me. He grabbed by the arm and slammed me Into the front of the bleachers. The back of my head burned for an Instant.

"Why were you talking to Jackie?" He yelled, slamming me again. I didnt answer, I hoped wildly Dallas would see me.

"What did you say to her?!" He demanded, he punched me hard across the face. I felt whatever had healed In my lip to be erased. Another punch Into my cheek. I groaned. He punched me hard In the stomach and I buckled over. I clutched my stomach, keeled over on my knees.

"Yeah, thats what I thought. Dont you talk to a girl like Jackie again. Shes my chick, you stay out of It." He kciked me one more time In the ribs and started walking away. I looked up to see Dallas walking up to the guy. A little late, but better than never.

He just spun the guy around and gave him a hard blow to the nose. He flew back a few feet. He was out.

Dally looked over at the guy who was with with him. Waiting, daring him to even look at him. He turned and walked away. Dallas gave that look of triumph and a glare to the rest of the crowd. He lit up a cigarette.

"Come Johnny, we're outta here." He said, starting to walk away. I caught up quickly.

"You should have went with the girl." Dallas said out of no where.

"What?"

"You did good, lieing to get him caught, but you shoulda gone with the chick." He said. I nodded.

"You did good besides the fighting part. He beat the sense outta you." I shrugged. He was right, but I couldnt help I was small...

"Where you stayin?" He asked me, passing the cigarette to me cause he knew it was out. I loved that tickle at the back of your throat that seemed to be new every puff.

"Dunno man."

"Well, sorry Johnnycakes but you cant stay at my place tonight. I mean you'd be better at your own house than at my place. I drove my step mom outta my house, there gunna be some fireworks." He laughed. I nodded, i didnt liek Dally's dad. He was a lot like Dally when he fought, except he was liek that all the time.

"Yeah." I sighed looking around.

"Why dont you go to the Curtis'?"

"...I dunno, i guess I will. I mean, where else am i gonna go?" I said, wrapping my jacket around myself. My face was still kind of tingling, liek i could feel the hand still on my face.

"Two-bits." He said, letting the smoke escape.

"Naw..."

"Well, whatever, you know your gonna end up at the Curtis'...thats where im headin now." He said, not asking if i wanted to come. But just assuming. Not that i'd object to Dally...never.

I walked into the Curtis house, and instantly i smelt aftershave. Soda must have a date.

"Oh man, Two-Bit! HAHA! Two-bit its just Dal and Johnny!" Two-bit looked around the corner of the hallway. The came loping back in.

"We thought ya'll were Darry!" Two-Bit laughed. Sodapop was bent over clutching his stomach, laughing his breathy, almost silent laugh. Then he burst out...loudly.

"You...oh my god! You...I've never seen you run that fast!" Soda yelped gripping the couch, gasping.

"You didnt look so tough either when Steve said Darry was walking in!" Two-bit yelled, picking up glass...from an aftershave bottle.

"Why did you think it was Darry anyways Steve?" Two-bit asked.

"I didnt really." Steve, replied.

"Shut up!" Two-bit yelled at Sodapop, who couldnt for the life of him cease laughing. Two-bit lunged at Soda and knocked him onto the couch, while he was still chuckling. Two-Bit jumped on his back sending them both flying off of the couch and onto the floor, after hitting the table and sending an ashtray flying.

"Yeah try and laugh now!"

"I cant, your collapsing my lungs." Soda said breathlessly.

"Yeah thats what i thought!" He yelled laughing and twisting Soda's arm around behind him.

"Well it aint my fault, you could lose a few pounds." Sodapop said, getting his arm free and almost wiggling free.

"Kibosh it pretty boy or i'll snap you liek a twig!" Of course Sodapop, even though Sodapop was smaller, he could beat Two-Bit no sweat. And that he did.

I walked in and sat beside Ponyboy on the couch. He had a glass of coke in one hand and was holding a book with the other. His cigarette sat forgotten in the ashtrasy in front of us. He jumped when i sat down on the couch dumping his coke on his shirt.

He cursed loudly, trying to mop it up with his sleeve.

"Ponyboy?!" Two-bit exclaimed being fakely appaulled at Ponys language.

"I mean..." Ponyboy started, trying to think of a nicer way to put it, then realizing there wasnt he reached for his cigarette. "Nup, i meant what i said..."

"Whats up Pon?" I asked him, watching him read his book.

"Nun.." He mumbled "You?"

"Same ol' " I exhaled.

"Whats with the blood all over your shirt?" He asked, flicking his ashes at my chest.

I pointed to my lip. Ponyboy looked at it for a long time, before his expression softened and he nodded. See, they all know, but the only one whose actually tried to talk to me about the whole mess with my dad is Soda. I was being real difficult though, cause thats when it just started and i was trying to deny it. That wouldnt cut it with Sodapop for much longer though.

"Screw off Dally!" I looked back, behind the couch at the card table where Steve was doing homework. Dally had taken his book from him and was now scanning through the pages grinning at what he had written.

"I found the book to be rather inspiring actually..." Dally read out-loud in a high pitched, soft voice.

"Shut up Dal, at least im gonna pass high school!" Steve yelled grabbing a beer from the fridge and sitting back at his chair where Dallas had returned the book.

"Like your gonna need high school! Yeah, when you get to be head of the DX im sure you'll be real glad you learned that 2000 plus 3000 is 6000!" He laughed increduesly. Now it was Steve's turn to laugh out loud.

"5000! You friggen moron!" Steve yelled, throwing his beer can at the back of Dallas' head. Dallas flipped him the bird and looked back down at the car magazine he was reading.

Dally, Steve and Two-bit left around 12...maybe more like one. After, Soda, Pony and Darry went to bed, i figured it was time i hit the sack too. I layed on the couch and fell into a restless sleep, but not before Jackie's pretty face flashed through my mind one last time.

Yihaw...isnt it fun starting new stories?! Well...Shelbys not in this one, but its still dedicated to her memory (see profile). Its also dedicated to everyone who reviewed my last stories...Especially DaNni BaBeZ or something like that...i could always count on you for a review! Anyways this isnt going to be mainly about romance..its going to be drama...hardships with the greasers mainly, of course romance does have to do with some of that hardship but i decided that as much as i wanted to write a johnny romance that this will be Dramatic! Anyways im out...REVIEW PLEASE! I wasnt even sure if i wanted to post this since my other story isnt done but Please tell me what you think?! Peace and Love,

x0 Mercedes x0