Author's Note

Was up, party peoples? I am literally going to drop everything else I'm doing for this, because I feel like being one of those losers with 40 chapter stories and like 10000 reviews. This idea just kind of came to mind, because Ponyboy acts like a pretty well-behaved teenager, it it's very...abnormal. I want him to mouth off a little, then get into huge trouble. Like, huge. Now, I've never been crazy high before (maybe a little tipsy, that's it) so I'm just guessing on this. I'm going to make this shit epic. Chya.

Here we go...

Still comin'...

Almost there...

Prologue

I forgot just why I taste

Oh yeah, I guess it makes me smile

I found it hard

It was hard to find

Oh, well, nevermind

-Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana

I smelled something by the house, fire or something. Not like the whole place was burning down. Like someone dropped some paper or something onto the stove top, or dropped a smoke on the carpet. I don't know why it hit me like it did. Maybe 'cause I couldn't walk ten steps to save my life, and I needed something I could make sense of to hold on to. Everything's spinning in a colorful kind of way, even in the scarce early morning light. I could see light in the living room, cracking through the gap at the bottom of the cheap wooden door. I fumbled with the gate, my hands seeming like exotic plants to my own eyes. I blinked.

I heard two voices arguing in hushed, exasperated whispers. I heard bits and pieces, something about somethin about whatever. I took a drag from the dying cigerette squeezed between my fingers, fascinated by the outstream of wispy smoke floated around it, into the air like the spirit of something long gone. I looked at it, my hand on the doorknob now. I wondered who's spirit it was, how they got that way. Why were they in my Cools, anyway? Did they like Cools?

He pondered this as he turned the knob, stepping into the dimly lit living room. Darry was quick to his feet, his eyes startling in their inhuman, wild anger.

I wavered in my spot, smoke still fresh around my throat, my chest. Was his eyes red? Or orange? I couldn't tell.

"Four in the goddamn morning, Ponyboy!" he roared, his muscles clenched, his veins fat, deadly snakes constricted under his skin. I wondered it they'd break it, the skin, I mean. The muscles'd probably rip through his skin like toilet paper. The thought made me uneasy.

Darry was saying something, and I forgot I was supposed to listen, "Hmm?"

Soda, who was propped by the wall, probably there to keep Darry from ringing my neck, looked at me weird.

"Are you even listening?" Darry barked.

I nodded.

"I got a call from your teacher-at work-tellin' me you never showed up today!"

I can't think of anything to say. School...that was...today? "Whoops."

Darry makes this face, like he wants to smash something and throw up at the same time. I look at the wall behind him, trying to grab my bearings in the short seconds I figured until I'd be part of the carpet.

"Are you fucking high?" I hear him say.

"Nope..." I say, shuffling my feet. I think about it, "...yup."

I see Soda moan from his perch, shaking his head, saying something that I can't make out. I really, really need another smoke.

"Goddamnit..." Darry groaned, running a hand through his hair, looking all over the place at once, like the walls have all the answers. I imagine parenting books written out in dark blue ink all over the walls, built into every house, seeping in through paint and wallpaper and furniture when the need arises. This thought, for some reason, makes my laugh quietly to myself, muttering, "...walls of destiny." or something like that. I can't remember.

"Where'd you get it?" Soda's asking me with hesitance, like he's afraid of the answer.

"'S everywhere." I say, waving my hand around the living room, towards the door.

"You know what I mean, Pony." he says quietly. I try to focuse on his face, but it just ends up becoming two faces, three, four, five. I look somewhere else.

I shrug, suddenly needing to go to the bathroom. I try to get past the brick wall that is Darry. He grabs my shirt tale and pushes me back, telling me to stand there and don't walk away from him. I don't say anything.

They start talking to each other, from the same spots. Soda's saying I'm just a kid, I don't know any better, I never do anything like this, it's a phase. Darry says I'm never gonna get outta this hellhole at this rate, that I'm smarter then this, that I'm not that kind of kid, that I got a chance to do shit. I distance myself from it, taking another drag from the cigerette, suddenly bored with the whole thing. I need another smoke.

There talking to me now, I think. Darry's face is a strange color of red that I find boldly threatening. I think their saying somethin about school, or drugs, or something. I drift off again.

Someone hits me, I think. Right across the cheek. It's a fist, because I can feel the knuckles dig into my skin. Or maybe just the backhand. I can't tell. I'm momentarily taken out of my stupor to hear Darry tell me he missed an hour of work to come to the school and talk to my teacher, that he's out some money, he has to work extra time to pay the bills this month, that I'm selfish,a nd the while I keep my head where it was thrown, ducked, to the side, looking at the carpet. I realize I'm off balance, and lean against the wall next to me. Soda's yelling now, and Darry's yelling now, and it all swims in my ears like sharks, attacking each other, destroying everything aroudn them. I feel claustrophobic, and glance at the door.

With my hands in my pocket-the cigerette burning my finger-I walk out of the house, a sudden feeling of overwhelming guilt forming in my chest.

He's gotta work longer, harder, 'cause of me. Cause I'm a fucking screw up kid. I could work, if he'd let me. I've said, I think he was joking, that he needs me to get rich and famous so he and Soda could live down in my mansion. I don't think even he believed it.

I think there'll calling after me. I'm not running, or even walking fast, but they don't come after me.

So, I just won't be there problem anymore.