I dedicate this fic to my own Brown Eyed Girl. Aunt Brittany love's you Bethany Grace!
So Dally and Johnny lived. Johnny was in the hospital for a long time, but not as long as Dallas was in the cooler. He was in there for eighteen months, his longest stretch yet. He was on probation for two years after.
I guess we all changed a little bit.
Soda got a happy ending too. He took my advice and wrote Sandy a letter. She came back. He tried to act mad at first but then he quit and smiled more than I had ever seen. It turned out the baby was his, and she had just lied to spare him. Soda was truly happy, the real grown up kind. I was proud of him. I knew he would do all the things he said he would; Sandy and the baby would be taken care of. They got married right after she came back. Her dad wasn't happy about it at first, but I think he liked it better than having his daughter and granddaughter hundreds of miles away. Her dad gave Soda a pretty good job building houses, and now they are the kind of family you can't image without each other. Their daughter, Nevah, is beautiful like her mother and happy like her father. Darry and Pony were crazy about her, but then we all were. Sodapop wasn't going to just make an ok dad and husband; he was going to be great. I was glad the guys got to see the wedding, not just because it meant a lot to Soda, but because I was afraid it would be the only one they would get the chance to see
Soda wasn't drafted because he had a family, but Steve was. I think he really wanted to go. To have a way to channel his anger, or to get away from his dad, or just because he was bored, I don't know. He didn't call or write often, but when he did he sounded less and less like the Steve we knew.
Two-Bit was spared because he was still in school. He wanted to drop out and go with Steve, but we talked him out of it. He decided to wait till he graduated, and enlist then. I hoped he didn't change like Steve did.
Dally didn't get drafted either. We never knew he had an aunt in Canada. We all went to see him a lot when he was locked up, even Cherry, but she always went alone. I don't know what they said to each other. They never told me and I never asked. But soon it was a well-known fact that she was his girl. Cherry didn't change him, and he didn't change her, they just completed each other. Not like him and Johnny, but they were good for each other. I never saw anyone understand someone else the way they understood each other. I saw them being the same inside, stubborn, prideful, and determined but it reflected differently in them. I got use to her being around; she didn't look out of place anymore. You wouldn't believe how tuff she could be.
Darry and Pony didn't fight nearly as much as they use to. Pony was still absentminded and a dreamer, but now he was more understanding to everybody. When there was a problem he thought it through, this usually ended up with him getting too involved in things and people. I think it was because he was such a deep thinker. Darry just learned to bite his tongue more. He was too realistic to ever understand Ponyboy, but he was the rock. Pony got an academic scholarship and was going to college in the fall.
Johnny spent a lot of time in the hospital. Of course he was saved from Nam because of his back. For that I was grateful. Me and Pony made him keep up with his studies in the hospital. His grades even got better, I think it was because me and Pony looked over his work before he turned it in. He couldn't walk or run anymore, but he could still live life. And after a while, he did. Everyone finally got over the comical effect of me being with him, even Two-bit quit laughing every time he would say our names together. My dad met him a year before we graduated, and he greatly approved. Johnny's didn't go to college; however my dad got him an internship at his buddy's law office. Like I said, he approved.
I was wrong about Soda's wedding being the only one. Tim's was next. You might think he did it to get out of the draft, but you'd be wrong. He met Tina. She was just like him, as tough and wild. I guess that's why they fell in love. They were the only ones who could handle each other. Then there was Darry's wedding, and a year later, mine and Johnny's. It was the best day of my life. After a lot of angry persuasion from Cherry, she and Dallas finally got married too. I was right about Pony though. He never did get married that I know of. He seemed to be happy without a wife. After college he moved away and slowly we heard less and less from him.
Steve didn't make it back. Two-Bit did, at least his body did. His mind never was the same though. He didn't ever grin or joke; he always had a hard cold look. It was different from Dally's. A few years after he came back his mom found his body in the basement: alcohol poisoning. It about killed all of us. We didn't know what 'tough' was until then.
Today I am 79 years old, and my great granddaughter came by to see me after school. I'm glad to see those long black curls and big dark eyes when she comes. When Johnny died four years ago I didn't know how I was going to make it without him, but I see him every time I look at her. She was only 5 when he passed, and it's sad to think soon she won't remember him. So today when she said, "Nana, tell me about Pa Pa Johnny." I just smiled and said, "Darlin, if you want to see Pa Pa Johnny, just look in the mirror."
Then after she left I took out my old diaries and wrote this down, our story, for her. I hope she enjoys it and never forgets.
Ok so I wasn't thinking of this in terms of a story written for a nine year old by her great grandmother when I wrote the first chapter…. So maybe you can just look over that. I don't know if I will change it or not. Also, I am planning a bunch of one-shots, one for each member of the gang, so if you liked this you might want to check them out.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it.