/* PCD change http to https for CSRF JUL 2017 */ The outsiders chapter 13. There isn't a cht. 13 in the book so I made one. | KidPub Press //
The outsiders chapter 13. There isn't a cht. 13 in the book so I made one.

The outsiders chapter 13. There isn't a cht. 13 in the book so I made one.

Posted April 23rd, 2019 by chicken123

by Ava
in Michigan

So I put footnotes in here when I was writing it, and for some reason, they didn't show up. They are the bolded words. Just ignore them.

 

 

Chapter 13

   

My eyes kept drifting up to the clock on the wall of the classroom. My principal said he wanted to meet me after school was over. I couldn’t for the life of me, figure out what the old man wanted. But it was giving me a strange feeling. What was it? Premonition?

Three minutes left of class. Three minutes left of the teacher droning on and on and on. Three minutes until the principal’s office made me shake so hard, that I might shake straight out of my skin.

Ringgg. Ringgg. Ringgg. The school bell rang, signaling it was time for everyone to go home. I was the first one out of the classroom, and I sprinted to the school office.

When I burst into the door, the secretary gave a shriek and her glasses fell off of her head. I felt someone come up and grab me from behind, and mess up my hair. Since almost a year ago, it had grown back almost to its normal length.

I swiveled around and tried to elbow Soda. He dodged my arm and smiled his gallant smile. I grinned back and lightly punched him in the shoulder. Darry swaggered in, his muscles bulging from under his shirt. His hair was cut nice and short, the way it always was. “Hey little buddy,” he said. He hardly ever called me that. He messed up my hair, which I just fixed after Soda messed it up.

The principal walked out of his office and walked over to Darry. “Hello! You must be Darrel and Sodapop. I’m Mr. S.” He reached out to shake Darry’s hand, and Darry returned it with a firm grip. Maybe a little too hard, because Mr. S. grimaced, and took his hand away. Rubbing it, he said, “Follow me.” Soda and I tried to stifle a laugh, but we failed and covered it up with coughs.

We followed him down a hall in the school office, and into his own office. He shut the door and sat in his big rolly chair.

“I have good news, and I have bad news,” he said. “Would you like to hear the good news or the bad news first?”

“Good,” the three of us said at the same time. He nodded and took an envelope out of a drawer in his desk.

    “Read it,” he said, motioning to me. I took it and read it out loud. It said, “Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that Ponyboy Curtis has been accepted to Oklahoma State University on a full-ride scholarship! You have shown great potential in athleticism, and we are offering you a place on the college track team. You will also be given the right to join an advanced English class if you choose to do so. We hope to see you soon!

Sincerely, OSU school board and staff.”

After I finished, I folded the paper back up and put it on the desk. OSU student? I thought they marked greasers like me and the gang too lousy to go to college. But I guess I proved that theory wrong.

“I guess you can use your head after all, Ponyboy!” Darry slapped me on the back.

“Nah, he’s just got more worries, Darrel,” the principal said. Uh-oh. Bad move.

“And what’s that supposed to mean?” Darry-sorry, Darrel-demanded.

“Nothing. I didn’t mean nothing-I mean anything by it. I just meant that he has to do a lot of work in college,” he smiled nervously and fiddled with the buttons on his shirt. Darry sat back down in his chair and crossed his arms.

“Boy, your face can get red! Soda said to me, trying to lighten the mood. I shot him a look that made him sit back in his chair.

    “Well, let’s continue!” the principal said. “Here’s a letter from Mr. Syme. It seemed pretty important for him to give it to you.” I took it and flipped it open. It read, “Ponyboy! Your writing assignment that I had you do almost a year ago really made me think. It was so good, I even sent it into the OSU. I hope you don’t mind, but you showed so much potential! I’m sorry it took me so long, but they were hard to convince. But when I told them how you saved those kids with your friends, they wanted to accept you right away! It took a while for them to find your address, but I hope they finally found it. I hope you choose to go, it is a great opportunity. Don’t be a stranger!

Sincerely, Mr. Syme”

I folded it back up and waited for someone to say something. No one said anything at first, but then Darry spoke up. “You said there was bad news?” Mr. S. put his elbows on the table and rubbed his temples. “The bad news is, is that you have to move away. You have to board at the college, and you have to pay that board. Now, I don’t know if you can afford it--”

    “And what’s that supposed to mean?” This time it was Soda who said it, not Darry.

    “Just that I know that times are tough right now for everybody, but toughest in the sense that your friends are gone, and you’re all probably taking a break.” Boy, was he wrong about that. Sure, we were down lower than dirt. Ever since Johnnycake and Dally had died, things had been rough all over. But we were managing alright I suppose. Soda was still working full time at the DX and Dally was hauling shingles up roofs still. And most of my time was spent at school and at home.

    I was jarred out of my thoughts when Soda shoved me lightly on the shoulder, signaling that I had to get out of the comfortable chair because it was time to leave. I stood up and stretched. Darry was shaking Mr. S’s. hand and had a thoughtful look on his face. Mr. S. grimaced again, and Darry pulled his hand back.

    “Goodbye, Darrell,” he said. He nodded to Soda and I. “Think about it,” he said. Oh, I’d sure think about it.

____________________________________________________________________________

    The way home was silent. Except for the occasional noise of Darry shifting the car, nobody talked. We all had a lot on our minds, I guess.

    I walked into the house and ran up into mine and Soda’s room. I closed the door and flopped onto my side of the bed. I flipped open both letters, and read them over and over again, until the words were imprinted in my mind.

    Moving away? From Darry and Sodapop? What would they do without me? Would Soda be sent to a home? Thoughts swirled around in my mind like fog on a rainy day. Sure, I wanted to go to college. But I just didn’t want to leave my family.

    I thought about the rest of the gang. How they had turned out. Two-Bit had gotten himself a blonde, and he was off to God-Knows-Where. Steve was around, and he was still working full time at the DX with Sodapop.

    Randy and some of the other Socs started to live their own lives on the West Side. Cherry Valance was around, but her family was away on “vacation.” I honestly think she misses Bob and needs some time away from everything. I always wished Darry had found a girl. There was this one girl one time, and her name was Stella. But they got in a fight. Something about her not having commitment or whatever.

    Then that leaves Dally and Johnny. One died gallantly and bravely, the way he knew he wanted to die. One died full of hatred, anger, and the wish to be gone from this rank world.

    I thought back to our conversation with the principal. He had said that I had “more worries.” Sure, that was true. But I wasn’t giving up altogether.

I remembered Johnnycake’s last words to me. I thought of them every single day, and I was thinking of him now. They echoed in mind, “Stay gold Ponyboy. Stay Gold.”

    Stay Gold. What did that mean? I still hadn’t figured it out. Then I knew what I had to do. Johnny would want me to go to college. I’d do it for him.

    I jumped up from my bed and bolted into the room Darry and Soda were in. “I’ve decided to go,” I announced. Darry looked up from his newspaper and looked over the top of his reading glasses. Soda stood up. “It’s what Johnny, Mom, and Dad would’ve wanted me to do.”

    Darry sighed, folded up the newspaper, and folded his hands in his lap. He opened his mouth to talk, but I stopped him.

    “I know we can’t afford it, but I can get a job! I can work at the DX with Soda, and--”

    “Pony,” Darry said softly. “We can afford it.”

    “What?”

    “We can afford it.” This time he said it louder, with a voice of reassurance.

    “But h--”

    “Soda and I had been taking extra shifts, and I started hauling up heavier bundles.”     “Well, actually, I was taking extra shifts for you,” Soda turned to Darry. “I wanted you to be able to follow your dreams.” Darry sat there a second, an awestruck expression on his face. “Of course, I want you to go to college too Ponyboy, but we can always save for you to go later.”

    “No. We decided that Ponyboy would be going to college, and that’s final.” Darry said firmly.

“I’ll keep working then. I’ll do whatever it takes, Darry. I promise.” It should’ve been a happy time. All of us whooping and hollering around the room, but it was quiet. I guess we were all thinking about how Darry didn’t get to go to school because he was looking after us after our parents died, and Soda dropped out of school so that I could go to college. And how Johnny was only 16 and never got to finish what he started.

    “Well, are we going to celebrate or what? Pony’s going to college!” Soda hollered. “I know we normally save the chocolate cake, but this is special enough.”

While they went into the kitchen, I stopped and waited behind. Now, it finally dawned on me what Johnny meant by me “staying gold.” He meant that I was a great person and friend, and that in a way, I was “Gold.” All innocent and perfect and shiny, but with some rough around the edges. All new and pure and rich. And Johnny wanted me to stay that way.

    Even though I didn’t get to tell Dally to look at a sunset, I looked at one every day for him. I knew that whether or not he took the time to appreciate sunsets, he still saw them. Every day when he woke up, he saw one.

    And now I could promise Johnny one thing. I was staying gold.


 


See more stories by Ava

KidPub Authors Club members can post their own stories, comment on stories they've read, play on KidMud, enter our contests, and more!  Want to join in on the fun? Joining is easy! 

CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED!