“Aww, she’s so cute.” Christine almost squealed as Lorry’s hair was being pulled back in pig tails.
She was so pretty in her princess dress. Adorable.
“She’s a princess alright.” Sally commented handing her, her wand.
“Beautiful.” Evie said placing a tiara on her head delicately.
“We deem you princess, Lorry.” Soda said and bowed to the little girl.
“You guys really know how to make a little girl be a princess.” Alice told them looking at her daughter.
We’ve known her about a month now. And I think superman is about to ask her out.
“We try.” Tootsie giggled along with the others.
Alice picked up Lorry and cradled her.
“You’ll always be my princess.” She said and kissed her cheek.
I turned around to look at Soda.
“You’re bringing the snacks tomorrow, right?” He asked.
“It is my turn, ain’t it?” I asked him.
“Why do you think I’m askin’?”
“Why do you think I’d forget?”
He bit his lip and went back to the cake he was trying to make.
“What’s tomorrow?” Amilia asked me.
“Monthly poker night.” Pony explained coming out from his room, “It’s a guys night, pretty much.”
“So while the guys are having their night, we can have a girls night.” Lilly offered.
They all agreed to it.
“It used to be just me and, Evie.” Christine said, “This’ll be fun.”
“No one under fifteen aloud.” Sally said.
“How come?” She whined.
” ‘Cause we’re gonna do things you’ll think are boring.” Sally retorted.
“Like?” She asked.
“Talk about boys, play truth or dare, do make overs.” Sally listed.
I rolled my eyes, “Christine can go.” I said, “She’s really cool, get to know her.”
“Only if you take responsibility for her.” She said.
“I’ll do it.” Evie said.
“There it all works out.” I said.
“What time do you get off tomorrow?” Amilia asked me.
“Three.” I said, “Why?”
“So we know what time we’ll all be there.” Sally said in a ‘duh’ ton.
“I can’t go.” I told them like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
“How come?” Lilly asked me.
I smiled, “Tomorrow night’s guys night.” I said, “I’m gonna be here playing poker.”
“Tomorrow’s guys night at the Curtis.” Tootsie said, I nodded, “It’ll also be girls night at. . .
“We can have it my place.” Lilly offered, “My parents are out for the weekend.”
“Lilly’s.” She continued, I nodded, “You’re a girl.”
I nodded, “But, I just so happen to be one of the guys.” I told her.
“That doesn’t work.” Sally said.
“How come?” Two-bit asked pretty much ignoring us until this point.
“Kat’s a girl, how is she one of the guys?” She asked.
“Well,” I started, “I was raised by five older brothers, each teaching me how to fight, work on cars, and do stuff like that. I work at a gas station, I love fights, I fix cars better than Steve.”
“Keep dreamin’.” He said from the kitchen door frame.
I rolled my eyes, “I run around in jeans, I don’t wear make up of any kind. And I’d take a rumble over a shopping spree any day.” I told them.
“Besides.” Soda said coming out covered in cake batter, “Guy’s night ain’t guy’s night, without the one Kit-Kat we all love.”
“Aww.” I said and hugged him.
“It’s true.” He said.
“So, Kat’s just going to be one of the guys all the time?” Lilly asked.
“I swear you need help.” Evie said.
“You’re just mad ’cause I get spend a night laughing at dirty jokes, giving girl advise, playing hands, bluffing, and pigging out on junk food.” I told her.
She rolled her eyes at me.
“We’re holding you to the pigging out thing.” Steve told me.
Sure. I thought. They’ll get so drunk they won’t remember.
“I’m sure we’ll have a good time without her.” Christine said.
—The next day—
I was roaming up and down the isles of the grocery store. My turn for snacks. The cart I was pushing was already loaded chips, dip, sodapop(not the person), candy bars, pretzels, cheeses, and other random candies and party snacks.
It was Dally and Two-bit that were supposed to bring the beer. Dally’d get it from Buck easy. Two-bit’d drive it all over here. In a way it worked.
I payed for it all and loaded it in the back of the car, Buddy lent me. He was sick today and wasn’t going to the office. I asked and he tossed me the keys. But he said that if I let Soda, Two-bit, or Dally drive it I was band from it forever. I wasn’t going to let anyone other than myself anyway.
I drove down to the Curtis house, it took a couple trips to get it all in, but it was done.
“Lot of junk don’t you think.” Pony smiled seeing me bring in the last of the bags.
“Where were you eight loads ago?” I asked him.
“Changing.” He said, “I had track practice.”
I nodded, “Help me put all this away for tonight.” I said.
“Who do you think’ll win?” He asked half way through.
I thought a second.
“Johnny’s real good.” I said, “Dally’s pretty good too, Soda’d probably cheat. Him and Steve have gotten a lot of practice in though.”
“My money’s on you.” He said.
“Why’s that?” I asked.
“The way you work the cards.” He said, “You know just what to do. And if you don’t got a good hand, you bluff yourself out of it all.”
I smiled, “And how do you know all this?” I asked.
“I watch.” He said, “I’ve been tryin’ to save up to have as much as you guys do. But I can’t seem too. Not to mention I ain’t got enough cigarets at the end of the day to work with that.”
I smiled and pulled out three packs of his brand from under my jacket and handed them to him.
“Kat.” He said.
“Consider it a loan.” I told him, “You win, you owe me twice as much as the packs cost.”
“And if I lose?” He asked.
I thought, “You owe me a favor.” I told him.
“Okay.” He said and took them, “Thanks.”
I smiled, “Just help me get all this put away.”
He smiled and did.
Six o’clock rolled around, the guys came in from work. Two-bit and Dally hauled in a lot of beer.
I ordered a couple pizzas for us. We ate and watched a horror movie that was on tv that night.
Then we migrated to the kitchen table and I handed out the cards.
Pony was a little nervous playing with us. It was basically me, Soda, Steve, Johnny, Two-bit, and Dally. Darry’d play sometimes, but mostly he’d watch a little and go to bed.
“What’s the matter, Ponyboy?” Steve teased him, “You seem nervous, ain’t got a good hand or something?”
“Hey, Randle.” I said to him blowing my smoke in his face, “Why don’t you shut up and leave the kid alone before I do it for you.”
“I thought you were a friend first.” He said.
“I am.” I said taking a drag, “But you also got Sodapop to back you up. Not that he’d be much good.”
The table ohh’d.
“Who’d be good then?” Soda asked.
I thought, “Darry, Junior, Buddy, Thor.” I said.
The table broke out laughing.
“I raise you ten bucks and four cigarets.” I said throwing them into the pot.
“I’ll see your ten.” Steve said, “Raise you fifty, and throw in a dozen weeds.”
I bit my lip.
Two-bit, Dally, and Pony matched that. Soda and Johnny folded.
I threw an unopened pack of cigarets in the middle of the table.
“Match or fold.” I told them.
Pony folded. Dally threw in half a pack and twenty bucks, Two-bit matched Dally but raised it by ten. Steve wasn’t happy, but he put in seventy.
Two-bit had a straight, Dally had a flush, Steve had an ace. I kept chewin’ on my bottom lip as I laid my cards down one at a time.
“I got a two, a joker.” I laughed, so did they, “And, two aces.”
They all let out a yell saying how I cheated.
I laughed as I cleaned up the money and cigarets.
“It has and always will be a pleasure, boys.” I said lighting up a new one.
“I swear you cheat.” Dally said.
“I never cheat.” I told him, “I just got the cards I got. ‘Sides, it was Two-bit who was dealin’.”
“Kat?” Ponyboy asked me.
“How do you know if a girl likes you?”
Half the table choked on what they were drinking.
“Why?” I asked teasingly.
His face was burning red as he stuttered, “I-I k-kind-da, l-l-like th-this-s-s girl.”
The table erupted in laughter, I just smiled.
“What’s her name?” I asked.
He looked petrified, “Please don’t make me.” He begged quietly.
I rolled my eyes, “Fine.” I told him, “It’ll depend on the girl.”
“Like how?” He asked as Dally dealt out a fresh hand.
“Well, is she’s shy she’ll blush around you and maybe stutter a lot.” I thought, “Same time she might avoid you if it like that.”
“What about a girl, who’s more outgoing?” He asked.
“Like how?” I asked him.
“Like, she’s really funny, and smart, and athletic, and she really wants to do a lot of stuff but no one’ll let her.” He told me biting his lip, “What about a girl like that?”
“She’ll wanna be near you.” I told him picking up my hand, “She’ll talk to you, maybe ask you to tutor her in a subject she isn’t very good at. Wanna go out and do things you like, but she won’t want to make it obvious that she likes you so she’ll do it in groups. Like ask if you and your friend wanna go to Jays with a couple of her friends. That way she can be close to you and it’s not suspicious.”
“Girls are confusing.” He said.
“Yeah.” I agreed, “They are.”
“Here’s to a guys night.” Dally said raising his beer, we all followed suit and took a drink.
“Four aces!” We all exclaimed as Pony threw down the last ace onto the table.
“How?” Soda asked.
“Cheater.” Steve said.
“You say that to everyone who wins when it’s not you.” I said.
He shut up and sat back down.
“I guess it was a good hand.” He said cleaning up the money and cigarets in the middle of the table.
“I guess you got lucky.” I told him.
“What time is it?” Two-bit asked waking up after passing out on the table and his cards.
I glanced at the clock, “Three am.” I said.
“Wow,” He said, “Night’s still rollin’.”
We laughed lightly.
We played a few more rounds before almost everyone passed out.
Pony and Johnny were gonna share his and Soda’s room because Soda was passed out at the table with the others. I got the couch.
I was counting all my winnings. Four and a half packs of cigarets, and almost three hundred bucks of cash. It was a good night.