TomKat Johnes(A The Outsiders Love Story: Chapter 25)

0

Well, Friday night rolled around and I got off work. I stopped at home, showered, and put on clean jeans and a navy wife beater.

I brushed my hair and left it down, I said bye to my brothers and was on my way. I arrived at the Dingo at six thirty to find Curly standing out front waiting patently for me.

“Hey, Curly.” I smiled and walked up to him.

“Hey, Kat.” He said, cheeks turning lightly red, “You look good.”

“Thanks.” I said, “You don’t look too shabby yourself.”

He blushed a little more.

“Wanna go in?” He asked as if he’d been doing something wrong.

“Sure.” I said realizing how nerves he really was.

He opened the door for me, and I smiled. We got a booth and he got up to order what we both wanted.

I rested my left elbow on the table and leaned on my hand. He was such a sweet guy, I knew that just from his posture so far. He wanted to succeed where his brother had failed. And I hated myself for knowing I’d have to tell him something later, I could never date a guy my age. I’d eat him alive. I’ve tried it and they could never keep up.

He came back and it was a little awkward as we ate, but all silence was broken when Two-bit and Sally came sliding in to the booth yelling that they weren’t expecting to find us here.

“You were there when I asked her out.” Curly mumbled.

Two-bit laughed, “You two look like you’re having so much fun.”

“We were.” I told him, “Until you two had to come in. Couldn’t you see we were deep in conversation?”

He laughed again, “If that was deep I’d hate to see shallow.”

“That’ll be your grave if you don’t leave right now.” I hissed.

“Oh, come on Kat.” Sally said nudging me, “This is the perfect way to lighten the tension of a first date, double up.”

“I rather like that tension.” I nearly hissed.

Two-bit and Sally burst out laughing. There was no way they would ever see me liking the tension and the silence.

“You’re brother still wants me back, doesn’t he?” I asked cutting through their laughter.

He nodded, “Beat me up last night after you excepted.” He told me, “He keep’s saying that you’ll come around, and once you had a taste of him you’ll want more, and all that.”

I smiled and rolled my eyes, “I think you should have been the older brother and not Tim.” I told him.

He looked confused.

“You’re more mature than he is.” I explained.

“A Shepard? Mature?” Two-bit laughed again, “This is the best!”

“Why?” I asked cheekily, “Because you’re learning words you’ve never known before?” And clicked my tongue to the roof of my mouth.

He stopped and glared at me, hard.

I grinned looking back at him.

“Let’s just go, Two-bit.” Sally said trying to stop a fight.

“You think I’m an idiot, don’t you?” He demanded.

I shook my head, “I know you’re not an idiot, Two-bit. But you can be so stupid at times, it’s not funny.”

And with that I grabbed Curly and we left leaving them behind.

“Sorry.” I mumbled as we walked, “I know he came because everyone knew I’d never snapped at him like that.”

He shrugged, “I had a feeling something like this would happen.” He said.

“Yeah, well I can still apologise.” I defended.

He nodded, “I knew this’d never make it past the first date.” He sighed.

“They almost never do.” I admitted.

“How come?” He asked.

I shrugged, “I’ll give anyone a chance, Curly, but a lot of the guys just aren’t right for me, or they’ve cheated on a million other girls before me and I don’t wanna be in that position, or,” I stopped and bit my lip.

“Or?” Curly asked.

“You have to promise you aren’t going to think of me as a shallow, greasy girl like every other girl in this neighborhood.” I warned.

“I promise.” He said.

I smiled and looked away, “The guy’s to young.”

“Too young?” He asked confused.

I nodded, “I can never date a guy my age or younger.”

“Why?”

I shrugged, “I’ve tried it on numerous counts, honest.” I said, “My brother’s have always said I need a guy my age. I’ve dated a few, meaning I’ve let them past the first date for their sake, but it just never felt right.”

“Like how?” He asked as we stopped next to the fountain and he lit up a weed and offered it to me, I politely refused.

“You know that old sayin’ you’ll be attracted to people like your parents?” I asked.

“God, I hope that ain’t true.” He said.

I shrugged, “I guess I am like my ma, ’cause I can never see myself with anyone my age. He has to be older like my daddy was.”

“How much older was he?” He asked as he blew smoke in my face.

“Seven years.” I said.

He almost choked on the smoke.

“You’re kidding.”

I shook my head, “And she was seventeen when they were married.” I told him.

“Wow!” He sat there a minute taking it in.

“I know it’s shallow, Curly.” I said, “You really are a nice guy, and to be perfectly honest it’s not even the age, but I think you’re better off with another girl.”

He stopped me, “Please don’t hit me, but I’ve always had this hunch.”

“What hunch?” I asked.

He smiled, “When I first met you, way back when, do you remember?”

I looked at him and he looked away sheepishly.

“Yeah.” I said.

Me, Steve, Soda, and Two-bit were playing one of our games on the play ground. Tim Shepard and his play ground annoyances(We called them that at the time) came up to us.

“What’s up losers?” He sneered.

“What do you want?” Steve hissed, seven years old, he had a hot temper.

“I wanna introduce my princess to her soon to be brother-in-law.” He said.

“I never knew you and Soda were engaged.” I said in my five-year-old voice.

He pushed me down off the monkey bars and I landed hard. 

“Kitty! Are you okay?” Two-bit called down to me.

I sat up quickly and nodded, I was fine.

“Alley Kat,” Tim said, I begrudgingly gave him my attention, “This is my baby brother, Curly.”

He moved to show a little boy, still larger then I was, looking about five, the same blond hair Tim had but it was kinds curly, he had the same dark eyes as his brother did, he was chubby and I knew he’d be a thorn in my side one of these days.

He made a face at me, then stuck his tong out and ran, his brother and his friends casing after him.

“Why did you run that day?” I asked him.

He looked away shyly, “Cause I never saw a girl as pretty as you.” He said.

I smiled and held back rolling my eyes, I’d gotten that compliment so many times I always assumed that they were being nice, or drunk, or they just wanted to get some. But I realized something as Curly said that, I was pretty. I’ve heard it my entire life and never believed a word of it. But I am, I was just never told so sincerely by the one I want as anything more then a joke.

“What’s this hunch of yours?” I asked.

He looked me dead on the eye and said, “From that day and the way that you acted with Randle, Matthews, and the middle Curtis I had this feeling you’d end up with one of them some day, I said don’t hit me.”

I had never any intention of hitting him, but was wondering if my feeling had been that obvious. No, he said it himself, one of them he never specified. Besides when I was that age I still though boys were icky. They are.

“Think so?” I asked him.

He nodded, “Even if non of them realize it,” He said, “One of them’d be the best choice for you in the long run.”

I shrugged, “Thank you, Curly.”

“For what?” He asked.

“For showing me something I hadn’t realized before.” I said and hugged him.

“No problem.” He said hugging back, “Just promise me something.”

“Sure.” I said pulling out of the hug.

“Make Tim get over you.” He almost hissed, “I’m tired of hearing him talk about you all the time.”

I had to laugh, it was almost stalker-ish the way he kept this up. It amused me.

“I’ll talk to you later, Curly.” I told him and stood up.

“See ya’ ’round Kat.” He said and we both walked out separate ways. He went to his place, and I wandered home. I debated going to the Curtis, but I figured that Two-bit and Sally were there telling everyone about what we did. Instead I went home and layed awake for a few hours wondering about what he said about me, Soda, Steve, and Two-bit, before finally drifting off to sleep.

Advertisements

TomKat Johnes(A The Outsiders Love Story: Chapter 24)

0

“So what are we gonna do?” Two-bit asked as we walked around for a little while.

“Kat?” They all asked.

“We all turn to me when we’re board and looking for something to do.” I said sarcastically.

“Of course, you’re the one who knows how to have the most fun out of all of us.” Soda told me.

I playfully punched him in the arm and he punched back.

I thought for a second. We can’t really get Soda, Pony, or the girls in trouble. Not a whole lot of money in any of our pockets. I stopped and put my hands on my hips to get a better idea.

“What you thinking?” Dally asked.

“What we’re gonna do tonight.” I said, “And right now I’m thinkin’ we head back to the Curtis house, marathon Mickey Mouse, and have wrestling matches.”

They all agreed, even the girls. So we headed back, and on the way we ran into the Shepards’.

“What’s up guys?” I asked them as the guys pulled their girls behind them.

“Not much Alley Kat.” Tim grinned, “You found yourself a new man after what’s-his-face?”

I shook my head, “Figured I’d take a break from datin’ for a while is all. Maybe become a little more girly, you know.”

He half laughed.

“Guess, you’re outta luck there, Curly.” Tim said to his brother, who then glared at him.

Tim never liked it when I went out with guys after he and I broke up. I guess he thought I was still his and he was just waitin’ for me to come to my senses. I broke up with the guy almost two years ago. And I though with me acting the way I do to him he’d get the hint. But I guess that boy’s head it real thick.

“If Curly asked me out himself, I’d think about it.” I told them, twisting my torso back and forth with my hands clasped behind my back in a very feminine mannor, “Same time, Curly needs to understand most of the guys who ask me out don’t make it past the first date. And I never kiss.”

“I can live with that.” He said.

“You’re still missing something.” I told him.

I could feel the guys behind me trying not to burst out laughing at the kid and me.

“Umm, Kat.” He started nervously, “Do you, maybe, wanna hang out at the Dingo Friday? With me, I mean.”

I thought for a second. I knew it was eating at him.

“I’ll meet you out front say, six thirty?” I said.

“Sounds great.” He grinned.

“I look forward to it.” I said, “Later guys.”

“Bye.” They said.

I could hear Tim curse Curly out as we walked away.

“You’re going for another Shepard?” Steve hissed when we were far enough away.

“You know how I work, Stevie.” I told him, “I give any guy who asks me out a chance. And you know me so well, you should also know that I’ll go out with him Friday and that’s it.”

“Really?” Sally asked me, “He seems like your type.”

I rolled my eyes, “His brother seemed like it too. And here I am, single and ready to mingle.”

The girls giggled.

“Think you’ll ever find a real good guy, Kat?” Christine asked me, “One who’ll love you no matter what, accept you just the way you are, shares what you like, and will always wanna be around you?”

I shrugged, “I don’t know, Krissy.” I admitted, “But I know you have a guy like that.”

She grinned and turned red as Pony pulled her in closer to him. They were cute together.

“C’mon, Kat.” Evie said, “You have to find someone like that eventually, someone’s gonna find out exactly how amazing you are.”

“Aww,” I brought her into a side hug, “Thanks, Eve. But I don’t know, no offence to you guys, but all the guys around here seem to like nothin’ more than how much a girl’s got in her bra.”

“Not true.” Two-bit came in, “Some of us like butts, some of us like legs, some of us go for the hair colour, or general size of the girl. Not just boobs.”

“Okay, non of the above I have.” I laughed.

“Oh, come on, you aren’t bad looking.” He told me. My heart started to hurt.

“Don’t you have a girlfriend?” I teased.

“Sally knows nothin’s gonna happen between us.” He said.

If only you knew what I knew you felt. Maybe things’d be different. I thought.

So, we wrestled and watched Mickey Mouse most of the night. Darry won the wrestling championship, it was no surprise.

I just kept wondering what would happen if I told Two-bit I knew he loved me, and I felt the same way. But I couldn’t do that, I didn’t want to wreck anything we had. And what about Sally? She was practically in love him right now. I couldn’t do that, not if my life depends on it. It’s against my greaser girl code.

TomKat Johnes(A The Outsiders Love Story: Chapter 23 Part B)

0

Two-bit’s pov.

Aww man. Kat’s probably gonna be grounded for a month now. One month without Kat.

That’s worse than the death sentence.

Oh God, what if they send her to grand parents? I couldn’t live.

“Two-bit you seem to be thinkin’ awful hard.” Soda said bringing me out of my thoughts, “And for you that’s scary.”

I shrugged and I bit into my burger. We all decided to go out with our girls.

“C’mon Two-bit tell us what’s up.” Steve said.

“I’m just wonderin’ ’bout Kat right now.” I said and swallowed, “What if she gets in trouble with her brother ’cause of us? Or what if she’s send down to her grandparents? What then? We all know how much she hates them, and I can’t help but wonder if she is sent away, how are we gonna apologise for that? How are we gonna tell her we’re sorry for stickin’ out noses in business it don’t belong?”

“You got a good point there.” Soda backed me up, “How many times did Kat press us to tell her who we liked? And you can’t say shit ’bout you Steve, she practically handed you Evie.”

“She did not.” Evie argued.

I had to laugh. I remembered that day so well.

“Come on Stevie!” Kat whined as we walked around town looking for something to do. This was a couple years back so I was about 16, Soda and Steve were roughly 15, leaving Kat at the end as 14.

“Why do’you wanna know so much?” He hissed to her.

She crossed her arms and held her ground as she stopped us all dead in our tracks by standing right in front of us, ” ‘Cause if you don’t I’m gonna tell the entire school tomorrow, Steve Randle is queer for Curly Shepard.”

Steve was fuming as Soda and I were trying not to burst out laughing.

“Now you gonna tell me, or you want that goin’ around?” She asked knowing she’d won.

Steve sighed and ran a hand through his greased hair mumbling curses under his breath.

“All of ya’ll have to promise you ain’t gonna tell a soul.” He hissed, we all nodded, “I kinda, maybe, sorta, like Evie.”

“Dalton?” Kat asked.

He nodded redder than a tomato. An evil grin spread across Kat’s face, one that we’ve all learned either to love of be terrified of. Right now, Soda I should of loved it, and Steve should be terrified.

“You promised.” He hissed.

“I had my fingers crossed.” She said and took off down the street, Steve bolting after her

Soda and I ran after them to make sure they didn’t kill one another. Kat was the best runner out of all of us though, so before we knew it the three of us were walking, very fast, after her. Of course she was nice, and not stupid so she slowed down for us. But Steve soon bolted after her again when we coming up on the field where the cheerleaders practiced on Saturdays. 

We watched her run down to them, an d throw her arms around Evie in a hug like stance and said something before looking over at Steve catching up, she looked up at her for a good second before she was gone again. Steve chasing after her. We were laughing as we followed.

“Sorry ’bout this ladies.” Soda apologised as we ran by, I just whistled.

Soda and I laughed together obviously remembering it.

“Good times.” Soda laughed.

“Exactly what did she say to you that day anyway?” I asked Evie.

She shrugged, “Just that Steve Randle wanted to take me out to the movies this weekend but he was too busy and nervous to ask me out right now. But if I hinted that I liked him, he might man up to ask me. Then she grinned and was gone faster than a bullet, and then Steve zoomed after her.” She giggled.

Steve just looked at her.

“What?” She asked.

“That’s seriously it?” He asked.

She nodded, “And to be honest, I was waiting for you to ask me out a while before that too.”

“So you could have had her a while longer.” Christine laughed.

Pony, Tootsie, Dally, Sally, me, Lilly, and Soda had to join in. Johnny cracked a grin.

“And then we owe all this to that little girl.” Soda said motioning to all of us.

We all had top nod.

“You know what I think we should do?” Pony said.

“What’s that Pony?” Soda asked.

“We go over to Kat’s and tell her we’re sorry while we still can, and tell her that if she really likes this guy and don’t wanna tell us than she don’t have to, but we want what’s best for her.” He said.

“That’s mature of you Ponyboy.” Christine said dreamily looking up at him.

He smiled down at her, and I made a choking sound. They looked annoyed, but stopped.

“Remember Ponyboy,” I told him, “You might be dating her, but that’s still my baby sis.”

“C’mon.” Steve said gettin’ up, “Let’s go talk to that girl.”

We all agreed and left. We had to talk to that girl, now.

And as much as it was killing me not to know who it was she liked, I knew it was probably best not to press her for it. Or at least that’s what I told myself when we entered an empty house of the Constantine/Johnes.

“Anyone home!” We called out.

This was weird. I thought. There is always someone home. We heard noises that sounded like they were coming from the back yard. We went through to the kitchen to the back door. Dally opened it and threw open the screen door.

We filed out one after another, I was the last one out.

“No fair!” Kat yelled.

One of the twins had her eating the grass. I guess they were wrestling.

“Sorry, Kitten.” He said gettin’ off her.”

“So this is how rule breakers are punished.” Soda said out loud, they looked over at us, “I want in.”

“Bring it Curtis!” Kat yelled jumping up as Soda ran to tackle her.

“Which one?” He asked.

“Pepsi!” She yelled and tackled him to the ground and pin in such a way I was sure he was trying not to cry.

“You win.” He groaned.

She let him go and he rolled over to breath.

“So what brings you guys over here?” Junior asked us.

“We wanted to apologise to Kat.” I said.

She shook her head, and I stopped, “I know why you guys pressed me like you did.” She said, “And I know you wanna make sure I get a good guy, and I assure you, he is. But there are somethings that a girl needs to figure out on her own, without the help of friends or family.”

“Then where do we come in?” Evie asked crossing her arms.

She grinned, “When I realize I made a mistake, family and true friends will be there for me to tell me it was worth it, because now I know better. For instance, I think we all know not to trust a man that’s about five or so years older than you who comes into a gas station and asks for directions, and then asks you out because he’s probably up to no good.

“I hear that.” Lilly giggled.

“We all make mistakes guys, let’s accept them and move on.” She said.

“How, are you the youngest?” Buddy asked her.

She shrugged, “Mama and Daddy decided to have five amazing sons to be the guides of their baby girl, first because they knew they wouldn’t be around.” She grinned.

“Let’s go raise a little hell.” Steve told her.

She and Soda got up together and she hugged each of her brothers good-bye. And we were out of the house walking down the street like old times. Like things should be.

TomKat Johnes(A The Outsiders Love Story: Chapter 23 Part A)

0

“I’m home.” I yelled coming through the door and froze in my tracks. The house was unusually quiet. What was going on?

“Anyone home?” I asked starting to get a little scared.

“In here Kat.” Buddy hollered from the dinning room.

I dropped my stuff next the to the table in the hall and made my way through the kitchen to the dinning room. I sighed as I entered seeing all of them sitting around the table like someone just died.

“Maddog told ya’ll.” I said rather than asked.

“Yup.” They all replied.

Maddog sneered at me in a way that indicated he won this time.

“Where the kids and wives?” I asked shifting without the noise.

“We told them to take them out,” Buddy said, “Told ’em we needed to talk to you alone. Brothers to sister.”

I nodded.

“Sit down, Kat.” Pepperoni told me.

“I’m good.” I said and leaned up against the wall and crossed my arms.

It was their turn to sigh. They knew better when I was doing something like this.

buddy licked his lips then started, “Look, Kat-

“Let me save you guys the trouble.” I told them, “I went to the rodeo and rode against Steve because I didn’t wanna tell the guys who I got a crush on, and before you ask I’d rather break my leg, again, than tell you guys who he is.”

“Keep going.” Buddy told me.

“So to get them off my back I rode the bronco. We all know I’m the best rider, and we all know, while I love him and he’s my pair, I am no Mark Andrew Jr. And I’m so tired of you, and everyone else, comparing me to you guys with your mistakes and Ma. I’m my own person.” I finished and crossed my arms.

“How long’d you stay on?” Junior asked, finally saying something.

I shrugged, but couldn’t hold back a smile as I said, “The full ten seconds.”

He grinned at me, “At’ta girl. You know how to make people proud.”

“Junior!” The others yelled.

“Oh, come on guys.” He said, “You remember the rule, no one who’s not experienced enough can ride the bronco. Hell, when I was hurt, Ma still let me go back riddin’. But that taught me somethin’, I wasn’t ready for the bronco. Kat’s ready for anything life can throw at her. Let the girl have some fun alright. What would Ma and Pop say to you guys tryin’ stop her from doin’ somethin’ she loves when she made a record?”

“I ain’t that good.” I mumbled.

“Come ‘ere.” Junior said and I obeyed.

He pulled me down into his lap and wrapped his arm around my waist holding me close. I closed my eyes remembering how Daddy’d do this too.

“Don’t let anyone hold you down, Kitten.” He said, “Not even us. Okay, be whatever you wanna be and don’t listen to what they say. We’re gonna be here for you whenever you need us, okay?” I nodded, “That’s what brother’s are for.”

I smiled, “Can your sister order in pizza for us all?” I asked.

They laughed lightly.

“What are little sisters for?” Buddy asked.

We burst out laughing.

TomKat Johnes(A The Outsiders Love Story: Chapter 22)

0

“What do we need to do in order for you to spill your guts?” Soda asked me.

“Nothing.” I said getting annoyed, “I’m not gonna tell any of ya’ll not matter what. Okay, so just lay off.”

“We need to know Kat.” Steve said trying not to hiss.

“Why?” I asked holding back a growl.

“To make sure he’s a good guy.” Two-bit said, “We don’t want you ending up with another guy like that Keith bastard.”

I sighed, “What’s it gonna take to get you guys off my back about this?” I asked coming to the end of my strings.

“Tell us who he is.” Steve said.

“Definitely not doing that.” I said.

“Beat Steve-o here in a rodeo.” Soda offered.

“Which competition?” I asked.

“Bare back bronco riddin’.” Steve told me.

“You know I could kick your sorry hide any day a the week.” I challenged.

“One’s this weekend.”He told me, “Just ‘fore school starts again, you win we stop harassin’ ya’. I win-

“I spill my guts.” I finished, “Deal.”

We shook hands.

It was official, I was gonna ride bare back on a bucking bronco against Steve, whoever had the best time wins. The only problem was, while my brothers really liked it that I too took interest in rodeos, Junior was sent to hospital for a few months after a bare back bronco ride.

The thing was, he wasn’t all that experienced of a rider. All my brothers say I’m the best of the bunch. Hell, I even had my own down at my grandparent’s farm in Alabama. ‘Course I never cared for my grandmother. That’s my daddy’s ma, he grew up real high quality like. Mama was in foster care, ’cause her old man was a drunk and stuff.

For they died, my daddy gave me my own gypsy, pure bread too. Her name’s Pepsi. She’s real sweet too. Black with white hair and one white spot on her right hip, and there’s a black ‘P’ shaped mark in it. So I call her Pepsi. But some of my cousin’s from down there call her Princess. She’s my horse, both my daddy and my grandpa gave her to me.

My grandpa even said when I’m 18 he’ll send her out to me so I’ll have her all to myself. I love my grandpa, but I hate my grandma. And the grandparent’s on my mama’s side, forget about it.

I figured if I didn’t tell my brothers what I was gonna do I wouldn’t get in trouble for it. Like that old sayin’ goes, what they don’t know wont hurt me.

Funny how a frays can turn like that.

–Saturday–

I hopped out of the car, Pepperoni drove me, told him I was meetin’ the guys here ’cause Steve was in an event. It was true enough.

I met up with them near the concession.

“You know if your brothers find out about this, you’re dead right?” Steve said teasing me as I put my chaps on, “Why don’t you just tell us who he is now.”

I buckled my belt and looked him dead in the eye, “Why don’t you back off and get on your horse Steve. Or are you just so used to being ridden you can’t ride?”

The guys laughed and Evie went red.

“I’m in this ’til the end, don’t try and be a good friend and talk me outta it either.” I told him, “We all know I ride a hell of a lot better than all of ya’ll put together.”

“Now you’re just bein’ cocky.” He told me.

“Takes one to know one.” I retorted puttin’ my hat on.

I always felt a lot like my mama when I was all suited up in my gloves, chaps, and hat. Mainly ’cause these were hers. Regulation dark brown chaps over hand me down blue jeans, white t-shirt and red plaid button down unbuttoned, black gloves with open fingers and the back of the hand, but completely covered the palms and helped the grip. And a black cowboy hat, nothin’ special.

But everyone who was in my mama’s generation had to look twice when I came in here in this at first. I look so much like her, and everyone expects me to be just like her too.

We went over to side and leaned on the fence watching all them on the horse. It was a broken quarter horse, nice tan colour. But it threw a pretty big guy off his back quicker than a cheetah in running shoes.

Three more guys went up, thrown around like a baseball, then Steve was called up. Evie tried talkin’ him out of it, but he kissed her and told her couldn’t.

I knew she just really cared about the guy.

So far me and Steve had to beat five point six seconds. I knew Steve could get to about seven or so.

The bell rang and the horse was out, Steve made a lot of noise, but he stayed on top for a good seven and a half seconds. Evie ran to meet him.

“TomKat Johnes.” The announcer called.

I put out the cigaret I was smoking and made my way over.

“Hey now little girl, this here horse is rough. Don’t you think it’s a little big for you?” One of the rodeo jockies said to me.

I climbed up the fence and secured my rigging.

“Look mac,” I said to the guy, “I’ve been ’round horses a while, and while I know they got me out weighed by a good tone, that ain’t gonna stop me from riddin’. Now why don’t you shut up. You never seen me ride before.”

He put his hands up in a surrender. I climbed over and took a beep breath as I sat down. His back was warm still. He was anxious to get me off, I could feel it. I took a couple breaths to calm myself as his increased. I slipped my toes in the foot holds and held on to the rigging. I took one last breath.

“Let ’em out.” I said.

The opened the gate and he took off.

“Yeee Haa!” I shrieked and giggled as he bucked.

This was easy. I’d been on broken horses before, I knew just how to move to stay on. I was really havin’ fun. But before I knew it, the buzzer rang, ten seconds was over.

One of the rodeo clowns came by and I hopped over as the others calmed it down.

“Girl, you sure are a real good rider.” He told me as I climbed back over the fence.

“Tell me somethin’ I don’t know, boy.” I told him and went back to the pen to get my rig.

The kid that told me it was a rough horse handed me the rig and said, “I was wrong girl. You ride okay.”

I grinned at him, “You dig okay.”

And with that I held onto my hat as I walked back over to the guys.

“You win.” Steve said annoyed.

“How you stay on a horse like that?” Christine asked me holding hands with Pony.

I shrugged, “It’s a broken horse. I’d been on a few before. I know how it moves.”

“Horse don’t look broken to me.” Sally said, “He was movin’ just fine.”

I rolled my eyes, “Broken.” I told her, “A way of describing a horse that hasn’t been broken in yet.”

“Like a new pair of shoes.” She said.

I nodded, “Green broken are the good horses.” I told her, “They’re your trustees.”

“Like you and that gypsy of yours.” Soda told me.

I grinned, “Got that right.”

“Too bad this isn’t an awarded rodeo.” Lilly said, “You’d a come in first.”

I shrugged, “They’ll always be someone better than you out there.” I told her.

“TomKat Elizabeth LaDane Johnes!” Someone yelled.

I swallowed hard and turned around to see Moddog standing there with some woman I’ve never see before.

“What’s up?” I asked knowing I could weasel my way out of this if I needed to.

“Wasn’t it made clear that no one in our house was going to ride a bronco?” He seethed.

I thought for a second, “You know I wasn’t even there when that rule was put in place.”

He glared, “What if the same thing that happened to Junior happened to you?” He asked.

I rolled my eyes, “Mad, everyone knows I’m the best rider in the family, right up there next to mama and daddy.”

“That’s not the point.” He said.

“You’re avoiding the point.” I told him.

“What’s the point then?” He asked.

“I ain’t Junior.” I told him, “I ain’t you, or Buddy, or Jaguar, or Pepperoni, or ma, or daddy, or anyone. And I’m exhausted of you guys thinkin’ that I’m gonna do what you guys did. I can take car a myself, Maddog. And I’m tired of you guys thinkin’ I can’t.”

“We want you to be s-

“In a box my entire life?” I asked.

“With all the scares you have, it must be some box.” He retorted.

“I get a scar you guys act like I’m gonna die.” I told him.

“You’re reckless.” He told.

“And you guys weren’t?” I demanded, “Just ’cause ma and Daddy aren’t here anymore don’t mean you have any right to take away my freedom. And I’mma do whatever I want with it.”

“I’m tellin’ Junior.” He said.

I looked him dead in the eye, “Are you seriously going to play that card?” I asked him, “You’re twenty-one Maddog! What the hell do you think you’re gonna do by tellin’ Junior?”

“He’s your lawful guardian.” he told me.

“And he’s a hell of a lot better of one than you.” I told him and started walking away.

“You’re grounded!” He shouted.

“You said it yourself Maddog!” I yelled, “You aren’t my guardian!”

I had some of it settled. I didn’t need to tell the guys who I liked. But I did need to answer at dinner why I was riddin’ bare back on a bronco in the rodeo. I knew Junior’d understand. It was his favorite event.

It was just one of those things I guess.

TomKat Johnes(A The Outsiders Love Story: Chapter 21)

0

Kat’s pov.

I was sitting in Evie’s room with all the girls. The guys were gonna pick us up here.

“What do you think of this?” Evie asked holding out a dress

“Can we please keep in mind two things?” I begged, “I’m catholic and I have no where near as large a chest as you do.”

She sighed and put it back.

“How ’bout this?” Christine asked showing something worse, much, much worse.

I face palmed, “Krissy, I’m catholic.”

“I have a catholic school girl’s uniform in here somewhere.” Evie said absent mindedly.

“And how is it I know exactly what you do with it, even though Steve doesn’t say a word about your sex life?” I droned.

“What do you think we should do to get your guy to notice you then?” She asked.

I thought for a second, “Sexy.”

“This is sexy.” She told me.

I rolled my eyes, “Sexy as in mysterious. As in I have something he wants, but he can’t have, so he’ll have to chase me for it.”

She thought for a second, then turned back to her overflowing closet.

“What’s your most prominent body feature?” She asked.

“My stomach.” I replied shortly.

They all looked at me like I was crazy. I lifted up my shirt to show a slim, muscular, well tones, for a skinny girl, stomach.

“How to you get that?” Evie asked me.

I shrugged, “I grew up with guys what do you expect?”

“I got it!” Evie said pulling out a beautiful dress.

I whistled.

“It’s too small for me now.” She said, “This was my best dress before my boobs came in. If it fits, all eyes will be on you tonight.”

“One way to find out, right?” I said taking it from her and going into her bathroom to change. Surprisingly, it actually fit like a sexy glove.

“Does it fit?” Evie asked.

“You tell me.” I said stepping out and into the gazes of five in aw girls.

“Well?” I asked.

“Get make up on this girl now.” Evie told them.

I had on so much make up when they were done I looked like a clown.

Lilly was in: 

Amilia was in: 

Sally was in: 

Tootsie was in: 

Evie was in: 

And thankfully, Christine was in: 

We were just finishing up hair and make up when the guys came in.

“Hey, We’re here!” Steve yelled up.

“We’ll be down in ten minutes!” Evie yelled back.

“Ten minutes?” I asked her, “We’re almost ready now.”

“First rule of dating, Kat,” Sally told me, “When a guy picks you up, you need to make him wait.”

I sighed and sat on the bed, but I didn’t argue.

“You’re gonna be the last to come down, kay?” Evie said to me.

I nodded. I was starting to feel like we were in a competition to see who could show the most skin while still wearing what’s classified as clothing. And next to Christine I was losing. For once I was happy about it.

Evie’s pov.

“Okay, here we come.” I said I started to walk down the stairs to them.

I knew Steve was in love all over again. I kissed him then turned around.

“I doubt you knew your date could look so good Ponyboy.” I said to him, “Come on down Krissy!”

She descended shyly, but lost it all when pony told her she looked pretty than a sunset. The kid was so sweet.

“Lilly!”

She was redder than when we messed up with her lipstick(Which is red), but was smiling so bright looking at nothing but Soda.

“You look amazing.” He said.

“Tootsie you’re next!”

She tried to come down as fast as she could but soon realised the dress was too tight for that. When she reached Johnny, the poor kid looked like he was going to have a heart attack. But boy was it cute.

“Amilia! Dally’s waiting!” I teased.

She came down blushing but held her head high. Only to blush more when Dally whistled.

“I’m gonna assume you like it.” She said.

“Naw, I love it.” He said wrapping an arm around her waist pulling her close.

“Sally!”

She came down beaming, we all knew the hard work was worth it when Two-bit’s jaw dropped clear to the floor. But he pulled her in for a kiss non the less.

“And you won’t believe what we managed to do with Kat.” I told them.

They all looked sceptical.

“Kat! It’s your turn!” We waited a minute.

“Kat! Come on!”

“Think she’s shy about?” Tootsie asked.

Soda shook his head, “You guys saw her all while gettin’ ready, and she knows it’s just us right now.”

I heard water running as a shower. My eyes went wide.

“She is not!” I shreaked kicking off my heels running back up the steps.

She locked herself in the bathroom.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” I demanded.

Kat’s pov.

I heard Evie call the girls down one at a time. I knew all of them were shocked about how they looked, and how they loved them.

But I felt completely fake in it all. The girls all went out to the hall and I went into her bathroom. I pulled off the dress and started scrubbing the goop off my face. I could hear the girls being called down the hall, even some of what the guys said.

I turned on the shower and got all the bobbypins and stuff out of my hair. Then I ran it under the water.

That’s when I heard Evie shriek and run up the stairs.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” She demanded through the door.

I turned off the  water, pulled on my bra, grabbed a towel, and opened the door to a fuming Evie.

“I’m taking off all the fake stuff.” I told her.

“Fake?” She asked.

“I don’t like it.” I told her drying my hair, “It’s not my style. Besides, if the guy doesn’t like me for me, I’m not gonna change myself for him to like me. That’s not how I roll.”

She sighed and grabbed her blow dryer.

“At least let’s get of here sooner.” She said.

“Thanks.” I said.

“She looks the same to me.” Two-bit joked as we came down.

“Yeah, well believe it or not they actually got me in a dress, and make up, and all that shit. But I took it off.” I told them.

“Why? You looked so good.” Amilia told me.

I shrugged, “Guess I don’t like havin’ clown make up on my face.” I grinned.

They all laughed.

“But you’re gonna go the entire night with your hair down?” Pony asked.

I nodded, “Nice little change.”

We laughed again and headed out.

“Where is he?” Evie whispered to me when we got there.

“Closer than you think.” I whispered back.

“If you wore the dress, he’d be in love with you right now.” She hissed.

“If I wore the dress and he fell in love with me, he’d be in love with the dress on my body and the make up, not me.” I retorted.

She sighed and crossed her arms, but left me alone for the rest of the night.

I mostly spent it talking with some of the Shepards and Brumlys, I danced with a couple, on fast songs anyway.

I couldn’t slow dance to save my life. My brothers tried to teach me because mama had taught them and said I should have the skill to, but it never stuck. One of the few things anyway.

The wonder of you, by Elvis came on. One of my favorite songs.

“Hey, Kat?” It was Two-bit.

“Wanna dance?” He asked.

“Don’t you have Sally?” I asked though I desperately wanted to dance with him.

“She went to the bathroom with the girls and said I should probably keep you company.” He told me.

“I can’t slow dance.” I admitted.

“Neither can I.” He said taking my arm and leading onto the dance floor.

Oh how I dream of this. Him holding my waist again, pulling me close to him, my hands on his shoulders. The only thing that would make this better would be if he wasn’t with Sally. But I stayed close to him.

“Somethin’ wrong Kat?” He asked.

I shook my head.

“You’re layin’.” He said.

I shrugged, “I swear Two-bit, it’s nothin’, I just feel bad for ruinin’ their hard work is all. Don’t worry.”

“Okay.” He said, and pulled us apart and started spinning us as twist and shout by the Beatles came on.

We were laughing and giggling the entire time. This is how it should be, I thought, just him and me having fun. Like good old times.

Soon as the song ended we went back to the gang.

“Who is he, Kat?” Soda asked.

“Well you know how to beat around the bush.” Sally said, and instantly grabbed Two-bit back.

“Well, I think you know.” I told them, “That’s Two-bit.” I said pointing to him.

He laughed.

“Hahaha.” Steve said sarcastically, “The guy you gotta crush on.”

“You promised.” I hissed.

“We need to know.” Amilia said hiding behind Dally.

“Ya’ll can hide behind all ya’ll men, I can still whip ’em and they know it.” I told them.

“Who is he?” Steve said getting impatient.

“Non of your God damn business!” I yelled as someone tripped over the juke box cord so the entire restaurant heard what I said.

And I stalked out as fast as I could. I wasn’t going home though. I had to go to church, count on the rosary, and beg for forgiveness. I used His name as a curse. I should never do that.

 

TomKat Johnes(A The Outsiders Love Story: Chapter 20)

0

Kat’s pov.

I walked down the street to the Curtis house.

“Hey.” I said when I opened the door and froze.

Darry already left for work. Lorry was colouring on the floor in front of the tv. Soda and Steve were cuddling with their girls before we had to go to work. BUT Johnny and Sally were sitting really close together, Amilia was in Two-bit’s lap, Tootsie and Ponyboy were holding hands. And the worst part, Christine was being held in Dally’s lap.

“What the hell’s going on?” I demanded.

Two-bit broke the news to me.

“We figured out last night, you had the girls around not just ’cause you knew they’d be good friends, but ’cause you wanted them to be our girlfriends. So we tried to save you a little trouble.” He grinned.

My eye twitched. I knew I was about to get a grey hair.

Before anyone could say anything else, I ripped Christine off of Dally.

“I swear to God, Dal I see that again the only reason better be she’s hurt, cryin’ and no one else’s around.” I hissed.

He put his hands up in defense.

“I just know I got a grey hair.” I thought out loud, I sighed but continued, “Tootsie, stand up.”

I put Christine in her place and dragged Tootsie over to Johnny and Sally, I pulled Sally up and put Tootsie next to Johnny. Dragging Sally across the room to Two-bit Amilia was already out of his lap. I forced Sally down and Amilia followed willingly to Dally.

“Any problems?” I hissed.

“We were off!” Two-bit laughed.

“No shit.” I told him.

“How come it’s all like this?” Steve asked.

I took a deep breath, “Both Lilly and Soda have been hurt by people they thought they loved before hand, knowing that, they weren’t gonna do that to anyone else. Pony and Christine, it’s simple, she’s sweet, young, innocent. She can dream with Pony but keep his feet on the ground. Pony’ll never think about her getting hurt and’ll do anything to stop it, he’s dreamy and that’s what Christine needs. Amilia’s sweet and classy, Dally’s wild and a hood, They’ll balance each other out. Tootsie and Johnny, there is no better example of opposites attracting. And Sally and Two-bit, he’s funny, drunk, and the town wise crack, she’s smart and responsable. And if I find a grey hair, I’m blaming both Dally and Christine. Everything else was fine.”

I stalked into the kitchen and grabbed some cake. It was still quiet out there, when I came back out I realized why. Dally’d taken Amilia out of the house, Tootsie and Johnny were cuddling on the couch, Christine and Pony were holding hands at the table looking at each other lovingly, and Two-bit and Sally were sucking faces.

I sighed and looked at the clock.

“Soda! Steve! We’re gonna be late!” I called headin’ out the door.

“We’re comin’!” They yelled.

“You set everyone up just to tear them away.” Steve teased, “How does that work?”

“Have to be cruel to be kind my friend.” I told him.

The rest of the way was silent for me, but they wouldn’t shut up about their first double date together.

I unlocked the front and set up, today I was behind the counter.

Entire day the usual happened, greasers try to steal stuff, Socs coming in thinking their better than everyone else. It wasn’t until long after one that something happened, Pony and Christine came in holding hands, Johnny and Tootsie not too far behind them.

“Hey.” Christine grinned.

“Hey, what’s up?”

“We wanted to thank you.” Johnny told me.

I smiled, “No problem guys, I just want to look out for you guys.”

“Which is why we’re here to help you!” Tootsie giggled as Evie, Lilly, and Amilia came through the door.

“What’s this about?” I asked.

“We’re going to help you get the guy of your dreams too.” Evie told me.

I rolled my eyes, “Thanks but no thanks.”

“Why not?” Lilly asked.

“He doesn’t look at me as anything other than a little kid, I know it.” I told them.

“How old is he?” Amilia asked.

“Nineteen.” I said hesitantly.

“You really do like ’em older don’t you?” Evie asked.

I shrugged, “They say people do end up marrying people just like their parents.”

“And is he like you’re dad?” Lilly asked.

“Not really.” I admitted, “But my parents were seven years apart. I guess that’s sorta like it.”

“Who is he?” Christine asked me.

I put my finger on my lips, “It’s a secret.”

“We can keep one.” Evie told me.

I nodded, “I know. But I don’t want to tell.”

“Why?” Pony asked me.

“You’ll make fun of me. And like I said, he doesn’t really look at me as anything more than a little kid.” I told them.

“There’s a party coming up at the dingo this Saturday.” Evie told me, “Just before school starts again. We could give you a make over or something, but damn it Kat let us help you.”

I shrugged, “I’ll go to the thing, but I’m iffy on the make over thing.”

The girls squealed in delight.

I think I could wait forever until Saturday.