In literacy class, we have a project that we have to do on the outsiders. I chose to write a story about something that didn’t actually happen in the book. I ended up writing about the interview with S.E. Hinton, where she mentioned that Soda was drafted to Vietnam. I would love it if you checked it out! Thanks so much!!

Ponyboy’s Point of View

I was on my way home from the movies, laughing and talking with my friend Two-Bit Matthews. He was going on about some blonde chick who had been sitting in front of us. I just rolled my eyes and laughed, because the same exact thing had happened last week, with a different girl he had spotted at the drive-in.

He was going on and on, and he didn’t realize where we had ended up. But I did. I hadn’t been here in what seemed like forever. And I definitely didn’t want to be here now.

“Hey, Two?” I asked quietly. My eyes were wide.

“Yeah Ponyboy?” he replied, glancing over at me.

“Can we go another way?” My voice was barely audible.

He glanced around. When he realized where we were, he nodded and blinked back tears.

We were standing in the abandoned lot where I use to hang out with my best friend Johnny. It had been over a year and two months since he died, but I still avoided the place. When I was here, the only thing on my mind was Johnny. I wasn’t depressed all of the time like I was for the first few months after he died, but I still missed him.

I was doing alright now though. I had my brothers, Sodapop and Darry, and our friends, Two-Bit and Steve. We were all we had left, so we had to stick together.

Two-Bit and I walked home another way. He left me at my front door and stepped inside, glancing around for Soda and Darry. I saw them both sitting on the couch, hugging each other and crying.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, panicked. “What happened?”

Soda stood up, wiping tears out of his eyes. “Hey Ponyboy,” he said, smiling weakly.

I noticed Darry was holding a piece of paper in his hands. “What’s that?” I asked, afraid of what the answer would be.

“Pony,” Soda began, voice shaky. “I’ve been drafted into the army. I’m going to fight in Vietnam.”

I stared at him in shock. This wasn’t happening. I was dreaming.

“Ponyboy,” Darry began, but I cut him off.

“You can’t go,” I said firmly. “You can’t.”

“Pony, I don’t want to go,” Soda replied sadly. “But I have to.”

My eyes welled up with tears. “Don’t leave us Soda,” I whispered. “Don’t leave us.”

“Ponyboy,” Soda started to say something, but I didn’t hear. I turned on my heels and ran out the door. Eyes blurring with tears, I didn’t even notice where I was going.

I sunk to my knees in the abandoned lot. I wished I could talk to Johnny right now. He would know what to do.

Soda couldn’t leave! What if he died? I didn’t think I could handle losing another person I loved. Soda had said it himself, talking to me and Darry. “We’re all we’ve got left.”

 

The next morning I woke up to find myself back in my own bed. Soda and Darry must have found me and carried me home.

“Morning, Ponyboy.” Soda stepped into the room.

I wondered if last night had even been real. Maybe it had all been nothing more than a nightmare.

“Hi Soda,” I mumbled, sitting up in bed.

“Are you feeling alright?” he asked. “I mean, after last night…”

My heart sank. So it hadn’t been a dream after all. I swallowed hard.

“Listen, Pony, it’s gonna be okay,” he whispered, sitting beside me.

“Promise me you’ll come home,” I said.

He smiled sadly. “I promise.”

Three days later, a man in an army uniform was standing outside our door, waiting to take Soda away from us. I didn’t cry this time, not wanting Soda’s last memory of his little brother to be of me bawling like a baby. I had to be brave. For Sodapop.

“Don’t worry, Ponyboy,” Soda smiled, hugging me one last time. “I’ll come home.”

I only nodded, not trusting myself to speak. Soda straightened himself and grinned. “Take care of Darry for me.” I nodded again, and he turned and followed the strange man away. I prayed that this would not be the last time I ever saw my brother.

“Pony, come quick!” Darry shouted up the stairs. “We got a letter! From Soda!”

I sprinted down the stairs, taking them two at a time. “From Soda?!” I screamed. We both sat on the couch and Darry read the letter out loud.

To my favorite brothers, Ponyboy and Darry,

Hi guys! How are you doing? I’m alright. I’m a bit homesick, and I miss you so much. How’s the gang? Tell Steve I miss him and things just aren’t the same without him. Tell Two-Bit I wish I could talk to him again, and that I miss him too, even if he is a bit annoying. Haha. I’ll be home soon. You two take care of each other, okay? I love you guys.

                                                                                                           ~Sodapop

I could almost hear his voice in every word. It was almost as if he was sitting beside me, and not thousands of miles away.

I missed him so much.

Soda’s Point of View

I hate this place. I want nothing more than to go home, to get away from this living hell.

In my letters to Ponyboy and Darry, I tried my best to sound like everything is okay. I did my best to sound like I don’t wish I was dead every day when I wake up in the morning. I did my best to sound like I’m not slowly dying inside with every passing hour. I did my best to pretend that I don’t cry myself to sleep every night, when no one can see.

War is hell. No word can describe it better than that one. Every day I see guys just like me die. Sometimes, I see my new friends falling to the ground, with a bullet through their brain. Other times, I’m the one behind the trigger.

I tell myself over and over again that it’s not my fault. I tell myself that if I don’t kill these enemy soldiers, they will kill me, or any number of other people. By doing this, I’m protecting innocent people. I’m saving lives.

But that doesn’t change the fact that I killed a human being. Sometimes I wonder if they had been drafted into this mess, same as me. I sometimes wonder if that guy I just killed had a family waiting for him back home, missing him. He wouldn’t be going home now.

Whenever I faced a line of enemy soldiers, all I could see was a line of scared kids, like me. Most soldiers were my age, or a couple years older. Eighteen is too young to be fighting and killing people. Everyone in this war had long lives ahead of them. Many of them will die, and never have the opportunity to get married, pursue a career, or raise a family. Those who survive will never be the same again. We will always be broken, always faking a smile to hide the pain and fear. Eighteen is too young. We were just getting starting. We are too young.

Ponyboy’s Point of View

I woke up screaming. I sat bolt upright in bed, drenched in cold sweat and shivering.

Darry came bursting in. “Pony, what’s wrong?” he shouted, eyes wild with panic.

I was trembling. “I…I had another one of those dreams. The one I can’t remember.”

His eyes widened and he sat on the bed next to me. He hugged me. “Shh…It’s alright Ponyboy, I’m here,” he whispered.

“Darry, I’m scared,” I was crying now. “I’ve only ever had these dreams when someone died.”

“What are you talking about?” Darry asked, horrified.

“I first started having these dreams right after mom and dad died, and then again right before we lost Johnny and Dally.” Tears were sliding down my cheeks and my breathing was heavy. “I’m worried about Soda.”

Darry hugged me. “No, Pony, he’ll be alright. It’s just a dream. It’s going to be okay.”

His voice echoed inside my head. It’s going to be okay.

 

Soda’s Point of View

I am shaking uncontrollably. I feel sick inside. I want to die. I want to die. I want to die.

I can’t believe it. I saw it with my own two eyes, yet it can’t be true.

We had just arrived in a small Vietnamese village. We were tired from the battle we had just fought. I remember seeing a civilian, a middle-age Vietnamese woman, whisper something to her son, a young boy who couldn’t be older than six. She pointed to a small group of our soldiers standing a little bit away from where I was. The child began walking over to the soldiers.

The child was talking to the soldiers. Out of nowhere, there was a small explosion. Many of the soldiers were dead. So was the child.

Then I realized what had happened. The mother had attached a grenade to her six-year-old son, and sent him to talk to the soldiers. She knew full-well her son would be killed, but, so long as she could take out a few American soldiers, it was worth it.

How could she not have cared? I remembered myself, shaking with anger, raising my gun and shooting the wicked civilian woman through the heart. And I laughed as she died.

The months drag on. I hate this place. I hate this place. I hate this place. I can feel my sanity slowly slipping away. I am losing my mind! I wish I were home. That’s the one thing in this whole damn world I want! To go home! Is that so much to ask for?

I run through the thick jungles. It is pouring rain. I hear the guy next to me curse under his breath. Another day, another fight for our lives.

I see the Vietnamese soldiers emerge from the trees. I take out a few before I see something out of the corner of my eye that catches my attention.

I see a Vietnamese solider, with a gun pointed at Steve Randle’s turned back.

My best friend from back home, Steve, had been drafted into the war only three months ago. I had missed him so much. Along with Ponyboy and Darry, thinking of him helped me get through each day.

When I saw him for the first time in what felt like forever, I broke down and cried. I had missed him more than I could possibly describe, but I didn’t want him here. I didn’t want him to have to go through this hell. Most of all, I was terrified I was going to be forced to watch him die, the same as I had watched so many others die. I wouldn’t be able to take it.

Now, I don’t know anything. I only know he is in danger.

I charge through the mass of soldiers. I hear someone shouting at me, telling me to get back, but I ignore the voice.

I feel my body slam against Steve’s, knocking him out of the way just as the soldier pulls the trigger. Pain shoots through me. I hear Steve’s voice screaming my name, and then everything is black.

 

Ponyboy’s Point of View

I walked through the door and threw my school bag on the floor. I leaned back on the couch and closed my eyes. I had had a long day at school. I was having a bit of trouble in math class and I was tired.

Darry came out of the kitchen and told me to start on my homework. I groaned and started shuffling through my bag, looking for my notebook.

I heard a knock on the front door. Darry walked over and opened the door. Standing outside is a man in an army uniform. He was holding a piece of paper. Darry took it and read it silently.

When he turned to me, his face was white and tear-streaked. “Soda,” he choked. “He’s dead.”

Nonononononono. This was not happening. My sweet, caring, happy-go-lucky brother was not dead!

“You’re lying!” I screamed. “He’s not dead! You’re lying to me!” Even as I said it, I knew Darry wouldn’t lie to me about anything, let alone something like this. Soda really was dead.

Darry crumpled the note in his hand and hurled it across the room. His body tensed and suddenly, he slammed against the wall. “Dammit!” he screamed, face contracted in agony, tears streaming down his cheeks. Hands shaking in fury, he pushed over a lamp that was sitting on a small table. It fell to the ground and shattered.

I sunk to my knees. The pain of losing Soda hurt more than if one the shards from the lamp had pierced my heart.

Suddenly, Darry bolted. He ran out the door, pushing the man out of the way.

In my mind, I saw another boy, only seventeen years old, breaking down in a hospital room, crying and slamming against the wall. I saw him running out the door. I saw him running outside in the pouring rain, a gun in his hand, the police chasing him. I saw him crumple to the ground.

Oh God. I raced after my older brother. When I found him, he was standing in the abandoned lot. He was holding a gun in his shaking hands. The gun was pointed at himself.

Panic surged through me. I ran faster. “Darry!” I screamed his name.

I felt my body crash against his, knocking him to the ground. The gun fall out of his hand.

Tears flooded down my cheeks. “Darry,” I gasped. “Please don’t leave me.”

He hugged me tightly. “Pony, I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking,” he whispered. “It’s just, I don’t know what to do. I can’t believe he’s really gone.”

“I know,” I whimpered. “I miss him.” It suddenly hit me with full force that I was never going to see him again.

I look at him. “But someone once told me that you don’t stop living because you lose someone.”

He tried to smile, but a fresh wave of tears cascaded down his cheeks.

“We’re all we have left,” I whispered. “We’ll be okay, someday.”

“Someday.”

DO NOT DO THIS.

This makes me so angry.

If you work in a movie theater and you do this I have no respect for you.

My younger brother is Type 1 Diabetic.

When we go to a movie theater, we always get him diet soda. If he were to get regular when we asked for diet, we would not give him the insulin he would need for it. If that happens, his blood sugar level could go so high he could go into a coma, go blind, or even die.

If somebody gave him regular soda instead of diet without telling us, that person could be responsible for a nine-year-old being killed or blinded.

Just thinking about that makes me so angry. I get scared every time we take him to a movie in case the people working there saw this picture and decide to do the same thing.

Please signal boost this so people know.