I listened to the soft breeze blow through the trees, leaving a crisp rattling sound in it’s wake as the branches swayed and collided with each other. The winter cold was bitter as it nipped at my exposed cheeks, resulting in a rosy red colour to spread throughout them. It was pleasing to watch the snowflakes fall to the ground. It is a fact of common knowledge that each snowflake is different, each with a special intricate design to call their own, like humans with our fingerprints. However, when they reach the ground and collide with their fellow snowflakes, they simply mix in with the others and become a soft white blanket across the ground. It was poetic, almost. Like how we have our own personality but that personality fades once we join the masses and are labeled by our social class.
The old wooden bench creaked as I rested my weight upon the old wood. The snowflakes melted upon the ice of the frozen lake, and I watched as each one silently hit the ground. It was relaxing. I didn’t mind the cold. This place was my only place to escape. No one ever comes here, so it’s almost as if I have a place to call my own. A sanctuary, if you will. Here, there are no greasers, no soc’s. Only myself and my thoughts. I’ve told only one person about this place, but he no longer comes here. Quite frankly, I don’t know that I’d want him to.
Here, I was alone. Yes, I had friends. I had a fairly functional family. I’d say I’m pretty privileged compared to the other “greasers” of our town. But I never felt like I really belonged where I am. I’m not a greaser. I’m not middle class, I’m not a soc. I’m an outcast. The one who does not fit any description of the three social classes. Sometimes I enjoyed being basically invisible, other times it simply got lonesome. My friends are nothing like me. Some are full blown greaser girls with the leather jackets and the heavy makeup and high heels. Others were simple middle class, generally kind and friendly to those of the other two classes. They never really invited me to things. They simply talked to me during school hours and never associated with me after. I’m an acquaintance at most.
I used to have a best friend. He was the only one whom I considered a genuine friend. But recently he grew distant and I accepted that I was happy enough being an introvert. Yes, it hurt. But it would hurt more to force someone to stay in a friendship in which they are not happy.
My thoughts were interrupted by the sound of leaves crunching on the ground, indicating footsteps. I sighed. “Of course you’d know to find me here.”
He sat on the bench beside me, creating yet another creaking noise that echoed throughout the trees, disturbing the comfort of the silence.
“Why are you here, Sodapop?” I sighed, fiddling with my thumbs and pulling on the ends of my coat sleeves.
“Isn’t it obvious? I’m here to see you.” He asked with a hint of sarcasm in his voice. It no longer had the soft, warm tone to it. It was cold and filled with sorrow. He sighed. “We need to talk.”
“Well, then. Talk.”
“I’m sorry, Y/N.”
“Soda, I know you’re afraid. Of someone hurting you like Sandy did. Of someone else leaving you. And I’m sorry that you’ve gone through so much, I want to help you, I really do. But I’m afraid, too, of getting hurt, just like you are.” I explained, staring at the snow covered branches of a random tree. “But it hurt the most that you thought I’d hurt you, too. I’m not Sandy. I’ve been hurt just the same and I don’t know if I’d be able to forgive myself if I passed that pain onto someone else.”
“Y/N, please look at me.”
I looked into his eyes, that were normally a joyful blue, but were now a dull, stormy gray. He had dark circles underneath them to match. It looked as if he hadn’t slept in a week.
“I’m sorry. I know you wouldn’t do that to me, but Sandy had just left, Ponyboy and Johnny were gone, the wounds were still fresh and I wasn’t thinking. But now Johnny and Dally are in the hospital, Ponyboy and I might be sent to a boys home, and honestly I don’t know if Johnny is going to make it. I don’t want just anyone right now. I want you, Y/N. I need you. Please.” He explained, sounding somewhat desperate.
I looked away. It was these exact feelings that got me into this mess. However, I can’t say that I hadn’t missed him. Because I do. “You know I can’t say no to you, Sodapop Curtis.”
He pulled me into a hug, sighing into my shoulder.