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Chapter 5: All's fair in Love and War
The next day, Johnny was waiting for me outside the Girl's Dorm. He gave me my leather jacket, which I had left at the Nurse's office. He told me he was going to walk me to class, to make sure I didn't get sick. "But you always walk me to class!" I protested. "Yeah, well, this is a perk then." he said, grinning. We walked past Algie, who said, "Hey Jenny. Wanna stop by my dorm? I don't mind." he was obviously trying to look cool. I rolled my eyes, but Johnny was holding him by his collar in the blink of an eye. "Talk to my girl like that ever again asshole, and I swear I will rip each of your lungs out, make you eat them with Edna's food, and shove a firecracker down your big ass throat. Do you understand me?" Johnny said. "Y- yeah r-r-right. Y-you'd n-never do that V-Vincent." Algie said, unsure of his words. "Are you sure about that?" Johnny threatened. By this time, it was clear Algie had peed himself again. He ran away, screaming. "Protective much?" I joked. "Um, well I think you're hot, so why won't everyone else?" he asked. I felt my face turn red, yet again. He laughed. "What?" I asked. "I love it that when ever I call ya hot or somethin, you get all red." he explained, still laughing. "Oh." I said, still red. He smiled.
At lunch, the greasers were doing their best at hiding my food (since Edna's food smelled especially terrible today), and to insult Jimmy Hopkins. "What's so bad about Jimmy Hopkins? Didn't he help you get revenge on Gord?" I asked as I bit into my apple. "Well that little twerp vandalised New Coventry yesterday!" Hal said angrily. "There's nuffin wrong wit a lil' hair grease." Lefty said, equally furious. "Why would he do that?" I asked. "Hell knows!" Norton said. "Well, who cares really? We vandalize New Coventry all the time!" I said, thinking of all the tags I had put with Peanut for fun. "Well that's cuz it's our turf. Hopkins ain't no greaser!" Johnny said. I sighed and shook my head.
On Friday, I was arguing with Johnny in the Boy's Dorm common room. "But why do you have to go get Algie now?" I whined. "I told you Jenny. If I don't got no respect from them nerds, think about what would happen to the rest of them losers!" he said. I sighed. He had been so stubborn about this. He sighed too suddenly. "Ok, so that's not the only reason. I'm also worried that if they go for my ex, they'll go for you." he said, sitting down next to me. I laughed. "You are so protective over me, you know that?" I asked him. "I know. It's for the best." he said, kissing me.
"Ok, come on Johnny let's GO." a voice said. I turned around, and there was Gary Smith. "Woah, woah, woah! He's coming?!" I whispered to Johnny. "Yeah, he is. But you already gave in!" he said. Soon enough, they left to go fight Algie.
Alone, I started imaging the worst. I imagined that it ends up Gary goes phyco and does something to hurt all of the greasers. I imagined Johnny falling for Lola again. Lola winning, and me ending up hated by everyone. More things like this, until I finally fell asleep.
When I woke up, Johnny was asleep. I looked at him, his face bruised again. I was about to yell at him, but I realized something. He looked so peaceful there, sleeping. Harmless, handsome, kind. I couldn't yell at him. I thought about things that made me feel bad for him. How could anyone ever want to hurt him? Emotionally or physically? Why would Lola cheat on him? He was so nice! He respected her. At one point, he even loved her. And now people were hurting him. He was fighting for respect. For his friends. For me. I suddenly felt hate at Jimmy. I knew he did this. He was helping the nerds all the time now. He was a traitor. I hated Jimmy Hopkins right now.
Friday, I was walking through New Coventry with Johnny, when Lola pulled him into the alley behind her house. "Johnny! I was so ...heartbroken... over our split! I just know you are too!" she said. I started laughing. If Johnny was so heartbroken, then why did he not talk about her for about a month? "I'm not." Johnny said. "Oh, Johnny! You don't have to deny it any more!" she said, hugging his chest. "No, I wanted to break up. You're a cheater." he said, pushing her off of him. I laughed again, and continued walking.
I suddenly recognized my surroundings in the In and Out Motel. "Jenny!" a cheerful voice sounded. I turned around, and Tom was standing, grinning, in front of me. "Tom!" I said, shocked. "Haha, you remembered! I haven't seen you for months!" he said happily. "Uh, yeah!" I said. We hadn't been that good friends, why was he so happy about seeing me? I was very confused, again. "Um, so..." I said, lost for words. "Found a clique yet?" he said, eyeing Johnny's old leather jacket. "Oh, yeah. I am a greaser now." I said, smugly. "Haha, cool. Hey, how's about you hang out here for a while?" Tom invited. "Oh, sorry. I can't, Johnny is gonna be wondering where I am by now." I said. "Why? You some pet of his now?" Tom joked. "No, but close." I said, laughing. "Well...?" Tom asked. "I'm sorta his...girlfriend...." I said. Tom's face changed from cheerful to crestfallen. "Oh." he said, his eyes down on the floor. It took him a little to pull back into his cheerful tone. "Well, okay! See ya!" he said, walking off towards Wade.
As I walked into New Coventry, my mind was clouded with thought. The first day of school, I was terrified of everyone here. Then, a few boys liked me, as friends of course. Now I was their crushes? Since when was I so pretty? I asked myself. I never thought of myself this way, I never even thought of myself appearance, at all! I shook the thought out of my mind, seeing a race set up.
"What's going on?" I asked Johnny. "We gonna have a race ta see who's fastest." Johnny said. "I think it will be you. Thank god I'm not in this, I would beat all your sorry butts." I joked. He laughed, and kissed me on the cheek, which seemed to annoy Lola. Before they left, I kissed Johnny again, just to annoy her, and it worked. "Ready, set, GO!" Lola yelled. And they were off. "Why don't you stay away from him?" Lola asked me. "Well, why do you care? He dumped you." I said. Usually, I would avoid the idea of getting into a fight, but today, it seemed fun. "Deep inside, he really loves me, you know?" she said. "Well, then either he doesn't love you, or he shows love for one girl to another." I said, grinning. I always thought verbal fights were great fun. For me, at least. "He doesn't like you! Why would he like you? What makes you so special?" she asked, eyeing my frantically. "Well, I'm not sure if boys like this, but I don't cheat on them." I said. "I never cheated on him! I just, became friends with other boys. You're friends with other boys! Why won't he dump you?!" she asked. "Because I am just friends with other boys. I don't kiss them. That's right. Johnny showed me those pictures." I said. "But I'm better for him!" she said. "No you're not. Did you even care how he felt when he found out he was being cheated on? Did you even think about him? He was heartbroken. I could tell." I said. My fight was starting to drain for sadness. Lola sighed loudly and walked away.
Later at the Girl's Dorm, I vented to Liz and Kate about Jimmy.
"I hate Jimmy Hopkins. Who does he think he is? He can't just vandalize New Coventry and expect Johnny to take it! He's way tougher then that." I said. I knew I was being a hypocrit, but I was to mad to think about that. "Yeah. He is mean." Liz said absently. This caught me by surprise. "Aren't you like his girlfriend or somethin' now?" I asked. "Nope. I think he's with Beatrice or Angie or Pinky. I guess it’s been a while since we talked. Umm… Do you remember that day when Russell and Jimmy fought in the Hole?" She asked. "Yeah, I was there, but you weren't" I replied.
"Yeah, I was there, but you weren't" I replied.
"I know, I didn't hear about it until the last minute and I wasn't sure where you'd all gone so I waited at the Boy's Dorm. After a while, Gary came running and when I got up and confronted him, asking what happened and where was Jimmy, He threw me against the wall. My head hit the brick and I blacked out. When I came to, Jimmy was calling to me as he and Russell ran over. Jimmy got down on his knees asking if I was ok and what happened. I told him and then tried to get up. Jimmy reached for me, but Russell was faster. He grabbed my arms and pulled me up. As our skin touched and I looked up into his eyes, something happened. It was like, I do not know. It just felt right. As soon as my brain restarted and they told me what happened in the hole I made the excuse of going to the nurse to get my head checked out. She looked at it and told me to sleep on my side that night and I left. I made no effort to find Jimmy or Russell, I had to put whatever I felt into perspective and come up with a plan. So, I went straight to our dorm and had fallen asleep before you had gotten back. The next day during lunch, Jimmy and I talked and I made the excuse that I was breaking up with him because I wanted to see other people. He caught on and knew exactly what my motivation was. He then told me that after I left, Russell could not stop worrying about me. Jimmy figured out what happened. He told me that the moment Russell saw me there on the ground hurt, it was like he was a child going outside for the first time, a sort of awed wonder. Because he understood, Jimmy and I were still friends despite that we dated. Russell and I got together, and it was all good until a couple days ago, when I heard Christy and Angie talking. Anyway it seems he's dated both of them as well as Beatrice, Pinky and Lola. He's just a player, and since he's been helping the nerds they've been bothering me. So I figure that he is the cause of all the drama around here. I'm almost resenting that he came in the first place." She explained.
"Wow." I said, before we went to bed.
The next day, Peanut ambushed me with news. "Ok, so lemme get this straight: Hopkins broke into the Tenements, stole Lola's stuff, and gave em to her last night?" I repeated. "Yeah! Lil' twerp!" Peanut said. "So? If that's what he needs, so be it!" I said. "We're gonna get revenge soon! Heh, heh, heh!" Peanut said. "WHAT?" I said. "I shouldn't have said that..." Peanut said, edging away. "Peanut, if you don't tell me you know Ricky will!" I said, sounding whiney. I thought about how Ricky constantly stared at me. I shuddered. "Damn it, you're right. Ugh, we gonna fight them rich scumbags at New Coventry taday, cuz Johnny thinks it'll be a good chance to fight Hopkins, and get revenge at 'em preps." Peanut said. "Crap!' I yelled, running for my bike.
"I am going to kill him!" I thought when I got to New Coventry. Johnny wasn't hard to find, he was hanging out in the BMX park. "Hey Jenny! Why ya here?" Johnny said, jumping off his bike. Usually, I would smile at his cheerfulness. But this time, I was truly mad. "Why didn't you tell me you were gonna fight Jimmy?!" I asked. His happiness drained from his face. "Oh..." he said. "Mmhmm!" I said. "Right, well, it's nuffin." Johnny said.
When the BMX park was empty, Johnny got up from the ramp we were sitting on. "Stay here. I don't want you to get hurt." he said. "I'm tougher then that! I beat up some kid once, you know!" I protested. "Hahaha, yeah. But still." he said.
I spent about 20minutes alone in the BMX park, spinning the wheel on Johnny's bike, when I heard foot steps. I turned around, to see the preppie Tad Spencer walking towards me. "Oh... Hello..." I said. I was hoping for it to be a greaser, prefferably Johnny, Peanut, or Norton. "Well hello there Jenniffer!" Tad said. I flinced at the name 'Jenniffer'. I preffered being called Jenny. But, I guessed the preppies of all people would call me Jenniffer, and I'd take it without whining. "Shouldn't you be fighting?" I said. "Well, yes, but I did get rather...tired... Derby wouldn't mind, I think. But, it doesn't really matter. The point is, why are you here?" he asked, sitting too close to me. I scooted away a little, trying to not seem rude. "Johnny didn't want me to get hurt..." I said, uncomfortable. "Ah, he doesn't trust you?" he asked. "No, he just wanted to protect me." I defended. "Ah. Hm, please do not hide your face, child. Perfection was meant to be appreciated, and seen, not hidden away." he said, moving a lock of my hair from my face. "Um, ok..." I said. He suddenly started moving his face towards mine. I remembered my first time at the Tenements with Johnny. I quickly got up. "What are you doing?!?" I yelled. "Well, you can't honestly expect me to control myself, can you love?" Tad asked, straighting up. "Yeah, I can! God!" I said, leaving the BMX park.
Outside, New Coventry was full of fighting. I saw Lefty running after a preppie, happily throwing firecrackers at him, laughing. When one of them landed near me, I dashed into the Yum Yum Market. The shopkeeper seemed to have no idea of the fight outside, and if he did, he didn't exactly care. I stayed there for a few minutes, pacing.
"Look kid, either you buy something, or ya get out!" the shopkeeper yelled at me after 10 minutes. I shot him a dirty look, and left. Everything was very calm... did the greasers get tired of something? I suddenly noticed something...there weren't any greasers in New Coventry. Where were they all? I started looking aorund worriedly. Suddenly, I saw the familiar greaser, red hair... "Vance!" I yelled out. "I didn't do it!" Vance yelled out. "Oh, Jenny. What?" he asked. "Where...is...Johnny?" I asked carefully. "I dunno, I got knocked out from that idiot Bif." Vance said. "But Johnny did say somethin about the Junkyard..." he added thoughtfully. "Junkyard. Right. Thanks Vance!" I said, running to the Junkyard.
When I got there, I showed up at the worst possible moment. Jimmy had just beat up Johnny. My mouth dropped in shock. "I told you! I was the daddy! Got it? I'm in charge you do what I say!" Jimmy yelled at him. I looked at Johnny, who was laying on the snow. "Alright! I give up! You can have her!" Johnny said, starting to get up. I was suddenly confused. Have who? I wasn't the only one. "Who? What are you talking about Johnny?" Jimmy asked. "Lola. You win. She's yours." Johnny said. My mouth once again dropped. Lola. Johnny did like her. He wasn't over it. He lied to me. "This has nothing to do with her man. I don't care. You can keep that slut for yourself." Jimmy said. "What? You don't want her? Then why'd you do this, why'd ya fight? Just to prove you're tougher then me?" Johnny asked. He was fighting for Lola? He told me it was for respect! Tears dropped down my face. "That's right. And don't you or your boys forget it!" Jimmy said. "Aww man..." Johnny said. His eyes suddenly flickered to me. 'I belived you...' I mouthed. "Jenny!" Johnny screamed. Jimmy turned around. "I cant believe I actually BELEIVED you!" I yelled. I started running from the Junkyard. "Jenny! JENNY!" Johnny yelled out behind me. I kept running. Where was I going? I didn't know. I just couldn't stay there.
I snapped into reality. I looked around. I was in the Tenements. Johnny's things were on the tables and desks. I was in the bed, and Johnny was on the couch. I wasn't wearing my leather jacket, and Johnny's was streched out over me. Where am I? I asked myself. Then it struck me. I was dreaming. None of the dramatic, soap opera stuff happened. I must've fallen asleep at one point. I wondered if any of the fight thing with Jimmy happened. I got up, and sat down next to Johnny. He woke up when I put my head on his sholder, and made me sit on his lap. "Hey there." he said dreamily. "Hi." I said. "What happened last night? I had a weird dream." I said. "Jimmy won, and then I found you asleep behind one of the old cars." he said, laughing. "Oh...so, did you ask Jimmy why he came to fight? And did you ask him that if he didn't want to fight for Lola, he shouldn't have come?" I asked, starting to get stubborn. "Yes..." Johnny said, half frowning, half smiling. "Oh." I said coldly, starting to get up. He caught my by the wrist and pulled me back down. "Are you jealous?" he asked, suddenly grinning. "Yes." I snapped. He started laughing. "It's not funny!" I argued. "Yeah, yeah it is. Jenny, I told you the reason to fight. Respect, and to keep 'em losers off ya. I didn't lie to you. Gord challenged me, and I got mad, so I said yeah. I wasn't cheating on you!" he said, still laughing. "Oh..." I said sheepishly.
CONT. AT: "Chapter 6: Dare to be Difficult"