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Does No Good To Help Someone

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I hated working the night shift. I aways forgot I had work, and ended up either missing work or being late. One day, I had to push my half-dead car to the max to make it on time. My boss said if I was late again, I'd be fired. I needed that job so bad, and I had to keep it as long as possible.
So I was driving as fast as I could down the shaded streets. Unfortunately, my darn car wouldn't take me any farther than a vacant lot.
Hey-- I knew that place-- that's where that gang hung out, the Greasers. Some of them were there then, smoking and chatting.
When they noticed my car was stopped, and making a growly kind of noise, one of them came over. After a second or so, the other two followed after him reluctantly.
I didn't know what to do. All I knew about Greasers was that they were lower-class East-enders. I didn't know if they were violent or anything. They didn't really look violent, but what did I know?
The one who started towards me first tapped on my window. I hestitated, chewing my lip, then rolled the window down.
"Yeah?" I said nervously.
"Is something wrong with your car?" The boy asked. It bothered me that I couldn't see his face in the darkness.
"Uh, um, it... stopped working. And isn't moving forward." I said stupidly. "Why?"
"I know cars," He explained, "Let me take a look?"
I rolled the car window back up and got out silently.
When I got outside, and could see him better, I decided he didn't look like a threat, and relaxed a bit. It took him about four seconds to find the problem, then I got him a toolbox I had in my trunk, I don't know how that got there, but he set to work on fixing my poor car.
"Thanks," I said. By now I'd guessed they were good kids. Or, at least the car-fixer one. "What's your name?" I asked him.
"Sodapop. Yours?" I blinked.
"You're name is... is Sodapop?" I asked, trying to be polite. "For real?"
"Yep. Soda, for short, if you want." He looked up to grin at me. "Now, what's your name?"
"My name's Inessa." I said.
"For real?" he joked.
"Yep."
I remembered the other two boys that were standing a small distance away from me. They looked bored.
"So, what are your names?" I wondered.
"I'm Ponyboy. Soda's brother. The three of us are brothers, actually."
"My name's Darrel." said the oldest. I nodded slightly.
No one spoke for a while. Soda was concentrating on the car, Ponyboy and Darrel just didn't seem to want to talk with me around. I realized I recognized them.
"Hey, Ponyboy, you're the guy who saved those kids in a fire?" I asked. I'd seen the story in the paper. He shrugged.
"Yeah." Was all he said.
"Wow, that's pretty amazing." I told him.
"Why?" he looked up at me, a bitter look on his face. "I doesn't do any good to help others."
I was shocked. How could he believe that? I thought, especially considering it was him and that other boy who risked their lives to save them and--

Oh. I remembered then. The other boy broke his back when they were in the fire, and passed away a few days later.
"You mean the boy who died, in that fire?" I asked.
"His name was Johnny." He said. There was sadness on his face, but I could see he was trying to hide it. I looked at Darrel.
"Do you think so too? That it doesn't do good to help people?" I asked him curiously.
"I... I guess not." He said grudgingly. "I mean, it was stupid to run into a burning church, but... They did save lives. I guess that counts as doing good." He grinned half-heartedly. Then I asked Soda, who I don't think had heard us at all.
"Hey Soda," I said, "Do you think it does any good to help people?" I asked. He didn't look up from his work, but still answered.
"Well, I'm helping you now, right?" He said, "Do you think it's doing any good?"
"Well, to me it is." I answered.
"Then it does good." He said, grinning.
"Do you think it was good that Ponyboy and Johnny saved those kids?" I asked. His face went blank.
"No." He said. I opened my mouth to say something, but he spoke first. "Your car's fixed." He told me.
"Oh. Thank you," I said. "Here, I'll pay you..." I went to get my purse from the passenger seat, but he shook his head.
"Free of charge." He said.
"Oh. Thank you, so much!" I said. "And, I'm sorry." I added.
"Yeah. Bye," said Sodapop. They turned and walked back to where they were before they came over, and I drove off through the moonlight, trying to decide what to think about what had happened, and about those boys.
And, yeah, I was late for work.





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