Johnny and Ponyboy are as close as brothers for most of the novel. They dream together, survive together, and become unlikely heroes together. While they are hidden away at the church, they awaken to watch a sunrise one morning. Johnny comments on how beautiful the scene is, and Pony offhandedly tells him, "Nothing gold can stay." He then recites the Robert Frost poem by that name to Johnny, and the two of them discuss the poem; Pony is certain that he isn't analyzing it to Frost's full intentions.
Johnny tells Pony that until they met, he'd never really noticed clouds and colors, but Pony kept bringing them up to him. Pony responds that Johnny isn't like the rest of the gang, either. He would never talk about the sunrise or clouds with the rest of the gang, but he does with Johnny.
After being injured in the church fire, Johnny hangs on for a while in the hospital. As his death becomes certain, he waits for Pony to arrive. His final message to Pony—and his last spoken words—are telling...
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