What does Cherry mean when she says, "Bob wasn't just anyone"?

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the story, Bob is Cherry's boyfriend. By all indications, he's not a very sympathetic character; he's a bully and an arrogant member of the Soc gang. During an incident, Bob was one of four Socs who badly injured Johnny (a Greaser) when they beat him up. On another occasion, Bob participated in the attack against Ponyboy, another Greaser. During this attack, however, Johnny accidentally stabbed Bob to death in his effort to prevent Ponyboy from being drowned by the group of Socs.

So, when Ponyboy asks Cherry whether she will go and visit Johnny, she declines. Her excuse is that Bob was her boyfriend, and she could never look on the person who had killed Bob. Cherry thinks that Bob was special, not 'just any boy.' She imagines that Bob would have been different if he hadn't drank so much. Even here, Cherry makes excuses for her former boyfriend; she thinks that Bob drank because other people sold him the liquor. So, in other words, Cherry doesn't think Bob was to blame for drinking, nor was he to blame for being violent while under the influence of alcohol. Instead, Cherry blames the alcohol and the people who sold it to Bob for Bob's poor life choices.

In all, Cherry claims that Bob was always a charismatic figure; when he was alive, he inspired people to look up to him and to follow him. She believed that her former boyfriend was somehow different and 'maybe a little better' than the crowd.