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SODA THE INTERMEDIARY. Sodapop always sticks up for Ponyboy during his fights with Darry, and this creates conflicts between Darry and Soda as a result. Pony is usually guilty of something when Darry attempts to discuss the situation or punish him, but Soda takes up for Pony regardless of the reason. When Soda tries to defend Pony when he comes home late on the night of Bob Sheldon's death, Darry switches his anger to Soda.
"Darry...," Sodapop began, but Darry turned on him. "You keep your trap shut! I'm sick and tired of hearin' you stick up for him."
SANDY. Soda is in love with Sandy, who he has been seeing for a while, and they often double-date with Steve and his girlfriend. But Sandy soon decides to move to Florida, and Soda discovers it is because she is pregnant. Soda wants to marry her, and he sends her many letters which are returned unopened. Soda finds out that the baby is not his--Sandy has been cheating on him. Darry explains it to Pony, who is unaware of Soda's predicament:
"When Sandy went to Florida... it wasn't Soda, Ponyboy. He told me he loved her, but I guess she didn't love him like he thought she did, because it wasn't him...
"He cried every night that week you were gone," Darry said slowly. "Both you and Sandy in the same week."
SODA THE DROPOUT. Soda is a high school dropout, and he works in the local DX gas station. Although Soda seems to be happy with his decision, it doesn't sit well with Pony, nor does it serve as a good example for his younger brother. When Cherry Valance asks why she never sees Soda at school, Pony
... winced inside. I've told you I can't stand it that Soda dropped out. "He's a dropout," I said roughly. "Dropout" made me think of some poor dumb-looking hoodlum wandering the streets breaking out street lights--it didn't fit my happy-go-lucky brother at all.
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