Author's note: Hello, my Sweet Valley and Baby-Sitters Club fans! So several years back, I tried to write a crossover called With Love, Ellen, about a member of the Unicorn Club but it didn't exactly fare well. So that project is long abandoned. I used to read Sweet Valley Twins and the BSC books as a kid and always used to wish there were crossovers of the two series but could never find any. So here I go again, writing a new SVT/BSC crossover in the hopes it actually does well. Please review and let me know what you think! Thanks! And without any further ado, I give you...
"Kids, I have an announcement," My mom told us at the dinner table. She was squeezing my father's hand.
My siblings and I all automatically stared at her belly. Usually, when parents start off with announcements and staring at each other, it usually means they're having a baby or something. I gulped nervously. I already have two siblings; I didn't think I was ready for another one!
I glanced briefly at my sister and brother. The two of them looked about as apprehensive as I did.
"Please tell us you're not having a baby!" My older brother exclaimed.
My mom chuckled. "No, no baby," she replied. My siblings and I all let out a huge sigh of relief.
"Well, what it is?" I asked, puzzled.
Mom quickly cleared her throat before she began talking. "Well, I got a letter from my cousin Sharon in the mail today. Her parents – my aunt and uncle – are falling on hard times. My uncle was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and his wife needs help caring for him and the house. My aunt is too old to do it alone and Sharon and her husband are doing what they can to help them but they need help themselves."
"Who's Sharon? How come we've never heard of her before? Why are you suddenly hearing from this woman now?" I questioned.
Mom only shrugged. "She's distant family. We were close as kids but lost touch when we were in college. I just now recently got back in touch with her when I got a call from your aunt Laura that Sharon's parents needed help."
"So…how exactly are you related to this woman?" My sister Elizabeth asked, nibbling a dinner roll.
"Well, your Grandma Marjorie and her sister – my aunt Rita – are half-sisters. They have different mothers but the same father. Aunt Rita was born in California and she lived in Sacramento for a little while. When her parents separated, her and her dad moved to Connecticut. She met her husband there and they had their daughter – my cousin Sharon."
I tapped my fingers impatiently on the kitchen table, my dinner long forgotten. I was curious as to what my mother's announcement was and what this story had to do with it. I had no clue who this Sharon lady was but I had a feeling my mom's announcement had something to do with her.
"I got word from my cousin Sharon that her father Charles – my uncle, who actually has the same name as my dad, is too sick to care for himself. Aunt Rita is too old to care for him and Sharon already has enough on her plate as it is. She's already reached out to my sisters but none of them are able to help. I felt so bad for losing touch with her over the years so I told her I'd help her out."
"So…that's it? That's the announcement?" My older brother Steven asked. "I thought it was something…I don't know…more interesting…"
Dad lightly nudged Mom a little, chiding her to continue. "Alice, tell them," he said, choosing to ignore Steven's rude remark.
I frowned. "Tell us what?" I asked, creasing my forehead with worry.
Mom cleared her throat again. "Well, after discussing it with your father, we decided to move to Connecticut to help Cousin Sharon out with whatever she needs."
My mouth flew open. "By we, I hope you meant you and Dad and you're going to ask an adult here in town to take care of us," I said.
"No. We as in all of us. The entire Wakefield family. I already spoke to Sharon and she's happy to let us stay with her until we help her parents get back on their feet."
"And how long will that be?" Steven asked glumly.
I shot a quick glance at my sister Elizabeth. She didn't say much but I could tell she wasn't thrilled about moving either.
"I'm not exactly sure, quite honestly. But I promised Sharon I would do whatever I could do to help her out. If you knew my cousin, then you'd understand why she needs help. Cousin Sharon, from what I remember, is very scatterbrained. She needs all the help she can get."
I frowned, folding my arms crossly. This wasn't fair! I was being forced to move three thousand miles across the country to live with distant relatives I had never heard of or even met! And Mom nor Dad had even thought to discuss it with us before deciding!
I didn't want to move. My entire life was here in Sweet Valley, the town I'd lived in since I was born. I couldn't see myself living anywhere else.
"Sharon has a daughter about you and your sister's age, Jess," Mom replied. "And a son, but he's three years younger than Sharon's daughter. He doesn't live with them. Plus, Sharon told me she got remarried and her new husband has a daughter the same age as Sharon's daughter."
I could tell Mom was telling us this to lighten the blow of practically forcing us to move but I didn't care. More strangers, I thought, rolling my eyes.
"But what about your jobs? How are you going to make money if we move?" Elizabeth asked.
"Well, my job as an interior decorator is pretty flexible since I own my own company now. And your father has already found a law firm that will take him in once we arrive. It's all going to work out."
Steven scowled. "Not for us because we're going to lose our friends, change schools and leave our house."
"Yeah. How's that going to work out for us?" I chimed in.
Mom scowled at us kids. "Enough," she snapped irritably. "Don't be selfish. I told you, I agreed to help my cousin and my uncle. They need help and I offered. Now, we're going and that's final."
I slumped in my seat and folded my arms, scowling at the floor.
Elizabeth cleared her throat. "Since it's clear we don't have any say in the matter, where exactly are we moving to?" she asked.
"Stoneybrook, Connecticut," Mom answered. "It's a small but quaint town near Stamford. I used to spend time there when I was a little girl but it's been years since I was last there."
"So…when do we leave?" I asked, frowning.
"Next Sunday. Your father and I are still looking at houses in Stoneybrook but Cousin Sharon is allowing us to stay with her and her family until we find a house."
"Finding a house? You mean…this move is permanent?" Steven asked in alarm.
"Alzheimer's is not a disease that you just bounce back from, Steven. It can take a toll on everyone involved, including the one with the disease. Alzheimer's doesn't just go away like the flu. It can be burdening and overwhelming on the caretaker. When I said I wanted to help, I meant it. It's just not right to leave Sharon to take care of her dad alone. She and Aunt Rita refuse to put him a nursing home."
"So you're saying you want to be close by if anything happens or if you're needed?" Elizabeth asked.
It was Elizabeth's turn to nod. "So when do we start packing?" She asked dejectedly.
"Well, we already sold the house and we've already arranged for moving trucks to put our things into storage until we find a house to buy in Stoneybrook, which shouldn't really take that long. We'll be staying with Cousin Sharon and her family until we get ourselves back on our feet," Mom replied.
"We're going to be homeless?!" I exclaimed, mortified. I could just hear all of my friends, including Lila Fowler, gossiping about me and mocking me about having no home. I would be the laughingstock of my entire school if anyone found out.
"No, we won't be homeless, Jessica," Dad answered. "We won't be staying with your mother's cousin's family very long. I think the average we'll be staying will be a week and a half."
"What are we going to do about school? What about all our things?" Steven asked.
"Ah, good question, son," Dad said. "Your mother's cousin's daughter and stepdaughter both go to the same school in the town and there are a few people she knows that attend the local high school but there are other schools there we can look into."
Steven sighed and slumped into his seat, frowning. "I guess this means I can't go to the big basketball game next Monday. Our team is on a winning streak this year."
He then pushed his plate away from him and stood up from the table. "If you'll excuse me, I'm not very hungry. Can I be excused?"
"No dessert?" Mom asked, frowning.
"But there's apple p_"
"I said I'm not hungry. Now can I be excused, please?" Steven asked tersely.
Mom nodded grimly. "Of course, Steven."
With that, Steven left the kitchen, stomping his feet as he went.
Mom turned to us. "Girls, how are you feeling about this? I know it's sudden but _"
"You have to help your cousin. We know," I said rudely. I then rose from the table, my face red with anger. "But you know, it would've been a lot better if you had talked to us first before making plans! Thanks a lot!"
I then ran straight to my room, slamming the door behind me.
I'm leaving the greatest place in the whole world, I thought glumly as I lay on my bed. My life is ruined.