A Timely Reunion.
Disclaimer: The name "Babysitters Club," "BSC" and all characters and place names associated to the series remain the property of Ann M. Martin. I am terrible at thinking up titles, so I apologise for the poor thinking behind the title.
Nat King Cole crooned quietly from the radio in the background and the kettle was boiling. The toaster pinged to indicate that the bread was toasted. Mary Anne Spier pulled her robe tightly around her as she drew the curtains of her apartment in New York City. The sun beamed in through the window; it was a beautiful spring day, chilly but crisp and fresh.
She quickly buttered her toast and poured out her coffee and went to sit down on the couch, picking up her unopened mail along the way. As she chewed, she sifted through her mail. The New York Times, excellent, she could read that as she drunk her coffee. What a perfect way to spend a lazy Saturday morning. She pulled a face as she opened up her cell phone bill for the month. Texting her sister in California wasn't cheap; she was going to have to make more effort to send emails in future. She tossed a flyer for a new pizza parlour into the bin and put the Sears catalogue on her coffee table for later. She picked up her final type faced letter and smiled as she recognised the Stoneybrook postmark. She opened it up, wondering what it was and grinned as an invitation fell out.
It was a card from her old middle school, an invitation to a twentieth year middle school reunion for the class of 1990. "Twenty years," she marvelled to herself. Had it really been that long since she'd graduated from middle school? At the age of 33, it really had been that long. How the years had flown by.
There was a snuffle by her feet and Mary Anne reached down to pick up her cat, Rory. She perched him on her lap and petted him absentmindly as she thought back to her middle school days. The reunion was scheduled for June 1st. She wondered who would attend. She wondered how people had changed. It would be interesting to see.
She looked around her own flat and smiled wryly to herself. Mary Anne had been the sensible, sensitive girl at school, the cry baby. She'd had friends and had been well liked and was one of the first girls in school to have a steady boyfriend. She had also been picked on and was an easy target for people to mock. She had been quiet and hated confrontation. She was the one that her friends spoke to when they had problems. Good old reliable Mary Anne Spier. She pictured herself back then, hair in braids, knee socks with a sensible skirt and a blouse, mary jane shoes on her feet. She'd been a good student throughout middle school and high school. She got good grades and had dated Logan Bruno during her middle school years. They'd broken up briefly and then got back together during high school. She'd expected to go off to the same college as him. The plan was that he'd get a sport scholarship and she would study English and eventually train to become a teacher. They were to get married after college, have kids and live happily ever after. Funny how things don't always go the way you plan.
She sighed as she thought of her ex boyfriend, her childhood sweetheart and smiled. "I wonder whatever happened to him?" she thought.
Mary Anne had never made it to college. Mary Anne never even said goodbye to Logan. She didn't say goodbye to her friends. She just packed up, kissed her family goodbye and took a train to New York when she graduated from high school. And she'd been here ever since.
She had worked in the local library at the weekends during high school and was able to save money from that and babysitting. She had enough money to rent a room in a New York apartment with four other girls for a couple of months. Her room was small and dark and the apartment was noisy and not in the nicest area, but she enjoyed the freedom of being able to move around as she desired, the apartment was clean and the other girls friendly. She took a job as a waitress in a dingy café to earn enough money to pay the rent. The café was dark and dingy and served basic junk food, but she enjoyed getting to know the regular customers and while she didn't like the job itself, it paid the bills and she was on good terms with the rest of the staff. After paying bills, she spent much of her money on fabrics, beads, ribbons and other beautiful materials and spent many hours at the weekends sewing, creating curtains, beautiful cushions, throws and even the occasional piece of clothing. After months which eventually stretched into years of trying, all the time continuing her work as a waitress, her work was eventually stocked in "The Cove," a spiritual shop selling crystals, incense and other such delights. Her work had started to sell well and she was eventually able to brand her creations "The Mary Anne Range," one of the key features being that every piece was unique. She was now stocked in five different stores and had her own website selling her creations. She had quit her job as a waitress so she could sew full time. She wasn't rich, but she earned enough to rent a small, but pleasant two bedroom flat in the city. She could pay the bills and treat herself to the occasional night out and had recently started to build up a small amount of savings. Everything had fallen into place and she had loved her newly found independence.
She still contacted her family, birthday cards and Christmas cards at the appropriate times of year. Sometimes, she invited Sharon, her stepmother, to come and stay for the weekend. They would catch up over coffee, go for dinner, catch a show and then Sharon would go back to Stoneybrook the next morning. She kept in contact with Dawn, her stepsister over text messages and phone calls. Occasionally, she flew out to California for a long weekend. The closeness that they'd had during their teenage years had long gone, but they were still friends.
Mary Anne's father had died a few years before. Not an old man, but not a young one either. It had been sudden, a stroke seizing him from his family. Richard had been a real family man and should have been enjoying his retirement years with his wife. But life has a cruel way of taking you by surprise. The trip back to Stoneybrook for his funeral was the last time and in fact the only time Mary Anne had been back since high school. She had cried. She had loved her father. But she'd felt no urge to go back for visits prior to that; she had a new life and Stoneybrook was the past. Not a sad one. She liked to look back and smile, but she knew she had left it well behind.
She thought of her old friends at school and wondered what they would look like now. She hadn't stayed in contact. It wasn't that she had hated them, but she had wanted a fresh start. Kristy Thomas still sent her a Christmas card and she returned the favour, but they didn't speak. Sending cards was just a courtesy. Even at her father's funeral, she had just smiled at her old friend in acknowledgement. They were strangers now.
She cupped her hands around her steaming mug of coffee and leant back into the sofa, smiling. She would go to the reunion. Twenty years was a long time and she would like to see how things had changed and see her old friends. She wouldn't stay in contact, but she would show her face. She wanted to show how she had changed. This Mary Anne was still short, still slim and flat chested, but she now carried herself with poise and confidence. Her brown hair was cut into a short, choppy, funky style with golden highlights carefully woven through it. Gone were the preppy skirts, khakis and button down blouses. This Mary Anne wore long, beautiful flowing skirts, with jewelled sandals on her feet, with fitted t-shirts or vests. She might wear stylish, dark blue jeans, carefully fitted to show off her slim figure, paired with a long tunic of swirling colours. When she wore plain jeans and t-shirts, they were paired with a silk scarf around her neck, perhaps another one knotted around her waist as a belt. It was a chic, slightly hippy look. Mary Anne loved it.
Lost in her daydreams, she came too and glanced at the clock hanging from the wall. She had to meet Brian in an hour, she had better get ready. She liked him and wanted to make a good impression. She stood as Rory mewed and jumped off her lap.
Mary Anne Spier, perhaps the least likely of the BSC to be living the single life. "But how I love it," she thought as she dropped her mug in the sink to soa and walked into her bedroom to get ready...
Thank you for reading the first chapter! It's been a long time since I attempted any fiction, so go easy!