The BSC Legacy - Book 3: When Numbers Really Count
10: Welcome To The BSC, Mona Vaughn!
I was deep in thought as I headed down the hall toward lunch that early November day, I almost didn't see some of the In crowd.
Burke and Riles were laughing at a freshman boy who I suspected that they had pushed while he was getting a drink at the fountain. The boy's dark eyes were wide and his skinny frame was shaking a little. Water dripped from his dark wavy hair onto his sweatshirt and he was slowly backing into the wall.
"Heyy..." I called. "I really don't think it's right what you two are doing."
Burke and Riles jumped, then turned and stared at me. I stared back as I walked past them. I looked at the other boy, who was short and with a glance let him know that he'd be okay.
"Oh, yeaaah..." Burke sneered as he and Riles came closer. With me as a distraction, the freshman managed to escape, scurrying down the hall.
"Yeah," I said quietly.
I didn't realize that I was so close to the lockers that I'd backed into them.
"Hey, listen up," Randy pointed at me. "You're one of those losers from that diaper-changers co-op and we're the cool ones. Don't forget it!"
"Yeah, I know," I held up my hands.
I didn't want a fight. I just wanted them to leave other kids alone. I wondered how long it would be before...
"Heeeeyy..." another voice called from down the hall. "I think you'd better knock it off or you two are going to get a lot of unwelcome attention."
It was Caitlin Giotti and she was strolling toward them slowly. Kids who'd been lingering in the hallway gathered around her.
"Yeah, your clique might be 'cool' in the standard, conventional, boring sense," Abby put in. I was relieved to see that the BSC had joined the group. "But it looks like you're just a few in a class by yourself...alone." Now that Riles and Burke had backed up, I darted over to Abby.
"We may be on the other side," Stacey put in. "But we have a lot of support and company."
"So don't you forget that," Kristy put in. She and Riles locked eyes a minute and I knew both of them were remembering the fist fight they'd gotten into last year.
"C'mon, we'd better get out of here..." Burke muttered. "Looks like they're all on us..." With that, he darted off.
"Hey..." Riles barked after him.
He muttered something, then seeing that he didn't have any backup now, he dashed off. I didn't realize I was shaking until I leaned on a locker.
"Wow..." I whispered.
"Hey, we're all on the other side, but we have lots of company," Mary Anne put a hand on my shoulder.
We sure do, I thought as we headed into the cafeteria to eat. A lot of kids were standing by the BSC now, so the In clique is easier to deal with.
Mary Anne had told me that last year, they'd practically ruled SHS and a lot of kid were afraid of them. I guess a lot of kids felt alone and didn't realize that others were scared too.
I'm so glad that's changing now. I think OTGY and the new kids were the two pushes we needed to get SHS back on track.
I watched Kristy take the call that Friday afternoon at the BSC meeting. Mary Anne checked to see who was free on Sunday afternoon to sit for Gilea Minnow.
"Stacey's free...I'm free...and Kristy's free." Mary Anne looked around with her wide, serious, dark eyes. In the end, Stacey took the job.
Kristy glanced over at me, then announced, "Today we have an announcement and a vote. Do we vote Mona Vaughn in as our new alternate officer? All in favor, raise your hands."
"AYYYE!" The whole BSC did. I did it! I thought. I'd accompanied the BSC members on various sitting jobs during the past month for "test" jobs.
"Welcome to the Baby-Sitters' Club, Mona Vaughn," Kristy smiled and gave me a hug. She passed around the notebook and everybody wrote such thoughtful things that my eyes welled up. Mary Anne started to cry full force and she leaned over and gave me a hug.
"Welcome to the club, Mona..." the others added. Just then, Claudia snapped a picture of Mary Anne and me in our hug.
"Oh, Claudia!" Mary Anne managed a sniffly laugh and took a playful swipe at Claudia. "Another picture of me crying..." She and Claudia landed on the floor in a heap of giggles.
That night, being the first Friday in November, we had our monthly sleepover. We had it at the Spier-Schafers' house.
Sharon, Dawn's mom, came up to say hello and to welcome me into the club. Sharon's nice. She's funny, has dirty-blond hair, and is absent-minded, yet sharp. Mary Anne and Dawn are lucky to have her.
We ordered pizza, then watched Defending Your Life. We were cracking up by the end of the movie. I feel so comfortable with them. I finally found a solid group of friends to hang out with.
At my old school, I had kids who liked me and I liked them, but I never really fit in with them. I mostly drifted around the edges a lot.
I used to sit with the former Fabulous Five, but sometimes felt as if some of them were seeing me as just poor, ugly Mona. They'd broken up completely last year when Jana Morgan and Beth Barry had their final falling-out.
But now, here in Stoneybrook, I felt totally at home with the BSC. These were truly friends forever and I was happy to be one of them.
After the movie, we went up to Mary Anne's room and played games like Uno and Pictionary. Of course, we pigged out on a heap of snacks. It was late by the time we went to sleep. We giggled and whispered for a long time in our sleeping bags.
"I'm finally feeling comfortable here," Mary Anne whispered to me. We were next to each other and the last ones to go to sleep. "Dad and Sharon also have the layout plans for our new house."
"Hey, that's good," I whispered back.
I thought back about the rough times my family has survived...my dad dying when I was in fourth grade, then my mom being unemployed for almost a year afterward.
I'd felt as if our house was so empty without dad for a long time. Any loss is likely to make you feel adrift. I'm so glad my sister, my mom, and I stuck together and weathered our hard times. It seems like Mary Anne and Dawn's family have done the same.
"You know, you guys are great friends," I whispered. "Back at Burkeview, I never really fit in. I feel totally at ease with you all. I like how you help each other out and I'm glad to be part of that."
"Thanks," Mary Anne whispered. "After that awful fire last summer, the BSC really helped Dawn and me through those first terrible days."
"That's wonderful." Mary Anne's lucky to have friends like this...and so am I.
I was the first one awake the next morning. Odd. Usually Kristy is the early riser, up at the crack of dawn. Claudia and I especially love to sleep late on weekends. But I woke up at around nine or so and my eyes slowly opened.
I was feeling more at peace than I had in a long time. I even was starting to feel comfortable here in the rental house, which was good since I knew it would take several more months for our barnhouse to be re-built. As I turned over, I felt a throbbing in my abdomen.
"Ohhh..." I moaned softly, then smiled softly. I dared hope...I haven't told anyone except my friends this, but my last period was in early June and I've been a little worried because I'd gotten my first one at fourteen and just got regular a year ago.
But now, I'd skipped four months and was beginning to worry. Dawn says she suspects it was the stress of last summer's house fire that knocked my cycle off balance. After all, the fire happened in late June. Now I had a sense of relief as the throbbing pain in my abdomen increased.
I pulled myself up and headed to the bathroom. Sure enough, my period was here. Tears of relief welled in my eyes as I reached for a tampon. Now my body was back in sync, I thought as I washed myself off and inserted the tampon. Just like I was getting back in sync along with the rest of the BSC, I thought. And when our letters come out...