Baby-Sitters Club belongs to Ann M. Martin

I just got up for school awhile ago with my cat, Tigger who sleeps with me every single night. Let me tell you who I am. I'm Mary Anne Spier of Stonebrook, CT. I'm thirteen and an eighth grader at Stoneybrook Middle School. I live with my father, my stepmother, and stepsister who happens to be one of my best friends and a member of a club I belong to called The Baby-Sitters Club or BSC for short. How come I have a stepfamily?

First of all, my father raised me by himself. My mother died when I was a baby. I hardly remember her even though my father has pictures of her, so I'll know what she's like but it's never the same as knowing her. My father used to be very strict. I'm not joking; he made me wear braids and childish clothes like blouses and knee socks and I couldn't even talk on the phone except for homework.

Luckily, that changed when he married Sharon Schafer, who is my stepmother. It's such a romantic story! Sharon and my father dated way back in high school. Then her parents sent her to California for college, where she got married, and had Dawn and Jeff, my stepsiblings. Then she and her husband got divorced when Dawn was in seventh grade, and Sharon decided to bring the kids back to where she grew up.

I met Dawn on her first day of school. Soon we found out that our parents were high school sweethearts. We were excited when we found out and reintroduced them and eventually, they got married. That's how I got my stepmother and stepsister. Unfortunately, Jeff had already moved back to California because he missed their father a lot.

I got dressed, brushed my teeth, brushed my hair and put it up in a bun, and went downstairs for breakfast.

"Morning, everyone," I greeted them.

"Good morning, honey," My father smiled at me.

"Morning, Mary Anne," Sharon and Dawn echoed back.

Dawn was having Healthy-Os and I had Frosted Flakes. She only eats healthy and vegetarian food. After breakfast, Dawn and I grabbed our stuff as we left the house for school. When we got there, our friends were waiting for us. Our friends are Kristy Thomas who is my other best friend, Claudia Kishi, Jessi Ramsey, Mallory Pike, and Stacy McGill.

We all went into school together. Dawn is in my homeroom. In gym, I was with Kristy, who is also in my social studies class. Let me tell you a bit about Kristy.

Kristy has three brothers: Charlie, Sam, and David Michael. They lived with their mother ever since after their father left years ago. Then, their mother started dating a real - life millionaire named Watson Brewer and they got married last summer. They moved from Kristy's home in Bradford Court where they grew up next to me, to across town into Watson's mansion. So now, the family's growing with Watson's kids, Karen and Andrew, their adopted sister, Emily Michelle, and their grandmother who has moved in to help out. They have a few pets.

Kristy and I are the same and different; we have brown hair and brown eyes. Neither of us wears earrings. I'm shy and quiet, but she's outgoing. We both have stepsiblings. I'm also sensitive, yet Kristy can be insensitive. People can also say that I'm a good listener.

In gym, we were playing volleyball. I was on Kristy's team. I normally hate gym, but today was a lot of fun! She and I were playing against Cokie and her sidekicks, Bebe and Grace. Cokie is our rival, ever since the third grade. She once tried to steal my boyfriend. His name is Logan Bruno.

We've both liked him ever since he moved to our school. However, Logan asked me out! I don't think Cokie has ever really gotten over it.

The bell rang just right after my team beat Cokie's team. Yeah! Kristy and I walked together over to social studies class. We also share a study hall. Study hall is the best way to finish my classwork so I don't have any homework to do. This is great, as it leaves more time for me to see my friends and baby - sit.

I stopped by my locker on my way to lunch. Suddenly, I heard a snigger and glanced up. I saw my other rival, Shawna Riverson and her friends. They were teasing and African-American girl. The girl's name was Kayla Willis. She was new at the school and I'd only met her briefly, earlier on in the day during English.

I saw a flicker hurt in Kayla's eyes, as she walked away. I noticed she was upset and approached Shawna and her friends.

"That was really mean of you to tease Kayla!" I said. "How would you like it if you were new and didn't know anyone and then you were being teased?"

They didn't say a word. I walked off and took a few deep breaths. I don't like confrontation and it's very hard for me to speak up and defend people. I went to find Kayla and found her at her locker, which happened to be next to mine.

"Are you okay now?" I asked her. "I just told them to stop."

"Thanks for standing up for me," said Kayla.

"Not a problem. We met in English," I said.

"Oh, that's right, we did," said Kayla.

"I'm on my way to meet my friends for lunch. Do you want to join us?" I asked.

"Okay! Thanks," smiled Kayla.

We chatted as we waited in line for lunch.

"So where do you live?" asked Kayla.

"Burnt Hill Road," I said.

"Really? That's where I live too!" Kayla exclaimed excitedly. "There's a really cool farmhouse nearby. It has a barn and everything."

"That's our farmhouse," I said.

"Wow," said Kayla with a grin. "We can walk to school and home together; I only live a few doors down. I can't believe we haven't seen each other around there yet!"

"I know," I said. "Where did you move here from?"

"New York City," she replied.

"Really? I love New York!" I exclaimed.

We got our lunches, and walked over to join our friends.

"Hi, everyone, this is Kayla. Kayla, these are my friends, Kristy, Claudia, my stepsister, Dawn and Stacey," I introduced everyone.

I noticed a funny expression on Kayla's face.

"Kayla? Are you okay?" I asked.

"Hi, Kayla," Stacey said slowly. "Wow... what a coincidence."

"Hi, Stacey," replied Kayla.

"What's new with you?" asked Stacey.

Stacey is from New York City. She moved here with her family after Mr. McGill's company transferred him here. She hadn't been here long when he was transferred back to New York. We were sad to see her go. Then she moved back again after her parents got a divorce. It was a sad time for Stacey, but we were glad to have her back. Poor Stacey has diabetes. If she's not careful of what she eats she can get very sick because she cannot have a lot of sugar. She also has to inject herself daily with insulin. Ugh!

"I just moved here yesterday afternoon," said Kayla.

"How do you two know each other?" I asked.

"We went to the same school in New York," said Kayla. "Weird, huh?"

"Wow, you're so lucky," I said. "Oh! I just saw Shawna and her friends teasing Kayla, so I just stopped them."

"Good," said Stacey. "They can be so immature."

"Kayla is in my homeroom and English class," I said.

"Hey, Kayla, I think you're in my math class," Claudia spoke up.

School is not Claudia's thing. Her older sister, Janine is a genius. Claudia is smart too, but she does not like school. Their grandmother, Mimi, used to live with them and she was the one person who really understood Claud. But she died of a stroke not long ago. It was so sad. Claudia loves art and create anything. She also likes junk food and reads Nancy Drew, but she's not supposed to have those, so she hides them everywhere in her room.

"Actually, that was my twin," said Kayla. "I'm in Kristy's math class."

"There are two of you?" I asked.

"Yes. My twin is Kaylee," said Kayla. "We're identical twins."

"Whoa, I'm getting confused if I meet her and think it's you," I said.

"We have the same style of clothes, but in a different color," said Kayla. "We wear our personalized necklaces so people can tell whose is who."

"Good thought," said Claudia.

After school, our friends, Mallory and Jessi met us outside. Mallory and Jessi are best friends. Like me and Kristy, they're the same in some ways and different in other ways.

Like for example, with their families. Mallory is the oldest of eight kids. and Jessi is the oldest of three kids. They are both talented, but in different wants; Mallory wants to be a writer and Jessi wants to be a dancer. Mallory is white and Jessi is African - American. Their parents treat them like kids, but they do wear earrings. They also both have a hamster; Mallory has Fido and Jessi has Misty. They love reading about horses.

"Kayla and Kaylee are walking with us, Dawn. They live a few doors down from us," I said as we started walking home.

"Okay," said Dawn.

"How are you two related?" asked Kaylee.

"We're stepsisters," I said as I explained the story.

"Wow. That is weird that your parents dated during high school," said Kayla.

"I know," agreed Dawn. "My younger brother, Jeff moved back to California to live with our dad."

"That must been hard on you," Kayla said, sympathetically.

"Yeah, it was at first, I usually see him mostly during holidays and sometimes long weekends," said Dawn. "So it's not so bad."

"That's good," said Kaylee.