"My name is Kristin Amanda Thomas, and The Baby Club was my idea."
Kristy smiled brightly at the camera and turned to the side, rubbing her bulging belly. Dressed in jeans and a turtleneck, with a long, messy ponytail, she looked to be about twelve. In reality, she was sixteen.
Behind the camera was the rest of The Baby Club - Mary Anne Spier, Claudia Kishi and Stacey McGill. All three girls bulged with six months of pregnancy as well. They smiled, rubbed their bellys, and cooed at each other - eager to be mothers.
"How did the idea come to you?" Asked the thirty-something woman with dark hair. She looked interested, concerned, and slightly disgusted. Her name was Teresa Burton, and she was the producer of "The Baby Club," a reality show based on four girls living in Stoneybrook, Connecticut. Teresa was uncomfortable with the premise of the show. Not so much because it glamorized teen pregnancy, but because she could tell Kristy was going to be Trouble.
"It all started last summer," Kristy said, getting serious. "I was playing softball with Bart and some of the guys from his school..."
"Catch it, Thomas!" Bart Taylor shouted, running toward Kristy at full speed.
Kristy backed up, glaring into the sun. Where was the ball? Where was the damn -
The thing, you see, about softballs, is that they really aren't that soft. And when one whacks you in the head after being power-driven by a seventeen year old jock who thinks he's Barry Bonds, things get a bit fuzzy.
Kristy didn't remember how she got on the ground, but she was there. Bart kneeling over her, shaking her shoulders and shouting her name.
"What happened?" Kristy moaned, her eyelids fluttering.
"You got knocked out by the ball." Bart said, grinning widely with relief. He leaned down and kissed her on the lips. "Only for a second," he added, sitting up again. "But it scared the shit out of me."
Sitting up slowly, Kristy winced. "If I was out then I need to see a doctor. Drive me?"
"Of course." Bart Stood up, dusted himself off, and helped up Kristy. She swayed when she stood. The hot, humid air made her stomach turn. August in Stoneybrook was a miserable time, and the heat was not helping with her headache at all.
Stoneybrook Urgent Care Center was only three minutes from the field. Once there, Kristy was examined and it was determined she had no concussion, just a hell of a lump. She was sent home with a perscription for Vicodin and orders to take it easy for the next two days.
Kristy Thomas is somewhat of a goody-goody, but still a teenager. She and Bart had been heavily petting and working their way around third base all summer. To Bart's delight, the Vicodin and boredom caused by her injury made Kristy lose her inhabitions, and the same night she was hit in the head, she had sex with Bart for the first time.
"It was really nice." Kristy told her best friend Mary Anne the next day. The two of them were laying in the grass under a huge oak on Mary Anne's property. "Not a big deal at all. I don't know what all the fuss leading up to it is about. It's fun."
"It leads to babies." Mary Anne said dreamily. She, like her friends, loved children, especially babies. "I want a baby so bad. I wish Dad and Sharon would have one already."
"And that's when it hit me." Kristy went on, still smiling.
Teresa kept a straight face, though horrified at the simplicity of it.
"The Baby Club. A long time ago, I ran a business called The Baby-Sitters Club. The four of us started it. When we started high school, the club got left behind. Not enough time for baby-sitting and solving mysteries."
"Mysteries?" Teresa asked, perplexed.
"It was a hobby of ours." Stacey interjected, embarrassed. She hoped Kristy wouldn't go off on a tangent about their silly crime-solving sprees.
"Anyway," Kristy went on, barely masking her annoyance at Stacey's interruption. "Freshman and Sophomore years were hectic, but I thought to myself, Junior year is pretty calm. Maybe we could get the old club back together, but with a new goal. To have babies! All at the same time."
"It was very efficient." Mary Anne added loyally. "If we all concieved before October, we would have our babies in July and not miss any school. By the time we start senior year, they will be old enough to be left with baby-sitters, and we'll have the time to get through school."
"We'll all help each other." Stacey added. "And when it's time for college, we'll all go to the same school so that we can keep helping."
Teresa looked at all for girls, trying to find some sign that any of them had doubts about this plan. Claudia Kishi, who had become pudgy with baby weight, simply rolled her eyes and unwrapped a Twinkie.
"Claudia." Teresa asked. "Tell me about how you became a part of the club."
Claudia held her hand up in a "One moment" gesture as she swallowed her Twinkie. "I love kids. And when Kristy mentioned the part about eating all the food I wanted, I really liked the idea..."
The hardest part, for Claudia, had been finding a boyfriend to get her pregnant. She'd always had trouble finding the right guy - unlike her best friend Stacey, who boys and now men flocked to. When Kristy had called and asked if the could have a "meeting" in her room that August, Claudia had been laying on her bed, a bag of M&M's in one hand and a Danielle Steel book in the other, wondering when her prince charming would come along.
Claudia saw on the caller ID that it was Kristy and resisted the urge to say "Hello, Baby-Sitters Club!" when she answered. "Hey, Kristy."
"Claud!" Kristy shouted on the other end. She was one of those people that always spoke loudly on a cell phone. "I have an Idea!"
Claudia popped a handfull of candy in her mouth. "Mmmm." was all she said.
"Can Mary Anne and I come over? Call Stacey! We'll be there in ten minutes!" And she was gone. The next Claudia knew -
"Order!" Kristy barked from the directors chair.
Mary Anne sat up straight. Claudia rolled her eyes. Stacey gaped at Kristy in astonishment. "Are you kidding?" She asked shrilly.
"No, I'm not kidding, I have important new business! Possibly the best idea I've ever had..."
"What did you say about Kristy's idea, Stacey?" Teresa asked, leaning closer to the group.
"I thought it was cool." Stacey said, flashing a dazzling smile. She's had her teeth whitened that morning.
"Of course! I mean, look at all these girls, getting their own shows on TV just for getting knocked up on accident. These girls are all losers, every last one of them. Our plan was simple, and it is going to work. We're smart, we have a plan, and we know everything their is to know about raising children."
"What's the maximum income requirement for the Child Tax Credit?" Teresa asked the mathh whiz with a sparkle in her eye.
Stacey blinked. "Excuse me?"
"So you all thought it was a great idea, you all made the plan, you all made this pact to get pregnant within the same amount of time. Did you discuss techniques for getting pregnant together?"
Stacey shook her head. "No. Kristy kept miming blowjobs and Mary Anne almost cried when we tried to talk about posistions. There was never a serious discussion on sexual technique. They were all virgins, anyway. Well, not Kristy." Stacey smiled importantly. "I taught them a few things, though."
"Like how easy it is to get pregnant. All it takes is one slip. Too many drinks with a guy, you slip up. It happens."
"And you know this..."
"Because I was already pregnant at the meeting."
"WHAT?!" Kristy boomed, jumping out of the directors chair. "It was my idea, I should be the first-"
"Are you KIDDING me?" Stacey screeched back. "I didn't plan it, Kristy. You know how alcohol is. You go to a bar, some older guy you don't know puts a drink in front of you, you wake up pregnant. It's normal."
"Uh-" Mary Anne began to inturrupt.
"Nevermind that." Kristy said, waving Mary Anne off. She sat back down, chewing her pencil roughly. "Fine. Stacey is first. Bart and I didn't use a condom, maybe I'm pregnant, too." She grinned triumphantly at Stacey, who merely glared, crossing her arms across her chest.
"When did you find out?" Claudia asked, a tinge of jealously in her voice.
"Three days ago. I was going to tell you, Claud, I just... " Stacey trailed off, picturing the video she'd spent three days working on to submit to MTV. "I wanted to set thing straight, first." She mumbled, looking down.
Claudia unwrapped a Heath bar, broke it in half, and stuffed both halves in her mouth. "How am I supposed to find a guy?" She asked around the candy, rooting around under her pillow.
"How am I supposed to talk to Logan about this?" Mary Anne asked, flushing crimson.
All three girls simply looked at her.
"Mary Anne, you and Logan don't talk about sex?" Stacey asked, astonished.
Mary Anne flinched at the word "sex." "Uhm, no, we don't. Ever."
Teresa looked at Mary Anne thoughtfully. "What did you know about sex before this?"
Mary Anne's eyes grew wide. "Oh. Oh, I don't talk about -"
"Yes, yes, I know. But did you know anything?"
"None of it accurate." Stacey said lowly, a smirk on her face.
"Logan knew some things. He'd seen a movie once by accident he said." She wrung her hands together, looking around nervously.
Claudia snorted. Even Kristy grinned to herself. Stacey rolled her eyes.
"So Claudia. When your time came, there were complications. Tell me about them."
"Alan Gray is a freak. End of story." Kristy said disgustedly.
"She was talking to me." Claudia snapped. "Alan is not a freak. He just... likes to play pranks..."
Kristy Thomas, while under the influence of Vicodin, did a great many things she wouldn't normally have done. One of them was having sex with Bart Taylor multiple times. Another was sleeping with Alan Gray, as well.
It happened on a rainy evening. Kristy had gone to Pizza Express for a medium pizza and some time to herself. Two seconds after sitting down, a straw cover shot into the side of her face and Alan Gray sat across from her. "Thomas." He sad with a not.
"Gray. What are you having?" Kristy replied, tossing the straw cover aside and noticing the way Alan's biceps rippled under his sleeves.
"The works. I was thinking maybe I could eat with you?"
"You can do a lot of things with me..." Said Vicodin, and that was that. Without much effort, Alan seduced Kristy into the back of his 94 Toyota Camry while the rain poured down and didn't bother with a raincoat.
She woke up the next morning with a vague notion of what happened and an empty bottle of Vicodin. She also woke with guilt. She called Bart that morning, and arranged to meet him that night. After a roll or two in the sheets, as was becoming their ritual, Kristy confessed to Bart what Vicodin had done the night before.
Bart was angry.
And soon, Bart was gone.
"I haven't had sex since." Kristy said. "Obviously the drugs did something warped to my mind. And sure enough, ten days later, I passed a pregnancy test." She sighed, a frustrated sigh that Teresa thought should sound more sad. "I lost Bart. Alan was never really there. I don't know which of them is the father, and I won't until little Jackie is here."
Claudia gave Teresa a secret smile, and Teresa decided it was time for individual interviews.
"You said your boyfriend likes to play pranks." Teresa asked the moment Clauda sat in front of her.
Claudia giggled a little. She dipped her hand into her purse and came out with a small box. She opened it, produced a fork, and began to eat a plump piece of chocolate cake. "Yeah. He always has. Ever since kindergarten."
"Did you tell him about the pregnancy pact?"
"I did! Alan was the only guy I could think of, really. We'd dated a few times before. He'd dated Kristy, too."
Knowing what was coming, Teresa nearly felt sick. Claudia continued to grin like a child in on a secret.
"Alan used protection with Kristy, didn't he?"
Bits of chocolate cake flew as Claudia burst out laughing.