Hi everyone! This is a story I've been working on for a while, and I'm hoping by posting it here it will give me encouragement to continue with it. It's basically about Joe growing up with his childhood friend and how they go through the ups and downs of life. There will, of course, be romance involved ;) It will include the rest of the StarKids eventually as well.

(And yes, the main character's name is Katy, which is my real name, and we do share some characteristics but I am not trying to live vicariously through her or anything, it's all just for the sake of the story.)

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy and please be sure to review so I know what you think!

*11 years earlier*

My glow-in-the-dark Scooby Doo alarm clock sat on my bedside table, silently counting down the hours until my nightmares would become a reality. When it finally turned to 7:00 a.m., lights on the clock began to flash rapidly and Scooby moved back and forth, pretending to run away from a scary monster while yelling, "Raggy! Wake up! Raaggy!" I poked my head out from under the mountain of stuffed animals piled around me and sighed.

I'm not going, and no one can make me! I thought determinedly.

I grabbed a stuffed Mickey Mouse and chunked it at my alarm clock, knocking it off the table and silencing it with one final "RAAAGGYYY!" I pulled the covers back over my head and burrowed back down under my covers, praying the stuffed animals would protect me from the outside world.

But it was only a couple of minutes later when I heard my mother bustling up the stairs and entering my room.

"Katy, dear! You need to get up, darling. It's your very first day of Kindergarten!"

She walked over to my bed and yanked away the covers, revealing my small, quivering body.

"I don't want to go, Mommy!" I cried, desperately hiding my face in my pillow.

"Why not, honey?" my mother asked, a slightly amused expression on her face. "You're going to have so much fun! You will learn lots of new things, play games, and make so many new friends!"

I kept my face buried a few moments longer, but finally turned my head slowly to face my mother. I looked up at her smiling face, tears welling up in my eyes and spilling silently onto my cheeks.

"No, I will hate it" I said seriously. "I'll never be able to make any friends. No one likes me!" I sobbed into her chest. "Please, please don't make me go."

My mother pulled me away from her loving embrace and gently took my small face in her hands, forcing me to look deep into her warm, brown eyes.

"Listen to me, Katy. You are a wonderful young lady, and any of the other children would be foolish not to like you. I bet you'll even have all the little boys chasing you around within the first five minutes. You did get your mother's good looks, you know" she winked at me playfully.

"Eww, gross!" I exclaimed, scrunching my nose. "Boys have cooties!"

Although I thought what my mother said was disgusting, I couldn't contain the small smile growing on my face. She always knew exactly what to say to make me feel better. We just had that special bond only a mother and daughter could share.

My father left when I was only two years old, abandoning his wife, two sons, and myself, forcing my mother to deal with the pressures of having a full time job as a middle school teacher and being a single parent to three very needy children. I was so happy to have my mother there for me though, I did not even feel the need for a father. In fact, I like to think it just would have made everything too crowded.

Finally, after much more encouragement and a tiny bit of prodding, I was off to the big yellow school bus that would take me to my very first day of school.

Be sure to stick around because little Joseph is coming up in the next chapter! :)