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Показать все книги автора/авторов: Martin Ann M.
 

«Good Bye Stacey, Good Bye», Ann Martin

 

Good-bye Stacey, Good-bye

 

Ann M. Martin

 

Chapter 1.

 

I was daydreaming.

In my fantasy, I had walked into Candy Land. Not the little kids' game, but a real land where everything was made of candy. You know, peppermint-stick lampposts and rivers of chocolate and fields of green icing. I stopped and sampled everything I saw — a lick of peppermint, a slurp of chocolate, a mouthful of icing.

I have to tell you, even I thought the fantasy was pretty lame, but the thing is, I've got diabetes, which means I have to limit the amount of sweets I eat — which means no candy or sugary junk food. I've had diabetes for almost two years now. That's close to twenty-four months without white chocolate and root beer barrels and Twinkles and Ring Dings and Yodels. I try to pretend that this doesn't matter, but the truth is — sometimes I'd kill for a Tootsie Pop.

So you can see why I was dreaming about Candy Land.

It was unfortunate though, that I was dreaming during math class. When my teacher called on me, I answered, "Huh?" Now, ordinarily, I'm a pretty good student, especially in math, so Mr. Zizmore looked confused. I was saved by the bell, though, and gratefully escaped into the hallway. School was over for the day, and I had a busy afternoon ahead of me.

First I was going to baby-sit for one of the greatest little kids in the world. Then I was going to go to a meeting of the Baby-sitters Club. The Baby-sitters Club was the reason I had the job in the first place. The club is really a sitting business that I run with four of my friends.

"Stacey! Stacey!" someone called.

I turned around, trying to open my locker at the same time. "Oh, hi, Claud!" I replied.

Claudia Kishi is my best friend here inStoneybrook,Connecticut . (I have another best friend, Laine Cummings, inNew York City , which is where I used to live.) Claud came running toward me, her black hair flying.

"What's up?" I asked her.

"You will never guess what I just heard."

"What?" I pulled my French book and a pair

of dirty gym socks out of my locker and stuffed them into my knapsack.

"Are you in a hurry?" asked Claudia.

"Yeah. I'm sitting for Charlotte Johanssen today. I'm supposed to be at her house by three. . . . What did you hear?"

"That Howie Johnson asked Dorianne Wall-ingford to go to the library with him this afternoon."

I frowned. Howie wasn't exactly my boyfriend. In fact, he wasn't my boyfriend at all. But he had taken me to the last few school dances. So why was he asking Dori to study with him?

"Maybe they're doing a group project together or something," I suggested. But I was far more hurt than I let on, even though there was no reason to feel that way.

"Yeah. That must be it." Claudia slipped her arm comfortingly across my shoulders. "Come on. I'll walk you toCharlotte 's. And then I'll see you at the club meeting later."

Claudia left me at the Johanssens' driveway. We had talked about Howie all the way fromStoneybrookMiddle School toCharlotte 's house.

We had decided that Howie was a jerk.

When I rang the Johanssens' bell,Charlotte met me at the door, bouncy and happy as

usual. She's my favorite kid and I'm her favorite sitter.

"Hi!" she cried. "Hi, Stacey! Guess what — I got invited to a sleepover party! It's at Vanessa Pike's and we're going to go to the movies first. Four of us. Me and Vanessa and Suki and Merry."

Charlottestopped chattering only long enough to let her mother give me instructions for the afternoon. As soon as Dr. Johanssen left,Charlotte began talking again. Sometimes I just couldn't get over how she had changed since I first baby-sat for her. That was a year ago, when she was seven. She was quiet then, and sad, and had no friends her age. Now she's happy and friendly and has a new best girlfriend each week. Her mother says half the change is due to the fact that Charlotte wasn't being challenged enough at school and needed to skip a grade (which she did) — and the other half is due to me! According to Dr. Johanssen, I helpedCharlotte learn a lot about herself and about getting along with kids. That makes me feel terrific. Also, it's kind of nice to be somebody's favorite person. (But it's scary, too.)

When I leftCharlotte 's, it was almost5:30 , so I ran straight to Claudia's house. The meetings of the Baby-sitters Club are held in Clau-

dia's bedroom since she has her own phone and her own phone number. Also for this reason, Claudia is the vice-president of the club.

The president is Kristy Thomas. Kristy was the one who had the original idea to start a baby-sitting club. (Kristy is full of ideas.) The sign of a good businessperson, my dad always says, is the ability to recognize a problem and find a way to solve it (a money-making way to solve it, that is). And that's exactly what Kristy did a year ago. She saw what a hard time her mother was having trying to find a sitter for her little brother, David Michael. Her mom had to make one call after another, looking for someone who was free. What Kristy thought was, Wouldn't it be great if her mom could find a sitter with just one phone call? And now our club provides that service. When somebody calls Claudia's number on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday afternoon between5:30 and6:00 , they reach Claudia (of course), Kristy, Mary Anne Spier, Dawn Schafer, and me, Stacey McGill.

We are the members of the Baby-sitters Club.

As I've said, Kristy is the president and Claudia is the vice-president. The secretary is Mary Anne. Her job is to schedule baby-sitting appointments and to keep track of the stuff in


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