I'm afraid to say that the Baby-Sitters Club series doesn't belong to me. It'll always be Ann M. Martin's.
"I'm so excited! Lewis is coming down for two weeks!" I exclaimed to my sister, Mary Anne Spier.
"That's great," smiled Mary Anne.
Lewis happens to be the cousin of her boyfriend, Logan Bruno. He lives in Kentucky where the Bruno family lived before moving to Stoneybrook, Connecticut. Ever since we were thirteen, Lewis has often visited here, and we met when Mary Anne suggested a double date. I liked him right away and he's my first boyfriend. He'll arrive here a week before winter vacation and leave the Friday before we go back to school.
You're probably wondering who I am. I'm Dawn Schafer and I just turned sixteen years old. I used to live in California with my parents and my brother, Jeff, until my parents got divorced. My mother, Jeff, and I moved where she grew up—Stoneybrook. We lived on Burnt Hill Road in a farmhouse. How cool is that? Then, unfortunately, the only one who never got used to the move was Jeff. He was miserable and missed our father too much, so he moved back to California.
Here's something very weird: when Mom was in high school, she used to date Richard Spier-who is also Mary Anne's father-until her parents made them break up. Why? Because they thought Richard wasn't good enough for their daughter. That's how she moved to California.
Richard became a widower when Mary Anne was very small. She barely remembers her own mother. He's been raising her by himself after she spent a year in Iowa with her grandparents since he was too upset and concerned if he could raise his baby girl on his own. In the end, he took her back when she was about eighteen months old.
He and Mom started dating-again- not long after we moved here. Soon after Jeff left for California, they got married. That's how Mary Anne and I became stepsisters. In fact, we were already best friends before we became sisters.
"I don't know what I should do, what to wear, because Lewis wants to take me out once he gets here on Sunday," I said, panicking.
"Relax. I'll help you out," said Mary Anne gently.
"Thank you," I sighed.
Mary Anne is very sensitive and a good listener to anyone- including me. She's also shy and quiet, which is weird since she has Logan as her boyfriend. They've been dating since they first met when we started eighth grade after she thought he was her favourite movie star, Cam Geary.
That night, at ten o'clock, I got ready for bed. As I fell asleep, I began to dream…
On Sunday, Lewis finally came down and he wanted to take me out on a date for dinner and the movie. He had also suggested that we make it a double date with Logan and Mary Anne, and for him and Logan to pick us up at six-thirty that night. I liked that plan, but I didn't know what to wear. Mary Anne helped me pick out an outfit, and nothing seemed just right until we found a blue sailor dress I wore for Mom and Richard's wedding. It still fit me after all these years.
"Perfect!" I exclaimed happily. "Did you know what to wear?"
"Yes. I got a green striped shirt and blue jeans out on my chair," answered Mary Anne.
"That sounds perfect for you," I said, imagining Mary Anne in her outfit.
"Yep. It was easy for me to find a good outfit for our double date," said Mary Anne.
"You must be very lucky then," I said as we giggled. "We can get ready at five-thirty this evening to give us an hour to get ready."
Mary Anne asked, "Where are we going to eat at and what are we going to see?"
"No clue. Lewis said he wants to surprise us," I replied with a shrug.
"Oh, okay," said Mary Anne. "That must be a mystery then."
That evening at five-thirty, we took turns in the bathroom with a quick shower and dress-up. I kept my hair down in a headband.
"Mind if I borrow your curling iron? I'd like to curl my hair for a change," said Mary Anne, who was already in her shirt and jeans.
"Sure, let me go get it after I finish with my hair," I smiled at her. "Would you like me to curl it?"
"Of course you could, Ms. Schafer," said Mary Anne who was going to be my pretending customer. "How much that would cost?"
"Two bucks," I said.
"Okay, I'll pay after you're done," said Mary Anne with a giggle.
Mary Anne went back to her room to put on her nylons while she waited for me. After I was ready, I went over to grab the curling iron and curled Mary Anne's hair. She never had curly hair before, so it was a change for her.
"Are you sure your father would let you leave with curly hair?" I asked concerned.
"Why wouldn't he?" asked Mary Anne. "He's less strict about how I wear my hair now."
Why did I ask her that? That's because Richard used to be very strict with her. I know, because when I first met her in seventh grade, she was wearing childish jumpers and braids. Plus, she wasn't even allowed to use the phone except for homework, and so on. When Jenny Prezzioso got sick and Mary Anne handled the situation, she was able to prove to her father that she's not little anymore. So now, she picks out her own clothes and wears her hair her own way. Richard has loosened up a lot since then.
We were all ready after we put our shoes on almost an hour later at six-twenty. Richard approved of Mary Anne's curly hair. When Lewis and Logan came to pick us up, they took us to Friendly's as our anniversary of being together. In September, it would be a year for Mary Anne and Logan. Then we went to see My Cousin Vinnie back at home, which made us all laugh, especially when Vinnie was woken up by the train every morning.
Two days later, Lewis decided to take me out on a picnic lunch. We had a garden salad and apples. We ate at the park at eleven-thirty that morning. Then we looked at the clouds for a bit longer.
"I just love looking at clouds, they're nice and fluffy," I said.
"Me, too," said Lewis. He added, "Logan and I also get to be at your house tonight because my aunt and uncle are going to be at a meeting from six to eight and both Kerry & Hunter are going to be their friends' houses for the night."
"Awesome. I can hardly wait," I smiled.
Later, back at home, I told Mary Anne about it.
"It's too bad he'll be gone on Friday," I said."At least he and Logan will be coming over for two hours, so we get to spend more time with them."
That night, at five-thirty, the boys came over just before dinner was served, which was pizza. After dinner, Logan and Mary Anne had permission to go see a movie while Lewis and I had some private time like we planned. We were in my room on my bed while we were talking.
"Do you think we should do it? I've been thinking about it," said Lewis.
"I'd love to," I said, looking into his eyes.
"Have you ever done it before?" said Lewis.
"No," I replied with a shake of my head.
"Let's make it interesting," said Lewis with a sly grin.
We turned off my night lamp, lit a candle, and began to take off our clothes. After a slow, steady preparation, we began to make love right then and there. It was everything I could ever dream of and more to be in Lewis' arms.
We were lying in bed together, still glowing in the aftermath, when we heard a voice calling for us to come downstairs. Just in case it was Richard, we got up and put our clothes back on. I blew out the candle and turned on the lamp, just in time to hear a knock on the door.
"Dawn, Dad said you both need to come down; your parents will be here any minute," called out Mary Anne.
"Okay," I said as I opened the door, hoping the scene looked innocent.
"What took you so long?" asked Mary Anne.
"We were reading a book. I was brushing my hair while I was at it," I lied.
"Um, okay," said Mary Anne confusingly.
Lewis and I walked downstairs together and exchanged a secret smile. I was sad when Logan's parents pulled up and they had to leave, but they did promise to come back eventually.
Six weeks later, I felt ill, and to top it all off, I felt really nauseous. I had some orange juice to settle my stomach, but I still didn't feel well the next day or the day after that. I could only eat soda crackers and juice. As the next few days went by, my stomach didn't get any better, and I realized my period was late.
I confided my suspicions to Mary Anne, and she offered to go with me, as she was also picking up groceries. After purchasing the test, I took it in the public bathroom, but it took a while for any results to show, so I waited outside for Mary Anne while I held the test in my hands.
After Mary Anne came out with the groceries, we walked home together, the test still clutched in my hands. We were a few steps away from the drug store when I looked back down—and sure enough, two red lines showed up, proof that I was pregnant, and I began to panic over what I was going to do.
"You look terrified," remarked Mary Anne.
"I just noticed it's positive," I moaned. "So, I'm pregnant."
"Uh-oh," said Mary Anne, giving me a sympathetic glance.
"Uh-oh is right. What am I going to do?" I sighed.
"How are you going to tell our family?" said Mary Anne.
"Hmm…maybe I'll tell them after I visit the doctor first and find out how far I am and when I'm due," I said thoughtfully. "Maybe I'll wait after I decide what to do."
"That could work," said Mary Anne. "How would you able to make your own doctor's appointment?"
"I'm sure I could manage," I said, trying to sound confident.
Later, I called Stoneybrook Women's Center to make a doctor's appointment. I was booked for the next day at three-thirty in the afternoon. I offered for Mary Anne to go with, and she agreed. We both decided to use the excuse that we were off to the mall since I wasn't ready to say anything about my pregnancy, or the decision I would make, whatever it would be.
The next day, I was confirmed to be pregnant through a more professional test at the center. Shortly after my confirmation, I was told that I was eight weeks along and due on November twentieth. I was given some information on keeping a healthy diet while pregnant, and prescribed some prenatal vitamins. I was still stressed over what to do about the baby, though.
After weighing my options, I decided a few days later to put the baby up for adoption. Mary Anne and I looked up an adoption agency in the phone book, so we called the adoption center and told them about my issue. We did it while Richard and Mom were at work in case they catch us and either assumed the worst for Mary Anne, or figured out the truth with me.
Then, we went to the adoption center in Stamford. The agency was very nice to me. For making sure adoption might be the right choice for me, they set a date and time to meet with a teen who already gave up her baby for adoption the day after tomorrow after school. I feel positive about my decision.
That night, I told Mom and Richard I needed to tell them something after dinner. Then, I wanted Mary Anne to be with me. I was worried they'd get mad, but Mary Anne assured me they'd probably take the news a little better if I told them about the adoption. I could only hope she was right.
Downstairs, I went to the living room while Mary Anne was on the couch with Mom and Richard.
"What did you want to tell us?" asked Mom.
"Um, something important. First of all, I found out why I've been so sick lately. I'm…," I paused. "I'm pregnant."
There was silence. I forced myself to continue: "I've already decided to give it up for an open adoption. The specialists were very nice to me. To make sure I wanted to make the best choice for me and the baby, they already set an appointment to speak with a teen who gave up her baby for adoption the day after tomorrow. I'm eight weeks along and due November twentieth."
Finally, Richard spoke: "When did you find out you were pregnant and why you didn't tell us then?"
"I needed time to decide what to do," I said, fighting back the urge to cry. "And, I also needed time to decide on how to break the news to you all."
Mom seemed to be a little understanding, but I could tell it still made Richard uneasy.
Two days, I went to the adoption center before the teen showed up. I felt much better after hearing about her experience with the adoption. Then, when I got home, I told Mary Anne told about it.
"If you want to do adoption, go for it," said Mary Anne.
"I plan on doing that. I told them I'd be back there tomorrow to pick a family. Do you want to help me with the profile?" I asked her.
"Sure, I don't mind," said Mary Anne.
The next day, Mary Anne and I went to the adoption and picked a couple: Mark and Beth Keller. They wanted to have kids for the past five years. They tried to have a baby, but nothing happened, so they decided to adopt children now. I was going to meet them next week. It says Mrs. Keller has some medical condition that caused her not to have kids, which is why the pregnancy never happened.
A week later, I met up with the Kellers. Mrs. Keller was a wonderfully nice woman. She asked a few questions about my pregnancy, nothing too personal, just stuff about how far along I was and how the baby was doing. Mr. Keller couldn't wait to be the father.
We signed a few forms while their lawyer was with them and everything was set afterwards. After I met them, I knew they were the right couple to adopt my child. I'm glad I decided to go for it. I kept seeing the doctor to make sure everything's okay with the baby.
Several months later, on November 17th, I was reading my book when I felt my pants soaking. I looked down and realized my water just broke. I went to call the adoption center to let them know what was going on, and they promised to call the Kellers right away. After that, I got my Mom, and she drove me down to the hospital.
After waiting for many, many hours in a labor that felt like it would never end, the Kellers arrived and were very happy about how this was their dream come true. I was glad to see they were happy, though I wasn't very happy about having an uncomfortable labour let me tell you!
At last, it was time to push, and after a long, excruciating birthing process, the crying and screaming baby was in the hands of the doctor while a helper cut the umbilical cord.
"Mr. and Mrs. Keller, meet your new daughter," smiled the doctor.
"She's beautiful," said Mrs. Keller.
He gave little Kylie to the Keller's.
"Any ideas on names?" asked the doctor.
"Yes, we already picked a name. Her name will be Lisa, who was my grandmother. She died when I was a teenager and I was attached to her," said Mrs. Keller.
"That's a good name," I said.
"The middle name would be Marie. That's my mother's name. She can't wait to meet her new adopted grandchild," said Mr. Keller. "She lives in Florida."
….and when I woke up the next morning, I sincerely hoped that sort of dream wouldn't actually come true in real life, and decided that if Lewis said he wanted us to have sex, I would take precautions ahead of time.
Although that dream had really freaked me out, I was glad that it was just a dream. I was certain I had done the right thing. After I got dressed, I told Mary Anne about this crazy that I had.
"Oh, my," said Mary Anne.
"Yeah," I said. "Imagine if it happened in real life? Mom and Richard would flip out on me and may not let me date again until college."
"Probably," agreed Mary Anne.
We just kept talking.