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29 January 2012 @ 03:03 pm
California Girls...Again: Chapter Two: Kristy/History  

Title/Prompt: California Girls...Again: Chapter Two: Kristy/History

Author: mkrobinson

Rating: PG-13

Words: 2387


Summary: Kristy's father has always disappointed her, but she swears this time will be different.


Notes: Kristy's memories are snippets from Kristy's Book and this is still a giftfic for bookplayer! (I just made the font on this smaller-it was obnoxiously huge.)  

Dear Dad and Zooey,

Here I am in sunny California, at long last, for two whole weeks! I can hardly wait to see you guys at the Angels/Yankees game! We are staying with Dawn, her father, stepmother, younger brother, and half sister. It should be a good time. Mom and Watson thought this would be better for me than spending two weeks with just you guys, especially since Charlie, Sam, and David Michael can't come. I think Dawn's brother is jealous about you guys taking me to the game-he's a big baseball fan, and I think he'd like to see the Angels play in person again. Oh well. I'll see you guys this weekend!

Your Daughter,

Kristy Thomas


Looking back, perhaps I should have asked Jeff why he was being so bizarre every time I brought up the Angels/Yankees game, but at that point in time I didn't question it. Dad and Zooey had promised me (and Mom and Watson) that we could go to one, since the stadium is so close to Dawn's, and I was so excited. Finally, I had a real, meaningful relationship with my dad.


My name is Kristy Thomas. You likely already know that, but I felt like introducing myself. Normally, I'd go into a long, drawn out introduction of myself and my friends, but I didn't have time for that today.

Our first full day in Palo City started off with me being rudely awoken by Dawn's friend, Sunny, shaking my shoulder and shoving the extension of the cordless phone into my hand. I answered, still half asleep.

Hello, Kristy Thomas speaking. May I-”

My politeness was unrewarded when my father, Patrick Thomas, started to guffaw. “Kristy, why are you so formal? You know it's me.”

“Dad?” I whispered, sitting up. What time was it?

Yes, it's me,” he replied. “Are you looking forward to the game?”

“Yes, Dad. I am.”

I'm glad, Kristy.” He sighed. “I wish you'd stayed with us, instead of with your friends. I get the feeling that they don't really like me.”

“Dad, they're my friends,” I responded, a bit annoyed. “And Mary Anne and Claudia remember what happened, remember?”

What happened? Oh, just my father abandoning us all when my youngest brother was only a year old.

Zooey says that should be in the past.” Of course she did. “And who was Sunny? What kind of name is that? Was she one of Maxine's?”

I felt a headache named 'Dad' coming on. “No, Dad, she's Dawn's best friend.”

I'm not surprised. With a name like Dawn-”


“Sorry, sorry.”

Look, Dad, I kinda have to go.” I didn't want to wake up Claudia and Stacey, both of whom were asleep on the living room couch. “I'll see you at the game.”

“Bye, Kristy.”

I stood up and walked into the kitchen, surprised that Sunny was still awake, and that Carol and Jack were awake as well. This was a bit awkward.

Sunny,” I asked, a bit hesitant to hear the answer, “what did my dad say to you on the telephone?”

She stared at me, looking confused. “That was your father?”

“Who did you think it was?”

“I dunno. He called himself P-Dog, so I thought he was your boyfriend, I guess.”

P-Dog? Dad had found it appropriate to call up a total stranger's house and refer to himself as P-Dog when someone he didn't know answered the phone? I cringed. Why did he have to be so embarrassing?

Oh.” I didn't quite know what to say. I rarely know what to say when it comes to Dad.

Everyone thinks I'm nuts for believing that he's changed. Even my family, especially Sam and Charlie. My mother insists that she believes me, but I know she's just humoring me. I don't really blame her. Dad has been a somewhat consistent disappointment.

I sat down at the table and poured myself a glass of orange juice.

Dawn's father spoke. “About this baseball game...”

“Yes?” I responded. I could hardly wait. “What about it?”

“Are you positive that the Angels are playing in Anaheim this weekend?”

Of course I was positive! “Yes. That's what Dad just called to talk to me about.”

He raised one of his eyebrows. “You're sure?”

“Yes! Dad's a sportswriter. He knows this stuff.”

“Well, alright. I suppose you're right.”

Was there some reason to not believe him? Dad had seemed so sure on the phone, and I really had missed him and Zooey.

I was about to ask Jack (that's what he insists on being called) why he was acting so weirdly when Mary Anne came into the room. I shut my mouth. Mary Anne hates hearing about my father. She thinks he's a jerk.

Good morning, Kristy, Carol, Jack, Sunny,” she said brightly. (It was eight in the morning. She's one of those weird people that's really polite and sweet all the time.) “I hope you all slept well.”

“Kristy's dad just called,” Sunny announced. I nearly groaned.

Did he? That's wonderful.”

I think she's lucky her dad's gonna take her some place,” Sunny responded, somehow completely oblivious to the tension (and the fact that Mary Anne Spier had just been sarcastic). “I wish my dad was speaking to me.”

Fortunately, (well, I did feel bad for Sunny), that admission distracted the whole room from the situation with my father. Even Mary Anne knew that Sunny's problem was more important than grousing about my deadbeat dad.

Carol gave her a hug.

Jack tousled her hair, shooting the house next door a Look. (I have to admit, the Look impressed me. I'd have to learn how he did it.)

And Mary Anne started to whisper sympathetic things to her, sitting in the chair beside her.

Gracie babbled loudly in her high chair.

I started to develop a great idea. What if we could get Sunny and her dad to make up? It wasn't exactly going to be an easy one, but I was sure we could manage to do it.

We were, after all, The Baby Sitters Club.


Sometime after Dawn's father went to work and Sunny calmed down, the rest of our group woke up. Dawn and Shannon woke up first (after Mary Anne and me, of course), then Stacey (who'd needed something to eat due to her diabetes) and finally Claudia (who was quite happy to discover that Jeff had an affinity for Frosted Flakes).

Carol was staying home with us. I think she was still on her maternity leave.

Jeff and Byron came downstairs and ate Frosted Flakes with Claud, who'd been hopeful she wouldn't have to share. The rest of us all had eggs and toast. It was nice.

I didn't dare mention my great idea to anyone, not even Mary Anne. She'd likely try to talk me out of it.

Jeff, don't you think it's cool that Kristy's dad likes her enough to take her to the game Saturday?” Sunny asked. Jeff shot us all a look.

What game?” He replied, munching on his breakfast. “This Saturday?”

“Yes, the game this Saturday!”

Doesn't Kristy's dad live in Stoneybrook?” He asked, looking slightly confused.

Sunny shrugged. “I dunno.”

Mary Anne entered the conversation. “No. Kristy's dad lives in Sausalito. You're thinking of Watson, Jeff.”

Anyways,” Sunny replied, her blue eyes glinting, “I think it's awesome. Even if I don't really like baseball.”

“Baseball game?” Jeff parroted, sounding a bit unsure about something. “Your dad's taking you to a baseball game?”

Uh-huh!” I responded, remembering when I was a kid and Dad had promised to take me to all the major league ballparks. That hadn't happened, of course, but that was in the past. “Yankees versus Angels.”

“I don't think that's a home game,” he replied. Of course it wasn't a home game for the Yankees! I knew that! I wasn't the biggest baseball fan in the BSC for nothing.

Carol intervened, even though I could have defended Dad myself. “Jeff, honey, I'm sure Kristy's father wouldn't invite her to a game that didn't exist.”

I was fairly certain my best friend turned a snort into a sneeze, but I paid her no mind.

Thank you, Carol,” I said.

You're welcome, Kristy. I think Jeff is just a bit jea-”

“Jealous? I am not!” He retorted. “I don't care if her dad's taking her to a game or not. I just think that the game's away!”

I noticed that Stacey was remaining oddly silent. Shouldn't she come to my defense? Tell Jeff that he was wrong? She was from New York, after all. Shouldn't she know this stuff?

I knew that Dad wouldn't lie about this. He had no reason to. It wasn't like Jack and Carol were friends with Mom and Watson, really. And Sam and Charlie weren't there to get jealous. Or David Michael.

The rest of the meal was mostly silent, except for the sounds of all of us eating and Gracie cooing at her mother.

I tried to not dwell on what Jeff had said. Or about how Jack had been so weird when I'd brought up the game.

While we dressed for the day, I thought back to my childhood.

They would only let me play with them if they desperately needed one more kid to make a team. Or sometimes, when my dad was playing ball with them, he’d include me. “How’s she going to learn if you don’t play with her?” he’d say to my brothers.

Aw, Dad, come on!” Charlie would say. “She’s just a little kid.”

“Besides, she’s a girl,” Sam would add.

Don’t let your mother hear you say that,” my father would joke.

Then my dad, my brothers, and I would play a game of catch. Of course, I wasn’t as good as my brothers. I was only five and a half years old, after all. But my dad would say things like, “Good catch, Kristy.” And because he was nice to me, my brothers sort of were, too.

Another memory flitted through my mind as I brushed my teeth and applied a little makeup.

Your father has decided to live somewhere else. I’m sure he will call and talk to you about it soon.” We had dozens of questions about this situation, such as when he would call us and why he had left. All she could answer was, “I don’t know.” Or, “I wish I could tell you that.” And, “I’d like to ask him that myself.”

Charlie was angry at our father. Sam was angry, too. But Sam was more angry at Mom than at Dad. One day Sam blurted out that it was her fault that our father left. She didn’t scold him, but she went to her room and closed the door. Charlie was really mad at Sam. “She’s probably crying again right now,” he told Sam. “And it’s your fault.” My brothers usually got along pretty well with each other.  But now it seemed they were always fighting.

Another one came to mind as Dawn and Jeff argued over who got to help Carol dress Gracie.

Hi, there,” Patrick said.  He started the motor.  “How’d you like to go bowling in Stamford?”

I can’t,” I said.  “I told Mom I’d be home by ten.  It’s already after nine-thirty.”

So tell her you had to sit late,” he said.

“If I don’t come home on time she’ll call the Rodowskys.  They’ll tell her when I left their place.  And I sort of just lied to them about who was picking me up.  I’ll be in big trouble with Mom and she’ll find out you’re here.”

You poor kid,” he said.  “Elizabeth sure is keeping you on a short leash.”  He put his hand around his neck and pretended a collar was choking him.  “I live with Elizabeth.  I know how it feels.”

I don’t like it when you say things like that about Mom,” I said.  “It was hard on her, the way you left and everything.”

He shifted into gear.  “I suppose,” he said.  “But she was always better than me with that domestic stuff.”  I didn’t say anything.  I wondered if my father was angry at me for criticizing him.

Look, Kristy,” he began.  “I’m sorry I’ve been such a lousy father to you.  I’m trying to make it up.  I’m doing the best I can.  Give me half a chance.  Okay?”

Sure,” I said.  “That’s cool.  I’m glad you came back … Dad.”  That was the first time I called him “Dad.”  He grinned at me to let me know he liked that.  I hoped it made up for criticizing him.

How about we swing in through the drive-in joint and get something to eat?” he suggested.  “Do you have time for that, Cinderella?”

You better bring me back on time,” I kidded, “or your car will turn into a pumpkin.”

Dad reached over and pulled my hat over my eyes.  “Guess you’ve got your old man’s sense of humor.”

A hand touched my shoulder, and I nearly screeched. I'd really been deep in my memories. The hand belonged to Sunny Winslow, and she sat beside me on the stairs.

I just wanted to let you know,” she said, looking pale and a bit depressed, “that I believe you about your dad.”

It meant a lot to me. I smiled at her.

Thanks, Sunny.”

“You're welcome.”

Shannon came and joined us. Sunny looked at her, warily, and I made the introductions. Mary Anne's father and Dawn's mother had tried to stress the importance of being nice to Sunny, yet giving her her space.

Sunny, this is Shannon Kilbourne. She's one of the members of the BSC, and she's also one of my neighbors. Shannon, this is Sunny Winslow. She's Dawn's best friend.”

“It's nice to meet you, Sunny.” She looked around the hallway. “Oddly enough, this is the first time I've ever been to California.”

That was a bit odd, considering that Shannon's family had a tendency to take excessive vacations.

Sunny pulled out her cell phone, and she actually smiled when she saw who was calling her.

Excuse me,” she said. “I have to take this.”

We exchanged glances. I wondered who she was talking to.

Come on,” I said. “Let's find out what we're doing today.”

Emilybookplayer on January 29th, 2012 08:16 pm (UTC)
Om my goodness. I totally LOLed at P-Dog. I can totally see Patrick doing that.

I loved your choice of memories, too. I feel like it really drove home that Kristy is being dense about the game almost on purpose, because she has a total blind spot when it comes to Patrick.

And I'm surprised at how sweet I find Sunny sticking up for Kristy.

Really good work. I love it.
mkrobinson on January 29th, 2012 08:23 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it! lol P-Dog just came to me-you know Patrick would try to be the "cool dad".

Thanks! Yeah, Kristy's totally got her blinders on. I think Jeff could show her the Angels schedule and she'd still believe that Patrick wasn't lying.

I figured Sunny would be the only person that would actually believe that Kristy's dad isn't lying-everyone else is trying to humor her.

I'm glad you liked it!
Nikkiimamaryanne on January 29th, 2012 11:08 pm (UTC)
P-dog. *snicker*
This was a really good chapter.
mkrobinson on January 29th, 2012 11:11 pm (UTC)

I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Leithmarycontraria on January 29th, 2012 11:44 pm (UTC)
Ohhh, poor Kristy. She is heading straight for for a big disappointment.
mkrobinson on January 29th, 2012 11:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah, she really is.
automatic doorautomaticdoor on January 30th, 2012 02:16 am (UTC)
Oh Kristy. This is going to be so awful :(
mkrobinson on January 30th, 2012 02:19 am (UTC)
It won't be all that great, that's for sure. Thanks for reading.