Chapter one : The babysitter

3 years later.

Pathetic. I am living a pathetic life. Too pathetic to even take time to look at prospects. What prospects? Boyfriend material.

I swore off boys ever since that fateful day. To have the one person you trusted more than yourself, laugh at something that you consider the most important secret you have, will change the way you'll look at things.

I retreated to myself after that. I let them laugh at me. I let them put me down. I let them open my diary in that cafeteria and spill out everything that was on that black notebook. The pictures that were pasted on the pages. Each page held a different picture, an important memory, a text message that he sent, a quote of the things that he said to me. It wasn't the typical diary that most girls at my age had. But it was mine and at that moment, everything I held dear was there. I felt naked and there was nowhere to run.

But that was then. Now, there's no way in hell that I'm going to let that happen again. I swore off diaries the way I swore off boys.

My name is Janie and this is my story. I am seventeen, my hair is red, not that I care since it's always pulled up to a ponytail, oh, and I have normal brown eyes. ( something tells me that while I am writing this, you need to know how I look sigh).

I am the eldest of two sisters. Kate, who is considered the middle child, is just a year younger. Well, we're too different. She's a cheerleader and I'm not, she's part of the 'in' crowd and I'm not, she's pretty and (you know what's next) I'm not. Well. that's not exactly true. My next door neighbor thinks I'm pretty. Argh! So what if he's only 6 years old?

Little Johnny. Alright! I'm his babysitter. Happy now? My other sister, Natalie is his best friend. I'm going to make sure that history does not repeat it self this time though. They're only six years old. So, I won't have to worry about that anytime sooner, I hope.

Natalie is the youngest, the baby of the family, the favorite. We adopted her last year. She is half Dutch, her father, whom she never met, died in a ship while trying to make a decent living. Her mom, on the other hand, gave her up for adoption when she turned five.

God, I hate that bitch. She couldn't think of anything other than herself. The last thing I knew was that she was still on drugs and is all over the entire state. How they were able to produce a sweet kid, is beyond me.

She's been with us for over a year now. She was so silent the first time we met her, she wouldn't talk at all. She would just stare at you like she can read you. It was freaky.

I can still remember the first time I met her. The foster worker came by to drop her off. Her eyes were blank. She had the longest eyelashes I've ever seen, pretty. She only had a backpack with her when she came, in it were two pairs of clothing, one extra underwear and nothing else.

We tried to make her smile but she was just so deep into herself that you couldn't pull her out. That night, all of us mom, dad and even Kate, tucked her to sleep in a room we had made especially for her.

I was reading "Where are the children" by Mary Higgins Clark that night. Kate was in my room earlier, skimming through my closet, as usual. It wasn't as if she can find anything worthy of a cheerleader there but she does it all the same. As is her habit, she left the door ajar again which I didn't bother to close as much as it annoyed me.

I was so engrossed in the book that when I heard the door creak, I jumped. There she was, outside my room, clutching the teddy bear I gave earlier. She was staring right at me with those big aquamarine eyes. "You scared me. I thought you were the bride of chuckie or something!"

That was then that I saw a trace of her smile. "Do you want to stay here tonight?" she remained silent. "Close the door and come over here." I patted on the empty space beside me.

She moved like a lightning.

The next thing I knew, she was beside me on the bed. I closed the book I was reading but not before marking the last page I read, and tucked her to bed for the second time that night. Only this time, it was on my bed.

I laid down to prepare myself to sleep, when I felt her right hand grasp the end of my shirt. I looked into her eyes and I saw that it was pleading. She was asking me not to leave her alone. I knew she didn't want me to voice it out. So I did the only thing that she would understand. I took a portion of her little shirt and held on. It was my way of showing her that I didn't want her to leave as well. She then closed her eyes and went to sleep.

The next morning, I woke up with someone was sitting on my tummy and singing Britney Spear's "Stronger" ,without the pitch, through the top of her lungs. Yeah, a guaranteed way of waking me up.

The best part of it all was that she was smiling, a genuine, childlike smile but then she started jumping on my bed, up and down, up and down. It was contagious that I joined her in ruining my bed. I was wide awake at six o'clock on a Saturday morning... Great! And so it became a ritual. I have a new sister and an alarm clock rolled in one. Nice...

Back to little Johnny, don't even think about it. Ewwww! He's like a brother to me, though always has a daisy (straight from my little garden) ready for me when I baby sit him on Thursdays, which is when the Edwards go to their weekly Bible study.

My mini garden, mind you is floral and I'm running out of daisies. He started with the roses, now he's moved on to daisies. It really makes me want to cry. My babies! I cringe at the thought of what he will do to the tulips. It makes me think of growing cacti instead.

Today is Thursday and I'm on my way to the Edwards' place, which by the way is just next door. And there he was, waiting by their front door. Little Jhonny was holding one of my daisies in his grubby little hands. "Janie, I got you something" he said with a cute smile on his face. He looks a lot like him. Mike.

Jhonny is special, he was born at a time when his parents felt resigned to the though that Mike was going to be an only son. He came as a huge surprise to everyone especially to Mike. I remembered him talking excitedly about having a brother who he's going to mold just like him. I remember holding his hand when his mom gave birth. I remember the look on his face when they placed little Jhonny in the ICU.

I remembered the way he looked when he knelt down to pray in the little chapel that the hospital had. I remembered the painful voice when he asked me "Is he gonna die?" He was fifteen then, I was twelve. I held on to his hand tighter after hearing that painful question from him. He then put his head on my shoulder and we stayed like that in the chapel the entire night.

It wasn't easy for Mrs Edwards, you see. Jhonny is what people would call a menopausal baby. There were times when she would be rushed to the hospital as she was bleeding, times when both Mike and me would stay the hospital with her, trying our best to cheer her up.

She was prohibited from taxing herself with house work. I wasn't a stranger to them, so I helped out in every way I can. My mom and the rest of the neighbors did their part as well. The delivery was scary, but still this boy is here, safe and healthy and he is going to hold a special place in my heart for scaring the life out of me. Even if he continues to pick all the flowers in the garden, I'll still love the little guy.

I took the daisy from his fingers, said a cheery thank you. I saw his Mrs. Edwards, coming down the stairs all dressed up and ready to leave for their engagement. "Janie, hi! How was school?"

I smiled and said "It's high school Mrs. Edwards. There's drama everywhere."

Mrs. Edwards laughed at that then turned to her son and said "Now, behave yourself and don't give Janie trouble." She kissed his forehead, took the small backpack from the kitchen table and handed it to me. "Thank you so much for doing this Janie. When Mike gets home, it'll be his turn."

I gave an awkward smile at the sound of his name and said, "It's no problem, Mrs. Edwards, I'm watching Nat tonight too, so it won't be that hard." I hope.

She rumpled her sons' hair and said, "They do get along fine don't they?"

You have no idea.

I have one word for those two, chaos.

At one time, I brought them to McDonalds'. The two decided to arrange the shoes that were left by the other children in the playground. The ending, the shoes were mismatched and were tied together in a coil that was hard to untie. How they learned how to do that, is beyond me. The crew let it pass as they thought the two were just trying to be helpful. Yeah, right!

I brought them to a book store the next day. They went into the children's portion that the store had and convinced the other children to switch clothes with them, which resulted to a lot of parents accidentally bringing the wrong kid home. So do they get along fine? Hell yeah!

"Yes, Mrs. Edwards, they do. They seem like the best of friends." I replied. My lovely sister then chose that moment to appear in her lovely pink dress with her hands hidden behind her back.

"Good afternoon Mrs. Edwards." She said shyly. She refused to look at me, which was a sign that I'm gonna have my hands full this afternoon.

Mrs. Edwards placed her hand to her heart and said to me "What a sweet girl." she then turned to Nat and said, "Good Afternoon to you too Natalie. Now come here and give me a kiss."

My so called sweet sister came forward and did as she was told but not before I saw the two water guns she has behind her. Little Jhonny, joined her and as one they succeeded in shielding the toys from his mom.

They were like sweet little angels hiding their demon tails. I looked at them and raised my eyebrows in a questioning look? They, in turn continued smiling like nothing out of the ordinary is happening. Yeah, I'm going to be flat out tired by the time I return Johnny later.

Mrs, Edwards clasped her hands together and said, "Oh, they're so cute. It's like watching you and Mike when you were little." She turned to me and smiled widely.

I felt like the rug was pulled out from under me. I knew I had to get away from here as soon as fate would let me. I still can't stand the thought of him. It took me a long time before I came back to my old self since that day.

I did my best to avoid him, there were a couple of times when I saw Mike trying to talk to me but I ran the opposite direction and hid behind the shadow of Rocker and his friends. There was even a time when they almost came to blows when Rocker told him to take a hike, resulting to a full blown war between the two, forcing the students to take sides.

I shook myself to force me out of the drowning memory. "Okay, kids. say goodbye now." They let out a cheerful goodbye, then ran towards our place. I saw my sister hand little Jhonny the other toy gun then they disappeared to the back of our house.

"Don't worry dear, Mike will be home soon." Mr. Edwards booming voice startled me out of my concentration. You see, this is the kind of attitude that led me to make that stupid diary in the first place. If it was up to me, I'd rather that he won't bother coming back but that was just wishful thinking.

I said my goodbyes' and see you laters' to the Edwards and hightailed from that place carrying Jhonny's little bag. Now, what are those two up to?

I went inside my house just in time to see the two adorable monsters with their ketchup and vinegar filled guns, perched on their shoulders, positioned on the window, one eye shut and and their fingers ready on the trigger, like professionals you see on T.V.

I knew I shouldn't have let them see war movies last time. It was just my luck when the little girl, whom they waged war with, who also happens be our neighbor on the other side, chose that moment to let herself out of their house. Bulls eye! Caught right at the center of her forehead. Then the two monsters showered little Dana's dress and didn't stop until the the guns were empty. I was astounded as to what these two can do.

They crouched down under the window, looked at each other and said "Refill" together.

I looked up to the ceiling and said "Lord, why?". I looked at the two kids sitting under the window. Just in time to hear little Danna come out of her shock with a scream.

Then I heard Nat say, "Definitely a refill."


Author's Note:

This is set 3 years later and Mike, by the way, is away for college but he is going to be back soonI'm going to try to update sooner. R&R

The names of Janie's sisters on these story have a personal meaning to me. My sister's name is Kathleen and we are indeed only one year apart, hence kate and aside from that, I have a special spot for Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew" as well.

Our family did indeed adopt a beautiful young girl, who is half Dutch. And her name is Natalie Mae but we fondly call her Nat.

As for Janie, one of my sister's bestfriends' name is Janie and I thought it was really pretty. What can I say? I have a spot for pretty names.

Now guess who's nickname Lala is (Drum roll please). Mine...


Ad Hector: Stay curious and I'll try to do my best especially when Vntv down. Hehehehehe!

CayRae-SkySong: I guess he was mean, But I won't say that he is a jerk though.

Elizabeth73: Thank you! Lala is definitely mean. She's going to be back later though as the story

progresses.

MrDarcyLover: Again, Thank you, though I belatedly noticed that I made some errors on the last paragraph. I do hope it doesnt happen again though. Hehehehehe.


Thank you to:

Jasmine and Joy for helping me edit this.