Chapter 1

I found this story while going through a pile of junk, so it is rewritten from the original. These were the early days of fanfiction, but I had fun with it back then. I hope I'm not confusing you all with the same name, even if it means one is an animal and the other isn't. Also note I have kept some of these parts in the story when I wrote it a long time ago. This story is 20 years old, so I hope you enjoy it.

“Boo!”

Amber and I jumped up. I lost track of her leash. Maybe that’s why she got scared. My name is Stacey McGill. Guess who said boo? Kristy, Logan and Jessi. They were the very first ones here at my house. My other friends joined us. I was walking Amber, who happens to be a yellow lab. She and her owners recently moved in my neighborhood almost five months ago. They wanted to have someone to give the dog some attention for a while, which I didn’t mind. Mom and I were told that these people moved from Texas. They’re nice people so far.

It was my birthday that’s coming up less than a week from now. I will be turning fourteen. Mom told me I will be having a surprise party. That’s all I know.

Mom also said, “Stacey, a friend is coming from New York to spend some time with you until the party begins.”

“Who is coming out to Stoneybrook?” I asked my mother.
“Amber Smith. Do you remember her?”

“Sure I do. What day is she coming?”

“Her mother said Friday afternoon when school’s finished. She’ll celebrate your birthday over the weekend.”

“Could she have a chance to meet my friends?”

“She doesn’t have time to do that.”

I understood what my mother just told me. I haven’t seen Amber since we moved here to Stoneybrook. The new neighbors already found out my birthday is coming up, so they were happy to have their dog while my friends were over. Mom was the one who mentioned it to her.

I decided to grab my bike and take Amber with me. I don’t do this, but it gives both of us more exercise.

“We’re going on a bike ride, Mom. I’ll take Amber home that way.”

The new neighbors have three children, but we haven’t met them yet. They’re busty trying to make friends at the elementary school. After I put my helmet on, I put Amber’s leash on to the bike.

“Come on, Amber,” I said.

My bike started to go fast.

“Whee!”

We saw somebody we didn’t know.

“Woof!” Amber barked.

We were still on the bike path when the car drove past us. I kept my hands on the bike handle and said, “Slow down, Amber. You’re going too fast.”

I took Amber back to her house. It was now Friday. Amber came over to the house with Mom since she let her do that. We’re both getting to the age when we will be taking driver’s education.

I had two girls from school to keep me company while Mom went to pick up Amber. I always liked to have people keep me company while Mom does things in town when I’m not with her. The girls are in the same class as Mallory and Jessi. I put my bike away after Mom was able to get the car out of the driveway.

“Where are you going, Mom?”

“Going to the airport and pick up Amber. She’s excited as you are to be together this weekend.”

“I believe it. Drive safely.”

“Thanks, Stacey.”

And then she was gone.

What I didn’t know was Mom asked my friends to come over on Sunday and were having the party then since my birthday was on a Wednesday. It did make sense to me when Mom told me. Amber had to be at the airport on Sunday morning at nine, so I went with them so I could say good – bye to her then.

“Call me when you get to New York.”

“I will, Stacey.”

Amber is my height, has hazel eyes, brown hair, and also likes boys and fashion like Claudia and I do.

Amber told me, “Sorry I couldn’t bring any of your gifts with me. It should be in the mail sometime after your birthday.”

“Thanks, Amber. I don’t really need gifts from you.”

“We’re friends.”

Amber and I send gifts for birthdays, but that’s about it, which is fine with the two of us.

I’m sure by now Amber has already told Mom what she was sending me in the mail. I didn’t have any guesses on Amber’s gifts that were coming in the mail. I’m not that type of person who guesses things. What I didn’t know was that all of my friends gave me more than five gifts. That was something Mom was keeping quiet from me. I didn’t care if they did that to me. Just let me be surprised.

Since it’s only Sunday, my friends bought me the gifts they took with them.

I got Amber’s presents Tuesday. I called and said I got her gifts earlier than she thought she would.

“Have you opened them yet?” she asked.

“Yes, I have. I love the earrings.”

She sent me two gifts, but came together in the same box. The other was a book about clothes.

“I couldn’t wait to read the book,” I said.

“Let me know when you do. Happy birthday.”

“Thank you. I will let you know when I go through the book.”

Then the conversation ended.

When the girls were over, I opened their gifts. I liked them all as well.

“What did your friend give you?” asked Kristy.

“A pair of earrings and a book.”

“What kind of book?” Mallory asked.

“A book about clothes,” was my answer.

That got Claudia’s attention.

“Can I borrow it when you’re done?”

“Sure. I haven’t looked at it yet.”

The girls mostly gave me some jewelry and a couple of shirts with Claudia’s help. They decided to give me five gifts so I could get something from all of them. I wasn’t complaining.

“Thanks, girls. This is quite a birthday this year.”

I mean every word, and they were happy to hear that.