Separation is difficult, especially when you're a child and another city might as well be another country. If your best friend moves to another city, it's not like you can't just jump in your car and see her. More so twenty years ago before text messaging and video chat. You had to write letters if you wanted to stay in touch. And there was only one phone per house, so you were relegated to an hour of phone time a week with your best friend.
This is the future of Stacey and Claudia in The Baby-Sitters Club #13: Good-bye Stacey, Good-bye. Why Ann M. Martin decided to separate the girls only to have Stacey return is beyond me, but this book is nevertheless sad and bittersweet. Charlotte genuinely moved me in this book, but there's some weird shit in this one.w
SPOILERS AFTER THE COVER!!!
Stacey's books usually start with food. In this one, she's having a dream reminiscent of Homer Simpson's imagined world of chocolate. There are three Stacey characteristics: she likes math, she likes boys, and she has diabetes. This book starts with her Tootsie Roll craving. It eventually goes into the usual describing of the BSC members, complete with the need to tell us that Claudia is Japanese and that she and Stacey are more sophisticated than Kristy and Mary Anne.
The important early complication occurs during a family dinner, where her parents have some news.
"All right," [Dad] went on. "This is the truth. Do you remember when my company opened the branch in Stamford?"
"Yes," I replied. "Right before we moved here."
Dad nodded. "Well, the new branch isn't doing well at all. The company decided to get rid of it-"
"Oh, no! You lost your job!" I cried. Frantically, I began to calculate how much money I had saved from baby-sitting jobs, and how far it could be stretched.
"Not quite," said Dad. "They're coming to the Stamford branch with the Boston branch. And I'm being transferred back to New York."
Stacey tells Claudia that her family is moving back to New York, so the girls have an impromptu sleepover. They come up with what they think is a great idea: Stacey can move into the Kishi household, taking the spare bedroom, allowing Stacey to stay in Stoneybrook. Stacey's parents object to the idea – they need to watch Stacey's food intake and they would miss her. Claudia's parents don't want to be responsible for someone with diabetes (cool thinking, Mr. and Mrs. Kishi).
The next day, Stacey calls an emergency meeting of the BSC to announce that her family is moving.
If we hadn't been sitting smack in the center of the Stoneybrook Middle School cafeteria, I'm sure all five of us would have started wailing away. As it was, we were pretty close. Mary Anne (who cries easily) picked up her napkin and kept touching it to the corners of her eyes. Dawn put her fork down and began swallowing hard. Kristy (who rarely cries) bit her lip and stared out the window. I didn't do anything except not look at Claudia, but even so I knew she was not looking at me, too.