Taffy Sinclair 004 - Taffy Sinclair and the Romance Machine Disaster

BOOK: Taffy Sinclair 004 - Taffy Sinclair and the Romance Machine Disaster
2.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
TAFFY SINCLAIR AND THE ROMANCE MACHINE DISASTER

Betsy Haynes

A BANTAM SKYLARK BOOK®

TORONTO · NEW YORK · LONDON · SYDNEY · AUCKLAND

RL 5, 009-012

TAFFY SINCLAIR A
ND THE ROMANCE MACHINE DISASTER

A Bantam Skylark Book
/
April 1987

2nd printing
. . .
June 1988

Skylark Books is a registered trademark of Bantam Books, a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. Registered in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and elsewhere.

All rights reserved.

Copyright
©
1987 by Betsy Haynes.

Cover art copyright
©
1987 by Bantam Books.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

For information address: Bantam Books.

ISBN 0-553-15644-6

Published simultaneously in the United States and Canada

Bantam Books are published by Bantam Books, a division of Bantam D
oubleday Dell Publishing Group,
Inc. Its trademark, consisting of the words
"
Bantam Books
"
and the portrayal of a rooster, is Registered in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. Marca Registrada. Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10103.

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

S 11 10 9
8
7
6
5
4

For Judy Johnasen Correll

CHAPTER ONE

"W
hen Taffy Sinclair hears the news, she
'
ll be so jealous she
'
ll absolutely die.
"

My four best friends all looked at me as if I
'
d totally lost my mind.

"
What news?
"
demanded Beth Barry.
"
Jana, what on earth are you talking about?
"

I just smiled mysteriously. I was dying to blurt it out, but I didn
'
t, even though it was the most exciting thing that had happened in my entire life.

"
I hate to say this,
"
said Katie Shannon,
"
but I can
'
t think of a single reason for Taffy Sinclair to be jealous of you.
"

I knew what Katie was thinking. Taffy Sinclair has long blond hair and big blue eyes and is the most gorgeous girl in the sixth grade at Mark Twain Elementary. Of course she is also the snottiest and most stuck-up person in the entire world. Besides that, she is my biggest enemy, and we
'
ve had clubs against each other and have been rivals for more things than I like to remember. But now I, Jana Morgan, finally had something she didn
'
t have. Something that I knew she wanted. That was why I had called my four best friends and announced a speci
al meeting of our self-improve
ment club, the Fabulous Five, so that I could break the news to everyone at once.

"
Come on, Jana. Don
'
t keep us in suspense.
"
Christie Winchell clasped her hands and held them up as if she were begging.
"
Tell us before we all explode.
"

I was the one who was ready to explode, and so I took a deep breath and said,
"
Randy Kirwan called me a few minutes ago and asked me to watch his football game Saturday afternoon and then go out with him for pizza afterward.
"

All four of my best friends
'
mouths dropped open at once, and it got totally quiet in my bedroom. Randy Kirwan is the handsomest and most popular boy in school, and I have had a secret crush on him for ages. My friends knew about my crush on Randy, but they didn
'
t know that for a while I kept a picture of him hidden under a poster of Miss Piggy on the wall beside my bed with a night light under it. That way I could take down the Miss Piggy poster when I went to bed at night, turn on the night light, and look at his handsome face while I fell asleep.

Suddenly Beth jumped up and put her face so close to mine that our noses were practically touching.
"
When did he ask you? What did he say? Tell us all about it!
"
she shrieked. Then she fell across my bed so hard that she bounced three times.
"
I can
'
t believe it!
"
she said.
"
Randy Kirwan asked you for a date. You
'
re the first girl in the sixth grade to have a date with a boy. You
'
re even ahead of Taffy Sinclair!
"

I nodded triumphantly.
"
As soon as we hung up, I called this meeting to tell you all about it.
"

"
You
'
re right about Taffy. She
'
ll absolutely turn green when she sees you together Saturday,
"
said Christie.
"
She
'
s such a flirt, always hanging around him and making him talk to her.
"

A picture of Taffy flirting with Randy flashed across my mind, making my face red and my ears hot. Christie was right. She does it all the time, flipping her long blond hair over her shoulder and rolling her big blue eyes. It
'
s obvious to everybody that she has a huge crush on him, too. Suddenly I knew that I couldn
'
t wait until Saturday.

"
Everybody help me think,
"
I said.
"
We
'
ve got to come up with a way to let Taffy know about Randy and me before Saturday. We
'
ve got to make her suffer and be jealous and wish that she was going out with Randy instead of me.
"

"
One of us could call her on the phone right now,
"
suggested Melanie.

Christie was nodding and grinning like crazy.
"
And whoever did it could disguise her voice so Taffy wouldn
'
t know who it was.
"

I didn
'
t say anything. I really wanted to see her face when she found out. Still, it wasn
'
t such a bad idea.

"
I
'
ll call her,
"
said Beth.
"
I can disguise my voice so that she
'
ll never know it
'
s me. Come on, Jana. Let me call her.
"

When I still didn
'
t say anything, Beth added,
"
Then when we all go home we can call a bunch of other girls and tell them, and by the time you get to school in the morning, you
'
ll be a celebrity.
"

"
Okay,
"
I said.
"
You convinced me.
"

I handed Beth the phone and felt tingles race up and down my spine as we all watched her dial. She held the receiver away from her ear so that we could hear it ringing, and I clamped a hand over my mouth and swallowed a giggle as a tiny voice said,
"
Hello.
"

Beth sucked in her cheeks, raised her eyebrows and looked down at the mouthpiece wearing a very serious expression. Then she said in her best fake English accent,
"
Hello, dahling. May I puh-lease speak to Taffy Sinclai-ah.
"

It was a super accent, and Melanie and I nodded excitedly to each other.

"
Taffy,
dahling,
is that you?
"
Then she winked and we almost broke up laughing.

"
I have some absolutely
fabulous
news, dahling. Jana Morgan has a
date
with Randy Kirwan after the football game Saturday afternoon.
"

Beth held the receiver toward us again, and we could hear Taffy Sinclair as plain as anything.
"
That
'
s a big fat lie. Who is this, anyway?
"

By now Beth was starting to giggle.
"
A lie! That
'
s what you think,
"
she sputtered, completely losing her accent.

"
Hang up,
"
Katie insisted,
"
before she figures out that it
'
s us.
"

Beth dropped the receiver back into the cradle and we spent the next five minutes talking about how jealous Taffy must be.

When everyone had stopped talking about Taffy, Melanie said,
"
Taffy
'
s not the only one who
'
s jealous. I think it
'
s so romantic that Randy asked you out. It
'
s just like on television.
"

"
Oh, no. This is not a soap opera,
"
I said quickly. I was thinking about all those people on the soap operas my friends and I started watching when Taffy Sinclair got that teensy little part in
Interns and Lovers
and about all the terrible things that happened to them.
"
This is the real thing. Randy even said so.
"

Christie
'
s eyes got wide with excitement.
"
You
'
ve got to be kidding,
"
she groaned ecstatically.
"
He said he loves you?
"

"
Well, not exactly,
"
I admitted.
"
Not those very words, anyway. What he said was that he really admires me. That means he thinks I
'
m a kind and sensitive person like he is and that we have a lot in common.
"

"
That
'
s certainly a relief,
"
said Melanie.
"
At least if you have a lot in common you
'
ll have things to talk about. You don
'
t know how lucky you are. I always freeze up when I
'
m around cute boys. I can
'
t think of a thing to say. It
'
s awful,
"
she said.
"
Not only does my mind go blank so that I just stare into space like a dummy, but MY TONGUE GOES NUMB!
"

I gave Melanie a sympathetic look. She was on a diet and getting thin and a lot prettier now, but for the longest time she stuffed herself with anything edible, especially brownies, and was terribly overweight. It was no wonder that she had trouble talking to cute boys.

A few minutes later my friends went home, promising to call everyone they could think of to tell them about my date with Randy. I was glad when they left because I was suddenly getting nervous. I had never worried about talking to Randy Kirwan, but then I had never had a date with him before either. Now that Melanie had brought up the subject, I couldn
'
t think of a single thing to talk about. Good grief, I thought. This was already Thursday afternoon. Saturday and the football game were only two days away. Surely I could think of something to talk to Randy about by then. I
'
d rack my brain until I thought of something really clever. I
'
d make the most brilliant conversation Randy had ever heard. But secretly, I could already feel my tongue going numb.

Later, at the dinner table, I told Mom my big news.
"
Guess what?
"
I chirped.
"
Randy Kirwan wants me to watch him play football Saturday and then go for pizza. Is it okay if I go?
"

Mom gave me a funny look for a minute. It was probably her
"
how can my little girl be grown up enough to be going on a date
"
look, but it was gone almost as fast as it had come and she was smiling again.
"
I think that
'
s wonderful, Jana. Of course you can go, and I
'
m sure you
'
ll have a great time. Randy is a very nice boy.
"

You can say that again, I thought. Nice and cute and a terrific football player, but what on earth would we talk about? We couldn
'
t talk about how nice he was or how cute, and I didn
'
t know anything about football. At least not enough to make a conversation. I thought maybe Mom would have some suggestions, but when I asked her, she gave me a quick hug and said,
"
Don
'
t worry about it, honey. Just
be yourself, and you
'
ll think of lots of things to talk about.
"

That was easy for her to say. Still, as I watched her secretly out of the corner of my eye, I couldn
'
t help wondering what she and Pink talked about. Pink is short for Wallace Pinkerton, and he
'
s her boyfriend. Actually, he
'
s more than just a boyfriend. He bought her a diamond ring and asked her to marry him, but Mom says she needs more time to make up her mind. Mom and my father have been divorced for a long time, but she doesn
'
t want to rush into anything. Anyway, I kept thinking about Mom and Pink. I couldn
'
t imagine Mom
'
s tongue
ever
going numb. Whenever Pink is over at our apartment, she always talks up a storm. But for the life of me, I couldn
'
t remember what they talked about.

BOOK: Taffy Sinclair 004 - Taffy Sinclair and the Romance Machine Disaster
2.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Atlantis Redeemed by Alyssa Day
The Wicked Go to Hell by Frédéric Dard
Against the Wall by Jill Sorenson
The 22nd Secret by Lanser, Randal
Wilful Behaviour by Donna Leon