My Big Family

Chapter One

Most of my life it’s been just me and my Dad. That’s how I liked it. Every morning he would walk me to school, and tuck me in bed. But then all of it changed. It all started at school. I was looking at the bulletin board and I saw a sign-up sheet for a cooking club after school. One thing you need to know about me is I love cooking. I don’t want to be mean but I do not like my school. And this cooking club was definitely upgrading it. So I signed my name on the sheet.


Cooking club sign-up sheet:

Alexandra Smith

Michelle Tallania

Gabriela Shirlim ☺

Haley R. Benson ♡

Anna Bently

Arianna Makely

Rachel Arks

Samuel Benson

Zack Monsute

JAKE Bently☠

Bella Winsten ☃


Yep, that’s my name: Bella Winsten. Then my eyes caught on something else. I read the list over again. Alexandra, I knew Gabriela. I knew Haley, but of course, I didn’t want to. Arianna, Bella, Haley’s brother Samuel, Zack, Anna’s brother Jake, Anna, I knew ALL of them. But I never knew there was a girl named Michelle. I wondered if she was new. She better not have met Haley. If she met her, Haley would probably tell her I was a mean person. Well, what else is new? Now EVERYONE except Marcie thought I was MEAN (besides the teachers). That’s one reason why I hate my school. I made a list. I know it’s weird, but I keep track. Here’s the list I made:

Reasons Why I Hate School


  1. They make terrible food and expect me (the school) to eat it.
  2. The librarian is a hypocrite: she is the loudest person I know.
  3. If I don’t wear a leotard to gymnastics, Mrs. Mord makes me do gymnastics in my underwear ( She is Evil! )
  4. The only person I know that likes me is my best friend, Marcie
  6. I HATE MRS. BURT (the math teacher)
  7. One word: HOMEWORK


[Don’t show this to ANY teacher.]


Maybe I’m overreacting about how Haley told EVERYBODY I was bad. A few girls like me. Sasha, Ella, Sydney, Violet, Celia, Bryn, Sarah, Well, so on. Okay. Fine. Lots of people like me, but still some people don’t like me. And that’s ALL Haley’s fault.


Chapter Two

“Bella?” I heard a familiar voice say. It was my Dad. He knocked on my door.

“Come in,” I said, while rocking on my chair.

“What are you doing, sweetie?” he asked. I made a face.

“Homework,” I said.

“Oh,” he said, “how was school?”

“Fine,” I answered.

“Awesome, or fine?” he said. He smiled at me. I giggled. “AWESOME!” I said. Then I told him all about the cooking club and Michelle. I showed him my homework, and told him I couldn’t figure it out.


Name: ___________ Date: ___________


  1. ¼ + ⅛ =

Why? Show your work.


  1. 6,897 +10,894 =

Why? Show your work.


  1. _ x 4 = 32 + 8 x 4 = _

Why? Show your work.


Bonus Problem:

What number multiplied by one, equals itself?


Chapter Three

I am so angry, I could just scream! I can’t believe it! I HATE MRS. BURT! This is what she put on my math test!


Name: Bella W.___ F

Date: 12/5/15           _



  1. ¼ + ⅛ =

Why? Show your work.


I don’t understand.


  1. 6,897 +10,894 =

Why? Show your work.




  1. _ x 4 = 32 + 8 x 4 = _

Why? Show your work.


Bonus Problem:

What number multiplied by one, equals itself?

Is this a trick question?


Okay, fine. I did not do THAT well. FINE. I did HORRIBLY. But, it was very hard! They give you terrible math problems! Not even my Dad can figure it out. I mean, I never asked, but I know he couldn’t. It’s like torture. Children should have their rights not to go to school. When I have kids I’m gonna let them stay at home and watch TV, and eat candy all day.

Sam would say, “Mommy, more candy!” and Amy would say, “Mommy! Guess what I learned! I learned that you can buy lots of bras at Target!” And then Emma would say, “Mommy, why is that guy pushing that girl off a car, and why does she have red marker all over her? Is it because it’s a car commercial?”

Aww, kids are so adorable (and dumb) aren’t they? And yeah, I’ve pretty much got my future life planned already.


Chapter Four

I was lying on my bed, hitting my head against my bedroom door, when my Dad walked into my room.

“Bella?” he asked. “I have something to tell you.”

“Mrs. Burt is moving to another planet?” I asked.

“Really?” Dad said.

“Hey, I can dream, can’t I?”

Dad laughed. “No, this is serious!”

“Okay,” I replied.

“So you know you told me about this new girl named Michelle at your school?” he asked.

“Yep,” I said.

“I know her mom. And uhh… ummm… we’re good friends.” My eyes lit up.

“Great!” I said. “We could have play dates!”

“More than that,” Dad replied. “Ummm…Michelle’s mom and I have been… well… ummm… how do you say it? Uhhh… well… we. We have been on dates.”

I felt like a ball had just dropped on me.

“Y-y-ou w-w-what?!” I sputtered. “How long?” I asked.

“Uhhh, well… ummm… about a year.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Well, I thought it would be better to tell you later,” said Dad.

I could feel my face getting hot now.

“One year later?!” I screamed. I’m sure the whole world could hear. I wasn’t just mad at him. I knew everything was going to change. “You should have told me earlier.”

“Well, I knew you would bug me about it,” said Dad. He looked a little uncomfortable.

I stormed off to my room and made sure I slammed the door really loud. I jumped on my

bed and was waiting for my Dad to come into my room and apologize. Maybe he would know how I felt. What if he got married? Maybe he’d see that these new people in the family would make a big difference — a bad difference. Then he would change his mind, and then Dad and I would live together, just the two of us.


Chapter Five

I was still in my room; it had been an hour since we had that fight – well, I had that fight. I wasn’t crying anymore, but I was thinking about Mom. I bet she was awesome. Dad doesn’t like talking about her. She passed away when I was only three. Dad says she was in an accident. That’s why I am afraid of cars. I think Dad is too. I think that’s why we always take our bikes to school instead of the car. Dad said her name was Elsa. It’s a very pretty name.

When I finally got the courage to talk to Dad, I went to his room. When I went there, I saw Dad looking at a picture of Mom. I slowly crept into his room and put my hand on his shoulder.

“I miss her, too,” I said. Dad looked at me and smiled.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, “I should’ve told you.”

“It’s okay,” I said.

Dad smiled.

“Maybe you could meet her tomorrow?” asked Dad. I knew if I said yes, it would make him happy so I did.


Chapter Six

I was kind of freaking out today because today was the day I was meeting my Dad’s girlfriend. I wanted her to think I was kind of grown up, so I dressed very nicely. I put on my favorite blue dress. And blue necklace. I LOVE blue. Dad was also kind of dressing up too. He usually wears a plain white shirt, but today he went all overboard with the tie and coat thing.

We were going to meet her at a place called Dylan’s Candy Bar. I wasn’t just excited to meet her – I heard that Dylan’s Candy Bar was the best candy bar in NY! But then I heard the doorbell ring. Was she here already? I thought we were just meeting her at Dylan’s Candy Bar!

“I’ll get it!” said Dad. He opened the door and I saw a tall lady come out. She had light brown hair and hazel eyes and had a purple top on with a blue skirt. She looked kind of friendly.

“Bella, meet Margaret.”

“Hi,” I said, looking at the ground.

“Well, hello there,” said Margaret. She was in a very cheerful mood. “I thought it would be a good idea to bring my daughter, Michelle.” I saw a little girl peeking behind her that had the same hazel eyes but reddish-brown hair. She was wearing a black shirt and blue jeans.

“Uh, hi,” said Michelle.

“Hi,” I said back. I told Margaret I was going to go the bathroom. That is usually what I do when I want to talk to Dad and I can’t while people are watching. While I was in the bathroom, I pulled out my phone and called Dad. I really hate the sounds that the phone makes while you’re waiting for the other person to pick up their phone. The sound makes me annoyed and reminds me of Mrs. Burt glaring at me while we’re doing a pop quiz.

“Hello,” I heard my Dad’s voice say.

“Dad! Dad! Dad!” I thought Margaret was just coming, not Michelle too!”

“To be truthful, I didn’t know either. I guess she wanted Michelle to come and talk to you so you didn’t have to talk about boring grown-up stuff with us,” he answered.

“Oh, and Bella! Come back! Margaret and Michelle are waiting for you.”

We took a cab ALL the way there. During the cab ride, I noticed Michelle looking at her phone the whole time.

“Mommy?” she said. “Can we call Daddy tonight?”

“Honey! We’re with Dave! Don’t talk about your Daddy!”

I could see Michelle looked sad. So I looked at her and said, “I know how you feel. Losing one of your parents is hard.”

She looked at me and smiled.

“Thanks,” she said. She stopped looking at her phone, and looked at me.

“What happen to your mom?” she asked.

“She died when I was three. She was in a car accident,” I said.

“Oh,” she muttered. “My Daddy and mom got divorced when I was eight.”

“Girls!” Margaret interrupted, “Let’s take a picture!” Michelle and I groaned. “Come on, girls! One…two…”

Michelle and I put on our fakest smiles. “…three!”


When we got to Dylan’s Candy Bar, Michelle and I got sooo much candy! We got the exact same candy, and we had so much fun! Michelle and I became good friends! Before Dad said goodnight to me, he said, “Did you like Margaret?”

I put on a big smile and said, “Yeah, she was AWESOME!” Dad laughed.

“Great! Ummm…because I’m thinking of, well…asking her to marry me.”

I smiled. “I’d like that,” I said.


Chapter Seven

I woke up this morning and thought today was going to be a good day. Well, first of all, it was a Sunday, and I didn’t have to see Mrs. Burt. But it was mostly because Michelle was coming over to play with me while Dad and Margaret went to dinner and did their stuff. When Michelle came, the first thing she showed me was her bunny! She was sooo CUTE! She was named Sienna.

Then we talked about if we thought her mom and my Dad would get married and talked about if we became sisters, we’d be fighting about who would get the top bunk since we would be sleeping in a bunk bed.

When Dad and Margaret came back home, Margaret was crying. It looked like a happy crying.

“Mommy! Why are you crying?” Michelle asked.

“Sweetheart, meet your new Daddy, Dave Winsten!”

Michelle and I stared at each other and screamed. I was so happy! I looked at Dad and he winked at me. I still wasn’t used to Margaret. Before I went to bed, Margaret came to say goodnight to me.

“I love you,” she said.

“I love you too,” I said back. But I didn’t mean it.


Chapter Eight

When I got to school I was surprised to see that my first subject was math. I usually have art first. So I slumped all the way to the third floor, went into the math room, and saw Mrs. Burt glaring at me.

“Good morning,” she said in her terrible voice. I prayed that we did not have a pop quiz today.

She must have seen my reaction because she said, “We have a pop quiz today.”

I sat in my seat, and what I usually do is take a nap until everyone else comes. I know it’s weird, but it saves time and also I have to get a nice long rest before I have to go into the math war. But while I was in the middle of dreaming about candy canes and cotton candy, someone tapped me on the shoulder. I looked back and I saw Michelle’s body with a cotton candy head. I totally freaked out and screamed. I looked at Mrs. Burt’s desk and I saw Mrs. Burt’s boring brown clothes on her body but a lollipop head!

“What is happening!” I screamed.

“Bella, please calm down,” screamed the lollipop.

Then I saw Michelle’s mom come into the room but instead, she had a chicken head! Then I saw Dad come in with Michelle’s mom and he had a piece of candy for his head!

“Honey,” he said, “I’m taking Margaret and Michelle to go to the Grand Canyon while you’re stuck in school taking this pop quiz.” Then he did this mean cackly laugh. And then out of nowhere we were driving to the Grand Canyon and I was so happy even though I didn’t really get it. And then as soon as we got there, my Dad pushed me into a portal and I went flying into the Grand Canyon. I felt like the whole world was ending, what was I going to do? I could hear Margaret laughing at me while I was falling off the cliff so I just closed my eyes and wished my Dad had never met Margaret and had never got engaged or anything. But then the next thing I knew I woke up in my bed sweating. I took a deep breath and thought to myself, Thank goodness, it was all a dream.

I decided to call Marcie to tell her what had happened. I told her all about what had happened with Dad and then when I was finished with everything I told her about my nightmare.

“Do you know what this means if you’re having nightmares about your stepmom?”

“No!” I said. “I have no idea.”

“It means that you don’t want your Dad to get engaged to another woman. It means you still want your mom back!”

“Oh,” I whispered.


Chapter Nine

When I went to school, I pinched myself three times to make sure I wasn’t dreaming but I still had math, which was my first subject today. I was heading on my way to math when I saw Michelle stopping me. She looked like she had been crying for a while.

“Bella,” she said, catching her breath. “Your Dad had an accident.” I felt like my whole life had just flashed before my eyes.

In the one second she told me that, I didn’t care if he married anybody, I just wanted him to be okay.

“What happened?!” I yelled.

“He was riding his bike and there was a traffic cone and he fell off his bike and bumped his head on a traffic cone. I think he got a concussion.”

Now Michelle was really sobbing. I looked at the ground and without thinking I hugged Michelle and I started crying too.

The whole way home we sobbed together and I called the principal and told him there was a family emergency so I couldn’t go to school today. I stayed home the whole time and I was praying. I wonder what Margaret’s doing now?

I walked into my Dad’s room and I saw Margaret on the bed. There were a whole bunch of tissues on the bed.

“Margaret,” I said. “Are you okay?”

“Call me Mom,” she said, smiling at me.

I came over to my Dad’s bed and sat down with her.

“Is he going to be okay?” I asked.

“It’s definitely not going to be forever, but he might need to stay in the hospital for a while.”

I hugged Margaret.

I smiled at her. “I love you, Mom,” I said, and this time, I really meant it.


The End

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