An Introduction to Candace Victoria Ryder

"I'm sorry. Did you say you forged my signature? Candace, how many times did you do this?" Dad was mad, and he had a right to be. I never should have done that. "I only did this for the fieldtrips I really wanted to go on," I replied hoping I could use that as an answer. "That doesn't answer the question," Mom stated as she stood in front of me. I wasn't going anywhere. "Well, what do you want me to say? That it was the first time?" "I'd like that to be the answer, yes, but that's not likely to happen. How many times?" he was annoyed that I had even tried to forged his signature in the first place. "Fifteen," I made up a number. I really forged his name about forty times, I think. "Really? Then why does this note say fifty?"

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4. More Trouble Than I've Ever Been In

January 23, 2006

When I came home from school, my parents were waiting for me in the parlor. A smile grew across my face. I couldn't stop it from growing. They didn't look too happy with me.

"Am I in trouble?" I asked with a little laugh. What a question? When was I not in trouble?

"What is this?" Dad asked holding up the day planner I had fought David for. Suddenly it wasn't so funny that they were waiting for me

"That's my day planner. How did you find it?" boy was I ever in a heap of trouble.

"David gave this to us. Yes, we looked through it. I must say, this is an elaborate scheme, pulling these stunts every day. I also hear that you've been called to Mr. Andrews' office on occasion, and we weren't told about it. Tell us about it now."

Dad wasn't joking. I don't think I've ever heard my dad joke around with school. Actually, now that I think about, I don't recall ever hearing my father say a joke.

Those visits were not important enough for Mr. Andrews to call either of my parents. Sometimes they were because I really was in trouble, but these particular visits were for events such as, prom night, homecoming, and fundraisers of almost any kind. (I was class president every year so I was basically responsible for every event the school held. And I was paid for that responsibility, too.)

Yeah. Now that my parents know about the book, I am so dead. There's no way I can get out of this, not even with a well thought up lie.

"Just ground me now. You're not going to like what I would tell you." That was the truth, the wrong truth, of course. How was I supposed to know they wouldn't accept that answer?

"Candace, I want you to sit here on this couch for a very long time and think about this until you're ready to tell us why you were called to the principal's office and managed to keep that from us," Dad said pushing me down onto the end cushion

"Couldn't I just tell you that I'm failing chemistry?" I asked. It wasn't true, though, but it didn't hurt to try.

"No, that lie won't work considering we got your report card, today," Mom said as she held up the envelope that had obviously been opened.

"How did you like the note Mr. Andrews put in there?" I asked shyly, twirling my thumbs.

"What note? Candace, we didn't find a note in this envelope," Dad replied. He looked into the envelope multiple times looking for the note I mentioned.

"Here it is, Daddy," David said looking in my backpack.

"Why, you little brat! You set me up. I watched Mr. Andrews put that note in the envelope yesterday, right after Dad left in the morning." I don't know how David did it. How did he get the note out of the envelope and into my backpack without anyone noticing?

"Well, it looks like you're..." he was about to say that I was lying. "What's wrong with this picture, Claire?" he said as he looked into Mom's eyes and showed her what the note had to say.

"It looks like what she. Candace, did you do what this note says you did?" Mom asked. The note said everything I had done, but I guess they wanted to make sure I knew what I had done.

"I may or may not have forged your signature," I smiled sweetly. That smile always worked, until now that is.

"I'm sorry. Did you say you forged my signature? Candace, how many times did you do this?" Dad was mad, and he had a right to be. I never should have done that.

"I only did this for the fieldtrips I really wanted to go on," I replied hoping I could use that as an answer.

"That doesn't answer the question," Mom stated as she stood in front of me. I wasn't going anywhere.

"Well, what do you want me to say? That it was the first time?"

"I'd like that to be the answer, yes, but that's not likely to happen. How many times?" he was annoyed that I had even tried to forged his signature in the first place.

"Fifteen," I made up a number. I really forged his name about forty times, I think.

"Really? Then why does this note say fifty?" Crap! I am in even more trouble than I've ever been. I didn't even wait for him to hold his hand out. I took all of my phones out of my pockets and gave them all of my electronics.

They took those away, but that wasn't all they had in mind. They took my hall pass, and told me that I would be spending the rest of the school year in Mr. Andrews instead of with the teachers like I should have been.

None of my stunts were ever serious enough to make the headlines, but they could definitely break some bones. I couldn't believe David had ignored the decoy and found the real day planner. Both were in the wall safe, but the real one was in a second safe that was hidden quite well. I went into the safe trying to figure out how he found it. I left the door open because I didn't want to be locked in my own safe.

"How did you find it, David?" I asked myself, not hearing him sneak into the room. He closed the door on me. This was not something I wanted. When I saw the door close, I ran to it, but it was too late.

"David, let me out!" I yelled as I beat my hands against the door. Then I remembered something. There's a trapdoor in this safe. It leads to my underwater bedroom.

David didn't know about the trapdoor, so I had the advantage. I went down the slide, and made my way up to the parlor where I saw David betraying me like the little brat he is. He was surprised to see me when I entered the room.

"Hello, little pain-in-my-butt," I said as I placed him in a choke hold.

"Mommy, she's choking me!" David yelled. Hearing him yell, Mom came in. She called for my father, and of course, I was the one to get in trouble. He deserved that choke hold for locking me in my own safe. Try telling that to two lawyers without having any physical evidence or the culprit telling the truth. It didn't work out so well for me.

I went to the security room and took the tape to prove that I was wrongfully punished. Mom and Dad apologized for being so harsh to me after I showed them the video. David was punished, for once. I just got scolded for putting my little brother in a choke hold and then let go. Before I left to finish my homework, I noticed something going on in the kitchen.

"Dad didn't you say that David couldn't have ice cream after what he just did to me?"

Dad was confused. He wondered why I would ask such a question.

"I just heard him tell Miss Collins that it was okay for him to have some. Fair warning, I did not tell him to do so," I answered. Dad got on that situation real quick. David was complaining that it was unfair to deprive a child of having ice cream. Thankfully, Dad didn't care. David was told no and that was final.

January 24, 2006

I somehow managed to get in trouble while being trapped in Mr. Andrews' office. The plan was mine, but the only way to carry it out, was through one of my friends, Liam, Jayden, or Marcus. The only way Lucas would do anything was if all four of them did the prank together, so I couldn't always count on him.

I had my friends put all of the biology teachers' text books in different areas of the school. One of them was in a waterproof casing at the bottom of the pool, another was taped to the basketball rim, another was placed in the boiler room, and the last one was left in her desk. Mr. Andrews figured out that I was behind the prank.

I had asked my friends about it and they told me that Mr. Andrews had never questioned them about it. (Tomorrow would be the same for the history teacher). I was grateful this wasn't a serious enough offense for my father to be called in; however, it was serious enough for Mr. Andrews to inform him.

How did Mr. Andrews figure out that I was behind all this? Mr. Wilson must have paid very close attention to my cell phone and saw the names and message. Liam, Jayden, and Marcus were in trouble, but not as much as I was. Let's just say that I was grounded for yet another week.

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