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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1. Preface

My name is Candace Ryder. I live in Shakopee, Minnesota. I am fourteen-years-old. My little brother, David, is six and worse than any normal brother would be. I have lived in a mansion, or chateau as it is more properly referred to, since I was five-years-old and have always been ten times smarter than the average person.

With what I'm going to talk about, no one can possibly say that I'm perfect in any way, shape, or form. You might even say that I'm not as smart as I just said.

I was known as the school's Bad Girl because of all my pranks and the occasional fight I got into, the nerd because of my brilliance, and the rich girl that everyone loved.

January 18, 2006

I'm in trouble, as usual. When it came to grades, I was an excellent student. I never received a grade lower than a 100%, whether it was homework or a test because I never even had to study. Other than that, I was not the greatest student, or example for that matter.

"Dad, what are you doing here?" I asked as I closed the door to the principal's office.

"I don't know, Candace. Why don't you tell me?" he answered. I knew I could consider myself dead. I may or may not have accidentally locked Mr. Andrews, the principal, in the janitor's closet.

My dad, of course, was quite angry with me because it wasn't my first offense at that school (more like my five millionth). Dad was just like me when he was a kid. He didn't want me to be like him, so he could be quite a dictator at times.

"I didn't know Mr. Andrews was in the closet. I saw that the door was open, so I closed it, honest," I tried explaining. I might as well have been talking to the wall. Dad was going to ground me, even though it was a simple mistake that would never happen again. At least that's what he would like to have thought, but he knew me, a little too well. I was sentenced to three weeks of detention (half an hour each day).

My school file was almost as large as my dad's. He had changed a lot over the years, though, giving me credit for his sudden change of behavior. He always said he never took life seriously until he and Mom had me. Suddenly he was strict, not wanting any of his kids to follow in his footsteps, at least not when it came to school stunts. That dream was never fulfilled, however.

"I know what you're going to do, Dad. Just ground me and get it over with," I said. I was angry that he didn't believe me. Yes, I was one to get I trouble, a lot of trouble, but I wasn't one to lie.

"You can't possibly know whether or not I'm going to ground you, Candace, but that is going to happen," he guaranteed.

"But, Dad!"

"You're already grounded for one week, do you want to make it two?" he asked, sounding annoyed. I tried talking my way out of it. "Keep talking and I will add another week," he finished with his hand out. He was asking for my phone. I gave it to him, hoping he wouldn't hold it out again. He did, twelve more times. I had to give him twelve cellphones, and an iPod. After putting my phones and iPod in his briefcase, he put his hand to his forehead.

"You're mother will want to know how your day was. If you lie to her about this, there will be serious consequences," he said getting madder by the second.

Mom did ask how my day was. Dad walked into the parlor just as I was about to make something up. That stopped me. I had to tell her what really happened.

"How should we deal with this, Jack? Locking the principal in the janitor's closet is a very serious offense," she said, and then looked at me. "Candace, if you get in trouble on monday, you won't have to worry about your father grounding, because I will kill you. I'm tired of Mr. Andrews calling and asking for one of us. That had better not happen ," she was more upset that I was always in trouble than my dad was.

January 21, 2006,

It's a new day, a fresh start for the week. Five minutes into the day and I'm already thinking about the kind of trouble I can cause. (Not that I was always looking for it on purpose). Should I grease the basketball rim? Or should I let the worlds angriest cat loose in the school?

Mr. Andrews could see that I was thinking of the trouble I could cause.

"Candace, come to my office, please." Uh-oh, busted.

"Yes, Sir," I was wondering what he could possibly want to see me for. I followed him into his office. Mr. Wilson, my bodyguard, came in with me and stood in front of the door.

"Your father informed me of what you might try to do today. To ensure that you will not cause any of the trouble you had in mind, you will be doing your schoolwork in my office. Mr. Wilson will make sure you don't leave this room in case I have to take care of anything," Mr. Andrews said averting my eyes toward Mr. Wilson.

"Can I at least have lunch in the cafeteria?"

"No. You can leave this room when school is out," was the answer I received. I guess I deserved that.

On his way to another class! One of my best friends, Marcus Martinez, saw me in the principal's office. He nudged our other friends that were with him, "Hey, guys, look at Candace. She's really outdone herself this time."

"Guys, you have to get me out of here," I said, forgetting that Mr. Wilson was right there, blocking my way out.

"If you ever did manage to get by me, Candace, I would be forced to tell your mother and father," he said looking directly into my eyes. I knew what that meant. He would tell my parents, and everything would be taken from me, including my car that I wasn't able to drive yet.

"Mr. Wilson, I've finished today's assignments," I said three hours later. Everything was done, correct, and it wasn't even time for lunch. Mr. Andrews was dealing with something outside his office.

"That's nice, Candace. Now do tomorrow' assignments," Mr. Wilson said as he pointed to my books.

This wasn't fair. I was months ahead of my eleventh grade class, and I was being forced to continue working. And I would be spending detention in Mr. Andrews office, just like I was going to spend the rest of the day there.

Mr. Wilson told me that if I didn't do as I was told, Dad would not be happy with me. I wanted the opposite.

When I came home, Mom was in the kitchen with Miss Collins. Dad was in his office.

I brought my backpack up to my room before going to see him. He told me before I went to school, today, that he wanted to see me when I got home.

"I hope you're proud of me, Dad. I didn't get in trouble once today," I said as I dropped myself onto the couch. I knew it was for the better, but it felt like my fun was being taken away.

"That's nice. Did you tell your mother so she doesn't have to kill you?" he asked, not even looking away from his computer screen.

"Do I have to?" He glared at me. Yep. I had to; she was proud that I didn't get in trouble today.

"How did you know what I was planning to do at school?" I asked when I came back to Dad's office.

"Because I know you, and when I saw that your cat wasn't anywhere in the house, I put two and two together," he started. "You're going to spend the whole day in Mr. Andrews' office again, tomorrow. You'll be able to attend one class, so choose wisely," he warned. "If it goes like it did today, I can give a little leeway."

"Thank you, Dad," I said as I stood up to hug him.

"Don't hug me. Just because you're not in trouble at school, doesn't mean you're not in trouble here."

"What did I do?" I probably should have asked what it was that I didn't do. My mother had asked me to do something last night. I guess I never heard her.

I had to go back downstairs to apologize to my mother and ask what it was she wanted me to do because Dad wasn't going to tell me.

The dishes she had asked me to put away were still in the dishwasher. She wasn't about to let me get away with not hearing her.

"Dad's not even making me do anything to prove myself," I complained.

"I know, but I'm not your father," she replied. "You've gotten away with one too many things, Candace. That's going to stop this minute," she said as she leaned against the wall, watching me put the dishes away.

"Can I hug you, now," I asked after telling Dad that the dishes were done. He said no. I wasn't off the hook just because I had one good day. I had to do the same thing every day for the rest of the week. No tricks or else the rest of the school year would be spent with me attending classes in the principal's office just like I did today.

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