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?"


2. Trouble In The Making

January 22, 2006

"Candace Ryder, will you please come to my office," Mr. Andrews asked over the PA system.

Great; I've only been here for five seconds and I'm already being called into the principal's office. I thought I was the one in trouble. My little brother, David, had been at the school twenty minutes before me.

"What are you doing in Mr. Andrews' office?"

"I did something really bad," he answered. Can you imagine a six-year-old getting in trouble for following in the footsteps of his fourteen-year-old sister?

"But why call me? I'm already in trouble for not setting a good example for you." I could understand why he called for me instead of Dad, but I wasn't about to help him. "Mr. Andrews, please call Dad," I requested. "I guess I'll be going to first period while Dad deals with you instead of me for once." I was happy that I wasn't the one in trouble this time.

"Should I show him your file?" Mr. Andrews asked me with a smile on his face. I shook my head. If David was turning out to be just like me, than showing him my file would not be a good idea, nor would it be a good idea to show him Dad's file.

I left for my first class before Dad was able to see me in Mr. Andrews' office. He didn't need to know that I was called to the principal's office, even if it was David that was in trouble and not me. Let's just say that I didn't make it to class.

"Whoa, Candace, your first class is never an option," Dad said as he grabbed my shoulder. He started dragging me to Mr. Andrews' office.

"Come on, Dad. You told me to choose wisely, and I did," I said hoping he wouldn't think that I had already gotten in trouble, which never happened today.

"What side angle are you playing at?" Are you protecting someone?" he asked as he opened the door to Mr. Andrews' office. He was disappointed when he saw David sitting where it was usually me. "David, what are you doing here? You should be in class."

After a slight pause, Dad looked over to me, "Candace, please tell me he wasn't trying to be like you."

I couldn't tell him that because it was true. David was trying to be like me. Don't get me wrong, I was proud to have a shadow, but if I got in trouble for that shadow being my little brother, then it wasn't going to be worth it.

"I'm very disappointed, Candace. You have a shadow , now." He told me to sit.

"Dad, I never told me to do this," I said trying to get myself off the hook. I really didn't tell him to be my shadow.

"Sit down!" He was getting mad at me instead of David. There was nothing I could do to prove that I wasn't involved here. "I want to know exactly what's going on here," he looked at me for an answer. For once, I couldn't give him one.

"Mr. Wilson, don't let either one of them leave this room. When one of them is ready to give an answer," he glared at me before finishing, "call me so I can get that answer and they can leave for class."

Dad left David and me at the mercy of Mr. Wilson. Sometimes that could be a questionable act. Mr. Wilson wasn't prone to violence, but he could be worse than my dad when it came to strictness. When Mr. Wilson is told not to let us leave, he does his job efficiently.

"David, you had better tell Dad it was all you. I am not going to take the fall for something I never told you to do," I said making sure he knew never to try and pin something like this on me ever again. Mr. Andrews called Dad. He never left the school. He waited in his car until he was called.

"This had better be good, Candace," he said, still assuming I was the guilty party.

"Dad, I'm telling the truth. It wasn't me who soaped the gym floor and greased the basketball rim. Mr. Andrews can vouch for me. I wasn't even on school property when David was called in here," I said glaring at David. "Normally I don't take the bus. For once I'm glad I did. David's classes start thirty before mine. There's no reason for me to be here until my classes start, and I don't have any other detention hours unless you add them to my schedule." My dad had partial power to do so.

David finally took a stand and admitted that it was all his doing. He had done what he wanted to do yesterday. He had soaped the gym floor and greased the basketball rim! I was so proud of him until he was given two weeks detention for the first time in his life and sent back to class.

I had to stay. Talk about unfair. I hadn't done anything wrong yet this week and this was happening to me.

"Dad," I tried to complain.

"I already told you one class. That one will be your last class for today."

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