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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3. Why Am I Always In Trouble?

"Mom, guess what," I said when David and I came home from school.

"I had a good day at work today, Candace. If what you have to say has anything to do with the principal's office, I don't want to hear it. Now, what did you want me to guess," she asked as she pealed an apple for herself.

"Nice wall there," I said trying to avoid making her miserable. She got curious instead. "I'd better go do my homework."

"Stop right there, Young Lady. You know full well you don't have any homework. Now, What did you want me to guess?"

"I don't think you want to know," I said as calmly as I could.

"Fireplace," she said.

"Mom!"

"Now, Candace Don't make me tell your Dad that your disobeying me," she said as she pointed to the parlor. The fireplace is where my parents would let me tell my side of the story and where they would decide how long I would be grounded.

"What's she doing in front of the fireplace?" Dad asked as he fixed his tie.

"She's lying to me. I want to know why she was so excited when she came home. She was going to tell me, then changed the subject," Mom replied.

"Is this true, Candace?" Dad asked.

"Did you even have to ask, Dad?"

"No. I wish I did, though." That hurt. "Claire, she's protecting David. He was the one sent to Mr. Andrews' office today. He thought that if he called for her, I wouldn't have to hear about it."

"But why would she be protecting him. He's done nothing but rat her out whenever she got in trouble," Mom said. It was true. David had done nothing but rat me out ever since he could talk.

"Well she was about to rat him out, but you didn't want her to ruin your day, so she tried to change the subject," Dad explained. Mom understood what Dad was saying, but I still wasn't exempt from changing the subject the way I did.

"Sit," she said as I stood up to go to my room. I guess they weren't done with me.

When they were done, I was allowed to go to my room. Someone had been in there.

Let me tell you haw I knew. There was a black day planner that was in my book shelf when I left for school this morning. I kept my pranks that I had either already pulled or planned to pull in it. It was gone.

"DAVID! WHERE IS IT?" I yelled. My parent's could hear me shouting from where I was on the third floor. David knew exactly what I was talking about. "What did you do with my day planner?"

"You mean THIS day planner?" he asked with a menacing smile as he held the book up for me to see.

"GIVE ME THAT!"

"You want the book, I'll give it to you, on one condition. You tell Mom and Dad that it was you who greased the basketball rim and soaped the gym floor. If you don't do this, I'll show them the book, and tell the about the multiple trips to the principal's office that weren't important enough for the to know about."

I couldn't believe it. My little brother was blackmailing me.

"Sorry, David. That's never going to happen. Besides, you were caught with the evidence in your hands." I didn't stand a chance against a six-year-old that had that much to hold against me. How sad is that?

"Mommy, Daddy, Candace has something to tell you," he said as he slid down the banister to the first floor.

"I'll get you for this," I threatened.

"No threats, Candace," Dad said before I could reach my pain-in-the-butt little brother. All I knew at that moment was that if I tried to argue with him, he'd ground me , so there was no point in trying to defend myself. "Now, what did you want to say? What did he take from your room?"

"He didn't take anything from my room, Dad," I lied. "I greased the basketball rim and soaped the floor," I said after looking over at David who had my day planner with him. I couldn't believe I was going to take the fall for something I didn't do.

Dad looked shocked, yet concerned at the same time, "Candace, you gave me your word that you didn't do it. What are you keeping from me?"

"It's nothing for you to worry about, Dad," I said looking into my dad's eyes instead of averting them to the day planner.

"Everything that goes on in this is my concern. You're not leaving this room until you tell me."

David was really enjoying himself. He was getting exactly what he wanted.

"This is totally unfair," I said right before I heard David snicker.

"I don't want to hear about how unfair it is. The next time you open your mouth today, you'd better be telling me what you're hiding." I knew my day planner would cause nothing but trouble for me. I glared at David. I didn't want my parents to know about the book. I had to destroy it before anything could happen, but how. It was David's hands, I couldn't go after it in front of my father, and I wasn't allowed to leave the room until I told him everything.

"David took my day planner. It has my homework assignments in it," I tried to lie. That excuse didn't work because I have a photographic memory.

"Uhuh, what's really in the day planner?" he asked, doubting that I put my assignments in it.

"That's not important."

"Well, if it's not that important to you, than I guess you won't mind telling me what's in it?" Dad was smart, and right.

David became excited. As soon as I saw him jump up with the book in his hand, I could see what was going to happen.

"David, no!" I shouted as I ripped it out of his hands and ran up to my room. I hid it in a wall safe that no one was supposed to know about, did my homework, or what there was of it, and went to bed.

Little to my knowledge, David had seen my wall safe.

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