"I know, I just don't feel too well," Jenna said, touching her forehead. Mom looked worried.
"Honey, do you have a fever? Let me check," Mom said, but Jenna stopped her.
"No, it's nothing really, I think I'm going to just lay down for a while," Jenna said and tried to smile, but didn't
do a very good job of it. I knew what was wrong. And I knew I had to find that bracelet. It was so frustrating!
Jenna got up, and left. Dad turned to me, concerned. "Is everything okay? Jenna usually doesn't do this," he said.
"I think she's just..." I stopped myself. I couldn't tell Dad or Mom about the bracelet or Jenna's feelings about Aaron
because they might not understand, and think she is sinful. I tried to think of what to say. "I think she's just tired, we
have been up all night a lot lately," I said, sighing in relief that I could come up with something that quick.
Dad sat back and sighed. "Well, maybe I'll have to get the Secret Service on that, make sure you girls get your
rest," he said. Then he winked again.
"Dad!" I yelled.
He laughed, and then Mom laughed. We finished our dinner talking about what Dad was getting accomplished, and left the
Jenna situation alone.
But I couldn't help wondering about it. That night I made a decision: I would spend all day looking for that bracelet
if I had to.
Terry was not just one of the cooks, she was a good friend. When I told her about the bracelet, she dropped everything
she was doing and helped me look. We had to trace back my steps. I had the bracelet last. I was showing Carl the bracelet
while telling him of the plan. I had taken it from Jenna's hope chest. After that, I put it on her bed, and Carl and I left
the room. After a few hours, Carl left and I went back upstairs. When I looked on her bed, it was gone! Then Jenna came back
from her playdate with Aaron, and she saw it was gone, and then freaked out!
Terry was very understanding. She was an older lady, probably could have been old enough to be my grandmother, but she
was sweet and RUL trustworthy. I knew I could tell her anything. She could also make the best chicken pot pie ever.
We started looking in the East Room, which was a big huge ballroom that we'd use for parties and banquets. But after
like hours of searching, we decided it wasn't there.
"Are you sure you didn't take the bracelet anywhere else?" Terry asked.
"Yus!" I said, frustrated. I couldn't believe the bracelet was gone. Jenna was given it for her seventh birthday, and
since then she's been in love with it. Mom gave it to her. I think it was Mom's before, and she was like, passing it on. "I
swear I left it on the bed!"
Terry gasped. "What did you say?"
"Omigosh!" I blurted. I didn't realize I had just sinned. "I mean, I know I left it on the bed!"
Terry nodded approvingly, then we moved on to another part of the East Wing.
As we walked down a corridor, we passed a few people that were holding important papers, and I guess I wasn't really
paying attention, because as I was passing someone, Terry grabbed me suddenly! I was about to run right into Tom
"Hey, watch it there girl!" he chided. I was so embarassed I was red in the face.
"Sorry Mister Ridge!" I yelped, still trying to deal. Okay, Barbie, just calm down. Sheesh! Finally I did. Tom
looked at me with a funny smirk, then he winked and patted me on the shoulder, and started to walk away. Before he did though,
something was weird. When he patted me on the shoulder, something slid down his sleeve to his wrist. It was shiny, and looked
like some kind of bracelet. Before I could think about it, Terry laughed, and nudged me on my arm.
"Isn't he a little old for you dear?" she said, laughing. I shook my head in disbelief.
"What?!? Ew! Gross!" I said as we started walking. "No way!" Something was weird about the bracelet though. I never noticed
Tom have one before.
I decided that I was going to investigate--but later because first, we had to make sure the bracelet was really
After searching through our room for the gazillianth time (seriously!), I realized the bracelet wasn't missing. Someone
had taken it. And I thought about Tom Ridge, but then I was like, "uhh, why would the guy who ran our Homeland Security
steal, first of all?" And, "why would he steal Jenna's heart bracelet?"
Well, as I was thinking about it, Carl, Jenna, and our friends Morgan and Travis were all eating a really cool lunch,
and I had to just bite my lip whenever something about John Ashcroft or Aaron or the heart bracelet came into my mind.
"So like, is that sandwich cool?" Morgan said. She was super cool. She wore rad cherry pink eyeliner and traveler's check green
"It's really cool," Jenna said, wiping some honey mustard sauce from her lip politely. She totally wanted to impress
Morgan with her really good manners because Morgan was really into that. I was hoping Jenna would do all right. But Morgan
wasn't looking too confident about Jenna's skills. She hadn't even used her napkin yet!
"I love these corn chips," Carl said. He always knew what to say when things got awkward. That's just another reason
to love him, I thought to myself and smiled. "What's up, lovely?" he asked me.
I blushed. "I like corn chips too," I said, my lips quivering. I was so nervous, like about everything! Even
though Carl could calm me down, I was still sometimes intimidated by how great a guy he was. "I really like the ones that
have sour cream and onion."
"I know, that's one of the best combinations ever," Carl said.
"You're so smart, Carl," Morgan said. I looked over at her, and she had this weird look on her face. Like, wait--he's
my boyfriend, Morgan knew that, right?
"Thanks, Morgan," Carl said politely. A little too politely. But I wasn't going to let it get me down. I was trying not
to stress about things--and it wasn't easy with all this!
"Let's talk about something else," I said. "I want to talk about my new new membership to Express, it is such a
"Good idea," Carl said, and touched my arm gently. I smiled. He really was mine. He really did love me.
And so we changed the subject.
* * *
After lunch, I pulled Carl away from the group because we had to talk about this whole thing. "Carl! I don't
think the heart bracelet is missing!"
"Oh, good!" Carl said excitedly.
"No! I mean, I think it's been stolen!" I yelled. We were away in a corridor, so I didn't think anyone would
hear us talk about it--especially not Jenna.
"Stolen? But who would steal it?" Carl asked.
"I don't know, but like, we're supposed to meet with Aaron this Friday, and that's like two days away! And we've got
school and everything...this is all horrible!" I said. Carl put his hands on my shoulder, and smiled confidently.
"Come on, Barbara, we'll find it. No one would steal a heart bracelet, especially if they knew it belonged to Jenna,"
Just then, Donald Rumsfeld came along, accompanied by John Ashcroft and Tom Ridge. I had to force a smile to them as
they passed. Carl greeted them politely. "Hello, sirs," he said.
"Hey Carl!" Donald greeted happily, shaking Carl's hand. John asmiled at us. Tom just passed us both, sort of not
looking at us.
I grabbed Carl's arm and pointed at Tom's sleeve. Carl could see it. A tint of gold on his wrist. He turned to me.
"What?" he said.
"Don't you see! Didn't you see!?" I yelled.
"Didn't you see what was on his wrist!" I shrieked, hoping I wasn't being too loud.
"I think he's wearing a bracelet," Carl said, shrugging.
"Yeah, a heart bracelet!" I said.
"Barbara!" Carl said loudly. I shuddered a little. Carl had a very intimidating voice when he raised it. "Why would
you say that? Why would Tom Ridge steal Jenna's heart bracelet?"
"I know, I know it's weird, I thought the same thing--but you've got to believe me, Carl, you're the only one who can!"
"Barbara, no, you're being silly. Tom Ridge is the reason we haven't had a terrorist attack since September
eleventh, and he wouldn't do anything sinful like stealing. Come on. Maybe it really is missing, I'll help you look for it--"
"No. Carl! I saw it on his wrist when we ran into each other earlier! Come on, please! Please, help me!" I was begging!
I was nearly on my knees!
Carl sighed, and shrugged. He put a hand on my shoulder, and nodded. "All right," he said. "Let's go talk to him."
"No! We can't do that! He's probably going to see my dad about the uranium they found in Iraq. Or at least, they said
they found it in Iraq. Or something. What-ever. We can't just go up to him...I've got a plan."
I raised my eyebrows, and smiled rul slyly, and Carl took my hand. "Lead the way," he said.
The one thing I knew about Dad and his meetings were that he always kept the door open for me and Jenna, no matter what.
He said he wasn't allowed to do that, but he'd make an exception since we are his most beloved possessions in his life. Isn't
that sweet? Our Dad rocks.
Tom, Don, and John were all in the oval office as expected. Nancy, one of Dad's assistants, told us they were in an important
meeting and not to be disturbed. But I knew Dad better than that. But I had to practically drag Carl to Dad's office
because he was afraid we'd be in trouble or something if we were caught. Boys are so silly, aren't they?
Just as we were about to make our break though, someone tapped me on the shoulder from behind. I wasn't in the mood to
be stopped by another one of Dad's assistant, but this was a different, heart-stopping voice.
"Hey," said the voice. I turned around. It was Jenna. And she looked sad.
"Hi Jenna, what's up?" I said. Carl stood behind me, looking into the oval office.
"Going to see Dad?" she asked. I just realized that Jenna and I hadn't talked in a while. And she was probably going
in to talk to Dad. I sighed.
"Yeah, just for a sec," I said. "Hey, you wanna come with me and Carl later to the Smithsonian?"
"Nah," she said quietly. "I was just going to see if Dad was busy or something. I guess he is. I'll just go to my room."
She walked away, sulking. I turned to Carl. "Carl, we have to do this! Don't you see! It's like ruining her
"Okay. I have an idea!" Carl said. "I'll create a diversion, and then you sneak inside. That way, Nancy or anybody else
won't stand in the way!"
"Carl, you are soo smart!" I said, smiling. I wanted to grab him and hold him ril tight, but we hadn't
reached that part in our relationship yet. So I shook his hand warmly, and he smiled confidently.
"Okay, here goes," he said. Then he went up to Anne and Nancy, and started to pretend to flirt with them. They were older
women, and always thought Carl was a nice boy--so they talked to him. I nodded to myself, and then made my way to the oval
* * *
"...and second of all, we need to discuss the priority of airport security, and whether they should be allowed to carry
firearms," Tom Ridge was saying to Dad, while I was sneaking into the room. The door creaked a little bit. Not a whole lot--but
just enough for everyone to turn around!
John Ashcroft jumped a little, and Dad stood up.
"What's going on?" Tom Ridge said. I think he was nervous. "No one is allowed in here during--"
okay Tom," Dad said. He looked at me and smiled. "What is it, dear? Daddy's having a meeting."
"Sorry, Dad, sorry everyone," I said, "um, Dad, I was just uh," I couldn't think! What was I going to say! I thought
I had this all planned out--but now I couldn't do anything! I totally froze! "Um, what is...the...time?"
"Aw, shucks I forgot my watch," Dad said. "Anybody here have a watch on?" he said. Don and John looked at each other,
and Don was reaching for his wrist watch and I looked over at Tom who wasn't doing anything.
"Tom has a watch!" I blurted. Everyone looked at me. Then they looked at Tom.
"Tom?" Dad said.
"Er, no, sir, no Mister President I don't have a watch," he said. I furrowed my brow, and was like, confused.
"But you have something on your wrist," I said, approaching Tom. "I saw it, it was gold, wasn't that a watch?"
Tom tugged his sleeve over his wrist. "No, no it wasn't."
"I have the time," Donald said, "it's three thirty,
"There you go," Dad said. "Anything else? I'm sorry honey, Daddy's very busy."
"Very busy," Tom echoed. I looked over at him, and he wouldn't make eye contact with me. Now I knew something
"No," I said, "thank you," I said to Donald, then I turned to John and Dad, "bye, guys," and then I turned to Tom who
still wouldn't look at me, "bye, Tom."
"Yes," he said quietly.
I left the room, and Dad continued his business. But it was okay, now I knew Tom Ridge had stolen Jenna's bracelet. The
only problem was--how was I going to get it from him? And prove he took it? This was going to take some serious thinking.
* * *
"So, how did it go?" Carl said as I came out of the room. I looked at him, a bit frustrated.
"I'm sure Tom took it, Carl, and I don't know what to do," I said.
"How are you sure?" Carl said as we were leaving the wing.
"I just know," I said, "you've got to trust me, Carl, we have to get it back--but I don't know how."
"Well, when do you think their meeting's going to be over?" Carl said.
"I don't know, it sounded rul serious," I said. Then, I put my hand in his. He suddenly broke away, holding
his hand as if I had hurt him.
"What are you doing?" he said suddenly.
"I want to hold your hand, that's all," I said.
"Barbara, I don't know if I'm ready for that," he said. He looked away, and it was suddenly an awkward
moment. I thought Carl loved me. Why wouldn't he let me take his hand?
"I'm sorry, Carl, I just wanted to show my affection," I said. I was so confused.
"I know, but we have to take things slow," Carl said. "Here," he said, and held out his hand. He smiled broadly. He wanted
me to shake his hand.
I know it sounds sinful, but I was honestly getting tired of doing that--I really wanted to take it to the next level.
But he looked like he really wanted to shake my hand, and so I did. But you know what? It didn't even feel that good this
time. It didn't feel right.
"Come on," he said, "let's go think of something."
Even though I was relieved he changed the subject back to more important matters, I still wasn't over the whole thing
yet. But! I'd have to think of that later. Jenna's bracelet was at stake!
* * *
Carl and I went back to my room, and decided to figure out a way to find out if Tom Ridge had actually stolen the bracelet.
"How could he have stolen it?" Carl asked, sitting on my bed. I couldn't sit. I was pacing around the room. "Does he
even have access to this room?"
"Maybe Mom let him in or something. She does that sometimes, it makes us so mad because we're like...hello?
Mom? This is our room, we need our privacy."
"Okay," Carl said, "let's say your mother did let him in, where was the bracelet again?"
"Well, it would have been easy to take. It was sitting right on Jenna's bed," I said. We looked over at Jenna's bed,
and I sighed. This wasn't going to work. We'd never figure out how to pin point Tom Ridge. And what if it wasn't him?
"We could ask your mother if she's let anybody in this room lately," Carl said. Just then, Jenna walked in the room,
and laid down on her bed. Her face was red and puffy.
"Hi, guys," she said softly. She began to weep, and Carl stood up.
"I'd better go," he whispered, and then stuck out his hand again. This time I wouldn't hesitate. I shook his hand firmly,
and he nodded.
"Bye, Jenna," he said to her, and then left the room.
I went over to Jenna and sat at the foot of her bed. I put a hand on her back, and started to console her. She looked
over at me, and tried to smile. I felt so bad for her.
"Thanks, Barbara," she said, all choked up. I tried not to cry, because whenever Jenna cried, it was so infectious, I
would start to cry too.
"It's okay, Jenna," I said.
"Tomorrow's Friday," she said. "It's so hopeless. Aaron's coming over and I don't have my bracelet. I feel so...I
feel so lost without it, you know?"
"It'll turn up," I said, trying to sound convincing. But I was starting to think it was hopeless, too.
"Can I be alone for a little while, Barbara? Do you mind?" she said, still softly weeping.
"Sure," I said. "We'll talk later though, right?"
"Uh-huh," Jenna said. I leaned in and gave her a big hug, but
not the kind that are like "omigosh get off me you're squeezing too tight!", it was more like a teddy-bear like hug, like
an affectionate one. I had just realized Carl had never hugged me.
"Okay, well, just try not to think about it right now," I said, and got up. I left the room, and I was on a mission.
My first stop: Mom. She'd let me know if she let anybody in this room. Because no one else was really allowed to.
* * *
Mom was talking with some agriculture people when I stopped by to see her. She had held up her index finger to let me
know she'd be with me soon. After she finished talking, she came up to me, smiling.
"What is it honey?" she said.
"Mom," I began, taking a deep breath. I didn't want to sound angry or mean or like I was accusing anyone, "have you let
anyone into our room lately?"
"What on earth?" Mom said. "Of course not, we never let anyone into your room. Why?"
"Because..." I paused--should I let Mom know the truth? "Because Jenna's heart bracelet is missing, and we had
left it on her bed. And now it's gone," I said RUL fast. I had hoped she heard it all.
She did. Because after I finished talking, her hand was over her mouth, and she looked like she was going to freak.
"Missing? Well, of course I haven't let anyone in that room! Why would I do that?"
"I know, I know, I shouldn't have asked, I'm sorry, Mom," I said sadly. But Mom was totally understandig. She put an
arm around me.
"I'm sure it will turn up," she said, then added, "so that's why your sister has been acting so strangely?"
"Yeah," I said. "She's been ril tired and doesn't want to talk ever. It's upsetting."
"Have you checked around the house?" Mom asked.
"Mom, I've looked everywhere. I feel like it's hopeless, totally hopeless," I sighed.
"Now, there there, don't worry, I'm sure you and your sister, if you look really hard, will find the heart bracelet.
And remember, it's not just dear to your sister, it's dear to me as well!"
"You're right," I said, perking up. "Tomorrow, me and Jenna are just going to go crazy mad and look all over for it!"
"Good idea!" Mom said. "And remember, your mother would never let anyone into this room. If not for your privacy, at
least for your security." She hugged me, then left.
Hm. Security? I wondered what that meant. Oh well, it was time for bed. I was so tired I felt like I could fall
asleep right where I was standing!
OK. Twin Sister Secret Rule Number 1: Don't let your sister know what you're thinking. If she finds out anything,
it's going to be a mess! There was no way Jenna was going to know what was going on in my head that morning
as we sat down to breakfast. Dad was being real quiet and so was Mom, and Jenna looked depressed. I looked at Mom and she
gave me a reassuring smile, so I calmed down. But I knew I had a long day ahead of me. It was Friday! And I had to find Jenna's
heart bracelet! But Aaron was coming over and I wanted Jenna to be happy about it! She didn't look happy. She looked down
in the dumps.
"Are you okay sweetie?" Mom asked Jenna. Jenna just played with her food and shrugged. Dad looked up, and tried to give
her a smile.
"Hey, it'll be okay," he said. But it didn't help. Jenna just sat there and looked ril sad.
"How're things with you, dear?" Mom asked Dad. Jeez, I felt so selfish. I hadn't even stopped to think about
"Oh well, you know, it's slow going, those Democrats won't get off my back; plus, we have to continue this situation
in Iraq...it's tough," Dad said.
"Oh, the Democrats," Mom said. I agreed. I didn't know many of them, but they were always giving my dad a hard time.
It wasn't fair.
"Well, pretty soon they might end up on my list for the Axis of Evil," he said, winking. Then he laughed. But we didn't--it
wasn't a time for laughing I guess.
Jenna looked up at me, I guess she thought I was going to laugh. She gave me this real weird look when I didn't. Oh
no, I thought, she's trying to read my thoughts! I suddenly burst out laughing.
"That was funny, Dad!" I said, and he smiled at me.
Jenna looked back down at her food, and I breathed a sigh of relief. No way was she going to know that today I was going
to Tom Ridge's office and do whatever it took to get the bracelet back.
* * *
OK. Twin Sister Rule Number 2: Don't tell Mom and Dad anything that you think will get back to your
sister anytime soon.
When breakfast was over, Jenna went to her room to call a friend. I went straight for the West Wing, and Mom suddenly
"Honey where are you going?" she said. "Today's Friday, isn't your friend coming over?"
"Yeah," I said, "but that's later. I forgot I had left some things in the West Wing yesterday that I just want to
go get." I knew lying was a sin, but I had to this time. It was for everyone's own good.
"Well, I'd like for you to go see your sister sometime today, and cheer her up. She looks awfully down lately," Mom said.
"I will, this won't take long," I said, "don't worry, when Aaron gets here, I'm sure everything'll be swell."
smiled, then she left. Whew, I thought. Now it was time to get some business done. Okay, it was definitely after
ten o'clock in the morning, so Tom would be stopping by to see the President. But I knew that every Friday, he and John Ashcroft
liked to play cards somewhere in the West Wing while there wasn't any banquet going on or anything. I made sure that no one
was following me or anything.
Once I got through the tours and all, it was a pretty clear shot to the Wing, and I saw down the corridor that a door
was being shut--I knew who it was. I had to go follow them! This could be it! I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to do
yet, but I was on the trail.
I approached the door real quietly, and, biting my lower lip, I squeezed the door knob, then slowly turned it. Closing
my eyes, I pushed the door open a crack, and leaned in. Guess what? I was right. It was John and Tom playing cards.
But there was someone else there, too. Someone I didn't expect at all. My DAD!
"Hey, John, are you going to hit or what?" Dad said, smiling.
"Mister President, I think we need to talk about the uranium problem," Tom said, looking at his cards.
John gestured to take a card, and Dad gave him one from the pile.
"Okay," Dad said, turning to Tom, "we don't have much time though, the press'll want to know something soon. So tell
me what you know."
Tom started saying all this RUL complicated stuff about the uranium in Iraq that I really didn't think
was that important at the time--not that it wasn't important, but I had to think about other things--like what was
I going to do about catching Tom with Jenna's heart bracelet?
"Well," Dad said, "looks like we may have to go into Baghdad again."
"We're still in Baghdad, sir," John Ashcroft said.
"Oh yeah," Dad said. "Well, we're going to have to tell the public--you're sure about all of this?"
"Yes, perfectly sure," Tom said.
"Sure?" Dad said.
"Perfectly," Tom repeated. Then, I knew I could catch him now! He was putting his hands to his face, and something shiny
and gold slid down his wrist. It was the bracelet for sure!
I burst through the door and immediately went for Tom's wrist! I guess he saw me coming because he backed away and stood
up, holding his hand. Dad and John both stood up as well, looking at me.
"Barbara what in the name of Gosh are you doing in here?" Dad yelled. I was so pumped with adrenaline, though,
that I didn't even realize my dad was yelling at me!
"I knew you stole it!" I yelled at Tom, who was swatting me away with his hand. "Give it back! It's not yours!"
don't know what you're talking about!" Tom yelled. "Please, please stop!"
I wouldn't go away, though! Not now! Now that I had him! I grabbed his hand, and Dad and John dashed over and tried to
grab me. But I swiftly moved away, and John ran right past me into the wall! Oh goodness, I thought, I'm gonna
be in ril big trouble. But I didn't care anymore! I was tired of feeling so bad for my sister, and feeling so bad for
myself, and Tom getting away with stealing! I twisted his arm, and he yelped! Then I looked at his wrist, and saw
the bracelet. My eyes grew wide, my mouth dropped. Even though I knew he did it, I still couldn't believe it!
"This isn't it!!!!!" I yelled, probably the whole world could hear me. "I don't understand!"
"Looking for this?" John said, and I turned around. John was shaking his head, and Dad was helping him up. John was holding
something in his hand. It was Jenna's heart bracelet!
"What's going on?" I demanded, stomping my foot.
"Well, Barbara dear, I think you've been a part of a very clever prank," Dad said, taking the bracelet from John and
handing it to me."
"I don't understand," I said quietly. I was so lost for words, I could barely move my mouth!
"Thank you John, thank you Tom, you can meet me in the situation room later, we'll talk more about the North Korean threat,"
he said to them. Tom and John smiled at me, nodded to Dad, and left the room.
"Take care, Barbara!" they said as they left.
My dad waved to them, then turned back to me. He handed me the bracelet and smiled. "Now," he said, "do you know why
we did this?"
"NO!" I yelled. "I think I'm gonna be sick..."
Dad suddenly dropped his smile and held me. "Are you all right?"
"Dad," I said, composing myself, "why
did you do this? Is it like April Fool's Day or something?"
"Oh heck no, come on, sweetie," Dad said. "You know it's October." I nodded. DUH. "You see, John and I had noticed
Jenna's crush on Aaron for some time, and after your mother and I discussed it, we decided it was a wholesome friendship,
and we liked Aaron. Then we told Tom about it, and we all thought it was really special, a very special relationship. But
then, your mother overheard you and your beau Carl talking about some kind of scheme that would undermine Jenna and Aaron's
affection for each other--taking Jenna's bracelet, and making her worry."
"No, no we were going to give it to Aaron, and--"
"Barbara," Dad said evenly, "stealing is wrong. Plain and simple. You know that! Your mother and I have always taught
that way. It is not God's way to steal. It is not God's way to lie. It's God's will that we must do right, and you didn't.
Now, what do you have to say?"
"I'm sorry," I pouted. I was feeling ril stupid.
"No, don't apologize to me," Dad said, "apologize to God."
"I'm sorry, God," I said softly. I thought I was going to cry.
"Good," Dad said, and touched my chin. "Now, come on, dear, it's all right now. You think your old Daddy would make you
cry?" he made a goofy face, and I laughed. Dad was so good at doing that! "Let's go, I believe Aaron is
"Okay," I said, finally smiling.
We started walking out of the room. He put his arm around my shoulder, comforting me. "Dad," I said.
"Yes honey?" he said.
"So, what are you going to do about all that uranium stuff in Iraq?" I asked.
He threw his head back and laughed. "Oh, I'm afraid that was part of our little prank on you," he said, "there's no uranium
in Iraq, Tom came up with that one!" he laughed.
"So you lied too!" I said, injecting a finger into his stomach.
Dad made a funny face. "You got me!" he said brightly.
I couldn't keep a straight face. I burst into laughter! "You're so funny, Daddy!" I said. He took my shoulder, and we
left the room, laughing with each other. Dad was a ril cool
OK. Twin Sister Rule Number 3: Make sure sister and her love interest fall in love with the help of your scheme.
I had the heart bracelet. I knew where to find Aaron and Jenna, and I also knew that continuing the scheme was risky because
Aaron was already here, and they might already have met up, and what if Jenna just walked away, back up to her room? I couldn't
have that! Not after all I had been through that week. I also knew that our friends Morgan and Travis were here, and Carl
was somewhere too. I went looking for all of them, holding the heart bracelet close to me.
I saw Terry walking past me as I walked along the corridor, approaching the main building. She smiled, and I went up
to her. "Terry, have you seen Jenna and Aaron?"
She smiled, and pointed to the East Room. I looked at her, confused. "What're they doing in there?" I said.
"Just go on ahead, and see for yourself!" she said, smiling. Then she walked off, I guess to go back to her cooking.
I was so confused. But I went to the East Room anyway, wondering what could have Terry meant--and why would everyone
be in that room?
As I went inside, though, I understood immediately, and I was so shocked! Ril pretty music was playing, there
was this live orchestra! And in the middle of the room was everyone dancing! Jenna, Aaron, Travis, Morgan, Carl,
and Mom and Dad! And the ones that really got me--Tom Ridge, John Ashcroft, Dick Cheney, and Donald
Rumsfeld! All with White House staff!
With my mouth agape, I approached Mom, who was dancing with Dad delightfully.
"Mom! What is going on?" I said.
"Well, look around you, dear, it looks like a little party!" she said, and Dad dipped her, and then swung her back up,
kissing her. She giggled, and blushed. "Oh, George!"
"Why don't you go find Carl? I'm sure he's missing you," Dad said.
"When did you plan all of this?" I said.
"Oh, that's just a little secret you'll have to live with," Dad said, and went back to dancing with Mom.
I was shaking my head, I couldn't believe it! It was so beautiful! I thought I was going to cry! Just
then, a hand touched me from behind. I turned around. It was Carl! I smiled, and I stuck my hand out to shake, thinking
he would just shake my hand like normal. But he didn't! He pushed my hand away, and grabbed me, and held me RUL
"Hi," he said into my ear.
"Hi," I whispered softly. I was so taken by the moment, I really thought I was going to lose it.
The music stopped for a moment, and Carl took my hands, to position me for a slow dance. Just as the music started up
again, we started dancing, and found ourselves right next to Jenna and Aaron. Aaron was leading, and Jenna was talking to
him, being ril affectionate and trying to get close. Aaron was swinging her slowly from side to side, totally touching
her! I had to take the moment away, though, because I still had her heart bracelet.
"Hey, you!" I said to her, and she looked over, smiling. It was the first time I'd seen her smile all week! "I have something
for you," I said.
"What is it?" she said. "Can you believe Mom and Dad did all this? I was so embarassed, but Aaron was so nice about it!"
"It's cool," he said. "I was just hoping I'd get a chance to dance with her!"
We laughed, and I pulled out Jenna's heart bracelet. Her jaw dropped, and she stopped dancing for a moment. I held the
bracelet in front of her, and dropped it into her hands. She lifted up the glistenening bracelet, and then put it on her hand.
"My heart bracelet," she said, weakly. "Where did you find it?"
"Oh, let's just say," I said, pausing to look over at Dad. He winked at me, and went on dancing with Mom, "it wasn't
in a place we'd ever think to look."
She smiled, and showed Aaron. He looked really impressed. "Cool bracelet," he said.
"I know," Jenna said. "It was my mother's. She gave it to me on my seventh birthday. I thought I had lost it..."
"Well," he said, beginning to lead her in dancing again, "I can't wait to hear all about it."
They danced away, and so did the rest of us. It was truly a beautiful day. And it was Friday! So we were allowed
to stay out late, and just hang out, do whatever! Be young! And have fun! It was the greatest day ever!
* * *
Well, that was that. Right? That night, we all had a sleepover, and played Trivial Pursuit, the Friends edition,
and watched some TV, too. As for Jenna and Aaron, well, let's say they're still friends, but they're definitely thinking about
taking it to the next level. Isn't that exciting? Carl and I shared a wonderful night as well. He really showed me
affection that I thought he would never ever get comfortable enough to show. We still have some things to work out, I guess,
but it was such a great night, I didn't want to push it.
Morgan and Travis said they had a good time too--but something still bugs me about Morgan. She is always going on and
on about Carl, and I'm like--hello? He's my boyfriend, get your own! I tried hooking her up with Travis,
but she was like, Ew, gross! I thought that was mean because Travis is ril nice, he's just not that good
looking. But, that's just me. Y'know?
Well, until next time, I guess. We sure had a great experience. And I really learned something about stealing--it always
comes at a price. And it always leads to trouble. So don't steal! Or make some kind of scheme to steal! And don't ever lie,
either! And always pray.