David Hwa-Character-DCHi, my name is Hayley. The author has asked me to describe the people in my life starting with me. I should really be getting something for doing this, but Mom says I have to, so I’m stuck. I’m ten years old and enrolled in the fourth grade at National Academy in Washington, DC. I’m the oldest in my family, not counting Mom, and it’s my job to make sure things work out. This last year we lost my Dad and it’s been hard on everyone. So I have make things better. That’s my job.

Willie is my younger brother. This last year he’s become more and more withdrawn. He spends most of his time behind sunglasses playing video games.

Addison is the youngest. She’s still pretty innocent and vulnerable. She doesn’t show it, but I know she misses Dad horribly.

Mom, or Jess, as people call her, is the one I worry about the most. With Dad gone we rely on her to hold everything together and she’s falling apart. This really freaks Willie and Addison out. So things are going to have to change.

David Hwa-Character-GT

Sir John is Prince Charming. He’s a real knight and European royalty. He’s crazy wealthy, with a yacht, his own jet, an incredible penthouse, and homes all around the world. He’s perfect for Mom and he thinks she’s very attractive. Now, if I can just get Mom to fall in love with him. For a woman who really needs a man in her life, she has some squirrelly ideas about what’s important and what isn’t.

David Hwa-Character-GoldCup

Nick is the matchmaker. He’s helping me fix Mom up with Sir John. It took some persuading to get Nick to help because I can’t pay him. But ever since I got him on board, he’s been a big help. Still, I have to keep an eye on him when he’s with Mom because he can muck things up really quickly. When I watch Nick interact with Mom, I’m surprised adults get anything done at all. They can be such loose cannons.

There are a few other people, like Sonny and Stallion. They’re clients of Nick’s. Oh yeah, Nick is an attorney and his biggest client is Sir John. And there is Headmistress Tanner, who could become a problem, if I’m not careful. But I’m always careful . . . at least when I can be.

I’ve been told that I have to tell you about Stanley. Stanley is my stuffed giraffe backpack. He’s cute, but come on, he’s a stuffed giraffe. One last thing, I’ve heard something about a dark secret. I don’t know what that’s all about and I advise you to ignore it. Anyway, I’ve got to run. I’ve got homework to do.