AN: I know I haven't updated this story in a month, but it's not dead! I just didn't have tons of inspiration for this chapter: I came up with the idea, but it took a while to develop. But enough of my babbling, enjoy the chapter!

"But why?" 8-year-old Karen Dunlap asked.

"Because I SAID SO!" Kate yelled back, terrifying young Karen, her 'best friend.' Best friend was really a lose term, though, it really met that Kate bossed Karen around and Karen usually did what she was told without question because she was afraid of the bigger girl's rage.

Not this time. Karen had finally drawn the line when it came to pranking the third grade teacher. Karen was ok with pranking her classmates along with Kate, taking the blame for the stunts (and getting pranked back in return) almost all of the time, but she was not ok with pranking an adult, something that could easily get her in trouble.

But Kate didn't care that Karen's morals said she shouldn't be doing this, and Kate didn't care that they would most likely get caught if they did follow through with her idea- she could pin the blame on Karen easily. And so Kate dragged Karen along anyway, threatening to break the ties of friendship and do other unspeakable things if the other girl didn't go along.

The plan was simple: get to school early. Go to Mrs. Tilly's desk. Spray silly string over everything.

Armed with two cans of silly string one March morning, the two set out on their mission.

After sneaking into the classroom while Mrs. Tilly was in the bathroom, the girls tiptoed over to their educator's desk. Kate opened her can of silly string immediately, gesturing for Karen to follow suit. Karen opened up her can. The elder girl nudged Karen, hoping to get her to make the first move. Karen hesitantly looked away and pushed the trigger, spattering the sticky substance all over wood and office supplies.

After Karen made the first move, Kate also started spraying the desk. Kate was smiling almost wolfishly, excited to be doing something so rebellious. Karen, on the other hand, was scared almost stiff. She didn't want to be here, breaking the rules with someone she honestly wished she could just get away from. But if she left Kate, she wouldn't have any friends at all, and you can't just go without friends…

The desk was almost completely covered when the classroom door opened and Mrs. Tilly entered the room. The lights were still off, so as the two students stood frozen she couldn't see them, but a quick flick of the light switch fixed that problem, and Cassandra Tilly found herself shocked to see one of her best students and one of her worst standing in front of her silly string covered desk with two cans of silly string in their hands.

Most teachers would be mad at the vandalism, but Cassandra was new to the profession and still one of the "nice" teachers. And when this young woman saw her desk covered with multi colored silly string and the two girls wearing all black, she laughed. And she laughed hard. The scene just reminded her so much of how criminals looked in movies when they were caught in the middle of a crime.

Karen and Kate were confused: why was the teacher laughing at them, she should be furious! But instead she just laughed at them, as if vandalizing her desk was funny.

Having finished her bout of laughter, Cassandra spoke. "I guess that I have to punish you, even if I find this hilarious. You guys are just too adorable all dressed up in black!" Kate scowled at being called adorable, and Karen frowned, confused. Their teacher continued, "Ok, I'll make you a deal," she said. Mrs. Tilly really didn't want to have to punish the two: Karen was always so sweet in class and she had the feeling she didn't even want to be here. And Kate, as rude as she was at times, deserved mercy. Cassandra knew from personal experience that when students were punished, it didn't eliminate the problem, it just made them more and more bitter. Knowing this, the young woman decided to go easy on her students. It was a first offense after all. "You two clean up all this silly string off my desk, and we can forget about this whole incident; no one outside of us three even has to know."

Karen sighed with relief. She couldn't believe they had been let off this easily, and she was really grateful to her teacher: her mom would kill her if she got in trouble again. Kate was also glad they got off easy: it would prove to her reluctant friend that they could do whatever and not get in too much trouble. The two cleaned off the desk with paper towels (luckily there wasn't any paper on the desk) and finished just before the bell rang.



"See," Kate said to Karen, "we can get away with ANYTHING!" Kate smiled.

Karen was not amused. She had had enough of following Kate into trouble. She couldn't afford to get into trouble again; she couldn't afford to be Kate's follower anymore, nor did she want to be.

"Listen Kate," Karen said sternly. Well, as sternly as a third grader could be. "I'm tired of following you into trouble, and I'm not going to take the blame for your ideas anymore. I am done following you. I am done being your so called friend. Goodbye." It broke Karen's heart to be that mean to her first friend, but she knew it had to be done. She wasn't going to take this anymore.

Karen walked away, leaving a shocked Kate behind. Walking off to find a new best friend, Kate couldn't help but be slightly proud of her former friend for finally growing a backbone. Now if only she had the backbone when they were friends…

Karen walked away. To where, she didn't know. But she did know one thing. And that was that she wasn't going to be anyone's follower ever again. She would be a leader.

AN: And there is Karen's chapter. One month of working on it and I finally finished it: aren't you guys proud of me? Well, I hope you enjoyed and be sure to leave a review!