I kept on thinking about the riddle, but I wasn't able to solve it. Maybe I can't because I'm too tired to think. I think it would be better to try and solve it in the morning. I was too nervous to sleep; what if someone dies because I can't solve it now? No, no, they won't be in danger now, or will they? I don't know if the person doing this is fair or not! What do I do? Should I try solving it now, again? No, my brain won't work now; I'm too sleepy. But I'm worried! What if they die because of me? More questions went through my head. That's enough! I have to sleep now, or I won't be able to solve this stupid riddle!
It was finally morning. I opened my phone to see if the riddle is saved to my images. And surely enough, it was.
I'm a tree, but in this case, I'm not.
I run, and I run, but I never stop.
Make sure I stay away from what I am.
Or before you know it, I'll be dead like ham.
I kept on staring at the riddle; to try and solve it. I stared at it while dressing, brushing my teeth, and even while eating breakfast. My mom even asked me what I was doing. I told her it was schoolwork. Lena was also confused, but she didn't even bother asking. I was even trying to solve it while I was walking to school. Something that runs but never stops? Is it water? But the first sentence makes it more confusing! How is water a tree? Or do they mean it needs water? And what does it mean by, in this case, I'm not a tree? And keep the person away from what they are? What does that even mean? How is this difficulty even easy? Does that mean the riddles will get even harder? What will I do then if I can't even solve this one?
"Hey, Katie!" I heard Kai's voice. I immediately closed my phone and put it in my pocket.
"H-hey," I smiled.
"What was that?"
"What was what?"
"What was on your phone that you had to close it immediately?"
"It was n-nothing!"
"Katie, you are bad at lying."
He is right, I'm always bad at lying, and when I get away with it, I question the person's intelligence. But I can't tell Kai about the riddles and how they are connected to the deaths. I don't know how he will react if he knew Sushi died because of me. He might not hang out with me anymore. Or even worse, he might hate me.
"I-it's girl stuff!"
" That's why I closed my phone immediately; it's too embarrassing if you saw it! S-so, stop asking!"
Kai started blushing. "I'm s-sorry, I'm sorry! I'll stop asking."
Yes! He bought it! Then I noticed that he still had the bump on his face from when he fought with Rio. I started feeling uneasy. It seemed that Kai noticed because he replied, "Katie, I promise you it doesn't hurt."
I gave him a weak smile.
"Wait, Kai, why are you here? I always go walking to school, but I never bump into you."
"That's because I usually go by car; I get too lazy to walk in the morning since I don't have enough energy. However, my parents are busy today, so they told me to go walking. They also told me from now on I'll be going to school walking. Do you not get tired?"
"From walking? No, I don't, at the beginning, it was tiring, but I got used to it."
"So you're saying if I keep walking in the morning, I'll get used to it?"
Kai put his head down, "I still don't want to walk in the morning."
"It's not that bad. And you're exercising!"
"I don't like exercising."
"Hey! Stop looking all gloomy! Do you hate walking in the morning this much?"
"Yes, I feel like my feet will break at any moment."
Drama queen "You need to exercise more, no wonder you're bad at running-" I suddenly got an idea. I smirked, "Whoever gets to school first wins."
"One! Two! THREE!" I started running as fast as I could.
"WAIT!" I heard Kai scream.
He started running as well, but he was falling behind. Like really falling behind.
"Come on, slowpoke! You won't win if you're that slow!" He got a little faster. "There you go! But get faster!" Instead of getting faster, he got slower. "Dude, how are you getting even slower? Whatever, I'm gonna go on ahead." I started running faster until I got to school.
I was trying to catch my breath, "I-I made it!" I couldn't see Kai anywhere.
"Kai?" I waited and waited, and he finally made it. He was out of breath.
"Are you okay?" I asked
He wasn't able to say a thing; he was still gasping. I got a little worried, then he finally spoke.
"No, I'm not! I hate running!" Kai was breathing heavily. He suddenly fell to the ground. "I can't move my legs; I'm too tired."
"Stop overreacting. I'll help you get up." I pulled his arm, but I wasn't able to get him up.
People started staring at us.
"Kai, get up!"
"I'm too tired."
"Hurry up, Kai! Classes will start soon." He was still on the floor. "Fine, I'll leave you here." I was too embarrassed; people were looking at us.
"Fine, I'll get up."
Our first period started, and we had math class. I didn't attend the last math class since the teacher was the supervisor who tried to save Julie. It would have been too difficult to attend it. I thought of skipping it today as well, but I was too worried to fall behind. But it wouldn't have made a difference; I wasn't paying attention to class; I was too busy focusing on the riddle. Then the class was finally over. However, I can see the teacher telling me to come with her hands, so I went over to her.
"I can see you're not paying attention to class." She said. "I know that you're dealing with a lot, but math isn't easy like other subjects. If you don't concentrate, you won't be able to answer anything on your tests. Am I clear?"
I nodded my head. Wow, this teacher really is something for her to lecture me after what I went through.
"And one more thing. Are you okay?"
" Yes, I am." Or maybe I judged her way too soon. It makes me happy that she was concerned about me.
It was recess ones again. I thought it would be the best opportunity to solve the riddle. I stayed in the classroom. I got out my phone, paper, and pen and started working on it. I wrote the riddle on the paper; to circle some words and sentences. I circled "tree" and wrote a question mark on top of it. I circled the sentence that said, "I run, and I run, but I never stop." and wrote water beside it. I was too concentrated that I didn't know if I was alone in the classroom or not. Then I heard a breath behind me, "I'm a tree, but in this case, I'm not?" I hid the paper in my pocket and turned around. It was Rio.
"What was that?" He asked. "Wow, you really are a detective girl; you solve riddles in your spare time!"
I laughed nervously, "Yeah." I wouldn't have been doing this riddle if it wasn't so important! But someone's life is on the line!
I noticed that Rio's arm was injured.
"Katie, is he bothering you?" Kai came in through the door.
"No." I said.
"Then let's go to the rooftop." Kai said.
"Okay." I went over to Kai, and I saw that they were glaring at each other.
When we made it to the rooftop, we sat down. I could see that Kai was holding some sandwiches. He handed some over to me, "Here, since you're always hungry after school."
I smiled, "Thank you." I left the food that my mom gave me in my classroom. She would probably kill me if I didn't finish it like last time.
I opened my sandwich from its bag. "Are you and Rio still fighting?"
"You could say so."
"But aren't you guys friends? You should make up soon."
"We were never friends. He just followed me everywhere."
"I could say the same thing about you."
"Wha-" Kai was out of words.
"I'm just kidding, Kai! Of course, we are friends."
"You just hurt my feelings for a second."
"But Kai, seriously, you should make up. You don't know if you'll ever see him again. My and Julie's last conversation was an argument. Please, don't end up like me." I started feeling tears in my eyes. I wanted to change the mood; it was getting too depressing. "Plus, you hurt his arm pretty badly."
"Why are you defending him?! Look what he did to my face!"
I started laughing.
Classes were starting again, and I was getting worried about the riddle; I wasn't making any progress. I wasn't paying any attention to the classes, but thankfully, no teacher made me answer anything. I was especially shocked that the English teacher didn't pick me to answer anything. And shockingly, I forgot his name even after that embarrassing conversation. I hope I remember it soon, so it doesn't happen again.
Classes were finally over, and me and Kai went home walking together as usual. Kai was oddly quiet; he is usually the talkative one.
"What's up, Kai? Is everything fine?"
He glanced over at me, "Yes."
"Then why are you so quiet?"
"Thinking about what?"
"Katie, you seem worried and stressed today. Is everything okay?"
I was shocked that Kai noticed. I smiled, " Yes, I'm fine."
I was getting worried that I didn't solve the riddle today, but it seems like I still have time. Sushi and Julie died after the riddle by a day, so tomorrow is the deadline. I hope I'll be able to solve it, before It's too late.
-End of Chapter-