Chapter 8:

Riddle #4

Riddle Night

Tomorrow was the deadline, and I didn't know what to do. I haven't gotten any farther with the riddle. I looked at the previous riddles to see if there was a pattern between them. I noticed that in the first riddle, the answer to the first two sentences was ginger. And Sushi was a ginger cat. The first sentence of the second riddle had the meaning of Julie's name. Does that mean this riddle will have someone's name meaning?  I looked at the riddle once again. Bookmark here

I'm a tree, but in this case, I'm not.
I run, and I run, but I never stop.Bookmark here

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I was always confused about the first sentence. However, I was sure that the answer to the second sentence was water. So maybe the meaning of the person's name is a tree or water?
I searched for names meaning water on the internet, but all the names didn't ring a bell.
I searched for names meaning tree, but once again, I didn't find anything. I was starting to get frustrated; The riddle was too hard for me to solve. Then I suddenly felt an uncanny feeling; I felt like someone was watching me. I turned to my window, but there was nothing there. All I could see was the bright white moon. Then I heard the doorbell ring. 

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"Sweetie, we have guests!" My mom yelled.
"Coming!" I was probably paranoid.
As I was going downstairs, I heard a familiar voice.
"I'm not here to take your time. I'm only here to drop this off."
"No, come in, have dinner with us!" My mom insisted. 
"No, I really can't-"
"Kai, What are you doing here?" I asked. 
"Katie! I'm here to drop off some cookies my mom made for you guys. But your mom wouldn't let me go!" 
"Sweetie, tell them to have dinner with us." my mom said.
"Them?" I was confused. Then I realized there was a child behind Kai.
"Kai, who's that?" I asked.
"That's my little sister, Rio." 
"Rio? Like your friend Rio?" 
"Don't give me that weird look! And besides, he is not my friend! I guess you're confused since you thought it was a boy's name. However, in Japan, the name is used for girls. It means the place of the cherry blossoms." 
"That's really interesting!" 
"Sweetie, tell them to come in." 
"Right! You guys should join us!" 
"Katie, I can't. Mom is waiting for us-"
"It wouldn't hurt if you stayed for a little." I spoke.
Kai sighed, "Fine. I'll ask my mom first."Bookmark here

"I called mom. She said it was okay as long as we don't take too long." 
"That's great to hear!"
The dining table was silent. It was getting more awkward by the minute. I could tell that my sister, Lena, was uncomfortable; she is the type of person who doesn't like company. Kai's sister was playing with her food. I could hear Kai whispering to her to stop and start eating. She is one of the cutest kids I've ever seen. She has long black hair and cute short bangs. Her purple-like eyes were big and shiny; they were nothing like I've witnessed before. 
My mom broke the silence, "Kai, how is school?" 
Kai jumped; I could tell he was nervous, "I-it's good."
"Is my daughter a good student? Is she paying attention to class and participating?" 
"MOM!" I yelled. 
"I'm Just kidding, sweetie." My mom smiled. 
"Ms. Erika, I think we should get going." Kai stated.
"Why so soon?" 
"The food was good, and we enjoyed it. However, Mom is waiting for us." 
"Before you leave, I need to take to you." Mom took him aside and started talking to him. I couldn't hear anything, but I could see Kai nodding. What are they talking about?
"Rio, let's get going." 
"Okay!" Rio left the table and took Kai's hand. 
"Again, thank you for having us." 

"Mom, what were you talking about with Kai?" I questioned.
"Ah, it's nothing important." my mom left the dining table. "And please clean up the table, my honeys."
"Okay!" Me and Lena said.  Why wouldn't my mom tell me what she said? Does that mean it's about me?Bookmark here

After we finished up cleaning, I went to my room. My mind was full of thoughts. I wonder what mom told Kai? I jumped onto my bed; I was excited for some reason. Wait, Why is my heart beating so fast? I was gazing at the ceiling, clutching my pillow. What is this feeling? 
Knock, knock. My sister came in, "Kate, here are some cookies Kai brought." 
I grabbed one from Lena's hand, "Thank you!" 
"Wow! This is really good! Is Kai's mom a patissier or something?!" I yelled with my mouth full. 
"I wouldn't be shocked if she was." Lena replied.
"It's GOOD! REALLY REALLY GOOD!" My mouth was full of chocolate.
"Make sure to leave some for mom." 
I reached for the cookie box, "Before you leave, I'll take a few more cookies-" 
Lena grabbed the box before I can take it, "Nope! That's enough. I said to leave some for mom!" 
"But, but-" 
"NO BUTS!" Lena banged the door behind her. 
"But I want some more!" I cried. Bookmark here

I sat at my desk; to solve the riddle. I grabbed the sheet of paper from my pocket and laid it on my desk. I stared at it, unable to think. I could see that I circled the sentence " I run, and I run, but I never stop." and wrote the word "water" beside it. But could I be wrong about it? Is the answer actually water? I couldn't use my brain any longer; I was too exhausted. My mind started thinking about other stuff instead. I can't believe Kai never told me he had a sister! She is adorable! And the meaning of her name is also cute! The place of the cherry blossom trees-!  I froze. Wait! Trees? I studied the paper. Could it be that?! Bookmark here

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.
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I searched the meaning of the name Rio: Rio can be a girl or boy's name. In Japan, it is used for girls, meaning "The place of the cherry blossoms." For boys, it is of Spanish origin, meaning "River." 

I've been looking at it the wrong way! The answer to the second sentence wasn't "water" but "river."  Does that mean Rio will be the victim? What was meant by the first sentence is that Rio can mean a tree, but since the victim is a boy, it means river. But it's not fair; the culprit didn't do enough research. Rio doesn't mean the cherry blossom trees. Rather, it means the place of it.
I looked at the next sentence: 
"Make sure I stay away from what I am."  Stay away from what I am? The river is water. So does that mean I have to keep Rio away from water? Okay! I'll make sure to keep an eye on him tomorrow; so he doesn't die! I'll try my best! Bookmark here

It was morning, and I got up earlier than usual. I had to get to school before anything happens to Rio. I was in a rush, and when I got to the school door, I pumped into my classmate May. I don't know how I managed to remember her name. 
"Oh, sorry, May!" 
"No, you don't need to apologize! It's my fault for being in your way. Is everything okay that you need to be in such a hurry?" 
May was the person who told me where Julie was before she died. May has short brown hair and pinkish-brown eyes. Her voice is very relaxing and quiet. She is a shy but sweet girl. 
"Yes, everything is fine! I just-ah have work to do!" I rushed to my classroom. Bookmark here

I was exhausted from running. I took a deep breath and went to my seat. 
The class was empty; no one was there yet. After a few minutes, May came in. She smiled at me, and I smiled back. I took out a notebook, so it would look like I was working.Bookmark here

More minutes past and more students were coming in. However, I couldn't see Rio anywhere. I was starting to get worried. The first class started, and Rio was still not there. Did he get hurt?  Is he okay? Then the classroom door opened. 
The teacher looked at him, "Where were you, Rio?" 
Rio came in without saying a word and took his seat. 
"Rio! Why are you late for my class? Answer me!" 
"Do I have to answer every time! I overslept!" 
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From how stressed I was, I totally forgot that he never comes to his classes on time.
"Again?! Have you not learned your lesson yet?" 
"Old man, can you get to your lesson already?" 
The class started giggling. "WHO ARE YOU CALLING AN OLD MAN?"
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The class was like that for a while, where the teacher and Rio were talking back at each other. I was sick of it. I just wanted the day to end peacefully. 
I kept my eyes on Rio, making sure that there wasn't anything water-like around him. At some point, he noticed me then gave me a grin. I looked the other way and blushed. Bookmark here

Classes went by, and thankfully, nothing happened to him. I looked at my schedule, and we had swimming lessons next.  Oh, NO! Is this how Rio will get killed?! Will he drown somehow? I have to make sure he doesn't get anywhere near the pool! But how? Then I had a plan!
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"Rio! I won't be swimming today, because I'm not feeling well. Can you please keep me company until the class is over?"
"Why don't you ask Kai?"
"No! I want to talk to you instead!"
He sat next to me on the bench, then smiled, "Why? Do you fancy me?"
"I don't fancy you!" I yelled
Kai came over to us. He looked pissed, "What are you guys doing?" 
"Kai! Your girl fancies me-!" I covered Rio's mouth. 
"Don't listen to him! He's talking nonsense!" 
Kai grabbed my hand away from Rio's mouth and sat between us, frustrated.
"Well, whatever you guys are doing, I'll join you!" Kai was scary. I can tell that even Rio was freaked out.Bookmark here

I successfully made sure that Rio didn't touch any water. He was about to drink a water bottle, but I grabbed it away from him. He looked annoyed, but I had to make sure he doesn't die. 
"Where did you get this water from?" I asked. 
"I just found it on my table!" he yelled.
"It doesn't mean it belongs to you!"
"Is that why you took it from me?!" 
Kai headed over to us with his death staring eyes. 
"K-Kai, are you okay?" I quivered.
He gave me a creepy smile, "Yes!" 
I felt shivers behind my back. Bookmark here

It was the end of the day, and Rio successfully didn't die! I felt a weight come off of my shoulder. I waited for Kai so we could walk home together. 
"Hey, Kai!" 
Kai was oddly quiet. 
"You and Rio seemed strangely close today." 
"Oh! Don't worry about that. That was only a one-time thing." I said.
"Katie, like yesterday, you seem stressed." 
"Don't be concerned about that!" 
"Are you not telling me something?" He asked.
I went quiet, "What?! No! No! I'm not hiding anything!" 
Kai gave me a stare, "You're lying to me again." 
"Kai, I'm not! I promise!" 
Kai sighed, "Okay..." 
"Kai, I also want to ask you something. What did mom tell you when you came to us yesterday?"
"It was nothing important." 
I sighed, "I'm curious."  
"It's nothing to be curious about."Bookmark here

I made it home, and I noticed that I dropped my paper. (The paper I wrote the riddle on.) I probably dropped it while I was walking with kai today. It's fine! I no longer need it. Now I had a few clues on who the culprit is. It's someone who knows I know, Rio. Maybe the person was there at the time when Kai and Rio fought. But there was a crowd there. So it could have been anyone. I exhaled. It looks like I'm still nowhere near knowing who is doing this.
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Ring. Ring. I got the phone call at 12 midnight. Here we go again! I answered the phone. 
"Don't blame her death on me. It's all on you. Maybe if you realized sooner, she'd be alive too." When I heard that, it made me grit my teeth.  Is the culprit mocking me?  The robotic voice continued, " You want riddle number four. Here you go. My favorite dessert is pi, and you better try. To solve my problems and I am hard to eye. If you don't want me to die, make sure I don't fly."Bookmark here

-End of Chapter- Bookmark here

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*If you try and solve my riddles, I'll give you a like on your novel. :)Bookmark here

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