Chapter 12:

Riddle #5

Riddle Night

I was, for some reason, in a good mood today. I got up as soon as the sun hit my eyes. I left my room to eat breakfast, and I started humming.
"You're oddly in a good mood today. Did something good happen?" Lena asked while she was pouring herself some coffee. 
"Not really! I'm oddly feeling energetic today!!"  
"Oh, I guess that's a good thing." Lena then gave me a beckoning sign; she raised her hand with her palm towards me and started moving her finger up and down as if she was telling me to come in closer. "Since you're energetic today, what do you think about us cooking dinner tonight?" she whispered. "We couldn't do it last time because of what happened to you at school. And mom went through a lot so let's surprise her today!" Lena continued. 
"Of course!" I said delightedly.
"Okay, let's head to the supermarket before mom wakes up!" 

We had a grocery store that was near our house. Whenever we were missing some groceries, we would go there. While we were walking there, Lena opened up a conversation. 
"It looks like you have lost a few pounds," Lena commented. 
"Oh, really?" 
"Yes, are you on a diet?" 
"No, I just haven't been eating well."   
"Why? You stressed out about your exams coming up?" 
"Something like that," I said with a nervous smile. 

We then made it to the grocery store, "Let's see, what do we need?" Lena then looked at the ingredients for dinner. Lena and I don't have any experience in cooking; Mom would always cook for us and wouldn't let us touch a pan. Whenever we told her we wanted to help, she tells us that we already have too much on our hands with school. Although our mom works, she always does the cooking without any help. However, she lets us help her with the dishes instead. And since we have no experience at all, we searched "easy dinner recipes" on Pinterest and chose whatever looked good. We chose chicken alfredo pasta that is made in the oven.

"Umm, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, pasta, chicken breasts, and heavy cream. We have everything else needed at home." Lena said. " I'll bring the cheese and pasta, and you go bring the chicken and heavy cream, okay?" 
When I went to the meat section, I saw a girl. The girl looked familiar, but I couldn't remember who she was. I was observing her from afar, but then she noticed me. I turned my head quickly to the right; it would be embarrassing if we made eye contact. I then took what I wanted and left the section.

"Took you long enough," Lena said with her arms crossed.
"I didn't even take that long!" I cried. 
"I'm worried if mom wakes up! So we better hurry up!" 
"Okay! All that is left is to pay! It won't take that long!"

We then got to our house. "Okay, here is the plan! We have to put the groceries in the fridge as soon as we get in!" Lena said on the staircase of the front door. "Okay, let's get in." 
When we opened the door, we sprinted to the fridge. 
"You're making too much noise!" Lena complained. 
"Well, what am I supposed to do?!" I hissed.
"Wait, Lena. How are we supposed to make dinner without mom finding out?" 
".... Now that you mention that-" 

"Where were you, honeys?" Mom said as she got into the kitchen.
We quickly closed the fridge, standing in front of it. "We took a walk!" Lena lied.
"Oh! Lena honey, you like taking walks?" mom asked in confusion. "I thought you hated walking in the morning?"
Lena started laughing awkwardly, "Ha, I am t-trying to make it a habit!"  
Mom then looked deeply into my sister's eyes. 
"Honey, what are you hiding?" 
Lena started to panic. "I uh, I'm n-not..." 
Mom then faced me, "Tell me what's going on."
"Mom, it's nothing!" Lena answered.
"I want to hear it from your sister." Mom said. "She is not good with keeping quiet about things. Now, sweetie, what are you guys planning to do?" 
I then blurbed out everything with my eyes shut, "WE ARE TRYING TO MAKE DINNER AS A SURPRISE FOR YOU!"  I yelled with all I've got.
 I then opened my eyes to see mom's reaction. She looked shocked. 
"I'm so happy!" Mom said with a big smile. "Why don't we make dinner together then?" 

After the food was ready, we took our seats at the dining table. Lena was on her seat, pissed.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"Shut up. You ruined the whole plan." Lena answered with an annoying attitude.
"Hey!" I yelled. "It wouldn't have worked out anyway. Mom would've found out if we were cooking in the kitchen! We live in the same house!" 
"We could have distracted her!" Lena yelled back.
Our voices were becoming louder as we continued arguing. 
"HEY, STOP IT! THAT'S ENOUGH!" Mom yelled, putting her arm between us. 
"But mom she-" 
"Lena, that's enough!" mom was furious. Mom mostly only uses our names when she is angry.  And she also doesn't make lunch if she is angry with us.

"Lena, I was surprised and happy that you wanted to make me dinner. Why are you so upset?" Mom asked. 
"Because, mom, you don't let us help you with dinner." 
"But you and Katie always help me with the dishes-" 
"MOM!" Lena shouted as she started tearing up. "You never let us help you when you are working hard all day for us! You've been working so much, and you're making it harder on yourself! Working, cooking, then cleaning! Working, cooking, and cleaning! I could see how tired you are, mom! And you've been busier these days! I want us to make it easier for you! You look tired, mom! WHY DON'T YOU LET US HELP YOU?!" Lena yelled while her tears were dripping. 
Mom had a sad expression on her face."Honey, I want to be a good mom for you guys. It's because..." Mom then started to cry, "I don't feel like I'm enough. I want to spend every time being a good mom. I feel guilty that I go to work, leaving you guys alone, and sometimes I don't make it home until late at night. You guys don't have your fathers, and that's all my fault. I want to be there for you guys! So making dinner for you guys and not letting you help me is to make up for all of it!" 
"Mom," we said sympathetically. Lena then came over to mom and hugged her. "Mom, you don't have to make up for anything. You are more than enough, mom. You work to support our schools and such. And it's not your fault. So mom, please let us make dinner every once and a while and help you relax."  
My mom then started sobbing on my sister's shoulder. And we all had a good cry together. 

The pasta was great, and we all had a great time.
"Honey Lena, when you guys want to make dinner tell me beforehand, okay?" Mom said.
 "Okay!" Lena was happier than ever as she picked the dishes from the table. 
I was extremely focused on the riddles that I didn't see my mom's suffering. It made me feel guilty in a way. 
Then I heard a buzz on the door. 
"I'll get that!" I yelled.
I saw a familiar man at the door. 
"Hello, I am Eugene from before if you remember me." 
Eugene? Oh! Eugene was a detective who asked me questions about Julie. He told me that  Julie's death was a murder and not an accident. 
"I'm here to ask you about what happened at school with the teacher." 
"It's you again?!" Mom said in a frustrated manner. 
"Hello, ma'am. I want to ask your daughter some questions about the incident at school." 
Mom had a furious look on her face, "Look, my daughter went through a lot! I won't let-" I then gave mom a signal that it was okay with me to answer his questions.  
"Make it quick." Mom said.

"Katie, I have a few questions for you." He said. "Can you explain to me how exactly you almost fell?" 
I inhaled deeply, "I grabbed the teacher's hand before she fell. I then tried to pull her up, but her body was too heavy that I was about to fall, but thankfully, Kai grabbed my arm." 
"Who is this, Kai?" 
"He is my neighbor and friend." 
"Was he there at Julie's incident?" 
"No, I didn't see him."
"You didn't see him in the crowd either?" 
"Very interesting. Was he possibly in the building up high during Julie's incident?" 
"What? Do you suspect him?" 
"He could be a possibility." 
"No, he didn't do it! He wouldn't do it!" 
"Oh, so you believe that Julie was murdered. Do you also believe that the teacher's incident might not actually be an accident?"  
"I heard from the witnesses that you were in a panic looking for the teacher before the incident. It's as if you knew she would fall." The detective then smirked. 
I then froze, unable to speak. Should I tell him about the riddles? But it stopped, he might not believe me! Wait, I still have the photos as proof. I then scrolled through my photos. Where is it? It's no longer there!"  
"Katie, Is there a reason you are panicking?"  
"I- uh..." 
Mom gave the detective a glare, "I won't let you suspect my daughter!" Mom yelled.
"Now get out of my house!!" 
"Very well, thank you for answering my questions, Katie." He then left the house with an annoying smile on his face.
"I can't believe this guy! Is he actually a detective?!" Mom questioned. "His theories are beyond crazy!" 
I was still frozen in my spot. Where are those photos of the riddles?

It was a long day, and I was looking forward to a good night's sleep. My mind was running through a lot of thoughts, so it was hard to fall asleep. 
Ring. Ring.
My heart stopped. It can't be! Is it not over yet?! I checked the time to double-check if it could be the riddle. And to my surprise, it was 12:00 am. I answered my phone with my fingers shaking. " The other comes after me, and loves the number six. I am older, and I love the number five. We go to school, and the man will drive. And from that, make sure we survive." 
I put my hands on my head, stressing about it. Is it seriously not over?! I felt like I wanted to scream. 

-End of Chapter-

*Try to guess the riddle for a like. :)