Shit! I wanted to crawl into a hole. I knew Mr. Moss would be pissed off that I didn’t have my assignment. This was the third time this week I didn’t have my homework assignment thanks to Riddle. I think she is sabotaging me because she knows it’s her dad.
A hesitant cough and a whisper of “Mr. Britt,” had me scared. I looked up to Mr. Moss and squirmed. “Let me guess, Riddle has it?”
I nodded but I didn’t look at him. I kept my eyes on my desk – anywhere from Mr. Moss’ face. Why do I even bother coming to class? Riddle was going to get it after school. She can’t keep stealing my homework! Hell, we have different teachers for crying out loud!
“Mr. Britt, I don’t know what I’m gonna do with you.”
I nodded again, feeling like I was ten inches tall.
“I want to see you after class.”
I nodded once more. I didn’t have any excuses. This was the biggest report for the year and I fucked up.
After collecting all the reports he went right into teaching. I tried to concentrate, but really, I didn’t care at this point. He was discussing the classics – which normally would have me very interested. All I could think about was Riddle and her sabotaging ways. Damn that girl. I loved her to death, but she drove me crazy at times. It also doesn’t help that we haven’t even told Mr. Moss we were dating.
I seldom looked up at Mr. Moss during his lecture. I just doodled in my notebook. I was surprised, though, when I did hear my name being called. I don’t know how many times Mr. Moss called on me, cause when I heard it, he sounded pretty pissed. “MR. BRITT!”
I snapped up to look at him, “Yeah?”
He shook his head – oops. “I was asking you if you knew any classic authors you’d like to do a report on?”
I looked around. Everyone was staring at me. Apparently there was a new homework assignment and Mr. Moss was asking everyone who they wanted to write about. I even read on the board the names of authors correlating with my classmates.
I read the board again, hoping no one stole my favorite author. Jane Austin was up there, Edgar Allen Poe, Fitzgerald, and Dickens. Someone even chose a Lana Tragedy. I smiled and looked at my teacher, “Cocaine Chimeree,” I said.
He made some weird face, but nodded after a bit. It was odd. It was like he didn’t want anyone – including me – doing a report on him. He actually was hesitant in writing Cocaine Chimeree’s name on the board. “Cocaine Chimeree,” he said through clenched teeth.
He turned and faced us all, “Alright who’s next.”
Class ended soon after. I sat at my desk and fidgeted. I wasn’t sure if this was good or bad. Mr. Moss waited till all of my classmates left the room before turning to me. “Isaac,” he started, “can you tell me why you let Riddle look at everything you write? This is the, what, third time this week?”
“That’s not an answer.”
“I guess. . . I dunno. It just seems to build my confidence up if I have her read it first.” I shrugged again. “Sounds stupid, but I just want to make her proud of me, and you.”
Mr. Moss smiled but didn’t let it linger. He sobered and looked at me with a bit sadness. “I understand. But I also have to put my foot down at some point. I just don’t know what else to do Isaac.”
Crap. “I understand.”
“I’ve given you more chances than most, only because it is Riddle. But you also need to take responsibility kiddo. I can’t accept your project, I’m sorry.”
My heart fell. All that hard work. It was my fault, but it still hurts to know that Mr. Moss wouldn’t even look at it.
The door open before I could even protest, and Riddle stuck her head in, “Isaac, you comin’?” She saw my face and saw her dad and walked in. “What’s going on?”
“Nothin’.” I said just as I got up to leave the room. I stormed out into the hall, barely hearing Riddle scream my name. I continued to run out towards the entrance of the school. I rather be somewhere else. Somewhere where I could just cry. I tend not to show emotions to anyone. I wanted to be tough, even though I knew I was the wimpiest guy in school.
I was just taking a breather when I saw that I ran all the way to the fire station. I could hear laughter coming from the big entrance. I looked around and saw my brother-in-law laughing with Scotty. They stopped when they saw me. “Hey kid!” Joey yelled to me, “What are you up to? Shouldn’t you be in school?”
I shrugged. I didn’t want to show weakness in front of Joey or Scotty.
Scott was a tough guy. He got it from his mom’s side. I only met Ms. Conner only once and she made my skin crawl. She had this look of disgust on her face the entire time I ate dinner at their house – like she hated me from the moment she laid eyes on me. Ma says I’m being paranoid . . . again.
I have trust issues. I don’t trust a lot of people. I have never fully trusted Story Moss. I try trusting Riddle, but her actions speak volumes as of late. I know, she probably isn’t trying to sabotage my 4.2 grade point average. I know she and I are still tied in first for the “Top of the Class.” Maybe she was sabotaging me so she could beat me out of the running. English wasn’t her favorite subject, and she knew I loved it more than anything. Maybe this was her way of staying on even ground. Or maybe I’m just thinking too hard on it, and she really didn’t mean to walk off with the biggest report of the year in her hands.
“Earth to Isaac!” Joey snapped his hands in front of me. I looked up and smiled. I didn’t realize they were even talking to me. I was too involved about thinking of Riddle and school.
“Sorry, Joe. I just have a lot on my mind.”
“Like?” They both pried.
“Like the fact that once again Riddle stole my project before I could turn it in. Mr. Moss had no choice but to not give me any credit for it. So I can officially kiss my perfect grade point average away.”
“Dude, that sucks.” Scotty finally said. “Why’d your girl steal your report?”
I shrugged, still not entirely sure why myself. “I don’t know. It’s like she just doesn’t want me to succeed in this class. All my other classes, I can show her something and then she hands it right back. But lately, with Mr. Moss’ class, she just forgets.”
“You probably should just stop letting her look at your reports. When’s your next one due?”
“Two weeks. I’m having to write a small biography on my favorite author, Cocaine Chimeree.”
“Well there ya go kid!” Joey said with excitement. “You know all about him! I’m sure you won’t be needed Riddle’s input for that one.”
I smiled for the first time since I ran out of Mr. Moss’ classroom. “Yeah, you’re right. I know everything there is to know about Cocaine Chimeree.”
Later that night while I was sitting down at the computer working on getting research for my next assignment, I got an instant message from RSGNRiddles, Riddle’s funny little screen name.
RSGNRiddles: Hey, so, I’m really really sorry bout the project. I remembered as soon as I got to class but Mr. Conner wouldn’t let me leave. Gah, I hate him. Anyways, I tried talking to dad into giving you one more chance.
RSGNRiddles: And he said he’ll think about it. I gave it to him, like the other assignments. So cross your fingers.
CocaineFan009: Thanks Riddler.
I pondered a bit and went back to my research. I couldn’t find what I was looking for though. I knew all about Cocaine Chimeree, except one thing. . . I didn’t know exactly when he died. I got all kinds of different dates from fan sites and I even found conspiracy theories about his mysterious death, but no solid facts.
I jumped back onto my messenger.
CocaineFan009: Hey, uh, question – could you like ask your dad where I can find out about Cocaine Chimeree’s death. I can’t seem to find anything out.
CocaineFan009: Riddler you still there?
RSGNRiddles: Uh, yeah, why do you need to know?
CocaineFan009: New report for his class.
It took two hours to hear a reply back from her.
RSGNRiddles: Dad says he doesn’t know. He’s been online searching too. I’d say make up some BS and just source it to one of the many books you have. He won’t know if it’s true or not anyway.
CocaineFan009: Nah, I’ll just write something, but I won’t miss-quote anything. Thanks though.
This just wasn’t adding up, but I gave Riddle the benefit of the doubt that she wasn’t sabotaging my work. I’d never make up bullshit for a paper. I’m just too damn neurotic when it comes to my writing. I want it to be perfect, and that meant even getting the facts straight. I’d comb the library over the weekend if I have to, but I will find out everything about Cocaine Chimeree.
I spent the total of seven hours on Saturday reading, and I was working on the fifth hour when a familiar voice broke the silence. “Mr. Britt, I hear you haven’t left this library much.”
“Yeah,” I closed my book and looked over my shoulder to Mr. Moss. “I can’t find anything on the death of Cocaine Chimeree.”
He smiled and walked to the chair next to me and sat down. “I’m sure there’s a book here or on the internet.”
“I’ve looked. And Riddle said you looked too. It’s hopeless. There’s nothing there. Hell, there’s not even a date of when he died. It just says when he was born and that he was a twin. That’s all! Nothing else on his past!”
Mr. Moss stifled a chuckle, it looked as if he wanted to just bust out laughing. “Well, get what you can.”
I rolled my eyes. “Gee thanks Mr. Moss.”
As the week past, I tried to spend every waking minute searching for answers. There were none. It was almost the weekend again. I wasn’t too thrilled that I had only about half my paper done. I wanted to be done so I could work on the next two rewrites. I’m meticulous when it comes to my papers. They have to be absolutely perfect!
Riddle joined me after class out on the swing set. “Hey, you okay?”
“Nah, I can’t get what I need for this project. It’s killing me I can’t find this info out.”
“Are you still hung up on Cocaine Chimeree? Forget it. You’re never going to find the information.”
“How do you know?”
“Because, I know you. If you haven’t found it by now, you’re never gonna find it. You’re a whiz at the computer. You hacked top-secret files in SIA for crying out loud! If there is no info on the web about this guy, then maybe it was just never documented. Maybe the guy was beamed up by aliens and he’s living the life with Elvis and Andy Kaufman.”
I laughed. It felt good to smile. “Maybe you’re right. I did hack into SIA. Oooooh, did I tell you I found out more information on the guy Delta Nine?” She shook her head. “Apparently he’s been in Africa for like the last two years. I can’t get into all the files though, but the dude has a freaking death wish! He took on like six shooters all at once and killed them ALL!”
Riddle chuckled. “You really are obsessed about looking into this guy, aren’t you?”
“Yup. Halfway done with the first draft of my book. I just want to get inside his head a bit more. Figure out his angle.” I swung over and gave Riddle a small kiss. She kissed me again, this time our lips lingered a bit. My tongue traced her lips and she opened her mouth.
She moved to my swing and straddled my lap as we took the kissing deeper. I haven’t ever made out with Riddle like this. We’ve only just started to date like a month ago, but there was something about her and at that moment I really wanted more. I held her in my arms as I assaulted her mouth. Poor girl will probably have bruised lips.
We were rocking the swing back and forth, she was grinding into me, slipping her hand down my pants. I have never felt so alive! I wanted Riddle right there. That was until I heard a shout.
“RIDDLE MOSS!” It was Mr. Moss. Oh SHIT!
Riddle jumped from the swing. I quickly buttoned my pants and zipped them. When the hell did they get unbuttoned and unzipped? Mr. Moss looked at both of us. I was speechless as he rushed towards me, ready to kill me.
“Daddy, wait.” Riddle held up her hand.
“Don’t even say you can explain Riddle Moss. I’m not dumb. I know what you two were doing, and it wasn’t just kissing.” He looked at me and back at her. “I’m very disappointed in both of you. Kissing, I can deal with, but this. Call me old fashion or someone with old fashion values, but I was hoping that you’d two take it slow. Maybe wait till after you got married.”
Riddle laughed. “Dad those aren’t just old fashion they are ancient values.”
His eyes narrowed. “Home now, Riddle Moss.” He looked at me and shook his head, “I catch you again like that with her and there won’t be a future for you.”
I gulped. What the fuck we’re we thinking!?! I stood there shaking in my shoes and nodded slowly. I didn’t even know what to say to that. Riddle tossed her hands up and made a frustrated sigh to her dad before whining, “Gah dad, you could be so. . . UHG!” She screamed and stormed off with Mr. Moss right behind her.
I went home after that and continued my paper. I also wrote a bit more of my novel. I even got some more juicy details about Delta Nine. Evidently he’s been captured. . . again. Seriously, this guy has some kind of death wish. It’s like he wants to push the envelope. I once read that he tried to off himself after he escaped that Russian prison. Poor bastard. Anyways, I didn’t even realize what time it was until I looked out my window and saw the freaking sun rise. Shit, I was never gonna get sleep now. I had to be up in less than an hour to go to school.
I was exhausted sitting in all my classes. The one class I had with Riddle she had to nudge me awake. The teacher looked upset. Whatever, I wanted to just sleep. Riddle kept me up though.
At lunch we ate and then made out a bit more by the lockers. I know we are moving too fast, but ever since she slid her hand down my pants, I can’t keep anything else off my mind. I want Riddle! We tried to keep it PG in school. We didn’t want her dad to catch us doing anything at all while we were on school property. I honestly wanted to live past my seventeenth birthday.
As the bell rang, I let go of Riddle’s body and sighed. “Well, see you after class?”
She kissed me again, “I hope so. Love you.”
“Love you too, Riddler.”
In class Mr. Moss just glared down at me for a bit. I squirmed in my seat. Did he see Riddle and I making out again? No. Couldn’t have. . . Could he? As my mind continued to spin at that one question, Mr. Moss started talking. I didn’t hear the gist of it. It only dawned on me what he was talking about when he slammed my biography report on my desk. He was returning our work.
I opened it to see what the disaster was. “C.” Should have known. I knew it was mainly because it was late. I looked for the comments in the back. “Late as always. Let this be a warning, no more. As for the project itself, touching. I feel the same by the way. You’ve always been like a son to me Isaac. Hope to someday call you that.”
I wiped a tear and looked up. He gave me a half smile before starting in on his lecture. I tried to pay attention, but his words kept coming back. I didn’t care that I didn’t get an A on my report anymore. It could have been a failing grade and I would still have felt the happiness I felt now.
Now I was determined to go the extra mile with my Cocaine Chimeree paper. I wanted that A, not just because I want an A, but I wanted to show Mr. Moss that I took his class serious still. That I want to make him proud that I found out stuff about this author that no one else knew. I was going to find out the mystery behind the death of Cocaine Chimeree if it’s the last thing I do!
With new resolve I spent the weekend back at the library. By Sunday I was so tired and a bit down on myself. I still hadn’t found anything.
Warm arms encircled me and I felt lips press against my cheek. “Give it up, Isaac. You’re not going to be able to find out about it.”
“I can’t let it go Riddle. I have to do this!”
She pulled my chair back and turned it around so I was facing her. “Come with me, I want to talk to you.”
“Riddle,” I sighed, “I’m busy. I know you don’t understand this obsession with Cocaine Chimeree, but I have to work on it. For me, okay.”
“I know. That’s what I want to talk to you about. Come with me. I know where you can find the answers.” She held her hand out and waited for me to grab it. I sighed and took it. She led me to upper floors and to the very back of the library. I checked out this section a million times. She stopped abruptly and sat down, patting the floor to sit next to her.
As I sat down she pulled out the dustiest book I have ever seen. “What’s that?”
“Just a book. Truthfully I just wanted to get you alone. If anyone heard what I am about to tell you, I’d get into some serious trouble. You can’t EVER tell anyone what I tell you right now, okay. PROMISE ME!” She looked around the isles making sure we were completely alone again. “Promise me Isaac!”
“Uh okay.” I said very quietly. “I promise not to tell anyone.”
“You know how Story is a bit odd? Well she and I are part, uh, Elinthas. We come from a long and old family of this dying race. I’m the fourteenth generation.”
I nodded, not understanding what was so shocking. I figured there was a reason her sister was green.
“My mom is the thirteenth generation. She was born to a time traveler. Her mom died and somehow my time-traveling grandpa brought her back to life – but not completely. Not until my dad. You see, um, my dad found, well discovered, this like potion or something. Anyways. . . My, uh, parents can never die.” She hushed her voice quieter and quieter. “My dad’s over three-hundred years old.”
I sat there studying Riddle. Now she was just pulling my freaking leg. She was just trying to get me to forget about my homework. I sighed, “Riddle, I love you, I do. But, really if you want to be valedictorian next year, just say so. Don’t try to feed me bullshit so you can keep me away from doing my work.”
She narrowed her eyes at me. I have never seen her get so pissed off. “Now you listen here, Isaac, I am NOT LYING!” She ripped open the book to the middle. There, a very old picture of Mr. Moss. “Look at it! Look at who it is! That’s my dad! This book was written 250 years ago!”
I couldn’t deny that the picture was Mr. Moss.
“Now, read the description, Isaac!”
I looked at the title next to the picture, “The Mystery of Author, Cocaine Chimeree. . . An article by. . .” The name was scratched out. The picture held a small caption, “Cocaine Chimeree.” My eyes went WIDE!
Riddle slammed the book down. “Now you know why you can’t find the information you’re looking for Isaac. Cocaine Chimeree hasn’t died. He’s your idol not only in books but in person. He’s also my dad.”
HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!!! My mind was going a million miles a minute. I couldn’t even wrap my head around the concept. Cocaine Chimeree is Mr. Moss! I tried to swallow the lump in my throat. This was too much. This was. . .
I ran and puked in the closest bathroom I could fine. The author that I inspired to be like was my teacher, my friend, and a father figure to me. But why the lies? Why the secrets? I know I have my own secrets and I’m lying about my own identity, but that’s because I had to. It was a matter of life and death – or at least that’s what ma told me. I had to know why! I had to know why everything I know is a lie!
That’s why I didn’t tell Riddle that I left the library. I headed straight for her house. I just had to know why he lied to me. Why he couldn’t just tell me who he was.
Why did everything have to be lies when it came to my life!!! Why couldn’t I be the normal guy, with the normal girlfriend and the normal FAMILY!
I stormed into the house, not even knocking. I headed straight for the office. I knew that’s where Mr. Moss – er – Cocaine Chimeree hid out.
I opened the door and stopped dead in my tracks.
DEDICATED TO THE MOST TALENTED, AMAZING PERSON I KNOW: MAMA BEAR
Thanks Emy for the input and the most amazing idea ever for an ending to this chapter. That was just AWESOME!