3. Letter Puzzle
It's been a week since the paper plane mystery and Riley had put it to the back of her mind after her plans of finding the person were trumped.
Back to causing Lillian an earful of random conversation and borrowing stacks of books, Riley continued in her secluded normality and hiding away in places during classes since she was already ahead of the other students, having reviewed her teachers exclusive lesson plans during lunch breaks and studied accordingly.
Riley sat in the empty, cool stairway working on a 100 piece puzzle. She had only finished a corner of the Alice in Wonderland special and hummed a sweet song as she worked.
The notes echoed against the walls and bounced around soothingly before she started mumbling some words and singing freely, connecting piece after piece swiftly and with ease.
Moments later when Riley was half way done and different lyrics escaped her mouth, the fluttering sound of paper entered her ears and before she knew it a light blue paper plane landed on the puzzle.
Riley gasped and immediately raised her head to look around but the stairway stayed stale and quiet. Riley narrowed her eyes as she looked up at the ascending stairs but there was no movement.
Feeling a sudden wave of irritation at being interrupted once more during her peaceful time, Riley huffed. "You again, huh?".
"I had forgotten you" she said before picking up the light blue plane and turning it from side to side.
The plane was again crafted very neatly and Riley rather liked the colour. She frowned and opened the crease like the last time to see the same slanted writing.
You're pretty slow at puzzles but you have a sweet voice - Ad
Riley's mouth fell agape as she stared at the words incredulously. Did they just mock her puzzle skills!? Riley stood up abruptly feeling offended when she knew out of all her family members she was the fastest and most skillful puzzler, although she didn't acknowledge that that was because she had no friends to further compare with.
Riley felt upset as she gripped the plane tightly in her hand and left the stairwell in a hurry. Who was so arrogant to say they had faster puzzle skills than her? Once again she was unreasonably worked up and had new determination to find this person.
When Riley was gone, gentle steps came down the stairs from the third floor where she wouldn't have been able to see from where she sat.
The person went down to where she had left the puzzle unfinished and stared at it before promptly and quickly finishing it in record time and produced a soft chuckle.
"So what you're saying is your pride has been hurt?" Lillian watched the brunette with resignation.
Riley had come into the library shouting for her, disturbing many people around the area and Lillian had to repeatedly tell her to calm down when she got to the counter. For someone who spent the better half of their time in a library she was incredibly dismissive of the rules.
"No" Riley shook her head. "Of course not because I am the best, no one else can finish a puzzle as fast as me".
"What if there is?" The older lady questioned and heard a loud squawk come from the other.
"Lillian, how could you?! You know how good I am, I've beaten you many times before but there's no need to be bitter" Riley informed, looking at the librarian with pity as she shook her head.
Lillian could only let out a sigh, how did she get mixed up with this student? Every conversation was somehow obnoxious. She looked at the paper plane in her hand that was a different colour than the last.
The older lady couldn't believe she was stopping her work to entertain something like this but she knew Riley wouldn't settle unless you indulged her a little when she was in her worked up state. For someone who was much smarter than the average person and excelled at whatever interested her, she was pretty scatterbrained.
The words in the crease of the plane had Lillian lifting an eyebrow.
"Riley, have you ever thought that maybe this person could be interested in you?" Lillian offered after looking at the note.
She was a woman in her mid thirties who's been through a lot and seen a lot and she knew someone wouldn't do something like this on a whim plus the tone was very warm and familiar like.
Lillian looked at Riley who was busy mumbling to herself but stopped at the older lady's words and glanced at her with deep confusion.
Riley tilted her head slightly, "interested, why?" She asked.
Lillian almost felt bad for saying what she did after seeing the deep furrow of the girls eyebrows. Riley didn't seem like the type that would be aware of something like romance or anything along those lines and the cogs in her mind seemed to have jammed to a stop in wake of Lillian's statement.
The older lady smiled lightly and looked back at the letter thinking, this person will have a tough time, until she noticed something different on the note.
"Riley, look" Lillian slid the paper plane towards the girl who looked down at where she pointed.
"There's an extra letter after A," Lillian said.