Author's note: Things gets more weird. It's going to take a few more chapters before the big reveal.
After a short bike ride I arrived at an empty lot in between two houses. The GPS said that this is the right spot mentioned in the letter. I entered the empty lot overgrown with weeds and got to the exact indicated spot. There were no barriers or fences here. There was nothing much to protect anyway.
Then came the challenging part: how to plant a seed. I think I once did that back in elementary school. It should be simple: dig a hole, put the seed in and pour water on top. Right, I could do that. With a bit of plastic debris that's always laying around in the city I dug a small hole, put the seed in, shoveled the sand back on top and poured the contents from the water bottle from my bike on top. There, done. Hmmm. Nothing happened. Not knowing what else to do, I assumed this was good enough and pedaled to the nearest pawn shop.
I entered the pawn shop. That action apparently triggered the torture of something electronic that responded with producing a sound that with some interpretation might be considered a jingling of bells. When my nerves recovered from the nails on blackboard sensation, I noticed greed personified eyeing me, and especially eyeing my lime green cycling outfit and judging me unworthy. Somewhere in the blond and grey beard something started moving, and Greed started speaking.
"Whaddya want boi. It's near closing time."
"Can you take a look at this? I'd like to sell it to you," I said while slowly putting a paper with one of the little balls taped on it on the counter. When his eyes stopped bulging out and swiveling between me and the tiny balls, he ran to the back of the shop yelling "Don't move, I'll be right back." After some repeats of "where is it" he came back with his smartphone, something with spectroscope 2000 written on it on fading letters and a variety of adaptors. After some cursing at the various corporations for changing connectors every year, he got the right combination of adaptors lined up and started scanning the ball.
When the results came on screen he definitely got a hungry look before straightening his face and declaring "Sorry son, looks like these are fake. I can give you a few bucks."
"That's okay. I'll give them to my little sister for making bracelets or something. Thank you for your time." I pushed a dollar over the counter to him while retrieving the little ball.
"Wait! I mean... I can test again, I think it was plugged in incorrectly."
Heh, I thought so.
"Oh, okay," I responded.
He made a show of rearranging his adaptors until they were again in the original position and tested again.
"You see, now it says it contains some gold."
Trying to sound innocent, I asked "Perhaps you can check a third time? Then you can also check the others."
"Others? Okay, just for you I'll test again. Oh, look, now it says high quality gold. It just had to warm up."
"Here, I have a few more," I said while pulling out the other paper with the rest of the balls.
The guy eagerly checked the rest and announced them good quality gold too.
"I'll give you $50 for all."
"They said on the news gold is at all time high. $500."
After some gritting of teeth and some back and forth, I walked out of there with $250 cash. Not bad for an evening working.
I immediately took my phone and typed a message to Jama Jama or what's his name. I just couldn’t remember foreign names. Right, Jayamma was the name.
I hope this finds you in good health.
You have my deepest sympathies for your situation. I have done what you asked and planted the seed on the marked location, it was the least I could do.
With all my heart,
Now to buy some chocolate and go home.
Nothing happened for a few days except we now managed to pay rent on time. That made my parents happy.
The week after the first letter, the second letter arrived. Again, thus one was addressed to Dani without a stamp. I quickly snatched the letter before anyone else saw it. I took it upon myself to get the mail from the apartment mailbox after work just in case another letter arrived and nobody complained.
This letter read:
My beloved Sister, I hope this message gets to you in peace. I can not express my gratitude that you took upon yourself to carry my legacies planted into the soil.
Included in this is more seeds to bring to soil. There is also payment for your efforts.
Very special I have worked my magics. Included in this letter are small beans. Eat one per day. You will grow healthy and strong.
Hoping to hear from you soon,
"It gets weirder," I muttered. Now there were three seeds and again some little gold balls. And seven small raw beans gleaming with an impossible healthy green. "Oh, those look so good."
It was impossible to resist, I had to try a bean. It tastes pretty good, but with an aftertaste that made me not want a second one for now. I hope they worked. Riding my bike didn't get easier with my health.
The locations for the seeds were a bit further out but still doable on bike so this evening I went out again. I went to my favorite greedy pawn shop and brought a little scale with me that I bought for more haggling power when I caught him cheating. It gave me more than enough extra cash to buy beer and chocolate for my parent.
It was still a mystery why my Nigerian benefactor wanted to plant seeds and trusted me to do so enough to send gold. Not that I was complaining, it made life a lot easier. But it was still weird.
This continued for a month. Jama Jama's disease was not bad enough to prevent him from sending more seeds, gold and beans. I dutifully ate the beans and got healthier, stronger and had more stamina. I also lost weight and strangely also some body hair. The loss of the hair was totally compensated by the new muscles I was getting now, especially the first signs of my new sixpack were awesome.
The latest letter I received however had planting spots that were almost beyond biking range. These spots are not in busy locations and public transportation was non existent there. It was also out of the mapped area of driverless cars and we didn't own a car. Time to call the reinforcements. I let my friend Jama know I needed to bring my friend Tom in the game if locations kept getting further out. The next letter had more gold and double the amount of beans. Time for a phone call.
"Hey Andy, get in," Tom said as rolled down his car window.
"Tom, my man. How're you doing?"
"I'm awesome. You looking sharp man. You've been biking a lot?"
"Oh yes, I got a side job delivering stuff and had to do a lot of biking. It did wonders for my cardio. But I've got a couple of new deliveries farther away. I'll need you and your car, but you get a part of the money. Lemme fill up the tank of this old heap of junk of yours."
"I can use free fuel, you know that. I sure can't afford a new electric car, just these old second hand gas guzzlers. This side job of you, it's not illegal, right dude?"
"No worries, all legal. It's just planting some mysterious Nigerian legacy seeds. I'll do that part, I have lots of experience with planting now."
"Hah. I'd pay to see you doing that. You killed all those plants in elementary."
"I did not! After we get some fuel, just drive to the waypoint on my phone. I'll put it on the dash. Then we go to ol' greedy at the pawn shop."
"Why do you have to go there? I thought you were doing seeds?"
"Yes, I just plant seeds. But the crazy part, they pay in gold. Only some grams but that's already worth a few hundred bucks. Yes, really weird. Even stranger is they send me this beans. They even got some for you. They must be full of vitamins and electrolytes because they make you feel great. You should try them. The blue ones are yours."
"That's some story man. I don't know that you've been smoking but I want some."
"Here, see. Gold."
"It looks yellow. Are you sure it's gold?"
"The pawn shop pays in cold hard cash for this. It's solid man."
"Alright. Let's do this. What are you doing with that phone? Have you clogged it again with spyware? You should really stop installing every app you see. Remember when that ransom thing killed your thesis?”
“I almost got it. There, navigation set.”
“Alright, let’s go.”
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