The day was finally here, he’d planned an epic send off for himself, by twelve year old standards anyway. His friends would arrive in about two hours, and everything was perfect. They’d have a football match in the garden, a barbecue with all his favorites from both the US and England, an outdoor screening of his favorite film Spy Kids and finally an Xbox One Rock Band Concert to keep his parents up all night. It was going to be an awesome night.
As he bounded up the stairs to finish up the last minute packing, he could hear his parents arguing from inside their room. He crept up the stairs one by one on his tiptoes trying not to make a sound. Ever since the company decided to move the family to China, they had been fighting a lot.
As he made it to the end of the hallway where his bedroom was, the arguing stopped and his father came out of the bedroom slamming the door behind him. “Dad is everything ok?” asked Micha
“Yes, but I need to leave immediately for China” said his father
“But, but Dad, tonight is my party and tomorrow is the championship game” Micha said as if he had any chance of changing his father’s mind.
“I understand, but there is a vote that I need to ensure goes the way Trillium wants. I’ll be back in time to fly to China with you and your mother in a few days.” said his father as he grabbed his coat and umbrella and headed out the door.
At twelve years old, it was hard for Micha to understand why his father traveled so much? Why couldn’t Trillium send someone else? Didn’t his father know how important this party and the championship game we’re to him?
As he continued down the hallway to his room, he could hear his mother weeping from behind her bedroom door. Surely his father’s quick departure had a lot to do with her crying. Micha knocked ever so lightly on the door, almost as if he didn’t want his mom to hear him.
A short, tear filled “yes” came from behind the door. “Mom are you OK?” asked Micha
“Give me a few minutes Micha and I’ll be down to put the finishing touches on your party. OK?” she said as she tried to control her emotions.
Micha left the door and went into his room and flopped down on his bed and grabbed his phone. His Snapchat was filled with new messages all from his friends excited about the party tonight. As he began to responds his mom poked her head into the room. It had been nearly ten minutes but he could still tell she’d been crying.
“Micha, have you finished packing yet, you know we’re leaving in four days.” she said.
“Are you OK mom?” he responded. “I could hear you crying.”
“Yes Micha, I’m fine just a bit upset that your father had to leave so unexpectedly. I was really counting on him to help corral all of you tonight, but we’ll be fine. Now, please finish the packing your friends will be here soon. Please don’t forget to check the back of your closet”
Micha hopped off his bed and began to throw stuff into the boxes with no rhyme or reason to what when in each box. Books mingled with toys, soccer trophies mixed in with Nerf Guns. If he was going to pack, he was going to pack quickly so he’d be ready when his friends arrive.
As he finished up the packing he remembered his mother’s last words “check the back of your closet”, he was short on time as his friends would be arriving in thirty minutes or so. Over to the closet he went, all his clothes were packed except what he needed for the next few days. The top shelf was empty too. His house being fairly old even by English standards has long but not too deep closets, meaning they went back running along the wall for several feet, in his case about six feet deep.
As he reached for the pull string light, to light up the back of the closet he tripped a bit, pulling the string as he stumbled to the floor. As he lay there in the floor he saw loose baseboard against the wall. His first thought was that he’d broken it as he fell, but there was at least an inch of dust built up on it so that couldn’t have been the case. He struggled to his knees and peered at the baseboard, should he try to fix it. As he looked closer, he could see something was pushing the baseboard away from the wall. It looked like a manila envelop in a ziploc bag.
“Should I try to get it out” Micha thought to himself. Of course he should, Micha loved adventure and a mysterious package behind the wall was just the type of thing that could start any mystery. As he pulled gently on the baseboard with one hand, he used his other hand to drag the package out.
It was a large manila string tie envelope fat with stuff inside.. “Who’s was it, and how long has it been in his room?” he wondered. “Should he bring it down to his Mother or just open it up?” It reminded him of the beginning of “The Goonies”, an 80s film about kids who go on a treasure hunt for One-eyed Willy after finding an old map in the attic.
He had to open, just then his mother called up to him. “Micha, your friends are arriving.” He quickly stuffed the package back into the wall, it would have to wait until later.