Teamwork Across Time
In Manhattan New York there lived a historian and single mother, Disha with her 10-year-old daughter Emily. Emily was home schooled by her tutor, Aaron. Aaron was six years older than Emily. Emily and Aaron shared and interest for Arithmetic. Emily was left brained, she was a lot more logical than artistic, whereas her mother was the exact opposite, she was a natural artist. She had won many awards, but art was only her hobby. They lived in a mansion which they had got as an inheritance from their great-great-great
grandfather and a lot of money for the same reason. One thing that they both had in common was that they loved to travel.
On the first day of their holidays, they were taking a trip around Manhattan in their RV (Recreational Vehicle). Suddenly, it stopped because it was out of gas. Fortunately, there was a gas station nearby. They filled their vehicle with gas and it started working again. Because of their unexpected stop they decided to take a break, so they walked to the nearby Starbucks. Emily ordered a hot chocolate and Disha ordered a coffee, once they finished their drinks – they relaxed for some time and returned to the RV. Disha started driving. For 10min, there was silence.
Disha asked from the driver’s seat – “Emily would you like to get a book from the library.”
There was no answer. Disha thought Emily was sleeping, so she let her be. After some time, they reached home. Disha called Emily, she did not answer – she got scared and looked back. Emily was fine, but she looked very scared.
Disha whispered to Emily – “Why do you look so scared?”.
Emily – “I think there is something behind us.”
Disha – “Don’t be silly Emily, even if there was – how would you know?”
Just then, a loud metallic banging sound came.
Emily – “That’s how I know! I’ve heard that sound atleast 4 times now”
Disha – “How come I didn’t hear it?”.
Emily – “Because you had the privacy screen up”
Disha – “Now forget all that, let’s go find out where that sound came from”
Despite their fear, Emily and Disha were courageous enough to go the back of the RV. They were just about to turn to the boot, when a person appeared. He looked young and strong. Emily and Disha decided that they might as well go home, but as they turned to leave the man said in a deep voice
“Wait, I have something to tell you.”
They turned around and he spoke.
“My name is Kim Lee. I come from Korea; your mansion once belonged to one of my ancestors. She sold to our great-great-great-grandfather. However, it is not the mansion that I want – but something inside it. In the attic, there is an old trunk filled with treasures – not gold or jewels but cocoa seeds which will grow forever. After hearing this Emily thought they should give the old trunk to him – but Disha thought everything in that house was owned by her. So, she said, “Kim Lee, if you want that trunk for whatever reason – you will have to take it from us. This is in my house, so it belongs to me.”
Kim looked like he was going to lose his patience, but he politely reasoned with Disha. Disha
replied, “If you don’t stop asking me for what is mine, I will call the police”
Before he turned, Kim gave them a look. By seeing that look they knew they were going to have
a lot of surprises just like this one – except not so polite. The next morning when Emily was being tutored by Aaron someone rang the bell. Emily / Aaron rushed down to open the door since they usually did not get visitors (especially during tuition time). They opened the door and saw a salesman, who was trying to sell a voice-controlled robot. He was negotiating Aaron/Emily into buying it when Emily noticed his nametag, it stated “Mike El”. She found that name somewhat strange and familiar, but she was a sharp and figured it out immediately.
“Aha” – Emily said, accidentally.
The salesman got suspicious; she could tell.
She saved the situation by saying – “Oh sorry – I just got the answer to a question. Carry on.”
He made a shady face and continued.
“ ”Mike EL” is an anagram for “Kim Lee”. That pest is after us again” – Emily said in her head.
She was waiting for her mother to return from her office, which was a laboratory – where she was a researcher and a scientist. As soon as she came back – Emily filled her in on what happened in the morning. Disha said they should be careful from now on. After that, they slept. But Emily didn’t actually sleep, she went up to the attic to see the Cocoa seeds in the trunk. She quietly went up the ladder and opened the trunk. She saw it was filled with cocoa seeds. Emily was awestruck, since she had never seen so much of one thing in one place. She was still trying to guess how many were there when she heard a loud thud. Almost as a reflex, Emily took some cocoa seeds and rand down to check the house. She and her mother checked the who mansion – but found nothing. By that time, it was morning again.
Emily put her seeds in safe place and went for tuition. Aaron and Emily were discussing the incident that happened yesterday. They decided to join forces and figure out why he wants the cocoa seeds. Aaron was a disciplined boy but who was very curious – so he allowed Emily to skip tuition just today, without her mother noticing. They took their cycles and left to find clues. When they were 1 kilometre out, Aaron’s bike fell down and he hurt himself on the knee. Emily rushed to help and she put a band aid but they were both curious about how he fell down. They checked the spot where Aaron fell down. She found a small book covered with a ragged clothes and the pages were very worn out. Every paragraph was dated. Aaron being elder and more sensible decided to investigate further only after returning home and cleaning up.
When they reached home, they called Emily’s mom to come and look at the book. When she came home, they started reading the book. Everything was normal, except that the pages were all dated back to 1467. Something was suspicious, but they found a paragraph that was quite interesting. It stated:
“My family is in debt. I need some seeds quickly or we might be victims of the king’s men.”
Emily analysed this specific line and said:
“The word “debt” is only used in the case of money. In some time and some place, cocoa seeds were used as currency. We have to figure out the whole story. “
They tracked down Kim Lee, he was in a hotel – not so far from their mansion. He was surprised to see them, but Disha asked how point blank: “Why are you so desperate to get the cocoa seeds. They have to mean something much more than being an heirloom. Be honest and we can figure out something”
Kim Lee said: “Since you have taken the trouble to come here and have been upfront, I will be candid as well. I have come from the past where I was once rich but we lost all our money trying to treat our sick father. Back then cocoa seeds were used as currency “
They made a deal that if Kim Lee tells her everything about the past, she will give him the cocoa seeds. Disha was expected to have a good understanding of the past for her work, but the books and articles didn’t paint a full picture – so she felt Kim Lee could make a huge difference in helping her get a well-rounded understanding of what actually happened. Kim Lee was very happy with this deal since all he had to do was talk!!
Over the next few days Disha had many hours of detailed interviews with Kim Lee to do through the key milestones of the past and understand the lives for important celebrities from the perspective of a bystander from the same era. At the end of her interviews, she was more than happy with the insights she had collected and she was happy to handover the precious heirloom to Kim.
Soon it was time for Kim to head back to his family and time – and in his parting moments he told Disha and Emily– “Thank You for all your help and hope my inputs help with your research Disha. Loved how we came together to solve each other’s problems – now this is what I call Teamwork Across Time!!”
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