Mommy’s Precious Treasure, I’ll never forget those three words. One day my wife scheduled a day to go around the area with a Realtor and look at some homes for sale. We love to spend days like that, whether we are truly looking for a house or not. That afternoon we bounced from one nice home on the river to another. On the way home in the car, my wife pulls out a book from her jacket pocket. I asked her what it was and she said when she used the bathroom at that last house, she was being nosy and found a diary in the cabinet that was written by the boy who used to live at the home. While we were driving home, she started to read it. About halfway back home, she starts to tell me that the diary had a treasure map in it.
I said, “Treasure map?”
She said, “Yes and that the diary said that the X marking the spot was in the backyard of the house by the birdbath.”
I wondered aloud what kind of treasure it was and my wife said all the book kept saying was that it was, “Mommy’s precious treasure.” I asked my wife what he thought that meant and she said whatever it is, it must be something big for him to bury it in the yard and create a treasure map. When we got home, my wife could not drop the subject or her curiosity about what was buried in the backyard of that house. She begged me to go back there when it got dark and dig it up. I told her I couldn’t just go up to some house in the dark and walk around to the backyard and start digging. I said either I’d either be shot or someone would see me and call the cops.
She said, “Not if you approach it from the river.”
I asked her how I would do that since we did not own a boat. She told me to go rent one. I couldn’t believe my ears; my wife really wanted me to go see what was buried there. We went around and around over this until she broke me down and I agreed to go check it out.
I decided to rent a kayak so nobody would hear an engine to a boat approaching. I could just paddle right up to the backyard, get out of my kayak and go dig around the birdbath that sat in the backyard under a tree. As long as the next-door neighbors did not see me, I figured I could probably pull this off. So we hatched our plan, sat down, and used Google maps to figure out which house was the right one from approaching it by the river and not the road. Once I turned the kayak down this one canal, it was the sixth house on the left. I went and rented the kayak, waited for it to get dark and then dropped it in the river from a public boat ramp. I had to paddle a little over two miles before I got to the canal that I needed to turn down. As I approached the house, I started counting the homes until I got to the sixth one. I pulled the kayak on to the grass of the backyard and started walking in the dark up this incline towards the birdbath that was under the tree. I had a hand held shovel and I got on my knees under the tree and started digging around the birdbath. I was digging all around the birdbath when my shovel hit a metal box and made this huge sound. From the next yard, I heard a man that said aloud, “Hey! Who is over there?”
I quickly dug out the box. It was about the size of a cigar box and it was taped shut with what felt like duct tape. I grabbed up the box very quickly and started to make my way back to the river. I heard the neighbor shout to his wife to let the dogs out and I started to run. I jumped in the kayak, pushed off the bank, and started to paddle as fast as I could. As my kayak disappeared into the darkness, I could hear what sounded like at least three dogs barking like crazy. I made my way back to the boat ramp hoping the cops were not there waiting for me. I pulled up to the dock and quickly got out of the water and tied the kayak to the top of my minivan. I got behind the steering wheel and drove off with my heart pounding. I placed the box in the passenger seat next to me and started to drive home. I could not believe what was happening. I felt like I was in some movie or something. Not only did we find a treasure map, but also the freaking thing was real. I even found the “X marks the spot” place and truly found something there. I was getting more and more excited wondering what was in the box. What was mommy’s precious treasure? What was it? What is in this box? I would not open it without my wife. She is going to wig out when I bring this home.
Right about the time, I was getting ready to turn down the road towards our subdivision, suddenly, a cop car pulled up behind me and turned his lights on. I completely freaked out and started to sweat. I pulled the van over and as he walked up to my window. I put the box under my seat in a way that, hopefully, the cop did not see. He walked up to my window and asked me if I knew why he pulled me over. I kept thinking of the box, the neighbor with the dogs and wondering if I left any evidence behind. The cop told me that he pulled me over because my kayak was about to fall off my roof because I tied it down poorly. I thanked him and I got out of the van and retied the boat down properly. The cop drove away and I was shaking from head to toe. I got back in the van, drove home, and walked through the front door to find my wife there in the living room pacing back and forth waiting for me.
I handed her the box and said this was what was buried in that yard. She ran to go get a knife to cut the tape off to get in the box. Once we had the tape seal broken, we both just looked at each other and then my wife slowly opened the box. We both just stared down at it. She placed it on the coffee table and we just sat on the couch staring at it. I could not believe my eyes. Inside the box was a piece of paper. I pulled it out and read the words out loud.
In large caps, it said, “10% off any book by C. Rich”!
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