With a groan, Jack lifted his arm from his eyes and checked the alarm clock on his bedside table.
‘Great. Just fantastic. It’s not even morning yet. And I have to haul my ass out of bed to do heaven knows what this time’ He said to himself.
He really needed to move out of his mother’s house and do something with himself. It’s not like his family was impoverished or anything. But he just couldn’t swallow the notion of depending on his Mum this long. It had been five years since he got his degree in Accounting but he couldn’t get a job. Initially, It was okay. He just finished college – barely 2 months, and in his mind, the perfect job was going to waltz in any minute now. It kept on being ‘any minute now’ till he found himself with no source of income and no place to stay. Then, he moved in with some friends for a while. But, they had lives of their own and down the road, he became more of a burden. At least, that was what he thought. It wasn’t like he wasn’t doing anything while he stayed with them. He helped out with part of the bills with small jobs he held on the side, but it wasn’t enough and they could only help him so much. Plus, he had dignity. He had pride. He decided to move in with his Mum in order to try and save money he would use to move to the city where the market was. He needed 20 grand. So far, he had 10. But that was 10 grand in 5 years. He didn’t know if he could go on like this for another 5 years. So here he was, Jack Bolderman. Degree holder turned freelance accountant/ taxi driver/bartender.
Shaking his head, he was brought back to the present by his Mum’s shouting.
“… THAT’S WHY YOU HAVE TO GO OUT AND GET THE SCARVES AND THE LINEN CLOTHS BEFORE IT’S 7 A.M. DID YOU HEAR WHAT I SAID? JACK? JACK ALECK BOLDERMAN! YOU BETTER NOT BE IGNORING YOUR MOTHER!”
“Mum, stop shouting! I’ll be up in 10 to get a list of all the stuff you’re going on about.”
Looking around his mother’s basement, his eyes fell on his late Dad’s antique typewriter and record player. As the only child, most of his Dad’s personal things had been given to him when he died. He had sold some of the antiquities over time, but of the remaining, these had the most value. In as much as selling them would hurt, he was just going to see how much both would go for and just maybe, he’d be able to get his life sorted sooner than in the next 5 years. He liked to think his Dad would want him to get his act together, even if at the expense of his record player and typewriter.
Out in the town, Jack had been marketing his Dad’s things for over 2 hours when he met an elderly man (probably in his 80’s) dressed in khaki coloured pants and a green plaid shirt, topped off with a muddy brown messenger cap. The man had introduced himself as Jon Smith.
“How about I give you some fruits for what you’ve got there” Jon said.
Trying to be polite in his frustration with how the day had gone so far, and how he had been on his aching feet for close to four hours now, Jack looked the man in his face with a grim smile that was the exact opposite of the toothy grin Jon was sporting. It seemed old man Jon was having a blast with this.
“Sir, I think you are a bit confused. I am not looking to sell my late Dad’s antiquities for a bunch of apples, bananas or any fruits you might be talking about. I think they worth more than that”. Turning away, he heard the man following him.
“You don’t understand son. Those things you have there are probably worth 7 or 8 grand tops. But, I recognise the man you are now to be wanting to sell your Dad’s things. I used to be that man. So to give you a little booster, how about i give you 12”.
Jack stopped in his tracks and turned to face the man to see if he was serious. The guy seriously didn’t look like someone that had that kind of money, so he was a tad skeptic.
“So you mean to tell me, you are going to give me 12,000 dollars for these things. And you happen to be able to give me said money today.” He didn’t say it like a question.
“Yes, of course. As long as you follow me to the bank, we’d get everything sorted”.
Still in doubt, Jack followed the old man to the bank and watched in amazement as 12 grand was wired to his account for things that actually worth 6,000. That was double what he had expected coming out of his house today.
Having finished the transaction, the man turned to Jack and said;
“Just a piece of information about what I said earlier. Every income you get is most times a fruit. Sometimes, people eat the whole fruit plus the seeds and end up with nothing for the future. Sometimes, people take the gifting as just seeds and plant everything, but have nothing for the now. You came out today with expectation of like I said, 8 grand tops. But now, you have even more. Translation: more seeds for you my friend. Use ’em wisely. Don’t eat the fruit and the seeds”.
With that, the old man walked out of the bank with his purchases, leaving Jack staring at the swiveling doors long after his retreating form was gone.
Fee fie fo…farr
I smell the blood of a rising star.
The giant says ‘you can’t go very far’
I tell you, he’s no giant but a giant liar
- Image: Jack and the Beanstalk by Pedro Bascón