“I don’t get it,” I worry, flicking through the pages of the notebook. Its just sketches of soccer fields and players, and writing about soccer.”
“Well,” his mother says with a smile as they walk the short distance from the taxi rank to the Streetskillz facility, “your father was as obsessed with soccer as you are.”
“But what about the treasure? It doesn’t say anything about treasure.”
We reach the entrance and she pulls me into a hug.
“Don’t worry about it all too much,” she says, “once they catch those two we can figure it all out.”
Mr. Naidoo insists that the Streetskillz minibus gives my mom a lift to Aunt Thandi’s house.
“You can’t be too careful,” he says.
I give her a hug goodbye and then watch as the taxi takes her out of the front gate of the facility.
“You ready to play?” Mr. Naidoo asks. “You don’t have to if you don’t want to.”
I can feel anger boiling inside me. I’m angry that The Professor has been beaten up. Angry that two criminals lied to me and – worst of all – that I believed them.Soccer is the one thing that I’ve always believed in, and right now I need it more than ever.
I kit up quickly and run out onto the field where Khaya, Henry and the rest of the team are waiting for me.
“Alright?” Khaya asks me gruffly. “We heard what happened.”
“Ja,” Henry says “maybe you should take it easy Nathi, you’ve had a tough day.”
“Are you kidding?” I say. “Let’s kick some Brazillionaire behind.”
We take our places on the field and face off against the muscular capoeristas. As soon as the whistle blows Khaya immediately plays the ball across to me. I dribble it forward and then thread it through to Henry who is running up the centre of the field.¬†Henry almost reaches the ball, but a Brazillionaire spins out in front of him and flicks the ball to his striker, who takes the ball far forward into the Streetskillz half.
“No!” I shout as the Brazillionaires striker wrong foots the Streetskillz defense and puts the ball into the top of their net.
The striker does a victorious back flip and lands on his feet as his teammates swarm around to congratulate him.
Khaya and I try to get our passing going when the game restarts, but the Brazillionaires are still too quick and again take the ball from us.
When the whistle for the end of the first half blows, its 2-0 to our gymnastic opponents.
I look into the stands and to my surprise see Rose waving at me. I jog over to the edge of the field.
“I heard what happened,” she says with a concerned look on her face.
“I found something Rose. A clue to Silver’s treasure, but I don’t understand it. There’s no map or directions to something that’s buried.”
“Can I see it?”
“I’ll get it.”
I jog into the changeroom, pull the notebook from my bag and return to the field. Rose takes it from me and flicks it open, studying the pages intently. After several seconds she laughs.
“You’ve got it all wrong, lover boy,” she says, “this isn’t a map to Silver’s Treasure… this IS Silver’s Treasure.”