Blue Diamond Mystery
Joseph, Age 12, Inver Grove Height, MN

One day, I was walking in the streets of Heliopolis (one of my favorite cities in Cairo, Egypt) going to school. My school is a French school named Collège De La Sainte Famille (The holy family school), often abbreviated to CSF. As I arrived there, my best friend Richo told me, “Hey Joe, someone came by and left this for you.” Then he picked out a brown paper bag with a hot McDonald’s breakfast meal in it.

“Wow!” I said. “That is interesting. Who might that be? Anyway it is just in time, I am really starving because I have not eaten since last night. Let’s eat it together; we have a long school day.”

Richo and I opened the bag, got out the sandwiches and a small bag of French fries; the food was hot and we began to eat. When we opened the bag of French fries, we were surprised as we found a crystal blue, almond size diamond lying on top of the fries. We sat speechless for a while, just looking at each other with open mouths and eyes. Once we survived the surprise, I asked my friend, “Richo, tell me who brought this and when exactly?”

“A tall, slim guy with green eyes and dark brown hair. He looks so familiar; he came just ten minutes earlier than you,” he replied. I was then looking at this blue stone, when Richo shouted, “Oh, Joe, I forgot to give you this,” and he gave me a black hat.

“A hat?” I replied.

“Yes, the hat of our mysterious man, my friend. It fell off his head while he was in a hurry to leave,” Richo said.

“Excellent, now we have to search behind this mystery,” I said.

“Absolutely and without delay,” added Richo.

Five minutes later, I saw David, Andrew, Freddy, and Omar—our class close peers—entering the school door with their heavy bag packs. When they came closer, they saw the McDonald’s meal!

“Good morning Joe, good morning Richo. I see you have changed your breakfast habit and brought a Mc breakfast,” said David.

“Wait, we didn’t buy anything” replied Richo.

“Really?” said Andrew.

“Correct,” I said.

“So it came from nowhere?” said Omar with his usual irony.

“No,” and I began to tell them all what happened that morning.

“Let’s sit down and think quietly about this strange story,” said Freddy. We all sat down in a circle and we began searching for clues. One came up with the idea to write an advertisement in the newspaper. The ads would ask the man who bought a breakfast meal from McDonald’s on April 1 and delivered it to a student in CSF school to return back to retrieve his lost stuff. We added a fixed date, April 7 from 6:30 to 8 pm, as a time for him to come.

While I was writing the ads, Andrew noticed a written piece of paper stamped to the inside of the breakfast box. Opening this paper, we were surprised; it was an invitation to the most celebrated live show in Egypt: “AL BERNAMEG Show.” The invitation was signed by Bassem Youssef (BY+). At the same time, David noticed that the hat was tagged with BY+ initials; the first letters of the famous TV life show presenter Bassem Youssef as well.

We had seven invitations to this show, one for each member of our school group. David said, “The first mystery is resolved now, but what about the blue diamond in the fries?”
 
“We have to go to the show because it is our only chance to resolve the other half of the story,” Richo said.

“But what if we get lots of homework today?” Omar said.

“Don’t forget, we have no school tomorrow,” Freddy interrupted. At that moment, the bell rang and we went to our classes.

At the end of our school day, we spent some time to plan for that night. Then we decided that I was going to keep the diamond and the tickets with me whereas Richo was going to keep the hat, and we each went home. When I got home, I told my parents about all what happened that morning, but they did not believe me until I showed them the diamond and the tickets to the show.

When it was time to go to the show, our parents dropped us in front of the theater. As we entered and took our seats, we discovered that we were so close to the stage that we thought we were on the stage itself. After a short while, the show began with the appearance of Bassem Youssef on the stage. We were so happy that we forgot the blue diamond mystery.

During break time, my friends and I had a talk and we decided to wait until the end of the show and then go to Bassem’s dressing room and talk to him about this mystery.

The show ended, and we went and asked one of the guards if we could see Bassem for an important issue, but they refused. Our voices were so loud that Bassem came out and invited us to get into his room so we could find out what his complaint was. As we got inside, Bassem turned his face to Richo and told him, “Don’t you remember me? I am the man who gave you the meal this morning.”

“Excuse us Mr.Bassem—” I said.

“No, Joseph, just call me Bassem, please” Bassem interrupted.

“We have a lot of questions to ask you, Bassem,” I said. “First, how did you know my name?”

“Don’t you remember me? I was your neighbor when you were in the US, three years ago,” he answered.

“Oh! Really! But you never came or visited us at that time; we used to have delicious Egyptian food,” I told him.

“I was too busy working on my MBA, just like your dad,” he replied.

“What about this blue diamond which we found in the breakfast meal and you talked about in your show today? Where did you get it from?” I asked.

“I have absolutely no idea; I bought the meal and gave it to you without opening it.”

“What about the hat?” Richo asked.

“I was in a hurry this morning and I did not have the time to pick up my hat. Thanks for bringing it back to me, little man. Now, I think we have to pay a visit to the Mc store from which I brought the breakfast meal. We can do this at noon tomorrow. OK?” Bassem said.

“That sounds great, Bassem. Tomorrow is not a school day, but we must ask permission from our parents to come with you,” said Omar.

Back on our way home, I asked my parents for their permission to meet with Bassem at the McDonald’s near our school at noon the next day for an important issue. They asked me “Why?”

“Did you forgot already; we must solve the mystery of the blue diamond”, I answered.
When I came back home, I went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, changed my clothes and went to sleep because I could not wait for tomorrow to come; in five minutes, I was in deep sleep.

The next morning we went to Mc restaurant. We were so excited because it was our first time to be detectives. We entered the restaurant, sat at a table, and after a couple of minutes Bassem turned around and said, “Here is the guy we want. Let’s go.” We got him by surprise; he was astonished, and then he said, “Hey, I remember you. You came yesterday and took a Mc breakfast meal.”

“Yes, I did, but can we talk for a moment?” responded Bassem immediately.

“Yes, sure! Come, follow me to my office,” said the man as he adjusted his hat. We followed him until we finally reached his office. He opened the door and we all got in.

Bassem began the conversation: “Yesterday, you gave me a breakfast Mc meal, right?”

“Yes sir” he said.

Bassem continued, “We found this blue diamond in the bag of fries.”

The man laughed loudly, “Oh, this is not a real diamond; it’s a false one,” and he showed us a small pack full of blue crystals similar to the one we found.

“What does this mean?” asked Omar.

“As yesterday was April 1, I wanted to play a trick on people I appreciate; it is the fool’s day” said the tricky waiter. We will never forget that day.

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