“It will be easy money!” The sign reads as my eyes catch it. It’s so rare that a flyer on the street actually catches my attention, but this one does. The bright pink sign stapled to the pole makes me actually stop in my tracks. I look down at my watch. 11:37. Shoot. I only have twenty minutes to make it to work on time and I already missed the subway. I look up at the street sign in front of me. 24th AVE. Only nineteen more blocks until I’m at work. I justify going back to the sign by telling myself I’ll speedwalk the nineteen blocks. I backtrack to the sign and read it. In big bold letters, “PLANT CARETAKER NEEDED” is written. Below the huge letters is the line that initially caught my eye. “It will be easy money!” The bottom of the flyer has the perforated slips of paper with a phone number written on them. No one has taken a slip yet, so I rip one off. Working twenty hours a week at the Times Square McDonalds certainly isn’t making me enough money. Just last week I couldn’t afford groceries. I ended up eating a can of cream of mushroom soup with half of a peanut butter sandwich. Any money would be useful right now. I look at the slip of paper in my hand, and pull out my phone to call my best friend, Penelope. She picks up right away. “What’s up? She says.” “Okay, tell me if this is weird or a bad idea. I was just walking and I saw this flyer that said “Plant Caretaker Needed.” Should I call the number? I mean, I already know how to water a plant and I could use the money.” Penelope pauses for a minute, then starts to talk. “I mean, you can press your luck. Sounds kind’ve sketch but you won’t know what you’re missing out on unless you go for it. I say do it. Have you called the number yet?” I’m walking fast now trying to get to work. “No, not yet. I’m gonna let you go so I can call before work. Pray for me.” She laughs on the other end of the phone. “Haha, okay. Good luck. Let me know what happens.” “I will. Bye!” I quickly hang up and start dialing the number on the slip of paper I took. It rings a few times but someone finally picks it up. “Hello?” a woman says on the other line. “Hi, I’m calling about a… plant caretaker position? I saw the flier in the street and would love to learn more about the job.” “Oh, fantastic!” the woman says. “My husband and I are leaving for an eighteen month trip starting in September. We need someone to just water our plants, make sure they are getting enough sunlight, and keep them trimmed, of course. If you are seriously considering the job, I would love to have you over to meet you!” I can’t tell if this is incredibly sketchy or the experience of a lifetime. Well, you only live once. “Sure, I would love to meet you!” “Great! I live in midtown, I will shoot you a text with the address. Would you be able to come over right now?” I think about work. I’m supposed to be there in five minutes. But I also remember what Penelope said on the phone earlier. You won’t know what you’re missing out on unless you go for it. “Yes, I’m available now!” I say. “Perfect! I’ll send you the address!” “Thank you! See you soon!” I hang up and take a deep breath. This seems pretty risky. I check my bag to make sure I still have my emergency pepper spray in there. Yup, got it. I got the text with the address from the woman on the phone, followed with another text. “I will meet you in the lobby to make sure the doorman lets you up.” Wow, a doorman? I thought to myself. I’ve lived in New York for a year now and have never encountered a doorman.

I make it to the building, and walk through the revolving doors inside. The place is fancy. Marble lines the floors and walls, and there is a chandelier hanging from the tall ceiling. I don’t see anyone here besides the doorman. He must be able to tell I look confused, because he approaches me. “Hi, may I help you?” I start to wonder if I had the wrong building. “Hi, I’m here to meet someone. She said she’d–” I get cut off by the elevator dinging and a woman frantically running out. “Hi! She’s here for me! Sorry I’m late!” This is my first time seeing the woman from the phone and I sigh of relief when she isn’t actually some sketchy creep. “No problem!” I say nervously. “I just got here.” “Great, let’s head on up, shall we?” she says. I agree and we step into the elevator.

“We haven’t officially met”, the woman says as she puts her hand out to shake mine. “I’m Heidi. Nice to meet you. I’m so glad you called about the job.” I shake her hand. “I’m Daphne. I’m surprised no one else took a tab off of your poster. Easy money? Who would pass that up?” I let out an awkward laugh as we ride the elevator. Only on floor 16. The 97 button is lit up. Still a long ride ahead. “So, here’s a basic rundown of the job. I can go into more detail when I show you around.” I nod. “My husband Greg and I are going on an eighteen month long trip to Europe. We need a ton of different people to take care of the place, but you’re the only one who responded to the ad. All you’d do is come in every day or two, and water the plants and make sure they’re getting enough sunlight. It’s pretty simple. If we ever get any takers on the other housekeeping jobs then you might encounter a few other people. It really wouldn’t take more than fifteen minutes a day. And for the money, Greg and I were thinking seventy. Does that seem fair to you?” “Oh, yes! Seventy dollars a week is perfect!” The woman chuckles. “Oh, sorry. I meant seventy grand for the whole eighteen months. My mouth drops, and the elevator dings. “We’re here!” Heidi says, cheerfully.

I’m still mind boggled over the fact that I would make seventy thousand dollars watering plants. I barely make thirty a year at McDonalds. I step out of the elevator, and stop for a second. There’s no hallway. The elevator goes straight into the apartment. We are in a whole different tax bracket I think to myself. “So, we do have the penthouse in the building, so no need to worry about upstairs neighbors! Speaking of that, I’ll get you a spare key for the elevator. You’ll need it to get up here.” I’m still just starstruck by the penthouse. Tall, floor to ceiling windows line the place with views of central park on one side and times square on the other. Everything in here is modern and luxurious. I walk over to the kitchen where Heidi is. “I’ll show you around, and let you know where everything is.” I nod and still gaze over the place. Holy. We start walking. She shows me around the place, making sure to point out where all the plants are.where all the plants are, the bathrooms, the four bedrooms, cleaning closets, etcetera. At the end of the tour, we stand back in the kitchen. “So what’s the verdict? Can you commit to the eighteen months?” I stutter as I nod my head yes. “Fantastic! I have one more question to ask. Would you be willing, and you can completely say no, but would you be willing to fill the other housekeeping jobs too? Since we won’t be here it will be very easy. Just cleaning, taking in our mail, basically just making sure things are good around here. We would increase your pay as well. Also, we would be willing to lend you the guest room for the eighteen months, so you could be a live-in housekeeper. For the entirety of the eighteen months, we were thinking a good starting pay would be three? That is, three hundred thousand, of course. With the room included.” I just stare at her. What? “Oh my god. I can definitely do that for you. “Great!” She walks around the corner and comes back holding a few pieces of paper. “I have a couple of contracts for you to sign” she says as she puts the papers out in front of me. I gleefully sign away. This is the best job of my life. I thank her profusely. “No, thank YOU. This is so appreciated. There is one more thing though.” Still dumbfounded by the job I just got, I cheerfully go along. “Yes! Anything!” “I need you to kill my husband.”