As Li Jie approached his one-hundredth birthday, he asked his son an unusual request, “I will need you to do me a favor after I die.”
“Oh...most certainly, anything, I...will do anything,” said Li Qiang, thinking that this was an ominous and strange thing to say but also seeing the deep conviction in his father’s eyes.
“You must be the first person to enter my apartment on my one-hundredth birthday.” Li Jie continued, “I will need you to collect a letter from my bedside after I pass.” As he spoke his son looked at him with a somber face.
“After you pass?” Li Qiang repeated with surprise. “What’s going to happen on your one-hundredth birthday?” he questioned, dreading his father’s answer.
“That is the day that I am destined to die, son, as described to me in a letter that I received several years ago,” Li Jie admitted to his noticeably skeptical son. “Promise me you will keep the letter in a safe place, that you will not open the letter, and you will be ready to give the letter to the right person when they request it.” Li Jie spoke with more authority than his son had ever heard before.
“How will the right person know that I have your letter?” Li Qiang continued, “Why hasn’t this person already collected your letter?”
“This person will be drawn to you because you have the letter, and in order for my purpose to be realized, I must only provide them with the letter after my death,” Li Jie said with a great passion in his voice, enough to convince Li Qiang to listen to his father without interrupting.