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The Missing Link

 

Carlo Pacelli was the father of two sons, Carlo Jr. and Angelo; he was extremely proud of Carlo Jr., who had graduated from college with honors and was pursuing a legal career, and very disappointed with Angelo who had several minor run-ins with the law, dropped out of college, and travelled about the country bumming off friends and relatives with no real plan for his future.

After a particularly ugly scene in which Carlo accused Angelo of stealing money from his aged grandmother, Angelo had stormed out of the house shouting that he would never return as long as his father was alive, leaving his mother heartbroken.

Not long after that Carlo was dressing for a formal dinner and was stunned to find that one of his favorite monogrammed cufflinks was missing; he was unsure whether his wayward son or the household help was to blame for the theft, but assumed the intent was to pawn it for its 18K gold value since only one was taken.

True to his word, Angelo ceased all contact with his family; his father spent years and large sums of money hiring private investigators to try to find him to no avail, and when Carlo died only one son was present at his funeral.

A year later Carlo's wife became gravely ill, and Carlo Jr. placed ads online and in many newspapers begging anyone who know of Angelo's whereabouts to tell him to come home, that his mother desperately wanted to see him.

Not long after, Carlo Jr. answered the door one evening to find what appeared to be a homeless man asking to speak with him; Carlo Jr. attempted to turn him away and threatened to call the police until the weathered man in ragged clothing stretched out his hand and handed him a single monogrammed cufflink.

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 I'm joining Zoe at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "link"
 
Come and read some great stories and share one of your own!
 

26 comments:

  1. Very good, the prodigal son and sentimentality in one. Great minds think alike!

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    1. Thanks Paul! I loved it that we both even titled our posts the same. :-)

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  2. Such a wonderful story, Josie and so very touching.
    Love,
    Moon

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  3. The only way he would ever be able to identify himself for certain. Well told!

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    1. Yes Mimi, almost like his heart knew that one day he would want to return.

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  4. Oh my goodness, the last few words really moved me. One your finest Josie, well done.

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    1. Thank you, Keith, that means a lot coming from you!

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  5. Nicely done! Kind of reminded me of a bible story there.

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    1. It was indeed a familiar storyline, and a familiar story in real life too, so much more to it between the lines!

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  6. wow... (I mean the narrative was strong and engaging) but the final sentence, eschewing the more direct and (and less imaginative) climax of simply having the son return, instead presenting the emotional connections among the characters of the story (the family). Way, way more effective.
    tres cool
    excellent Six, Miz Shoes, excellent Six

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    1. Thank you, Clark! That's really what I wanted to convey, not the story so much, but what isn't said... that he took the cufflink with intent, and kept it all this time as a connection to family and as a means of identification. It was sad that he didn't make up with his father, but at least his mother's heart will be mended.

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  7. What an engaging story Josie. That he hadn't pawned the cufflink is quite significant for he had taken a 'link' to the family with him when he left home.

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    1. You always understand, Old Egg! That is exactly what was important in this story... that he really didn't want to sever his connection.

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  8. Brilliant story Josie - well done. I'm sad for all the characters in the story . I hope the two brothers can come together for the sake of their dear father and mother. Hopefully, the prodigal has learnt some valuable lessons about how important family is .

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    1. It is a sad tale, Maz. Alienated families are heartbreaking. I think of all the regrets on both sides of this conflict and how much I'm sure both longed for reconciliation at times, I am thankful that he finally decided to return home. Hurts can be mended. The door to home is always open and waiting.

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  9. Sadly, your story is probably true for many families. That Angelo still had the cuff link seems to say he really didn't want to leave completely but still wanted a "link" to his family. Well done.

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    1. You are exactly right, Patricia, he wanted something that still tied him to family, and also identified him. He kept it when he so easily could have pawned it for good money. We so often pay greatly for decisions made in haste and anger.

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  10. What Old Egg said is what I was thinking, too. Very sad and touching. I agree the end is the best part. Nicely told.

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! It is a simple, common story, familiar theme. I like the idea that he intended all along to someday reunite, and at least it isn't too late to see his mother. Imagine her joy!

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  11. Great version of an old familiar story with a twist at the end, or shall we say, "a link."

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    1. Yes, an updated version of a story we all know well. Also maybe a lesson to cool off and think it through before making such rash decisions. I am sure he missed his family as much as they missed him, but pride got in the way. It always does, if we allow it!

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  12. A well written, sad tale. Love the twist on the ending! To me, it shows that for all his flaws, Angelo valued his family ties.
    Visit me @ Life & Faith in Caneyhead. 😉

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    1. agree, Barbara. If he really wanted to make a complete break from his family he wouldn't have bothered to take the cufflink, or he would have pawned it along the way for needed funds. It meant something to him, and said that family was more important than he let on.

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  13. Interesting to imagine him having kept that cuff link through all the years.

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    1. It is very surprising that he did that, he had to conceal it carefully while living on the streets, and he certainly needed money, so it shows how much it meant to him that he didn't pawn it. It was his connection to family, he loved them despite all.

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