The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
by Antonio Prokup
Quiet Friendships
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By Antonio Prokup
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Dec. 12, 2012 11:30 a.m.

Once upon a time there was a beautiful little boy who lived in a beautiful castle. He rarely enjoyed his life because he never was allowed out of the house. Because he was the son of the king, he was not permitted to talk, or have any associations with the commoners in the city. This was the reason for the little boy’s lonely and unhappy childhood.<>
Now, the king had just hired, that very day, a new cook and with him came his wife and son, Noah. The little boy, whose name was Jack, watched with envy as the new family moved into the worker’s cottage connected to the castle by means of an underground tunnel. Jack felt such longing as he watched Noah scamper, excitedly caring their belongings into their new home. Jack wanted so badly to not only talk with Noah but play and run and have fun with him. Unfortunately he was well too aware of the consequence if the son of a king interacted with someone “beneath” him. He had been told that the commoner would be brought to the king for punishment, which then meant he would be sent away to a sort of prison, never to return to his family. Thinking these thoughts, Jack couldn’t risk the chance.<>
As time passed Jack became lonelier and lonelier; which had a significant effect on his health. His sadness and depression led to a loss of appetite and energy. Rumors around the castle were that jack was dying of a lonely heart. Upon hearing this dreadful news, Noah felt like he should help. Recently he had discovered the tunnel leading to the castle. So, one evening he followed the tunnel as far as it went, leading him straight to jacks wing of the castle. As he quietly, crept to the massive door, hoping that it led him to the beautiful boy, his heart was pounding so loudly he was sure the sound was echoing through the whole castle. Slowly he opened the door and walked carefully to the bed. Jack was sleeping, but when Noah touched his leg, he awoke startled. Introductions were made and easily within minutes they were fast friends. <>
Night after night Noah made the secret visits, with both of them fully aware of what could happen if they were discovered. They were so successful in their deception that years went by and no one ever knew the truth. Both boys grew up healthy and strong and both left the castle at the age of 18 to pursue their own lives. They said good bye through teary eyes knowing they would never see each other again.<>
As time passed the beautiful boy, now a handsome prince was forced to take over for his father as king of his nation. Jack married and had a son whom he named Noah. When Noah, Jack’s son, turned five they had a birthday dinner for him in which the castle’s cook prepared a huge feast. While the cook was placing the food on the table, jack noticed it was not the same old cook that had always been in his father’s employment, but a much younger one. Along his side was a small boy with bright eyes and full of energy. When the two young boy’s eyes met, jack immediately knew what pain and loneliness laid ahead for them. So that night as he put young Noah to bed he showed him the secret tunnel and told him that the tunnel could lead him to a wonderful and long lasting friendship. He then walked away leaving young Noah standing by the entrance to the tunnel.<>
Of course, temptation was great and young Noah walked quickly through the entrance. As he walked he heard a noise from further down the tunnel. As the sound grew closer Noah noticed the bright eyes of the cook’s son staring at him. <>
Noah asked, “What brings you here and how did you know about this tunnel?”<>
The bright-eyed boy said, “My father sent me and told me I would find a wonderful and long lasting friendship.”<>
With his mouth dropped in shock Noah asked, “What is your name?”<>
The bright-eyed boy said, “Jack!”<>

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