February 23, 2015

Faces of Success

Despite their differences, Roy, Dennis and Gilbert have been friends since they were young. Roy was a handsome boy whose parents own the oldest and biggest bakeshop in town. Dennis was the sturdy son of wealthy rice growers and Gilbert was skinny being the son of an ordinary employee. But what Gilbert lacked in looks and body, he made up in brains as he was the smartest of the three.  But since childhood knows neither wealth nor poverty, the three remained friends until they got older.
On the night of their high school graduation, Roy, Dennis and Gilbert, each with a beer can in hand toasted for their future. Roy was to help his father manage the bakeshop, Dennis was to work in the farm while Dennis, with no business to help manage and no land to help grow anything, declared his intention to enroll to the state college. It was his only best shot to make a better life for himself.
Years had passed and the three friends constantly got  in touch with each other. Gilbert was sincerely happy to see his friends doing well with what they do. Roy opened a new and his own branch of  the bakeshop in another town, and in celebration of his success, paid for their drinks and food.
More years had passed and Dennis made the biggest deal of his agricultural career so far. He made the highest net income among all the farm owners in town and the three friends toasted for his well deserved success.
Gilbert, on the other hand, was still struggling with his education working as a gasoline boy to help himself through college. But despite his friends’ successes, Gilbert wouldn’t accept any financial assistance from them but was overjoyed to have their hand-me-down polo shirts and pants. It seem like having their discarded wardrobes would rub off their luck on him.
Another year went by and Gilbert finally graduated from college. His friends, despite his protests, spent lavishly to celebrate his success. Gilbert was overwhelmed with gratitude, not only for making it through college but for the blessing of real friends.
But after that, the friends found it difficult to spend time together. Roy had been having problems with the other bakeshop and had to close it down, Gilbert was barely getting even for the past several planting seasons, and Gilbert was busy with his new job. They haven’t even noticed that years flew by without their usual get-together
Then, the trial began when Roy’s bakeshop, which was also his place of residence, caught fire. Dennis was the first to arrive by his car followed by Gilbert on his motorcycle and together, they stood by Roy as he watched his lifetime of hard work went into flames and turned into ashes. Dennis offered his house to Roy and he graciously accepted.
Things turned out pretty well. It took Roy some while to get over the blow but with Dennis and Gilbert’s help and encouragement, he started all over again. But just when he was about to start rebuilding his house and bakeshop, a strong typhoon hit the country and destroyed all Dennis’ crops and his and other people’s houses.
Now, it was Roy and Gilbert who stood beside Dennis as he wept over millions worth of rice which would never be sold.
Miraculously or probably because it was built between two towering houses, Gilbert’s house withstood the raging storm and except for one missing window shutter and flooded kitchen, his house was fine. He invited Roy and Gilbert to stay with him temporarily while Roy’s house was being rebuilt.
For months, the three friends lived together. They played cards together, dreamed together, planned together as they used to do when they were young. After a few months, Roy moved to his newly built house and Dennis to his newly repaired one.
Gilbert’s house might be the smallest and ugliest, but his was the place where they started all over again, making it the most special house of all.
 (Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)

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