As Carl was digging, he felt his shovel hit something in the ground. It was a box. Carl was stunned. What on earth could be inside this box and who had put it there? His mind was reeling as he lifted the box out from the ground and wiped away the dirt on top of it. When he opened up the box, Carl was stunned by what he found inside. Could this be what he had been searching for all these years?
Jack and His Father Were Estranged
By the time Jack turned 18, he and his father Carl were not talking very often. The two had become very different people. Jack always felt like his father wanted him to be someone he wasn’t. Carl loved his son but had difficulty relating to his son’s interests. As a result, the two had become estranged.
Jack Wanted a Different Life
Jack had grown up in a small town in Indiana but wanted a very different life for himself. He dreamed of moving to Milan, Italy and working in the fashion industry. At first, his parents thought this was just a childhood dream. But as the years went by, they could see Jack was serious.
Jack Prepared to Leave the Country
As Jack got older, he began not only studying Italian fashion, but he also learned the Italian language. No matter what opportunities presented themselves in Indiana, Jack had his heart set on living a very different type of life. He counted the days until he turned 18 and legally became an adult.
His Dad Tried to Make Him Stay
Jack’s dad Carl was very skeptical of Jack’s plan to move to Italy. He thought his son didn’t have worldly experience and could easily be taken advantage of in a big city in a different country. He hoped his son may take things one step at a time and move to a city in the U.S. first. But Jack wasn’t interested in this plan.
Jack’s dream was to get far away from Indiana and start a new life for himself. He didn’t dislike his family per se but he had very little in common with them. The more he dreamed of a new life in Italy, the more excited he got. What he couldn’t have known is that his search for a new life would lead to a shocking series of events that would stun everyone he knew.
Jack Books His Flights
It all started when Jack first booked his flights to Milan. He had been saving up money for years working part-time and summer jobs. He had enough money to get to Milan and had found an employer who would help him get started in his new country. The job wasn’t fashion related but Jack figured step one was just to get to his new home.
Jack Announces He’s Leaving
After getting his work situation squared away and buying his plane tickets, Jack announced to everyone he knew that he was leaving Indiana. Some people were surprised he was actually going through with the whole thing. Others weren’t surprised at all because he’d wanted to do this since he was a boy.
His Parents Worry
His parents, especially his dad Carl, were nervous wrecks. They thought Jack was a smart kid but he was just that: a kid. He’d never even been to Italy and he’d never had a full-time job outside of scooping ice cream or mowing lawns. They worried about him being so far away. And they didn’t have the money to fly to Italy very often.
His Friends Are Jealous
Jack’s friends in Indiana were happy for him but secretly a little jealous. Most of them, if they were lucky, were headed to college in Indianapolis. But Jack was off to a glamorous city in a foreign country. Some of them even predicted his trip would end in disaster and that he’d be back in Indiana before long.
He Leaves Indiana
Then, the big day came: Jack was off to Milan. He said goodbye to his family and friends, many of whom accompanied him to the airport. His parents were nervous about the whole thing but figured that their son was now legally an adult and could do what he wanted. They asked him to call home at least twice a week so they knew he was okay.
Jack Calls Home
Jack made the trip to Milan and began his new job. He quickly found a place to live. It wasn’t nice exactly but it could’ve been worse. He was thrilled by Milan and already loved his new lifestyle. He made sure to call home twice a week, as his parents requested.
Then, He Disappears
As Jack’s parents adjusted to having their son abroad, their worries slowly subsided as they realized Jack was doing pretty well in Italy. His plan so far had worked. But then, everything changed when an entire week went by without a single phone call from Jack. His parents were worried sick.
His Parents Were Worried
His parents didn’t know what to do. They texted him all the time and he never responded. They began asking around to see if anyone had heard from him. Nothing. Everyone in Indiana who knew Jack felt like he’d simply disappeared off the face of the earth. No calls, texts, emails…nothing.
His Parents Debate What To Do Next
His parents discussed what to do next. It didn’t seem right that nobody had heard from Jack at all for one, now going on two weeks. They tried to reassure themselves that he was just busy with his new life and not terribly interested in his old life in Indiana. But then another week went by with no word from Jack.
Three Weeks Without a Trace
At this point, it had been three full weeks since anyone in Indiana had heard from Jack. His parents began to panic. His father began calling the U.S. embassy in Italy to see if there was anything they could do. They said they’d call around to ask if any young American had been arrested or involved in any crimes. But they found nothing.
The Embassy Searches For Him
The U.S. embassy in Italy began calling around looking for signs of Jack. They called his apartment building, but the landlord said he rarely visited the building and barely knew who Jack was. So next the embassy called Jack’s employer. They were shocked by what they learned next.
News From Jack’s Employer
Jack’s employer told the embassy that Jack had suddenly quit his job three weeks ago. They said that the whole situation made no sense to them, considering they’d helped Jack get settled in Italy. They liked Jack and thought he was a sensible young man. But then he simply quit and never returned to the office.
Jack Simply Vanishes
The employer said Jack provided no helpful information about where he was going or what he would do next. He didn’t say if he’d found a new job or if he was going anywhere. They had been just as perplexed by the whole situation as Jack’s parents. They thought the whole situation was pretty odd.
The Embassy Continues to Search For Clues
The U.S. embassy now became convinced that Jack was a missing person. They called anyone they could find who knew or might’ve known Jack but nobody knew where he was or where he’d gone. They alerted all police stations in Milan to be on the lookout for Jack. But so far, they had no info on him at all.
Jack’s Parents Are Worried Sick
As they received updates from the embassy, Jack’s parents became more and more concerned. Their minds considered the dark possibilities of what might’ve happened. Perhaps he’d been attacked or kidnapped or even murdered. They cursed themselves for allowing him to move to Italy in the first place. But then, Jack’s dad Carl received a mysterious clue.
Carl Finds a Clue
One day, while looking through Jack’s room to see if he could find any possible information about where Jack might be, he came across something he’d never seen before. Tucked into one of Jack’s many fashion books was a folded piece of paper. Carl opened it up and was baffled by what he saw.
Carl Investigates the Clue
On the piece of paper was a crude drawing of the backyard. Next to a sketch of a large tree in the yard was an “X.” Carl was baffled by this map. It looked to him almost like a treasure map. But what did it mean? He figured it couldn’t hurt to investigate, just in case it revealed something important.
Carl Digs Up The Treasure
So late one night, when everyone had gone to bed, Carl grabbed his shovel from the garage and went out to the tree in the backyard. Then he started digging. A part of him thought he might be crazy for doing this. After all, this treasure map might just be some old doodle Jack drew one day when he was bored. It might mean nothing at all.
Carl Finds Something
But then, as Carl was digging, he felt his shovel hit something in the ground. It was a box. Carl was stunned. What on earth could be inside this box? Carl lifted the box out from the ground and wiped away the dirt on top of it. He opened up the box and was stunned by what he found inside.
Inside the box was a pile of letters, all of them addressed to Jack. Carl used his flashlight to examine these mysterious letters. He saw on the envelopes an address from Milan, Italy. He figured these were probably letters sent to Jack as Jack planned his move overseas. But then Carl started reading the letters themselves.
As Jack read the letters, he soon realized that they were all love letters. Someone, a woman by the name of Bianca, had been corresponding with Jack. Carl was stunned. He’d never heard of any woman named Bianaca. Yet, she had apparently been sending Jack letters to their house for months, maybe even years.
Carl Wakes Up His Family
Carl went back inside with the letters and quickly woke up the rest of his family. He had them all meet at the dinner table. He said he knew this all sounded strange but he’d found love letters from an Italian woman named Bianaca that were sent to Jack. He asked if anyone had heard of this Bianca.
The Family Is Shocked
All of the family members were shocked by this news. None of them had ever heard Jack mention being in love, or sending letters, or anyone named Bianca. It wasn’t like Jack to keep secrets but apparently he’d been hiding this person from his family for a long time.
They Know What To Do Next
Despite the strangeness and shock of finding these letters, Carl and his family knew what to do next. They called the embassy in Italy and gave them the name and address of this Bianca person. Perhaps Jack had run off with some woman, they explained. Maybe he was at her address right now.
Police Get Involved
The embassy soon reached the local police department where this Bianca woman lived. The police said they’d send two officers to Bianca’s house soon to see if she knew anything about Jack’s whereabouts. Jack’s family waited in their house anxiously to hear back from the police. Hours went by with no news.
A Sudden Phone Call
Then, a sudden phone call. It was the embassy. The police had gone to this Bianca woman’s address. What they learned while there completely shocked them. It turned out Bianca was an alias. Nobody by that name actually lived at the address on the letters. But they did figure out who “Bianca” was.
A Woman’s Identity Revealed
The woman known as “Bianca” was actually named Allegra. But why had she used an alias? It turned out Allegra was the heir to one of the largest fortunes in Italy. Her grandparents had started a famous fashion company known all over the world. Bianca was her middle name and she used it to conceal her true identity.
The Police Interrogate The Woman
The police interrogated this woman, whose real name was Allegra, about the whereabouts of Jack. Allegra at first played dumb but soon confessed what she knew. She and Jack had been corresponding with each other for years. Jack had first messaged her on social media because he was interested in her family’s company.
A Long Correspondence
Allegra and Jack started messaging each other online. Before long, they were talking on the phone. Then they started sending letters. Although it happened online and they’d never actually met in person, they eventually fell in love. Allegra encouraged Jack to move to Italy. But she hadn’t realized how young he was, or that he was only in high school.
Allegra said that when Jack came to Milan, she was shocked by his age. She thought he was in college, not high school. And when Jack arrived in Milan so they could meet for the first time in person, she felt like she’d been deceived. If Jack wasn’t honest about his age, who knew if he’d been honest about anything?
Jack’s Secret Scheme
Allegra said that Jack had only acquired a job in Milan so that nobody would know that he was actually going there to be with Allegra. He figured that once he was in Milan, he would quit his job and get a job at Allegra’s family’s company. But when Allegra found out how young Jack really was, she started rethinking everything.
Had Jack Catfished Someone?
As this whole story unraveled, the question on the minds of the police was this: had Jack catfished a fashion empire heiress? The whole thing seemed pretty strange but in this day and age, it wasn’t terribly unusual for people to meet online and hide certain things about themselves. Maybe Jack had catfished Allegra, desperate to break into the Italian fashion industry.
Where is Jack?
Despite the police officers’ theories, one big question remained: where was Jack? Allegra said that she’d last seen Jack yesterday but that they’d gotten into a big fight. She wasn’t sure if he’d return but she would alert the police right away if he did. She didn’t know where he might be staying. But she had given him some money, in cash.
The Mystery Remains
Despite learning all this information, the police still had not figured out exactly where Jack was. But they figured that the most likely scenario is that he was somewhere nearby, using the cash Allegra had given him to book a room at a hostel or hotel in Milan. So they launched an investigation to see if they could track Jack down.
The Police Search
The police asked every hotel and hostel near Allegra’s residence if a young American male with cash had checked in recently. Unfortunately for the police, there were plenty of places where Jack could be and it might take a while before they tracked him down. But eventually they got some good news.
A Hotel Provides Info
A hotel about 2 miles from Allegra’s residence said a young American had indeed checked in yesterday and insisted upon paying with cash. This young American said his name was Jacob but the police suspected it was Jack. This was too big of a coincidence to be someone else. So they raced over to the hotel.
The Police Arrive at the Hotel
The police arrived at the hotel and asked to be shown to this Jacob person’s room. The hotel manager quickly led them to the room. The police knocked on the door. A young man answered the door and the cops realized right away that it was Jack. They soon got a confession out of Jack. He admitted who he was.
Jack Admits Everything
Before long, Jack had confirmed Allegra’s story. He said that he’d been deceptive about his age because he didn’t think Allegra would want to meet him if she knew he was only 18. He said that he was desperate to get to Milan, that he would be humiliated if he was forced to return home to Indiana.
Jack Breaks Down
The police told Jack they’d been sent there by his family, who were worried that something terrible had happened to him. Jack then began sobbing. He said he couldn’t admit what he’d done to his family. He was hoping to get his life in Milan back together before he spoke with them again.
Jack Calls Home Again
Jack then called home and told his parents everything. They were mostly relieved to hear that he was okay. They told him they would wire him money and to get on the next flight home. He agreed. Jack said he was embarrassed by what happened with Allegra and couldn’t face his family. That’s why he hadn’t returned their calls or texts.
Jack Heads to the Airport
After Jack apologized to both his family and the police, he headed to the airport to catch a flight back to America. Jack felt humiliated but realized he’d let his ambition get in the way of his senses. He had been deceptive in order to try to find a shortcut to success. But the whole thing had backfired terribly.
Jack Goes Home
Jack flew home and was picked up at the airport by his dad, Carl. Carl hugged his son hard when he saw him. On the ride home, Carl said that no matter what, family comes first. Jack could never scare his family like that again. Jack agreed and apologized profusely.
Jack Sets His Life Straight
Now back in Indiana, Jack decided he couldn’t take shortcuts to success. If he wanted to get into the fashion industry, he had to work for it. So he enrolled at a fashion institute not too far from home. And he got a job at a local department store. It was step one in the pursuit of his dream.
Jack Works Hard
Jacked worked hard at both his college education and his job. As the years went by, he developed a real talent and impressed his teachers and supervisors. Eventually, he graduated with a degree and had saved up enough money to make another attempt at going to Milan. This time, he would do it the right way.
Jack Arrives Back in Italy
With work experience and a college degree in hand, Jack arrived back in Milan, years after his first visit. This time, he knew he couldn’t take shortcuts. And he certainly couldn’t be deceptive. He’d learned his lesson and was ready to embark on his new life the right way.
The events of this story are entirely fictional and are products of the author’s imagination. Images included are meant for illustration purposes only. Any resemblance to actual events, places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.