Life has given us a choice.

To follow the story written for us,

Or build a bridge to our own,


The city was prospering; the people were happy, and living peaceful lives. The last thing they needed were two brothers; both ignorant and selfish. Together, they had built an empire of a company, making themselves filthy rich. Yet, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and the company they built together was now not doing so well – resulting in disputes, bickering, and hatred.

At first, it was hilarious to watch. Entertainment.

After a while…. not so much, Soon, their jealousy and anger not only ruined a relationship, but wreaked havoc among the people around them.

As the seeds of anger grew, its vines made of hate and destruction spread as the feud between the brothers grew. It no longer became a dispute over the company; it was a war, a fight to see who the better soldier was.


The city was beside the mountains. On the other side of the other side of the mountains there lived a wise man with his family.

The wise man was much respected, and the people traveled from far and near to listen to his tales. However, like every other family, there was one child that created chaos; it was his youngest son, Stephen. Stephen was a dreamer, thinking about the future all the time, distracting him from carrying out his duties, frustrating his parents. He would lay on his bed all day praying for a change. He grew up believing that when he is of his father’s age, then he will help people, just like his father did.

If his parents weren’t already driven mad by his constant dreaming, his ways with carpentry drove them to the brink. When something in the house was needed to be built or fixed, he would do the job, priding himself as worthy of his skill. However, Stephen’s father did not take pride of his son, just because he could make a few things with wood.

Their oldest child, Amber, was generous, responsible, and always helping her mother in the garden. Amber was the golden child; the perfect example of a hard-working and a well-mannered daughter. Stephen was never jealous of his sister, however there were moments where he wanted the light to shine on him. Their mother was also as hard-working; she would help others and never ask for anything in return. She was as beautiful as the moonlight itself.


The older Stephen grew, the more rebellious he became. He never listened to anyone and took no threat seriously.

.  .   .

For the two brothers, the plant of hatred had grown larger as time passed. Word of the brother’s dispute had reached the wise man’s ears.

.  .  .

When the wise man heard of the news he beckoned his son Stephen.

“My son. You have grown older. It’s time for you to act your age, and take care of some responsibilities. I want you to go to the other side of the mountain and help two brothers resolve their disagreement.”

This has been the first time where his father had asked Stephen for anything. He never wanted Stephen to interfere with his work. The walls of rebellion were crumbling down. Stephen was astonished by his father asking him for a favor, but also wary at the fact not knowing what his father wanted.

His father handed him a bag, which contained 4 pairs of clothes for each season, grains, dried fruit, money and a map. His father informed him it would take a year’s time to reach the brothers’ house. He was determined to help the two brothers so he could make his father proud. Before going to sleep all Stephen could think about was the exciting adventure ahead of him.

As the sun rose, slowly climbing over the mountains, painting the sky red, orange, and blue; Stephen headed out with his bag, his courage and a full blown smile. Before he left, he took three stones to remind himself of his family. A grey stone for his father for wisdom, white stone of beauty for his mother, and brown stone representing earth and fertility for his sister, Amber.

The journey was long and arduous. He passed valleys, prairies, and rivers. He kept on praying that after his long journey, he would be able to show his parents what he did, and make them proud.

The day turned to weeks, and the months turned into a year. Exhausted, Stephen finally reached the two houses where the brothers lived.

Both houses, more like mansions were well-kept. However, instead of a nice well-kept yard like his at home, it was destroyed. There was what used to be a small meadow, that separated the two houses now demolished. All was left is a creek that ran through the middle.

He stayed outside of the house for two days, his ears already bleeding, because of the non-stop bickering between the brothers; on the third day, he finally realized what he should do to bring the brothers back together, and did what he did best, build. He went to a store nearby and brought a tool box.

He walked towards the youngest brothers’ house which he had learned was Ace. He reached his house and rang the doorbell. Ace opened the door…

“Hello, I am looking for a few day’s work. Is there anything I can help you with?”

“Actually, there is. You see that house over there, Well he is my neighbor, my brother actually, last week he brought a bulldozer and destroyed my half of the meadow, he did this for revenge, but I will do better. There is lumber inside that shed, I want you to make a fence that’ll separate our houses. Make it 9 feet tall; I don’t even what to see his house, let alone his face.”

“I think I know what you are asking for. I will get started with it right away.”

“I have to go out today for some business, so I will be out. I would like something done by the time I get back.”

“Alright sir. Thank you, bye.”

With that, Ace left. Stephen began to work; he worked hard all day, nailing and sawing the pieces of wood together.

When Ace came back, he was surprised to see what Stephen had built.

There was no fence at all; instead, a bridge was built over the creek that separated the brothers’ houses.

The older brother, Luke, crossed the bridge and stopped in front of Ace…

Luke stretched out his hand,

“You are quite the fellow for doing this, after all I’ve said and done.”

“Luke, were are not the best of brothers, we will always have issues, but if we keep on fighting, mother might come and pull our ears.”

They both shook hands, both knew that their relationship won’t be same as before. They were so caught up on being mad, that they both forgot that they were brother. They no longer wanted to dwell on the past, knowing they will never take a step into the future if they held on. But, of course it would take time for the bruises to heal.

Stephen gathered his stuff and looked up at the sky. The sun shined brighter, the flowers bloomed with different hues of lively colours, the clouds of hatred and confusion drifted away and the walls built around him crumbed to the ground, leaving Stephen as a new person. He was about to turn back home, when Ace called him.

“Wait, I have more work for you to do!”

Stephen turned around. Smiling and and said.

“I would love to stay, but I have more bridges to build.”

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One thought on “Reparations

  1. Hi Enameka!!

    First of all, I’d like to apologize for my late (as heck) comment. I was waiting to see what blogs didn’t have comments yet so I held it off and eventually just forgot about it as a whole!

    I’d just like to start off with, WOW. I absolutely loved that. At first, I didn’t know exactly what to expect, especially considering the shifts in the intro from 2 brothers to a wise man living in the mountains.
    I have to say, my favorite moments in your blog were your multiple moments of allegory. Like the excellent representation of hate and amplifying discord through seeds, plants, and vines. Also the destroyed meadows in the front yard. I immediately saw your allusion to a destroyed relationship; and with the creek I believe you were suggesting the rift that had formed between the 2 brothers.
    The part I absolutely adored and respected the most was the theme of “building bridges” in people’s lives/relationships. It reminded me of the poem named “The Bridge Builder” and a short story I read in grade 9 with the exact same name. The poem tells of an old man who crosses a swift moving river, which at that time, was at high tide. When he succeeds, he decides to build a bridge. While he is building it, a traveler comes along and asks why he is building a bridge if he has already crossed over. The old man then tells him that it would be kind and unselfish to build a safer way for others to get across the water. The lesson of not to being selfish an thinking of others resonates. Your blog, this poem, and the short story I mentioned before all have a similar kind of concept, except with the short story, it emphasizes more on the concepts of creativity; not conforming to outside influences and becoming who you were always meant to be.

    In association with that, I feel like your short story was a bit, well, short. If you had expanded a bit more on Stephen’s character or given more depth to each of the other characters, it would have been more FULL (sorry I have absolutely no clue what word to use). There was also a time when you snuck in Ace’s name last minute and I didn’t even notice. I realized while I was reading that suddenly one of the brothers had been granted a name. It didn’t ruin the flow at all; I just found it amusing and thought it would be better if they had been identified from the beginning. Since I’ve already embarked on the path of criticism and correction, I would just like to point out that you had a few grammar and spelling errors. At times, this seemed to ruin the flow but never the context.

    Overall, I was inspired in a way to be the person to improve/help other people; not just to remain a bystander and let everyone find solutions to their problems themselves, but taking initiative to contributing to making the world a better place and making people happy 🙂

    If you ever get the chance, the poem and short story “The Bridge Builder” would be great to check out and you would be pleasantly surprised how well they relate with your own blog 🙂

    Thank you for the wonderful and insightful read!

    With love,
    Mama Timi 😉

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