Twin brothers Jack and Rick have a feud one day, leading to them parting ways forever. What will their fate hold years later when one of the brothers, who is now rich, comes across his twin begging in front of a restaurant?
The library exuded an air of sophistication with its tall mahogany bookshelves, filled to the brim with thick volumes. In the center of the room stood a sturdy hardwood table, surrounded by three elegant red velvet chairs. This was the sacred space where Jack and Rick’s beloved Grampa Samuel imparted his wisdom to them each evening.
Growing up, the brothers’ lives were immersed in a literary world due to their grandfather’s insatiable appetite for reading. With their parents consumed by their own jobs, Samuel, their sole relative in the city, took on the responsibility of caring for the boys.
Although Rick and Jack held genuine affection for their Grampa Samuel, they possessed mischievous streaks that often led them to test their grandfather’s patience. It became a favorite pastime for the siblings to find ways to provoke him.
“Grampa! Grampa! Look, there’s something behind you!” they gleefully exclaimed, seizing every opportunity to play tricks on their unsuspecting grandfather.
As Grampa Samuel puzzled over what might be lurking behind him, the mischievous boys would take advantage of the distraction to slip away from the library. It was evident that their appreciation for books and reading did not match their grandfather’s passion for his extensive collection.
Nonetheless, the distinguished gentleman’s greying hair was not a result of a single night’s passing; rather, it bore witness to the varied experiences, both highs and lows, he had encountered throughout his lifetime. While his grandsons engaged in their playful antics, Grampa Samuel was quietly formulating a plan to instill discipline in them.
One evening, he summoned the boys to the library and declared, “Alright, boys. I have something important to share with you. From this day forward, whoever joins me in the library and patiently listens as I read will receive the most extraordinary Christmas gift each year! Those who choose not to partake will return home empty-handed!”
The two young boys exchanged glances, and from the next evening on, in their greed for the best Christmas present, they began studying in Samuel’s library alongside him. But then life happened, and Samuel started getting old and frail and eventually became terribly sick.
His feeble limbs could no longer hold the large, heavy books he used to read to his grandsons, and somewhere he knew his time had come. So in his last days, he spent as much time with his grandsons as he could.
One fateful day, Samuel, while engrossed in reading a book to Jack and Rick, drifted off into an eternal slumber. His unwavering love for books endured until his final breath, and his departing words to his grandsons echoed in their minds: “Within books lies wisdom, and wisdom is the true treasure, my boys.”
Unbeknownst to Jack and Rick, years had slipped by in the absence of their beloved Grampa Samuel, and they had grown into adults who did not share his fervor for books and the pursuit of wisdom.
Their parents had managed to establish a modest family business, which had been sustaining them. However, in recent years, the business had been facing financial struggles, prompting their parents to gather their children for a serious discussion.
“Our savings are nearly depleted, and we can’t continue in this manner,” their father confessed helplessly. “We need your assistance, boys.”
“Dad,” Jack interjected, voicing his concerns. “Neither of us has attended college, and we have no knowledge of how to operate a business!”
“Sometimes in life, your circumstances push you to do your best, Jack,” his father said. “I’m relying on my sons because, frankly, your mother and I don’t think we can support you any longer.”
Jack and Rick had been brawlers almost all their adolescent years, and their father suddenly asking them to shoulder the responsibilities really worried them. How would they do it when they never had to lift a finger for anything?
“I think it’s time we resort to Grampa’s library, Rick,” Jack said one evening. “He has so many books there, and we’ll surely find something that’ll help us. Anyway, we can’t afford college, and we screwed up the scholarship thing last time.”
Rick shrugged. “You’re not serious, right? Jesus! Don’t tell me you are!”
“What do you mean? Of course, I am!” Jack insisted.
“You really think reading a few books will make us so smart that we’ll be capable of handling Dad’s business? Even Dad, who has so many years of experience, couldn’t do it, Jack! How will we?”
“Well, we gotta try!” Jack said. “You can’t just sit here and hope for a miracle to save the business!”
“Best of luck, brother!” Rick grinned. “But I’m not up for studying the books Grampa read us. It was so hard to escape it, and I’m not going back there! I’m done with that crap!”
A few days later, Rick was gone. Vanished into thin air. When Jack returned home that day, he found his mother sobbing over their stolen savings; then she discovered a note in Rick’s room saying he was tired of poverty and didn’t want to be a loser, staying there and attempting to save his father’s nearly bankrupt firm.
Jack was left alone with his aging and helpless parents, a collapsing business, and no idea about what to do next.
But there was one thing he still had: Grampa Samuel’s books.
When Jack visited his grandfather’s old library, the sight of the dust-covered books brought tears to his eyes. They’d been so happy playing, reading, and spending time with Samuel there. Oh, how he missed those days now!
Jack looked around for a duster and tidied a few shelves before choosing a book to read. As he opened it, he was surprised by what he found inside. A $1 bill affixed to the thin, yellowed crisp sheet stared back at him.
“Did Grampa keep his savings in his beloved books?” he chuckled as he leafed to the next page. Another bill? As Jack flipped to the next page and the next, he found several dollar bills inside.
He couldn’t believe his eyes for a moment. Did all the books here have money in them? To verify, Jack chose a few books at random and actually found money in them!
Why did Grampa keep his money here? he wondered. There’s no note, no way to explain it!
Thinking it was a puzzle, Jack began reading the books. He read them day and night, and within a year, he had almost finished all of the volumes in the library. He hadn’t spent the money he had found yet, believing he needed to solve the mystery behind it.
During this period, Jack’s curiosity for scientific literature, particularly in the field of biology, grew. He pondered why he hadn’t explored these books earlier and continued his reading journey.
In due course, Jack approached his parents to inform them that he would be unable to assist them in their business endeavors. Instead, he expressed his aspiration to become a successful doctor and bring them pride. As his parents’ savings had been depleted, Jack took on part-time jobs to support his family’s financial needs.
As time progressed, several months later, Jack took a leap of faith and applied for a scholarship. Although he held little hope of being selected, Jack exerted his utmost efforts and was astounded when he learned that he had secured the scholarship!
The books left behind by Samuel had profoundly transformed Jack’s life, fueling his determination to honor his parents and late grandfather by pursuing a career in medicine. Driven by this ambition, he dedicated himself wholeheartedly to excel in the university entrance exams. While he faced rejections from a few universities, he was pleasantly surprised to receive acceptance offers from a dozen others!
Jack chose the college nearest to home, so he could be around his parents and support them while working on his dreams. Meanwhile, he hadn’t forgotten his twin brother.
For years, Jack tried to find Rick on social media, revisited the old places where they hung out as kids, and even stayed in touch with Rick’s friends, hoping there would be some sign of him.
Unfortunately, there were none. Another couple of years passed, and once Jack graduated, he started a research lab with the money he had found in Samuel’s library.
It was his way of paying tribute to his late grandfather—who had been instrumental in his success and everything he had accomplished in life—and promoting clinical research as a doctor. After all, if it hadn’t been for Samuel’s books, Jack would never have discovered his interest or what he was capable of.
On the lab’s inauguration day, Jack was sitting alone for a while, holding one of his favorite books he’d found in Samuel’s library. That day, he’d realized he’d finally solved the puzzle of the money in Samuel’s books.
Samuel had left the money in his volumes so that his grandsons would read the books. He could no longer get them Christmas presents after all. However, he had devised a technique to ensure his grandsons read the textbooks and became wise men.
Poor Rick, Jack reflected. I’m curious about what that guy is up to. If he had stayed, he would’ve realized Grampa had left us a treasure in his old library.
Two years passed, and things were going swimmingly for Jack. His lab was growing and expanding, and he had opened multiple branches throughout the state. He was also planning on expanding it to other states, and during an investor meeting, he met the love of his life.
Ariel was beautiful, hard-working, and easygoing. She first fell for Jack’s hazel eyes and charming smile, but he fell harder for her. In fact, he was so captivated by her personality that he decided he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life with anyone else.
When Jack and Ariel arrived at a restaurant for a lunch date one day, Ariel swiftly informed the handsome valet of their appointment and proceeded inside. But Jack’s feet refused to move. He remained still, unable to take his gaze away from the scruffy man in front of the diner, asking passers-by for money.
“Rick?” Jack asked himself. “He—He’s my brother, isn’t he?”
Although the man’s face was marked with wrinkles and he was dressed in ragged clothing, Jack wouldn’t fail to recognize the twin brother he had grown up with. Nor would he forget the silly face his brother had.
“Rick, what—what happened to you?” Jack asked, approaching him, and the poor man had tears in his eyes.
“Oh, Jack!” Rick sobbed, wrapping his arms around his brother after ages. “I can’t believe it’s you! Oh, I… I never thought I’d see you again!”
Realizing his brother was wearing an expensive suit and he had just ruined it, Rick pulled himself away. “Sorry,” he whispered. “I didn’t mean to ruin your clothes.”
“What are you even talking about? Come here!” Jack cried as he held his brother close. His tears wouldn’t stop as he explained to Rick how much he had tried to find him. Meanwhile, Ariel stepped out of the restaurant and was shocked to see her handsome boyfriend hugging a bum.
“Babe!” she cried. “What are you doing? Why are you hugging a hobo?”
“Hey, now. He’s not a hobo! He’s Rick, Ariel!” Jack said in tears. “Remember, I told you about my brother who’d gone missing years ago? I found him, and I’m—I can’t express how glad I am!”
While Ariel was not pleased about Jack ruining their date, she knew how much he had yearned for Rick. She canceled the date and said ‘they would talk’ later. Jack knew he had upset her, but he would take care of that later. All that mattered to him now was his long-lost brother in front of his eyes, alive and well.
“Rick, do you even know what happened after you left? Grampa had left us his most prized possession. His books… they transformed my life!”
Rick’s expression darkened as Jack continued to tell him about the money he had found and how the books had helped him. “So you spent up Grampa’s money without even caring about me?” Rick hissed. “That was really selfish of you, Jack, wasn’t it? Grampa must’ve left the inheritance for both of us. How could you spend everything alone? And you have this great life all because of his money!”
“Do you even hear yourself, Rick?” Jack said, irritated.
“What? It’s not like I’m lying!”
“I never wanted Grampa’s money, Rick,” Jack explained, “and I didn’t spend it until I graduated from college, alright? I supported myself, Mom, and Dad throughout. There are so many books in Grampa’s library that I haven’t even read. You could look there… You’ll know what I mean. And I’m sure they have what you’re looking for. But trust me, the real treasure is the knowledge contained in those books, brother.”
Rick’s insatiable greed led him back to the library, where he was filled with delight, believing he had found a fortune. However, the money he discovered within those pages proved to be fleeting.
Instead of seeking wisdom and knowledge from the books, Rick utilized them as a means to sustain himself, but this approach only led him down a path of destitution, eventually resorting to begging for survival. It was at this juncture that Rick recognized Jack’s success stemmed not from any inheritance left by Samuel, but rather from the knowledge he had acquired.
As Jack and Ariel reconciled their differences and began planning their wedding, Rick, at long last, embarked on a journey of self-transformation and introspection, reflecting on his past mistakes. Only time would reveal the outcomes of his endeavors. Meanwhile, Grampa Samuel gazed down upon his grandsons from the serene heavens, contented to have guided his once mischievous boys onto the right path.