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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sibling(s) (05/01/08)

TITLE: The Test
By Maike Stepanek
05/02/08


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“Give your sister a hug!” The cold stare he gave his father screamed, Make me! His blue eyes peered from under the grey cap on his head, light reflected off the piercing on his chin and he gave me a skeptical look.

Lord, what do I do now? His father sucked in a deep breath. It was the kind that is bound to explode into a torrent of sound, a lecture in the making. He frowned. “Boy…”, he threatened. Technically he was right. This 6 foot 5 hulk of manhood before me had just turned 17 a fortnight before. So, really he was a boy, 16 with a new number. Nothing about him allowed you to believe it. Steven glared at his father in defiance.

Lord, I’ve got to do something… “That’s right, Steven, give your sister the obligatory hug,” the thoughts turned into words and tumbled out of my mouth. It broke the ice for a moment. He stooped down to give me a hug and sized me up while he was at it. We sat down at the table. The situation was more than a little bit uncomfortable yet at the same time I was so excited. I had always wanted a brother and suddenly I had two, plus a sister. Being an only child had been lonely at times. So, Lord, what happens next?

Unbeknownst to me, it was now time for the test. The test of whether this young man, thought I warranted the title of sister. His brother certainly did not think I deserved the recognition. Only a few months earlier he had flown off the handle at the news that the man he called Dad had fathered another illegitimate child, me, which had been given up for adoption. He wanted nothing to do with this. My sister had told me the story of how cold Christopher had been towards her when she first arrived on the scene. Did he not understand the need for closure? The need Nicole and I had to know our roots? But then, he was only 23, living in London, and this was South Africa. Not quite the way my daydreams had played in my mind but nonetheless, here I was.

“Yeah, I’ll have a beer and a rum and coke,” was the cherry on Steven’s proverbial cake. His father, already agitated, fell for the bait and the lecture began. Lord, this kid is obnoxious; I’m going to give him a piece of my mind. At 33, the obvious authority in this equation, I was about to pull rank when the Lord reminded me of our conversation that morning. Thankfully the prompt to just love him came sooner than the remarks which were about to ensue his father’s comments. “Clem, can you see that he is only teasing you? Let’s order,” I said.

Steven masked his surprise at being found out with a challenge, “Say STOP three times as quickly as you can.” You have got to be kidding me, do kids still do this? Ok, I’ll play along. “STOP, STOP, STOP.” “What do you do at a green light?” he fired anticipating me to say STOP. “Go,” I replied. Puzzled, he fired off riddle after riddle. Finally, somewhat flustered he gave up, “is there anything you don’t know?” I laughed as our food arrived. Lord, thank you for your wisdom! I had passed the test and gained a little (I use the term loosely) brother.


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Member Comments
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Sara Harricharan 05/08/08
Oooh, quite the test here for this sister! I liked the prayers that each character sent up in turn, but it was a tad confusing with the point of views shifting, some extra spacing or so, will help to separate them next time.

Otherwise, I loved the ending of this, especially with the "stop and go"
Scott Sheets05/09/08
Interesting encounter and how such a seemingly childish game broke the ice with your biological brother. I did however have to read through it a couple of times to make sure I kept the characters and storyline straight. Thanks for sharing!