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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Cousin(s) (05/22/08)

TITLE: Two Peas In A Pod
By nicole wian


Grady and Max were cousins, born to sisters, one week apart. They were two peas in a pod - at first. Their mothers, both single, lived together. The women had shared pregnancy symptoms and then similar labors. The boys both had their mothers’ blonde hair and green eyes. They shared not only a room but a crib for their first six months of life. When they learned to jabber, they’d jabber at each other, and people constantly asked if they were twins. They got along like brothers, but never fought like brothers. Tantrums were rare, and it was a peaceful household. Maybe too peaceful. The boys were joined at the hip, speaking to each other in some sort of code that not even their mothers were able to decipher. By three, certain signs began to illuminate a major difference in the boys, but nothing was spoke of what would soon become obvious.

When they entered kindergarten, both sisters were summoned separately for a meeting with a teacher. The teacher spoke to Grady’s mother, of how impressed she was with Grady, said that he showed outstanding potential and in her opinion, should be moved immediately to first grade - of course after testing. The teacher then sat down Max’s mother. She said he was very sweet, seemed to want to learn, but that in her opinion, he should not yet be in kindergarten - of course, there should be further testing.

Max was soon after placed into special education classes, and Grady, went on to the first grade. Max was diagnosed with mental retardation, and Grady was administered IQ tests, which marked him at a genius level. Grady was placed in high school classes by sixth grade, while Max could barely read.

And yet, the two felt no division. After school, they’d play together, doing normal boy things, all under Grady’s leadership, of course. Grady seemed to be the gentle leader of the two, and yet what no one understood was that Grady felt more challenged and more stimulated when with his cousin than with anyone at school, even those in the accelerated classes. Grady felt a strange commonality with Max, that went beyond blood.

The sisters stayed up talking late into the night, worrying that Grady may be spending too much time with Max, not wanting him to be held back. But they didn’t quite feel it right to discourage the relationship.

The boys went down different paths, but continued their brotherly bond. Although, Grady graduated school early, before Max even learned to write his name, and then went to college a few towns away, he came back every weekend to spend time with his family. He was serious about his work but lacked a social life, pouring most all of himself into his studies. His special interest was in mathematics. He had always had the ability to solve complex problems in short periods of time, but by the end of his freshman year at college had proved a theorem, propelling him into honor and recognition in the academic realm. He had a bright future ahead of him. He was busy performing extensive theoretical research in Algebraic Number Theory, being courted by Harvard, Princeton and Duke. Yet something was missing.

One visit home from college, Grady was introduced to something far more fascinating than numbers. Max had been attending church with a woman from down the street, and he had accepted the Lord. He was anxious to share his salvation with his cousin. Somehow Grady knew, if Max, who did not seem to have a sin bone in his body, was in need of a savior, how much more was he. Grady was led in the sinner’s prayer that night, by his cousin Max who had the intelligence of a five year old.

When Grady returned to college, he joined a Bible study and became passionate for Jesus. When he would come home, he and Max would talk in their way, about God, and Grady knew that they had the same level of understanding on it. One of them brilliant by the world’s standards, one lacking in that department, yet both equally hungry to understand their new Father’s mysterious ways.

People thought Max strange because he was not intelligent enough to connect with others. They thought Grady strange because he was so intelligent that he neither could connect with others. They were connected together by the Lord, and then drawn to Him as co-heirs and as brothers.

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This article has been read 390 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 05/29/08
Very sweet and an enlightening story. Nicely done.
Beth LaBuff 05/29/08
You beginning is so good and perfect for your title. The description of each cousin is very good. It was heart-breaking to read about Max. Your story is wonderful. Is this true?
c clemons06/01/08
A very warm story. But as I have been told so many times, "stop telling the story" and show the story by description and perhaps dialogue. Other than that still a good story.
That was both sad and uplifting. What a strange combination. Very good!
Lollie Hofer06/04/08
What a delighful story! Loved how they loved Jesus. The progression of the years was nicely laid out. The relationship between the counsins was so sweetly connected and then to top it off, they found Jesus together. Wonderful. My only suggestion would be to add some dialogue to your story. It sometimes helps with more "showing" and less "telling."