literature

The strange case of Dr. Stefen and Mr. Dennis

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The strange case of Dr. Stefen 'White wolf' Kowalski and Mr. Dennis 'Nice Try' Grabowski

Thesis by Emily Lewandowski, doctorate in biology and psychology.

In all my time and all my studies, I have never met a stranger pair than these two.
Their relationship is best described as a symbiotic rivalry, which has begun before I even met the two of them in Middle school.

I will begin by explaining their primary traits and how these traits manifested in this peculiar relationship of theirs.

Stefen Kowalski
Dr. Kowalski is a naturally born genius, whose mind manages to absorb and process information much like a computer.
As a result, he deems personal relationships as a hurdle to be dismissed, which often makes him come off as non-caring or cold, however he makes up for his social ineptitude, which many geniuses share, with his sheer brilliance.

When I talked to him years ago, how he managed to get A's on every single test, he didn't even look at me while replying, "I know the answers, that's how."

Back then, I assumed that he admitted to cheating, however upon closer inquiry (and multiple failed attempts to uncover how he does it), I realized that he meant that quite literally.
I believe his memory to be photographic or at least close to it, as he manages to recite formula's and also passages of text absolutely faultless without ever even writing the information down.

In my studies I came across quite a number of people with similar traits, however most of their brilliance got suffocated by sheer boredom of a school system that was not fit to deal with people like them.

Fortunately for the world, Dr. Kowalski had a catalyst to alleviate the boredom. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Dennis Grabowski
As stated above, Mr. Grabowski lacks the brilliance of Dr. Kowalski, however makes up to it with his fierce competitive spirit and sheer willpower. If there was a problem to be solved, Mr. Grabowski put every effort into solving it, often surpassing himself in the process.

Much to his dismay however, Dr. Kowalski took a liking to Mr. Grabowski hard-trying nature and often took his solutions and improved upon it in a matter of minutes, where Mr. Grabowski, without a doubt, had taken hours to devise the original solution.
I don't know, whether he did that to mock him and his hard work or if he wanted to help, judging from Dr. Kowalski's demeanor while interacting with Mr. Grabowski however, I want to believe that he wanted to help.

Unfortunately Mr. Grabowski didn't come to the same conclusion and more than once the educational staff had to break up fights where Mr. Grabowski tried to 'punch out some lights in that chandelier of his'.

Interestingly enough, these fights were the only times I remember seeing Dr. Kowalski smile.

The symbiosis
I don't know if it was due to some sick joke of the universe, plain chance or Mr. Grabowski's obsession with beating Dr. Kowalki, but the three of us all continued in the same schools up until all three of us obtained our Matura at a prestigious Technikum. Dr. Kowalski with straight A's as usual, whereas the grades of Mr. Grabowski were in the upper third of his class.

Without a doubt his rivalry with Dr. Kowalski had spurred him to exceed the limits of what he thought himself capable of doing by quite a bit.
However, as they grew older, I also noticed Dr. Kowalski socializing more, often by imitating Mr. Grabowski's mannerism and matter of speech.

Ultimately he always had some motive to socialize and used the interaction mostly as a means to an end with almost deadly efficiency, however it was still better than not interacting at all.

In hindsight I found a number of occasions where Dr. Kowalski imitated and surpassed Mr. Grabowski and also seemed to follow him through life.
When Mr. Grabowski applied for studying at a military academy for applied sciences, Dr. Kowalski followed as soon as he learned of it and when Mr. Grabowski showed some promise at the shooting range, Dr. Kowalski was often found standing right next to him.

Only that he didn't shoot with a pistol, but much rather a modified shotgun, shredding the target dummies at the far end of the range, once again drawing the attention away from Mr. Grabowski's efforts and achievements towards himself.

About 2 years into our common studies of the fields of biology and medicine, Mr. Grabowski switched careers and began working as a grunt.

At first, I was shocked, especially after all the effort he had put into his studies, however from what I could tell, Dr. Kowalski, who had already achieved his doctorate title at that time, was hit even harder by the news.

He secluded himself from his colleagues for multiple weeks, supposedly working on a top-secret project, however in my opinion he was mourning the loss of his best friend and favorite victim.

However when he reappeared, he was smiling and when I asked him what was so funny, he actually looked at me and asked, "Emily, wasn't it? How would you like it to write your psychology thesis about Dennis and myself?"

He then proceeded to set up everything, filling the gaps in my memory, helping me with my research, finding reference material (attached in Appendix C) and finally even preparing the grant form required for a thesis of this magnitude.

Then he disappeared back to his own studies, as not to interfere with my thesis.

Up to today, I am left to wonder, why he would do all of that, however I do believe that he once again imitated Mr. Grabowski in his very own unique way.

He moved on from the symbiotic relationship they had, looking to stand on his own.

And if this thesis can help him or even them understand, just how their relationship ever worked for as long as it did and how it can benefit them even now that they are apart, then it will already have been worth the countless hours I have put into it.
My life was made difficult by school that didn't manage to catch my interest.
I wish I would've had a Mr. Dennis to keep me on my toes.

Another fanfiction for the amazing webcomic Replay by the gifted :iconnimportant:, this time featuring Stefen and his best Frenemy Dennis.

The surnames and nicknames are made up. :P

I hope you like it.
Comments6
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ISAPU's avatar
This was very fun to read :D
Refugnic's avatar
I'm very glad to hear it. :)

Maybe you want to check out the comic these characters are from as well?
I'm sure the creator would be delighted to have another reader. :)

Also, thank you for the favorite. Much appreciated. :)
ISAPU's avatar
I am doing that right now.

You are welcome. :3
Refugnic's avatar
And how do you like it, if I may ask?
Say 'Hi' to NotImportant from me, if you decide to comment. :P
NImportant's avatar
Hahaha, I love it! :D At first, I was afraid that the form you picked would be boring but I was very wrong! Loved how you portrayed their relationship and how Stefen was the "weaker one" despite always winning with Dennis. 
Thank you so much! :heart:
Refugnic's avatar
First off, thanks for reading and of course the favorite. :)

Both are much appreciated. ;)

And I'm glad I managed to surprise you. Actually it was you who gave me the idea to go with this form in the first place, seeing how much you were struggling with that master thesis of yours, though you probably figured that one out yourself.

I'm preeeetty sure that any university would rip this this thesis to shreds, but fortunately I'm aiming to entertain and not to get a doctor in psychology. :D

Well, it is well known, that geniuses have a rather low EQ, which makes it difficult for them to interact with other people. However, at the same time, many of these geniuses come up with rather interesting methods to cope. Stefen here picked out Dennis as his coping mechanism, for Dennis is basically everything that Stefen is not.

Which also lead me to use that title, an obvious homage to the story of 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' and while they are separate persons, one is essentially the 'what I want to be' of the other, even though none would admit that openly. At least in this story. :)

So yeah, 'winning' is not everything.

In fact, I could well see it happening in the world of the comic, that Stefen, in a quiet moment (probably off-screen) picks up a battered pile of paper and scans over the pages. To remind himself why he's helping these people instead of doing the reasonable thing and holing himself up in some bunker with the other bigwigs.

You are most welcome. Thanks for giving me the chance to write this. :)
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