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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)

TITLE: Nando's Really Dead
By william price


Fernando’s heart ached and skipped beats as the organ lost its reason to pump. His lungs refused to accept air. It took all the inner strength and composure he had to hold back the tidal wave of tears that were building in the corners of his brown eyes. His tanned hands trembled as he watched her walk out of his life.

Once the outer office door closed, the 30 year-old bank executive listened for the ding of the elevator in the lobby. He waited another minute. Silence. The emptiness of the moment tore through his emotions like a freight train on fire.

Finally the tears broke free. Fernando’s hands covered his face.

“Hey, Nando.” The male voice boomed from outside the office door.

Juan. Oh my God, he can’t see me like this.

Fernando quickly grabbed a tissue from his desk as his brother walked in on him.

“Bro, what’s up with you?” Juan, a construction foreman, took a seat in front of his older brother’s desk.

“Is Mom okay? I don’t ever remember seeing you cry, hombre.”

Fernando tried to speak, but he had already lost control of his emotions. It was too much to contain. He could only shake his head and mumble.

“It’s nothing, Juan.”

“Nothing? You’re 30 years old, man; wearin’ a suit and tie, mahogany desk, a BMW down in the parking garage. I had to take an elevator 11 floors just to come see you.”

Fernando’s brother stood up and pulled a chair around next to his “bro”.

“What is it, hombre? Come clean with me. I love ya. Talk to me.”

Fernando’s eyes searched the ceiling for words, strength or someway to divulge his secret.

“It’s, ah, it’s Sophie.”

“Your secretary? Cousin Victor’s wife?”

“Si, Juan. She’s the one.”

“Well, what about it? She dying or something?”

Fernando exhaled a large sigh.

“She just sat in here and poured her heart out telling me that she loved me and couldn’t hold it in any more.”

“What! You got to be kiddin’, bro. I admit she’s prime, but you don’t mess with Vic. Did you set her straight?”

“Si, yes, that I did.”

Fernando’s tears began to flow again.

“Oh, I get it, Nando. You got feelings for her too and you played the big chivalry role.”

The older brother looked Juan right in the eyes.

“I have more than ‘feelings’ for her. I love her more than anything I have ever seen or heard of in this world.”

“So what’s up then, bro? You love her and she loves you. That’s all good, except that Victor might pop-a-cap in ya. What’s the deal?”

“It’s not right, Juan. God would never allow it. Victor is a good man, sort of. I mean, he doesn’t beat her or anything, works every day, loves their kids. I don’t want to be the reason that family splits.”

“Oh, it’s that Christian thing, guilt and all that.”

“It’s not a ‘Christian thing’, Juan. It’s just I love God. He’s real, bro. It’s not a rule I don’t want to break, it’s Him. He saved my life and yours. He didn’t have to, but He did. I can’t explain it, but it’s real. That’s the best I can say it.”

“It must be real, Nando. You’re a bigger man than me, bro.”

“It’s not me…”

“I know. It’s Him. I’ve heard it before.”

Juan stood and looked at the cross on his brother’s office wall.

“It has to be Him, hombre, ‘cos the Nando I knew, would have been all about Sophie, Victor or not.”

Fernando finally smiled.

“That I would have, bro. That I would have.”

“So, what did you do about it?’

“I fired her.”

“You what? Man, you gotta be kiddin’.”

“Juan, I’m not that strong to resist her every day. I mean, God is God, but it still comes down to us. Like you said, the old Nando ain’t been dead that long and I need to keep it that way.”

“I hear ya, bro. Hey, how about a beer? Oh ya, I forgot. How about a couple frosty mugs of root beer at the Toot-n-Tell then?”

“Sounds good, Juan. Hey, thanks for hearing me. I love you, bro.”

“I love you too. You’re a heck of a big brother.”

“Want to come to church with me Sunday?”

“I just might, Nando. I just might.”

“Juan, do you think Victor will be mad I fired his wife?”

“Nah. You still hold his mortgage, don’t you?”

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This article has been read 1106 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 05/03/07
Very realistic dialogue and action. You drew me in and held me from beginning to end.
Jacquelyn Horne05/03/07
Good story on keeping things right because we love God, not because it the Christian thing to do. (Although that's not all bad either.) I feel that this testimony is about to win his brother.
Yvette Nietzen05/03/07
This was great, loved it from the beginning, almost had me crying there! So true how we need to die to the flesh daily.
Mo 05/04/07
Great dialogue, voice, & message!
Teri Wilson05/05/07
What I love most about this story is the relationship between the two brothers. It comes across as very authentic. Also, a great ending. Love the last line. Great job!
Betty Castleberry05/06/07
Love the easy flow of this piece, and love the believable dialogue. Very entertaining as well as conveying a message, too.
Jan Ackerson 05/08/07
Super title, and I echo all of the other sentiments above me--this one's really good.
Cheri Hardaway 05/08/07
This plays like the scene in a movie. Very well done. Perfect title and message. The last line left me chuckling. Congrats on a job well done. Blessings, Cheri
Sheri Gordon05/08/07
I really enjoyed this. You addressed a very serious issue in a lighter way -- and still got the important message across.

The dialogue was great -- easy to follow. And you gave it a great dialect without making it difficult to read.

Nice job.
Rita Garcia05/09/07
A superb example of why you are in "Masters"!
Loren T. Lowery05/09/07
A frank, honest, man-to-man dialogue about human nature, love and Godly principles. Not an easy thing to pull off unless the writer is totally convicted in his heart of what God wants in his life. This came through in this piece, unveiling a fresh new perspective on a real-life situation and how with God's grace it can be overcome with certainty and humor.
Joanney Uthe05/09/07
Gripping openning line. Fernando may not have wanted Juan to see him crying, but in an eternal perspective, that is just what Juan needed. My favorite line was "It’s not a rule I don’t want to break, it’s Him."
Edy T Johnson 05/11/07
Oooh! You do write so good, Friend. The characters, the inside look at Nando's heart, the dialog. It just doesn't get any better. I had a feeling you would write one great inspirational piece and this is as powerful as your other best-of-Bill writing.

Just a note to thank you, too, for your always welcome comments on my writing.