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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Book Store/Library (06/03/10)

TITLE: He Read Her Like A Book
By Linda Germain


*True—Names changed

The Pizza Man

George Maleco felt like something had just kicked him in his gut. His head ached and depression threatened to engulf him. New tenants were moving in next door to his pizzeria in the small strip mall. A storehouse of filthy language exploded out of his unbridled mouth.

Does that sign say what I think it says? Now wait just a New York minute. Who needs those people around here? Why do they have to bring their narrow-minded garbage so close? This is bad…really bad.

The Bookstore Lady

Janice Whitman loved books, especially ones that could change lives. She had no experience running a retail business, but after much prayer she was positive this was the right direction. Lack of knowledge did not deter her. She was willing to work hard and learn as she went along. If ignorance is bliss, Janice was ecstatic.

How nice to see a place to eat so close by. I’ll go over tomorrow and say hello. We want to start off on the right foot and be good neighbors.

The Pizza Man

The new renters came in and introduced themselves. They even bought a couple of slices. Wonder when they’ll get in my face? The very idea makes me want to buy a gun or a bad dog. It’s like waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have to say; the woman is a stunning red-head and not my idea of what I thought her type would look like. The man was quiet. I’m not falling for that nice-nice stuff though. She didn’t hit me with a bible or anything, but it’s probably just a matter of time.

The Bookstore Lady

The man next door seems so hostile. Have we offended him? We’ve been here a month and strange things are happening. This morning I had to scrub the display window again. Someone had smeared it with pizza. It’s a good thing I like to clean. Every few days there’s something else disgusting to remove from the front; like sticky, stinky beer…or worse. Maybe we need to call the police.

The Pizza Man

I saw the cops over there today. I guess I should cool it. The amazing thing is, she just gets a bucket of soapy water and goes right to work on the mess. She has even washed my window while she was at it. Those strange people make me nervous. I don’t want them here.

The Bookstore Lady

There are no more nasty surprises to clean up outside but sometimes when I answer the phone a man rants and cusses. I’m pretty sure it’s George Maleco. I just say, “Jesus loves you, and so do we,” and then he slams down the receiver. Everything else is going beautifully. A well-known author came in today to see how his new book on raising children is selling. He’s just as funny in person. I needed a laugh.

The Pizza Man

I opened the fuse box out back and turned off their power. It didn’t set too well with the red-haired Christian woman. She marched over here and told me we needed to talk. The females I know would have blistered the paint with bad words. She was kind, but firm, and said it was time to stop the nonsense and leave them alone; that they weren’t bothering me. I disagree. I am extremely bothered. She suggested I didn’t have to act so mean and belligerent. I had no interest in any more boring chit-chat so I left her standing there.

The Bookstore Lady

Mr. Maleco told me he would not defend his actions since he certainly does not claim to be a Christian. When my friend from church comes by we lay our hands on the inside wall between our store and his and pray for God to intervene in his life. The truth is, we really are leaving this building… but not because George hates us. We’re moving to a bigger place closer to the house.


Hooray…they’re gone! Good riddance. Maybe a liquor store will move in. That would make my day.


Hooray…we’re gone! I’m so thankful for this beautiful change in location. I continue to pray for Mr. Maleco to see the light. That would make my day.


Author's Note:

The best part: After a season, George walked into my mother’s new Christian bookstore and asked to speak to her in private. He was humble and near tears as he told her he had accepted Christ and was now singing solos in a local church. He begged her forgiveness.

I like to think the melting of Pizza Man’s frozen heart began with what he read--not in a book, but in the actions of one beautiful, red-haired, praying, Bookstore Lady.

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This article has been read 642 times
Member Comments
Member Date
harvestgal Ndaguba06/10/10
Beautiful story. I loved it. It seemed so realistic too. Loved the characters. Awesome.
Seema Bagai 06/10/10
Great story. Thanks for sharing it.
Laury Hubrich 06/11/10
Awesome story. Great title!
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/15/10
Delightful story--well written. The knowledge that it was true made it even more interesting.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/15/10
It's a wonderful story and such a great tribute to your feisty red-haired mother. I enjoyed the back and forth and the gradual change of feelings.

I was confused why the Pizza Man's last thoughts weren't italicized like the others. At first I thought it was a description and not his thoughts like earlier in the story.

But other than that mild head-scratch, the story was a delight to read. It's amazing what God can do with us when we listen to him.
mick dawson06/15/10
Great, loved it. Managed to cover both POVs without an ounce of confusion. Geat account which really moved me. An interesting thought too that the pizza shop owner couldn't believe that a Christian woman could be an attractive one.
Susan Montaperto06/16/10
Thank you for sharing a wonderful true story about God's love and grace. You have a lovely, Christian mother. God bless you both.
Linda Germain 06/17/10
Author's Comment: That place where the italics failed was not intended; simply a big "oops" in formatting.Oh well... :0)