Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)
TITLE: Nando's Really Dead
By william price
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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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