A while back, a friend and I were joking about cowriting a Christian romance novel centered around meeting someone via Craigslist (or some similar buying/selling platform). It didn’t come to fruition. But before it fizzled out, I wrote a first chapter. So now I present to you chapter 1 of Secondhand Love. I am accepting inquiries from agents.
Gina Cranston had it all. While in college, she had asked herself, “What if I put the words ‘Live, Laugh, Love’ on an inspirational sign?” After years of hard work, she was now a successful interior designer. She had a lively social life in the big city. She volunteered at her church. But there was a hole in her heart—and it could only be filled by a midcentury modern coffee table.
One day, over Sunday brunch with her sassy best friend at their favorite local coffee shop, It’s Bean a Minute, she poured out her heart.
“I’ve looked all over, Clementina!” Gina said. She sipped her latte and looked wistfully out the window at a moving truck rumbling down the street. “All the furniture stores. New, used. They just don’t have what I’m looking for, and I’m beginning to lose hope.”
“Girl, you’ve got to put yourself out there!” Clementina said sassily.
“What does ‘out there’ mean when you’re talking about furniture?”
“I’m talking about the realm of possibilities on God’s green internet.”
Gina had thought about this, of course. But she had been burned by the internet in the past. She had been on furniture sites before, and every piece she had seen either had misleading pictures or was badly damaged in some way. She’d had enough.
“I don’t know. It sounds like it would be a lot of work, and I’ve got a ton of inspirational signs I need to make. It seems like everyone on Instagram wants one.”
“That’s a load of day-old biscuits,” Clementina said, her sassiness escalating. She pulled out her phone. “I’m setting you up on a site right now.”
Gina’s eyes bulged as she choked on her tea. “Clementina, DO NOT.” But Clementina wasn’t listening.
“How tall is your ideal coffee table?”
“I’m not going to answer that.”
Clementina put her phone down. “Gina, how long have we been best friends?”
“Since we met at the Judges-themed VBS at Eighth Baptist when we were ten. We were in a skit about Jael and Sisera. It was the last VBS Eighth Baptist hosted.”
“That’s right,” Clementina nodded. ”And if you can trust me to act like I’m hammering a tent peg into your head without actually hitting you, I think you can trust me to help you find your dream coffee table.”
Gina poked at her eggs over easy uneasily. “But I’ve tried all the furniture sites, and they didn’t do it for me.”
“Stop right there” Clementina blurted, switching from sassy to spunky. “There’s a new site that I’ve been hearing good things about. It’s called Bezalelslist.”
“Bezalelslist? Like the guy who built all the stuff for the tabernacle?” Gina had been doing a Beth Moore study on biblical furniture, so Exodus was fresh in her mind.
“Exactly. It’s THE place for Christians to find furniture. Just last month, Kaitelynnne Gladsby got matched with the tall, dark dresser she’s been praying for for years. She’s so in love!”
Gina thought for a moment. What did she have to lose? Nothing else she’d tried had worked so far. At the very least, it could be a fun story to tell as she made the rounds on the MLM circuit in the spring.
Gina finished her latte. “The height of my ideal coffee table.”
Clementina grinned sassily and picked up her phone again.