Chapter 5.2 – Competition

Faith’s fellow classmates learn an important lesson about her personality one Friday afternoon during debate team practice.
If there is anything that Faith does well, it is arm herself with information. When she was chosen to defend the argument that Sunset Valley was prepared for a major earthquake, she decided to take a less direct path to her position. According to her research, there are no faults, ridges, or hotspots within a hundred miles of Sunset Valley.
Of course, her opponents argue that the last two tremors were warnings of some impending doom. But after Faith methodically shoots holes through each argument with a host of facts, there is hardly any need to argue her point. Her debate partner, Jimmy Verne, plays cleanup and presents their argument amid little challenge.
Later that weekend, Jimmy decides to call Faith and ask where she had found her information about the faults. They spend a few hours going over websites and geological surveys from government databases. Jimmy is blown away by Faith’s seemingly vast knowledge of the resources available through the web. He asks her to help him research his weather project. With her help, he is able to find a number of radar installations and observatories that happily help with the assignment.
Jimmy, and just about every other kid in school, had always assumed that Faith just had tutors do her work for her to earn such perfect grades. But Jimmy gains a bit of understanding about Faith that weekend. She is smart. And not just smart; but really, really smart. Not genius smart like Becky Barnes, but a wise kind of smart, like that rat who teaches four turtle students karate in the sewers.
Then after both kids are done with homework, they play a few hours of video games together, where Jimmy provides a few surprises of his own. Faith is used to winning games. Actually, there are few who have the patience enough to sit through any more than fifteen minutes of a video game with her. But Jimmy proves to be more than a handful of competition for Faith, and wins several matches outright.
Faith is no sore loser. In fact, having somebody finally able to challenge her is exhilarating. She falls asleep at the video game that night, waiting for her mother to get home, and trying to deconstruct his strategy.
Hope immediately sees her daughter, asleep on the couch. She feels terrible that Faith stays up to wait for her, and has cut her hours way back to spend more time together. Hope knows that childhood will not last forever, and she wants to cherish it while it lasts. She tucks her daughter into bed and sighs, knowing that Faith has been right all along. She wants desperately to be a mom again; and more than that, a wife.
But so far, her prayers have gone unanswered.

16 thoughts on “Chapter 5.2 – Competition

  1. Awwwww… It’s so sadeth! 😦 Faith needs a daddy, Hope needs a fellow parenteth. 😦 Lotseth and lots of needingeth. (Sorry, sometimes I add ‘eth’ onto some words. xD)


  2. Love the line:

    “Not genius smart like Becky Barnes, but a wise kind of smart, like that rat who teaches four turtle students karate in the sewers.”

    TMNT 🙂


    1. Heh, TMNT is the “the most favorite, coolest thing in the world, ever” for my two middle boys at the moment. It’ll likely be something different tomorrow.


  3. I also liked the TNMT reference. My kids have outgrown it, but I have always liked them. I used to play the Nintendo video game with my younger brother back in the day. I think I took him to the first movie when it was out in theatres, too. My kids didn’t get into it as much as I hoped they would.

    i like Faith. She reminds me of me…though maybe i’m not that smart.


    1. I had a very unique chance to own TNMT #1 back in the late 80’s when my “comic guy” told me that there was a new book coming out. I laughed at him when I saw a proof. Thought it would just be another bad independent comic. Sheesh.


  4. Aww…Im sad for Faith and Hope, they are both missing things in their lives.
    Faith is so savvy smart, and Jimmy is adorable with his red hair, Im glad to see that the lives of the Barimen family is running a bit smoothly for now though. ^^


    1. Faith is a ton of fun. She is a roll-up of a gifted class I taught back in my days as a public school teacher. We’ll get a great look of Faith “getting her geek on” in a few of the posts.


    1. She definitely will have that cool common-sense Bebe was known for. One big difference will be that where Bebe had a kind of refined, artistic touch; Faith has absolutely no artistic or fashion ability.


  5. Love the “Ninja Turtles” reference 🙂

    As I’ve said before, you’re doing an excellent job with Faith. She’s such a sweet girl, and different from those we’ve see in the past. I’m loving her story. I do, however, agree with Morbid – she reminds me of Bebe!

    I also love the dramatic changes that are still going on within Hope. Though she’s still the same sociable person, she’s not the teenage girl going out getting drunk and high! I mean, I never imagined her wanting to start a family, yet here she is! I can’t wait to see what you do with that plotline!!

    Great job!



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