The next installment of the novella entitled, Faith.
Faith stared at the name on the door. Gideon Tabor, quarterback extraordinaire, the hero of every girl attending Astronaut High School. Gideon Tabor, the boy I tutored in science, and the boy who politely told me he had no interest in Jesus Christ. Up until this moment she managed to keep her nerves in check. Now, though, the name brought forth emotions she thought long gone, hidden away with her high school annuals soon after meeting Vance.
“Ms. Wellman.” His door opened.
Gideon Tabor, who still looks the same. Faith straightened her skirt and brushed her ever-annoying curls from her eyes. She had forgotten how tall he stood. After all these years, she found herself looking up into his rich jade eyes. She held out her hand. “Gid—Judge Tabor.”
He tilted his head, and because she long ago memorized his every gesture, Faith knew he couldn’t quite place her. “Have we met?”
“Judge Tabor, I have Attorney John Turner on the phone.” His receptionist held up her receiver.
“Come on in.” He motioned her inside. “This is a very important call. Have a seat, and I’ll be right with you.”
Faith sat, took a deep breath, and let it out slowly. Lord, I do not intend to take this job unless you show me otherwise. I don’t want him to know who I am. I made a fool out of myself fawning over him in high school. Maybe he won’t remember. I’ve lost 75 pounds, and he never showed much interest except when he needed someone to tutor him or to listen while he cried. Oh, but I jumped at the chance, didn’t I? I would have done anything to stay near him, including holding him in my arms while he sobbed.
“John, I have tickets to the game tonight. Care to join me?” Gideon pointed to the chair in front of his desk and offered her a sheepish grin at his obvious joke about the importance of the call.
He hasn’t changed. Her heart leapt into her throat. And neither have I.
“Okay, I’ll see you around six. No, that’s not necessary. You can buy the snacks. Yeah, I know. I got the better bargain.”
He put the phone down and picked up a paper in front of him. “You look quite impressive on paper, Ms. Wellman. You indicate that you participated in moot court. Tell me a little about it.”
“I was a finalist in the moot court competition. I declined acceptance on the team, though, when I made the Law Review.”
Gideon moved forward. She knew his interest would peak when she mentioned publication of her research.
“It concerned grandparental visitation.”
He glanced once more at her application. “This community service you performed, what did you do?”
“I worked with a judge in Osceola County. He developed a program to teach elementary school children in underprivileged areas about the law. We went into the classrooms here in Central Florida and presented them with an overall view of criminal law, civil law, torts, and the responsibility of all individuals in the legal system. Judge Kenley is still gathering the statistics on the program to determine if teaching the children about the law is a deterrent to crime.”
“Are you familiar with Westlaw software?”
“Very much so. During my second year of law school, I taught first year students on the program.” Faith moved up, sitting on the edge of her seat. She unconsciously began moving her leg in a small bounce.
“Okay, say I need the latest ruling by the 5th DCA on the admissibility of a Breathalyzer following a traffic stop for DUI, officer has probable cause, defendant fails all other sobriety tests. Show me how you’d locate it.”
He stood and motioned Faith to take his seat. She moved around, and he held the chair out for her. She sank into the luxurious leather and felt the warmth of his body radiating from the chair. She tried to keep her hands from shaking as she moved the mouse to the menu and clicked on the correct database within the program. In record time, she found the information he needed and printed out the results.
He moved to the other side of the table and sat in her seat, indicating she should remain in his. She found this amusing and let a smile play across her lips.
“Impressive on paper and in person. Do you plan to finish law school in the near future?” he asked.
“No, not in the near future. I plan to continue someday.”
“What’s stopping you now?”
Faith picked at the seam on the leather chair. “Finances. My husband died a little more than a year ago, Judge Tabor. It’s just my boy and I.”
She nodded. “The money provided by my husband’s insurance policy isn’t enough to allow me to keep my house and attend school.”
“How old is your son?”
“V.J. just turned seven.”
Gideon stood, and she did the same. “I feel as if I’ve met you somewhere before.”
“Giddy.” The door slammed open. “Oh.” The beautiful brunette stopped and looked from Gideon to Faith who still stood behind Gideon’s desk. “And who is this?” She moved close to Gideon, straightening his tie. “You know I hate this old tired rag.”
His father gave him that tie before his induction into the National Honor Society. The memory jumped out at Faith, startling her. My infatuation with him was a sickness. I still remember his birth date, his favorite food and the fact his dad gave him that beautiful tie.
“Excuse me, Delilah, but I’m in the middle of a conversation here.”
“I just wanted to know if you have lunch.”
“Give me a minute to speak with Ms. Wellman, and we’ll discuss it.”
Delilah stepped back but not away, and Faith recognized Gideon’s annoyance. “Well, Ms. Wellman, can I reach you at the number you provided on the resume?”
“Oh, Giddy, it’s just an interview. Let her go. Let’s do lunch.”
Gideon took a deep breath. “Does your son enjoy basketball?”
“Basketball, baseball, any sports. He used to spend all his time outside playing ball with his father…”
“Oh, really, Gid. Does anyone care about this?” Delilah placed her hands on her hips.
Faith shook her head at the woman’s rudeness, and her gaze locked with Gideon’s for just a moment. “Thank you for your time, Judge Tabor.” She started for the door.
“Oh, Ms. Wellman…”
“Call me Faith, please.”
“Faith, one more question. I’m looking for a church to attend. Can you recommend one?”
“Gideon Tabor, you can’t ask that question!” Delilah scolded.
Faith ignored the woman’s concerns. “I attend Calvary Assembly. We’re a small congregation and meet in a storefront office over on Bumby. We’d love to have you visit.”
“I just might. I’m a fairly new Christian, and I’ve been searching for a church home.”
“She could sue the pants off this county for that question,” Delilah warned.
“It’s not part of the interview. It has nothing to do with whether I hire her or not. I’m sorry if I offended you, Faith.”
“You could never offend me by asking a question about my belief,” Faith assured.
Delilah turned away, stomping her foot in the process.
Faith smiled and held out her hand. “It’s so nice to meet you, Judge Tabor.”
“V.J., answer the phone, please,” Faith called from the laundry. After another ring, she heard his soft answer. Lord, where’s the son you gave to me this morning?
“Mommy.” V.J. came into the kitchen and stood in the doorway to the laundry room. “He says he’s Judge Tabor.”
Faith took the portable phone, covering it with her hand. “You need to take a bath and brush your teeth. Is your homework on the table for my review?”
“I love you,” she reassured.
“Love you, too.” He turned, walked through the kitchen and plodded up the steps.
“Hello,” she spoke to the person on the other end of the line. A loud cheering crowd answered back.
“Yeah, that’s the way. Rebound!”
Faith waited, her heart pounding.
“Ms. Wellman, I’m sorry.”
“Quite all right,” she laughed.
“Have you taken any other jobs?”
“No, sir. I haven’t.”
“Well, I assume I’m still in the running.”
“I think that’s my line,” she laughed.
“When can you start?”
“When do you need me?”
Another loud cheer erupted, and Faith pulled the phone from her ear as he screamed in excitement.
“Listen to that.” He returned to the conversation. “Everyone’s cheering because you’re coming to work for me tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m.”
Faith covered her mouth to contain her laughter. “Thank you, Gid.”
“You’re welcome, Faith. See you tomorrow.”
Faith put the phone down and leaned against the washer. I’m going to have to be careful not to slip up like that again. I don’t want him to know the truth. Calling him Gid is very unacceptable.