"Bad news travels at two a.m.," says Buddy, narrator of "A Matter of Faith." When the phone rings at two in the morning, he learns of Uncle Kikoy's impending death and realizes that this death is the first of many deaths that will feel like the loss of a parent. Uncle Kikoy and other "bachelor uncles" helped to raise Buddy—they "kept me safe," he recalls. Eighteen years old, with only a little money that he was saving for college and an old car that can make only one more trip to Seattle before it collapses, Buddy sets off on a spiritual journey in which he discovers underneath his seeming atheism a faith born of emotional needs and a strong bond to a man who never gave up faith even in the hardest of times.
(The entire section is 136 words.)