Thursday, December 17, 2015

Blissfully Ignorant Mennonite

Continued from Scheming Mennonite

Mennonite colony in Nuevo Ideal, Durango, Mexico where I grew up.

“Hey, Anna, how's it going?” asked George.

“Ahhh… alright, over here anyway.”

As he began talking, I sat down and thought, oh no, here we go. I got really nervous and began shaking again.

“Okay, I will cut to the chase and tell you what is going on. My friend called to tell me that the police just drove past Mark’s house slowly, and by the time the police officer made it around that block, the Low German cowboys were gone.”

“No way! Wow, George, it worked. I can't believe this, I can't believe I did that.”

“Yup, you did, and it worked.”

“Thank you, George, for letting me know right away.”

“You’re welcome, sweetie. Try and get some sleep now. How is Christina?”

“She’s still in the same place we put her and she’s snoring.”

He laughed and said, “Okay, Anna, have a good night.”

“You too.”

I hung up the phone, went and got myself a blanket, lay down beside Christina, and said every single prayer I knew. Once for saying a bad word, once for thinking about kissing George, once for tricking the cowboys.

I opened my eyes and stared at Christina’s face for a while as she was snoring, and thought how glad I was that out of all the friends she could have stayed with, she asked to stay with me. That made me feel so much better about all the times I felt like I was a useless friend.

The next thing I knew, I woke up to the sound of the shower and I had to think really hard to figure out what had happened and what was going on. When I realized that Christina wasn't there I knew that it was her in the shower.

I lay back down, remembered my award, and just stared at it with a smile on my face. But that smile turned to a frown as soon as I remembered Aaron.  Christina came out of the shower with her hair wrapped up in a towel.

“Good morning, Anna.”

“Hey, good morning. How are you feeling?”

“Really shitty. I have a nasty headache and I don’t remember how I got into your apartment.”

“George and I dragged you up the stairs.”

“Oh no! I’m sorry.”

“No, don't be sorry. I was glad you asked to stay here with me because I didn’t want to be alone, either.”

“It’s all coming back to me now. What happened with those cowboys that you were talking to?”

I explained the whole thing to her and she said, “Holy shit, Anna, I can't believe it. How did you come up with that idea?”

“I’m not even sure, it just came to me.”

“Wow, Anna, what a night.”

“I know! I am still really tired.”

“We need a Tim Hortons coffee. Do you have any plans for today? Would you like to come shopping with me? I haven't done any Christmas shopping yet.”

I got so excited and shouted, “YES! I do, I just have to shower first.” I showered, put my favorite jeans and t-shirt and some lip gloss on and I was ready to go.

While I was in the shower Christina had called her mom to pick us up and drive us to her car.

When we got to Christina’s car, the snowplow had taken away most of the snow. While Christina went to start her car, her mom got out, walked around to me, gave me a hug, and said, “Thank you, Anna -- thank you for keeping my daughter company. She gets really tired of me telling her that she shouldn’t be alone.”

I didn’t know what else to say so I just said, “You’re welcome. She is a good friend.”

“Well, I’m glad that she has a friend like you. Have fun shopping, you too,” her mom shouted as I got in her car.

We drove to Tim Hortons, bought ourselves large coffees, and drove to White Oaks Mall in London, the biggest mall I had ever seen.  We walked in, and the first thing I saw was this huge Christmas tree. I couldn't help myself, I just stopped and stared at it in awe for a while.

We had to be so careful and watch where we walked, the mall was as crowded as the club that we went to the night before. Seeing all those people reminded me of everything that happened the night before. I wondered how pissed off those Low German cowboys could be at me after what I did.

I still felt very anxious about that whole ordeal while walking through the crowded mall. Thinking about going to grade nine, and feeling terrified and butterflies about it at the same time. I tried to just keep remembering that I wasn’t a hard learner anymore.

But I couldn't stop thinking about the cowboys. “I don’t care if they are mad at me, I hope I never run into them again. Oh no! What have I done? I shouldn’t have done that, I am in big trouble, what would I do if I ran into them again?”

Then I had a lightbulb moment when I spotted a giant man that looked like a policeman but was actually a security guard at the mall. I thought, “I should just call that giant policeman that worked on my stalker case. He would know what to do with those cowboys if they bothered me again.”

I had a hard time enjoying myself walking around in that mall. Not even the Christmas music playing in the background was helping to distract my thoughts.

That was until we went into one of Christina’s favorite stores. Suddenly a man jumped up, ran to her, hugged her, and said, “Oh, darling, how are you? It’s so good to see you.”

He turned to me and said, “Oh my God, Christina, who is this sweet girl you brought with you today? Wow, look at those eyelashes, you are so gorgeous.”

I just smiled and looked down, I had no idea what to say to that. Other than Bree no one had ever even noticed my eyelashes before, let alone been that excited about them, especially a man.

I gave Christina a confused, what the heck is going on here look. She didn’t make eye contact while she introduced me to him: “Josh, this is Anna. She is from Mexico. Anna, this is my friend, Josh.

He took my left hand with his right hand, rubbed it with his right hand, then slowly moved my hand to his lips, softly kissed my hand, and said, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Anna. Welcome to Canada.”

I just stared at him. He was wearing dark blue jeans, a white button-up long sleeve shirt, a black vest with light pink polka dots on it, and a bright pink tie.

“Wait, you are Mexican? Aren't you a bit too white to be Mexican?”

Christina looked at him with her eyebrows raised and said, “Behave, Josh.”

“I know, I know, I am just stating a fact. I’m sorry, Anna, but I am a bit confused.”

“It’s okay, Josh, you're not the only one. I’m confused about it myself. I’m some kind of Low German Mennonite that happened to be born in Mexico,” I said.

“Wow! That is fascinating, you’ll have to tell me all about what that is like.”

“Sure, but it will take a long time.”
“I have all the time in the world, I would love to hear all about it.”

“Did you get the new clothes that you were so excited about?” Christina asked.

“Yes, and you have to try on a few pieces that we just got in today. You are going to look fabulous in these clothes.”

“No, I won't. I look terrible. If you put those new clothes on me you would ruin them. Anna should try them on.” And she started crying again.

Josh put his arms around her and said, “Oh, honey, I know this sucks for you. I am so sorry. What can I do?”

“Nothing! Nobody can do anything for me. I should just die, too.”

“Don’t be talking such nonsense, Christina. Then I would have to die, because I can't live without you. You stuck by me when no one else did. I need you in my life, please don’t talk like that. I am going to Sins tonight, you guys should come with me.”

As Christina wiped the tears off her cheeks she said, “Geez, Josh, we are still exhausted from clubbing last night. I don’t think we can handle another night of that.” 

“Wait, you go to a club called Sins? Do you need a SIN card to get in? Because if you do I have one, I even brought it with me.”

“What?” Josh asked.

“Wait, Anna, would you actually want to go there?” Christina asked.

“Yes, I would love too.”

“Anna, I have to tell you, ahhh…” Christina started, but Josh interrupted her.

“Wait, why don’t you guys pick out an outfit, do your shopping, go to my place, put on a movie, and relax for the afternoon. Then you will have a chance to explain all of this to Anna. Or we could just bring her to Sins and she can see for herself.”

“We’ll go with: shopping, going to your place, and I will explain things to Anna. Is that okay with you, Anna?” explained Christina.

“Okay,” I answered with a big smile on my face and followed Josh while he picked out some outfits for us to try on. I picked a black lace top that had a solid tank top under it that I thought would look nice with my jeans. Josh talked Christina into buying a short green dress that looked amazing on her.  

“What do you need, Anna? What else do you want to buy?” Christina asked as we walked out of the store that Josh worked in.

“I would like to buy some things for my family and send it to them for Christmas. My cousin Izaak's parents usually go to Mexico around this time. I want to call them and see if they would take a box of things for me.”

“That’s a great idea, Anna, I'll help you.”

We went to Walmart and she helped me pick out a toy for each of my siblings, a couple of boxes of chocolate, a big jar of peanut butter, a black sweater for my mom, a plaid button-up shirt for my dad, and a diaper bag for my married sister.

When we walked out of the mall it was snowing heavily. The parking lot was covered in fluffy white snow. We put all the bags of stuff in the trunk of her car and drove to Josh’s apartment in downtown London.

We took our new clothes and ran up the stairs to his apartment. I was amazed when we walked through the door -- his apartment was so clean and neat. Everything was black and white and it smelled like lavender. It was so cozy. The carpet was fluffy and white. His black sofa had white fluffy pillows lined up neatly against the back of it. There were a couple of fuzzy white blankets folded on each end of the sofa. I was especially excited about the big stack of magazines on the glass coffee table in front of the sofa.

Christina and I sat down on the sofa, looked at each other, both let out a big sigh, and snuggled up with the pillows. We just sat there and stared in a daze for a while until Christina got up and ordered pizza.

After she hung up the phone she took a deep breath, sat down beside me, and asked, “Anna, do you know about gay people?”

“What?” Click here to continue reading my story.

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