Thursday, June 16, 2016

A date with a Mennonite

Continued from Inspired Mennonite

When Sam drove up to the sidewalk, I wondered if I should take my shoes off before getting into his shiny car so I wouldn’t make it dirty. He walked around his car and said, “Hi Anna,” as he opened the door for me.

“Hey, Sam thanks,” I said as he closed the car door and my heart began pounding while I was thinking that I shouldn’t be doing this. But it was too late, he took off like something was chasing us.

Looking out the window at the trees swooshing by, I thought about how it was possible to feel so many different ways in one day and it wasn’t even over yet. I secretly wished that the night was over and I was on my way home instead of on my way to the drive-in theater.

I glimpsed over at Sam hoping he wouldn't notice but he did. He smiled and said, “Anna, I’m so glad that you called to tell me that you wanted to come, I was worried that you would say no.”

“I thought about saying no, only to stay home and worry about how I could find another job, but then Christina called. She told me to forget about that for a while, to go out with you and have a good time.”

“She did?”


“Awesome! I am so glad she told you that. She is a good friend.”

“She sure is. I just wish that she lived closer.”

“How is she doing?”

“It sounded like she was doing great, she sounded very happy.”

“That’s great,” Sam answered.

“So what are you going to do for work?” I asked him.

“I already sent my resume to a few different places in town, I’m just going to wait and see what happens,” he said as he pulled up to a yard with a bunch of cars on it, and I thought, “Did he take me to an ütroop? (auction?)”

“You see that big white board over there?” Sam asked.


“That is the screen where the movie will be projected on.”

“Wow, that’s like a big TV.”

“Yeah, isn't it? So the reason we are here so early is because I wanted to make sure we got a good spot to park,” he explained while his friends arrived. Sam introduced me to his friends, Amy and Tim, Kim and Troy, they were two couples I hadn’t met before. They all shook my hand and said, “It’s nice to meet you, Anna.” I just smiled at them.

“Let's go get some popcorn before the lineups get too big,” said Kim and off we went into the building. While Sam and the two guys stood in the lineup Amy said, “Hey Anna you want to come to the washroom with us? You don’t want to go when the movie has started because it will get really dark and you don’t want to miss a second of this movie. I heard that it’s supposed to be fantastic.”

“Okay,” I said and followed them to the bathroom

“So what is this movie about?” I asked.

“We’re going to see Twister, it’s a movie about these people who chase tornadoes.”


By the time we were done in the bathroom and talking about the movie, the guys had left and gone back to the car.

“I’m so glad you know where Sam parked his car because I could never find it in this crowd. I would be so lost right now.”

“No worries Anna, I know exactly where he parked,” said Kim. 

The sun was setting behind the trees as we got back to the car. The guys had spread a big blanket on the grass, they were sitting on it waiting for us with popcorn and drinks that they had bought.

I sat down on the blanket next to Sam, he gave me a drink and said, “I hope you like it.”

I took a sip of the drink and before I could answer him, Troy asked, “So Anna, tell me did you ever experienced a tornado in Mexico?”

“Yes, I did a few times, but I remember the one we had when I was eleven years old. I was outside keeping an eye on my little brothers while one of them noticed the cloud turning really fast and just as he finished saying, ‘“Look, Anna, that could is turning into a long pointy tail,’ ” mom came running out telling us to come inside. We all ran inside, sat down at our spots around the kitchen table, put our hands together and said our memorized prayers quietly to ourselves. It suddenly got really dark and incredibly windy and once in a while the whole house lit up from the lightning. It got so loud that I couldn't hear my own thoughts, it sounded like our roof was being pulled from the house.”

“WOW! And then what happened?” asked Amy.

“Well, that felt like it was never going to end, but it suddenly got quiet and bright out again. We all ran outside and saw a big rainbow stretched out and reaching over the sky from one end of Mexico to the other. It didn’t take long and the news spread around the colony, that it was a tornado. It had pulled a huge tree out of the ground at the people’s house that lived near the lake and all the fish that had been in the lake were scattered all over their lawn.” 

“I’m getting the goosebumps just thinking about it, did anybody die?” asked Amy.

“No, well the fish did.”

“That must have been scary,” said Sam.

“It was. I thought we were all going to die, but our house wasn’t even touched by it and we forgot all about it being scary while having a great time jumping in the puddles after.”

“Do you miss Mexico?” asked Tim.

“Yes, I do. I miss many things about Mexico, especially the smell after the rain, the air was so fresh… or I’m not sure how to explain it but that smell after it rains is one of the things I miss most about Mexico. But I don’t miss the life I lived in the colony, well I do miss parts of it, or actually, I'm not even sure.”

“Was it boring living like that?” asked Kim.

“Yes, it was boring as heck, but I didn’t know it when I live there. I can only say that now because here in Canada I am so busy, I am doing so many things, especially now that I can...” and I stopped myself before I told them that I had just learned to read after coming to Canada. I thought, “They don’t need to know that, it’s way too embarrassing. I really hope that Sam hasn't told anybody about that.”

Only a few people knew about that and I wanted to keep it that way. I just wanted to forget that about it.

“Especially now that you can do what Anna?” asked Tim.

I was thinking hard about how I was going to answer that as truthfully as I could without actually telling the truth and then Sam rescued me, he said, “You mean especially now that you can speak enough English so that you can go out and do fun things with friends. Right, Anna?” and bumped my shoulder to let me know that he knew that I was trembling.

“Right, Sam,” I said and we both laughed.

It was getting dark and while Sam’s friends were moving around getting themselves comfortable on the blanket Sam looked at me and said, “Anna, you look great tonight.”
I turned all red and I was glad that it was getting darker so he wouldn’t notice. I said, “Thank you,” while I wondered if he just said that because he was glad that I wasn’t wearing my Mennonite dress, and the movie started.

Sam quickly got up and got some more blankets out to cover ourselves with. He sat down closer to me and covered us with a blanket. Everything went quiet as we watched the movie. I caught myself thinking, “This is the perfect, watching a movie outside like this,” as I enjoyed the heck out that experience and forgot all about it being a date or something like that. I didn’t want the movie to end.

Sadly the movie ended well past midnight and I was mad at myself for wishing that the night ended before it even started, when it was time to go home. On the way home, Sam asked, “So what do you think, Anna. Did you like watching a movie outside?

“I loved it! I so want to do that again.”

“Wouldn’t that have been scary if the tornado in your colony took a cow into the sky like in the movie?”

I laughed and said, “Yes, no kidding. I wish I could have seen how far those poor fish went up in the air during the tornado in my colony.”

“That would have been awesome to watch,” Sam answered.

I had so much fun and didn’t even think about it being a date until Sam pulled up to the front door of my apartment building my heart started pounding. I got so nervous about what might happen next. I had seen enough movies where that was the awkward part of a date.

I thought here we go as Sam walked around the car to open the door for me. I stepped out of his car and he backed up a bit and I held my breath as said, “I’m so glad you came Anna, this was fun,” and put his arms out, waited for me to hug him.

As I almost passed out from holding my breath I thought, “Oh no! Oh, crap! I don’t have a mason jar with me! Okay, I will give him a quick hug to get this over with and make a run for it! Up the stairs like the jriese diesta (an ogre of the darkness) is chasing me again.”

As I inhaled a breath, slowly moved in closer to him, put my arms around him and slowly exhaled as I realized, “This is nice, I don’t have to be afraid of him. He could have taken me somewhere into the dark and done God knows what to me, but he brought me home. He’s not the bad guy here. I’m the idiot for thinking that every man is going to treat me like my friend’s brother Aaron did ever since I can remember.”

When I loosened my arms, Sam did too and backed up a bit again as he gave me my personal space he said, “I had a great time, thanks for coming, I will see you at work on Monday.”

As I said, “Thanks, Sam, I had a great time too,” he moved in closer and squeezed me another hug, when he loosened his grip he slid his hand onto my shoulder, looked me in the eyes and said, “Have a good night Anna,” and got in his car and drove away. 

I just stood there for a moment and thought, “Well, okay. I’m okay! I’m going to be okay, I think.” And then I remembered that someone could see me and call my mom to tell her that I was out that late, how would I explain this to her? Going to a theater was a big no-no even worse than staying out that late. This was a double no-no for a Dietsche me'jal (German girl.)

When I was too young to even understand what exactly was going on, my older sister had gone to the city of Durango on a Sunday afternoon with our neighbor's girls on a city bus. Word had it that they had gone to a ‘cine’ (cinema) we didn’t even know what exactly that implied, but mom was so mad at my sister for going to the cine, that she wasn’t allowed to talk to those girls for a long time. 

Remembering that scared even the jriese diesta out of my thoughts. My heart began pounding as I ran up the stairs not from the jriese diesta chasing me, but my own conscience. I got inside of my apartment I locked the door behind me and sat in the dark in complete silence for a while until my heart rate slowed down and when to sleep thinking, “What a day! Wow!” Click here to continue reading my story.

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