Thursday, January 19, 2017

Suspicious Mennonite


Continued from Wicked Mennonite

I stood by the window that overlooked the city and just stared out in awe of the view.

“It’s a wicked view, isn't it?” asked PJ.

“Yes! Wow, it is amazing. I have never seen that many Christmas lights before.”

“Would you like something to drink? Hot chocolate?”

“Do you have coffee, tea, or water?”

“Yes, I have coffee. You don’t mind instant coffee, do you?”

“No, not at all, it's my favorite! I drink it all the time.”

“Wicked!”

“Thanks.”

“Okay,” I said as he went to the kitchen to make me a coffee.

He brought out a tray with coffee and cookies and put it on the coffee table. He put the movie on and I sat down beside me as we began watching it. No matter how much I reminded myself to breathe and enjoy myself, I felt strange. I had a hard time paying attention to the movie. All I could think about was, “I am alone with a man who I hardly know. I wonder if I will get to go home for Christmas? I wonder if I will see Aaron, and what am I going to say to him if I do? Watch the movie Anna!” I told myself as I sipped away at my coffee.

When the movie ended. PJ asked, “So what did you think?”

“Ummm, it was different. Actually, it was hard for me to pay attention to it because I can't stop thinking about going home to Mexico.”

“I hope it works out for you.”

“Thanks. Me too, but I am starting to think it's not going to happen. I should just stop thinking about it and forget it.”

“Well, you just have to have faith. If it was meant to be, it will happen. Right?”

“Yeah, I think so. I think it's time for me to go now. Can you show me again how you figure out what time the next bus will stop here?”

“Of course. The next bus is coming it fifteen minutes.”

“Okay, I better go then. Thanks, PJ.”

“Wicked,” he answered as I grabbed my backpack and ran out the door.

When I got home, I had a new message from the travel agent. My heart stopped for a second when I listened to it.

“Anna, I have tickets for you. Call me as soon as you get this.”

I was so nervous, I called a few wrong numbers before I dialed the travel agency’s number. When the phone rang, I got worried that she might have already left for the day. I jumped when she answered the phone.

“You’re still there!” I yelled with excitement.

“Anna, yes I am and I have a ticket for you. It's not exactly the price you were hoping for but I thought I would offer them to you.”

“Okay, I have an idea, what if I fly to Durango Mexico and then on the way back I fly home from Dallas? I have a ride from Durango to Dallas, would that make a difference in the price?”

“It should. Hold on let me check.”

My heart was pounding as fast as the sound of her fingers hitting the keyboard. I jumped again when she said, “Here’s what I've got.” And she explained the details and how much it would be.”

“Yes! That will work. Ay caramba! I am going home!” I said.

“Yes, you are Anna. You are leaving in two days! Now go pack your bags and come and pick up your tickets tomorrow,” she said as she laughed.

“Okay, yes! See you tomorrow,” I answered and hung up the phone. I was so excited. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I ran around in my apartment like a maniac as I began packing my bags. After turning my apartment upside down and stubbing my toe many times, I remembered that I still had an exam to write in the afternoon of the day I was to leave for the airport early in the morning.

I thought, “I will ask my teacher if I can write it early or when I come back. Oh and I need to buy something for my mom! Oh shit, how am I getting to the airport!” And that’s when I freaked out and began to panic. As I reminded myself to breathe, I remembered GEORGE! I need to go talk to George. He will know what to do.”

I dropped everything and ran over to his apartment.

When he opened the door, I didn’t even say "hi" I just started rambling on as fast as I could. He put his hands on my shoulders and said, “Slow down Anna, breath, and have a seat.”

“Okay,” I replied and took a couple of deep breaths and sat down on the couch.

“So let me get this straight, you are flying to Mexico the day after tomorrow and you need a ride to the airport?”

“Yes!”

“Okay, that’s easy. You call Robert Q.”

“Who?”

“Robert Q. They drive people to the airport. I will call them right now. What airport and what time does your flight leave?”

“Toronto, at 9 am.”

“Okay, I will call them right now,” he said and picked up the phone while I went back to panicking. I got up as he hung up the phone.

“Done, here is the time they will pick you up, right here at the front door,” he explained as he handed me a piece of paper with that information written down on it.

“Wow, that was easy. How much do they charge?”

“Don’t worry about that, I already paid for it.”

“You did, how?”

“With a credit card.”

“Okay, thank you and I will pay you back, how much was it?”

“Don’t worry about that right now. Holy shit Anna! You are going to Mexico,” he yelled as he put his arms around me, lifted me off the ground, and spun me around.

When he put me down, he asked, “So, what all do you have to do before you go?”

“I have to write one more exam, buy something for my mom and most importantly, pick up the tickets.”

“Wow, how exciting. I am happy for you. I’m so glad that it worked out.”

“Thanks, I am not sure if I am excited or scared to death.”

“You will be fine Anna. Remember if you are not sure about something just ask somebody. There are always people who are willing to help.”

“Okay, I will try to remember that.”

“How will you get from the airport to the colony?”

“I will have to take a taxi to the bus station and then take the bus from Durango to my colony. I have taken the bus once to Durango and back to the colony. There is a bus stop right at the start of the Mennonite colonies, very close to my parent's house. It takes about ten minutes to walk to my parent's house from the bus stop.”

“Awesome! Does your family know that you are coming?”

“No.”

“Wow, are they ever in for a surprise.”

“Yeah, they will be shocked, especially when they find out that I came all by myself.”

“No kidding.”

“Okay, I better go. I have so much to do before I leave.”

When he said, “Sounds good. Have a safe trip and I will see you when you get back,” and he hugged me again. I had the strangest feeling that I might never see him again and the tears just rolled down my face. When he noticed he wiped the tears off and placed his hands on either side of my face and tilted my head so I had no choice but to look at him and said, “Everything will be fine Anna, you can do this. You are ready for this. Just remember all the things you have learned and breathe when you get worried okay?” He leaned in, kissed my cheek and hugged me again.

When I got home I tried to get some sleep, but I just couldn't. I had too many things on my mind, so I got up really early and went to school, hoping to catch my teacher to ask if I could write the exam early. And sure enough, she was there already. After I mumbled away for a while trying to explain it all to her, she said, “Yes Anna. You may write the exam early. All we had left was a day of review but if you think you are ready you can write it right now. Would you like to write it right now?”

“Ummm, yes! Yes, I would.”

After I wrote the exam. I remembered, “My cleaning job!” And went to look for Tony immediately. I explained my plans to her and she said, “No problem Anna, I can cover for you until you get back.”

“Great, thank you.”

“You’re welcome. Have a safe trip. I wish I could come.”

“Ahhh no you don’t. You would hate where I am going.”

“Why?”
“Ummm can I explain it to you another time?”

“Okay, sure,” she replied as I turned around and almost ran right into Steve. He was standing right behind me.

“You are going to Mexico?” Steve asked.

“Yes, I am.”

“Wow, that’s great. Are you ready to write the exam?”

“No, but I already wrote mine.”

“You did? Good for you.”

“Yeah, I came in early and wrote it. I have no idea how I did. I really hope I passed.”

“Oh, I’m sure you did and good for you. Have a safe trip,” he said and he gave me a hug.

I left school and took the bus uptown, went to the bank, picked up my tickets and walked to Buy-Way to shop for a gift for my mom. I got all excited when I spotted what I thought would be the perfect gift for my mom. A brand new set of silverware. I thought she would love a new set of silverware from Canada and bought it without hesitation.

When I got home I took my school books out of my backpack, put my mom’s gift, my tickets, my passport, my Spanish-English dictionary and a pleated dress into it, and I was ready to go to Mexico. I had all the important stuff planned out, I was going to wear pants for the trip until I got to the Durango airport and then I was going to change into a dress somewhere in a bathroom before heading to my colony on the bus.

I looked at the time George had written down on that piece of paper to see what time this “Robert man” was going to pick me up and it said 4:30 am. I set my alarm for 3:30am and I was so exhausted that I fell asleep no problem. I had a nightmare that I walked all the way to Mexico and I was still wearing pants when I got to the colony.

When my alarm came on. I jumped up, ran straight to the bathroom and threw up. I took a quick shower, got dressed in pants as I had planned, grabbed my suitcase, backpack, and walked down the stairs.

When the van got there and a man got out to help me with my suitcase, and he introduced himself as Doug. I thought, “What? I thought Robert was picking me up.” It was a quiet ride all the way to the airport. There were two other people in the van but nobody said anything. Doug dropped us off in front of two big glass sliding doors at the airport and left. The other people knew exactly where they were going. I just stood there and looked around in awe of the size of the airport.

When an airport employee spotted me and asked if I was lost. I said, “No, I'm not lost. I just don’t know where I have to go from here.”

He laughed and asked where I was going and with what airline.

“I am going to Mexico, but I don’t know what airline.”

“May I see your ticket?”

“Okay,” said and handed it to him.

“Okay, follow me this way,” he said and walked me to the American Airlines check-in station and from there I just did what other people did. I stood in line until it was my turn. They weighed my suitcase, tagged it, and sent it off.

“Where is my suitcase going?” I asked.

“Don’t worry it's going on the same plane as you,” said the airline employee, handed me my tickets and said, “Go to this gate and that’s where you will go through security okay.”

I made my way to the gate and when my backpack went through the security check, a loud beeping noise began. An officer rushed over toward me and asked, “Mam, do you have knives in your backpack?”

“Yes.”

“Ma’am, you need to come with me, this way.” Click here to continue reading my story.


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