Random Inspirations

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Rum-spring-a Break Finale

on October 25, 2012

My apologies for leaving you suspended in time at Jakob’s awkward entrance for two whole weeks! But finally, here it is: the conclusion of Rum-spring-a Break. I hope Ethan’s advice to Rebekah will inspire you. Enjoy!

“Th-there you are,” Jakob stutters, flushing with embarrassment. His clear blue eyes cloud over to rainy-day gray as he studies Ethan and me. “Mercy’s not feeling well, so we should leave soon. But since you’re busy I’ll just…wait outside.”

Jakob nearly tramples Furball as he hurries from the room, and I laugh as Ethan’s eager lips take mine again.

“Are you on Facebook?” Ethan asks as our lips part. I shake my head no. “Do you have email?” I shake no again. “What about a phone? You must have a phone.”

“No, Ethan,” I say. “I’m Old Order Amish. We’re very traditional.”

“Will I see you again?” Ethan asks.

“I hope so.”

Ethan grabs a pen and scribbles his phone number on the back of the pre-vet curriculum in bold, strong strokes. He hands it to me, and his kiss is full of passion and promise. “So do I,” he says, his lips still on mine.

“Keep this, Rebekah,” Ethan says, reluctantly dragging himself, and me, off the bed. “And promise me you’ll remember something.”

“Anything,” I say.

“Don’t just hold on tight to your dreams,” Ethan says. “Actualize them.”


Ten Months Later:

I’m on the edge of my uncomfortable plastic seat as I wait for the SAT tests to be passed out. I’m glad I took Ethan’s advice. I still haven’t been baptized Amish, since I plan to earn my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree first. My hope is that, because my career will be useful to our community, the elders will overlook my worldly pursuit of education. In the meantime, though, I’ll just focus on enjoying rumspringa and the many benefits of the outside world.

I survey the other students in the room, a diverse group that, judging from the fidgeting, brow furrowing, and chair squeaking, is as nervous as I. A handsome young man in Amish suspenders and a straw hat sits across the room. I catch his eye and we exchange shy smiles as the tests are distributed. I’m dressed English today, but perhaps he recognizes a kindred spirit.

I close my eyes and visualize myself acing this test. I don’t know whether I’ll call Ethan and we will reunite, or whether the Amish boy will talk to me during break, or whether I will succeed as a veterinarian, or whether my family and community will accept me if I do. But I do know one thing: right here, and right now, I feel as though I’m exactly where I belong. Clutching my Number 2 pencil, I take a deep breath, open my eyes, and flip open my SAT booklet, ready for whatever comes next.


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