One More Year This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   "Tell me, Miss P.," the pastor began, as Ipassed through the church doors toward the parking lot, "what are your plansfor the future?"

I think I'll go crazy after graduation and spend therest of my days in an institution weaving baskets and slurping green Jell-O, Iwanted to say. Doesn't he have anything better to ask? Why is it that every adultI've met since I was 13 wants to know my future plans? How did it becomeeveryone's business?

"I'll be going to college next fall and maybelooking into music ministry. I want to get involved in missions," I toldhim.

"And what college are you planning to attend?" was the nextquestion, one I'd counted on.

Wouldn't you like to know? did not escapemy lips. Wouldn't I like to know?

"I'm looking at a lot ofpossibilities," was my safe reply. I thought of the bulging bag of letters,books and brochures in my closet. "It'll probably be in-state, though, closeto home." I had memorized this replacement for "I have no idea."

"Well, it sounds like you've really got a head start! Best ofluck!"

What head start? I sounded like I had everything figured out.I had almost fooled myself with that self-assured speech I gave everyone -almost. Except for not knowing what type of college to go to, where it would be,what scholarships I should apply for and my major, everything was in perfectorder. At least I was sure of graduating in one more year. Too bad the only thingI knew for sure was causing all the other problems.

I climbed into ourback seat, my mind racing. I thought of how often I'd had the same conversationin the last two months and how many times I'd heard the foreboding, "Wow!Only one more year to go!" from siblings, classmates, everyone.

Onemore year. Until my life changed forever. Until I left all that was familiar andbegan to travel the path that was my own. One more year. It was when the 18 yearsI'd already lived would become my childhood, and I would be pushed through thegates of adulthood, where I would have to start over again with nothing behindme.

"Ugh!" I grunted, scowling.

"What's wrong?"my dad asked.

"Nothing, you just hit a pothole.

"I didnot."

Yes, you did! Don't look at me like that, I thought as I spiedhim surveying me in the rearview mirror.

"I didn't feelanything," my mom added. "What's wrong,honey?"

"Nothing. Never mind. Sorry." I felt bad aboutbeing so abrupt, but I couldn't help it. I'd been moody all summer. It wasbecause there was only one more year.

You didn't hit a pothole, Dad, Idid. And it's become a crevasse I can't get out of. It swallowed me whole and Ican't move forward, or stay where I am, which is a far more appealing place sinceall I have to worry about is passing required courses and what I'm going to donext weekend.

"You know," my dad said, as we rounded the sharpcurve near our street, "they're going to straighten this curve nextyear."

I think my mom responded, but I was lost in the words"straighten the curve next year." I realized I was coming to a curve inmy road, but gradually it would straighten out. Maybe not tomorrow or the nextday, but some time in one more year.

Until that time all I have to do isbe patient and have faith. That's easy, right? Only one more year.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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