“Want to be friends forever?” she asked as she leaned back on the summer grass. We were both facing the hot sun, somewhere on a playground close to our home. She wore a long skirt, which didn’t quite reach her ankles but was long enough for me to know it was something that belonged to her religion. And there I was, sitting next to her, dreaming about us being friends forever. “Yes I would love that. Forever?” I asked a little hesitantly. She had stopped talking; her soft smile answered my question.
When we both hadn’t spoken in minutes I looked at her skirt again. She was so different from me. Her family, friends, and her surroundings were different from mine like night and day. One of her sisters had always considered our friendship to be somewhat strange. It would almost make me feel that our different religious beliefs would get in the way of each other. But she wasn’t like that. She never questioned our friendship, never wondered if we could be friends at all. Because she was very open I sometimes found myself wanting to learn more about her religion. Why she, for instance, wasn’t allowed to watch television, or if it was true that she secretly did have one at home. Or why they all dressed like that and went to church every Sunday.
If my curiosity would have gotten the upper hand I would have asked her all these questions and she would have answered them patiently. But we were too busy being friends. Too busy thinking about the carefree future that awaited us. Too unprejudiced to simply ignore each other.
A couple years later she moved. And at that exact spot where we sat together in the grass a house was built. No more room for daydreams. Only a lasting memory: in a world with different religions our world was one.
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