Her name was Sarah and she lived next door.
She was my very first friend in the city we’d just moved to. My friend that could not speak.
When I met her, I asked my mother what was wrong with her.
My mom replied “Just because she doesn’t speak does not mean there is anything wrong with her. She’s fine.”, and that was that.
Sarah and I shyly stared at one another across the room. She, safely in the arms of her parents and I desperately clutching my mother’s skirt. Eventually, we slowly moved toward each other. Our parents described this as the longest, most careful process they had ever witnessed. Six years old yet as careful as can be.
Until we stood in front of each other, simply staring.
Suddenly, she raised her hand, touched my nose and laughed out loud. She laughed and I laughed too!
Then I touched her hair and I laughed and she laughed too!
Then she touched my hair and we both burst out laughing. From that moment on, we were inseparable.
She couldn’t speak and I could, therefore we had our own way of communicating, our very own language that no one else understood. We were as different as night and day but we were friends. The very best of friends!
One was black and the other white. Friends forever, Sarah and I.
“..special and different and just the same too!” ~ Michael Tyler, The Skin You Live In