the trouble with teaching tolerance...*
by Emily Tong
She saw that he was standing outside, his back turned against the entrance of the room, leaning on the metal railing of the little cement porch that protruded out from the building as if an afterthought. Its steps fell away down either side, but if one was to look directly out from the doorway, all they would see would be this railing that he was leaning on, holding him from the edge of a cement drop to a cement courtyard.
She felt his solitude keenly as she watched his motionless figure, leaning on the railing. He was missing out on the party. Someone ought to see if something was wrong.
Instantly the girl was on her feet. She excused herself roughly, and went about her mission. She burst out the door, onto the porch, and toward him with such energy, failing to notice his deliberate, clasped hands, bent head, closed eyes. Instead, she stumbled into him, Are you ok? Why dont you come inside?
This trailed away as she recognized his stance, recognized the rudeness of her interruption. She was at once embarrassed that she had disturbed him, stricken by her own obvious lack of piety, and impressed by his reverent spirit.
Its ok, I was just praying, he stated simply, as though this scene was as ordinary as the metal railing, as uncomplicated as the cement beneath their feet. He stretched, brushed a hand through his hair, turned towards her.
About what? she was dying to ask. But she had already overstepped the boundary of her own courage for the day. Silently, she consented to walking him back inside to their second grade class first party.
Author's Note: *...is learning tolerance
Posted on 09/18/2008
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