Two small houses, freshly renovated, next to each other, were waiting for the new owners. And then they approached the same ones, that is, half of both pairs, more precisely the female half. At the garden gate they suddenly looked up and at each other. The tall, dark woman with wild curls and the slender, blond woman with long, straight hair stood there, recognized each other, and immediately burst out laughing. When the laughter had subsided, they approached each other.
“I find it exciting that we meet here like this,” said the blonde.
“I think so too,” said the dark one.
What it what they meant? As different as they might be, purely on the outside, because we don’t know more about the two women yet, they still had one thing in common, a full, round stomach that bulged forward and looked as if they had swallowed a basketball.
“By the way, my name is Nia,” the tall woman pushed forward.
“And my name is Sandra,” replied the petite woman, “we will live next to each other. I think that’s a good omen.”
“Are we going to have herbal tea with me or with you?” Nia asked.
“Let’s start with me,” Sandra offered.
And that first conversation, drinking tea together and the prospect that their children would be born around the same time was the start of an intense friendship. Nia explained that her mother was from Namibia, but that she herself was born in Austria. Her husband Michael would be a genuine Austrian, whatever that might mean. For her part, Sandra only immigrated as a baby from northern Germany. However, her husband Folke, whom she met through her work as a software developer, had come to Austria from Sweden and stayed a few years ago, more precisely when a relationship between them was beginning to develop. They unanimously said that they were very happy to have found these houses, not too big and not too small, with a pretty garden, not too big and not too small, in a small village that still had everything you could want daily needs. And now this coincidence that they would live next to each other. A few weeks later the babies were born, first Mia, the daughter of Nia and Michael and three days later Max, the son of Sandra and Folke. How beneficial this constellation was becoming clearer from day to day, because the two women supported each other in looking after the children, so that the young parents always had an evening to themselves, sometimes for one couple, sometimes for the other. The children were also drawn to each other from the start. As soon as they could walk, the door built into the fence between the two gardens always stayed open. So, Mia & Max always had the opportunity to visit each other. When they went for a walk, one often saw them walking hand in hand, the dark-skinned girl and the light-skinned boy. Everything seemed perfect.
“What a shame that Negroes are moving here now,” an old woman wailed one day, “Come here and live on welfare and then they get a house like this for free. And our people have to see where they are. That would not have happened under Hitler.”
Sandra was about to say something, but found herself held back by Nia, who said loudly and clearly to her friend, although the message was actually intended for the old lady: “Just leave her alone. She doesn’t understand any better. Because otherwise she would know that I was born in Austria and have always worked since graduating and pay taxes just like everyone else, but that doesn’t fit her worldview. And what use is the opinion of a die-hard to us.”
“Damn Negro pack,” the old woman felt compelled to add before she shuffled away, groaning.
“Do you really want to leave it like that?” asked Sandra, who was horrified at so much hatred and hostility towards a person just because his skin color was different.
“Yes, because it only causes unnecessary fuss,” Nia replied softly, “And I’m sure that there is no longer this rejection among the younger ones.”
Mia & Max definitely didn’t care much. They liked each other just the way they were. Children make no difference. But many adults do it, as they unfortunately had to learn.