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Ringing her door, I was anxious to see her again upon her return from the Caspian coast. Nooshin had become my best friend in sixth grade and now we were inseparatable. The fact that our fathers were colleagues, that we attended the same school and now had become neighbors helped solidify this bond, but without them we still would have become friends. We just liked to hang out together.

Her mother buzzed me in. As I entered the yard, the colors of the garden and the waft of Baghala polo (fava bean/dill rice) welcomed me to their home, as much as her mother’s open arms. “Nooshin, Jaleh is here.”

Nooshin was never a hugger, so we acknowledged each other with a smile and a short hello, as she grabbed her volleyball. She was much shorter than me, her curly black hair, her aquiline nose, the pride of her heritage from her father’s people from the Gilan province in the north, her broad smile and piercing eyes were a site for my sore eyes. “How was it?” I asked. “I’ll tell you later,” she said shortly.

We left the house quietly with a short goodbye to her mom and prepared to meet up with other neighborhood children to play volleyball on the road in front of our houses. While we waited she filled me in with stories of adventures with her cousins and the new games she had learned, which she would teach me in the near future. Soon, four or five more kids including my brother joined us to start the game. A cool breeze promised a perfect temperature for the game and the pink and orange sky provided the perfect lighting. Life was perfect.

Little did we know that less than a year later the lighting of the Iranian Revolution of 1979 would destroy our country, separating us forever.

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