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In Utah There Are Mountains Too

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All that year Cuqui kept thinking about it, but school work, figure-skating classes, drawing lessons and her friends’ sweet-sixteen parties kept her too busy. When vacation rolled around, she again turned the matter over in her mind and came to a conclusion: God doesn’t exist. So Cuqui decided she’d become an atheist. The first person she told was her grandmother. The old woman just shrugged: it made no difference to her whether Cuqui was an atheist, a Protestant, a Jew or a Catholic. Later she told her mother over the telephone.

Mom, I don’t believe in God any more. I’ve become an atheist.

Cuqui’s mother, at the other end of the line, remained silent.

Mom, did you hear me?

I did, she said.

I’ve realized that the people who don’t believe in God are superior to those who do because they don’t depend on anything. I don’t want to depend on anyone, Mom.

Cuqui, what’s wrong? Why are you telling me these things?

Because that’s what I think. She could hear her mother sobbing.

Mom, please don’t cry.

Mom, are you still there?

Yes, she said, and then hung up.

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