Understanding

The sky became gray as heaven shed its tears. Muffled voices echoed inside my mind as the sun gracefully bowed and disappeared, shoved out of view by the greedy night. I stood where the sun had gone hoping it might come back, ridding me of the miserable gloom. It had been a long time since I had felt warmth from the bright sun. Slowly, I turned my back to the darkness and walked back to my tent. While I was walking, a bright yellow head glowed in the darkness. He was sitting on the foul ground with his bright head facing the floor. I thought he was dead, then suddenly he lifted his head and eyed me. His pale eyes looked as though they were hiding something. Then I realized he was the son of the corpse I saw being carried out to the furnace. There was a remarkable similarity between the two. He looked at me with a hint of sadness in his eyes. I didn't remember feeling sad after my father had died a month ago. If I learned anything at this camp it was that the strong live and the weak die. My father was one of the weak ones. I looked at the boy once more to see he was still looking at me. Suddenly a whirlpool of emotions spun in my mind. A connection was made between us, without words. I understood what he was feeling. I realized that I had seen my father, once a burly proud man, turn to a state of total weakness and decay in front of my eyes. I had done nothing to help or encourage him to fight. He died alone, a lonely old man, in a place of despair without anyone to say goodbye to. I remembered how my father and I used to stay up all night telling each other stories by the faint glow of a candle. My body warmed from the memory of us talking together by a campfire. Then my body became cold from the time we went swimming in the cool lake by our house. I knew why the boy was mournful. All of the sudden I felt the sting of salty tears flowing down my face. I was crying. I realized that I would never see my father again. That's what made me cry. As the visions slowly faded away, I looked once more at the boy. I couldn't tell if he was crying because it was raining to hard, but I knew he was.