It's raining out, the landscape washed in varying gray tones, falling from dense clouds in heavy sheets. Black clad figures are weaving through the gray place markers that represent life, interupted. They tip gingerly over moistened ground, trying to avoid the inevitable tide of sepia mud that rises over the edges of their shoes. Standing in a loose circle, they all stare at the shiny black box.
One by one they step forward, to toss a momento into the gaping black void below, to share a funny or sad or happy story with the crowd. There are laughs, lots of tears, a melancholy energy passed back and forth between clasped hands. Slowly they start to receed, returning to their cars and their lives, silence broken only by the steady downpour. Only two figures stand side by side at the lip of the grave.
"I loved her," says the taller of the two, an unsteady hand pushed through tangled locs. "I loved her."
The other peers blankly at the hole in the ground, not saying anything, barely moving.
"I didn't know her," he says.
My daddy turns and walks away, pulling on the hat he always wears to work, walking swiftly through the rain drops without ever getting wet.
I wake up crying.