Still at the school, I return to my classroom and discover it is completely bare, with cobwebs filling the corners. I turn and there are the kids I helped raise into thinkers, questioners, doers. They have gray hair; and they tell me that my young friend passed away last year.
I am overcome with grief. Misery descends around me like a black cloak as I kneel there in the empty room. I weep for my friend. I weep for the old children. But mostly I weep for myself, lost in time. Pulled inextricably away from those I care about for we all enter death alone.
I open my eyes to discover that everyone is gone. The playground is empty and the setting sun colors the grass in golden swathes. I stand and walk past the jungle gym, the teeter totter, the swing set. There is not a breath of wind and no sounds of birds or cars reach my ears. There is only the sun, sinking every-so-swiftly towards the horizon. Almost like a glass dish falling, it is moving so fast.
As it slips behind the mountain, my eyes close. The light of a thousand suns blooms behind my lids and a laugh escapes my lips when I finally understand time, life and the universe. The light grows infinitely more bright.