More later.The lieutenant sank back into the sofa and lay down. His voice trailed off and his eyes dropped. Soon he drifted into sleep. I got up and carefully walked out of the room. The evening sunlight glittered over the crest of the hill while a warm breeze caressed my face. I could hear birds chirping and fluttering in the trees outside the walls, preparing for sleep. They were freer than anyone of us was behind the walls. They were not burdened with the past; they did not abuse or manipulate each other, they did not play games. They lived while we humans struggled to learn how to live. My encounter with the lieutenant had opened a hidden sluice, and a flood of thoughts rushed through my head. Even if he was drunk, I had no reason to doubt his story. His drinking was not an act of pleasure, but a desperate cry of a deeply wounded man. I was probably the first person he had talked to about his painful memories in years, without constraint. For me he was the first person who talked about such personal matters as marriage, infidelity and game playing. I had never heard my parents quarrel, and I had always believed they were the happiest couple on earth, but now I asked myself what actually had been happening between them when they were alone. After twenty years of their marriage, did they feel the same love as before, or did they just pretend because of me? Until today I had a romantic view of love and marriage, I believed there could be no secrets between lovers; they should share the good and the bad until the end of their lives. Now I understood how naive I had been.
Student or Learner