My father never finished a story. He would think about it, sometimes he would start writing it. And then, as he got farther into it, he would know where it went, and then he would throw his hands up.

“I’m done,” he would say.

“But … but …” I would reply. “You’ve written half a page.”

“Yes, but I know what happens, see? Why do I need to write it down now?”

“But I wanna read it!”

I never got to. When I was a kid, he would make up stories when putting me to bed. He would start with something that almost happened to him, and then he would weave it on till he was knew what could happen. Sometimes he would stop right before the ending, because now he knew in his head, and he didn’t think it was important to tell me.

My mother, bless her soul, would write an ending on a scrap of paper and give it to me the next morning at breakfast. But it was never the ending. I could tell the difference.

One morning, he turned to me at the breakfast table. “You know what happens?” he said. “And then some of them live happily ever after. Everything else is variations. Does that make you feel better?”

I shook my head. No.