Sometimes, after they've both left, I get back into bed and try to fall asleep again, just to distance myself from the constantly surfacing mental images: me as a child on a tall chair in the kitchen, my feet don't yet reach the floor. I read the business section of the Los Angeles Times without understanding much, just to make him proud of me.
He sits casually across the table, my father, and he smiles at me. In a few minutes he's taking me to school and this early morning ritual, the time we spend together, will be over. At least for now, I'd think, and there was always a tomorrow until suddenly there wasn't.
"No happy endings, Avy", he said.