I have a confession to make: I’m obsessed with happy endings. Whether it’s a story someone is telling you, a book, or a movie, I want that nice, pretty bow at the end and all of the feel-goods that come with it. I’m not really sure why either, but over the years it has become abundantly clear to me that I need them. I still remember one of my favorite books and the ending that undoubtedly started this obsession.
My mom was driving on the highway as we made our way to visit family in Florida. My brother was sitting in the front seat (which he had likely demanded to be able to do). For the life of me, I have no idea why these details stick out, but there you go. It was a sunny day, if you were curious. Anyway, I digress. Back to what I was saying.
There I was was, stretched out in the backseat of the truck devouring The Green Rider by Kristen Britain. The fantasy book had been full of the most amazing adventures and I was eager to finally reach the conclusion of what I was convinced was now officially my favorite book.
As I have established before, all the best fantasies have at least a smidge of romance in them. This was no different. I turned another page in the last chapter practically on the edge of my seat. The scene had been set, here was the moment, the moment you spend the whole book hoping will come and it was finally here. All it would take was one line; that was all I needed. One kiss, one touch, one anything… The scene was perfectly primed. Our heroine’s main mission had been impossibly accomplished (or so we think) and she is sitting there with the love-interest we have all been silently cheering for.
My heart is virtually in my throat at the anticipation. The tension increases. This is it, the bow at the end, the cherry on top. And…nothing. Absolutely nothing. The moment is completely ruined as chaos erupts and then there is nothing else. Quite literally, nothing else. The book is over. I was so outraged, I threw the book across the car where it thunked with a violence that mirrored my own rage.
How could she do it? She was the author. She was God in this world. She could have made it happen. Why would she leave me hanging like this? It was cruel and unfair. I had read the whole book, suffered and rejoiced with our heroine. Was one kiss really so much to ask for?
Needless to say, at this explosion of emotion from the back seat, the car swerved, everyone panicked. I was yelling, my brother was yelling, my mom was definitely yelling (there may have been a few expletives in there). That one pivotal ending solidified what I would later identify as a deep-seeded hatred of tragedies as well as cliffhangers.
It feels as though every story I have ever enjoyed after that has been chasing that one, perfect, happy ending. The one that leaves you with warm fuzzies, like there is still goodness in the world. Understandably, any story worth telling has to have it’s fair amount of suffering and heartache, but the ones that fill you with light, will always be the ones that draw you back again and again. Call it comfort food, call it indulgence, call it whatever you like; I don’t care. I won’t give them up.