He was the first – perhaps the only one – of his kind. Your own personalised storyteller. I know what you’re thinking; anyone can read you a story. Few can even make one up as they go along.
But he was different. He’d spend time with you. Days, weeks, months. Whatever it took to get to know you. To become your best friend. Until then, he’d be a fount of information, effortlessly holding his own in any conversation. Drawing out your likes, your dislikes, your preferences. And then one day, when he was ready, the stories would begin.
Fantastic stories. Stories you could never have imagined, stories you’d never hear, others you’d encounter later in life. Stories about life and love and dragons and oceans, serpents and fairies. Everything your heart desired, everything you needed to hear. New stories, made-up stories, stories as old as the world. Every day, he’d take you through stories, mixing them up so they’d be just right for you. Leaving out the bits you’d hate, adding in things you’d love. Things that drove you wild and set your mind on fire. Some days, he’d tell you only half a story, leaving you aching, begging to know how it ended. And then just when you’re losing your mind, wondering what happens next, he’d finish it for you.
And sometimes, just sometimes, when he felt it really necessary, when he was sure it was something you couldn’t deal with, he’d change the endings to suit you.
I’ve had this post in my head for the longest time. This one’s for you, anna. Someday, I hope you will know how much I looked up to you then, and how much I think of you now.