I was talking in class this week about unresolved endings in stories- that you don’t need to tie up loose ends for an ending to be emotionally satisfying. I was reminded of Anne Tyler’s excellent ending to her short story, Teenage Wasteland (not a part of her pictured novel The Amateur Marriage, FYI). All you have to know about the following is that Daisy’s son Donny has run away.
“At night, Daisy lies awake and goes over Donny’s life. She is trying to figure out what went wrong, where they made their first mistake. Often, she finds herself blaming Cal, although she knows he didn’t begin it. Then at other times she excuses him, for without him, Donny might have left earlier. Who really knows? In the end, she can only sigh and search for a cooler spot on the pillow. As she falls asleep, she occasionally glimpses something in the corner of her vision. It’s something fleet and round, a ball- a basketball. It flies up, it sinks through the hoop, descends, lands, in a yard littered with last year’s leaves and striped with bars of sunlight as white as bones, bleached and parched and cleanly picked.”