My husband started telling me a story the other night - a true story about someone I've met a few times who lives in another state.
He first heard the story over the phone. I watched him as he listened to it and I could tell it wasn't a happy story.
When he started relaying the story to me, he looked grave. I expected the worst. I braced myself for something tragic... but it never came.
I got lost during the story he was actually telling because I was anticipating something else. I told him from my perspective, after all the mysteries that I have read, a story that starts with a person coming home and finding something unpleasant usually ends with a dead body. Thankfully, this story had nothing to do with death or bodies. I was so relieved, I had to breathe for a few minutes before having him start the story again so I could relax and hear what had actually happened.
But it did making me wonder about my brain - about how conditioned I have become to expect fictional endings to real life stories. I felt pretty stupid that I had assumed something so horrific. Unfortunately, though, my "fictional" endings could very well have been true. We hear such things in the news all the time.
It would be nice if "fictional" endings just stayed in fiction. Thankfully that was the case for the person in my husband's story.