I was eleven when my father left, so neither of us really knew our fathers. I’d met mine of course, but then I only knew my dad as a child knows a parent, as a sort of crude outline filled in with one or two colors. I’d never seen my father scared or cry. I’d never heard him admit to any wrongdoing. I have no idea what he dreamed of. And once I’d seen a smile pinned to one cheek and darkness to the other when my mum had yelled at him. Now he was gone, and I was left with just an impression—one of male warmth, big arms, and loud laughter.