Back To School Quotes

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THE FIRST TEN LIES THEY TELL YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL 1. We are here to help you. 2. You will have time to get to your class before the bell rings. 3. The dress code will be enforced. 4. No smoking is allowed on school grounds. 5. Our football team will win the championship this year. 6. We expect more of you here. 7. Guidance counselors are always available to listen. 8. Your schedule was created with you in mind. 9. Your locker combination is private. 10. These will be the years you look back on fondly. TEN MORE LIES THEY TELL YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL 1. You will use algebra in your adult lives. 2. Driving to school is a privilege that can be taken away. 3. Students must stay on campus during lunch. 4. The new text books will arrive any day now. 5. Colleges care more about you than your SAT scores. 6. We are enforcing the dress code. 7. We will figure out how to turn off the heat soon. 8. Our bus drivers are highly trained professionals. 9. There is nothing wrong with summer school. 10. We want to hear what you have to say.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
We’ll be back!” he snarled. It was really Ari’s voice. Boy, you just can’t kill people like you used to,” said Fang
James Patterson (School's Out—Forever (Maximum Ride, #2))
I crossed my arms over my chest. "Are you lost, little girl? The elementary school's over on west campus." A pink flush spread over her cheeks. "Don't you ever touch me again. You screw with me, I'll screw you right back." Oh man, what an opening that was.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
I cannot go to school today" Said little Peggy Ann McKay. "I have the measles and the mumps, A gash, a rash and purple bumps. My mouth is wet, my throat is dry. I'm going blind in my right eye. My tonsils are as big as rocks, I've counted sixteen chicken pox. And there's one more - that's seventeen, And don't you think my face looks green? My leg is cut, my eyes are blue, It might be the instamatic flu. I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke, I'm sure that my left leg is broke. My hip hurts when I move my chin, My belly button's caving in. My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained, My 'pendix pains each time it rains. My toes are cold, my toes are numb, I have a sliver in my thumb. My neck is stiff, my voice is weak, I hardly whisper when I speak. My tongue is filling up my mouth, I think my hair is falling out. My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight, My temperature is one-o-eight. My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear, There's a hole inside my ear. I have a hangnail, and my heart is ... What? What's that? What's that you say? You say today is .............. Saturday? G'bye, I'm going out to play!
Shel Silverstein
Can't you just like a girl who likes you back?' 'None of them likes me back. I may as well like the one I really want.
Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park)
The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A Death! What’s that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you’re too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating …and you finish off as an orgasm.
George Carlin
He inclined his head at my dress. "What's the occasion?" "Homecoming," I said, twirling. "Like?" "Last I heard, Homecoming requires a date." "About that," I hedged. "I'm sort of...going with Scott. We both figure a high-school dance is the last place Hank will be patrolling." Patch smiled, but it was tight. "I take that back. If Hank wants to shoot Scott, he has my blessing.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Silence (Hush, Hush, #3))
Believe me, It would be better if we didn't meet again. Go back to school. Go back to your life. And next time they ask you, say no. Killing is for grown-ups and you're still a child.
Anthony Horowitz (Stormbreaker (Alex Rider, #1))
To me, “FEARLESS” is not the absence of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. To me, FEARLESS is having fears. FEARLESS is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, FEARLESS is living in spite of those things that scare you to death. FEARLESS is falling madly in love again, even though you’ve been hurt before. FEARLESS is walking into your freshmen year of high school at fifteen. FEARLESS is getting back up and fighting for what you want over and over again… even though every time you’ve tried before, you’ve lost. It’s FEARLESS to have faith that someday things will change. FEARLESS is having the courage to say goodbye to someone who only hurts you, even if you can’t breathe without them. I think it’s FEARLESS to fall for your best friend, even though he’s in love with someone else. And when someone apologizes to you enough times for things they’ll never stop doing, I think it’s FEARLESS to stop believing them. It’s FEARLESS to say “you’re NOT sorry”, and walk away. I think loving someone despite what people think is FEARLESS. I think allowing yourself to cry on the bathroom floor is FEARLESS. Letting go is FEARLESS. Then, moving on and being alright…That’sFEARLESS too. But no matter what love throws at you, you have to believe in it. You have to believe in love stories and prince charmings and happily ever after. That’s why I write these songs. Because I think love is FEARLESS.
Taylor Swift
We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.
R. Buckminster Fuller
It's funny how different people are. If I'd been this kid and someone was snarling "Ordering a pizza?" at me, without even thinking, I would have snarled back "Yeah. You want pepperoni?" -Maximum Ride
James Patterson (School's Out—Forever (Maximum Ride, #2))
There was something I needed to say. “Sorry. About before.” Fang shot a sideways glance at me, his eyes dark and inscrutable, as always. He looked back out at the water. I didn’t expect any more acknowledgment than that. Fang never- “You almost gave me a heart attack,” he said quietly. “When I saw you, and all that blood . . .” He threw a small rock as hard as he could down the beach. “I’m sorry.” “Don’t do it again,” he said. I swallowed hard. “I won’t.” Something changed right then, but I didn’t know what.
James Patterson (School's Out—Forever (Maximum Ride, #2))
[T]hat old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air ... Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year's mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.
Wallace Stegner (Angle of Repose)
it's back to school time. or as home-schoolers call it, stay-where-you-are time.
Stephen Colbert
How many young college graduates have taken demanding jobs in high-powered firms, vowing that they will work hard to earn money that will enable them to retire and pursue their real interests when they are thirty-five? But by the time they reach that age, they have large mortgages, children to school, houses in the suburbs that necessitate at least two cars per family, and a sense that life is not worth living without really good wine and expensive holidays abroad. What are they supposed to do, go back to digging up roots? No, they double their efforts and keep slaving away.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
This next song goes out to the girl who shredded my heart without hesitation back in high school. It's called Ball Busting Bitch, and Laine this one's for you.
Michelle A. Valentine (Rock the Heart (Black Falcon, #1))
You might not believe this, but there is no one like her at this school." "Oh I believe it," I said, thinking back to the time Angeline had forgotten her locker's combination and tried to get into it with an axe. No one was really sure where she'd gotten it from.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
You’re crazy,” said her best friend, Angela, as the bell rang to signal five minutes before the first class on the first day back at school. “They said that about all the great visionaries.” “You know who else they said it about?” Angela demanded. “All the actual crazy people.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1))
I didn't actually think you were hanging out at Hex Hall because of your burning love for me. But that's what I'm telling all the girls back at school," I said, stabbing a forkful of eggs. "I'm thinking 'heartbreaker' might be a nice addition to my 'avenging witch' reputation.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
It had never crossed her mind that sending your child to school would be like going back to school yourself.
Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies)
Getting you a date to prom is so hard that the hypothetical idea itself is actually used to cut diamonds," I added. Radar tapped a locker twice with his fist to show his approval, and then came back with another. "Ben, getting you a date to prom is so hard that the American government believes the problem cannot be solved with diplomacy, but will instead require force.
John Green (Paper Towns)
Somehow it always comes back to coal at school.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
One day she marched around the side of the house and confronted me. "I've seen you out there every day for the past week, and everyone knows you stare at me all day in school, if you have something you want to say to me why don't you just say it to my face instead of sneaking around like a crook?" I considered my options. Either I could run away and never go back to school again, maybe even leave the country as a stowaway on a ship bound for Australia. Or I could risk everything and confess to her. The answer was obvious: I was going to Australia. I opened my mouth to say goodbye forever. And yet. What I said was: I want to know if you'll marry me.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
I am going to give you a piece of advice... advice I wish I'd been told in guidance class back in high school, in between the don't-do-acid and don't-drink-and-drive films. I wish our counselors had told us, 'When you grow older a dreadful, horrible sensation will come over you. It's called loneliness, and you think you know what it is now, but you don't. Here is the list of the symptoms, and don't worry—loneliness is the most universal sensation on the planet. Just remember one fact—loneliness will pass. You will survive and you will be a better human for it.
Douglas Coupland
Sometimes, it's better to bunk a class and enjoy with friends, because now, when I look back, marks never make me laugh, but memories do.
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
I hated high school. I don’t trust anybody who looks back on the years from 14 to 18 with any enjoyment. If you liked being a teenager, there’s something wrong with you.
Stephen King
A census taker tried to quantify me once. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a big Amarone. Go back to school, little Starling.
Thomas Harris
I've apparently been the victim of growing up, which apparently happens to all of us at one point or another. It's been going on for quite some time now, without me knowing it. I've found that growing up can mean a lot of things. For me, it doesn't mean I should become somebody completely new and stop loving the things I used to love. It means I've just added more things to my list. Like for example, I'm still beyond obsessed with the winter season and I still start putting up strings of lights in September. I still love sparkles and grocery shopping and really old cats that are only nice to you half the time. I still love writing in my journal and wearing dresses all the time and staring at chandeliers. But some new things I've fallen in love with -- mismatched everything. Mismatched chairs, mismatched colors, mismatched personalities. I love spraying perfumes I used to wear when I was in high school. It brings me back to the days of trying to get a close parking spot at school, trying to get noticed by soccer players, and trying to figure out how to avoid doing or saying anything uncool, and wishing every minute of every day that one day maybe I'd get a chance to win a Grammy. Or something crazy and out of reach like that. ;) I love old buildings with the paint chipping off the walls and my dad's stories about college. I love the freedom of living alone, but I also love things that make me feel seven again. Back then naivety was the norm and skepticism was a foreign language, and I just think every once in a while you need fries and a chocolate milkshake and your mom. I love picking up a cookbook and closing my eyes and opening it to a random page, then attempting to make that recipe. I've loved my fans from the very first day, but they've said things and done things recently that make me feel like they're my friends -- more now than ever before. I'll never go a day without thinking about our memories together.
Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift)
Gently Agatha touched her face in the mirror, glowing from inside. A face no one recognized because it was so happy. There could be no turning back now. The bread crumbs on the dark trail were gone. Instead, she had the truth to guide her. A truth greater than any magic. I've been beautiful all along.
Soman Chainani (The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, #1))
What?" he demanded. "Did you just...clean a dish?" Dee backed away slowly, blinking. She glanced at Daemon. "The world is going to end. And I’m still a vir—" "No!" both the brothers yelled in unison. Daemon looked like he was actually going to vomit. "Jesus, don’t ever finish that statement. Actually, don’t ever change that. Thank you." Her mouth dropped open."You expect me to never have—" "This isn’t a conversation I want to start my morning with." Dawson grabbed his book bag off the kitchen table. "I’m so leaving for school before this gets more detailed." "And why aren’t you dressed yet?" Dee demanded, her full attention concentrated on Daemon. "You’re going to be late." "I’m always late." "Punctuality makes perfect.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Shadows (Lux, #0.5))
And then I kiss him for real, and he kisses me back, and his hands fist my hair. And we're kissing like it's breathing. My stomach flutters wildly. And somehow we end up horizontal, his hands curved up around my back. "I like this," I say, and my voice comes out breathless. "We should do this. Every day." "Okay." "Let's never do anything else. No school. No meals. No homework." "I was going to ask you to see a movie," he says, smiling. When he smiles, I smile. "No movies. I hate movies." "Oh, really?" "Really, really. Why would I want to watch other people kissing," I say, "when I could be kissing you?
Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Simonverse, #1))
I like storms. Thunder torrential rain, puddles, wet shoes. When the clouds roll in, I get filled with this giddy expectation. Everything is more beautiful in the rain. Don't ask me why. But it’s like this whole other realm of opportunity. I used to feel like a superhero, riding my bike over the dangerously slick roads, or maybe an Olympic athlete enduring rough trials to make it to the finish line. On sunny days, as a girl, I could still wake up to that thrilled feeling. You made me giddy with expectation, just like a symphonic rainstorm. You were a tempest in the sun, the thunder in a boring, cloudless sky. I remember I’d shovel in my breakfast as fast as I could, so I could go knock on your door. We’d play all day, only coming back for food and sleep. We played hide and seek, you’d push me on the swing, or we’d climb trees. Being your sidekick gave me a sense of home again. You see, when I was ten, my mom died. She had cancer, and I lost her before I really knew her. My world felt so insecure, and I was scared. You were the person that turned things right again. With you, I became courageous and free. It was like the part of me that died with my mom came back when I met you, and I didn’t hurt if I knew I had you. Then one day, out of the blue, I lost you, too. The hurt returned, and I felt sick when I saw you hating me. My rainstorm was gone, and you became cruel. There was no explanation. You were just gone. And my heart was ripped open. I missed you. I missed my mom. What was worse than losing you, was when you started to hurt me. Your words and actions made me hate coming to school. They made me uncomfortable in my own home. Everything still hurts, but I know none of it is my fault. There are a lot of words that I could use to describe you, but the only one that includes sad, angry, miserable, and pitiful is “coward.” I a year, I’ll be gone, and you’ll be nothing but some washout whose height of existence was in high school. You were my tempest, my thunder cloud, my tree in the downpour. I loved all those things, and I loved you. But now? You’re a fucking drought. I thought that all the assholes drove German cars, but it turns out that pricks in Mustangs can still leave scars.
Penelope Douglas (Bully (Fall Away, #1))
I have ways of making extra money when I need it", he said, slightly offended. "When Gilbert needed money for graduate school, I sold a kidney on the black market for tuition." We can grow those back?" I asked. It wasn't my kidney.
Molly Harper (Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men (Jane Jameson, #2))
Part 3 BACK TO SCHOOL (THE NORMAL KIND)
James Patterson (School's Out—Forever (Maximum Ride, #2))
It's really going to happen. I really won't ever go back to school. Not ever. I'll never be famous or leave anything worthwhile behind. I'll never go to college or have a job. I won't see my brother grow up. I won't travel, never earn money, never drive, never fall in love or leave home or get my own house. It's really, really true. A thought stabs up, growing from my toes and ripping through me, until it stifles everything else and becomes the only thing I'm thinking. It fills me up like a silent scream.
Jenny Downham (Before I Die)
We could argue in front of our lockers all dramatically," I said. "That's something I saw a lot at human high schools." He squeezed me in a quick hug. "Yes! Now that sounds like a good time. And then I could come to your house in the middle of the night and play music really loudly under your window until you took me back." I chuckled. "You watch too many movies. Ooh, we could be lab partners!" "Isn't that kind of what we were in Defense?" "Yeah, but in normal high school, there would be more science, less kicking each other in the face." "Nice.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
You build your world around someone, and then what happens when he disappears? Where do you go- into pieces, into atoms, into the arms of another man? You go shopping, you cook dinner, you work odd hours, you make love to someone else on June nights. But you're not really there, you're someplace else where there is blue sky and a road you don't recognize. If you squint your eyes, you think you see him, in the shadows, beyond the trees. You always imagine that you see him, but he's never there. It's only his spirit, that's what's there beneath the bed when you kiss your husband, there when you send your daughter off to school. It's in your coffee cup, your bathwater, your tears. Unfinished business always comes back to haunt you, and a man who swears he'll love you forever isn't finished with you until he's done.
Alice Hoffman (Here on Earth)
I want to reach back into my history with a grade-school pink eraser, scrubbing away my decisions like mistakes on a math test. To bad I drew my mistakes in ink.
Emery Lord (Open Road Summer)
Self-care is how you take your power back.
Lalah Delia
I came back, Uncle Eddie. Last year, after the Henley, I could have gone to any school in the world -- I could have done anything, but I came back." "You ran away, Katarina." "And now I'm back." "You're still running.
Ally Carter (Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society, #2))
As I walk back to the school on my own, I realise I'm crying. So I go back to the stories I've read about the five and I try to make sense of their lives because in making sense of theirs, I may understand mine.
Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
And she couldn't help but smile at the irony of the fact that the baddest boy in school could somehow always make her feel like the world was good.
Priscilla Glenn (Back to You)
I made up my mind I was going to find someone who would love me unconditionally three hundred and sixty five days a year, I was still in elementary school at the time - fifth or sixth grade - but I made up my mind once and for all.” “Wow,” I said. “Did the search pay off?” “That’s the hard part,” said Midori. She watched the rising smoke for a while, thinking. “I guess I’ve been waiting so long I’m looking for perfection. That makes it tough.” “Waiting for the perfect love?” “No, even I know better than that. I’m looking for selfishness. Perfect selfishness. Like, say I tell you I want to eat strawberry shortcake. And you stop everything you’re doing and run out and buy it for me. And you come back out of breath and get down on your knees and hold this strawberry shortcake out to me. And I say I don’t want it anymore and throw it out the window. That’s what I’m looking for.” “I’m not sure that has anything to do with love,” I said with some amazement. “It does,” she said. “You just don’t know it. There are time in a girl’s life when things like that are incredibly important.” “Things like throwing strawberry shortcake out the window?” “Exactly. And when I do it, I want the man to apologize to me. “Now I see, Midori. What a fool I have been! I should have known that you would lose your desire for strawberry shortcake. I have all the intelligence and sensitivity of a piece of donkey shit. To make it up to you, I’ll go out and buy you something else. What would you like? Chocolate Mousse? Cheesecake?” “So then what?” “So then I’d give him all the love he deserves for what he’s done.” “Sounds crazy to me.” “Well, to me, that’s what love is…
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Strip back the beliefs pasted on by governesses, schools, and states, you find indelible truths at one's core. Rome'll decline and fall again, Cortés'll lay Tenochtitlán to waste again, and later, Ewing will sail again, Adrian'll be blown to pieces again, you and I'll sleep under the Corsican stars again, I'll come to Bruges again, fall in and out of love with Eva again, you'll read this letter again, the sun'll grow cold again. Nietzsche's gramophone record. When it ends, the Old One plays it again, for an eternity of eternities.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free. A diversified multi-cultural, post-modern deconstruction that is anatomically and ecologically incorrect. I’ve been up linked and downloaded, I’ve been inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech low-life. A cutting edge, state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond! I’m new wave, but I’m old school and my inner child is outward bound. I’m a hot-wired, heat seeking, warm-hearted cool customer, voice activated and bio-degradable. I interface with my database, my database is in cyberspace, so I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive and from time to time I’m radioactive. Behind the eight ball, ahead of the curve, ridin the wave, dodgin the bullet and pushin the envelope. I’m on-point, on-task, on-message and off drugs. I’ve got no need for coke and speed. I've got no urge to binge and purge. I’m in-the-moment, on-the-edge, over-the-top and under-the-radar. A high-concept, low-profile, medium-range ballistic missionary. A street-wise smart bomb. A top-gun bottom feeder. I wear power ties, I tell power lies, I take power naps and run victory laps. I’m a totally ongoing big-foot, slam-dunk, rainmaker with a pro-active outreach. A raging workaholic. A working rageaholic. Out of rehab and in denial! I’ve got a personal trainer, a personal shopper, a personal assistant and a personal agenda. You can’t shut me up. You can’t dumb me down because I’m tireless and I’m wireless, I’m an alpha male on beta-blockers. I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever, laid-back but fashion-forward. Up-front, down-home, low-rent, high-maintenance. Super-sized, long-lasting, high-definition, fast-acting, oven-ready and built-to-last! I’m a hands-on, foot-loose, knee-jerk head case pretty maturely post-traumatic and I’ve got a love-child that sends me hate mail. But, I’m feeling, I’m caring, I’m healing, I’m sharing-- a supportive, bonding, nurturing primary care-giver. My output is down, but my income is up. I took a short position on the long bond and my revenue stream has its own cash-flow. I read junk mail, I eat junk food, I buy junk bonds and I watch trash sports! I’m gender specific, capital intensive, user-friendly and lactose intolerant. I like rough sex. I like tough love. I use the “F” word in my emails and the software on my hard-drive is hardcore--no soft porn. I bought a microwave at a mini-mall; I bought a mini-van at a mega-store. I eat fast-food in the slow lane. I’m toll-free, bite-sized, ready-to-wear and I come in all sizes. A fully-equipped, factory-authorized, hospital-tested, clinically-proven, scientifically- formulated medical miracle. I’ve been pre-wash, pre-cooked, pre-heated, pre-screened, pre-approved, pre-packaged, post-dated, freeze-dried, double-wrapped, vacuum-packed and, I have an unlimited broadband capacity. I’m a rude dude, but I’m the real deal. Lean and mean! Cocked, locked and ready-to-rock. Rough, tough and hard to bluff. I take it slow, I go with the flow, I ride with the tide. I’ve got glide in my stride. Drivin and movin, sailin and spinin, jiving and groovin, wailin and winnin. I don’t snooze, so I don’t lose. I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road. I party hearty and lunch time is crunch time. I’m hangin in, there ain’t no doubt and I’m hangin tough, over and out!
George Carlin
Can I borrow the car today, Mom? We'll get soaked if we walk-" "Hmph," Dad interrupted. "When I was a boy-" "Yeah, yeah," Cara interrupted back. "You walked to school naked in the snow or something. So can I?
Melissa Landers (Alienated (Alienated, #1))
If we go to the white man for school, we will learn the way the white man wants us to learn. We will come back and build the country the white man wants us to build. One that continues to serve them. We will never be free.
Yaa Gyasi (Homegoing)
Human history has become too much a matter of dogma taught by 'professionals' in ivory towers as though it's all fact. Actually, much of human history is up for grabs. The further back you go, the more that the history that's taught in the schools and universities begins to look like some kind of faerie story.
Graham Hancock
Dum walks backwards, talking to us. "We're going back to high school where our survival instincts are at their finest.
Susan Ee (World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2))
I hated school. I don't trust anybody who looks back on the years from 14 to 18 with any enjoyment. If you liked being a teenager, there's something really wrong with you.
Stephen King
This, I think, is the boundary line of adulthood. Not the crap they claim it is- graduating from high school or losing your virginity or getting your first apartment or whatever. You cross the boundary the first time you're changed forever. You cross it the first time you know you can never go back.
Claudia Gray (A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1))
Playing the part of a charitable soul was only for those who were afraid of taking a stand in life. It is always far easier to have faith in your own goodness than to confront others and fight for your rights. It is always easier to hear an insult and not retaliate than have the courage to fight back against someone stronger than yourself; we can always say we're not hurt by the stones others throw at us, and it's only at night - when we're alone and our wife or our husband or our school friend is asleep - that we can silently grieve over our own cowardice.
Paulo Coelho (The Devil and Miss Prym (On the Seventh Day, #3))
What are you doing?'Helen put her hand over his to stop him from shifting. 'I'm going inside to talk to your dad. I don't want him to feel like he can't trust me with his daughter.' 'Lucas, I swear to whatever god you think is holy that I will get out of this car and walk to school if you go inside and talk to my dad.' Lucas smiled and shifted back into first, driving away from her house. 'Who told you the gods were holy?
Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed (Starcrossed, #1))
One day soon you'll be in the world, and you'll have so many options you won't know what to do with them. Everyone will fall in love with you, because you're so beautiful and so charming, and you'll look back on high school as such a tiny blip.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
Please what? the teacher thinks. Please break the law? Please put myself and the school at risk? But, no, that's not it at all. What he's really saying is: Please be a human being. With a life so full of rules and regiments, it's so easy to forget that's what they are. She knows—she sees—how often compassion takes a back seat to expediency.
Neal Shusterman (Unwind (Unwind, #1))
What do you want?" Sophronia was moved to exasperation. "Me? Stockings and breeches to come back in fashion. I do miss seeing a man's calves.
Gail Carriger (Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School, #2))
We tilt our heads back and open wide. The snow drifts into our zombie mouths crawling with grease and curses and tobacco flakes and cavities and boyfriend/girlfriend juice, the stain of lies. For one moment we are not failed tests and broken condoms and cheating on essays; we are crayons and lunch boxes and swinging so high our sneakers punch holes in the clouds. For one breath everything feels better. Then it melts. The bus drivers rev their engines and the ice cloud shatters. Everyone shuffles forward. They don't know what just happened. They can't remember.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Wintergirls)
I know there's no way I can convince you this is not one of their tricks, but I don't care, I am me. My name is Valerie, I don't think I'll live much longer and I wanted to tell someone about my life. This is the only autobiography ill ever write, and god, I'm writing it on toilet paper. I was born in Nottingham in 1985, I don't remember much of those early years, but I do remember the rain. My grandmother owned a farm in Tuttlebrook, and she use to tell me that god was in the rain. I passed my 11th lesson into girl's grammar; it was at school that I met my first girlfriend, her name was Sara. It was her wrists. They were beautiful. I thought we would love each other forever. I remember our teacher telling us that is was an adolescent phase people outgrew. Sara did, I didn't. In 2002 I fell in love with a girl named Christina. That year I came out to my parents. I couldn't have done it without Chris holding my hand. My father wouldn't look at me, he told me to go and never come back. My mother said nothing. But I had only told them the truth, was that so selfish? Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us, but within that inch, we are free. I'd always known what I wanted to do with my life, and in 2015 I starred in my first film, "The Salt Flats". It was the most important role of my life, not because of my career, but because that was how I met Ruth. The first time we kissed, I knew I never wanted to kiss any other lips but hers again. We moved to a small flat in London together. She grew Scarlet Carsons for me in our window box, and our place always smelled of roses. Those were there best years of my life. But America's war grew worse, and worse. And eventually came to London. After that there were no roses anymore. Not for anyone. I remember how the meaning of words began to change. How unfamiliar words like collateral and rendition became frightening. While things like Norse Fire and The Articles of Allegiance became powerful, I remember how different became dangerous. I still don't understand it, why they hate us so much. They took Ruth while she was out buying food. I've never cried so hard in my life. It wasn't long till they came for me.It seems strange that my life should end in such a terrible place, but for three years, I had roses, and apologized to no one. I shall die here. Every inch of me shall perish. Every inch, but one. An Inch, it is small and it is fragile, but it is the only thing the world worth having. We must never lose it or give it away. We must never let them take it from us. I hope that whoever you are, you escape this place. I hope that the world turns and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you. I love you. With all my heart, I love you. -Valerie
Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
I hate it when people say they’re trying to be your friend. You shouldn’t have to try to be somebody’s friend. Either you like someone or you don’t. Either you want them as a friend or not. Making friends isn’t like trying for the lead in the school play.
Emily Wing Smith (Back When You Were Easier to Love)
I've always been a quitter. I quit the Boy Scouts, the glee club, the marching band. Gave up my paper route, turned my back on the church, stuffed the basketball team. I dropped out of college, sidestepped the army with a 4-F on the grounds of mental instability, went back to school, made a go of it, entered a Ph.D. program in nineteenth-century British literature, sat in the front row, took notes assiduously, bought a pair of horn-rims, and quit on the eve of my comprehensive exams. I got married, separated, divorced. Quit smoking, quit jogging, quit eating red meat. I quit jobs: digging graves, pumping gas, selling insurance, showing pornographic films in an art theater in Boston. When I was nineteen I made frantic love to a pinch-faced, sack-bosomed girl I'd known from high school. She got pregnant. I quit town.
T. Coraghessan Boyle
When it came to the home-for-dinner dilemma, I installed new boundaries, ones that worked better for me and the girls. We made our schedule and stuck to it. ...It went back to my wishes for them to grow up strong and centered and also unaccommodating to any form of old-school patriarchy: I didn’t want them ever to believe that life began when the man of the house arrived home. We didn’t wait for Dad. It was his job now to catch up with us.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
For years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?
Anne Graham
The children came to a perfume shop. In the show window was a large jar of freckle salve, and beside the jar was a sign, which read: DO YOU SUFFER FROM FRECKLES? 'What does the sign say?' ask Pippi. She couldn’t read very well because she didn’t want to go to school as other children did. 'It says, "Do you suffer from freckles?"' said Annika. 'Does it indeed?' said Pippi thoughtfully. 'Well, a civil question deserves a civil answer. Let’s go in.' She opened the door and entered the shop, closely followed by Tommy and Annika. An elderly lady stood back of the counter. Pippi went right up to her. 'No!' she said decidedly. 'What is it you want?' asked the lady. 'No,' said Pippi once more. 'I don’t understand what you mean,' said the lady. 'No, I don’t suffer from freckles,' said Pippi. Then the lady understood, but she took one look at Pippi and burst out, 'But, my dear child, your whole face is covered with freckles!' 'I know it,' said Pippi, 'but I don’t suffer from them. I love them. Good morning.' She turned to leave, but when she got to the door she looked back and cried, 'But if you should happen to get in any salve that gives people more freckles, then you can send me seven or eight jars.
Astrid Lindgren (Pippi Longstocking (Pippi Långstrump, #1))
This old man had once told me that he left school when he was twelve, whereas I had spent most of the twenty-four years in my life in study. Yet when I looked back on the last hour or so I could come to only one conclusion. I'd had more of books, but he had more of learning.
James Herriot (All Things Wise and Wonderful)
At lunch I turned my phone on to check my messages. Georgia always sent me a few inane texts during the day, and sure enough there were two messages from her: one complaining about her physics teacher and a second, also obviously sent from her phone: I love you, baby. V. I wrote her back: I thought I told you to buzz off last night, you creep-o French stalker guy. Her response came back immediately: As if! Your beet-red cheeks this morning suggest otherwise ... liar! You're so into him. I groaned and was about to turn my phone off when I saw that there was a third text from UNKNOWN. Clicking on it, I read: Can I pick you up from school? Same place, same time? I texted back: How'd you get my number? Called myself from your phone while you were in the restaurant's bathroom last night. Warned you we were stalkers!
Amy Plum (Die for Me (Revenants, #1))
I decided to find out how people at school might react if one of the students never came back.
Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)
What I envy most about you and everyone else heading back to school is the certainty of it all. You’ve got a prescribed set of requirements to guide you through the next few years. Focus your energy on the completion of those assignments and you’ll succeed. Guaranteed. Where’s my syllabus to guide me through life?
Megan McCafferty (Fourth Comings (Jessica Darling, #4))
They made a major mistake," he blurted out, "the dumb bastards, when they didn't start by killing you first." "Benjamin Thomas Parish, that was the sweetest and most bizarre compliment anyone's ever given me." I kissed him on the cheek. He kissed me on the mouth. "You know," I whispered, "a year ago, I would have sold my soul for that." He shook his head. "Not worth it." And, for one-ten thousandth of a second, all of it fell away, the despair and grief and anger and pain and hunger, and the old Ben Parish rose from the dead. The eyes that impaled. The smile that slayed. In another moment, he would fade, slide back into the new Ben, the one called Zombie, and I understood something I hadn't before: He was dead, the object of my schoolgirl desires, just as the schoolgirl who desired him was dead.
Rick Yancey (The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave, #2))
I couldn't exactly blame Jane Austen for being a romantic. What the hell else was there to do back then for fun?
Kristin Walker (A Match Made in High School)
Do you question my authority? I am the headmistress of Evernight!" It was Balthazar who answered her by casually slinging his crossbow back upon his shoulder so that it just happened to be aimed straight at Mrs. Bethany. He wasn't threatening her, exactly, but it was very clear that he wasn't going to back down. As she jerked upright in shock, Balthazar drawled, "School's out.
Claudia Gray (Evernight (Evernight, #1))
It's always the mother's fault, ain't it?" she said softly, collecting her coat. "That boy turn out bad cause his mama a drunk, or she a junkie. She let him run wild, she don't teach him right from wrong. She never home when he back from school. Nobody ever say his daddy a drunk, or his daddy not home after school. And nobody ever say they some kids just damned mean. ...
Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
They were probably hitting the town. I hoped it was hitting them back.
Lemony Snicket (Shouldn't You Be in School? (All the Wrong Questions, #3))
Quinn sat back down. He leaned forward, elbows on knees. "Man, don't you remember taking tests in school? Multiple choice: A, B, C, D, or E, all of the above. "Yeah?" "Dude, sometimes the answer is 'all of the above.' This places needs you. And it needs Astrid. And it needs Sam. It's all of the above, Albert.
Michael Grant (Lies (Gone, #3))
Liam cleared his throat again and turned to fully face me. “So, it’s the summer and you’re in Salem, suffering through another boring, hot July, and working part-time at an ice cream parlor. Naturally, you’re completely oblivious to the fact that all of the boys from your high school who visit daily are more interested in you than the thirty-one flavors. You’re focused on school and all your dozens of clubs, because you want to go to a good college and save the world. And just when you think you’re going to die if you have to take another practice SAT, your dad asks if you want to go visit your grandmother in Virginia Beach.” “Yeah?” I leaned my forehead against his chest. “What about you?” “Me?” Liam said, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear. “I’m in Wilmington, suffering through another boring, hot summer, working one last time in Harry’s repair shop before going off to some fancy university—where, I might add, my roommate will be a stuck-up-know-it-all-with-a-heart-of-gold named Charles Carrington Meriwether IV—but he’s not part of this story, not yet.” His fingers curled around my hip, and I could feel him trembling, even as his voice was steady. “To celebrate, Mom decides to take us up to Virginia Beach for a week. We’re only there for a day when I start catching glimpses of this girl with dark hair walking around town, her nose stuck in a book, earbuds in and blasting music. But no matter how hard I try, I never get to talk to her. “Then, as our friend Fate would have it, on our very last day at the beach I spot her. You. I’m in the middle of playing a volleyball game with Harry, but it feels like everyone else disappears. You’re walking toward me, big sunglasses on, wearing this light green dress, and I somehow know that it matches your eyes. And then, because, let’s face it, I’m basically an Olympic god when it comes to sports, I manage to volley the ball right into your face.” “Ouch,” I said with a light laugh. “Sounds painful.” “Well, you can probably guess how I’d react to that situation. I offer to carry you to the lifeguard station, but you look like you want to murder me at just the suggestion. Eventually, thanks to my sparkling charm and wit—and because I’m so pathetic you take pity on me—you let me buy you ice cream. And then you start telling me how you work in an ice cream shop in Salem, and how frustrated you feel that you still have two years before college. And somehow, somehow, I get your e-mail or screen name or maybe, if I’m really lucky, your phone number. Then we talk. I go to college and you go back to Salem, but we talk all the time, about everything, and sometimes we do that stupid thing where we run out of things to say and just stop talking and listen to one another breathing until one of us falls asleep—” “—and Chubs makes fun of you for it,” I added. “Oh, ruthlessly,” he agreed. “And your dad hates me because he thinks I’m corrupting his beautiful, sweet daughter, but still lets me visit from time to time. That’s when you tell me about tutoring a girl named Suzume, who lives a few cities away—” “—but who’s the coolest little girl on the planet,” I manage to squeeze out.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
Suicide is just a moment, Lexy told me. This is how she described it to me. For just a moment, it doesn't matter that you've got people who love you and the sun is shining and there's a movie coming out this weekend that you've been dying to see. It hits you all of a sudden that nothing is ever going to be okay, ever, and you kind of dare yourself. You pick up a knife and press it gently to your skin, you look out a nineteenth-story window and you think, I could just do it. I could just do it. And most of the time, you look at the height and you get scared, or you think about the poor people on the sidewalk below - what if there are kids coming home from school and they have to spend the rest of their lives trying to forget this terrible thing you're going to make them see? And the moment's over. You think about how sad it would've been if you never got to see that movie, and you look at your dog and wonder who would've taken care of her if you had gone. And you go back to normal. But you keep it there in your mind. Even if you never take yourself up on it, it gives you a kind of comfort to know that the day is yours to choose. You tuck it away in your brain like sour candy tucked in your cheek, and the puckering memory it leaves behind, the rough pleasure of running your tongue over its strange terrain, is exactly the same.... The day was hers to choose, and perhaps in that treetop moment when she looked down and saw the yard, the world, her life, spread out below her, perhaps she chose to plunge toward it headlong. Perhaps she saw before her a lifetime of walking on the ruined earth and chose instead a single moment in the air
Carolyn Parkhurst (The Dogs of Babel)
So, " Nathan said, attention focused on Adrian, "now that Vasilisa's graduated, what are you going to do with yourself? You aren't going to keep slumming with high school students, are you? There's no point in you being there anymore. " "I don't know, " said Adrian lazily. "I kind of like hanging out with them. They think I'm funnier than I really am. " "Unsurprising, " his father replied. "You aren't funny at all. It's time you do something productive. If you aren't going to go back to college, you should at least start sitting in on some of the family business meetings. Tatiana spoils you, but you could learn a lot from Rufus. " "True, " said Adrian deadpan."I'd really like to know how he keeps his two mistresses a secret from his wife. " "Adrian!" snapped Daniella, a flush spilling over her pale cheeks
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
So, did you hold back during that test?" "Maybe a little," Sophronia admitted. Soap grinned. "That's my girl." Sophronia glared at him. He was getting familiar. "You are, miss." He continued to grin. "I'm my own girl, thank you very much.
Gail Carriger (Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School, #2))
Since Stark had come back from the Otherworld, he'd been too weak and out of it to do much more than eat, sleep, and play computer games with Seoras, which was actually a super weird sight, it was like high school meets Braveheart meets Call of Duty.
P.C. Cast (Awakened (House of Night, #8))
But a society that protects some people through a safety net of schools, government-backed home loans, and ancestral wealth but can only protect you with the club of criminal justice has either failed at enforcing its good intentions or has succeeded at something much darker.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
The patter of tentative footfalls reached my ears. I flipped on my side to face the door and saw Ansel wander by. I rolled onto my back, rubbing sleep from my eyes. I'd crashed on my bed as soons as I'd gotten back from school, collapsing under the weight of the day. The floorboards squeaked as Ansel passed by my door again. I caught his nervous glance in my direction before he hurried down the hall. 'Ansel, I'm not the sun; stop orbiting and get in here,' I called.
Andrea Cremer (Nightshade (Nightshade, #1; Nightshade World, #4))
I used to think that when I grew up there wouldn't be so many rules. Back in elementary school there were rules about what entrance you used in the morning, what door you used going home, when you could talk in the library, how many paper towels you could use in the rest room, and how many drinks of water you could get during recess. And there was always somebody watching to make sure. What I'm finding out about growing older is that there are just as many rules about lots of things, but there's nobody watching.
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Alice in Rapture, Sort of (Alice, #2))
But then, Phillip reminded me of something that happened so long ago, I had completely forgotten it. He reminded of when we were ten, and he gave me my first kiss. We were on the swings out behind school, and right after he kissed me, he got up and ran away. Then all of a sudden, he stopped, turned around and yelled back, Will you marry me someday? And I yelled back to him, YES! And so he said that if people ask, I could tell them that we've been secretly engaged for the past twelve years. And so,.. you will probably all think I am very crazy, but I had to say YES again tonight!
Jillian Dodd (That Boy (That Boy, #1))
Teachers're always using that "in your own words." I hate that. Authors knit their sentences tight. It's their job. Why make us unpick them, just to put it back together more shonkily? How're you s'posed to say Kapellmeister if you can't say Kapellmeister?
David Mitchell (Black Swan Green)
This was not a good idea coming home for Christmas. I'm too old. Years ago, coming back from schools or trips, I always expected some sort of new perspective or fresh insight about the family on returning. That doesn't happen anymore-the days of revelation about my parents, at least, are over... its time to move on. I think we'd all appreciate that.
Douglas Coupland (Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture)
When everything is at its worst, your mind just throws it all into the wastebasket and goes to Florida for a little while. There is a sudden electric what-the-hell glow as you stand there looking back over your shoulder at the bridge you just burnt down.
Richard Bachman
Taking Mike home is a great idea," Donny said. "See you tomorrow. Thanks for your help." Gabe kissed her hand. "I'll be back in an hour, honey." She snatched her hand away. "No need, sweetheart. We're all fine here. See you tomorrow at school. We'll lock up when we leave." "Sixty minutes, sugarplum." He leaned in for a kiss. "Get you pleather-wearing, long-haired paws off me--" Gabe kissed her soundly, cutting off her protest.
Gwen Hayes (Falling Under (Falling Under, #1))
In middle school, my friends decided I was weird, and they didn’t like my hair. They ditched me and talked behind my back, which is cool — I’m over it. [laughs] One time I called them and said, “Hey, do you want to go to the Berkshire Mall?” They all gave me excuses and said no. So I go to the mall with my mom, and don’t you know, we run into all of them. Together. Shopping. My mom could see I was about to cry, so she said, “You know what? We’re going to the King of Prussia mall,” which was the mecca.
Taylor Swift
She turns to us, acts surprised to see us, then does the bit with the back of the hand to the forehead. "You're lost!" "You're angry!" "You're in the wrong school!" "You're in the wrong country!" "You're on the wrong planet!
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
The fear, momentarily paused, returned with full force, and in this frantic, baffled state I ran to him, and leapt into his arms. He seemed surprised at first but soon was squeezing back. "It's all right," he soothed. "No one's hurt. You're okay." His words sliced through me, and for the first time since he'd taken me from school, I knew the truth about us: I could not be okay if he was not okay. Pain, nightmares, fighting- all of it aside- he was a part of me.
Kristen Simmons (Article 5 (Article 5, #1))
Listen, now, you're going to die, Ray-mond K. K. K. Hessel, tonight. You might die in one second or in one hour, you decide. So lie to me. Tell me the first thing off the top of your head. Make something up. I don't give a shit. I have a gun. Finally, you were listening and coming out of the little tragedy in your head. Fill in the blank. What does Raymond Hessel want to be when he grows up? Go home, you said you just wanted to go home, please. No shit, I said. But after that, how did you want to spend your life? If you could do anything in the world. Make something up. You didn't know. Then you're dead right now, I said. I said, now turn your head. Death to commence in ten, in nine, in eight. A vet, you said. You want to be a vet, a veterinarian. You could be in school working your ass off, Raymond Hessel, or you could be dead. You choose. I stuffed your wallet into the back of your jeans. So you really wanted to be an animal doctor. I took the saltwater muzzle of the gun off one cheek and pressed it against another. Is that what you've always wanted to be, Dr. Raymond K. K. K. K. Hessel, a veterinarian?... So, I said, go back to school. If you wake up tomorrow morning, you find a way to get back into school. I have your license. I know who you are. I know where you live. I'm keeping your license, and I'm going to check on you, mister Raymond K. Hessel. In three months, and then six months, and then a year, and if you aren't back in school on your way to being a veterinarian, you will be dead... Raymond K. K. Hessel, your dinner is going to taste better than any meal you've ever eaten, and tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of your life.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
Getting into a fight with a popular senior. Pissing off a school teacher and the local chief of police. Hanging with two major-league losers." She slapped my back. "Welcome to high school.
Harlan Coben (Shelter (Mickey Bolitar, #1))
When I'm at school in the city, I don't feel particularly worldly or wise. It's only when I come back home that I remember exactly why I left.
Megan McCafferty (Charmed Thirds (Jessica Darling, #3))
The whole time I pretend I have mental telepathy. And with my mind only, I’ll say — or think? — to the target, 'Don’t do it. Don’t go to that job you hate. Do something you love today. Ride a roller coaster. Swim in the ocean naked. Go to the airport and get on the next flight to anywhere just for the fun of it. Maybe stop a spinning globe with your finger and then plan a trip to that very spot; even if it’s in the middle of the ocean you can go by boat. Eat some type of ethnic food you’ve never even heard of. Stop a stranger and ask her to explain her greatest fears and her secret hopes and aspirations in detail and then tell her you care because she is a human being. Sit down on the sidewalk and make pictures with colorful chalk. Close your eyes and try to see the world with your nose—allow smells to be your vision. Catch up on your sleep. Call an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Roll up your pant legs and walk into the sea. See a foreign film. Feed squirrels. Do anything! Something! Because you start a revolution one decision at a time, with each breath you take. Just don’t go back to thatmiserable place you go every day. Show me it’s possible to be an adult and also be happy. Please. This is a free country. You don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to. You can do anything you want. Be anyone you want. That’s what they tell us at school, but if you keep getting on that train and going to the place you hate I’m going to start thinking the people at school are liars like the Nazis who told the Jews they were just being relocated to work factories. Don’t do that to us. Tell us the truth. If adulthood is working some death-camp job you hate for the rest of your life, divorcing your secretly criminal husband, being disappointed in your son, being stressed and miserable, and dating a poser and pretending he’s a hero when he’s really a lousy person and anyone can tell that just by shaking his slimy hand — if it doesn’t get any better, I need to know right now. Just tell me. Spare me from some awful fucking fate. Please.
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
Every morning the maple leaves. Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out You will be alone always and then you will die. So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog of non-definitive acts, something other than the desperation. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your party and seduced you and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing. You want a better story. Who wouldn’t? A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing. Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on. What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon. Love always wakes the dragon and suddenly flames everywhere. I can tell already you think I’m the dragon, that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon. I’m not the princess either. Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down. I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure, I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow glass, but that comes later. Let me do it right for once, for the record, let me make a thing of cream and stars that becomes, you know the story, simply heaven. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing and when you open your eyes only a clearing with deer in it. Hello deer. Inside your head the sound of glass, a car crash sound as the trucks roll over and explode in slow motion. Hello darling, sorry about that. Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud. Especially that, but I should have known. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing, and when you open your eyes you’re washing up in a stranger’s bathroom, standing by the window in a yellow towel, only twenty minutes away from the dirtiest thing you know. All the rooms of the castle except this one, says someone, and suddenly darkness, suddenly only darkness. In the living room, in the broken yard, in the back of the car as the lights go by. In the airport bathroom’s gurgle and flush, bathed in a pharmacy of unnatural light, my hands looking weird, my face weird, my feet too far away. I arrived in the city and you met me at the station, smiling in a way that made me frightened. Down the alley, around the arcade, up the stairs of the building to the little room with the broken faucets, your drawings, all your things, I looked out the window and said This doesn’t look that much different from home, because it didn’t, but then I noticed the black sky and all those lights. We were inside the train car when I started to cry. You were crying too, smiling and crying in a way that made me even more hysterical. You said I could have anything I wanted, but I just couldn’t say it out loud. Actually, you said Love, for you, is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s terrifying. No one will ever want to sleep with you. Okay, if you’re so great, you do it— here’s the pencil, make it work … If the window is on your right, you are in your own bed. If the window is over your heart, and it is painted shut, then we are breathing river water. Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently we have had our difficulties and there are many things I want to ask you. I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again, years later, in the chlorinated pool. I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have these luxuries. I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together. I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes. Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you. Quit milling around the yard and come inside.
Richard Siken
We were in such good moods, we even decided to hit Todd's house for candy. Sam rang the doorbell, and when it opened, this hideous, rubber monster face roared at us. Sam screamed. Todd started laughing and took off the mask. I yelled, "Put it back on! Put it back on! Your hideousness is terrifying!" Todd did a fake yuk-yuk-yuk at my joke. "What are you guys supposed to be? Is it Prom Night Massacre or something?" Sam sighed at Todd's obvious stupidity. "We're zombie princesses, Todd. Can't you tell?" She stuck her arms straight out in front of her and said, "BRAINS! BRAINS!" I patted Sam on the head and said, "Sorry, Sam. You're wasting your time with this one.
Kristin Walker (A Match Made in High School)
This you may say of man - when theories change and crash, when schools, philosophies, when narrow dark alleys of thought, national, religious, economic, grow and disintegrate, man reaches, stumbles forward, painfully, mistakenly sometimes. Having stepped forward, he may slip back, but only half a step, never the full step back.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
...she's leaving now. ... Janis attacks the back door of the school gym and finds herself in a heavy cloud of smoke. She realizes she's found the Goths' hangout. Who knew? "Oof," someone says. She keeps walking, muttering, "sorry" to whomever it was she hit with the flying door. *** Cabel: ... That was the Goth stage where I decided I'd never get the girl of my dreams because of my scars. Not to mention the hairstyle. (pause) But then she slammed a door handle into my gut. And, when a girl does that to a boy, it means she likes him.
Lisa McMann (Wake (Wake, #1))
Can I? Yeah. You bet I can. There's a million things in this world can't do. Couldn't hit a curve ball, even back in high school. Can't fix a leaky faucet. Can't roller-skate or make an F-chord on the guitar that sounds like anything but shit. I have tried twice to be married and couldn't do it either time. But if you want me to take you away, to scare you or involve you or make you cry or grin, yeah. I can. I can bring it to you and keep bringing it until you holler uncle. I am able. I CAN.
Stephen King (Misery)
Heard you missed me", he said, half turning and looking down at me. The smile on his lips broadened. "And that you're beating up the boys at school in protest to get me to come back. Couldn't let that happen.
C.L. Stone (First Days (The Ghost Bird, #2))
Dex was taller than me, and as he pressed me against him, he actually hauled me up on my tiptoes. His arm was around my waist, his other hand plunged into my hair, and he was kissing me. I mean, really, really kissing me. I was kissing him back. And I was good at it.
Rachel Hawkins (School Spirits)
I wish I knew why she never told me any of this. Maybe she thought I wouldn't be able to handle it, that I was too sheltered or too innocent or something. If she had told me why she cut herself all the time, or that it was the pills that made her act so spaced out, or that she was even on pills, or even saw doctors, or any of it, I would have done my best to help her. I'm not saying I'm a superhero. I'm not saying I would have just swooped down and saved her. I'm just saying the only reason everything was a waste was that she made it a waste. That whole time, back when I was just a normal kid in high school, living out my normal life, I really thought everything mattered.
Nina LaCour (Hold Still)
I Promise," Shane said. "You'd better, jerkface," Eve said. "How's the head?" "Taped. It's fine, chicks dig scars. Wait, did you just call me jerkface? Are we back in grade school?" "I love you," Eve said. He closed his moth, fast, because obviously that was not what he'd expected. "I, uh, okay, love you too. Can we stop that? It's uncomfortable." "Jerkface." "Much better.
Rachel Caine (Fall of Night (The Morganville Vampires, #14))
We’re our own hardest critics and it’s easy to let ourselves down. Sleeping too late. Procrastinating. Cutting corners. More than once I’ve looked back on my high school self and thought: how did I do that? How did I work so hard? Our private insecurities follow us and will always follow us.
Marina Keegan (The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories)
I drive him to school, then I break back into Barron's house. I'm the best kind of thief, the kind that leaves behind items equal in value to those he's stolen. Then I go home and shave until my skin is as slick as any slickster's.
Holly Black (White Cat (Curse Workers, #1))
What's that?' Beck shoved his back ineffectually against the glass door, suffering under the weight of a huge box. 'Your brian.' I already have a brain.' If you did, you'd have opened the door for me.' I shot him a dark look and let him shove against the door a moment longer before I ducked under his arms to push it open. 'What is it really?' Schoolbooks. We're going to educate you properly, so you don't grow up to be an idiot.; I remembered by intrigued by the idea of school-in-a-box, just-add-water-and-Sam.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
Corruption is uniquely reprehensible in a democracy because it violates the system's first principle, which we all learned back in the sunshiny days of elementary school: that the government exist to serve the public, not particular companies or individuals or even elected officials.
Thomas Frank (The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule)
I don't think anyone aims to be typical, really. Most people even vow to themselves some time in high school or college not to be typical. But still, they just kind of loop back to it somehow. Like the circular rails of a train at an amusement park, the scripts we know offer a brand of security, of predictability, of safety for us. But the problem is, they only take us where we've already been. They loop us back to places where everyone can easily go, not necessarily where we were made to go. Living a different kind of life takes some guts and grit and a new way of seeing things.
Bob Goff (Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World)
When it's new and important, you have to rest in between times. And anyway, even when I like a person there is a weariness that comes. I can be with someone and everything is fine and then all of a sudden it can wash over me like a sickness, that I need the quiet of my own self. I need to unload my head and look at what I've got in there so far. See it. Think what it means. I always need to come back to being alone for a while.
Elizabeth Berg (Joy School (Katie Nash, #2))
I’m in love with your ex-wife,” … “I’ve loved her since high school, man. She means everything to me. You gotta drag her down, that’ll suck, but I’ll pick her back up. You gotta rip her apart, I’ll fuckin’ hate watchin’ it, but I’ll put her back together.
Kristen Ashley (Ride Steady (Chaos, #3))
Great. He was a hottie, a good kisser, and a literature buff. God really must have had a sense of humor, because if I had to name my biggest turn-on, it was literature. And he had just recommended a book that I didn’t know, that wasn’t taught in school. If I were single, there would be no better pick-up line. Suddenly, I found myself thinking back to Atonement—you know, the scene in the book where the two main characters have sex in the library? Even though Chloe said doing it against bookshelves would be really uncomfortable (and she’d probably know), it was still a fantasy of mine. Like, what’s more romantic than a quiet place full of books? But I shouldn’t have been thinking about my library fantasies. Especially while I was staring at Cash. In the middle of a library.
Kody Keplinger (Shut Out (Hamilton High, #2))
My sweet little whorish Nora I did as you told me, you dirty little girl, and pulled myself off twice when I read your letter. I am delighted to see that you do like being fucked arseways. Yes, now I can remember that night when I fucked you for so long backwards. It was the dirtiest fucking I ever gave you, darling. My prick was stuck in you for hours, fucking in and out under your upturned rump. I felt your fat sweaty buttocks under my belly and saw your flushed face and mad eyes. At every fuck I gave you your shameless tongue came bursting out through your lips and if a gave you a bigger stronger fuck than usual, fat dirty farts came spluttering out of your backside. You had an arse full of farts that night, darling, and I fucked them out of you, big fat fellows, long windy ones, quick little merry cracks and a lot of tiny little naughty farties ending in a long gush from your hole. It is wonderful to fuck a farting woman when every fuck drives one out of her. I think I would know Nora’s fart anywhere. I think I could pick hers out in a roomful of farting women. It is a rather girlish noise not like the wet windy fart which I imagine fat wives have. It is sudden and dry and dirty like what a bold girl would let off in fun in a school dormitory at night. I hope Nora will let off no end of her farts in my face so that I may know their smell also. You say when I go back you will suck me off and you want me to lick your cunt, you little depraved blackguard. I hope you will surprise me some time when I am asleep dressed, steal over to me with a whore’s glow in your slumberous eyes, gently undo button after button in the fly of my trousers and gently take out your lover’s fat mickey, lap it up in your moist mouth and suck away at it till it gets fatter and stiffer and comes off in your mouth. Sometimes too I shall surprise you asleep, lift up your skirts and open your drawers gently, then lie down gently by you and begin to lick lazily round your bush. You will begin to stir uneasily then I will lick the lips of my darling’s cunt. You will begin to groan and grunt and sigh and fart with lust in your sleep. Then I will lick up faster and faster like a ravenous dog until your cunt is a mass of slime and your body wriggling wildly. Goodnight, my little farting Nora, my dirty little fuckbird! There is one lovely word, darling, you have underlined to make me pull myself off better. Write me more about that and yourself, sweetly, dirtier, dirtier.
James Joyce (Selected Letters of James Joyce)
Faith in God is an opening up, a letting go, a deept trust, a free act of love- but sometimes it was so hard to love. Sometimes my heart was sinking so fast with anger, desolation and weariness, I was afraid it would sink to the very bottom of the Pacific and I would not be able to lift it back up. At such moments I tried to elevate myself. I would touch the turban I had made with the remnants of my shirt and I would say aloud, "THIS IS GOD'S HAT!" I would pat my pants and say aloud, "THIS IS GOD'S ATTIRE!" I would point to Richard Parker and say aloud, "THIS IS GOD'S CAT!" I would point to the lifeboat and say aloud, "THIS IS GOD'S ARK!" I would spread my hands wide and say aloud, "THESE ARE GOD'S WIDE ACRES!" I would point at the sky and say aloud, "THIS IS GOD'S EAR!" And in this way I would remind myself of creation and of my place in it. But God's hat was always unravelling. God's pants were falling apart. God's cat was a constant danger. God's ark was a jail. God's wide acres were slowly killing me. God's ear didn't seem to be listening. Despair was a heavy blackness that let no light in or out. It was a hell beyond expression. I thank God it always passed. A school of fish appeared around the net or a knot cried out to be reknotted. Or I thought of my family, of how they were spared this terrible agony. The blackness would stir and eventually go away, and God would remain, a shining point of light in my heart. I would go on loving.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
I missed her so much I wanted to die: a hard, physical longing, like a craving for air underwater. Lying awake, I tried to recall all my best memories of her—to freeze her in my mind so I wouldn’t forget her—but instead of birthdays and happy times I kept remembering things like how a few days before she was killed she’d stopped me halfway out the door to pick a thread off my school jacket. For some reason, it was one of the clearest memories I had of her: her knitted eyebrows, the precise gesture of her reaching out to me, everything. Several times too—drifting uneasily between dreaming and sleep—I sat up suddenly in bed at the sound of her voice speaking clearly in my head, remarks she might conceivably have made at some point but that I didn’t actually remember, things like Throw me an apple, would you? and I wonder if this buttons up the front or the back? and This sofa is in a terrible state of disreputableness.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
For me, the last few years of the postmodern era have seemed a bit like the way you feel when you're in high school and your parents go on a trip, and you throw a party. You get all your friends over and throw this wild disgusting fabulous party. For a while it's great, free and freeing, parental authority gone and overthrown, a cat's-away-let's-play Dionysian revel. But then time passes and the party gets louder and louder, and you run out of drugs, and nobody's got any money for more drugs, and things get broken and spilled, and there's cigarette burn on the couch, and you're the host and it's your house too, and you gradually start wishing your parents would come back and restore some fucking order in your house. It's not a perfect analogy, but the sense I get of my generation of writers and intellectuals or whatever is that it's 3:00 A.M. and the couch has several burn-holes and somebody's thrown up in the umbrella stand and we're wishing the revel would end. The postmodern founders' patricidal work was great, but patricide produces orphans, and no amount of revelry can make up for the fact that writers my age have been literary orphans throughout our formative years. We're kind of wishing some parents would come back. And of course we're uneasy about the fact that we wish they'd come back--I mean, what's wrong with us? Are we total pussies? Is there something about authority and limits we actually need? And then the uneasiest feeling of all, as we start gradually to realize that parents in fact aren't ever coming back--which means we're going to have to be the parents.
David Foster Wallace
When she got back from taking Cassie to school Fancy knew that she ought to be working on her wilderness romance. She had promised thirty thousand words to her editor by tomorrow, and she had only written eleven. Specifically: His rhinoceros smelled like a poppadom: sweaty, salty, strange and strong. Her editor would cut that line.
Jaclyn Moriarty (The Spell Book of Listen Taylor)
Harry Potter must not go back to Hogwarts. “Harry Potter must stay where he is safe. He is too great, too good, to lose. If Harry Potter goes back to Hogwarts, he will be in mortal danger.” “Why?” said Harry in surprise. “There is a plot, Harry Potter. A plot to make most terrible things happen at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this year.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2))
To begin with, I turn back time. I reverse it to that quaint period, the thirties, when the huge middle class of America was matriculating in a school for the blind. Their eyes had failed them, or they had failed their eyes, and so they were having their fingers pressed forcibly down on the fiery Braille alphabet of a dissolving economy.
Tennessee Williams (The Glass Menagerie)
He didn't know how precious a normal life could be, how easy it was to drift away from average. You started sleeping until noon, skipped one class, one day of school, lost one job, then another, forgot the way that normal people did things. You lost the language of ordinary life. And then, without meaning to, you crossed into a country from which you couldn't return. You lived in a state where the ground always seemed to be slipping from beneath your feet, with no way back to someplace solid.
Leigh Bardugo (Ninth House (Alex Stern #1))
I don’t know!” he half yells, miserably. “Am I? Do you think I’m bi?” “I can’t tell you that, Alex!” she says. “That’s the whole point!” “Shit,” he says, dropping his head back on the cushions. “I need someone to just tell me. How did you know you were?” “I don’t know, man. I was in my junior year of high school, and I touched a boob. It wasn’t very profound. Nobody’s gonna write an Off-Broadway play about it.” “Really helpful.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
On game day, until five o'clock or so, the white desert light held off the essential Sunday gloom—autumn sinking into winter, loneliness of October dusk with school the next day—but there was always a long still moment toward the end of those football afternoons where the mood of the crowd turned and everything grew desolate and uncertain, onscreen and off, the sheet-metal glare off the patio glass fading to gold and then gray, long shadows and night falling into desert stillness, a sadness I couldn't shake off, a sense of silent people filing toward the stadium exits and cold rain falling in college towns back east.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
My “Best Woman” speech Good evening everyone, my name is Rosie and as you can see Alex has decided to go down the non-traditional route of asking me to be his best woman for the day. Except we all know that today that title does not belong to me. It belongs to Sally, for she is clearly his best woman. I could call myself the “best friend” but I think we all know that today that title no longer refers to me either. That title too belongs to Sally. But what doesn’t belong to Sally is a lifetime of memories of Alex the child, Alex the teenager, and Alex the almost-a-man that I’m sure he would rather forget but that I will now fill you all in on. (Hopefully they all will laugh.) I have known Alex since he was five years old. I arrived on my first day of school teary-eyed and red-nosed and a half an hour late. (I am almost sure Alex will shout out “What’s new?”) I was ordered to sit down at the back of the class beside a smelly, snotty-nosed, messy-haired little boy who had the biggest sulk on his face and who refused to look at me or talk to me. I hated this little boy. I know that he hated me too, him kicking me in the shins under the table and telling the teacher that I was copying his schoolwork was a telltale sign. We sat beside each other every day for twelve years moaning about school, moaning about girlfriends and boyfriends, wishing we were older and wiser and out of school, dreaming for a life where we wouldn’t have double maths on a Monday morning. Now Alex has that life and I’m so proud of him. I’m so happy that he’s found his best woman and his best friend in perfect little brainy and annoying Sally. I ask you all to raise your glasses and toast my best friend Alex and his new best friend, best woman, and wife, Sally, and to wish them luck and happiness and divorce in the future. To Alex and Sally!
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
Back in middle school, Catherine and I had gone through this stage where all we would read were fantasy books. We'd consume them like M&M's, by the fistful, J.R.R. Tolkien and Terry Brooks and Susan Cooper and Lloyd Alexander. Susan Boone looked, to me, like the queen of the elves (there's almost always an elf queen in fantasy books). I mean, she was shorter than me and had on a strange lineny outfit in pale blues and greens....
Meg Cabot
Write poorly. Suck. Write Awful. Terribly. Frightfully. Don’t care. Turn off the inner editor. Let yourself write. Let it flow. Let yourself fail. Do something crazy. Write 50,000 words in the month of November. I did it. It was fun. It was insane. It was 1,667 words per day. It was possible, but you have to turn off the inner critic off completely. Just write. Quickly. In bursts. With joy. If you can’t write, run away. Come back. Write again. Writing is like anything else. You won’t get good at it immediately. It’s a craft. You have to keep getting better. You don’t get to Juilliard unless you practice. You want to get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. Practice. Practice ..or give them a lot of money. Like anything else it takes 10,000 hours to get to mastery. Just like Malcolm Gladwell says. So write. Fail. Get your thoughts down. Let it rest. Let is marinate. Then edit, but don’t edit as you type. That just slows the brain down. Find a daily practice. For me it’s blogging. It’s fun. The more you write the easier it gets. The more it is a flow, the less a worry. It’s not for school, it’s not for a grade, it’s just to get your thoughts out there. You know they want to come out. So keep at it. Make it a practice. Write poorly. Write awfully. Write with abandon and it may end up being really really good.
Colleen Hoover
Noel chuckles. “I don’t remember you being this fun back in high school.” “Yeah, well, I don’t remember you being this much of a dick.” I duck behind the menu and bit the inside of my cheek and curse myself for talking to him this way. I’m going to lose this job before dinner is even over. He clears his throat. “You know, Lane. If you keep talking to me like that, I might have to show you just how nice I can be.
Michelle A. Valentine (Rock the Heart (Black Falcon, #1))
I'm not into those kind of rivalries. I remember standing out in front of Stratford, minding my own business. Carload of about eighty kids would pull up: 'STRATFORD SUCKS!' Am I supposed to run after these guys? I'd just stand there, you know. They'd back up. 'STRATFORD SUCKS! ...STRATFORD SUCKS!' I'd say, 'I know. I go there. You're wasting gas, man.
Bill Hicks
Was it okay? Adam had turned down so many offers of help from Gansey. Money for school, money for food, money for rent. Pity and charity, Adam had thought. For so long, he'd wanted Gansey to see him as an equal, but it was possible that all this time, the only person who needed to see that was Adam. Now he could see that it wasn't charity Gansey was offering. It was just truth. And something else: friendship of the unshakable kind. Friendship you could swear on. That could be busted nearly to breaking and come back stronger than before.
Maggie Stiefvater (Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3))
a rescuer appeared out of the forest. “You screamed, madam?” “Why, Lord Mersey, what are you doing here?” “Following you, of course. Spot of bother?” “Little bit of one, yes.” The young man looked with interest at Sophronia’s opponents, one holding a collapsed Dimity, one bleeding from a gash to the arm, and the third bleeding from a wound to the back. “My dear Ria, you hardly need my help.” “Hardly.
Gail Carriger (Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School, #2))
Quietly Sophronia added, "And the soot on my dress, sir?" "I didn't see anything." Professor Braithwope smiled down at her, showing a small hint of fang. Sophronia grinned back. "I'm glad we understand each other, sir." The vampire looked out into the night. "This is the right finishing school for you, isn't it, whot?" "Yes sir, I think it might very well be." "A piece of advice, Miss Temminnick?" "Sir?" "It is a great skill to have friends in low places. They, too, have things to teach you." "Now, sir, I thought you didn't see any soot.
Gail Carriger (Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1))
Mom." I couldn't believe she was doing this again. She was taking this moment, this time when I was strongest, away from me. "I don't care what I have to do," she said, her voice low and even. "I don't care if I have to send you away or switch schools. I don't care if I have to follow you twenty-four hours a day, you will not see him, Halley. You will not destroy yourself this way." "Why are you just assuming I'm going back to him?" I asked her, just as she was drawing in breath to make another point. "Why don't you ask me what I said to him out there?" She shut her mouth, caught off guard. "What?" "Why don't you ever wait a second and see what I'm planning, or thinking, before you burst in with your opinions and ideas? You never even give me a chance." "Yes, I do," she said indignantly. "No," I said. "You don't. And then you wonder why I never tell you anyone or share anything with you. I can never trust you with anything or share anything with you. I can never trust you with anything, give you any piece of me without you grabbing it to keep for yourself." "That's not true," she said slowly, but it was just now hitting her, I could see it. "Halley, you don't always know what's at stake, and I do." "I will never learn," I said to her slowly, "until you let me." And so we stood there in the kitchen, my mother and I, facing off over everything that had built up since June, when I was willing to hand myself over free and clear. Now I needed her to return it all to me, with the faith that I could make my own way.
Sarah Dessen (Someone Like You)
they're good fighters, i think proudly as i watch them duke it out. But as the oldest male in the house, it's my duty to break it up. I grab the collar of Carlos's shirt but on Louis's leg and land on the floor with them. Before I can regain my balance, icy cold water is pored on my back. Turning quickly, I catch mi'ama dousing us all, a bucket poised in her fist abouve us while she is wearing her work uniform. She works as a checker for the local grocery store a couple blocks from our house. It doesn't pay a whole heck of a lot, but we don't need much. "Get up" she orders, her fiery attitude out in full force. "Shit, Ma" Carlos says, standing Mi'ama takes what's left in her bucket, sticks her fingers in the icy water, and flicks the liquid in Carlos's face. Luis laughs and before he knows it, he gets flicked with water as well. Will they ever learn? "Any More attitude, Lous?" She asks. "No, ma'am" Louis says, standing as straight as a soilder. "You have any more filthy words to come out of that boca of yours, Carlos?" She dips her hand in the water as a warning. "No, ma'am" echos soldier number two. "And what abot you, Alejandro?" her eyes narrow into slits as she focuses on me "What? I was try'in to break it up" I say innocently, giving her my you-can't-resist-me smile. She flicks water in my face. "That's for not breaking it up sooner. Now get dressed, all of you, and come eat breakfast before school." So much for my you-can't-resist-me smile
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
Gansey turned to Adam, finally. He was still wearing his glorious kingly face, Richard Campbell Gansey III, white knight, but his eyes were uncertain. Is this okay? Was it okay? Adam had turned down so many offers of help from Gansey. Money for school, money for food, money for rent. Pity and charity, Adam had thought. For so long, he’d wanted Gansey to see him as an equal, but it was possible that all this time, the only person who needed to see that was Adam. Now he could see that it wasn’t charity Gansey was offering. It was just truth. And something else: friendship of the unshakable kind. Friendship you could swear on. That could be busted nearly to breaking and come back stronger than before. Adam held out his right hand, and Gansey clasped it in a handshake, like they were men, because they were men.
Maggie Stiefvater (Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3))
From a distance,' he says, 'my car looks just like every other car on the freeway, and Sarah Byrnes looks just like the rest of us. And if she's going to get help, she'll get it from herself or she'll get it from us. Let me tell you why I brought this up. Because the other day when I saw how hard it was for Mobe to go to the hospital to see her, I was embarrassed that I didn't know her better, that I ever laughed at one joke about her. I was embarrassed that I let some kid go to school with me for twelve years and turned my back on pain that must be unbearable. I was embarrassed that I haven't found a way to include her somehow the way Mobe has.' Jesus. I feel tears welling up, and I see them running down Ellerby's cheeks. Lemry better get a handle on this class before it turns into some kind of therapy group. So,' Lemry says quietly, 'your subject will be the juxtaposition of man and God in the universe?' Ellerby shakes his head. 'My subject will be shame.
Chris Crutcher (Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes)
I look up, and he’s searching my eyes, just like he did after kissing me for the first time in the rain. “What are you looking for?” He doesn’t answer. He doesn’t need to. I know what he wants. And it’s not fair. “Just because we’re the only two teenagers on this whole ship doesn’t mean I have to love you. Why can’t I have a choice? Options?” Elder steps back, stung. “Look, it’s not that I don’t like you,” I say quickly, reaching for him. He jerks away. “It’s just…” “Just what?” he growls. Just that if I was back on Earth instead of on this damn ship, if I had met Elder at school or at a club or on a blind date, if I had my choice between Elder and every other boy in the world…Would I love him then? Would he love me? Love without choice isn’t love at all. “Just that I don’t want to be with you just because there’s no one else.” [p.57-58]
Beth Revis (A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2))
So, you’re hitting on Clare the Fair.” “I’m not hitting on her. I’m exploring the possibility of seeing her on social terms.” “He’s hitting on her,” Owen said around a mouthful of chips. “You’ve still got that thing you had for her back in high school. Are you still writing bad song lyrics about heartbreak?” “Suck me. And they weren’t that bad.” “Yeah, they were,” Ryder disagreed. “But at least now we don’t have to listen to you playing your keyboard and howling them down the hall.
Nora Roberts (The Next Always (Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy, #1))
...we're in English class, which for most of us is an excruciating exercise in staying awake through the great classics of literature. These works-- groundbreaking, incendiary, timeless-- have been pureed by the curriculum monsters into a digestible pabulum of themes and factoids we can spew back on a test. Scoring well on tests is the sort of happy thing that gets the school district the greenbacks they crave. Understanding and appreciating the material are secondary.
Libba Bray (Going Bovine)
I read in the papers here a while back some teachers came across a survey that was sent out back in the thirties to a number of schools around the country. Had this questionnaire about what was the problems with teachin in the schools. And they come across these forms, they'd been filled out and sent in from around the country answerin these questions. And the biggest problems they could name was things like talkin in class and runnin in the hallways. Chewin gum. Copyin homework. Things of that nature. So they got one of them forms that was blank and printed up a bunch of em and sent em back out to the same schools. Forty years later. Well, here come the answers back. Rape, arson, murder. Drugs. Suicide. So think about that. Because a lot of the time when I say anything about how the world is goin to hell in a handbasket people will just sort of smile and tell me I'm gettin old. That it's one of the symptoms. But my feelin about that is that anybody that cant tell the difference between rapin and murderin people and chewin gum has got a whole lot bigger of a problem than what I've got. Forty years is not a long time neither. Maybe the next forty of it will bring some of em out from under the ether. If it aint too late.
Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men)
People think of education as something that they can finish. And what’s more, when they finish, it’s a rite of passage. You’re finished with school. You’re no more a child, and therefore anything that reminds you of school - reading books, having ideas, asking questions - that’s kid’s stuff. Now you’re an adult, you don’t do that sort of thing any more. You have everybody looking forward to no longer learning, and you make them ashamed afterward of going back to learning. If you have a system of education using computers, then anyone, any age, can learn by himself, can continue to be interested. If you enjoy learning, there’s no reason why you should stop at a given age. People don’t stop things they enjoy doing just because they reach a certain age. What’s exciting is the actual process of broadening yourself, of knowing there’s now a little extra facet of the universe you know about and can think about and can understand. It seems to me that when it’s time to die, there would be a certain pleasure in thinking that you had utilized your life well, learned as much as you could, gathered in as much as possible of the universe, and enjoyed it. There’s only this one universe and only this one lifetime to try to grasp it. And while it is inconceivable that anyone can grasp more than a tiny portion of it, at least you can do that much. What a tragedy just to pass through and get nothing out of it.
Isaac Asimov
I like idling when I ought not to be idling; not when it is the only thing I have to do. Thatis my pig-headed nature. The time when I like best to stand with my back to the fire, calculating how much I owe, is when my desk is heaped highest with letters that must be answered by the next post. When I like to dawdle longest over my dinner is when I have a heavy evening's work before me. And if, for some urgent reason, I ought to be up particularly early in the morning, it is then, more than at any other time, that I love to lie an extra half-hour in bed. Ah! how delicious it is to turn over and go to sleep again: "just for five minutes." Is there any human being, I wonder, besides the hero of a Sunday-school "tale for boys," who ever gets up willingly?
Jerome K. Jerome (Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow)
Going back” had two distinct meanings at the school, depending on how it was said. It was the best thing in the world. It was also the worst thing that could happen to anybody. It was returning to a place that understood you so well that it had reached across realities to find you, claiming you as its own and only; it was being sent to a family that wanted to love you, wanted to keep you safe and sound, but didn’t know you well enough to do anything but hurt you.
Seanan McGuire (Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1))
The peculiar predicament of the present-day self surely came to pass as a consequence of the disappointment of the high expectations of the self as it entered the age of science and technology. Dazzled by the overwhelming credentials of science, the beauty and elegance of the scientific method, the triumph of modern medicine over physical ailments, and the technological transformation of the very world itself, the self finds itself in the end disappointed by the failure of science and technique in those very sectors of life which had been its main source of ordinary satisfaction in past ages. As John Cheever said, the main emotion of the adult Northeastern American who has had all the advantages of wealth, education, and culture is disappointment. Work is disappointing. In spite of all the talk about making work more creative and self-fulfilling, most people hate their jobs, and with good reason. Most work in modern technological societies is intolerably dull and repetitive. Marriage and family life are disappointing. Even among defenders of traditional family values, e.g., Christians and Jews, a certain dreariness must be inferred, if only from the average time of TV viewing. Dreary as TV is, it is evidently not as dreary as Mom talking to Dad or the kids talking to either. School is disappointing. If science is exciting and art is exhilarating, the schools and universities have achieved the not inconsiderable feat of rendering both dull. As every scientist and poet knows, one discovers both vocations in spite of, not because of, school. It takes years to recover from the stupor of being taught Shakespeare in English Lit and Wheatstone's bridge in Physics. Politics is disappointing. Most young people turn their backs on politics, not because of the lack of excitement of politics as it is practiced, but because of the shallowness, venality, and image-making as these are perceived through the media--one of the technology's greatest achievements. The churches are disappointing, even for most believers. If Christ brings us new life, it is all the more remarkable that the church, the bearer of this good news, should be among the most dispirited institutions of the age. The alternatives to the institutional churches are even more grossly disappointing, from TV evangelists with their blown-dry hairdos to California cults led by prosperous gurus ignored in India but embraced in La Jolla. Social life is disappointing. The very franticness of attempts to reestablish community and festival, by partying, by groups, by club, by touristy Mardi Gras, is the best evidence of the loss of true community and festival and of the loneliness of self, stranded as it is as an unspeakable consciousness in a world from which it perceives itself as somehow estranged, stranded even within its own body, with which it sees no clear connection. But there remains the one unquestioned benefit of science: the longer and healthier life made possible by modern medicine, the shorter work-hours made possible by technology, hence what is perceived as the one certain reward of dreary life of home and the marketplace: recreation. Recreation and good physical health appear to be the only ambivalent benefits of the technological revolution.
Walker Percy (Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book)
Jules: Shadowhunters take in Shadowhunters. It's what we do. Kit: You really think that's such a good idea? I mean, your house is pretty screwed up, what wit hyour agoraphhobic uncle and your weird brother. Jules: Ty isn't weird. Kit: I meant Mark, Ty isn't weird. He's just autistic. it's not a big deal. Back when I went to mundane school, I knew some kids who were on the spectrum. Ty has some things in common with them. Jules: What spectrum? Kit: You really don't know what I mean?
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
It's never over. Not really. Not when you stay down there as long as I did, not when you've lived in the netherworld longer than you've lived in this material one, where things are very bright and large and make such strange noises. You never come back, not all the way. Always, there is an odd distance between you and the people you love and the people you meet, a barrier, thin as the glass of a mirror. You never come all the way out of the mirror; you stand, for the rest of your life, with one foot in this world and one in another, where everything is upside down and backward and sad. It is the distance of marred memory, of a twisted and shape-shifting past. When people talk about their childhood, their adolescence, their college days, I laugh along and try not to think: that was when I was throwing up in my elementary school bathroom, that was when I was sleeping with strangers to show off the sharp tips of my bones, that was when I lost sight of my soul and died. And it is the distance of the present, as well - the distance that lies between people in general because of the different lives we have lived. I don't know who I would be, now, if I had not lived the life I have, and so I cannot alter my need for distance - nor can I lessen the low and omnipresent pain that that distance creates. The entirety of my life is overshadowed by one singular and near-fatal obsession.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
Now, your Honor, I have spoken about the war. I believed in it. I don’t know whether I was crazy or not. Sometimes I think perhaps I was. I approved of it; I joined in the general cry of madness and despair. I urged men to fight. I was safe because I was too old to go. I was like the rest. What did they do? Right or wrong, justifiable or unjustifiable -- which I need not discuss today -- it changed the world. For four long years the civilized world was engaged in killing men. Christian against Christian, barbarian uniting with Christians to kill Christians; anything to kill. It was taught in every school, aye in the Sunday schools. The little children played at war. The toddling children on the street. Do you suppose this world has ever been the same since? How long, your Honor, will it take for the world to get back the humane emotions that were slowly growing before the war? How long will it take the calloused hearts of men before the scars of hatred and cruelty shall be removed? We read of killing one hundred thousand men in a day. We read about it and we rejoiced in it -- if it was the other fellows who were killed. We were fed on flesh and drank blood. Even down to the prattling babe. I need not tell you how many upright, honorable young boys have come into this court charged with murder, some saved and some sent to their death, boys who fought in this war and learned to place a cheap value on human life. You know it and I know it. These boys were brought up in it. The tales of death were in their homes, their playgrounds, their schools; they were in the newspapers that they read; it was a part of the common frenzy -- what was a life? It was nothing. It was the least sacred thing in existence and these boys were trained to this cruelty.
Clarence Darrow (Attorney for the Damned: Clarence Darrow in the Courtroom)
Left my homework at home.” I jerked a thumb over my shoulder. “Funny, it being homework you’d think home would be where it’s supposed to be but no, I need it at school, but you can’t call it schoolwork because that’s just stuff you do at school but it really is schoolwork you do at home and then bring it back so you could call it school-home-school work but either way it’s not here and I need to get it from home and get it to school so home is where I need to go now.” I took a breath. “Bye.
A. Kirk (Demons at Deadnight (Divinicus Nex Chronicles, #1))
I am, and always have been - first, last, and always - a child of America. You raised me. I grew up in the pastures and hills of Texas, but I had been to thirty-four states before I learned how to drive. When I caught the stomach flu in the fifth grade, my mother sent a note to school written on the back of a holiday memo from Vice President Biden. Sorry, sir—we were in a rush, and it was the only paper she had on hand. I spoke to you for the first time when I was eighteen, on the stage of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, when I introduced my mother as the nominee for president. You cheered for me. I was young and full of hope, and you let me embody the American dream: that a boy who grew up speaking two languages, whose family was blended and beautiful and enduring, could make a home for himself in the White House. You pinned the flag to my lapel and said, “We’re rooting for you.” As I stand before you today, my hope is that I have not let you down. Years ago, I met a prince. And though I didn’t realize it at the time, his country had raised him too. The truth is, Henry and I have been together since the beginning of this year. The truth is, as many of you have read, we have both struggled every day with what this means for our families, our countries, and our futures. The truth is, we have both had to make compromises that cost us sleep at night in order to afford us enough time to share our relationship with the world on our own terms. We were not afforded that liberty. But the truth is, also, simply this: love is indomitable. America has always believed this. And so, I am not ashamed to stand here today where presidents have stood and say that I love him, the same as Jack loved Jackie, the same as Lyndon loved Lady Bird. Every person who bears a legacy makes the choice of a partner with whom they will share it, whom the American people will “hold beside them in hearts and memories and history books. America: He is my choice. Like countless other Americans, I was afraid to say this out loud because of what the consequences might be. To you, specifically, I say: I see you. I am one of you. As long as I have a place in this White House, so will you. I am the First Son of the United States, and I’m bisexual. History will remember us. If I can ask only one thing of the American people, it’s this: Please, do not let my actions influence your decision in November. The decision you will make this year is so much bigger than anything I could ever say or do, and it will determine the fate of this country for years to come. My mother, your president, is the warrior and the champion that each and every American deserves for four more years of growth, progress, and prosperity. Please, don’t let my actions send us backward. I ask the media not to focus on me or on Henry, but on the campaign, on policy, on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans at stake in this election. And finally, I hope America will remember that I am still the son you raised. My blood still runs from Lometa, Texas, and San Diego, California, and Mexico City. I still remember the sound of your voices from that stage in Philadelphia. I wake up every morning thinking of your hometowns, of the families I’ve met at rallies in Idaho and Oregon and South Carolina. I have never hoped to be anything other than what I was to you then, and what I am to you now—the First Son, yours in actions and words. And I hope when Inauguration Day comes again in January, I will continue to be.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
When would you like to go out with me so we can talk about it?" A grin flirts with his lips. He's got her cornered. And he knows it. Janie chuckles, defeated. "You are such a bastard." "When," he demands. "I promise, all my heart, I'll be your house elf for the rest of my life if I fail to meet you at the appointed date and time." He leans forward. "Promise," he says again. He holds up two fingers. The bell rings. They stand up. She's not answering. He comes around the table toward her and pushes her gently against the wall. Sinks his lips into hers. He tastes like spearmint. She can't stop the flipping in her stomach. He pulls back and touches her cheek, her hair. "When," he whispers. Urgently She clears her throat and blinks. "A-a-after school works for me," she says.
Lisa McMann (Wake (Wake, #1))
I'm sorry," I heard him say again. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a sudden blur of movement as he slid out of his seat, left some bills for the breakfast he wouldn't eat, and walked away. And as he did, I thought again of those mornings in the hallway at school, way back in ninth grade. Everything had started in such sharp detail, each aspect pronounced and clear. Obviously, endings were different. Harder to see, full of shapes that could be one thing or another, with all the things that you were once so sure of suddenly not familiar, if they were even recognizable at all.
Sarah Dessen (The Moon and More)
The American Society of Civil Engineers said in 2007 that the U.S. had fallen so far behind in maintaining its public infrastructure -- roads, bridges, schools, dams -- that it would take more than a trillion and half dollars over five years to bring it back up to standard. Instead, these types of expenditures are being cut back. At the same time, public infrastructure around the world is facing unprecedented stress, with hurricanes, cyclones, floods and forest fires all increasing in frequency and intensity. It's easy to imagine a future in which growing numbers of cities have their frail and long-neglected infrastructures knocked out by disasters and then are left to rot, their core services never repaired or rehabilitated. The well-off, meanwhile, will withdraw into gated communities, their needs met by privatized providers.
Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism)
Cover me!' Augustus said as he jumped out from behind the wall and raced toward the school. Isaac fumbled for his controller and then started firing while the bullets rained down on Augustus, who was shot once and then twice but still ran, Augustus shouting,'YOU CAN’T KILL MAX MAYHEM!' and with a final flurry of button combinations, he dove onto the grenade, which detonated beneath him. His dismembered body exploded like a geyser and the screen went red. A throaty voice said, 'MISSION FAILURE,' but Augustus seemed to think otherwise as he smiled at his remnants on the screen. He reached into his pocket, pulled out a cigarette, and shoved it between his teeth. 'Saved the kids' he said. 'Temporarily' I pointed out. 'All salvation is temporary' Augustus shot back. 'I bought them a minute. Maybe that’s the minute that buys them an hour, which is the hour that buys them a year. No one’s gonna buy them forever, Hazel Grace, but my life bought them a minute. And that’s not nothing.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
They had not, under the heavens and on earth, one single weapon. They don't control the land they live on, the schools which train them, the heat and food their bodies need to live through the winter's cold, the media which gives them language, the military weapons for which they give most of their money. There is no more time in this city. Reasonable people don't let themselves dream because no dream can be true. They have a cry that bought them back to first causes: But we who have no mothers, no fathers, no homes or love. Where are we going to run?
Kathy Acker (Literal Madness: Three Novels)
Anne, look here. Can’t we be good friends?” For a moment Anne hesitated. She had an odd, newly awakened consciousness under all her outraged dignity that the half-shy, half-eager expression in Gilbert’s hazel eyes was something that was very good to see. Her heart gave a quick, queer little beat. But the bitterness of her old grievance promptly stiffened up her wavering determination. That scene of two years before flashed back into her recollection as vividly as if it had taken place yesterday. Gilbert had called her “carrots” and had brought about her disdain before the whole school. Her resentment, which to other and older people might be as laughable as its cause, was in no whit allayed and softened by time seemingly. She hated Gilbert Blythe! She would never forgive him!
L.M. Montgomery
...condemning Nyasha to whoredom, making her a victim of her femaleness, just as I had felt victimised at home in the days when Nhamo went to school and I grew my maize. The victimisation, I saw, was universal. It didn't depend on poverty, on lack of education or on tradition. It didn't depend on any of the things I had thought it depended on. Men took it everywhere with them. Even heroes like Babamukuru did it. And that was the problem. You had to admit Nyasha had no tact. You had to admit she was altogether too volatile and strong-willed. You couldn't ignore the fact that she had no respect for Babamukuru when she ought to have had lots of it. But what I didn't like was the way that all conflicts came back to the question of femaleness. Femaleness as opposed and inferior to maleness.
Tsitsi Dangarembga (Nervous Conditions)
Duchess was barking her head off as she raced after a snarling, hissing, yowling white ball of Maleficent. Aphrodite was chasing after the dog, screaming for her to ''Come! Stay. Be good, damnit!'' Damien was close behind her, flailing his arms and yelling ''Duchess! Come!'' All of a sudden the Twins' cat, the huge and very stuck-up Beelzebub joined in the chase, only he was tearing around after Duchess. ''Ohmygod! Beelzebub! Honey!'' Shaunee ran into my view, yelling at the top of her very healthy lungs. ''Beelzebub! Duchess! Stop!'' Erin wailed, right behind her twin. Darius suddenly burst out into the hallway, and I stepped back behind the curtains, not sure is my shrouding could be detected by him. Apparently he didn't notice me, or anything else, because he ran into the Council Room. I peeked through the drapes and could hear him telling Neferet that she was needed on the school grounds-that there was an 'altercation.' Then Neferet was hurrying out of the room and down the hall, following Darius into the dog-barking, cat-yowling, kid-screaming craziness. I noticed that through all of it I hadn't seen hide nor hair of Jack. Talk about an excellent diversion!
Kristin Cast (Untamed (House of Night, #4))
You, Doctor Martin, walk from breakfast to madness. Late August, I speed through the antiseptic tunnel where the moving dead still talk of pushing their bones against the thrust of cure. And I am queen of this summer hotel or the laughing bee on a stalk of death. We stand in broken lines and wait while they unlock the doors and count us at the frozen gates of dinner. The shibboleth is spoken and we move to gravy in our smock of smiles. We chew in rows, our plates scratch and whine like chalk in school. There are no knives for cutting your throat. I make moccasins all morning. At first my hands kept empty, unraveled for the lives they used to work. Now I learn to take them back, each angry finger that demands I mend what another will break tomorrow. Of course, I love you; you lean above the plastic sky, god of our block, prince of all the foxes. The breaking crowns are new that Jack wore. Your third eye moves among us and lights the separate boxes where we sleep or cry. What large children we are here. All over I grow most tall in the best ward. Your business is people, you call at the madhouse, an oracular eye in our nest. Out in the hall the intercom pages you. You twist in the pull of the foxy children who fall like floods of life in frost. And we are magic talking to itself, noisy and alone. I am queen of all my sins forgotten. Am I still lost? Once I was beautiful. Now I am myself, counting this row and that row of moccasins waiting on the silent shelf.
Anne Sexton (To Bedlam and Part Way Back)
I’m completely library educated. I’ve never been to college. I went down to the library when I was in grade school in Waukegan, and in high school in Los Angeles, and spent long days every summer in the library. I used to steal magazines from a store on Genesee Street, in Waukegan, and read them and then steal them back on the racks again. That way I took the print off with my eyeballs and stayed honest. I didn’t want to be a permanent thief, and I was very careful to wash my hands before I read them. But with the library, it’s like catnip, I suppose: you begin to run in circles because there’s so much to look at and read. And it’s far more fun than going to school, simply because you make up your own list and you don’t have to listen to anyone. When I would see some of the books my kids were forced to bring home and read by some of their teachers, and were graded on—well, what if you don’t like those books?
Ray Bradbury
It's after school, after my double detentions for gym and chemistry, and I'm at Knead, about to begin working on a new piece. I wedge the clay out against my board, enjoying the therapeutic quality of each smack, prod, and punch. As the clay oozes between my fingers and pastes against my skin, images of all sorts begin to pop into my head. I try my best to push them away,to focus instead on the cold and clammy sensation of the mound and the way it helps me relax. But after only a few short minutes of solitude, I hear someone storm their way up the back stairwell. At first I think it's Spencer, but then I hear the voice: "I'm coming up the stairs," Adam bellows. "I'm approaching the studio area, about to pass by the sink." I turn to look, noticing he's standing only a few feet behind me now. "I hope I didn't startle you this time," he says. "Ha-ha." I hold back my smile. "I would have called your cell to tell you I was coming up, but you never gave me your number." "I'm fine," I assure him, unable to stifle a giggle.
Laurie Faria Stolarz (Deadly Little Lies (Touch, #2))
I was also sick of my neighbors, as most Parisians are. I now knew every second of the morning routine of the family upstairs. At 7:00 am alarm goes off, boom, Madame gets out of bed, puts on her deep-sea divers’ boots, and stomps across my ceiling to megaphone the kids awake. The kids drop bags of cannonballs onto the floor, then, apparently dragging several sledgehammers each, stampede into the kitchen. They grab their chunks of baguette and go and sit in front of the TV, which is always showing a cartoon about people who do nothing but scream at each other and explode. Every minute, one of the kids cartwheels (while bouncing cannonballs) back into the kitchen for seconds, then returns (bringing with it a family of excitable kangaroos) to the TV. Meanwhile the toilet is flushed, on average, fifty times per drop of urine expelled. Finally, there is a ten-minute period of intensive yelling, and at 8:15 on the dot they all howl and crash their way out of the apartment to school.” (p.137)
Stephen Clarke (A Year in the Merde)
Exactly one month after he was convicted, when the lights were dimmed and the detention officers made a final sweep of the catwalk, Peter reached down and tugged off his right sock. He turned on his side in the lower bunk, so that he was facing the wall. He fed the sock into his mouth, stuffing it as far back as it would go. When it got hard to breathe, he fell into a dream. He was still eighteen, but it was the first day of kindergarten. He was carrying his backpack and his Superman lunch box. The orange school bus pulled up and, with a sigh, split open its gaping jaws. Peter climbed the steps and faced the back of the bus, but this time, he was the only student on it. He walked down the aisle to the very end, near the emergency exit. He put his lunch box down beside him and glanced out the rear window. It was so bright he thought the sun itself must be chasing them down the highway. 'Almost there,' a voice said, and Peter turned around to look at the driver. But just as there had been no passengers, there was no one at the wheel. Here was the amazing thing: in his dream, Peter wasn't scared. He knew, somehow, that he was headed exactly where he'd wanted to go.
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
The boy gestured with his chin at Dimity. “She was shot.” He sounded remarkably unconcerned for a brother with any degree of affection for his sibling.“Good lord!” Sophronia climbed in to see to her new friend’s health. The bullet had grazed Dimity’s shoulder. It had ripped her dress and left a partly burned gash behind, but didn’t look all that bad. Sophronia checked to make certain Dimity had no other injuries. Then she sat back on her heels.“Is that all? I’ve had worse scrapes from drinking tea. Why has she come over all crumpled?”Pillover rolled his eyes. “Faints at the sight of blood, our Dimity. Always has. Weak nerves,father says. It doesn’t even have to be her blood.
Gail Carriger (Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1))
She gave him a happy look as he followed her out on the water-soaked wooden walk. "This could be fun," she said, then turned, took a running step, and did a couple of back flips—like a middle-school kid at recess. He stopped where he was, lust and love and fear rising up in a surge of emotion he did not, for all his years, have any idea how to deal with. "What?" she asked, a little breathless from her gymnastics. She brushed her wavy hair out of her face and gave him a serious look. "Is there something wrong?" He could hardly tell her that he was afraid because he didn’t know what he’d do if something happened to her. That his sudden, unexpected reaction had brought Brother Wolf to the fore. She threw his balance off; his control—which had become almost effortless over the years—was erratic at best.
Patricia Briggs (Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, #2))
Aghhh! You don’t get it! I have to resist! No kiss, no matter how good it is, is worth killing you for. I’ve already lost one boyfriend. I am not going to lose another one! Do you understand me?” Ryan didn’t answer my question, but he was positively glowing. “You just called me your boyfriend!” he accused. “I—” My mouth dropped all the way to my lap. “I did not!” “Yes you did! You said you weren’t going to lose another boyfriend, and that would be me—the other boyfriend you don’t want to lose.” “But…I…I…” “Ha! You said it, and you can’t take it back! You are so my girlfriend now!” “I am not!” “Are too! “Am not!” “So are too!” “Aghhh!” I screamed again. “You are so impossible!” When I screamed, I lost control for a second and let out a burst of energy that stalled the truck. Ryan just grinned at me. He was lucky the car stopped right then, because I was contemplating knocking the stupid cocky smirk right off his face. Instead, I flung the door open. “Bye, honey!” Ryan called playfully as I jumped out of the truck. “I’ll see you at school tomorrow!
Kelly Oram (Being Jamie Baker (Jamie Baker, #1))
But then something happened, Ray, something amazing. Something... "That white cop sitting next to me? He took a long look at my mother when she came in, just like, absorbed her, and then without even turning to me, he just put his hand on my back, up between my neck and shoulder... "And all he did was squeeze. Give me a little squeeze of sympathy, then rubbed that same spot with his palm for maybe two, three seconds, and that was it. "But I swear to you, nobody, in my entire life up to that point had ever touched me with that kind of tenderness. I had never experienced a sympathetic hand like that, and Ray, it felt like lightning. "I mean, the guy did it without thinking, I'm sure. And when dinnertime rolled around he had probably forgotten all about it. Forgot about me, too, for that matter... But I didn't forget. "I didn't walk around thinking about it nonstop either, but something like seven years later when I was at community college? The recruiting officer for the PD came on campus for Career Day, and I didn't really like college all that much to begin with, so I took the test for the academy, scored high, quit school and never looked back. "And usually when I tell people why I became a cop I say because it would keep Butchie and Antoine out of my life, and there's some truth in that. "But I think the real reason was because that recruiting officer on campus that day reminded me, in some way, you know, conscious or not, of that housing cop who had sat on the bench with me when I was thirteen. "In fact, I don't think it, I know it. As sure as I'm standing here, I know I became a cop because of him. For him. To be like him. God as my witness, Ray. The man put his hand on my back for three seconds and it rerouted my life for the next twenty-nine years. "It's the enormity of small things... Adults, grown-ups, us, we have so much power... And sometimes when we find ourselves coming into contact with certain kinds of kids? Needy kids? We have to be ever so careful...
Richard Price
Everybody in!" I said. Which was when we discovered the final problem. Little Echos aren't designed to hold six, count them six, larger-than-average-sized children. And their wings. And a dog. "This is like a clown car," Total grumbled front my lap in the front seat. "Why does the dog get to sit in your lap?'' Gazzy asked plaintively, as we rattled and banged down the dark streets. "How about a kid?" "Oh. 'The dog.' Very nice," said Total. "Because you're not allowed to have people on your lap in the front seats," I explained. "It's not safe. If a cop saw us, we'd be stopped for sure. You want Total back there?" Everyone in the back screamed no at the same time.
James Patterson (School's Out—Forever (Maximum Ride, #2))
One more, final question came from the audience on my last night in Newtown, and it was the one I most did not want to hear: “Will God protect my child?” I stayed silent for what seemed like minutes. More than anything I wanted to answer with authority, “Yes! Of course God will protect you. Let me read you some promises from the Bible.” I knew, though, that behind me on the same platform twenty-six candles were flickering in memory of victims, proof that we have no immunity from the effects of a broken planet. My mind raced back to Japan, where I heard from parents who had lost their children to a tsunami in a middle school, and forward to that very morning when I heard from parents who had lost theirs to a shooter in an elementary school. At last I said, “No, I’m sorry, I can’t promise that.” None of us is exempt. We all die, some old, some tragically young. God provides support and solidarity, yes, but not protection—at least not the kind of protection we desperately long for. On this cursed planet, even God suffered the loss of a Son.
Philip Yancey (The Question That Never Goes Away)
They guillotined Charlotte Corday and they said Marat is dead. No, Marat is not dead. Put him in the Pantheon or throw him in the sewer; it doesn’t matter-he’s back the next day. He’s reborn in the man who has no job, the woman who has no bread, in the girl who has to sell her body, in the child who hasn’t learned to read; he’s reborn in the unheated tenement, in the wretched mattress without blankets, in the unemployed, in the proletariat, in the brothel, in the jailhouse, in your laws that show no pity, in your schools that give no future, and he appears in all that is ignorance and he recreates himself from all that is darkness. Oh, beware human society: you cannot kill Marat until you have killed the misery of poverty!
Victor Hugo
Just then he noticed that Amy had that look, as though she wanted the street to buckle and split so she could fall right in. Dan saw the cool crowd from her school hanging at a table in the front. So that was why she didn't want to go in. Evan Tolliver was at the head of the table. Dan sighed. Even, the human supercomputer, was Amy's dream crush. Whenever Evan was near, she got her stutter back. "Oh, excuse me, I didn't notice Luke Skywalker," Dan said. "Or is it Darth Vader?" "Shhh," Amy said. Her cheeks were red. "He's coming." "You mean Evan Tolliver himself is about to set his foot on the sidewalk? Did you bring the rose petals?" "Cut it out, dweeb!" Amy said fiercely. "Hi, Amy," Evan said from behind her. Amy's color went from summer rose to summer tomato. She shot Dan a look that told him he was in serious trouble. "Hey, Evan," he said. "I'm Amy's little brother, Dweeb. Nice to meet you, man.
Jude Watson (Vespers Rising (The 39 Clues, #11))
This time we weren’t disturbed either by traveling through time or a cheeky gargoyle demon. While “Hallelujah” was running, the kiss was gentle and careful, but then Gideon buried both hands in my hair and held me very close. It wasn’t a gentle kiss anymore, and my reaction surprised me. I suddenly felt very soft and lightweight, and my arms went around Gideon’s neck of their own accord. I had no idea how, but at some point in the next few minutes, still kissing without a break, we landed on the green sofa, and we went on kissing there until Gideon abruptly sat up and looked at his watch. “Like I said, it really is a shame I’m not allowed to kiss you anymore,” he remarked rather breathlessly. The pupils of his eyes looked huge, and his cheeks were definitely flushed. I wondered what I looked like myself. As I’d temporarily mutated into some kind of human blancmange, there was no way I could get out of my half-lying position. And I realized, with horror, that I had no idea how much time had passed since Bon Jovi stopped singing “Hallelujah.” Ten minutes? Half an hour? Anything was possible. Gideon looked at me, and I thought I saw something like bewilderment in his eyes. “We’d better collect our things,” he said at last. “And you need to do something about your hair—it looks as if some idiot has been digging both hands into it and dragging you down on a sofa. Whoever’s back there waiting for us will put two and two together—oh, my God, don’t look at me like that.” “Like what?” “As if you couldn’t move.” “But I can’t,” I said, perfectly seriously. “I’m a blancmange. You’ve turned me into blancmange.” A brief smile brightened Gideon’s face, and then he jumped up and began stowing my school things in my bag. “Come along, little blancmange. Stand up.
Kerstin Gier (Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie, #2))
Mary Lou wore the ring faithfully. She studied the coy girls the ones who pretended not to get the dirty joke that made Mary Lou stifle a laugh. The ones who practiced the shy downward glance who pretended giggly outrage when a boy made a suggestive remark who waited to be seen and never made the first move. The ones who called other girls sluts and judged with ease. The good girls. Occasionally from the school bus windows she would see other wild girls on the edges of cornfields running without shoes hair unkempt. Their short skirts rode up flashing warning lights of flesh: backs of knees the curve of a calf a smooth plain of thigh. Sometimes it was just a girl waiting for a bus but in her eyes Mary Lou recognized the feral quality. That was a girl who wanted to race trains under a full moon a girl who liked the feel of silk stockings against her skin the whisper promise of a boy's neck under her lips who did not wait for life to choose her but wished to do the choosing herself. It made Mary Lou ache with everything she held back.
Libba Bray (Beauty Queens)
Scott gave my knee an affectionate squeeze. "You'll never hear me admit this again, so listen up. You look good, Grey. On a scale from one to ten, you're definitely in the top half." "Gee, thanks." "You're not the kind of girl I would have chased after when I was in Portland, but I'm not the same guy I was back then either. You're a little too good for me, and let's face it, a little too smart." "You've got street smarts," I pointed out. "Stop interrupting. You're going to make me lose my place." "You've got this speech memorized?" A smirk. "I've got a lot of time on my hands. As I was saying--hell. I forgot where I was." "You were telling me I can rest assured that I'm better-looking than half the girls at my school." "That was a figure of speech. If you want to get technical, you're better-looking than ninety percent. Give or take." I laid a hand over my heart. "I'm speechless." Scott got down on his knee and clasped my hand dramatically. "Yes, Nora. Yes, I'll go to the homecoming dance with you.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Silence (Hush, Hush, #3))
RAINBOW VOICES I ask people of the world and children of light to start reflecting the stories of their souls to vibrate wisdom around the earth. Pick up a paintbrush or microphone. Press the inks of your pens to paper or tap words onto your screens, and start sharing what you know and have learned with the masses. Turn your personal painting into a piece of the earth's puzzle so that our unified assemblage of thoughts, experiences and lessons reveal common truths that cannot be denied. Imagine the changes that could happen if everyone suddenly stopped acting like someone else, became true to themselves, and celebrated the beauty of their uniqueness. Only after people have willingly removed their masks and costumes, and have begun pouring light from their hearts to reveal their vulnerability, dreams and pains, will we be able to see that beneath the surface we are all the same. After all, how can the world collectively fight for truth, if soldiers in its army are void of truth? We must first all be true by putting truth in our words and actions. And to do so, everyone must learn to think and react with their conscience. Imagine what Truth could do to neutralize the clutches of evil once this black and white world suddenly became embraced by a strong rainbow of loud powerful voices. We could put color back into every home, every school, every industry, every nation, and every garden on earth where flowers have been crushed by corruption.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
One fast more or I'm gone', I realize, gone the way of the last three years of drunken hopelessness which is a physical and spiritual and metaphysical hopelessness you can't learn in school no matter how many books on existentialism or pessimism you read, or how many jugs of vision-producing Ayahuasca you drink, or Mescaline you take, or Peyote goop up with-- That feeling when you wake up with the delirium tremens with the fear of eerie death dripping from your ears like those special heavy cobwebs spiders weave in the hot countries, the feeling of being a bent back mudman monster groaning underground in hot steaming mud pulling a long hot burden nowhere, the feeling of standing ankledeep in hot boiled pork blood, ugh, of being up to your waist in a giant pan of greasy brown dishwater not a trace of suds left in it--The face of yourself you see in the mirror with its expression of unbearable anguish so hagged and awful with sorrow you can't even cry for a thing so ugly, so lost, no connection whatever with early perfection and therefore nothing to connect with tears or anything: it's like William Seward Burroughs' 'Stranger' suddenly appearing in your place in the mirror- Enough! 'One fast move or I'm gone' so I jump up, do my headstand first to pump blood back into the hairy brain, take a shower in the hall, new T-shirt and socks and underwear, pack vigorously, hoist the rucksack and run out throwing the key on the desk and hit the cold street...I've got to escape or die...
Jack Kerouac
It was Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the television series, 1997-2003, not the lackluster movie that preceded it) that blazed the trail for Twilight and the slew of other paranormal romance novels that followed, while also shaping the broader urban fantasy field from the late 1990s onward. Many of you reading this book will be too young to remember when Buffy debuted, so you'll have to trust us when we say that nothing quite like it had existed before. It was thrillingly new to see a young, gutsy, kick-ass female hero, for starters, and one who was no Amazonian Wonder Woman but recognizably ordinary, fussing about her nails, her shoes, and whether she'd make it to her high school prom. Buffy's story contained a heady mix of many genres (fantasy, horror, science-fiction, romance, detective fiction, high school drama), all of it leavened with tongue-in-cheek humor yet underpinned by the serious care with which the Buffy universe had been crafted. Back then, Whedon's dizzying genre hopping was a radical departure from the norm-whereas today, post-Buffy, no one blinks an eye as writers of urban fantasy leap across genre boundaries with abandon, penning tender romances featuring werewolves and demons, hard-boiled detective novels with fairies, and vampires-in-modern-life sagas that can crop up darn near anywhere: on the horror shelves, the SF shelves, the mystery shelves, the romance shelves.
Ellen Datlow (Teeth: Vampire Tales)
Old Spice           Every Sunday afternoon he dresses in his old army uniform, tells you the name of every man he killed. His knuckles are unmarked graves.   Visit him on a Tuesday and he will describe the body of every woman he could not save. He’ll say she looked like your mother and you will feel a storm in your stomach.   Your grandfather is from another generation– Russian degrees and a school yard Cuban national anthem, communism and religion. Only music makes him cry now.   He married his first love, her with the long curls down to the small of her back. Sometimes he would pull her to him, those curls wrapped around his hand like rope.   He lives alone now. Frail, a living memory reclining in a seat, the room orbiting around him. You visit him but never have anything to say. When he was your age he was a man. You retreat into yourself whenever he says your name.   Your mother’s father, “the almost martyr, can load a gun under water in under four seconds.   Even his wedding night was a battlefield. A Swiss knife, his young bride, his sobs as he held Italian linen between her legs.   His face is a photograph left out in the sun, the henna of his beard, the silver of his eyebrows the wilted handkerchief, the kufi and the cane.   Your grandfather is dying. He begs you Take me home yaqay, I just want to see it one last time; you don’t know how to tell him that it won’t be anything like the way he left it.
Warsan Shire (Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth)
Dear daughter, I won't try to call my feeling for Arty love. Call it focus. My focus on Art was an ailment, noncommunicable, and, even to me all these years later, incomprehensible. Now I despise myself. But even so I remember, in hot floods, the way he slept, still as death, with his face washed flat, stony as a carved tomb and exquisite. His weakness and his ravening bitter needs were terrible, and beautiful, and irresistible as an earthquake. He scalded or smothered anyone he needed, but his needing and the hurt that it caused me were the most life I ever had. Remember what a poor thing I have always been and forgive me. He saw no use for you and you interfered with his use of me. I sent you away to please him, to prove my dedication to him, and to prevent him from killing you... My job was to come back [from the convent] directly, with nothing leaking from beneath my dark glasses, to give Arty his rubdown and then paint him for the next show, nodding cheerfully all the while, never showing anything but attentive care for his muscular wonderfulness. Because he could have killed you. He could have cut off the money that schooled and fed you. He could have erased you so entirely that I never would have had those letters and report cards and photos, or your crayon pictures, or the chance to spy on you, and to love you secretly when everything else was gone.
Katherine Dunn (Geek Love)
At last, Sturmhond straightened the lapels of his teal frock coat and said, “Well, Brekker, it’s obvious you only deal in half-truths and outright lies, so you’re clearly the man for the job.” “There’s just one thing,” said Kaz, studying the privateer’s broken nose and ruddy hair. “Before we join hands and jump off a cliff together, I want to know exactly who I’m running with.” Sturmhond lifted a brow. “We haven’t been on a road trip or exchanged clothes, but I think our introductions were civilized enough.” “Who are you really, privateer?” “Is this an existential question?” “No proper thief talks the way you do.” “How narrow-minded of you.” “I know the look of a rich man’s son, and I don’t believe a king would send an ordinary privateer to handle business this sensitive.” “Ordinary,” scoffed Sturmhond. “Are you so schooled in politics?” “I know my way around a deal. Who are you? We get the truth or my crew walks.” “Are you so sure that would be possible, Brekker? I know your plans now. I’m accompanied by two of the world’s most legendary Grisha, and I’m not too bad in a fight either.” “And I’m the canal rat who brought Kuwei Yul-Bo out of the Ice Court alive. Let me know how you like your chances.” His crew didn’t have clothes or titles to rival the Ravkans, but Kaz knew where he’d put his money if he had any left. Sturmhond clasped his hands behind his back, and Kaz saw the barest shift in his demeanor. His eyes lost their bemused gleam and took on a surprising weight. No ordinary privateer at all. “Let us say,” said Sturmhond, gaze trained on the Ketterdam street below, “hypothetically, of course, that the Ravkan king has intelligence networks that reach deep within Kerch, Fjerda, and the Shu Han, and that he knows exactly how important Kuwei Yul-Bo could be to the future of his country. Let us say that king would trust no one to negotiate such matters but himself, but that he also knows just how dangerous it is to travel under his own name when his country is in turmoil, when he has no heir and the Lantsov succession is in no way secured.” “So hypothetically,” Kaz said, “you might be addressed as Your Highness.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
I don't get as much fan mail as an actor or singer would, but when I get a letter 99% of the time it's pointing out something that really had an impact. Like after 'My Own Private Rodeo' all these people wrote to me and said Dale's dad inspired them to come out. And this was when it was still illegal to be gay in Texas and a few other states. Another one that really stuck with me was this girl who survived Columbine. See, "Wings of the Dope," the episode where Luanne's boyfriend comes back as an angel, aired two weeks after the shooting. About a month after that, I got a letter from a girl who was there and hid somewhere in the school when it was all going on. She said the first thing she was gonna do if she survived was tell a friend of hers she was in love with him. She never did. He ended up being one of the kids responsible for it. So you can imagine how - you know, to her, it felt wrong to grieve almost, and she bottled it up. But she saw that episode and Buckley walking away at the end and something just let her finally break down and greive and miss the guy. I remember she quoted Luanne - 'I wonder if he's guardianing some other girl,' or something along that line, because she never had the guts to tell the kid. That really gets to people at Comic Con.
Mike Judge
I woke up this morning for three minutes. I rolled out of bed, put on my slippers, and stared at myself in the bathroom mirror. That was all I could take. I went back to sleep. I didn’t go back to bed. I just went back to sleep. I slept all day. I sleep most days. I’m asleep when I go to school, asleep when I’m telling the barista which form of caffeine I prefer. It never wakes me up, but I spend $3.50 on it anyway. I’m asleep when my professors are talking, asleep when I go to the store to pick up milk. Sometimes I wake up, but it’s terrifying so I go back to sleep right away. I want to wake up. I want to have a reason to wake up. I brush my teeth every night before bed and wonder how many times I will brush my teeth before they are clean enough to never brush again. I eat lunch and wonder how much more I will have to eat until I’m full enough to never eat again. It’s easy to sleep through routine; I guess that’s why I stay here. I wish I could be done with this life so I could finally sleep properly.
marianna paige
There comes a day in every man's life when he stops looking forward and starts looking back. Because of my father's circumstances, I had a sad commentary on life, but I now understood that he was offering me his own gift, one that only time can provide. He was offering me the gift of perspective. My father was telling me that while we tend to remember the dramatic incidents that change history---Armstrong's walk on the moon, Nixon's resignation, and the Loma Prieta earthquake---we live for the quiet, intimate moments that mark not our calendars, but our hearts: The day we marry. The days our children are born. Their first step. Their first word. Their first day of school. And when our children grow, we remember those moments with a touch of melancholy: the day they get their driver's license, the day we drive them to college, the day they marry, and the day they have their children. And the cycle begins anew. We realize it is in those quiet moments that each of us has the ability to make our lives extraordinary.
Robert Dugoni (The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell)
I don't get it?" she asked "I don't get it? Let me tell you something about what I get. You think you're so smart? I spent three years on a full academic scholarship at the best college-prep school in the country. And when they kicked me out I had to petition-petition!-to keep them from wiping out my four-point-oh transcript." Daniel moved away, but Luce pursued him, taking a step forward for every wide-eyed step he took back. Probably freaking him out, but so what? He'd been asking for it every time he condescended to her. "I know Latin and French, and in middle school, I won the science fair three years in a row." She had backed him up against the railing of the boardwalk and was trying to restrain herself from poking him in the chest with her finger. She wasn't finished. "I also do the Sunday crossword puzzle, sometimes in under an hour. I have an unerringly good sense of direction... though not always when it comes to guys." She swallowed and took a moment to catch her breath. "And someday, I'm going to be a psychiatrist who actually listens to her patients and helps people. Okay? So don't keep talking to me like I'm stupid and don't tell me I don't understand just because I can't decode your erratic, flaky, hot-one-minute-cold-the-next, frankly"-she looked up at him, letting out her breath-"really hurtful behavior." She brushed a tear away, angry with herself for getting so worked up.
Lauren Kate (Fallen (Fallen, #1))
HOME no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark you only run for the border when you see the whole city running as well your neighbors running faster than you breath bloody in their throats the boy you went to school with who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory is holding a gun bigger than his body you only leave home when home won’t let you stay. no one leaves home unless home chases you fire under feet hot blood in your belly it’s not something you ever thought of doing until the blade burnt threats into your neck and even then you carried the anthem under your breath only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets sobbing as each mouthful of paper made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back. you have to understand, that no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land no one burns their palms under trains beneath carriages no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled means something more than journey. no one crawls under fences no one wants to be beaten pitied no one chooses refugee camps or strip searches where your body is left aching or prison, because prison is safer than a city of fire and one prison guard in the night is better than a truckload of men who look like your father no one could take it no one could stomach it no one skin would be tough enough the go home blacks refugees dirty immigrants asylum seekers sucking our country dry niggers with their hands out they smell strange savage messed up their country and now they want to mess ours up how do the words the dirty looks roll off your backs maybe because the blow is softer than a limb torn off or the words are more tender than fourteen men between your legs or the insults are easier to swallow than rubble than bone than your child body in pieces. i want to go home, but home is the mouth of a shark home is the barrel of the gun and no one would leave home unless home chased you to the shore unless home told you to quicken your legs leave your clothes behind crawl through the desert wade through the oceans drown save be hunger beg forget pride your survival is more important no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear saying- leave, run away from me now i dont know what i’ve become but i know that anywhere is safer than here
Warsan Shire
I was in the fifth grade the first time I thought about turning thirty. My best friend Darcy and I came across a perpetual calendar in the back of the phone book, where you could look up any date in the future, and by using this little grid, determine what the day of the week would be. So we located our birthdays in the following year, mine in May and hers in September. I got Wednesday, a school night. She got a Friday. A small victory, but typical. Darcy was always the lucky one. Her skin tanned more quickly, her hair feathered more easily, and she didn't need braces. Her moonwalk was superior, as were her cart-wheels and her front handsprings (I couldn't handspring at all). She had a better sticker collection. More Michael Jackson pins. Forenze sweaters in turquoise, red, and peach (my mother allowed me none- said they were too trendy and expensive). And a pair of fifty-dollar Guess jeans with zippers at the ankles (ditto). Darcy had double-pierced ears and a sibling- even if it was just a brother, it was better than being an only child as I was. But at least I was a few months older and she would never quite catch up. That's when I decided to check out my thirtieth birthday- in a year so far away that it sounded like science fiction. It fell on a Sunday, which meant that my dashing husband and I would secure a responsible baby-sitter for our two (possibly three) children on that Saturday evening, dine at a fancy French restaurant with cloth napkins, and stay out past midnight, so technically we would be celebrating on my actual birthday. I would have just won a big case- somehow proven that an innocent man didn't do it. And my husband would toast me: "To Rachel, my beautiful wife, the mother of my chidren and the finest lawyer in Indy." I shared my fantasy with Darcy as we discovered that her thirtieth birthday fell on a Monday. Bummer for her. I watched her purse her lips as she processed this information. "You know, Rachel, who cares what day of the week we turn thirty?" she said, shrugging a smooth, olive shoulder. "We'll be old by then. Birthdays don't matter when you get that old." I thought of my parents, who were in their thirties, and their lackluster approach to their own birthdays. My dad had just given my mom a toaster for her birthday because ours broke the week before. The new one toasted four slices at a time instead of just two. It wasn't much of a gift. But my mom had seemed pleased enough with her new appliance; nowhere did I detect the disappointment that I felt when my Christmas stash didn't quite meet expectations. So Darcy was probably right. Fun stuff like birthdays wouldn't matter as much by the time we reached thirty. The next time I really thought about being thirty was our senior year in high school, when Darcy and I started watching ths show Thirty Something together. It wasn't our favorite- we preferred cheerful sit-coms like Who's the Boss? and Growing Pains- but we watched it anyway. My big problem with Thirty Something was the whiny characters and their depressing issues that they seemed to bring upon themselves. I remember thinking that they should grow up, suck it up. Stop pondering the meaning of life and start making grocery lists. That was back when I thought my teenage years were dragging and my twenties would surealy last forever. Then I reached my twenties. And the early twenties did seem to last forever. When I heard acquaintances a few years older lament the end of their youth, I felt smug, not yet in the danger zone myself. I had plenty of time..
Emily Giffin (Something Borrowed (Darcy & Rachel, #1))
Because I grew up around Danny and Phillip, I discovered the truth about the male language very early in life. What I learned is there are three basic responses that most guys will use when shouldered with the major task of having to answer the question, How do I look? by the fairer sex. Although I have never confirmed it, I am convinced that boys are taken aside in school, probably in fifth grade when the girls watch the film about getting their periods, and are taught the following three responses: You look like shit. (Translation: You look bad. Just go back to bed and start over tomorrow. I really shouldn't be seen with you like this.) You look fine. (Translation: You look good enough to be seen with.) You look hot. (Translation: I want you.) They also must teach them there is only one acceptable variation to these responses and to use it sparingly. The variation is simple. They just throw a REALLY into the sentence. The following are examples I have witnessed: JJ, you REALLY look like shit. (Translation: You must be very hung over, or sick, or having an extremely bad hair day. I really don't want to be seen with you.) REALLY, JJ, your hair looks fine. (Translation: Your hair looks the same to me as it always does, even though you spent an hour fixing it, so stop messing with it and lets go because you look good enough to be seen with.) And… (Insert cheerleader's name here) looks REALLY Hot. (Translation: I REALLY want her.)
Jillian Dodd (That Boy (That Boy, #1))
You look ill,” Matthew observed. “Is it my dancing? Is it me personally?” “Perhaps I’m nervous,” she said. “Lucie did say you didn’t like many people.” Matthew gave a sharp, startled laugh, before schooling his face back into a look of lazy amusement. “Did she? Lucie’s a chatterbox.” “But not a liar,” she said. “Well, fear not. I do not dislike you. I hardly know you,” said Matthew. “I do know your brother. He made my life miserable at school, and Christopher’s, and James’s.” “Alastair and I are very different,” Cordelia said. She didn’t want to say more than that. It felt disloyal to Alastair. “I like Oscar Wilde, for instance, and he does not.” The corner of Matthew’s mouth curled up. “I see you go directly for the soft underbelly, Cordelia Carstairs. Have you really read Oscar’s work?” “Just Dorian Gray,” Cordelia confessed. “It gave me nightmares.” “I should like to have a portrait in the attic,” Matthew mused, “that would show all my sins, while I stayed young and beautiful. And not only for sinning purposes—imagine being able to try out new fashions on it. I could paint the portrait’s hair blue and see how it looks.” “You don’t need a portrait. You are young and beautiful,” Cordelia pointed out. “Men are not beautiful. Men are handsome,” objected Matthew. “Thomas is handsome. You are beautiful,” said Cordelia, feeling the imp of the perverse stealing over her. Matthew was looking stubborn. “James is beautiful too,” she added. “He was a very unprepossessing child,” said Matthew. “Scowly, and he hadn’t grown into his nose.” “He’s grown into everything now,” Cordelia said. Matthew laughed, again as if he was surprised to be doing it. “That was a very shocking observation, Cordelia Carstairs. I am shocked.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1))
The last clear definite function of man—muscles aching to work, minds aching to create beyond the single need—this is man....For man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments. This you may say of man—when theories change and crash, when schools, philosophies, when narrow dark alleys of thought, national, religious, economic, grow and disintegrate, man reaches, stumbles forward, painfully, mistakenly sometimes. Having stepped forward, he may slip back, but only half a step, never the full step back. This you may say and know it and know it. This you may know when the bombs plummet out of the black planes on the market place, when prisoners are stuck like pigs, when the crushed bodies drain filthily in the dust. You may know it in this way. If the step were not being taken, if the stumbling-forward ache were not alive, the bombs would not fall, the throats would not be cut. Fear the time when the bombs stop falling while the bombers live—for every bomb is proof that the spirit has not died. And fear the time when the strikes stop while the great owners live—for every little beaten strike is proof that the step is being taken. And this you can know—fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is the foundation of Manself, and this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
Billy looked at the clock on the gas stove. He had an hour to kill before the saucer came. He went into the living room, swinging the bottle like a dinner bell, turned on the television. He came slightly unstuck in time, saw the late movie backwards, then forwards again. It was a movie about American bombers in the Second World War and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this: American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation. The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new. When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground., to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again. The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school kids. And Hitler turned into a baby, Billy Pilgrim supposed. That wasn't in the movie. Billy was extrapolating. Everybody turned into a baby, and all humanity, without exception, conspired biologically to produce two perfect people named Adam and Eve, he supposed.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
What does it mean to be truly educated? I think I can do no better about answering the question of what it means to be truly educated than to go back to some of the classic views on the subject. For example the views expressed by the founder of the modern higher education system, Wilhelm von Humboldt, leading humanist, a figure of the enlightenment who wrote extensively on education and human development and argued, I think, kind of very plausibly, that the core principle and requirement of a fulfilled human being is the ability to inquire and create constructively independently without external controls. To move to a modern counterpart, a leading physicist who talked right here [at MIT], used to tell his classes it's not important what we cover in the class, it's important what you discover. To be truly educated from this point of view means to be in a position to inquire and to create on the basis of the resources available to you which you've come to appreciate and comprehend. To know where to look, to know how to formulate serious questions, to question a standard doctrine if that's appropriate, to find your own way, to shape the questions that are worth pursuing, and to develop the path to pursue them. That means knowing, understanding many things but also, much more important than what you have stored in your mind, to know where to look, how to look, how to question, how to challenge, how to proceed independently, to deal with the challenges that the world presents to you and that you develop in the course of your self education and inquiry and investigations, in cooperation and solidarity with others. That's what an educational system should cultivate from kindergarten to graduate school, and in the best cases sometimes does, and that leads to people who are, at least by my standards, well educated.
Noam Chomsky
So I made up my mind I was going to find someone who would love me unconditionally three hundred and sixty five days a year, I was still in elementary school at the time - fifth or sixth grade - but I made up my mind once and for all.” -“Wow,” I said. “Did the search pay off?” “That’s the hard part,” said Midori. She watched the rising smoke for a while, thinking. “I guess I’ve been waiting so long I’m looking for perfection. That makes it tough.” -“Waiting for the perfect love?” “No, even I know better than that. I’m looking for selfishness. Perfect selfishness. Like, say I tell you I want to eat strawberry shortcake. And you stop everything you’re doing and run out and buy it for me. And you come back out of breath and get down on your knees and hold this strawberry shortcake out to me. And I say I don’t want it anymore and throw it out the window. That’s what I’m looking for.” -“I’m not sure that has anything to do with love,” I said with some amazement. “It does,” she said. “You just don’t know it. There are time in a girl’s life when things like that are incredibly important.” -“Things like throwing strawberry shortcake out the window?” “Exactly. And when I do it, I want the man to apologize to me. “Now I see, Midori. What a fool I have been! I should have known that you would lose your desire for strawberry shortcake. I have all the intelligence and sensitivity of a piece of donkey shit. To make it up to you, I’ll go out and buy you something else. What would you like? Chocolate Mousse? Cheesecake?” -“So then what?” “So then I’d give him all the love he deserves for what he’s done.” -“Sounds crazy to me.” “Well, to me, that’s what love is…
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
...My father muttered something to me, and I responded with a mumbled "What". He shouted, "You heard me," thundered up from his chair, pulled his belt out of its loops, and inflicted a beating that seemed never to end. I curled my arms around my body as he stood over me like a titan and delivered the blows. This was the only incident of its kind in our family. My father was never physically abusive toward my mother or sister and he was never again physically extreme with me. However, this beating and his worsening tendency to rages directed at my mother - which I heard in fright through the thin walls of our home - made me resolve, with icy determination, that only the most formal relationship would exist between my father and me, and for perhaps thirty years, neither he nor I did anything to repair the rift. The rest of my childhood, we hardly spoke; there was little he said to me that was not critical, and there was little I said back that was not terse or mumbled. When I graduated from high school, he offered to buy me a tuxedo. I refused because I had learned from him to reject all aid and assistance; he detested extravagance and pleaded with us not to give him gifts. I felt, through a convoluted logic, that in my refusal, I was being a good son. I wish now that I had let him buy me a tuxedo, that I had let him be a dad. Having cut myself off from him, and by association the rest of the family, I was incurring psychological debts that would come due years later in the guise of romantic misconnections and a wrongheaded quest for solitude. I have heard it said that a complicated childhood can lead to a life in the arts. I tell you this story of my father and me to let you know I am qualified to be a comedian.
Steve Martin (Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life)
But what is [the] quality of originality? It is very hard to define or specify. Indeed, to define originality would in itself be a contradiction, since whatever action can be defined in this way must evidently henceforth be unoriginal. Perhaps, then, it will be best to hint at it obliquely and by indirection, rather than to try to assert positively what it is. One prerequisite for originality is clearly that a person shall not be inclined to impose his preconceptions on the fact as he sees it. Rather, he must be able to learn something new, even if this means that the ideas and notions that are comfortable or dear to him may be overturned. But the ability to learn in this way is a principle common to the whole of humanity. Thus it is well known that a child learns to walk, to talk, and to know his way around the world just by trying something out and seeing what happens, then modifying what he does (or thinks) in accordance with what has actually happened. In this way, he spends his first few years in a wonderfully creative way, discovering all sorts of things that are new to him, and this leads people to look back on childhood as a kind of lost paradise. As the child grows older, however, learning takes on a narrower meaning. In school, he learns by repetition to accumulate knowledge, so as to please the teacher and pass examinations. At work, he learns in a similar way, so as to make a living, or for some other utilitarian purpose, and not mainly for the love of the action of learning itself. So his ability to see something new and original gradually dies away. And without it there is evidently no ground from which anything can grow.
David Bohm (On Creativity)
What is a Gallagher Girl?” Liz asked. She looked nervously down at the papers in her hand even though I knew for a fact she had memorized every word. “When I was eleven I thought I knew the answer to that question. That was when the recruiters came to see me. They showed me brochures and told me they were impressed by my test scores and asked if I was ready to be challenged. And I said yes. Because that was what a Gallagher Girl was to me then, a student at the toughest school in the world.” She took a deep breath and talked on. “What is a Gallagher Girl?” Liz asked again. “When I was thirteen I thought I knew the answer to that question. That was when Dr. Fibs allowed me to start doing my own experiments in the lab. I could go anywhere—make anything. Do anything my mind could dream up. Because I was a Gallagher Girl. And, to me, that meant I was the future.” Liz took another deep breath. “What is a Gallagher Girl?” This time, when Liz asked it, her voice cracked. “When I was seventeen I stood on a dark street in Washington, D.C., and watched one Gallagher Girl literally jump in front of a bullet to save the life of another. I saw a group of women gather around a girl whom they had never met, telling the world that if any harm was to come to their sister, it had to go through them first.” Liz straightened. She no longer had to look down at her paper as she said, “What is a Gallagher Girl? I’m eighteen now, and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that I don’t really know the answer to that question. Maybe she is destined to be our first international graduate and take her rightful place among Her Majesty’s Secret Service with MI6.” I glanced to my right and, call me crazy, but I could have sworn Rebecca Baxter was crying. “Maybe she is someone who chooses to give back, to serve her life protecting others just as someone once protected her.” Macey smirked but didn’t cry. I got the feeling that Macey McHenry might never cry again. “Who knows?” Liz asked. “Maybe she’s an undercover journalist.” I glanced at Tina Walters. “An FBI agent.” Eva Alvarez beamed. “A code breaker.” Kim Lee smiled. “A queen.” I thought of little Amirah and knew somehow that she’d be okay. “Maybe she’s even a college student.” Liz looked right at me. “Or maybe she’s so much more.” Then Liz went quiet for a moment. She too looked up at the place where the mansion used to stand. “You know, there was a time when I thought that the Gallagher Academy was made of stone and wood, Grand Halls and high-tech labs. When I thought it was bulletproof, hack-proof, and…yes…fireproof. And I stand before you today happy for the reminder that none of those things are true. Yes, I really am. Because I know now that a Gallagher Girl is not someone who draws her power from that building. I know now with scientific certainty that it is the other way around.” A hushed awe descended over the already quiet crowd as she said this. Maybe it was the gravity of her words and what they meant, but for me personally, I like to think it was Gilly looking down, smiling at us all. “What is a Gallagher Girl?” Liz asked one final time. “She’s a genius, a scientist, a heroine, a spy. And now we are at the end of our time at school, and the one thing I know for certain is this: A Gallagher Girl is whatever she wants to be.” Thunderous, raucous applause filled the student section. Liz smiled and wiped her eyes. She leaned close to the microphone. “And, most of all, she is my sister.
Ally Carter (United We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6))
As for us,Etienne was right.Our schools are only a twenty-minute transit ride away.He'll stay with me on the weekends, and we'll visit each other as often as possible during the week. We'll be together.We both got our Point Zero wishes-each other.He said he wished for me every time.He was wishing for me when I entered the tower. "Mmm," I say.He's kissing my neck. "That's it," Rashmi says. "I'm outta here.Enjoy your hormones." Josh and Mer follow her exit,and we're alone.Just the way I like it. "Ha!" Ettiene says. "Just the way I like it." He pulls me onto his lap,and I wrap my legs around his waist.His lips are velvet soft,and we kiss until the streetlamps flicker on outside. Until the opera singer begins her evening routine. "I'm going to miss her," I say. "I'll sing to you." He tucks my stripe behind my ear. "Or I'll take you to the opera.Or I'll fly you back here to visit. Whatever you want.Anything you want." I lace my fingers through his. "I want to stay right here,in this moment." "Isn't that the name of the latest James Ashley bestseller? In This Moment?" "Careful.Someday you'll meet him, and he won't be nearly as amusing in person." Etienne grins. "Oh,so he'll only be mildly amusing? I suppose I can handle mildly amusing." "I'm serious! You have to promise me right now,this instant,that you won't leave me once you meet him.Most people would run." "I'm not most people." I smile. "I know.But you still have to promise." His eyes lock on mine. "Anna,I promise that I will never leave you." My heart pounds in response.And Etienne knows it,because he takes my hand and holds it against his chest,to show me how hard his heart is pounding, too. "And now for yours," he says. I'm still dazed. "My what?" He laughs. "Promise you won't flee once I introduce you to my father.Or, worse, leave me for him." I pause. "Do you think he'll object to me?" "Oh,I'm sure he will." Okay.Not the answer I was looking for. Etienne sees my alarm. "Anna.You know my father dislikes anything that makes me happy.And you make me happier than anyone ever has." He smiles. "Oh,yes. He'll hate you." "So....that's a good thing?" "I don't care what he thinks.Only what you think." He holds me tighter. "Like if you think I need to stop biting my nails." "You've worn your pinkies to nubs," I say cheerfully. "Or if I need to start ironing my bedspread." "I DO NOT IRON MY BEDSPREAD." "You do.And I love it." I blush,and Etienne kisses my warm cheeks. "You know,my mum loves you." "She goes?" "You're the only thing I've talked about all year.She's ecstatic we're together." I'm smiling inside and out. "I can't wait to meet her.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Dear Deborah, Words do not come easily for so many men. We are taught to be strong, to provide, to put away our emotions. A father can work his way through his days and never see that his years are going by. If I could go back in time, I would say some things to that young father as he holds, somewhat uncertainly, his daughter for the very first time. These are the things I would say: When you hear the first whimper in the night, go to the nursery leaving your wife sleeping. Rock in a chair, walk the floor, sing a lullaby so that she will know a man can be gentle. When Mother is away for the evening, come home from work, do the babysitting. Learn to cook a hotdog or a pot of spaghetti, so that your daughter will know a man can serve another's needs. When she performs in school plays or dances in recitals, arrive early, sit in the front seat, devote your full attention. Clap the loudest, so that she will know a man can have eyes only for her. When she asks for a tree house, don't just build it, but build it with her. Sit high among the branches and talk about clouds, and caterpillars, and leaves. Ask her about her dreams and wait for her answers, so that she will know a man can listen. When you pass by her door as she dresses for a date, tell her she is beautiful. Take her on a date yourself. Open doors, buy flowers, look her in the eye, so that she will know a man can respect her. When she moves away from home, send a card, write a note, call on the phone. If something reminds you of her, take a minute to tell her, so that she will know a man can think of her even when she is away. Tell her you love her, so that she will know a man can say the words. If you hurt her, apologize, so that she will know a man can admit that he's wrong. These seem like such small things, such a fraction of time in the course of two lives. But a thread does not require much space. It can be too fine for the eye to see, yet, it is the very thing that binds, that takes pieces and laces them into a whole. Without it, there are tatters. It is never too late for a man to learn to stitch, to begin mending. These are the things I would tell that young father, if I could. A daughter grown up quickly. There isn't time to waste. I love you, Dad
Lisa Wingate (Dandelion Summer (Blue Sky Hill #4))
If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.” To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”. In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: “Our Father, which art in Washington” . . . If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine yound intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an athiest to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say “she’s right.” With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them. If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing. (Speech was broadcast by ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey on April 3, 1965)
Paul Harvey
When I got to school the next morning I had stepped only one foot in the quad when he spotted me and nearly tackled me to the ground. “Jamie!” he hollered, rushing across the lawn without caring the least bit about the scene he was creating. The next thing I knew, my feet were off the ground and I was squished so tightly in Ryan’s arms that I could barely breathe. “Okay, Ryan?” I coughed in a hushed tone. “This is exactly the kind of thing that can get you killed.” “I don’t care, I’m not letting go. Don’t ever disappear like that again!” he scolded, but his voice was more relieved than angry. “It’s been days! You had your mother worried sick!” “My mother?” I questioned sarcastically. Ryan laughed as he finally set me back on my feet. “Okay, fine, me too.” He still wouldn’t let go of me, though. He was gripping my arms while he looked at me with those eyes, and that smile… You know, being all Ryan-ish. And then, when I got lost in the moment, he totally took advantage of how whipped I was and he kissed me. The jerk. He just pulled my face to his right then and there, in the middle of a crowded quad full of students, where I could have accidentally unleashed an electrical storm at any moment. And okay, maybe I liked it, and maybe I even needed it, but still! You can’t just go kissing Jamie Baker whenever you want, even if you are Ryan Miller! “Ryan!” I yelled as soon as I was able to pull away from him—which admittedly took a minute. “I’m sorry.” Ryan laughed with this big dopey grin on his face and then kissed me some more. I had to push him away from me. “Don’t be sorry, just stop!” I realized I was screaming at him when I felt a hundred different pairs of eyes on me. I tried to ignore the audience that Ryan seemed oblivious to and dropped the audio a few decibels. “I wasn’t kidding when I said this has to stop. Look, I will be your friend. I want to be your friend. But that’s it. We can’t be anything more. It’ll never work.” Ryan watched me for a minute and then whispered, “Don’t do that.” I was shocked to hear the sudden emotion in his voice. “Don’t give up.” It was hopeless. “Fine!” I snapped. “I’ll be your stupid girlfriend!” Big shocker, me giving Ryan his way, I know. But let’s face it—it’s just what I do best. I had to at least act a little tough, though. “But!” I said in the harshest voice I was capable of. “You can’t ever touch me unless I say. No more tackling me, and especially no more surprise kissing.” He actually laughed at my request. “No promises.” Stupid, cocky boyfriend. “You’re crazy. You know that, right?” Ryan got this big cheesy smile on his face and said, “Crazy about you.” “Ugh,” I groaned. “Would you be serious for a minute? Why do you insist on putting your life in danger?” “Because I like you.” His stupid grin was infectious. I wanted to be angry, but how could I with him looking at me like that? “I’m not worth it, you know,” I said stubbornly. “I have issues. I’m unstable.” “You’re cute when you’re unstable,” Ryan said, “and I like your issues.” The stupid boy was straight-up giddy now. But he was so cute that I cracked a smile despite myself. “You really are crazy,” I muttered.
Kelly Oram (Being Jamie Baker (Jamie Baker, #1))
He slouches,' DeeDee contributes. 'True--he needs to work on his posture,' Thelma says. 'You guys,' I say. 'I'm serious,' Thelma says. 'What if you get married? Don't you want to go to fancy dinners with him and be proud?' 'You guys. We are not getting married!' 'I love his eyes,' Jolene says. 'If your kids get his blue eyes and your dark hair--wouldn't that be fabulous?' 'The thing is,' Thelma says, 'and yes, I know, this is the tricky part--but I'm thinking Bliss has to actually talk to him. Am I right? Before they have their brood of brown-haired, blue-eyed children?' I swat her. "I'm not having Mitchell's children!' 'I'm sorry--what?' Thelma says. Jolene is shaking her head and pressing back laughter. Her expressing says, Shhh, you crazy girl! But I don't care. If they're going to embarrass me, then I'll embarrass them right back. 'I said'--I raise my voice--'I am not having Mitchell Truman's children!' Jolene turns beet red, and she and DeeDee dissolve into mad giggles. 'Um, Bliss?' Thelma says. Her gaze travels upward to someone behind me. The way she sucks on her lip makes me nervous. 'Okaaay, I think maybe I won't turn around,' I announce. A person of the male persuasion clears his throat. 'Definitely not turning around,' I say. My cheeks are burning. It's freaky and alarming how much heat is radiating from one little me. 'If you change your mind, we might be able to work something out,' the person of the male persuasion says. 'About the children?' DeeDee asks. 'Or the turning around?' 'DeeDee!' Jolene says. 'Both,' says the male-persuasion person. I shrink in my chair, but I raise my hand over my head and wave. 'Um, hi,' I say to the person behind me whom I'm still not looking at. 'I'm Bliss.' Warm fingers clasp my own. 'Pleased to meet you,' says the male-persuasion person. 'I'm Mitchell.' 'Hi, Mitchell.' I try to pull my hand from his grasp, but he won't let go. 'Um, bye now!' I tug harder. No luck. Thelma, DeeDee, and Jolene are close to peeing their pants. Fine. I twist around and give Mitchell the quickest of glances. His expressions is amused, and I grow even hotter. He squeezes my hand, then lets go. 'Just keep me in the loop if you do decide to bear my children. I'm happy to help out.' With that, he stride jauntily to the food line. Once he's gone, we lost it. Peals of laughter resound from our table, and the others in the cafeteria look at us funny. We laugh harder. 'Did you see!' Thelma gasps. 'Did you see how proud he was?' 'You improve his posture!' Jolene says. 'I'm so glad, since that was my deepest desire,' I say. 'Oh my God, I'm going to have to quit school and become a nun.' 'I can't believe you waved at him,' DeeDee says. 'Your hand was like a little periscope,' Jolene says. 'Or, no--like a white surrender flag.' 'It was a surrender flag. I was surrendering myself to abject humiliation.' 'Oh, please,' Thelma says, pulling me into a sideways hug. 'Think of it this way: Now you've officially talked to him.
Lauren Myracle (Bliss (Crestview Academy, #1))
People had always amazed him, he began. But they amazed him more since the sickness. For as long as the two of them had been together, he said, Gary’s mother had accepted him as her son’s lover, had given them her blessing. Then, at the funeral, she’d barely acknowledged him. Later, when she drove to the house to retrieve some personal things, she’d hunted through her son’s drawers with plastic bags twist-tied around her wrists. “…And yet,” he whispered, “The janitor at school--remember him? Mr. Feeney? --he’d openly disapproved of me for nineteen years. One of the nastiest people I knew. Then when the news about me got out, after I resigned, he started showing up at the front door every Sunday with a coffee milkshake. In his church clothes, with his wife waiting out in the car. People have sent me hate mail, condoms, Xeroxed prayers…” What made him most anxious, he told me, was not the big questions--the mercilessness of fate, the possibility of heaven. He was too exhausted, he said, to wrestle with those. But he’d become impatient with the way people wasted their lives, squandered their chances like paychecks. I sat on the bed, massaging his temples, pretending that just the right rubbing might draw out the disease. In the mirror I watched us both--Mr. Pucci, frail and wasted, a talking dead man. And myself with the surgical mask over my mouth, to protect him from me. “The irony,” he said, “… is that now that I’m this blind man, it’s clearer to me than it’s ever been before. What’s the line? ‘Was blind but now I see…’” He stopped and put his lips to the plastic straw. Juice went halfway up the shaft, then back down again. He motioned the drink away. “You accused me of being a saint a while back, pal, but you were wrong. Gary and I were no different. We fought…said terrible things to each other. Spent one whole weekend not speaking to each other because of a messed up phone message… That time we separated was my idea. I thought, well, I’m fifty years old and there might be someone else out there. People waste their happiness--That’s what makes me sad. Everyone’s so scared to be happy.” “I know what you mean,” I said. His eyes opened wider. For a second he seemed to see me. “No you don’t,” he said. “You mustn’t. He keeps wanting to give you his love, a gift out and out, and you dismiss it. Shrug it off because you’re afraid.” “I’m not afraid. It’s more like…” I watched myself in the mirror above the sink. The mask was suddenly a gag. I listened. “I’ll give you what I learned from all this,” he said. “Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love.
Wally Lamb (She's Come Undone)
Do you have someone in mind, Galen?" Toraf asks, popping a shrimp into his mouth. "Is it someone I know?" "Shut up, Toraf," Galen growls. He closes his eyes, massages his temples. This could have gone a lot better in so many ways. "Oh," Toraf says. "It must be someone I know, then." "Toraf, I swear by Triton's trident-" "These are the best shrimp you've ever made, Rachel," Toraf continues. "I can't wait to cook shrimp on our island. I'll get the seasoning for us, Rayna." "She's not going to any island with you, Toraf!" Emma yells. "Oh, but she is, Emma. Rayna wants to be my mate. Don't you, princess?" he smiles. Rayna shakes her head. "It's no use, Emma. I really don't have a choice." She resigns herself to the seat next to Emma, who peers down at her, incredulous. "You do have a choice. You can come live with me at my house. I'll make sure he can't get near you." Toraf's expression indicates he didn't consider that possibility before goading Emma. Galen laughs. "It's not so funny anymore is it, tadpole?" he says, nudging him. Toraf shakes his head. "She's not staying with you, Emma." "We'll see about that, tadpole," she returns. "Galen, do something," Toraf says, not taking his eyes off Emma. Galen grins. "Such as?" "I don't know, arrest her or something," Toraf says, crossing his arms. Emma locks eyes with Galen, stealing his breath. "Yeah, Galen. Come arrest me if you're feeling up to it. But I'm telling you right now, the second you lay a hand on me, I'm busting this glass over your head and using it to split your lip like Toraf's." She picks up her heavy drinking glass and splashes the last drops of orange juice onto the table. Everyone gasps except Galen-who laughs so hard he almost upturns his chair. Emma's nostrils flare. "You don't think I'll do it? There's only one way to find out, isn't there, Highness?" The whole airy house echoes Galen's deep-throated howls. Wiping the tears from his eyes, he elbows Toraf, who's looking at him like he drank too much saltwater. "Do you know those foolish humans at her school voted her the sweetest out of all of them?" Toraf's expression softens as he looks up at Emma, chuckling. Galen's guffaws prove contagious-Toraf is soon pounding the table to catch his breath. Even Rachel snickers from behind her oven mitt. The bluster leaves Emma's expression. Galen can tell she's in danger of smiling. She places the glass on the table as if it's still full and she doesn't want to spill it. "Well, that was a couple of years ago." This time Galen's chair does turn back, and he sprawls onto the floor. When Rayna starts giggling, Emma gives in, too. "I guess...I guess I do have sort of a temper," she says, smiling sheepishly. She walks around the table to stand over Galen. Peering down, she offers her hand. He grins up at her. "Show me your other hand." She laughs and shows him it's empty. "No weapons." "Pretty resourceful," he says, accepting her hand. "I'll never look at a drinking glass the same way." He does most of the work of pulling himself up but can't resist the opportunity to touch her. She shrugs. "Survival instinct, maybe?" He nods. "Or you're trying to cut my lips off so you won't have to kiss me." He's pleased when she looks away, pink restaining her cheeks. "Rayna tries that all the time," Toraf chimes in. "Sometimes when her aim is good, it works, but most of the time kissing her is my reward for the pain.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
I will take you down my own avenue of remembrance, which winds among the hazards and shadows of my single year as a plebe. I cannot come to this story in full voice. I want to speak for the boys who were violated by this school, the ones who left ashamed and broken and dishonored, who departed from the Institute with wounds and bitter grievances. I want also to speak for the triumphant boys who took everything the system could throw at them, endured every torment and excess, and survived the ordeal of the freshman year with a feeling of transformation and achievement that they never had felt before and would never know again with such clarity and elation. I will speak from my memory- my memory- a memory that is all refracting light slanting through prisms and dreams, a shifting, troubled riot of electrons charged with pain and wonder. My memory often seems like a city of exiled poets afire with the astonishment of language, each believing in the integrity of his own witness, each with a separate version of culture and history, and the divine essentional fire that is poetry itself. But i will try to isolate that one lonely singer who gathered the fragments of my plebe year and set the screams to music. For many years, I have refused to listen as his obsessive voice narrated the malignant litany of crimes against my boyhood. We isolate those poets who cause us the greatest pain; we silence them in any way we can. I have never allowed this furious dissident the courtesy of my full attention. His poems are songs for the dead to me. Something dies in me every time I hear his low, courageous voice calling to me from the solitude of his exile. He has always known that someday I would have to listen to his story, that I would have to deal with the truth or falsity of his witness. He has always known that someday I must take full responsibility for his creation and that, in finally listening to him, I would be sounding the darkest fathoms of myself. I will write his stories now as he shouts them to me. I will listen to him and listen to myself. I will get it all down. Yet the laws of recall are subject to distortion and alienation. Memory is a trick, and I have lied so often to myself about my own role and the role of others that I am not sure I can recognize the truth about those days. But I have come to believe in the unconscious integrity of lies. I want to record even them. Somewhere in the immensity of the lie the truth gleams like the pure, light-glazed bones of an extinct angel. Hidden in the enormous falsity of my story is the truth for all of us who began at the Institute in 1963, and for all who survived to become her sons. I write my own truth, in my own time, in my own way, and take full responsibility for its mistakes and slanders. Even the lies are part of my truth. I return to the city of memory, to the city of exiled poets. I approach the one whose back is turned to me. He is frail and timorous and angry. His head is shaved and he fears the judgment of regiments. He will always be a victim, always a plebe. I tap him on the shoulder. "Begin," I command. "It was the beginning of 1963," he begins, and I know he will not stop until the story has ended.
Pat Conroy (The Lords of Discipline)
He looks up. Our eyes lock,and he breaks into a slow smile. My heart beats faster and faster. Almost there.He sets down his book and stands.And then this-the moment he calls my name-is the real moment everything changes. He is no longer St. Clair, everyone's pal, everyone's friend. He is Etienne. Etienne,like the night we met. He is Etienne,he is my friend. He is so much more. Etienne.My feet trip in three syllables. E-ti-enne. E-ti-enne, E-ti-enne. His name coats my tongue like melting chocolate. He is so beautiful, so perfect. My throat catches as he opens his arms and wraps me in a hug.My heart pounds furiously,and I'm embarrassed,because I know he feels it. We break apart, and I stagger backward. He catches me before I fall down the stairs. "Whoa," he says. But I don't think he means me falling. I blush and blame it on clumsiness. "Yeesh,that could've been bad." Phew.A steady voice. He looks dazed. "Are you all right?" I realize his hands are still on my shoulders,and my entire body stiffens underneath his touch. "Yeah.Great. Super!" "Hey,Anna. How was your break?" John.I forget he was here.Etienne lets go of me carefully as I acknowledge Josh,but the whole time we're chatting, I wish he'd return to drawing and leave us alone. After a minute, he glances behind me-to where Etienne is standing-and gets a funny expression on hs face. His speech trails off,and he buries his nose in his sketchbook. I look back, but Etienne's own face has been wiped blank. We sit on the steps together. I haven't been this nervous around him since the first week of school. My mind is tangled, my tongue tied,my stomach in knots. "Well," he says, after an excruciating minute. "Did we use up all our conversation over the holiday?" The pressure inside me eases enough to speak. "Guess I'll go back to the dorm." I pretend to stand, and he laughs. "I have something for you." He pulls me back down by my sleeve. "A late Christmas present." "For me? But I didn't get you anything!" He reaches into a coat pocket and brings out his hand in a fist, closed around something very small. "It's not much,so don't get excited." "Ooo,what is it?" "I saw it when I was out with Mum, and it made me think of you-" "Etienne! Come on!" He blinks at hearing his first name. My face turns red, and I'm filled with the overwhelming sensation that he knows exactly what I'm thinking. His expression turns to amazement as he says, "Close your eyes and hold out your hand." Still blushing,I hold one out. His fingers brush against my palm, and my hand jerks back as if he were electrified. Something goes flying and lands with a faith dink behind us. I open my eyes. He's staring at me, equally stunned. "Whoops," I say. He tilts his head at me. "I think...I think it landed back here." I scramble to my feet, but I don't even know what I'm looking for. I never felt what he placed in my hands. I only felt him. "I don't see anything! Just pebbles and pigeon droppings," I add,trying to act normal. Where is it? What is it? "Here." He plucks something tiny and yellow from the steps above him. I fumble back and hold out my hand again, bracing myself for the contact. Etienne pauses and then drops it from a few inches above my hand.As if he's avoiding me,too. It's a glass bead.A banana. He clears his throat. "I know you said Bridgette was the only one who could call you "Banana," but Mum was feeling better last weekend,so I took her to her favorite bead shop. I saw that and thought of you.I hope you don't mind someone else adding to your collection. Especially since you and Bridgette...you know..." I close my hand around the bead. "Thank you." "Mum wondered why I wanted it." "What did you tell her?" "That it was for you,of course." He says this like, duh. I beam.The bead is so lightweight I hardly feel it, except for the teeny cold patch it leaves in my palm.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Those clothes are Susie's,' my father said calmly when he reached him. Buckley looked down at my blackwatch dress that he held in his hand. My father stepped closer, took the dress from my brother, and then, without speaking, he gathered the rest of my clothes, which Buckley had piled on the lawn. As he turned in silence toward the house, hardly breathing, clutching my clothes to him, it sparked. I was the only one to see the colors. Just near Buckley's ears and on the tips of his cheeks and chin he was a little orange somehow, a little red. Why can't I use them?' he asked. It landed in my father's back like a fist. Why can't I use those clothes to stake my tomatoes?' My father turned around. He saw his son standing there, behind him the perfect plot of muddy, churned-up earth spotted with tiny seedlings. 'How can you ask me that question?' You have to choose. It's not fair,' my brother said. Buck?' My father held my clothes against his chest. I watched Buckley flare and light. Behind him was the sun of the goldenrod hedge, twice as tall as it had been at my death. I'm tired of it!' Buckley blared. 'Keesha's dad died and she's okay?' Is Keesha a girl at school?' Yes!' My father was frozen. He could feel the dew that had gathered on his bare ankles and feet, could feel the ground underneath him, cold and moist and stirring with possibility. I'm sorry. When did this happen?' That's not the point, Dad! You don't get it.' Buckley turned around on his heel and started stomping the tender tomato shoots with his foot. Buck, stop!' my father cried. My brother turned. You don't get it, Dad,' he said. I'm sorry,' my father said. These are Susie's clothes and I just... It may not make sense, but they're hers-something she wore.' ... You act like she was yours only!' Tell me what you want to say. What's this about your friend Keesha's dad?' Put the clothes down.' My father laid them gently on the ground. It isn't about Keesha's dad.' Tell me what it is about.' My father was now all immediacy. He went back to the place he had been after his knee surgery, coming up out of the druggie sleep of painkillers to see his then-five-year-old son sitting near him, waiting for his eyes to flicker open so he could say, 'Peek-a-boo, Daddy.' She's dead.' It never ceased to hurt. 'I know that.' But you don't act that way.' Keesha's dad died when she was six. Keesha said she barely even thinks of him.' She will,' my father said. But what about us?' Who?' Us, Dad. Me and Lindsey. Mom left becasue she couldn't take it.' Calm down, Buck,' my father said. He was being as generous as he could as the air from his lungs evaporated out into his chest. Then a little voice in him said, Let go, let go, let go. 'What?' my father said. I didn't say anything.' Let go. Let go. Let go. I'm sorry,' my father said. 'I'm not feeling very well.' His feet had grown unbelievably cold in the damp grass. His chest felt hollow, bugs flying around an excavated cavity. There was an echo in there, and it drummed up into his ears. Let go. My father dropped down to his knees. His arm began to tingle on and off as if it had fallen asleep. Pins and needles up and down. My brother rushed to him. Dad?' Son.' There was a quaver in his voice and a grasping outward toward my brother. I'll get Grandma.' And Buckley ran. My father whispered faintly as he lay on his side with his face twisted in the direction of my old clothes: 'You can never choose. I've loved all three of you.
Alice Sebold