Badly Missing Friends Quotes

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As Qhuinn looked at his best friend's handsome face, he felt as if he'd never not known that red hair, those blue eyes, those lips, that jaw. And it was because of their long history that he searched for something to say, something that would get them back to where they had been. All that came to him was . . . I miss you. I miss you so fucking bad it hurts, but I don't know how to find you even though you're right in front of me.
J.R. Ward (Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8))
The god of wine looked around at the assembled crowd. “Miss me?” The satyrs fell over themselves nodding and bowing. “Oh, yes, very much, sire!” “Well, I did not miss this place!” Dionysus snapped. “I bear bad news, my friends. Evil news. The minor gods are changing sides. Morpheus has gone over to the enemy. Hecate, Janus, and Nemesis, as well. Zeus knows how many more.” Thunder rumbled in the distance. “Strike that,” Dionysus said. “Even Zeus doesn’t know.
Rick Riordan (The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4))
I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Maya Angelou
I turn to head outside when the boys make their way back into the house. Kel stops in the doorway and puts his hands on his hips, then looks up at me. “Are you my sister’s boyfriend?” I’m thrown off by his directness. I pull my jacket on and shake my head. “Um, no. Just her friend.” “She told my mom you were taking her on a date. I thought only boyfriends took girls on dates.” “Well,” I pause. “Sometimes boys take girls on dates to see if they want them to be their girlfriend.” I notice Caulder standing beside me, taking in the conversation as if he’s just as curious. I wasn’t prepared to have to explain the rules of dating right now. “So it’s like a test?” Caulder asks. “To see if you want Layken to be your girlfriend?” I shrug and nod. “Yeah, I guess you could say that.” Kel laughs. “You aren’t gonna like her. She burps a lot. And she’s bossy. And she never lets me drink coffee, so she probably won’t let you have any, either. And she has really bad taste in music and sings way too loud and leaves her bras all over the house. It’s gross.” I laugh. “Thanks for the warning. You think it’s too late to back out now?” Kel shakes his head, missing my sarcasm completely. “No, she’s already dressed so you have to take her now.” I sigh, pretending to be annoyed. “Well, it’s just a few hours. Hopefully she won’t burp a lot and boss me around and steal my coffee and sing to her really bad music and leave her bra in my car.” Or hopefully she will.
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
As Qhuinn looked at his best friend's handsome face, he felt as if he'd never not known that red hair, those blue eyes, those lips, that jaw. And it was because of their long history that he searched for something to say, something that would get them back to where they had been. All that came to him was . . . I miss you. I miss you so fucking bad it hurts, but I don't know how to find you even though you're right in front of me.
J.R. Ward
The fake giggle is not that bad." My friend grunted in disagreement. "It sounds like Miss Piggy has a machine gun stuck in her throat.
Samantha Young (Down London Road (On Dublin Street, #2))
Dear Max - You looked so beautiful today. I'm going to remember what you looked like forever. ... And I hope you remember me the same way - clean, ha-ha. I'm glad our last time together was happy. But I'm leaving tonight, leaving the flock, and this time it's for good. I don't know if I'll ever see any of you again. The thing is, Max, that everyone is a little bit right. Added up all together, it makes this one big right. Dylan's a little bit right about how my being here might be putting the rest of you in danger. The threat might have been just about Dr. Hans, but we don't know that for sure. Angel is a little bit right about how splitting up the flock will help all of us survive. And the rest of the flock is a little bit right about how when you and I are together, we're focused on each other - we can't help it. The thing is, Maximum, I love you. I can't help but be focused on you when we're together. If you're in the room, I want to be next to you. If you're gone, I think about you. You're the one who I want to talk to. In a fight, I want you at my back. When we're together, the sun is shining. When we're apart, everything is in shades of gray. I hope you'll forgive me someday for turning our worlds into shades of gray - at least for a while. ... You're not at your best when you're focused on me. I mean, you're at your best Maxness, but not your best leaderness. I mostly need Maxness. The flock mostly needs leaderness. And Angel, if you're listening to this, it ain't you, sweetie. Not yet. ... At least for a couple more years, the flock needs a leader to survive, no matter how capable everyone thinks he or she is. The truth is that they do need a leader, and the truth is that you are the best leader. It's one of the things I love about you. But the more I thought about it, the more sure I got that this is the right thing to do. Maybe not for you, or for me, but for all of us together, our flock. Please don't try to find me. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, besides wearing that suit today, and seeing you again will only make it harder. You'd ask me to come back, and I would, because I can't say no to you. But all the same problems would still be there, and I'd end up leaving again, and then we'd have to go through this all over again. Please make us only go through this once. ... I love you. I love your smile, your snarl, your grin, your face when you're sleeping. I love your hair streaming out behind you as we fly, with the sunlight making it shine, if it doesn't have too much mud or blood in it. I love seeing your wings spreading out, white and brown and tan and speckled, and the tiny, downy feathers right at the top of your shoulders. I love your eyes, whether they're cold or calculating or suspicious or laughing or warm, like when you look at me. ... You're the best warrior I know, the best leader. You're the most comforting mom we've ever had. You're the biggest goofball, the worst driver, and a truly lousy cook. You've kept us safe and provided for us, in good times and bad. You're my best friend, my first and only love, and the most beautiful girl I've ever seen, with wings or without. ... Tell you what, sweetie: If in twenty years we haven't expired yet, and the world is still more or less in one piece, I'll meet you at the top of that cliff where we first met the hawks and learned to fly with them. You know the one. Twenty years from today, if I'm alive, I'll be there, waiting for you. You can bet on it. Good-bye, my love. Fang P.S. Tell everyone I sure will miss them
James Patterson
I didn't mean to interupt you if you were looking for your friends Miss--' 'Callihan,' but you can call my Jasmine. Or Jas.' Or Snookums. Honeybunch. Hotsie Totsie Cowgirl. My Little-- 'It's nice to meet you Jasmine, I'm Jack.
Michele Jaffe (Bad Kitty (Bad Kitty, #1))
I've had it with both of you." He pulled his own bag higher on one shoulder and turned to me. "You let me know when you decide what the hell you want from me. I love you, and I miss you, and I'll be waiting, whenever you're ready. But don't spy on me again. Ever." I nodded miserably as he twisted to face Sabine. "And you! You come find me when you're ready to be my friend, because that's all I have to offer right now. But as badly as I need someone to talk to, I don't need another complication in my life. And as for the two of you!" He stepped away from us, already walking backward toward the school entrance. "Work it out. Or don't work it out. But leave me the hell out of it.
Rachel Vincent (My Soul to Steal (Soul Screamers, #4))
Walking around, even on a bad day, I would see things – I mean just the things that were in front of me. People’s faces, the weather, traffic. The smell of petrol from the garage, the feeling of being rained on, completely ordinary things. And in that way even the bad days were good, because I felt them and remembered feeling them. There was something delicate about living like that – like I was an instrument and the world touched me and reverberated inside me. After a couple of months, I started to miss days. Sometimes I would fall asleep without remembering to write anything, but then other nights I’d open the book and not know what to write – I wouldn’t be able to think of anything at all. When I did make entries, they were increasingly verbal and abstract: song titles, or quotes from novels, or text messages from friends. By spring I couldn’t keep it up anymore. I started to put the diary away for weeks at a time – it was just a cheap black notebook I got at work – and then eventually I’d take it back out to look at the entries from the previous year. At that point, I found it impossible to imagine ever feeling again as I had apparently once felt about rain or flowers. It wasn’t just that I failed to be delighted by sensory experiences – it was that I didn’t actually seem to have them anymore. I would walk to work or go out for groceries or whatever and by the time I came home again I wouldn’t be able to remember seeing or hearing anything distinctive at all. I suppose I was seeing but not looking – the visual world just came to me flat, like a catalogue of information. I never looked at things anymore, in the way I had before.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
Nothing bad happens when nothing happens, Hill thinks.
Richard Owain Roberts (Hello Friend We Missed You)
Ean seems like the ‘not here to make friends’ type, but I don’t think anyone could go through this without getting close to someone. It’s too hard. As difficult as it is for me, I know it’s just as bad for you all.” “We definitely get the better end of the deal though,” he said, winking at my reflection. I tilted my head. “I don’t know about that. The more I think about it, the sadder I get about having to send all but one of you away. I’ll miss having you here.” “Have you considered a harem?” he said, deadpan. I bent over in laughter and was rewarded with a pin stabbing my waist. “Ow!” “Sorry! I shouldn’t joke when there are needles around.
Kiera Cass (The Crown (The Selection, #5))
THE DAY YOU READ THIS On this day, you read something that moved you and made you realise there were no more fears to fear. No tears to cry. No head to hang in shame. That every time you thought you’d offended someone, it was all just in your head and really, they love you with all their heart and nothing will ever change that. That everyone and everything lives on inside you. That that doesn’t make any of it any less real. That soft touches will change you and stay with you longer than hard ones. That being alone means you’re free. That old lovers miss you and new lovers want you and the one you’re with is the one you’re meant to be with. That the tingles running down your arms are angel feathers and they whisper in your ear, constantly, if you choose to hear them. That everything you want to happen, will happen, if you decide you want it enough. That every time you think a sad thought, you can think a happy one instead. That you control that completely. That the people who make you laugh are more beautiful than beautiful people. That you laugh more than you cry. That crying is good for you. That the people you hate wish you would stop and you do too. That your friends are reflections of the best parts of you. That you are more than the sum total of the things you know and how you react to them. That dancing is sometimes more important than listening to the music. That the most embarrassing, awkward moments of your life are only remembered by you and no one else. That no one judges you when you walk into a room and all they really want to know, is if you’re judging them. That what you make and what you do with your time is more important than you’ll ever fathom and should be treated as such. That the difference between a job and art is passion. That neither defines who you are. That talking to strangers is how you make friends. That bad days end but a smile can go around the world. That life contradicts itself, constantly. That that’s why it’s worth living. That the difference between pain and love is time. That love is only as real as you want it to be. That if you feel good, you look good but it doesn’t always work the other way around. That the sun will rise each day and it’s up to you each day if you match it. That nothing matters up until this point. That what you decide now, in this moment, will change the future. Forever. That rain is beautiful. And so are you.
pleasefindthis (I Wrote This For You)
Very often the test of one's allegiance to a cause or to a people is precisely the willingness to stay the course when things are boring, to run the risk of repeating an old argument just one more time, or of going one more round with a hostile or (much worse) indifferent audience. I first became involved with the Czech opposition in 1968 when it was an intoxicating and celebrated cause. Then, during the depressing 1970s and 1980s I was a member of a routine committee that tried with limited success to help the reduced forces of Czech dissent to stay nourished (and published). The most pregnant moment of that commitment was one that I managed to miss at the time: I passed an afternoon with Zdenek Mlynar, exiled former secretary of the Czech Communist Party, who in the bleak early 1950s in Moscow had formed a friendship with a young Russian militant with an evident sense of irony named Mikhail Sergeyevitch Gorbachev. In 1988 I was arrested in Prague for attending a meeting of one of Vaclav Havel's 'Charter 77' committees. That outwardly exciting experience was interesting precisely because of its almost Zen-like tedium. I had gone to Prague determined to be the first visiting writer not to make use of the name Franz Kafka, but the numbing bureaucracy got the better of me. When I asked why I was being detained, I was told that I had no need to know the reason! Totalitarianism is itself a cliché (as well as a tundra of pulverizing boredom) and it forced the cliché upon me in turn. I did have to mention Kafka in my eventual story. The regime fell not very much later, as I had slightly foreseen in that same piece that it would. (I had happened to notice that the young Czechs arrested with us were not at all frightened by the police, as their older mentors had been and still were, and also that the police themselves were almost fatigued by their job. This was totalitarianism practically yawning itself to death.) A couple of years after that I was overcome to be invited to an official reception in Prague, to thank those who had been consistent friends through the stultifying years of what 'The Party' had so perfectly termed 'normalization.' As with my tiny moment with Nelson Mandela, a whole historic stretch of nothingness and depression, combined with the long and deep insult of having to be pushed around by boring and mediocre people, could be at least partially canceled and annealed by one flash of humor and charm and generosity.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
I am shocked to find that some people think a 2 star 'I liked it' rating is a bad rating. What? I liked it. I LIKED it! That means I read the whole thing, to the last page, in spite of my life raining comets on me. It's a good book that survives the reading process with me. If a book is so-so, it ends up under the bed somewhere, or maybe under a stinky judo bag in the back of the van. So a 2 star from me means,yes, I liked the book, and I'd loan it to a friend and it went everywhere in my jacket pocket or purse until I finished it. A 3 star means that I've ignored friends to finish it and my sink is full of dirty dishes. A 4 star means I'm probably in trouble with my editor for missing a deadline because I was reading this book. But I want you to know . . . I don't finish books I don't like. There's too many good ones out there waiting to be found. Robin Hobb, author
Robin Hobb
It was easier to pretend I didn’t miss him. Of course, I had lost more than a friend when that happened. He was my first boyfriend, my first bad kiss and then, my first heartbreak.
Ann Christy (Strikers (Strikers #1))
I was last. Sam walked up and held me for a long time. Finally, she whispered in my ear. She said a lot of wonderful things about how it was okay that I wasn't ready last night and how she would miss me and how she wanted me to take care of myself while she was gone. 'You're my best friend,' was all I could say in return. She smiled and kissed my cheek, and it was like for a moment, the bad part of last night disappeared. But it still felt like a goodbye rather than a 'see ya.' The thing was, I didn't cry. I didn't know what I felt. Finally, Sam climbed into her pickup, and Patrick started it up. And a great song was playing. And everyone smiled. Including me. But I wasn't there anymore.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Now that I am older, I am rounder and softer, which isn’t always a bad thing. I remember fewer names so I try to focus on someone’s eyes instead. Sex is better and I’m better at it. I don’t miss the frustration of youth, the anticipation of love and pain, the paralysis of choices still ahead. The pressure of “What are you going to do?” makes everybody feel like they haven’t done anything yet. Young people can remind us to take chances and be angry and stop our patterns. Old people can remind us to laugh more and get focused and make friends with our patterns. Young and old need to relax in the moment and live where they are. Be Here Now,
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
Oh, shut the fuck up," Sean snapped. "I love you, man, OK? I missed you. Is that so hard to take? Does that scare you so damn bad?" Kev looked away. "No," he said quietly. "It doesn't scare me. I missed you, too. All of you. It was a really long eighteen year." Bruno looked at all four men in turn. Seconds passed. Nothing. His disbelief grew. That was it? That was all? Oh, for the love of Christ. These guys were emotional retards, every last one of them.
Shannon McKenna (Blood and Fire (McClouds & Friends #8))
Is there such a thing as a life without any regrets? I’ve never believed so. We spend our lives aiming for happiness and fulfilment in work, in love and with our friends and family, and yet often our energy is spent lamenting bad boyfriends, wrong career turns, fallouts with friends and opportunities missed. Or is that just me? I admit I’m naturally a glass-half-empty kind of girl, but I know regrets are a burden to happiness and I’m trying to let go of them because I’ve learned that it’s all about choice. You can choose to turn regrets into lessons that change your future. Believe me when I say I’m really trying to do this. But the truth is, I’m failing. Because all I can think right now is: maybe I deserve it. Maybe this is my penance.
Ali Harris (The First Last Kiss)
So now, not only did my best friend leave, but the cheerleaders and their mindless followers assumed I was personally responsible for the petition (which, yeah, I was) and started being openly rude to me - shutting doors in my face, leaving nasty notes on my desk and in my locker, making fun of me when I could obviously hear them. That's when I started keeping really quiet in class, and finding ways to show the other kids I wasn't afraid of them - like staring them straight in the eye when they looked at me, taking a step toward them when they talked to me, or walking right up to them and getting their personal space if I heard them say my name. Saying the meanest things I could think of whenever I had the chance - repeating rumors, embellishing them. I found out Kira Conroy had been arrested for shoplifting at the mall, and made sure everyone knew about it. The girl who burped in a boy's face during her first kiss, the girl who tripped and fell off the stage at the Miss Teen California pageant - I shared those stories the moment I heard them. All's fair in war, right? Suddenly I wasn't a nobody anymore. I was a somebody. Somebody everyone was afraid of.
Katie Alender (Bad Girls Don't Die (Bad Girls Don't Die, #1))
They hang around, hitting on your friends or else you never hear from them again. They call when they’re drunk, or finally get sober, they’re passing through town and want dinner, they take your hand across the table, kiss you when you come back from the bathroom. They were your loves, your victims, your good dogs or bad boys, and they’re over you now. One writes a book in which a woman who sounds suspiciously like you is the first to be sadistically dismembered by a serial killer. They’re getting married and want you to be the first to know, or they’ve been fired and need a loan, their new girlfriend hates you, they say they don’t miss you but show up in your dreams, calling to you from the shoe boxes where they’re buried in rows in your basement. Some nights you find one floating into bed with you, propped on an elbow, giving you a look of fascination, a look that says I can’t believe I’ve found you. It’s the same way your current boyfriend gazed at you last night, before he pulled the plug on the tiny white lights above the bed, and moved against you in the dark broken occasionally by the faint restless arcs of headlights from the freeway’s passing trucks, the big rigs that travel and travel, hauling their loads between cities, warehouses, following the familiar routes of their loneliness.
Kim Addonizio
I missed only Lila, Lila who didn’t answer my letters. I was afraid of what was happening to her, good or bad, in my absence. It was an old fear, a fear that has never left me: the fear that, in losing pieces of her life, mine lost intensity and importance. And the fact that she didn’t answer emphasized that preoccupation. However hard I tried in my letters to communicate the privilege of the days in Ischia, my river of words and her silence seemed to demonstrate that my life was splendid but uneventful, which left me time to write to her every day, while hers was dark but full.
Elena Ferrante (My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1))
The uncomfortable, as well as the miraculous, fact about the human mind is how it varies from individual to individual. The process of treatment can therefore be long and complicated. Finding the right balance of drugs, whether lithium salts, anti-psychotics, SSRIs or other kinds of treatment can be a very hit or miss heuristic process requiring great patience and classy, caring doctoring. Some patients would rather reject the chemical path and look for ways of using diet, exercise and talk-therapy. For some the condition is so bad that ECT is indicated. One of my best friends regularly goes to a clinic for doses of electroconvulsive therapy, a treatment looked on by many as a kind of horrific torture that isn’t even understood by those who administer it. This friend of mine is just about one of the most intelligent people I have ever met and she says, “I know. It ought to be wrong. But it works. It makes me feel better. I sometimes forget my own name, but it makes me happier. It’s the only thing that works.” For her. Lord knows, I’m not a doctor, and I don’t understand the brain or the mind anything like enough to presume to judge or know better than any other semi-informed individual, but if it works for her…. well then, it works for her. Which is not to say that it will work for you, for me or for others.
Stephen Fry
Mr. Severin, may I ask something personal?" "Of course." "Why did you offer to be my oyster?" A hot blush climbed her face. "Is it because I'm pretty?" His head lifted. "Partly," he admitted without a hint of shame. "But I also liked what you said- that you never nag or slam doors, and you're not looking for love. I'm not either." He paused, his vibrant gaze holding hers. "I think we would be a good match." "I didn't mean I don't want love," Cassandra protested. "I only meant I'd be willing to let love grow in time. To be clear, I want a husband who could also love me back." Mr. Severin took his time about replying. "What if you had a husband who, although not handsome, was not altogether bad-looking and happened to be very rich? What if he were kind and considerate, and gave you whatever you asked for- mansions, jewels, trips abroad, your own private yacht and luxury railway carriage? What if he were exceptionally good at..." He paused, appearing to think better of what he'd been about to say. "What if he were your protector and friend? Would it really matter so much if he couldn't love you?" "Why couldn't he?" Cassandra asked, intrigued and perturbed. "Is he missing a heart altogether?" "No, he has one, but it's never worked that way.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
When I said I wasn’t with another girl the January after we fell in love for the 3rd time, it’s because it wasn’t actual sex. In the February that began our radio silence, it was actual sex. I hate the tight shirts that go below your waistline. Not only do they make you look too young, but then your torso is a giraffe’s neck attached to tiny legs. I screamed at myself in the subway for writing poems about you still. I made a scene. I think about you almost each morning, and roughly every five days, I still believe you’re there. I still masturbate to you. When we got really bad, I would put another coat of mop water on the floor of the bar to make sure you were asleep when I got to my side of the bed. You are the only person to whom I’ve lied, knowing I was telling the truth. I miss the way your neck wraps around my face like a cave we are both lost in. I remember when you said being with me is like being alone with company. My friend Sarah wrote a poem about pink ponies. I’m scared you’re my pink pony. Hers is dead. It is really sad. You’re not dead. You live in Ohio, or Washington, or Wherever. You are a shadow my body leaves on other girls. I have a growing queue of things I know will make you laugh and I don’t know where to put them. I mourn like you’re dead. If you had asked me to stay, I would not have said no. It would never mean yes.
Jon Sands
Do not oversleep and miss the school bus- you'll be late. That's a habit teachers generally don't appreciate. Never tell your friends at school that you still wet your bed. They are sure to tease you, and you'll wish that you were dead. Never call your teacher a name when she's not near you. Teachers' ears are excellent, so they can always hear you. Do not read a textbook when your hands aren't clean-it's tricky to separate the pages when the pages get real sticky. When you go out for a team it's always wise to practice. When you are a substitute, the bench can feel like cactus. Do not copy homework from a friend who is a dummy. If you do, I'm sure that you will get a grade that's crummy. And if your report card's bad, don't blame it on your buddy. Kiss up to your parents quick, or they might make you study.
Bruce Lansky
You caused quite a stir around here, you know that? Ruffled a lot of feathers.” “My friends and I didn’t mean to upset anyone. Really.” “I’m not saying you did a bad thing. Sometimes feathers need to be ruffled.
Ransom Riggs (A Map of Days (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #4))
You were the best part of my life; I do not regret making friends with you… I will wait for you till the end of my life… This time I won’t force you to come near me, take your own time. If you feel you can return me my best friend, just type me a small – Hi… or GM or GN… I won’t force you to type the complete words, as I don’t want to waste your time for me… I Love You (As a best friend). Missing you very badly… Waiting for my Sid…
Deepak Ranjan (Nights of the Velvet: A Conditional Dream)
Cece was all I had. Without her, I’d be totally alone in the world. Oh, God. I probed her gentle face, her receptive dream state. What would I do without you? Stop it, my brain screamed. She’s here with you now. Thats what matters. I took a deep breath to quell my anxiety. Try to. I needed her. Cece was a part of me now. The me that felt solid and sure and strong. She was the one thing in my life that kept me going, made me happy. And that happiness hadn't come without a price. I'd given up a lot to be with Cece: my home, friends, family. Maybe even my future family. Plus this sense of belonging I’d always had. The sense of fitting in, knowing where I stood. It might not be so bad if could be like her. Out. Proud. With a new place of belonging in the gay community. With new friends. A new family. But what I’d lost was insignificant compared to what I’d found. Me. The missing part of myself. And Cece. Knowing love. Being loved. “Please, God," I whispered into the night. “Let me be loved.” Beside me, Cece whimpered a little and rolled onto her side. She snaked an arm around my hip and pulled me close. Cece gave me life, she nurtured me, and I burrowed into the warm cocoon of her. –Ch.22
Julie Anne Peters (Keeping You a Secret)
When you’re a kid, you don’t think about big stuff that could change your life. You think about small things that might terrify you –like a bad report card or missing a goal in front of all your friends or your friends no longer wanting to play with you. Because that's the biggest stuff you know. The biggest disappointments are all tied to this small little universe of yours, because bigger things cannot fit into a small universe. If you wanted bigger things in there you needed to have more room –or make more room. Perhaps you thought about your parents or your pets dying, which was rare. But all you knew was you would be terribly sad and lonely. And on those occasions when people or pets actually died, someone usually came along and distracted you from feeling too much of your actual feelings. Grownups did that –they never left you alone to feel alone or think alone too much. They tended to think you are too small to know how to think and feel in big heaps, so they took parts of your heap onto themselves. To help – but in the long run –it doesn’t help at all. Because if you do not see, or feel or think, or taste the bitter things in life, you don’t know they exist. You have not seen enough of the world to know how terrible it could be. And unfortunately for Sam, this inability to process change persisted into adulthood.
Adelheid Manefeldt (Consequence)
Sometimes when my friends leave after a club meeting, I feel a little let down. Suddenly my room is quiet again and it’s funny, but that’s when I miss Stacey the most. Knowing that my only best friend is all the way in New York City makes me feel bad, but just for a few moments. Then I remember that Mimi is home and I can run downstairs and help her fix dinner.
Ann M. Martin (Claudia and the Sad Good-bye (The Baby-sitters Club, #26))
And then, to Miss Brontë, he said, "All right, please gather all the teachers together." Miss Brontë lifted her chin. "I'd rather not do anything until I know whether you're going to arrest my friend." Alexander frowned. "You don't scare me." Alexander kept frowning. "Not even with that mask." More frowning. "Fine. But remember, she's my friend, and even if she did kill him, she helped the school. You have no idea how bad things were. It was self-defense." "I know about the burlap." "Daisy was allergic to burlap!" Miss Brontë pulled out her notebook and scribbled what looked like He knows about the burlap. "All right, go ahead and solve the murder, but don't arrest anyone I like." He tried not to smile. "I make no promises, Miss Brontë.
Cynthia Hand (My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies, #2))
Miss Hathaway,” the countess said to Amelia in a tone of friendly concern, “the earl says Ramsay House has been unoccupied for so long, it must be a shambles.” Mildly startled by the woman’s directness, Amelia shook her head firmly. “Oh no, ‘shambles’ is too strong a word. All the place wants is a good thorough cleaning, and a few small repairs, and…” She paused uncomfortably. Lady Westcliff’s gaze was frank and sympathetic. “That bad, is it?” Amelia hitched her shoulders in a slight shrug. “There’s a great deal of work to be done at Ramsay House,” she admitted. “But I’m not afraid of work.” “If you need assistance or advice, Westcliff has infinite resources at his disposal. He can tell you where to find—” “You are very kind, my lady,” Amelia said hastily, “but there is no need for your involvement in our domestic affairs.” The last thing she wanted was for the Hathaways to appear to be a family of cheapjacks and beggars. “You may not be able to avoid our involvement,” Lady Westcliff said with a grin. “You’re in Westcliff’s sphere now, which means you’ll get advice whether or not you asked for it. And the worst part is, he’s almost always right.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
Cultivating a willingness to succeed despite any and all circumstances is the most important variable of the reengagement equation. Your willingness to succeed builds self-esteem. It broadens your concept of your own capability, yet it is the first thing we lose touch with when things go bad. After that, giving up often feels like the sanest option, and maybe it is, but know that quitting chips away at your self-worth and always requires some level of mental rehab. Even if what forces you to quit is an injury or something else beyond your control, you will still have to bounce back from the experience mentally. A successful mission seldom requires any emotional maintenance. In order to execute on your willingness to succeed, you will need to be able to perform without purpose. You’ve heard of purpose, that magical missing ingredient crucial to landing a fulfilling career and building a happy life. What if I told you the importance of finding your purpose was overblown? What if there never was any such thing as your good friend purpose? What if it doesn’t matter what the fuck you do with your time here? What if it’s all arbitrary and life doesn’t give a flying fuck if you want to be happy? What then? All I know is this: I am David Fucking Goggins. I exist; therefore, I complete what I start. I take pride in my effort and in my performance in all phases of life. Just because I am here! If I’m lost, I will find myself. As long as I’m on planet Earth, I will not half-ass it. Anywhere I lack, I will improve because I exist and I am willing.
David Goggins (Never Finished: Unshackle Your Mind and Win the War Within)
She narrowed her eyes at him. She wanted to tell him that it was his fault, that she would never have tripped if he’d just stayed the same old Jay he’d always been, gangly and childlike. But she knew that she was being irrational. He was bound to grow up eventually; she’d just never imagined that he’d grow up so well. Instead she accused him: “Well, maybe if you hadn’t pushed me I wouldn’t have fallen.” She made the outlandish accusation with a completely straight face. He shook his head. “You’ll never be able to prove it. There were no witnesses—it’s just your word against mine.” She giggled and hopped down. “Yeah, well, who’s gonna believe you over me? Weren’t you the one who shoplifted a candy bar from the Safeway?” She limped over to the sink while she taunted him with her words, and she washed the dirt from the minor scrapes on her palms. “Whatever! I was seven. And I believe you were the one who handed it to me and told me to hide it in my sleeve. Technically that makes you the mastermind of that little operation, doesn’t it?” He came up behind her, and reaching around her, he poured some of the antibacterial wash onto her hands. She was taken completely off guard by the intimate gesture. She froze as she felt his chest pressing against her back until that was all she could think about for the moment and the temporarily forgot how to speak. She watched as the red scrapes fizzed with white bubbles from the disinfectant. He leaned over her shoulder, setting the bottle down and pulling her hands up toward him. He blew on them too. Violet didn’t even notice the sting this time. And then it was over. He released her hands, and as she stood there, dazed, he handed her a clean towel to dry them on. When she turned around to face him, she realized that she had been the only one affected by the moment, that his touch had been completely innocent. He was looking at her like he was waiting for her to say something, and she was suddenly aware that her mouth was still open. She finally gathered her wits enough to speak again. “Yeah, well, maybe if you hadn’t done it right in front of the cashier, we might have gotten away with it. Instead, you got both of us grounded for stealing.” He didn’t miss a beat, and he seemed unaware of her temporary lapse. “And some might say that our grounding saved us from a life of crime.” She hung the towel over the oven’s door handle. “Maybe it saved me, but the jury’s still out on you. I always thought you were kind of a bad seed.” He gave her a questioning look. “Seriously, a ‘bad seed’, Vi? When did you turn ninety and start saying things like ‘bad seed’?” She pushed him as she walked by, even though he really wasn’t in her way. He gave her a playful shove from behind and teased her, “Don’t make me trip you again.” Now more than ever, Violet hoped that this crush of hers passed soon, so she could get back to the business of being just friends. Otherwise, this was going to be a long—and painful—year.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Will: Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if you never met your wife? Sean: What? Do I wonder if I'd be better off if I never met my wife? No, that's okay. It's an important question. 'Cause you'll have your bad times, which wake you up to the good stuff you weren't paying attention to. And you can fail, as long as you're trying hard. But there's nothing worse than regret. Will: You don't regret meetin' your wife? Sean: Why? Because of the pain I feel now? I have regrets Will, but I don't regret a single day I spent with her. Will: When did you know she was the one? Sean: October 21, 1975. Game six of the World Series. Biggest game in Red Sox history. Me and my friends slept out on the sidewalk all night to get tickets. We were sitting in a bar waiting for the game to start and in walks this girl. What a game that was. Tie game in the bottom of the tenth inning, in steps Carlton Fisk, hit a long fly ball down the left field line. Thirty-five thousand fans on their feet, screamin' at the ball to stay fair. Fisk is runnin' up the baseline, wavin' at the ball like a madman. It hits the foul pole, home run. Thirty-five thousand people went crazy. And I wasn't one of them. Will: Where were you? Sean: I was havin' a drink with my future wife. Will: You missed Pudge Fisk's home run to have a drink with a woman you had never met? Sean: That's right. Will: So wait a minute. The Red Sox haven't won a World Series since nineteen eighteen, you slept out for tickets, games gonna start in twenty minutes, in walks a girl you never seen before, and you give your ticket away? Sean: You should have seen this girl. She lit up the room. Will: I don't care if Helen of Troy walked into that bar! That's game six of the World Series! And what kind of friends are these? They let you get away with that? Sean: I just slid my ticket across the table and said "sorry fellas, I gotta go see about a girl." Will: "I gotta go see about a girl"? What did they say? Sean: They could see that I meant it. Will: You're kiddin' me. Sean: No Will, I'm not kiddin' you. If I had gone to see that game I'd be in here talkin' about a girl I saw at a bar twenty years ago. And how I always regretted not goin' over there and talkin' to her. I don't regret the eighteen years we were married. I don't regret givin' up counseling for six years when she got sick. I don't regret being by her side for the last two years when things got real bad. And I sure as Hell don't regret missing that damn game. Will: Would have been nice to catch that game though. Sean: Well hell, I didn't know Pudge was gonna hit the home run.
Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting)
Try it! You might like it !! I wrote this letter to tell you that I am very, very sorry. When you are mad at me, your face looks like Daddy’s when he smelled that skunk that was hiding in the garage. And this made me very sad. Your face, not the smelly skunk. Are you still mad? Pleeze circle one: YES NO If you are still mad, pleeze accept my sorryness for taking your clock, calling you a sandwich stealer, playing games on your phone and drawing my very cute face on it, and trying to call Price Princess Sugar Plum. I did not reech her. But I did reech a guy named Moe by mistake, and he was not very polite at all. He said if I reech him again he will call the cops. That would be very bad becuz I do not think they serve chicken nuggets in jail. Then I would starve to death, which would not be a very fun time . Anyway, I made this sandwich just for you because I really care about you. I hope you love it! You are my very best friend! After Miss Penelope and Princess Sugar Plum.
Rachel Renée Russell (Dork Diaries 8: Tales from a Not-So-Happily Ever After)
Colby’s resourceful, I’ll give him that.” “You used to be good friends.” “We were, until he started hanging around Cecily,” came the short reply. “I’m not as angry at him as I was. But it seems that he has to have a woman to prop him up.” “Not necessarily,” Matt replied. “Sometimes a good woman can save a bad man. It’s an old saying, but fairly true from time to time. Colby was headed straight to hell until Cecily put him on the right track. It’s gratitude, but I don’t think he can see that just yet. He’s in between mourning his ex-wife and finding someone to replace her.” He leaned back again. “I feel sorry for him. He’s basically a one-woman man, but he lost the woman.” Tate packed back to the wing chair and sat down on the edge. “He’s not getting Cecily. She’s mine, even if she doesn’t want to admit it.” Matt stared at him. “Don’t you know anything about women in love?” “Not a lot,” the younger man confessed. “I’ve spent the better part of my life avoiding them.” “Especially Cecily,” Matt agreed. “She’s been like a shadow. You didn’t miss her until you couldn’t see her behind you anymore.” “She’s grown away from me,” Tate said. “I don’t know how to close the gap. I know she still feels something for me, but she wouldn’t stay and fight for me.” He lifted his gaze to Matt’s hard face. “She’s carrying my child. I want both of them, regardless of the adjustments I have to make. Cecily’s the only woman I’ve ever truly wanted.” Matt spread his hands helplessly. “This is one mess I can’t help you sort out,” he said at last. “If Cecily loves you, she’ll give in sooner or later. If it were me, I’d go find her and tell her how I really felt. I imagine she’ll listen.” Tate stared at his shoes. He couldn’t find the right words to express what he felt. “Tate,” his father said gently, “you’ve had a lot to get used to lately. Give it time. Don’t rush things. I’ve found that life sorts itself out, given the opportunity.” Tate’s dark eyes lifted. “Maybe it does.” He searched the other man’s quiet gaze. “It’s not as bad as I thought it was, having a foot in two worlds. I’m getting used to it.” “You still have a unique heritage,” Matt pointed out. “Not many men can claim Berber revolutionaries and Lakota warriors as relatives.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
A brick could be used to show you how to live a richer, fuller, more satisfying life. Don’t you want to have fulfillment and meaning saturating your existence? I can show you how you can achieve this and so much more with just a simple brick. For just $99.99—not even an even hundred bucks, I’ll send you my exclusive life philosophy that’s built around a brick. Man’s used bricks to build houses for centuries. Now let one man, me, show you how a brick can be used to build your life up bigger and stronger than you ever imagined. But act now, because supplies are limited. This amazing offer won’t last forever. You don’t want to wake up in ten years to find yourself divorced, homeless, and missing your testicles because you waited even two hours too long to obtain this information. Become a hero today—save your life. Procrastination is only for the painful things in life. We prolong the boring, but why put off for tomorrow the exciting life you could be living today? If you’re not satisfied with the information I’m providing, I’m willing to offer you a no money back guarantee. That’s right, you read that wrong. If you are not 100% dissatisfied with my product, I’ll give you your money back. For $99.99 I’m offering 99.99%, but you’ve got to be willing to penny up that percentage to 100. Why delay? The life you really want is mine, and I’m willing to give it to you—for a price. That price is a one-time fee of $99.99, which of course everyone can afford—even if they can’t afford it. Homeless people can’t afford it, but they’re the people who need my product the most. Buy my product, or face the fact that in all probability you are going to end up homeless and sexless and unloved and filthy and stinky and probably even disabled, if not physically than certainly mentally. I don’t care if your testicles taste like peanut butter—if you don’t buy my product, even a dog won’t lick your balls you miserable cur. I curse you! God damn it, what are you, slow? Pay me my money so I can show you the path to true wealth. Don’t you want to be rich? Everything takes money—your marriage, your mortgage, and even prostitutes. I can show you the path to prostitution—and it starts by ignoring my pleas to help you. I’m not the bad guy here. I just want to help. You have some serious trust issues, my friend. I have the chance to earn your trust, and all it’s going to cost you is a measly $99.99. Would it help you to trust me if I told you that I trust you? Well, I do. Sure, I trust you. I trust you to make the smart decision for your life and order my product today. Don’t sleep on this decision, because you’ll only wake up in eight hours to find yourself living in a miserable future. And the future indeed looks bleak, my friend. War, famine, children forced to pimp out their parents just to feed the dog. Is this the kind of tomorrow you’d like to live in today? I can show you how to provide enough dog food to feed your grandpa for decades. In the future I’m offering you, your wife isn’t a whore that you sell for a knife swipe of peanut butter because you’re so hungry you actually considered eating your children. Become a hero—and save your kids’ lives. Your wife doesn’t want to spread her legs for strangers. Or maybe she does, and that was a bad example. Still, the principle stands. But you won’t be standing—in the future. Remember, you’ll be confined to a wheelchair. Mushrooms are for pizzas, not clouds, but without me, your life will atom bomb into oblivion. Nobody’s dropping a bomb while I’m around. The only thing I’m dropping is the price. Boom! I just lowered the price for you, just to show you that you are a valued customer. As a VIP, your new price on my product is just $99.96. That’s a savings of over two pennies (three, to be precise). And I’ll even throw in a jar of peanut butter for free. That’s a value of over $.99. But wait, there’s more! If you call within the next ten minutes, I’ll even throw in a blanket free of charge. . .
Jarod Kintz (Brick)
I think a marvelous stunt would be to have your best friend (or the most critical acquaintance) take some candid color snapshots of you from all angles, dressed just as you usually appear at, say, six in the evening. The same hairdo, the same makeup, and if possible the same expression on your face. Be honest! Be sure to have her take the rear views, too. There ought to be some other shots of you wearing your best going-out-to-dinner dress, or your favorite bridge-with-the-girls costume — hat, gloves, bag, and costume jewelry. Everything. Then have that roll of film developed and BLOWN UP. You can’t see much in a tiny snapshot. An eight-by-ten will show you the works — and you probably won’t be very happy with it. Sit down and take a long look at that strange woman. Is she today’s with-it person — elegant, poised, groomed, glowing with health? Or is she a plump copy of Miss 1950? Is she sleek, or bumpy in the wrong places? How is her posture? Does she look better from the front than from the back? Does she stand gracefully? […] Feet together or one slightly in front of the other, is the most graceful stance. […] I always pin my bad notices on my mirror. How about keeping those eight-by-ten candid shots around your dressing room for a while as you dress?
Joan Crawford (My Way of Life)
My husbands weren't any of them bad men, I was the problem. Marriage seemed like such a small space whenever I was in it. I liked the getting married. Courtship has a plotline. But there's no plot to being married. Just the same things over and over again. Same fights, same friends, same things you do on a Saturday. The repetition would start to get to me. And then I couldn't fit my whole self into a marriage, no matter who my husband was. There were parts of me that John liked, and different parts for the others, but no one could deal with all of me, So I'd lop some part off, but then I'd start missing it, wanting it back. I didn't really fall in love until I had that first child.
Karen Joy Fowler (The Jane Austen Book Club)
How many rapes before women learn their place? How many pogroms? How many wives are beaten in thirty-six seconds or in a ten-by twelve-foot room? These questions miss nearly every point that matters: these acts of violence are emblematic acts of terror; they are acts of hatred and hostility; they are murderous in intent; and what’s the name of the guy and his address? The rest is diversion, except for noting that women have the singular good luck to be raped by men who hate them and by men who love them, by men who know them and by men who do not, by husbands, lovers, friends, and invading armies—as well as by serial rapists, serial killers, and any woman-hater who has had a really bad day.
Andrea Dworkin (Scapegoat: The Jews, Israel, and Women's Liberation)
Anyway how are you doing, crybaby? You’re fifteen now right? Crazy huh? How is school going? If you ask someone out, don’t make her kiss you right away. Also, don’t make her keep it a secret. It will make her feel bad. Are you still watching too many cartoons? What do you do in your free time? Jake does karate. I think it’s very manly. Not like someone like me needs protecting, but it’s nice to know he could, you know? My teachers say I’m good at English. My aunt thinks I should be a writer, like her of course. What do they even do? I miss you. I haven’t had a friend as good as you. Remember how scared you were I would lose your address? I showed you. Well I don’t have anything else to say. I love you. Yours, Nicole
Opal Mellon (To Be with You (Sunset, #1))
Walk slowly," said a voice from behind me, and I turned around and felt my heart jump in delight. "Remember, you're on a crutch and she's an old lady." "You came!" I said. "I heard you were looking for me. Julian told me." "I didn't think I'd see you. Not till, you know, till it was my turn." "I couldn't wait," he said. "You look exactly the same as you did on that last day. In Central Park." "Actually, I'm a few pounds lighter," he said. "I've been on a fitness drive." "Good for you." I stared at him and felt the tears forming in my eyes. "Do you know how much I've missed you?" I asked him. "It's been almost thirty years. I shouldn't have had to spend all that time on my own." "I know, but it's nearly over. And you haven't done a bad job of it at the same time, given the mess you made of the first thirty. The years apart will feel like nothing compared to what we have before us." "The music's started," said my mother, clutching me to her. "I have to go, Bastiaan," I said. "Will I see you later?" "No. But I'll be there in November when you arrive." "All right." I took a deep breath. "I love you." "I love you too," said my mother. "Shall we go?" I nodded and stepped forward, and slowly we made our way down the aisle, passing the faces of our friends and family, and I delivered her into the arms of a kind man who swore to love her and take care of her for the rest of her life. And at the end, when the entire congregation broke into applause, I realized that I was finally happy.
John Boyne (The Heart's Invisible Furies)
She was not beautiful, or anywhere near it; but her face, a little too broad, and her firm quiet body, had the confidence of women who have never missed beauty, having had all they want from life without it. She wore a plain dark-red dress which was neither good nor bad; chosen, it seemed, with a thoughtless negative taste, assimilated to herself, and forgotten. She was almost wholly lacking in the paraphernalia of female competition; but its absence was like the absence of small change in the handbag of a queen. Hers was the rare, prideless assurance of the woman whose womanhood has not only succeeded, but has known what to take of success and what to leave aside. She was the kind of woman of whom other women say that they don’t know what men see in her. But Leo knew.
Mary Renault (The Friendly Young Ladies)
Diana” was the first thing out of her mouth. “I’m dying,” the too familiar voice on the other end moaned. I snorted, locking the front door behind me as I held the phone up to my face with my shoulder. “You’re pregnant. You’re not dying.” “But it feels like I am,” the person who rarely ever complained whined. We’d been best friends our entire lives, and I could only count on one hand the number of times I’d heard her grumble about something that wasn’t her family. I’d had the title of being the whiner in our epic love affair that had survived more shit than I was willing to remember right then. I held up a finger when Louie tipped his head toward the kitchen as if asking if I was going to get started on dinner or not. “Well, nobody told you to get pregnant with the Hulk’s baby. What did you expect? He’s probably going to come out the size of a toddler.” The laugh that burst out of her made me laugh too. This fierce feeling of missing her reminded me it had been months since we’d last seen each other. “Shut up.” “You can’t avoid the truth forever.” Her husband was huge. I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t expect her unborn baby to be a giant too. “Ugh.” A long sigh came through the receiver in resignation. “I don’t know what I was thinking—” “You weren’t thinking.” She ignored me. “We’re never having another one. I can’t sleep. I have to pee every two minutes. I’m the size of Mars—” “The last time I saw you”—which had been two months ago—“you were the size of Mars. The baby is probably the size of Mars now. I’d probably say you’re about the size of Uranus.” She ignored me again. “Everything makes me cry and I itch. I itch so bad.” “Do I… want to know where you’re itching?” “Nasty. My stomach. Aiden’s been rubbing coconut oil on me every hour he’s here.” I tried to imagine her six-foot-five-inch, Hercules-sized husband doing that to Van, but my imagination wasn’t that great. “Is he doing okay?” I asked, knowing off our past conversations that while he’d been over the moon with her pregnancy, he’d also turned into mother hen supreme. It made me feel better knowing that she wasn’t living in a different state all by herself with no one else for support. Some people in life got lucky and found someone great, the rest of us either took a long time… or not ever. “He’s worried I’m going to fall down the stairs when he isn’t around, and he’s talking about getting a one-story house so that I can put him out of his misery.” “You know you can come stay with us if you want.” She made a noise. “I’m just offering, bitch. If you don’t want to be alone when he starts traveling more for games, you can stay here as long as you need. Louie doesn’t sleep in his room half the time anyway, and we have a one-story house. You could sleep with me if you really wanted to. It’ll be like we’re fourteen all over again.” She sighed. “I would. I really would, but I couldn’t leave Aiden.” And I couldn’t leave the boys for longer than a couple of weeks, but she knew that. Well, she also knew I couldn’t not work for that long, too. “Maybe you can get one of those I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up—” Vanessa let out another loud laugh. “You jerk.” “What? You could.” There was a pause. “I don’t even know why I bother with you half the time.” “Because you love me?” “I don’t know why.” “Tia,” Louie hissed, rubbing his belly like he was seriously starving. “Hey, Lou and Josh are making it seem like they haven’t eaten all day. I’m scared they might start nibbling on my hand soon. Let me feed them, and I’ll call you back, okay?” Van didn’t miss a beat. “Sure, Di. Give them a hug from me and call me back whenever. I’m on the couch, and I’m not going anywhere except the bathroom.” “Okay. I won’t call Parks and Wildlife to let them know there’s a beached whale—” “Goddammit, Diana—” I laughed. “Love you. I’ll call you back. Bye!” “Vanny has a whale?” Lou asked.
Mariana Zapata (Wait for It)
Completely confused as to who the real criminals were in this case, the jury had voted to wash their hands of everybody and they let him off. That had been the meaning of the conversation I'd had with him that afternoon, but I hadn't understood what was happening at all. There were many moments in the Vine like that one—where you might think today was yesterday, and yesterday was tomorrow, and so on. Because we all believed we were tragic, and we drank. We had that helpless, destined feeling. We would die with handcuffs on. We would be put a stop to, and it wouldn't be our fault. So we imagined. And yet we were always being found innocent for ridiculous reasons. ...We bought heroin with the money and split the heroin down the middle. Then he went looking for his girlfriend, and I went looking for mine, knowing that when there were drugs around, she surrendered. But I was in a bad condition—drunk, and having missed a night's sleep. As soon as the stuff entered my system, I passed out. Two hours went by without my noticing. I felt I'd only blinked my eyes, but when I opened them my girlfriend and a Mexican neighbor were working on me, doing everything they could to bring me back. The Mexican was saying, "There, he's coming around now." We lived in a tiny, dirty apartment. When I realized how long I'd been out and how close I'd come to leaving it forever, our little home seemed to glitter like cheap jewelry. I was overjoyed not to be dead. Generally the closest I ever came to wondering about the meaning of it all was to consider that I must be the victim of a joke. There was no touching the hem of mystery, no little occasion when any of us thought—well, speaking for myself only, I suppose— that our lungs were filled with light, or anything like that. I had a moment's glory that night, though. I was certain I was here in this world because I couldn't tolerate any other place. As for Hotel, who was in exactly the same shape I was and carrying just as much heroin, but who didn't have to share it with his girlfriend, because he couldn't find her that day: he took himself to a rooming house down at the end of Iowa Avenue, and he overdosed, too. He went into a deep sleep, and to the others there he looked quite dead. The people with him, all friends of ours, monitored his breathing by holding a pocket mirror under his nostrils from time to time, making sure that points of mist appeared on the glass. But after a while they forgot about him, and his breath failed without anybody's noticing. He simply went under. He died. I am still alive.
Denis Johnson (Jesus’ Son)
Maybe it’s not a coincidence that I’ve always been interested in heroes, starting with my dad, Phil Robertson, and my mom, Miss Kay. My other heroes are my pa and my granny, who taught me how to play cards and dominoes and everything about fishing (which was a lot), and my three older brothers, who teased me, beat me up, and sometimes let me follow them around. Not much has changed in that department. I’ve always loved movies, and when I was about seven or eight years old, I watched Rocky, Sylvester Stallone’s movie about an underdog boxer who used his fists, along with sheer will, determination, and the ability to endure pain, to make a way for himself. He fought hard but played fair and had a soft spot for his friends. I fell in love with Rocky. He was my hero, and I became obsessed. When I decide to do something, I’m all in; so I found a pair of red shorts that looked like Rocky’s boxing trunks and a navy blue bathrobe with two white stripes on the sleeve and no belt. I took off my shirt and ran around bare-chested in my robe and shorts. Most kids I knew went through a superhero phase, but they picked DC Comics guys, like Batman or Superman. Not me. I was Rocky Balboa, the Italian Stallion, and proud of it. Mom let me run around like that for a couple of years, even when we went in to town. Rocky had a girlfriend, Adrian, who was always there, always by his side. When he was beaten and blinded in a bad fight, he called out for her before anybody else. “Yo, Adrian!” he shouted in his Philly-Italian accent. He needed her. Eventually, I grew up, and the red shorts and blue bathrobe didn’t fit anymore, but I always remembered Rocky’s kindness and his courage. And that every Rocky needs an Adrian.
Jep Robertson (The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness)
I swung it a couple of times, getting used to the weight. “Two swords,” Bran said from the doorway. His spasm had torn his clothes, and he had cut and rigged the remnants of his shirt and pants into a makeshift kilt, showcasing the world’s greatest chest. Too bad the kilt gave me a flashback to Greg’s killer. He had worn a kilt, too. “Can you handle two swords?” I pulled Slayer from the sheath, lunged at him, drawing a classic figure eight around his body with Slayer, and blocked his arm with the flat of the shorter blade when he tried to counter. “Fancy. You missed,” he said. “You want something?” “I thought since we both might die tomorrow, you’d be up for a friendly roll-in-the-hay.” “I might die. You’ll be healed.” He shook his head. “I’m not immortal, dove. Do enough damage fast and I’ll kick the bucket like the rest of you.” I disengaged and moved past him to the door. His kilt fell. “It took me forever to fix this!” He grabbed it off the floor and it fell apart in his hand. I had cut it in three places. I walked out into the hallway and almost ran into Curran accompanied by a group of shapeshifters. Bran followed me in all his naked glory. “Hey, does this mean no sex?” Curran’s face went blank. I dodged him and kept walking. Bran chased me, weaving through the shapeshifters. “Get out of my way, don’t you see I’m trying to talk to a woman?” I made the mistake of looking back in time to see Curran reach for Bran’s neck as the Hound of Morrigan rushed by. With an effort of will that must have taken a year off his life, Curran curled his fingers into a fist and lowered his hand instead. I chuckled to myself and kept walking. The Universe had proven Curran wrong: a person who aggravated him more than me did, in fact, exist.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
Katarina wasn’t afraid of Baden. Not anymore. He took a step to the side, intending to move around her. Oh, no. She flattened her hands on his shoulders, keeping him in place. “I want to know what’s wrong with you.” She said. “Tell me.” He snapped his teeth at her in a show of dominance. “You think you want to know my problem. You’re wrong.” Her tone dry, she said, “I’m so glad you know my mind better than I do.” “Very well. I need sex.” He threw the words at her as if they were weapons. “Badly.” Whoa. Blindside! Heart pounding, she jerked her hands away from him. “Sex...from me?” “Yesss.” A hiss. “Only from you.” Only. Amazing how one little word could send pleasure soaring through her, warming her. “You told me never to touch you.” Which she’d just done, she realized. My bad. “I’ve changed my mind.” His gaze dropped, lingered on her lips. Burning her... “But you and I...we’re a different species.” As if that mattered to her body. Gimme!
 He took a step closer, invading her personal space. “We’ll fit, I promise you.”
 Tristo hrmenych! The raspy quality of his voice, all smoke and gravel...she shivered with longing. Must resist his allure. But...but...why? Before she’d committed to Peter, she’d dated around, had made out in movie theaters, cars and on couches. She’d liked kissing and touching and “riding the belt buckle,” as her friends had called it. Then, after committing to Peter, she’d gifted him with her virginity. At first, he hadn’t known what to do with her—he’d been just as inexperienced—and she’d left each encounter disappointed. When finally she’d gathered the courage to tell him what she wanted, he’d satisfied her well. She missed sex. But connection...intimacy...she thought she missed those more. The dogs barked, jolting her from her thoughts. They’d cleaned their food bowls, and now wanted to play. She clasped Baden’s hand to lead him out of the kennel. He jerked away, severing contact. One action. Tons of hurt. “I’m allowed to touch you and you want to have sex with me, but you’re still disgusted by me.” She stomped outside the kennel, done with him. “Well, I’m leaving. Good riddance! Your do-what-I-say-or-else attitude was annoying, anyway.” He darted in front of her, stopping her. Breath caught in her throat as sunlight streamed over him, paying his chiseled features absolute tribute, making his bronzed skin glimmer. So beautiful. Too beautiful. “I’m not disgusted by you. You need me. I’ve come to accept it,” he admitted, looking away from her. “But being skin-to-skin with another is painful for me. We’ll have to proceed carefully. And you’ll get over your annoyance.” Another order! She would show him the error of his ways.
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Torment (Lords of the Underworld, #12))
The Major's laughter boomed out again. "And I never kept a diary in my life!" he cried. "Why there's enough cream in this situation to make a dishful of meringues. You and I, you know, the students of Tilling! The serious-minded students who do a hard day's work when all the pretty ladies have gone to bed. Often and often has old--I mean has that fine woman, Miss Mapp, told me that I work too hard at night! Recommended me to get earlier to bed, and do my work between six and eight in the morning! Six and eight in the morning! That's a queer time of day to recommend an old campaigner to be awake at! Often she's talked to you, too, I bet my hat, about sitting up late and exhausting the nervous faculties." Major Flint choked and laughed and inhaled tobacco smoke till he got purple in the face. "And you sitting up one side of the street," he gasped, "pretending to be interested in Roman roads, and me on the other pulling a long face over my diaries, and neither of us with a Roman road or a diary to our names. Let's have an end to such unsociable arrangements, old friend; you lining your Roman roads and the bottle to lay the dust over to me one night, and I'll bring my diaries and my peg over to you the next. Never drink alone--one of my maxims in life--if you can find someone to drink with you. And there were you within a few yards of me all the time sitting by your old solitary self, and there was I sitting by my old solitary self, and we each thought the other a serious-minded old buffer, busy on his life-work. I'm blessed if I ever heard of two such pompous old frauds as you and I, Captain! What a sight of hypocrisy there is in the world, to be sure! No offence--mind: I'm as bad as you, and you're as bad as me, and we're both as bad as each other. But no more solitary confinement of an evening for Benjamin Flint, as long as you're agreeable.
E.F. Benson (Miss Mapp (Lucia, #2))
Get it off!" Julian howled, shimmying his back in front of Sacha. Sacha was too busy being doubled over laughing his ass off to give half a shit about the fact that his friend had gotten crapped on by a bird. For the second time in less than an hour. We were at King's Park in Perth, the largest inner-city park in the world, the day after we’d arrived in the Land Down Under. Sacha, Julian, my brother, Isaiah and I had all caught a ride to the beautiful location late that morning. What had started with me banging on my brother’s door so he could accompany me somewhere, ended up becoming an extended invitation to the other guys during breakfast. "Quit laughing and somebody wipe it off!" Julian was practically screeching as he made his stop in front of me, hoping I'd be his savior. I wanted to help Julian with his issue. Really. I did. The problem was that I couldn't stop cracking up either. “Gaby! Please! Get it off!” It seriously took everything inside of me to get it together. I finally cleaned the gooey spot with the last napkin I’d tucked into my pocket earlier, but it took longer than it normally would have. A second later another bird swarmed overhead and made him start cursing in annoyance and probably fear. It was bad enough to get pooped on once, but twice? And in front of Eli and Sacha? There was no way Julian was ever going to be able to live it down. "I feel like I should take a shit on you too now. What exactly am I missing out on, you know?" Eli cackled, slapping the poor guy on the back before immediately yanking his hand away and checking it with a grimace. The same bird swooped dangerously over our heads, and I started crying, not imagining the look of pure horror on Julian's face all over again. "You better run before they come after you again," Sacha teased him through a gulp of air. He stole a glance in my direction, and then lost it once more; this loud, belly-aching laugh that fueled my own.
Mariana Zapata (Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin)
History generally records that Michael Vaughan quit the England captaincy in tearful circumstances following the Test-series defeat to South Africa in 2008. But the Top Spin can reveal this version of events is little more than a smokescreen. For it appears that what actually tipped Vaughan over the edge was a phonecall from a stricken team-mate - a call so harrowing Vaughan decided he could cope no longer. The ex-skipper was enjoying a barbecue at home with friends two summers ago when he took a rare call from Monty Panesar. 'Hello, Monty.' 'Hello Vaughany. I've got some bad news for you.' 'Oh?' 'Yes, you know I was telling you about my parrot Gary last week?' 'Er...' 'Well, he's gone missing. Just thought you'd like to know.' 'Sorry to hear that Monty.' 'Bye.' 'Bye.' So aghast was Vaughan that captaincy duty now extended to fielding calls from team-mates about escaped pets that he knew his time was up. Sure, the tears at the farewell press conference left an impression on us all. But it was Monty's ex-parrot that sealed the deal.
Lawrence Booth
Do you ever miss him?" I didn't say it mean or accusingly. I just wanted to know if anybody else remembered Michael. To tell you the truth, I was stoned in a bad way, and I couldn't get the question out of my mind. Susan was at a loss. She didn't know what to do. These were the first words we had spoken since the end of last year. I guess it wasn't fair of me to ask her in a group like that, but I never see her by herself anymore, and I really needed to know. At first, I thought her blank expression was the result of surprise, but after it didn't go away for a long while, I knew that it wasn't. It suddenly dawned on me that if Michael were still around, Susan probably wouldn't be "going out" with him anymore. Not because she's a bad person or shallow or mean. But because things change. And friends leave. And life doesn't stop for anybody. "I'm sorry I bothered you, Susan. I'm just having a tough time. That's all. Have a good one," I said and walked away. "God that kid is such a fucking freak," I heard one of the boys whisper when I was halfway down the hall. He said it more factual than mean, and Susan didn't correct him. I don't know if I would have corrected him myself these days. Love always, Charlie
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
American Baseball It's for real, not for practice, and it's televised, not secret, the way you'd expect a civilized country to handle delicate things, it's in color, it's happening now in Florida, "This Is American Baseball" the announcer announces as the batter enters the box, we are watching, and it could be either of us standing there waiting for the pitch, avoiding the eye of the pitcher as we take a few practice cuts, turning to him and his tiny friends in the outfield, facing the situation, knowing that someone behind our backs is making terrible gestures, standing there to swing and miss the way I miss you, wanting to be out of uniform, out of breath, in your car, in love again, learning all the signals for the first time, they way we learned the rules of night baseball as high-school freshman: first base, you kiss her, second base, her breasts, third, you're in her pants, and home is where the heart wants to be all the time, but seldom can reach past the obstacle course of space, the home in our perfect future we wanted so badly, and want more than ever since we learned we won't live there, which happens to lovers in civilized countries all the time, and happens too in American baseball when you strike out and remember what the game really meant.
Tim Dlugos (A Fast Life: The Collected Poems)
I suggest you stand slowly and walk out with my men,” Zrakovi said, tapping a napkin against his lying, two-faced mouth and putting a twenty on the table to cover the drinks. “If you make a scene, innocent humans will be injured. I have a Blue Congress cleanup team in place, however, so if you want to fight in public and damage a few humans, knock yourself out. It will only add to your list of crimes.” I stood slowly, gritting my teeth when Squirrel Chin patted me down while feeling me up and making it look like a romantic moment. He’d been so busy feeling the naughty bits that he missed both Charlie, sitting in my bag next to my foot, and the dagger attached to my inner forearm. Idiot. Alex would never have been so sloppy. If Alex had patted me down, he’d have found not only the weapons but also the portable magic kit. From the corner of my eye, I saw a tourist taking mobile phone shots of us. He’d no doubt email them to all his friends back home with stories of those crazy New Orleanians and their public displays of affection. I considered pretending to faint, but I was too badly outnumbered for it to work. Like my friend Jean Lafitte, whose help I could use about now, I didn’t want to try something unless it had a reasonable chance at succeeding. I also didn’t want to pull Charlie out and risk humans getting hurt. “Walk out the door onto Chartres and turn straight toward the cathedral.” Zrakovi pulled his jacket aside enough for me to see a shoulder holster. I hadn’t even known the man could hold a gun, although for all I knew about guns it could be a water pistol. The walk to the cathedral transport was three very long city blocks. My best escape opportunity would be near Jackson Square. When the muscular goons tried to turn me left toward the cathedral, I’d try to break and run right toward the river, where I could get lost among the wharves and docks long enough to draw and power a transport. Of course in order to run, I’d have to get away from the clinch of Dreadlocks and Squirrel Chin. Charlie could take care of that. I slipped the messenger bag over my head slowly, and not even Zrakovi noticed the stick of wood protruding from the top by a couple of inches. Not to be redundant, but . . . idiots. None of us spoke as we proceeded down Chartres Street, where, to our south, the clouds continued to build. The wind had grown stronger and drier. The hurricane was sucking all the humidity out of the air, all the better to gain intensity. I hoped Zrakovi, a Bostonian, would enjoy his first storm. I hoped a live oak landed on his head.
Suzanne Johnson (Belle Chasse (Sentinels of New Orleans #5))
He swore sharply, David Jones’s still-so-familiar voice coming out of that stranger’s body. “Do you have any idea how unbelievably hard it’s been to get you alone?” Had she finally started hallucinating? But he took off his glasses, and she could see his eyes more clearly and . . . “It’s you,” she breathed, tears welling. “It’s really you.” She reached for him, but he stepped back. Sisters Helen and Grace were hurrying across the compound, coming to see what the ruckus was, shading their eyes and peering so they could see in through the screens. “You can’t let on that you know me,” Jones told Molly quickly, his voice low, rough. “You can’t tell anyone—not even your friend the priest during confession, do you understand?” “Are you in some kind of danger?” she asked him. Dear God, he was so thin. And was the cane necessary or just a prop? “Stand still, will you, so I can—” “No. Don’t. We can’t . . .” He backed away again. “If you say anything, Mol, I swear, I’ll vanish, and I will not come back. Unless . . . if you don’t want me here—and I don’t blame you if you don’t—” “No!” was all she managed to say before Sister Helen opened the door and looked from the mess on the floor to Molly’s stricken expression. “Oh, dear.” “I’m afraid it’s my fault,” Jones said in a British accent, in a voice that was completely different from his own, as Helen rushed to Molly’s side. “My fault entirely. I brought Miss Anderson some bad news. I didn’t realize just how devastating it would be.” Molly started crying. It was more than just a good way to hide her laughter at that accent—those were real tears streaming down her face and she couldn’t stop them. Helen led her to one of the tables, helped her sit down. “Oh, my dear,” the nun said, kneeling in front of her, concern on her round face, holding her hand. “What happened?” “We have a mutual friend,” Jones answered for her. “Bill Bolten. He found out I was heading to Kenya, and he thought if I happened to run into Miss Anderson that she would want to know that a friend of theirs recently . . . well, passed. Cat’s out of the bag, right? Fellow name of Grady Morant, who went by the alias of Jones.” “Oh, dear,” Helen said again, hand to her mouth in genuine sympathy. Jones leaned closer to the nun, his voice low, but not low enough for Molly to miss hearing. “His plane went down—burned—gas tank exploded . . . Ghastly mess. Not a prayer that he survived.” Molly buried her face in her hands, hardly able to think. “Bill was worried that she might’ve heard it first from someone else,” he said. “But apparently she hadn’t.” Molly shook her head, no. News did travel fast via the grapevine. Relief workers tended to know other relief workers and . . . She could well have heard about Jones’s death without him standing right in front of her. Wouldn’t that have been awful?
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
This is the best idea you’ve had all day. And you’ve had a ton of good ones. You are so the idea girl. Quitting your job? Great idea. Getting Lay to give you the latex replica of yourself? Stellar. Just gotta follow through. The excessive drinking? Also masterful. And now we’re going to kick ass in person. I love it. Let’s dress you up, though. We’ll make Hudson’s balls cry big, girly tears when he thinks of all the anal he could have had with you tonight.” “Did I tell you he has his tongue pierced? And his dick pierced?” Verity asked, holding Angie by her face. “Do you know what that means to a vagina? Are you aware of the commitment he’s made to my vagina’s happiness? He slapped his man meat out somewhere…” She waved a boozy hand at the city. “Thought about pleasure, and took a stab in his pee hole. Do you even understand that?” “You did mention that already. And the tongue one is hard to miss.” Angie nodded seriously. “Let’s find the hottest thing you own and pour your boobs in it. Have I told you you have great tits? Your tits are the sweetest friends with my tits.” They proceeded to bump their boobs together. “Okay, let’s go.” Angie dragged Verity to her closet.   Verity Michaels @VerityPics03 I’ve never thunk Fireball was a bad idea. #RageDrinking   Verity Michaels @VerityPics03 Angie made me sexlicious. #GreatTitBuddies   Verity Michaels @VerityPics03 Pierced dicks are fucktacular. #PoundTown
Helena Hunting (Felony Ever After)
I’m very glad,” Jones continued fervently, sounding like a card-carrying Colin Firth impersonator. “So very glad. You can’t know how glad . . .” He cleared his throat. “I hate to be the bearer of more bad tidings, but your . . . friend was something of a criminal, the way I heard it. He had a price on his head—millions—from some druglord who wanted him dead. Chased him mercilessly, for years. I guess this Jones fellow used to work for him—it’s all very sordid, I’m afraid. And dangerous. He had to be on the move constantly. It was risky just to have a drink with Jones—you might’ve gotten killed in the crossfire. Of course, the big irony here is that the druglord died two weeks before Jones. He never knew it, but he was finally free.” As he looked at her with those eyes that she’d dreamed about for so many months, Molly understood. Jones was here, now, only because the druglord known as Chai, a dangerous and sadistic bastard who’d spent years hunting him, was finally dead. “It’s entirely possible that whoever’s taken over business for this druglord,” he continued, “would’ve gone after this Jones, too. Of course, he probably wouldn’t have searched to the ends of the earth for him . . . Although, when dealing with such dangerous types, it pays to be cautious, I suppose.” Message received. “Not that that’s anything Jones needs to worry about,” he added. “Considering he’s left his earthly cares behind. Still, I suspect it’s rather hot where he’s gone.” Yes, it certainly was hot in Kenya right now. Molly covered her mouth, pretending to sob instead of laugh. “Shhh,” Helen admonished him, thinking, of course, that he was referring to an unearthly heat. “Don’t say such a thing. She loved him.” She turned back to Molly. “This Jones is the man that you spoke of so many times?” Molly could see from the expression on Jones’s face that Helen had given her away. She might as well go big with the truth. She wipes her eyes with a handkerchief that Helen had at the ready, then met his gaze. “I loved him very much. I’ll always love him,” she told this man who’d traveled halfway around the world for her, who apparently had waited years for it to be safe enough for him to join her, who had actually thought that, once he arrived, she might send him away. If you don’t want me here—and I don’t blame you if you don’t—just say the word . . . “He was a good man,” Molly said, “with a good heart.” Her voice shook, because, dear Lord, there were now tears in his eyes, too. “He deserved forgiveness—I’m positive he’s in heaven.” “I don’t think it’s going to be that easy for him,” he whispered. “It shouldn’t be . . .” He cleared his throat, put his glasses back on. “I’m so sorry to have distressed you, Miss Anderson. And I haven’t even properly introduced myself. Where are my manners?” He held out his hand to her. “Leslie Pollard.” Even with his glasses on, she could see quite clearly that he’d far rather be kissing her. But that would have to wait for later, when he came to her tent . . . No, wait, Gina would be there. Molly would have to go to his. Later, she told him with her eyes, as she reached out and, for the first time in years, touched the hand of the man that she loved.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
I have time for only one drink,” Jordan said, glancing at the ormolu clock on the opposite wall. “I’ve promised Alexandra to stand at her side at a ball tonight and beam approvingly at a friend of hers.” Whenever Jordan mentioned his wife’s name, Ian noted with amusement, the other man’s entire expression softened. “Care to join us?” Ian shook his head and accepted his drink from the footman. “It sounds boring as hell.” “I don’t think it’ll be boring, precisely. My wife has taken it upon herself to defy the entire ton and sponsor the girl back into the ranks. Based on some of the things Alexandra said in her note, that will be no mean feat.” “Why is that?” Ian inquired with more courtesy than interest. Jordan sighed and leaned his head back, weary from the hours he’d been working for the last several weeks and unexcited at the prospect of dancing attendance on a damsel in distress-one he’d never set eyes on. “The girl fell into the clutches of some man two years ago and an ugly scandal ensued.” Thinking of Elizabeth and himself, Ian said casually, “That’s not an uncommon occurrence, evidently.” “From what Alex wrote me, it seems this case is rather extreme.” “In what way?” “For one thing, there’s every chance the young woman will get the cut direct tonight from half the ton-and that’s the half that will be willing to acknowledge her. Alex has retaliated by calling in the heavy guns-my grandmother, to be exact, and Tony and myself, to a lesser degree. The object is to try to brave it out, but I don’t envy the girl. Unless I miss my guess, she’s going to be flayed alive by the wagging tongues tonight. Whatever the bastard did,” Jordan finished, downing his drink and starting to straighten in his chair, “it was damaging as hell. The girl-who’s purported to be incredibly beautiful, by the way-has been a social outcast for nearly two years.” Ian stiffened, his glass arrested partway to his mouth, his sharpened gaze on Jordan, who was already starting to rise. “Who’s the girl?” he demanded tautly. “Elizabeth Cameron.” “Oh, Christ!” Ian exploded, surging out of his chair and snatching up his evening jacket. “Where are they?” “At the Willington’s. Why?” “Because,” Ian bit out, impatiently shrugging into his jacket and tugging the frilled cuffs of his shirt into place, “I’m the bastard who did it.” An indescribable expression flashed across the Duke of Hawthorne’s face as he, too, pulled on his evening jacket. “You are the man Alexandra described in her note as an ‘unspeakable cad, vile libertine,’ and ‘despoiler of innocents’?” “I’m all that and more,” Ian replied grimly, stalking toward the door with Jordan Townsende beside him. “You go to the Willingtons’ as quickly as you can,” he instructed. “I’ll be close behind you, but I’ve a stop to make first. And don’t, for God’s sake, tell Elizabeth I’m on my way.” Ian flung himself into his coach, snapped orders to his driver, and leaned back, counting minutes, telling himself it couldn’t possibly be going as badly for her as he feared it would. And never once did he stop to think that Jordan Townsende had no idea what motives could possibly prompt Elizabeth Cameron’s “despoiler” to be bent on meeting her at the Willington’s ball.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Teddy actually cries, he misses her so bad, and eventually he convinces her that she”—here Sadie makes quote marks with her fingers—“‘owes’ him the chance to explain.” “And she agrees to meet?” I ask, mostly because I worry I’ve been silent too long. “Yes.” “This,” I say. “This is the part I never get.” Sadie leans forward and tilts her head to the side. “That’s because while you’re trying, Win, you’re still too male to get it. Women have been conditioned to please. We are responsible not just for ourselves but everyone in our orbit. We think it is our job to comfort the man. We think we can make things better by sacrificing a bit of ourselves. But you’re also right to ask. It’s the first thing I tell my clients: If you’re ready to end it, end it. Make a clean break and don’t look back. You don’t owe him anything.” “Did Sharyn go back to him?” I ask. “For a little while. Don’t shake your head like that, Win. Just listen, okay? That’s what these psychos do. They manipulate and gaslight. They make you feel guilty, like it’s your fault. They sucker you back in.” I still don’t get it, but that’s not important, is it? “Anyway, it didn’t last. Sharyn saw the light fast. She ended it again. She stopped replying to his calls and texts. And that’s when Teddy upped his assholery to the fully psychotic. Unbeknownst to her, he bugged her apartment. He put keyloggers on her computers. Teddy has a tracker on her phone. Then he starts texting her anonymous threats. He stole all her contacts, so he floods mailboxes with malicious lies about her—to her friends, her family. He writes emails and pretends he’s Sharyn and he trashes her professors and friends. On one occasion, he contacts Sharyn’s best friend’s fiancé—as Sharyn—and
Harlan Coben (Win (Windsor Horne Lockwood III, #1))
A pair of shots rang out from outside, near the front of the house, followed by shouting. A sudden flood of adrenaline doused my fatigue and political confusion. Jean’s posture straightened, and he rose quickly. “That is Dominique, whose men were watching the transport. Something is amiss.” Ya think? I ran for my bag and pulled out the staff. Jean slipped a triangular-bladed dagger from beneath his tunic, wrenched open the door to the study, and strode out ahead of me. As always where the pirate was concerned, I trailed along, a step behind. I edged around Jean in time to see his older half-brother and fellow pirate captain Dominique Youx dragging a stumbling, bleeding man into the front hallway from outside and shoving him to the floor. I breathed a sigh of relief that it wasn’t Alex, followed by a chaser of disappointment that it wasn’t Alex, topped by a dollop of concern that our friend Ken Hachette had been shot. Ken, a human NOPD detective who’d recently been clued in about the big bad world surrounding him, had missed all the recent events due to a family emergency that had taken him out of town. Why would he be coming to Old Barataria alone via Jean Lafitte’s private transport unless Alex sent him? My adrenaline jump-started my heart to another race, this one fueled by worry. Something bad had happened; it was the only explanation. Jean and Dominique exchanged a rapid-fire torrent of French that went way past my abilities to interpret. “He claims to be a friend to her,” Dominique finally spat out, and I could tell by the way he said her, much as one might say flesh-eating maggot, that he referred to me. He’d never liked me; he considered me a bad influence on his baby brother the immortal pirate. As if.
Suzanne Johnson (Belle Chasse (Sentinels of New Orleans #5))
The front door is locked—what’s up with that?” “Logan fixed the lock,” I tell her. Her bright red, heart-shaped mouth smiles. “Good job, Kevin Costner. You should staple the key to Ellie’s forehead, though, or she’ll lose it.” She has names for the other guys too and when her favorite guard, Tommy Sullivan, walks in a few minutes later, Marlow uses his. “Hello, Delicious.” She twirls her honey-colored, bouncy hair around her finger, cocking her hip and tilting her head like a vintage pinup girl. Tommy, the fun-loving super-flirt, winks. “Hello, pretty, underage lass.” Then he nods to Logan and smiles at me. “Lo . . . Good morning, Miss Ellie.” “Hey, Tommy.” Marlow struts forward. “Three months, Tommy. Three months until I’m a legal adult—then I’m going to use you, abuse you and throw you away.” The dark-haired devil grins. “That’s my idea of a good date.” Then he gestures toward the back door. “Now, are we ready for a fun day of learning?” One of the security guys has been walking me to school ever since the public and press lost their minds over Nicholas and Olivia’s still-technically-unconfirmed relationship. They make sure no one messes with me and they drive me in the tinted, bulletproof SUV when it rains—it’s a pretty sweet deal. I grab my ten-thousand-pound messenger bag from the corner. “I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before. Elle—you should have a huge banger here tonight!” says Marlow. Tommy and Logan couldn’t have synced up better if they’d practiced: “No fucking way.” Marlow holds up her hands, palms out. “Did I say banger?” “Huge banger,” Tommy corrects. “No—no fucking way. I meant, we should have a few friends over to . . . hang out. Very few. Very mature. Like . . . almost a study group.” I toy with my necklace and say, “That actually sounds like a good idea.” Throwing a party when your parents are away is a rite-of-high-school passage. And after this summer, Liv will most likely never be away again. It’s now or never. “It’s a terrible idea.” Logan scowls. He looks kinda scary when he scowls. But still hot. Possibly, hotter. Marlow steps forward, her brass balls hanging out and proud. “You can’t stop her—that’s not your job. It’s like when the Bush twins got busted in that bar with fake IDs or Malia was snapped smoking pot at Coachella. Secret Service couldn’t stop them; they just had to make sure they didn’t get killed.” Tommy slips his hands in his pockets, laid back even when he’s being a hardass. “We could call her sister. Even from an ocean away, I’d bet she’d stop her.” “No!” I jump a little. “No, don’t bother Liv. I don’t want her worrying.” “We could board up the fucking doors and windows,” Logan suggests. ’Cause that’s not overkill or anything. I move in front of the two security guards and plead my case. “I get why you’re concerned, okay? But I have this thing—it’s like my motto. I want to suck the lemon.” Tommy’s eyes bulge. “Suck what?” I laugh, shaking my head. Boys are stupid. “You know that saying, ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’?—well, I want to suck the lemon dry.” Neither of them seems particularly impressed. “I want to live every bit of life, experience everything it has to offer, good and bad.” I lift my jeans to show my ankle—and the little lemon I’ve drawn there. “See? When I’m eighteen, I’m going to get this tattooed on for real. As a reminder to live as much and as hard and as awesome as I can—to not take anything for granted. And having my friends over tonight is part of that.” I look back and forth between them. Tommy’s weakening—I can feel it. Logan’s still a brick wall. “It’ll be small. And quiet—I swear. Totally controlled. And besides, you guys will be here with me. What could go wrong?” Everything. Everything goes fucking wrong.
Emma Chase (Royally Endowed (Royally, #3))
The phone rang. It was a familiar voice. It was Alan Greenspan. Paul O'Neill had tried to stay in touch with people who had served under Gerald Ford, and he'd been reasonably conscientious about it. Alan Greenspan was the exception. In his case, the effort was constant and purposeful. When Greenspan was the chairman of Ford's Council of Economic Advisers, and O'Neill was number two at OMB, they had become a kind of team. Never social so much. They never talked about families or outside interests. It was all about ideas: Medicare financing or block grants - a concept that O'Neill basically invented to balance federal power and local autonomy - or what was really happening in the economy. It became clear that they thought well together. President Ford used to have them talk about various issues while he listened. After a while, each knew how the other's mind worked, the way married couples do. In the past fifteen years, they'd made a point of meeting every few months. It could be in New York, or Washington, or Pittsburgh. They talked about everything, just as always. Greenspan, O'Neill told a friend, "doesn't have many people who don't want something from him, who will talk straight to him. So that's what we do together - straight talk." O'Neill felt some straight talk coming in. "Paul, I'll be blunt. We really need you down here," Greenspan said. "There is a real chance to make lasting changes. We could be a team at the key moment, to do the things we've always talked about." The jocular tone was gone. This was a serious discussion. They digressed into some things they'd "always talked about," especially reforming Medicare and Social Security. For Paul and Alan, the possibility of such bold reinventions bordered on fantasy, but fantasy made real. "We have an extraordinary opportunity," Alan said. Paul noticed that he seemed oddly anxious. "Paul, your presence will be an enormous asset in the creation of sensible policy." Sensible policy. This was akin to prayer from Greenspan. O'Neill, not expecting such conviction from his old friend, said little. After a while, he just thanked Alan. He said he always respected his counsel. He said he was thinking hard about it, and he'd call as soon as he decided what to do. The receiver returned to its cradle. He thought about Greenspan. They were young men together in the capital. Alan stayed, became the most noteworthy Federal Reserve Bank chairman in modern history and, arguably the most powerful public official of the past two decades. O'Neill left, led a corporate army, made a fortune, and learned lessons - about how to think and act, about the importance of outcomes - that you can't ever learn in a government. But, he supposed, he'd missed some things. There were always trade-offs. Talking to Alan reminded him of that. Alan and his wife, Andrea Mitchell, White House correspondent for NBC news, lived a fine life. They weren't wealthy like Paul and Nancy. But Alan led a life of highest purpose, a life guided by inquiry. Paul O'Neill picked up the telephone receiver, punched the keypad. "It's me," he said, always his opening. He started going into the details of his trip to New York from Washington, but he's not much of a phone talker - Nancy knew that - and the small talk trailed off. "I think I'm going to have to do this." She was quiet. "You know what I think," she said. She knew him too well, maybe. How bullheaded he can be, once he decides what's right. How he had loved these last few years as a sovereign, his own man. How badly he was suited to politics, as it was being played. And then there was that other problem: she'd almost always been right about what was best for him. "Whatever, Paul. I'm behind you. If you don't do this, I guess you'll always regret it." But it was clearly about what he wanted, what he needed. Paul thanked her. Though somehow a thank-you didn't seem appropriate. And then he realized she was crying.
Suskind (The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill)
There are many things the Chinese do differently from Westerners. There’s the question of extra credit, for example. One time, Lulu came home and told me about a math test she’d just taken. She said she thought it had gone extremely well, which is why she didn’t feel the need to do the extra-credit problems. I was speechless for a second, uncomprehending. “Why not?” I asked. “Why didn’t you do them?” “I didn’t want to miss recess.” A fundamental tenet of being Chinese is that you always do all of the extra credit all of the time. “Why?” asked Lulu, when I explained this to her. For me this was like asking why I should breathe. “None of my friends do it,” Lulu added. “That’s not true,” I said. “I’m 100% sure that Amy and Junno did the extra credit.” Amy and Junno were the Asian kids in Lulu’s class. And I was right about them; Lulu admitted it. “But Rashad and Ian did the extra credit too, and they’re not Asian,” she added. “Aha! So many of your friends did do the extra credit! And I didn’t say only Asians do extra credit. Anyone with good parents knows you have to do the extra credit. I’m in shock, Lulu. What will the teacher think of you? You went to recess instead of doing extra credit?” I was almost in tears. “Extra credit is not extra. It’s just credit. It’s what separates the good students from the bad students." "Aww - recess is so fun," Lulu offered as her final sally. But after that, Lulu, like Sophia. always did the extra credit. Sometimes the girls got more points on extra credit than on the test itself - an absurdity that would never happen in China. Extra credit is one reason that Asian kids get such notoriously good grades in the United States. Rote drilling is another. Once Sophia came in second on a multiplication speed test, which her fifth grade teacher administered every Friday. She lost to a Korean boy named Yoon-seok. Over the next week, I made Sophia do twenty practice tests (of 100 problems each) every night, with me clocking her with a stopwatch. After that, she came in first every time. Poor Yoon-seok. He went back to Korea with his family, but probably not because of the speed test.
Amy Chua
Cassie,” I growl at the young brunette. “How’s the sobriety?” Alex brought the submissive to us. She’s an addict that he councils at Transcend. I don’t want to be mean to her right now, especially since my best friend brought her here, but I’m furious and she’s an outlet. She can’t strike back. “Ninety days sober,” she says with pride. “That’s awesome,” I say enthusiastically and smile at her. “I love how we have to give fuck ups a medal when they behave. I would think it should go to those who never fuck up. What’s the incentive to behave if all you have to do is get shit-faced and steal shit for years and then ninety days on the straight-and-narrow we have to pat you on the back for being a good girl,” I say in a saccharine voice. She gazes at me with huge, glassy brown eyes. I can see the tears forming. Cassie worries her full bottom lip between her teeth and tries not to blink. “But hey, what do I know. It just seems like the system is flawed. The good little boys and girls just don’t get the recognition that a crack-whore thief gets,” I shrug. Cassie blinks and the surface of her tears breaks and they finally slide down her cheeks in shame. “But go you!” I shout sarcastically. I give her a thumbs up and walk down the hall. “Cold… that was just cold, dude,” Alex chuckles at me. That was so bad that I have to laugh or I’d puke. I shake my head as my belly contracts from laughter. “Score on my newest asshattery?” I ask my partner in crime. If I didn’t have him I’d scream. I’ll owe Master Marcus forever. He stripped me bare until Font was naked in the impact room at Brownstone I trained in. Alex walked in and shook my hand- instant best friend. “Ah…” He taps his chin in thought and the bastard tucks his black hair behind his ear. I growl at him because he did it on purpose. He knows how much I miss the feel of my hair swinging at my jawline. Alex arches a perfect brow above his aqua eye and smirks. He runs his hands through his hair and groans in pleasure. “8.5. It was a decent attempt, but you pulled your hit. You’re too soft. I bet you were scared you’d make her relapse.” “Yeah,” I say bashfully. “Not happening, bud. I’m just that fucking good. I better go do some damage control. Don’t hurt any more subs. Pick on the big bastards. They may bite back, but their egos are delicate.
Erica Chilson (Dalton (Mistress & Master of Restraint, #4))
We danced to John Michael Montgomery’s “I Swear.” We cut the seven-tiered cake, electing not to take the smear-it-on-our-faces route. We visited and laughed and toasted. We held hands and mingled. But after a while, I began to notice that I hadn’t seen any of the tuxedo-clad groomsmen--particularly Marlboro Man’s friends from college--for quite some time. “What happened to all the guys?” I asked. “Oh,” he said. “They’re down in the men’s locker room.” “Oh, really?” I asked. “Are they smoking cigars or something?” “Well…” He hesitated, grinning. “They’re watching a football game.” I laughed. “What game are they watching?” It had to be a good one. “It’s…ASU is playing Nebraska,” he answered. ASU? His alma mater? Playing Nebraska? Defending national champions? How had I missed this? Marlboro Man hadn’t said a word. He was such a rabid college football fan, I couldn’t believe such a monumental game hadn’t been cause to reschedule the wedding date. Aside from ranching, football had always been Marlboro Man’s primary interest in life. He’d played in high school and part of college. He watched every televised ASU game religiously--for the nontelevised games, he relied on live reporting from Tony, his best friend, who attended every game in person. “I didn’t even know they were playing!” I said. I don’t know why I shouldn’t have known. It was September, after all. But it just hadn’t crossed my mind. I’d been a little on the busy side, I guess, getting ready to change my entire life and all. “How come you’re not down there watching it?” I asked. “I didn’t want to leave you,” he said. “You might get hit on.” He chuckled his sweet, sexy chuckle. I laughed. I could just see it--a drunk old guest scooting down the bar, eyeing my poufy white dress and spouting off pickup lines: You live around here? I sure like what you’re wearing… So…you married? Marlboro Man wasn’t in any immediate danger. Of that I was absolutely certain. “Go watch the game!” I insisted, motioning downstairs. “Nah,” he said. “I don’t need to.” He wanted to watch the game so badly I could see it in the air. “No, seriously!” I said. “I need to go hang with the girls anyway. Go. Now.” I turned my back and walked away, refusing even to look back. I wanted to make it easy on him. I wouldn’t see him for over an hour. Poor Marlboro Man. Unsure of the protocol for grooms watching college football during their wedding receptions, he’d darted in and out of the locker room for the entire first half. The agony he must have felt. The deep, sustained agony. I was so glad he’d finally joined the guys.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
newer marshals,” Newman added. “I was glad when they invited them to teach you new guys. That much field experience shouldn’t go to waste.” “A lot of them are stake-and-hammer guys though,” Newman said. “Old-fashioned doesn’t begin to cover their methods.” “The hunter that taught me the ropes was like that.” “I thought Forrester was your mentor. He’s known for his gun knowledge,” Livingston said. “You get that off his Wikipedia page?” I asked. “No, he worked a case that a buddy of mine was on. My friend is a gun nut, and he loved Forrester’s arsenal. He said that Forrester even used a flamethrower.” “Yep, that’s Ted,” I said, shaking my head. “So, he wasn’t your first mentor?” “No, Manny Rodriguez was. He taught me how to raise zombies and how to kill vampires.” “What happened to him?” Newman asked. “His wife thought he was getting too old and forced him to retire from the hunting side of things.” “It is not a job for old men,” Olaf said. “I guess it isn’t, but I wasn’t ready to fly solo when Manny retired. I was lucky I didn’t get killed doing jobs on my own at first.” “When did Forrester start training you?” Livingston asked. “Soon enough to help me stay alive.” “Ted spoke highly of you from the beginning,” Olaf said. “He does not give unearned praise. Are you being humble?” “No, I don’t . . . I really did have some close calls when Manny first retired, or maybe I just missed having backup.” Hazel brought our coffee and my Coke. “I’ll be back to fill those waters up, and with the juice,” she said before she left again. I so wanted to start questioning her, but this was Newman’s warrant and everyone else besides Olaf was local. They knew Hazel. I didn’t. I’d let them play it for now. The coffee was fresh and hot and surprisingly good for a mass-produced cup. I did add sugar and cream, so it wasn’t great coffee, but I didn’t add much, so it wasn’t bad either. Olaf put in way more sugar than I did, so his cup would have been too sweet for me. He didn’t take cream. I guessed we could be snobby about each other’s coffee habits later. “But it was Forrester who taught you how to fight empty hand?” Livingston asked. “I had some martial arts when we met, but he started me on more real-world training that worked outside of a judo mat or a martial arts tournament.” “I thought he was out of New Mexico,” Livingston said. “He is.” “And you’re in St. Louis, Missouri.” “I am.” “Hard to train long-distance.” “I have people I train with at home.” “How often do you train?” Kaitlin asked. “At least three times a week in hand-to-hand and blade.” “Really that often?” Newman asked. “Yeah. How often do you train?” “I go to the range two, three times a month.” “Any martial arts?” I asked. “I go to the gym three times a week.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Sucker Punch (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #27))
Miss Prudence Mercer Stony Cross Hampshire, England 7 November 1854 Dear Prudence, Regardless of the reports that describe the British soldier as unflinching, I assure you that when riflemen are under fire, we most certainly duck, bob, and run for cover. Per your advice, I have added a sidestep and a dodge to my repertoire, with excellent results. To my mind, the old fable has been disproved: there are times in life when one definitely wants to be the hare, not the tortoise. We fought at the southern port of Balaklava on the twenty-fourth of October. Light Brigade was ordered to charge directly into a battery of Russian guns for no comprehensible reason. Five cavalry regiments were mowed down without support. Two hundred men and nearly four hundred horses lost in twenty minutes. More fighting on the fifth of November, at Inkerman. We went to rescue soldiers stranded on the field before the Russians could reach them. Albert went out with me under a storm of shot and shell, and helped to identify the wounded so we could carry them out of range of the guns. My closest friend in the regiment was killed. Please thank your friend Prudence for her advice for Albert. His biting is less frequent, and he never goes for me, although he’s taken a few nips at visitors to the tent. May and October, the best-smelling months? I’ll make a case for December: evergreen, frost, wood smoke, cinnamon. As for your favorite song…were you aware that “Over the Hills and Far Away” is the official music of the Rifle Brigade? It seems nearly everyone here has fallen prey to some kind of illness except for me. I’ve had no symptoms of cholera nor any of the other diseases that have swept through both divisions. I feel I should at least feign some kind of digestive problem for the sake of decency. Regarding the donkey feud: while I have sympathy for Caird and his mare of easy virtue, I feel compelled to point out that the birth of a mule is not at all a bad outcome. Mules are more surefooted than horses, generally healthier, and best of all, they have very expressive ears. And they’re not unduly stubborn, as long they’re managed well. If you wonder at my apparent fondness for mules, I should probably explain that as a boy, I had a pet mule named Hector, after the mule mentioned in the Iliad. I wouldn’t presume to ask you to wait for me, Pru, but I will ask that you write to me again. I’ve read your last letter more times than I can count. Somehow you’re more real to me now, two thousand miles away, than you ever were before. Ever yours, Christopher P.S. Sketch of Albert included As Beatrix read, she was alternately concerned, moved, and charmed out of her stockings. “Let me reply to him and sign your name,” she begged. “One more letter. Please, Pru. I’ll show it to you before I send it.” Prudence burst out laughing. “Honestly, this is the silliest things I’ve ever…Oh, very well, write to him again if it amuses you.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
Please give me another chance!” Breathing hard, I waited for a light to come on, a door to open, a sign that she still loved me . . . but the house remained dark and silent. Crickets chirped. I glanced over at the girls, who seemed just as distraught as I was. They looked at each other, and then back at me. That’s when I heard a feminine voice come out of the darkness behind me. “Hey Winnie? Yeah, it’s Audrey. There’s some guy across the street yelling at the Wilsons’ house, but I think he’s talking to you.” Oh, fuck. Horrified, I spun around on my knees. A teenage couple stood under a front porch light at a home across the street. The girl was talking into her phone. “Dude,” the guy called out. “I think you’re at the wrong house.” Fuck. Me. Behind the couple, the front door opened and a barrel-chested man came storming out the front door wearing jeans, a USMC sweatshirt, and a scowl. “What’s going on out here? Who’s shouting?” “That guy over there is telling Winnie that he’s sorry and he loves her, but he’s at the wrong house,” said the girl. “I feel really bad for him.” “What?” The man’s chest puffed out further and he squinted in my direction. Then Winnie’s mom appeared on the porch, pulling a cardigan around her. “Is everything okay?” No. Everything was not okay. “Who is that guy?” her dad asked, and by his tone I could tell what he meant was, Who is that fucking idiot? “Is it Dex?” Frannie leaned forward and squinted. “Is that you, Dex?” “Yeah. It’s me.” I’d never wanted a sinkhole to open up and swallow me as badly as I did at that moment. If my kids hadn’t been there, I might have taken off on foot. Just then, a car pulled into their driveway, and my stomach lurched when Winnie jumped out of the passenger side. Her friend Ellie got out of the driver’s side and looked back and forth between Winnie and me. “Holy shit,” she said. “Dex?” Winnie started walking down the drive and stopped at the sidewalk, gaping at me kneeling in the spotlight from the streetlamp above. “What on earth are you doing?” “Hi, Winnie!” Hallie and Luna started jumping up and down and waving like mad. “Hi!” And then, because apparently there wasn’t a big enough audience, another car pulled up in front of the MacAllisters’ house, and a second teenage girl jumped out. “Bye!” she yelled, waving as the car drove off. Then she noticed everyone outside. “Oh, crap. Did I miss curfew or something?” “No,” the first teenage girl said, hopping down from the porch. “Omigod, Emmeline, this is amazing. Kyle was just leaving when this man pulled up, jumped out of his car, and starts shouting to Winnie that he loves her and he wants another chance—but he was yelling at the Wilsons’ house, not ours. Not that it mattered, because she wasn’t even here.” “Audrey, be quiet!” Winnie put her hands on her head. “Dex. What is this? Why are you on your knees?” “We told him to do that!” Hallie shouted proudly. “Because that’s what the ogre would do!
Melanie Harlow (Ignite (Cloverleigh Farms, #6))
Hannah laughs at her best friend and adds, in a more serious tone, “If you lose a match, people will think you’re not ready for Helios.” “Right. Technically, I’m supposed to be the baddest thing alive. That’s why Dennis tried fixing my matches.” The two women start a fake boxing match. Michelle swings at Hannah. Though she misses, Hannah dramatically collapses on the ground. That’s actually a great depiction of how badly the match I had last year looked. The student my father paid off practically had to fall on his own in order to lose. Michelle tickles Hannah to get
Kashif Ross (Barcode: Legend of Apollo (Barcode, #1))
One night a man dreamt that he was walking along the beach with God. Scenes from his life flashed in the sky as they walked. For each scene, the man noticed two sets of footprints (his and God’s) in the sand. On careful observation, he noticed that there was only one set of footprints at the saddest times of his life. He asked: God, why did You abandon me when I needed You most?’ God whispered, ‘My son, I was carrying you during the saddest times of your life; hence your footprints are missing.’ Lucky people seem to create an alternative support system—faith, prayer, hobbies, meditation, friends—to tide over their bad phases and are thus able to use such periods to the best of their abilities.
Ashwin Sanghi (13 Steps to Bloody Good Luck)
Girls’ Night Out Two female friends had gone out drinking, just the girls, and had made excessively close friends with a large but uncertain number of cocktails. Walking home feeling no pain at all, they suddenly both realized they needed to pee. There was no toilet in sight and no open restaurants or anything, but they were passing by a graveyard and one of them suggested they flush their systems there, so they did, fertilizing some unknown person’s final resting place. Of course they had no toilet paper, this fact having slipped their minds in their inebriation. The first woman took off her panties, used them to wipe herself, and tossed them aside. Her friend didn’t want to do the same because she was wearing some fancy underwear and didn’t want to ruin it, but she was lucky enough to find a wreath on a grave with a big ribbon attached and wiped herself with that (after all, the intended recipient had no use for it, or for anything else). After finishing, they made their unsteady way home. The next day one woman’s husband phoned the other husband and said, “You know, we have to talk to our wives about these damned girls’ nights out. When my wife came home last night her panties were missing. I have no idea what she was up to, but it can’t be anything good!” “You think that’s bad,” said the other husband. “My wife came back with a card stuck between the cheeks of her butt that said, ‘From all of the firemen at the fire station, in heartfelt appreciation.
Ronald T. Boggs (The Funniest Joke Book! Best Collection Of Jokes In The Kindle Library!)
Phil and Miss Kay have left a legacy of love for their children and grandchildren. They’ve been teaching us their whole lives what Christ has taught them about love, sacrifice, forgiveness, and grace. We want to carry on the Robertson legacy with our old and new friends, including those who know us from the television show. It’s a little scary to know we’re being watched, but we look at it as a privilege to be able to show who we are and how we live our lives to so many others. We work hard to love each other and love others. But in the end, it’s our children who are most important. We want to carry on our family legacy with our four children and someday our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It’s an awesome responsibility to be parents and to know that what we are doing with our kids will have eternal consequences because we know this world is not our home--we’re just passing through. Yet even though parenting is a huge responsibility and a lot of work, it’s also true that Lily, Merritt, Priscilla, and River have been the biggest blessings we’ve ever experienced. God’s goodness shines through their eyes. Our lives have been filled with love and laughter and lots of fun, but there have been stumbles and struggles and tears too. Life is complicated, but we know that if we continue to follow the Lord, step by step, He’ll shine a light and lead us down the right path. He’ll do that for you, too, if you only ask Him. Once upon a time, a girl from town met a boy from the woods. And you know what? They lived happily ever after. The end. Well, actually, it’s just the beginning! Love always and forever, Jep and Jessica
Jep Robertson (The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness)
I thought this kissing thing would make him step up. But I guess he just doesn’t care as much as I thought he did.” “He cares,” Emily says. I shake my head. “He doesn’t.” “He does. He told Logan. Logan told me.” My belly flutters. “Logan must be hearing things.” Emily snorts again. “I mean…” “I know what you meant,” Emily says, smiling. “Logan can be pretty intuitive about some things. And he feels certain that Sean wants you. Bad. And Sean said as much.” Friday bites her lip, then adds, “I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but…” “What?” I ask. “You know how he got a new tattoo last week?” she asks. I didn’t know so I don’t answer. “What did he get?” I ask instead. She inhales, weighing her decision to tell me. Then she blurts out, “It’s a honeybee.” “Oh shit,” I say. “What?” Emily asks. “What did I miss?” “He calls me honey when he’s being all sweet.” Friday nods. “I blew it when I told him I just want to be friends.” “Logan
Tammy Falkner (Just Jelly Beans and Jealousy (The Reed Brothers, #3.4))
Got a question for you.” He looked me in the eyes. “If you’re thinking about yourself and how bad things are for you, how much time and thought are you devoting to other people?” I glared at him but didn’t argue his point. “Go on.” He shrugged. “Seems to me if you’re that worried about being alone—enough that you’ve mentioned it both times we’ve talked, you’d look at what you could be doing that’s causing that situation. Self-involved people don’t tend to make the best friends because they’re too busy thinking of their problems. Ones that are bitter and hurting tend to be the ones that push others away, sometimes with their actions, sometimes with their barbed tongues. "So congrats." He clapped twice for me. "You had a bad past. You've got stuff going on right now that I wouldn't want to have happen to me. But everything you're doing that's alienating people around you is because you're so busy worrying about who to trust that you're missing how trust gets built. You're missing how to connect with people on a basic level and get to know them - and you're gibing up the possibility of a future because you're stuck in your past".
Robert J. Crane
I suggest you stand slowly and walk out with my men,” Zrakovi said, tapping a napkin against his lying, two-faced mouth and putting a twenty on the table to cover the drinks. “If you make a scene, innocent humans will be injured. I have a Blue Congress cleanup team in place, however, so if you want to fight in public and damage a few humans, knock yourself out. It will only add to your list of crimes.” I stood slowly, gritting my teeth when Squirrel Chin patted me down while feeling me up and making it look like a romantic moment. He’d been so busy feeling the naughty bits that he missed both Charlie, sitting in my bag next to my foot, and the dagger attached to my inner forearm. Idiot. Alex would never have been so sloppy. If Alex had patted me down, he’d have found not only the weapons but also the portable magic kit. From the corner of my eye, I saw a tourist taking mobile phone shots of us. He’d no doubt email them to all his friends back home with stories of those crazy New Orleanians and their public displays of affection. I considered pretending to faint, but I was too badly outnumbered for it to work. Like my friend Jean Lafitte, whose help I could use about now, I didn’t want to try something unless it had a reasonable chance at succeeding. I also didn’t want to pull Charlie out and risk humans getting hurt. “Walk out the door onto Chartres and turn straight toward the cathedral.” Zrakovi pulled his jacket aside enough for me to see a shoulder holster. I hadn’t even known the man could hold a gun, although for all I knew about guns it could be a water pistol. The walk to the cathedral transport was three very long city blocks. My best escape opportunity would be near Jackson Square. When the muscular goons tried to turn me left toward the cathedral, I’d try to break and run right toward the river, where I could get lost among the wharves and docks long enough to draw and power a transport. Of course in order to run, I’d have to get away from the clinch of Dreadlocks and Squirrel Chin. Charlie could take care of that. I slipped the messenger bag over my head slowly, and not even Zrakovi noticed the stick of wood protruding from the top by a couple of inches. Not to be redundant, but . . . idiots. None of us spoke as we proceeded down Chartres Street, where, to our south, the clouds continued to build. The wind had grown stronger and drier. The hurricane was sucking all the humidity out of the air, all the better to gain intensity. I hoped Zrakovi, a Bostonian, would enjoy his first storm. I hoped a live oak landed on his head.
Suzanne Johnson
I just never had a friend who cared as you do. My best friend Destiny doesn't understand me, she has a husband and a child. A life I have always wanted, but unfortunately, tables have turned to where I can't find that one guy I could love." Angel felt bad for feeling lust for the straight woman. She should have known better. "Jana, men have no idea what they are missing. You are as beautiful as they come and I would appreciate you more than any man would.
Amber M. Kestner (Jana & Angel Volume 1 (A Girl For Her #1))
Long before I ever saw him coming into Connie Sue’s salon, a friend of mine in high school was always talking about a guy named Jeptha. She was very sweet. She went to the Pentecostal church and dressed very conservatively--hair down to her booty, skirts, little makeup. We had history class together, and she used to let me put mascara on her. “He’s a dream,” she used to say. I could tell she had a crush on this guy, and I’d just roll my eyes and shake my head. I doubt it, I’d say to myself, after the thousandth time she’d talked about Jeptha and called him dreamy again. I was familiar with the name but not the actual guy, and it wasn’t until the glide-by at Connie Sue’s that I came face-to-face with the dream. Whoops! I mean, with Jeptha. I didn’t think a whole lot more about him until I saw him again a couple of weeks later at a music club called Edge of Madness. There was no drinking, just music, and lots of kids hanging out. The Jeptha came up to me during a break in the music and introduced himself. “Hi. I’m Jeptha Robertson. Are you Jessica?” Connie Sue had told him my name and a little bit about me, but I guess he wanted to make sure. “Hi,” I said, and smiled back. “My dad is the Duck Commander,” he offered. Who? I didn’t answer because I didn’t know what to say. I had no idea who or what the Duck Commander was. “You don’t know who the Duck Commander is?” I shook my head no. I’m sure I looked as confused as I felt. Obviously, I am missing something, and I should know who the Duck Commander is. “You don’t know who Phil Robertson is?” No, again. We chatted a little, and I could see he was trying to connect with me. Then he pulled out his best line: “Do you like my plaid pants?” I looked at the familiar logo on his shirt and pants and thought to myself, Wow, you must really like Abercrombie and Fitch. Surprised, I looked down and beheld his brown, green, and white plaid pants. You couldn’t miss them. They definitely stood out in the crowd. “Yeah,” I said, my voice trailing off. I wasn’t quite sure what else to say. Now at least I know who the dream is, I thought. And he is pretty cute.
Jessica Robertson (The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness)
could always come home? He wasn’t himself, I don’t think — the uh, the…’  He couldn’t say the word. Heroin. ‘It changed him. We hadn’t heard from him for a long time. We didn’t know if he was alive, or… And now…’ He pulled the phone from his ear and started sobbing in the background, the audio muffled as he put his hand over the mouthpiece. ‘Mr Hammond?’ she asked, forcing the words over the lump in her throat. ‘Mr Hammond?’ He brought the phone back. ‘I’m here, sorry. Sorry, it’s… Sorry.’ ‘That’s alright. Can you tell me when Oliver first started using? Who with, maybe? Did he have any friends, or?’ ‘No, I don’t know. He was always independent, you know? Going to meet friends in the city, and… He had a girlfriend, but we didn’t know who. He wouldn’t tell us. Thought we wouldn’t approve, or… or… I don’t know.’ Grace came to mind. ‘How long ago was this?’ ‘August last year, maybe? Before it all started to, uh…’ ‘That’s great,’ Jamie said, her free hand clenched tightly into a fist. ‘I’m sorry to have bothered you. Would it be alright if I gave you a call tomorrow? Or if you’d prefer, I could come to—’ ‘No, no, that’s fine. You can call… I’ll be in work, but… I’ll call you back when I can.’ Jesus. He was going back to work the next day? He didn’t even think about it. Like missing a few days hadn’t even entered the realm of the possible. ‘Okay. Thank you,’ she said. Apologising for it all was bad practice. Even though she wanted to.  ‘Goodbye,’ he said. She left it at that and hung up, letting him process. She had enough to start piecing together a timeline. And an idea of what had happened. At least at the start.
Morgan Greene (Bare Skin (DS Jamie Johansson #1))
Self-involved people don’t tend to make the best friends because they’re too busy thinking of their problems. Ones that are bitter and hurting tend to be the ones that push others away, sometimes with their actions, sometimes with their barbed tongues. “So congrats.” He clapped twice for me. “You had a bad past. You’ve got stuff going on right now that I wouldn’t want to have happen to me. But everything you’re doing that’s alienating people around you is because you’re so busy worrying about who to trust that you’re missing how trust gets built. You’re missing how to connect with people on a basic level and get to know them—and you’re giving up the possibility of a future because you’re stuck
Robert J. Crane (Alone, Untouched, Soulless (The Girl in the Box, #1-3))
Her voice has given me a headache. I can feel the heat of her body through our clothes. It’s reminded me of just after Hannah was born, of those late-night phone calls where my sister cried and told me that she wished she had terminated the pregnancy. I don’t know why I wanted this. I didn’t know what to say. It’ll be all right. Women have babies all the time. I ask Hannah to get me water but Donato volunteers. “Silvia,” he calls out. “Come downstairs with me.” I feel every cell bristle. Of course, they are together, and why should that matter to me anyway? Hannah puts her head on my shoulder. “Do you think Silvia is very pretty?” Tiny lights strung across the terrace turn on and I can see her watery eyes. Below I hear Donato’s laugh. “She’s a lot older than him,” I say. “Only by five years.” Her body starts to shake, tears fall on my shoulder. “Hush,” I tell her. “Hush.” Instinctively I look around to see if any of their friends are watching. “Come on.” I pull her up from the settee. “Call us a ride, and I’ll get your backpack. We can pick up a pizza on the way home.” I wipe the smeared mascara from under her eyes and point her toward the stairs. I say goodbye to her friends, making up an excuse that Paul wants us home. He’s made dinner. I can tell Donato doesn’t believe this, but he doesn’t say so. When he kisses my cheek, I cannot help it, I press him against me. He feels broader than I thought he would, and that liquid fire at the center of me rejoices. In the cab Hannah gives in. She is bawling. “I miss Mom,” she chokes out. “I miss her so much.” Letting her drink was probably a bad idea, but isn’t she old enough to know her limit? Or at least learn what it is?
Liska Jacobs (The Worst Kind of Want)
Old people vote. You know who votes in the swing states where this election will be fought? Really old people. Instead of high-profile videos with Cardi B (no disrespect to Cardi, who famously once threatened to dog-walk the egregious Tomi Lahren), maybe focus on registering and reaching more of those old-fart voters in counties in swing states. If your celebrity and music-industry friends want to flood social media with GOTV messages, let them. It makes them feel important and it’s the cheapest outsourcing you can get. Just don’t build your models on the idea that you’re going to spike young voter turnout beyond 20 percent. The problem with chasing the youth vote is threefold: First, they’re unlikely to be registered. You have to devote a lot of work to going out, grabbing them, registering them, educating them, and motivating them to go out and vote. If they were established but less active voters, you’d have voter history and other data to work with. There are lower-effort, lower-cost ways to make this work. Second, they’re not conditioned to vote; that November morning is much more likely to involve regret at not finishing a paper than missing a vote. Third, and finally, a meaningful fraction of the national youth vote overall is located in California. Its gigantic population skews the number, and since the Golden State’s Electoral College outcome is never in doubt, it doesn’t matter. What’s our motto, kids? “The Electoral College is the only game in town.” This year, the Democrats have been racing to win the Free Shit election with young voters by promising to make college “free” (a word that makes any economic conservative lower their glasses, put down the brandy snifter, and arch an eyebrow) and to forgive $1.53 trillion gazillion dollars of student loan debt. Set aside that the rising price of college is what happens to everything subsidized or guaranteed by the government.17 Set aside that those subsidies cause college costs to wildly exceed the rate of inflation across the board, and that it sucks to have $200k in student loan debt for your degree in Intersectional Yodeling. Set aside that the college loan system is run by predatory asswipes. The big miss here is a massive policy disconnect—a student-loan jubilee would be a massive subsidy to white, upper-middle-class people in their mid-thirties to late forties. I’m not saying Democrats shouldn’t try to appeal to young voters on some level, but I want them to have a realistic expectation about just how hard it is to move those numbers in sufficient volume in the key Electoral College states. When I asked one of the smartest electoral modeling brains in the business about this issue, he flooded me with an inbox of spreadsheets and data points. But the key answer he gave me was this: “The EC states in play are mostly old as fuck. If your models assume young voter magic, you’re gonna have a bad day.
Rick Wilson (Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump--and Democrats from Themselves)
When I was a freshman in high school, Luke was a senior. At freshman orientation, some of Luke’s senior football friends came up to me. (Did I mention that he was also a starting player on the football team? It probably didn’t need saying.) One of his friends looked at me and said, “You’re not nearly as muscular as Luke.” Some people might have felt bad in that situation, but at that point I was used to feeling bad. I had trained for it all of my life. Without missing a beat, I said,
James Rallison (The Odd 1s Out: How to Be Cool and Other Things I Definitely Learned from Growing Up)
One of the best pieces of parenting advice I got from my friend Nancy was this: Regardless of what childcare you choose, have a plan for who is in charge when the nanny or the kid is sick. Fighting about who will miss work in the moment is a bad idea.
Emily Oster (Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool (The ParentData Series Book 2))
And of course, in golf, what you can do today, you can’t necessarily do again tomorrow. Terrifying. And no, this isn’t fair. And regrettably, there is little in life that prepares you for this debacle. You don’t wake up in the morning suddenly unable to tie your shoes, or control your toothbrush. You don’t have a great day with the knife and a bad day with the fork. You don’t call your friends after a meal to tell them, “My spoon game was really on today, but I couldn’t get the salt shaker to work like I wanted. The darn stuff was going everywhere. And my fork game was atrocious. I missed my mouth and stabbed myself in the cheek eight times – and that was just at breakfast.
Mike Malaska (I Feel Your Pain: Let's Make Golf Uncomplicated)
I am shocked to find that some people think a 2 star 'I liked it' rating is a bad rating. What? I liked it. I LIKED it! That means I read the whole thing, to the last page, in spite of my life raining comets on me. It's a good book that survives the reading process with me. If a book is so-so, it ends up under the bed somewhere, or maybe under a stinky judo bag in the back of the van. So a 2 star from me means,yes, I liked the book, and I'd loan it to a friend and it went everywhere in my jacket pocket or purse until I finished it. A 3 star means that I've ignored friends to finish it and my sink is full of dirty dishes. A 4 star means I'm probably in trouble with my editor for missing a deadline because I was reading this book. But I want you to know . . . I don't finish books I don't like. There's too many good ones out there waiting to be found.
Robin Hobb
* * * * Chapter 1 – Blizzards, Bites, and Zombies Ever have a really bad day? I'm not talking miss the bus, caught cheating on a test, bike gets stolen bad. I mean people dying and coming back from the dead to eat your brains bad. This whole mess started one night when my best friend Misty messaged me, "DQ run now!
M.J.A. Ware (Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb (A Zombie Apocalypse Novel Book 1))
I’ve just been to see Audrey,” Beatrix said breathlessly, entering the private upstairs parlor and closing the door. “Poor Mr. Phelan isn’t well, and--well, I’ll tell you about that in a minute, but--here’s a letter from Captain Phelan!” Prudence smiled and took the letter. “Thank you, Bea. Now, about the officers I met last night…there was a dark-haired lieutenant who asked me to dance, and he--” “Aren’t you going to open it?” Beatrix asked, watching in dismay as Prudence laid the letter on a side table. Prudence gave her a quizzical smile. “My, you’re impatient today. You want me to open it this very moment?” ”Yes.” Beatrix promptly sat in a chair upholstered with flower-printed fabric. “But I want to tell you about the lieutenant.” “I don’t give a monkey about the lieutenant, I want to hear about Captain Phelan.” Prudence gave a low chuckle. “I haven’t seen you this excited since you stole that fox that Lord Campdon imported from France last year.” “I didn’t steal him, I rescued him. Importing a fox for a hunt…I call that very unsporting.” Beatrix gestured to the letter. “Open it!” Prudence broke the seal, skimmed the letter, and shook her head in amused disbelief. “Now he’s writing about mules.” She rolled her eyes and gave Beatrix the letter. Miss Prudence Mercer Stony Cross Hampshire, England 7 November 1854 Dear Prudence, Regardless of the reports that describe the British soldier as unflinching, I assure you that when riflemen are under fire, we most certainly duck, bob, and run for cover. Per your advice, I have added a sidestep and a dodge to my repertoire, with excellent results. To my mind, the old fable has been disproved: there are times in life when one definitely wants to be the hare, not the tortoise. We fought at the southern port of Balaklava on the twenty-fourth of October. Light Brigade was ordered to charge directly into a battery of Russian guns for no comprehensible reason. Five cavalry regiments were mowed down without support. Two hundred men and nearly four hundred horses lost in twenty minutes. More fighting on the fifth of November, at Inkerman. We went to rescue soldiers stranded on the field before the Russians could reach them. Albert went out with me under a storm of shot and shell, and helped to identify the wounded so we could carry them out of range of the guns. My closest friend in the regiment was killed. Please thank your friend Prudence for her advice for Albert. His biting is less frequent, and he never goes for me, although he’s taken a few nips at visitors to the tent. May and October, the best-smelling months? I’ll make a case for December: evergreen, frost, wood smoke, cinnamon. As for your favorite song…were you aware that “Over the Hills and Far Away” is the official music of the Rifle Brigade? It seems nearly everyone here has fallen prey to some kind of illness except for me. I’ve had no symptoms of cholera nor any of the other diseases that have swept through both divisions. I feel I should at least feign some kind of digestive problem for the sake of decency. Regarding the donkey feud: while I have sympathy for Caird and his mare of easy virtue, I feel compelled to point out that the birth of a mule is not at all a bad outcome. Mules are more surefooted than horses, generally healthier, and best of all, they have very expressive ears. And they’re not unduly stubborn, as long they’re managed well. If you wonder at my apparent fondness for mules, I should probably explain that as a boy, I had a pet mule named Hector, after the mule mentioned in the Iliad. I wouldn’t presume to ask you to wait for me, Pru, but I will ask that you write to me again. I’ve read your last letter more times than I can count. Somehow you’re more real to me now, two thousand miles away, than you ever were before. Ever yours, Christopher P.S. Sketch of Albert included
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
How is Prudence?” she heard him ask. It hurt to hear the note of wary longing in his voice. “Quite well, I believe. She’s in London for the season.” Beatrix hesitated before adding carefully, “We are still friends, but perhaps not as fond of each other as we once were.” “Why?” His gaze was alert now. Clearly any mention of Prudence earned his close attention. Because of you, Beatrix thought, and managed a faint, wry smile. “It seems we have different interests.” I’m interested in you, and she’s interested in your inheritance. “You’re hardly cut from the same cloth.” Hearing the sardonic note in his voice, Beatrix tilted her head and regarded him curiously. “I don’t take your meaning.” He hesitated. “I only meant that Miss Mercer is conventional. And you’re…not.” His tone was seasoned with the merest hint of condescension…but there was no mistaking it. Abruptly all the feelings of compassion and tenderness disappeared as Beatrix realized that Christopher Phelan had not changed in one regard: he still didn’t like her. “I would never want to be a conventional person,” she said. “They’re usually dull and superficial.” It seemed he took that as a slight against Prudence. “As compared to people who bring garden pests to picnics? No one could accuse you of being dull, Miss Hathaway.” Beatrix felt the blood drain from her face. He had insulted her. The realization made her numb. “You may insult me,” she said, half amazed that she could still speak. “But leave my hedgehog alone.” Whirling around, she walked away from him in long, digging strides. Albert whimpered and began to follow, which forced Christopher to call him back. Beatrix didn’t glance over her shoulder, only plowed forward. Bad enough to love a man who didn’t love her. But it was exceptionally worse to love a man who actively disliked her. Ridiculously, she wished she could write to her Christopher about the stranger she had just met. He was so contemptuous, she would write. He dismissed me as someone who didn’t deserve a modicum of respect. Clearly he thinks I’m wild and more than a little mad. And the worst part is that he’s probably right. It crossed her mind that this was why she preferred the company of animals to people. Animals weren’t deceitful. They didn’t give one conflicting impressions of who they were. And one was never tempted to hope that an animal might change its nature.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
I was just beginning to wonder how long I would have to wait when finally a guard sauntered up and said, “Galloway, get your stuff, get your bed.” I ran to my cell to get my stuff and I grabbed the toothpaste. The toothpaste was in this clear tube and was clear like hair gel. It had a muted, watered-down mint flavor. Everything you got in jail was made specifically to be as safe as can be. One of the guys told me, “Don’t ever take anything from being locked up. It’s bad luck.” But I told myself, You ain’t coming back. You ain’t getting locked up again, so you’re taking a souvenir. I grabbed that little clear tube and I put it in my pocket and walked out of my cell. As I came out, all of the guys from my cellblock were lined up to say goodbye. The guard had this look on his face like, “What is going on?” I walked down the line shaking each man’s hands. They all told me they were glad they had met me. They told me that I made an impact on them. One guy said, “You came in here and you’ve been to war and back, you’re missing two limbs, but you still had a smile on your face the whole time. You’ve gone through so much and you are able to keep smiling. That motivates me.” I was really touched. I kept going down the line, shaking hands and saying my farewells, and finally I got to Michael Bolton. He said, “Hey, man, I’ve asked people this before and they never follow through with it but I believe you will. Could you print out some TV guides? Because you know we just tell them the number. We don’t know what’s on at what time, what station.” I said, “Yeah, man, I’ll do that.” And I looked around to the other guys and asked, “Does anybody want any crossword puzzles or anything like that?” They all said that would be awesome. “All right, Michael, I’ve got your address so I’m gonna send it to you. And listen, man, I’m gonna give you my email address. When you get out shoot me an email. I want to stay in touch and see how things are going.” I turned to the guard who was still baffled by what was happening and said, “I’m ready.” He rolled his eyes and opened the door. We walked out and they handed me my clothes. I pulled off the orange jumpsuit and tossed it. I changed back into my clothes. I signed everything I had to sign, got some paperwork to take with me, and walked out a free man again. Well, my epic freedom moment was short-lived, because I realized my cell phone was dead. I walked down the road to a gas station and asked if I could use the phone. I called Tracy and told her where I was and asked her to pick me up. When Tracy arrived I hopped in the car and the very first thing I said to her was “I gotta get home. I have to print out some TV guides and I need to write a letter to some of the guys in there.” She started laughing and when she could compose herself enough to talk said, “My sisters and I all said we guarantee Noah is going to come out of jail with new friends. He’s going to be friends with everybody.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
I stood on a rise, overlooking the plague valley. Matthew was beside me. The last thing I remembered was crawling into my sleeping bag after the whiskey had hit me like a two-by-four to the face. Now my friend was here with me. “I’ve missed you. Are you feeling better?” How much was this vision taking out of him? “Better.” He didn’t appear as pale. He wore a heavy coat, open over a space camp T-shirt. “I’m so relieved to hear that, sweetheart. Why would you bring us here?” “Power is your burden.” I surveyed all the bodies. “I felt the weight of it when I killed these people.” “Obstacles multiply.” “Which ones?” A breeze soughed over the valley. “Bagmen, slavers, militia, or cannibals?” He held up the fingers of one hand. “There are now five. The miners watch us. Plotting.” “But miners are the same as cannibals, right?” He shuffled his boots with irritation. “Miners, Empress.” “Okay, okay.” I rubbed his arm. “Are you and Finn being safe?” His brows drew together as he gazed out. “Smite and fall, mad and struck.” I looked with him, like we were viewing a sunset, a beautiful vista. Not plague and death. “You’ve told me those words before.” “So much for you to learn, Empress. Beware the inactivated card.” One Arcana’s powers lay dormant—until he or she killed another player. “Who is it?” “Don’t ask, if you ever want to know.” Naturally, I started to ask, but he cut me off. “Do you believe I see far?” He peered down at me. “Do you believe I see an unbroken line that stretches on through eternity? Centuries ago, I told an Empress that a future incarnation of hers would live in a world of ash where nothing grew. She never believed me.” I could imagine Phyta or the May Queen surveying verdant fields and crops, doubting the Fool. “Now I tell you that dark days are ahead. Will you believe me?” “I will. I do. Please tell me what will happen. How dark?” “Darkest. Power is your burden; knowing is mine.” His expression turned pleading, his soft brown eyes imploring. “Never hate me.” I raised my hands, cradling his face. “Even when I was so mad at you, I never hated you.” “Remember. Matthew knows best.” He sounded like his mom—when she’d tried to drown him: Mother knows best, son. I dropped my hands. “It scares me when you say that.” “Do you know what you really want? I see it. I feel it. Think, Empress. See far.” I was trying! “Help me, then. I’m ready. Help me see far!” “All is not as it seems. What would you sacrifice? What would you endure?” “To end the game?” His voice grew thick as he said, “Things will happen beyond your wildest imaginings.” “Good things?” His eyes watered. “Good, bad, good, bad, good, good, bad, bad, good-bye. You are my friend.
Kresley Cole
We lost track of her after that. A cousin said she went to California with a friend. Somebody told us she was right under our noses in Lumberton. I don't know for sure. I do know that she thinks of us. Though I doubt she could afford to spend every single day doing it. No matter what, you have to figure out how to live in the day you have, not the ones you can't get back. Soon, I may look her up, just to let her know things turned out. That she doesn't have to feel bad about anything. That life runs in different speeds depending on the situation and some times and days and moments get away from you before you really know what's what. I'd tell her that I wouldn't mind being her friend. Family ought to be able to be friends, I'd say, hoping I sounded wise and centered, like a woman with her head on straight. I wouldn't talk about missing her or sad old times, or the hours we spent explaining her to ourselves and especially not the quiet nights in the dark trying the best we know how to remember anything she ever did or said that made us laugh.
Stephanie Powell Watts (We Are Taking Only What We Need)
She had met women of this cast of mind before—the clingers, fragile and utterly ruthless, who wore down friend after friend with their emotional demands, always ill and exhausted and badly treated, but still retaining enough energy to scream reproaches at the retreating friend as she fled, guilt-stricken, down the hall. And the next week to replace that friend—always female—with another. Phryne recognized Mrs Andrews as an emotional trap, and had no choice but to throw herself in.
Kerry Greenwood (Cocaine Blues (Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries #1))
You know what, Jiyoung? Let me tell you something I’ve known for a while that you haven’t noticed: he likes you.” Jiyoung was so aghast that she stopped crying. “He hates me,” she said. “I thought you said you’ve seen how he’s been treating me.” “Boys are like that,” the teacher laughed. “They’re meaner to girls they like. I’ll give him a talking-to. Why don’t you take this incident as an opportunity to become friends instead of changing desk-mates on unfriendly terms?” He likes me? He picks on me because he likes me? Jiyoung was confused. She went over the series of incidents that she had suffered because of him, and still couldn’t make sense of what the teacher was saying. If you like someone, you’re friendlier and nicer to them. To friends, to family, to your pet dogs and cats. Even at the age of eight, this was common sense to Jiyoung. The desk-mate’s pranks made school life so difficult for her. What he’d put her through was awful enough, and now the teacher was making her out to be a bad child who misunderstood her friend. Jiyoung shook her head. “No, miss. I really, really don’t want to.” The next day at school, the class was assigned new desk-mates. Jiyoung’s new desk-mate was a boy who always sat at the back by himself because he was the tallest, and they did not argue once.
Cho Nam-Joo (82년생 김지영)
In Vietnam, lying became so much part of the system that sometimes not lying seemed immoral...The teenage adrenaline-drained patrol leader has to call in the score so analysts, newspaper reporters, and politicians back in Washington have something to do. Never mind that Smithers and his squad may have stopped a developing attack planned to hit the company that night, saving scores of lives and maintaining control over a piece of ground. All they'll be judged on, and all their superiors have to be judged on, is the kill ratio. Smithers's best friend has just been killed. Two other friends are missing pieces of their bodies and are going into shock. No one in the squad knows if the enemy is 15 meters away waiting to open up again or running. Smithers is tired and has a lot of other things on his mind. With scorekeepers often 25 kilometers away, no one is going to check on the score. In short, Smithers has a great incentive to lie. He also has a great need to lie. His best friend is dead. "Why?" he asks himself. This is where the lying in Vietnam all began. It had to fill the long silence following Smithers's anguished "Why?" So it starts. "Nelson, how many did you get?" Smithers asks. PFC Nelson looks up from crying over the body of his friend Katz and says, "How the fuck do I know?" His friend Smithers says, "Well, did you get that bastard that came around the dogleg after Katz threw the Mike-26?" Nelson looks down at Katz's face, hardening and turning yellow like tallow. "You're goddamn right I got him," he almost whispers. It's all he can offer his dead friend. "There's no body." "They drug the fucker away. I tell you I got him!" Nelson is no longer whispering. … The patrol leader doesn't have a body, but what are the odds that he's going to call his friend a liar or, even more difficult, make Katz's death meaningless, given that the only meaning now lies in this one statistic? No one is congratulating him for exposing the enemy, keeping them screened from the main body, which is the purpose of security patrols. He calls in one confirmed kill. ... Just then PFC Schroeder comes crawling over with Kool-Aid stains all around his mouth and says, "I think I got one, right by the dogleg of the trail after Katz threw the grenade." "Yeah, we called that one in." "No, it ain't the one Nelson got. I tell you I got another one." Smithers thinks it was the same one but he's not about to have PFC Schroeder feeling bad, particularly after they've all seen their squad mate die. … the last thing on Smithers's mind is the integrity of meaningless numbers. The message gets relayed to the battalion commander. He's just taken two wounded and one dead. All he has to report is one confirmed, one probable. This won't look good. Bad ratio. He knows all sorts of bullets were flying all over the place. It was a point-to-point contact, so no ambush, so the stinkin' thinking' goes round and round, so the probable had to be a kill. But really if we got two confirmed kills, there was probably a probable. I mean, what's the definition of probable if it isn't probable to get one? What the hell, two kills, two probables. Our side is now ahead. Victory is just around the corner. … [then the artillery has to claim their own additional kills…] By the time all this shit piles up at the briefing in Saigon, we've won the war.
Karl Marlantes (What It is Like to Go to War)
She curls tightly to me kissing me on the lips and cheeks, her body skin to skin to mine, she’s kind of- like- a hyper puppy… you know- wet nose, big sad eyes, giving you lots of unwanted wet kisses, and can’t sit in one place for too long. Now she is pulling on my necklace, the one I am always wearing has my dad’s wedding ring hanging from it-a thin silver chain and the gold band hanging from it, a gift dad gives me- saying- ‘He loves me more than mom, that I am the love of his life.’ Yet sis tugs gently to get my full attention. I ask here- ‘Why are you not wearing your undies?’ And she baby- talks without missing a beat- ‘Be- because you don’t at night so-o why should I’s.’ I knew not too long from now she would be running around the house stark-naked like always, saying it’s because I sleep this way. I am sure mom will say I am a bad role model, but yet there are far worse things she has done, things that mom and dad never need to know about, things that I can even remember right now. If she wants to be in my bad nude, will- I guess that’s okay…? She is just trying to be like me, and that’s sweet. I have saved her butt many times when she has done bad things. I have been like a mom to her, ever since she was born if I wanted to be or not. And she has been there for me when I was a nobody. Yeah, she’s the best pain in the butt a girl can have. ‘Mommy says you have to get up soon, her hand covering her eyes as she walks my room and sees both of us.’ Her breath smells like toothpaste, as she kisses us good morning, and she stumbles over all the stuff lying on the floor and it’s not until I push sis off me that I realize how badly I’m shaking. Mom, she has one of those green face masks sped up, which is some scary-looking crap, pulls she has curlers in her hair. Yet that’s not what’s got me traumatized. ‘It’s Friday,’ I say confused. I thought we were going to the rusty anchor today? Mom said- ‘I thought you didn’t like doing that Karly that you’re too grown up to be with your mommy and Daddy and sissy… always- yes we are all going this upcoming weekend, glad to see you want to go.’ I said- ‘Oh- okay?’ Mom- ‘Karly are you feeling, okay? Are you not your usual descent and moody self? Me- ‘Yah I am a fine mom.’ I have no idea how I got home last night, or what I did or didn’t do. It’s like it never happened, yet I think it did… didn’t it? Maybe I drink too much? Mom said- ‘Um-hum- come on you two bare cuddle bugs it’s getting late.’ Then- I remember getting in the car, with the girls and the fighting it was all coming back to me, as I see my sis run into her room, leaving her nighty behind on my bed. I knew that something looked different about her when I looked her over, I am starting to remember what Ray did to her last night. Yet she seems to be taking it so well- so strange. I have no idea what happened to Jenny or Maddie or Liv, and just thinking about it makes me awful sick, pissed, and yet so worried. I put my feet on the ground, first on my fuzzy shaggy throw rug, and then I step forward feeling the hard would under my feet. The cold wood reminds me. When I was younger, I would lie on the floor all summer wishing I have some friends to spend my time with. Back then my only friend was my sis and my horse, I’m curious to do the same thing now, and reflect a bit on what the heck is going on- and also on how things have changed, I know my sis will be another half hour getting ready. And with me, all I have to do is jump in my outfit laying there on the floor. My skin feels so cold yet, yet on the inside, I feel scorching. Like- photos on Instagram, all these snapshots start scrolling, row after row in my mind. Seeing bits and pieces of what went down last night. My, I- phone starts vibrating on top of my bed until it falls off the edge hitting me square in the face making me jump two feet in the air. I reach for it and slide my finger over the cracked screen.
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh Dreaming of you Play with Me)
Here are some signs of bad investors: ● Large ego ● Treating you with anything other than the utmost respect ●   Unsophisticated questions (they really just aren’t getting it, or perhaps they’re even excited but for the wrong reasons) ●    Extra investment steps (for example, holding you up by saying, “I want you to meet with my friend who knows about this”) ● Missed deadlines (or general slowness) ● Unclear investment criteria ● Bad energy (judging investors based off your energetic connection with them is incredibly important) Disregard the investor’s brand and prioritize your assessment of them as an individual. In fact, bringing on an investor with a strong brand has real downsides. You’ll run the risk that they have outsized influence over your board, your other investors, and your organization. It’s hard to butt heads with someone who everyone is afraid to disagree with. You’ll end up spending most of your time managing your relationship with this person rather than managing your business.
Ryan Breslow (Fundraising)
Science is not only laboratory experimentation, spiritualism, society, field work, politics, arts, history, engineering and management, medicine everything is science. Star gazing is a science, sun gazing is a science, understanding animals and insects is science, understanding static and dynamic mechanisms of humans, living and non living things on universe and beyond is science. Understanding a women is science, understanding a men is science. Everything under umbrella of universal science. Who said christianity or islam is not related India and who said Vedas were written only by hindus? Who said himalayan monks are Indians? See Understanding myself is very simple if you are good I will be good, if you are bad I will be bad, If you play I will also play but personally I will not accept because you have so good, bad plays so I can not trust on you. And without trust I may consider you as a human being, if little care is there then friend or sister or brother not close friend or love because you already lost the trust when I gave a chance. I give chances to find purity and loyalty and I will not care afterwards and you will get hurt after sometime and you will miss after sometime, but I will not be there
Ganapathy K