Close Enough Quotes

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Dreams are always crushing when they don't come true. But it's the simple dreams that are often the most painful because they seem so personal, so reasonable, so attainable. You're always close enough to touch, but never quite close enough to hold and it's enough to break your heart.
Nicholas Sparks (Three Weeks With My Brother)
We always see our worst selves. Our most vulnerable selves. We need someone else to get close enough to tell us we’re wrong. Someone we trust.
David Levithan (Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List)
The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.
David Foster Wallace
I like to see people reunited, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can't tell fast enough, the ears that aren't big enough, the eyes that can't take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.
George Carlin
He stared at her, knowing with certainty that he was falling in love. He pulled her close and kissed her beneath a blanket of stars, wondering how on earth he'd been lucky enough to find her.
Nicholas Sparks (The Last Song)
You’ll get over it…” It’s the clichés that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life for ever. You don’t get over it because ‘it” is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to?
Jeanette Winterson (Written on the Body)
I don't love you anymore", she whispered. "I don't love you at all." His throat closed. "It's all right, sweetheart. I love you enough for both of us.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Kiss an Angel)
What did it feel like, I wondered, to love someone that much? So much that you couldn't even control yourself when they came close, as if you might just break free of whatever was holding you and throw yourself at them with enough force to easily overwhelm you both.
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
All you could do was take on as much weight as you can bear. And if you're lucky, there's someone close enough by to shoulder the rest.
Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)
I've spent most of my life and most of my friendships holding my breath and hoping that when people get close enough they won't leave, and fearing that it's a matter of time before they figure me out and go.
Shauna Niequist (Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way)
We're in this together, right?" he whispers. "You and me? You want to be here, yeah?" There's guilt in his questions. "Yes," I reply. "I chose this." Day pulls me close enough for our noses to touch. "I love you.
Marie Lu (Prodigy (Legend, #2))
...Bringing the very heavens close enough to touch. It was Zsadist. His eyes closed, his head back, his mouth wide open, he sang. The scarred one, the souless one, had the voice of an angel.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.
John C. Maxwell
I didn't have much to say to anybody but kept to myself and my books. With my eyes closed, I would touch a familiar book and draw it's fragrance deep inside me. This was enough to make me happy.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
We need enormous pockets, pockets big enough for our families and our friends, and even the people who aren't on our lists, people we've never met but still want to protect. We need pockets for boroughs and for cities, a pocket that could hold the universe.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
You really do want me,' I say, close enough to feel the warmth of his breath as it hitches. 'And you hate it.
Holly Black (The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1))
Do you remember,” he said, “when we first met and I told you I was ninety percent sure putting a rune on you wouldn’t kill you—and you slapped me in the face and told me it was for the other ten percent?” Clary nodded. “I always figured a demon would kill me,” he said. “A rogue Downworlder. A battle. But I realized then that I just might die if I didn’t get to kiss you, and soon.” Clary licked her dry lips. “Well, you did,” she said. “Kiss me, I mean.” He reached up and took a curl of her hair between his fingers. He was close enough that she could feel the warmth of his body, smell his soap and skin and hair. “Not enough,” he said, letting her hair slip through his fingers. “If I kiss you all day every day for the rest of my life, it won’t be enough.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
I half closed my eyes and imagined this was the spot where everything I'd ever lost since my childhood had washed up, and I was now standing here in front of it, and if I waited long enough, a tiny figure would appear on the horizon across the field and gradually get larger until I'd see it was Tommy, and he'd wave, and maybe even call.
Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
Yeah, well," I say, "I left Abnegation because I wasn't selfless enough, no matter how hard I tried to be." "That's not entirely true." He smiles at me. "That girl who let someone throw knives at her to spare a friend, who hit my dad with a belt to protect me-that selfless girl, that's not you?"... "You've been paying close attention, haven't you?" "I like to observe people/" "Maybe you were cut out for Candor, Four, because you're a terrible liar.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
She realised that you could be as honest as possible in life, but people only see the truth if it is close enough to their reality.
Matt Haig (The Midnight Library)
She had this dark cancer water dripping out of her chest. Eyes closed. Intubated. But her hand was still her hand, still warm and the nails painted this almost black dark blue and I just held her hand and tried to imagine the world without us and for about one second I was a good enough person to hope she died so she would never know that I was going, too. But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love. I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
By the time I’ve finished with you, you won’t know whether you’ve been kissed or cut, whether you were loved or butchered. and either way you probably won’t care, just grateful you came close enough to touch.
Warsan Shire
There are two kinds of love...in the safe kind you look for someone who's exactly like you. It's what most folks settle for. But then there's the other kind of love. Everyone's born with a ragged edge, and some folks crave that piece that's a perfect fit. You'll search for it forever, if you have to. And if you're lucky enough to find it, it looks so right, you start to tear at your own seams, thinking, maybe I could look just as perfect. But then, of course, when you try to get close to their other half, you don't fit anymore. That kind of love...you come out of it a different person than you were when you started.
Jodi Picoult
Wasn't he the one who sliced off his ear and mailed it to his girlfriend?" "Van Gogh," said Varen, in a monotone that suggested he might be in pain. "Van Gogh," Gwen said, leaning away, waving the apple. "Edgar Allan Poe. Close enough!
Kelly Creagh (Nevermore (Nevermore, #1))
He was quiet for a few seconds, and Sophie thought he was going to ignore her. But then he leaned closer-close enough that she could feel his breath on her cheek. " I crack a lot of jokes ,Sophie , but ....that's just because it's easier, you know? It's how I deal. But that doesn't mean I don't care. I do, a lot.
Shannon Messenger (Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #2))
Jack: "..You were the on­ly one I saw when I closed my eyes" Lexi: "Then why wasn't I enough when they were open?
K.A. Linde (Avoiding Commitment (Avoiding, #1))
With my eyes closed, I would touch a familiar book and draw its fragrance deep inside me. This was enough to make me happy.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
I’ve been rereading your story. I think it’s about me in a way that might not be flattering, but that’s okay. We dream and dream of being seen as we really are and then finally someone looks at us and sees us truly and we fail to measure up. Anyway: story received, story included. You looked at me long enough to see something mysterioso under all the gruff and bluster. Thanks. Sometimes you get so close to someone you end up on the other side of them.
Richard Siken
I know that unlike that night, tonight I won't kiss her. Or touch her. Or even see her up close. Tonight, I'll listen. And that'll be enough.
Gayle Forman (Where She Went (If I Stay, #2))
She laughed enough to migrate an entire flock of birds. That was how she said yes
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
Draco's like... snow," said Hermione quietly, her gaze absent and distracted. "It's cold and cruel to begin with, but it's somehow beautiful, and you miss it when it's not there. And if you hold it in your hands close enough and long enough, it changes. It melts.
Bex-chan (Isolation)
Being tired isn't the same as being rich, but most times it's close enough.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
Percy pulled Annabeth close and kissed her...long enough for it to get really awkward for Piper, though she said nothing. She thought about the old rule of Aphrodite's cabin: that to be recognized as a daughter of the love goddess, you had to break someone's heart. Piper had long ago decided to change that rule. Percy and Annabeth were a perfect example of why. You should have to make someone`s heart whole; that was a much better test.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
She reminded me of the sea; the way she came dancing towards you, wild and beautiful, and just when she was almost close enough to touch she'd rush away again.
Glenda Millard (A Small Free Kiss in the Dark)
What did you do?” I mumble. He is just a few feet away from me now, but not close enough to hear me. As he passes me he stretches out his hand. He wraps it around my palm and squeezes. Squeezes, then lets go. His eyes are bloodshot; he is pale. “What did you do?” This time the question tears from my throat like a growl. I throw myself toward him, struggling against Peter’s grip, though his hands chafe. “What did you do?” I scream. “You die, I die too” Tobias looks over his shoulder at me. “I asked you not to do this. You made your decision. These are the repercussions.
Veronica Roth
Schuyler pulled Oliver close and hugged him tightly. "Thank you," she whispered. Thank you for loving me enough to let me go.
Melissa de la Cruz (The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods, #4))
One week, one strong. One scared, one bold. I was beginning to understand though, that there were no such things as absolutes, not in life, or in people. Like Owen said, it was day by day, if not moment by moment. All you could do was take on as much weight as you can bear. And if you're lucky, there's someone close enough to shoulder the rest.
Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)
We always see the worst in our selves. Our most volnerable selves. We need someone to get close enough to tell us that we're wrong. Someone we trust.
Rachel Cohn (Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List)
Academia is to knowledge what prostitution is to love; close enough on the surface but, to the nonsucker, not exactly the same thing
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms)
Do not let anything that happens in life be important enough that you’re willing to close your heart over it.
Michael A. Singer (The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself)
When someone leaves you once, you expect it to happen again. Eventually you stop getting close enough to people to let them become important to you, because then you don't notice when they drop out of your world.
Jodi Picoult (Leaving Time)
One day you might beg me to kiss you.” He stepped close enough for me to stab him.
Kerri Maniscalco (Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked, #1))
I am too alone in the world, and yet not alone enough to make every moment holy. I am too tiny in this world, and not tiny enough just to lie before you like a thing, shrewd and secretive. I want my own will, and I want simply to be with my will, as it goes toward action; and in those quiet, sometimes hardly moving times, when something is coming near, I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone. I want to be a mirror for your whole body, and I never want to be blind, or to be too old to hold up your heavy and swaying picture. I want to unfold. I don’t want to stay folded anywhere, because where I am folded, there I am a lie. and I want my grasp of things to be true before you. I want to describe myself like a painting that I looked at closely for a long time, like a saying that I finally understood, like the pitcher I use every day, like the face of my mother, like a ship that carried me through the wildest storm of all.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God)
Some days I wake up and all I feel are the fractures in the flesh that covers the only me I've ever known. Some days, it's those exact fissures that let the light hiding inside me pour out and cover in gold everyone that found enough beauty in the cracks to stand close.
Tyler Knott Gregson
According to the conventions of the genre, Augustus Waters kept his sense of humor till the end, did not for a moment waiver in his courage, and his spirit soared like an indomitable eagle until the world itself could not contain his joyous soul. But this is the truth, a pitiful boy who desperately wanted not to be pitiful, screaming and crying, poisoned by an infected G-tube that kept him alive, but not alive enough. I wiped his chin and grabbed his face in my hands and knelt down close to him so that I could see his eyes, which still lived. 'I'm sorry. I wish it was like that movie, with the Persians and the Spartans.' 'Me too,' he said. 'But it isn't,' I said. 'I know,' he said. 'There are no bad guys.' 'Yeah.' 'Even cancer isn't a bad guy really: Cancer just wants to be alive.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
She puts her hands on either side of my face, and the room falls away. I have never gotten so lost in a kiss before. And then, the space between us explodes. My heart keeps missing beats and my hands cannot bring her close enough to me. I taste her and realize I have been starving. I have loved before, but it didn't feel like this. I have kissed before, but it didn't burn me alive. Maybe it lasts a minute, and maybe it's an hour. All I know is that kiss, and how soft her skin is when it brushes against mine, and that even if I did not know it until now, I have been waiting for this person forever.
Jodi Picoult
She is close enough to me that I can see her, because even now there is the outward sign of visible light, even at night in this parking lot on the outskirts of Algoe. After we kiss, our foreheads touch as we stare at each other. Yes, I can see her almost perfectly in this cracked darkness.
John Green (Paper Towns)
Last semester was intense,” I said to Dad. “Intense?” he echoed, picking up my file. “Let’s see. On your first day at Hecate, you were attacked by a werewolf. You insulted a teacher, which resulted in semester-long cellar duty with one Archer Cross. According to the notes, the two of you became ‘close.’ Apparently close enough for you to see the mark of L’Occhio di Dio on his chest. I flushed at that, and felt Mom’s arm tighten around me. Over the past six months, I’d filled her in on a lot of the story with Archer, but not all of it. Specifically, the whole me-making-out-in-the-cellar-with-a-murderous-warlock-working-with-the-Eye-part.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
The big difference between my mom and me-- besides the fact that she is dead normal and I'm a magic-handling freak-- is that she's the real thing. She may have a slight problem seeing other people's points of view, but she's honest about it. She's a brass-bound bitch because she believes she knows best. I'm a brass-bound bitch because I don't want anyone getting close enough to find out what a whiny little knot of naked nerve endings I really am.
Robin McKinley (Sunshine)
It’s like that pond I skated on when I was a kid—from a distance, the ice looked so shiny and smooth, until you got close enough to it, and suddenly all the uneven edges and crisscrossed skate marks became visible. That’s me, I guess. Covered with skate marks that nobody ever seems to notice.
Elle Kennedy (The Deal (Off-Campus, #1))
Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose... ...Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. - And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.
David W. Augsburger (Caring Enough to Hear and Be Heard)
Need some help?' he asked. 'Yes!' I yelled at him 'Help us!' 'What's the magic word?' 'Now!' 'Close enough.
Michelle Rowen (Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers, #1))
The audience keeps singing, keeps making my case, and I just keep strumming until I get close enough to see her eyes. And then I start singing the chorus. Right to her. And she smiles at me, and it’s like we’re the only two people out here, the only ones who know what’s happening. Which is that this song we’re all singing together is being rewritten. It’s no longer an angry plea shouted to the void. Right here, on this stage, in front of eighty thousand people, it’s becoming something else. This is our new vow.
Gayle Forman (Where She Went (If I Stay, #2))
Will!” He turned at the familiar voice and saw Tessa. There was a small path cut along the side of the hill, lined with unfamiliar white flowers, and she was walking up it, toward him. Her long brown hair blew in the wind — she had taken off her straw bonnet, and held it in one hand, waving it at him and smiling as if she were glad to see him. His own heart leaped up at the sight of her. “Tess,” he called. But she was still such a distance away — she seemed both very near and very far suddenly and at the same time. He could see every detail of her pretty, upturned face, but could not touch her, and so he stood, waiting and desiring, and his heart beat like the wings of seagulls in his chest. At last she was there, close enough that he could see where the grass and flowers bent beneath the tread of her shoes. He reached out for her —
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
I can tell you I love you as many times as you can stand to hear it, but all it does is remind us that love is not enough. Not even close.
Mark Andrus
There are still more days to travel in this life. And he knows that the man who makes the journey has been shaped by every day and every person along the way. Scars are just another kind of memory....Soon enough the days will close over their lives, the grass will grow over their graves, until their story is just an unvisited headstone.
M.L. Stedman (The Light Between Oceans)
I know how you guys feel about us. I'm not stupid, and believe me, I've tried to get you out of my head. But there isn't enough liquor or art or any other distraction in the world to do it. I had to stop going to Wolfe's because it was too hard being that close to you, even if it was all just pretend fighting. I couldn't stand the touching. It was agonizing because it meant something to me-and I knew it meant nothing to you. I kept telling myself to stay away altogether, and then I'd find excuses… like the car… anything to be around you again.
Richelle Mead (The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2))
When you walk a dog on a short leash, she's close enough to bite you.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
He walked close enough to hold hands and far enough away that words could never repair the damage we'd done to each other.
Elana Johnson (Possession (Possession, #1))
Derek's breath touched Sara's throat in unsteady urges. "Sometimes," he whispered, "I'm so close to you ... and I'm still not close enough. I want to share your breath ... every beat of your heart." He cradled her head in both his hands, his mouth hot on her neck. "Sometimes," he murmured, "I want to punish you a little." "Why?" "For making me want you until I ache with it. For the way I wake at night just to watch you sleeping." His face was intense and passionate above her, his green eyes sharp in their brightness. "I want you more each time I'm with you. It's a fever that never leaves me. I can't be alone without wondering where you are, when I can have you again." His lips possessed hers in a kiss that was both savage and tender, and she opened to him eagerly.
Lisa Kleypas (Dreaming of You (The Gamblers of Craven's, #2))
At what point does a fly give up trying to escape through a closed window–do its survival instincts keep it going until it is physicaly capable of no more,or does it eventualy learn after one crash too many that there is no way out? At what point do you decide that enough is enough?
Tabitha Suzuma (Forbidden)
Mattia thought that he and Alice were like that, twin primes, alone and lost, close but not close enough to really touch each other.
Paolo Giordano (The Solitude of Prime Numbers)
Chronicler shook his head and Bast gave a frustrated sigh. "How about plays? Have you seen The Ghost and the Goosegirl or The Ha'penny King?" Chronicler frowned. "Is that the one where the king sells his crown to an orphan boy?" Bast nodded. "And the boy becomes a better king than the original. The goosegirl dresses like a countess and everyone is stunned by her grace and charm." He hesitated, struggling to find the words he wanted. "You see, there's a fundamental connection between seeming and being. Every Fae child knows this, but you mortals never seem to see. We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be." Chronicler relaxed a bit, sensing familiar ground. "That's basic psychology. You dress a beggar in fine clothes, people treat him like a noble, and he lives up to their expectations." "That's only the smallest piece of it," Bast said. "The truth is deeper than that. It's..." Bast floundered for a moment. "It's like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story." Frowning, Chronicler opened his mouth, but Bast held up a hand to stop him. "No, listen. I've got it now. You meet a girl: shy, unassuming. If you tell her she's beautiful, she'll think you're sweet, but she won't believe you. She knows that beauty lies in your beholding." Bast gave a grudging shrug. "And sometimes that's enough." His eyes brightened. "But there's a better way. You show her she is beautiful. You make mirrors of your eyes, prayers of your hands against her body. It is hard, very hard, but when she truly believes you..." Bast gestured excitedly. "Suddenly the story she tells herself in her own head changes. She transforms. She isn't seen as beautiful. She is beautiful, seen." "What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Chronicler snapped. "You're just spouting nonsense now." "I'm spouting too much sense for you to understand," Bast said testily. "But you're close enough to see my point.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
I received the fundamentals of my education in school, but that was not enough. My real education, the superstructure, the details, the true architecture, I got out of the public library. For an impoverished child whose family could not afford to buy books, the library was the open door to wonder and achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful that I had the wit to charge through that door and make the most of it. Now, when I read constantly about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that the door is closing and that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.
Isaac Asimov (I. Asimov: A Memoir)
Like other ghosts, she whispers; not for me to join her, but so that, when I'm close enough, she can push me back into the world.
Anne Michaels (Fugitive Pieces)
When you're pregnant, you can think of nothing but having your own body to yourself again, yet after having given birth you realize that the biggest part of you is now somehow external, subject to all sorts of dangers and disappearance, so you spend the rest of your life trying to figure out how to keep it close enough for comfort. That's the strange thing about being a mother: until you have a baby, you don't even realize how much you were missing one.
Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Acts)
The sex is just sex. I can't get close enough to you. The control is because I'm frightened to death that something will happen to you...that you'll be taken away from me. I've waited too long for you, Ava. I'll do anything to keep you safe. I've lived a life with little control or care. Believe me, I need you..please...please don't leave me.
Jodi Ellen Malpas (This Man (This Man, #1))
It was all unknown to me then, as I sat on that white bench on the day I finished my hike. Everything except the fact that I didn't have to know. That is was enough to trust that what I'd done was true. To understand its meaning without yet being able to say precisely what it was, like all those lines from The Dream of a Common Language that had run through my nights and days. To believe that I didn't need to reach with my bare hands anymore. To know that seeing the fish beneath the surface of the water was enough. That it was everything. It was my life - like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me. How wild it was, to let it be.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
So your perfect proposal, what would it be?" Ben asks. "Seriously?"... "I don't know. It would just be the two of us, and I guess I'd want him to say something honest, not overly romantic, not something that would make a great story to tell his friends. I'd just want him to lean over..." As I say it, I lean slightly toward Ben, close enough that I can feel the warmth of his body radiating into the empty space between us, and drop the volume of my voice. "... and say 'Janelle Tenner, fucking marry me.
Elizabeth Norris (Unraveling (Unraveling, #1))
I take a drink of my coffee and close my eyes and cry because life can be so fucking cruel and hard, and I’ve wanted to quit living it so many times, but then moments like these remind me that happiness isn’t some permanent thing we’re all trying to achieve in life, it’s merely a thing that shows up every now and then, sometimes in tiny doses that are just substantial enough to keep us going.
Colleen Hoover (Reminders of Him)
It’s a profoundly strange feeling, to stumble across someone whose desires are shaped so closely to your own, like reaching toward your reflection in a mirror and finding warm flesh under your fingertips. If you should ever be lucky enough to find that magical, fearful symmetry, I hope you’re brave enough to grab it with both hands and not let go.
Alix E. Harrow (The Ten Thousand Doors of January)
He touched my cheek softly, his eyes intense as they gazed into mine."You might have to teach me a little about the human world, but I'm willing to learn if it means being close to you." He smiled again, a wry quirk of his lips. "I'm sure I can adapt to 'being human' if I must. If you want me to attend classes as a student, I can do that. If you want to move to a large city to pursue your dreams, I will follow. And if, someday, you wish to be married in a white gown and make this official in human eyes I'm willing to do that, too." He leaned in, close enough for me to see my reflection in his silver gaze." For better or worse, I'm afraid you're stuck with me now.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
I hold the bottle out into the rain and watch as the steady flow slowly fills it. When there is enough, enough that Beth can clearly see, I close the bottle and hand it to her. She raises a skeptical eyebrow, but accepts the bottle. "It's our rain Beth." Her head barely shakes to show her confusion while I rub the back of my neck and search for my courage. "I told you I loved you in this rain and when you doubt my words, I want you to look at this bottle.
Katie McGarry (Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2))
If she had learned anything in the past weeks it was that there was enough to be ashamed of in the course of a messy human life without being ashamed of loving someone.
Shannon McKenna (Behind Closed Doors (McClouds & Friends #1))
It was the wife, John thought. And she was giving this tough guy a tongue-lashing. And the man was taking it. "Okay. I love you. Bye." Tohrment flipped the phone closed and put it in his pocket. When he focused on John again, he clearly respected his wife enough not to roll his eyes and make some macho, shithead comment about pesky women.
J.R. Ward (Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #2))
That was the only time, as I stood there, looking at that strange rubbish, feeling the wind coming across those empty fields, that I started to imagine just a little fantasy thing, because this was Norfolk after all, and it was only a couple of weeks since I’d lost him. I was thinking about the rubbish, the flapping plastic in the branches, the shore-line of odd stuff caught along the fencing, and I half-closed my eyes and imagined this was the spot where everything I'd ever lost since my childhood had washed up, and I was now standing here in front of it, and if I waited long enough, a tiny figure would appear on the horizon across the field, and gradually get larger until I'd see it was Tommy, and he'd wave, maybe even call. The fantasy never got beyond that --I didn't let it-- and though the tears rolled down my face, I wasn't sobbing or out of control. I just waited a bit, then turned back to the car, to drive off to wherever it was I was supposed to be.
Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
He was quiet for a few seconds, and Sophie thought he was going to ignore her. But then he leaned closer-close enough that she could feel his breath on her cheek. " I crack a lot of jokes, Sophie, but ....that's just because it's easier, you know? It's how I deal. But that doesn't mean I don't care. I do, a lot.
Shannon Messenger (Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #2))
You don't give warnings. If someone's close enough that you can't run, and they won't let you get away, you're done. Kick, swing, whatever you have to do." "It sounds mean." "Ugh," Nathan groaned behind us. (...) "Peanut, will you just listen? If someone isn't letting you run away, he's not a nice person. Beat the shit out of him.
C.L. Stone (Forgiveness and Permission (The Ghost Bird, #4))
His door is closed behind me. It's staying closed. He's letting me go. I think I've made myself very clear, but no ones stepping forward to stop me. A lot of you cared, just not enough. And that...that is what i needed to find out. And I did find out. And I'm sorry.
Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)
No spinning," I said. I wasn't sure my head or heart could take it. Up close, he was so warm, and so beautiful. I was already dizzy enough.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire's flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It's not desiring the fall; it's terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling 'Don't!' and 'Hang on!', can understand the jump. Not really.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
We’re so self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. I’m tired of this shit. I’m tired of f-ing Earth Day. I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me. The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles … hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages … And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE are! We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam … The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed. And if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice toward plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, “Why are we here?” Plastic… asshole.
George Carlin
Even if you think you're doing well and have it all figured out, there is a voice you will always inevitably hear at some point which nags at you and says "but wait..." Don't ever dismiss it, listen to what it has to say. Life will never be close enough to perfect, and listening to that voice means stepping outside of yourself and considering your own wrongdoings and flaws.
Ashly Lorenzana
Don’t mind us,” Mack called. “They probably don’t get a lot of foreplay in hospital waiting rooms. You’re breakin’ the monotony of tears and tantrums. “Mack!” Carrie hissed. “Tate just kissed her, that’s hardly foreplay.” “You weren’t watchin’ close enough, honey. That was definitely foreplay.
Kristen Ashley (Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2))
Patience and boredom are closely related. Boredom, a certain kind of boredom, is really impatience. You don't like the way things are, they aren't interesting enough for you, so you deccide- and boredom is a decision-that you are bored.
Bertrand Russell
Cathy's lies were never innocent. Their purpose was to escape punishment, or work, or responsibility, and they were used for profit. Most liars are tripped up either because they forget what they have told or because the lie is suddenly faced with an incontrovertible truth. But Cathy did not forget her lies, and she developed the most effective method of lying. She stayed close enough to the truth so that one could never be sure. She knew two other methods also -- either to interlard her lies with truth or to tell a truth as though it were a lie. If one is accused of a lie and it turns out to be the truth, there is a backlog that will last a long time and protect a number of untruths.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
Has anyone provided proof of God’s inexistence? Not even close. Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here? Not even close. Have our sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life? Not even close. Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought? Close enough. Has rationalism and moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral? Not close enough. Has secularism in the terrible 20th century been a force for good? Not even close, to being close. Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy in the sciences? Close enough. Does anything in the sciences or their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational? Not even in the ball park. Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt? Dead on.
David Berlinski (The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions)
While wandering a deserted beach at dawn, stagnant in my work, I saw a man in the distance bending and throwing as he walked the endless stretch toward me. As he came near, I could see that he was throwing starfish, abandoned on the sand by the tide, back into the sea. When he was close enough I asked him why he was working so hard at this strange task. He said that the sun would dry the starfish and they would die. I said to him that I thought he was foolish. There were thousands of starfish on miles and miles of beach. One man alone could never make a difference. He smiled as he picked up the next starfish. Hurling it far into the sea he said, "It makes a difference for this one." I abandoned my writing and spent the morning throwing starfish.
Loren Eiseley
Somebody at one of these places asked me: "What do you do? How do you write, create?" You don't, I told them. You "don't try". That's very important: not to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. It's like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or if you like it's looks, you make a pet out of it.
Charles Bukowski
I close my eyes, and this image floats beside me. A sweaty toothed mad man with a stare that pounds my brain. His hands reach out and choke me, and all the time he's mumbling. “Truth, truth.” Like a blanket that always leaves your feet cold. You push it, stretch it, but it'll never be enough. You kick at it, beat it, it'll never cover any of us. From the moment we enter crying, to the moment we leave dying, it'll just cover your face, as you wail and cry and scream.
Tom Schulman (Dead Poets Society)
She loved the feeling of doing something bold enough to make her future hold its breath while she closed her eyes and reveled in the sensation that she’d made a choice with the power to alter the course of her life.
Stephanie Garber (Legendary (Caraval #2))
You're crying?" he said. "No, I- " I tore my gaze away. "Just dust. From the path. Simon's that way." I tried to pass him, but he stooped, trying to get a loom of my face. When I wouldn't let him, he caught my chin. I jerked back, flinching at his touch, heart thudding at it, too. I told myself Simon was wrong. I'd never be dumb enough to fall for Derek. But I had. With him so close, my stomach kept doing weird flips. It wasn't fear. It hadn't been fear for awhile. "You have been crying," he said, voice softer.
Kelley Armstrong (The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3))
Because I want every breath you take to be empty unless you're close enough to smell me. Every word you speak to be unimportant unless it's to me. Every sound you hear empty unless it's my voice. I want you to remember that whatever pleasure you have from now on, you'll have it from me. ~Rurik Wilder~
Christina Dodd (Touch of Darkness (Darkness Chosen #2))
You don't actually do a project; you can only do action steps related to it. When enough of the right action steps have been taken, some situation will have been created that matches your initial picture of the outcome closely enough that you can call it "done.
David Allen (Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity)
For war there is always enough. It's peace that's expensive.
Joseph Heller (Closing Time (Catch-22, #2))
Pounce had it easier than any of us. No one noticed a black cat in the street. He stopped here and there to sniff aught of interest. Wherever our Rat stopped, Pounce was there, close enough to see up the Rat's nose. I was so proud. Now there was a proper god, making himself useful! Since my thought might be deemed blasphemy, I said silent prayers to the Goddess and to Mithros. I begged forgiveness and asked them not to misunderstand. Since I wasn't blasted where I stood, I guess they forgave me, or they hadn't heard my blasphemy.
Tamora Pierce (Terrier (Beka Cooper, #1))
A poet once said, 'The whole universe is in a glass of wine.' We will probably never know in what sense he meant it, for poets do not write to be understood. But it is true that if we look at a glass of wine closely enough we see the entire universe. There are the things of physics: the twisting liquid which evaporates depending on the wind and weather, the reflection in the glass; and our imagination adds atoms. The glass is a distillation of the earth's rocks, and in its composition we see the secrets of the universe's age, and the evolution of stars. What strange array of chemicals are in the wine? How did they come to be? There are the ferments, the enzymes, the substrates, and the products. There in wine is found the great generalization; all life is fermentation. Nobody can discover the chemistry of wine without discovering, as did Louis Pasteur, the cause of much disease. How vivid is the claret, pressing its existence into the consciousness that watches it! If our small minds, for some convenience, divide this glass of wine, this universe, into parts -- physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology, and so on -- remember that nature does not know it! So let us put it all back together, not forgetting ultimately what it is for. Let it give us one more final pleasure; drink it and forget it all!
Richard P. Feynman
If you want to know what's in motherhood for you, as a woman, then - in truth - it's nothing you couldn't get from, say, reading the 100 greatest books in human history; learning a foreign language well enough to argue in it; climbing hills; loving recklessly; sitting quietly, alone, in the dawn; drinking whisky with revolutionaries; learning to do close-hand magic; swimming in a river in winter; growing foxgloves, peas and roses; calling your mum; singing while you walk; being polite; and always, always helping strangers. No one has ever claimed for a moment that childless men have missed out on a vital aspect of their existence, and were the poorer, and crippled by it.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
The sun sliced through the windshield, sealing me in light. I closed my eyes and felt the warmth on my eyelids. Sunlight traveled a long distance to reach this planet; an infinitesimal portion of that sunlight was enough to warm my eyelids. I was moved. That something as insignificant as an eyelid had its place in the workings on the universe, that the cosmic order did not overlook this momentary fact.
Haruki Murakami
They were close enough that he could feel the hurried beat of her heart. He could feel Charlotte's indecision in every word she didn't say and every move she didn't make. She was tense with uncertainty, quivering with irresolution. She might not be leaning into him, but she wasn't pulling away, either.
Lauren Willig (The Temptation of the Night Jasmine (Pink Carnation, #5))
Anything that grows closely enough to what it loves will eventually share the same roots. We can talk about loss, we can treat it and give it time, but biology still forces us to live according to certain rules: plants that are split down the middle don't heal, they die.
Fredrik Backman (Beartown (Beartown, #1))
While the idea of taking you right now, against the wall, is enough to make me lose control, I want you to know that I’m serious. You’re not a hook up. You’re not a friend with benefits. You’re more than that to me.” I closed my eyes, breathing heavily. “Well, that was…really sort of perfect.” “I’m really sort of perfect … Everyone else knows that. You’re just a little slow on the uptake.
J. Lynn (Wait for You (Wait for You, #1))
As if my finger, / tracing your collarbone / behind closed doors, / was enough / to erase myself.
Ocean Vuong (Night Sky with Exit Wounds)
And is it so hard to believe that souls might also travel those paths? That her father and Etienne and Madame Manec and the German boy named Werner Pfennig might harry the sky in flocks, like egrets, like terns, like starlings? That great shuttles of souls might fly about, faded but audible if you listen closely enough?
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
I would not put my little bird in the jaws of a trap without being near enough to make sure it wouldn't close on her.
Lili St. Crow (Defiance (Strange Angels, #4))
You can blame your ugliness for keeping people at bay, when in reality you're crippled by the thought of letting another person close enough to potentially scar you even more deeply. You can tell yourself that it's safer to love someone who will never really love you back, because you can't lose someone you never had.
Jodi Picoult (The Storyteller)
All the opportunities you let slip by! The idea, the inspiration just doesn´t come fast enough. Instead of being open, you´re closed up tight. That´s the worst sin of all - the sin of omission.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Mandarins)
Pippin glanced in some wonder at the face now close beside his own, for the sound of that laugh had been gay and merry. Yet in the wizard's face he saw at first only lines of care and sorrow; though as he looked more intently he perceived that under all there was a great joy: a fountain of mirth enough to set a kingdom laughing, were it to gush forth.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
For a moment nothing happens. The figure stands still and I stand cold and alive and- He starts to run. I make my way down the rocks, slipping, sliding, trying to get to the plain. I wish, I think, my feet clumsy, moving too fast, not fast enough, I wish i could run, I wish I'd written a whole poem, I wish I kept the compass- And then I reach the plain and wish for nothing but what I have. Ky. Running toward me. I have never seen him run like this, fast, free, strong, wild. He looks so beautiful, his body moves so right. He stops just close enough for me to see the blue of his eyes and forget the red on my hands and the green I wish I wore. "You're here," he says, breathing hard and hungry. sweat and dirt cover his face, and he looks at me as though I'm the only thing he ever needed to see. I open my mouth to say yes. But I only have time to breathe in before he closes the last of the distance. All I know is the kiss.
Ally Condie (Crossed (Matched, #2))
Perhaps grief is like battle: After experiencing enough of it, your body’s instincts take over. When you see it closing in like a Martial death squad, you harden your insides. You prepare for the agony of a shredded heart. And when it hits, it hurts, but not as badly, because you have locked away your weakness, and all that’s left is anger and strength.
Sabaa Tahir (A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2))
There are few times when we know with absolute certainty we are going to do something for the last time. Life has a way of moving in circles, bringing us back to places we didn’t expect and taking us away from those we do. There are too many times we don’t pay close enough attention, and moments are lost in our assumption we’ll have another chance.
Megan Hart (Tempted (Alex Kennedy, #1))
His breath caught, harsh enough that she looked over her shoulder. But his eyes weren't on her face. Or the water. They were on her bare back. Curled as she was against her knees, he could see the whole expanse of ruined flesh, each scar from the lashing. "Who did that to you?" It would have been easy to lie, but she was so tired, and he had saved her useless hide. So she said, "A lot of people. I spent some time in the Salt Mines of Endovier." He was so still that she wondered if he'd stopped breathing. "How long?" he asked after a moment. She braced herself for the pity, but his face was so carefully blank-no, not blank. Calm with lethal rage. "A year. I was there a year before... it's a long story." She was too exhausted, her throat too raw, to say the rest of it. She noticed then his arms were bandaged, and more bandages across his broad chest peeked up from beneath his shirt. She'd burned him again. And yet he had held her- had run all the way here and not let go once. "You were a slave." She gave him a slow nod. He opened his mouth, but shut it and swallowed, that lethal rage winking out. As if he remembered who he was talking to and that it was the least punishment she deserved. He turned on his heel and shut the door behind him. She wished he'd slammed it-wished he'd shattered it. But he closed it with barely more than a click and did not return.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
On Writing: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays 1. A beginning ends what an end begins. 2. The despair of the blank page: it is so full. 3. In the head Art’s not democratic. I wait a long time to be a writer good enough even for myself. 4. The best time is stolen time. 5. All work is the avoidance of harder work. 6. When I am trying to write I turn on music so I can hear what is keeping me from hearing. 7. I envy music for being beyond words. But then, every word is beyond music. 8. Why would we write if we’d already heard what we wanted to hear? 9. The poem in the quarterly is sure to fail within two lines: flaccid, rhythmless, hopelessly dutiful. But I read poets from strange languages with freedom and pleasure because I can believe in all that has been lost in translation. Though all works, all acts, all languages are already translation. 10. Writer: how books read each other. 11. Idolaters of the great need to believe that what they love cannot fail them, adorers of camp, kitsch, trash that they cannot fail what they love. 12. If I didn’t spend so much time writing, I’d know a lot more. But I wouldn’t know anything. 13. If you’re Larkin or Bishop, one book a decade is enough. If you’re not? More than enough. 14. Writing is like washing windows in the sun. With every attempt to perfect clarity you make a new smear. 15. There are silences harder to take back than words. 16. Opacity gives way. Transparency is the mystery. 17. I need a much greater vocabulary to talk to you than to talk to myself. 18. Only half of writing is saying what you mean. The other half is preventing people from reading what they expected you to mean. 19. Believe stupid praise, deserve stupid criticism. 20. Writing a book is like doing a huge jigsaw puzzle, unendurably slow at first, almost self-propelled at the end. Actually, it’s more like doing a puzzle from a box in which several puzzles have been mixed. Starting out, you can’t tell whether a piece belongs to the puzzle at hand, or one you’ve already done, or will do in ten years, or will never do. 21. Minds go from intuition to articulation to self-defense, which is what they die of. 22. The dead are still writing. Every morning, somewhere, is a line, a passage, a whole book you are sure wasn’t there yesterday. 23. To feel an end is to discover that there had been a beginning. A parenthesis closes that we hadn’t realized was open). 24. There, all along, was what you wanted to say. But this is not what you wanted, is it, to have said it?
James Richardson
Day appears again. This time he leans in close enough for his hair to brush, light as silk, against my cheeks. He pulls me towards for a long kiss. The scene vanishes, replaced abruptly by a stormy night and Day struggling through the rain, blood dripping from his leg and leaving a trail behind him. He collapses onto his knees in front of Razor before the whole scene disappears again.
Marie Lu (Prodigy (Legend, #2))
There are some things you need to know.” He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “I’m dealing with the fact that you may walk away from me once you know them and never look back. It scares the hell out of me. I don’t know what this is that is going on between us but from the moment I laid eyes on you I knew you were going to change my world. I was terrified. The more I watched you the more you drew me in. I couldn’t get close enough.
Abbi Glines (Fallen Too Far (Rosemary Beach, #1; Too Far, #1))
Shahrzad, I've failed you several times. But there was one moment I failed you beyond measure. It was the day we met. The moment I took your hand and you looked at me, with the glory of hate in your eyes. I should have sent you home to your family. But I didn't. There was honesty in your hatred. Fearlessness in your pain. In your honesty, I saw a reflection of myself. Or rather, of the man I longed to be. So I failed you. I didn't stay away. Then later, I thought if I had answers, it would be enough. I would no longer care. You would not matter. So I continued failing you. Continued wanting more. And now I can't find the words to say what must be said. To convey to you the least of what I owe. When I think of you, I can't find the air to breathe. And now, though you are gone, there is no pain or fear. All I am left with is gratitude. When I was a boy, my mother would tell me that one of the best things in life is the knowledge that your story isn't over yet. Our story may have come to a close, but your story is still yet to be told. Make it a story worthy of you. I failed you in one last thing. Here is my chance to rectify it. It was never because I didn't feel it. It was because I swore I would never say it, and a man is nothing if he can't keep his promises. So I write it in the sky- I love you, a thousand times over. And I will never apologize for it. Khalid
Renée Ahdieh (The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1))
To know that seeing the fish beneath the surface of the water was enough. That it was everything. It was my life-- like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me. How wild it was, to let it be.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
Anyway, the fascinating thing was that I read in National Geographic that there are more people alive now than have died in all of human history. In other words, if everyone wanted to play Hamlet at once, they couldn’t, because there aren’t enough skulls!
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
I've been noble since they took you to the hospital," he said through his teeth. "I'm tired of it. I don't eat, I don't sleep, I can't even work. I remember your voice moaning in my ear like the cry of the damned while I was having you," he bit off, bending to her mouth. "You couldn't get enough of me. You couldn't get close enough to me. Your face when I fulfilled you....I ache every time I think about it.
Diana Palmer (Lawless (Long, Tall Texans #23))
she, with her affection and her gaiety, had been largely responsible for him having rediscovered the meaning of life, her love had driven him to the far corners of the Earth, because he needed to be rich enough to buy some land and live in peace with her for the rest of their days. It was his utter confidence in this fragile creature, that had made him fight with honor, because he knew that after a battle he could forget all the horrors of war in her arms, and that, despite all the women he had known, only there in her arms could he close his eyes and sleep like a child.
Paulo Coelho (Brida)
Percy pulled Annabeth close and kissed her... long enough for it to get really awkward for Piper, though she said nothing. She thought about the old rule of Aphrodite's cabin: that to be recognized as a daughter of the love goddess, you had to break someone's heart. Piper had long ago decided to change that rule. Percy and Annabeth were a perfect example of why. You should have to make someone's heart whole. That was a much better test. When Percy pulled away, Annabeth looked like a fish gasping for air. 'The Rivalry end here,' Percy said. 'I love you, Wise Girl.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
We really have to understand the person we want to love. If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love. If we only think of ourselves, if we know only our own needs and ignore the needs of the other person, we cannot love. We must look deeply in order to see and understand the needs, aspirations, and suffering of the person we love. This is the ground of real love. You cannot resist loving another person when you really understand him or her. From time to time, sit close to the one you love, hold his or her hand, and ask, 'Darling, do I understand you enough? Or am I making you suffer? Please tell me so that I can learn to love you properly. I don't want to make you suffer, and if I do so because of my ignorance, please tell me so that I can love you better, so that you can be happy." If you say this in a voice that communicates your real openness to understand, the other person may cry. That is a good sign, because it means the door of understanding is opening and everything will be possible again. Maybe a father does not have time or is not brave enough to ask his son such a question. Then the love between them will not be as full as it could be. We need courage to ask these questions, but if we don't ask, the more we love, the more we may destroy the people we are trying to love. True love needs understanding. With understanding, the one we love will certainly flower.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life)
Once, she closed the book abruptly and said with annoyance, "That's enough." "Why?" "Because I've had it, it's always the same story: inside something small there's something even smaller that wants to leap out, and outside something large there's always someting larger that wants to keep it a prisoner.
Elena Ferrante (The Story of a New Name (The Neapolitan Novels, #2))
I had a dream about you." "Yeah?" "You looked so pretty like always, and you were coming toward me in a white dress. The closer you got to me, the more you cried. And when you were close enough, I grabbed your hand." .... "... After the minister said a prayer, I told you how beautiful you were." "Asher- " "I told you that every star in the sky was made for you, and they were, Kate. You light up my world even in my darkest moments. I told you that I loved you over and over again because I do, Kate. I love you so much, <spoiler>and the thought of leaving you alone is killing me more than cancer ever could."</spoiler>
Lisa De Jong (When It Rains (Rains, #1))
I am not good at noticing when I'm happy, except in retrospect. My gift, or fatal flaw, is for nostalgia. I have sometimes been accused of demanding perfection, of rejecting heart's desires as soon as I get close enough that the mysterious impressionistic gloss disperses into plain solid dots, but the truth is less simplistic than that. I know very well that perfection is made up of frayed, off-struck mundanities. I suppose you could say my real weakness is a kind of long-sightedness: usually it is only at a distance, and much too late, that I can see the pattern.
Tana French (In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1))
I haven't gotten better. I'm not even close to okay. The only thing I've done is to decide to get better. But I think that may just be enough. I'm trying to see the magic in everyday miracles now: the fact that my heart still beats, that I can lift my feet off of the earth to walk and that there is something in me worthy of love. I know that bad things still happen. And sometimes I still ask myself why I am alive; but now, when I ask, I have an answer.
Katja Millay (The Sea of Tranquility)
While this is all very amusing, the kiss that will free the girl is the kiss that she most desires,” she said. “Only that and nothing more.” Jace’s heart started to pound. He met the Queen’s eyes with his own. “Why are you doing this?” … “Desire is not always lessened by disgust…And as my words bind my magic, so you can know the truth. If she doesn’t desire your kiss, she won’t be free.” “You don’t have to do this, Clary, it’s a trick—” (Simon) ...Isabelle sounded exasperated. ‘Who cares, anyway? It’s just a kiss.” “That’s right,” Jace said. Clary looked up, then finally, and her wide green eyes rested on him. He moved toward her... and put his hand on her shoulder, turning her to face him… He could feel the tension in his own body, the effort of holding back, of not pulling her against him and taking this one chance, however dangerous and stupid and unwise, and kissing her the way he had thought he would never, in his life, be able to kiss her again. “It’s just a kiss,” he said, and heard the roughness in his own voice, and wondered if she heard it, too. Not that it mattered—there was no way to hide it. It was too much. He had never wanted like this before... She understood him, laughed when he laughed, saw through the defenses he put up to what was underneath. There was no Jace Wayland more real than the one he saw in her eyes when she looked at him… All he knew was that whatever he had to owe to Hell or Heaven for this chance, he was going to make it count. He...whispered in her ear. “You can close your eyes and think of England, if you like,” he said. Her eyes fluttered shut, her lashes coppery lines against her pale, fragile skin. “I’ve never even been to England,” she said, and the softness, the anxiety in her voice almost undid him. He had never kissed a girl without knowing she wanted it too, usually more than he did, and this was Clary, and he didn’t know what she wanted. Her eyes were still closed, but she shivered, and leaned into him — barely, but it was permission enough. His mouth came down on hers. And that was it. All the self-control he’d exerted over the past weeks went, like water crashing through a broken dam. Her arms came up around his neck and he pulled her against him… His hands flattened against her back... and she was up on the tips of her toes, kissing him as fiercely as he was kissing her... He clung to her more tightly, knotting his hands in her hair, trying to tell her, with the press of his mouth on hers, all the things he could never say out loud... His hands slid down to her waist... he had no idea what he would have done or said next, if it would have been something he could never have pretended away or taken back, but he heard a soft hiss of laughter — the Faerie Queen — in his ears, and it jolted him back to reality. He pulled away from Clary before he it was too late, unlocking her hands from around his neck and stepping back... Clary was staring at him. Her lips were parted, her hands still open. Her eyes were wide. Behind her, Alec and Isabelle were gaping at them; Simon looked as if he was about to throw up. ...If there had ever been any hope that he could have come to think of Clary as just his sister, this — what had just happened between them — had exploded it into a thousand pieces... He tried to read Clary’s face — did she feel the same? … I know you felt it, he said to her with his eyes, and it was half bitter triumph and half pleading. I know you felt it, too…She glanced away from him... He whirled on the Queen. “Was that good enough?” he demanded. “Did that entertain you?” The Queen gave him a look: special and secretive and shared between the two of them. “We are quite entertained," she said. “But not, I think, so much as the both of you.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
And what makes you so certain I won't enlighten the world about your romantic indiscretions?" "Because it won't save you from prison. And if you ruin Rose, you'll destroy whatever weak chance you had of Lissa helping you with your warped fantasy." Victor flinched just a little; Dimitri was right. Dimitri stepped forward, pressing close to the bars as I had earlier. I'd though I had a scary voice, but when he spoke his next words, I realized I wasn't even close. "And it'll be pointless anyway, because you won't stay alive long enough in prison to stage your grand plans. You aren't the only one with connections." My breath caught a little. Dimitri brought so many things to my life: love, comfort, and instruction. I got so used to him sometimes I forgot how dangerous he could be. As he stood there, tall and threatening while he glared down at Victor, I felt a chill run down my spine. I remembered how when I had first come to the Academy, people said Dimitri was a god. In this moment, he looked like it.
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
That is another chamber of my heart that shows no electrical activity - the chamber that used to flicker into life when I saw a film that moved me, or read a book that inspired me, or listened to music that made me want to cry. I closed that chamber myself, for all the usual reasons. And now I seem to have made a pact with some philistine devil: if I don't attempt to re-open it, I will be allowed just enough energy and optimism to get through a working day without wanting to hang myself.
Nick Hornby (How to Be Good)
And my own affairs were as bad, as dismal, as the day I had been born. The only difference was that now I could drink now and then, though never often enough. Drink was the only thing that kept a man from feeling forever stunned and useless. Everything else just kept picking and picking, hacking away. And nothing was interesting, nothing. The people were restrictive and careful, all alike. And I've got to live with these fuckers for the rest of my life, I thought. God, they all had assholes and sexual organs and their mouths and their armpits. They shit and they chattered and they were dull as horse dung. The girls looked good from a distance, the sun shining through their dresses, their hair. But get up close and listen to their minds running out of their mouths, you felt like digging in under a hill and hiding out with a tommy-gun. I would certainly never be able to be happy, to get married, I could never have children. Hell, I couldn't even get a job as a dishwasher.
Charles Bukowski (Ham on Rye)
Van Houten, I’m a good person but a shitty writer. You’re a shitty person but a good writer. We’d make a good team. I don’t want to ask you any favors, but if you have time – and from what I saw, you have plenty – I was wondering if you could write a eulogy for Hazel. I’ve got notes and everything, but if you could just make it into a coherent whole or whatever? Or even just tell me what I should say differently. Here’s the thing about Hazel: Almost everyone is obsessed with leaving a mark upon the world. Bequeathing a legacy. Outlasting death. We all want to be remembered. I do, too. That’s what bothers me most, is being another unremembered casualty in the ancient and inglorious war against disease. I want to leave a mark. But Van Houten: The marks humans leave are too often scars. You build a hideous minimall or start a coup or try to become a rock star and you think, “They’ll remember me now,” but (a) they don’t remember you, and (b) all you leave behind are more scars. Your coup becomes a dictatorship. Your minimall becomes a lesion. (Okay, maybe I’m not such a shitty writer. But I can’t pull my ideas together, Van Houten. My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations.) We are like a bunch of dogs squirting on fire hydrants. We poison the groundwater with our toxic piss, marking everything MINE in a ridiculous attempt to survive our deaths. I can’t stop pissing on fire hydrants. I know it’s silly and useless – epically useless in my current state – but I am an animal like any other. Hazel is different. She walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly upon the earth. Hazel knows the truth: We’re as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we’re not likely to do either. People will say it’s sad that she leaves a lesser scar, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it’s not sad, Van Houten. It’s triumphant. It’s heroic. Isn’t that the real heroism? Like the doctors say: First, do no harm. The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention. The guy who invented the smallpox vaccine didn’t actually invented anything. He just noticed that people with cowpox didn’t get smallpox. After my PET scan lit up, I snuck into the ICU and saw her while she was unconscious. I just walked in behind a nurse with a badge and I got to sit next to her for like ten minutes before I got caught. I really thought she was going to die, too. It was brutal: the incessant mechanized haranguing of intensive care. She had this dark cancer water dripping out of her chest. Eyes closed. Intubated. But her hand was still her hand, still warm and the nails painted this almost black dark blue and I just held her hand and tried to imagine the world without us and for about one second I was a good enough person to hope she died so she would never know that I was going, too. But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love. I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar. A nurse guy came in and told me I had to leave, that visitors weren’t allowed, and I asked if she was doing okay, and the guy said, “She’s still taking on water.” A desert blessing, an ocean curse. What else? She is so beautiful. You don’t get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
For the sake of a few lines one must see many cities, men and things. One must know the animals, one must feel how the birds fly and know the gesture with which the small flowers open in the morning. One must be able to think back to roads in unknown regions, to unexpected meetings and to partings which one had long seen coming; to days of childhood that are still unexplained, to parents that one had to hurt when they brought one some joy and one did not grasp it (it was joy for someone else); to childhood illness that so strangely began with a number of profound and grave transformations, to days in rooms withdrawn and quiet and to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to nights of travel that rushed along on high and flew with all the stars-and it is not enough if one may think all of this. One must have memories of many nights of love, none of which was like the others, of the screams of women in labor, and of light, white, sleeping women in childbed, closing again. But one must also have been beside the dying, one must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open window and the fitful noises. And still it is not enough to have memories. One must be able to forget them when they are many, and one must have the great patience to wait until they come again. For it is not yet the memories themselves. Not until they have turned to blood within us, to glance, to gesture, nameless and no longer to be distinguished from ourselves-not until then can it happen that in a most rare hour the first word of a verse arises in their midst and goes forth from them.
Rainer Maria Rilke (The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge)
The first time I was ever called ugly, I was thirteen. It was a rich friend of my brother Carlton's over to shoot guns in the field. 'Why you crying, girl?' Constantine asked me in the kitchen. I told her what the boy had called me, tears streaming down my face. 'Well? Is you?' I blinked, paused my crying. 'Is I what?' 'Now you look a here, Egenia'-because constantien was the only one who'd occasionally follow Mama's rule. 'Ugly live up on the inside. Ugly be a hurtful, mean person. Is you one a them peoples?' 'I don't know. I don't think so,' I sobbed. Constantine sat down next to me, at the kitchen table. I heard the cracking of her swollen joints. She pressed her thumb hard in the palm of my hand, somthing we both knew meant Listen. Listen to me. 'Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision.' Constantine was so close, I could see the blackness of her gums. 'You gone have to ask yourself, Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?' She kept her thumb pressed hard in my hand. I nodded that I understood. I was just smart enough to realize she meant white people. And even though I still felt miserable, and knew that I was, most likely, ugly, it was the first time she ever talked to me like I was something besides my mother's white child. All my life I'd been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl. But with Constantine's thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
Close your eyes,” he said. Without waiting for me, he pressed his hand over my eyelids, shutting them for me. I felt the love seat shift as he slid in beside me, heard the inexplicably loud sound of the cover opening, the pages inside scraping against each other as he turned them. Then I felt his breath on my ear as he said, voice barely audible, “‘I am alone in the world, and yet not alone enough to make each hour holy. I am lowly in this world, and yet not lowly enough for me to be just a thing to you, dark and shrewd. I want my will and I want to go with my will as it moves towards action.’” He paused, long, the only sound his breath, a little ragged, before he went on, “‘And I want, in those silent, somehow faltering times, to be with someone who knows, or else alone. I want to reflect everything about you, and I never want to be too blind or too ancient to keep your profound wavering image with me. I want to unfold. I don’t want to be folded anywhere, because there, where I’m folded, I am a lie.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
A villain must be a thing of power, handled with delicacy and grace. He must be wicked enough to excite our aversion, strong enough to arouse our fear, human enough to awaken some transient gleam of sympathy. We must triumph in his downfall, yet not barbarously nor with contempt, and the close of his career must be in harmony with all its previous development.
Agnes Repplier
You were already in a prison. You've been in a prison all your life. Happiness is a prison, Evey. Happiness is the most insidious prison of all. Your lover lived in the penitentiary that we are all born into, and was forced to rake the dregs of that world for his living. He knew affection and tenderness but only briefly. Eventually, one of the other inmates stabbed him with a cutlass and he drowned upon his own blood. Is that it, Evey? Is that the happiness worth more than freedom? It's not an uncommon story, Evey. Many convicts meet with miserable ends. Your mother. Your father. Your lover. One by one, taken out behind the chemical sheds... and shot. All convicts, hunched and deformed by the smallness of their cells, the weight of their chains, the unfairness of their sentences. I didn't put you in a prison, Evey. I just showed you the bars.' 'You're wrong! It's just life, that's all! It's just how life is. It's what we've got to put up with. It's all we've got. What gives you the right to decide it's not good enough?' 'You're in a prison, Evey. You were born in a prison. You've been in a prison so long, you no longer believe there's a world outside. That's because you're afraid, Evey. You're afraid because you can feel freedom closing in upon you. You're afraid because freedom is terrifying. Don't back away from it, Evey. Part of you understands the truth even as part pretends not to. You were in a cell, Evey. They offered you a choice between the death of your principles and the death of your body. You said you'd rather die. You faced the fear of your own death and you were calm and still. The door of the cage is open, Evey. All that you feel is the wind from outside.
Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
Have you ever noticed that? We base our assessment of the intelligence of others almost entirely on how closely their thinking matches our own. I'm sure that there are people out there who violently disagree with me on most things, and I'm broad-minded enough to conceded that they might possibly not be completely idiots, but I much prefer the company of people who agree with me. You might want to think about that.
David Eddings (Belgarath the Sorcerer)
Mathematicians call them twin primes: pairs of prime numbers that are close to each other, almost neighbors, but between them there is always an even number that prevents them from truly touching. Numbers like 11 and 13, like 17 and 19, 41 and 43. If you have the patience to go on counting, you discover that these pairs gradually become rarer. You encounter increasingly isolated primes, lost in that silent, measured space made only of ciphers, and you develop a distressing presentiment that the pairs encountered up until that point were accidental, that solitude is the true destiny. Then, just when you’re about to surrender, when you no longer have the desire to go on counting, you come across another pair of twins, clutching each other tightly. There is a common conviction among mathematicians that however far you go, there will always be another two, even if no one can say where exactly, until they are discovered. Mattia thought that he and Alice were like that, twin primes, alone and lost, close but not close enough to really touch each other. He had never told her that. When he imagined confessing these things to her, the thin layer of sweat on his hands evaporated completely and for a good ten minutes he was no longer capable of touching anything.
Paolo Giordano (The Solitude of Prime Numbers)
If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? During the life of any heart this line keeps changing place; sometimes it is squeezed one way by exuberant evil and sometimes it shifts to allow enough space for good to flourish. One and the same human being is, at various ages, under various circumstances, a totally different human being. At times he is close to being a devil, at times to sainthood. But his name doesn't change, and to that name we ascribe the whole lot, good and evil. Socrates taught us: 'Know thyself!
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago)
The human ego is the ugliest part of man. We lift up men who only show us darkness, and put down those brave enough to show us the light. Likewise, people engage in darkness when it is light outside, and acknowledge the light only when it is dark. We abandon those fighting for us to cheer behind those fighting against us. And, we only remember good people and God when it is convenient for us, and take them for granted because their doors are always open - only to chase after closed doors and personalities void of substance and truth.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
If there's any guy crazy enough to attack me, I'm going to show him the end of the world -- close up. I'm going to let him see the kingdom come with his own eyes. I'm going to send him straight to the southern hemisphere and let the ashes of death rain all over him and the kangaroos and the wallabies.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3))
I'd worried that letting her get too close would break me. Unfortunately, I'd worried about that a little too late. Because I was broken. The Cage I was before Eva no longer existed. As much as I didn't want to admit it, I'd fallen in love with her. I'd allowed someone in and she hadn't want me. I hadn't been good enough. I never was.
Abbi Glines (While It Lasts (Sea Breeze, #3))
And then we jerked to a stop. Jared was blocking the exit. "Have you lost your mind, Ian?" he asked, shocked and outraged. "What are you doing to her?" "Did you know about this?" Ian shouted back, shoving me toward Jared and shaking me at him. "You're going to hurt her!" "Do you know what she's planning?" Ian roared. Jared stared at Ian, his face suddenly closed off. He didn't answer. That was answer enough for Ian. Ian's fist struck Jared so fast that I missed the blow - I just felt the lurch in his body and saw Jared reel back into the dark hall. "Ian, stop," I begged. "You stop," he growled back at me. He yanked me through the arch into the tunnel, then pulled me north. I had to almost run to keep up with his longer stride. "O´Shea!" Jared shouted after us. "I'm going to hurt her?" Ian roared back over his shoulder, not breaking pace. "I am? You hypocritical swine!" There was nothing but silence and blackness behind us now. I stumbled in the dark, trying to keep up. He jerked me along faster, and my breath caught in a moan, almost like a cry of pain. The sound made Ian stumble to a stop. His breathing was hoarse in the darkness. "Ian, Ian, I..." I chocked, unable to finish. I didn't know what to say, picturing his furious face. His arms caught me abruptly, yanking my feet out from under me and then catching my shoulders before I could fall. He started running forward again, carrying me now. His hands were not rough and angry like before; he cradled me against his chest.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
He therefore turned to mankind only with regret. His cathedral was enough for him. It was peopled with marble figures of kings, saints and bishops who at least did not laugh in his face and looked at him with only tranquillity and benevolence. The other statues, those of monsters and demons, had no hatred for him – he resembled them too closely for that. It was rather the rest of mankind that they jeered at. The saints were his friends and blessed him; the monsters were his friends and kept watch over him. He would sometimes spend whole hours crouched before one of the statues in solitary conversation with it. If anyone came upon him then he would run away like a lover surprised during a serenade.
Victor Hugo (Notre-Dame de Paris | The Hunchback of Notre-Dame)
Luceo non uro means I shine, not burn. To me, though, it means that I have a choice. I need to balance the bad with the good, make sure to avoid the things that could burn or scar me but get close enough to the heat that I feel life and really experience it. Until I met you, I'd never really embraced that idea. I walked around my life just being there, but not really feeling it or being actively involved in making it worthwhile. Then there was you, and suddenly it all made sense. I grabbed onto what Fortune was offering me that night and ran with it. I was shining that night, for sure. Brighter than the Vegas strip.
Elle Casey (Shine Not Burn (Shine Not Burn, #1))
When it was done and I went to sleep, I lay awake and listened to the clock on your nightstand and the wind outside and understood that I was really home, that in bed with you was home, and something that had been getting close in the dark was suddenly gone. It could not stay. It had been banished. It knew how to come back, I was sure of that, but it could not stay and I could really go to sleep. My heart cracked with gratitude. I think it was the first gratitude I’ve ever really known. I lay there beside you and the tears rolled down the sides of my face and onto the pillow. I loved you then and I love you now and I have loved you every second in between. I don’t care if you understand me. Understanding is vastly overrated, but nobody ever gets enough safety. I’ve never forgotten how safe I felt with that thing gone out of the darkness.
Stephen King (Lisey's Story)
It slowly began to dawn on me that I had been staring at her for an impossible amount of time. Lost in my thoughts, lost in the sight of her. But her face didn't look offended or amused. It almost looked as if she were studying the lines of my face, almost as if she were waiting. I wanted to take her hand. I wanted to brush her cheek with my fingertips. I wanted to tell her that she was the first beautiful thing that I had seen in three years. The sight of her yawning to the back of her hand was enough to drive the breath from me. How I sometimes lost the sense of her words in the sweet fluting of her voice. I wanted to say that if she were with me then somehow nothing could ever be wrong for me again. In that breathless second I almost asked her. I felt the question boiling up from my chest. I remember drawing a breath then hesitating--what could I say? Come away with me? Stay with me? Come to the University? No. Sudden certainty tightened in my chest like a cold fist. What could I ask her? What could I offer? Nothing. Anything I said would sound foolish, a child's fantasy. I closed my mouth and looked across the water. Inches away, Denna did the same. I could feel the heat of her. She smelled like road dust, and honey, and the smell the air holds seconds before a heavy summer rain. Neither of us spoke. I closed my eyes. The closeness of her was the sweetest, sharpest thing I had ever known.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Public schools were not only created in the interests of industrialism—they were created in the image of industrialism. In many ways, they reflect the factory culture they were designed to support. This is especially true in high schools, where school systems base education on the principles of the assembly line and the efficient division of labor. Schools divide the curriculum into specialist segments: some teachers install math in the students, and others install history. They arrange the day into standard units of time, marked out by the ringing of bells, much like a factory announcing the beginning of the workday and the end of breaks. Students are educated in batches, according to age, as if the most important thing they have in common is their date of manufacture. They are given standardized tests at set points and compared with each other before being sent out onto the market. I realize this isn’t an exact analogy and that it ignores many of the subtleties of the system, but it is close enough.
Ken Robinson (The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything)
From time to time it's fun to close our eyes, and in that dark say to ourselves, 'I am the sorcerer, and when I open my eyes I shall see a world that I have created, and for which I and only I am completely responsible.' Slowly then, eyelids open like curtains lifting stage-center. And sure enough, there's our world, just the way we've built it.
Richard Bach (The Bridge Across Forever: A True Love Story)
But like a gambler at a slot machine, hoping the next spin would change her life for the better, she closed in before she lost her nerve. Taking his hand, she pulled him toward her, near enough to feel his body against her. She looked up at him, tilting her head slightly as she leaned in. Mike, recognizing what was happening but still having trouble believing it, tilted his head and closed his eyes, their faces drawing near.
Nicholas Sparks (The Guardian)
Without you the instruments would die. One sits close beside you. Another takes a long kiss. The tambourine begs, Touch my skin so I can be myself. Let me feel you enter each limb bone by bone, that what died last night can be whole today. Why live some soberer way, and feel you ebbing out? I won't do it. Either give me enough wine or leave me alone, now that I know how it is to be with you in constant conversation.
Rumi (Night and Sleep)
The chanting grew louder, deep male voice pumping. She looked to the brothers, the tall, fierce men who were now part of her life. Wrath pivoted and put his arm around her. Together, they swayed to the rhythm that swelled, filling the air. The brothers were as one as they paid homage in their language, a single powerful entity. But then, in a high, keening call, one voice broke out, lifting above the others, shooting higher and higher. The sound of the tenor was so clear, so pure, it brought shivers to the skin, a yearning warmth to the chest. The sweet notes blew the ceiling off with their glory, turning the chamber into cathedral, the brothers into a tabernacle. Bringing the very heavens close enough to touch. It was Zsadist. His eys closed, his head back, his mouth wide open, he sang. The scarred one, the soulless one, had the voice of an angel.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
Like no one else... you share that part of my mind that associates itself mostly with ideal things and places... The impression thinking about you gives me is very closely linked with that given me by a lonely hillside or a sunny afternoon... or books that have meant more to me than I can explain... This is grand, but still it isn't enough for this world... The earthly and obvious part of me longs to see and touch you and realise you as tangible.
Vera Brittain (Testament of Youth)
I’ve stopped being sorry for all my soft. I won’t apologise because I miss you, or because I said it, or because I text you first, or again. I think everyone spends too much time trying to close themselves off. I don’t want to be cool or indifferent, I want to be honest. If I love you at 5AM, I’d damn well rather that you know I felt it. If I love you two hours later, I’ll tell you then too. Listen, I won’t wait double the time it takes for you to text me back because I don’t want to. I don’t care enough to be patient with you. I’m happy, you made me feel that way, don’t you want to know? So that’s how it’s going to be. I’m going to leave myself as open as a church door. And I’m going to wake you up before the crack of dawn to tell you that I’m fucking joyful, no pretending, not from me, not ever. Would you like some coffee, would you please kiss me? Here, these are my hands, this is my mouth, it is all yours.
Azra T.
Once upon a time,” I began. “There was a little boy born in a little town. He was perfect, or so his mother thought. But one thing was different about him. He had a gold screw in his belly button. Just the head of it peeping out. “Now his mother was simply glad he had all his fingers and toes to count with. But as the boy grew up he realized not everyone had screws in their belly buttons, let alone gold ones. He asked his mother what it was for, but she didn’t know. Next he asked his father, but his father didn’t know. He asked his grandparents, but they didn’t know either. “That settled it for a while, but it kept nagging him. Finally, when he was old enough, he packed a bag and set out, hoping he could find someone who knew the truth of it. “He went from place to place, asking everyone who claimed to know something about anything. He asked midwives and physickers, but they couldn’t make heads or tails of it. The boy asked arcanists, tinkers, and old hermits living in the woods, but no one had ever seen anything like it. “He went to ask the Cealdim merchants, thinking if anyone would know about gold, it would be them. But the Cealdim merchants didn’t know. He went to the arcanists at the University, thinking if anyone would know about screws and their workings, they would. But the arcanists didn’t know. The boy followed the road over the Stormwal to ask the witch women of the Tahl, but none of them could give him an answer. “Eventually he went to the King of Vint, the richest king in the world. But the king didn’t know. He went to the Emperor of Atur, but even with all his power, the emperor didn’t know. He went to each of the small kingdoms, one by one, but no one could tell him anything. “Finally the boy went to the High King of Modeg, the wisest of all the kings in the world. The high king looked closely at the head of the golden screw peeping from the boy’s belly button. Then the high king made a gesture, and his seneschal brought out a pillow of golden silk. On that pillow was a golden box. The high king took a golden key from around his neck, opened the box, and inside was a golden screwdriver. “The high king took the screwdriver and motioned the boy to come closer. Trembling with excitement, the boy did. Then the high king took the golden screwdriver and put it in the boy’s belly button.” I paused to take a long drink of water. I could feel my small audience leaning toward me. “Then the high king carefully turned the golden screw. Once: Nothing. Twice: Nothing. Then he turned it the third time, and the boy’s ass fell off.” There was a moment of stunned silence. “What?” Hespe asked incredulously. “His ass fell off.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
He grasped her by the wrist , running a thumb along the sensitive skin underneath. "Then let me call you Mine for a dance or two" She grinned but someone was suddenly between them, a tall, powerfully built person. Sam. He ripped the stranger's hand off of her wrist. "She's spoken for," he growled, all too close to the young man's maked face. The stranger's friend was behind him in an instant, his bronze eyes fixed on Sam. Celaena grabbed Sam's elbow. "Enough," she warned him. The masked stranger looked Sam up and down, then held up his hands. "My mistake," he said, but winked at Celaena before disappeared into the crowd, his armed friend close behind. Celaena whirled to face Sam. "What in hell was that for?" "You're drunk," he told her, so close her chest brushed his, "And he knew it, too." "So?" Even as she said it, someone dancing wildly crashed into her and set her reeling. Sam caught her around the waist, his hands firm on her as he kept her from falling to the ground. "You'll thank me in the morning." "Just because we're working together doesn't mean I'm suddenly incapable of handling myself." His hands were still on her waist. "Let me take you home.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin and the Underworld (Throne of Glass, #0.4))
Who was your first kiss?” Heat rushed into my face. I flattered myself by thinking maybe he wanted to kiss me. I wished he wanted to kiss me. “I haven’t …” Squeezing my eyes closed, I began again. “I haven’t been kissed. Yet.” “Why?” I rolled my eyes at his innocence. “You obviously know I’m not like other girls. I’m shy and I don’t spend time with boys. My father is strict and—” “That’s not why.” He thought he knew me so well. “Fine. You tell me why I haven’t been kissed.” I regretted the words and my tone instantly. What if he told me what I already knew? That I was lacking. Not interesting or pretty enough. “You were waiting.
Gwen Hayes (Falling Under (Falling Under, #1))
Then she laughed for real, and put her hands around my neck. 'I am never, ever going to make things easy for you Seaweed Brain. Get used to it.' When she kissed me, I had the feeling my brain was melting right through my body. I could've stayed that way forever, except a voice behind us growled, 'Well it's about time!' Suddenly the pavilion was filled with torchlight and campers. Clarisse led the way as the eavesdroppers charged and hoisted us both onto their shoulders. 'Oh, come on!' I complained. 'Is there no privacy?' 'The lovebirds need to cool off!' Clarisse said with glee. 'The canoe lake!' Conner Stoll shouted. With a huge cheer, they carried us down the hill, but they kept us close enough to hold hands. Annabeth was laughing, and I couldn't help laughing too, even though my face was completely red. We held hands right up to the moment they dumped us in the water.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
I like to see people reunited, maybe that's a silly thing, but what an I say, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and they crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can't tell fast enough, the ears that aren't big enough, the eyes that can't take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone, I sit on the side with a coffee and write in my daybook, I examine the flight schedules that I've already memorized, I observe, I write, I try not to remember the life that I didn't want to lose but lost and have to remember
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
Fuck," he said, sliding his hands down to my thighs. "You're making this very hard to be the good guy you said I was last night." "I'm not drunk." He pressed his forehead to mine, chuckling softly. "Yeah, I can see that and while the idea of taking you right now, against the wall, is enough to make me lose control, I want you to know that I'm serious. You're not a hook up. You're not a friend with benefits. You're more than that to me." I closed my eyes, breathing heavily. "Well, that was...really sort of perfect.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Wait for You (Wait for You, #1))
In the ill-judged execution of the well-judged plan of things the call seldom produces the comer, the man to love rarely coincides with the hour for loving. Nature does not often say 'See!' to her poor creature at a time when seeing can lead to happy doing; or reply 'Here!' to a body's cry of 'Where?' till the hide-and-seek has become an irksome, outworn game. We may wonder whether at the acme and summit of the human progress these anachronisms will be corrected by a finer intuition, a close interaction of the social machinery than that which now jolts us round and along; but such completeness is not to be prophesied, or even conceived as possible. Enough that in the present case, as in millions, it was not the two halves of a perfect whole that confronted each other at the perfect moment; part and counterpart wandered independently about the earth in the stupidest manner for a while, till the late time came. Out of which maladroit delay sprang anxieties, disappointments, shocks, catastrophes -- what was called a strange destiny.
Thomas Hardy (Tess of the D’Urbervilles)
And is it so hard to believe that souls might also travel those paths? That her father and Etienne and Madame Manec and the German boy named Werner Pfennig might harry the sky in flocks, like egrets, like terns, like starlings? That great shuttles of souls might fly about, faded but audible if you listen closely enough? They flow above the chimneys, ride the sidewalks, slip through your jacket and shirt and breastbone and lungs, and pass out through the other side, the air a library and the record of every life lived, every sentence spoken, every word transmitted still reverberating within it.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
I have always swung back and forth between alienation and relatedness. As a child, I would run away from the beatings, from the obscene words, and always knew that if I could run far enough, then any leaf, any insect, any bird, any breeze could bring me to my true home. I knew I did not belong among people. Whatever they hated about me was a human thing; the nonhuman world has always loved me. I can't remember when it was otherwise. But I have been emotionally crippled by this. There is nothing romantic about being young and angry, or even about turning that anger into art. I go through the motions of living in society, but never feel a part of it. When my family threw me away, every human on earth did likewise.
Wendy Rose
He leaned in. I felt his breath against my neck, then the press of his mouth against my skin just above the collar, almost a sigh. “Don’t,” I said. I drew back, but he held me tighter. His hand went to the nape of my neck, long fingers twining in my hair, easing my head back. I closed my eyes. “Let me,” he murmured against my throat. His heel hooked around my leg, bringing me closer. I felt the heat of his tongue, the flex of hard muscle beneath bare skin as he guided my hands around his waist. “It isn’t real,” he said. “Let me.” I felt that rush of hunger, the steady, longing beat of desire that neither of us wanted, but that gripped us anyway. We were alone in the world, unique. We were bound together and always would be. And it didn’t matter. I couldn’t forget what he’d done, and I wouldn’t forgive what he was: a murderer. A monster. A man who had tortured my friends and slaughtered the people I’d tried to protect. I shoved away from him. “It’s real enough.
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
Though I have always made it my practice to be pleasant to everybody, I have not once actually experienced friendship. I have only the most painful recollections of my various acquaintances with the exception of such companions in pleasure as Horiki. I have frantically played the clown in order to disentangle myself from these painful relationships, only to wear myself out as a result. Even now it comes as a shock if by chance I notice in the street a face resembling someone I know however slightly, and I am at once seized by a shivering violent enough to make me dizzy. I know that I am liked by other people, but I seem to be deficient in the faculty to love others. (I should add that I have very strong doubts as to whether even human beings really possess this faculty.) It was hardly to be expected that someone like myself could ever develop any close friends—besides, I lacked even the ability to pay visits. The front door of another person’s house terrified me more than the gate of Inferno in the Divine Comedy, and I am not exaggerating when I say that I really felt I could detect within the door the presence of a horrible dragon-like monster writhing there with a dank, raw smell.
Osamu Dazai (No Longer Human)
How To Tell If Somebody Loves You: Somebody loves you if they pick an eyelash off of your face or wet a napkin and apply it to your dirty skin. You didn’t ask for these things, but this person went ahead and did it anyway. They don’t want to see you looking like a fool with eyelashes and crumbs on your face. They notice these things. They really look at you and are the first to notice if something is amiss with your beautiful visage! Somebody loves you if they assume the role of caretaker when you’re sick. Unsure if someone really gives a shit about you? Fake a case of food poisoning and text them being like, “Oh, my God, so sick. Need water.” Depending on their response, you’ll know whether or not they REALLY love you. “That’s terrible. Feel better!” earns you a stay in friendship jail; “Do you need anything? I can come over and bring you get well remedies!” gets you a cozy friendship suite. It’s easy to care about someone when they don’t need you. It’s easy to love them when they’re healthy and don’t ask you for anything beyond change for the parking meter. Being sick is different. Being sick means asking someone to hold your hair back when you vomit. Either love me with vomit in my hair or don’t love me at all. Somebody loves you if they call you out on your bullshit. They’re not passive, they don’t just let you get away with murder. They know you well enough and care about you enough to ask you to chill out, to bust your balls, to tell you to stop. They aren’t passive observers in your life, they are in the trenches. They have an opinion about your decisions and the things you say and do. They want to be a part of it; they want to be a part of you. Somebody loves you if they don’t mind the quiet. They don’t mind running errands with you or cleaning your apartment while blasting some annoying music. There’s no pressure, no need to fill the silences. You know how with some of your friends there needs to be some sort of activity for you to hang out? You don’t feel comfortable just shooting the shit and watching bad reality TV with them. You need something that will keep the both of you busy to ensure there won’t be a void. That’s not love. That’s “Hey, babe! I like you okay. Do you wanna grab lunch? I think we have enough to talk about to fill two hours!" It’s a damn dream when you find someone you can do nothing with. Whether you’re skydiving together or sitting at home and doing different things, it’s always comfortable. That is fucking love. Somebody loves you if they want you to be happy, even if that involves something that doesn’t benefit them. They realize the things you need to do in order to be content and come to terms with the fact that it might not include them. Never underestimate the gift of understanding. When there are so many people who are selfish and equate relationships as something that only must make them happy, having someone around who can take their needs out of any given situation if they need to. Somebody loves you if they can order you food without having to be told what you want. Somebody loves you if they rub your back at any given moment. Somebody loves you if they give you oral sex without expecting anything back. Somebody loves you if they don’t care about your job or how much money you make. It’s a relationship where no one is selling something to the other. No one is the prostitute. Somebody loves you if they’ll watch a movie starring Kate Hudson because you really really want to see it. Somebody loves you if they’re able to create their own separate world with you, away from the internet and your job and family and friends. Just you and them. Somebody will always love you. If you don’t think this is true, then you’re not paying close enough attention.
Ryan O'Connell
To exemplify that particular situation, we can look to a cool day in late June. Rudy, to put it mildly, was incensed. Who did Liesel Meminger think she was, telling him she had to take the washing and ironing alone today? Wasn’t he good enough to walk the streets with her? “Stop complaining, Saukerl,” she reprimanded him. “I just feel bad. You’re missing the game.” He looked over his shoulder. “Well, if you put it like that.” There was a Schmunzel. “You can stick your washing.” He ran off and wasted no time joining a team. When Liesel made it to the top of Himmel Street, she looked back just in time to see him standing in front of the nearest makeshift goals. He was waving. “Saukerl,” she laughed, and as she held up her hand, she knew completely that he was simultaneously calling her a Saumensch. I think that’s as close to love as eleven-year-olds can get.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
I figured I had kept her from being too depressed after fucking--it's hard for a girl with any force in her and any brains to accept the whole thing of fucking, of being fucked without trying to turn it on its end, so that she does some fucking, or some fucking up; I mean, the mere power of arousing the man so he wants to fuck isn't enough; she wants him to be willing to die in order to fuck. There's a kind of strain or intensity women are bred for, as beasts, for childbearing when childbearing might kill them, and child rearing when the child might die at any moment: it's in women to live under that danger, with that risk, that close to tragedy, with that constant taut or casual courage. They need death and nobility near. To be fucked when there's no drama inherent in it, when you're not going to rise to a level of nobility and courage forever denied the male, is to be cut off from what is inherently female, bestially speaking.
Harold Brodkey
Kekulé dreams the Great Serpent holding its own tail in its mouth, the dreaming Serpent which surrounds the World. But the meanness, the cynicism with which this dream is to be used. The Serpent that announces, "The World is a closed thing, cyclical, resonant, eternally-returning," is to be delivered into a system whose only aim is to violate the Cycle. Taking and not giving back, demanding that "productivity" and "earnings" keep on increasing with time, the System removing from the rest of the World these vast quantities of energy to keep its own tiny desperate fraction showing a profit: and not only most of humanity—most of the World, animal, vegetable, and mineral, is laid waste in the process. The System may or may not understand that it's only buying time. And that time is an artificial resource to begin with, of no value to anyone or anything but the System, which must sooner or later crash to its death, when its addiction to energy has become more than the rest of the World can supply, dragging with it innocent souls all along the chain of life. Living inside the System is like riding across the country in a bus driven by a maniac bent on suicide . . . though he's amiable enough, keeps cracking jokes back through the loudspeaker . . .
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
What's going on between us?" "I want you." "Do you? Really? Because these scars are sexy." "I don't give a fuck about your scars." "How are you going to react when we 're this close and you take off my shirt? Are you still going to want me when you see red and white lines? Are you going to flinch each time you accidentally touch my arms and feel the raised skin? How about when i touch you?" "Or will you forbid that? Will you tell me how to dress or what i'm allowed to take off?" "For the last time I don't give a fuck about your scars." "Liar. Because the only way anyone will ever be okay with me is if they love me. Really love me enough to not care that I’m damaged. You don't love people. You have sex with them. So how could you want to be with me?
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Hatred is a bitter, damaging emotion. It winds itself through the blood, infecting its host and driving it forward without any reason. Its view is jaundiced and it skews even the clearest of eye sights. Sacrifice is noble and tender. It’s the action of a host who values others above himself. Sacrifice is bought through love and decency. It is truly heroic. Vengeance is an act of violence. It allows those who have been wronged to take back some of what was lost to them. Unlike sacrifice, it gives back to the one who practices it. Love is deceitful and sublime. In its truest form, it brings out the best in all beings. At its worst, it’s a tool used to manipulate and ruin anyone who is stupid enough to hold it. Don’t be stupid. Sacrifice is for the weak. Hatred corrupts. Love destroys. Vengeance is the gift of the strong. Move forward, not with hatred, not with love. Move forward with purpose. Take back what was stolen. Make those who laughed at your pain pay. Not with hatred, but with calm, cold rationale. Hatred is your enemy. Vengeance is your friend. Hold it close and let it loose. May the gods have mercy on those who have wronged me because I will have no mercy for them. (Xypher)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dream Chaser (Dark-Hunter, #13; Dream-Hunter, #3))
What was she thinking?” muttered Alexander, closing his eyes and imagining his Tania. “She was determined. It was like some kind of a personal crusade with her,” Ina said. “She gave the doctor a liter of blood for you—” “Where did she get it from?” “Herself, of course.” Ina smiled. “Lucky for you, Major, our Nurse Metanova is a universal donor.” Of course she is, thought Alexander, keeping his eyes tightly shut. Ina continued. “The doctor told her she couldn’t give any more, and she said a liter wasn’t enough, and he said, ‘Yes, but you don’t have more to give,’ and she said, ‘I’ll make more,’ and he said, ‘No,’ and she said, ‘Yes,’ and in four hours, she gave him another half-liter of blood.” Alexander lay on his stomach and listened intently while Ina wrapped fresh gauze on his wound. He was barely breathing. “The doctor told her, ‘Tania, you’re wasting your time. Look at his burn. It’s going to get infected.’ There wasn’t enough penicillin to give to you, especially since your blood count was so low.” Alexander heard Ina chuckle in disbelief. “So I’m making my rounds late that night, and who do I find next to your bed? Tatiana. She’s sitting with a syringe in her arm, hooked up to a catheter, and I watch her, and I swear to God, you won’t believe it when I tell you, Major, but I see that the catheter is attached to the entry drip in your IV.” Ina’s eyes bulged. “I watch her draining blood from the radial artery in her arm into your IV. I ran in and said, ‘Are you crazy? Are you out of your mind? You’re siphoning blood from yourself into him?’ She said to me in her calm, I-won’t-stand-for-any-argument voice, ‘Ina, if I don’t, he will die.’ I yelled at her. I said, ‘There are thirty soldiers in the critical wing who need sutures and bandages and their wounds cleaned. Why don’t you take care of them and let God take care of the dead?’ And she said, ‘He’s not dead. He is still alive, and while he is alive, he is mine.’ Can you believe it, Major? But that’s what she said. ‘Oh, for God’s sake,’ I said to her. ‘Fine, die yourself. I don’t care.’ But the next morning I went to complain to Dr. Sayers that she wasn’t following procedure, told him what she had done, and he ran to yell at her.” Ina lowered her voice to a sibilant, incredulous whisper. “We found her unconscious on the floor by your bed. She was in a dead faint, but you had taken a turn for the better. All your vital signs were up. And Tatiana got up from the floor, white as death itself, and said to the doctor coldly, ‘Maybe now you can give him the penicillin he needs?’ I could see the doctor was stunned. But he did. Gave you penicillin and more plasma and extra morphine. Then he operated on you, to get bits of the shell fragment out of you, and saved your kidney. And stitched you. And all that time she never left his side, or yours. He told her your bandages needed to be changed every three hours to help with drainage, to prevent infection. We had only two nurses in the terminal wing, me and her. I had to take care of all the other patients, while all she did was take care of you. For fifteen days and nights she unwrapped you and cleaned you and changed your dressings. Every three hours. She was a ghost by the end. But you made it. That’s when we moved you to critical care. I said to her, ‘Tania, this man ought to marry you for what you did for him,’ and she said, ‘You think so?’ ” Ina tutted again. Paused. “Are you all right, Major? Why are you crying?
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
She has a bookshelf for a heart, and ink runs through her veins, she’ll write you into her story with the typewriter in her brain. Her bookshelf’s getting crowded. With all the stories that’s she’s penned, of all the people who flicked through her pages but closed the book before it ended. And there’s one pushed to the very back, that sits collecting dust, with its title in her finest writing, ‘The One’s Who Lost My Trust’. There’s books shes scared to open, and books she doesn't close. Stories of every person she’s met stretched out in endless rows. Some people have only one sentence while others once held a main part, thousands of inky footprints that they've left across her heart. You might wonder why she does this, why write of people she once knew? But she hopes one day she’ll mean enough for someone to write about her too.
E.H.
From the earliest age, we must learn to say good-bye to friends and family. We see our parents and siblings off at the station; we visit cousins, attend schools, join the regiment; we marry, or travel abroad. It is part of the human experience that we are constantly gripping a good fellow by the shoulders and wishing him well, taking comfort from the notion that we will hear word of him soon enough. But experience is less likely to teach us how to bid our dearest possessions adieu. And if it were to? We wouldn’t welcome the education. For eventually, we come to hold our dearest possessions more closely than we hold our friends. We carry them from place to place, often at considerable expense and inconvenience; we dust and polish their surfaces and reprimand children for playing too roughly in their vicinity—all the while, allowing memories to invest them with greater and greater importance. This armoire, we are prone to recall, is the very one in which we hid as a boy; and it was these silver candelabra that lined our table on Christmas Eve; and it was with this handkerchief that she once dried her tears, et cetera, et cetera. Until we imagine that these carefully preserved possessions might give us genuine solace in the face of a lost companion.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
Did you know sometimes it frightens me-- when you say my name and I can't see you? will you ever learn to materialize before you speak? impetuous boy, if that's what you really are. how many centuries since you've climbed a balcony or do you do this every night with someone else? you tell me that you'll never leave and I am almost afraid to believe it. why is it me you've chosen to follow? did you like the way I look when I am sleeping? was my hair more fun to tangle? are my dreams more entertaining? do you laugh when I'm complaining that I'm all alone? where were you when I searched the sea for a friend to talk to me? in a year where will you be? is it enough for you to steal into my mind filling up my page with music written in my hand you know I'll take the credit for I must have made you come to me somehow. but please try to close the curtains when you leave at night, or I'll have to find someone to stay and warm me. will you always attend my midnight tea parties-- as long as I set it at your place? if one day your sugar sits untouched will you have gone forever? would you miss me in a thousand years-- when you will dry another's tears? but you say you'll never leave me and I wonder if you'll have the decency to pass through my wall to the next room while I dress for dinner but when I'm stuck in conversation with stuffed shirts whose adoration hurts my ears, where are you then? can't you cut in when I dance with other men? it's too late not to interfere with my life you've already made me a most unsuitable wife for any man who wants to be the first his bride has slept with and you can't just fly into people's bedrooms then expect them to calmly wave goodbye you've changed the course of history and didn't even try where are you now-- standing behind me, taking my hand? come and remind me who you are have you traveled far are you made of stardust too are the angels after you tell me what I am to do but until then I'll save your side of the bed just come and sing me to sleep
Emilie Autumn
You're Nash's brother. And a grim reaper?" She blinked again, and I readied myself for hysterics, or fear, or laughter. But knowing emma, I should have known better. "So you, what? Kill people? Did you kill me that day in the gym?" She clenched the headrest, her expression an odd mix of anger, awe, and confusion. But there was no disbelief. She'd seen and heard enough of the bizarre following her own temporary death that Tod's admission obviously didn't come as that much of a surprise. Or maybe Nash's Influence was still affecting her a little. "No," Tod shook his head firmly, but the corners of his mouth turned up in amusement. "I had nothing to do with that. I do kill people, then I reap their souls and take them to be recycled. But only people who are on my list." "So, you're not...dangerous?" His pouty grin deepened into something almost predatory, like the Tod I'd first met two months earlier. "Oh, I'm dangerous...." "Tod..." I warned, as Nash punched his brother in the arm, hard enough to actually hurt. "Just not to you," the reaper finished, shrugging at Emma. "I see you all the time, but you've never seen me, because Kaylee said if I got too close to you, I'd suffer eternity without my balls." "Jeez, Tod!" I shouted, my anger threatening to boil over and scald us all. The reaper leaned closer to Emma and spoke in a stage whisper. "She's not as scary as she thinks she is, but I respect her intent.
Rachel Vincent (My Soul to Save (Soul Screamers, #2))
You’ll never lose me,” I said, my voice breaking. “Promise.” His gaze searched mine as he ran his fingertip up my spine. “I promise.” I closed the minuscule gap between us once more, capturing his lips and trying to show him how much I meant it. “I love you. I love our family. I love our life together, and I can’t wait for the day when we’re back home, just the three of us, and this whole war is over. I swear to you that will happen. That will be our future.” He cradled the back of my head, his palm searing against my skin. “I have waited an eternity for this love. I’m not going to let anyone, Titan or not, take it from us.” “Promise?” I said, and this time it was Henry’s turn to kiss me. “I promise.” “Then do me a favor.” “Anything.” I shifted onto my back, rolling him with me. His body pressed against mine in all the right places, and I lifted my head high enough to rest my forehead against his. “Live this love now,” I whispered. “And never stop.
Aimee Carter (The Goddess Inheritance (Goddess Test, #3))
It’s not destiny, Ox. You’re not bound by this. Not yet. There’s a choice. There is always a choice. My wolf chose you. I chose you. And if you don’t choose me, then that’s your choice and I will walk out of here knowing you got to choose your own path. But I swear to god, if you choose me, I will make sure that you know the weight of your worth every day for the rest of our lives because that’s what this is. I am going to be a fucking Alpha one day, and there is no one I’d rather have by my side than you. It’s you, Ox. For me, it’s always been you.” So I said, “Okay, Joe.” I looked up at him. His wolf was close to the surface. And he said, “Okay?” I said, “Okay. Okay. I don’t know if I see the things you do.” “I know.” “And I don’t know if I’ll be good enough.” “I know you will,” he said, eyes flashing orange. “But I promised you. I said it will always be you and me.” His face stuttered a bit, and he said, “You did. You promised me. You promised.” I
T.J. Klune (Wolfsong (Green Creek, #1))
I circled the site before I came in. If there's anyone within five kilometers, I'll eat my quiver." Halt regarded him, eyebrow arched once more. "Anyone?" "Anyone other than Crowley," Will amended, making a dismissive gesture. "I saw him watching me from that hide he always uses about two kilometers out. I assumed he'd be back in here by now." Halt cleared his throat loudly. "Oh, you saw him, did you?" he said. "I imagine he'll be overjoyed to hear that." Secretly, he was pleased with his former pupil. In spite of his curiosity and obvious excitement, he hadn't forgotten to take the precautions that had been drilled into him. THat augured well for what lay ahead, Halt thought, a sudden grimness settling onto his manner. Will didn't notice the momentary change of mood. He was loosening Tug saddle girth. As he spoke, his voice was muffled against the horses's flank. "he's becoming too much a creature of habit," he said. "he's used that hide for the last three Gatherings. It's time he tried something new. Everyone must be onto it by now." Rangers constantly competed with each other to see before being seen and each year's Gathering was a time of heightened competition. Halt nodded thoughtfully. Crowley had constructed teh virtually invisible observation post some four years previously. Alone among the younger Rangers, Will had tumbled to it after one year. Halt had never mentioned to him that he was the only one who knew of Crowley's hide. The concealed post was the Ranger Commandant's pride and joy. "Well, perhaps not everyone," he said. Will emerged from behind his horse, grinning at the thought of the head of the Ranger Corps thinking he had remained hidden from sight as he watched Will's approach. "All the same, perhaps he's getting a bit long in the tooth to be skulking around hiding in the bushes, don't you think?" he said cheerfully. Halt considered the question for a moment. "Long in the tooth? Well, that's one opinion. Mind you, his silent movement skills are still as good as ever," he said meaningfully. The grin on Will's face slowly faded. He resisted the temptation to look over his shoulder. "He's standing behind me, isn't he?" he asked Halt. THe older Ranger nodded. "He's standing behind me, isn't he?" Will continued and Halt nodded once more. "Is he...close enough to have heard what I said?" Will finally managed to ask, fearin teh worst. This time, Halt didn't have to answer. "Oh, good grief no," came a familiar voice from behind him. "he's so old and decrepit these days he's as deaf as a post." Will's shoulders sagged and he turned to see the sandy-haired Commandant standing a few meters away. The younger man's eyes dropped. "Hullo, Crowley," he said, then mumbled, "Ahhh...I'm sorry about that." Crowley glared at teh young Ranger for a few more seconds, then he couldn't help teh grin breaking out on his face. "No harm done," he said, adding with a small note of triumph, "It's not often these days I amange to get the better of one of you young ones." Secretly, he was impressed at teh news that Will had spotted his hiding place. Only the sarpest eyes could have picked it. Crowley had been in the business of seeing without being seen for thirty years or more, and despite what Will believed, he was still an absolute master of camouflage and unseen movement.
John Flanagan (The Sorcerer of the North (Ranger's Apprentice, #5))
But then I realized, they weren't calling out for their own mothers. Not those weak women, those victims. Drug addicts, shopaholics, cookie bakers. They didn't mean the women who let them down, who failed to help them into womanhood, women who let their boyfriends run a train on them. Bingers, purgers, women smiling into mirrors, women in girdles, women on barstools. Not those women with their complaints and their magazines, controlling women, women who asked, what's in in for me? Not the women watching TV while they made dinner, women who dyed their hair blond behind closed doors trying to look twenty-three. They didn't mean the mothers washing dishes wishing they'd never married, the ones in the ER, saying they fell down the stairs, not the ones in prison saying lonliness is the human condition, get used to it. The wanted the real mother, the blood mother, the great womb, mother of fierce compassion, a woman large enough to hold all the pain, to carry it away. What we needed was someone who bled, someone deep and rich as a field, a wide-hipped mother, awesome, immense, women like huge soft couches, mothers coursing with blood, mothers big enough, wide enough for us to hid in, to sink down to the bottom of, mothers who would breathe for us when we could not breathe anymore, who would fight for us, who would kill for us, die for us.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
A Kite is a Victim A kite is a victim you are sure of. You love it because it pulls gentle enough to call you master, strong enough to call you fool; because it lives like a desperate trained falcon in the high sweet air, and you can always haul it down to tame it in your drawer. A kite is a fish you have already caught in a pool where no fish come, so you play him carefully and long, and hope he won't give up, or the wind die down. A kite is the last poem you've written so you give it to the wind, but you don't let it go until someone finds you something else to do. A kite is a contract of glory that must be made with the sun, so you make friends with the field the river and the wind, then you pray the whole cold night before, under the travelling cordless moon, to make you worthy and lyric and pure. Gift You tell me that silence is nearer to peace than poems but if for my gift I brought you silence (for I know silence) you would say This is not silence this is another poem and you would hand it back to me There are some men There are some men who should have mountains to bear their names through time Grave markers are not high enough or green and sons go far away to lose the fist their father’s hand will always seem I had a friend he lived and died in mighty silence and with dignity left no book son or lover to mourn. Nor is this a mourning song but only a naming of this mountain on which I walk fragrant, dark and softly white under the pale of mist I name this mountain after him. -Believe nothing of me Except that I felt your beauty more closely than my own. I did not see any cities burn, I heard no promises of endless night, I felt your beauty more closely than my own. Promise me that I will return.- -When you call me close to tell me your body is not beautiful I want to summon the eyes and hidden mouths of stone and light and water to testify against you.- Song I almost went to bed without remembering the four white violets I put in the button-hole of your green sweater and how i kissed you then and you kissed me shy as though I'd never been your lover -Reach into the vineyard of arteries for my heart. Eat the fruit of ignorance and share with me the mist and fragrance of dying.-
Leonard Cohen (The Spice-Box of Earth)
It’s taboo to admit that you’re lonely. You can make jokes about it, of course. You can tell people that you spend most of your time with Netflix or that you haven’t left the house today and you might not even go outside tomorrow. Ha ha, funny. But rarely do you ever tell people about the true depths of your loneliness, about how you feel more and more alienated from your friends each passing day and you’re not sure how to fix it. It seems like everyone is just better at living than you are. A part of you knew this was going to happen. Growing up, you just had this feeling that you wouldn’t transition well to adult life, that you’d fall right through the cracks. And look at you now. La di da, it’s happening. Your mother, your father, your grandparents: they all look at you like you’re some prized jewel and they tell you over and over again just how lucky you are to be young and have your whole life ahead of you. “Getting old ain’t for sissies,” your father tells you wearily. You wish they’d stop saying these things to you because all it does is fill you with guilt and panic. All it does is remind you of how much you’re not taking advantage of your youth. You want to kiss all kinds of different people, you want to wake up in a stranger’s bed maybe once or twice just to see if it feels good to feel nothing, you want to have a group of friends that feels like a tribe, a bonafide family. You want to go from one place to the next constantly and have your weekends feel like one long epic day. You want to dance to stupid music in your stupid room and have a nice job that doesn’t get in the way of living your life too much. You want to be less scared, less anxious, and more willing. Because if you’re closed off now, you can only imagine what you’ll be like later. Every day you vow to change some aspect of your life and every day you fail. At this point, you’re starting to question your own power as a human being. As of right now, your fears have you beat. They’re the ones that are holding your twenties hostage. Stop thinking that everyone is having more sex than you, that everyone has more friends than you, that everyone out is having more fun than you. Not because it’s not true (it might be!) but because that kind of thinking leaves you frozen. You’ve already spent enough time feeling like you’re stuck, like you’re watching your life fall through you like a fast dissolve and you’re unable to hold on to anything. I don’t know if you ever get better. I don’t know if a person can just wake up one day and decide to be an active participant in their life. I’d like to think so. I’d like to think that people get better each and every day but that’s not really true. People get worse and it’s their stories that end up getting forgotten because we can’t stand an unhappy ending. The sick have to get better. Our normalcy depends upon it. You have to value yourself. You have to want great things for your life. This sort of shit doesn’t happen overnight but it can and will happen if you want it. Do you want it bad enough? Does the fear of being filled with regret in your thirties trump your fear of living today? We shall see.
Ryan O'Connell
Maria, lonely prostitute on a street of pain, You, at least, hail me and speak to me While a thousand others ignore my face. You offer me an hour of love, And your fees are not as costly as most. You are the madonna of the lonely, The first-born daughter in a world of pain. You do not turn fat men aside, Or trample on the stuttering, shy ones, You are the meadow where desperate men Can find a moment's comfort. Men have paid more to their wives To know a bit of peace And could not walk away without the guilt That masquerades as love. You do not bind them, lovely Maria, you comfort them And bid them return. Your body is more Christian than the Bishop's Whose gloved hand cannot feel the dropping of my blood. Your passion is as genuine as most, Your caring as real! But you, Maria, sacred whore on the endless pavement of pain, You, whose virginity each man may make his own Without paying ought but your fee, You who know nothing of virgin births and immaculate conceptions, You who touch man's flesh and caress a stranger, Who warm his bed to bring his aching skin alive, You make more sense than stock markets and football games Where sad men beg for virility. You offer yourself for a fee--and who offers himself for less? At times you are cruel and demanding--harsh and insensitive, At times you are shrewd and deceptive--grasping and hollow. The wonder is that at times you are gentle and concerned, Warm and loving. You deserve more respect than nuns who hide their sex for eternal love; Your fees are not so high, nor your prejudice so virtuous. You deserve more laurels than the self-pitying mother of many children, And your fee is not as costly as most. Man comes to you when his bed is filled with brass and emptiness, When liquor has dulled his sense enough To know his need of you. He will come in fantasy and despair, Maria, And leave without apologies. He will come in loneliness--and perhaps Leave in loneliness as well. But you give him more than soldiers who win medals and pensions, More than priests who offer absolution And sweet-smelling ritual, More than friends who anticipate his death Or challenge his life, And your fee is not as costly as most. You admit that your love is for a fee, Few women can be as honest. There are monuments to statesmen who gave nothing to anyone Except their hungry ego, Monuments to mothers who turned their children Into starving, anxious bodies, Monuments to Lady Liberty who makes poor men prisoners. I would erect a monument for you-- who give more than most-- And for a meager fee. Among the lonely, you are perhaps the loneliest of all, You come so close to love But it eludes you While proper women march to church and fantasize In the silence of their rooms, While lonely women take their husbands' arms To hold them on life's surface, While chattering women fill their closets with clothes and Their lips with lies, You offer love for a fee--which is not as costly as most-- And remain a lonely prostitute on a street of pain. You are not immoral, little Maria, only tired and afraid, But you are not as hollow as the police who pursue you, The politicians who jail you, the pharisees who scorn you. You give what you promise--take your paltry fee--and Wander on the endless, aching pavements of pain. You know more of universal love than the nations who thrive on war, More than the churches whose dogmas are private vendettas made sacred, More than the tall buildings and sprawling factories Where men wear chains. You are a lonely prostitute who speaks to me as I pass, And I smile at you because I am a lonely man.
James Kavanaugh (There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves)
Marya put down her fork. “Why are you doing this, Koschei? I have had lovers before. You have, too. Remember Marina? The rusalka? She and I swam together every morning. We raced the salmon. You called us your little sharks.” The Tsar of Life held his knife so tightly Marya could see his knucklebones bulging. “Were any of them called Ivan? Were any of them human boys all sticky with their own innocence? I know you. I know you because you are like me, as much like me as two spoons nested in each other.” Her husband leaned close to her, the candlelight sparking in his dark, shaggy hair. “When you steal them, they mean so much more, Marousha. Trust me. I know. What did I do wrong? Was I boring? Did I ignore you? Did I not give you enough pretty dresses? Enough emeralds? I’m sure I have more, somewhere.” Marya lifted her hand and laid it on her husband’s cheek. With a blinking quickness, she drove her nails deep into his face. “Don’t you dare speak to me like that. I have worn nothing but blood and death for years. I have fought all your battles for you, just as you asked me. I have learned all the tricks you said I must learn. I have learned not to cry when I strangle a man. I have learned to lay my finger aside my nose and disappear. I have learned to watch everything die. I am not a little girl anymore, dazzled by your magic. It is my magic, now, too. And if I have watched all my soldiers die in front of me, if I have only been saved by my rifle and my own hands, if I have drunk more blood than water for weeks, then I take the human boy who stumbled into my tent and hold him between my legs until I stop screaming, you will not punish me for it. Are we not chyerti? Are we not devils? I will not even hear your punishment, old man.
Catherynne M. Valente (Deathless)
While I pressed the tissue to my face, Beck said, “Can I tell you something? There are a lot of empty boxes in your head, Sam.” I looked at him, quizzical. Again, it was a strange enough concept to hold my attention. “There are a lot of empty boxes in there, and you can put things in them.” Beck handed me another tissue for the other side of my face. My trust of Beck at that point was not yet complete; I remember thinking that he was making a very bad joke that I wasn’t getting. My voice sounded wary, even to me. “What kinds of things?” “Sad things,” Beck said. “Do you have a lot of sad things in your head?” “No,” I said. Beck sucked in his lower lip and released it slowly. “Well, I do.” This was shocking. I didn’t ask a question, but I tilted toward him. “And these things would make me cry,” Beck continued. “They used to make me cry all day long.” I remembered thinking this was probably a lie. I could not imagine Beck crying. He was a rock. Even then, his fingers braced against the floor, he looked poised, sure, immutable. “You don’t believe me? Ask Ulrik. He had to deal with it,” Beck said. “And so you know what I did with those sad things? I put them in boxes. I put the sad things in the boxes in my head, and I closed them up and I put tape on them and I stacked them up in the corner and threw a blanket over them.” “Brain tape?” I suggested, with a little smirk. I was eight, after all. Beck smiled, a weird private smile that, at the time, I didn’t understand. Now I knew it was relief at eliciting a joke from me, no matter how pitiful the joke was. “Yes, brain tape. And a brain blanket over the top. Now I don’t have to look at those sad things anymore. I could open those boxes sometime, I guess, if I wanted to, but mostly I just leave them sealed up.” “How did you use the brain tape?” “You have to imagine it. Imagine putting those sad things in the boxes and imagine taping it up with the brain tape. And imagine pushing them into the side of your brain, where you won’t trip over them when you’re thinking normally, and then toss a blanket over the top. Do you have sad things, Sam?” I could see the dusty corner of my brain where the boxes sat. They were all wardrobe boxes, because those were the most interesting sort of boxes — tall enough to make houses with — and there were rolls and rolls of brain tape stacked on top. There were razors lying beside them, waiting to cut the boxes and me back open. “Mom,” I whispered. I wasn’t looking at Beck, but out of the corner of my eye, I saw him swallow. “What else?” he asked, barely loud enough for me to hear. “The water,” I said. I closed my eyes. I could see it, right there, and I had to force out the next word. “My …” My fingers were on my scars. Beck reached out a hand toward my shoulder, hesitant. When I didn’t move away, he put an arm around my back and I leaned against his chest, feeling small and eight and broken. “Me,” I said.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
Do you know how long I’ve been telling myself you hated me? Or how hard it’s been to keep believing it? You’d do things, these amazing, insane things, like stealing me back from Blind Michael or breaking me out of jail, and I’d say, ‘Oh, he just wants to pay his debts,’ or, ‘Oh, who knows what a cat is thinking?’” My voice broke a little on the last word. Dammit. Tybalt’s eyes widened, hope kindling in their depths. “What are you saying?” “I’m saying— oak and ash, Tybalt, I’m saying I’m in love with you, I’ve been in love with you for a while, and the only way I was dealing with it was by not dealing with it, ever.” I shook my head. “I knew I’d never have you, so I told myself I didn’t want you, and if you don’t really want me, if you want some idea of me, or just want to chase and not catch, I’ll understand, but this has been a hard week, Tybalt, this has been such a hard week. I’ve been waiting for you to come here, because I need you to tell me. Okay? Just tell me what you want.” “Oh, October. Toby. My Toby.” He pulled one hand from mine, reaching up to tuck my hair behind my ear. His fingers were shaking. That was what I focused on, more than anything else. His fingers were shaking. “Do you think I’m cruel enough to do that to you?” I sniffled. “No,” I admitted. “Thank Oberon,” he said, and pulled me close, and kissed me.
Seanan McGuire (Ashes of Honor (October Daye, #6))
People walk the paths of the gardens below, and the wind sings anthems in the hedges, and the big old cedars at the entrance to the maze creak. Marie-Laure imagines the electromagnetic waves traveling into and out of Michel’s machine, bending around them, just as Etienne used to describe, except now a thousand times more crisscross the air than when he lived - maybe a million times more. Torrents of text conversations, tides of cell conversations, of televisions programs, of e-mails, vast networks of fiber and wire interlaced above and beneath the city, passing through buildings, arcing between transmitters in Metro tunnels, between antennas atop buildings, from lampposts with cellular transmitters in them, commercials for Carrefour and Evian and prebaked toaster pastries flashing into space and back to earth again, I am going to be late and Maybe we should get reservations? and Pick up avocados and What did he say? and ten thousand I miss yous, fifty thousand I love yous, hate mail and appointment reminders and market updates, jewelry ads, coffee ads, furniture ads flying invisibly over the warrens of Paris, over the battlefields and tombs, over the Ardennes, over the Rhine, over Belgium and Denmark, over the scarred and ever-shifting landscape we call nations. And is it so hard to believe that souls might also travel those paths? That her father and Etienne and Madame Manec and the German boy named Werner Pfennig might harry the sky in flocks, like egrets, like terns, like starlings? That great shuttles of souls might fly about, faded but audible if you listen closely enough? They flow above the chimneys, ride the sidewalks, slip through your jacket and shirt and breastbone and lungs, and pass out through the other side, the air a library and the record of every life lived, every sentence spoken, every word transmitted still reverberating within it. Every hour, she thinks, someone for whom the war was memory falls out of the world. We rise again in the grass. In the flowers. In songs.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
Promises are meant to be broken, that’s what people always say, but what if I want to keep mine? To this day, I’d sooner break my bones than go back on any of the words I said so dearly to you. We’re so young, God, we’re so young. Only sixteen with a pocketful of big dreams. The world is in our hands, that’s what people always say, but what if I’m afraid to carry it? What if I don’t want to be Atlas? You, my dear, are unshakeable. You hold your cards close to your chest. Courage finds a home in the space between your ribs. I’m too young to understand, that’s what people always say, but I am old enough to see. There’s a forest fire in your eyes that sets me alight. A bravery in your heart that beats in tune to mine. My darling, you’re something out of a story. Poetry doesn’t begin to do your soul justice. Change is inevitable, that’s what people always say, but what if that change is good? There’s a lightness to my steps there wasn’t before. There’s a brightness in my heart there wasn’t before. If you held me up to a candle, my silhouette would be covered in your name. Before you, I used to care what people always say your lovely heart led me astray in unexpected ways. Sometimes I think I’m going to burst into flames. From the spark you struck inside my chest. I wonder, how do you keep from setting yourself afire? But then comes the startling yet undeniable understanding. You are fireproof, lionheart and now I am, too.
Tashie Bhuiyan (Counting Down with You)
On the fourth day, we came upon a cavern with a perfectly still pool that gave the illusion of a night sky, its depths sparkling with tiny luminescent fish. Mal and I were slightly ahead of the others. He dipped his hand in, then yelped and drew back. “They bite.” “Serves you right,” I said. “‘Oh, look, a dark lake full of something shiny. Let me put my hand in it.’” “I can’t help being delicious,” he said, that familiar cocky grin flashing across his face like light over water. Then he seemed to catch himself. He shouldered his pack, and I knew he was about to move away from me. I wasn’t sure where the words came from: “You didn’t fail me, Mal.” He wiped his damp hand on his thigh. “We both know better.” “We’re going to be traveling together for who knows how long. Eventually, you’re going to have to talk to me.” “I’m talking to you right now.” “See? Is this so terrible?” “It wouldn’t be,” he said, gazing at me steadily, “if all I wanted to do was talk.” My cheeks heated. You don’t want this, I told myself. But I felt my edges curl like a piece of paper held too close to fire. “Mal—” “I need to keep you safe, Alina, to stay focused on what matters. I can’t do that if . . .” He let out a long breath. “You were meant for more than me, and I’ll die fighting to give it to you. But please don’t ask me to pretend it’s easy.” He plunged ahead into the next cave. I looked down into the glittering pond, the whorls of light in the water still settling after Mal’s brief touch. I could hear the others making their noisy way through the cavern. “Oncat scratches me all the time,” said Harshaw as he ambled up beside me. “Oh?” I asked hollowly. “Funny thing is, she likes to stay close.” “Are you being profound, Harshaw?” “Actually, I was wondering, if I ate enough of those fish, would I start to glow?” I shook my head. Of course one of the last living Inferni would have to be insane. I fell into step with the others and headed into the next tunnel. “Come on, Harshaw,” I called over my shoulder. Then the first explosion hit.
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
The problem is, it's just not enough to live according to the rules. Sure, you manage to live according to the rules. Sometimes it's tight, extremely tight, but on the whole you manage it. Your tax papers are up to date. Your bills paid on time. You never go out without your identity card (and the special little wallet for your Visa!). Yet you haven’t any friends. The rules are complex, multiform. There’s the shopping that needs doing out of working hours, the automatic dispensers where money has to be got (and where you so often have to wait). Above all there are the different payments you must make to the organizations that run different aspects of your life. You can fall ill into the bargain, which involves costs, and more formalities. Nevertheless, some free time remains. What’s to be done? How do you use your time? In dedicating yourself to helping people? But basically other people don’t interest you. Listening to records? That used to be a solution, but as the years go by you have to say that music moves you less and less. Taken in its widest sense, a spot of do-it-yourself can be a way out. But the fact is that nothing can halt the ever-increasing recurrence of those moments when your total isolation, the sensation of an all-consuming emptiness, the foreboding that your existence is nearing a painful and definitive end all combine to plunge you into a state of real suffering. And yet you haven’t always wanted to die. You have had a life. There have been moments when you were having a life. Of course you don't remember too much about it; but there are photographs to prove it. This was probably happening round about the time of your adolescence, or just after. How great your appetite for life was, then! Existence seemed so rich in new possibilities. You might become a pop singer, go off to Venezuela. More surprising still, you have had a childhood. Observe, now, a child of seven, playing with his little soldiers on the living room carpet. I want you to observe him closely. Since the divorce he no longer has a father. Only rarely does he see his mother, who occupies an important post in a cosmetics firm. And yet he plays with his little soldiers and the interest he takes in these representations of the world and of war seems very keen. He already lacks a bit of affection, that's for sure, but what an air he has of being interested in the world! You too, you took an interest in the world. That was long ago. I want you to cast your mind back to then. The domain of the rules was no longer enough for you; you were unable to live any longer in the domain of the rules; so you had to enter into the domain of the struggle. I ask you to go back to that precise moment. It was long ago, no? Cast your mind back: the water was cold.
Michel Houellebecq (Whatever)
You'll get over it...' It's the cliches that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life for ever. You don't get over it because 'it' is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to greive over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to? I've thought a lot about death recently, the finality of it, the argument ending in mid-air. One of us hadn't finished, why did the other one go? And why without warning? Even death after long illness is without warning. The moment you had prepared for so carefully took you by storm. The troops broke through the window and snatched the body and the body is gone. The day before the Wednesday last, this time a year ago, you were here and now you're not. Why not? Death reduces us to the baffled logic of a small child. If yesterday why not today? And where are you? Fragile creatures of a small blue planet, surrounded by light years of silent space. Do the dead find peace beyond the rattle of the world? What peace is there for us whose best love cannot return them even for a day? I raise my head to the door and think I will see you in the frame. I know it is your voice in the corridor but when I run outside the corridor is empty. There is nothing I can do that will make any difference. The last word was yours. The fluttering in the stomach goes away and the dull waking pain. Sometimes I think of you and I feel giddy. Memory makes me lightheaded, drunk on champagne. All the things we did. And if anyone had said this was the price I would have agreed to pay it. That surprises me; that with the hurt and the mess comes a shaft of recognition. It was worth it. Love is worth it.
Jeanette Winterson (Written on the Body)
The night following the reading, Gansey woke up to a completely unfamiliar sound and fumbled for his glasses. It sounded a little like one of his roommates was being killed by a possum, or possibly the final moments of a fatal cat fight. He wasn’t certain of the specifics, but he was sure death was involved. Noah stood in the doorway to his room, his face pathetic and long-suffering. “Make it stop,” he said. Ronan’s room was sacred, and yet here Gansey was, twice in the same weak, pushing the door open. He found the lamp on and Ronan hunched on the bed, wearing only boxers. Six months before, Ronan had gotten the intricate black tattoo that covered most of his back and snaked up his neck, and now the monochromatic lines of it were stark in the claustrophobic lamplight, more real than anything else in the room. It was a peculiar tattoo, both vicious and lovely, and every time Gansey saw it, he saw something different in the pattern. Tonight, nestled in an inked glen of wicked, beautiful flowers, was a beak where before he’d seen a scythe. The ragged sound cut through the apartment again. “What fresh hell is this?” Gansey asked pleasantly. Ronan was wearing headphones as usual, so Gansey stretched forward far enough to tug them down around his neck. Music wailed faintly into the air. Ronan lifted his head. As he did, the wicked flowers on his back shifted and hid behind his sharp shoulder blades. In his lap was the half-formed raven, its head tilted back, beak agape. “I thought we were clear on what a closed door meant,” Ronan said. He held a pair of tweezers in one hand. “I thought we were clear that night was for sleeping.” Ronan shrugged. “Perhaps for you.” “Not tonight. Your pterodactyl woke me. Why is it making that sound?” In response, Ronan dipped the tweezers into a plastic baggy on the blanket in front of him. Gansey wasn’t certain he wanted to know what the gray substance was in the tweezers’ grasp. As soon as the raven heard the rustle of the bag, it made the ghastly sound again—a rasping squeal that became a gurgle as it slurped down the offering. At once, it inspired both Gansey’s compassion and his gag reflex. “Well, this is not going to do,” he said. “You’re going to have to make it stop.” “She has to be fed,” Ronan replied. The ravel gargled down another bite. This time it sounded a lot like vacuuming potato salad. “It’s only every two hours for the first six weeks.” “Can’t you keep her downstairs?” In reply, Ronan half-lifted the little bird toward him. “You tell me.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
Go on," Kell told him without taking his eyes from Lila. " Get some rest." Hastra shifted. "I can't, sir," he said. "I'm to escort Miss Bard--" "I'll take that charge," cut in Kell. Hastra bit his lip and retreated several steps. Lila let her forehead come to rest against his, her face so close the features blurred. And yet, that fractured eye shone with frightening clarity. "You never told me," he whispered. "You never noticed," she answered. And then, "Alucard did." The blow landed, and Kell started to pull away when Lila's eyelids fluttered and she swayed dangerously. He braced her. "Come on," he said gently. "I have a room upstairs. Why don't we--" A sleepy flicker of amusement. "Trying to get me into bed?" Kell mustered a smile. "It's only fair. I've spent enough time in yours." "If I remember correctly," she said, her voice dreamy with fatigue, "you were on top of the bed the entire time." "And tied to it," observed Kell. Her words were soft at the edges. "Those were the days..." she said, right before she fell forward. It happened so fast Kell could do nothing but throw his arms around her. "Lila?" he asked, first gently, and then more urgently. "Lila?" She murmured against his front, something about sharp knives and soft corners, but didn't rouse, and Kell shot a glance at Hastra, who was still standing there, looking thoroughly embarrassed. "What have you done?" demanded Kell. "It was just a tonic, sir," he fumbled, "something for sleep." "You drugged her?" "It was Tieren's order," said Hastra, chastised. "He said she was mad and stubborn and no use to us dead." Hastra lowered his voice when he said this, mimicking Tieren's tone with startling accuracy. "And what do you plan to do when she wakes back up?" Hastra shrank back. "Apologize?" Kell made an exasperated sound as Lila nuzzled-- actually nuzzled-- his shoulder. "I suggest," he snapped at the young man, "you think of something better. Like an escape route." Hastra paled, and Kell swept Lila up into his arms, amazed at her lightness... Kell swept through the halls until he reached his room and lowered Lila onto the couch. Hastra handed him a blanket. "Shouldn't you take off her knives?" "There's not enough tonic in the world to risk it," said Kell.
V.E. Schwab (A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3))
By the following morning, Anthony was drunk. By afternoon, he was hungover. His head was pounding, his ears were ringing, and his brothers, who had been surprised to discover him in such a state at their club, were talking far too loudly. Anthony put his hands over his ears and groaned.Everyone was talking far too loudly. “Kate boot you out of the house?” Colin asked, grabbing a walnut from a large pewter dish in the middle their table and splitting it open with a viciously loud crack. Anthony lifted his head just far enough to glare at him. Benedict watched his brother with raised brows and the vaguest hint of a smirk. “She definitely booted him out,” he said to Colin. “Hand me one of those walnuts, will you?” Colin tossed one across the table. “Do you want the crackers as well?” Benedict shook his head and grinned as he held up a fat, leather-bound book. “Much more satisfying to smash them.” “Don’t,” Anthony bit out, his hand shooting out to grab the book, “even think about it.” “Ears a bit sensitive this afternoon, are they?” If Anthony had had a pistol, he would have shot them both, hang the noise. “If I might offer you a piece of advice?” Colin said, munching on his walnut. “You might not,” Anthony replied. He looked up. Colin was chewing with his mouth open. As this had been strictly forbidden while growing up in their household, Anthony could only deduce that Colin was displaying such poor manners only to make more noise. “Close your damned mouth,” he muttered. Colin swallowed, smacked his lips, and took a sip of his tea to wash it all down. “Whatever you did, apologize for it. I know you, and I’m getting to know Kate, and knowing what I know—” “What the hell is he talking about?” Anthony grumbled. “I think,” Benedict said, leaning back in his chair, “that he’s telling you you’re an ass.” “Just so!” Colin exclaimed. Anthony just shook his head wearily. “It’s more complicated than you think.” “It always is,” Benedict said, with sincerity so false it almost managed to sound sincere. “When you two idiots find women gullible enough to actually marry you,” Anthony snapped, “then you may presume to offer me advice. But until then ...shut up.” Colin looked at Benedict. “Think he’s angry?” Benedict quirked a brow. “That or drunk.” Colin shook his head. “No, not drunk. Not anymore, at least. He’s clearly hungover.” “Which would explain,” Benedict said with a philosophical nod, “why he’s so angry.” Anthony spread one hand over his face and pressed hard against his temples with his thumb and middle finger. “God above,” he muttered. ‘‘What would it take to get you two to leave me alone?” “Go home, Anthony,” Benedict said, his voice surprisingly gentle.
Julia Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2))
I closed what little distance was left between us, one hand sliding through his soft hair, the other gathering the back of his shirt into my fist. When my lips finally pressed against his, I felt something coil deep inside of me. There was nothing outside of him, not even the grating of cicadas, not even the gray-bodied trees. My heart thundered in my chest. More, more, more—a steady beat. His body relaxed under my hands, shuddering at my touch. Breathing him in wasn’t enough, I wanted to inhale him. The leather, the smoke, the sweetness. I felt his fingers counting up my bare ribs. Liam shifted his legs around mine to draw me closer. I was off-balance on my toes; the world swaying dangerously under me as his lips traveled to my cheek, to my jaw, to where my pulse throbbed in my neck. He seemed so sure of himself, like he had already plotted out this course. I didn’t feel it happen, the slip. Even if I had, I was so wrapped up in him that I couldn’t imagine pulling back or letting go of his warm skin or that moment. His touch was feather-light, stroking my skin with a kind of reverence, but the instant his lips found mine again, a single thought was enough to rocket me out of the honey-sweet haze. The memory of Clancy’s face as he had leaned in to do exactly what Liam was doing now suddenly flooded my mind, twisting its way through me until I couldn’t ignore it. Until I was seeing it play out glossy and burning like it was someone else’s memory and not mine. And then I realized—I wasn’t the only one seeing it. Liam was seeing it, too. How, how, how? That wasn’t possible, was it? Memories flowed to me, not from me. But I felt him grow still, then pull back. And I knew, I knew by the look on his face, that he had seen it. Air filled my chest. “Oh my God, I’m sorry, I didn’t want—he—” Liam caught one of my wrists and pulled me back to him, his hands cupping my cheeks. I wondered which one of us was breathing harder as he brushed my hair from my face. I tried to squirm away, ashamed of what he’d seen, and afraid of what he’d think of me. When Liam spoke, it was in a measured, would-be-calm voice. “What did he do?” “Nothing—” “Don’t lie,” he begged. “Please don’t lie to me. I felt it…my whole body. God, it was like being turned to stone. You were scared—I felt it, you were scared!” His fingers came up and wove through my hair, bringing my face close to his again. “He…” I started. “He asked to see a memory, and I let him, but when I tried to move away…I couldn’t get out, I couldn’t move, and then I blacked out. I don’t know what he did, but it hurt—it hurt so much.” Liam pulled back and pressed his lips to my forehead. I felt the muscles in his arms strain, shake. “Go to the cabin.” He didn’t let me protest. “Start packing.” “Lee—” “I’m going to find Chubs,” he said. “And the three of us are getting the hell out of here. Tonight.” “We can’t,” I said. “You know we can’t.” But he was already crashing back through the dark path. “Lee!
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
No,” I hear myself say. “You’re not supposed to be here.” She’s sitting on my bed. She’s leaning back on her elbows, legs outstretched in front of her, crossed at the ankles. And while some part of me understands I must be dreaming, there’s another, overwhelmingly dominant part of me that refuses to accept this. Part of me wants to believe she’s really here, inches away from me, wearing this short, tight black dress that keeps slipping up her thighs. But everything about her looks different, oddly vibrant; the colors are all wrong. Her lips are a richer, deeper shade of pink; her eyes seem wider, darker. She’s wearing shoes I know she’d never wear. And strangest of all: she’s smiling at me. “Hi,” she whispers. It’s just one word, but my heart is already racing. I’m inching away from her, stumbling back and nearly slamming my skull against the headboard, when I realize my shoulder is no longer wounded. I look down at myself. My arms are both fully functional. I’m wearing nothing but a white T-shirt and my underwear. She shifts positions in an instant, propping herself up on her knees before crawling over to me. She climbs onto my lap. She’s now straddling my waist. I’m suddenly breathing too fast. Her lips are at my ear. Her words are so soft. “Kiss me,” she says. “Juliette—” “I came all the way here.” She’s still smiling at me. It’s a rare smile, the kind she’s never honored me with. But somehow, right now, she’s mine. She’s mine and she’s perfect and she wants me, and I’m not going to fight it. I don’t want to. Her hands are tugging at my shirt, pulling it up over my head. Tossing it to the floor. She leans forward and kisses my neck, just once, so slowly. My eyes fall closed. There aren’t enough words in this world to describe what I’m feeling. I feel her hands move down my chest, my stomach; her fingers run along the edge of my underwear. Her hair falls forward, grazing my skin, and I have to clench my fists to keep from pinning her to my bed. Every nerve ending in my body is awake. I’ve never felt so alive or so desperate in my life, and I’m sure if she could hear what I’m thinking right now, she’d run out the door and never come back. Because I want her. Now. Here. Everywhere. I want nothing between us. I want her clothes off and the lights on and I want to study her. I want to unzip her out of this dress and take my time with every inch of her. I can’t help my need to just stare; to know her and her features: the slope of her nose, the curve of her lips, the line of her jaw. I want to run my fingertips across the soft skin of her neck and trace it all the way down. I want to feel the weight of her pressed against me, wrapped around me. I can’t remember a reason why this can’t be right or real. I can’t focus on anything but the fact that she’s sitting on my lap, touching my chest, staring into my eyes like she might really love me. I wonder if I’ve actually died. But just as I lean in, she leans back, grinning before reaching behind her, never once breaking eye contact with me. “Don’t worry,” she whispers. “It’s almost over now.” Her words seem so strange, so familiar. “What do you mean?” “Just a little longer and I’ll leave.” “No.” I’m blinking fast, reaching for her. “No, don’t go—where are you going—” “You’ll be all right,” she says. “I promise.” “No—” But now she’s holding a gun. And pointing it at my heart.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
I left Abnegation because I wasn't selfless enough,no matter how hard I tried to be." "That's not entirely true." He smiles at me. "That girl who let someone throw knives at her to spare a friend,who hit my dad with a belt to protect me-that selfless girl,that's not you?" He's figured out more about me than I have. And even though it seems impossible that he could feel something for me,given all that I'm not...maybe it isn't.I frown at him. "You've been paying close attention,haven't you?" "I like to observe people." "Maybe you were cut out for Candor, Four, because you're a terrible liar." He puts his hand on the rock next to him, his fingers lining up with mine. I look down at our hands. He has long, narrow fingers. Hands made for mine, deft movements.Not Dauntless hands, which should be thick and tough and ready to break things. "Fine." He leans his face closer to mine, his eyes focusing on my chin, and my lips,and my nose. "I watched you because I like you." He says it plainly, boldly, and his eyes flick up to mine. "And don't call me 'Four," okay? It's nice to hear my name again." Just like that,he has finally declared himself, and I don't know how to respond. My cheeks warm,and all I can think to say is, "But you're older than I am...Tobias." He smiles at me. "Yes,that whopping two-year gap really is insurmountable, isn't it?" "I'm not trying to be self-deprecating," I say, "I just don't get it. I'm younger. I'm not pretty.I-" He laughs,a deep laugh that sounds like it came from deep inside him, and touches his lips to my temple. "Don't pretend," I say breathily. "You know I'm not. I'm not ugly,but I am certainly not pretty." "Fine.You're not pretty.So?" He kisses my cheek. "I like how you look. You're deadly smart.You're brave. And even though you found out about Marcus..." His voice softens. "You aren't giving me that look.Like I'm a kicked puppy or something." "Well," I say. "You're not." For a second his dark eyes are on mine, and he's quiet. Then he touches my face and leans in close, brushing my lips with his.The river roars and I feel its spray on my ankles.He grins and presses his mouth to mine. I tense up at first,unsure of myself, so when he pulls away,I'm sure I did something wrong,or badly.But he takes my face in his hands,his figners strong against my skin,and kisses me again, firmer this time, more certain. I wrap an arm around him,sliding my hand up his nack and into his short hair. For a few minutes we kiss,deep in the chasm,with the roar of water all around us. And when we rise,hand in hand, I realize that if we had both chosen differently,we might have ended up doing the same thing, in a safer place, in gray clothes instead of black ones.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God. Prayers are prophecies. They are the best predictors of your spiritual future. Who you become is determined by how you pray. Ultimately, the transcript of your prayers becomes the script of your life. The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked. God does not answer vague prayers. The more specific your prayers are, the more glory God receives. Most of us don’t get what we want because we quit praying. We give up too easily. We give up too soon. We quit praying right before the miracle happens. If you don’t take the risk, you forfeit the miracle. Take a step of faith when God gives you a vision because you trust that the One who gave you the vision is going to make provision. And for the record, if the vision is from God, it will most definitely be beyond your means. We shouldn’t seek answers as much as we should seek God. If you seek answers you won’t find them, but if you seek God, the answers will find you. If your plans aren’t birthed in prayer and bathed in prayer, they won’t succeed. Are your problems bigger than God, or is God bigger than your problems? Our biggest problem is our small view of God. That is the cause of all lesser evils. And it’s a high view of God that is the solution to all other problems. Because you know He can, you can pray with holy confidence. Persistence is the magic bullet. The only way you can fail is if you stop praying. 100 percent of the prayers I don’t pray won’t get answered. Where are you most proficient, most sufficient? Maybe that is precisely where God wants you to trust Him to do something beyond your ability. What we perceive as unanswered prayers are often the greatest answers. Our heavenly Father is far too wise and loves us far too much to give us everything we ask for. Someday we’ll thank God for the prayers He didn’t answer as much or more than the ones He did. You can’t pray for open doors if you aren’t willing accept closed doors, because one leads to the other. Just as our greatest successes often come on the heels of our greatest failures, our greatest answers often come on the heels of our longest and most boring prayers. The biggest difference between success and failure, both spiritually and occupationally, is your waking-up time on your alarm clock. We won’t remember the things that came easy; we’ll remember the things that came hard. It’s not just where you end up that’s important; it’s how you get there. Goal setting begins and ends with prayer. The more you have to circle something in prayer, the more satisfying it is spiritually. And, often, the more glory God gets. I don’t want easy answers or quick answers because I have a tendency to mishandle the blessings that come too easily or too quickly. I take the credit or take them for granted. So now I pray that it will take long enough and be hard enough for God to receive all of the glory. Change your prayer approach from as soon as possible to as long as it takes. Go home. Lock yourself in your room. Kneel down in the middle of the floor, and with a piece of chalk draw a circle around yourself. There, on your knees, pray fervently and brokenly that God would start a revival within that chalk circle.
Mark Batterson (The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears)