Don't Feel Obligated Quotes

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I think in the end, you would have stayed with me, out of obligation...or maybe comfort. Maybe I was safe to you, and you needed to feel that. I know how scared you get of the unknown. To you...I must be kind of a security blanket. Do you see now, how that doesn't work for me? I don't want to be there, simply because the idea of me being gone is too...scary. I want to be someone's everything. I want fire and passion, and love that's returned, equally. I want to be someone's heart... Even if it means breaking my own.
S.C. Stephens (Thoughtless (Thoughtless, #1))
My favorite part of the party is when the party is over. When I don't feel obligated to have a good time, and I can just sit and chill with whoever's left to chill with, you know?
Drew Magary (The Hike)
How many things do we feel obliged to do for the sake of it, or for appearances, or because we are trained to do them, but which weigh us down and don’t in fact achieve anything?
Antoine Laurain (The Red Notebook)
They’re on Lee and Indy Sex Watch.” “Come again?” “They want to know when we’ve done it.” Silence. I went on. “If we don’t do it soon, they might force us to at gunpoint.” “Christ.” “I know. No pressure though. I told them we’re taking is slow.” “You have to report in?” “I kind of feel obliged.” “How’s that?” I didn’t want to tell him I’d recruited them both for Lee Maneuvres in the past, so I said, “Never mind.” “If something doesn’t happen soon, it’s gonna be bad. I can’t keep focussed, all I can think of is what’s on your Victoria’s Secret credit statement. “You need to keep focused,” I told him, “bad guys are after me.” “Tell me about it.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick (Rock Chick, #1))
One way to tell if you're really comfortable with a person is if you can be quiet together sometimes and not feel awkward. If you don't feel obligated to say something brilliant or funny or surprising or cool. You can just be together. You can just be.
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Alice on Her Way (Alice, #17))
Making someone feel obligated, pressured or forced into doing something of a sexual nature that they don't want to is sexual coercion. This includes persistent attempts at sexual contact when the person has already refused you. Nobody owes you sex, ever; and no means no, always.
Miya Yamanouchi (Embrace Your Sexual Self: A Practical Guide for Women)
Gifts are very useful to con men. Gifts create a feeling of debt, an itchy anxiety that the recipient is eager to be rid of by repaying. So eager, in fact, that people will often overpay just to be relieved of it. A single spontaneously given cup of coffee can make a person feel obligated to sit through a lecture on a religion they don't care about. The gift of a tiny, wilted flower can make the recipient give to a charity they dislike. Gifts place such a heavy burden that even throwing away the gift doesn't remove the debt. Even if you hate coffee, even if you didn't want that flower, once you take it, you want to give something back. Most of all, you want to dismiss obligation.
Holly Black (Red Glove (Curse Workers, #2))
You don't want me to feel obligated? Well, I'm sorry, Lily. I am here because I feel obligated." He brought her hand to his chest, pressing her palm flat against his rapidly thumping pulse. "I'm obligated by my heart. It's decided you're essential to my existence, you see. And it's threatening to go out on labor strike if I don't make you mine this very day. So yes. I am here on bended knee, acting from a deep, undeniable sense of obligation. I am, quite simply, yours." He swallowed hard. "If you'll have me.
Tessa Dare (Three Nights with a Scoundrel (Stud Club, #3))
Gus, do I have to put you in a cage or something? Because I will! Don't push it, mister!" "As an officer of the court, I feel obliged to speak up and tell you that child imprisonment is against the law," I said. "Right. Well, then, I'll take that as your offer to babysit all four of my precious angels when you get home." "Then again, cages can be very comfortable.
Kristan Higgins (My One and Only)
Not a day goes by that I don't still need to remind myself that my life is not just what's handed to me, nor is it my list of obligations, my accomplishments or failures, or what my family is up to, but rather it is what I choose, day in and day out, to make of it all. When I am able simply to be with things as they are, able to accept the day's challenges without judging, reaching, or wishing for something else, I feel as if I am receiving the privilege, coming a step closer to being myself. It's when I get lost in the day's details, or so caught up in worries about what might be, that I miss the beauty of what is.
Katrina Kenison (The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir)
As a reader, I don't feel a story has an obligation to make me happy. I want stories to show me a bigger world than the one I know.
John Green
Then she saw the animal, a German Shepherd, from the looks of him at this remove. He probably belonged on one of the farms out here, where owners don’t feel obligated to pen or chain their animals. Suddenly she saw he was coming without surcease directly toward her. He was still a long way off, but she was now terrified.
John M. Vermillion (Awful Reckoning: A Cade Chase and Simon Pack Novel)
Lyor Cohen, who I consider my mentor, once told me something that he was told by a rabbi about the eight degrees of giving in Judaism. The seventh degree is giving anonymously, so you don't know who you're giving to, and the person on the receiving end doesn't know who gave. The value of that is that the person receiving doesn't have to feel some kind of obligation to the giver and the person giving isn't doing it with an ulterior motive. It's a way of putting the giver and receiver on the same level. It's a tough ideal to reach out for, but it does take away some of the patronizing and showboating that can go on with philanthropy in a capitalist system. The highest level of giving, the eight, is giving in a way that makes the receiver self-sufficient.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Some philosophers can't bear to say simple things, like "Suppose a dog bites a man." They feel obliged instead to say, "Suppose a dog d bites a man m at time t," thereby demonstrating their unshakable commitment to logical rigor, even though they don't go on to manipulate any formulae involving d, m, and t.
Daniel C. Dennett (Freedom Evolves)
Imagine you’re walking down the street eating a sandwich and someone says, Damn, that looks like a delicious sandwich, can I have a bite? You’d think, why would I ever let you eat this sandwich? This is my sandwich. So you’d walk on and continue eating, and they’d say, What? You’re not going to say anything? No need to get mad, I was just trying to compliment your sandwich. Let’s say this happened three times a day, strangers stopping you on the street, letting you know how good your food looks, asking if they can have some of it. What if people started yelling out of their cars about how much they wanted your sandwich. Let me have some! they’d exclaim, driving by with a honk. Were you supposed to say, I’m sorry, no thank you, every time? Would you feel obligated to explain over and over again that you don’t wish to share because it’s your lunch and you don’t know them? That you don’t owe them any of it? That it’s a little unreasonable that they’re asking in the first place? All you would want is to walk down the street eating your sandwich in peace. Maybe I am making this worse by comparing a woman’s body to a sandwich, but do you see what I mean?
Chanel Miller (Know My Name: A Memoir)
Love isn’t an obligation. You don’t owe someone your loyalty and you damn well don’t owe them your heart. It’s an emotion, and it’s born from mutual respect and generosity. It is not cruel and it is not judging. It comes from a willingness to live in complete and utter misery for the benefit of another. But when it’s real, you don’t feel that misery at all. The thought of their face, the scent of their skin brings a light to that darkness so bright that it drives out everything else.” - Ren Waya
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Time Untime (Dark-Hunter, #21))
And yet we feel obliged to repress our emotions and our desires, because they don’t fit with what we call “maturity.
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
The life-changing magic of not giving a fuck is all about prioritizing. Joy over annoy. Choice over obligation. Opinions vs. feelings.
Sarah Knight (The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don't Have with People You Don't Like Doing Things You Don't Want to Do (A No F*cks Given Guide Book 1))
He doesn't believe in talking too much about art, especially while you're looking at it. The pressure to appreciate is the great enemy of actual enjoyment. Most people don't know what they like because they feel obligated to like so many different things. They feel they're supposed to be overwhelmed, so instead of looking, they spend their time thinking up something to say, something intelligent, or at least clever.
Robert Hellenga (The Sixteen Pleasures)
I don’t know why, but we Americans feel little obligation to preserve what once was because we choose to see it as less than what is or what could be. Like children and adolescents, we have not yet learned that the present isn’t the only thing.
Stanley Tucci (Taste: My Life Through Food)
I can’t quite shake this feeling that we live in a world gone wrong, that there are all these feelings you’re not supposed to have because there’s no reason to anymore. But still they’re there, stuck somewhere, a flaw that evolution hasn’t managed to eliminate yet. I want so badly to feel bad about getting pregnant. But I can’t, don’t dare to. Just like I didn’t dare tell Jack that I was falling in love with him, wanting to be a modern woman who’s supposed to be able to handle the casual nature of these kinds of relationships. I’m never supposed to say, to Jack or anyone else, ‘What makes you think I’m so rich that you can steal my heart and it won’t mean a thing?’ Sometimes I think that I was forced to withdraw into depression, because it was the only rightful protest I could throw in the face of a world that said it was all right for people to come and go as they please, that there were simply no real obligations left. Deceit and treachery in both romantic and political relationships is nothing new, but at one time, it was bad, callous, and cold to hurt somebody. Now it’s just the way things go, part of the growth process. Really nothing is surprising. After a while, meaning and implication detach themselves from everything. If one can be a father and assume no obligations, it follows that one can be a boyfriend and do nothing at all. Pretty soon you can add friend, acquaintance, co-worker, and just about anyone else to the long list of people who seem to be part of your life, though there is no code of conduct that they must adhere to. Pretty soon, it seems unreasonable to be bothered or outraged by much of anything because, well, what did you expect?
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
I hate when a man feels I’m obligated to disclose my marital status to somebody I don’t even know. Even this bullshit about status itself as if married and spinster are the only two choices for defining myself. Or because I’m a woman I’m supposed to have a status at all.
Marlon James (A Brief History of Seven Killings)
we feel obliged to repress our emotions and our desires, because they don’t fit with what we call “maturity.
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
People didn't like having to come up with something smart or helpful or sensitive to say, and they weren't intelligent enough to realize that all we wanted, all I wanted, was to be treated the same as I had been three months before. I wanted to be ignored because of my eccentricities, not because of my brother. And I wanted to be offered help from people because they cared about me, not because they felt some strange social obligation to do so. I wanted the world to sit back, listen up, and let me explain to it that when someone is sad and hopeless, the last thing they need to feel is that they are the only ones in the world with that feeling. So, if you feel sorry for someone, don't pretend to be happy. Don't pretend to care only about their problems. People aren't stupid. Not all of us, anyway. If someone's little brother disappears, don't give him a free hamburger to make him feel better-- it doesn't work. It's a good burger, sure, but it means nothing. It means something only to the Mr. Burkes of the world. Offering free meals, free stays in condos in Florida, even free plumbing. And we let them. We let them because they need it, not us. We didn't let them help us because we needed it, we let them help us because inside of humans is this thing, this unnamed need to feel as if we were useful in the world. To feel as if we have something significant to contribute. So, old ladies, make your casseroles and set them on doorsteps. And old men, grill your burgers and give them to teenagers with cynical worldviews. The world can't be satisfied, but that need to fix it all can.
John Corey Whaley (Where Things Come Back)
But let’s consider this more carefully. Most of these gifts remain unopened or have been used only once. Admit it. They simply don’t suit your taste. The true purpose of a present is to be received. Presents are not “things” but a means for conveying someone’s feelings. When viewed from this perspective, you don’t need to feel guilty for parting with a gift. Just thank it for the joy it gave you when you first received it. Of course, it would be ideal if you could use it with joy. But surely the person who gave it to you doesn’t want you to use it out of a sense of obligation, or to put it away without using it, only to feel guilty every time you see it. When you discard or donate it, you do so for the sake of the giver, too.
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Magic Cleaning #1))
Every day we’re bombarded with information and images—with adolescents in heavy makeup pretending to be grown women as they advertise miraculous creams promising eternal beauty; with the story of an aging couple who climbed Mount Everest to celebrate their wedding anniversary; with new massage gizmos, and pharmacy windows that are chockablock with slimming products; with movies that give an entirely false impression of reality, and books promising fantastic results; with specialists who give advice about how to succeed in life or find inner peace. And all these things make us feel old, make us feel that we’re leading dull, unadventurous lives as our skin grows ever more flaccid, and the pounds pile on irrevocably. And yet we feel obliged to repress our emotions and our desires, because they don’t fit with what we call “maturity.” Choose what information you listen to. Place a filter over your eyes and ears and allow in only things that won’t bring you down, because we have our day-to-day life to do that.
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
[I]f you don't feel or look rich, you don't necessarily feel the same sense of obligation that a traditional rich person does or should: Noblesse oblige is, after all, dependent on a classical idea of who is and is not the nobility. As that starts to fall away, obligation--to culture, to the future, to each other--begins to disappear too.
Ellen Cushing
Tell me one thing, Father. Suppose I hadn't been your son, suppose you just knew me, knew the same about me you know now, would you have looked forward to seeing me, to having me live under your roof?' 'Naturally, it wouldn't have been the same.' 'No. And if you had just been a fellow human and not my father, then I wouldn't have come to see you. But doesn't that mean it's nothing but a convention that binds us together? We are father and son, and so we have to show affection for each other, and if we don't we feel guilty. But why? Is there any reasonable basis for believing that affection hinges on biology? We don't feel obligated to be fond of a neighbor or a colleague, do we?
Kjell Askildsen (A Sudden Liberating Thought)
I remember going to the British Museum one day to read up the treatment for some slight ailment of which I had a touch – hay fever, I fancy it was. I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently study diseases, generally. I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into – some fearful, devastating scourge, I know – and, before I had glanced half down the list of “premonitory symptoms,” it was borne in upon me that I had fairly got it. I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to typhoid fever – read the symptoms – discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it – wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus’s Dance – found, as I expected, that I had that too, – began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically – read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another fortnight. Bright’s disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years. Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born with. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid’s knee. ... I had walked into that reading-room a happy, healthy man. I crawled out a decrepit wreck. I went to my medical man. He is an old chum of mine, and feels my pulse, and looks at my tongue, and talks about the weather, all for nothing, when I fancy I’m ill; so I thought I would do him a good turn by going to him now. “What a doctor wants,” I said, “is practice. He shall have me. He will get more practice out of me than out of seventeen hundred of your ordinary, commonplace patients, with only one or two diseases each.” So I went straight up and saw him, and he said: “Well, what’s the matter with you?” I said: “I will not take up your time, dear boy, with telling you what is the matter with me. Life is brief, and you might pass away before I had finished. But I will tell you what is NOT the matter with me. I have not got housemaid’s knee. Why I have not got housemaid’s knee, I cannot tell you; but the fact remains that I have not got it. Everything else, however, I HAVE got.” And I told him how I came to discover it all. Then he opened me and looked down me, and clutched hold of my wrist, and then he hit me over the chest when I wasn’t expecting it – a cowardly thing to do, I call it – and immediately afterwards butted me with the side of his head. After that, he sat down and wrote out a prescription, and folded it up and gave it me, and I put it in my pocket and went out. I did not open it. I took it to the nearest chemist’s, and handed it in. The man read it, and then handed it back. He said he didn’t keep it. I said: “You are a chemist?” He said: “I am a chemist. If I was a co-operative stores and family hotel combined, I might be able to oblige you. Being only a chemist hampers me.” I read the prescription. It ran: “1 lb. beefsteak, with 1 pt. bitter beer every 6 hours. 1 ten-mile walk every morning. 1 bed at 11 sharp every night. And don’t stuff up your head with things you don’t understand.” I followed the directions, with the happy result – speaking for myself – that my life was preserved, and is still going on.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
Trust is weird,” my mother said. “People give it too easily, most of the time. Because somebody is attractive, they expect him to be good or honest. Or like pushy salesmen—somebody who carefully makes you feel like you’re emotionally obligated to trust them. Like you’re the rude one if you don’t. Trust is really something that needs to be earned. Hard earned. If somebody every says, ‘Don’t you trust me?’ Just say, “No, as a matter of fact.
Kristen D. Randle (The Gardener)
Some of the best gifts are ones the recipient doesn’t even know you’ve given, so they don’t ever feel beholden, and they never know how valuable it was or how much it helped them, which means they never feel obligated to repay you. I do that for my ducks all the time.
Jarod Kintz (Music is fluid, and my saxophone overflows when my ducks slosh in the sounds I make in elevators.)
So the next time a salesman gives you a free gift or consultation, or makes a concession of any sort, duck. Don’t let him press your reciprocity button. The best way out, Cialdini advises, is to fight reciprocity with reciprocity. If you can reappraise the salesman’s move for what it is—an effort to exploit you—you’ll feel entitled to exploit him right back. Accept the gift or concession with a feeling of victory—you are exploiting an exploiter—not mindless obligation.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
Desford said abruptly: "How old are you, my child? Sixteen? Seventeen?" "Oh, no, I am much older than that!" she replied. "I'm as old as Lucasta - all but a few weeks!" "Then why are you not downstairs dancing with the rest of them?" he demanded. "You must surely be out!" "No, I'm not," she said. "I don't suppose I ever shall be, either. Unless my papa turns out not to be dead, and comes home to take care of me himself. But I don't think that at all likely, and even if he did come home it wouldn't be of the least use, because he seems never to have sixpence to scratch with. I am afraid he is not a very respectable person. My aunt says he was obliged to go abroad on account of being monstrously in debt." She sighed, and said wistfully: "I know that one ought not to criticize one's father, but I can't help feeling that it was just a little thoughtless of him to abandon me.
Georgette Heyer (Charity Girl)
No one could simply overturn the tide. Thanks to that, even if someone had their misgivings, they wouldn’t do anything about it. You can’t overturn popular opinion. There are times when you have no choice but to act against your true feelings. Because “everyone” said so, “everyone” was doing it, so if you didn’t do it too, you wouldn’t be one of “everyone” anymore. But no one person is “everyone”. They don’t speak and they don’t beat you up. They don’t get angry and they don’t laugh. “Everyone” is an illusion created by the magic of group-think. It is an apparition born without anyone’s knowledge. It is a ghostly spirit created for the sake of shrouding the individual’s miniscule evils. Through a monstrous transformation, it would devour anyone outside their circle of friends and even scatter curses on its own friends. Former members would also become obstacles to it. That’s why I despise it. I despise a world that emphasizes “everyone”. I despise the vulgar peace built upon the backs of scapegoats. I despise the empty ideas created solely through lies, blotting away even kindness and justice, making them out to be mere opportunism, a thorn in your side with the passing of time. You cannot change the past nor the world. You cannot change what has happened, nor can you change “everyone”. But like I said before, it’s not as if you are obligated to enslave yourself to the system.
Wataru Watari (やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている。4)
You can say whatever you like to me. I'm your oyster." Before she could restrain herself, an appalled giggle escaped her. "Please don't say that. You're no such thing." "You can choose another word, if you like." Mr. Severin extended his arm to escort her downstairs. "But the fact is, if you ever need anything- any favor, any service, large or small- I'm the one to send for. No questions asked. No obligations attached. Will you remember that?" Cassandra hesitated before taking his arm. "I'll remember." As they proceeded to the first floor, she asked in bewilderment, "But why would you make such a promise?" "Haven't you ever liked someone or something right away, without knowing exactly why, but feeling sure you would discover the reasons later?" She couldn't help smiling at that, thinking, Yes, as a matter of fact. Just now. But it would be too forward to say so, and besides, it would be wrong to encourage him. "I would be glad to call you a friend, Mr. Severin. But I'm afraid marriage will never be a possibility. We don't suit. I could please you only in the most superficial ways." "I would be happy with that," he said. "Superficial relationships are my favorite kind." A regretful smile lingered at her lips. "Mr. Severin, you couldn't give me the life I've always dreamed of." "I hope your dream comes true, my lady. But if it doesn't, I could offer you some very satisfying substitutes." "Not if you're heart is frozen," Cassandra said. Mr. Severin grinned at that, and made no reply. But as they neared the last step, she heard his reflective, almost puzzled murmur. "Actually... I think it just thawed a little.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
The conference is geared to people who enjoy meaningful discussions and sometimes "move a conversation to a deeper level, only to find out we are the only ones there." . . . When it's my turn, I talk about how I've never been in a group environment in which I didn't feel obliged to present an unnaturally rah-rah version of myself. . . . Scientists can easily report on the behavior of extroverts, who can often be found laughing, talking, or gesticulating. But "if a person is standing in the corner of a room, you can attribute about fifteen motivations to that person. But you don't really know what's going on inside." . . . So what is the inner behavior of people whose most visible feature is that when you take them to a party they aren't very pleased about it? . . . The highly sensitive tend to be philosophical or spiritual in their orientation, rather than materialistic or hedonistic. They dislike small talk. They often describe themselves as creative or intuitive . . . . They dream vividly, and can often recall their dreams the next day. They love music, nature, art, physical beauty. They feel exceptionally strong emotions--sometimes acute bouts of joy, but also sorrow, melancholy, and fear. Highly sensitive people also process information about their environments--both physical and emotional--unusually deeply. They tend to notice subtleties that others miss--another person's shift in mood, say, or a lightbulb burning a touch too brightly. . . . [Inside fMRI machines], the sensitive people were processing the photos at a more elaborate level than their peers . . . . It may also help explain why they're so bored by small talk. "If you're thinking in more complicated ways," she told me, "then talking about the weather or where you went for the holidays is not quite as interesting as talking about values or morality." The other thing Aron found about sensitive people is that sometimes they're highly empathic. It's as if they have thinner boundaries separating them from other people's emotions and from the tragedies and cruelties of the world. They tend to have unusually strong consciences. They avoid violent movies and TV shows; they're acutely aware of the consequences of a lapse in their own behavior. In social settings they often focus on subjects like personal problems, which others consider "too heavy.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
If you go back and look at the historical record, it turns out that a lot of important ideas have very long incubation periods. I call this the ‘slow hunch.’ We’ve heard a lot recently about hunch and instinct and blink-like sudden moments of clarity, but in fact, a lot of great ideas linger on, sometimes for decades, in the back of people’s minds. They have a feeling that there’s an interesting problem, but they don’t quite have the tools yet to discover them.” Solving the problem means being in the right place at the right time—available to the propitious moment, the kairos. Perhaps counterintuitively, protecting what is left of this flow from the pressing obligation of new choices gives us a leg up on innovation.
Douglas Rushkoff (Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now)
Most people give away their fucks without much thought. Feelings of guilt, obligation, or anxiety cause them to behave in a manner that, while least objectionable to other people, is often detrimental to their own levels of annoy vs. joy. This
Sarah Knight (The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don't Have with People You Don't Like Doing Things You Don't Want to Do (A No F*cks Given Guide Book 1))
I smack into him as if shoved from behind. He doesn't budge, not an inch. Just holds my shoulders and waits. Maybe he's waiting for me to find my balance. Maybe he's waiting for me to gather my pride. I hope he's got all day. I hear people passing on the boardwalk and imagine them staring. Best-case scenario, they think I know this guy, that we're hugging. Worst-case scenario, they saw me totter like an intoxicated walrus into this complete stranger because I was looking down for a place to park our beach stuff. Either way, he knows what happened. He knows why my cheek is plastered to his bare chest. And there is definite humiliation waiting when I get around to looking up at him. Options skim through my head like a flip book. Option One: Run away as fast as my dollar-store flip flops can take me. Thing is, tripping over them is partly responsible for my current dilemma. In fact, one of them is missing, probably caught in a crack of the boardwalk. I'm getting Cinderella didn't feel this foolish, but then again, Cinderella wasn't as clumsy as an intoxicated walrus. Option two: Pretend I've fainted. Go limp and everything. Drool, even. But I know this won't work because my eyes flutter too much to fake it, and besides, people don't blush while unconscious. Option Three: Pray for a lightning bolt. A deadly one that you feel in advance because the air gets all atingle and your skin crawls-or so the science books say. It might kill us both, but really, he should have been paying more attention to me when he saw that I wasn't paying attention at all. For a shaved second, I think my prayers are answered because I go get tingly all over; goose bumps sprout everywhere, and my pulse feels like electricity. Then I realize, it's coming from my shoulders. From his hands. Option Last: For the love of God, peel my cheek off his chest and apologize for the casual assault. Then hobble away on my one flip-flop before I faint. With my luck, the lightning would only maim me, and he would feel obligated to carry me somewhere anyway. Also, do it now. I ease away from him and peer up. The fire on my cheeks has nothing to do with the fact that it's sweaty-eight degrees in the Florida sun and everything to do with the fact that I just tripped into the most attractive guy on the planet. Fan-flipping-tastic. "Are-are you all right?" he says, incredulous. I think I can see the shape of my cheek indented on his chest. I nod. "I'm fine. I'm used to it. Sorry." I shrug off his hands when he doesn't let go. The tingling stays behind, as if he left some of himself on me. "Jeez, Emma, are you okay?" Chloe calls from behind. The calm fwopping of my best friend's sandals suggests she's not as concerned as she sounds. Track star that she is, she would already be at my side if she thought I was hurt. I groan and face her, not surprised that she's grinning wide as the equator. She holds out my flip-flop, which I try not to snatch from her hand. "I'm fine. Everybody's fine," I say. I turn back to the guy, who seems to get more gorgeous by the second. "You're fine, right? No broken bones or anything?" He blinks, gives a slight nod. Chloe setts her surfboard against the rail of the boardwalk and extends her hand to him. He accepts it without taking his eyes off me. "I'm Chloe and this is Emma," she says. "We usually bring her helmet with us, but we left it back in the hotel room this time.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
I always listen,” Ranger said. “I don’t always agree. I have a problem right now that I can’t seem to solve by myself. I need you to help me find my daughter. And there’s an even bigger problem involved. I feel a financial and moral obligation to my daughter. I send child support, I send birthday and Christmas presents, I visit when I’m invited. But I’ve kept myself emotionally distanced. I’m not emotionally distanced from you. I couldn’t live with myself if something happened to you because I was using you to find someone . . . even if that someone was my daughter. So I have to make every effort to keep you safe.” “You’re a little smothering.
Janet Evanovich (Twelve Sharp (Stephanie Plum, #12))
I don't want you back because you feel obligated to me, love," he said. "That's the devil of wedding vows - they make you do things for a person you maybe should run away from. Come back to me because you want to, not because you think you ought to. Do you understand?
Jennifer Ashley (The Many Sins of Lord Cameron (MacKenzies & McBrides, #3))
Mom used to tell me that white people don't understand us, would never understand us, even when they are well-meaning and patient...I thought she was being reductive and unforgiving, but she might have known something I didn't: how do I explain to [my white boyfriend], who feels only love and little obligation, that my life comes with an excess of the latter? You marry into this, whether you like it or not.
Scaachi Koul (One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter)
We all have parts of our lives that we wish were different. We all carry around in our hearts a measure of grief from regrets, hurts, heartbreaks, and disappointments. We feel the ache in our soul when things don’t go the way we’d hoped. We feel frustrated with ourselves when we stumble in the same ways we have for years. What’s the answer? Look up. Ask Jesus to help us see the worth in our story, the worth in our souls, because we belong to Him.
Susie Larson (Your Sacred Yes: Trading Life-Draining Obligation for Freedom, Passion, and Joy)
To understand, I destroyed myself. To understand is to forget about loving. I know nothing more simultaneously false and telling than the statement by Leonardo da Vinci that we cannot love or hate something until we’ve understood it. Solitude devastates me; company oppresses me. The presence of another person derails my thoughts; I dream of the other’s presence with a strange absent-mindedness that no amount of my analytical scrutiny can define. Isolation has carved me in its image and likeness. The presence of another person – of any person whatsoever – instantly slows down my thinking, and while for a normal man contact with others is a stimulus to spoken expression and wit, for me it is a counterstimulus, if this compound word be linguistically permissible. When all by myself, I can think of all kinds of clever remarks, quick comebacks to what no one said, and flashes of witty sociability with nobody. But all of this vanishes when I face someone in the flesh: I lose my intelligence, I can no longer speak, and after half an hour I just feel tired. Yes, talking to people makes me feel like sleeping. Only my ghostly and imaginary friends, only the conversations I have in my dreams, are genuinely real and substantial, and in them intelligence gleams like an image in a mirror. The mere thought of having to enter into contact with someone else makes me nervous. A simple invitation to have dinner with a friend produces an anguish in me that’s hard to define. The idea of any social obligation whatsoever – attending a funeral, dealing with someone about an office matter, going to the station to wait for someone I know or don’t know – the very idea disturbs my thoughts for an entire day, and sometimes I even start worrying the night before, so that I sleep badly. When it takes place, the dreaded encounter is utterly insignificant, justifying none of my anxiety, but the next time is no different: I never learn to learn. ‘My habits are of solitude, not of men.’ I don’t know if it was Rousseau or Senancour who said this. But it was some mind of my species, it being perhaps too much to say of my race.
Fernando Pessoa
We wake up one day surprised to find ourselves in a less desirable situation that we don’t remember consenting to, but we stay in it because for some reason we feel obligated. As time passes, we convince, fool, and talk ourselves into believing things are normal. It’s not until we see the dream we lost that we realize what a nightmare we’re in.
Alison G. Bailey (Present Perfect (Perfect, #1))
Those on the far right I came to know felt two things. First, they felt the deep story was true. Second, they felt that liberals were saying it was not true, and that they themselves were not feeling the right feelings. Blacks and women who were beneficiaries of affirmative action, immigrants, refugees, and public employees were not really stealing their place in line, liberals said. So don't feel resentful. Obama's help to these groups was not really a betrayal, liberals said. The success of those who cut ahead was not really at the expense of white men and their wives. In other words, the far right felt that the deep story was their real story and that there was a false PC cover-up of that story. They felt scorned. "People think we're not good people if we don't fee sorry for blacks and immigrants and Syrian refugees," one man told me. "But I am a good person and I don't feel sorry for them." With the cover-up, as my new friends explained to me, came the need to manage the appearance of their real feelings and even, to some extent, the feelings themselves. They didn't have to do this with friends, neighbors, and family. But they realized that the rest of America did not agree. ("I know liberals want us to feel sorry for blacks. I know they think they are so idealistic and we aren't," one woman told me.) My friends on the right felt obliged to try to modify their feelings, and they didn't like having to do that; they felt under the watchful eye of the "PC police." In the realm of emotions, the right felt like they were being treated as the criminals, and the liberals had the guns.
Arlie Russell Hochschild (Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right)
I don't have to point out, I'm sure, that letters received should be answered within a reasonable time- say a month; but there is such a thing as answering too promptly and writing too long a letter. It makes answering a burden to your correspondent, who will feel obligated to do at least as well as you have done, and will soon be heartily sick of the whole thing.
Louise Dickinson Rich (We Took to the Woods)
Of all the homes I have known, yours has been a shining model of wisdom and kindness and honesty. For what you and your mother have done in the past, for me and for the child, I owe you a profound debt of honour. You have that claim on me. So has your mother. But if you press it too far; if you will accept no appeal and continue to press it, over and over; if you move into my life, both of you, and take your stance there and feel obliged to command and instruct me in how I should or should not behave, you will destroy our relationship. I shall walk away from you both; I shall deny you both; I shall repudiate all you have done for me. It will all be as if it had never happened … I don’t know what you fear for me, but that you should fear. For I cannot afford it.
Dorothy Dunnett (The Ringed Castle (The Lymond Chronicles, #5))
I mean No is power. No says, "I'm in charge." Think about how many times you've said yes in the past year, and how many times you would've liked to have said no instead. Maybe being able to say no is the one thing that keeps us sane. Some people go through their whole lives saying yes over and over again--yes to things they don't want to do but feel obliged to; yes to things that allow other people to take advantage of them, just because that's the way things are, the way things have always been. Some people need to learn how to say no. Because every time they say yes, they say no to themselves.
Danny Wallace (Yes Man)
He laughed, looking down into his empty cup. “Decent people don’t expect that kind of twistedness.” He put the cup down on the floor. “And if they ever did suspect it, they’d just blame themselves for thinking too mean. You should trust your disquiet the next time. That’s what it’s there for. A man like that gets where he is by seeming. And then he makes you feel obligated to him. It’s an old trick.
Kristen D. Randle (The Gardener)
Filth, filth, filth, from morning to night. I know they're poor but they could wash. Water is free and soap is cheap. Just look at that arm, nurse.' The nurse looked and clucked in horror. Francie stood there with the hot flamepoints of shame burning her face. The doctor was a Harvard man, interning at the neighborhood hospital. Once a week, he was obliged to put in a few hours at one of the free clinics. He was going into a smart practice in Boston when his internship was over. Adopting the phraseology of the neighborhood, he referred to his Brooklyn internship as going through Purgatory, when he wrote to his socially prominent fiancee in Boston. The nurse was as Williamsburg girl... The child of poor Polish immigrants, she had been ambitious, worked days in a sweatshop and gone to school at night. Somehow she had gotten her training... She didn't want anyone to know she had come from the slums. After the doctor's outburst, Francie stood hanging her head. She was a dirty girl. That's what the doctor meant. He was talking more quietly now asking the nurse how that kind of people could survive; that it would be a better world if they were all sterilized and couldn't breed anymore. Did that mean he wanted her to die? Would he do something to make her die because her hands and arms were dirty from the mud pies? She looked at the nurse... She thought the nurse might say something like: Maybe this little girl's mother works and didn't have time to wash her good this morning,' or, 'You know how it is, Doctor, children will play in the dirt.' But what the nurse actuallly said was, 'I know, Isn't it terrible? I sympathize with you, Doctor. There is no excuse for these people living in filth.' A person who pulls himself up from a low environment via the bootstrap route has two choices. Having risen above his environment, he can forget it; or, he can rise above it and never forget it and keep compassion and understanding in his heart for those he has left behind him in the cruel upclimb. The nurse had chosen the forgetting way. Yet, as she stood there, she knew that years later she would be haunted by the sorrow in the face of that starveling child and that she would wish bitterly that she had said a comforting word then and done something towards the saving of her immortal soul. She had the knowledge that she was small but she lacked the courage to be otherwise. When the needle jabbed, Francie never felt it. The waves of hurt started by the doctor's words were racking her body and drove out all other feeling. While the nurse was expertly tying a strip of gauze around her arm and the doctor was putting his instrument in the sterilizer and taking out a fresh needle, Francie spoke up. My brother is next. His arm is just as dirty as mine so don't be suprised. And you don't have to tell him. You told me.' They stared at this bit of humanity who had become so strangely articulate. Francie's voice went ragged with a sob. 'You don't have to tell him. Besides it won't do no godd. He's a boy and he don't care if he is dirty.'... As the door closed, she heard the doctor's suprised voice. I had no idea she'd understand what I was saying.' She heard the nurse say, 'Oh, well,' on a sighing note.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
I feel an obligation toward God to be as honest as I can. I'm human, sir, and I'll admit the Truth can be painful at times, and even a little elusive, but... as best as I can, I must speak the Truth and address things as they are. I don't feel I have any right to take the Truth and cut it up, rearrange it, select what I want and delete what I want just so it'll align with my politics or my Accounting Department." - John Barrett Jr.
Frank E. Peretti (Prophet)
Witcher,’ Three Jackdaws suddenly said, ‘I want to ask you a question.’ ‘Ask it.’ ‘Why don’t you turn back?’ The Witcher looked at him in silence for a moment. ‘Do you really want to know?’ ‘Yes, I do,’ Three Jackdaws said, turning his face towards Geralt. ‘I’m riding with them because I’m a servile golem. Because I’m a wisp of oakum blown by the wind along the highway. Tell me, where should I go? And for what? At least here some people have gathered with whom I have something to talk about. People who don’t break off their conversations when I approach. People who, though they may not like me, say it to my face, and don’t throw stones from behind a fence. I’m riding with them for the same reason I rode with you to the log drivers’ inn. Because it’s all the same to me. I don’t have a goal to head towards. I don’t have a destination at the end of the road.’ Three Jackdaws cleared his throat. ‘There’s a destination at the end of every road. Everybody has one. Even you, although you like to think you’re somehow different.’ ‘Now I’ll ask you a question.’ ‘Ask it.’ ‘Do you have a destination at the end of the road?’ ‘I do.’ ‘Lucky for you.’ ‘It is not a matter of luck, Geralt. It is a matter of what you believe in and what you serve. No one ought to know that better than… than a witcher.’ ‘I keep hearing about goals today,’ Geralt sighed. ‘Niedamir’s aim is to seize Malleore. Eyck of Denesle’s calling is to protect people from dragons. Dorregaray feels obligated to something quite the opposite. Yennefer, by virtue of certain changes which her body was subjected to, cannot fulfil her wishes and is terribly undecided. Dammit, only the Reavers and the dwarves don’t feel a calling, and simply want to line their pockets. Perhaps that’s why I’m so drawn to them?’ ‘You aren’t drawn to them, Geralt of Rivia. I’m neither blind nor deaf. It wasn’t at the sound of their name you pulled out that pouch. But I surmise…’ ‘There’s no need to surmise,’ the Witcher said, without anger. ‘I apologise.’ ‘There’s no need to apologise.
Andrzej Sapkowski (Miecz przeznaczenia (Saga o Wiedźminie, #0.7))
This was not going the way I wanted it to. I felt a desperate need to escape before I said something that would screw up my plans. Ren was the dark side, the forbidden fruit, my personal Delilah-the ultimate temptation. The question was…could I resist? I gave his knee a friendly pat and played my trump card…”I’m leaving.” “You’re what?” “I’m going home to Oregon. Mr. Kadam thinks it will be safer for me anyway, with Lokesh out there looking to kill us and all. Besides, you need time to figure out…stuff.” “If you’re leaving, then I’m going with you!” I smiled at him wryly. “That kind of defeats the purpose of me leaving. Don’t you think?” He slicked back his hair, let out a deep breath, then took my hand and looked intently into my eyes. “Kells, when are you going to accept the fact that we belong together?” I felt sick, like I was kicking a faithful puppy who only wanted to be loved. I looked out at the pool. After a moment, he sat back scowling and said menacingly, “I won’t let you leave.” Inside, I desperately wanted to take his hand and beg him to forgive me, to love me, but I steeled myself, dropped my hands in my lap, then implored, “Ren, please. You have to let me go. I need…I’m afraid…look, I just can’t be here, near you, when you change your mind.” “It’s not going to happen.” “it might. There’s a good chance.” He growled angrily. “There’s no chance!” “Well, my heart can’t take that risk, and I don’t want to put you in what can only be an awkward position. I’m sorry, Ren. I really am. I do want to be your friend, but I understand if you don’t want that. Of course, I’ll return when you need me, if you need me, to help you find the other three gifts. I wouldn’t abandon you or Kishan in that way. I just can’t stay here with you feeling obligated to pity-date me because you need me. But I’d never abandon your cause. I’ll always be there for you both, no matter what.” He spat out, “Pity-date! You? Kelsey, you can’t be serious!” “I am. Very, very serious. I’ll ask Mr. Kadam to make arrangements to send me back in the next few days.” He didn’t say another word. He just sat back in his chair. I could tell he was fuming mad, but I felt that, after a week or two, when he started getting back out in the world, he would come to appreciate my gesture. I looked away from him. “I’m very tired now. I’d like to go to bed.” I got up and headed to my room. Before I closed the sliding door, I asked, “Can I make one last request?” He sat there tight-lipped, his arms folded over his chest, with a tense, angry face. I sighed. Even infuriated he was beautiful. He said nothing so I went on, “It would be a lot easier on me if I didn’t see you, I mean as a man. I’ll try to avoid most of the house. It is yours after all, so I’ll stay in my room. If you see Mr. Kadam, please tell him I’d like to speak with him.” He didn’t respond. “Well, good-bye, Ren. Take care of yourself.” I tore my eyes away from him, shut the door, and drew the curtains. Take care of yourself? That was a lame goodbye. Tears welled in my eyes and blurred my vision. I was proud that I’d gotten through it without showing emotion. But, now, I felt like a steamroller had come along and flattened me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
I never want you to feel obliged to me, he went on. If I’ve ever done anything for you, it was really for myself, because I’ve wanted to be close to you. And, if I’m honest, I’ve wanted to feel that you needed me, that you couldn’t do without me. Do you understand what I’m saying? I don’t think I’m being very clear at all. I mean that you’ve done much more for me, really, than I’ve ever done for you. And I’ve needed you more. I do need you more, a lot more, than you need me.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
I read it: "A man earned daily for 5 days and 3 times as much as he paid for his board, after which he was obliged to be idle 4 days," it said. "Upon counting his money after paying for his board he found that he had 2 ten-doller bills and 4 dollers. How much did he pay for the board, and what were his wages?" "All right. Think now," Weaver said. "How would you begin to solve it? What's your X?" I thought. Very hard. For quite some time. About the man and his meager wages and shabby boardinghouse and lonely life. "Where did he work?" I finally asked. "What? It doesn't matter, Matt. Just assign an X to-" "A mill, I bet," I said, picturing the man's threadbare clothing, his worn shoes. "A woolen mill. Why do you think he was obliged to be idle?" "I don't know why. Look, just-" "I bet he got sick," I said, clutching Weaver's arm. "Or maybe business wasn't good, and his boss had no work for him. I wonder if he had a family in the country. It would be a terrible thing, wouldn't it, if he had children to feed and no work? Maybe his wife was poorly, too. And I bet he had..." "Damn it, Mattie, this is algebra, not composition!" Weaver said, glaring at me. "Sorry," I said, feeling like a hopeless case.
Jennifer Donnelly (A Northern Light)
In the United States, a four-year-old American kid isn’t obliged to greet me when he walks into my house. He gets to skulk in under the umbrella of his parents’ greeting. And in an American context, that’s supposed to be fine with me. I don’t need the child’s acknowledgment because I don’t quite count him as a full person; he’s in a separate kids’ realm. I might hear all about how gifted he is, but he never actually speaks to me. When I’m at a family luncheon back in the United States, I’m struck that the cousins and stepcousins at the table, who range in age from five to fourteen, don’t say anything at all to me unless I pry it out of them. Some can only muster one-word responses to my questions. Even the teenagers aren’t used to expressing themselves with confidence to a grown-up they don’t know well. Part of what the French obsession with bonjour reveals is that, in France, kids don’t get to have this shadowy presence. The child greets, therefore he is. Just as any adult who walks into my house has to acknowledge me, any child who walks in must acknowledge me, too. “Greeting is essentially recognizing someone as a person,” says Benoît, the professor. “People feel injured if they’re not greeted by children that way.
Pamela Druckerman (Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting)
I hate when a man feels I’m obligated to disclose my marital status to somebody I don’t even know. Even this bullshit about status itself as if married and spinster are the only two choices for defining myself. Or because I’m a woman I’m supposed to have a status at all. Hey big boy, here’s my status. Hi, before I tell you my name here’s my status. Maybe I should just say I’m a lesbian and throw the problem back in their faces for them to define it. Xanax for anxiety. Valium for sleep. Prozac for depression. Phenergan for nausea. Tylenol for headaches. Mylanta for bloating. Midol for cramps. I mean, Jesus Christ, menopause come already. Isn’t there some fast-track for a hot flash? It’s not like I’m ever going to breed, so why keep the damn store door open?
Marlon James (A Brief History of Seven Killings)
Perspective - Use It or Lose It. If you turned to this page, you're forgetting that what is going on around you is not reality. Think about that. Remember where you came from, where you're going, and why you created the mess you got yourself into in the first place. You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self. Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them. Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, and teachers. Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a false messiah. Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully. The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in awhile, and watch your answers change. Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years. The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof. There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts. Imagine the universe beautiful and just and perfect. Then be sure of one thing: The Is has imagined it quite a bit better than you have. The original sin is to limit the Is. Don't. A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed, it feels an impulsion....this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reason and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons. You are never given a wish without being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however. Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours. If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats. The world is your exercise-book, the pages on which you do your sums. It is not reality, although you can express reality there if you wish. You are also free to write nonsense, or lies, or to tear the pages. Every person, all the events of your life, are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you. In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice. The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, "I've got responsibilities." The truth you speak has no past and no future. It is, and that's all it needs to be. Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't. Don't be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends. The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. You're going to die a horrible death, remember. It's all good training, and you'll enjoy it more if you keep the facts in mind. Take your dying with some seriousness, however. Laughing on the way to your execution it not generally understood by less advanced lifeforms, and they'll call you crazy. Everything above may be wrong!
Richard Bach
I am always concerned when people, finding out that I am a writer, apologise and say, “I’m not much of a reader actually. I know I ought to, but I just don’t seem able to find the time,” and then go on to tell me how they feel obliged to finish any book they begin. Well, of course, I say, you will be reluctant to open one in the first place, knowing what it might entail. It isn’t meant to be like that, I assure them. If you begin a book and you don’t like it, just throw it away. Or take it round to a charity shop. It’s like going to a party: some people you linger with, knowing you get on. Some people you exchange greeting with and move on fast. It’s nothing against them. They’re just not your kind of person. It’s the same with books. You must be prepared to discard. And though you may feel it’s a waste of money not reading a book you don’t get on with, that’s like not opening the windows when the weather turns warm for fear of wasting the central heating. So, as I say, now is a good point to abandon the book. You have my permission - even my encouragement.
Fay Weldon (Chalcot Crescent)
I’ll grab some from Pete, he said, then, If you still want to come. Dear GOD, are you trying to kick me out of this? I typed back. It took him much longer to answer than usual and the wait started making me feel sick. I used the time to get dressed. Finally he replied, No. I just don’t want you to feel obligated.
Emily Henry (Beach Read)
God instructs us to view them: as a heritage for which we should be grateful rather than obligations we dread (Psalm 127:3). That doesn’t mean we can’t say when it’s hard and ask for help—we should, absolutely. But our prevailing message to the world about motherhood should be one of gratitude, not grumbling. In a culture of self-love that’s convincing women that they need to love themselves before they can love other people, our cheerfulness as moms tells a different story: that there is joy in pouring yourself out, even when you don’t feel filled up. That sacrifice is worth it. That even though we’re not enough, that’s okay because God is.
Allie Beth Stuckey (You're Not Enough (and That's Ok): Escaping the Toxic Culture of Self-Love)
I do understand. Every day we’re bombarded with information and images—with adolescents in heavy makeup pretending to be grown women as they advertise miraculous creams promising eternal beauty; with the story of an aging couple who climbed Mount Everest to celebrate their wedding anniversary; with new massage gizmos, and pharmacy windows that are chockablock with slimming products; with movies that give an entirely false impression of reality, and books promising fantastic results; with specialists who give advice about how to succeed in life or find inner peace. And all these things make us feel old, make us feel that we’re leading dull, unadventurous lives as our skin grows ever more flaccid, and the pounds pile on irrevocably. And yet we feel obliged to repress our emotions and our desires, because they don’t fit with what we call “maturity.” Choose what information you listen to. Place a filter over your eyes and ears and allow in only things that won’t bring you down, because we have our day-to-day life to do that. Do you think I don’t get judged and criticized at work? Well, I do—a lot! But I’ve decided to hear only the things that encourage me to improve, the things that help me correct my mistakes. Otherwise, I will just pretend I can’t hear the other stuff or block it out.
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
You don’t listen.” “I always listen,” Ranger said. “I don’t always agree. I have a problem right now that I can’t seem to solve by myself. I need you to help me find my daughter. And there’s an even bigger problem involved. I feel a financial and moral obligation to my daughter. I send child support, I send birthday and Christmas presents, I visit when I’m invited. But I’ve kept myself emotionally distanced. I’m not emotionally distanced from you. I couldn’t live with myself if something happened to you because I was using you to find someone . . . even if that someone was my daughter. So I have to make every effort to keep you safe.” “You’re a little smothering.
Janet Evanovich (Twelve Sharp (Stephanie Plum, #12))
I can stand onstage all night talking to thousands of people about my most vulnerable and private feelings—like my thoughts on the last guy who was inside me, or the fact that I eat like the glutton in the movie Se7en when I’m drunk. But I really don’t do as well at parties or gatherings where I feel like I am obligated to be more “social.” Usually
Amy Schumer (The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo)
Annie - although she also knew that those who don't speak have to pay it off in thinking - was resolved on silence. Whatever happened, and after all she was obliged to see Mr brooks two or three times every day, though she by no means looked forward to it, feeling herself more truly alive when she could picture him steadily without seeing him - whatever happened, he needn't know how daft she was.
Penelope Fitzgerald (Human Voices)
The perfect life, the perfect lie … is one which prevents you from doing that which you would ideally have done (painted, say, or written unpublishable poetry) but which, in fact, you have no wish to do. People need to feel that they have been thwarted by circumstances from pursuing the life which, had they led it, they would not have wanted; whereas the life they really want is precisely a compound of all those thwarting circumstances. It is a very elaborate, extremely simple procedure, arranging this web of self-deceit: contriving to convince yourself that you were prevented from doing what you wanted. Most people don’t want what they want: people want to be prevented, restricted. The hamster not only loves his cage, he’d be lost without it. That’s why children are so convenient: you have children because you’re struggling to get by as an artist—which is actually what being an artist means—or failing to get on with your career. Then you can persuade yourself that your children prevented you from having this career that had never looked like working out. So it goes on: things are always forsaken in the name of an obligation to someone else, never as a failing, a falling short of yourself.
Geoff Dyer (Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on The Decision Not To Have Kids)
I really can't say which of the American classics you should read. In fact, I think about as much of the notion of "classic" as you do, but at least the literary critics who compile those lists have a good sense of humor. How else can you explain them adding Mark Twain's wonderful books to their lists, given his view that "a classic is something everybody wants to have read, but no one wants to read"? Unless it's some kind of disguised jibe, but they surely can't be that petty. Though I don't think that justice is the main argument against classics list. Or rather, in a way it's clearly a question of justice, but not against those who don't make it. No, the books I feel sorry for are the ones they add to these lists. Take Mark Twain again. Once, when Tom was young, he came to me complaining that he had to read Huckleberry Finn for junior high. Huckleberry Finn! Our critics and educators have got a lot to answer for when they manage to make young boys see stories about rebellion and adventure and ballsiness as a chore. Do you understand what I mean? The real crime of these lists isn't that they leave deserving books off them, but that they make people see fantastic literary adventures as obligations.
Katarina Bivald (The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend)
I have always thought of our love as a kind of religion. Not supernatural or preordained but something to trust in, something to honour, something to cherish - and not take for granted. Like any religion, our love has its hallowed origin story (the steamy August night our friendship finally turned romantic) and annual holidays (the anniversaries of that first night, of the day we decided to be exclusive, of our wedding) and those occasional, rapturous moments of transcendence. But we'd been missing another crucial element: a weekly sacrament, a regular affirmation of the devotion and joy at the core of what we'd built together. The thing you are obliged to do regularly, at an appointed time, to remind you of your values even when you are grouchy, busy, or annoyed. Even when you really don't feel like it.
Sasha Sagan (For Small Creatures Such as We: Rituals for Finding Meaning in Our Unlikely World)
I don't suppose you'd be interested in working part-time at the school?" Adelai turned her head,met Keeley's eyes in the mirror above the bureau. "Are you offering me a job?" "It sounds awfully strange when you put it that way, but yes. But don't do it because you feel obliged. Only if you think you'd have the time or the inclination." Adelia spun around, her face brilliant. "What the devil's taken you so long? I'll start tomorrow." "Really? You really want to?" "I've been dying to.Oh, it's taken every bit of my willpower not to come down there every day until you just got so used to me being around you didn't realize I was working there. This is exciting!" She rushed over to give Keeley a hug. "I can't wait to tell your father." Keeping her arms tight around her daughter, Adelia did a quick dance. "I'm a groom again.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
With a mind out in space, my heart and the moon have a play date, every once and a while it asks me for permission to visit, it's our kind of vacation. We dim down the lights, put on headphones, and anticipate the stars. Away from the earth; life, it pauses, and time, it freezes, no obligations just utter fascination. They sit together and act like they know the stars, call them by random names and pretend they saw them before. With a mind out in space, hearts are made of steel, nothing can touch us and we can touch nothing. We don't see that kind of beauty with our eyes, we breathe it down through lungs and feel it fill up our souls as if it was meant to be our only fuel. I owe it to a small window and loneliness that taught me how to see far beyond my vision and taught me how to have my own life away from this one. It's strength and warmth.
Mennah al Refaey
Needless to say, I personally don’t believe fighting should be banned. I don't understand why a relatively small segment of the hockey world feels obligated to ban extracurricular combat when it's so popular elsewhere in American sports. Additionally, the league shouldn’t be trying to ban fighting to save the enforcers from hurting themselves. Fighters realize the risks associated with what they do, and they are bound to accept these risks.
Brian D'Ambrosio (Warriors on the Ice: Hockey's Toughest Talk)
But, it didn’t matter that my mother suspected and knew that I was a writer. It was expected of me to take care of my share of the responsibility of making our way in the world as a family. In those days, also, it was unheard of, by us certainly, that to get any help, even from members of our own family, let alone from the government, which would have been disgraceful. Thank God that that kind of folly in thinking is obsolete. There is a temptation to feel, ‘Well, we all made it; why can’t these other poor people make it?’ And, of course, nothing is more than stupid than that attitude. I must confess that I find that attitude among many countrymen of my own who do find themselves taking undue pride in their own sense of ability — of being equal to any situation, and of seeing it through and improving it, and so on. And then, putting that against other people who don’t have that, and thereby implying that the other people are lazy. Not taking into account the whole different structure and identity and a people who have survived for centuries under very harsh conditions and members of a very great culture, and I am talking about the Indians, to begin with, in the Valley — the San Joaquin Valley, in Fresno, in Tulare, and the mountains, and there are many tribes of them, of different kinds, and I am talking about, also, the Mestizos, the mixtures of Mexican, Spaniards with Indians, making the Mexican. And I am talking about any minority which is considered by anybody as being innately of itself indolent. This kind of narrow thinking is a temptation to all sorts of people, and one has to be sympathetic with the people who are wrong, too, you see. It is not enough just to be sympathetic with the people who are belittled; it is necessary to be sympathetic with the people who belittle them. So, in worrying about the persecuted, one is obliged also to worry about the persecutors. I consider that a basic measure of growth.
William Saroyan
Are you staying in tonight, Moshe?" she asked as she passed by the cat who lounged on her bed. When he only opened his eye in acknowledgement, she breezed out of the room. "Okay,don't wait up." Shelby dropped her purse on top of the box that held Myra's lamps and prepared to lift both when someone knocked on the door. "You expecting someone?" she asked Auntie Em.The bird merely fluttered her wings,unconcerned. Hefting the box,Shelby went to answer. Pleasure.She had to acknowledge it as well as annoyance when she saw Alan. "Another neighborly visit?" she asked, planting herself in the doorway. She skimmed a glance down the silk tie and trim, dark suit. "You don't look dressed for strolling." THe sarcasm didn't concern him-he'd seen that quick flash of unguarded pleasure. "As a public servant, I feel an obligation to conserve our natural resources and protect the environment." Reaching over,he clipped a tiny sprig of sweet pea into her hair. "I'm going to give you a lift to the Ditmeyers'. You might say we're carpooling.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
Narrative horror, disgust. That's what drives him mad, I'm sure of it, what obsesses him. I've known other people with the same aversion, or awareness, and they weren't even famous, fame is not a deciding factor, there are many individuals who experience their life as if it were the material of some detailed report, and they inhabit that life pending its hypothetical or future plot. They don't give it much thought, it's just a way of experiencing things, companionable, in a way, as if there were always spectators or permanent witnesses, even of their most trivial goings-on and in the dullest of times. Perhaps it's a substitute for the old idea of the omnipresence of God, who saw every second of each of our lives, it was very flattering in a way, very comforting despite the implicit threat and punishment, and three or four generations aren't enough for Man to accept that his gruelling existence goes on without anyone ever observing or watching it, without anyone judging it or disapproving of it. And in truth there is always someone: a listener, a reader, a spectator, a witness, who can also double up as simultaneous narrator and actor: the individuals tell their stories to themselves, to each his own, they are the ones who peer in and look at and notice things on a daily basis, from the outside in a way; or, rather, from a false outside, from a generalised narcissism, sometimes known as "consciousness". That's why so few people can withstand mockery, humiliation, ridicule, the rush of blood to the face, a snub, that least of all ... I've known men like that, men who were nobody yet who had that same immense fear of their own history, of what might be told and what, therefore, they might tell too. Of their blotted, ugly history. But, I insist, the determining factor always comes from outside, from something external: all this has little to do with shame, regret, remorse, self-hatred although these might make a fleeting appearance at some point. These individuals only feel obliged to give a true account of their acts or omissions, good or bad, brave, contemptible, cowardly or generous, if other people (the majority, that is) know about them, and those acts or omissions are thus encorporated into what is known about them, that is, into their official portraits. It isn't really a matter of conscience, but of performance, of mirrors. One can easily cast doubt on what is reflected in mirrors, and believe that it was all illusory, wrap it up in a mist of diffuse or faulty memory and decide finally that it didn't happen and that there is no memory of it, because there is no memory of what did not take place. Then it will no longer torment them: some people have an extraordinary ability to convince themselves that what happened didn't happen and what didn't exist did.
Javier Marías (Fever and Spear (Your Face Tomorrow, #1))
I wonder if all these bad things will change when I’m a high schooler…” “At the very least, they most certainly won’t change if you intend to remain the way you are.” Way to go, Yukinoshita-san! Not going easy on the young'un just after you finished apologizing to her! “But it’s enough if the people around you change,” I remarked. “There’s no need to force yourself to hang out with others.” “But things are hard on Rumi­-chan right now and if we don’t do something about it…” Yuigahama looked at Rumi with eyes full of concern. In response, Rumi winced slightly. “Hard, you say… I don’t like that. It makes me sound pathetic. It makes me feel inferior for being left out.” “Oh,” said Yuigahama. “I don’t like it, you know. But there’s nothing you can do about it.” “Why?” Yukinoshita questioned her. Rumi seemed to have some trouble speaking, but she still managed to form the right words. “I… got abandoned. I can’t get along with them anymore. Even if I did, I don’t know when it’ll start again. If the same thing were to happen, I guess I’m better off this way. I just­” She swallowed. “­don’t wanna be pathetic…” Oh. I get it. This girl was fed up. Of herself and of her surroundings. If you change yourself, your world will change, they say, but that’s a load of crap. When people already have an impression of you, it’s not easy to change your pre­existing relationships by adding something to the mix. When people evaluate each other, it’s not an addition or subtraction formula. They only perceive you through their preconceived notions. The truth is that people don’t see you as who you truly are. They only see what they want to see, the reality that they yearn for. If some disgusting guy on the low end of the caste works his arse off on something, the higher ones just snicker and say, “What’s he trying so hard for?” and that would be the end of it. If you stand out for the wrong reasons, you would just be fodder for criticism. That wouldn’t be the case in a perfect world, but for better or worse, that’s how things work with middle schoolers. Riajuu are sought for their actions as riajuu, loners are obligated to be loners, and otaku are forced to act like otaku. When the elites show their understanding of those beneath them, they are acknowledged for their open-mindedness and the depth of their benevolence, but the reverse is not tolerated. Those are the fetid rules of the Kingdom of Children. It truly is a sad state of affairs. "You can’t change the world, but you can change yourself". The hell was up with that? Adapting and conforming to a cruel and indifferent world you know you’ve already lost to – ultimately, that’s what a slave does. Wrapping it up in pretty words and deceiving even yourself is the highest form of falsehood.
Wataru Watari (やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている。4)
My son, you are what you are in the present. Leave the past behind; don’t carry blame. Eliminate all anxiety about the future. Prepare to work for your evolution until the last instant of your life. Let no one be your judge; be your own judge. If you want to triumph, learn to fail. Never define yourself by what you possess. Never speak about yourself without allowing yourself the possibility to change. Think that you do not exist individually, that what you do does itself. Only by accepting that nothing is yours will you be the owner of all. Become a total offering. Give, but oblige no one to receive. Make no one feel guilty; you are an accomplice to whatever happens. Stop asking for things and start thanking. Obtain in order to give away.
Alejandro Jodorowsky (Where the Bird Sings Best)
It's not really negativity or sadness anymore, it’s more just this detached, meaningless fog where you can’t feel anything about anythingeven the things you love, even fun things—and you’re horribly bored and lonely, but since you’ve lost your ability to connect with any of the things that would normally make you feel less bored and lonely, you’re stuck in the boring, lonely, meaningless void with-out anything to distract you from how boring, lonely, and meaningless it is. ...I noticed myself wishing that nothing loved me so I wouldn’t feel obligated to keep existing. The absurdity of working so hard to continue doing something you don’t like can be overwhelming. And the longer it takes to feel different, the more it starts to seem like everything might actually be hopeless bullshit. I don’t like when I can’t control what reality is doing. Which is unfortunate because reality works independently of the things I want, and I have only a limited number of ways to influence it, none of which are guaranteed to work. I still want to keep tabs on reality, though. Just in case it tries to do anything sneaky. It makes me feel like I’m contributing. The illusion of control makes the helplessness seem more palatable. And when that illusion is taken away, I panic. Because, deep down, I know how pointless and helpless I am, and it scares me. I am an animal trapped in a horrifying, lawless environment, and I have no idea what it’s going to do to me. It just DOES it to me. I cope with that the best way I know—by being completely unreasonable and trying to force everything else in the world to obey me and do all the nonsensical things I want.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Don’t think you have to be perfect or even good. You have no obligation to be that. Don’t waste time feeling guilty and repenting things you cannot change. You only have today, and yourself. Let that self expand and live. Love what you love. Listen to other people’s hurt and pain, and share yours with them. If they love you, this will be natural. Meanwhile, the sun rises and sets each day. Flowers bloom and wither, birds migrate and return, trees shed their leaves and wake up again. No matter how lonely and desperate you might feel today, tomorrow is another day to try again. Your imagination is endless, crosses time and dimension, sleeps awhile, and then comes on like fury. These are the things to remember in your darkest times. You are that flower, that bird, that tree, and you will awaken to beauty when it’s time. And that time is your choice.
Riitta Klint
Sometimes,” she told me, “a girl will give a guy a blow job at the end of the night because she doesn’t want to have sex with him and he expects to be satisfied. So if I want him to leave and I don’t want anything to happen . . .” She trailed off, leaving me to imagine the rest. There was so much to unpack in that short statement: why a young man should expect to be sexually satisfied; why a girl not only isn’t outraged, but considers it her obligation to comply; why she doesn’t think a blow job constitutes “anything happening”; the pressure young women face in any personal relationship to put others’ needs before their own; the potential justification of assault with a chaser of self-blame. “It goes back to girls feeling guilty,” Anna said. “If you go to a guy’s room and are hooking up with him, you feel bad leaving him without pleasing him in some way. But, you know, it’s unfair. I don’t think he feels badly for you.” In their research on high school girls and oral sex, April Burns, a professor of psychology at City University of New York, and her colleagues found that girls thought of fellatio kind of like homework: a chore to get done, a skill to master, one on which they expected to be evaluated, possibly publicly. As with schoolwork, they worried about failing or performing poorly—earning the equivalent of low marks. Although they took satisfaction in a task well done, the pleasure they described was never physical, never located in their own bodies. They were both dispassionate and nonpassionate about oral sex—socialized, the researchers concluded, to see themselves as “learners” in their encounters rather than “yearners.” The concern with pleasing, as opposed to pleasure, was pervasive among the girls I met, especially among high schoolers, who were just starting sexual experimentation.
Peggy Orenstein (Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape)
I’m not hard to figure out, Zoe,” he murmured. “No games. I’m not the flirting type. If I don’t mean it, I don’t say it. And I never feel obligated to say shit I don’t really mean just to make someone else feel better. I think it’s best if we get that out of the way right now. You with me?” She swallowed, her throat working up and down as she slowly nodded. Her gaze was full of wonder as she continued to stare back up at him, as if processing his solemn statement and measuring its sincerity. “Yeah,” she finally whispered. “I think so.” “Then you might want to catch that fish that’s messing with your line,” he said in amusement. She whirled around just in time to see her bobber plunge under for the fourth time, and she hauled upward on the pole with both hands, letting out a peal of infectious laughter. “I’m so fucked,” Joe whispered to himself. “And the hell of it is, I’m loving every fucking minute of it.
Maya Banks (Brighter Than the Sun (KGI #11))
Jane, I don’t care what capacity you let me have in your life. I just want to be there. And if that means I have to keep my distance, I’ll do that.” I sighed. If ever there was a time for me to lay all my cards on the table, this was it. Naked, wounded, and vulnerable. “So, here’s my basic problem with us, the reason I can’t seem to relax into a relationship with you, the reason I find problems where none exist and I push you away. I—I can’t figure out why you’re with me!” I exclaimed, clapping my hand over my mouth. I hadn’t meant for that part to come out. I had meant to say, “You lie and hide things from me.” Gabriel pried my fingers away from my lips. My hands trembled as stuff I’d been feeling for months tumbled from my tongue. “I know that makes me neurotic and sad, but I can’t figure out why you want to be with me. Every other woman in your life is exotic and beautiful and has all this history. And I’m just some drunk girl you followed home from a bar, some pathetic human you felt your usual need to protect, and you got stuck with a lifetime tie to her because she was dumb enough to get shot. I can’t stand the idea that you feel obligated to me. I know I’m insecure and pushy and spastic, desperately inappropriate at times and just plain odd at others. And I can’t help but wonder why you would want that when there are obviously so many other options. I can’t help but feel that I’m keeping you from someone better.” I let out a loud, long breath. It felt as if some tremendous weight on my chest had wiggled loose and then dropped away. No more running. No more floating along and waiting. My cards were on the table. If Gabriel and I couldn’t have a future after this, it wasn’t because I held back from him. Now I could only hope it didn’t blow up in my face in some horrible way. I wasn’t sure my face could handle much more. Gabriel sighed and cupped my chin, forcing me to look him in the eye. “I didn’t follow you that night because I wanted to protect you. I followed you that night because you were one of the most interesting people I’d met in decades. You had this light about you, this sweetness, this biting humor. After I’d only known you for an hour, you made me laugh harder than I had since before I was turned. You made me feel normal, at peace, for the first time in years. And I didn’t want to lose that yet. Even if it was just watching over you from a mile away, I didn’t want to leave your presence. I followed you because I didn’t want to let you go. Even then, I saw you were one of the most extraordinary, fascinating, maddening people I would ever know. Even then, I think I knew that I would love you. If you don’t love me, that’s one thing. But if you do, just stop arguing with me about it. It’s annoying. ” “Fair enough,” I conceded. “Why the hell couldn’t you have told me this a year ago?” “I’ve wanted to. You weren’t ready to hear it.
Molly Harper (Nice Girls Don't Live Forever (Jane Jameson, #3))
Workaholism Our culture celebrates the idea of the workaholic. We hear about people burning the midnight oil. They pull all- nighters and sleep at the office. It’s considered a badge of honor to kill yourself over a project. No amount of work is too much work. Not only is this workaholism unnecessary, it’s stupid. Working more doesn’t mean you care more or get more done. It just means you work more. Workaholics wind up creating more problems than they solve. First off, working like that just isn’t sustainable over time. When the burnout crash comes— and it will— it’ll hit that much harder. Workaholics miss the point, too. They try to fix problems by throwing sheer hours at them. They try to make up for intellectual laziness with brute force. This results in inelegant solutions. They even create crises. They don’t look for ways to be more efficient because they actually like working overtime. They enjoy feeling like heroes. They create problems (often unwittingly) just so they can get off on working more. Workaholics make the people who don’t stay late feel inadequate for “merely” working reasonable hours. That leads to guilt and poor morale all around. Plus, it leads to an ass- in- seat mentality—people stay late out of obligation, even if they aren’t really being productive. If all you do is work, you’re unlikely to have sound judgments. Your values and decision making wind up skewed. You stop being able to decide what’s worth extra effort and what’s not. And you wind up just plain tired. No one makes sharp decisions when tired. In the end, workaholics don’t actually accomplish more than nonworkaholics. They may claim to be perfectionists, but that just means they’re wasting time fixating on inconsequential details instead of moving on to the next task. Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they just use it up. The real hero is already home because she figured out a faster way to get things done.
Jason Fried
Trump was actively involved in the pageants. After Miss Universe Alicia Machado, a Venezuelan, gained considerable weight in 1996, Trump publicly excoriated her. He staged a photo op to show Machado exercising at a Manhattan gym. In front of about eighty reporters and photographers, Trump said, “When you win a beauty pageant, people don’t think you’re going to go from 118 to 160 in less than a year, and you really have an obligation to stay in a perfect physical state.” Machado called the photo op an ambush designed to humiliate her. “He had his triumphant entry,” she recalled, “and I got to feel like a hamster on a wheel for an hour. I was his first Miss Universe when he just bought the company. Unfortunately, this also meant that I experienced, firsthand, his rage and racism and all the misogyny a person can demonstrate.” Trump wrote years later that he did what he did to protect her from being fired: “God, what problems I had with this woman. First, she wins. Second, she gains fifty pounds. Third, I urge the committee not to fire her.” Trump
Michael Kranish (Trump Revealed: The Definitive Biography of the 45th President)
I don't know it is that I always feel that other people can create things but that I can't. I imagine it's simpler living in remote tribes or communities where one is obliged to have a go or else you have to do without. I suppose it is fear of failure in an age where political correctness is trying to erase the word 'failure' from the language. It's OK to fail isn't it, but only if you've tried? What is so bizarre is that when one does try, one rarely falls short. Obviously some people do things better than others but if it gives you pleasure, then so what? As my grandmother used to say, 'patience and perseverance made a bishop of his reverence!' So don't say you can't make candles or soap or that you can't spin or weave until you've tried it. As for mending, well, if you're not throwing everything away, then you have no option but to make do and mend. After all, the only way to get rid of shopping malls and supermarkets with their food miles is for people not to shop in those places and the way to cure this mercenary mercantile world is to make your own things.
Clarissa Dickson Wright (A Greener Life: A Modern Country Compendium)
I’m happy here, Tate. I’ll let you know when the baby comes,” she added quietly. “Certainly, you’ll have access to him any time you like.” Doors were closing. Walls were going up around her. He clenched his teeth together in impotent fury. “I want you,” he said forcefully, which was not at all what he wanted to say. “I don’t want you,” she replied, lying through her teeth. She wasn’t about to become an obligation again. She even smiled. “Thanks for coming to see about me. I’ll phone Leta when she and Matt come home from Nassau.” “They’re already home,” he said flatly. “I’ve been to make peace with them.” “Have you?” She smiled gently. “I’m glad. I’m so glad. It broke Leta’s heart that you wouldn’t speak to her.” “What do you think it’s going to do to her when she hears that you won’t marry the father of your child?” She gaped at him. “She…knows?” “They both know, Cecily,” he returned. “They were looking forward to making a fuss over you.” He turned toward the door, bristling with hurt pride and rejection. “You can call my mother and tell her yourself that you aren’t coming back. Then you can live here alone in the middle of ‘blizzard country,; and I wish you well.” He turned at the door with his black eyes flashing. “As for me, hell will freeze over before I come near you again!” He went out and slammed the door. Cecily stared after him with her heart in her throat. Why was he so angry that she’d relieved him of any obligations about the baby? He couldn’t want her for herself. If he had, if he’d had any real feeling for her, he’d have married her years ago. It was only the baby. She let the tears rush down her face again with pure misery as she heard the four-wheel drive roar out of the driveway and accelerate down the road. She hoped he didn’t run over anybody. Her hand went to her stomach and she remembered with anguish the look on his face when he’d put his big, strong hand over his child. She’d sent him away for the sake of his own happiness, didn’t he know that? She supposed it was just hurt pride that had caused his outburst. But she wished he hadn’t come. It would be so much harder to live here now that she could see him in this house, in these rooms, and be haunted by the memory of him all over again. He wouldn’t come back. She’d burned her bridges. There was no way to rebuild them.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Who is Mr. Jasper?" Rosa turned aside her head in answering: "Eddy's uncle, and my music-master." "You do not love him?" "Ugh!" She put her hands up to her face, and shook with fear or horror. "You know that he loves you?" "O, don't, don't, don't!" cried Rosa, dropping on her knees, and clinging to her new resource. "Don't tell me of it! He terrifies me. He haunts my thoughts, like a dreadful ghost. I feel that I am never safe from him. I feel as if he could pass in through the wall when he is spoken of." She actually did look round, as if she dreaded to see him standing in the shadow behind her. "Try to tell me more about it, darling." "Yes, I will, I will. Because you are so strong. But hold me the while, and stay with me afterwards." "My child! You speak as if he had threatened you in some dark way." "He has never spoken to me about - that. Never." "What has he done?" "He has made a slave of me with his looks. He has forced me to understand him, without his saying a word; and he has forced me to keep silence, without his uttering a threat. When I play, he never moves his eyes from my hands. When I sing, he never moves his eyes from my lips. When he corrects me, and strikes a note, or a chord, or plays a passage, he himself is in the sounds, whispering that he pursues me as a lover, and commanding me to keep his secret. I avoid his eyes, but he forces me to see them without looking at them. Even when a glaze comes over them (which is sometimes the case), and he seems to wander away into a frightful sort of dream in which he threatens most, he obliges me to know it, and to know that he is sitting close at my side, more terrible to me than ever." "What is this imagined threatening, pretty one? What is threatened?" "I don't know. I have never even dared to think or wonder what it is." "And was this all, to-night?" "This was all; except that to-night when he watched my lips so closely as I was singing, besides feeling terrified I felt ashamed and passionately hurt. It was as if he kissed me, and I couldn't bear it, but cried out. You must never breathe this to any one. Eddy is devoted to him. But you said to-night that you would not be afraid of him, under any circumstances, and that gives me - who am so much afraid of him - courage to tell only you. Hold me! Stay with me! I am too frightened to be left by myself.
Charles Dickens (The Mystery of Edwin Drood)
Some think Grom felt the pull toward Nalia," Toraf says softly. "Maybe it's a family trait." "Well, there's where you're wrong, Toraf. I'm not supposed to feel the pull toward Emma. She belongs to Grom. He's firstborn, third generation Triton. And she's clearly of Poseidon." Galen runs his hand through his hair. "I think that if Grom were her mate, he would have found Emma somehow instead of you." "That's what you get for thinking. I didn't find Emma. Dr. Milligan did." "Okay, answer me this," Toraf says, shaking a finger at Galen. "You're twenty years old. Why haven't you sifted for a mate?" Galen blinks. He's never thought of it, actually. Not even when Toraf asked for Rayna. Shouldn't that have reminded him of his own single status? He shakes his head. He's letting Toraf's gossip get to him. He shrugs. "I've just been busy. It's not like I don't want to, if that's what you're saying." "With who?" "What?" "Name someone, Galen. The first female that comes to mind." He tries to block out her name, her face. But he doesn't stop it in time. Emma. He cringes. It's just that we've been talking about her so much, she's naturally the freshest on my mind, he tells himself. "There isn't anyone yet. But I'm sure there would be if I spent more time at home." "Right. And why is that you're always away? Maybe you're searching for something and don't even know it." "I'm away because I'm watching the humans, as is my responsibility, you might remember. You also might remember they're the real reason our kingdoms are divided. If they never set that mine, none of this would have happened. And we both know it will happen again." "Come on, Galen. If you can't tell me, who can you tell?" "I don't know what you're talking about. And I don't think you do either." "I understand if you don't want to talk about it. I wouldn't want to talk about it either. Finding my special mate and then turning her over to my own brother. Knowing that she's mating with him on the islands, holding him close-" Galen lands a clean hook to Toraf's nose and blood spurts on his bare chest. Toraf falls back and holds his nostrils shut. Then he laughs. "I guess I know who taught Rayna how to hit." Galen massages his temples. "Sorry. I don't know where that came from. I told you I was frustrated." Toraf laughs. "You're so blind, minnow. I just hope you open your eye before it's too late." Galen scoffs. "Stop vomiting superstition at me. I told you. I'm just frustrated. There's nothing more to it than that." Toraf cocks his head to the side, snorts some blood back into is nasal cavity. "So the humans followed you around, made you feel uncomfortable?" "That's what I just said, isn't it?" Toraf nods thoughtfully. Then he says, "Imagine how Emma must feel then." "What?" "Think about it. The humans followed you around a building and it made you uncomfortable. You followed Emma across the big land. Then Rachel makes sure you have every class with her. Then when she tries to get away, you chase her. Seems to me you're scaring her off." "Kind of like what you're doing to Rayna." "Huh. Didn't think of that." "Idiot," Galen mutters. But there is some truth to Toraf's observation. Maybe Emma feels smothered. And she's obviouisly still mourning Chloe. Maybe he has to take it slow with Emma. if he can earn her trust, maybe she'll open up to him about her gift, about her past. But the question is, how much time does she need? Grom's reluctance to mate will be overruled by his obligation to produce an heir. And that heir needs tom come from Emma.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
better. Instead, he said, Galbatorix still has two dragon eggs. During our first audience with Hrothgar, you mentioned that you would like to rescue them. If we can— Saphira snorted bitterly. It could take years, and even if we did retrieve the eggs, I have no guarantee that they would hatch, nor that they would be male, nor that we would be fit mates. Fate has abandoned my race to extinction. She lashed her tail with frustration, breaking a sapling in two. She seemed perilously close to tears. What can I say? he asked, disturbed by her distress. You can’t give up hope. You still have a chance to find a mate, but you have to be patient. Even if Galbatorix’s eggs don’t work, dragons must exist elsewhere in the world, just like humans, elves, and Urgals do. The moment we are free of our obligations, I’ll help you search for them. All right? All right, she sniffed. She craned back her head and released a puff of white smoke that dispersed among the branches overhead. I should know better than to let my emotions get the best of me. Nonsense. You would have to be made of stone not to feel this way. It’s perfectly normal.… But promise you won’t dwell on it while you’re alone.
Christopher Paolini (Eldest (Inheritance, #2))
Spearing a quail egg with her fork, Evie popped it into her mouth. “What is to be done about Mr. Egan?” His shoulders lifted in a graceful shrug. “As soon as he is sober enough to walk, he’ll be dismissed.” Evie brushed away a stray lock of hair that had fallen over her cheek. “There is no one to replace him.” “Yes, there is. Until a suitable manager can be found, I’ll run the club.” The quail egg seemed to stick in her throat, and Evie choked a little. Hastily she reached for her wine, washed it down, and regarded him with bulging eyes. How could he say something so preposterous? “You can’t.” “I can hardly do worse than Egan. He hasn’t managed a damned thing in months… before long, this place will be falling down around our ears.” “You said you hated work!” “So I did. But I feel that I should try it at least once, just to be certain.” She began to stammer in her anxiety. “You’ll pl-play at this for a few days, and then you’ll tire of it.” “I can’t afford to tire of it, my love. Although the club is still profitable, its value is in decline. Your father has a load of outstanding debt that must be settled. If the people who owe him can’t muster the cash, we’ll have to take property, jewelry, artwork… whatever they can manage. Having a good idea of the value of things, I can negotiate some acceptable settlements. And there are other problems I haven’t yet mentioned… Jenner has a string of failing Thoroughbreds that have lost a fortune at Newmarket. And he’s made some insane investments— ten thousand pounds he put into an alleged gold mine in Flintshire— a swindle that even a child should have seen through.” “Oh God,” Evie murmured, rubbing her forehead. “He’s been ill— people have taken advantage—” “Yes. And now, even if we wanted to sell the club, we couldn’t without first putting it in order. If there were an alternative, believe me, I would find it. But this place is a sieve, with no one who is capable or willing to stop the holes. Except for me.” “You know nothing about filling holes!” she cried, appalled by his arrogance. Sebastian responded with a bland smile and the slightest arch of one brow. Before he could open his mouth to reply, she clapped her hands over her ears. "Oh, don't say it, don't!" When she saw that he was obligingly holding his silence-though a devilish gleam remained in his eyes-she lowered her hands cautiously.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
Della & I are drunk at the top of Mont-Royal. We have an open blue plastic thermos of red wine at our feet. It's the first day of spring & it's midnight & we've been peeling off layers of winter all day. We stand facing each other, as if to exchange vows, chests heaving from racing up & down the mountain to the sky. My face is hurting from smiling so much, aching at the edges of my words. She reaches out to hold my face in her hands, dirty palms form a bowl to rest my chin. I’m standing on a tree stump so we’re eye to eye. It’s hard to stay steady. I worry I may start to drool or laugh, I feel so unhinged from my body. It’s been one of those days I don’t want to end. Our goal was to shirk all responsibility merely to enjoy the lack of everyday obligations, to create fullness & purpose out of each other. Our knees are the colour of the ground-in grass. Our boots are caked in mud caskets. Under our nails is a mixture of minerals & organic matter, knuckles scraped by tree bark. We are the thaw embodied. She says, You have changed me, Eve, you are the single most important person in my life. If you were to leave me, I would die. At that moment, our breath circling from my lungs & into hers, I am changed. Perhaps before this I could describe our relationship as an experiment, a happy accident, but this was irrefutable. I was completely consumed & consuming. It was as though we created some sort of object between us that we could see & almost hold. I would risk everything I’ve ever known to know only this. I wanted to honour her in a way that was understandable to every part of me. It was as though I could distill the meaning of us into something I could pour into a porcelain cup. Our bodies on top of this city, rulers of love. Originally, we were celebrating the fact that I got into Concordia’s visual arts program. But the congratulatory brunch she took me to at Café Santropol had turned into wine, which had turned into a day for declarations. I had a sense of spring in my body, that this season would meld into summer like a running-jump movie kiss. There would be days & days like this. XXXX gone away on a sojurn I didn’t care to note the details of, she simply ceased to be. Summer in Montreal in love is almost too much emotion to hold in an open mouth, it spills over, it causes me to not need any sleep. I don’t think I will ever feel as awake as I did in the summer of 1995.
Zoe Whittall (Bottle Rocket Hearts)
Nonconformity is an affront to those in the mainstream. Our impulse is to dismiss this lifestyle, create reasons why it can’t work, why it doesn’t even warrant consideration. Why not? Living outdoors is cheap and can be afforded by a half year of marginal employment. They can’t buy things that most of us have, but what they lose in possessions, they gain in freedom. In Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge, lead character Larry returns from the First World War and declares that he would like to “loaf.”23 The term “loafing” inadequately describes the life he would spend traveling, studying, searching for meaning, and even laboring. Larry meets with the disapproval of peers and would-be mentors: “Common sense assured…that if you wanted to get on in this world, you must accept its conventions, and not to do what everybody else did clearly pointed to instability.” Larry had an inheritance that enabled him to live modestly and pursue his dreams. Larry’s acquaintances didn’t fear the consequences of his failure; they feared his failure to conform. I’m no maverick. Upon leaving college I dove into the workforce, eager to have my own stuff and a job to pay for it. Parents approved, bosses gave raises, and my friends could relate. The approval, the comforts, the commitments wound themselves around me like invisible threads. When my life stayed the course, I wouldn’t even feel them binding. Then I would waiver enough to sense the growing entrapment, the taming of my life in which I had been complicit. Working a nine-to-five job took more energy than I had expected, leaving less time to pursue diverse interests. I grew to detest the statement “I am a…” with the sentence completed by an occupational title. Self-help books emphasize “defining priorities” and “staying focused,” euphemisms for specialization and stifling spontaneity. Our vision becomes so narrow that risk is trying a new brand of cereal, and adventure is watching a new sitcom. Over time I have elevated my opinion of nonconformity nearly to the level of an obligation. We should have a bias toward doing activities that we don’t normally do to keep loose the moorings of society. Hiking the AT is “pointless.” What life is not “pointless”? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform? Hiking the AT before joining the workforce was an opportunity not taken. Doing it in retirement would be sensible; doing it at this time in my life is abnormal, and therein lay the appeal. I want to make my life less ordinary.
David Miller (AWOL on the Appalachian Trail)
He pulled a few pages from his bag and sort them toward me, saying Here, I've been working more on this. I was disappointed to see the slightest of the poems he had given me on top, a generic hymn to a feminine ideal, full of exaggerated praise and capitalize pronouns. It was the same draft I had seen already, the page full of my corrections and suggestions, advice I feel obligated to give even unpromising student work. You corrected so much, he said, but you didn't correct the most important mistake. I looked down at the page and then up again, confused; I don't see it, I said, what did I miss? He leaned across the table, reaching his arms toward the page that his upper body rested on the lacquered wood, a peculiarly teenage gesture, I thought, I remembered making it but haven't made it for years, and he pressed his finger to the margin of the page. Here, he said, pointing to a line where the single word She appeared, I made it here and it happens several times, the pronouns are all wrong, and even in his half-prone posture I could see that his whole body was tense. Ah, I said, looking up at him from the page, I see, and then he leaned quickly back, as if released by something, and as though after his revelation he wanted to reassert some space between us. I leaned back too, and pushed the pages across to him again; it was clear that they had served their purpose.
Garth Greenwell (Cleanness)
In a physician's office in Kearny Street three men sat about a table, drinking punch and smoking. It was late in the evening, almost midnight, indeed, and there had been no lack of punch. The gravest of the three, Dr. Helberson, was the host—it was in his rooms they sat. He was about thirty years of age; the others were even younger; all were physicians. "The superstitious awe with which the living regard the dead," said Dr. Helberson, "is hereditary and incurable. One needs no more be ashamed of it than of the fact that he inherits, for example, an incapacity for mathematics, or a tendency to lie." The others laughed. "Oughtn't a man to be ashamed to lie?" asked the youngest of the three, who was in fact a medical student not yet graduated. "My dear Harper, I said nothing about that. The tendency to lie is one thing; lying is another." "But do you think," said the third man, "that this superstitious feeling, this fear of the dead, reasonless as we know it to be, is universal? I am myself not conscious of it." "Oh, but it is 'in your system' for all that," replied Helberson; "it needs only the right conditions—what Shakespeare calls the 'confederate season'—to manifest itself in some very disagreeable way that will open your eyes. Physicians and soldiers are of course more nearly free from it than others." "Physicians and soldiers!—why don't you add hangmen and headsmen? Let us have in all the assassin classes." "No, my dear Mancher; the juries will not let the public executioners acquire sufficient familiarity with death to be altogether unmoved by it." Young Harper, who had been helping himself to a fresh cigar at the sideboard, resumed his seat. "What would you consider conditions under which any man of woman born would become insupportably conscious of his share of our common weakness in this regard?" he asked, rather verbosely. "Well, I should say that if a man were locked up all night with a corpse—alone—in a dark room—of a vacant house—with no bed covers to pull over his head—and lived through it without going altogether mad, he might justly boast himself not of woman born, nor yet, like Macduff, a product of Cæsarean section." "I thought you never would finish piling up conditions," said Harper, "but I know a man who is neither a physician nor a soldier who will accept them all, for any stake you like to name." "Who is he?" "His name is Jarette—a stranger here; comes from my town in New York. I have no money to back him, but he will back himself with loads of it." "How do you know that?" "He would rather bet than eat. As for fear—I dare say he thinks it some cutaneous disorder, or possibly a particular kind of religious heresy." "What does he look like?" Helberson was evidently becoming interested. "Like Mancher, here—might be his twin brother." "I accept the challenge," said Helberson, promptly. "Awfully obliged to you for the compliment, I'm sure," drawled Mancher, who was growing sleepy. "Can't I get into this?" "Not against me," Helberson said. "I don't want your money." "All right," said Mancher; "I'll be the corpse." The others laughed. The outcome of this crazy conversation we have seen.
Ambrose Bierce (The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce Volume 2: In the Midst of Life: Tales of Soldiers and Civilians)
I teach excessively agreeable people to note the emergence of such resentment, which is a very important, although very toxic, emotion. There are only two major reasons for resentment: being taken advantage of (or allowing yourself to be taken advantage of), or whiny refusal to adopt responsibility and grow up. If you’re resentful, look for the reasons. Perhaps discuss the issue with someone you trust. Are you feeling hard done by, in an immature manner? If, after some honest consideration, you don’t think it’s that, perhaps someone is taking advantage of you. This means that you now face a moral obligation to speak up for yourself. This might mean confronting your boss, or your husband, or your wife, or your child, or your parents. It might mean gathering some evidence, strategically, so that when you confront that person, you can give them several examples of their misbehaviour (at least three), so they can’t easily weasel out of your accusations. It might mean failing to concede when they offer you their counterarguments. People rarely have more than four at hand. If you remain unmoved, they get angry, or cry, or run away. It’s very useful to attend to tears in such situations. They can be used to motivate guilt on the part of the accuser due, theoretically, to having caused hurt feelings and pain. But tears are often shed in anger. A red face is a good cue. If you can push your point past the first four responses and stand fast against the consequent emotion, you will gain your target’s attention—and, perhaps, their respect. This is genuine conflict, however, and it’s neither pleasant nor easy.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Each purpose, each mission, is meant to be fully lived to the point where it becomes empty, boring, and useless. Then it should be discarded. This is a sign of growth, but you may mistake it for a sign of failure. For instance, you may take on a business project, work at it for several years, and then suddenly find yourself totally disinterested. You know that if you stayed with it for another few years you would reap much greater financial reward than if you left the project now. But the project no longer calls you. You no longer feel interested in the project. You have developed skills over the last few years working on the project, but it hasn’t yet come to fruition. You may wonder, now that you have the skills, should you stick with it and bring the project to fruition, even though the work feels empty to you? Well, maybe you should stick with it. Maybe you are bailing out too soon, afraid of success or failure, or just too lazy to persevere. This is one possibility. Ask your close men friends if they feel you are simply losing steam, wimping out, or afraid to bring your project to completion. If they feel you are bailing out too soon, stick with it. However, there is also the possibility that you have completed your karma in this area. It is possible that this was one layer of purpose, which you have now fulfilled, on the way to another layer of purpose, closer to your deepest purpose. Among the signs of fulfilling or completing a layer of purpose are these: 1. You suddenly have no interest whatsoever in a project or mission that, just previously, motivated you highly. 2. You feel surprisingly free of any regrets whatsoever, for starting the project or for ending it. 3. Even though you may not have the slightest idea of what you are going to do next, you feel clear, unconfused, and, especially, unburdened. 4. You feel an increase in energy at the prospect of ceasing your involvement with the project. 5. The project seems almost silly, like collecting shoelaces or wallpapering your house with gas station receipts. Sure, you could do it, but why would you want to? If you experience these signs, it is probably time to stop working on this project. You must end your involvement impeccably, however, making sure there are no loose ends and that you do not burden anybody’s life by stopping your involvement. This might take some time, but it is important that this layer of your purpose ends cleanly and does not create any new karma, or obligation, that will burden you or others in the future. The next layer of your unfolding purpose may make itself clear immediately. More often, however, it does not. After completing one layer of purpose, you might not know what to do with your life. You know that the old project is over for you, but you are not sure of what is next. At this point, you must wait for a vision. There is no way to rush this process. You may need to get an intermediary job to hold you over until the next layer of purpose makes itself clear. Or, perhaps you have enough money to simply wait. But in any case, it is important to open yourself to a vision of what is next. You stay open to a vision of your deeper purpose by not filling your time with distractions. Don’t watch TV or play computer games. Don’t go out drinking beer with your friends every night or start dating a bunch of women. Simply wait. You may wish to go on a retreat in a remote area and be by yourself. Whatever it is you decide to do, consciously keep yourself open and available to receiving a vision of what is next. It will come.
David Deida (The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire)
When you say, ‘I love you’ to other people you may be actually saying: •  I don’t want to feel certain emotions hidden deep within me. •  I love you because I don’t want to feel heavy. •  I love you because I don’t want to feel shitty. •  I love you because I don’t want to feel lonely. •  I love you so I do not have to feel the huge gaping hole within me. •  I love you because I don’t want to feel out of control. •  I love you so I can stay in control. •  I love you so I don’t have to feel angry. •  I love you so I can feel angry. •  I love you because I really don’t want to feel lost. •  I love you because I don’t want to feel how hopeless my life is. •  I love you because I don’t want to feel my own pain. •  I love you because you fit the fantasy in my head of what my lover should be like. •  I love you because I do not want to feel empty. •  I love you because I do not love myself. •  I love you because someone in my past did not love me. •  I love you because I am addicted to sex, to comfort. •  I love you because you make me feel good and stop me feeling other emotions I do not wish to feel. •  I love you because you fill me up. •  I love you because you make me feel scared and that’s what love is for me. •  I love you because you remind me of how I have been abused and how I have abused others. •  I love you because you serve me and do not bother me. •  I love you because other people say I do, and we look good together. •  I love you because society demands that I should, and it is right to. •  I love you because I am too scared to be myself and step out into the world alone. •  I love you because you give me security, stability and because I am obliged to because we have children and a home. •  I love you because my parents, friends and culture want me to. •  I love you because you make me feel needed. •  I love you because I need you. •  I love you because I want to take care of you and make you, and me, feel good. •  I need to do something to deserve love. •  I need to do something to give love. •  I need to do something to receive love. •  Love is need. Need is love. •  I can only love when I am perfect and good. •  I can only love and be loved when I am perfect and good. •  I can only love myself when I am perfect and good. Is any of this really love? Does love use anything? Does love manipulate anybody? So why are you doing it everyday? Why do you grab hold of anyone else to stop you feeling these things?
Padma Aon Prakasha (Dimensions of Love: 7 Steps to God)
I love it when you can’t control yourself,” she whispered. “I love having you at my mercy. You have no idea…how much I enjoy seeing Dom the Almighty brought low.” He barely registered her words. What she was doing felt so good. So bloody damned good. If she stroked him much more… “I want to be inside you.” He gripped her wrist. “Please, Jane…” Her sensuous smile faltered. “You’ve never said ‘please’ to me before. Not in your whole life.” “Really?” Had he only ever issued orders? If so, no wonder she’d refused him last night. Perhaps it was time to show her she didn’t have to seduce him to gain control. That he could give up his control freely…to her, at least. “Then let me say it now. Please, Jane, make love to me. If you don’t mind.” She stared at him. “I…I don’t know what you mean.” He nodded to his cock, which looked downright ecstatic over the idea. “Get up on your knees and fit me inside you.” Realizing he’d just issued yet another order, he added, “Please. If you want.” Jane got that sultry look on her face again. Like the little seductress she was rapidly showing herself to be, she rose up and then came down on him. By degrees. Very slow degrees. He had trouble breathing. “Am I hurting you?” Her smile broadened as she shimmied down another inch. “Not really.” Stifling a curse, he clutched her arms. “You just…enjoy torturing me.” “Absolutely,” she said and moved his hands to cover her breasts. He was more than happy to oblige her unspoken request, happy to thumb her nipples and watch as her lovely mouth fell open and a moan of pure pleasure escaped her. His cock swelled, and he thrust up involuntarily. “Please…” he said hoarsely. “Please, Jane…” With a choked laugh, she sheathed herself on him. Then her eyes went wide. “Oh, that feels amazing.” “It would feel more amazing if you…would move,” he rasped, though the mere sensation of being buried inside her was making him insane. When she arched an eyebrow, he added, “Please.” “I could get to like this,” she said teasingly. “The begging.” But even as he groaned, she began to move, like the sensual creature that she was. His sweetheart undulated atop him, her head thrown back and her eyes sliding closed, and for the first time in his life, he was happy to give himself up to someone else’s control. To relish her pleasure, which was also his pleasure. Somehow he’d stumbled into paradise, ruled by his own personal angel. His own personal siren. “You like having me…in your power, do you?” he said. “Yes, oh, yes.” Her eyes brightened as she rode him, harder, faster. “Say it again.” “What?” He could hardly think for watching her take him. For being inside her so deeply he fancied he could feel her heart, her very soul. “Please.” Her face was flushed, rapt. “Say…’please’ again.” “Please.” Why had he never thought to say it before? This was all he’d ever wanted--to have the enthralling, intoxicating Jane in his arms, in his life. Forever. A “please” from time to time was little enough to give for that. “Please, my wanton angel.” He clutched her close, his rhythm quickening. “Please…be mine. Please…marry me.” His release approached like a carriage thundering toward the heavens. Toward paradise. And as the blood roared in his ears, he plunged his cock deeply and emptied himself inside her, crying, “Please…Jane…love me!” “I do.” With a hoarse cry of her own, she strained against him and found her own release, milking his cock with the force of it. “I do, my darling…I do.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
I wanted to apologize.” His gaze lifted from her bosom. He remembered those breasts in his hands. “For what?” “For deceiving you as I did. I misunderstood the nature of our relationship and behaved like a spoiled little girl. It was a terrible mistake and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.” A terrible mistake? A mistake to be sure, but terrible? “There is nothing to forgive,” he replied with a tight smile. “We were both at fault.” “Yes,” she agreed with a smile of her own. “You are right. Can we be friends again?” “We never stopped.” At least that much was true. He might have played the fool, might have taken advantage of her, but he never ceased caring for her. He never would. Rose practically sighed in relief. Grey had to struggle to keep his eyes on her face. “Good. I’m so glad you feel that way. Because I do so want your approval when I find the man I’m going to marry.” Grey’s lips seized, stuck in a parody of good humor. “The choice is ultimately yours, Rose.” She waved a gloved hand. “Oh, I know that, but your opinion meant so much to Papa, and since he isn’t here to guide me, I would be so honored if you would accept that burden as well as the others you’ve so obligingly undertaken.” Help her pick a husband? Was this some kind of cruel joke? What next, did she want his blessing? She took both of his hands in hers. “I know this is rather premature, but next to Papa you have been the most important man in my life. I wonder…” She bit her top lip. “If you would consider acting in Papa’s stead and giving me away when the time comes?” He’d sling her over his shoulder and run her all the way to Gretna Green if it meant putting an end to this torture! “I would be honored.” He made the promise because he knew whomever she married wouldn’t allow him to keep it. No man in his right mind would want Grey at his wedding, let along handling his bride. Was it relief or consternation that lit her lovely face? “Oh, good. I was afraid perhaps you wouldn’t, given your fear of going out into society.” Grey scowled. Fear? Back to being a coward again was he? “Whatever gave you that notion?” She looked genuinely perplexed. “Well, the other day Kellan told me how awful your reputation had become before your attack. I assumed your shame over that to be why you avoid going out into public now.” “You assume wrong.” He'd never spoken to her with such a cold tone in all the years he'd known her. "I had no idea your opinion of me had sunk so low. And as one who has also been bandied about by gossips I would think you would know better than to believe everything you hear, no matter how much you might like the source." Now she appeared hurt. Doe-like eyes widened. "My opinion of you is as high as it ever was! I'm simply trying to say that I understand why you choose to hide-" "You think I'm hiding?" A vein in his temple throbbed. Innocent confusion met his gaze. "Aren't you?" "I avoid society because I despise it," he informed her tightly. "I would have thought you'd know that about me after all these years." She smiled sweetly. "I think my recent behavior has proven that I don't know you that well at all. After all, I obviously did not achieve my goal in seducing you, did I?" Christ Almighty. The girl knew how to turn his world arse over appetite. "There's no shame in being embarrassed, Grey. I know you regret the past, and I understand how difficult it would be for you to reenter society with that regret handing over you head." "Rose, I am not embarrassed, and I am not hiding. I shun society because I despise it. I hate the false kindness and the rules and the hypocrisy of it. Do you understand what I am saying? It is because of society that I have this." He pointed at the side of his face where the ragged scar ran.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
You’re all I want, Jane.” As he stroked her, he used his other hand to brush hers away so he could unfasten his own trouser buttons. “The only woman I ever cared about.” “You’re the only man Iever cared about.” She undulated against his fingers, begging for him with her body. “Why do you think…I waited for you so long?” “Not long enough, apparently,” he muttered, “or you wouldn’t have gotten yourself engaged to Blakeborough.” He tugged at her nipple with his teeth, then relished her cry of pleasure. “I only…did it because I was…tired of waiting.” She arched against his mouth. “Because you clearly weren’t…coming back for me.” “I was sure you hated me.” At last he got his trousers open. “You acted like you hated me still.” “I did.” Her breath was unsteady. “But only because…you tore us apart.” He shifted her to sit astride him. “And now?” Flashing him a provocative smile he would never have dreamed she had in her repertoire, she unbuttoned his drawers. “Do I look like I hate you?” His cock, so hard he thought it might erupt right there and embarrass him, sprang free. “You look like…like…” He paused to take in her lovely face with its flushed cheeks, sparkling eyes, and lush lips. Then he swept his gaze down to her breasts with their brazen tips, displayed so enticingly above the boned corset and her undone shift. He then dropped his eyes to the smooth thighs emerging from beneath her bunched-up skirts. Shoving the fabric higher, he exposed her dewy thatch of curls, and a shudder of anticipation shook him. “You look like an angel.” She uttered a breathy laugh. “A wanton, more like.” Taking his cock in her hand, she stroked it so wonderfully that he groaned. “Would an angel do this?” His cock was a rod of iron. “Jane…” He covered her hand to stay it, but she ignored his attempt. “I love it when you can’t control yourself,” she whispered. “I love having you at my mercy. You have no idea…how much I enjoy seeing Dom the Almighty brought low.” He barely registered her words. What she was doing felt so good. So bloody damned good. If she stroked him much more… “I want to be inside you.” He gripped her wrist. “Please, Jane…” Her sensuous smile faltered. “You’ve never said ‘please’ to me before. Not in your whole life.” “Really?” Had he only ever issued orders? If so, no wonder she’d refused him last night. Perhaps it was time to show her she didn’t have to seduce him to gain control. That he could give up his control freely…to her, at least. “Then let me say it now. Please, Jane, make love to me. If you don’t mind.” She stared at him. “I…I don’t know what you mean.” He nodded to his cock, which looked downright ecstatic over the idea. “Get up on your knees and fit me inside you.” Realizing he’d just issued yet another order, he added, “Please. If you want.” Jane got that sultry look on her face again. Like the little seductress she was rapidly showing herself to be, she rose up and then came down on him. By degrees. Very slow degrees. He had trouble breathing. “Am I hurting you?” Her smile broadened as she shimmied down another inch. “Not really.” Stifling a curse, he clutched her arms. “You just…enjoy torturing me.” “Absolutely,” she said and moved his hands to cover her breasts. He was more than happy to oblige her unspoken request, happy to thumb her nipples and watch as her lovely mouth fell open and a moan of pure pleasure escaped her. His cock swelled, and he thrust up involuntarily. “Please…” he said hoarsely. “Please, Jane…” With a choked laugh, she sheathed herself on him. Then her eyes went wide. “Oh, that feels amazing.” “It would feel more amazing if you…would move,” he rasped, though the mere sensation of being buried inside her was making him insane. When she arched an eyebrow, he added, “Please.” “I could get to like this,” she said teasingly. “The begging.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))