Shepley walked out of his bedroom pulling a T-shirt over his head. His eyebrows pushed together. “Did they just leave?”
“Yeah,” I said absently, rinsing my cereal bowl and dumping Abby’s leftover oatmeal in the sink. She’d barely touched it.
“Well, what the hell? Mare didn’t even say goodbye.”
“You knew she was going to class. Quit being a cry baby.”
Shepley pointed to his chest. “I’m the cry baby? Do you remember last night?”
“That’s what I thought.” He sat on the couch and slipped on his sneakers. “Did you ask Abby about her birthday?”
“She didn’t say much, except that she’s not into birthdays.”
“So what are we doing?”
“Throwing her a party.” Shepley nodded, waiting for me to explain. “I thought we’d surprise her. Invite some of our friends over and have America take her out for a while.”
Shepley put on his white ball cap, pulling it down so low over his brows I couldn’t see his eyes. “She can manage that. Anything else?”
“How do you feel about a puppy?”
Shepley laughed once. “It’s not my birthday, bro.”
I walked around the breakfast bar and leaned my hip against the stool. “I know, but she lives in the dorms. She can’t have a puppy.”
“Keep it here? Seriously? What are we going to do with a dog?”
“I found a Cairn Terrier online. It’s perfect.”
“Pidge is from Kansas. It’s the same kind of dog Dorothy had in the Wizard of Oz.”
Shepley’s face was blank. “The Wizard of Oz.”
“What? I liked the scarecrow when I was a little kid, shut the fuck up.”
“It’s going to crap every where, Travis. It’ll bark and whine and … I don’t know.”
“So does America … minus the crapping.”
Shepley wasn’t amused.
“I’ll take it out and clean up after it. I’ll keep it in my room. You won’t even know it’s here.”
“You can’t keep it from barking.”
“Think about it. You gotta admit it’ll win her over.”
Shepley smiled. “Is that what this is all about? You’re trying to win over Abby?”
My brows pulled together. “Quit it.”
His smile widened. “You can get the damn dog…”
I grinned with victory.
“…if you admit you have feelings for Abby.”
I frowned in defeat. “C’mon, man!”
“Admit it,” Shepley said, crossing his arms. What a tool. He was actually going to make me say it.
I looked to the floor, and everywhere else except Shepley’s smug ass smile. I fought it for a while, but the puppy was fucking brilliant. Abby would flip out (in a good way for once), and I could keep it at the apartment. She’d want to be there every day.
“I like her,” I said through my teeth.
Shepley held his hand to his ear. “What? I couldn’t quite hear you.”
“You’re an asshole! Did you hear that?”
Shepley crossed his arms. “Say it.”
“I like her, okay?”
“Not good enough.”
“I have feelings for her. I care about her. A lot. I can’t stand it when she’s not around. Happy?”
“For now,” he said, grabbing his backpack off the floor.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
I wanted a quiet, intimate wedding, not a circus.” Thorne leaned against the staircase rail. “It’s the first known Lunar-Earthen wedding in generations, the groom is a bioengineered wolf-human hybrid, and you invited the emperor of the Eastern Commonwealth and an ex–Lunar Queen. What did you expect?” Scarlet glared at him. “I am marrying the man that I love, and I invited my friends to celebrate with us. I expected a little bit of privacy.
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles #4.5))
WE'VE LEFT SHORE SOMEHOW
BECOME THE FRIENDS
OF EARLY THEORY
CLOSE ENOUGH TO SPEAK
DESIRE AND PAIN OF ABSENCE
OF MISTAKES WE'D MAKE
GIVEN THE CHANCE.
EACH SMILE RETURNED
MAKES HARDER AVOIDING
DREAMS THAT SEE US
LYING IN EARLY EVENING
CURTAIN SHADOWS, SKIN
SAFE AGAINST SKIN.
BLOOM OF COMPASSION
RESPECT FOR MOMENTS
EYES LOCK TURNS
FOREVER INTO ONE MORE
VEIL THAT FALLS AWAY.
THIS AFTER SEEING YOU
LAST NIGHT, FIRST TIME
SMELLING YOU WITH
PERMISSION: SHOULDERS TO
WONDER OPENLY AT
AS CAREFULLY KISSED
AS THOSE ARMS
WAITED IMPOSSIBLY ON.
THEY'VE HELD ME NOW
AND YOUR BREATH
DOWN MY BACK
SENT AWAY NIGHT AIR
THAT HAD ME SHAKING
IN THE UNLIT ANGLICAN
ARE WE RUINED FOR
FINDING OUR FACES FIT
AND WANT TO KNOW MORE
ABOUT MORNING? IS
IF WE CAN'T CALL
EACH OTHER ANYMORE
IN AMNESIA, INVITE
OURSELVES TO LAST GLANCES
UNDER SUSPICIOUS CLOCKS
TELLING US WHEN WE'VE
YOUR STEADY HANDS
CRADLING MY GRATEFUL
SKULL: WERE YOU TAKING
IN MY FACE TO
SAVE AN IMAGE
YOU'VE RARELY ALLOWED
YOURSELF AFTER LEAVING
THAT COLD ALCOVE?
AM I A PHOTOGRAPH
YOU GAZE AT IN
MOMENTS OF WEAKNESS?
YOU ORDERED ME
OFF MY KNEES
INTO YOUR ARMS.
WASN'T TO BEG
THAT I KNELT; ONLY
TO SEE YOU ONCE
TRIED TO SAY SOMETHING
THAT FILLED MY MOUTH
AND LONGED TO REST
IN YOUR EAR.
DON'T DARE WRITE
IT DOWN FOR FEAR IT'LL
BECOME WORDS, JUST
Viggo Mortensen (Coincidence of Memory)
During the act of making something, I experience a kind of blissful absence of the self and a loss of time. When I am done, I return to both feeling as restored as if I had been on a trip. I almost never get this feeling any other way. I once spent sixteen hours making 150 wedding invitations by hand and was not for one instance of that time tempted to eat or look at my watch. By contrast, if seated at the computer, I check my email conservatively 30,000 times a day. When I am writing, I must have a snack, call a friend, or abuse myself every ten minutes. I used to think that this was nothing more than the difference between those things we do for love and those we do for money. But that can't be the whole story. I didn't always write for a living, and even back when it was my most fondly held dream to one day be able to do so, writing was always difficult. Writing is like pulling teeth.
From my dick.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
We would never go shopping together or eat an entire cake while we complained about men. He'd never invite me over to his house for dinner or a barbecue. We'd never be lovers. But there was a very good chance that one of us would be the last person the other saw before we died. It wasn't friendship the way most people understood it, but it was friendship. There were several people I'd trust with my life, but there is no one else I'd trust with my death. Jean-Claude and even Richard would try to hold me alive out of love or something that passed for it. Even my family and other friends would fight to keep me alive. If I wanted death, Edward would give it to me. Because we both understand that it isn't death that we fear. It's living.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #9))
She gave me that pert look of hers. "Would you like to know who I've invited to come help me with the wedding plans?"
Drew:"Very much. Anyone I know? King George? Mrs. Hoover?"
Madeline: "Don't be silly. George is one of your friends, not mine. And from what I hear, Mrs. Hoover is packing her things and preparing to move out of the White House."
Drew: "Very well, that leaves us with just the population of the world minus two.
Julianna Deering (Murder at the Mikado (Drew Farthering Mystery, #3))
Are we tryina stop this wedding, Bunsen?”
“’ Course not,” said Strike, pulling out another cigarette. “I was invited. I’m a friend. A guest.”
“You sacked ’er,” said Shanker. “Which ain’t a mark of friendship where I come from.”
Strike refrained from pointing out that Shanker knew hardly anyone who had ever had a job.
Robert Galbraith (Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3))
It’s normally agreed that the question “How are you?” doesn’t put you on your oath to give a full or honest answer. So when asked these days, I tend to say something cryptic like, “A bit early to say.” (If it’s the wonderful staff at my oncology clinic who inquire, I sometimes go so far as to respond, “I seem to have cancer today.”) Nobody wants to be told about the countless minor horrors and humiliations that become facts of “life” when your body turns from being a friend to being a foe: the boring switch from chronic constipation to its sudden dramatic opposite; the equally nasty double cross of feeling acute hunger while fearing even the scent of food; the absolute misery of gut–wringing nausea on an utterly empty stomach; or the pathetic discovery that hair loss extends to the disappearance of the follicles in your nostrils, and thus to the childish and irritating phenomenon of a permanently runny nose. Sorry, but you did ask... It’s no fun to appreciate to the full the truth of the materialist proposition that I don’t have a body, I am a body. But it’s not really possible to adopt a stance of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” either. Like its original, this is a prescription for hypocrisy and double standards. Friends and relatives, obviously, don’t really have the option of not making kind inquiries. One way of trying to put them at their ease is to be as candid as possible and not to adopt any sort of euphemism or denial. The swiftest way of doing this is to note that the thing about Stage Four is that there is no such thing as Stage Five. Quite rightly, some take me up on it. I recently had to accept that I wasn’t going to be able to attend my niece’s wedding, in my old hometown and former university in Oxford. This depressed me for more than one reason, and an especially close friend inquired, “Is it that you’re afraid you’ll never see England again?” As it happens he was exactly right to ask, and it had been precisely that which had been bothering me, but I was unreasonably shocked by his bluntness. I’ll do the facing of hard facts, thanks. Don’t you be doing it too. And yet I had absolutely invited the question. Telling someone else, with deliberate realism, that once I’d had a few more scans and treatments I might be told by the doctors that things from now on could be mainly a matter of “management,” I again had the wind knocked out of me when she said, “Yes, I suppose a time comes when you have to consider letting go.” How true, and how crisp a summary of what I had just said myself. But again there was the unreasonable urge to have a kind of monopoly on, or a sort of veto over, what was actually sayable. Cancer victimhood contains a permanent temptation to be self–centered and even solipsistic.
Christopher Hitchens (Mortality)
Both Becca and David looked stricken, but only David, who'd been sitting at a picnic table next to Jake and Gina, turned nearly as red as his own hair. He'd invited his "good friend" Shahbaz to be his plus one at my wedding, then made it clear to all of us that they were more than friends by kissing under some mistletoe at Debbie and Brad's house during Thanksgiving dinner.
The Ackerman-Simon family did not shock easily, however. Brad had remarked only, "Dude, we get it, you're gay. Now pass the gravy.
Meg Cabot (Remembrance (The Mediator, #7))
Jacob, is something wrong? Is Isabella okay?”
“Probably. She is not well today. It could be a normal thing for a human female, but since she is usually as resistant to common ailments now as we are, she is nervous. I figured Gideon could ease her mind.”
Noah missed the wince that crossed his friend’s face that would have given away the indignant argument flying through the Enforcer’s thoughts. Jacob’s female counterpart huffily took umbrage to his claims of exactly who it was that was nervous and who had insisted on seeking Gideon, because it certainly had not been her.
“Tell her I hope she feels better,” Noah said, his fondness for Bella quite clear in his tone. “Bear with her, old friend. She’s breaking new ground. It can be pretty frightening to play Eve for an entire race.”
“Do not worry. When it comes to my Bella, I would do anything to see to her happiness. That includes making others do anything to see to her happiness,” Jacob said. He meant the words, of course, but he was hoping they’d help sooth someone’s bristling pride.
“I’m sure Gideon is going to love that,” Noah laughed.
Jacob grinned, altering gravity so that he began to float up from the floor.
“If you see Gideon before I do, will you tell him to come to Bella?”
“Of course. Tell her I said to start behaving like a real Druid or I—” Noah was cut off by a sharp hand motion and a warning expression from the Enforcer. It came a little too late, however, if Jacob’s pained expression was anything to judge by.
“There goes your invitation for our wedding,” Jacob muttered. “And I think I am close behind you.”
“I would believe that if I were not the one who is supposed to perform it and if you were not the father of her otherwise illegitimate child,” Noah countered loudly, clearly talking to the person beyond his immediate perception.
“Ow! Damn it, Noah!” Jacob grumbled, rubbing his temples as Bella’s scream of frustration echoed through him. “Do you remember I am the one who has to go home to her, would you?”
“Sorry, my friend,” Noah chuckled, not looking at all repentant. “Now get out of here, Enforcer. Find Gideon and tend to your beautiful and charming mate. Be sure to mention to her that I said she looks ravishing and that her pregnancy has made her shine like a precious jewel.”
“Noah, if you were not my King, I would kill you for this.”
“Yes, well, as your King I would have you arrested for treason just for saying that. Luckily for you, Jacob, you are the man who would arrest you, and the woman who also has the power to do so is sure to punish you far better than I can when you get home.”
“You are all heart, my liege,” Jacob said wryly.
“Thank you. Now leave, before I begin to expound on the disrespect that this mouthy little female of yours seems to have engendered my formerly loyal subjects.
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))
As we prepared for sleep that night I noticed that Lisa was staring at her reflection in the mirror. She looked as young now as the day I met her, no grey upon her jet black hair, face always pale, she rarely sun bathed, dark glittering eyes and finally pearly white teeth. What a woman, always passionate about her affairs and always interested in my work. Shame her family could not attend our wedding. I suppose that is the hazard of marrying a Slav, either the family is dead, scattered or too poor to fly to England. Still it was a happy wedding, a quiet one with a few friends from work.
Lisa crawled into bed beside me; her body, always cold, quickly warmed to my touch. Why are women always cold when they first get into bed? We kissed for what seemed an age, caressing each other’s bodies until at last she pushed me onto my back, straddled me and smiled looking down into my eyes. She licked her lips and slowly leant forward.
The next morning I checked my neck for any tell-tale signs of our love making. Again Lisa had bitten every inch of my body and left not a mark. I smiled down at her sleeping form, kissed her cheek and went to my study. I had term papers to mark and research for my next set of lectures.
Lisa came into my study just after lunch. For a woman just out of bed she looked remarkably well, her hair was untangled, her cheeks full in bloom, there were no signs of tiredness in her eyes at all.
I smiled at her as we kissed, then she told me of the theme for the dinner party. Eleven guests as usual and each one would have to be very special. I left her to set up the invitations and planning. This was going to be the Last supper revisited it seemed.
E.A.Drake (The Vampyre's Kiss)
Get it off!" Julian howled, shimmying his back in front of Sacha.
Sacha was too busy being doubled over laughing his ass off to give half a shit about the fact that his friend had gotten crapped on by a bird.
For the second time in less than an hour.
We were at King's Park in Perth, the largest inner-city park in the world, the day after we’d arrived in the Land Down Under. Sacha, Julian, my brother, Isaiah and I had all caught a ride to the beautiful location late that morning. What had started with me banging on my brother’s door so he could accompany me somewhere, ended up becoming an extended invitation to the other guys during breakfast.
"Quit laughing and somebody wipe it off!" Julian was practically screeching as he made his stop in front of me, hoping I'd be his savior.
I wanted to help Julian with his issue. Really. I did. The problem was that I couldn't stop cracking up either.
“Gaby! Please! Get it off!”
It seriously took everything inside of me to get it together. I finally cleaned the gooey spot with the last napkin I’d tucked into my pocket earlier, but it took longer than it normally would have. A second later another bird swarmed overhead and made him start cursing in annoyance and probably fear. It was bad enough to get pooped on once, but twice? And in front of Eli and Sacha? There was no way Julian was ever going to be able to live it down.
"I feel like I should take a shit on you too now. What exactly am I missing out on, you know?" Eli cackled, slapping the poor guy on the back before immediately yanking his hand away and checking it with a grimace.
The same bird swooped dangerously over our heads, and I started crying, not imagining the look of pure horror on Julian's face all over again.
"You better run before they come after you again," Sacha teased him through a gulp of air. He stole a glance in my direction, and then lost it once more; this loud, belly-aching laugh that fueled my own.
Mariana Zapata (Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin)
Jesus contrasts who blesses and curses. The sheep are blessed “by my Father.” We might assume, then, that the goats are inversely cursed by the Father; but no such thing is said. Jesus simply says they are cursed. Like the rich man clutching his greed in the rubble of his riches while heaven calls him “son.” Like the wedding crasher refusing wedding clothes while the King calls him “friend.” Like the older brother weeping and gnashing his teeth in the backyard while the Father invites him inside to join the prodigal’s party. God blesses; we curse. The Father is good; we want to be left alone. The Light shines brightly; we prefer darkness. Ultimately, we are judged not for our failure to successfully wrap our hands around God’s arm, but rather for our stubborn refusal to be grasped by him, our incessant prying of his fingers from our recalcitrant hearts. God redeems his world; our destructive power is cast outside. God’s kingdom is established; the wildfire is banished. God brings an end to the bondage of creation.
Joshua Ryan Butler (The Skeletons in God's Closet: The Mercy of Hell, the Surprise of Judgment, the Hope of Holy War)
If we expect perfection from man instead of God, we are indeed in trouble, and our personal problems, with others and with ourselves, are many. Our lives will then be easily soured.
Take, for example, a common situation: wedding invitations. More than a few people are annoyed when they get one, because it means a gift, and they "feel cheap" sending just a card, even though only casual friends. However, if they do not get an invitation, they are then hurt or offended. In brief, sinful man will always milk trouble out of any situation.
What then do you do? "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes," that is, men at their highest and best are still not to be trusted, for they are sinners. Our trust or dependence must be in the Lord.
Thus remember, people are sinners. If they hurt and disappoint you, it is because there is first of all something with you: you have put your trust in the creature rather than the Creator. We can enjoy people, be good friends and neighbors, and live best with them if we know ourselves and them as alike sinners, either saved or lost, but even as saved, still very capable of thoughtlessness and sin. Our trust must be in the Lord.
Rousas John Rushdoony (A Word in Season, Volume 1)
We'll have something private and very quiet, and above all, small,” she said. “It's the only choice, really.” “I agree,” he said readily. “On second thought, we don't need to invite more than three hundred guests.” Holly gave him an incredulous glance. “When I said ‘small,’ I had a different number in mind. Perhaps half a dozen.” His jaw set obstinately. “I want all of London to know that I've won you.” “They'll know,” she said dryly. “I'm sure the ton will talk of little else… and it's a certainty that none of my scandal-avoiding former friends would attend the wedding, extravagant or otherwise.” “Nearly all of mine would,” he said cheerfully. “Undoubtedly,” she agreed, knowing that he was referring to the crowd of ruffians, dandies and social climbers who ran the gamut from being bad ton to complete wastrels. “Nevertheless, the wedding will be as discreet as possible. You can save the doves and trumpeters and such for Elizabeth's wedding.” “I suppose it would be faster that way,” he said grudgingly. Holly stopped on the graveled path and smiled up at him. “We'll keep our wedding small, then, and get on with it.” She slid her arms around his lean waist. “I don't want to wait a day longer than necessary to belong to you.
Lisa Kleypas (Where Dreams Begin)
Back in L.A., I’d remained friends with my freshman-year boyfriend, Collin, and we’d become even closer after he confided in me one dark and emotional night that he’d finally come to terms with his homosexuality. Around that time, his mother was visiting from Dallas, and Collin invited me to meet them at Hotel Bel Air for brunch. I wore the quintessential early-1990s brunch outfit: a copper-brown silk tank with white, dime-size polka dots and a below-the-knee, swinging skirt to match. A flawless Pretty Woman--Julia Roberts polo match replica. I loved that outfit.
It was silk, though, and clingy, and the second I sat down at the table I knew I was in trouble. My armpits began to feel cool and wet, and slowly I noticed the fabric around my arms getting damper and damper. By the time our mimosas arrived, the ring of sweat had spread to the level of my third rib; by mealtime, it had reached the waistline of my skirt, and the more I tried to will it away, the worse it got. I wound up eating my Eggs Florentine with my elbows stuck to my hip bones so Collin and his mother wouldn’t see. But copper-brown silk, when wet, is the most unforgiving fabric on the planet. Collin had recently come out to his parents, so I’d later determined I’d experienced some kind of sympathetic nervousness on Collin’s behalf. I never wore that outfit again. Never got the stains out.
Nor would I ever wear this suit again.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
One day in the dojo (the martial-arts studio) before our karate class began, I witnessed the power of a concentrated focus unlike anything that I’d ever seen growing up in the heartland of northern Missouri. On that day, our instructor walked into the room and asked us to do something very different from the form and movement practices that were familiar to us. He explained that he would seat himself in the center of the thick mat where we honed our skills, close his eyes, and go into a meditation. During this exercise, he would stretch his arms out on either side of his body, with his palms open and facedown. He asked us to give him a couple of minutes to “anchor” himself in this T position and then invited us to do anything that we could to move him from his place. The men in our class outnumbered the women by about two to one, and there had always been a friendly competition between the sexes. On that day, however, there was no such division. Together, we all sat close to our instructor, silent and motionless. We watched as he simply walked to the center of the mat, sat down with his legs crossed, closed his eyes, held out his arms, and changed his breathing pattern. I remember that I was fascinated and observed closely as his chest swelled and shrank, slower and slower with each breath until it was hard to tell that he was breathing at all. With a nod of agreement, we moved closer and tried to move our instructor from his place. At first, we thought that this was going to be an easy exercise, and only a few of us tried. As we grabbed his arms and legs, we pushed and pulled in different directions with absolutely no success. Amazed, we changed our strategy and gathered on one side of him to use our combined weight to force him in the opposite direction. Still, we couldn’t even budge his arms or the fingers on his hands! After a few moments, he took a deep breath, opened his eyes, and with the gentle humor we’d come to respect, he asked, “What happened? How come I’m still sitting here?” After a big laugh that eased the tension and with a familiar gleam in his eyes, he explained what had just happened. “When I closed my eyes,” he said, “I had a vision that was like a dream, and that dream became my reality. I pictured two mountains, one on either side of my body, and myself on the ground between the peaks.” As he spoke, I immediately saw the image in my mind’s eye and felt that he was somehow imbuing us with a direct experience of his vision. “Attached to each of my arms,” he continued, “I saw a chain that bound me to the top of each mountain. As long as the chains were there, I was connected to the mountains in a way that nothing could change.” Our instructor looked around at the faces that were riveted on each word he was sharing. With a big grin, he concluded, “Not even a classroom full of my best students could change my dream.” Through a brief demonstration in a martial-arts classroom, this beautiful man had just given each of us a direct sense of the power to redefine our relationship to the world. The lesson was less about reacting to what the world was showing us and more about creating our own rules for what we choose to experience. The secret here is that our instructor was experiencing himself from the perspective that he was already fixed in one place on that mat. In those moments, he was living from the outcome of his meditation. Until he chose to break the chains in his imagination, nothing could move him. And that’s precisely what we found out.
Gregg Braden (The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief)
Pat and I smiled to see a small evening bag with a short handle hooked over her left elbow. We wondered why she would carry a handbag in her own home. What would she possibly need from it?
I was longing to walk over to Her Majesty, the Queen, and tell her, mother to mother, “Your Majesty, we’ve known Lady Diana quite well for the past year and a half. We’d like you to know what a truly lovely young woman your son is about to marry.” A sincere and uncontroversial prewedding remark. Unfortunately, this was not only the groom’s mother but also Her Majesty, the Queen of England. Protocol prevented our approaching her, since we had not been personally introduced. I toyed briefly with the idea of walking up to her anyway and pretending that, as an American, I didn’t know the rules. But I was afraid of a chilling rebuff and did not want to embarrass Diana, who had been kind enough to invite us. Pat did not encourage me to plunge ahead. In fact, this time he exclaimed, “Have you lost your mind?” Maybe I should have taken a chance. Too timid again!
Our next glimpse of the royal family was Prince Philip, socializing a room or two away from the queen and surrounded by attractive women. He was a bit shorter than he appears in photographs, but quite handsome with a dignified presence and a regal, controlled charm. Pat was impressed by how flawlessly Prince Philip played his role as host, speaking graciously to people in small groups, then moving smoothly on to the next group, unhurried and polished. I thought he had an intimidating, wouldn’t “suffer fools gladly” air—not a person with whom one could easily make small talk, although his close friends seemed relaxed with him. It was easy to believe that he had been a stern and domineering father to Prince Charles. The Prince of Wales had seemed much warmer and more approachable.
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
Have you done anything that’s like that?” he asked. So I had to tell him. “You’re not going to like it. But I was very lonely and very desperate. I was doing a magic for protection against my mother, because she kept sending me terrible dreams all the time. And while I was at it, I did a magic to find me a karass.” He looked blank. “What’s a karass?” “You haven’t read Vonnegut? Oh well, you’d like him I think. Start with Cat’s Cradle. But anyway, a karass is a group of people who are genuinely connected together. And the opposite is a granfalloon, a group that has a fake kind of connection, like all being in school together. I did a magic to find me friends.” He actually recoiled, almost knocking his chair over. “And you think it worked?” “The day after, Greg invited me to the book group.” I let that hang there while he filled in the implications for himself. “But we’d been meeting for months already. You just … found us.” “I hope so,” I said. “But I didn’t know anything about it before. I’d never seen any indication of it, or of fandom either.” I looked at him. He was rarer than a unicorn, a beautiful boy in a red-checked shirt who read and thought and talked about books. How much of his life had my magic touched, to make him what he was? Had he even existed before? Or what had he been? There’s no knowing, no way to know. He was here now, and I was, and that was all. “But I was there,” he said. “I was going to it. I know it was there. I was at Seacon in Brighton last summer.” “Er’ perrhenne,” I said, with my best guess at pronunciation. I am used to people being afraid of me, but I don’t really like it. I don’t suppose even Tiberius really liked it. But after a horrible instant his face softened. “It must have just found us for you. You couldn’t have changed all that,” he said, and picking up his Vimto, drained the bottle.
Jo Walton (Among Others)
For our part, we thought we would be following her path from a distance in the press. Our friends called to tell us when the photo of Diana pushing Patrick in his stroller appeared in Newsweek, or when our name was mentioned in a news magazine or paper. We were generally mislabeled as the Robinsons. Everyone asked if we would be going to the wedding, and we would reply, “Us? No, of course not.” We truly never expected to hear from Diana again, so her January letter became especially precious to us.
We were stunned when a letter from Diana on Buckingham Palace stationary arrived in late March. She was clearly happy, writing, “I am on a cloud.” She missed Patrick “dreadfully.” She hoped that we were all “settled down by now, including your cat too--.” Diana had never even seen our cat. We’d left him with my brother because England requires a six-month quarantine for cats and dogs. How did she ever remember we had one?
Then, “I will be sending you an invitation to the wedding, naturally. . . .” The wedding . . . naturally . . . God bless her. Maybe we weren’t going to lose her after all. She even asked me to send a picture of Patrick to show to “her intended(!), since I’m always talking about him.” As for her engagement, she could never even have imagined it the year before. She closed with her typical and appealing modesty: “I do hope you don’t mind me writing to you but just had to let you know what was going on.”
Mind? I was thrilled and touched and amazed by her fondness and thoughtfulness, as I have been every single time she has written to us and seen us. This was always to be the Diana we knew and loved—kind, affectionate, unpretentious.
I wrote back write away and sent her the two photographs I’d taken of her holding Patrick in our living room the previous fall. After Diana received the photographs, she wrote back on March 31 to thank me and sent us their official engagement picture. She said I should throw the photograph away if it was of no use. She added, “You said some lovely things which I don’t feel I deserve . . . .” Surely, she knew from the previous year that we would be her devoted friends forever.
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
You look…exactly the same.”
Gulp. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? “I do?” I get up on my tiptoes. “I think I’ve grown at least an inch since eighth grade.” And my boobs are at least a little bigger. Not much. Not that I want John to notice--I’m just saying.
“No, you look…just like how I remembered you.” John Ambrose reaches out, and I think he’s trying to hug me but he’s only trying to take my bag from me, and there’s a brief but strange dance that mortifies me but he doesn’t seem to notice. “So thanks for inviting me.”
“Thanks for coming.”
“Do you want me to take this stuff up for you?”
“Sure,” I say.
John takes the bag from me and looks inside. “Oh, wow. All of our old snacks! Why don’t you climb up first and I’ll pass it to you.” So that’s what I do: I scramble up the ladder and he climbs up behind me. I’m crouched, arms outstretched, waiting for him to pass me the bag.
But when he gets halfway up the ladder, he stops and looks up at me and says, “You still wear your hair in fancy braids.”
I touch my side braid. Of all the things to remember about me. Back then, Margot was the one who braided my hair. “You think it looks fancy?”
“Yeah. Like…expensive bread.”
I burst out laughing. “Bread!”
I get down on my stomach, wriggle over to the edge, and pretend like I’m letting down my hair for him to climb. He climbs up to the top of the ladder and passes me the bag, which I take, and then he grins at me and gives my braid a tug. I’m still lying down but feel an electric charge like he’s zapped me. I’m suddenly feeling very anxious about the worlds that will be colliding, the past and the present, a pen pal and a boyfriend, all in this little tree house. Probably I should have thought this through a bit better. But I was so focused on the time capsule, and the snacks, and the idea of it--old friends coming back together to do what we said we’d do. And now here we are, in it.
“Everything okay?” John asks, offering me his hand as I rise to my feet.
I don’t take his hand; I don’t want another zap. “Everything’s great,” I say cheerily.
“Hey, you never sent back my letter,” he says. “You broke an unbreakable vow.”
I laugh awkwardly. I’d kind of been hoping he wouldn’t bring that up. “It was too embarrassing. The things I wrote. I couldn’t bear the thought of another person seeing it.”
“But I already saw it,” he reminds me.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
What’ll it be?” Steve asked me, just days after our wedding. “Do we go on the honeymoon we’ve got planned, or do you want to go catch crocs?”
My head was still spinning from the ceremony, the celebration, and the fact that I could now use the two words “my husband” and have them mean something real. The four months between February 2, 1992--the day Steve asked me to marry him--and our wedding day on June 4 had been a blur.
Steve’s mother threw us an engagement party for Queensland friends and family, and I encountered a very common theme: “We never thought Steve would get married.” Everyone said it--relatives, old friends, and schoolmates. I’d smile and nod, but my inner response was, Well, we’ve got that in common. And something else: Wait until I get home and tell everybody I am moving to Australia.
I knew what I’d have to explain. Being with Steve, running the zoo, and helping the crocs was exactly the right thing to do. I knew with all my heart and soul that this was the path I was meant to travel. My American friends--the best, closest ones--understood this perfectly. I trusted Steve with my life and loved him desperately.
One of the first challenges was how to bring as many Australian friends and family as possible over to the United States for the wedding. None of us had a lot of money. Eleven people wound up making the trip from Australia, and we held the ceremony in the big Methodist church my grandmother attended.
It was more than a wedding, it was saying good-bye to everyone I’d ever known. I invited everybody, even people who may not have been intimate friends. I even invited my dentist. The whole network of wildlife rehabilitators came too--four hundred people in all.
The ceremony began at eight p.m., with coffee and cake afterward. I wore the same dress that my older sister Bonnie had worn at her wedding twenty-seven years earlier, and my sister Tricia wore at her wedding six years after that. The wedding cake had white frosting, but it was decorated with real flowers instead of icing ones.
Steve had picked out a simple ring for me, a quarter carat, exactly what I wanted. He didn’t have a wedding ring. We were just going to borrow one for the service, but we couldn’t find anybody with fingers that were big enough. It turned out that my dad’s wedding ring fitted him, and that’s the one we used. Steve’s mother, Lyn, gave me a silk horseshoe to put around my wrist, a symbol of good luck.
On our wedding day, June 4, 1992, it had been eight months since Steve and I first met. As the minister started reading the vows, I could see that Steve was nervous. His tuxedo looked like it was strangling him. For a man who was used to working in the tropics, he sure looked hot. The church was air-conditioned, but sweat drops formed on the ends of his fingers. Poor Steve, I thought. He’d never been up in front of such a big crowd before.
“The scariest situation I’ve ever been in,” Steve would say later of the ceremony. This from a man who wrangled crocodiles!
When the minister invited the groom to kiss the bride, I could feel all Steve’s energy, passion, and love. I realized without a doubt we were doing the right thing.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
I remember when I first became a believer in Jesus. I somehow thought it was my duty to change people for the sake of spreading the gospel. I would rejoice when people would find hope in Christ but would feel like a failure when someone would decline the invitation to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. It was a little discouraging. But that’s because my understanding of how God works in my life was off. I say this because I believe many of today’s Christians put too much pressure on themselves to bring people to Jesus. It’s our job to love people, not change them. Only the Holy Spirit has the power and authority to do such a thing. Our calling is to simply share the gospel in love and truth, showing the character of Jesus through our everyday lives. When you let yourself off the hook for being solely responsible for somebody’s soul, you will find a totally new sense of freedom: the freedom to love. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to know all the right things to say. You don’t have to have all the answers. And if your message is totally rejected . . . it’s not on you. It’s between that individual and God. Maybe you’ll get another opportunity to try, but it’s not your job to change him or her. Our job is to simply be available for those who are looking to know more about God, take opportunities to be vocal about our personal relationships with him, and continue to point people back to God with every question they may have. I didn’t understand this in the early years of my faith, and I put way too much pressure on myself when it came to people being transformed. Why? Because we live in a performance-based culture, and yes, even pastors have a tendency to fall captive to its pull. Like me, you probably feel pressured from multiple angles. We’re told by advertising that we need to be attractive, by parents that we need good jobs, by teachers that we need good grades, by friends that we need to give more time. Jesus isn’t like that. He doesn’t make irrational demands and point a finger at us for not living up to the expectation. The only thing Jesus wants from us is our love. And when we learn to offer him that love, we long to obey him and live in the better way he has for us as well. It’s a beautiful thing. As we learned from Jesus in Matthew 25, we can love God simply by loving others. Whether that love produces a change in their lives is up to God. We don’t have to stress about it. Only the Holy Spirit has the power and authority to change someone’s heart. Our calling is to simply share the gospel in love and truth, showing the character of Jesus through our everyday lives. This alone is the calling of a Christian. This alone is a weighty yet fulfilling purpose for all who choose to pick up their crosses daily. If we were to scour the Bible, we’d see there isn’t a single passage that states we are called to change people ourselves. Why? Because it’s not our job, and it was never intended to be. We must take a step back and realize that God’s job is to be God and our job is to lead people toward the door that is hope. Once we’ve done this, we must let go and allow the one who created the world to take care of the rest. If we had the power to change people, the transformative love of God wouldn’t be needed. Don’t waste your time trying to change people. Instead, focus on loving well.
Jarrid Wilson (Love Is Oxygen: How God Can Give You Life and Change Your World)
I’d have a nuclear-powered interstellar spacecraft constructed in Earth’s orbit,” I said. “I’d stock it with a lifetime supply of food and water, a self-sustaining biosphere, and a supercomputer loaded with every movie, book, song, videogame, and piece of artwork that human civilization has ever created, along with a stand-alone copy of the OASIS. Then I’d invite a few of my closest friends to come aboard, along with a team of doctors and scientists, and we’d all get the hell out of Dodge. Leave the solar system and start looking for an extrasolar Earthlike planet.
Cindy had always wondered why this charismatic, male hunk had no friends to invite to their wedding. Now, it made perfect sense; he probably killed them all.
Billy Wells (Scary Stories: A Collection of Horror - Volume 2 (Chamber of Horror Series))
We’ve got things under control here.”
“‘We’?” Kerry repeated. “Shouldn’t you be out sampling cake or agonizing over invitation fonts? Assuming you don’t have clients to design interiors for.”
“I have clients,” Fiona replied easily, honest joy beaming from her every pore. “Very happy ones. Trust me, after running McCrae Interiors, I can juggle Fiona’s Finds and planning a wedding at the same time with my eyes closed.”
Kerry gave her sister a hard time--it was what they did--but she was truly happy for Fiona, with both her new business success and her lovely and loving relationship with their longtime family friend, Ben Campbell. Fiona had sold a successful business in Manhattan to return home and start over. She’d just opened a small design studio in a converted cottage near the harbor, focusing on recycling and repurposing antique and vintage items into something fresh and new. Her designs were both eco-friendly and wallet friendly, and the Cove had embraced her return home and her new business with equal enthusiasm.
“Remember you said that,” Kerry commented. “When it’s go time on the big aisle walk and you’re still running around like a crazy person trying to pull everything together at the last second, I don’t want to hear about it.”
Fiona batted her eyelashes again as she took an extralong sip on the straw in her glass of lemon water. “I’m the epitome of a happy, relaxed bride. McCrae girls don’t do bridezilla. Well, Hannah didn’t, Alex was lovely, and I’m charming of course.” She looked at Kerry over the tip of her straw, smiling sweetly. “We’ll reserve final judgment until it’s your turn.”
“Har, har,” Kerry said, but Fiona was high on wedding crack again so she let her run with it.
“Besides, after handling weddings for Logan, Hannah, and the Grace-Delia double do out on that island, this will be a cakewalk. Ha!” Fiona went on, then laughed. “Cakewalk.”
“You’re a designer? And you do weddings?” Maddy turned on her stool and spun Fiona on hers until they were facing each other. She gripped Fiona’s forearms and grinned. “Hello, my new best and dearest friend.”
“Oh, brother.” Kerry surrendered, tossing her towel on the bar.
Donna Kauffman (Starfish Moon (Brides of Blueberry Cove, #3))
I felt the weight of that responsibility even more now that I had seen firsthand what life here had been like. I took the donuts and juice to a little table we had set up in the Blue Room. I opened the box and set out some paper cups. Matthews was the first to arrive at the table. “Thank you, Carrie Jo.” “My pleasure. Have you heard anything from C. M. Lowell on those mantelpieces? I know it’s only been a few weeks, but TD is going to need to install them before they cut the molding for the rest of the room.” “Right. I’ll put a call in to them this morning. I’d forgotten about that. I’ve got some leads on paintings for the two main parlors. One is pretty incredible; I emailed you photos of both of them. Don’t forget, we’ve got boxes of paintings in the attic. And good news—we have air up there now, too. If you can’t find what you want, there is plenty of room in the budget, but many of the local families are willing to allow us to use their pieces. With all credits, of course.” I couldn’t figure Hollis Matthews out: one minute he was cold and distant, and the next he was kind and friendly. One thing I knew for sure—he was always a man with a plan. “Great. I’ll check out those pictures and let you know. I’ve got some plans ready for the ladies’ parlor, including a significant display of Augusta Evans books. I’ll have those to you by the end of next week.” With a nod of his salt-and-pepper head, he walked away, probably off to call about those mantelpieces. I invited the interns to have a donut and took a few minutes to get to know them. There were two Rachels, Rachel Kowalski and Rachel McGhee, and James Pittman. All of them were excellent archaeological students who had earned their spots on our team. I’d Skyped with them individually before I came to Mobile, but this was the first time we’d met in person. “Well, guys, are you ready for the grand tour? It’s the same one visitors will take once the museum is open.” We started in the ladies’ parlor, continued on to the men’s parlor and the Blue Room, and then went up the opposite side of the hall to the servants’ waiting area, the music room and the ballroom. There were of course a myriad of
M.L. Bullock (The Ultimate Seven Sisters Collection)
I’ve always said I didn’t want an ordinary life. Nothing average or mundane for me. But as I stared at the rather ample naked derriere wiggling two inches from my face today, I realized I should have been more specific with my goals. Definitely not ordinary, but not exactly what I had in mind. The Texas-flag tattoo emblazoned across the left cheek waved at me as she shifted her weight from foot to foot. The flag was distorted and stretched, as was the large yellow rose on the right cheek, both tattoos dotted with dimples and pock marks. An uneven script scrawled out “The Yellow Rose of Texas” across the top of her rump. Her entire bridal party—her closest friends and relatives, mind you—had left her high and dry. They’d stormed off the elevator as I tried to enter it, a flurry of daffodil-yellow silk, spouting and sputtering about their dear loved one, Tonya the bride. “That’s it! We’re done!” They sounded off in a chorus of clucking hens. “We ain’t goin’ back in there. She can get ready on her own!” “Yeah, she can get ready on her own!” “Known her since third grade and she’s gonna talk to me like that?” “Third grade? She’s my first cousin. I’ve known her since the day she was born. She’s always been that way. I don’t know why y’all acting all surprised.” I felt more than a little uneasy about what all this meant for our schedule. The ceremony was supposed to start in fifteen minutes. The bride should have already been downstairs and loaded in the carriage to make her way to the hotel’s beach. My unease grew to panic when I knocked on Tonya’s door and she opened it clad only in a skimpy little satin robe. “Honey, you’re supposed to be dressed and downstairs already.” I tried to say it as sweetly as possible, but I’m sure my panic came through. My Southern accent kicked in thick, which usually only happens when I’m panicked or frustrated. Or pissed. Or drunk. “Do you think I don’t know that?” she asked, arching a perfectly drawn-on eyebrow. “Do you think somehow when I booked this wedding and had invitations printed and planned the entire damned event, I somehow didn’t realize what time the ceremony started? And just who the hell are you anyway?” Well, alrighty then. Obviously this was going to be a fun day. “Um, I’m Tyler Warren. I’m assisting Lillian with your wedding today.” “Fine. Those bitches left me with my nails wet.” She held up both hands to show me the glossy, fresh manicure. “How the hell am I supposed to get dressed with wet nails?” she asked, arching both eyebrows now and glaring at me like I was somehow responsible for this. “Oh.” My mind spun with the limited time frame I had available, the amount of clothing she still needed to put on, and the amount of time it would take to get her in the carriage and to the ceremony. “Give me just a second to let Lillian know we’ll be down shortly.” I smiled what I hoped was my sweetest smile and stepped backward into the hallway. She slammed the door as I frantically dialed Lillian’s cell. “You’d better be calling to tell me she is in the carriage and on her way,” Lillian said. “It is hotter than Hades out here. I have several people looking like they’re about to faint, and I may possibly dunk a cranky, tuxedoed five-year-old
Violet Howe (Diary of a Single Wedding Planner (Tales Behind the Veils, #1))
May I ask you a personal question?”
She looked up in query and made the graceful little gesture that I had learned was an invitation.
“Isn’t Shevraeth a friend of yours?”
“Yes,” she said cautiously.
“Then why the fan, and the careful words when you asked about your friend Elenet?”
Nee set her cup down, her brow slightly furrowed. “We are friends to a degree…Though we all grew up at Court, I was never one of his intimates, nor even one of his flirts. Those all tended to be the leaders of fashion. So I don’t really know how close he was to any of them, except perhaps for Savona. It took everyone by surprise to find out that he was so different from the person we’d grown up with.” She shrugged. “He was always an object of gossip, but I realized recently that though we heard much about what he did, we never heard what he thought.”
“You mean he didn’t tell anyone,” I said.
“Exactly. Anyway, Elenet is an old friend, of both of us, which is complicated by her family’s machinations. Her safety is important to me. Yet in referring to it, I don’t want to seem one of the busybodies or favor-seekers.”
“I don’t think you could,” I said.
She laughed. “Anyone can do anything, with determination and an inner conviction of being right. Whether they really are right…” She shrugged.
“Well, if he wants to be king, he’ll just plain have to get used to questions and toadies and all the rest of it,” I said. Remembering the conversation at dinner and wondering if I’d made an idiot of myself, I added crossly, “I don’t have any sympathy at all. In fact, I wish he hadn’t come up here. If he needed rest from the fatigue of taking over a kingdom, why couldn’t he go to that fabulous palace in Renselaeus? Or to Shevraeth, which I’ll just bet has an equally fabulous palace?”
Nee sighed. “Is that a rhetorical or a real question?”
“Real. And I don’t want to ask Bran because he’s so likely to hop out with my question when we’re all together and fry me with embarrassment,” I finished bitterly.
She gave a sympathetic grin. “Well, I suspect it’s to present a united front, politically speaking. You haven’t been to Court, so you don’t quite comprehend how much you and your brother have become heroes--symbols--to the kingdom. Especially you, which is why there were some murmurs and speculations when you never came to the capital.”
I shook my head. “Symbol for failure, maybe. We didn’t win--Shevraeth did.”
She gave me an odd look midway between surprise and curiosity. “But to return to your question, Vidanric’s tendency to keep his own counsel ought to be reassuring as far as people hopping out with embarrassing words are concerned. If I were you--and I know it’s so much easier to give advice than to follow it--I’d sit down with him, when no one else is at hand, and talk it out.”
Just the thought of seeking him out for a private talk made me shudder. “I’d rather walk down the mountain in shoes full of snails.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
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14 One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 2 There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. 3 Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” 4 But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way.
5 Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child[a] or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” 6 And they had nothing to say.
7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.
I joined a bunch of Bible studies when I started following Jesus. Everyone around me was in at least one, so I thought there must be some rule or eleventh commandment and I had just missed it. We sat in circles, and I assumed we'd either start making friendship bracelets or start talking about Jesus. We ate chips and cookies, and I heard lots of opinions about every social topic, about whether it's okay to watch rated R movies, and about what words meant in Greek and Hebrew. It wasn't long before I started to feel bored with the whole thing.
That's when some friends and I started a 'Bible Doing' group. We read what Jesus said and then schemed ways to actually go and do those things. It might sound strange, but think about it: Jesus never said, 'Study Me.' He said, 'Follow Me.' Jesus invited us to find people who don't have food and to get them something to eat. He said to hang out with people in prison. He said if you know someone who doesn’t have a place to stay, help them find one. He was all about doing things for widows and orphans, not becoming informed about them. Following Jesus is way more exciting than studying Him. Do we need to know the Scriptures? You bet. But don't stop there. Our faith can start to get confusing and boring when we exercise it by debating about it.
Bob Goff (Live in Grace, Walk in Love: A 365-Day Journey)
I still get more wedding invitations, but I find I enjoy the memorials more.’ ‘Because you don’t have to bring a present?’ ‘Well, that helps a great deal, but mainly because one gets a better crowd when someone really distinguished dies.’ ‘Unless all his friends have died before him.’ ‘That, of course, is intolerable,’ said Nicholas categorically. ‘Ruins the party.’ ‘Absolutely.’ ‘I’m afraid I don’t approve of memorial services,’ said David, taking another puff on his cigar. ‘Not merely because I cannot imagine anything in most men’s lives that deserves to be celebrated, but also because the delay between the funeral and the memorial service is usually so long that, far from rekindling the spirit of a lost friend, it only shows how easily one can live without him.’ David
Edward St. Aubyn (Never Mind (Patrick Melrose, #1))
February 4 An Invitation to the Feast Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.”—Matthew 22:1-2 One ordinary day my doorbell rang. I answered the door to find no one there. Someone is laughing because I fell for this, I thought. I was just about to close the door and return to my chores when I noticed a small bottle sitting on the doorstep. I was suspicious of the package, but when I noticed a neatly typed label that bore my name and address, I felt a little better. Finally, curiosity got the best of me and I popped the cork. Imagine my surprise when I looked inside and found an invitation to a banquet! Jesus says in Matthew 22 that God’s kingdom is like a wedding feast. He, too, delivers a personal invitation. Although we probably will not see or hear anything with our physical senses, He has an undeniable way of speaking to each of us. Are you suspicious because God’s invitation seems too good to be true? If you’re like me, you wonder why He would even ask you to come to the feast if He really knows you. But God does not make mistakes. Your name is on the invitation. Maybe, like me, you don’t deserve to come to God’s feast. My friend, He loves us so much that He invites us anyway. Jesus says that the Master invites everyone he can find, both the good and the bad (Matthew 22:8-10). That’s my favorite part! We all come to a moment of decision. We must respond, and we have only two choices: we can refuse because we’re busy, prideful, angry, ashamed, or scared; or we can graciously accept His offer. Lord, thank You for who You are. You invite each of us to Your feast just because You want our company, and when we accept Your invitation, You make us worthy to be there by clothing us in Your Son (Galatians 3:26-27). You are amazing!
The writers of Encouraging.com (God Moments: A Year in the Word)
On the strength of a letter from the rabbi, notifying of the date of the marriage ceremony, Yuda received an extra "wedding ration," namely about 4 pounds of sugar, 2 pounds of margarine, about 5 pounds of meat and ten eggs. Aunt Sonia was delighted with the wealth of ingredients and she prepared a meal and two cakes. How about the guests to be invited to the wedding? Yuda had his Father's two brothers and their wives, all living in Tel Aviv, two cousins and their wives, Zaka, Sonia's daughter and an elderly couple, friends of the family, who had known Yuda from his early childhood.
Pearl Fichman (Before Memories Fade)
Yuda was in familiar surroundings, yet he had no parents, he did not know whether his brother Michael was alive. He didn't invite any of his friends because the aunt's apartment was much too small to accommodate more than the group assembled. Two days after the wedding, we went to a photographer and had a picture taken of the two of us, so as to send my family a wedding picture, to let them see what my husband looked like. I think we made a good, loving, devoted couple. We created a family, we had two fine sons within the following four years.
Pearl Fichman (Before Memories Fade)
Everyone who had been invited had come. All three hundred fifty guests on the list came for their wedding. Dignitaries, business acquaintances, and long-time family friends were all present, including the current vice president of the United States. Avery had avoided mentioning that one to his already nervous bridegroom.
Kindle Alexander (Always (Always & Forever))
A loud clearing of Enrique’s throat tears us apart.
Alex looks at me with intense passion. “I have to get back to work,” he says, his breathing ragged.
“Oh. Well, sure.” Suddenly embarrassed at our PDA, I step back.
“Can I see you later today?” he asks.
“My friend Sierra is coming over for dinner.”
“The one who looks in her purse a lot?”
“Um, yeah.” I need to change the subject or I’ll be tempted to invite him, too. I can see it all now--my mom seething in disgust at Alex and his tattoos.
“My cousin Elena is gettin’ married on Sunday. Go with me to the wedding,” he says.
I look at the ground. “I can’t have my friends know about us. Or my parents.”
“I won’t tell ’em.”
“What about people at the wedding? They’ll all see us together.”
“Nobody from school will be there. Except my family, and I’ll make sure they keep their mouths shut.”
I can’t. Lying and sneaking around has never been my strong point. I push him away. “I can’t think when you’re standing that close.”
“Good. Now about that wedding.”
God, looking at him makes me want to go. “What time?”
“Noon. It’ll be an experience you won’t forget. Trust me. I’ll pick you up at eleven.”
“I didn’t say ‘yes’ yet.”
“Ah, but you were about to,” he says in his dark, smooth voice.
“Why don’t I meet you here at eleven,” I suggest, gesturing to the body shop. If my mom finds out about us, all hell will break loose.
He lifts my chin up to face him. “Why aren’t you afraid of bein’ with me?”
“Are you kidding? I’m terrified.” I focus on the tattoos running up and down his arms.
“I can’t pretend to live a squeaky-clean life.” He holds up my hand so it’s palm against palm with his. Is he thinking about the difference in the color of our skin, his rough fingers against the nail polish on the tips of mine? “In some ways we’re so opposite,” he says.
I thread my fingers through his. “Yeah, but in other ways we’re so similar.”
That gets a smile out of him, until Enrique clears his throat again.
“I’ll meet you here at eleven on Sunday,” I say.
Alex backs away, nods, and winks. “This time it’s a date.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
hung out with my friends, went to parties, or invited them back to the house where we’d lie around the pool drinking beer, cranking up the music, and working on our suntans.
Harlow Grace (Monster Stepbrother)
It was more than a wedding, it was saying good-bye to everyone I’d ever known. I invited everybody, even people who may not have been intimate friends. I even invited my dentist. The whole network of wildlife rehabilitators came too--four hundred people in all.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
She had become reconciled to the idea of an eternal shadow; she discovered that, far from being a threat, her bodyguards were much wiser sounding boards than many of the gentleman courtiers who fluttered around her. Police officers like Sergeant Allan Peters and Inspector Graham Smith became avuncular father figures, defusing tricky situations and deflating overweening subjects alike with a joke or a crisp command. They also brought her mothering instincts to the fore. She remembered their birthdays, sent notes of apology to their wives when they had to accompany her on an overseas tours and ensured that they were “fed and watered” when she went out with them from Kensington Palace. When Graham Smith contracted cancer, she invited him and his wife on holiday to Necker in the Caribbean and also on a Mediterranean cruise on board the yacht owned by Greek tycoon, John Latsis. Such is her affection for this popular police officer that she arranged a dinner in his honour after he had recovered which was attended by her family.
If she is dining with friends at San Lorenzo, her favourite restaurant, her current detective, Inspector Ken Wharfe will often join her table at the end of the meal and regale the assembled throng with his jokes. Perhaps she reserves her fondest memories for Sergeant Barry Mannakee who became her bodyguard at a time when she felt lost and alone in the royal world. He sensed her bewilderment and became a shoulder for her to lean on and sometimes to cry on during this painful period. The affectionate bond that built up between them did not go unnoticed either by Prince Charles nor Mannakee’s colleagues. Shortly before the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of York in July 1986 he was transferred to other duties, much to Diana’s dismay. In the following spring he was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident.
Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words)
I pushed Mom off me and slapped Audrey across her wet face. I know! But I was just so mad. “I pray for you,” Audrey said. “Pray for yourself,” I said. “My mother’s too good for you and those other mothers. You’re the one everyone hates. Kyle is a juvie who doesn’t do sports or any extracurriculars. The only friends he has are because he gives them drugs and because he’s funny when he’s making fun of you. And your husband is a drunk who has three DUIs but he gets off because he knows the judge, and all you care about is that nobody finds out, but it’s too late because Kyle tells the whole school everything.” Audrey said quickly, “I am a Christian woman so I will forgive that.” “Give me a break,” I said. “Christians don’t talk the way you talked to my mother.” I got into the car, shut the door, turned off Abbey Road, and just started whimpering. I was sitting in an inch of water, but I didn’t care. The reason I was so scared had nothing to do with a sign or a stupid mudslide or because Mom and I didn’t get invited to stupid Whidbey Island, like we’d ever want to go anywhere with those jerks in a million years, but because I knew, I just knew, that now everything was going to be different. Mom got in and shut the door. “You’re supercool,” she said. “You know that?” “I hate her,” I said. What I didn’t say, because I didn’t need to, because it was implied, and really, I can’t tell you why, because we’d never kept secrets from him before, but me and Mom both just understood: we weren’t going to tell Dad.
Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
Later, Kennedy would realize how often her mother used money to avoid discussing her past, as if poverty were so unthinkable to Kennedy that it could explain everything: why her mother owned no family photographs, why no friends from high school ever called, why they’d never been invited to a single wedding or funeral or reunion. ‘We were poor,’ her mother would snap if she asked too many questions, that poverty spreading to every aspect of her life. Her whole past, a barren pantry shelf.
Brit Bennett (The Vanishing Half)
My old friends are getting married, too. The invitations catch up with me eventually, forwarded from Oregon or Spain or Albuquerque. Unfortunately, sometimes these invitations arrive before the wedding has taken place.
Lily King (Writers & Lovers)
I’d go with him. We’d be old enough. We’d make a whole new life together, a normal one. Ever since that bus ride, I’d been carrying my love for him around in my pocket. I should have handed it to him then and there in exchange for the gloves, but the briars and brickles of shame had been too sharp. By the time they receded, it felt stupid to bring it up. Then that faded, and all I could do was wait for an opening, some situation where he and I were hanging out and shooting love darts at each other. When it arrived, I’d say, all joshing, Hey, you remember when you thought I needed gloves? Yeah, he’d laugh. I’ve wanted to give you my paper airplane necklace ever since. And our relationship would bloom from there. Every day, I looked for this opening. It could be tomorrow. “Time to go,” Dad said, finally. His face was glistening. Me and Sephie’s pops and quarters were long gone and our stomachs were growling. We’d been sitting near the door, wishing Dad would take the hint and leave, but he’d kept up at that hot conversation with Bauer. We followed him outside. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” Dad said when we finally slid inside the van, his voice full of bravado. Except I could tell he was scared. Mom wasn’t going to be happy that we were out so late on a school night and that Dad was driving drunk, but that wasn’t it. No, he looked jumping-ghost scared, and that made me uneasy. It did even worse to Sephie. It must have. That’s the only explanation for why she broke the rule about inviting conversation with Dad when he’d been drinking. “Are you okay, Daddy?” She hardly ever called him that anymore. I didn’t think he was going to respond, but he finally did, his voice all bluster. “As okay as a man can be in a country where nothing’s sacred.” I wondered what he meant. He and Bauer had talked about so many things. Well, I wasn’t going to
Jess Lourey (Unspeakable Things)
Later, Kennedy would realize how often her mother used money to avoid discussing her past, as if poverty were so unthinkable to Kennedy that it could explain everything: why her mother owned no family photographs, why no friends from high school ever called, why they’d never been invited to a single wedding or funeral or reunion. “We were poor,” her mother would snap if she asked too many questions, that poverty spreading to every aspect of her life. Her whole past, a barren pantry shelf.
Brit Bennett (The Vanishing Half)