Its My Birthday Quotes

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There should be a statute of limitation on grief. A rulebook that says it is all right to wake up crying, but only for a month. That after 42 days you will no longer turn with your heart racing, certain you have heard her call out your name. That there will be no fine imposed if you feel the need to clean out her desk; take down her artwork from the refrigerator; turn over a school portrait as you pass - if only because it cuts you fresh again to see it. That it's okay to measure the time she has been gone, the way we once measured her birthdays.
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
It’s my birthday, Horus insisted. Wish me happy birthday! “Happy birthday!” I yelled. “Now shut up!
Rick Riordan (The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, #1))
Abby touched her palm to my cheek. "You know what, Mr. Maddox?" "What, baby?" Her expression turned serious. "In another life, I could love you." I watched her for a moment, staring into her glassed over eyes. She was drunk, but just for a moment it didn't seem wrong to pretend that she meant it. "I might love you in this one.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
Most people in Atlanta don't have an accent. It's pretty urban. A lot of people speak gangsta, though," I add jokingly. "Fo' shiz," he replies in his polite English accent. I spurt orangey-red soup across the table. St. Clair gives a surprised ha-HA kind of laugh, and I'm laughing too, the painful kind like abdominal crunches. He hands me a napkin to wipe my chin. "Fo'. Shiz." He repeats it solemnly. Cough cough. "Please don't ever stop saying that. It's too-" I gasp. "Much." "You oughtn't to have said that. Now I shall have to save it for special occasions." "My birthday is in February." Cough choke wheeze. "Please don't forget.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Language is my whore, my mistress, my wife, my pen-friend, my check-out girl. Language is a complimentary moist lemon-scented cleansing square or handy freshen-up wipette. Language is the breath of God, the dew on a fresh apple, it's the soft rain of dust that falls into a shaft of morning sun when you pull from an old bookshelf a forgotten volume of erotic diaries; language is the faint scent of urine on a pair of boxer shorts, it's a half-remembered childhood birthday party, a creak on the stair, a spluttering match held to a frosted pane, the warm wet, trusting touch of a leaking nappy, the hulk of a charred Panzer, the underside of a granite boulder, the first downy growth on the upper lip of a Mediterranean girl, cobwebs long since overrun by an old Wellington boot.
Stephen Fry
Just tell me, Percy, do you still have the birthday gift I gave you last summer?" I nodded and pulled out my camp necklace. It had a bead for every summer I'd been at Camp Half-Blood, but since last year I'd also kept a sand dollar on the cord. My father had given it to me for my fifteenth birthday. He'd told me I would know when to "spend it," but so far I hadn't figured out what he meant. All I knew that it didn't fit the vending machines in the school cafeteria.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
The way to beat Luke," he said. "If I'm right, it's the only way you'll stand a chance." I took a deep breath. "Okay. I'm listening." Nico glanced inside my room. His eyebrows furrowed. "Is that...is that blue birthday cake?" He sounded hungry, maybe a little wistful. I wondered if the poor kid had ever had a birthday party, or if he'd ever even been invited to one. :Come inside for cake and ice cream," I said. "It sounds like we've got a lot to talk about.
Rick Riordan (The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4))
Do you always wear underwear like this, or is it for me?” I rolled to my back and pulled the sheet to my waist. “It isn’t for you, I’ve been wearing underwear like this since Gram gave me my first Frederick’s of Hollywood box on my sixteenth birthday. Now, I owe Victoria’s Secret my first-born child.” Before speaking again, Lee waited several seconds that can only be described as ‘loaded silence’. While this silence was going on, he pulled the sheet back down. “You’re tellin’ me that since you were sixteen you’ve been sittin’ next to me every year at Christmas Dinner wearin’ underwear like this?
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick (Rock Chick, #1))
I count too heavily on birthdays, though I know I shouldn't. Inevitably I begin to assess my life by them, figure out how I'm doing by how many people remember; it's like the old fantasy of attending your own funeral: You get to see who your friends are, get to see who shows up.
Lorrie Moore (Anagrams)
You forgot my birthday, too." "And mine." The girls looked miserable. The King opened his mouth, then shut it. "Sir!" whined Lord Teddie. "You forgot my birthday, too!" Bramble gave a surprised laugh, then slapped her hand over her mouth, as though shocked at letting it out. The tension broke. The girls laughed sheepishly, and Lord Teddie beamed. He probably did not have many ladies think him funny. In fact, he probably got slapped by a lot of them.
Heather Dixon Wallwork (Entwined)
Take me to Happy Birthday Land. It’s open 364 days of the year, and the one day of the year it’s closed for cleaning happens to be my birthday. 

Jarod Kintz (At even one penny, this book would be overpriced. In fact, free is too expensive, because you'd still waste time by reading it.)
November 20. Andrius's birthday. I had counted the days carefully. I wished him a happy birthday when I woke and thought about him while hauling logs during the day. At night, I sat by the light of the stove, reading Dombey and Son. Krasivaya. I still hadn't found the word. Maybe I'd find it if I jumped ahead. I flipped through some of the pages. A marking caught my eye. I leafed backward. Something was written in pencil in the margin of 278. Hello, Lina. You've gotten to page 278. That's pretty good! I gasped, then pretened I was engrossed in the book. I looked at Andrius's handwritting. I ran my finger over this elongated letters in my name. Were there more? I knew I should read onward. I couldn't wait. I turned though the pages carefully, scanning the margins. Page 300: Are you really on page 300 or are you skipping ahead now? I had to stifle my laughter. Page 322: Dombey and Son is boring. Admit it. Page 364: I'm thinking of you. Page 412: Are you maybe thinking of me? I closed my eyes. Yes, I'm thinking of you. Happy birthday, Andrius.
Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray)
I realized right then and there, in that hallway, that I wanted no other... I became the man she needed me to be because she had sense enough to have requirements-standards that she needed in her relationship in order to make the relationship work for her. She knew she wanted a monogamous relationship-a partnership with a man who wanted to be a dedicated husband and father. She also knew this man had to be faithful, love God, and be willing to do what it took to keep this family together. On a smaller scale she also made it clear that she expected to be treated like a lady at every turn-I'm talking opening car doors for her, pulling out her seat when she's ready to sit at the table, coming correct on anniversary, Mother's Day, and birthday gifts, keeping the foul talk to a minimum. These requirements are important to her because they lay out a virtual map of what I need to do to make sure she gets what she needs and wants. After all, it's universal knowledge that when mama is happy, everybody is happy. And it is my sole mission in life to make sure Marjorie is happy.
Steve Harvey (Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment)
In a lightning-fast move, he placed both of his hands on the brick wall, caging me with his body. He leaned toward me and my heart shifted into a gear I didn't know existed. His warm breath caressed my neck, melting my frozen skin. I tilted my head, waiting for the solid warmth of his body on mine. I could see his eyes again and those dark orbs screamed hunger . "I heard a rumor." "What's that?" I struggled to get out. "It's your birthday." Terrified speaking would break the spell, I licked my suddenly dry lips and nodded. "Happy birthday." Noah drew his lips closer to mine; that sweet musky smell overwhelmed my senses. I could almost taste his lips when he unexpectedly took a step back, inhaling deeply. The cold air slapped me into the land of sober.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Do you remember infinity?” Slowly, I turned around. “What about it?” Tossing something toward me, he said, “Catch.” I reached out and caught it in the air. A silver necklace. I held it up and examined it. The infinity necklace. It didn’t shine the way it used to; it looked a bit coppery now. But I recognized it. Of course I recognized it. “What is this?” I asked. “You know what it is,” he said. I shrugged. “Nope, sorry.” I could see that he was both hurt and angry. “Okay, then. You don’t remember it. I’ll remind you. I bought you that necklace for your birthday.” My birthday. It had to have been for my sixteenth birthday. It was the only year he ever forgot to buy me a birthday present—the last summer we’d all been together at the beach house, when Susannah was still alive.
Jenny Han (We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3))
I see you're trying to distract me from the real point here," Magnus said instead. "You had a birthday - a perfect excuse for me to throw one of my famous parties - and you didn't even tell me about it?
Cassandra Clare (Saving Raphael Santiago (The Bane Chronicles, #6))
Oh right. What about Wendy?" I ask "What about her?" "It's her birthday, too. I'm the worst friend ever. I should have sent her something. Did you exchange gifts?" "Not yet." He turns toward me. "But she gave me the perfect gift." The way he's looking at me sends butterflies into my stomach. "What?" "You.
Cynthia Hand (Unearthly (Unearthly, #1))
You were the best birthday present I ever got." "Thank you." "I wanted to give you something back, but I've got to warn you that it's not half as good as my present. Even so, you have to keep it." "All right." He draped the pink bow around his neck and grinned. "Happy birthday, Rosebud.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Nobody's Baby But Mine (Chicago Stars, #3))
[Said during a debate when his opponent asserted that atheism and belief in evolution lead to Nazism:] Atheism by itself is, of course, not a moral position or a political one of any kind; it simply is the refusal to believe in a supernatural dimension. For you to say of Nazism that it was the implementation of the work of Charles Darwin is a filthy slander, undeserving of you and an insult to this audience. Darwin’s thought was not taught in Germany; Darwinism was so derided in Germany along with every other form of unbelief that all the great modern atheists, Darwin, Einstein and Freud were alike despised by the National Socialist regime. Now, just to take the most notorious of the 20th century totalitarianisms – the most finished example, the most perfected one, the most ruthless and refined one: that of National Socialism, the one that fortunately allowed the escape of all these great atheists, thinkers and many others, to the United States, a country of separation of church and state, that gave them welcome – if it’s an atheistic regime, then how come that in the first chapter of Mein Kampf, that Hitler says that he’s doing God’s work and executing God’s will in destroying the Jewish people? How come the fuhrer oath that every officer of the Party and the Army had to take, making Hitler into a minor god, begins, “I swear in the name of almighty God, my loyalty to the Fuhrer?” How come that on the belt buckle of every Nazi soldier it says Gott mit uns, God on our side? How come that the first treaty made by the Nationalist Socialist dictatorship, the very first is with the Vatican? It’s exchanging political control of Germany for Catholic control of German education. How come that the church has celebrated the birthday of the Fuhrer every year, on that day until democracy put an end to this filthy, quasi-religious, superstitious, barbarous, reactionary system? Again, this is not a difference of emphasis between us. To suggest that there’s something fascistic about me and about my beliefs is something I won't hear said and you shouldn't believe.
Christopher Hitchens
A BIRTHDAY Something continues and I don't know what to call it though the language is full of suggestions in the way of language but they are all anonymous and it's almost your birthday music next to my bones these nights we hear the horses running in the rain it stops and the moon comes out and we are still here the leaks in the roof go on dripping after the rain has passed smell of ginger flowers slips through the dark house down near the sea the slow heart of the beacon flashes the long way to you is still tied to me but it brought me to you I keep wanting to give you what is already yours it is the morning of the mornings together breath of summer oh my found one the sleep in the same current and each waking to you when I open my eyes you are what I wanted to see.
W.S. Merwin
And now," he continued, speaking to Milo, "where were you on the night of July 27?" "What does that have to do with it?" asked Milo. "It's my birthday, that's what," said the policeman as he entered "Forgot my birthday" in his little book. "Boys always forget other people's birthdays.
Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollbooth)
My dear Rosie, Unbeknownst to you I took this chance before, many, many years ago. You never received that letter and I'm glad because my feelings since then have changed dramatically. They have intensified with every passing day. I'll get straight to the point because if I don't say what I have to say now, I fear it will never be said. And I need to say it. Today I love you more than ever; I want you more than ever. I'm a man of fifty years of age coming to you, feeling like a teenager in love, asking you to give me a chance and love me back. Rosie Dunne, I love you with all my heart. I have always loved you, even when I was seven years old and I lied about falling asleep on Santa watch, when I was ten years old and didn't invite you to my birthday party, when I was eighteen and had to move away, even on my wedding days, on your wedding day, on christenings, birthdays and when we fought. I loved you through it all. Make me the happiest man on this earth by being with me. Please reply to me. All my love, Alex
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
Inspiration is very nice when you get it. It's like being given a present you weren't expecting. You don't hand the present back and say, 'My birthday's not till November.' You take it and run.
Jan Mark
A disturbing thought hits me,"but then our only neighbor would be Haymich!" "Ah, that'll be nice,"says Peeta, tightening his arms around me."You and me and Haymich. Very cozy. Picnics, birthdays. long winters around the campfire retelling old Hunger Games tales." "I told you he hates me!" I say, but I can't help laughing at the image of Haymich becoming my new pal. "Only sometimes. When he's sober, I've never heard him say one negative thing about you," says Peeta. He's never sober!" I protest. That's right. Who am I thinking of? Oh, I know. It's Cinna who likes you. But that's mainly because you didn't try to run when he set you in fire," says Peeta. "On the other hand, Haymich ... well, if I were you, I'd avoid Haymich completely. He Hates you." " I thought that you said I was his favorite," I say. "He hates me more," says Peeta, "I don't think people in general are his sort of thing.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
And if I was humming "Happy Birthday" and smiling stupidly as I fled for my life—well, that was nobody's business, was it?
Rick Riordan
I put my hand on the altar rail. 'What if ... what if Heaven is real, but only in moments? Like a glass of water on a hot day when you're dying of thirst, or when someone's nice to you for no reason, or ...' Mam's pancakes with Toblerone sauce; Dad dashing up from the bar just to tell me, 'Sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite'; or Jacko and Sharon singing 'For She's A Squishy Marshmallow' instead of 'For She's A Jolly Good Fellow' every single birthday and wetting themselves even though it's not at all funny; and Brendan giving his old record player to me instead of one of his mates. 'S'pose Heaven's not like a painting that's just hanging there for ever, but more like ... Like the best song anyone ever wrote, but a song you only catch in snatches, while you're alive, from passing cars, or ... upstairs windows when you're lost ...
David Mitchell (The Bone Clocks)
There was something about my face,she said, that she couldn't stand. Something about my eyes, the way I looked at her, the fact I even existed. She'd always tell me to stop looking at her. She'd always scream it. Like I might attack her. Stop looking at me, she'd scream. You just stop looking at me, she'd scream. She put my hand in the fire once. Just to see if it would burn, she said. Just to check if it was a regular hand, she said. I was 6 years old then. I remember because it was my birthday.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
I need dating advice. Fast...Julian, how did you meet your wife?" Julian shrugged. "My brother the sex god cursed me into a book for two thousand years. Grace got drunk on her birthday and summoned me out of it." Vane rolled his eyes. "That's useless. Kyrian? What about you?" "I woke up handcuffed to Amanda." Vane could work with that. "So I need to get a set of handcuffs?
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Play (Dark-Hunter, #5; Were-Hunter, #1))
My girlfriend just bought me a portable toaster. And my birthday’s coming up, so I’m half expecting her to buy me a portable bathtub to go along with it.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
I'm tipsy." I corrected, "and it's my birthday and I want to dance. Come one, Linc, it won't kill you.
Jessica Shirvington (Embrace (The Violet Eden Chapters, #1))
You look…” he shook his head looking her up and down, “You look delicious. If I don’t get you out of here, I’m going to devour you like it’s my birthday, and you’re my cake.
J.B. McGee (Mending (This, #2))
Jarod Kintz Day—it’s not just my birthday, but it should be a holiday that’s mandatory to celebrate, punishable by death if you don’t. It’ll be a holiday that honors freedom.

Jarod Kintz (This Book Has No Title)
its my birthday wish me happy birthday horus said happy birthday I yelled now shut up
Rick Riordan (The Red Pyramid Chapter Sneak Peek!)
Isn’t it so weird how the number of dead people is increasing even though the earth stays the same size, so that one day there isn’t going to be room to bury anyone anymore? For my ninth birthday last year, Grandma gave me a subscription to National Geographic, which she calls “the National Geographic.” She also gave me a white blazer, because I only wear white clothes, and it’s too big to wear so it will last me a long time. She also gave me Grandpa’s camera, which I loved for two reasons. I asked why he didn’t take it with him when he left her. She said, “Maybe he wanted you to have it.” I said, “But I was negative-thirty years old.” She said, “Still.” Anyway, the fascinating thing was that I read in National Geographic that there are more people alive now than have died in all of human history. In other words, if everyone wanted to play Hamlet at once, they couldn’t, because there aren’t enough skulls!
Jonathan Safran Foer
So it’s your death suit.” “Correct. Don’t you have a death outfit?” “Yeah,” I said. “It’s a dress I bought for my fifteenth birthday party. But I don’t wear it on dates.” His eyes lit up. “We’re on a date?” he asked. I looked down, feeling bashful. “Don’t push it.
John Green
If Frankie and I hadn't wanted ice cream that stupid day, he'd still be alive. If I hadn't gotten his heart all worked up kissing him every night since my birthday, he'd still be alive. If I'd never been born, he'd still be alive. If I could find the butterfly that flapped its wings before we got into the car that day, I would crush it.
Sarah Ockler (Twenty Boy Summer)
You’re not doing well and finally I don’t have to pretend to be so interested in your on going tragedy, but I’ll rob the bank that gave you the impression that money is more fruitful than words, and I’ll cut holes in the ozone if it means you have one less day of rain. I’ll walk you to the hospital, I’ll wait in a white room that reeks of hand sanitizer and latex for the results from the MRI scan that tries to locate the malady that keeps your mind guessing, and I want to write you a poem every day until my hand breaks and assure you that you’ll find your place, it’s just the world has a funny way of hiding spots fertile enough for bodies like yours to grow roots. and I miss you like a dart hits the iris of a bullseye, or a train ticket screams 4:30 at 4:47, I wanted to tell you that it’s my birthday on Thursday and I would have wanted you to give me the gift of your guts on the floor, one last time, to see if you still had it in you. I hope our ghosts aren’t eating you alive. If I’m to speak for myself, I’ll tell you that the universe is twice as big as we think it is and you’re the only one that made that idea less devastating.
Lucas Regazzi
Dear Mia, What can I say? I don't know all that much about romance novels, but I think you must be the Stephen King of the genre. Your book is hot. Thanks for letting me read it. Anyone who doesn't want to publish it is a fool. Anyway, since I know it's your birthday, and I also know you never remember to back anything up, here's a little something I made for you. It would be a shame if Ransom My Heart got lost before it ever saw the light of day because your hard drive crashed. See you tonight. Love, Michael
Meg Cabot
And then . . . we’re going to get in my car.” I waited for him to elaborate on a destination. “And?” He gently kissed the nape of my neck. “What do you think?” I couldn’t help a small gasp of delight. “Oh, wow.” “I know, right? I was racking my brain for the best present ever, and then I realized that nothing was going to rock your world more than you and me in your favorite place in the entire world.” I swallowed. “I’m kind of embarrassed at how excited I am about that.” Never had I guessed my love of cars would play a role in my sex life. Eddie was right. Something had happened to me. “It’s okay, Sage. We’ve all got our turn-ons.” “You kind of ruined the surprise, though.” “Nah. It’s part of the gift: you getting to think about it for the next three days.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
I invited a few people to help celebrate your birthday," Cameron said sheepishly. She threw up her hands. "Surprise." "We sort of come with the package," Collin explained. "Think of it as a collective gift from all of us to you: five bona fide annoying and overly intrusive new best friends." "It's the gift that keeps on giving," Wilkins said. Jack grinned. "I'm touched. Really. And since it appears I'm going to be moving in, let me be the first to say that all of you are always welcome at my and Cameron's house. Subject to a minimum of forty-eight hours prior notification.
Julie James (Something About You (FBI/US Attorney, #1))
Stop it. This is serious! (Selena) Serious? Please. I’m standing out here on my twenty-ninth birthday, barefoot and in jeans my mother would burn, holding a stupid book to my chest in an effort to summon a Greek love-slave from the great beyond. (Grace)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Fantasy Lover (Hunter Legends, #1))
Kästner was one reason I called my book barge the Literary Apothecary,” said Perdu. “I wanted to treat feelings that are not recognized as afflictions and are never diagnosed by doctors. All those little feelings and emotions no therapist is interested in, because they are apparently too minor and intangible. The feeling that washes over you when another summer nears its end. Or when you recognize that you haven’t got your whole life left to find out where you belong. Or the slight sense of grief when a friendship doesn’t develop as you thought, and you have to continue your search for a lifelong companion. Or those birthday morning blues. Nostalgia for the air of your childhood. Things like that.
Nina George (The Little Paris Bookshop)
Maybe my movie isn't over, I say, because sometimes moviemakers trick the audience with a false bad ending, and just when you think the movie is going to end badly, something dramatic happens, which leads to the happy ending. This seems like a good spot for something dramatic to happen, especially since it's my birthday.
Matthew Quick (The Silver Linings Playbook)
You know who you remind me of? The kid cop in Lethal Weapon 3. You know, the one who says, 'it's my twenty-first birthday today', and right away you know he's dead meat?
Jennifer Crusie (Getting Rid of Bradley)
London The Institute Year of Our Lord 1878 “Mother, Father, my chwaer fach, It’s my seventeenth birthday today. I know that to write to you is to break the law, I know that I will likely tear this letter into pieces when it is finished. As I have done on all my birthdays past since I was twelve. But I write anyway, to commemorate the occasion - the way some make yearly pilgrimages to a grave, to remember the death of a loved one. For are we not dead to each other? I wonder if when you woke this morning you remembered that today, seventeen years ago, you had a son? I wonder if you think of me and imagine my life here in the Institute in London? I doubt you could imagine it. It is so very different from our house surrounded by mountains, and the great clear blue sky and the endless green. Here, everything is black and gray and brown, and the sunsets are painted in smoke and blood. I wonder if you worry that I am lonely or, as Mother always used to, that I am cold, that I have gone out into the rain again without a hat? No one here worries about those details. There are so many things that could kill us at any moment; catching a chill hardly seems important. I wonder if you knew that I could hear you that day you came for me, when I was twelve. I crawled under the bed to block out the sound of you crying my name, but I heard you. I heard mother call for her fach, her little one. I bit my hands until they bled but I did not come down. And, eventually, Charlotte convinced you to go away. I thought you might come again but you never did. Herondales are stubborn like that. I remember the great sighs of relief you would both give each time the Council came to ask me if I wished to join the Nephilim and leave my family, and each time I said no and I send them away. I wonder if you knew I was tempted by the idea of a life of glory, of fighting, of killing to protect as a man should. It is in our blood - the call to the seraph and the stele, to marks and to monsters. I wonder why you left the Nephilim, Father? I wonder why Mother chose not to Ascend and to become a Shadowhunter? Is it because you found them cruel or cold? I have no fathom side. Charlotte, especially, is kind to me, little knowing how much I do not deserve it. Henry is mad as a brush, but a good man. He would have made Ella laugh. There is little good to be said about Jessamine, but she is harmless. As little as there is good to say about her, there is as much good to say about Jem: He is the brother Father always thought I should have. Blood of my blood - though we are no relation. Though I might have lost everything else, at least I have gained one thing in his friendship. And we have a new addition to our household too. Her name is Tessa. A pretty name, is it not? When the clouds used to roll over the mountains from the ocean? That gray is the color of her eyes. And now I will tell you a terrible truth, since I never intend to send this letter. I came here to the Institute because I had nowhere else to go. I did not expect it to ever be home, but in the time I have been here I have discovered that I am a true Shadowhunter. In some way my blood tells me that this is what I was born to do.If only I had known before and gone with the Clave the first time they asked me, perhaps I could have saved Ella’s life. Perhaps I could have saved my own. Your Son, Will
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
There was a table laid with jellies and trifles, with a party hat beside each place, and a birthday cake with seven candles on it in the center of the table. The cake had a book drawn on it, in icing. My mother, who had organized the party, told me that the lady at the bakery said that they had never put a book on a birthday cake before, and that mostly for boys it was footballs or spaceships. I was their first book.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
I made a t-shirt that says, "Today's my birthday" on it, so that I can ask for hugs from strangers and point to the text on my tee as the reason why they should oblige. It's not a once-a-year t-shirt, as I wear it every Tuesday.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
Someone asked me when is my birthday? The poet inside me replied, "My birthday is on the last day of the year, It's 31st December my dear!
Anamika Mishra
It's my birthday today. I'm not 17 anymore. The 17 Janis Ian sang about where one learns the truth. But what she failed to mention is that you keep on learning truths after 17 and I want to keep on learning truths till the day I die.
Melina Marchetta (Looking for Alibrandi)
When it’s time to leave, we put on our shoes, kiss Daddy good-bye, and tumble out the front door. Waiting for us on the street in front of his car is Peter with a bouquet of cellophane-wrapped pink carnations. “Happy birthday, kid,” he says. Kitty’s eyes bulge. “Are those for me?” He laughs. “Who else would they be for? Hurry and get in the car.” Kitty turns to me, her eyes bright, her smile as wide as her face. I’m smiling too. “Are you coming too, Lara Jean?” I shake my head. “No, there’s only room for two.” “You’re my only girl today, kid,” Peter says, and Kitty runs to him and snatches the flowers out of his hand. Gallantly, he opens the door for her. He shuts it and turns and winks at me. “Don’t be jealous, Covey.” I’ve never liked him more than in this moment.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #2))
Perfect! You guys are the same age. I bet you have a lot in common.” Classic adult logic. Reid and I are vaguely the same age, so of course we’re basically soul mates. It’s like horoscopes. Somehow I’m supposed to believe that I’m similar in some meaningful way to every single person born on my birthday. Or every single Sagittarius. I mean, I barely have anything in common with Cassie, and we were born six minutes apart.
Becky Albertalli (The Upside of Unrequited (Simonverse, #2))
It’s my birthday, who could be calling me? Probably my clone, wondering why he hasn’t been born yet.
Jarod Kintz (This Book Has No Title)
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?” “Shut up.” “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.” “A what?” “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))
Come on Shaw, just a little kiss. It's my birthday and I missed you so bad.
Jay Crownover (Rule (Marked Men, #1))
Entrepreneurs don't have weekends or birthdays or holidays. Every day is my weekend, my birthday, my holiday. OR, every day is my work day. Mostly it's a choice.
Richie Norton
Two thousand years ago the night sky looked completely different, and so when you get right down to it, the Greek conceptions of star signs as related to birth dates are grossly inaccurate for today's day and age. It's called the Line of Procession: back then the sun didn't set in Taurus, but in Gemini. A September 24 birthday didn't mean you were a Libra, but a Virgo. And there was a thirteenth zodiac constellation, Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer, which rose between Sagittarius and Scorpio for only four days. The reason it's all off kilter? The earth's axis wobbles. Life isn't nearly as stable as we want it to be.
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
Principal Brill, those costumes were made by my mother. My mother, who has stage four small-cell lung cancer. My mother, who will never watch her little boy celebrate another Halloween again. My mother, who will more than likely experience a year of 'lasts'. Last Christmas. Last birthday. Last Easter. And if God is willing, her last Mother's Day. My mother, who when asked by her nine-year-old son if he could be her cancer for Halloween, had no choice but to make him the best cancerous tumor-riden lung costume she could. So if you think it's so offensive, I suggest you drive them home yourself and tell my mother to her face. Do you need my address?
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
Today is my grandfather's birthday." "How old is he?" "Sixty-three. It's hard to believe he was once a human being.
Charles M. Schulz (The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 13: 1975-1976)
For Jenn At 12 years old I started bleeding with the moon and beating up boys who dreamed of becoming astronauts. I fought with my knuckles white as stars, and left bruises the shape of Salem. There are things we know by heart, and things we don't. At 13 my friend Jen tried to teach me how to blow rings of smoke. I'd watch the nicotine rising from her lips like halos, but I could never make dying beautiful. The sky didn't fill with colors the night I convinced myself veins are kite strings you can only cut free. I suppose I love this life, in spite of my clenched fist. I open my palm and my lifelines look like branches from an Aspen tree, and there are songbirds perched on the tips of my fingers, and I wonder if Beethoven held his breath the first time his fingers touched the keys the same way a soldier holds his breath the first time his finger clicks the trigger. We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe. But my lungs remember the day my mother took my hand and placed it on her belly and told me the symphony beneath was my baby sister's heartbeat. And I knew life would tremble like the first tear on a prison guard's hardened cheek, like a prayer on a dying man's lips, like a vet holding a full bottle of whisky like an empty gun in a war zone… just take me just take me Sometimes the scales themselves weigh far too much, the heaviness of forever balancing blue sky with red blood. We were all born on days when too many people died in terrible ways, but you still have to call it a birthday. You still have to fall for the prettiest girl on the playground at recess and hope she knows you can hit a baseball further than any boy in the whole third grade and I've been running for home through the windpipe of a man who sings while his hands playing washboard with a spoon on a street corner in New Orleans where every boarded up window is still painted with the words We're Coming Back like a promise to the ocean that we will always keep moving towards the music, the way Basquait slept in a cardboard box to be closer to the rain. Beauty, catch me on your tongue. Thunder, clap us open. The pupils in our eyes were not born to hide beneath their desks. Tonight lay us down to rest in the Arizona desert, then wake us washing the feet of pregnant women who climbed across the border with their bellies aimed towards the sun. I know a thousand things louder than a soldier's gun. I know the heartbeat of his mother. Don't cover your ears, Love. Don't cover your ears, Life. There is a boy writing poems in Central Park and as he writes he moves and his bones become the bars of Mandela's jail cell stretching apart, and there are men playing chess in the December cold who can't tell if the breath rising from the board is their opponents or their own, and there's a woman on the stairwell of the subway swearing she can hear Niagara Falls from her rooftop in Brooklyn, and I'm remembering how Niagara Falls is a city overrun with strip malls and traffic and vendors and one incredibly brave river that makes it all worth it. Ya'll, I know this world is far from perfect. I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon. I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic. But every ocean has a shoreline and every shoreline has a tide that is constantly returning to wake the songbirds in our hands, to wake the music in our bones, to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that brave river that has to run through the center of our hearts to find its way home.
Andrea Gibson
I wanted to tell you that it’s my birthday on Thursday and I would have wanted you to give me the gift of your guts on the floor, one last time, to see if you still had it in you.
Lucas Regazzi
I KNEW IT WAS OVER when tonight you couldn't make the phone ring when you used to make the sun rise when trees used to throw themselves in front of you to be paper for love letters that was how i knew i had to do it swaddle the kids we never had against january's cold slice bundle them in winter clothes they never needed so i could drop them off at my mom's even though she lives on the other side of the country and at this late west coast hour is assuredly east coast sleeping peacefully her house was lit like a candle the way homes should be warm and golden and home and the kids ran in and jumped at the bichon frise named lucky that she never had they hugged the dog it wriggled and the kids were happy yours and mine the ones we never had and my mom was grand maternal, which is to say, with style that only comes when you've seen enough to know grace like when to pretend it's christmas or a birthday so she lit her voice with tiny lights and pretended she didn't see me crying as i drove away to the hotel connected to the bar where i ordered the cheapest whisky they had just because it shares your first name because they don't make a whisky called baby and i only thought what i got was what i ordered i toasted the hangover inevitable as sun that used to rise in your name i toasted the carnivals we never went to and the things you never won for me the ferris wheels we never kissed on and all the dreams between us that sat there like balloons on a carney's board waiting to explode with passion but slowly deflated hung slave under the pin- prick of a tack hung heads down like lovers when it doesn't work, like me at last call after too many cheap too many sweet too much whisky makes me sick, like the smell of cheap, like the smell of the dead like the cheap, dead flowers you never sent that i never threw out of the window of a car i never really owned
Daphne Gottlieb (Final Girl)
You can’t tell a little kid that you swear to God over something and then not do it. You may effectively ruin my childhood.” He looks off into nothing, a wistful expression on his face. “Gosh, think of the therapy bills. Not to mention how I’ll probably never be able to have a normal relationship when I’m an adult. I’ll live with you forever and become a cat lady.” I cock an eyebrow at him. “You hate cats.” He rolls his eyes. “Well, yeah, now I do. But I won’t have a choice. It’ll be inevitable. And I’ll probably have to throw birthday parties for my feline companions where I bake them cakes out of Fancy Feast. All because you went back on your God swear.
T.J. Klune (Bear, Otter, and the Kid (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #1))
Don't do this to me, Eliza. Please. I need you.” I looked at Paul. He was crying. “You don't need me,” I said, wondering whether or not I believed it. He gripped my face and kissed me. But it was a hard, painful kiss. A severe and bitter kiss. A kiss that seemed so black, so final, it was like death. “Happy fucking Birthday.
Tiffanie DeBartolo (How to Kill a Rock Star)
But I’ve kept first of March as my birthday as I like to tease Zed about dating an older woman. And my parents wouldn’t understand if I told them about the soulfinder bond and tried to change it.” “They don’t know?” “Well, I think they’ve picked up that there’s something special between Zed and me but I’m not sure how I’d even start to explain to non-savants. I was exactly overjoyed when Zed filled me in about it all the first time.” “What did you do?” “Thumped him with a shopping bag and told him he was a jerk.” “Ouch.
Joss Stirling (Stealing Phoenix (Benedicts, #2))
I put my hand over my erection and turned away. "No. That's not for you. I have to go to the bathroom." "Well get up! I have a whole day of birthday activities planned and you're spoiling my fun with your sleeping...and your pee boner." I laughed. "I hate it when you call it that." "Yeah? Well I hate that I can't play with it. Why the hell is it so hard if I'm not supposed to play with it? That's false advertising, Mister.
C.J. Roberts (Epilogue (The Dark Duet, #3))
Her death the dividing mark: Before and After. And though it’s a bleak thing to admit all these years later, still I’ve never met anyone who made me feel loved the way she did. Everything came alive in her company; she cast a charmed theatrical light about her so that to see anything through her eyes was to see it in brighter colours than ordinary – I remember a few weeks before she died, eating a late supper with her in an Italian restaurant down in the Village, and how she grasped my sleeve at the sudden, almost painful loveliness of a birthday cake with lit candles being carried in procession from the kitchen, faint circle of light wavering in across the dark ceiling and then the cake set down to blaze amidst the family, beatifying an old lady’s face, smiles all round, waiters stepping away with their hands behind their backs – just an ordinary birthday dinner you might see anywhere in an inexpensive downtown restaurant, and I’m sure I wouldn’t even remember it had she not died so soon after, but I thought about it again and again after her death and indeed I’ll probably think about it all my life: that candlelit circle, a tableau vivant of the daily, commonplace happiness that was lost when I lost her
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
My 30th birthday will be arriving in a few months. It’s not arriving unexpectedly, I just wish it would have given me more of an advance notice, say another 30 years.
Jarod Kintz (At even one penny, this book would be overpriced. In fact, free is too expensive, because you'd still waste time by reading it.)
I sip my coffee. I look at the mountain, which is still doing its tricks, as you look at a still-beautiful face belonging to a person who was once your lover in another country years ago: with fond nostalgia, and recognition, but no real feelings save a secret astonishment that you are now strangers. Thanks. For the memories. It is ironic that the one thing that all religions recognize as separating us from our creator--our very self-consciousness--is also the one thing that divides us from our fellow creatures. It was a bitter birthday present from evolution, cutting us off at both ends.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
When we were arguing on my twenty-fourth birthday, she left the kitchen, came back with a pistol, and fired it at me five times from right across the table. But she missed. It wasn't my life she was after. It was more. She wanted to eat my heart and be lost in the desert with what she'd done, she wanted to fall on her knees and give birth from it, she wanted to hurt me as only a child can be hurt by its mother.
Denis Johnson (Jesus' Son)
It was Friday, July 24, 1992, when I stepped on the train. Every year I think of it. I see it as my real birthday: the birth of me as a person, making decisions about my life on my own. I was not running away from Islam, or to democracy. I didn't have any big ideas then. I was just a young girl and wanted some way to be me; so I bolted into the unknown.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Infidel)
What are you giving him?" She grins smugly. "Only the greatest gift a woman can give the man she loves." I take my best guess. "Anal?" Kate covers her eyes. Dee-Dee's smile turns into a scowl. "No--pig. I'm giving him the gift of health. My acupuncturist cleared her schedule. She's going to work on Matthew the whole day." I laugh. Because this explains so much. "That's your gift? Really? It's the guy's birthday and you're gonna make him get needles stuck in his face all day? What are you gonna get him for Christmas - a colonoscopy?
Emma Chase (Tied (Tangled, #4))
Now give me a kiss, say you love me and off you go." "Sure, Aunt Lu," I said, and I gave her the kiss she wanted. Then I ran out and caught my bus. I didn't say I loved her. I guess I did. But asking someone to say they love you--and she always asked--is like buying yourself a birthday present. It's more than likely exactly what you want. But it must make you feel awfully sad to get it.
Avi (Sometimes I Think I Hear My Name)
Lowering his voice, he said, "In America we have a custom. When you're given presents for your birthday, you're supposed to open them and say thank you." Tatiana nervously looked down at the present. "Thank you." Gifts were not something she was used to. Wrapped gifts? Unheard of, even when they came wrapped only in plain brown paper. "No. Open first. Then say thank you." She smiled. "What do I do? Do I take the paper off?" "Yes. You tear it off." "And then what?" "And then you throw it away." "The whole present or just the paper?" Slowly he said, "Just the paper." "But you wrapped it so nicely. Why would I throw it away?" "It's just paper." "If it's just paper, why did you wrap it?" "Will you please just open my present?" said Alexander
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
My mom was never the type to write me long letters or birthday cards. We never got mani-pedis together, she never gave me a locket with our picture in it. She wouldn't tell me I looked beautiful, or soothe me when a boy broke my heart. But she was there. She kept me safe. She did her best to make me tough. She fed me the most delicious home-cooked meals. For lunch, she'd pack me rare sliced steak over white rice and steamed broccoli. She sent me to private school from kindergarten through twelfth grade. She is still there for me. She will always be there for me, as long as she's able. That's a great mom.
Ali Wong (Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life)
My father always says one thing leads to another. It certainly does. I started out to buy a friend a birthday present, and I end up trying to get a factory to go with it....
Jean Merrill (The Toothpaste Millionaire)
Did I hear it's going to be someone's birthday?" a familiar male's voice said from behind me. I didnt even bother turning around and continued walking, but that didn't stop my nemesis from disturbing me. He jumped in front of me, blocking my way. "It's been a whole year, has it?" he asked in a syrupy tone. "Maybe this birthday I'll finally give you what you've always wanted.
Ellen Schreiber (Cryptic Cravings (Vampire Kisses, #8))
I was wondering,” he began, murmuring the words into my cheek as I rolled over. “Seeing as it’s my birthday, do you think we could get away with spending the entire day in bed?” I smiled and forced my sleepy eyes open. “And who will run the country?” “No one. Let it fall to pieces. So long as I have my America in my arms.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
Console yourself knowing that, should you ever punch me while wearing it, you’ll probably take my eye out. And I’d very much like you to. Wear it, that is. Not punch me.” “Where did you get this thing?” “My mother gave it to me before she left. It’s the Lantsov emerald. She was wearing it at my birthday dinner the night we were attacked. Curiously enough, that was not the worst birthday I’ve had.” “No?” “When I was ten, my parents hired a clown.
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
I am 13 years old, I am 13 stone, I have no money, no friends, and boys throw gravel at me. It's my birthday, and I went to bed at 7.15pm.
Caitlin Moran
Raphael calls me every month,” said Ragnor. “Raphael knows that it is important to preserve good relations and maintain regular communication between the different Downworlder factions. I might add, Raphael always remembers important occasions in my life.” “I forgot your birthday one time sixty years ago!” said Magnus. “You need to let that go.” “It was fifty-eight years ago, for the record. And Raphael knows we need to maintain a united front against the Nephilim and not, for instance, sneak around with their underage sons,” Ragnor continued. “Alec is eighteen!” “Whatever,” said Ragnor. “Raphael would never date a Shadowhunter.” “Of course, why would he, when you two are in loooove?” Magnus asked. “‘Oooh, Raphael is always so professional.’ ‘Oooh, Raphael brought up the most interesting points in that meeting you forgot to attend.’ ‘Oooh, Raphael and I are planning a June wedding.’ Besides, Raphael would never date a Shadowhunter because Raphael has a policy of never doing anything that is awesome.
Cassandra Clare (What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (The Bane Chronicles, #8))
When I went back into the kitchen, I wanted to sit on my mum's lap. I know that sounds stupid and babyish , but I couldn't help it. On my sixteenth birthday, I didn't want to be sixteen, or fifteen or anyteen. I wanted to be three or four, and too young to make any kind of mess
Nick Hornby (Slam)
Interrupting what promised to be a long spate of fatherly advice, St. Vincent said in a clipped voice, “It’s not a love match. It’s a marriage of convenience, and there’s not enough warmth between us to light a birthday candle. Get on with it, if you please. Neither of us has had a proper sleep in two days.” Silence fell over the scene, with MacPhee and his two daughters appearing shocked by the brusque remarks. Then the blacksmith’s heavy brows lowered over his eyes in a scowl. “I don’t like ye,” he announced. St. Vincent regarded him with exasperation. “Neither does my bride-to-be. But since that’s not going to stop her from marrying me, it shouldn’t stop you either. Go on.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
My family suffered. My hair turned up in every corner, every drawer, every meal. Even in the rice puddings Tessie made, covering each little bowl with wax paper before putting it away in the fridge--even into these prophylactically secure desserts my hair found its way! Jet black hairs wound themselves around bars of soap. They lay pressed like flower stems between the pages of books. They turned up in eyeglass cases, birthday cards, once--I swear--inside an egg Tessie had just cracked. The next-door neighbor's cat coughed up a hairball one day and the hair was not the cat's.
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex)
I never liked lobster in my life, and mainly because I’d never tried it. On my eightieth birthday I tried it. I can’t say I’m greatly excited over lobster still, but I have no doubt as to its taste now, and I don’t fear it. I dare say death will be a lobster, too, and I can come to terms with it.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine (Green Town, #1))
I'm speechless.I think at the rooftops of Paris. he touches my cheek,pulling my gaze back to him.I suck in my breath. "Anna.I'm sorry for what happened in Luxembourg Gardens.Not because of the kiss-I've never had a kiss like that in my life-but because I didn't tell you why I was running away.I chased after Meredith because of you." Touch me again. Please,touch me again. "All I could think about was what that bastard did to you last Christmas. Toph never tried to explain or apologize. How could I do that to Mer? And I ought to have called you before I went to Ellie's,but I was so anxious to just end it,once and for all,that I wasn't thinking straight." I reach for him. "St. Clair-" He pulls back. "And that.Why don't you call me Etienne anymore?" "But...no one else calls you that.It was weird.Right?" "No.It wasn't." His expression saddens. "And every time you say 'St. Clair,' it's like you're rejecting me again." "I have never rejected you." "But you have.And for Dave." His tone is venomous. "And you rejected me for Ellie on my birthday. I don't understand.If you liked me so much,why didn't you break up with her?" He gazes at the river. "I've been confused. I've been so stupid." "Yes.You have." "I deserve that." "Yes.You do." I pause. "But I've been stupid,too.You were right.About...the alone thing.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
My New Year's Eve is always 2 July, the night before my birthday. That's the night I make my resolutions. And this year scares the life out of me, because no matter how successful, how good things appear, there is always a deep core of failure within me, although I am trying to deal with it. My biggest fear, this coming year, is that I will be waking up alone. It makes me wonder how many bodies will be fished out of the Thames, how many decaying corpses will be found in one-room flats. I'm just being realistic.
Tracey Emin (Strangeland)
My hands were on you, too,” she says. And then she pulls the door open and walks out, closing it gently behind her. I stare after her, the empty space making me suddenly want her back. “Don’t say things like that,” I mumble to an empty house. If I know you want it, too, how will I be able to resist you?
Penelope Douglas (Birthday Girl)
Bathing is even more embarrassing, because I have to strip down to my birthday suit in front of a nurse. Now, there are some things that never die, so even though I'm in my nineties my sap sometimes rises. I can't help it. They always pretend not to notice. They're trained that way, I suppose, although pretending not to notice is almost worse than noticing. It means they consider me nothing more than a harmless old man sporting a harmless old penis that still gets uppity once in a while. Although if one of them took it seriously and tried to do something about it, the shock would probably kill me.
Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
This is it, I think, this is it, right now, the present, this empty gas station, here, this western wind, this tang of coffee on the tongue, and I am petting the puppy, I am watching the mountain. And the second I verbalize this awareness in my brain, I cease to see the mountain or feel the puppy. I am opaque, so much black asphalt. But at the same second, the second I know I've lost it, I also realize that the puppy is still squirming on his back under my hand. Nothing has changed for him. He draws his legs down to stretch the skin taut so he feels every fingertip's stroke along his furred and arching side, his flank, his flung-back throat. I sip my coffee. I look at the mountain, which is still doing its tricks, as you look at a still-beautiful face belonging to a person who was once your lover in another country years ago: with fond nostalgia, and recognition, but no real feeling save a secret astonishment that you are now strangers. Thanks. For the memories. It is ironic that the one thing that all religions recognize as separating us from our creator--our very self-consciousness--is also the one thing that divides us from our fellow creatures. It was a bitter birthday present from evolution, cutting us off at both ends. I get in the car and drive home.
Annie Dillard
I took a steadying breath. “Listen, I know we have a full night ahead of us, but I wanted to give you your birthday present.” “Oh, darling, you didn’t need to get me anything. Every day with you is a gift.” He leaned in and kissed me. “Well, I hadn’t planned on getting you a gift, but then something presented itself, so here we are.” “All right then,” he said, placing his glass on the ground. “I’m ready. Where is it?” “That’s the only problem,” I started. I felt my hands begin to shake. “It won’t actually arrive for another seven or eight months.” He smiled but squinted. “Eight months? What in the world could take . . .” As his words drifted away, so did his eyes, leaving my face and making their way to my stomach. He seemed to expect me to look different, for me to be as big as a house already. But I’d done my best to hide everything: the tiredness, the nausea, the sudden distaste for foods. He stared on and on, and I waited for him to smile or laugh or jump up and down. But he sat there, frozen to the point that it started to frighten me. “Maxon?” I reached out and touched his leg. “Maxon, are you all right?” He nodded, still watching my stomach.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
My advice to women who habitually gravitate toward musicians is that they learn how to play an instrument and start making music themselves. Not only will they see that it's not that hard, but sometimes I think women just want to be the very thing they think they want to sleep with. Because if you're bright enough--no offense, Tawny Kitaen--sleeping with a musician probably won't be enough for you to feel good about yourself. Even if he writes you a song for your birthday. Don't you know that a musician who writes a song for you is like a baker you're dating making you a cake? Aim higher.
Julie Klausner (I Don't Care About Your Band: Lessons Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I've Dated)
Actually, I came because I have a last-minute invitation. My friend Erika Gill is having a big party tomorrow night, one of those all-out birthday bashes that girls like. Want to go?" ---------------------------------------- "No. Sorry." "Since it's a catered thing, at a restaurant, I'll pick you up at- what did you say?" "I'm sorry. I can't do it." ---------------------------------------- "You're busy?" "I just can't do it," I said.
Elizabeth Chandler (The Back Door of Midnight (Dark Secrets, #5))
I don’t want to live my life in such a hurry that I’m always closing the fridge door with my foot and scribbling out birthday cards in my car at the last minute. I want to make bread, or at least find the time to toast it.
Emily P. Freeman (Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World)
If I could dam up the flow of Duck River channel its waters into my inkstone pool I'd use it up expressing my congratulations and I could celebrate your birthday forever.
Daichō Rōryō
I wanted to tell you that it’s my birthday on Thursday and I would have wanted you to give me the gift of your guts on the floor, one last time, to see if you still had it in you.
Lucas Regazzi
You are not to take it, if you please, as the saying of an ignorant man, when I express my opinion that such a book as ROBINSON CRUSOE never was written, and never will be written again. I have tried that book for years—generally in combination with a pipe of tobacco—and I have found it my friend in need in all the necessities of this mortal life. When my spirits are bad—ROBINSON CRUSOE. When I want advice—ROBINSON CRUSOE. In past times when my wife plagued me; in present times when I have had a drop too much—ROBINSON CRUSOE. I have worn out six stout ROBINSON CRUSOES with hard work in my service. On my lady's last birthday she gave me a seventh. I took a drop too much on the strength of it; and ROBINSON CRUSOE put me right again. Price four shillings and sixpence, bound in blue, with a picture into the bargain.
Wilkie Collins (The Moonstone)
Intriguing." He sits back down. "I should do a study on the mass conditioning of people to harmonize with the birthday song. Essentially, it's brainwashing. Irene, do you think - Irene?" "I am going to kill you," I hiss. "But that would ruin your birthday." He smirks. "Really? Because I think it would make my birthday.
Eva Morgan (Locked (Locked, #1))
And there’s nothing better than brothers. Friends are great, but they come and go. Lovers are fun, but kind of stupid, too. They say stupid things to each other and they ignore all their friends because they’re too busy staring, and they get jealous, and they have fights over dumb shit like who did the dishes last or why they can’t fold their fucking socks, and maybe the sex gets bad, or maybe they stop finding each other interesting, and then somebody bangs someone else, and everyone cries, and they see each other years later, and that person you once shared everything with is a total stranger you don’t even want to be around because it’s awkward. But brothers. Brothers never go away. That’s for life. And I know married folks are supposed to be for life, too, but they’re not always. Brothers you can’t get rid of. They get who you are, and what you like, and they don’t care who you sleep with or what mistakes you make, because brothers aren’t mixed up in that part of your life. They see you at your worst, and they don’t care. And even when you fight, it doesn’t matter so much, because they still have to say hi to you on your birthday, and by then, everybody’s forgotten about it, and you have cake together.” She nodded. “So as much as I love my present, and as nice as it is to get a thank you, I don’t need either of ’em. Nothing’s too much to ask when it comes to brothers.
Becky Chambers (The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1))
When I try to picture heaven, I see a place where it's always December, every radio station plays hair bands, and every time I check my pockets they're full of Hershey's Kisses. There's a Christmas parade on every street, every day is my birthday, and the sun always sets at 4:58 p.m.
Damien Echols (Life After Death)
In a way, watching an attractive, potentially dangerous guy play guitar is a little like watching a tiger agree to do tricks for his trainer. You know that they could just turn and kill you. But you're so flattered and pleased that instead they agreed to stand on a decorative box and wave and count for the crowd that for a while you forget how big the scary part of them really is.
Merrill Markoe (It's My F---ing Birthday)
I’m calling in one of my birthday presents, Tru,” he says softly. His eyes look opaque, heavy with desire. “What do you want?” My voice is quiet, trembling. Propping himself up on his elbow, I tilt my head back as he looks down at me. He pulls my hair free from its knot, running his fingers through it. “You.” He moves his face close to mine, staying a breath away, waiting for his invitation. “Happy birthday,” I whisper.” Excerpt From: Towle, Samantha. “The Mighty Storm.” iBooks. This material may be protected by copyright.
Samantha Towle (The Mighty Storm (The Storm, #1))
In the eulogy by the graveside, I told everyone how my sister and I used to sing to each other on our birthday. I told them that, when I thought of my sister, I could still hear her laughter, sense her optimism, and feel her faith. I told them that my sister was the kindest person I;ve ever known, and that the world was a sadder place without her in it. And finally, I told them to remember my sister with a smile, like I did, for even though she was being buried near my parents, the best parts of her would always stay alive, deep within our hearts.
Nicholas Sparks (Three Weeks With My Brother)
How late is it? How long have we been sitting here? I look at my watch – three thirty and the day is almost ending. It’s October. All those kids recently returned to classrooms with new bags and pencil cases will be looking forward to half term already. How quickly it goes. Halloween soon, then firework night. Christmas. Spring. Easter. Then there’s my birthday in May. I’ll be seventeen. How long can I stave it off? I don’t know. All I know is that I have two choices – stay wrapped in blankets and get on with dying, or get the list back together and get on with living.
Jenny Downham (Before I Die)
My birthday is coming up. I was born on March 5th, 1982. Humans have come a long way since then—nearly 30 years, if my math is good. And my math better be good, because if my math’s no good, what’s that leave? I mean aside from English, art, science, social studies, history, geography, P.E., recess, and of course, lunch.

Jarod Kintz (At even one penny, this book would be overpriced. In fact, free is too expensive, because you'd still waste time by reading it.)
It's my birthday, by the way, and as of 2:05 this morning (the time of my birth in the middle of a snow storm on the Fort Dix army base in New Jersey) I'm 52 years old. I decided to say that because there's such pressure in our culture for women...well, for everybody...to stay perpetually young. And that's never going to change if we (women especially) don't embrace, enjoy, and take pride in each and every age that we pass through. I'm not young, I'm half a century old, and grateful to have made it this far. And I have this to say to the young women coming on behind me: 52 feels pretty damn good!
Terri Windling
I merely called for my hat and stick in a marked manner and legged it. But the memory rankled, if you know what I mean. We Woosters do not lightly forget. At least, we do - some things - appointments, and people's birthdays, and letters to post, and all that - but not an absolute bally insult like the above. I brooded like the dickens.
P.G. Wodehouse
PS, I want a stripper for my birthday,” GQ announces. “Just decided now. Get on it.” “I’ll make a couple calls,” Garrett promises, but the second his friend wanders off, he confides, “He’s not getting a stripper. We all chipped in to get him a new iPod. He dropped his in the koi pond behind Hartford House.” When I snicker, Garrett pounces like a mountain lion. “Holy shit. Was that a laugh? I didn’t think you were capable of showing amusement. Can you do it again and let me film it?” “I laugh all the time.” I pause. “Mostly at you, though.” He grabs his chest in mock pain as if I’ve shot him. “You’re terrible for a guy’s ego, y’know that?
Elle Kennedy (The Deal (Off-Campus, #1))
I told her if she really cared about me, then she’d let me do whatever I wanted for my birthday, just like Mom did when I was twelve.” “What happened when you were twelve?” “Oh, Mom offered to take us all out for dinner—us girls, Dad was out of town—to celebrate, but I didn’t want to. This book I’d been waiting for had just come out, and the only thing I wanted to do was read it all night.” “My God,” I said, touching the top of her nose. “You’re adorable.” She swatted me away. “Anyway, Carly and Zoe really wanted to go out so that they could score a meal, but Mom just said, ‘It’s her birthday. Let her do whatever she wants.’” “Your mom is cool.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
It’s my birthday, and I’m surrounded by everyone important to me, but for some reason, I feel more alone than I’ve ever felt.
Colleen Hoover (Regretting You)
Griffin doesn’t send me a dozen roses on my birthday. He hands me a single petal every day. Sometimes it’s a look. Sometimes it’s a whisper. And sometimes it’s opening my door, helping me out, and holding my hand all the way to the top of the steps.
Jewel E. Ann (Epoch (Transcend, #2))
it’s a terrible feeling when you first fall in love. your mind gets completely taken over, you can’t function properly anymore. the world turns into a dream place, nothing seems real. you forget your keys, no one seems to be talking English and even if they are you don’t care as you can’t hear what they’re saying anyway, and it doesn’t matter since your not really there. things you cared about before don’t seem to matter anymore and things you didn’t think you cared about suddenly do. I must become a brilliant cook, I don’t want to waste time seeing my friends when I could be with him, I feel no sympathy for all those people in India killed by an earthquake last night; what is the matter with me? It’s a kind of hell, but you feel like your in heaven. even your body goes out of control, you can’t eat, you don’t sleep properly, your legs turn to jelly as your not sure where the floor is anymore. you have butterflies permanently, not only in your tummy but all over your body - your hands, your shoulders, your chest, your eyes everything’s just a jangling mess of nerve endings tingling with fire. it makes you feel so alive. and yet its like being suffocated, you don’t seem to be able to see or hear anything real anymore, its like people are speaking to you through treacle, and so you stay in your cosy place with him, the place that only you two understand. occasionally your forced to come up for air by your biggest enemy, Real Life, so you do the minimum then head back down under your love blanket for more, knowing it’s uncomfortable but compulsory. and then, once you think you’ve got him, the panic sets in. what if he goes off me? what if I blow it, say the wrong thing? what if he meets someone better than me? Prettier, thinner, funnier, more like him? who doesn’t bite there nails? perhaps he doesn’t feel the same, maybe this is all in my head and this is just a quick fling for him. why did I tell him that stupid story about not owning up that I knew who spilt the ink on the teachers bag and so everyone was punished for it? does he think I'm a liar? what if I'm not very good at that blow job thing and he’s just being patient with me? he says he loves me; yes, well, we can all say words, can’t we? perhaps he’s just being polite. of course you do your best to keep all this to yourself, you don’t want him to think you're a neurotic nutcase, but now when he’s away doing Real Life it’s agony, your mind won’t leave you alone, it tortures you and examines your every moment spent together, pointing out how stupid you’ve been to allow yourself to get this carried away, how insane you are to imagine someone would feel like that about you. dad did his best to reassure me, but nothing he said made a difference - it was like I wanted to see Simon, but didn’t want him to see me.
Annabel Giles (Birthday Girls)
I was in the fifth grade the first time I thought about turning thirty. My best friend Darcy and I came across a perpetual calendar in the back of the phone book, where you could look up any date in the future, and by using this little grid, determine what the day of the week would be. So we located our birthdays in the following year, mine in May and hers in September. I got Wednesday, a school night. She got a Friday. A small victory, but typical. Darcy was always the lucky one. Her skin tanned more quickly, her hair feathered more easily, and she didn't need braces. Her moonwalk was superior, as were her cart-wheels and her front handsprings (I couldn't handspring at all). She had a better sticker collection. More Michael Jackson pins. Forenze sweaters in turquoise, red, and peach (my mother allowed me none- said they were too trendy and expensive). And a pair of fifty-dollar Guess jeans with zippers at the ankles (ditto). Darcy had double-pierced ears and a sibling- even if it was just a brother, it was better than being an only child as I was. But at least I was a few months older and she would never quite catch up. That's when I decided to check out my thirtieth birthday- in a year so far away that it sounded like science fiction. It fell on a Sunday, which meant that my dashing husband and I would secure a responsible baby-sitter for our two (possibly three) children on that Saturday evening, dine at a fancy French restaurant with cloth napkins, and stay out past midnight, so technically we would be celebrating on my actual birthday. I would have just won a big case- somehow proven that an innocent man didn't do it. And my husband would toast me: "To Rachel, my beautiful wife, the mother of my chidren and the finest lawyer in Indy." I shared my fantasy with Darcy as we discovered that her thirtieth birthday fell on a Monday. Bummer for her. I watched her purse her lips as she processed this information. "You know, Rachel, who cares what day of the week we turn thirty?" she said, shrugging a smooth, olive shoulder. "We'll be old by then. Birthdays don't matter when you get that old." I thought of my parents, who were in their thirties, and their lackluster approach to their own birthdays. My dad had just given my mom a toaster for her birthday because ours broke the week before. The new one toasted four slices at a time instead of just two. It wasn't much of a gift. But my mom had seemed pleased enough with her new appliance; nowhere did I detect the disappointment that I felt when my Christmas stash didn't quite meet expectations. So Darcy was probably right. Fun stuff like birthdays wouldn't matter as much by the time we reached thirty. The next time I really thought about being thirty was our senior year in high school, when Darcy and I started watching ths show Thirty Something together. It wasn't our favorite- we preferred cheerful sit-coms like Who's the Boss? and Growing Pains- but we watched it anyway. My big problem with Thirty Something was the whiny characters and their depressing issues that they seemed to bring upon themselves. I remember thinking that they should grow up, suck it up. Stop pondering the meaning of life and start making grocery lists. That was back when I thought my teenage years were dragging and my twenties would surealy last forever. Then I reached my twenties. And the early twenties did seem to last forever. When I heard acquaintances a few years older lament the end of their youth, I felt smug, not yet in the danger zone myself. I had plenty of time..
Emily Giffin (Something Borrowed (Darcy & Rachel, #1))
...as a woman who was raised with the idea that the world was at my fingertips, that anything I wanted could be mine for the taking, on the eve of my thirtieth birthday I am ready to stand up and say that trying to have it all is not all it's cracked up to be.
Anna Mitchael (Just Don't Call Me Ma'am: How I Ditched the South, Forgot My Manners, and Managed to Survive My Twenties with (Most of) My Dignity Still Intact)
Did you ever think our misfortune is directly related to your good fortune? Maybe the house your parents bought was on the market because the sellers didn't want my mama in the neighborhood. Maybe the good grades that eventually led you to law school were possible because your mama didn't have to work eighteen hours a day, and was there to read to you at night, or make sure you did your homework. How often do you remind yourself how lucky you are that you own your house, because you were able to build up equity through generations in a way families of color can't? How often do you open your mouth at work and think how awesome it is that no one's thinking you're speaking for everyone with the same skin color you have? How hard is it for you to find the greeting card for your baby's birthday with a picture of a child that has the same color skin as her? How many times have you seen a painting of Jesus that looks like you? Prejudice goes both ways, you know. There are people who suffer from it, and there are people who profit from it.
Jodi Picoult (Small Great Things)
Time is so subjective, its measure totally dependent upon the means by which we mark its passage. When we follow the conventional milestones, meting out our lives with birthdays and graduations and anniversaries and funerals, we are left with voids along the way-vast stretches of empty space lost forever, never to be filled. As time grows short, the significance of each moment increases, until finally every heartbeat is of monumental importance. Or so it seems at first. I have discovered, almost too late, that time is not just arbitrary, but of no great consequence after all. She has taught me that a touch is a lifetime, a kiss forever, and that passion will transcend the limitations of fragile existence to span eternity. I no longer worry about the beat of my heart-I need only the memory of her to live on. My soul, my very being, pulses with wonder at the places within me that she has filled, with gratitude for the wounds she has healed, and with everlasting devotion for the love she has given. In her arms, I found passion and peace and a place to rest. No matter where I travel or what road I take to reach my detestation, I will always have the comfort of her hand in my and the soft whisper of her voice reminding me that I do not need to be afraid. This, this has always been my secret desire, and now I need search no further. I am Loved, and I am content,
Radclyffe (Love's Masquerade)
Let’s see if I remember all of this—born in Charlottesville, Virginia, but raised in Salem by her mother, Susan, a teacher, and her father, Jacob, a police officer. Attended Salem Elementary School until your tenth birthday, when your father called into his station to report an unknown child in his house—” “Stop,” I muttered. Liam looked over his shoulder, trying to divide his attention between me and the boy reciting the sordid tale of my life. “—but, bad luck, the PSFs beat the police to your house. Good luck, someone dropped the ball or they had other kiddies to pick up, because they didn’t wait around long enough to question your parents, and thus, didn’t pre-sort you. And then you came to Thurmond, and you managed to avoid their detecting you were Orange—” “Stop!” I didn’t want to hear this—I didn’t want anyone to hear it.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
Pink Balloons My name is Olivia King I am five years old My mother bought me a balloon. I remember the day she walked through the front door with it. The curly hot pink ribbon trickling down her arm, wrapped around her wrist . She was smiling at me as she untied the ribbon and wrapped it around my hand. "Here Livie, I bought this for you." She called me Livie. I was so happy . I'd never had a balloon before. I mean, I always saw balloon wrapped around other kids wrist in the parking lot of Wal-Mart , but I never dreamed I would have my very own. My very own pink balloon. I was excited! So ecstatic! So thrilled! i couldn't believe my mother bought me something! She'd never bought me anything before! I played with it for hours . It was full of helium and it danced and swayed and floated as I drug it around from room to room with me, thinking of places to take it. Thinking of places the balloon had never been before. I took it in the bathroom , the closet , the laundry room , the kitchen , the living room . I wanted my new best friend to see everything I saw! I took it to my mother's bedroom! My mothers Bedroom? Where I wasn't supposed to be? With my pink balloon... I covered my ears as she screamed at me, wiping the evidence off her nose! She slapped me across the face as she told me how bad I was! How much I misbehaved! How I never listened! She shoved me into the hallways and slammed the door, locking my pink balloon inside with her. I wanted him back! He was my best friend! Not her! The pink ribbon was still tied around my wrist so I pulled and pulled , trying to get my new best friend away from her. And it popped. My name is Eddie. I'm seventeen years old. My birthday is next week. I'll be big One-Eight. My foster dad is buying me these boots I've been wanting. I'm sure my friends will take me out to eat. My boyfriend will buy me a gift, maybe even take me to a movie. I'll even get a nice little card from my foster care worker, wishing me a happy eighteenth birthday, informing me I've aged out of the system. I'll have a good time. I know I will. But there's one thing I know for sure I better not get any shitty ass pink balloons!
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
MOTHER – By Ted Kooser Mid April already, and the wild plums bloom at the roadside, a lacy white against the exuberant, jubilant green of new grass and the dusty, fading black of burned-out ditches. No leaves, not yet, only the delicate, star-petaled blossoms, sweet with their timeless perfume. You have been gone a month today and have missed three rains and one nightlong watch for tornadoes. I sat in the cellar from six to eight while fat spring clouds went somersaulting, rumbling east. Then it poured, a storm that walked on legs of lightning, dragging its shaggy belly over the fields. The meadowlarks are back, and the finches are turning from green to gold. Those same two geese have come to the pond again this year, honking in over the trees and splashing down. They never nest, but stay a week or two then leave. The peonies are up, the red sprouts, burning in circles like birthday candles, for this is the month of my birth, as you know, the best month to be born in, thanks to you, everything ready to burst with living. There will be no more new flannel nightshirts sewn on your old black Singer, no birthday card addressed in a shaky but businesslike hand. You asked me if I would be sad when it happened and I am sad. But the iris I moved from your house now hold in the dusty dry fists of their roots green knives and forks as if waiting for dinner, as if spring were a feast. I thank you for that. Were it not for the way you taught me to look at the world, to see the life at play in everything, I would have to be lonely forever.
Ted Kooser (Delights and Shadows)
He looked up as Tristan reached him. No doubt he had tears mixed with the rain sliding down his face. “It’s my birthday,” he whispered. “That’s when he gave me the queen. He said it’s because I was the strongest person he knew.
Riley Hart (Broken Pieces (Broken Pieces, #1))
All through my sixties I felt I was still within hailing distance of middle age, not safe on its shores, perhaps, but navigating its coastal waters. My seventieth birthday failed to change this because I managed scarcely to notice it, but my seventy-first did change it. Being 'over seventy' is being old: suddenly I was aground on that fact and saw that the time had come to size it up.
Diana Athill (Somewhere Towards the End)
She’s so, everybody’s so stupid, you know? Christian too, Todd, whoever says stupid things, you’re from different worlds, like you dropped here in a spaceship.” I had to say something. “Yeah,” I said. “So—?” “So they can fuck themselves,” you said. “I don’t care, you know?” I felt a smile on my face, tears too. “Because Min, I know, OK? I’m stupid I know, about faggy movies, sorry, fuck, I’m stupid about that too. No offense. Ha! But I want to do it, Min. Any party you want, anything, not go to bonfires. Whatever you want to do, for the eighty-ninth birthday, even though I can’t remember the name.” “Lottie Carson.” I stepped close to you, but you held your hands out, you weren’t done. “And they’ll say things, right? I know they will, of course they will. Your friends are, probably, too, right?” “Yes,” I said. I felt furious, or furiously something, pacing with you and waiting to fall into your moving arms. “Yes,” you said, with a huge grin. “Let’s stay together, I want to be with you. Let’s. Yes?” “Yes.” “Because I don’t care, virginity, different, arty, weird parties with bad cake, that igloo. Just together, Min.” “Yes.” “Like everyone is telling us not to be.” “Yes!” “Because Min, listen, I love you.” I gaped. “Don’t, you don’t have to—I know it’s crazy, Joan says I’ve really lost it, but—” “I love you too,” I said.
Daniel Handler (Why We Broke Up)
I tried to compete with my ill-fitting Calvin Klein button-up shirts that I got at Ross and my imitation mini-ish skirts I got from the DEB. If you’re not familiar with DEB, it’s like the trashy stepsister of Forever 21 that takes F21 out for her twenty-first birthday, pumps her full of Jell-O shots, and convinces her to get a bald-eagle tattoo.
Grace Helbig (Grace & Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It)
I let his rose wither in a vase on my desk, a vase painfully empty of flowers since the long-ago time when, on my birthday, Mario would give me a cattleya, in imitation of Swann. In the evening the flower was already black and bent on its stem. I threw it in the trash.
Elena Ferrante (The Days of Abandonment)
Reminiscing in the drizzle of Portland, I notice the ring that’s landed on your finger, a massive insect of glitter, a chandelier shining at the end of a long tunnel. Thirteen years ago, you hid the hurt in your voice under a blanket and said there’s two kinds of women—those you write poems about and those you don’t. It’s true. I never brought you a bouquet of sonnets, or served you haiku in bed. My idea of courtship was tapping Jane’s Addiction lyrics in Morse code on your window at three A.M., whiskey doing push-ups on my breath. But I worked within the confines of my character, cast as the bad boy in your life, the Magellan of your dark side. We don’t have a past so much as a bunch of electricity and liquor, power never put to good use. What we had together makes it sound like a virus, as if we caught one another like colds, and desire was merely a symptom that could be treated with soup and lots of sex. Gliding beside you now, I feel like the Benjamin Franklin of monogamy, as if I invented it, but I’m still not immune to your waterfall scent, still haven’t developed antibodies for your smile. I don’t know how long regret existed before humans stuck a word on it. I don’t know how many paper towels it would take to wipe up the Pacific Ocean, or why the light of a candle being blown out travels faster than the luminescence of one that’s just been lit, but I do know that all our huffing and puffing into each other’s ears—as if the brain was a trick birthday candle—didn’t make the silence any easier to navigate. I’m sorry all the kisses I scrawled on your neck were written in disappearing ink. Sometimes I thought of you so hard one of your legs would pop out of my ear hole, and when I was sleeping, you’d press your face against the porthole of my submarine. I’m sorry this poem has taken thirteen years to reach you. I wish that just once, instead of skidding off the shoulder blade’s precipice and joyriding over flesh, we’d put our hands away like chocolate to be saved for later, and deciphered the calligraphy of each other’s eyelashes, translated a paragraph from the volumes of what couldn’t be said.
Jeffrey McDaniel
Maybe I will buy my nephew an aquarium for his next birthday. It’s got to be better than the bathroom sink, which is where my brother is keeping him now.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
Me: ‘Isn’t there another midwife who can do it?’ Midwife: ‘She’s on her break.’ Me: ‘I’m on my break.’ (Untrue.) Midwife: ‘You don’t get breaks.’ (Depressing but true.) Me: (pleading, in a tone of voice I’ve never managed before, like I’ve unlocked a secret level of my vocal cords) ‘But it’s my birthday.’ (Depressing but true.) Midwife: ‘It’s labour ward – it’s always someone’s birthday.
Adam Kay (This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor)
The next morning I told Mom I couldn't go to school again. She asked what was wrong. I told her, “The same thing that’s always wrong.” “You’re sick?” “I'm sad.” “About Dad?” “About everything.” She sat down on the bed next to me, even though I knew she was in a hurry. “What's everything?” I started counting on my fingers: “The meat and dairy products in our refrigerator, fistfights, car accidents, Larry–” “Who's Larry?” “The homeless guy in front of the Museum of Natural History who always says ‘I promise it’s for food’ after he asks for money.” She turned around and I zipped her dress while I kept counting. “How you don’t know who Larry is, even though you probably see him all the time, how Buckminster just sleeps and eats and goes to the bathroom and has no ‘raison d’etre’, the short ugly guy with no neck who takes tickets at the IMAX theater, how the sun is going to explode one day, how every birthday I always get at least one thing I already have, poor people who get fat because they eat junk food because it’s cheaper…” That was when I ran out of fingers, but my list was just getting started, and I wanted it to be long, because I knew she wouldn't leave while I was still going. “…domesticated animals, how I have a domesticated animal, nightmares, Microsoft Windows, old people who sit around all day because no one remembers to spend time with them and they’re embarrassed to ask people to spend time with them, secrets, dial phones, how Chinese waitresses smile even when there’s nothing funny or happy, and also how Chinese people own Mexican restaurants but Mexican people never own Chinese restaurants, mirrors, tape decks, my unpopularity in school, Grandma’s coupons, storage facilities, people who don’t know what the Internet is, bad handwriting, beautiful songs, how there won’t be humans in fifty years–” “Who said there won't be humans in fifty years?” I asked her, “Are you an optimist or a pessimist?” She looked at her watch and said, “I'm optimistic.” “Then I have some bed news for you, because humans are going to destroy each other as soon as it becomes easy enough to, which will be very soon.” “Why do beautiful songs make you sad?” “Because they aren't true.” “Never?” “Nothing is beautiful and true.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
My Favorite Kid President Quotes “Create something that will make the world more awesome.” “Treat everybody like it’s their birthday.” “If you can’t think of anything nice to say, you’re not thinking hard enough.” “Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.” “Give the world a reason to dance!” “Us humans are capable of war and sadness and other terrible stuff. But also CUPCAKES!” “Love changes everything so fill the world with it!” “Grown-ups who dream are the best kinds of grown-ups.” “Don’t be IN a party. BE a party.” And my personal favorite, “Mail someone a corn dog.
Rainn Wilson (The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy)
My father then said, ‘Mike, I’ve told you how dinosaurs went extinct. An asteroid crashed into the Earth. The world first became a sea of fire, and then sank into a prolonged period of darkness and coldness.… One night, you woke from a nightmare, saying that you had dreamt that you were back in that terrifying age. Let me tell you now what I wanted to tell you that night: If you really lived during the Cretaceous Period, you’d be fortunate. The period we live in now is far more frightening. Right now, species on Earth are going extinct far faster than during the late Cretaceous. Now is truly the age of mass extinctions! So, my child, what you’re seeing is nothing. This is only an insignificant episode in a much vaster process. We can have no sea birds, but we can’t be without oil. Can you imagine life without oil? Your last birthday, I gave you that lovely Ferrari and promised you that you could drive it after you turned fifteen. But without oil, it would be a pile of junk metal and you’d never drive it. Right now, if you want to visit your grandfather, you can get there on my personal jet and cross the ocean in a dozen hours or so. But without oil, you’d have to tumble in a sailboat for more than a month.… These are the rules of the game of civilization: The first priority is to guarantee the existence of the human race and their comfortable life. Everything else is secondary.
Liu Cixin (The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #1))
My mother died of colon cancer one week after my eleventh birthday, and that fact has shaped my life. All that I have become and much that I have not become, I trace directly or indirectly to her death. ... In my professional and personal life, I have lived with the awareness of death's imminence for more than half a century, and labored in its constant presence for all but the first decade of that time.
Sherwin B. Nuland
Honey, have you seen my measuring tape?” “I think it’s in that drawer in the kitchen with the scissors, matches, bobby pins, Scotch tape, nail clippers, barbecue tongs, garlic press, extra buttons, old birthday cards, soy sauce packets thick rubber bands, stack of Christmas napkins, stained take-out menus, old cell-phone chargers, instruction booklet for the VCR, some assorted nickels, an incomplete deck of cards, extra chain links for a watch, a half-finished pack of cough drops, a Scrabble piece I found while vacuuming, dead batteries we aren’t fully sure are dead yet, a couple screws in a tiny plastic bag left over from the bookshelf, that lock with the forgotten combination, a square of carefully folded aluminum foil, and expired pack of gum, a key to our old house, a toaster warranty card, phone numbers for unknown people, used birthday candles, novelty bottle openers, a barbecue lighter, and that one tiny little spoon.” “Thanks, honey.” AWESOME!
Neil Pasricha (The Book of (Even More) Awesome)
Today is my thirtieth birthday and I sit on the ocean wave in the schoolyard and wait for Kate and think of nothing. Now in the thirty-first year of my dark pilgrimage on this earth and knowing less than I ever knew before, having learned only to recognize merde when I see it, having inherited no more from my father than a good nose for merde, for every species of shit that flies—my only talent—smelling merde from every quarter, living in fact in the very century of merde, the great shithouse of scientific humanism where needs are satisfied, everyone becomes an anyone, a warm and creative person, and prospers like a dung beetle, and one hundred percent of people are humanists and ninety-eight percent believe in God, and men are dead, dead, dead; and the malaise has settled like a fall-out and what people really fear is not that the bomb will fall but that the bomb will not fall—on this my thirtieth birthday, I know nothing and there is nothing to do but fall prey to desire.
Walker Percy
A birthday is a very big thing. It should be big from the minute you wake up. It should be such a big thing—all day long—that you fall down into sleep that night all worn out from so much bigness. You get a present with paper on it, you can open that in just a minute. And then, depending on what's inside, a birthday can sort of lose its shine. And then what do you got? No birthday. No big thing. So what I wanted for my sweet little boy was a birthday that would be big and last all day long. Nobody should be able to mess with that, or make it not safe.
Catherine Ryan Hyde (Love in the Present Tense)
I read it twice, then I said, "Well, why don't you?" "Why don't I what?" "Why don't you wish her many happy returns? It doesn't seem much to ask." "But she says on her birthday." "Well, when is her birthday?" "Can't you understand?" said Bobbie. "I've forgotten." "Forgotten!" I said. "Yes," said Bobbie. "Forgotten." "How do you mean, forgotten?" I said. "Forgotten whether it's the twentieth or the twenty-first, or what? How near do you get to it?" "I know it came somewhere between the first of January and the thirty-first of December. That's how near I get to it.
P.G. Wodehouse (My Man Jeeves (Jeeves, #1))
I want to thank you, first, Person Who Bought This Book. Because of you, I have a job I love. Because of you, the people in my head get to live outside of it. When I meet you, you talk about my characters as if they are old friends (or enemies) we have in common; I cannot explain how miraculous this feels. If you are one of those people who have put my books into the hands of other readers—either professionally as a god-called lunatic who loves books so much you hand-sell them or as a reader who picked one for book club or gave it to your best friend for a birthday—well. This book exists because of you. I hope you are happy about this. I am—happy and grateful and a little bit in love with you.
Joshilyn Jackson (The Opposite of Everyone)
He went on, “I don’t know how much time we have left. Could be fifty years. Could be one more week. But I do know that we’re not going to get cheated out of one second of being together. We’re going to share everything and feel everything together. And I am going to let you know, in the way I touch you, and the way I kiss you”—as he said it, he touched her, and kissed her—“that you are the best thing in my life. And I’m a selfish man, and I want every inch of you, and every minute of your life I can have. There’s no my life anymore. And no your life. Just our life, and we’re going to have it our way. I want birthday cake every day and you naked in bed every night. And when it’s time to be done, we’ll have that our way, too.
Joe Hill (The Fireman)
To think that this is my twentieth birthday, and that I've left my teens behind me forever," said Anne, who was curled up on the hearth-rug with Rusty in her lap, to Aunt Jamesina who was reading in her pet chair. They were alone in the living room. Stella and Priscilla had gone to a committee meeting and Phil was upstairs adorning herself for a party. "I suppose you feel kind of sorry," said Aunt Jamesina. "The teens are such a nice part of life. I'm glad I've never gone out of them myself." Anne laughed. "You never will, Aunty. You'll be eighteen when you should be a hundred. Yes, I'm sorry, and a little dissatisfied as well. Miss Stacy told me long ago that by the time I was twenty my character would be formed, for good or evil. I don't feel that it's what it should be. It's full of flaws." "So's everybody's," said Aunt Jamesina cheerfully. "Mine's cracked in a hundred places. Your Miss Stacy likely meant that when you are twenty your character would have got its permanent bent in one direction or 'tother, and would go on developing in that line. Don't worry over it, Anne. Do your duty by God and your neighbor and yourself, and have a good time. That's my philosophy and it's always worked pretty well.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of the Island (Anne of Green Gables, #3))
It's an odd fact of life that you don't really remember the good times all that well. I have only mental snapshots of birthday parties, skiing, beach holidays, my wedding. The bad times too are just impressions. I can see myself standing at the end of some bed while someone I love is dying, or on the way home from a girlfriend's after I've been dumped, but again, they're just pictures. For full Technicolor, script plus subtitles plus commemorative programme in the memory, though, nothing beats embarrassment. You tend to remember the lines pretty well once you've woken screaming them at midnight a few times.
Mark Barrowcliffe (The Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons And Growing Up Strange)
I've never been to the ocean, never heard the waves lick the sand in that quiet shushing you read about in books. I've never been to the zoo, smelled the elephant piss, and heard the cries of the monkeys. I've never had frozen yogurt from one of those places where you pull on the handle and fill your own cup with whatever you like. I've never eaten dinner at a restaurant with napkins that you set on your lap and silverware that isn't plastic. I've never painted my nails like the other girls at school, in bright neons and decadent reds. I've never been more than ten miles from home. Ten miles. It's like I live in the forever ago, not where buses rumble and trains have racks. I've never had a birthday cake, though I've wanted one very much. I've never owned a bra that is new, and had to cut the tags off with the scissors from the kitchen drawer. I've never been loved in a way that makes me feel as if I was supposed to be born, if only to feel loved. I've never, I've never, I've never. And it's my own fault. The things that we never do because someone makes us fearful of them, or makes us believe we don't deserve them. I want to do all my nevers-- alone or with someone who matters. I don't care. I just want to live.
Tarryn Fisher (Marrow)
The thing about being barren is that you’re not allowed to get away from it. Not when you’re in your thirties. My friends were having children, friends of friends were having children, pregnancy and birth and first birthday parties were everywhere. I was asked about it all the time. My mother, our friends, colleagues at work. When was it going to be my turn? At some point our childlessness became an acceptable topic of Sunday-lunch conversation, not just between Tom and me, but more generally. What we were trying, what we should be doing, do you really think you should be having a second glass of wine? I was still young, there was still plenty of time, but failure cloaked me like a mantle, it overwhelmed me, dragged me under, and I gave up hope. At the time, I resented the fact that it was always seen as my fault, that I was the one letting the side down. But as the speed with which he managed to impregnate Anna demonstrates, there was never any problem with Tom’s virility. I was wrong to suggest that we should share the blame; it was all down to me. Lara, my best friend since university, had two children in two years: a boy first and then a girl. I didn’t like them. I didn’t want to hear anything about them. I didn’t want to be near them. Lara stopped speaking to me after a while. There was a girl at work who told me—casually, as though she were talking about an appendectomy or a wisdom-tooth extraction—that she’d recently had an abortion, a medical one, and it was so much less traumatic than the surgical one she’d had when she was at university. I couldn’t speak to her after that, I could barely look at her. Things became awkward in the office; people noticed. Tom didn’t feel the way I did. It wasn’t his failure, for starters, and in any case, he didn’t need a child like I did. He wanted to be a dad, he really did—I’m sure he daydreamed about kicking a football around in the garden with his son, or carrying his daughter on his shoulders in the park. But he thought our lives could be great without children, too. “We’re happy,” he used to say to me. “Why can’t we just go on being happy?” He became frustrated with me. He never understood that it’s possible to miss what you’ve never had, to mourn for it.
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
I was so moved that she remembered my birthday that I cried harder than I had in years. When I returned her call, she told me her computer was broken and she couldn't afford to replace it. My heart fell. As I had done so many times before, I went to her rescue. Still on the phone, I went online and bought her a new laptop, top-of-the-line. That was what she had really called for, She thanked me and hung up. I went to Casey, sobbing. Soon afterward, I closed the bank account and asked my mom to not ask me for any more gifts or money. Now my relationship with my mom is very limited, and it's still very painful for me. She continues to occasionally send me bills she can't pay. I respond by telling her that I love her but I cannot pay her bills.
Olga Trujillo (The Sum of My Parts: A Survivor's Story of Dissociative Identity Disorder)
Sunset, oh sunset, who took the years of my youth. Today you're hiding, maybe last year didn't go so smooth. I've got many questions unanswered and many answers too. You've been with me through joy and pain, I'll spend another moment here with you. When love was in my heart, you were there smiling too. And when it all fell apart, it was again just me and you. As you take another year of my life, may I be able to let it all go to you, take all the memories with it, the time when I was twenty-two. I cannot take regrets, resentment and pain through. With your last rays, light up the candles on my cake. From tomorrow onwards, I'll be a new me, a little more wild or wise, or maybe a bit free.. See you in the morning, the new me will be twenty-three.
Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache
I wrote to my son. ‘Be a pessimist,’ I advised Joseph on his first birthday on 21 November. ‘It is the safest, most pragmatic way to be. Being an optimist may enrich the lives of others (with good cheer and smiling), but it leads you unaware to danger.
Pete Townshend (Who I Am: A Memoir)
Attempts to locate oneself within history are as natural, and as absurd, as attempts to locate oneself within astronomy. On the day that I was born, 13 April 1949, nineteen senior Nazi officials were convicted at Nuremberg, including Hitler's former envoy to the Vatican, Baron Ernst von Weizsacker, who was found guilty of planning aggression against Czechoslovakia and committing atrocities against the Jewish people. On the same day, the State of Israel celebrated its first Passover seder and the United Nations, still meeting in those days at Flushing Meadow in Queens, voted to consider the Jewish state's application for membership. In Damascus, eleven newspapers were closed by the regime of General Hosni Zayim. In America, the National Committee on Alcoholism announced an upcoming 'A-Day' under the non-uplifting slogan: 'You can drink—help the alcoholic who can't.' ('Can't'?) The International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled in favor of Britain in the Corfu Channel dispute with Albania. At the UN, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko denounced the newly formed NATO alliance as a tool for aggression against the USSR. The rising Chinese Communists, under a man then known to Western readership as Mao Tze-Tung, announced a limited willingness to bargain with the still-existing Chinese government in a city then known to the outside world as 'Peiping.' All this was unknown to me as I nuzzled my mother's breast for the first time, and would certainly have happened in just the same way if I had not been born at all, or even conceived. One of the newspaper astrologists for that day addressed those whose birthday it was: There are powerful rays from the planet Mars, the war god, in your horoscope for your coming year, and this always means a chance to battle if you want to take it up. Try to avoid such disturbances where women relatives or friends are concerned, because the outlook for victory upon your part in such circumstances is rather dark. If you must fight, pick a man! Sage counsel no doubt, which I wish I had imbibed with that same maternal lactation, but impartially offered also to the many people born on that day who were also destined to die on it.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
You still don't get it," Dawn ran a hand through her soft, blond curles. "Yes, Jagger would do anything to protect you. But he'll also stand with you. That night Axle crashed my birthday party and you pulled your gun on him, Jagger was beside you. He could have taken over, but he didn't. And that was a hell of a message. You had his support and he would kill anyone who hurt you, but it was your damn show.
Sarah Castille (Rough Justice (Sinner's Tribe Motorcycle Club, #1))
never having seen any authentic record containing it. By far the larger part of the slaves know as little of their ages as horses know of theirs, and it is the wish of most masters within my knowledge to keep their slaves thus ignorant. I do not remember to have ever met a slave who could tell of his birthday. They seldom come nearer to it than planting-time, harvesttime, cherry-time, spring-time, or fall-time. A
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass)
That part of the press release about me asking your father’s permission to marry you was true—well, partly true, anyway. I didn’t ask permission—I knew you wouldn’t like that, it’s sexist. You’re not your father’s property. But I did see him before we left, to tell him I was going to propose to you this weekend, and ask for his blessing.” I was stunned. “Wait . . . is this what you meant when you said before we left that you’d talked to my parents?” “Yes. I spoke to your mother, too, because she played an even bigger role in raising you. I thought it was the right thing to do. How do you think you got out of doing all those events—and birthday Cirque du Soleil with your grandmother—so easily?
Meg Cabot (Royal Wedding (The Princess Diaries, #11))
It’s Thursday, March twenty-ninth!” she basically screamed, a demented smile plastered to her face. “You are really excited about knowing the date!” I yelled back. “HAZEL! IT’S YOUR THIRTY-THIRD HALF BIRTHDAY!” “Ohhhhhh,” I said. My mom was really super into celebration maximization. IT’S ARBOR DAY! LET’S HUG TREES AND EAT CAKE! COLUMBUS BROUGHT SMALLPOX TO THE NATIVES; WE SHALL RECALL THE OCCASION WITH A PICNIC!, etc.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
I spoke softly. “The cops will eat you alive, Benjamin Blue. You have to go.” Ben tensed, ready to argue. “Detective Hawfield died. This is going to get serious. It’s way too much heat for you. Please be sensible.” Ben hesitated. Then his shoulders slumped. “Maybe you’re right.” Deep breath. “But you’re taking away the other possibility, too.” “I don’t understand.” I glanced over my shoulder at the approaching vehicle. “What other possibility?” He smiled wanly. “Ben Blue, The Hero. That kinda would’ve been nice.” I paused, at a loss for words. My heart broke for him. “But that’s okay.” Ben dug keys from his pocket. “After all, we’re Virals, not heroes. And that’s fine. Plus, I’m not really the hero type.” He turned to leave. Impulsively, I grabbed Ben’s arm. Pulled him close. Smashed my lips against his. The kiss only lasted a second, but also an eternity. Then I stepped back and shoved Ben toward the Explorer. “Of course you’re the type.” I was grateful the darkness hid my blushes. “Now go.” Ben stared, stricken, thunderstruck. Hi and Shelton watched, wide-eyed with shock. “Weirdest birthday ever,” Hi whispered.
Kathy Reichs (Exposure (Virals, #4))
Freeze or reheat. Thinking of you. I still don’t know who it’s from. Many of the condolence cards that arrived after my parents’ deaths came with stories of the cars they’d sold over the years. Keys handed to over-confident teens and over-anxious parents. Two-seater sports cars traded for family-friendly estates. Cars to celebrate promotions, big birthdays, retirements. My parents played a part in many different stories.
Clare Mackintosh (I Let You Go: The Richard & Judy Bestseller)
Later, at the sink in our van, Mama rinsed the blue stain and the odd spiders, caterpillars, and stems from the bucket. "Not what we usually start with, but we can go again tomorrow. And this will set up nicely in about six, eight jars." The berries were beginning to simmer in the big pot on the back burner. Mama pushed her dark wooden spoon into the foaming berries and cicrcled the wall of the pot slowly. I leaned my hot arms on the table and said, "Iphy better not go tomorrow. She got tired today." I was smelling the berries and Mamaa's sweat, and watching the flex of the blue veins behind her knees. "Does them good. The twins always loved picking berries, even more than eating them. Though Elly likes her jam." "Elly doesn't like anything anymore." The knees stiffened and I looked up. The spoon was motionless. Mama stared at the pot. "Mama, Elly isn't there anymore. Iphy's changed. Everything's changed. This whole berry business, cooking big meals that nobody comes for, birthday cakes for Arty. It's dumb, Mama. Stop pretending. There isn't any family anymore, Mama." Then she cracked me with the big spoon. It smacked wet and hard across my ear, and the purple-black juice spayed across the table. She started at me, terrified, her mouth and eyes gaping with fear. I stared gaping at her. I broke and ran. I went to the generator truck and climbed up to sit by Grandpa. That's the only time Mama ever hit me and I knew I deserved it. I also knew that Mama was too far gone to understand why I deserved it. She'd swung that spoon in a tigerish reflex at blasphemy. But I believed that Arty had turned his back on us, that the twins were broken, that the Chick was lost, that Papa was weak and scared, that Mama was spinning fog, and that I was an adolescent crone sitting in the ruins, watching the beams crumble, and warming myself in the smoke from the funeral pyre. That was how I felt, and I wanted company. I hated Mama for refusing to see enough to be miserable with me. Maybe, too, enough of my child heart was still with me to think that if she would only open her eyes she could fix it all back up like a busted toy.
Katherine Dunn (Geek Love)
Look through the Bible and nowhere does Jesus say, “Worship me.” His call to us was “follow me.” There’s a big difference. By making Jesus out to be a hero, we miss the whole point. Jesus wasn’t saying, “I’m cool. Make statues of me; turn my birthday into a huge commercial holiday.” He was saying, “Here, look what is possible. Look what we humans are capable of.” Jesus is our brother, our legacy, the guy we’re supposed to emulate.
Pam Grout (E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality)
Now it’s my turn. I am going to birth myself. I am going to be a better mother to me than she ever was. I’m going to stay faithful and stand up for myself. I am going to do more than send me fifty bucks on my birthday, and if I ever call myself on the phone, I’m going to act like I care, just a little, because I’m aware that I might need it. I will comb my own hair gently and never make myself get into bathwater that’s too hot. I am going to be the kind of mother who shows warmth.
A.S. King (Please Ignore Vera Dietz)
Aimee saw more of the world before her first birthday than most people do in a lifetime. I just wish I’d been sober for more of it. I was there physically, but not mentally. So I missed things you can never do over again: the first crawl, the first step, the first word. If I think about it for too long, it breaks my heart.
Ozzy Osbourne (I Am Ozzy)
theres a heavy silence between us it settles in the creases on your jacket and seeps into the fur on my hood. i know your middle name and i know your birthday and i know you look more like your dad but you wish you looked like your mom. i watch your back and for the first time in my life im genuinely terrified. "whats my birthday?" i ask and you dont look at me because you never do you never look me in the eye you never say my name and god its hitting me. its hitting me that maybe maybe it was all for nothing i know you inside and out i know you better than i know myself and maybe thats all for nothing. "it’s in december, right?" you ask but its not a question and if i were anyone else if i werent love-sick if i wasnt absolutely fucking blinded by you i would punch you in the fucking mouth. my birthday is may fifth.
Ashlyn Roselli
And she just takes it, drinking me down, sucking my cock with sharp tugs that have me babbling demands. “God, honey, promise you’ll marry me one day. I have to have this for the rest of our lives. Forever. Always. Fuck.” She releases me with a long pull, her finger sliding away. My skin prickles. I feel vaguely empty, my body sore in places I don’t want to think about. And as she slowly kisses her way up my stomach, I’m still babbling. “Give it to me on Christmas. Birthdays.” Her tongue flicks in my belly button. I grunt, my hips twitching. “My days off. Major holidays. Midnight surprises…” Mac licks my nipple, and I shiver, my voice going raspy. “Twice on Tuesdays.
Kristen Callihan (The Friend Zone (Game On, #2))
When Mrs. Casnoff saw us, she walked over to us. "Sophie," she said, her voice warmer than I'd ever heard it. "Happy birthday. It's good to see you." I actually believed he meant it, which was weird. Weirder still was the smile she gave me as she said, "I was just talking with several of the guests about your decision not to go through with the Removal. We're all so pleased." Great. Nothing better than my superpersonal decision being party chitchat. "Well,that's probably a first for you," I tried to joke. When she just looked confused, I clarified. "Being pleased with me." And then she completely freaked me out by laughing. Granted, it was a low, short laugh, but still.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
My birthday is in March, and that year it fell during an especially bright spring week, vivid and clear in the narrow residential streets where we lived just a handful of blocks south of Sunset. The night-blooming jasmine that crawled up our neighborhood's front gate released its heady scent at dusk, and to the north, the hills rolled charmingly over the horizon, houses tucked into the brown. Soon, daylight savings time would arrive, and even at early nine, I associated my birthday with the first hint of summer, with the feeling in classrooms of open windows and lighter clothing and in a few months no more homework. My hair got lighter in spring, from light brown to nearly blond, almost like my mother's ponytail tassel. In the neighborhood gardens, the agapanthus plants started to push out their long green robot stems to open up to soft purples and blues.
Aimee Bender (The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake)
Liza Hempstock, who had been Bod's friend for the last six years, was different in another way; she was less likely to be there for him when Bod went down to the nettle patch to see her, and on the rare occasions when she was, she would be short-tempered, argumentative and often downright rude. Bod talked to Mr Owens about this, and after a few moments' reflection, his father said, "It's just women, I reckon. She liked you as a boy, probably isn't sure who you are now you're a young man. I used to play with one little girl down by the duck pond every day until she turned about your age, and then she threw an apple at my head and did not say another word to me until I was seventeen." Mrs Owens stiffened. "It was a pear I threw," she said, tartly, "and I was talking to you again soon enough, for we danced a measure at your cousin Ned's wedding, and that was but two days after your sixteenth birthday." Mr Owens said, "Of course you are right, my dear." He winked at Bod, to tell him that it was none of it serious. And then mouthed "Seventeen" to show that, really, it was.
Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book)
I used to tell interviewers that I wrote every day except for Christmas, the Fourth of July, and my birthday. That was a lie. I told them that because if you agree to an interview you have to say something, and it plays better if it’s something at least half-clever. Also, I didn’t want to sound like a workaholic dweeb (just a workaholic, I guess). The truth is that when I’m writing, I write every day, workaholic dweeb or not. That includes Christmas, the Fourth, and my birthday (at my age you try to ignore your goddam birthday anyway). And when I’m not working, I’m not working at all, although during those periods of full stop I usually feel at loose ends with myself and have trouble sleeping. For me, not working is the real work.
Stephen King
We found out yesterday that Robert has won the Drama Desk Award for Possessed, a huge Broadway honor. Jeff—who is over the moon about it—is planning a fiftieth birthday party/award celebration. Of course I have to be there . . . and of course Calvin will be, too. No way am I going solo. I need major reinforcements, and nobody makes me laugh harder than Davis. “I know where this is going,” he says once I’ve explained the situation. He lets out a long sigh. “Does this mean I need to get a plane ticket and rent a tux?” “Well yeah, because I want my date to look hot.” “That is some Flowers in the Attic stuff, Holls. Don’t be weird.
Christina Lauren (Roomies)
Birthdays are a time when one stock takes, which means, I suppose, a good spineless mope: I scan my horizon and can discern no sail of hope along my own particular ambition. I tell you what it is: I'm quite in accord with the people who enquire 'What is the matter with the man?' because I don't seem to be producing anything as the years pass but rank self indulgence. You know that my sole ambition, officially at any rate, was to write poems & novels, an activity I never found any difficulty fulfilling between the (dangerous) ages of 17-24: I can't very well ignore the fact that this seems to have died a natural death. On the other hand I feel regretful that what talents I have in this direction are not being used. Then again, if I am not going to produce anything in the literary line, the justification for my selfish life is removed - but since I go on living it, the suspicion arises that the writing existed to produce the life, & not vice versa. And as a life it has very little to recommend it: I spend my days footling in a job I care nothing about, a curate among lady-clerks; I evade all responsibility, familial, professional, emotional, social, not even saving much money or helping my mother. I look around me & I see people getting on, or doing things, or bringing up children - and here I am in a kind of vacuum. If I were writing, I would even risk the fearful old age of the Henry-James hero: not fearful in circumstance but in realisation: because to me to catch, render, preserve, pickle, distil or otherwise secure life-as-it-seemed for the future seems to me infinitely worth doing; but as I'm not the entire morality of it collapses. And when I ask why I'm not, well, I'm not because I don't want to: every novel I attempt stops at a point where I awake from the impulse as one might awake from a particularly-sickening nightmare - I don't want to 'create character', I don't want to be vivid or memorable or precise, I neither wish to bathe each scene in the lambency of the 'love that accepts' or be excoriatingly cruel, smart, vicious, 'penetrating' (ugh), or any of the other recoil qualities. In fact, like the man in St Mawr, I want nothing. Nothing, I want. And so it becomes quite impossible for me to carry on. This failure of impulse seems to me suspiciously like a failure of sexual impulse: people conceive novels and dash away at them & finish them in the same way as they fall in love & will not be satisfied till they're married - another point on which I seem to be out of step. There's something cold & heavy sitting on me somewhere, & until something budges it I am no good.
Philip Larkin (Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica)
There are all kinds of ways and reasons that mothers can and should be praised. But for cultivating a sense of invisibility, martyrdom and tirelessly working unnoticed and unsung? Those are not reasons. Praising women for standing in the shadows? Wrong. Where is the greeting card that praises the kinds of mothers I know? Or better yet, the kind of mother I was raised by? I need a card that says: “Happy Mother’s Day to the mom who taught me to be strong, to be powerful, to be independent, to be competitive, to be fiercely myself and fight for what I want.” Or “Happy Birthday to a mother who taught me to argue when necessary, to raise my voice for my beliefs, to not back down when I know I am right.” Or “Mom, thanks for teaching me to kick ass and take names at work. Get well soon.” Or simply “Thank you, Mom, for teaching me how to make money and feel good about doing it. Merry Christmas.
Shonda Rhimes (Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person)
..I began speaking.. First, I took issue with the media's characterization of the post-Katrina New Orleans as resembling the third world as its poor citizens clamored for a way out. I suggested that my experience in New Orleans working with the city's poorest people in the years before the storm had reflected the reality of third-world conditions in New Orleans, and that Katrina had not turned New Orleans into a third-world city but had only revealed it to the world as such. I explained that my work, running Reprieve, a charity that brought lawyers and volunteers to the Deep South from abroad to work on death penalty issues, had made it clear to me that much of the world had perceived this third-world reality, even if it was unnoticed by our own citizens. To try answer Ryan's question, I attempted to use my own experience to explain that for many people in New Orleans, and in poor communities across the country, the government was merely an antagonist, a terrible landlord, a jailer, and a prosecutor. As a lawyer assigned to indigent people under sentence of death and paid with tax dollars, I explained the difficulty of working with clients who stand to be executed and who are provided my services by the state, not because they deserve them, but because the Constitution requires that certain appeals to be filed before these people can be killed. The state is providing my clients with my assistance, maybe the first real assistance they have ever received from the state, so that the state can kill them. I explained my view that the country had grown complacent before Hurricane Katrina, believing that the civil rights struggle had been fought and won, as though having a national holiday for Martin Luther King, or an annual march by politicians over the bridge in Selma, Alabama, or a prosecution - forty years too late - of Edgar Ray Killen for the murder of civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi, were any more than gestures. Even though President Bush celebrates his birthday, wouldn't Dr. King cry if he could see how little things have changed since his death? If politicians or journalists went to Selma any other day of the year, they would see that it is a crumbling city suffering from all of the woes of the era before civil rights were won as well as new woes that have come about since. And does anyone really think that the Mississippi criminal justice system could possibly be a vessel of social change when it incarcerates a greater percentage of its population than almost any place in the world, other than Louisiana and Texas, and then compels these prisoners, most of whom are black, to work prison farms that their ancestors worked as chattel of other men? ... I hoped, out loud, that the post-Katrina experience could be a similar moment [to the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fiasco], in which the American people could act like the children in the story and declare that the emperor has no clothes, and hasn't for a long time. That, in light of Katrina, we could be visionary and bold about what people deserve. We could say straight out that there are people in this country who are racist, that minorities are still not getting a fair shake, and that Republican policies heartlessly disregard the needs of individual citizens and betray the common good. As I stood there, exhausted, in front of the thinning audience of New Yorkers, it seemed possible that New Orleans's destruction and the suffering of its citizens hadn't been in vain.
Billy Sothern (Down in New Orleans: Reflections from a Drowned City)
Gunner shook his head; he wasn't in the mood. He stared down at his bottle as he spoke. "Yeah, and what if I do go after it and what if I find no one, and I'm alone for the next sixty years? What then? Huh? Friends and family will get married. I'll be stuck buying gifts. Years pass: children, birthday parties. At dinner parties, I'll be odd man out, forcing people to arrange five chairs around a table instead of four or six. Or, okay, let's say maybe twenty years down the line I meet someone nice and I've already given up on ever finding true love. Let's say the girl is a few pounds overweight, has fizzy hair and an annoying laugh, but at this point, I'm also a few pounds overweight and my hair is thinning and my laughter is annoying. Maybe then the two of us get married, and both our groups of friends will say, 'See I told you that you'd find true love. It just took a while.' And we'll smile, but we'll both know it's a lie--
Michael Anthony (Civilianized: A Young Veteran's Memoir)
Tate gave me your birthday present when you were here before,” she confessed. “I put it on top of the cabinet in the dining room and forgot to give it to you. Here, I’ll fetch it!” Cecily felt as if she’d had the wind knocked out of her just at the sound of his name. She could almost taste him on her mouth, feel the fierce hunger of his body as he pressed her into the wall… “He remembered my birthday,” she said faintly, touched. “He always remembers it, but he said you weren’t speaking then.” She handed the small box to Cecily. “Go on,” she said when the younger woman hesitated. “Open it.” Cecily’s hands went cold and trembled as she tore off the wrappings. It was a jewelry box. I wasn’t a ring, of course, she told herself as she forced up the hinged lid. He certainly wouldn’t buy her a… “The beast!” she exclaimed. “Oh, how could he?” Leta looked over her shoulder at what was in the box and dissolved into gales of laughter. Cecily glared at her. “It isn’t funny.” “Oh, yes it is!” Cecily looked back down at the silver crab with its ruby eyes and pearl claws, and one corner of her mouth tugged up. “He is pretty, isn’t he?” She took the pin out of the box and studied it. It wasn’t silver. It was white gold. Those were real rubies and pearls, too. This hadn’t been an impulse purchase. He’d had this custom-made for her. Tears stung her eyes. It was the sort of present you gave to someone who meant something to you. She remembered his passionate kisses, and wished with all her heart that he’d meant those, too. She pinned the small crab onto the collar of her blouse and knew that she’d treasure it as long as she lived.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Well, take e-mail for example. People don’t write to each other anymore, do they? Once my generation’s gone, the written letter will be consigned to social history. Tell me, Jefferson. When did you last write a letter?’ Tayte had to think about it. When the occasion came to him, he smiled, wide and cheesy. ‘It was to you,’ he said. ‘I wrote you on your sixtieth birthday.’ ‘That was five years ago.’ ‘I still wrote you.’ Marcus looked sympathetic. ‘It was an e-mail.’ ‘Was it?’ Marcus nodded. ‘You see my point? Letters are key to genealogical research, and they’re becoming obsolete. Photographs are going the same way.’ He looked genuinely saddened by the thought. ‘How many connections have you made going through boxes of old letters and faded sepia photographs? How many assignments would have fallen flat without them?’ ‘Too many,’ Tayte agreed. ‘I can’t see genealogists of the future fervently poring over their clients’ old e-mails, can you? Where’s the fun in that? Where’s the excitement and the scent of time that so often accompanies the discovery?’ He had Tayte there, too. Tayte’s methods were straight out of the ‘Marcus Brown School of Family History.’ Tripping back into the past through an old letter and a few photographs represented everything he loved about his work. It wouldn’t be the same without the sensory triggers he currently took for granted.
Steve Robinson (The Last Queen of England (Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery, #3))
It is a curious thing that at my age — fifty-five last birthday — I should find myself taking up a pen to try to write a history. I wonder what sort of a history it will be when I have finished it, if ever I come to the end of the trip! I have done a good many things in my life, which seems a long one to me, owing to my having begun work so young, perhaps. At an age when other boys are at school I was earning my living as a trader in the old Colony. I have been trading, hunting, fighting, or mining ever since. And yet it is only eight months ago that I made my pile. It is a big pile now that I have got it — I don't yet know how big — but I do not think I would go through the last fifteen or sixteen months again for it; no, not if I knew that I should come out safe at the end, pile and all. But then I am a timid man, and dislike violence; moreover, I am almost sick of adventure. I wonder why I am going to write this book: it is not in my line. I am not a literary man, though very devoted to the Old Testament and also to the "Ingoldsby Legends." Let me try to set down my reasons, just to see if I have any.
H. Rider Haggard (King Solomon's Mines (Allan Quatermain, #1))
It felt to me like I was making more of an effort than he was, and when I sensed that, I pulled back, not returning his calls or texts because I felt hurt. But none of that mattered, because I knew the truth, which is if someone really wants to see you, they always find a way. Always. That hurt my heart, but I realized, unlike in past relationships when I was younger, it didn’t need to be dramatic. Will and I didn’t know each other that well; I couldn’t even remember if he had any siblings, or what month his birthday was. I knew I had the power to make this a big deal if I wanted to, but the truth is, I wasn’t in my twenties anymore—in a good way! Obviously there’s a part of all of us who wants to pull a full Courtney Love about every breakup—it’s so dramatic and makes you feel like: See?! You’ll remember me one way or another, dammit! But spending a lot of time and energy nursing a breakup is just not a good use of my time now. Which is too bad, because if you heard my haunting rendition of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” while I wept in the shower during a breakup, you would be moved as hell. Sometimes
Mindy Kaling (Why Not Me?)
Gift Nothing will hurt you that much despite how you feel the stress on your back shapes your insight this splendid November rain Toussaint. I find you by your marks, he says an imprint But when I summon you, I talk to—I say— my memory of your face. It’s kind of crazy to others. They’re not very interesting he says. When I first came to this country, and now I know the language I say, but I had in a dream spoken it many years previously. That is, not the language of the dead the language of France. I took one year of French in 1964 and then nothing but once, in 1977 I spoke French in a dream all night: I was in the future I moved here in 1992. Country of the more logical than I? though the people of my quartier know and like me, even as I a foreigner remain strange You do everything alone a woman said to me. There are ways to care without interfering but the French speak of anguish frequently they are conscious of emotional extremity a terrible gift. It’s all a gift, he says . . . some haven’t been opened. I’m not sure he said that it’s nearly my sixty-seventh birthday today though it’s the day of the dead hello we love you they say.
Alice Notley
But even as a kid you learn pretty quick that church doesn’t start and stop with the hours of service posted on the church sign. No, church dragged on like the last hour of the school day as we waited in the hot car with Dad for Mom to finish socializing in the fellowship hall. Church lingered long into the gold-tinted Sunday afternoons when Amanda and I gamboled around the house, stripped down to our white slips like little brides. Church showed up at the front door with a chicken casserole when the whole family was down with the flu and called after midnight to ask for prayer and to cry. It gossiped in the pickup line at school and babysat us on Friday nights. It teased me and tugged at my pigtails and taught me how to sing. Church threw Dad a big surprise party for his fortieth birthday and let me in on the secret ahead of time. Church came to me far more than I went to it, and I’m glad.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
One afternoon in the fall of 2015, while I was writing this book, I was driving in my car and listening to SiriusXM Radio. On the folk music station the Coffee House, a song came on with a verse that directly spoke to me—so much so that I pulled off the road as soon as I could and wrote down the lyrics and the singer’s name. The song was called “The Eye,” and it’s written by the country-folk singer Brandi Carlile and her bandmate Tim Hanseroth and sung by Carlile. I wish it could play every time you open these pages, like a Hallmark birthday card, because it’s become the theme song of this book. The main refrain is: I wrapped your love around me like a chain But I never was afraid that it would die You can dance in a hurricane But only if you’re standing in the eye. I hope that it is clear by now that every day going forward we’re going to be asked to dance in a hurricane, set off by the accelerations in the Market, Mother Nature, and Moore’s law. Some politicians propose to build a wall against this hurricane. That is a fool’s errand. There is only one way to thrive now, and it’s by finding and creating your own eye. The eye of a hurricane moves, along with the storm. It draws energy from it, while creating a sanctuary of stability inside it. It is both dynamic and stable—and so must we be. We can’t escape these accelerations. We have to dive into them, take advantage of their energy and flows where possible, move with them, use them to learn faster, design smarter, and collaborate deeper—all so we can build our own eyes to anchor and propel ourselves and our families confidently forward.
Thomas L. Friedman (Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations)
Isn't that the tie Lily bought for your birthday?" Evan looked down to examine it. It was paisley, a kaleidoscope of color. "Yes it is, as a matter of fact. Good memory. What do you think? Too much?" "It doesn't matter what I think." "But you don't like it." "I think that if you want to wear it, you should wear it." Evan seemed momentarily undecided. "Why do you do that?" "Do what?" "Refuse to answer a simple question." "Because my opinion is irrelevant. You should wear what you want." "Just tell me, okay?" "I don't like your tie." "Really? Why not?" "Because it's ugly." "It's not ugly." Colin nodded. "Okay." "You don't know what you're talking about." "Probably." "You don't even wear ties." "You're right." "So why do I care what you think?" "I don't know." Evan scowled. "Talking to you can be infuriating, you know." "I know. You've said that before." "Of course I've said it before! Because it's true! Didn't we just talk about this the other night? You don't have to say whatever pops into your head." "But you asked." "Just ... Oh, forget it." He turned and started back toward the house. "I'll talk to you later, okay?" "Where are you going?" Evan walked a couple of steps before answering without turning around. "To change my damn tie. And by the way Margolis was right. Your face still looks like it was run through a meat grinder." Colin smiled. "Hey, Evan!" Evan stopped and turned. "What?" "Thanks." "For what?" "For everything." "Yeah, yeah. You're just lucky I won't tell Lily what you said." "You can if you'd like. I already told her." Evan starred. "Of course you did.
Nicholas Sparks (See Me)
GO BACK TO DALLAS!” the man sitting somewhere behind us yelled again, and the hold Aiden still had on the back of my neck tightened imperceptibly. “Don’t bother, Van,” he demanded, pokerfaced. “I’m not going to say anything,” I said, even as I reached up with the hand furthest away from him and put it behind my head, extending my middle finger in hopes that the idiot yelling would see it. Those brown eyes blinked. “You just flipped him off, didn’t you?” Yeah, my mouth dropped open. “How do you know when I do that?” My tone was just as astonished as it should be. “I know everything.” He said it like he really believed it. I groaned and cast him a long look. “You really want to play this game?” “I play games for a living, Van.” I couldn’t stand him sometimes. My eyes crossed in annoyance. “When is my birthday?” He stared at me. “See?” “March third, Muffin.” What in the hell? “See?” he mocked me. Who was this man and where was the Aiden I knew? “How old am I?” I kept going hesitantly. “Twenty-six.” “How do you know this?” I asked him slowly. “I pay attention,” The Wall of Winnipeg stated. I was starting to think he was right. Then, as if to really seal the deal I didn’t know was resting between us, he said, “You like waffles, root beer, and Dr. Pepper. You only drink light beer. You put cinnamon in your coffee. You eat too much cheese. Your left knee always aches. You have three sisters I hope I never meet and one brother. You were born in El Paso. You’re obsessed with your work. You start picking at the corner of your eye when you feel uncomfortable or fool around with your glasses. You can’t see things up close, and you’re terrified of the dark.” He raised those thick eyebrows. “Anything else?” Yeah, I only managed to say one word. “No.” How did he know all this stuff? How? Unsure of how I was feeling, I coughed and started to reach up to mess with my glasses before I realized what I was doing and snuck my hand under my thigh, ignoring the knowing look on Aiden’s dumb face. “I know a lot about you too. Don’t think you’re cool or special.” “I know, Van.” His thumb massaged me again for all of about three seconds. “You know more about me than anyone else does.” A sudden memory of the night in my bed where he’d admitted his fear as a kid pecked at my brain, relaxing me, making me smile. “I really do, don’t I?” The expression on his face was like he was torn between being okay with the idea and being completely against it. Leaning in close to him again, I winked. “I’m taking your love of MILF porn to the grave with me, don’t worry.” He stared at me, unblinking, unflinching. And then: “I’ll cut the power at the house when you’re in the shower,” he said so evenly, so crisply, it took me a second to realize he was threatening me… And when it finally did hit me, I burst out laughing, smacking his inner thigh without thinking twice about it. “Who does that?” Aiden Graves, husband of mine, said it, “Me.” Then the words were out of my mouth before I could control them. “And you know what I’ll do? I’ll go sneak into bed with you, so ha.” What the hell had I just said? What in the ever-loving hell had I just said? “If you think I’m supposed to be scared…” He leaned forward so our faces were only a couple of inches away. The hand on my neck and the finger pads lining the back of my ear stayed where they were. “I’m not
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
So I’ve gotten used to not complaining, and I’ve gotten used to not bothering Mom and Dad with little stuff. I’ve gotten used to figuring things out on my own: how to put toys together, how to organize my life so I don’t miss friends’ birthday parties, how to stay on top of my schoolwork so I never fall behind in class. I’ve never asked for help with my homework. Never needed reminding to finish a project or study for a test. If I was having trouble with a subject in school, I’d go home and study it until I figured it out on my own. I taught myself how to convert fractions into decimal points by going online. I’ve done every school project pretty much by myself. When Mom or Dad ask me how things are going in school, I’ve always said “good”—even when it hasn’t always been so good. My worst day, worst fall, worst headache, worst bruise, worst cramp, worst mean thing anyone could say has always been nothing compared to what August has gone through. This isn’t me being noble, by the way: it’s just the way I know it is.
R.J. Palacio
Dude, what're you waiting for?" Carlos calls. "Plant one on her." I lift my eyes and am shocked to see Brandon is staring at my mouth. He swallows audibly and flicks his gaze to mine. the emotions darkening the soft green color are too confusing to name. Does he want to back out? An exhale of breath leaves Brandon's lips, almost like a laugh, and he scoots closer to me on the blanket. I twist my legs under myself, sitting tall as I face him. He cups my chin and tilts it toward him, drowning me in the now dark-green depths of his eyes, the cologne I gave him for his birthday filling my head. It's woodsy and yummy and I always loved how it smelled on the store testers, but on Brandon, it's even sexier. My eyes flutter closed, and I inhale again, this time slowly. Goose bumps prickle my arms, and my head gets fuzzy. Brandon slides his hand down the column of my neck and brings the other up, threading his fingers through the hair at my nape. His breath fans across my cheek, and everything south of my bellybutton squeezes tight. When his mouth first meets mine, it's hesitant, questioning. But as I move my lips with his, he quickly grows bolder, coaxing them apart. Desire, pure and raw, electrifies my veins as his tongue sweeps my mouth. A whimpering sound springs from my chest, and instinctively, I wrap my arms around his neck, tugging him closer. Needing more. My teeth graze his full bottom lip, and I pull it, sucking on it gently. He moans and knots his fingers in my hair, and a thrill dances down my back. Brandon is an amazing kisser, just as I knew he would be. I have no control over my body's reactions. I lose myself in his lips, his tongue, and his strong arms, forgetting time and space and even my surroundings...
Rachel Harris (The Fine Art of Pretending (The Fine Art of Pretending, #1))
You won’t manage, you’ll forget me; but if after a year, alas, more perhaps, a sad text, a death, or a rainy evening reminds you of me, you can offer me some altruism! I will never, never be able see you again . . . except in my soul, and this would require that we think about each other simultaneously. I’ll think about you forever so that my soul remains open to you endlessly in case you feel like entering it. But the visitor will keep me waiting for a long time! The November rains will have rotted the flowers on my grave, June will have burned them, and my soul will always be weeping impatiently. Ah! I hope that someday the sight of a keepsake, the recurrence of a birthday, the bent of your thoughts will guide your memory within the circle of my tenderness. It will then be as if I’ve heard you, perceived you, a magic spell will cover everything with flowers for your arrival. Think about the dead man. But, alas! Can I hope that death and your gravity will accomplish what life with its ardors, and our tears, and our merry times, and our lips were unable to achieve?
Marcel Proust (Pleasures and Days)
When I took it off, I glanced in the mirror behind the dresser, and I nearly screamed when I saw the reflection. Finn was sitting behind me on the bed. His eyes, dark as night, met mine in the mirror, and I could hardly breathe. "Finn!" I gasped and whirled around to look at him. "What are you doing here?" "I missed your birthday," he said, as if that answered my question. He lowered his eyes, looking at a small box he had in his hands. "I got you something." "You got me something?" I leaned back on the dresser behind me, gripping it. "Yeah." He nodded, still staring down at the box. "I picked it up outside of Portland two weeks ago. I meant to get back in time to give it to you on your birthday." He chewed the inside of his cheek. "But now that I'm here, I'm not sure I should give it to you at all." "What are you talking about?" I asked. "It doesn't feel right." Finn rubbed his face. "I don't even know what I'm doing here." "Neither do I," I said. "Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to see you. I just...I don't understand." "I know." He sighed. "It's a ring. What I got you." His gaze moved from me to the engagement ring sitting on the dresser beside me. "And you already have one." "Why did you get me a ring?" I asked tentatively, and my heart beat erratically in my chest. I didn't know what Finn was saying or doing. "I'm not proposing to you, if that's what you're asking." He shook his head. "I saw it and thought of you. But now it seems like poor taste. And here I am, the night before your wedding sneaking in to give you a ring." "Why did you sneak in?" I asked. "I don't know." He looked away and laughed darkly. "That's a lie. I know exactly what I'm doing, but I have no idea why I'm doing it." "What are you doing?" I asked quietly. "I..." Finn stared off for a moment, then turned back to me and stood up. "Finn, I-" I began, but he held up his hand, stopping me. "No, I know you're marrying Tove," he said. "You need to do this. We both know that. It's what's best for you, and it's what I want for you." He paused. "But I want you for myself too." All I'd ever wanted from Finn was for him to admit how he felt about me, and he'd waited until the day before my wedding. It was too late to change anything, to take anything back. Not that I could have, even if I wanted to. "Why are you telling me this?" I asked with tears swimming in my eyes. "Because." Finn stepped toward me, stopping right in front of me. He looked down at me, his eyes mesmerizing me the way they always did. He reached up, brushing back a tear from my cheek. "Why?" I asked, my voice trembling. "I needed you to know," he said, as if he didn't truly understand it himself. He set the box on the dresser beside me, and his hand went to my waist, pulling me to him. I let go of the dresser and let him. My breath came out shallow as I stared up at him. "Tomorrow you will belong to someone else," Finn said. "But tonight, you're with me.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
I pushed myself up onto my hands and knees, ignoring the bite of the frosty air on my bare skin. I launched myself in the direction of the door, fumbling around until I found it. I tried shaking the handle, jiggling it, still thinking, hoping, praying that this was some big birthday surprise, and that by the time I got back inside, there would be a plate of pancakes at the table and Dad would bring in the presents, and we could—we could—we could pretend like the night before had never happened, even with the evidence in the next room over. The door was locked. “I’m sorry!” I was screaming. Pounding my fists against it. “Mommy, I’m sorry! Please!” Dad appeared a moment later, his stocky shape outlined by the light from inside of the house. I saw Mom’s bright-red face over his shoulder; he turned to wave her off and then reached over to flip on the overhead lights. “Dad!” I said, throwing my arms around his waist. He let me keep them there, but all I got in return was a light pat on the back. “You’re safe,” he told me, in his usual soft, rumbling voice. “Dad—there’s something wrong with her,” I was babbling. The tears were burning my cheeks. “I didn’t mean to be bad! You have to fix her, okay? She’s…she’s…” “I know, I believe you.” At that, he carefully peeled my arms off his uniform and guided me down, so we were sitting on the step, facing Mom’s maroon sedan. He was fumbling in his pockets for something, listening to me as I told him everything that had happened since I walked into the kitchen. He pulled out a small pad of paper from his pocket. “Daddy,” I tried again, but he cut me off, putting down an arm between us. I understood—no touching. I had seen him do something like this before, on Take Your Child to Work Day at the station. The way he spoke, the way he wouldn’t let me touch him—I had watched him treat another kid this way, only that one had a black eye and a broken nose. That kid had been a stranger. Any hope I had felt bubbling up inside me burst into a thousand tiny pieces. “Did your parents tell you that you’d been bad?” he asked when he could get a word in. “Did you leave your house because you were afraid they would hurt you?” I pushed myself up off the ground. This is my house! I wanted to scream. You are my parents! My throat felt like it had closed up on itself. “You can talk to me,” he said, very gently. “I won’t let anyone hurt you. I just need your name, and then we can go down to the station and make some calls—” I don’t know what part of what he was saying finally broke me, but before I could stop myself I had launched my fists against him, hitting him over and over, like that would drive some sense back into him. “I am your kid!” I screamed. “I’m Ruby!” “You’ve got to calm down, Ruby,” he told me, catching my wrists. “It’ll be okay. I’ll call ahead to the station, and then we’ll go.” “No!” I shrieked. “No!” He pulled me off him again and stood, making his way to the door. My nails caught the back of his hand, and I heard him grunt in pain. He didn’t turn back around as he shut the door. I stood alone in the garage, less than ten feet away from my blue bike. From the tent that we had used to camp in dozens of times, from the sled I’d almost broken my arm on. All around the garage and house were pieces of me, but Mom and Dad—they couldn’t put them together. They didn’t see the completed puzzle standing in front of them. But eventually they must have seen the pictures of me in the living room, or gone up to my mess of the room. “—that’s not my child!” I could hear my mom yelling through the walls. She was talking to Grams, she had to be. Grams would set her straight. “I have no child! She’s not mine—I already called them, don’t—stop it! I’m not crazy!
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
SELF-HELP FOR FELLOW REFUGEES If your name suggests a country where bells might have been used for entertainment, or to announce the entrances and exits of the seasons and the birthdays of gods and demons, it's probably best to dress in plain clothes when you arrive in the United States. And try not to talk too loud. If you happen to have watched armed men beat and drag your father out the front door of your house and into the back of an idling truck, before your mother jerked you from the threshold and buried your face in her skirt folds, try not to judge your mother too harshly. Don't ask her what she thought she was doing, turning a child's eyes away from history and toward that place all human aching starts. And if you meet someone in your adopted country and think you see in the other's face an open sky, some promise of a new beginning, it probably means you're standing too far. Or if you think you read in the other, as in a book whose first and last pages are missing, the story of your own birthplace, a country twice erased, once by fire, once by forgetfulness, it probably means you're standing too close. In any case, try not to let another carry the burden of your own nostalgia or hope. And if you're one of those whose left side of the face doesn't match the right, it might be a clue looking the other way was a habit your predecessors found useful for survival. Don't lament not being beautiful. Get used to seeing while not seeing. Get busy remembering while forgetting. Dying to live while not wanting to go on. Very likely, your ancestors decorated their bells of every shape and size with elaborate calendars and diagrams of distant star systems, but with no maps for scattered descendants. And I bet you can't say what language your father spoke when he shouted to your mother from the back of the truck, "Let the boy see!" Maybe it wasn't the language you used at home. Maybe it was a forbidden language. Or maybe there was too much screaming and weeping and the noise of guns in the streets. It doesn't matter. What matters is this: The kingdom of heaven is good. But heaven on earth is better. Thinking is good. But living is better. Alone in your favorite chair with a book you enjoy is fine. But spooning is even better.
Li-Young Lee (Behind My Eyes [With CD])
At five minutes to five,Jim walked into Mary's office, wearing his gray sweater and balancing four pieces of birthday cake on two plates. He put the plates down on Mary's empty desk and glanced at the doorway to Nick's office. "Where's Mary?" he asked. "She left almost an hour ago," Lauren said. "She said to tell you that the nearest fire extinguisher is beside the elevators-whatever that means. I'll be right back.I have to take these letters in to Nick." As she got up and started around the desk, she was looking down at the letters in her hand,and what happened next stunned her into immobility. "I miss you,darling," Jim said, quickly pulling her into his arms. A moment later he released her so suddenly that Lauren staggered back a step. "Nick!" he said. "Look at the sweater Lauren gave me for my birthday. She made it herself.And I brought you a piece of my birthday cake-she made that too." Seemingly oblivious to Nick's thunderous countenance,he grinned and added, "I have to get back downstairs." To Lauren he said, "I'll see you later, love." And then he walked out. In a state of shock, Lauren stared at his retreating back.She was still staring after him when Nick spun her around to face him. "You viindictive little bitch,you gave him my sweater! What else has he gotten that belongs to me?" "What else?" Lauren repeated, her voice rising. "What are you talking about?" His hands tightened. "Your delectiable body, my sweet.That's what I'm talking about." Lauren's amazement gave way to comprehension and then to fury. "How dare you call me names, you hypocrite!" she exploded, too incensed to be afraid. "Ever since I've known you, you've been telling me that there's nothing promiscuous about a woman satisfying her sexual desires with any man she pleases.And now-" she literally choked on her wrath "-and now,when you think I've done it,you call me a dirty name. You of all people-you,the United States contender for the bedroom Olympics!
Judith McNaught (Double Standards)
Poem in October" It was my thirtieth year to heaven Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood And the mussel pooled and the heron Priested shore The morning beckon With water praying and call of seagull and rook And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall Myself to set foot That second In the still sleeping town and set forth. My birthday began with the water- Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name Above the farms and the white horses And I rose In rainy autumn And walked abroad in a shower of all my days. High tide and the heron dived when I took the road Over the border And the gates Of the town closed as the town awoke. A springful of larks in a rolling Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling Blackbirds and the sun of October Summery On the hill's shoulder, Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly Come in the morning where I wandered and listened To the rain wringing Wind blow cold In the wood faraway under me. Pale rain over the dwindling harbour And over the sea wet church the size of a snail With its horns through mist and the castle Brown as owls But all the gardens Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud. There could I marvel My birthday Away but the weather turned around. It turned away from the blithe country And down the other air and the blue altered sky Streamed again a wonder of summer With apples Pears and red currants And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother Through the parables Of sun light And the legends of the green chapels And the twice told fields of infancy That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine. These were the woods the river and sea Where a boy In the listening Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide. And the mystery Sang alive Still in the water and singingbirds. And there could I marvel my birthday Away but the weather turned around. And the true Joy of the long dead child sang burning In the sun. It was my thirtieth Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon Though the town below lay leaved with October blood. O may my heart's truth Still be sung On this high hill in a year's turning.
Dylan Thomas (Collected Poems)
...a final word to "the children": do you want to get suckered like your big brothers and sisters? Those saps who spent 2008 standing behind the Obamessiah swaying and chanting, "We are the dawning of the Hopeychange" like brainwashed cult extras? Sooner or later you guys have to crawl out from under the social engineering and rediscover the contrarian spirit for which youth was once known...This will be the great battle of the next generation--to reclaim your birthright from those who spent it. If you don't, the entire global order will teeter and fall. But, if you do, you will have won a great victory. Every time a politician proposes new spending, tell him he's already spent your money, get his hand out of your pocket. Every time a politician says you can stay a child until your twenty-seventh birthday, tell him, "No, you're the big baby, not me--you've spent irresponsibly, and me and my pals are the ones who are gonna have to be the adults and clean up your mess. Don't treat met like a kid when your immaturity got us into this hole." This is a battle for the American idea, and it's an epic one, but--to reprise the lamest of lame-o-lines--you can do anything you want to do. So do it.
Mark Steyn (After America: Get Ready for Armageddon)
Hey.’ Annabeth slid next to me on the bench. ‘Happy birthday.’ She was holding a huge misshapen cupcake with blue icing. I stared at her. ‘What?’ ‘It’s August eighteenth,’ she said. ‘Your birthday, right?’ I was stunned. It hadn’t even occurred to me, but she was right. I had turned sixteen this morning – the same morning I’d made the choice to give Luke the knife. The prophecy had come true right on schedule, and I hadn’t even thought about the fact that it was my birthday. ‘Make a wish,’ she said. ‘Did you bake this yourself?’ I asked. ‘Tyson helped.’ ‘That explains why it looks like a chocolate brick,’ I said. ‘With extra-blue cement.’ Annabeth laughed. I thought for a second then blew out the candle. We cut it in half and shared, eating with our fingers. Annabeth sat next to me and we watched the ocean. Crickets and monsters were making noise in the woods, but otherwise it was quiet. ‘You saved the world,’ she said. ‘We saved the world.’ ‘And Rachel is the new Oracle, which means she won’t be dating anybody.’ ‘You don’t sound disappointed,’ I noticed. Annabeth shrugged. ‘Oh, I don’t care.’ ‘Uh-huh.’ She raised an eyebrow. ‘You got something to say to me, Seaweed Brain?’ ‘You’d probably kick my butt.’ ‘You know I’d kick your butt.’ I brushed the cake off my hands. ‘When I was at the River Styx, turning invulnerable … Nico said I had to concentrate on one thing that kept me anchored to the world, that made me want to stay mortal.’ Annabeth kept her eyes on the horizon. ‘Yeah?’ ‘Then up on Olympus,’ I said, ‘when they wanted to make me a god and stuff, I kept thinking –’ ‘Oh, you so wanted to.’ ‘Well, maybe a little. But I didn’t, because I thought – I didn’t want things to stay the same for eternity, because things could always get better. And I was thinking …’ My throat felt really dry. ‘Anyone in particular?’ Annabeth asked, her voice soft. I looked over and saw that she was trying not to smile. ‘You’re laughing at me,’ I complained. ‘I am not!’ ‘You are so not making this easy.’ Then she laughed for real, and she put her hands around my neck. ‘I am never, ever going to make things easy for you, Seaweed Brain. Get used to it.’ When she kissed me, I had the feeling my brain was melting right through my body.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
Mum bought me �kite for my sixth birthday. It was beautiful. Snowy white with � long tail of ribbons. She held the string, and I� ran and ran as fast as I �could, but it kept dropping to� clumsy heap on the ground. When� I got tired Mum took over, holding it high above her head and running and running until, all at once, �sudden wonderful gust of wind took the kite soaring high, high into the sky, so� I had to squint to see it. “Hold on, Rosie!” Mum had called. “Hold tight!” And �I did, gripping the string with all my might as the kite danced high up above, gleaming bright white against the blue sky, its ribbons sparkling in the sunlight as it flew, soaring and dipping like �bird, forever pulling at the string in my hand —higher, higher — tugging to get free. Then� I let go.The string snapped from my grip and was gone. Mum raced after it,but it was too fast,soaring up,up and away, higher than the trees. She scooped me up in �hug and told me it was all right, she'd buy me another one. But� I didn't want another one. That was my kite,and it was free. I’d let it go.It’d wanted so much to be free that I just couldn't hold on, couldn’t hold it down.� I smiled as I� watched it whirl away — above the trees, above the birds, above the clouds, sparkling into the heavens, dancing free. It was the most beautiful thing I �have ever seen.
Katie Dale (Someone Else's Life)
As it turned out, almost every notion I had on my 13th birthday about my future turned out to be a total waste of my time. When I thought of myself as an adult, all I could imagine was someone thin, and smooth, and calm, to whom things... happened. Some kind of souped-up princess with a credit card. I didn't have any notion about self-development, or following my interests, or learning big life lessons, or, most important, finding out what I was good at and trying to earn a living from it. I presumed that these were all things that some grown-ups would come along and basically tell me what to do about at some point, and that I really shouldn't worry about them. I didn't worry about what I was going to do. What I did worry about, and thought I should work hard at, was what I should be, instead. I thought all of my efforts should be concentrated on being fabulous, rather than doing fabulous things.
Caitlin Moran
Well then. Let us begin with essentials. Are you free to marry me?” He exhaled slowly, in a pointed effort not to hold his breath. “Of course. When I come of age, that is.” “Tell me your birthday.” She smiled. “The first of February.” “It will be our wedding day.” He traced the shape of the birthmark on her hip. “Very convenient for me, for your birthday and our anniversary to coincide. I’ll be more likely to remember both.” “I wish you would stop touching me there.” “Do you? Why?” “Because it is ugly. I hate it.” He tilted his head, surprised. “I quite adore it. It reminds me that you are imperfectly perfect and entirely mine.” He slid down her body and bent to kiss the mark to prove the point. “There’s a little thrill in knowing no one else has seen it.” “No other man, you mean.” He kissed her there again, this time tracing the shape with his tongue. She squirmed and laughed. “When I was a child, I would scrub at it in the bath. My nursemaid used to tell me, God gives children birthmarks so they won’t get lost.” Her mouth curled in a bittersweet smile. “Yet here I am, adrift on the ocean on the other side of the world. Don’t they call that irony?” “I believe they call it Providence.” He tightened his hands over her waist. “You’re here, and I’ve found you. And I take pains not to lose what’s mine.” He kissed her hip again, then slid his mouth toward her center as he settled between her thighs. “Gray,” she protested through a sigh of pleasure. “It’s late. We must rise.” “I assure you, I’ve risen.” “I’ve work to do.” She writhed in his grip. “The men will be wanting their breakfast.” “They’ll wait until the captain has finished his.” “Gray!” She gave a gasp of shock, then one of pleasure. “What a scoundrel you are.” He came to his knees and lifted her hips, sinking into her with a low groan. “Sweet,” he breathed as she began to move with him, “you would not have me any other way.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
St. Clair tucks the tips of his fingers into his pockets and kicks the cobblestones with the toe of his boots. "Well?" he finally asks. "Thank you." I'm stunned. "It was really sweet of you to bring me here." "Ah,well." He straightens up and shrugs-that full-bodied French shrug he does so well-and reassumes his usual, assured state of being. "Have to start somewhere. Now make a wish." "Huh?" I have such a way with words. I should write epic poetry or jingles for cat food commercials. He smiles. "Place your feet on the star, and make a wish." "Oh.Okay,sure." I slide my feet together so I'm standing in the center. "I wish-" "Don't say it aloud!" St. Clair rushes forward, as if to stop my words with his body,and my stomach flips violently. "Don't you know anything about making wishes? You only get a limited number in life. Falling stars, eyelashes,dandelions-" "Birthday candles." He ignores the dig. "Exactly. So you ought to take advantage of them when they arise,and superstition says if you make a wish on that star, it'll come true." He pauses before continuing. "Which is better than the other one I've heard." "That I'll die a painful death of poisoning, shooting,beating, and drowning?" "Hypothermia,not drowning." St. Clair laughs. He has a wonderful, boyish laugh. "But no. I've heard anyone who stands here is destined to return to Paris someday. And as I understand it,one year for you is one year to many. Am I right?" I close my eyes. Mom and Seany appear before me. Bridge.Toph.I nod. "All right,then.So keep your eyes closed.And make a wish." I take a deep breath. The cool dampness of the nearby trees fills my lungs. What do I want? It's a difficult quesiton. I want to go home,but I have to admit I've enjoyed tonight. And what if this is the only time in my entire life I visit Paris? I know I just told St. Clair that I don't want to be here, but there's a part of me-a teeny, tiny part-that's curious. If my father called tomorrow and ordered me home,I might be disappointed. I still haven't seen the Mona Lisa. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower.Walked beneath the Arc de Triomphe. So what else do I want? I want to feel Toph's lips again.I want him to wait.But there's another part of me,a part I really,really hate,that knows even if we do make it,I'd still move away for college next year.So I'd see him this Christmas and next summer,and then...would that be it? And then there's the other thing. The thing I'm trying to ignore. The thing I shouldn't want,the thing I can't have. And he's standing in front of me right now. So what do I wish for? Something I'm not sure I want? Someone I'm not sure I need? Or someone I know I can't have? Screw it.Let the fates decide. I wish for the thing that is best for me. How's that for a generalization? I open my eyes,and the wind is blowing harder. St. Clair pushes a strand of hair from his eyes. "Must have been a good one," he says.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
WALTER (Gathering him up in his arms) You know what, Travis? In seven years you going to be seventeen years old. And things is going to be very different with us in seven years, Travis. … One day when you are seventeen I’ll come home—home from my office downtown somewhere— TRAVIS You don’t work in no office, Daddy. WALTER No—but after tonight. After what your daddy gonna do tonight, there’s going to be offices—a whole lot of offices.… TRAVIS What you gonna do tonight, Daddy? WALTER You wouldn’t understand yet, son, but your daddy’s gonna make a transaction … a business transaction that’s going to change our lives. … That’s how come one day when you ’bout seventeen years old I’ll come home and I’ll be pretty tired, you know what I mean, after a day of conferences and secretaries getting things wrong the way they do … ’cause an executive’s life is hell, man—(The more he talks the farther away he gets) And I’ll pull the car up on the driveway … just a plain black Chrysler, I think, with white walls—no—black tires. More elegant. Rich people don’t have to be flashy … though I’ll have to get something a little sportier for Ruth—maybe a Cadillac convertible to do her shopping in. … And I’ll come up the steps to the house and the gardener will be clipping away at the hedges and he’ll say, “Good evening, Mr. Younger.” And I’ll say, “Hello, Jefferson, how are you this evening?” And I’ll go inside and Ruth will come downstairs and meet me at the door and we’ll kiss each other and she’ll take my arm and we’ll go up to your room to see you sitting on the floor with the catalogues of all the great schools in America around you. … All the great schools in the world! And—and I’ll say, all right son—it’s your seventeenth birthday, what is it you’ve decided? … Just tell me where you want to go to school and you’ll go. Just tell me, what it is you want to be—and you’ll be it. … Whatever you want to be—Yessir! (He holds his arms open for TRAVIS) YOU just name it, son … (TRAVIS leaps into them) and I hand you the world!
Lorraine Hansberry (A Raisin in the Sun)
The phrase was so simple and for most women, so generic. Any other female would have laughed off such a question from a boy she had no interest in. But in my case, it was a landmark moment in my life. Number 23 had gone where no other man had gone before. Until then, my history with men had been volatile. Instead of a boyfriend or even a drunken prom date, my virginity was forfeited to a very disturbed, grown man while I was unconscious on a bathroom floor. The remnants of what could be considered high school relationships were blurry and drug infused. Even the one long-lasting courtship I held with Number 3 went without traditional dating rituals like Valentine’s Day, birthdays, anniversary gifts, or even dinner. Into young adulthood, I was never the girl who men asked on dates. I was asked on many fucks. I was a pair of tits to cum on, a mouth to force a cock down, and even a playmate to spice up a marriage. At twenty-four, I had slept with twenty-two men, gotten lustfully heated with countless more, but had never once been given flowers. With less than a handful of dates in my past, romance was something I accepted as not being in the cards for me. My personality was too strong, my language too foul, and my opinions too outspoken. No, I was not the girl who got asked out on dates and though that made me sad at times, I buried myself too deeply in productivity to dwell on it. But, that day, Number 23 sparked a fuse. That question showed a glimmer of a simplistic sweetness that men never gave me. Suddenly he went from being some Army kid to the boyfriend I never had.
Maggie Georgiana Young (Just Another Number)
She would, on the birthday of Christ, allow herself what she called "an extra helping of prayer." At the time of the Civil War, she would pray for peace. Always, she asked God to spare me and my father. But at Christmas, she talked to God as if He were Clerk of the Acts in the Office of Public Works. She prayed for cleaner air in London. She prayed that our chimneys would not fall over in the January winds; she prayed that our neighbour, Mister Simkins, would attend to his cesspit, so that it would cease its overflow into ours. She prayed that Amos Treefeller would not slip and drown "going down the public steps to the river at Blackfriars, which are much neglected and covered in slime, Lord." And she prayed, of course, that plague would not come. As a child, she allowed me to ask God to grant me things for which my heart longed. I would reply that my heart longed for a pair of skates made of bone or for a kitten from Siam. And we would sit by the fire, the two of us, praying. And then we would eat a lardy cake, which my mother had baked herself, and ever since that time the taste of lardy cake has had about it the taste of prayer.
Rose Tremain (Restoration)
Cecily let her cheek fall to Leta’s shoulder and hugged her back. It felt so nice to be loved by someone in the world. Since her mother’s death, she’d had no one of her own. It was a lonely life, despite the excitement and adventure her work held for her. She wasn’t openly affectionate at all, except with Leta. “For God’s sake, next you’ll be rocking her to sleep at night!” came a deep, disgusted voice at Cecily’s back, and Cecily stiffened because she recognized it immediately. “She’s my baby girl,” Leta told her tall, handsome son with a grin. “Shut up.” Cecily turned a little awkwardly. She hadn’t expected this. Tate Winthrop towered over both of them. His jet-black hair was loose as he never wore it in the city, falling thick and straight almost to his waist. He was wearing a breastplate with buckskin leggings and high-topped mocassins. There were two feathers straight up in his hair with notches that had meaning among his people, marks of bravery. Cecily tried not to stare at him. He was the most beautiful man she’d ever known. Since her seventeenth birthday, Tate had been her world. Fortunately he didn’t realize that her mad flirting hid a true emotion. In fact, he treated her exactly as he had when she came to him for comfort after her mother had died suddenly; as he had when she came to him again with bruises all over her thin, young body from her drunken stepfather’s violent attack. Although she dated, she’d never had a serious boyfriend. She had secret terrors of intimacy that had never really gone away, except when she thought of Tate that way. She loved him… “Why aren’t you dressed properly?” Tate asked, scowling at her skirt and blouse. “I bought you buckskins for your birthday, didn’t I?” “Three years ago,” she said without meeting his probing eyes. She didn’t like remembering that he’d forgotten her birthday this year. “I gained weight since then.” “Oh. Well, find something you like here…” She held up a hand. “I don’t want you to buy me anything else,” she said flatly, and didn’t back down from the sudden menace in his dark eyes. “I’m not dressing up like a Lakota woman. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m blond. I don’t want to be mistaken for some sort of overstimulated Native American groupie buying up artificial artifacts and enthusing over citified Native American flute music, trying to act like a member of the tribe.” “You belong to it,” he returned. “We adopted you years ago.” “So you did,” she said. That was how he thought of her-a sister. That wasn’t the way she wanted him to think of her. She smiled faintly. “But I won’t pass for a Lakota, whatever I wear.” “You could take your hair down,” he continued thoughtfully. She shook her head. She only let her hair loose at night, when she went to bed. Perhaps she kept it tightly coiled for pure spite, because he loved long hair and she knew it. “How old are you?” he asked, trying to remember. “Twenty, isn’t it?” “I was, give years ago,” she said, exasperated. “You used to work for the CIA. I seem to remember that you went to college, too, and got a law degree. Didn’t they teach you how to count?” He looked surprised. Where had the years gone? She hadn’t aged, not visibly.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys Entry One Observation #1: When they’re beautiful, they know they’re beautiful. Like the second-to-oldest one, Evan. He’s a senior. He is perfection personified. And he knows it. You can tell because he just sort of smiles knowingly when you gape at him. Not that I’ve been gaping at him. Not at all. Anyway, too soon yet to tell if it negatively affects his behavior. (Like Mike Blukowsi and his Astrodome-sized ego problem.) Observation #2: They like skin. Especially skin they think they’re not necessarily supposed to be seeing. Like the space between your belly tee and your waistband. Observation #3: They have no problem bringing up events that would mortify me into shamed silence if the roles were reversed. Like Evan totally brought up the wiffleball bat incident, when if that had happened to me, I’d be wishing on every one of my birthday cakes for everyone to forget it. Observation #4: They gossip. Can you believe it? I overheard Finn and Doug in the backyard talking about some girl named Dawn who blew off some guy named Simon for some other guy named Rick for like TWENTY MINUTES! They sounded like those old mole-hair ladies at Sal’s Milkshakes. ‘Member the ones who lectured us for a whole hour that day about how young women shouldn’t wear shorts? Wait, okay, I got sidetracked. Observation #5: The older ones are so cute with the younger ones. They were playing ultimate Frisbee when I first got here and Evan totally let Caleb and Ian tackle him. It was soooooo cute. **sigh.** Observation #6: They’re cliquey. I mean, eye-rolling, secret-handshake, don’t-talk-to-us-unless-you’ve-got-an-X-and-a-Y cliquey. Very schooled in the art of the freeze-out. Observation #7: They have no sense of personal space. I need a lock on my door. STAT. Observation #8: Boys are icky. Do not even get me started on the state of the bathroom. I’m thinking of calling in a haz-mat team. Seriously. Observation #9: They have really freaky things going on down there. Yeah, I don’t think I’m ready to elaborate on that one yet. Observation #10: They know how to make enemies. Big time.
Kate Brian (Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys)
What is this, behind this veil, is it ugly, is it beautiful? It is shimmering, has it breasts, has it edges? I am sure it is unique, I am sure it is what I want. When I am quiet at my cooking I feel it looking, I feel it thinking 'Is this the one I am too appear for, Is this the elect one, the one with black eye-pits and a scar? Measuring the flour, cutting off the surplus, Adhering to rules, to rules, to rules. Is this the one for the annunciation? My god, what a laugh!' But it shimmers, it does not stop, and I think it wants me. I would not mind if it were bones, or a pearl button. I do not want much of a present, anyway, this year. After all I am alive only by accident. I would have killed myself gladly that time any possible way. Now there are these veils, shimmering like curtains, The diaphanous satins of a January window White as babies' bedding and glittering with dead breath. O ivory! It must be a tusk there, a ghost column. Can you not see I do not mind what it is. Can you not give it to me? Do not be ashamed--I do not mind if it is small. Do not be mean, I am ready for enormity. Let us sit down to it, one on either side, admiring the gleam, The glaze, the mirrory variety of it. Let us eat our last supper at it, like a hospital plate. I know why you will not give it to me, You are terrified The world will go up in a shriek, and your head with it, Bossed, brazen, an antique shield, A marvel to your great-grandchildren. Do not be afraid, it is not so. I will only take it and go aside quietly. You will not even hear me opening it, no paper crackle, No falling ribbons, no scream at the end. I do not think you credit me with this discretion. If you only knew how the veils were killing my days. To you they are only transparencies, clear air. But my god, the clouds are like cotton. Armies of them. They are carbon monoxide. Sweetly, sweetly I breathe in, Filling my veins with invisibles, with the million Probable motes that tick the years off my life. You are silver-suited for the occasion. O adding machine----- Is it impossible for you to let something go and have it go whole? Must you stamp each piece purple, Must you kill what you can? There is one thing I want today, and only you can give it to me. It stands at my window, big as the sky. It breathes from my sheets, the cold dead center Where split lives congeal and stiffen to history. Let it not come by the mail, finger by finger. Let it not come by word of mouth, I should be sixty By the time the whole of it was delivered, and to numb to use it. Only let down the veil, the veil, the veil. If it were death I would admire the deep gravity of it, its timeless eyes. I would know you were serious. There would be a nobility then, there would be a birthday. And the knife not carve, but enter Pure and clean as the cry of a baby, And the universe slide from my side.
Sylvia Plath
Which philosophers would Alain suggest for practical living? Alain’s list overlaps nearly 100% with my own: Epicurus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Plato, Michel de Montaigne, Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Bertrand Russell. * Most-gifted or recommended books? The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, Essays of Michel de Montaigne. * Favorite documentary The Up series: This ongoing series is filmed in the UK, and revisits the same group of people every 7 years. It started with their 7th birthdays (Seven Up!) and continues up to present day, when they are in their 50s. Subjects were picked from a wide variety of social backgrounds. Alain calls these very undramatic and quietly powerful films “probably the best documentary that exists.” TF: This is also the favorite of Stephen Dubner on page 574. Stephen says, “If you are at all interested in any kind of science or sociology, or human decision-making, or nurture versus nature, it is the best thing ever.” * Advice to your 30-year-old self? “I would have said, ‘Appreciate what’s good about this moment. Don’t always think that you’re on a permanent journey. Stop and enjoy the view.’ . . . I always had this assumption that if you appreciate the moment, you’re weakening your resolve to improve your circumstances. That’s not true, but I think when you’re young, it’s sort of associated with that. . . . I had people around me who’d say things like, ‘Oh, a flower, nice.’ A little part of me was thinking, ‘You absolute loser. You’ve taken time to appreciate a flower? Do you not have bigger plans? I mean, this the limit of your ambition?’ and when life’s knocked you around a bit and when you’ve seen a few things, and time has happened and you’ve got some years under your belt, you start to think more highly of modest things like flowers and a pretty sky, or just a morning where nothing’s wrong and everyone’s been pretty nice to everyone else. . . . Fortune can do anything with us. We are very fragile creatures. You only need to tap us or hit us in slightly the wrong place. . . . You only have to push us a little bit, and we crack very easily, whether that’s the pressure of disgrace or physical illness, financial pressure, etc. It doesn’t take very much. So, we do have to appreciate every day that goes by without a major disaster.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
Mom?” Then again, louder. “Mom?” She turned around so quickly, she knocked the pan off the stove and nearly dropped the gray paper into the open flame there. I saw her reach back and slap her hand against the knobs, twisting a dial until the smell of gas disappeared. “I don’t feel good. Can I stay home today?” No response, not even a blink. Her jaw was working, grinding, but it took me walking over to the table and sitting down for her to find her voice. “How—how did you get in here?” “I have a bad headache and my stomach hurts,” I told her, putting my elbows up on the table. I knew she hated when I whined, but I didn’t think she hated it enough to come over and grab me by the arm again. “I asked you how you got in here, young lady. What’s your name?” Her voice sounded strange. “Where do you live?” Her grip on my skin only tightened the longer I waited to answer. It had to have been a joke, right? Was she sick, too? Sometimes cold medicine did funny things to her. Funny things, though. Not scary things. “Can you tell me your name?” she repeated. “Ouch!” I yelped, trying to pull my arm away. “Mom, what’s wrong?” She yanked me up from the table, forcing me onto my feet. “Where are your parents? How did you get in this house?” Something tightened in my chest to the point of snapping. “Mom, Mommy, why—” “Stop it,” she hissed, “stop calling me that!” “What are you—?” I think I must have tried to say something else, but she dragged me over to the door that led out into the garage. My feet slid against the wood, skin burning. “Wh-what’s wrong with you?” I cried. I tried twisting out of her grasp, but she wouldn’t even look at me. Not until we were at the door to the garage and she pushed my back up against it. “We can do this the easy way or the hard way. I know you’re confused, but I promise that I’m not your mother. I don’t know how you got into this house, and, frankly, I’m not sure I want to know—” “I live here!” I told her. “I live here! I’m Ruby!” When she looked at me again, I saw none of the things that made Mom my mother. The lines that formed around her eyes when she smiled were smoothed out, and her jaw was clenched around whatever she wanted to say next. When she looked at me, she didn’t see me. I wasn’t invisible, but I wasn’t Ruby. “Mom.” I started to cry. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be bad. I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry! Please, I promise I’ll be good—I’ll go to school today and won’t be sick, and I’ll pick up my room. I’m sorry. Please remember. Please!” She put one hand on my shoulder and the other on the door handle. “My husband is a police officer. He’ll be able to help you get home. Wait in here—and don’t touch anything.” The door opened and I was pushed into a wall of freezing January air. I stumbled down onto the dirty, oil-stained concrete, just managing to catch myself before I slammed into the side of her car. I heard the door shut behind me, and the lock click into place; heard her call Dad’s name as clearly as I heard the birds in the bushes outside the dark garage. She hadn’t even turned on the light for me. I pushed myself up onto my hands and knees, ignoring the bite of the frosty air on my bare skin. I launched myself in the direction of the door, fumbling around until I found it. I tried shaking the handle, jiggling it, still thinking, hoping, praying that this was some big birthday surprise, and that by the time I got back inside, there would be a plate of pancakes at the table and Dad would bring in the presents, and we could—we could—we could pretend like the night before had never happened, even with the evidence in the next room over. The door was locked. “I’m sorry!” I was screaming. Pounding my fists against it. “Mommy, I’m sorry! Please!” Dad appeared a moment later, his stocky shape outlined by the light from inside of the house. I saw Mom’s bright-red face over his shoulder; he turned to wave her off and then reached over to flip on the overhead lights.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
Art is dead. Art is dead. Art is dead. Art is dead. Entertainers like to seem complicated But we're not complicated I can explain it pretty easily Have you ever been to a birthday Party for children? And one of the children won't stop screaming 'Cause he's just a little Attention attractor When he grows up To be a comic or actor He'll be rewarded for never maturing For never under- Standing or learning That every day Can't be about him There's other people You selfish asshole I must be psychotic I must be demented To think that I'm worthy Of all this attention Of all of this money, you worked really hard for I slept in late while you worked at the drug store My drug's attention, I am an addict But I get paid to indulge in my habit It's all an illusion, I'm wearing make-up, I'm wearing make-up Make-up, make-up, make-up, make... Art is dead So people think you're funny, how do we get those people's money? I said art is dead We're rolling in dough, while Carlin rolls in his grave His grave, his grave The show has got a budget The show has got a budget And all the poor people way more deserving of the money Won't budge it 'Cause I wanted my name in lights When I could have fed a family of four For forty fucking fortnights Forty fucking fortnights I am an artist, please God forgive me I am an artist, please don't revere me I am an artist, please don't respect me I am an artist, you're free to correct me A self-centred artist Self-obsessed artist I am an artist I am an artist But I'm just a kid I'm just a kid I'm just a kid Kid And maybe I'll grow out of it.
Bo Burnham
Once there was and once there was not a devout, God-fearing man who lived his entire life according to stoic principles. He died on his fortieth birthday and woke up floating in nothing. Now, mind you, floating in nothing was comforting, light-less, airless, like a mother’s womb. This man was grateful. But then he decided he would love to have sturdy ground beneath his feet, so he would feel more solid himself. Lo and behold, he was standing on earth. He knew it to be earth, for he knew the feel of it. Yet he wanted to see. I desire light, he thought, and light appeared. I want sunlight, not any light, and at night it shall be moonlight. His desires were granted. Let there be grass. I love the feel of grass beneath my feet. And so it was. I no longer wish to be naked. Only robes of the finest silk must touch my skin. And shelter, I need a grand palace whose entrance has double-sided stairs, and the floors must be marble and the carpets Persian. And food, the finest of food. His breakfast was English; his midmorning snack French. His lunch was Chinese. His afternoon tea was Indian. His supper was Italian, and his late-night snack was Lebanese. Libation? He had the best of wines, of course, and champagne. And company, the finest of company. He demanded poets and writers, thinkers and philosophers, hakawatis and musicians, fools and clowns. And then he desired sex. He asked for light-skinned women and dark-skinned, blondes and brunettes, Chinese, South Asian, African, Scandinavian. He asked for them singly and two at a time, and in the evenings he had orgies. He asked for younger girls, after which he asked for older women, just to try. The he tried men, muscular men, skinny men. Then boys. Then boys and girls together. Then he got bored. He tried sex with food. Boys with Chinese, girls with Indian. Redheads with ice cream. Then he tried sex with company. He fucked the poet. Everybody fucked the poet. But again he got bored. The days were endless. Coming up with new ideas became tiring and tiresome. Every desire he could ever think of was satisfied. He had had enough. He walked out of his house, looked up at the glorious sky, and said, “Dear God. I thank You for Your abundance, but I cannot stand it here anymore. I would rather be anywhere else. I would rather be in hell.” And the booming voice from above replied, “And where do you think you are?
Rabih Alameddine
The car came opposite her, and she curtsied so low that recovery was impossible, and she sat down in the road. Her parasol flew out of her hand and out of her parasol flew the Union Jack. She saw a young man looking out of the window, dressed in khaki, grinning broadly, but not, so she thought, graciously, and it suddenly struck her that there was something, beside her own part in the affair, which was not as it should be. As he put his head in again there was loud laughter from the inside of the car. Mr. Wootten helped her up and the entire assembly of her friends crowded round her, hoping she was not hurt. "No, dear Major, dear Padre, not at all, thanks," she said. "So stupid: my ankle turned. Oh, yes, the Union Jack I bought for my nephew, it's his birthday to-morrow. Thank you. I just came to see about my coke: of course I thought the Prince had arrived when you all went down to meet the 4.15. Fancy my running straight into it all! How well he looked." This was all rather lame, and Miss Mapp hailed Mrs. Poppit's appearance from the station as a welcome diversion. . . . Mrs. Poppit was looking vexed. "I hope you saw him well, Mrs. Poppit," said Miss Mapp, "after meeting two trains, and taking all that trouble." "Saw who?" said Mrs. Poppit with a deplorable lack both of manner and grammar. "Why"--light seemed to break on her odious countenance. "Why, you don't think that was the Prince, do you, Miss Mapp? He arrived here at one, so the station-master has just told me, and has been playing golf all afternoon." The Major looked at the Captain, and the Captain at the Major. It was months and months since they had missed their Saturday afternoon's golf. "It was the Prince of Wales who looked out of that car-window," said Miss Mapp firmly. "Such a pleasant smile. I should know it anywhere." "The young man who got into the car at the station was no more the Prince of Wales than you are," said Mrs. Poppit shrilly. "I was close to him as he came out: I curtsied to him before I saw." Miss Mapp instantly changed her attack: she could hardly hold her smile on to her face for rage. "How very awkward for you," she said. "What a laugh they will all have over it this evening! Delicious!" Mrs. Poppit's face suddenly took on an expression of the tenderest solicitude. "I hope, Miss Mapp, you didn't jar yourself when you sat down in the road just now," she said. "Not at all, thank you so much," said Miss Mapp, hearing her heart beat in her throat. . . .
E.F. Benson (Miss Mapp (Lucia, #2))
It's hard to form a lasting connection when your permanent address is an eight-inch mailbox in the UPS store. Still,as I inch my way closer, I can't help the way my breath hitches, the way my insides thrum and swirl. And when he turns,flashing me that slow, languorous smile that's about to make him world famous,his eyes meeting mine when he says, "Hey,Daire-Happy Sweet Sixteen," I can't help but think of the millions of girls who would do just about anything to stand in my pointy blue babouches. I return the smile, flick a little wave of my hand, then bury it in the side pocket of the olive-green army jacket I always wear. Pretending not to notice the way his gaze roams over me, straying from my waist-length brown hair peeking out from my scarf, to the tie-dyed tank top that clings under my jacket,to the skinny dark denim jeans,all the way down to the brand-new slippers I wear on my feet. "Nice." He places his foot beside mine, providing me with a view of the his-and-hers version of the very same shoe. Laughing when he adds, "Maybe we can start a trend when we head back to the States.What do you think?" We. There is no we. I know it.He knows it.And it bugs me that he tries to pretend otherwise. The cameras stopped rolling hours ago, and yet here he is,still playing a role. Acting as though our brief, on-location hookup means something more. Acting like we won't really end long before our passports are stamped RETURN. And that's all it takes for those annoyingly soft girly feelings to vanish as quickly as a flame in the rain. Allowing the Daire I know,the Daire I've honed myself to be, to stand in her palce. "Doubtful." I smirk,kicking his shoe with mine.A little harder then necessary, but then again,he deserves it for thinking I'm lame enough to fall for his act. "So,what do you say-food? I'm dying for one of those beef brochettes,maybe even a sausage one too.Oh-and some fries would be good!" I make for the food stalls,but Vane has another idea. His hand reaches for mine,fingers entwining until they're laced nice and tight. "In a minute," he says,pulling me so close my hip bumps against his. "I thought we might do something special-in honor of your birthday and all.What do you think about matching tattoos?" I gape.Surely he's joking. "Yeah,you know,mehndi. Nothing permanent.Still,I thought it could be kinda cool." He arcs his left brow in his trademark Vane Wick wau,and I have to fight not to frown in return. Nothing permanent. That's my theme song-my mission statement,if you will. Still,mehndi's not quite the same as a press-on. It has its own life span. One that will linger long after Vane's studio-financed, private jet lifts him high into the sky and right out of my life. Though I don't mention any of that, instead I just say, "You know the director will kill you if you show up on set tomorrow covered in henna." Vane shrugs. Shrugs in a way I've seen too many times, on too many young actors before him.He's in full-on star-power mode.Think he's indispensable. That he's the only seventeen-year-old guy with a hint of talent,golden skin, wavy blond hair, and piercing blue eyes that can light up a screen and make the girls (and most of their moms) swoon. It's a dangerous way to see yourself-especially when you make your living in Hollywood. It's the kind of thinking that leads straight to multiple rehab stints, trashy reality TV shows, desperate ghostwritten memoirs, and low-budget movies that go straight to DVD.
Alyson Noel (Fated (Soul Seekers, #1))