Met At The Wrong Time Quotes

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We met at the wrong time. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway. Maybe one day years from now, we’ll meet in a coffee shop in a far away city somewhere and we could give it another shot.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
All this time. This was what was wrong with me. All this time I had been trying to figure out the secrets of the universe, the secrets of my own body, of my own heart. All of the answers had always been so close and yet I'd always fought them without even knowing it. From the minute I'd met Dante, I had fallen in love with him. I just didn't let myself know it, think it, feel it. My father was right. And it was true what my mother said. We all fight our own private wars.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1))
You always were selfish. Your one fault. Not willing to share anything, are you?" Suddenly, Damon's lips curved up in a singularly beautiful smile. But fortunately the lovely Elena is more generous. Didn't she tell you about our little liaisons? Why? The first time we met she almost gave herself to me on the spot." "That's a lie!" "Oh, no, dear brother, I never lie about anything important. Or do I mean unimportant? Anyway, your beauteous damsel nearly swooned into my arms. I think she likes men in black." As Stefan stared at him, trying to control his breathing, Damon added, almost gently, "You're wrong about her, you know, You think she's sweet and docile like Katherine. She isn't. She's not your type at all, my saintly brother. She has a spirit and a fire in her that you wouldn't know what to do with." "And you would, I suppose." Damon uncrossed his arms and slowly smiled again. "Oh, yes.
L.J. Smith (The Awakening / The Struggle (The Vampire Diaries, #1-2))
A number of years ago, when I was a freshly-appointed instructor, I met, for the first time, a certain eminent historian of science. At the time I could only regard him with tolerant condescension. I was sorry of the man who, it seemed to me, was forced to hover about the edges of science. He was compelled to shiver endlessly in the outskirts, getting only feeble warmth from the distant sun of science- in-progress; while I, just beginning my research, was bathed in the heady liquid heat up at the very center of the glow. In a lifetime of being wrong at many a point, I was never more wrong. It was I, not he, who was wandering in the periphery. It was he, not I, who lived in the blaze. I had fallen victim to the fallacy of the 'growing edge;' the belief that only the very frontier of scientific advance counted; that everything that had been left behind by that advance was faded and dead. But is that true? Because a tree in spring buds and comes greenly into leaf, are those leaves therefore the tree? If the newborn twigs and their leaves were all that existed, they would form a vague halo of green suspended in mid-air, but surely that is not the tree. The leaves, by themselves, are no more than trivial fluttering decoration. It is the trunk and limbs that give the tree its grandeur and the leaves themselves their meaning. There is not a discovery in science, however revolutionary, however sparkling with insight, that does not arise out of what went before. 'If I have seen further than other men,' said Isaac Newton, 'it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.
Isaac Asimov (Adding a Dimension: Seventeen Essays on the History of Science)
Sometimes mortals are not aware of the threads that bind them. You could both be wrong about the first time you met, and yet the two of you have orbited each other for so long, like heavenly bodies in the sky.
Rick Riordan (The Sun and the Star: A Nico di Angelo Adventure (Camp Half-Blood Chronicles, #17))
How many times did we pass each other before we met? If only I’d known…. I would have searched for you endlessly. If only I’d found you before it was already too late.
Ranata Suzuki
(About Love)The most important thing in life, and you can't tell whether people have it or not. Surely this is wrong? Surely people who are happy should look happy, at all times, no matter how much money they have or how uncomfortable their shoes are or how little their child is sleeping; and people who are doing OK but have still not found their soul-mate should look, I don't know, anxious, like Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally; and people who are desperate should wear something, a yellow ribbon maybe, which would allow them to be identified by similar desperate people.
Nick Hornby (High Fidelity)
Once upon a time there were two countries, at war with each other. In order to make peace after many years of conflict, they decided to build a bridge across the ocean. But because they never learned each other’s language properly, they could never agree on the details, so the two halves of the bridge they started to build never met. To this day the bridge extends far into the ocean from both sides, and simply ends half way, miles in the wrong direction from the meeting point. And the two countries are still at war.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
I’ve spent every day since I met her telling myself the wrong thing. Telling myself over and over that she was cold, when maybe she was burning the whole time.
Rory Power (Wilder Girls)
We shared the same madness, we just met at the wrong time.
Nikki Rowe
Sometimes we say that we met people at the wrong time. But maybe we meet them when we are the wrong person, when we have not yet met and fallen in love with ourselves. We are only half of a thing—even if we can imagine that there is a better version of us out there—and we are hoping that someone else will fill in the missing parts so that we don’t have to.
Chelsea Fagan
They're both convinced that a sudden passion joined them. Such certainty is beautiful, but uncertainty is more beautiful still. Since they'd never met before, they're sure that there'd been nothing between them. But what's the word from the streets, staircases, hallways-- perhaps they've passed by each other a million times? I want to ask them if they don't remember-- a moment face to face in some revolving door? perhaps a "sorry" muttered in a crowd? a curt "wrong number" caught in the receiver? but I know the answer. No, they don't remember. They'd be amazed to hear that Chance has been toying with them now for years. Not quite ready yet to become their Destiny, it pushed them close, drove them apart, it barred their path, stifling a laugh, and then leaped aside. There were signs and signals, even if they couldn't read them yet. Perhaps three years ago or just last Tuesday a certain leaf fluttered from one shoulder to another? Something was dropped and then picked up. Who knows, maybe the ball that vanished into childhood's thicket? There were doorknobs and doorbells where one touch had covered another beforehand. Suitcases checked and standing side by side. One night, perhaps, the same dream, grown hazy by morning. Every beginning is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through.
Wisława Szymborska (View with a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems)
I know what she smells like. This little freckle on her neck when she pulls up her hair. Her upper lip is a little plumper than the lower. The curve of her wrist, when she holds a pen. It’s wrong, really wrong, but I know the shape of her. I go to sleep thinking about it, and then I wake up, go to work, and she is there, and it’s impossible. I tell her stuff I know she’ll agree to, just to hear her hum back at me. It’s like hot water down my fucking spine. She’s married. She’s brilliant. She trusts me, and all I think about is taking her to my office, stripping her, doing unspeakable things to her. And I want to tell her. I want to tell her that she’s luminous, she’s so bright in my mind, sometimes I can’t focus. Sometimes I forget why I came into the room. I’m distracted. I want to push her against a wall, and I want her to push back. I want to go back in time and punch her stupid husband on the day I met him and then travel back to the future and punch him again. I want to buy her flowers, food, books. I want to hold her hand, and I want to lock her in my bedroom. She’s everything I ever wanted and I want to inject her into my veins and also to never see her again. There’s nothing like her and these feelings, they are fucking intolerable. They were half-asleep while she was gone, but now she’s here and my body thinks it’s a fucking teenager and I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. There is nothing I can do, so I’ll just . . . not.
Ali Hazelwood (Love on the Brain)
He said, “I know somebody you could kiss.” “Who?” She realized his eyes were amused. “Oh, wait.” He shrugged. He was maybe the only person Blue knew who could preserve the integrity of a shrug while lying down. “It’s not like you’re going to kill me. I mean, if you were curious.” She hadn’t thought she was curious. It hadn’t been an option, after all. Not being able to kiss someone was a lot like being poor. She tried not to dwell on the things she couldn’t have. But now— “Okay,” she said. “What?” “I said okay.” He blushed. Or rather, because he was dead, he became normal colored. “Uh.” He propped himself on an elbow. “Well.” She unburied her face from the pillow. “Just, like—” He leaned toward her. Blue felt a thrill for a half a second. No, more like a quarter second. Because after that she felt the too-firm pucker of his tense lips. His mouth mashed her lips until it met teeth. The entire thing was at once slimy and ticklish and hilarious. They both gasped an embarrassed laugh. Noah said, “Bah!” Blue considered wiping her mouth, but felt that would be rude. It was all fairly underwhelming. She said, “Well.” “Wait,” Noah replied, “waitwaitwait.” He pulled one of Blue’s hairs out of his mouth. “I wasn’t ready.” He shook out his hands as if Blue’s lips were a sporting event and cramping was a very real possibility. “Go,” Blue said. This time they only got within a breath of each other’s lips when they both began to laugh. She closed the distance and was rewarded with another kiss that felt a lot like kissing a dishwasher. “I’m doing something wrong?” she suggested. “Sometimes it’s better with tongue,” he replied dubiously. They regarded each other. Blue squinted, “Are you sure you’ve done this before?” “Hey!” he protested. “It’s weird for me, ‘cause it’s you.” “Well, it’s weird for me because it’s you.” “We can stop.” “Maybe we should.” Noah pushed himself up farther on his elbow and gazed at the ceiling vaguely. Finally, he dropped his eyes back to her. “You’ve seen, like, movies. Of kisses, right? Your lips need to be, like, wanting to be kissed.” Blue touched her mouth. “What are they doing now?” “Like, bracing themselves.” She pursed and unpursed her lips. She saw his point. “So imagine one of those,” Noah suggested. She sighed and sifted through her memories until she found one that would do. It wasn’t a movie kiss, however. It was the kiss the dreaming tree had showed her in Cabeswater. Her first and only kiss with Gansey, right before he died. She thought about his nice mouth when he smiled. About his pleasant eyes when he laughed. She closed her eyes. Placing an elbow on the other side of her head, Noah leaned close and kissed her once more. This time, it was more of a thought than a feeling, a soft heat that began at her mouth and unfurled through the rest of her. One of his cold hands slid behind her neck and he kissed her again, lips parted. It was not just a touch, an action. It was a simplification of both of them: They were no longer Noah Czerny and Blue Sargent. They were now just him and her. Not even that. They were only the time that they held between them.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
Maxon, I hope you find someone you can't love without. I really do. And I hope you never have to know what it's like to have to try and live without them." Maxon's face was a shallow echo of my own pain. He looked absolutely brokenhearted for me. More than that, he looked angry. "I'm sorry, America. I don't..." His face shifted a little. "Is this a good time to pat your shoulder?" His uncertainty made me smile. "Yes. Now would be a great time." He seemed as skeptically as he'd been the other day, but instead of just patting my shoulder, he leaned in and tentatively wrapped his arms around me. "I only really ever hug my mother. Is this okay?" he asked. I laughed. "It's hard to get a hug wrong." After a minute, I spoke again. "I know what you mean, though. I don't really hug anyone besides my family." I felt so drained after the long day of dressing and the Report and dinner and talking. It was nice to have Maxon just hold me, sometimes even patting my hair. He wasn't as lost as he seemed. He patiently waited for my breathing to slow, and when it did, he pulled back to look at me. "America, I promise you I'll keep you here until the last possible moment. I understand that they want me to narrow the Elite down to three and then choose. But I swear to you, I'll make it to two and keep you here until then. I won't make you leave a moment before I have to. Or the moment you're ready. Whichever comes first." I nodded. "I know we just met, but I think you're wonderful. And it bothers me to see you hurt. If he were here, I'd...I'd..." Maxon shook with frustration, then sighed. "I'm so sorry, America." He pulled me back in, and I rested my head on his broad shoulder. I knew Maxon would keep his promises. So I settled into perhaps the last place I ever thought I'd find genuine comfort.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Kestrel's eyes slipped shut. She faded in and out of sleep. When Arin spoke again, she wasn't sure whether he expected her to to hear him. 'I remember sitting with my mother in a carriage.' There was a long pause. Then Arin's voice came again in that slow, fluid way that showed the singer in him. 'In my memory, I am small and sleepy, and she is doing something strange. Every time the carriage turns into the sun, she raises her hand as if reaching for something. The light lines her fingers with fire. Then the carriage passes through shadows, and her hand falls. Again sunlight beams through the window, and again her hand lifts. It becomes and eclipse.' Kestrel listened, and it was as if the story itself was an eclipse, drawing its darkness over her. 'Just before I fell asleep,' he said, 'I realized that she was shading my eyes from the sun.' She heard Arin shift, felt him look at her. 'Kestrel.' She imagined how he would sit, lean forward. How he would look in the glow of the carriage lantern. 'Survival isn't wrong. You can sell your honor in small ways, so long as you guard yourself. You can pour a glass of wine like it's meant to be poured, and watch a man drink, and plot your revenge.' Perhaps his head tilted slightly at this. 'You probably plot even in your sleep.' There was a silence as long as a smile. 'Plot away, Kestrel. Survive. If I hadn't lived, no one would remember my mother, not like I do.' Kestrel could no longer deny sleep. It pulled her under. 'And I would never have met you.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
This was what was wrong with me. All this time I had been trying to figure out the secrets of the universe, the secrets of my own body, of my own heart. All of the answers had always been so close and yet I had always fought them without even knowing it. From the minute I’d met Dante, I had fallen in love with him. I just didn’t let myself know it, think it, feel it. My father was right. And it was true what my mother said. We all fight our own private wars.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1))
That’s the thing. I’ve never met anyone like you, Tess. You think you’re a no one? You’re so wrong. So wrong. You stand in a room with all the Angelas, even the Ellies. None of them can compare to you. I remember when you started working at the Onslow, I couldn’t keep my eyes off you. You were so terrified. You weren’t full of yourself like other girls. Every time you walked into the bar, you were like a breath of fresh air. Even when Angela was a bitch to you, you rose above it. You made me see the difference in people. You’re not a nobody, Tess, you’re a somebody.
C.J. Duggan (The Boys of Summer (Summer, #1))
I make it a point to avoid annoying people in general, so no, I haven't considered that an acquaintance might want me dead." "You've annoyed me numerous times and we've only just met.
Jen Turano (To Write a Wrong (The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency, #2))
You will not remember much from school. School is designed to teach you how to respond and listen to authority figures in the event of an emergency. Like if there's a bomb in a mall or a fire in an office. It can, apparently, take you more than a decade to learn this. These are not the best days of your life. They are still ahead of you. You will fall in love and have your heart broken in many different, new and interesting ways in college or university (if you go) and you will actually learn things, as at this point, people will believe you have a good chance of obeying authority and surviving, in the event of an emergency. If, in your chosen career path, there are award shows that give out more than ten awards in one night or you have to pay someone to actually take the award home to put on your mantlepiece, then those awards are more than likely designed to make young people in their 20's work very late, for free, for other people. Those people will do their best to convince you that they have value. They don't. Only the things you do have real, lasting value, not the things you get for the things you do. You will, at some point, realise that no trophy loves you as much as you love it, that it cannot pay your bills (even if it increases your salary slightly) and that it won't hold your hand tightly as you say your last words on your deathbed. Only people who love you can do that. If you make art to feel better, make sure it eventually makes you feel better. If it doesn't, stop making it. You will love someone differently, as time passes. If you always expect to feel the same kind of love you felt when you first met someone, you will always be looking for new people to love. Love doesn't fade. It just changes as it grows. It would be boring if it didn't. There is no truly "right" way of writing, painting, being or thinking, only things which have happened before. People who tell you differently are assholes, petrified of change, who should be violently ignored. No philosophy, mantra or piece of advice will hold true for every conceivable situation. "The early bird catches the worm" does not apply to minefields. Perfection only exists in poetry and movies, everyone fights occasionally and no sane person is ever completely sure of anything. Nothing is wrong with any of this. Wisdom does not come from age, wisdom comes from doing things. Be very, very careful of people who call themselves wise, artists, poets or gurus. If you eat well, exercise often and drink enough water, you have a good chance of living a long and happy life. The only time you can really be happy, is right now. There is no other moment that exists that is more important than this one. Do not sacrifice this moment in the hopes of a better one. It is easy to remember all these things when they are being said, it is much harder to remember them when you are stuck in traffic or lying in bed worrying about the next day. If you want to move people, simply tell them the truth. Today, it is rarer than it's ever been. (People will write things like this on posters (some of the words will be bigger than others) or speak them softly over music as art (pause for effect). The reason this happens is because as a society, we need to self-medicate against apathy and the slow, gradual death that can happen to anyone, should they confuse life with actually living.)
So it hadn’t been wrong or dishonest of her to say no this morning, when he asked if she hated him, any more than it had been wrong or dishonest to serve him the elaborate breakfast and to show the elaborate interest in his work, and to kiss him goodbye. The kiss, for that matter, had been exactly right—a perfectly fair, friendly kiss, a kiss for a boy you’d just met at a party, a boy who’d danced with you and made you laugh and walked you home afterwards, talking about himself all the way. The only real mistake, the only wrong and dishonest thing, was ever to have seen him as anything more than that. Oh, for a month or two, just for fun, it might be all right to play a game like that with a boy; but all these years! And all because, in a sentimentally lonely time long ago, she had found it easy and agreeable to believe whatever this one particular boy felt like saying, and to repay him for that pleasure by telling easy, agreeable lies of her own, until each was saying what the other most wanted to hear—until he was saying “I love you” and she was saying “Really, I mean it; you’re the most interesting person I’ve ever met.” What a subtle, treacherous thing it was to let yourself go that way! Because once you’d started it was terribly difficult to stop; soon you were saying “I’m sorry, of course you’re right,” and “Whatever you think is best,” and “You’re the most wonderful and valuable thing in the world,” and the next thing you knew all honesty, all truth, was as far away and glimmering, as hopelessly unattainable as the world of the golden people. Then you discovered you were working at life the way the Laurel Players worked at The Petrified Forest, or the way Steve Kovick worked at his drums—earnest and sloppy and full of pretension and all wrong; you found you were saying yes when you meant no, and “We’ve got to be together on this thing” when you meant the very opposite; then you were breathing gasoline as if it were flowers and abandoning yourself to a delirium of love under the weight of a clumsy, grunting, red-faced man you didn’t even like—Shep Campbell!—and then you were face to face, in total darkness, with the knowledge that you didn’t know who you were. (p.416-7)
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
Yawn... I believe that I love sleep much more than anybody I’ve ever met. I have the ability to sleep for 2 or 3 days and nights. I will go to bed at any given moment. I often confused my girlfriends this way— say it would be about onethirty in the afternoon: “well, I’m going to bed now, I’m going to sleep…” most of them wouldn’t mind, they would go to bed with me thinking I was hinting for sex but I would just turn my back and snore off. this, of course, could explain why so many of my girlfriends left me. as for doctors, they were never any help: “listen, I have this desire to go to bed and sleep, almost all the time. what is wrong with me?” “do you get enough exercise?” “yes…” “are you getting enough nourishment?” “yes…” they always handed me a prescription which I threw away between the office and the parking lot. it’s a curious malady because I can’t sleep between 6 p.m. and midnight. it must occur after midnight and when I arise it can never be before noon. and should the phone ring say at 10:30 a.m. I go into a mad rage don’t even ask who the caller is scream into the phone: “WHAT ARE YOU CALLING ME FOR AT THIS HOUR!” hang up… every person, I suppose, has their eccentricities but in an effort to be normal in the world’s eye they overcome them and therefore destroy their special calling. I’ve kept mine and do believe that they have lent generously to my existence. I think it’s the main reason I decided to become a writer: I can type anytime and sleep when I damn well please.
Charles Bukowski
Something, somewhere, somewhen, must have happened differently... PETUNIA EVANS married Michael Verres, a Professor of Biochemistry at Oxford. HARRY JAMES POTTER-EVANS-VERRES grew up in a house filled to the brim with books. He once bit a math teacher who didn't know what a logarithm was. He's read Godel, Escher, Bach and Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases and volume one of The Feynman Lectures on Physics. And despite what everyone who's met him seems to fear, he doesn't want to become the next Dark Lord. He was raised better than that. He wants to discover the laws of magic and become a god. HERMIONE GRANGER is doing better than him in every class except broomstick riding. DRACO MALFOY is exactly what you would expect an eleven-year-old boy to be like if Darth Vader were his doting father. PROFESSOR QUIRRELL is living his lifelong dream of teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts, or as he prefers to call his class, Battle Magic. His students are all wondering what's going to go wrong with the Defense Professor this time. DUMBLEDORE is either insane, or playing some vastly deeper game which involved setting fire to a chicken. DEPUTY HEADMISTRESS MINERVA MCGONAGALL needs to go off somewhere private and scream for a while. Presenting: HARRY POTTER AND THE METHODS OF RATIONALITY You ain't guessin' where this one's going.
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)
Give Your Heart A Break lyrics The day I first met you You told me you'd never fall in love But now that I get you I know fear is what it really was Now here we are, so close Yet so far, haven't I passed the test? When will you realize Baby, I'm not like the rest Don't wanna break your heart I wanna give your heart a break I know you're scared it's wrong Like you might make a mistake There's just one life to live And there's no time to waste, to waste So let me give your heart a break Give your heart a break Let me give your heart a break Your heart a break Oh, yeah yeah On Sunday, you went home alone There were tears in your eyes I called your cell phone, my love But you did not reply The world is ours, if you want it We can take it, if you just take my hand There's no turning back now Baby, try to understand Don't wanna break your heart Wanna give your heart a break I know you're scared it's wrong Like you might make a mistake There's just one life to live And there's no time to waste, to waste So let me give your heart a break Give your heart a break Let me give your heart a break Your heart a break There's just so much you can take Give your heart a break Let me give your heart a break Your heart a break Oh, yeah yeah When your lips are on my lips And our hearts beat as one But you slip right out of my fingertips Every time you run, whoa Don't wanna break your heart Wanna give your heart a break I know you're scared it's wrong Like you might make a mistake There's just one life to live And there's no time to waste, to waste So let me give your heart a break Cuz you've been hurt before I can see it in your eyes You try to smile it away Some things, you can't disguise Don't wanna break your heart Baby, I can ease the ache, the ache So, let me give your heart a break Give your heart a break Let me give your heart a break Your heart a break There's just so much you can take Give your heart a break Let me give your heart a break Your heart a break Oh yeah,yeah The day I first met you You told me you'd never fall in love
Demi Lovato
Before you ever get the person you really want in your life, you will be tested with every person that was wrong for you. You will be tempted with what was easy, what was familiar, what was only physical, what was safe and what was simply a friend to pull you out of a difficult situation because you didn't want to be alone. When you finally meet the person you were meant to be with you won't have to guess, decide or choose. You will be drawn to them. They will seem to fit who you are, but at the same time have the missing pieces that makes you want to become a better person. There is no need to be guarded because this soul is like your own and talking to them about the deepest things in life are effortless. They won't be like any other you have met and you will find yourself looking for parts of them in everyone you meet.
Shannon L. Alder
It seems that you’ve stumbled into the wrong jail cell. Do you need directions to get back to yours?” She blinked. Thorne smiled. The girl frowned. Her irritation made her prettier, and Thorne cupped his chin, studying her. He’d never met a cyborg before, much less flirted with one, but there was a first time for everything.
Marissa Meyer (Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2))
I've heard you say so many a time That I know just the right words to say, just the right lines to rhyme... Today it's been 7 years since we last met I have learnt to say just the wrong words, just the lines you hate....
Sanhita Baruah (The Farewell and other poems)
You okay?" he says, touching my cheek. His hand cradles the side of my head, his long fingers slipping through my hair. He smiles and holds my head in place as he kisses me. Heat spreads through me slowly.And fear, buzzing like an alarm in my chest. His lips still on mine,he pushes the jacket from my shoulders.I flinch when I hear it drop,and push him back,my eyes burning. I don't know why I feel this way. I didn't feel like this when he kissed me on the train.I press my palms to my face,covering my eyes. "What? What's wrong?" I shake my head. "Don't tell me it's nothing." His voice is cold.He grabs my arm. "Hey. Look at me." I take my hands from my face and lift my eyes to his.The hurt in his eyes and the anger in his clenched jaw surprise me. "Sometimes I wonder," I say,as calmly as I can, "what's in it for you. This...whatever it is." "What's in it for me," he repeats. He steps back,shaking his head. "You're an idiot,Tris." "I am not an idiot," I say. "Which is why I know that it's a little weird that,of all the girls you could have chosen,you chose me.So if you're just looking,you know...that..." "What? Sex?" He scowls at me. "You know, if that was all I wanted, you probably wouldn't be the first person I would go to." I feel like he just punched me in the stomach. Of course I'm not the first person he would go to-not the first, not the prettiest,not desirable. I press my hands to my abdomen and look away, fighting off tears. I am not the crying type.Nor am I the yelling type. I blink a few times, lower my hands, and stare up at him. "I'm going to leave now," I say quietly. And I turn toward the door. "No,Tris." He grabs my wrist and wrenches me back. I push him away,hard, but he grabs my other wrist, holding our crossed arms between us. "I'm sorry I said that," he says. "What I meant was that you aren't like that. Which I knew when I met you." "You were an obstacle in my fear landscape." My lower lip wobbles. "Did you know that?" "What?" He releases my wrists, and the hurt look is back. "You're afraid of me?" "Not you," I say. I bite my lip to keep it still. "Being with you...with anyone. I've never been involved with someone before,'re older, and I don't know what your expectations are,and..." "Tris," he says sternly, "I don't know what delusion you're operating under,but this is all new to me, too." "Delusion?" I repeat. "You mean you haven't..." I raise my eyebrows. "Oh. Oh.I just assumed..." That because I am so absorbed by him, everyone else must be too. "Um. You know." "Well,you assumed wrong." He looks away. His cheeks are bright,like he's embarrassed. "You can tell me anything, you know," he says. He takes my face in his hands,his fingertips cold and his palms warm. "I am kinder than I seemed in training. I promise." I believe him.But this has nothing to do with his kindness. He kisses me between the eyebrows, and on the tip of my nose,and then carefully fits his mouth to mine. I am on edge.I have electricity coursing through my veins instead of blood. I want him to kiss me,I want him to; I am afraid of where it might go.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
I find this fascinating. Sometimes mortals are not aware of the threads that bind them. You could both be wrong about the first time you met, and yet the two of you have orbited each other for so long, like heavenly bodies in the sky.
Rick Riordan (The Sun and the Star: A Nico di Angelo Adventure (Camp Half-Blood Chronicles, #17))
Dear Camryn, I know you're scared. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little scared, too, but I have to believe that this time around everything will be fine. And it will be. We've been through so much together. More than most people in such a short time. But no matter what, the one thing that has never changed is that we're still together. Death couldn't take me away from you. Weakness couldn't make me look at you in a bad light. Drugs and all the shit that comes with them couldn't take you away from me. I think it's more safe to say that we're indestructable. Maybe all of this has been a test. Yeah, I think about that a lot and I've convinced myself of it. A lot of people take Fate for granted. Some have everything they've ever wanted right at their fingertips, but they abuse it. Others walk right past their only opportunity because they never open their eyes long enough to see that it's there. But you and I, even before we met, took all the risks, made our own decisions without listening to everybody around us telling us, in so many ways, that what we're doing is wrong. Hell no, we did it our way, no matter how reckless, or crazy or unconventional. It's like the more we pushed and the more we fought, the harder the obstacles. Because we had to prove we were the real deal. And I know we've done just that. Camryn, I want you to read this letter to yourself once a week. It doesn't matter what day or what time, just read it. Every time you open it, I want you to see that another week has passed and you're still pregnant. That I'm still in good health. That we're still together. I want you to think about the three of us, you, me and our son or daughter, traveling Europe and Soth America. Because we're going to do it. I promise you that. You're everything to me, and I want you to stay strong and not let your fear of the past taint the path to our future. Everything will work out this time, Camryn, everything will, I swear to you. Just trust me. Until next week... Love, Andrew
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Always (The Edge of Never, #2))
The best line of work for me would be roadside sprite. I'd live quietly by a dust-covered track that people never came across unless they took a wrong turn, and I'd offer the baffled travelers lemonade and sandwiches, maybe even fix their engines if they asked nicely (I'd have used my solitude to read extensively on matters of car maintenance). Then the travelers would go on their way, relaxed and refreshed, and they'd forget they'd ever met me. That's the ideal meeting... once upon a time, only once, unexpectedly, then never again.
Helen Oyeyemi (Boy, Snow, Bird)
What if you met the right person at the wrong time?
Penelope Ward (My Favorite Souvenir)
This was what was wrong with me. All this time I had been trying to figure out the secrets of the universe, the secrets of my own body, of my own heart. All of the answers had always been so close and yet I had always fought them without even knowing it. From the minute I’d met Dante, I had fallen in love with him. I just didn’t let myself know it, think it, feel it. My father was right. And it was true what my mother said. We all fight our own private wars
Benjamin Alire Sáenz
I've never met a person, I don't care what his condition, in whom I could not see possibilities. I don't care how much a man may consider himself a failure. I believe in him, for he can change the thing that is wrong in his life any time he is ready and prepared to do it. Whenever he develops the desire he can take away from his life the thing that is defeating it. The capacity for reformation and change lies within.
Preston Bradley
My trip to the former Yugoslavia had opened the world for me, and my hunger for the world. In doing so, it undid the contained, safe borders of my existence. Suddenly a woman weeping over her lost son in an image on the front page of The New York Times was no longer a theoretical entity. She was real, a woman I might have met, might have known. I was connected to her. I could no longer divorce myself from her pain, her suffering. Initially this was overwhelming. I had nightmares. I felt restless and wrong in my comforting life in America. Everything seemed absurd and pointless. I came to understand why we block out the pain and atrocities of others. That pain, if we allow it to enter us, makes our lives impossible. It forces us to examine our own values and reality. It insists that we be responsible for others. It thrusts us into the messy world where there are no easy solutions or reasons, only struggles and questions. It creates great fissures in the landscape of our insulated, so-called safe reality. Fissures that, once split open, can never close again. It compels us to act.
Eve Ensler
He paused and let out a little sigh. Then I’m saying it wrong, because it has everything to do with you. I want what Hades and Persephone had, and I can’t do it without you. The only time the queen of the Everneath has been overthrown is when an Everliving has found his perfect match. I’ve spent my whole life - and it’s a long one, trust me - looking for my perfect match, and it’s you. I knew you were different from the first moment I met you. The first moment you placed your hands on mine. You remember?
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
Appropriate boundaries don’t control, attack or hurt anyone. They simply prevent your treasures from being taken at the wrong time. Saying no to adults, who are responsible for getting their own needs met, may cause some discomfort. But it doesn’t cause injury.
Henry Cloud
Young children cannot possibly understand the motives of adults. It means little to a young child that the parent feels love for him if that parent keeps disappearing at almost any time. The child experiences a sense of abandonment, a subliminal knowledge that there are things in the world much more important to the parent than he, the child, that he is not worthy of the parent’s attention. He begins to feel, at first unconsciously, that there must be something wrong with him. He also begins to work too hard to get his needs met: demanding contact, acting out or trying to please the parent to gain approval and attention.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
There are other Graces out there.” “There aren’t, man. I’m telling you. I just met her at the wrong time.
Renee Carlino (Before We Were Strangers)
You could both be wrong about the first time you met, and yet the two of you have orbited each other for so long, like heavenly bodies in the sky.
Rick Riordan; Mark Oshiro
Everyone plays for someone, and Kris didn't play for the big dogs like Sabbath and Zep, she didn't play for the ones who made it, for the wizards who figured out how to turn their music into cars and cash and mansions and an endless party where no one ever gets old. She played for the losers. She played for the bands who never met their rainmaker, the musicians who drank too much and made all the wrong decisions. The singers who got shipped off to state hospitals because they couldn't handle living in the shadow of Black Iron Mountain. She played for the ones who recorded the wrong songs at the right times, and the right songs when it was wrong. The ones who blew it all recording an album that didn't fit the market, the ones who got dropped by their own labels, the singers who moved back home to live in their mom's basements.
Grady Hendrix (We Sold Our Souls)
Involved. At least that was the right word, Alsana reflected, as she liftes her foot off the pedal, and let the wheel spin a few times alone before coming to a squeaky halt. Sometimes, here in England, especially at bus-stops and on the daytime soaps, you heard people say “We’re involved with each other,” as if this were a most wonderful state to be in, as if one chose it and enjoyed it. Alsana never thought of it that way. Involved happened over a long period of time, pulling you in like quicksand. Involved is what befell the moon-faced Alsana Begum and the handsome Samad Miah one week after they’d been pushed into a Delhi breakfast room together and informed they were to marry. Involved was the result when Clara Bowden met Archie Jones at the bottom of some stairs. Involved swallowed up a girl called Ambrosia and a boy called Charlie (yes, Clara had told her that sorry tale) the second they kissed in the larder of a guest house. Involved is neither good, nor bad. It is just a consequence of living, a consequence of occupation and immigration, of empires and expansion, of living in each other’s pockets… one becomes involved and it is a long trek back to being uninvolved. And the woman was right, one didn’t do it for one’s health. Nothing this late in the century was done with health in mind. Alsana was no dummy when it came to the Modern Condition. She watched the talk shows, all day long she watched the talk shows — My wife slept with my brother, My mother won’t stay out of my boyfriend’s life — and the microphone holder, whether it be Tanned Man with White Teeth or Scary Married Couple, always asked the same damn silly question: But why do you feel the need…? Wrong! Alsana had to explain it to them through the screen. You blockhead; they are not wanting this, they are not willing it — they are just involved, see? They walk IN and they get trapped between the revolving doors of those two v’s. Involved. Just a tired inevitable fact. Something in the way Joyce said it, involved — wearied, slightly acid — suggested to Alsana that the word meant the same thing to hear. An enormous web you spin to catch yourself.
Zadie Smith (White Teeth)
CHRONO-SYNCLASTIC INFUNDIBULA—Just imagine that your Daddy is the smartest man who ever lived on Earth, and he knows everything there is to find out, and he is exactly right about everything, and he can prove he is right about everything. Now imagine another little child on some nice world a million light years away, and that little child’s Daddy is the smartest man who ever lived on that nice world so far away. And he is just as smart and just as right as your Daddy is. Both Daddies are smart, and both Daddies are right.    Only if they ever met each other they would get into a terrible argument, because they wouldn’t agree on anything. Now, you can say that your Daddy is right and the other little child’s Daddy is wrong, but the Universe is an awfully big place. There is room enough for an awful lot of people to be right about things and still not agree.    The reason both Daddies can be right and still get into terrible fights is because there are so many different ways of being right. There are places in the Universe, though, where each Daddy could finally catch on to what the other Daddy was talking about. These places are where all the different kinds of truths fit together as nicely as the parts in your Daddy’s solar watch. We call these places chrono-synclastic infundibula.    The Solar System seems to be full of chrono-synclastic infundibula. There is one great big one we are sure of that likes to stay between Earth and Mars. We know about that one because an Earth man and his Earth dog ran right into it.    You might think it would be nice to go to a chrono-synclastic infundibulum and see all the different ways to be absolutely right, but it is a very dangerous thing to do. The poor man and his poor dog are scattered far and wide, not just through space, but through time, too.    Chrono (kroh-no) means time. Synclastic (sin-class-tick) means curved toward the same side in all directions, like the skin of an orange. Infundibulum (in-fun-dib-u-lum) is what the ancient Romans like Julius Caesar and Nero called a funnel. If you don’t know what a funnel is, get Mommy to show you one.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (The Sirens of Titan)
No, you must let me say it. It's not a simple thing, you see. I loved you even before I met you. I loved the idea of you,'she said quietly. 'And to think you existed all this time. And it only took that horrid moment when everything went wrong for the both of us for our paths to finally cross. I would fall off that cliff again and again for the promise of you.
Sophia Nash (Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea (Royal Entourage, #1))
There’s a bluntness to Russian culture that generally rubs Westerners the wrong way. Gone are the fake niceties and verbal webs of politeness. You don’t smile at strangers or pretend to like anything you don’t. In Russia, if something is stupid, you say it’s stupid. If someone is being an asshole, you tell him he’s being an asshole. If you really like someone and are having a great time, you tell her that you like her and are having a great time. It doesn’t matter if this person is your friend, a stranger, or someone you met five minutes ago on the street.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
Come, Paul!" she reiterated, her eye grazing me with its hard ray like a steel stylet. She pushed against her kinsman. I thought he receded; I thought he would go. Pierced deeper than I could endure, made now to feel what defied suppression, I cried - "My heart will break!" What I felt seemed literal heart-break; but the seal of another fountain yielded under the strain: one breath from M. Paul, the whisper, "Trust me!" lifted a load, opened an outlet. With many a deep sob, with thrilling, with icy shiver, with strong trembling, and yet with relief - I wept. "Leave her to me; it is a crisis: I will give her a cordial, and it will pass," said the calm Madame Beck. To be left to her and her cordial seemed to me something like being left to the poisoner and her bowl. When M. Paul answered deeply, harshly, and briefly - "Laissez-moi!" in the grim sound I felt a music strange, strong, but life-giving. "Laissez-moi!" he repeated, his nostrils opening, and his facial muscles all quivering as he spoke. "But this will never do," said Madame, with sternness. More sternly rejoined her kinsman - "Sortez d'ici!" "I will send for Père Silas: on the spot I will send for him," she threatened pertinaciously. "Femme!" cried the Professor, not now in his deep tones, but in his highest and most excited key, "Femme! sortez à l'instant!" He was roused, and I loved him in his wrath with a passion beyond what I had yet felt. "What you do is wrong," pursued Madame; "it is an act characteristic of men of your unreliable, imaginative temperament; a step impulsive, injudicious, inconsistent - a proceeding vexatious, and not estimable in the view of persons of steadier and more resolute character." "You know not what I have of steady and resolute in me," said he, "but you shall see; the event shall teach you. Modeste," he continued less fiercely, "be gentle, be pitying, be a woman; look at this poor face, and relent. You know I am your friend, and the friend of your friends; in spite of your taunts, you well and deeply know I may be trusted. Of sacrificing myself I made no difficulty but my heart is pained by what I see; it must have and give solace. Leave me!" This time, in the "leave me" there was an intonation so bitter and so imperative, I wondered that even Madame Beck herself could for one moment delay obedience; but she stood firm; she gazed upon him dauntless; she met his eye, forbidding and fixed as stone. She was opening her lips to retort; I saw over all M. Paul's face a quick rising light and fire; I can hardly tell how he managed the movement; it did not seem violent; it kept the form of courtesy; he gave his hand; it scarce touched her I thought; she ran, she whirled from the room; she was gone, and the door shut, in one second. The flash of passion was all over very soon. He smiled as he told me to wipe my eyes; he waited quietly till I was calm, dropping from time to time a stilling, solacing word. Ere long I sat beside him once more myself - re-assured, not desperate, nor yet desolate; not friendless, not hopeless, not sick of life, and seeking death. "It made you very sad then to lose your friend?" said he. "It kills me to be forgotten, Monsieur," I said.
Charlotte Brontë (Villette)
But, I can’t help but feel I’ve met the right guy at the wrong time.
Danielle Jamie (Scandalous: Book 2)
If where we are now and whatever we are going through does not motivate us to leave this world better than the way we met it, we are in this world for wrong reasons.
Bamigboye Olurotimi
Your grandparents are English?" "Grandfather is,but Grandmere is French. And my other grandparents are American,of course." "Wow.You really are a mutt." St. Clair smiles. "I'm told I take after my English grandfather the most, but it's only because of the accent." "I don't know.I think of you as more English than anything else.And you don't just sound like it,you look like it,too." "I do?" He surprised. I smile. "Yeah,it's that...pasty complexion. I mean it in the best possible way," I add,at his alarmed expression. "Honestly." "Huh." St. Clair looks at me sideways. "Anyway.Last summer I couldn't bear to face my father, so it was the first time I spent the whole holiday with me mum." "And how was it? I bet the girls don't tease you about your accent anymore." He laughs. "No,they don't.But I can't help my height.I'll always be short." "And I'll always be a freak,just like my dad. Everyone tells me I take after him.He's sort of...neat,like me." He seems genuinely surprised. "What's wrong with being neat? I wish I were more organized.And,Anna,I've never met your father,but I guarantee you that you're nothing like him." "How would you know?" "Well,for one thing,he looks like a Ken doll.And you're beautiful." I trip and fall down on the sidewalk. "Are you all right?" His eyes fill with worry. I look away as he takes my hand and helps me up. "I'm fine.Fine!" I say, brushing the grit from my palms. Oh my God, I AM a freak. "You've seen the way men look at you,right?" he continues. "If they're looking, it's because I keep making a fool of myself." I hold up my scraped hands. "That guy over there is checking you out right now." "Wha-?" I turn to find a young man with long dark hair staring. "Why is he looking at me?" "I expect he likes what he sees." I flush,and he keeps talking. "In Paris, it's common to acknowledge someone attractive.The French don't avert their gaze like other cultures do. Haven't you noticed?" St. Clair thinks I'm attractive. He called me beautiful. "Um,no," I say. "I hadn't noticed." "Well.Open your eyes." But I stare at the bare tree branches, at the children with balloons, at the Japanese tour group. Anywhere but at him. We've stopped in front of Notre-Dame again.I point at the familiar star and clear my throat. "Wanna make another wish?" "You go first." He's watching me, puzzled, like he's trying to figure something out. He bites his thumbnail. This time I can't help it.All day long, I've thought about it.Him.Our secret. I wish St. Clair would spend the night again.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Jesus was stoned, but no rock hit him. He slipped into the crowd and was found later teaching on a hill somewhere. History tells us that he did nothing wrong, and we sacrificed him anyway. The day my father died, I assured him he was headed for heaven, though I had a hard time believing in something that floated so aimlessly through the minds of children. The concept seemed fair and unfair in such equal amounts that it appeared to cancel itself out. I’d never met someone so deserving of eternal bliss, yet from the time I was a child I was taught we all deserve hell. I wondered if heaven existed at all. But I wanted everlasting life to be real for the man who let me lie on his chest on a hammock in the backyard and taught me not to fear thunder. One of the many things my father taught me not to fear. His breaths were labored and aided by machines. He wore a white hospital gown. I remember thinking, “I can’t believe my father’s going to die in a gown.” “Are you afraid?” I asked. “Not at all,” he strained. “I’m going to be with the Lord.” I wished I shared his confidence. For him, it was a priceless thing no one could take. I wished the fear of death was like the fear of a passing storm cloud—something we outgrow with understanding. For men like my dad, I guess it was.
Christopher Hawke (Unnatural Truth)
It just happens. Even when almost everyone who showed you how to do things showed you wrong, and screwed you up, and left; even when you have promised yourself fifteen different sets of sheets and in freight trains and on sidewalks, staring up at the stars, that you will do it different from all the people who have done it wrong and hurt you, still you do it the same. Still you do the same shit to everybody else that they have done to you. I know it must be possible to keep promises. There must be people who say things and mean then and who can make the words turn real. But I've never met one. I keep trying to be something I'm not even sure exists. I've promised myself so many times that I won't be like so many people, and I still do it anyway. I still make people cry, and laugh at them, and I know as soon as everyone really sees me they'll all leave again and I'll be left with the noise not being able to sleep.
Jessica Blank (Almost Home)
How dare I complain. I was born in the right time and right place to the right family. I met a man and we built a life together. Yet sometimes even the most charmed existence can change in the blink of an eye, or turn on the length of an eyelash. One moment of indecision. A cancer cell. A rogue gene. A wrong turn. A red light. A drunk driver. A cruel piece of misfortune.
Michael Robotham (The Secrets She Keeps)
Missed connections? What is that?” “It’s when you feel the spark of attraction with a stranger – someone you’ve just met or spotted in the crowd. You want to get to know him. It feels like the beginning of something. Like a thousand possibilities crammed into seconds. But for whatever reason, you never connect. Maybe you’re too shy to talk to this person, or the timing is all wrong.
Kimberly Karalius (Love Charms and Other Catastrophes (Grimbaud, #2))
As a spiritual teacher, I’ve met a lot of people who have meditated for many, many years. One of the most common things I hear from many of these people is that, despite having meditated for all this time, they feel essentially untransformed. The deep inner transformation—the spiritual revelation—that meditation offers is something that eludes a lot of people, even those who are longtime practitioners. There are actually good and specific reasons why some meditation practices, including the kind of meditation that I was once engaged in, do not lead to this promised state of transformation. The main reason is actually extraordinarily simple and therefore easy to miss: we approach meditation with the wrong attitude. We carry out our meditation with an attitude of control and manipulation, and that is the very reason our meditation leads us to what feels like a dead end. The awakened state of being, the enlightened state of being, can also be called the natural state of being. How can control and manipulation possibly lead us to our natural state?
Adyashanti (True Meditation: Discover the Freedom of Pure Awareness)
But I need to, I want to, tell you, that you coming back into my life is the greatest adventure that I have ever been on! And not because of the danger, not because of the uncertainty, none of that excites me... but because of the fact that in the midst of the worst storm, I came to know a person who makes my soul feel found, and home, and full, and seen, and heard. If I were to lay with you in a graveyard, buried by the Earth, I would still feel seen and heard and found and never forgotten. Because your bones would be with my bones. So I am thankful for the storm I've known because of you, because in the eye of that storm, we have been together. And it's not ideal and it's not what other people want and it's not even what we want for each other, but I feel that there is no such thing as a "wrong time", because there is Elohim who directs the timing of all things. And if I were to have never met you in the eye of the storm, I would have gone through a life missing out on something that I was born to know. You. (A Love Letter, Copyright ©️ 2019; C. JoyBell C.)
C. JoyBell C.
Struggling, despairing, Klein fought with his demon. All the new understanding and sense of redemption this fateful time had yielded had surged, in the course of this past day, to such a wave of thought and clarity that he had felt he would remain forever on the crest even while he was beginning to drop down. Now he was in the trough again, still fighting, still secretly hoping, but gravely injured. For one brief, glowing day he had succeeded in practicing the simple art known to every blade of grass. For one scant day he had loved himself, felt himself to be unified and whole, not split into hostile parts; he had loved himself and the world and God in himself, and everywhere he went he had met nothing but love, approval, and joy. If a robber had attacked him yesterday, or a policeman had arrested him, that too would have been approval, harmony, the smile of fate. And now, in the midst of happiness, he had reversed course and was cutting himself down again. He sat in judgment on himself while his deepest self knew that all judgment was wrong and foolish. The world, which for the span of one day had been crystal clear and wholly filled with divinity, once more presented a harsh and painful face; every object had its own meaning and every meaning contradicted every other." "He already knew that the choking feeling of dread would pass only if he stopped condemning and admonishing himself, if he stopped poking around in the old wounds. He knew that all pain, all stupidity, all evil became its opposite if he could recognize God in it, if he pursued it to its deepest roots, which extended far beyond weal and woe and good and evil. He knew that. But there was nothing to do about it; the evil spirit was in him, God was a word again, lovely but remote. He hated and despised himself, and this hatred came over him, when the time was ripe, as involuntary and inexorably as love and trustfulness at other times. And this was how it always must be. Again and again and again he would experience the grace and blessing, and again and again the accursed contrary.
Hermann Hesse (Klingsors letzter Sommer)
FatherMichael has entered the room Wildflower: Ah don’t tell me you’re through a divorce yourself Father? SureOne: Don’t be silly Wildflower, have a bit of respect! He’s here for the ceremony. Wildflower: I know that. I was just trying to lighten the atmosphere. FatherMichael: So have the loving couple arrived yet? SureOne: No but it’s customary for the bride to be late. FatherMichael: Well is the groom here? SingleSam has entered the room Wildflower: Here he is now. Hello there SingleSam. I think this is the first time ever that both the bride and groom will have to change their names. SingleSam: Hello all. Buttercup: Where’s the bride? LonelyLady: Probably fixing her makeup. Wildflower: Oh don’t be silly. No one can even see her. LonelyLady: SingleSam can see her. SureOne: She’s not doing her makeup; she’s supposed to keep the groom waiting. SingleSam: No she’s right here on the laptop beside me. She’s just having problems with her password logging in. SureOne: Doomed from the start. Divorced_1 has entered the room Wildflower: Wahoo! Here comes the bride, all dressed in . . . SingleSam: Black. Wildflower: How charming. Buttercup: She’s right to wear black. Divorced_1: What’s wrong with misery guts today? LonelyLady: She found a letter from Alex that was written 12 years ago proclaiming his love for her and she doesn’t know what to do. Divorced_1: Here’s a word of advice. Get over it, he’s married. Now let’s focus the attention on me for a change. SoOverHim has entered the room FatherMichael: OK let’s begin. We are gathered here online today to witness the marriage of SingleSam (soon to be “Sam”) and Divorced_1 (soon to be “Married_1”). SoOverHim: WHAT?? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE? THIS IS A MARRIAGE CEREMONY IN A DIVORCED PEOPLE CHAT ROOM?? Wildflower: Uh-oh, looks like we got ourselves a gate crasher here. Excuse me can we see your wedding invite please? Divorced_1: Ha ha. SoOverHim: YOU THINK THIS IS FUNNY? YOU PEOPLE MAKE ME SICK, COMING IN HERE AND TRYING TO UPSET OTHERS WHO ARE GENUINELY TROUBLED. Buttercup: Oh we are genuinely troubled alright. And could you please STOP SHOUTING. LonelyLady: You see SoOverHim, this is where SingleSam and Divorced_1 met for the first time. SoOverHim: OH I HAVE SEEN IT ALL NOW! Buttercup: Sshh! SoOverHim: Sorry. Mind if I stick around? Divorced_1: Sure grab a pew; just don’t trip over my train. Wildflower: Ha ha. FatherMichael: OK we should get on with this; I don’t want to be late for my 2 o’clock. First I have to ask, is there anyone in here who thinks there is any reason why these two should not be married? LonelyLady: Yes. SureOne: I could give more than one reason. Buttercup: Hell yes. SoOverHim: DON’T DO IT! FatherMichael: Well I’m afraid this has put me in a very tricky predicament. Divorced_1: Father we are in a divorced chat room, of course they all object to marriage. Can we get on with it? FatherMichael: Certainly. Do you Sam take Penelope to be your lawful wedded wife? SingleSam: I do. FatherMichael: Do you Penelope take Sam to be your lawful wedded husband? Divorced_1: I do (yeah, yeah my name is Penelope). FatherMichael: You have already e-mailed your vows to me so by the online power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride. Now if the witnesses could click on the icon to the right of the screen they will find a form to type their names, addresses, and phone numbers. Once that’s filled in just e-mail it off to me. I’ll be off now. Congratulations again. FatherMichael has left the room Wildflower: Congrats Sam and Penelope! Divorced_1: Thanks girls for being here. SoOverHim: Freaks. SoOverHim has left the room
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
you know that no matter how many months have passed since the last occasion you met in person, real friendship should exist in an alternative space–time continuum which can be tapped into whenever necessary without any judgement being placed on either party.
Elizabeth Day (How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong)
Could he have been the fork in the road American never took, the singular point she jumped the wrong way from? Suppose the Slothropite heresy had had the time to consolidate and prosper? Might there have been fewer crimes in the name of Jesus, and more mercy in the name of Judas Iscariot? It seems to Tyrone Slothrop that there might be a route back--maybe that anarchist he met in Zurich was right, maybe for a little while all the fences are down, one road as good as another, the whole space of the Zone cleared...
Thomas Pynchon
Jimmy never met Joe Louis before that trial, only the jury didn’t know that. But Jimmy was strong for civil rights. That part is true. The only thing is, every time he won a trial, he thought he could never lose. And have no doubt: he hated Bobby with a passion. I heard him call Bobby a spoiled brat to his face in an elevator and start after him. I held Jimmy back. Many a time Jimmy said to me they got the wrong brother. But he hated brother Jack, too. Jimmy said they were young millionaires who had never done a day’s work.
Charles Brandt ("I Heard You Paint Houses", Updated Edition: Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa)
I thought about you. Every day.” I froze, my hand still holding the canvas flap. Cal’s voice was slightly hoarse as he continued. “Three weeks is a long time to wonder where someone is. All that time, I thought maybe I’d done the wrong thing, telling you to find the Brannicks.” I turned around then. I wanted to make a joke, or say something sarcastic, anything that would cut the tension enveloping us. Instead, I said, “I thought about you, too.” Cal glanced up, and I met his eyes. “Cal, you…you saved my dad’s life. You tried to save Archer’s.” My chest ached, saying that out loud, but I made myself go on. “That’s so huge, I don’t even know where to start. ‘Thank you’ doesn’t really cut it, you know? And I’m not sure there’s a fruit basket big enough to-“ He rose to his feet, and suddenly his arms were around me and my face was pressed against his chest. He smelled good, and familiar, and tears sprang to my eyes as I put my hands on his back and pressed him closer. He stroked my hair. “He might be okay, Sophie,” Cal murmured. “The Eye could’ve gotten him out.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
Hamish Alexander-Harrington knew his wife as only two humans who had both been adopted by a pair of mated treecats ever could. He'd seen her deal with joy and with sorrow, with happiness and with fury, with fear, and even with despair. Yet in all the years since their very first meeting at Yeltsin's Star, he suddenly realized, he had never actually met the woman the newsies called "the Salamander." It wasn't his fault, a corner of his brain told him, because he'd never been in the right place to meet her. Never at the right time. He'd never had the chance to stand by her side as she took a wounded heavy cruiser on an unflinching deathride into the broadside of the battlecruiser waiting to kill it, sailing to her own death, and her crew's, to protect a planet full of strangers while the rich beauty of Hammerwell's "Salute to Spring" spilled from her ship's com system. He hadn't stood beside her on the dew-soaked grass of the Landing City duelling grounds, with a pistol in her hand and vengeance in her heart as she faced the man who'd bought the murder of her first great love. Just as he hadn't stood on the floor of Steadholders' Hall when she faced a man with thirty times her fencing experience across the razor-edged steel of their swords, with the ghosts of Reverend Julius Hanks, the butchered children of Mueller Steading, and her own murdered steaders at her back. But now, as he looked into the unyielding flint of his wife's beloved, almond eyes, he knew he'd met the Salamander at last. And he recognized her as only another warrior could. Yet he also knew in that moment that for all his own imposing record of victory in battle, he was not and never had been her equal. As a tactician and a strategist, yes. Even as a fleet commander. But not as the very embodiment of devastation. Not as the Salamander. Because for all the compassion and gentleness which were so much a part of her, there was something else inside Honor Alexander-Harrington, as well. Something he himself had never had. She'd told him, once, that her own temper frightened her. That she sometimes thought she could have been a monster under the wrong set of circumstances. And now, as he realized he'd finally met the monster, his heart twisted with sympathy and love, for at last he understood what she'd been trying to tell him. Understood why she'd bound it with the chains of duty, and love, of compassion and honor, of pity, because, in a way, she'd been right. Under the wrong circumstances, she could have been the most terrifying person he had ever met. In fact, at this moment, she was . It was a merciless something, her "monster"—something that went far beyond military talent, or skills, or even courage. Those things, he knew without conceit, he, too, possessed in plenty. But not that deeply personal something at the core of her, as unstoppable as Juggernaut, merciless and colder than space itself, that no sane human being would ever willingly rouse. In that instant her husband knew, with an icy shiver which somehow, perversely, only made him love her even more deeply, that as he gazed into those agate-hard eyes, he looked into the gates of Hell itself. And whatever anyone else might think, he knew now that there was no fire in Hell. There was only the handmaiden of death, and ice, and purpose, and a determination which would not— couldnot—relent or rest. "I'll miss them," she told him again, still with that dreadful softness, "but I won't forget. I'll never forget, and one day— oneday, Hamish—we're going to find the people who did this, you and I. And when we do, the only thing I'll ask of God is that He let them live long enough to know who's killing them.
David Weber (Mission of Honor (Honor Harrington, #12))
I know what she smells like. This little freckle on her neck when she pulls up her hair. Her upper lip is a little plumper than the lower. The curve of her wrist, when she holds a pen. It’s wrong, really wrong, but I know the shape of her. I go to sleep thinking about it, and then I wake up, go to work, and she is there, and it’s impossible. I tell her stuff I know she’ll agree to, just to hear her hum back at me. It’s like hot water down my fucking spine. She’s married. She’s brilliant. She trusts me, and all I think about is taking her to my office, stripping her, doing unspeakable things to her. And I want to tell her. I want to tell her that she’s luminous, she’s so bright in my mind, sometimes I can’t focus. Sometimes I forget why I came into the room. I’m distracted. I want to push her against a wall, and I want her to push back. I want to go back in time and punch her stupid husband on the day I met him and then travel back to the future and punch him again. I want to buy her flowers, food, books. I want to hold her hand, and I want to lock her in my bedroom. She’s everything I ever wanted and I want to inject her into my veins and also to never see her again. There’s nothing like her and these feelings, they are fucking intolerable. They were half-asleep while she was gone, but now she’s here and my body thinks it’s a fucking teenager and I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. There is nothing I can do, so I’ll just . . . not.
Ali Hazelwood (Love on the Brain)
We came back [from Mars]," Pris said, "because nobody should have to live there. It wasn't conceived for habitation, at least not within the last billion years. It's so old. You feel it in the stones, the terrible old age. Anyhow, at first I got drugs from Roy; I lived for that new synthetic pain-killer, that silenizine. And then I met Horst Hartman, who at that time ran a stamp store, rare postage stamps; there's so much time on your hands that you've got to have a hobby, something you can pore over endlessly. And Horst got me interested in pre-colonial fiction." "You mean old books?" "Stories written before space travel but about space travel." "How could there have been stories about space travel before - " "The writers," Pris said, "made it up." "Based on what?" "On imagination. A lot of times they turned out wrong [...] Anyhow, there's a fortune to be made in smuggling pre-colonial fiction, the old magazines and books and films, to Mars. Nothing is as exciting. To read about cities and huge industrial enterprises, and really successful colonization. You can imagine what it might have been like. What Mars ought to be like. Canals." "Canals?" Dimly, he remembered reading about that; in the olden days they had believed in canals on Mars. "Crisscrossing the planet," Pris said. "And beings from other stars. With infinite wisdom. And stories about Earth, set in our time and even later. Where there's no radioactive dust." [...] "Did you bring any of that pre-colonial reading material back with you?" It occurred to him that he ought to try some. "It's worthless, here, because here on Earth the craze never caught on. Anyhow there's plenty here, in the libraries; that's where we get all of ours - stolen from libraries here on Earth and shot by autorocket to Mars. You're out at night humbling across the open space, and all of a sudden you see a flare, and there's a rocket, cracked open, with old pre-colonial fiction magazines spilling out everywhere. A fortune. But of course you read them before you sell them." She warmed to her topic. "Of all -
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)
If you’ve dragged out the crystals and started exploring your chakras for the express purpose of finding your soul mate, then it’s going to be rough if that person doesn’t materialize. Now you’re not just alone, you’re also out of sync with the universe. And that’s sort of heavy. Especially when people try to cheer you up with their own magical ‘how we met’ stories. They might be encouraging sometimes, but they also beg the question: Why do the universe’s elves and fairies keep blowing you off? How come every time you meet a guy at the supermarket he turns out to live in his mother’s basement?
Sara Eckel (It's Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You're Single)
Little by little, as you came to know her better in the weeks that followed, you discovered that eye to eye on nearly everything of any importance. Your politics were the same, most of the books you cared about were the same books, and you had familiar attitudes about what you wanted out of life: love, work, and children- with money and possessions far down on the list. Much to your relief, your personalities were nothing alike. She laughed more than you did, she was freer and more outgoing than you were, she was wormer than you were, and yet, all the way down at the bottom, at the nethermost point where you were joined together, you felt that you had met another version of yourself- but one that was more fully evolved than you were, better able to express what you kept bottled up inside you, a saner being. You adored her, and for the first time in your life, the person you adored adored you back. You came from entirely different worlds, a young Lutheran girl from Minnesota and a not so young Jew from New York, but just two and a half months after your chance encounter on February twenty-third thirty years ago, you decided to move in together. Until then, every decision you had made about women had been a wrong decision- but not this one.
Paul Auster (Winter Journal)
Why are you here?" My voice sounded breathless. As if it should've been obvious, Cole said, "I came here to offer you eternal life.Again." I pushed him away from him. "I already made my choice." "Yes,but it's obviously the wrong choice. Return with me. To the Everneath. And we'll live in the High Court. And you won't be a battery in the Tunnels. You could be a queen." "The Everneath has a High Court?" "Of course.It's where Osiris and Isis ruled.Hades and Persephone.Every realm in every dimension has people who give orders and people who take orders. And I'm tired of taking orders,Nick." I grimaced. "That has nothing to do with me." He paused and let out a little sigh. "Then I'm saying it wrong,beause it has everything to do with you. I want what Hades and Persephone had, and I can't do it without you.The only time the queen of the Everneath has been overthrown is when an Everliving has found his perfect match. I've spent my whole life-and it's a long one,trust me-looking for my perfect match,and it's you. I knew you were different from the first moment I met you.The first moment you placed your hands on mine.You remember?" I nodded. It had been the night we first met. "Your cheeks turned red,and I was gone for you." He shook his head,and his lips quirked up in a smile. "I know you felt it too.The connection between us. It started even before the Feed." I looked away,because my cheeks were getting warm thinking about it, and I couldn't let him see it.Remembering that night was pointless. I was a different person now. "It doesn't matter what I felt then.I didn't know who you really were." I glanced up.He raised his eyebrows and said, "It wouldn't have made a difference." He held my gaze with eyes so intense I couldn't look away. He was probably right. From the moment we met, I had been drawn to him.At the time, nothing would've changed my decision to go with him.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
Every pregnancy results in roughly two years of lost menstruation. If you are a manufacturer of menstrual pads, this is bad for business. So you ought to know about, and be so happy about, the drop in babies per woman across the world. You ought to know and be happy too about the growth in the number of educated women working away from home. Because these developments have created an exploding market for your products over the last few decades among billions of menstruating women now living on Levels 2 and 3. But, as I realized when I attended an internal meeting at one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of sanitary wear, most Western manufacturers have completely missed this. Instead, when hunting for new customers they are often stuck dreaming up new needs among the 300 million menstruating women on Level 4. “What if we market an even thinner pad for bikinis? What about pads that are invisible, to wear under Lycra? How about one pad for each kind of outfit, each situation, each sport? Special pads for mountain climbers!” Ideally, all the pads are so small they need to be replaced several times a day. But like most rich consumer markets, the basic needs are already met, and producers fight in vain to create demand in ever-smaller segments. Meanwhile, on Levels 2 and 3, roughly 2 billion menstruating women have few alternatives to choose from. These women don’t wear Lycra and won’t spend money on ultrathin pads. They demand a low-cost pad that will be reliable throughout the day so they don’t have to change it when they are out at work. And when they find a product they like, they will probably stick to that brand for their whole lives and recommend it to their daughters.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About The World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
I call it your source-fracture wound, the original break in your heart from long ago. It may have happened in an instant--a little rejection, a shocking abandonment, or a slight misattunement that suddenly made you realize how alone you were in this world. Or perhaps it was a bit-bu-bit splintering as over the years you met with an intermittent meanness, an unpredictable but repetitive abuse, or a neglect that stole your childhood inches at a time. Wherever, however, or whenever it happened, one thing we can assume is that no adult helped you make accurate meaning of your confusing and painful experience. No grown up sat you down and lovingly said, "No, honey, it's not that you're stupid. It's that your big brother is scared and insecure." "It's not that you don't matter, angel. It's that Daddy has a drinking problem and needs help." "It's not that you're not enough. It's that Mommy has clinical depression, dear, and it's neither your fault nor yours to fix." Without this mature presence to help explain to you what was happening to your little world, you probably came to some pretty strong and wrong conclusions about who you were and what was possible for you to have in life. And those conclusions became a habit of consciousness, a filter through which you interpret and then respond to the events of your life, making your grief all the more complex.
Katherine Woodward Thomas (Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After)
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))
That night at the Brooklyn party, I was playing the girl who was in style, the girl a man like Nick wants: the Cool Girl. Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl. Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men—friends, coworkers, strangers—giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much—no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version—maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: “I like strong women.” If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because “I like strong women” is code for “I hate strong women.”) I waited patiently—years—for the pendulum to swing the other way, for men to start reading Jane Austen, learn how to knit, pretend to love cosmos, organize scrapbook parties, and make out with each other while we leer. And then we’d say, Yeah, he’s a Cool Guy. But it never happened. Instead, women across the nation colluded in our degradation! Pretty soon Cool Girl became the standard girl. Men believed she existed—she wasn’t just a dreamgirl one in a million. Every girl was supposed to be this girl, and if you weren’t, then there was something wrong with you. But it’s tempting to be Cool Girl. For someone like me, who likes to win, it’s tempting to want to be the girl every guy wants. When I met Nick, I knew immediately that was what he wanted, and for him, I guess I was willing to try. I will accept my portion of blame. The thing is, I was crazy about him at first. I found him perversely exotic, a good ole Missouri boy. He was so damn nice to be around. He teased things out in me that I didn’t know existed: a lightness, a humor, an ease. It was as if he hollowed me out and filled me with feathers. He helped me be Cool
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Maybe, for whatever reason, you just don’t want to date right now,” I say, “and that’s fine. People feel that way all the time. But if it’s something else—if you’re afraid you’re too rigid, or whatever your exes might’ve thought about you—none of that’s true. Maybe every day with you would be more or less the same, but so what? That actually sounds kind of great. “And maybe I’m misreading all of this, but I don’t think I am, because I’ve never met anyone so much like me. And—if any part of all this is that you think, in the end, I’ll want a golden retriever instead of a mean little cat, you’re wrong.” “Everyone wants a golden retriever,” he says in a low voice. As ridiculous a statement as it is, he looks serious, concerned. I shake my head. “I don’t.
Emily Henry (Book Lovers)
Asher leaned toward me, and our lips met in a soft, lingering kiss. In my wildest dreams, I’d never imagined that I’d be at the Sweet Heart Ball, kissing Asher Rivers, who’d turned out to be the sweetest guy in the school. Once upon a time, I’d thought that there could be nothing better than bacon. But I’d been wrong. This moment was definitely more delicious than anything in the world.
Suzanne Nelson (You're Bacon Me Crazy)
Standing over his bed, watching him sleep, Luce could see it. The way their love would have bloomed here.She could see Lucia coming in to bring Daniel his meals,him opening up to her slowly. The pair being inseparable by the time Daniel recovered. And it made her feel jealous and guilty and confused because she couldn't tell right now whether their love was a beautiful thing, or whether this was yet another instance of how very wrong it was. If she was so young when they met, they must have had a long relationship in this life.She would have gotten to spend years with him before it happened. Before she died and was reincarnated into another life completely. She must have thought they'd spend forever together-and must not even have known how long forever meant. But Daniel knew.He always knew.
Lauren Kate (Passion (Fallen, #3))
Just think! The only reason the world knows anything about them [Jesus’ Apostles] is because having met the Savior, they made Him their guide in life. If they hadn’t, nobody now would know that such men had ever lived. They would have lived and died and been forgotten just as thousands of other men in their day lived and died and nobody knows or cares anything about them; just as thousands and thousands are living today, wasting their time and energy in useless living, choosing the wrong kind of men for their ideals, turning their footsteps into the road of Pleasure and Indulgence instead of the road of Service. Soon they will reach the end of their journey in life, and nobody can say that the world is any better for their having lived in it. At the close of each day such men leave their pathway as barren as they found it—they plant no trees to give shade to others, nor rose-bushes to make the world sweeter and brighter to those who follow—no kind deeds, no noble service—just a barren, unfruitful, desert-like pathway, strewn, perhaps, with thorns and thistles. Not so with the disciples who chose Jesus for their Guide. Their lives are like gardens of roses from which the world may pluck beautiful flowers forever.
David O. McKay
Will:"You know, when two people narrowly escape falling to their deaths, they usually have something to talk about, Even if they hadn't met before that moment, they usually have something to sayto each other afterward. But you haven't said anything to me. I've been tryingto give you some time. I've been trying to give you some space. All I want is-" Ivy:"Thank you. Thank you for risking your life. Thank you for saving me." "That's not what I wanted! Gratitude is the last thing I-" "Well, let me tell you what I want, Honesty." "When haven't I been honest? When?" "I found your note, Will. I know you blackmailed Gregory. I didn't tell the police yet, but I will." "So tell them, go ahead! It's old news to them, but if you've got the note, it's one more piece for the police files. I just don't get- Wait a minute. Do you think- You couldn't really think I did that to make money, could you?" "That's usually why people blackmail." "You think I'd betray you like that? Ivy I set up that blackmail--I got the Celentanos to help me out, and i videotaped it-so that i had something to take to the police." "Back in August when you were in the hospital, Gregory called me and told me you had tried to commit suicide. I couldn't believe it. I knew how much you missed Tristan, but I knew you were a fighter, too. I went to the train station that morning to look around and try to figure out what had gone through your head. As i was leaving I found the jacket and hat. I picked them up, but for weeks I didn't know how or even if they were connected to what had happened." "When school started I ran across some file photos of Tristan in the newspaper office. Suddenly I figured it out. I knew it wasn't like you to jump in front of a train, but it was just like you Eric and Gregory to con you across the track. I remembered how Eric had played chicken with us, and I blamed him at first. Later I realized that there was a lot more than a game going on." "Why didn't you tell me this before? You should have told me this before." "You weren't telling me things, either." "I was trying to protect you!" "What the heck do you think I was doing?...I had to distract him, give him another target, and try to get something on him at the same time. It almost worked. I gave the tape to Lieutenant Donnelly Tuesday afternoon, but Gregory had already laid his trap." "You thought I'd betray you." "Will I'm sorry. I was wrong. I really am sorry, I made a mistake. A big one. Try to understand. I was so mixed up and afraid. I thought I betrayed myself when I trusted you-and betrayed Tristan when I fell in love with you. Will!" "You fell in love with me?" "Love you, Will." "Love you, Ivy.
Elizabeth Chandler (Soulmates (Kissed by an Angel, #3))
The first, he says, is a feeling of recognition—the thing that makes you say to your newfound love (the quotes are his), “I know we’ve just met, but somehow I feel as though I already know you.” The second is a feeling of timelessness: “Even though we’ve only been seeing each other for a short time, I can’t remember when I didn’t know you.” The third is a feeling of reunification: “When I’m with you, I no longer feel alone; I feel whole, complete.
Kathryn Schulz (Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error)
This was what was wrong with me. All this time I had been trying to figure out the secrets of the universe, the secrets of my own body, of my own heart. All of the answers had always been so close and yet I had always fought them without even knowing it. From the minute I'd met Dante, I had fallen in love with him. I just didn't let myself know it, think it, feel it. My father was right. And it was true what my mother said. We all fight our own private wars.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1))
Sometimes mortals are not aware of the threads that bind them. You could both be wrong about the first time you met, and yet the two of you have orbited each other for so long, like heavenly bodies in the sky." Will squeezed Nico's hand. "I like how that sounds." Nico studied Will's broken fingernails, the cuts on his knuckles. He certainly felt like he was spinning through he would go shooting off into the void if it weren't for Will's gravity.
Rick Riordan (The Sun and the Star: A Nico di Angelo Adventure (Camp Half-Blood Chronicles, #17))
Tell me the story," said Fenchurch firmly. "You arrived at the station." "I was about twenty minutes early. I'd got the time of the train wrong." "Get on with it." Fenchurch laughed. "So I bought a newspaper, to do the crossword, and went to the buffet to get a cup of coffee." "You do the crossword?" "Yes." "Which one?" "The Guardian usually." "I think it tries to be too cute. I prefer The Times. Did you solve it?" "What?" "The crossword in the Guardian." "I haven't had a chance to look at it yet," said Arthur, "I'm still trying to buy the coffee." "All right then. Buy the coffee." "I'm buying it. I am also," said Arthur, "buying some biscuits." "What sort?" "Rich Tea." "Good Choice." "I like them. Laden with all these new possessions, I go and sit at a table. And don't ask me what the table was like because this was some time ago and I can't remember. It was probably round." "All right." "So let me give you the layout. Me sitting at the table. On my left, the newspaper. On my right, the cup of coffee. In the middle of the table, the packet of biscuits." "I see it perfectly." "What you don't see," said Arthur, "because I haven't mentioned him yet, is the guy sitting at the table already. He is sitting there opposite me." "What's he look like?" "Perfectly ordinary. Briefcase. Business suit. He didn't look," said Arthur, "as if he was about to do anything weird." "Ah. I know the type. What did he do?" "He did this. He leaned across the table, picked up the packet of biscuits, tore it open, took one out, and..." "What?" "Ate it." "What?" "He ate it." Fenchurch looked at him in astonishment. "What on earth did you do?" "Well, in the circumstances I did what any red-blooded Englishman would do. I was compelled," said Arthur, "to ignore it." "What? Why?" "Well, it's not the sort of thing you're trained for is it? I searched my soul, and discovered that there was nothing anywhere in my upbringing, experience or even primal instincts to tell me how to react to someone who has quite simply, calmly, sitting right there in front of me, stolen one of my biscuits." "Well, you could..." Fenchurch thought about it. "I must say I'm not sure what I would have done either. So what happened?" "I stared furiously at the crossword," said Arthur. "Couldn't do a single clue, took a sip of coffee, it was too hot to drink, so there was nothing for it. I braced myself. I took a biscuit, trying very hard not to notice," he added, "that the packet was already mysteriously open..." "But you're fighting back, taking a tough line." "After my fashion, yes. I ate a biscuit. I ate it very deliberately and visibly, so that he would have no doubt as to what it was I was doing. When I eat a biscuit," Arthur said, "it stays eaten." "So what did he do?" "Took another one. Honestly," insisted Arthur, "this is exactly what happened. He took another biscuit, he ate it. Clear as daylight. Certain as we are sitting on the ground." Fenchurch stirred uncomfortably. "And the problem was," said Arthur, "that having not said anything the first time, it was somehow even more difficult to broach the subject a second time around. What do you say? "Excuse me...I couldn't help noticing, er..." Doesn't work. No, I ignored it with, if anything, even more vigor than previously." "My man..." "Stared at the crossword, again, still couldn't budge a bit of it, so showing some of the spirit that Henry V did on St. Crispin's Day..." "What?" "I went into the breach again. I took," said Arthur, "another biscuit. And for an instant our eyes met." "Like this?" "Yes, well, no, not quite like that. But they met. Just for an instant. And we both looked away. But I am here to tell you," said Arthur, "that there was a little electricity in the air. There was a little tension building up over the table. At about this time." "I can imagine.
Douglas Adams
Have you ever even met a thief? Hollow certainly hasn’t, or he would know well that thieves have reasons beyond compulsion or selfishness for stealing, most of the time. But he made absolutely no attempt to dig deeper into Masters’s motives. Into his psychology.” She said psychology so wrongly it took him a moment to realize what she meant—she pronounced the P at the beginning, and the ch as the usual ch rather than like a k. “Psy . . . psychology. It’s pronounced psychology.
Roseanna M. White (A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1))
Have you ever met someone who is always negative? Every time you speak to them, something is wrong. They are sick, broke, been lied on, being treated unfairly, and so on. Have you ever noticed how those people genuinely experience one bad situation after another? You think to yourself, “How is it that everything wrong seems to happen to this person?” The answer is simple; that person speaks their outcome into existence. Proverbs, 18:7 shows us that, “A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.
V.L. Thompson (CEO - The Christian Entrepreneur's Outlook)
Travis?” Her voice came out scratchy and cracked. “What are you doing in my room?” Those eyes—not quite green, not quite brown—crinkled at the corners. “I’m not in your room, darlin’. You’re in mine.” What? Maybe she was still dreaming. That would explain why Travis was here and why nothing was making a lick of sense. But the throbbing behind her ear seemed awfully real. “My head hurts.” “You were kicked by a mule.” A mule? Meredith frowned. Uncle Everett didn’t own a mule. Had she been injured at the livery fetching Ginger? And why was Travis grinning at her? Shouldn’t he be more concerned? “It’s not very heroic of you to smile at my misfortune.” Really. This was her dream after all. Her hero should be more solicitous. Of course, usually in her dreams, Travis rescued her before any injury occurred. The man was getting lax. She’d started to tell him so when he laid the back of his hand on her forehead as if feeling for fever. The gentle touch instantly dissolved her pique. He removed his hand and met her gaze. “I’m smiling because I’m happy to see you awake. We’ve been worried about you.” “Awake?” Meredith scrunched her brows together until the throbbing around her skull forced her to relax. “Travis, you’re not making any sense. I can’t be awake. You only come to me when I’m dreaming. Although you’re usually younger and . . . well . . . cleaner, and not so in need of a shave. “But don’t get me wrong,” she hurried to assure him. It wouldn’t do to insult her hero. “You’re just as handsome as always. I don’t even mind that you didn’t save me this time. The important thing is that you’re here.
Karen Witemeyer (Short-Straw Bride (Archer Brothers, #1))
Hallie didn't believe she was invulnerable. She was never one of those daredevil types; she knew she could get hurt. What I think she meant was that she was lucky to be on her way to Nicaragua. It was the slowest thing to sink into my head, how happy she was. Happy to be leaving. We'd had one time of perfect togetherness in our adult lives, the year when we were both in college in Tucson-her first year, my last-and living together for the first time away from Doc Homer. That winter I'd wanted to fail a subject just so I could hang back, stay there with her, the two of us walking around the drafty house in sweatshirts and wool socks and understanding each other precisely. Bringing each other cups of tea without having to ask. So I stayed on in Tucson for medical school, instead of going to Boston as I'd planned, and met Carlo in Parasitology. Hallie, around the same time, befriended some people who ran a safehouse for Central American refugees. After that we'd have strangers in our kitchen every time of night, kids scared senseless, people with all kinds of damage. Our life was never again idyllic. I should have seen it coming. Once she and I had gone to see a documentary on the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, which was these Americans who volunteered without our government's blessing to fight against Franco and Hitler in the Spanish Civil War. At that point in U.S. history fascism was only maybe wrong, whereas communism was definitely. When we came home from the movie Hallie cried. Not because of the people who gave up life and limb only to lose Spain to Franco, and not for the ones who came back and were harassed for the rest of their lives for being Reds. The tragedy for Hallie was that there might never be a cause worth risking everything for in our lifetime. She was nineteen years old then, and as she lay blowing her nose and sobbing on my bed she told me this. That there were no real causes left. Now she had one-she was off to Nicaragua, a revolution of co-op farms and literacy crusades-and so I guess she was lucky. Few people know so clearly what they want. Most people can't even think what to hope for when they throw a penny in a fountain. Almost no one really gets the chance to alter the course of human events on purpose, in the exact way they wish for it to be altered.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal Dreams)
Coming home is terrible whether the dogs lick your face or not; whether you have a wife or just a wife-shaped loneliness waiting for you. Coming home is terribly lonely, so that you think of the oppressive barometric pressure back where you have just come from with fondness, because everything's worse once you're home. You think of the vermin clinging to the grass stalks, long hours on the road, roadside assistance and ice creams, and the peculiar shapes of certain clouds and silences with longing because you did not want to return. Coming home is just awful. And the home-style silences and clouds contribute to nothing but the general malaise. Clouds, such as they are, are in fact suspect, and made from a different material than those you left behind. You yourself were cut from a different cloudy cloth, returned, remaindered, ill-met by moonlight, unhappy to be back, slack in all the wrong spots, seamy suit of clothes dishrag-ratty, worn. You return home moon-landed, foreign; the Earth's gravitational pull an effort now redoubled, dragging your shoelaces loose and your shoulders etching deeper the stanza of worry on your forehead. You return home deepened, a parched well linked to tomorrow by a frail strand of… Anyway . . . You sigh into the onslaught of identical days. One might as well, at a time . . . Well . . . Anyway . . . You're back. The sun goes up and down like a tired whore, the weather immobile like a broken limb while you just keep getting older. Nothing moves but the shifting tides of salt in your body. Your vision blears. You carry your weather with you, the big blue whale, a skeletal darkness. You come back with X-ray vision. Your eyes have become a hunger. You come home with your mutant gifts to a house of bone. Everything you see now, all of it: bone." A poem by - Eva H.D.
Eva H.D.
You’re not a good one, mind you. Your technique needs work. You’re overeager.” Ryan smirked a little. “I get it—who wouldn’t be overeager to kiss me?” Finally, he got the reaction he wanted: Jamie rolled his eyes, though his face was still red from embarrassment. “Fuck off.” Still smirking lazily, Ryan leaned back against the couch, stretching his arm along the back. “Is that how you talk to your best mate who’s about to offer you to practice on him?” Jamie blinked a few times, looking adorably bewildered. “You’re joking.” Ryan met his gaze steadily. “Nope. I promise not to laugh at you and just tell you if you’re doing something wrong.” Jamie just stared at him. “Hurry up before I change my mind,” Ryan said.
Alessandra Hazard (Just a Bit Confusing (Straight Guys #5))
I hear footsteps, which is my first indicator that something is off—Dr. Zhang is feather-boned, and her light steps would barely register through the thick metal of her door. Still, I’m staring at where her eyes should be when the door jerks open. Instead of her kind, slightly wrinkled face, I’m met with a bronze wall of rippling abdominal muscles. Washboard isn’t a good descriptor because these abs are so chiseled they seem like they could hurt you, like you could lose a finger to a freak sit-up related accident if you reached out to stroke them at the wrong moment. This is an imminent threat because, clearly, their owner must spontaneously break into abdominal exercises without warning all the time to maintain this physique.
Alyssa Cole (The A.I. Who Loved Me)
So what I always say is that it’s always better to err on the side of kindness. That’s the secret. If you don’t know what to do, just be kind. You can’t go wrong. Which is why I asked you three to help me out here, because I’d heard from your lower-school teachers that you’re all really nice kids.” We didn’t know what to say to this, so we all just kind of smiled like goobers. “Just treat him like you would treat any kid you’ve just met,” he said. “That’s all I’m trying to say. Okay, guys?” We nodded at the same time now, too. Bobbling heads. “You guys rock,” he said. “So, relax, wait here a bit, and Mrs. Garcia will come and get you in a few minutes.” He opened the door. “And, guys, really, thanks again for doing this. It’s good
R.J. Palacio (Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories)
You did the right thing." "Yes, I did." He stroked her cheek with his thumb. "But with you, Arabella Anne Westfall, I have done everything wrong, from the moment we met, at nearly every turn. I have been arrogant and overly confident and short-tempered and deeply, insatiably lustful"-a bystander gasped-"and afraid of this between us. I was everything that must have been abhorrent to you when all you wished was to find your prince charming. Instead you ended up with a blind, surly, autocratic fool. If I could turn back time, if I could so what I should have done-" "Before I fell in love with you?" "-b-before I stole your virtue." His brow cut down. "By God, woman, you will always say what I least expect, won't you?" -Arabella & Luc
Katharine Ashe (I Married the Duke (The Prince Catchers, #1))
Even if these two didn't share the same short dark hair, the same violet eyes, and the same flawless olive skin, I'd know they were related because of their most dominant feature-their habit of staring. "I'm Chloe. This is my friend Emma, who apparently just head-butted your boyfriend Galen. We were in the middle of apologizing." I pinch the bridge of my nose and count to ten-Mississippi, but fifty-Mississippi seems more appropriate. Fifty allows more time to fantasize about ripping one of Chloe's new waves out. "Emma, what's wrong? Your nose isn't bleeding, is it?" She chirps, enjoying herself. Tingles gather at my chin as Galen lifts it with the crook of his finger. "Is your nose bleeding? Let me see," he says. He tilts my head side to side, leans closer to get a good look. And I meet my threshold for embarrassment. Tripping is bad enough. Tripping into someone is much worse. But if that someone has a body that could make sculpted statues jealous-and thinks you've broken your nose on one of his pecs-well, that's when tripping runs a distant second to humane euthanasia. He is clearly surprised when I swat his hand and step away. His girlfriend/relative seems taken aback that I mimic his stance-crossed arms and deep frown. I doubt she has ever met her threshold for embarrassment. "I said I was fine. No blood, no foul." "This is my sister Rayna," he says, as if the conversation steered naturally in that direction. She smiles at me as if forced at knifepoint, the kind of smile that comes purely from manners, like the smile you give your grandmother when she gives you the rotten-cabbage-colored sweater she's been knitting. I think of that sweater now as I return her smile.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
It seems to me we're just beginners at love. We say we love each other and we do, I don't doubt it. I love Terri and Terri loves me, and you guys love each other too. You know the kind of love I'm talking about now. Physical love, that impulse that drives you to someone special, as well as love of the other person's being, his or her essence, as it were. Carnal love and, well, call it sentimental love, the day-to-day caring about the other person. But sometimes I have a hard time accounting for the fact that I must have loved my first wife too. But I did, I know I did. There was a time when I thought I loved my first wife more than life itself. But now I hate her guts. I do. How do you explain that? What happened to that love? What happened to it, is what I'd like to know. I wish someone could tell me. You guys been together eighteen months and you love each other. It shows all over you. You glow with it. But you both loved other people before you met each other. You've both been married before, just like us. And you probably loved other people before that too, even. Terri and I have been together for five years, been married for four. And the terrible thing is, but the good thing too, the saving grace, you might say, is that if something happened to one of us- excuse me for saying this- but if something happened to one of us tomorrow, I think the other one, the other person, would grieve for a while, you know, but then the surviving party would go out and love again, have someone else soon enough. All this, all of this love we're talking about, it would just be a memory. Maybe not even a memory. Am I wrong? Am I way off base? Because I want you to set me straight if you think I'm wrong. I want to know. I mean, I don't know anything, and I'm the first one to admit it.
Raymond Carver (What We Talk About When We Talk About Love)
Oh don't be pompous and gloomy,darling," chided Amalfi. "There are thousands of places just as lovely as this. And as peaceful." "That's where you are wrong," said Tyson,leaning his elbows on the warm stone. "I've seen a lot of the world, A hell of a lot of it!But there's something special about this island Something that I haven't met anywhere else Do you know what is the most familiar sound in Zanzibar?-laughter! Walk through the streets of the little city almost any time of day or night, and you'll hear it. People laughing. There is a gaiety and good humour about them that is strangely warming to even such a corrugated, corroded and eroded heart as mine and this is the only place that I have hit upon where black and white and every shade in between 'em appear to able to live in complete friendliness and harmony, with no colour bar. It's living proof and a practical demonstration that it can be done.
M.M. Kaye (Death in Zanzibar)
Now many crises in people’s lives occur because the hero role that they’ve assumed for one situation or set of situations no longer applies to some new situation that comes up, or–the same thing in effect–because they haven’t the imagination to distort the new situation to fit their old role. This happens to parents, for instance, when their children grow older, and to lovers when one of them begins to dislike the other. If the new situation is too overpowering to ignore, and they can’t find a mask to meet it with, they may become schizophrenic–a last-resort mask–or simply shattered. All questions of integrity involve this consideration, because a man’s integrity consists in being faithful to the script he’s written for himself. “I’ve said you’re too unstable to play any one part all the time–you’re also too unimaginative–so for you these crises had better be met by changing scripts as often as necessary. This should come naturally to you; the important thing for you is to realize what you’re doing so you won’t get caught without a script, or with the wrong script in a given situation. You did quite well, for example, for a beginner, to walk in here so confidently and almost arrogantly a while ago, and assign me the role of a quack. But you must be able to change masks at once if by some means or other I’m able to make the one you walked in with untenable. Perhaps–I’m just suggesting an offhand possibility–you could change to thinking of me as The Sagacious Old Mentor, a kind of Machiavellian Nestor, say, and yourself as The Ingenuous But Promising Young Protégé, a young Alexander, who someday will put all these teachings into practice and far outshine the master. Do you get the idea? Or–this is repugnant, but it could be used as a last resort–The Silently Indignant Young Man, who tolerates the ravings of a Senile Crank but who will leave this house unsullied by them. I call this repugnant because if you ever used it you’d cut yourself off from much that you haven’t learned yet. “It’s extremely important that you learn to assume these masks wholeheartedly. Don’t think there’s anything behind them: ego means I, and I means ego, and the ego by definition is a mask. Where there’s no ego–this is you on the bench–there’s no I. If you sometimes have the feeling that your mask is insincere–impossible word!–it’s only because one of your masks is incompatible with another. You mustn’t put on two at a time. There’s a source of conflict, and conflict between masks, like absence of masks, is a source of immobility. The more sharply you can dramatize your situation, and define your own role and everybody else’s role, the safer you’ll be. It doesn’t matter in Mythotherapy for paralytics whether your role is major or minor, as long as it’s clearly conceived, but in the nature of things it’ll normally be major. Now say something.
John Barth (The End of the Road)
The day wore on.While yet Rycca slept, Dragon did all the things she had said he would do-paced back and forth, contemplated mayhem,and even honed his blade on the whetstone from the stable.All except being oblivious to her,for that he could never manage. But when she awoke,sitting up heavy-lidded, her mouth so full and soft it was all he could do not to crawl back into bed with her,he put aside such pursuits and controlled himself admirably well,so he thought. Yet in the midst of preparing a meal for them from the provisions in the pantry of the lodge,he was stopped by Rycca's hand settling upon his. "Dragon," she said softly, "if you add any more salt to that stew, we will need a barrel of water and more to drink with it." He looked down, saw that she was right, and cursed under his breath. Dumping out the spoiled stew, he started over. They ate late but they did eat.He was quite determined she would do so,and for once she seemed to have a decent appetite. "I'm glad to see your stomach is better," he said as she was finishing. She looked up,startled. "What makes you say that?" "You haven't seemed able to eat regularly of late." "Oh,well,you many that." He nodded,reached for his goblet, and damn near knocked it over as a sudden thought roared through him. "Rycca?" She rose quickly,gathering up the dishes. His hand lashed out, closing on her wrist. Gently but inexorably, he returned her to her seat. Without taking his eyes from her,he asked, "Is there something you should tell me?" "Something...?" "I ask myself what sort of changes may cause a woman to be afflicted with an uneasy stomach and it occurs to me I've been a damned idiot." "Not so! You could never be that." "Oh,really? How otherwise would I fail to notice that your courses have not come of late? Or is that also due to travel,wife?" "Some women are not all that regular." "Some women do not concern me.You do,Rycca. I swear,if you are with child and have not told me, I will-" She squared her shoulders,lifted her head,and met his eyes hard on. "Will what?" "What? Will what? Does that mean-" "I'm sorry,Dragon." Truly repentant, Rycca sighed deeply. "I was going to tell you.I was just waiting for a calmer time.I didn't want you to worry more." Still grappling with what she had just revealed,he stared at her in astonishment. "You mean worry that my wife and our child are bait for a murderous traitor?" "I know you're angry and you have a right to be.But if I had told you, we wouldn't be here now." "Damn right we wouldn't be!" He got up from the table so abruptly that his chair toppled over and crashed to the floor.Ignoring it,Dragon paced back and forth,glaring at her. Rycca waited,trusting the storm to pass. As she did,she counted silently, curious to see just how long it would take her husband to grasp fully what he had discovered. Nine...ten... "We're going to have a baby." Not long at all. She nodded happily. "Yes,we are, and you're going to be a wonderful father." He walked back to the table,picked her up out of her chair,held her high against his chest,and stared at her. "My God-" Rycca laughed. "You can't possibly be surprised.It's not as though we haven't been doing our best to make this happen." "True,but still it's absolutely incredible." Very gently,she touched his face. "Perhaps we think of miracles wrongly. They're supposed to be extraordinarily rare but in fact they're as commonplace as a bouquet of wildflowers plucked by a warrior...or a woman having a baby." Dragon sat down with her still in his arms and held her very close.He swallowed several times and said nothing. Both could have remained contentedly like that for a long while, but only a few minutes passed before they were interrupted. The raven lit on the sill of the open window just long enough to catch their attention,then she was gone into the bloodred glare of the dying day.
Josie Litton (Come Back to Me (Viking & Saxon, #3))
The ladies, my good Percival, shall tell me about virtue," he said. "They are better authorities than I am, for they know what virtue is, and I don't." "You hear him?" said Sir Percival. "Isn't it awful?" "It is true," said the Count quietly. "I am a citizen of the world, and I have met, in my time, with so many different sorts of virtue, that I am puzzled, in my old age, to say which is the right sort and which is the wrong. Here, in England, there is one virtue. And there, in China, there is another virtue. And John Englishman says my virtue is the genuine virtue. And John Chinaman says my virtue is the genuine virtue. And I say Yes to one, or No to the other, and am just as much bewildered about it in the case of John with the top-boots as I am in the case of John with the pigtail. Ah, nice little Mousey! come, kiss me. What is your own private notion of a virtuous man, my pret-pret-pretty? A man who keeps you warm, and gives you plenty to eat. And a good notion, too, for it is intelligible, at the least.
Wilkie Collins (The Woman in White)
Shepard clears his throat again. “I need to tell you something, a few somethings. Because now is the time to tell you. Before we get serious. But it’s going to make it seem like I think we’re more serious than we are. I just don’t want to miss my window for being honest with you.” “Shepard, you’re making me nervous.” He groans. “I’m sorry. Don’t be nervous.” My hands were on his shoulders. I drop them into my lap. “Don’t pull away,” he says. “Just tell me, Shepard! Are you engaged to more than one demon?” “No! But … you know I’ve been in a lot of unusual magickal situations…” “Right.” “And you know about my thirdborn…” “I know that a giant you call a friend is going to eat your thirdborn.” He closes one eye and bites his bottom lip. “I may also have promised someone my firstborn.” “Shepard, your firstborn…” He squeezes my waist. “It’s all right, I told you—I’m not having kids.” “Who gets your firstborn?” “An imp. Or three.” “Aren’t imps the same as demons?” “Never say that to an imp.” “How did this even happen?” “We were playing impdice. I thought they were joking about the wager.” “We are going to kill these imps.” “Penelope…” He bites his lip again. “There’s more.” “More? Your secondborn?” “No, I’ve got dibs on that one…” He’s grimacing. “But I did lose my last name.” Every time he talks, my jaw drops lower and my eyebrows climb higher. “How on earth did you lose your last name?” “Told it to the wrong fairy.” My hands are in the air. “How have you met so many fairies!” “I fell in with a crew of them…” “Shepard—hell’s spells, is your name even Shepard?” “Yes! I only lost my last name. And I only ‘magickally and profoundly’ lost it; I can still say it, I can still wear name tags. There’s just one more thing—one more big thing…” He closes both eyes for a second. “I have a, um, well … I don’t have a sexually transmitted disease. But I am a carrier. Only other merpeople can get it. So it’s probably not relevant. Unless you want to sleep with a merperson. And also me. Me first. Which I’m not suggesting…” Hell’s spells … Shepard. I climb off his lap.
Rainbow Rowell (Any Way the Wind Blows (Simon Snow, #3))
For a while I considered dropping out of Barnard to help. It felt unbearably selfish, just downright wrong, to be indulging myself with an education in the liberal arts at a fancy private college while Mom and Dad were on the streets. But Lori convinced me that dropping out was a lamebrained idea. It wouldn’t do any good, she said, and besides, dropping out would break Dad’s heart. He was immensely proud that he had a daughter in college, and an Ivy League college at that. Every time he met someone new, he managed to work it into the first few minutes of conversation. Mom and Dad, Brian pointed out, had options. They could move back to West Virginia or Phoenix. Mom could work. And she was not destitute. She had her collection of antique Indian jewelry, which she kept in a self-storage locker. There was the two-carat diamond ring that Brian and I had found under the rotten lumber back in Welch; she wore it even when sleeping on the street. She still owned property in Phoenix. And she had the land in Texas, the source of her oil-lease royalties.
Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle)
I’m scared all the time and don’t tell me that courage is going forward when you’re scared because it’s not like that. I was scared of the carriages and the people at the inns. The only thing I did right was find the dust-wife.” “Ah, Lady Fox.” He shook his head. “I think finding her makes up for anything else you did wrong.” “Maybe, but you…you did what you could to make it right.” She didn’t know how to say what was in her head, that Fenris was a good man and maybe the weakness of being good was that evil didn’t occur to you. That never in a thousand years would she have dreamed that Vorling was intentionally hurting her sister. It had never even crossed her mind. “And then you did your best to make sure no one else suffered.” He snorted. “By jumping into a fairy fort. Not the best idea I’ve ever had.” Marra clasped her hands together. They seemed much colder now that Fenris had released them. “Well, if you hadn’t, we never would have met.” “No, we wouldn’t have.” His eyes held hers for just a moment too long, and in the end, Marra’s dropped first.
T. Kingfisher (Nettle & Bone)
To clarify the existentiality of the Self, we take as our ‘natural’ point of departure Dasein’s everyday interpretation of the Self. In *saying* “*I*,” Dasein expresses itself about ‘itself’. It is not necessary that in doing so Dasein should make any utterance. With the ‘I’, this entity has itself in view. The content of this expression is regarded as something utterly simple. In each case, it just stands for me and nothing further. Also, this ‘I’, as something simple, is not an attribute of other Things; it is not *itself* a predicate, but the absolute ‘subject’. What is expressed and what is addressed in saying “I,” is always met as the same persisting something. The characteristics of ‘simplicity’, ‘substantiality’, and ‘personality’, which Kant, for instance, made the basis for his doctrine ‘of the paralogisms of pure reason’, arise from a genuine pre-phenomenological experience. The question remains whether that which we have experienced ontically in this way may be Interpreted ontologically with the help of the ‘categories’ mentioned. Kant, indeed, in strict conformity with the phenomenal content given in saying “I,” shows that the ontical theses about the soul-substance which have been inferred [*erschlossenen*] from these characteristics, are without justification. But in so doing, he merely rejects a wrong *ontical* explanation of the “I”; he has by no means achieved an *ontological* Interpretation of Selfhood, nor has he even obtained some assurance of it and made positive preparation for it. Kant makes a more rigorous attempt than his predecessors to keep hold of the phenomenal content of saying “I”; yet even though in theory he has denied that the ontical foundations of the ontology of the substantial apply to the “I,” he still slips back into *this same* inappropriate ontology. This will be shown more exactly, in order that we may establish what it means ontologically to take saying “I” as the starting point for the analysis of Selfhood. The Kantian analysis of the ‘I think’ is now to be added as an illustration, but only so far as is demanded for clarifying these problems." ―from_Being and Time_. Translated by John Macquarrie & Edward Robinson, p. 366
Martin Heidegger
Okay, so I shouldn't have fucked with her on the introduction thing. Writing nothing except, Saturday night. You and me. Driving lessons and hot sex ... in her notebook probably wasn't the smartest move. But I was itching to make Little Miss Perfecta stumble in her introduction of me. And stumbling she is. "Miss Ellis?" I watch in amusement as Perfection herself looks up at Peterson. Oh, she's good. This partner of mine knows how to hide her true emotions, something I recognize because I do it all the time. "Yes?" Brittany says, tilting her head and smiling like a beauty queen. I wonder if that smile has ever gotten her out of a speeding ticket. "It's your turn. Introduce Alex to the class." I lean an elbow on the lab table, waiting for an introduction she has to either make up or fess up she knows less than crap about me. She glances at my comfortable position and I can tell from her deer-in-the-headlights look I've stumped her. "This is Alejandro Fuentes," she starts, her voice hitching the slightest bit. My temper flares at the mention of my given name, but I keep a cool facade as she continues with a made-up introduction. "When he wasn't hanging out on street corners and harassing innocent people this summer, he toured the inside of jails around the city, if you know what I mean. And he has a secret desire nobody would ever guess." The room suddenly becomes quiet. Even Peterson straightens to attention. Hell, even I'm listening like the words coming out of Brittany's lying, pink-frosted lips are gospel. "His secret desire," she continues, "is to go to college and become a chemistry teacher, like you, Mrs. Peterson." Yeah, right. I look over at my friend Isa, who seems amused that a white girl isn't afraid of giving me smack in front of the entire class. Brittany flashes me a triumphant smile, thinking she's won this round. Guess again, gringa. I sit up in my chair while the class remains silent. "This is Brittany Ellis," I say, all eyes now focused on me. "This summer she went to the mall, bought new clothes so she could expand her wardrobe, and spent her daddy's money on plastic surgery to enhance her, ahem, assets." It might not be what she wrote, but it's probably close enough to the truth. Unlike her introduction of me. Chuckles come from mis cuates in the back of the class, and Brittany is as stiff as a board beside me, as if my words hurt her precious ego. Brittany Ellis is used to people fawning all over her and she could use a little wake-up call. I'm actually doing her a favor. Little does she know I'm not finished with her intro. "Her secret desire," I add, getting the same reaction as she did during her introduction, "is to date a Mexicano before she graduates." As expected, my words are met by comments and low whistles from the back of the room. "Way to go, Fuentes," my friend Lucky barks out. "I'll date you, mamacita, " another says. I give a high five to another Latino Blood named Marcus sitting behind me just as I catch Isa shaking her head as if I did something wrong. What? I'm just having a little fun with a rich girl from the north side. Brittany's gaze shifts from Colin to me. I take one look at Colin and with my eyes tell him game on. Colin's face instantly turns bright red, resembling a chile pepper. I have definitely invaded his territory.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
Emotional Neglect Questionnaire Do You: Sometimes feel like you don’t belong when with your family or friends Pride yourself on not relying upon others Have difficulty asking for help Have friends or family who complain that you are aloof or distant Feel you have not met your potential in life Often just want to be left alone Secretly feel that you may be a fraud Tend to feel uncomfortable in social situations Often feel disappointed with, or angry at, yourself Judge yourself more harshly than you judge others Compare yourself to others and often find yourself sadly lacking Find it easier to love animals than people Often feel irritable or unhappy for no apparent reason Have trouble knowing what you’re feeling Have trouble identifying your strengths and weaknesses Sometimes feel like you’re on the outside looking in Believe you’re one of those people who could easily live as a hermit Have trouble calming yourself Feel there’s something holding you back from being present in the moment At times feel empty inside Secretly feel there’s something wrong with you Struggle with self-discipline Look back over your circled (YES) answers.
Jonice Webb (Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect)
Jill had, as you might say, quite fall in love with the Unicorn. She thought- and she wasn't far wrong- that he was the shiningest, delicatest, most graceful animal she had ever met; and he was so gentle and soft of speech that, if you hadn't known, you would hardly have believed how fierce and terrible he could be in battle. "Oh, this is nice!" said Jill. "Just walking along like this. I wish there could be more of this sort of adventure. It's a pity there's always so much happening in Narnia." But the Unicorn explained to her that she was quite mistaken. He said that the Sons and Daughters of Adam and Eve were brought out of their own strange world into Narnia only at times when Narnia was stirred and upset, but she mustn't think it was always like that. In between their visits there were hundreds and thousands of years when peaceful King followed peaceful King till you could hardly remember their names or count their numbers, and there was really hardly anything to put into the History Books. And he went on to talk of old Queens and heroes whom she had never heard of. He spoke of Swanwhite the Queen who had lived before the days of the White Witch and the Great Winter, who was so beautiful that when she looked into any forest pool the reflection of her face shone out of the water like a star by night for a year and a day afterwards. He spoke of Moonwood the Hare who had such ears that he could sit by Caldron Pool under the thunder of the great waterfall and hear what men spoke in whispers at Cair Paravel. He told how King Gale, who was ninth in descent from Frank the first of all Kings, had sailed far away into the Eastern seas and delivered the Lone Islanders from a dragon and how, in return, they had given him the Lone Islands to be part of the royal lands of Narnia for ever. He talked of whole centuries in which all Narnia was so happy that notable dances and feasts, or at most tournaments, were the only things that could be remembered, and every day and week had been better than the last. And as he went on, the picture of all those happy years, all the thousands of them, piled up in Jill's mind till it was rather like looking down from a high hill on to a rich, lovely plain full of woods and waters and cornfields, which spread away and away till it got thin and misty from distance.
C.S. Lewis
Computational models of the mind would make sense if what a computer actually does could be characterized as an elementary version of what the mind does, or at least as something remotely like thinking. In fact, though, there is not even a useful analogy to be drawn here. A computer does not even really compute. We compute, using it as a tool. We can set a program in motion to calculate the square root of pi, but the stream of digits that will appear on the screen will have mathematical content only because of our intentions, and because we—not the computer—are running algorithms. The computer, in itself, as an object or a series of physical events, does not contain or produce any symbols at all; its operations are not determined by any semantic content but only by binary sequences that mean nothing in themselves. The visible figures that appear on the computer’s screen are only the electronic traces of sets of binary correlates, and they serve as symbols only when we represent them as such, and assign them intelligible significances. The computer could just as well be programmed so that it would respond to the request for the square root of pi with the result “Rupert Bear”; nor would it be wrong to do so, because an ensemble of merely material components and purely physical events can be neither wrong nor right about anything—in fact, it cannot be about anything at all. Software no more “thinks” than a minute hand knows the time or the printed word “pelican” knows what a pelican is. We might just as well liken the mind to an abacus, a typewriter, or a library. No computer has ever used language, or responded to a question, or assigned a meaning to anything. No computer has ever so much as added two numbers together, let alone entertained a thought, and none ever will. The only intelligence or consciousness or even illusion of consciousness in the whole computational process is situated, quite incommutably, in us; everything seemingly analogous to our minds in our machines is reducible, when analyzed correctly, only back to our own minds once again, and we end where we began, immersed in the same mystery as ever. We believe otherwise only when, like Narcissus bent above the waters, we look down at our creations and, captivated by what we see reflected in them, imagine that another gaze has met our own.
David Bentley Hart (The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss)
We were in Pittsburgh at the end of September. The Pirates had already clinched the division, and the great Roberto Clemente was looking for his 3,000th career hit. I wasn’t in the lineup again. Clemente wasn’t a power hitter like Mays or Aaron, but he had won four batting titles, was a perennial All-Star, and even at the age of 37 was hitting well over .300. Roberto lined a sharp double down the left-field line in the fourth inning, and we saw history being made again. He joined Willie and Hank and a handful of others to reach that milestone. I remember thinking at the time how difficult it must be to get all of those hits, and for Willie and Hank to get all those home runs. I’d only reached about 900 hits with more than 2,000 to go if I ever was to hit that mark. That put it into perspective for me, that I really was watching one of the greats of the game. It was a dark day for baseball on the last day of 1972 when Roberto’s plane went down while delivering supplies to Nicaragua. He was only 38. I heard about the plane crash the next day, and it was like losing a brother. It was a great loss for the game of baseball and humanity—especially knowing how his fellow Puerto Ricans felt about him. He was a treasure, and he did it the way nobody else could. Some say he did everything wrong at the plate but he had great results behind it. You wouldn’t teach hitting the way he hit, but it was right for him. What he did was in him like it was in with me. He was a man of stature, and it was his calling. Some people are called to preach, some people are called to teach, and some people are called to serve. He was called to serve, and he served his entire island. I believe everything is predestined, and we just have to act out what’s already on the wall of your life. He’d probably always been aware of the need to do something more for others than for himself. He looked around and saw a need and acted on it. I’m certain he looked at who he was and what he accomplished and how he could take being famous into being a blessing for others. I’ve said this many times before, that those who depend on you are seeking a hand up and not a handout. I didn’t think about it then, but I think about it now, how good the Almighty was to wait to call Roberto home after he got his 3,000th hit—a milestone hit that put him next to the greats of the game.
Cleon Jones (Coming Home: My Amazin' Life with the New York Mets)
Iain MacGregor,” she whispered longingly, looking up. The woods were quiet. Strips of moonlight shone through tree limbs that reached like surreal black fingertips across her vision. A single tear slid down her cheek. She touched her mouth, imagining his kiss. Taking a small pocket knife out of her cargo pants, she looked about. A mystic had once told her that if she left pieces of herself around while she lived, it would expand her haunting territory when she died. Jane wasn’t sure she believed in sideshow magic tricks—or the Old Magick as the mystic had spelled it on her sign. She had no idea what had possessed her to talk to the palm reader and ask about ghosts. Still, just in case, she was leaving her stamp all over the woods. She cut her palm and pressed it to a nearby tree under a branch. Holding the wound to the rough bark stung at first, but then it made her feel better. This forest wouldn’t be a bad eternity. The sound of running feet erupted behind her and she stiffened. No one ever came out here at night. She’d walked the woods hundreds of times. Her mind instantly went to the creepy girl ghosts chanting by the stream. “Whoohoo!” Jane whipped around, startled as a streak of naked flesh sprinted past her. The Scottish voice was met with loud cheers from those who followed him. “Water’s this way, lads, or my name isn’t Raibeart MacGregor, King of the Highlands!” Another naked man dashed through the forest after him. “It smells of freedom.” Jane stayed hidden in the branches, undetected, with her hand pressed to the bark. “Aye, freedom from your proper Cait,” Raibeart answered, his voice coming through the dark where he’d disappeared into the trees. “Murdoch, stop him before he reaches town. Cait will not teleport ya out of jail again,” a third man yelled, not running quite so fast. “Raibeart, ya are goin’ the wrong way!” “Och, Angus, my Cait canna live without me,” Murdoch, the second streaker, answered. “She’ll always come to my rescue.” “I said stop him, Murdoch, we’re new to this place.” Angus skidded to a stop and lifted his jaw, as if sensing he was being watched. He looked in her direction and instantly covered his manhood as his eyes caught Jane’s shocked face in the tree limbs. “Oh, lassie.” “Oh, naked man,” Jane teased before she could stop herself. “That I am,” Angus answered, “but there is an explanation for it.” “I don’t think some things need explained,” Jane said.
Michelle M. Pillow (Spellbound (Warlocks MacGregor, #2))
Here's the thing about killers. If you know one, I'm sure you'll agree with me: They can't help bragging about what they've done. Seriously. They are totally vain. And that, generally, is their undoing. Look at it from their point of view: I mean, here they are, and they've gotten away with this terrific crime. You know, something totally ingenious that no one would ever think to pin on them. And they can't tell anybody. They can't tell a soul. That's what gets them almost every time. Not telling anyone - not letting anyone in on their brilliant secret -well, that just about kills them. Don't get me wrong. They don't want to get caught. They just want somebody to appreciate the brilliance of this thing they've done. Yes, it was a heinous - sometimes even unthinkable - crime. But look. Look. They did it without getting caught. They fooled the police. They fooled everybody. They have to tell somebody. They have to. Otherwise, what's the point? This is just a personal observation, of course. I have met quite a few killers in my line of work, and this is one thing they all seem to have in common. Only the ones who kept their mouths shut were the ones who managed to keep from getting caught. Everybody else? Slammer city.
Meg Cabot (Reunion (The Mediator, #3))
Something, somewhere, somewhen, must have happened differently… PETUNIA EVANS married Michael Verres, a Professor of Biochemistry at Oxford. HARRY JAMES POTTER-EVANS-VERRES grew up in a house filled to the brim with books. He once bit a math teacher who didn’t know what a logarithm was. He’s read Godel, Escher, Bach and Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases and volume one of The Feynman Lectures on Physics. And despite what everyone who’s met him seems to fear, he doesn’t want to become the next Dark Lord. He was raised better than that. He wants to discover the laws of magic and become a god. HERMIONE GRANGER is doing better than him in every class except broomstick riding. DRACO MALFOY is exactly what you would expect an eleven-year-old boy to be like if Darth Vader were his doting father. PROFESSOR QUIRRELL is living his lifelong dream of teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts, or as he prefers to call his class, Battle Magic. His students are all wondering what’s going to go wrong with the Defense Professor this time. DUMBLEDORE is either insane, or playing some vastly deeper game which involved setting fire to a chicken. DEPUTY HEADMISTRESS MINERVA MCGONAGALL needs to go off somewhere private and scream for a while. Presenting: HARRY POTTER AND THE METHODS OF RATIONALITY You ain’t guessin’ where this one’s going.
He gave me his wolf. When he was ten years old. Did you know that?” Robbie made a choked noise, face slack with shock. “I didn;’t know what it meant. Not at the time. But he gave it to me. The day after he met me. Because he knew. And when I found out what it meant, I tried to give it back. I tried to tell him he was wrong. That he’d chosen the wrong person. That I wasn’t good enough for someone like him, someone as smart and brave and kind. And he wouldn’t hear any part of it. Because I was it. He’s already decided that I was it for him.” “I didn’t know that,” Robbie said quietly. “Not that it went back that far.” “There has always been him and me,” I said. “And I think that there always will be, no matter what we decide to do. Even if we’re just friends. Or allies. Or something more, there will always be him and me, because that's what we chose.” “You love him,” Robbie repeated. I didn’t have it in me to deny it. “For a very long time,” I said, staring out to where Joe had disappeared. “I’m sorry,” Robbie said, sounding hurt and confused. “I shouldn’t have--” I held out my arm for him, and he rushed over, curling into my side, his head near my chest as he wrapped his arms around my waist, claws pricking my skin. He trembled as I dropped my arm onto his bare shoulders, running my hand through his hair. We were quiet for a time. Eventually, he sniffed. “So,” he said. “Kelly is kind of cute.” I tilted my head back and laughed
T.J. Klune (Wolfsong (Green Creek, #1))
Honey And The Moon" Don't know why I'm still afraid If you weren't real I would make you up now I wish that I could follow through I know that your love is true And deep As the sea But right now Everything you want is wrong, And right now All your dreams are waking up, And right now I wish I could follow you To the shores Of freedom, Where no one lives. Remember when we first met And everything was still a bet In love's game You would call; I'd call you back And then I'd leave A message On your answering machine But right now Everything is turning blue, And right now The sun is trying to kill the moon, And right now I wish I could follow you To the shores Of freedom, Where no one lives Freedom Run away tonight Freedom, freedom Run away Run away tonight We're made out of blood and rust Looking for someone to trust Without A fight I think that you came too soon You're the honey and the moon That lights Up my night But right now Everything you want is wrong, And right now All your dreams are waking up, And right now I wish that I could follow you To the shores Of freedom Where no one lives Freedom Run away tonight Freedom freedom Run away Run away tonight We got too much time to kill Like pigeons on my windowsill We hang around Ever since I've been with you You hold me up All the time I've falling down But right now Everything is turning blue, And right now The sun is trying to kill the moon, And right now I wish I could follow you To the shores Of freedom Where no one lives
Joseph Arthur
My Future Self My future self and I become closer and closer as time goes by. I must admit that I neglected and ignored her until she punched me in the gut, grabbed me by the hair and turned my butt around to introduce herself. Well, at least that’s what it felt like every time I left the convalescent hospital after doing skills training for a certification I needed to help me start my residential care business. I was going to be providing specialized, 24/7 residential care and supervising direct care staff for non-verbal, non-ambulatory adult men in diapers! I ran to the Red Cross and took the certified nurse assistant class so I would at least know something about the job I would soon be hiring people to do and to make sure my clients received the best care. The training facility was a Medicaid hospital. I would drive home in tears after seeing what happens when people are not able to afford long-term medical care and the government has to provide that care. But it was seeing all the “young” patients that brought me to tears. And I had thought that only the elderly lived like this in convalescent hospitals…. I am fortunate to have good health but this experience showed me that there is the unexpected. So I drove home each day in tears, promising God out loud, over and over again, that I would take care of my health and take care of my finances. That is how I met my future self. She was like, don’t let this be us girlfriend and stop crying! But, according to studies, we humans have a hard time empathizing with our future selves. Could you even imagine your 30 or 40 year old self when you were in elementary or even high school? It’s like picturing a stranger. This difficulty explains why some people tend to favor short-term or immediate gratification over long-term planning and savings. Take time to picture the life you want to live in 5 years, 10 years, and 40 years, and create an emotional connection to your future self. Visualize the things you enjoy doing now, and think of retirement saving and planning as a way to continue doing those things and even more. However, research shows that people who interacted with their future selves were more willing to improve savings. Just hit me over the head, why don’t you! I do understand that some people can’t even pay attention or aren’t even interested in putting money away for their financial future because they have so much going on and so little to work with that they feel like they can’t even listen to or have a conversation about money. But there are things you’re doing that are not helping your financial position and could be trouble. You could be moving in the wrong direction. The goal is to get out of debt, increase your collateral capacity, use your own money in the most efficient manner and make financial decisions that will move you forward instead of backwards. Also make sure you are getting answers specific to your financial situation instead of blindly guessing! Contact us. We will be happy to help!
Annette Wise
Inching into the room, it’s clear something is wrong here. There’s a tingling sensation up my legs and back before I can even really focus on the parlor’s details. There are silhouettes of people, but I can see through them. It’s like shadows were cast and left behind to do as they please. Lost in the surreal sight of them for a moment, I inch further into the room without noticing that some were now moving behind me. There is no warning. I’m suddenly in the air, and moving backward rapidly toward the wall. It’s almost a full second before my body registers the actual pain of the blow my stomach just took. Being hit by a car doesn't even compare to this, and I didn't even see it coming. “For a shadow, you hit like a sledgehammer!” The words barely escape before something else slams into the base of my skull embedding most of my upper body in the wall and all but removing my head. These things are like Lucy; the disembodied dead who haven’t moved on. I've never met others that can actually touch things physically, they must be fairly potent. I pull my face out of the hole it had been planted in, letting plaster dust fall, coating my chest and legs like snow. Looking around quickly I try to gauge my surroundings. I can’t see them, but I know they’re there. Is one easy night, without a huge dry-cleaning bill, too much to ask for these days? I only have time to dwell on it a moment before my head is bouncing off the hardwood floor; once, twice, and then a third time in quick succession. Now ‘pick splinters out of my forehead’ can be added to my Saturday night to-do list. Damn it, this is not going as planned.
Dennis Sharpe (Blood & Spirits (The Coming Storm, #1))
to tease out the fictitious nature of this amiability was to have been what they called well brought up; to believe that amiability to be real was to lack breeding. I received, as it happens, a short time after this, a lesson that finally taught me, with the most perfect exactitude, the extent and limits of certain forms of aristocratic amiability. It was at a matinée given by the Duchesse de Montmorency23 for the Queen of England; a sort of small cortège had formed to go to the buffet, at the head of which walked the sovereign with, on her arm, the Duc de Guermantes. This was the moment of my own arrival. With his free hand, the Duc made, from a good forty meters away, innumerable gestures of summons and of friendship, which seemed to be saying that I could approach without fear, that I would not be eaten alive in place of the sandwiches. But, I, who was beginning to become word perfect in the language of the courts, instead of moving even a single step closer, gave a deep bow from my forty meters of distance, but without smiling, as I would have done faced with someone I hardly knew, then continued on my way in the opposite direction. I might have written a masterpiece, and the Guermantes would have done me less honor than for this bow. It did not go unobserved by the eyes either of the Duc, even though he had to respond to more than five hundred people that day, or of the Duchesse, who, having met my mother, recounted it to her, and, while being careful not to say that I had been in the wrong, that I should have gone up, told her that her husband had marveled at my bow, that it would have been impossible to make it any more expressive
Marcel Proust (Sodom and Gomorrah)
when she saw Emmanuel walking towards us. ‘What is it?’ I asked, reaching out to stop her from leaving. She looked at me, then blinked. ‘He’s not the kind of man you want to get involved with, is all I need to say – I just—’ She broke off, shook her head and hurried away, and I was left staring after her retreating back and wondering what she meant. As we drove home, there was none of the easy silence we’d shared on the way to the market. Though this time it was me who was being reticent. I couldn’t help thinking about what that woman had said to me. The warning she had given me. Of course, I wasn’t at all ready or willing to enter into any kind of relationship so soon after my husband’s death, but it got me worried nonetheless. Who was this man that I had welcomed into my home? Shared my meals with? Had I been wrong to put my trust in him? Was I so in need of a friend that I had looked for one in the wrong place? Was Emmanuel, with his quiet, sombre ways and his irreverent humour, someone I needed to worry about? Because in a way that’s what I had been hoping – that we’d be friends. That’s what today had felt like. Besides, he was the first person I’d met here who seemed to really understand the kind of pain I was in. He turned to me as we were driving. ‘Is everything okay, Charlotte?’ It was always a surprise when he said my name, and I startled. Shook my head. The women’s warning racing through my head. He’s not the kind of man you want to get involved with. What had she meant by that? Had she meant that he was some kind of adulterer? Or was it something else? There had been something in the woman’s eyes that had seemed to imply that the warning ran deeper than that.
Lily Graham (The Island Villa)
O, Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who turn to you. Amen. . When we meet someone and fall in love, we have a sense that the whole universe is on our side. I saw this happen today as the sun went down. And yet if something goes wrong, there is nothing left! No herons, no distant music, not even the taste of his lips. How is it possible for the beauty that was there only minutes before to vanish so quickly? . Life moves very fast. It rushes us from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds. . I smile and say nothing, . If I must be faithful to someone or something, then I have, first of all, to be faithful to myself. . Everything is an illusion - and that applies to material as well as spiritual things. . She had spent a lot of her life saying 'no' to things to which she would have liked to say 'yes', . My dear, it's better to be unhappy with a rich man than happy with a poor man, and over there you'll have far more chance of becoming an unhappy rich woman. . Love isn't that important. I didn't love your father at first, but money buys everything, even true love. . Hail Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who turn to you. Amen. . She would never find what she was looking for if she couldn't express herself. . At the moment, I'm far too lonely to think about love, but I have to believe that it will happen, that I will find a job and that I am here because I chose this fate. . Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant. . A writer once said that it is not time that changes man, nor knowledge; the only thing that can change someone's mind is love. What nonsense! The person who wrote that clearly knew only one side of the coin. Love was undoubtedly one of the things capable of changing a person's whole life, from one moment to the next. . Again, she seemed like a stranger to herself. . I let fate choose which route I should take. . Some people were born to face life alone, and this is neither good nor bad, it is simply life. . I'm not a body with a soul, I'm a soul that has a visible part called the body. . She was doing it because she had nothing to lose, because her life was one of constant, day-to-day frustration. . Human beings can withstand a week without water, two weeks without food, many years of homelessness, but not loneliness. It is the worst of all tortures, the worst of all sufferings. . We are each of us responsible for our own feelings and cannot blame someone else for what we feel. . No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. . However tempted she was to continue, however prepared she was for the challenges she had met on her path, all these months living alone with herself had taught her that there is always a right moment to stop something. . He knew everything about her, although she knew nothing about him. . She had opened a door which she didn't know how to close. . Our experiences have been entirely different, but we are both desperate people. . Free yourself from something that cost your heart even more. . One moment, you have nothing, the next, you have more than you can cope with. . Does a soldier go to war in order to kill the enemy? No, he goes in order to die for his country. . What the eyes don't see, the heart doesn't grieve over. . Because we don't want to forget who we are - nor can we. . This was simply a place where people gathered to worship something they could not understand.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
Don’t jump to conclusions over first impressions. They’re often dead wrong. When I first met Mark, I thought he was spoiled. When I met Shirley, I assumed she was tough as nails. But getting to know them both as a member of their family, I saw how wrong I was. Shirley is a teddy bear, a caring, loving person who would do anything for me. And Mark? I think of him as a brother, in every sense of the word. I’ve learned to make a special effort to get to know the people who put up walls and seem cold or tough. It’s like an onion; you have to peel back the layers. I’m sure some of my DWTS partners made an assumption about who I was the first time they worked with me. They probably thought I was a tough taskmaster and cursed me out for putting them through this! But anyone who truly knows me will tell you, I’m harder on myself than I am on anyone else. And I’m a softie who loves to goof around. But to see that side of me, you need to move past the first impression. What’s the lesson here? Dig a little deeper. Get to know people and what makes them tick. Don’t make an assumption till you know someone a lot better. Think of all the people you might have dismissed who could have been great friends, mentors, or allies, if you’d only given them the chance. Perfect example: dancing with Lil’ Kim on DWTS. She had recently spent time in jail and I remember thinking, Oh my gosh, I’m afraid I’m going to get shanked in the middle of the dance! Then I realized I was judging her without knowing her, something that I have hated people doing to me in the past. It took only a few minutes to see the sweet, loving person she truly was. Had I not given us the chance to get to know each other better, I never would have learned that.
Derek Hough (Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion)
So okay. C-section in the morning? Why not? Chris still hadn’t shown up when I felt the examining room. Nor had he answered my call asking him what was up. I got in my car to drive to the hospital, then did what a lot of women do in that situation: I called my mom. “Hey, honey, are you okay?” she asked. “Yes.” I burst into tears. Until that moment, I hadn’t realized how close to panicking I really was. “What’s wrong?” she asked. “I…don’t know where Chris is. I have to go to the hospital to have the baby-“ “It’ll be OK,” she said quickly. “I’m going to the airport. I’ll be there.” I didn’t even get to explain the full situation. Then Chris called. “Where are you?” I asked. I was somewhere between relieved and angry-or maybe I was both angry and relieved. “I just had some stuff happen,” he said. “I’m okay. I’ll tell you when I see you.” “I need you now,” I said, telling him about the baby. If you’ve read American Sniper, you know what had happened to him: he passed out during what should have been a very routine procedure to remove a cyst in his neck. It was a freak thing that led to what we think was a temporary seizure. Some “thing.” But being a SEAL and being Chris, he completely minimized it. In fact, I didn’t know what had happened until later. All I knew was that he met me at the hospital and was by my side when I needed him. There is a bit of a funny story attached to the incident. A friend of Chris’s happened to be with him when he passed out. “Stand back,” his friend told the corpsman. “What? Why?” the corpsman asked. “Because when he comes to, he’s going to come up swinging.” “No.” The corpsman leaned down. Just then, Chris came to and, as his friend had warned, started swinging. Fortunately, the corpsman jerked out of the way just in time.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
As they walked toward the dance floor, Pamela barely felt the bruises on her feet from Henry. The thrill of waltzing with Mr. Carter practically banished the ache. On the floor, he took her into his arms. She liked the feel of his hand on her waist, the press of their gloved palms together. For the first time, the intimate posture, which had always made her feel uncomfortable and stiff, seemed right, and she wished he would pull her closer. Throughout the beginning of the waltz, they remained silent. She had the sense that Mr. Carter was concentrating on his steps, and she didn't want to distract him. He frowned. "I'm sorry I'm not a very good dancer." "Not at all." Pamela thought of Henry and had to restrain a laugh. She didn't want Mr. Carter to think she was making fun of him. "You couldn't possibly be worse than my previous partner, who led me in the wrong direction and trod on my toes!" His troubled expression cleared. "Well, then, I'm grateful you decided to risk your toes again with me. I promise, I'll try to keep my boots on the floor where they belong." He wiggled his eyebrows. Pamela laughed at his playful act. "I watched you with Elizabeth, and you were fine. So accepting your invitation to dance was not such a risk as you're making it out to be." As they bantered, Pamela found herself relaxing. Conversing with this stranger she'd only met twenty minutes ago was far easier than talking with some men she'd known all her life. Mr. Carter also seemed to become comfortable. His lead became more expert, and he picked up their speed. As they became in tune with each other, they flowed in perfect step to the music. Exhilaration welled up in Pamela. She'd never known dancing could feel like this. She glanced up at him, feeling a smile as wide as the moon stretch across her face. "We're flying!
Debra Holland (Beneath Montana's Sky (Mail-Order Brides of the West, #0.5; Montana Sky, #0.5))
DEAR YOUNG DEMIGOD, Your destiny awaits. Now that you have discovered your true parentage, you must prepare yourself for a difficult future—fighting monsters, adventuring across the world, and dealing with temperamental Greek and Roman gods. I don’t envy you. I hope this volume will help you on your journeys. I had to think long and hard before publishing these stories, as they were given to me in the strictest confidence. However, your survival comes first, and this book will give you an inside look at the world of demigods—information that may help keep you alive. We’ll begin with “The Diary of Luke Castellan.” Over the years, many readers and campers at Camp Half-Blood have asked me to tell the story of Luke’s early days, adventuring with Thalia and Annabeth before they arrived at camp. I have been reluctant to do this, as neither Annabeth nor Thalia likes to talk about those times. The only information I have is recorded in Luke’s own handwriting, in his original diary given to me by Chiron. I think it’s time, though, to share a little of Luke’s story. It may help us understand what went wrong for such a promising young demigod. In this excerpt you will find out how Thalia and Luke arrived in Richmond, Virginia, chasing a magic goat, how they were almost destroyed in a house of horrors, and how they met a young girl named Annabeth. I have also included a map of Halcyon Green’s house in Richmond. Despite the damage described in the story, the house has been rebuilt, which is very troubling. If you go there, be careful. It may still contain treasures. But it most assuredly contains monsters and traps as well. Our second story will definitely get me in trouble with Hermes. “Percy Jackson and the Staff of Hermes” describes an embarrassing incident for the god of travelers, which he hoped to solve quietly with
Rick Riordan (The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries)
Listen, you don't have to get up or anything. Galen just...uh...went for a swim. He'll be back real soon." I look between them and past the beach. I shake my head. "What? What's wrong, Emma?" he asks. I like Toraf. He seems genuinely concerned about me, without ever having met me. Rayna looks as if she might want to stomp on my head and finish the job I started with the cafeteria door. "Storm," I say. The one syllable word polka-dots my vision. Toraf smiles. "He'll be back before the storm. Can I get you anything? Something to eat? Something to drink?" "A taxi?" Rayna pitches in. "Go to the kitchen, Rayna," he says. "Unless you're ready to go find an island?" I'm not sure how far away the kitchen is, but it seems like she stomps for a good five minutes. Finding an island doesn't really seem like a fitting punishment for being rude, but since I do have a head injury, I give them the benefit of the doubt. Plus, there's always the possibility that I imagined the whole thing. "Do you mind if I sit?" Toraf says. I shake my head. He eases onto the edge of the couch and pulls the blanket back over me. I hope he takes my nod for "Thanks." He crouches down and whispers, "Listen, Emma. Before Galen gets back. There's something I want to ask you. Oh, don't worry, it's a yes or no question. No talking involved." I hope he takes my nod for "Sure, why not? You're nice." He glances around, as if he's about to rob me instead of ask a question. "Do you feel...uh...tingly...when you're around Galen?" This time, I hope he takes my wide-eyed nod for "Ohmysweetgoodness, how did you know that?" "I knew it!" he hisses. "Listen, I'd appreciate it if you didn't mention it to Galen. You'll both be better off if he figures it out on his own. Promise?" I hope he takes my nod for "This is the strangest dream I've ever had." Everything goes black.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
The same song was playing the second I met my ex–best friend and the moment I realized I’d lost her. I met my best friend at a neighborhood cookout the year we would both turn twelve. It was one of those hot Brooklyn afternoons that always made me feel like I'd stepped out of my life and onto a movie set because the hydrants were open, splashing water all over the hot asphalt. There wasn't a cloud in the flawless blue sky. And pretty black and brown people were everywhere. I was crying. ‘What a Wonderful World’ was playing through a speaker someone had brought with them to the park, and it reminded me too much of my Granny Georgina. I was cupping the last snow globe she’d ever given me in my small, sweaty hands and despite the heat, I couldn’t help imagining myself inside the tiny, perfect, snow-filled world. I was telling myself a story about what it might be like to live in London, a place that was unimaginably far and sitting in the palm of my hands all at once. But it wasn't working. When Gigi had told me stories, they'd felt like miracles. But she was gone and I didn't know if I'd ever be okay again. I heard a small voice behind me, asking if I was okay. I had noticed a girl watching me, but it took her a long time to come over, and even longer to say anything. She asked the question quietly. I had never met anyone who…spoke the way that she did, and I thought that her speech might have been why she waited so long to speak to me. While I expected her to say ‘What’s wrong?’—a question I didn’t want to have to answer—she asked ‘What are you doing?’ instead, and I was glad. “I was kind of a weird kid, so when I answered, I said ‘Spinning stories,’ calling it what Gigi had always called it when I got lost in my own head, but my voice cracked on the phrase and another tear slipped down my cheek. To this day I don’t know why I picked that moment to be so honest. Usually when kids I didn't know came up to me, I clamped my mouth shut like the heavy cover of an old book falling closed. Because time and taught me that kids weren't kind to girls like me: Girls who were dreamy and moony-eyed and a little too nice. Girls who wore rose-tonted glasses. And actual, really thick glasses. Girls who thought the world was beautiful, and who read too many books, and who never saw cruelty coming. But something about this girl felt safe. Something about the way she was smiling as she stuttered out the question helped me know I needn't bother with being shy, because she was being so brave. I thought that maybe kids weren't nice to girls like her either. The cookout was crowded, and none of the other kids were talking to me because, like I said, I was the neighborhood weirdo. I carried around snow globesbecause I was in love with every place I’d never been. I often recited Shakespeare from memory because of my dad, who is a librarian. I lost myself in books because they were friends who never letme down, and I didn’t hide enough of myself the way everyone else did, so people didn’t ‘get’ me. I was lonely a lot. Unless I was with my Gigi. The girl, she asked me if it was making me feel better, spinning the stories. And I shook my head. Before I could say what I was thinking—a line from Hamlet about sorrow coming in battalions that would have surely killed any potential I had of making friends with her. The girl tossed her wavy black hair over her shoulder and grinned. She closed her eyes and said 'Music helps me. And I love this song.' When she started singing, her voice was so unexpected—so bright and clear—that I stopped crying and stared at her. She told me her name and hooked her arm through mine like we’d known each other forever, and when the next song started, she pulled me up and we spun in a slow circle together until we were both dizzy and giggling.
Ashley Woodfolk (When You Were Everything)
Germany’s rearmament was first met with a “supine”134 response from its future adversaries, who showed “little immediate recognition of danger.”135 Despite Winston Churchill’s dire and repeated warnings that Germany “fears no one” and was “arming in a manner which has never been seen in German history,” Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain saw Hitler as merely trying to right the wrongs of Versailles, and acquiesced to the German annexation of the Sudetenland at Munich in September 1938.136 Yet Chamberlain’s anxiety grew as Hitler’s decision to occupy the remainder of Czechoslovakia in March 1939 indicated his broader aims. Chamberlain asked rhetorically: “Is this the end of an old adventure, or is it the beginning of a new? Is this the last attack upon a small State, or is it to be followed by others? Is this, in fact, a step in the direction of an attempt to dominate the world by force?”137 France, meanwhile, as Henry Kissinger explains, “had become so dispirited that it could not bring itself to act.”138 Stalin decided his interests were best served by a non-aggression pact signed with Germany, which included a secret protocol for the division of Eastern Europe.139 One week after agreeing to the pact with Stalin, Hitler invaded Poland, triggering the British and French to declare war on September 3, 1939. The Second World War had begun. Within a year, Hitler occupied France, along with much of Western Europe and Scandinavia. Britain was defeated on the Continent, although it fought off German air assaults. In June 1941, Hitler betrayed Stalin and invaded the Soviet Union. By the time Germany was defeated four years later, much of the European continent had been destroyed, and its eastern half would be under Soviet domination for the next forty years. Western Europe could not have been liberated without the United States, on whose military power it would continue to rely. The war Hitler unleashed was the bloodiest the world had ever seen.
Graham Allison (Destined For War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?)
It is strange how this fails to annoy me, although as a rule I am sensitive to bad manners. It is just that occasionally, very occasionally, one meets someone who is so markedly a contrast with the general run of people that one’s instinctive reaction is one of admiration, indulgence, and, no doubt, if one is not very careful indeed, of supplication. I am not arguing the rights and wrongs of this: I am simply stating the facts as they appear to me. And not only to me, for I have noticed that extremely handsome men and extremely beautiful women exercise a power over others which they themselves have no need, or indeed no time, to analyse. People like Nick attract admirers, adherents, followers. They also attract people like me: observers. One is never totally at ease with such people, for they are like sovereigns and one’s duty is to divert them. Matters like worth or merit rarely receive much of their attention, for, with the power of choice which their looks bestow on them, they can change their minds when they care to do so. Because of their great range of possibilities, their attention span is very limited. And their beauty has accustomed them to continuous gratification. I find such people – and I have met one or two – quite fascinating. I find myself respecting them, as I would respect some natural phenomenon: a rainbow, a mountain, a sunset. I recognize that they might have no intrinsic merit, and yet I will find myself trying to please them, to attract their attention. ‘Look at me,’ I want to say. ‘Look at me.’ And I am also intrigued by their destinies, which could, or should, be marvelous. I will exert myself for such people, and I will miss them when they leave. I will always want to know about them, for I tend to be in love with their entire lives. That is a measure of the power they exert. That is why I join Nick in a smile of complicity when he spares himself the boredom of a conversation with Dr. Simek. It is a kind of law, I suppose.
Anita Brookner (Look at Me)
Michael took me to Paris for the first time back in 1995. I was thirty-six years old and we’d been seeing each other for five months. He was invited to give a talk on childhood leukemia to a conference in Toulouse, and asked if I’d like to go along. When I regained consciousness I said, yes, yes, yes please! We flew out of Montréal in a snowstorm, almost missing the flight. Michael was, to be honest, a little vague on details, like departure times of planes, trains, buses. In fact, almost all appointments. This was the trip where I realized we each had strengths. Mine seemed to be actually getting us to places. His was making it fun once there. On our first night in Paris we went to a wonderful restaurant, then for a walk. At some stage he said, “I’d like to show you something. Look at this.” He was pointing to the trunk of a tree. Now, I’d actually seen trees before, but I thought there must be something extraordinary about this one. “Get up close,” he said. “Look at where I’m pointing.” It was dark, so my nose was practically touching his finger, lucky man. Then, slowly, slowly, his finger began moving, scraping along the bark. I was cross-eyed, following it. And then it left the tree trunk. And pointed into the air. I followed it. And there was the Eiffel Tower. Lit up in the night sky. As long as I live, I will never forget that moment. Seeing the Eiffel Tower with Michael. And the dear man, knowing the magic of it for a woman who never thought she’d see Paris, made it even more magical by making it a surprise. C. S. Lewis wrote that we can create situations in which we are happy, but we cannot create joy. It just happens. That moment I was surprised by complete and utter joy. A little more than a year earlier I knew that the best of life was behind me. I could not have been more wrong. In that year I’d gotten sober, met and fell in love with Michael, and was now in Paris. We just don’t know. The key is to keep going. Joy might be just around the corner
Louise Penny (All the Devils Are Here (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #16))
Have you ever been kissed before?" She flushed scarlet and had to wet her lips before she could speak. "Not well kissed..." His shoulders shook. "Miss Cross, you leave me speechless." He cupped her jaw in his hand as his other hand came to the small of her back and pulled her against him. "I'll try to do better," he whispered against her mouth, and then he kissed her again. If she had expected another soft touch of his lips against her, she was quickly proven wrong. This time, his mouth settled on hers with intent, firm and insistent. When she gasped at the difference, his tongue slid between her parted lips and teased her until she moaned. He kissed as if he meant to conquer her, and Eliza was all too happy to surrender. His hands moved over her, gripping her waist, sliding up her shoulders to hold the nape of her neck as his mouth traveled over her eyelids and down her jaw. She whimpered as his teeth grazed her earlobe, setting her earring swaying, and she almost melted when his hand brushed her breast. It was an accident, she thought wildly, because they were pressed so close together- somehow her hands had got around his chest, beneath his jacket- but then he did it again. He muttered something profane and tore off his glove, and then it was his bare hand on her breast, his palm cupping her, his fingers teasing along the edge of her bodice until- oh, heavens- his thumb went right over her nipple. Eliza's start of shock turned into a shiver of ecstasy as he stroked the hard little nub again. He pulled her hard against him, until his hips met hers and she felt his unmistakable arousal. His mouth was hot and wet against her neck, and dimly Eliza thought that if he asked, she would tear off her dress and give herself to him right here on Lady Thayne's terrace, in the rain, ten feet away from a ballroom full of people. This was what it meant to want someone with a burning passion. Thank all the saints in heaven she'd got a chance to feel it once in her life...
Caroline Linden (An Earl Like You (The Wagers of Sin, #2))
On the third day, I asked if she would like to climb Ben Loyal with me--with anyone else who fancied coming along. None of the guys wanted to join me and I ended up with a group of four girls, including Shara. We spent two hours crossing the marshy moon grass to reach the foot of the mountain before starting up the steep slope toward the summit ridge. It was fairly sheer, but essentially we were still going the “easy” way. Within two hundred feet, half of the girls were looking pretty beat. I figured that having slogged across the marsh for so long, we should definitely do some of the climb. After all, that was the fun bit. They all agreed and we continued up steadily. Before the slope eases at the top, though, there is a section where the heather becomes quite exposed. It is only a short, few hundred feet, and I wrongly figured the girls would enjoy a safe, steep scramble that didn’t require any ropes. Plus the views were amazing out to sea. But things didn’t quite go to plan. The first panicked whimper seemed to set off a cacophony of cheeps, as, one by one, the girls began to voice their fears. It is funny how quickly everyone can go from being totally fine to totally not-fine, very fast, once one person starts to panic. Then the tears started. Nightmare. I ended up literally having to shadow the three girls who were worst struck by this fear, one by one down the slope. I had to stand behind them, hands on top of their hands, and help them move one step at a time, planting their feet exactly where I did, to shield them from the drop. The point of this story is that the only girl who was supercool through the whole mission was Shara, who steadily plodded up, and then just as steadily plodded down beside me, as I tried to help the others. Now I was really smitten. A cool head under pressure is truly irresistible to me, and if I hadn’t been totally besotted before, then our mountain experience together tipped the balance. I had a sneaking feeling that I had met the girl of my dreams.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
But come on—tell me the proposal story, anyway.” She raised an eyebrow. “Really?” “Really. Just keep in mind that I’m a guy, which means I’m genetically predisposed to think that whatever mushy romantic tale you’re about to tell me is highly cheesy.” Rylann laughed. “I’ll keep it simple, then.” She rested her drink on the table. “Well, you already heard how Kyle picked me up at the courthouse after my trial. He said he wanted to surprise me with a vacation because I’d been working so hard, but that we needed to drive to Champaign first to meet with his former mentor, the head of the U of I Department of Computer Sciences, to discuss some project Kyle was working on for a client.” She held up a sparkly hand, nearly blinding Cade and probably half of the other Starbucks patrons. “In hindsight, yes, that sounds a little fishy, but what do I know about all this network security stuff? He had his laptop out, there was some talk about malicious payloads and Trojan horse attacks—it all sounded legitimate enough at the time.” “Remind me, while I’m acting U.S. attorney, not to assign you to any cybercrime cases.” “Anyhow. . . we get to Champaign, which as it so happens, is where Kyle and I first met ten years ago. And the limo turns onto the street where I used to live while in law school, and Kyle asks the driver to pull over because he wants to see the place for old time’s sake. So we get out of the limo, and he’s making this big speech about the night we met and how he walked me home on the very sidewalk we were standing on—I’ll fast-forward here in light of your aversion to the mushy stuff—and I’m laughing to myself because, well, we’re standing on the wrong side of the street. So naturally, I point that out, and he tells me that nope, I’m wrong, because he remembers everything about that night, so to prove my point I walk across the street to show him and”—she paused here— “and I see a jewelry box, sitting on the sidewalk, in the exact spot where we had our first kiss. Then I turn around and see Kyle down on one knee.” She waved her hand, her eyes a little misty. “So there you go. The whole mushy, cheesy tale. Gag away.” Cade picked up his coffee cup and took a sip. “That was actually pretty smooth.” Rylann grinned. “I know. Former cyber-menace to society or not, that man is a keeper
Julie James (Love Irresistibly (FBI/US Attorney, #4))
Your beast's little trick didn't work on me,' she said with quiet steel. 'Apparently, an iron will is all it takes to keep a glamour from digging in. So I had to watch as Father and Elain went from sobbing hysterics into nothing. I had to listen to them talk about how lucky it was for you to be taken to some made-up aunt's house, how some winter wind had shattered our door. And I thought I'd gone mad- but every time I did, I would look at that painted part of the table, then at the claw marks farther down, and know it wasn't in my head.' I'd never heard of a glamour not working. But Nesta's mind was so entirely her own; she had put up such strong walls- of steel and iron and ash wood- that even a High Lord's magic couldn't pierce them. 'Elain said- said you went to visit me, though. That you tried.' Nesta snorted, her face grave and full of that long-simmering anger that she could never master. 'He stole you away into the night, claiming some nonsense about the Treaty. And then everything went on as if it had never happened. It wasn't right. None of it was right.' My hands slackened at my sides. 'You went after me,' I said. 'You went after me- to Prythian.' 'I got to the wall. I couldn't find a way through.' I raised a shaking hand to my throat. 'You trekked two days there and two days back- through the winter woods?' She shrugged, looking at the sliver she'd pried from the table. 'I hired that mercenary from town to bring me a week after you were taken. With the money from your pelt. She was the only one who seemed like she would believe me.' 'You did that- for me?' Nesta's eyes- my eyes, our mother's eyes- met mine. 'It wasn't right,' she said again. Tamlin had been wrong when we'd discussed whether my father would have ever come after me- he didn't possess the courage, the anger. If anything, he would have hired someone to do it for him. But Nesta had gone with that mercenary. My hateful, cold sister had been willing to brave Prythian to rescue me. ... I looked at my sister, really looked at her, at this woman who couldn't stomach the sycophants who now surrounded her, who had never spent a day in the forest but had gone into wolf territory... Who had shrouded the loss of our mother, then our downfall, in icy rage and bitterness, because the anger had been a lifeline, the cruelty a release. But she had cared- beneath it, she had cared, and perhaps loved more fiercely that I could comprehend, more deeply and loyally.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
I speak tonight for the dignity of man and the destiny of democracy. . . . At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man's unending search for freedom. So it was at Lexington and Concord. So it was a century ago at Appomattox. So it was last week in Selma, Alabama. There, long-suffering men and women peacefully protested the denial of their rights as Americans. Many were brutally assaulted. One good man, a man of God, was killed. There is no cause for pride in what has happened in Selma. There is no cause for self-satisfaction in the long denial of equal rights of millions of Americans. But there is cause for hope and for faith in our democracy in what is happening here tonight. For the cries of pain and the hymns and protests of oppressed people have summoned into convocation all the majesty of this great Government--the Government of the greatest Nation on earth. Our mission is at once the oldest and the most basic of this country: to right wrong, to do justice, to serve man. In our time we have come to live with moments of great crisis. Our lives have been marked with debate about great issues; issues of war and peace, issues of prosperity and depression. But rarely in any time does an issue lay bare the secret heart of America itself. Rarely are we met with a challenge, not to our growth or abundance, our welfare or our security, but rather to the values and the purposes and the meaning of our beloved Nation. The issue of equal rights for American Negroes is such an issue. And should we defeat every enemy, should we double our wealth and conquer the stars, and still be unequal to this issue, then we will have failed as a people and as a nation. For with a country as with a person, "What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?" There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem. . . . But even if we pass this bill, the battle will not be over. What happened in Selma is part of a far larger movement which reaches into every section and State of America. It is the effort of American Negroes to secure for themselves the full blessings of American life. Their cause must be our cause too. Because it is not just Negroes, but really it is all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome." -Lyndon B. Johnson, 15 March 1965
Andrew Aydin John Lewis
You aren’t worried about tomorrow, are you?” “What do you think?” He propped himself up on his elbows and studied my face. “You told me last spring it was the easiest thing in the whole wide world. You could hardly wait to jump. Why, even when you got sick you worried you’d die without having a chance to do it.” “I must have been a raving lunatic,” I muttered. Theo scowled, but the sound of a Model T chugging up the driveway stopped him from saying more. Its headlamps lit the trees and washed across the house. “It’s John again,” Theo said. “Papa will start charging him room and board soon.” Hidden in the shadows, we watched John jump out of the car and run up the porch steps. Hannah met him at the door. From inside the house, their laughter floated toward us as silvery as moonlight, cutting into my heart like a knife. “Hannah has a beau.” Theo sounded as if he were trying out a new word, testing it for rightness. He giggled. “Do you think she lets him kiss her?” I spat in the grass, a trick I’d learned from Edward. “Don’t be silly.” “What’s silly about smooching? When I’m old enough, I plan to kiss Marie Jenkins till our lips melt.” Making loud smacking sounds with his mouth, Theo demonstrated. Pushing him away, I wrestled him to the ground and started tickling him. As he pleaded for mercy, we heard the screen door open. Thinking Mama was about to call us inside, we broke apart and lay still. It was Hannah and John. “They’re sitting in the swing,” Theo whispered. “Come on, let’s spy on them. I bet a million zillion dollars they start spooning.” Stuffing his jar of fireflies into his shirt, Theo dropped to his knees and crawled across the lawn toward the house. I followed him, sure he was wrong. Hannah wasn’t old enough for kissing. Or silly enough. We reached the bushes beside the porch without being seen. Crouched in the dirt, we were so close I could have reached up and grabbed Hannah’s ankle. To keep from giggling, Theo pressed his hands over his mouth. Sick with jealousy, I watched John put his arm around Hannah and draw her close. As his lips met hers, I felt Theo jab my side. I teetered and lost my balance. The bushes swayed, the leaves rustled, a twig snapped under my feet. “Be quiet,” Theo hissed in my ear. “Do you want to get us killed?” We backed out of the bushes, hoping to escape, but it was too late. Leaving John in the swing, Hannah strode down the porch steps, grabbed us each by an ear, and shook us like rats. “Can’t a body have a second of privacy?
Mary Downing Hahn (Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story)
It is the purpose of both God and the devil to provide you with the answers to these key questions.  If Satan is able to establish his images of identity and destiny in your life, he then has set up a system of governing your life that more or less runs itself and requires very little maintenance or service on his part. It is an effective scheme of destruction in your life. I believe that it has always been God’s intention to impart, especially at specific junctures in life, His message of identity and destiny.  He has appointed special agents on this earth to ensure that His message of identity and destiny is revealed.  These agents are called PARENTS.  Their primary job is to make sure that children receive God’s message of identity and destiny throughout their growing-up years. Satan’s purpose is to access these very agents of God, the parents, and to impart his message of identity and destiny.  Many times parents are unwittingly used to impart the devil’s message rather than God’s. SATAN’S MESSAGE VS. GOD’S MESSAGE What type of message does the devil want to reveal regarding identity and destiny?  His message is something along these lines.  IDENTITY: “You are worthless.  You aren’t even supposed to be here.  You are a mistake.  Something is drastically wrong with you.  You are a ‘nobody.’” DESTINY: “You have no purpose.  You are a total failure.  You’ll never be a success.  You are inadequate.  You are not equipped to accomplish the job.  Nothing ever works out for you, etc..” I once heard a woman say, “It’s as if someone dropped me off on the planet forty some years ago, and I’ve been trying to make my way the best I could ever since.  But deep inside, I don’t feel as though I belong here, and I’ve been waiting for that someone to come back and pick me up.”  God never intended for anyone to feel that he doesn’t belong.  That is Satan’s message. God's message of identity and destiny is something like this:  IDENTITY:  “To Me you are very valuable and are worth the life of Jesus Christ.  You are a `somebody.’  You do belong here.  Before the foundation of the earth, I planned for you.  You were no mistake.” DESTINY:  “You are destined to a great purpose on this earth.  I placed you here for a purpose.  You are a success as a person and are completely adequate and suited to carry out My purpose.  Set your vision high, and allow Me to complete great accomplishments in your life.” JOE’S STORY Joe was a well dressed, successful business man in his late thirties when I first met him.  He had come to a weekend “FROM CURSE TO BLESSING” seminar.  As we moved into the small-group ministry time, Joe began to share, somewhat sheepishly, about the tremendous problem that anger had caused him in his life.  “Anger causes me to embarrass myself, and
Craig Hill (The Ancient Paths)
In the uncertain hour before the morning Near the ending of interminable night At the recurrent end of the unending After the dark dove with the flickering tongue Had passed below the horizon of his homing While the dead leaves still rattled on like tin Over the asphalt where no other sound was Between three districts whence the smoke arose I met one walking, loitering and hurried As if blown towards me like the metal leaves Before the urban dawn wind unresisting. And as I fixed upon the down-turned face That pointed scrutiny with which we challenge The first-met stranger in the waning dusk I caught the sudden look of some dead master Whom I had known, forgotten, half recalled Both one and many; in the brown baked features The eyes of a familiar compound ghost Both intimate and unidentifiable. So I assumed a double part, and cried And heard another's voice cry: 'What! are you here?' Although we were not. I was still the same, Knowing myself yet being someone other— And he a face still forming; yet the words sufficed To compel the recognition they preceded. And so, compliant to the common wind, Too strange to each other for misunderstanding, In concord at this intersection time Of meeting nowhere, no before and after, We trod the pavement in a dead patrol. I said: 'The wonder that I feel is easy, Yet ease is cause of wonder. Therefore speak: I may not comprehend, may not remember.' And he: 'I am not eager to rehearse My thoughts and theory which you have forgotten. These things have served their purpose: let them be. So with your own, and pray they be forgiven By others, as I pray you to forgive Both bad and good. Last season's fruit is eaten And the fullfed beast shall kick the empty pail. For last year's words belong to last year's language And next year's words await another voice. But, as the passage now presents no hindrance To the spirit unappeased and peregrine Between two worlds become much like each other, So I find words I never thought to speak In streets I never thought I should revisit When I left my body on a distant shore. Since our concern was speech, and speech impelled us To purify the dialect of the tribe And urge the mind to aftersight and foresight, Let me disclose the gifts reserved for age To set a crown upon your lifetime's effort. First, the cold friction of expiring sense Without enchantment, offering no promise But bitter tastelessness of shadow fruit As body and soul begin to fall asunder. Second, the conscious impotence of rage At human folly, and the laceration Of laughter at what ceases to amuse. And last, the rending pain of re-enactment Of all that you have done, and been; the shame Of motives late revealed, and the awareness Of things ill done and done to others' harm Which once you took for exercise of virtue. Then fools' approval stings, and honour stains. From wrong to wrong the exasperated spirit Proceeds, unless restored by that refining fire Where you must move in measure, like a dancer.' The day was breaking. In the disfigured street He left me, with a kind of valediction, And faded on the blowing of the horn. -T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding
T.S. Eliot
One letter was addressed to me personally in large, shaky handwriting with little circles over the i's instead of dots. [...] It was from Sid. Dear Debbie [Nancy's mother], Thank you for phoning me the other night. It was so comforting to hear your voice. You are the only person who really understands how much Nancy and I love each other. Every day without Nancy gets worse and worse. I just hope that when I die I go the same place as her. Otherwise I will never find peace. Frank [Nancy's father] said in the paper that Nancy was born in pain and lived in pain all her life. When I first met her, and for about six months after that, I spent practically the whole time in tears. Her pain was just too much to bear. Because, you see, I felt Nancy's pain as though it were my own, worse even. But she said that I must be strong for her or otherwise she would have to leave me. So I became strong for her, and she began to stop having asthma attacks and seemed to be going through a lot less pain. [Nancy had had asthma since she was a child.] I realized that she had never known love and was desperately searching for someone to love her. It was the only thing she really needed. I gave her the love that she needed so badly and it comforts me to know that I made her very happy during the time we were together, where she had only known unhappiness before. Oh Debbie, I love her with such passion. Every day is agony without her. I know now that it is possible to die from a broken heart. Because when you love someone as much as we love each other, they become fundamental to your existence. So I will die soon, even if I don't kill myself. I guess you could say that I'm pining for her. I could live without food or .water longer than I'm going to survive without Nancy. Thank you so much for understanding us, Debbie. It means so much to me, and I know it meant a lot to Nancy. She really loves you, and so do I. How did she know when she was going to die? I always prayed that she was wrong, but deep inside I knew she was right. Nancy was a very special person, too beautiful for this world. I feel so privileged to have loved her and been loved by her. Oh Debbie, it was such a beautiful love. I can't go on without it. When we first met, we knew we were made for each other, and fell in love with each other immediately. We were totally inseparable and were never apart. We had certain telepathic abilities, too. I remember about nine months after we met, I left Nancy for a while. After a couple of weeks of being apart, I had a strange feeling that Nancy was dying. I went straight to the place she was staying and when I saw her, I knew it was true. I took her home with me and nursed her back to health, but I knew that if I hadn't bothered she would have died. Nancy was just a poor baby, desperate for love. It made me so happy to give her love, and believe me, no man ever loved a woman with such burning passion as I love Nancy. I never even looked at others. No one was as beautiful as my Nancy. Enclosed is a poem I wrote for her. It kind of sums up how much I love her. If possible, I would love to see you before I die. You are the only one who understood. Love, Sid XXX.
Deborah Spungen (And I Don't Want to Live This Life: A Mother's Story of Her Daughter's Murder)
I’m the kind of patriot whom people on the Acela corridor laugh at. I choke up when I hear Lee Greenwood’s cheesy anthem “Proud to Be an American.” When I was sixteen, I vowed that every time I met a veteran, I would go out of my way to shake his or her hand, even if I had to awkwardly interject to do so. To this day, I refuse to watch Saving Private Ryan around anyone but my closest friends, because I can’t stop from crying during the final scene. Mamaw and Papaw taught me that we live in the best and greatest country on earth. This fact gave meaning to my childhood. Whenever times were tough—when I felt overwhelmed by the drama and the tumult of my youth—I knew that better days were ahead because I lived in a country that allowed me to make the good choices that others hadn’t. When I think today about my life and how genuinely incredible it is—a gorgeous, kind, brilliant life partner; the financial security that I dreamed about as a child; great friends and exciting new experiences—I feel overwhelming appreciation for these United States. I know it’s corny, but it’s the way I feel. If Mamaw’s second God was the United States of America, then many people in my community were losing something akin to a religion. The tie that bound them to their neighbors, that inspired them in the way my patriotism had always inspired me, had seemingly vanished. The symptoms are all around us. Significant percentages of white conservative voters—about one-third—believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim. In one poll, 32 percent of conservatives said that they believed Obama was foreign-born and another 19 percent said they were unsure—which means that a majority of white conservatives aren’t certain that Obama is even an American. I regularly hear from acquaintances or distant family members that Obama has ties to Islamic extremists, or is a traitor, or was born in some far-flung corner of the world. Many of my new friends blame racism for this perception of the president. But the president feels like an alien to many Middletonians for reasons that have nothing to do with skin color. Recall that not a single one of my high school classmates attended an Ivy League school. Barack Obama attended two of them and excelled at both. He is brilliant, wealthy, and speaks like a constitutional law professor—which, of course, he is. Nothing about him bears any resemblance to the people I admired growing up: His accent—clean, perfect, neutral—is foreign; his credentials are so impressive that they’re frightening; he made his life in Chicago, a dense metropolis; and he conducts himself with a confidence that comes from knowing that the modern American meritocracy was built for him. Of course, Obama overcame adversity in his own right—adversity familiar to many of us—but that was long before any of us knew him. President Obama came on the scene right as so many people in my community began to believe that the modern American meritocracy was not built for them. We know we’re not doing well. We see it every day: in the obituaries for teenage kids that conspicuously omit the cause of death (reading between the lines: overdose), in the deadbeats we watch our daughters waste their time with. Barack Obama strikes at the heart of our deepest insecurities. He is a good father while many of us aren’t. He wears suits to his job while we wear overalls, if we’re lucky enough to have a job at all. His wife tells us that we shouldn’t be feeding our children certain foods, and we hate her for it—not because we think she’s wrong but because we know she’s right.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
I wanted to apologize.” His gaze lifted from her bosom. He remembered those breasts in his hands. “For what?” “For deceiving you as I did. I misunderstood the nature of our relationship and behaved like a spoiled little girl. It was a terrible mistake and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.” A terrible mistake? A mistake to be sure, but terrible? “There is nothing to forgive,” he replied with a tight smile. “We were both at fault.” “Yes,” she agreed with a smile of her own. “You are right. Can we be friends again?” “We never stopped.” At least that much was true. He might have played the fool, might have taken advantage of her, but he never ceased caring for her. He never would. Rose practically sighed in relief. Grey had to struggle to keep his eyes on her face. “Good. I’m so glad you feel that way. Because I do so want your approval when I find the man I’m going to marry.” Grey’s lips seized, stuck in a parody of good humor. “The choice is ultimately yours, Rose.” She waved a gloved hand. “Oh, I know that, but your opinion meant so much to Papa, and since he isn’t here to guide me, I would be so honored if you would accept that burden as well as the others you’ve so obligingly undertaken.” Help her pick a husband? Was this some kind of cruel joke? What next, did she want his blessing? She took both of his hands in hers. “I know this is rather premature, but next to Papa you have been the most important man in my life. I wonder…” She bit her top lip. “If you would consider acting in Papa’s stead and giving me away when the time comes?” He’d sling her over his shoulder and run her all the way to Gretna Green if it meant putting an end to this torture! “I would be honored.” He made the promise because he knew whomever she married wouldn’t allow him to keep it. No man in his right mind would want Grey at his wedding, let along handling his bride. Was it relief or consternation that lit her lovely face? “Oh, good. I was afraid perhaps you wouldn’t, given your fear of going out into society.” Grey scowled. Fear? Back to being a coward again was he? “Whatever gave you that notion?” She looked genuinely perplexed. “Well, the other day Kellan told me how awful your reputation had become before your attack. I assumed your shame over that to be why you avoid going out into public now.” “You assume wrong.” He'd never spoken to her with such a cold tone in all the years he'd known her. "I had no idea your opinion of me had sunk so low. And as one who has also been bandied about by gossips I would think you would know better than to believe everything you hear, no matter how much you might like the source." Now she appeared hurt. Doe-like eyes widened. "My opinion of you is as high as it ever was! I'm simply trying to say that I understand why you choose to hide-" "You think I'm hiding?" A vein in his temple throbbed. Innocent confusion met his gaze. "Aren't you?" "I avoid society because I despise it," he informed her tightly. "I would have thought you'd know that about me after all these years." She smiled sweetly. "I think my recent behavior has proven that I don't know you that well at all. After all, I obviously did not achieve my goal in seducing you, did I?" Christ Almighty. The girl knew how to turn his world arse over appetite. "There's no shame in being embarrassed, Grey. I know you regret the past, and I understand how difficult it would be for you to reenter society with that regret handing over you head." "Rose, I am not embarrassed, and I am not hiding. I shun society because I despise it. I hate the false kindness and the rules and the hypocrisy of it. Do you understand what I am saying? It is because of society that I have this." He pointed at the side of his face where the ragged scar ran.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
Sirius took a breath, and then tapped his spoon on his wine glass. The reception was quiet as they all looked to him. All eyes were on him now. It was time for the Best Man to make his own vow. He had to support them. He had to smile for them. They were happy. And he knew that James would be happy for him if their roles were switched. James was looking right at him, and so was Lily. They wanted him to rise and talk. And so he did, holding his glass in his hands. "Well," Sirius said, his voice echoing through the now silent Leaky Cauldron. They were all staring at him, "I'm supposed to make a speech, being the Best Man and all . . . but I'm really not one for speeches. That was always James's department. . ." There was a small laugh through the crowd. When I first met you, Evans," Sirius said, as the room went quiet again, "I swore that you were wrong for James. And yes, I was jealous. And yes, I acted like an idiot. But I know James, and now I know you, and I know that you both were made for each other." Lily smiled warmly at him, and Sirius cleared his throat and continued. "Who would have thought I would be sitting here, making a toast to that four eyed freak that came running into my compartment that first day of school?" he said, "I know I wouldn't have guessed it. But I'm glad that I can see you on the happiest day of your life. I'm glad I was a part of it." He raised his glass to James, and got that mischievous smile again, "You were right, mate. It is like a fairy tale. And we all know what happens at the end of fairy tales. All evil's conquered, everything's set right, and Prince Charming and his girl go riding off in the distance happily ever after. So don't be scared, James. Because you two were written out to live happily ever after. I see the real thing in you two. Something that none of us here in this room is ever going to have for ourselves. You really do love each other." James took Lily's hand, and smiled down on his best friend. Sirius smiled back, and then turned to the crowd, his glass still raised, "So, here's a toast to true love, mates. Here's a toast to my brother," he turned, and looked to Lily, "And my sister." "Here, here!" the audience roared, clashing their glasses together, and Lily looked to Sirius, in an expression that she had never given him. Not one of loathing, or disgust or annoyance. . . but of surprise. Sirius grinned, and raised his glass to her again with a nod. She returned the nod, her smile rising again, and then Sirius took his seat. "Touching," Remus said. "Don't push it, wolf," Sirius growled as he went back to playing with his food. Lily was still staring at him from where she was sitting. He could feel her eyes on him, trying to get him to look at her again. But he wouldn't let himself. He had said what he had said, and there was nothing else about it.
Sirius took a breath, and then tapped his spoon on his wine glass. The reception was quiet as they all looked to him. All eyes were on him now. It was time for the Best Man to make his own vow. He had to support them. He had to smile for them. They were happy. And he knew that James would be happy for him if their roles were switched. James was looking right at him, and so was Lily. They wanted him to rise and talk. And so he did, holding his glass in his hands. "Well," Sirius said, his voice echoing through the now silent Leaky Cauldron. They were all staring at him, "I'm supposed to make a speech, being the Best Man and all . . . but I'm really not one for speeches. That was always James's department. . ." There was a small laugh through the crowd. "When I first met you, Evans," Sirius said, as the room went quiet again, "I swore that you were wrong for James. And yes, I was jealous. And yes, I acted like an idiot. But I know James, and now I know you, and I know that you both were made for each other." Lily smiled warmly at him, and Sirius cleared his throat and continued. "Who would have thought I would be sitting here, making a toast to that four eyed freak that came running into my compartment that first day of school?" he said, "I know I wouldn't have guessed it. But I'm glad that I can see you on the happiest day of your life. I'm glad I was a part of it." He raised his glass to James, and got that mischievous smile again, "You were right, mate. It is like a fairy tale. And we all know what happens at the end of fairy tales. All evil's conquered, everything's set right, and Prince Charming and his girl go riding off in the distance happily ever after. So don't be scared, James. Because you two were written out to live happily ever after. I see the real thing in you two. Something that none of us here in this room is ever going to have for ourselves. You really do love each other." James took Lily's hand, and smiled down on his best friend. Sirius smiled back, and then turned to the crowd, his glass still raised, "So, here's a toast to true love, mates. Here's a toast to my brother," he turned, and looked to Lily, "And my sister." "Here, here!" the audience roared, clashing their glasses together, and Lily looked to Sirius, in an expression that she had never given him. Not one of loathing, or disgust or annoyance. . . but of surprise. Sirius grinned, and raised his glass to her again with a nod. She returned the nod, her smile rising again, and then Sirius took his seat. "Touching," Remus said. "Don't push it, wolf," Sirius growled as he went back to playing with his food. Lily was still staring at him from where she was sitting. He could feel her eyes on him, trying to get him to look at her again. But he wouldn't let himself. He had said what he had said, and there was nothing else about it.
Mordred (Forever Alive)
That or some kind of glass bead or lesser gemstone made to look like a ruby,” Sera said. “It’s hard to tell while it’s still in the dirt.” Josh and Lauren’s animated conversation as they took measurements and recorded data sparked a fire in the pit of Sera’s stomach. It wasn’t like her to be so possessive over a find, but she couldn’t help the jealousy that burned inside, especially because she couldn’t hear what they were saying about the amulet. She dropped her gaze. Gulping half of her water bottle, she choked on the last bit as it went down the wrong tube. Nora gave her a few hard pats on the shoulder to help clear her airway. Sera waved her away as she coughed. Hardly the first time she needed rescuing while doing something as simple as drinking water. Being the opposite of graceful came with risks, a fact Nora knew well when it came to Sera. It wasn’t all that unusual to still be friends with the same people from elementary school, but it was far less common to share similar interests all the way through college. Serafina and Eleanor had formed a lifelong bond the moment they met in their Li’l Archaeologists summer program, despite being opposites in just about every way. Nora was the light to her dark—blonde and outgoing next to brunette and reserved. “Didn’t Chad tell you not to dig in that area? I’ll bet he’s kicking himself so hard right now.
Stephanie Mirro (Curse of the Vampire (Immortal Relics #1))
When expectations are not met (as invariably happens), the search for the right solution begins; in turn, this search adds an unnecessary layer of suffering to what would otherwise be just the pain of motherhood. First we find that motherhood is far more difficult than we thought it would be, then we observe (incorrectly) that every other mother seems to be sailing along just fine, and finally we conclude (at great cost to our self-esteem) that we are doing something wrong. The sense that what we’re doing isn’t the right thing to do, or that what we’re feeling isn’t the right way to feel, leaves us feeling inadequate, or worse. Meanwhile, we’re expending precious energy attempting to pinpoint what it is we should be doing differently to make our babies fit the mold and adhere to expectations of development or internal visions of how things should be. Without the extra layers of suffering caused by unmet expectations, our misguided attempts to deny or suppress our feelings, and our self-critical interpretative frames, we would simply feel the pain. Of sleep deprivation. Of missing our old lives. Of not having enough time for ourselves. These things are all painful, but pain is far more tolerable than suffering.
Molly Millwood (To Have and to Hold: Motherhood, Marriage, and the Modern Dilemma)
The world has often mourned Over the stories of two strangers So right for each other But who crossed paths At the wrong time They met at the junction And buried sweet dreams turned bitter A journey envisioned together Was then covered on separate lanes The price heavier than the crime But what is time If not a puppet in its Lord’s Hands Ticking seamlessly right Flawlessly accomplishing destiny’s plan Executing orders with precision, sublime Perhaps the strangers may meet at another turn Or maybe their paths diverged to never converge But looking back, the argument may hold little value Because in an attempt to find each other They found their Lord, The Gracious, The Kind.
Sarah Mehmood (The White Pigeon)
Life went on, even after mistakes left you scraping yourself off the ground.” “He was the exact right person at the exact wrong time.” “…why had their paths crossed twice—and this second time in such a spectacular way?” “The thing that estranged me from my family is the very thing that could save what’s left of them now.” “He glanced at MacKenzie. In her case, he was pretty sure someone had already stirred up the past, and he and MacKenzie had to walk the path through the valley that held more than shadows of death.” “Guilt and shame from her past invaded her thoughts and heart.” “Why couldn’t they have met by chance again or through God’s making it all work out for them? Like normal people. But really, neither of them was normal.” “And here we are…breaking all the rules to find a dangerous rule-breaker.” “These actions he’d taken with MacKenzie could break him or make him, but of course, it wasn’t about him. Sometimes the door God opened for a person to walk through had more to do with the greater good.
Elizabeth Goddard (Critical Alliance (Rocky Mountain Courage, #3))
Do you remember asking me, one of the first times we met, if I could explain what panic attacks were? I don’t think I ever gave you a good answer.” “Have you got a better one now?” Zara asks. The psychologist shakes her head. Zara can’t help smiling. Then Nadia says, as herself, in her own words rather than those of her psychology training or anyone else: “But you know what, Zara? I’ve learned that it helps to talk about it. Unfortunately I think most people would still get more sympathy from their colleagues and bosses at work if they show up looking rough one morning and say ‘I’m hungover’ than if they say ‘I’m suffering from anxiety.’ But I think we pass people in the street every day who feel the same as you and I, many of them just don’t know what it is. Men and women going around for months having trouble breathing and seeing doctor after doctor because they think there’s something wrong with their lungs. All because it’s so damn difficult to admit that something else is… broken. That it’s an ache in our soul, invisible lead weights in our blood, an indescribable pressure in our chest. Our brains are lying to us, telling us we’re going to die. But there’s nothing wrong with our lungs, Zara. We’re not going to die, you and I.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
Being a true leader, as opposed to a competent manager, requires a willingness to get your hands dirty. I have said before that I do not expect anyone to do a job I cannot do myself. While this is clearly unrealistic as a company grows and expands, the perception of being willing to step in and assist must remain. The weight of leadership includes staying calm while others panic and coming up with solutions rather than joining the chorus of complaints. The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly helped distinguish the leaders from the managers. Leaders are prepared to take responsibility when things go wrong, even if the true responsibility lies with someone else. Leaders are visible. Leaders have a vision, even if it is only short term. I don’t really believe in long-term planning. I make up the rules of the game based on one-year plans. This means I always retain visibility and control. Five years is too long a time to have any certainty that the objectives will be met. Leadership is not a popularity contest, but it also should not inspire fear. Leaders earn respect and loyalty, recognising that these take a long time to earn and a second to lose. A leader is not scared of collaboration and listening to the opinions of others, as well as accepting help when it’s needed. Leadership is not a quality that you are born with, it is something that you learn over time. I was not a leader in my Coronation days, and I am the first to admit that I made a lot of mistakes. Even at African Harvest, as much as I achieved financial success and tried different techniques to earn respect, I never truly managed to deal with the unruly investment team. But, having built on years of experience, by the time I hit my stride at Sygnia, I was a leader. Within any organisation of substantial size, there is space for more than one leader, whether they head up divisions or the organisation itself. There are several leaders across Sygnia weaving the fabric of our success. I am no longer the sole leader, having passed the baton on to others in pursuit of my own dreams. To quote the Harvard Business Review, ‘The competencies most frequently required for success at the top of any sizable business include strategic orientation, market insight, results orientation, customer impact, collaboration and influence, organisational development, team leadership, and change leadership.’ That is what I looked for in my successor, and that is what I found in David. I am confident that all the leaders I have groomed are more than capable of taking the company forwards.
Magda wierzycka (Magda: My Journey)
Date: 10/03/2022 So, this is the book that she's been hiding all this time? How disappointing. I was expecting more... Anyways, my name is Gemma. I am a Minecraft player who loves a challenge. Aaaand I think before I act...I really didn't want to admit it! But ya, this is me. Sorry for the weird intro. My friend Lizzy has become really strange recently. I figured that there was something wrong with her. She was hiding something from me, but I never knew what. I decided to find out the truth. So, one day, after she logged off from Minecraft, I crept into her house and peeked into her chest. I found a book named Codex of Seeds. It wasn't there before. Naturally curious, I took the book and started to read it. I found out that my best friend was keeping a diary for more than a month! She had met Herobrine, the white-eyed ghost, and he gave Lizzy the Codex. He told him to safekeep the Codex and not let anyone else know about it, or else he would hack her. My friend agreed, but she didn't really do a very good job about keeping a secret. I then flipped through the book and found many amazing stories. This is the same book that you are reading right now. Wait, what? Why are my hearts dropping...oh no. He is here. Run for your life. It is too late. He killed me. He shook his head, picked up the Codex and teleported away. THE END
Pixel Ate (The Accidental Minecraft Family: Book 23)
You blow me away, Eva. No one compares to you. You’ve changed me, you make me want to be better. But that doesn’t mean shit if you’re not with me. The truth is: I don’t want to live my life without you in it. Please, Eva. Give me another chance. I’ll do it right this time. I wasn’t ready for you when we met, and everything was so wrong, but I promise you, I’ll give you everything I have in me if you say you’ll be mine.
Kristen Granata (Inevitable)
In proficient English, Samira explained that her current job for the United Nations was to represent women who had been raped by Taliban militia. The leaders of the militia wanted to kill Samira because of her faith in Christ and because of her attempts to hold them accountable in a United Nations court of law. She had personally led more than thirty women to Christ, baptized them, and was now discipling them. She had done all of this in an environment nearly devoid of male believers who might be able to lend her protection. I listened in amazement as she shared the story of her own spiritual pilgrimage. The Lord was obviously using her in a powerful way. By the time she and I met, Samira’s superiors were already seeking to extradite Samira to the United States—for her own protection. I begged her to stay among her own people because I couldn’t see how God could replace this young woman of faith in such a dark and difficult place. However, the slow-grinding, irreversible gears of international diplomacy had already been set in motion. Samira was whisked out of Central Asia and flown immediately to the American Midwest where she began to make a new life. When I arrived home from my trip, I told Ruth all about this remarkable young woman. We arranged to fly her from her new home to Kentucky for a visit. She spent a week in our home. We took Samira to a moderate-sized church in central Kentucky for Sunday morning worship. It just so happened that there was a baptism service scheduled for that morning; an entire family—mother, father, and two children—were to be baptized. As their baptism progressed—with this young lady believer from a Muslim background sitting in the pew between Ruth and me—I noticed Samira beginning to fidget, twisting, turning, and rocking backward and forward. It was as if she was having an anxiety attack. In a quiet whisper, I asked her if there was something wrong. Samira tugged on the sleeve of my jacket. She whispered forcefully in my ear: “I cannot believe this! I cannot believe that I have lived long enough to see people being baptized in public. An entire family together! No one is shooting at them, no one is threatening them, no one will go to prison, no one will be tortured, and no one will be killed. And they are being openly and freely baptized as a family! I never dreamed that God could do such things! I never believed that I would live to see a miracle like this.
Nik Ripken (The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected)
You left me,” he said tersely, his gaze unwavering on her. She exhaled. “I am sorry. I am sorry for borrowing your ship, and I—” “You left me after the night we shared.” She tried not to think about being in his arms, when he had seemed to love her as much as she loved him. “I told you that morning what I intended. The time we shared didn’t change anything.” She saw him flinch. “It was wonderful, but I meant it when I said I had to go home. I know you are angry. I know I took the coward’s way, and I shouldn’t have conned Mac—” “I don’t care about the ship!” he cried, stunning her. “I am glad you took my frigate—at least you would be safe from rovers. Damn it! I made love to you and you left me!” She hugged herself harder, trying to ignore that painful figure of speech. “I knew you would want to marry me, Cliff, for all the wrong reasons. How could I accept that? The night we spent together only fueled my desire to leave.” “For all the wrong reasons? Our passion fueled your desire to leave me?” “You misunderstand me,” she cried. “I do not want to hurt you. But you ruined me, you would decide to marry me. Honor is not the right reason, not for me.” He stepped closer, his gaze piercing. “Do you even know my reasons, Amanda?” “Yes, I do.” Somehow she tilted up her chin, yet she felt tears falling. “You are the most honorable man I have ever met. I know my letter hardly stated the depth of my feelings, but after all you have done, and all your family has done, you must surely know that leaving you was very difficult.” “The depth of your feelings,” he said. His nostrils flared, his gaze brilliant. “Do you refer to the friendship you wish to maintain—your affection for me?” He was cold and sarcastic, taking a final step toward her. He towered over her now. She wanted to step backward, away from him, but she held her ground. “I didn’t think you would wish to continue our friendship. But it is so important to me. I will beg you to forgive me so we can remain dear friends.” “I don’t want to be a dear friend,” he said harshly. “And goddamn it, do not tell me you felt as a friend does when you were in my bed!” She stiffened. “That’s not fair.” “You left me. That’s not fair,” he shot back, giving no quarter. “After all you have done, it wasn’t fair, I agree completely. But I was desperate.” He shook his head. “I will never believe you are desperate to be a shopkeeper. And what woman is truly independent? Only a spinster or a widow. You are neither.” Slowly, hating her words, she said, “I had planned on the former.” “Like hell,” he spat. She accepted the dread filling her then. “You despise me now.” “Are you truly so ignorant, so oblivious? How on earth could I ever despise you?” he exclaimed, leaning closer. “Would I be standing here demanding marriage if I despised you?” She started. Her heart skipped wildly; she tried to ignore it. She whispered, “Why did you really pursue me?” “I am a de Warenne,” he said, straightening. “As my father said so recently, there is no stopping us, not if it is a question of love.
Brenda Joyce (A Lady At Last (deWarenne Dynasty, #7))
This is unfair.” “It’s a raw hand. But sweetheart, know this, I wouldn’t trade these days for anything in the entire world. We just met at the wrong time.
M.K. Schiller (Eight Days In The Sun)
We may think that our product or service alone will win people over daily. Not true. The customer must see the need for it, or they will pass on it. If we do our part, the willing will come to us with a desire to see their need met. I learned a long time ago that you can’t say the wrong thing to the right person. Look for Mr. and Mrs. Right every day you are in the field. They are all around you. You simply must be aggressive in looking for the lookers.
Chris J. Gregas
This time he forgot everything. He only stood and stared. That smile. Christ, that smile. He recognized it by the wave of ecstatic joy that all but knocked him flat on his back. Had he though himself incapable of happiness in a sustained basis? He was wrong — and how. He could never have enough of this sweet elation. He wanted to splash in it, swim in it, drink it by the gallons, until nothing but bliss pulsed in his veins. The girl of his dreams. He had met her at last.
Sherry Thomas (His at Night)
This is real," he whispered, sitting up. "Yes," I said. "You're real. I thought-- I started to think--" He was shaking now. Shame burned through my body, but I pulled him into my arms, and still holding on we rolled back down to lie on the grass. "I'm sorry," I said. "I'm so sorry." For an answer, he only buried his face in the crook of my neck, and we lay still together for a long time, until at last he whispered in my ear, "At least you're not as shy as when we met." I was about to say, Do I need to remind you how much I am used to you?-- and then I bolted upright, skin burning. Because I remembered everything we had done together, remembered being this woman at ease in his embrace, yet I knew bone-deep that I had never even held hands with a man, let alone kissed one. Memories tangled in my throat and I couldn't breathe. Then I realized I had thrown him to the ground. "I'm sorry," I blurted, hoping I had not hurt him. But he was sitting up now too, leaned back with his hands behind him, his head tilted to one side. It was exactly the sort of posture that Ignifex might have sat in. "You saved me," he said quietly. The cadences of his voice were uncanny: entirely familiar, but not exactly like either Ignifex or Shade. "You saved me, and I think that covers almost half your sins." I snorted. "I was more than a little late." "Better than never," he said. "Besides, I did deserve it. I wronged you. Both of me." His mouth tightened, and then he said, whisper-soft, "I'm sorry too. Please forgive me." Neither one of them would ever have apologized so desperately. It was a new person staring back at me with blue eyes-- but I was a new person too. And if he, so long divided, could gather himself together and remember how to love me, then I could do the same for him. "Well, you were at least both handsome, too." I took his hand again; our thumbs rubbed together, and then suddenly we were kissing.
Rosamund Hodge (Cruel Beauty)
You can spend so much time and energy questioning yourself—what went wrong, who’s to blame, could I have done something differently—that it can prevent you from moving on. I think every breakup is a journey of realizing that the universe has something greater in mind for you. Trust me, I get it: ending a relationship feels like the end of the world. Sometimes it felt like I’d never be happy again. But as time passes and your heart mends, you pick yourself up and carry on. And at least now you know what your heart is capable of feeling. I always had to believe that this one person was meant to teach me something about myself to get me ready for whoever was coming my way next. Admittedly, it wouldn’t be until I met that next person—who brought out in me the new things I’d learned or parts of myself I’d gotten in touch with—that faith was truly restored.
Lily Collins (Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me.)
I never really wanted anything other than us all being together as a family. I just wanted to be left alone. He had to get his hands on me! It was as if I was not even allowed to have a childhood, in all truthfulness. I know I had to grow up too fast. He violated me! Why would he do such a thing to me, was it love or hate? It just started with a touch of the hand, and then more and more, I was not going to stop it, because I think I liked it? Yes, I think I did…? He made me feel good and bad all at the same time! I need my friends like I need my dad, and without his love, in my life, my needing for life ran on low, and he drained the rest out of me. I never wanted to do what he wanted me to do. I just wanted to be a kid; I just wanted to be the average girl, like I have seen all around me in school. I do not think anyone loves me, the only one, which loved me like that was my dad. There were no boys out there that wanted me because they knew, only one but he does not count to me. Because he would have done anything to get me to say yes, even if I said no. It was hard to find real love, because of who my mom is, and what my dad was. Yet I thought it was my mom, which destroyed my life. That she stopped me from being who I was meant to become. I wanted to do so much and see so much. Yes, I love her for being my mom, but why did she have to be my mom. Dad was the only one I wanted, then. After everything fell apart, I just needed to get away from the craziness, so I did, and that is why I am here now. The way I am, with my mom, it is so crazy I know. I never loved life; to me, there was no point in living at all. If I could not love who I wanted to love and be with the one I wanted, it would have been so wrong. It was so wrong! I remember my first school bus ride and I met my two friends that were Lexi Cruosin and Stephanie Colt. Lexi was a mouthy friend she grew up to become a cheerleader in school, and she left me behind.
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh The Cursed)
You asked me who I’d been seeing? The mystery guy?” “Ohhhhhh.” Emily’s eyes lit up at the promise of early morning gossip. “Why, yes. I do remember that.” Emily rested her chin on her hands, settling in for my story. “I don’t think you need me for this.” Simon threw up defensive hands and went into the kitchen in search of coffee. I gave him a thin smile of appreciation that he didn’t see, then I turned back to Emily and, for the first time, spilled the whole story. Of being so lonely I couldn’t handle it anymore. Of drinking one glass of wine too many and sending that first message to Dex. His response. Our emails. Texts. And realizing last night that it had all been a lie. “So . . .” While I’d been talking Emily refilled our coffee mugs, and now she sat down again, staring hard at my laptop. “All this time you thought it was Dex, but it was Daniel writing to you instead?” “Exactly.” I nodded emphatically. “Are you kidding me?” I jumped at Simon’s voice, harsher, angrier than I was used to hearing him. He was back, leaning against the archway again, his own mug of coffee in his hands. “What kind of Cyrano de Bergerac bullshit is that?” Emily clucked her tongue and turned in her chair. “I don’t know about that,” she said. “Of course it is!” He gestured to my laptop. “Look, I’ve known the Dueling Kilts for years. They’ve played the Faire since . . . well, I think since the first year we started hiring outside acts. And they’re great guys. But there’s no way that Dex MacLean could string together a coherent sentence, much less an elaborate email.” “Hey.” I felt a lick of defensive anger for the hottie I’d hooked up with. But then I thought about it and, well, Simon wasn’t wrong. Hadn’t I thought something similar when I’d first started hearing from Dex? Daniel? Who-the-hell-ever? “Okay, yeah,” I said. “That’s fair.” Simon’s smile wasn’t unkind as he finished his point. “Which means he got Daniel to write those emails for him. And that’s classic Cyrano.” “Yeah, but what about the texts?” Emily picked up my phone and waved it at him. “Daniel was using his own phone number. You think Dex was standing over his shoulder, telling him what to say?” “He could have been.” “I don’t think so. Besides, in the original play, Cyrano and Christian were both in love with Roxane, but Cyrano sacrificed his chance to be with her because he thought she loved Christian more. But we don’t know if that’s the case here. Maybe Daniel . . .” “What the hell is wrong with you two?” I closed my laptop with a snap and took my phone back from Emily. “You’re both nerds, you know that? In this century we don’t go straight for a Cyrano reference. We call it catfishing.” Simon snorted, and Emily bit down on her bottom lip, but amusement danced in her eyes. “Well, yeah. That’s true. But Simon does have a point.” “Of course I do.” He blew across the top of his mug before taking a sip. I narrowed my eyes at him. “Don’t you have sets to finish painting?
Jen DeLuca (Well Played (Well Met, #2))
What would Susan be like? All I knew of her was what I had seen when she’d been out walking, a reluctant-looking little girl who made strange gestures and movements. And I knew she’d gone to a “special” school. But what kind of school exactly? Mrs. Felder had hinted that I might not want the job once I met Susan. I had looked up “autistic” in the dictionary. I couldn’t find the word, but I had found “autism.” The definition said something about childhood schizophrenia, acting out, and withdrawal. That was no help. Then I looked up “schizophrenia,” but I was more confused than ever. The definition mentioned “withdrawing from reality.” For heaven’s sake, I am always withdrawing from reality, every time I daydream. And my stepsister, Karen, believes in ghosts and witches, but there’s nothing wrong with her. I would have to wait and see what Mrs. Felder said.
Ann M. Martin (Kristy and the Secret of Susan (The Baby-Sitters Club, #32))
Two weeks later she met a guy, a month later she was engaged, and a few months later she was married. She finally felt free. Turns out, she was trying to escape the wrong prison the whole time—it wasn’t about the dark cage of dreadful commitment but the weary prison of the wrong person.
Zack Oates (Dating Never Works . . . Until It Does: 100 Lessons from 1,000 Dates)
* Favorite documentary Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series inspired Adam to become a scientist, which is true for many of the top-tier scientists I’ve met and interviewed. [TF: Neil deGrasse Tyson has a revised version of Cosmos that is also spectacular.] “It was a really powerful, friendly way of being introduced to the complexities and wonders that were gripping to me as a kid. I watched it with my dad. It was great bonding for us. The way [Sagan] delivered it was just captivating, and it was really what sealed the deal for me that I wanted to be a scientist.” * Advice to your 30-year-old self? “I would say to have no fear. I mean, you’ve got one chance here to do amazing things, and being afraid of being wrong or making a mistake or fumbling is just not how you do something of impact. You just have to be fearless.” As context, Adam said the following earlier in our conversation: “I want to do fundamental breakthroughs, if possible. If you have that mindset, if that’s how you challenge yourself, that that’s what you want to do with your life, with your small amount of time that you have here to make a difference, then the only way to do it is to do the type of research that other people would think of as risky or even foolhardy. That’s just part of the game.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
I want that to change. Those girls… they don’t mean anything, they never have. I believed she was different, Holly. For a time, I felt towards her as I did when we first met. She was a breath of fresh air to my stale life, something to provide new inspiration and reinvigorate me. I was wrong.
J.M. Dalgliesh (One Lost Soul (Hidden Norfolk #1))
The one where I was insanely jealous and didn't handle it very well," he told her quietly, not taking his eyes off the ground. Kira forced herself to shut up so he could let whatever he was holding inside, out. "The truth is, I know I've been a little mean sometimes, but I told myself it was justified. You and Tristan were wrong for each other, and it was only a matter of time before you broke up. I was just doing my part to move the process along." "But?" Kira said, making him continue. "But, I realize now that it's something you need to see on your own." "And why do you care so much?" Kira asked. They had avoided this conversation for so long, it was inevitable they would need to talk about it. Maybe in the woods, alone, waiting to charge a house full of powerful vampires wasn't the ideal time, but it was all the two of them had. There was no going back now. "Because you're my best friend." He shrugged, still not looking at her. Kira watched him, watched as he finally met her gaze. His fiery eyes were so like her own, but she didn't recognize them now, not when they were so filled with hope and pain. "Because I'm in love with you," he finally said, letting the words float up and fill the empty space of the forest, making it feel both cramped and vast at the same time. There it was. The six words that Kira had been dreading since graduation. The six words that could never be taken back. The six words that would change their friendship forever. "I love you too," Kira said, hating the pity in her voice. "But you're not in love with me," Luke finished the sentence for her, visibly deflated.
Kaitlyn Davis (Simmer (Midnight Fire, #2))
Once we assembled the entire package, Mike named it Netscape SuiteSpot, as it would be the “suite” that displaced Microsoft’s BackOffice. We lined everything up for a major launch on March 5, 1996, in New York. Then, just two weeks before the launch, Marc, without telling Mike or me, revealed the entire strategy to the publication Computer Reseller News. I was livid. I immediately sent him a short email: To: Marc Andreessen Cc: Mike Homer From: Ben Horowitz Subject : Launch I guess we’re not going to wait until the 5th to launch the strategy. — Ben Within fifteen minutes, I received the following reply. To: Ben Horowitz Cc: Mike Homer, Jim Barksdale (CEO), Jim Clark (Chairman) From: Marc Andreessen Subject: Re: Launch Apparently you do not understand how serious the situation is. We are getting killed killed killed out there. Our current product is radically worse than the competition. We’ve had nothing to say for months. As a result, we’ve lost over $3B in market capitalization. We are now in danger of losing the entire company and it’s all server product management’s fault. Next time do the fucking interview yourself. Fuck you, Marc I received this email the same day that Marc appeared barefoot and sitting on a throne on the cover of Time magazine. When I first saw the cover, I felt thrilled. I had never met anyone in my life who had been on the cover of Time. Then I felt sick. I brought both the magazine and the email home to Felicia to get a second opinion. I was very worried. I was twenty-nine years old, had a wife and three children, and needed my job. She looked at the email and the magazine cover and said, “You need to start looking for a job right away.” In the end, I didn’t get fired and over the next two years, SuiteSpot grew from nothing to a $400 million a year business. More shocking, Marc and I eventually became friends; we’ve been friends and business partners ever since. People often ask me how we’ve managed to work effectively across three companies over eighteen years. Most business relationships either become too tense to tolerate or not tense enough to be productive after a while. Either people challenge each other to the point where they don’t like each other or they become complacent about each other’s feedback and no longer benefit from the relationship. With Marc and me, even after eighteen years, he upsets me almost every day by finding something wrong in my thinking, and I do the same for him. It works.
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
What’s wrong, Bluebell?” he asked, using both hands to play now. “I met this guy and I just wonder if he’ll be okay with me, you know, touching you and going to the opera and stuff?” “We are friends and your possessive boyfriend will need to accept how you are not his pet.” My gaze met Tyson’s and I’d be damned if he wasn’t jealous. While I shouldn’t have smiled, my mouth reacted quicker than my brain. “Yes, you and I have been friends for a very long time,” I said, still grinning despite my best ef-forts to stop. Sensing I was teasing him, Tyson lifted a dark brow and smirked. “You are no one’s possession.
Angela Horn (Blue Sacrifice (Blue Davison, #1))
I've never met a guy who makes me feel cold at the same time he makes me hot. It's weird. But I like it. Too much.
C.M. Stunich (Born Wrong (Hard Rock Roots, #5))
On my first Sunday morning visiting Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, my family and I sat in front of a lovely family in the church balcony. I first noticed them because their young children sat attentively and patiently as they participated in the service. I then noticed their lovely, vigorous singing. But they really grabbed my attention when they greeted us warmly immediately after the service. The man of the family took me around and introduced me to many of the men in the church, and after about fifteen minutes or so invited my family to join his family at their home for lunch—right then. Honestly, the experience made me feel a little weirded out. First of all, his name was Jim, and literally the first three men he introduced me to were all named Jim. Strange, I thought. What kind of church is this? Will I have to change my name again? Then the quick invitation to lunch about knocked me down. It happened too fast. And with my Southern upbringing, it might have even been considered impolite. So I gave him my best polite Southern way of saying no: “That is mighty nice of you. Perhaps some other time.” Everybody down South knows that a sentence like that means no. Southerners know that that is how you must say no because saying no itself is impolite. Southerners are nothing if not polite. So I had clearly said no to this man’s kind but hasty offer of lunch. And wouldn’t you know it? The very next week, when we went to this strange church again, he insisted that we join them for lunch. I was North Carolina. He was New Jersey. There was a failure to communicate. He didn’t understand the rules of the South, but Washington, DC, apparently was too close to the Mason-Dixon Line to clearly establish which “Rome” we were in and what we should do. But I was wrong, and Jim was right. He was the godlier man. He was more hospitable than anyone I had ever met and remains more hospitable than I am today. He embodied Paul’s insistence that hospitable men lead Christ’s church. And rightly, he was a church elder.
Thabiti M. Anyabwile (Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons (9Marks))
When his teaching is more straightforward, it is no less baffling or challenging. Blessed are the meek (Mt 5:5); to look at a woman with lust is to commit adultery (Mt 5:28); forgive wrongs seventy times seven (Mt 18:22); you can't be my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions (Lk 14:33); no divorce (Mk 10:9); love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Mt 5:44). A passage that gives us the keys to the reign, or kingdom, of God is Matthew 25:31–46, the scene of the judgment of the nations: Then the king will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” As Mother Teresa put it, we meet Christ in the distressing disguise of the poor. Jesus’ teaching and witness is obviously relevant to social, economic, and political issues. Indeed, the Jewish leaders and the Romans (the powers that be of the time) found his teaching and actions disturbing enough to arrest him and execute him. A scene from the life of Clarence Jordan drives home the radicalism and relevance of Jesus’ message. In the early 1950s Clarence approached his brother, Robert Jordan, a lawyer and future state senator and justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, to legally represent Koinonia Farm. Clarence, I can't do that. You know my political aspirations. Why if I represented you, I might lose my job, my house, everything I've got. We might lose everything too, Bob. It's different for you. Why is it different? I remember, it seems to me, that you and I joined the church the same Sunday, as boys. I expect when we came forward the preacher asked me about the same question he did you. He asked me, “Do you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?” And I said, “Yes.” What did you say? I follow Jesus, Clarence, up to a point. Could that point by any chance be—the cross? That's right. I follow him to the cross, but not on the cross. I'm not getting myself crucified. Then I don't believe you're a disciple. You're an admirer of Jesus, but not a disciple of his. I think you ought to go back to the church you belong to, and tell them you're an admirer not a disciple. Well now, if everyone who felt like I do did that, we wouldn't have a church, would we? The question, Clarence said, is, “Do you have a church?”25 The early Christian community tried to live according to the values of the reign of God that Jesus proclaimed, to be disciples. The Jerusalem community was characterized by unlimited liability and total availability for each other, sharing until everyone's needs were met (Acts 2:43–47; 4:32–37).26 Paul's exhortation to live a new life in Christ in his letter to the Romans, chapters 12 through 15, has remarkable parallels to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, chapters 5 through 7, and Luke 6:20–49.27 Both Jesus and Paul offer practical steps for conflict resolution and peacemaking. Similarly, the Epistle of James exhorts Christians to “be doers of the word and not merely hearers who deceive themselves” (1:22), and warns against class divisions (2:1–13) and the greed and corruption of the wealthy (5:1–6).
J. Milburn Thompson (Introducing Catholic Social Thought)
Everyone has problems, frustrations, and discouragements. Everyone has enemies, or at least people with whom we have conflict. It takes no effort to allow ourselves to be pulled into negative emotions through the things we don’t like. There’s a saying, “Any dead fish can float downstream.” To be carried by our emotions, all we must do is let ourselves go and drift where emotions carry us. If you let your mind wander, chances are it will land on a hurt or something negative and begin brooding. It takes life to swim against the current. Look at the contrast between bitterness and love. These are two opposing forces. One is rooted in the flesh, and one has been given to us by God. Have you ever met a bitter person? Someone who always talks about how they have been wronged, or the things that are wrong in the world? If you spend much time around a negative person, you will adopt negative attitudes. Does a negative person have life? No. Bitterness is a life-sucking emotion. When anger is allowed to rule, it gives birth to bitterness and hatred. These emotions serve no other purpose than to search and destroy. While these may be born from a specific offense, they cannot maintain a single target, and begin attacking our own hearts and minds, and then begin targeting those around us. Negative emotions attempt to rise up, war against our minds, and bring us under its bondage. They are weeds in the garden of our mind. Positive emotions are like fruitful plants, but they cannot thrive when they are being choked out by these weeds.
Eddie Snipes (The Promise of a Sound Mind: God's Plan for Emotional and Mental Health)
There are very few reasons for identity theft, Ellie. One is to profit from the victim’s bank accounts. The other is to hide who you really are because who you really are is not lawful. Since Dr. Gunterson never suspected his identity was borrowed, I assume there was no theft. I bet our Arnie has priors. He’s done something wrong somewhere and needs to be someone else. And if he’s hiding, he’s probably hiding from the police. And if he’s hiding from the police, there are probably warrants. And if there are warrants, I believe it would serve our purpose to let him be arrested.” Brie lifted an eyebrow. “Hmm?” “Wow,” Ellie said. “I should have known. If he’s nothing but a criminal, shouldn’t I have known?” Brie shook her head. “I can’t answer that one for you, Ellie. I spent years in the district attorney’s office in Sacramento, prosecuting crimes like this. I met a lot of very intelligent women who were victimized by manipulative men, as well as perfectly sharp men taken for a wild ride by clever, dishonest women. It’s a con, and you were at a vulnerable time in your life. Cons can smell that a mile away. Sadly, it’s common in the world of criminal law.” “Can
Robyn Carr (Forbidden Falls)
Can we just get it out there right now that I don’t want anything with you or from you?” I’m not going to lie; it felt like she’d punched me. But I still nodded. “I’m not looking for, or interested in, a relationship. It’s nothing against you. I just—I can’t—I don’t. Um, I—” “Rachel.” I waited until she looked up at me and again found myself wishing I could figure out what she was hiding from me. Did she have a boyfriend? Just get out of a bad relationship? “It’s fine. Nothing between us, I got it.” With a quick breath in, she nodded her head and forced a smile. “We kind of got off on the wrong foot, but since we’re going to be neighbors I’d like it if we were friends. I’m sorry for how I was toward you when I met you, and I’m sorry for the confusion this morning—can we just start over?” Only being friends with her sounded about as fun as kicking puppies right now. But this was good; I didn’t have time for a distraction and Rachel would definitely be a distraction . . . I don’t know why I even try lying to myself. The real problem was I couldn’t put Rachel in my world. I couldn’t put her in this danger, and being with her would put her right in the middle of it. So friends it was, then. “Sure,” I said softly, and watched a genuine smile cross her face. She stuck out her hand. “I’m Rachel Masters, from far West Texas.” God, she was cute. I grabbed her hand and tried to ignore the warmth coming from her body and how I wanted to lean into her, press my mouth to her neck, and breathe in the sweet scent coming from her. “Logan . . . Hendricks, from far East Texas. But you can call me Kash. It’s good to meet you, Rachel.” “You too, Kash with a K.
Molly McAdams (Forgiving Lies (Forgiving Lies, #1))
General Narrok’s legion did indeed go to Wendlyn,” Murtaugh said. “And no one knows how or why, but Aelin … Aelin was there, in the Cambrian Mountains, and was part of a host that met them in battle. They’re saying she’s been hiding in Doranelle all this time.” Alive, Aedion had to tell himself—alive, and not dead after the battle, even if Murtaugh’s information about her whereabouts was wrong. Murtaugh was smiling. “They slaughtered Narrok and his men, and she saved a great number of people—with magic. Fire, they say—power the likes of which the world has not seen since Brannon himself.” Aedion’s chest tightened to the point of hurting. The captain was just staring at the old man. It was a message to the world. Aelin was a warrior, able to fight with blade or magic. And she was done with hiding
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
Still smirking lazily, Ryan leaned back against the couch, stretching his arm along the back. “Is that how you talk to your best mate who’s about to offer you to practice on him?” Jamie blinked a few times, looking adorably bewildered. “You’re joking.” Ryan met his gaze steadily. “Nope. I promise not to laugh at you and just tell you if you’re doing something wrong.” Jamie just stared at him. “Hurry
Alessandra Hazard (Just a Bit Confusing (Straight Guys #5))
McNamara, Bundy (who had been too powerful for Pusey at Harvard), Rostow, Arthur Schlesinger, Sargent Shriver. Did they need a Texan? Everyone who met Bill Moyers came away impressed—a Kennedy-style Texan, with perhaps too much of the Bible in him, but that would change. A general? They had Maxwell Taylor, a good general, soldier-statesman, an intellectual who read books avidly and had even written one. They said he had resigned in the Eisenhower years in protest against the archaic defense policies, but they were wrong—he had not resigned, he had retired after serving the full four years, and then he had written his book. But the book was so critical that it seemed as if he had resigned—a small but very important difference which went unnoticed at the time. Still, he was their general; if Harvard produced generals it would have produced Max Taylor
David Halberstam (The Best and the Brightest: Kennedy-Johnson Administrations (Modern Library))
Tim Graham Tim Graham has specialized in photographing the Royal Family for more than thirty years and is foremost in his chosen field. Recognition of his work over the years has led to invitations for private sessions with almost all the members of the British Royal Family, including, of course, Diana, Princess of Wales, and her children. For at-home photographs, I found her chatty and easy to work with, and her sense of humor always showed through. Tours could be eventful. On one occasion, while photographing her at a Saudi Arabian desert picnic, I was walking backward in front of her--a position quite normal for photographers. What I didn’t realize while concentrating on hr was that I was backing straight into a fire. Just in time, the Princess called out to warn me, but couldn’t suppress her giggles as I stepped into the flames. She was a very lively person to photograph. You had to keep your camera on her at all times, because in a split second there could be just the picture of her expression or response to someone she was meeting or something that had happened. She had the ability to charm and relax whoever she met, whether the man in the street or a nation’s president. If things went wrong in the job, it always made her laugh--and it’s true to say that she must have found some of her royal duties a bit monotonous and stifling and been glad of some light relief.
Larry King (The People's Princess: Cherished Memories of Diana, Princess of Wales, From Those Who Knew Her Best)
Hey, there,” Jack said. “How you doing?” Paul got right up close to Jack. “Listen, Jack, you have no idea what she wants me to do,” he said under his breath. “Yeah, I do. She told everyone. Mel will be right out to get you as soon as Vanni’s settled.” “You’d be better at this than me,” he said. “Yeah, I probably would.” Jack grinned. “But I wasn’t asked.” “I can’t do this,” he whispered. Jack clamped a hand on his back. “Sure you can. You’ll be fine. Count your lucky stars—at least you have a midwife in there with you.” Jack smiled. “It’ll be a good experience for you.” “I’m sure you’re wrong about that.” “Paul!” Mel called. “We’re ready for you.” “Aw, Jesus.” Jack leaned toward him. “Man-up, pal. Or they’ll never let you hear the end of it.” Reluctantly Paul went down the hall. Mel, grinning very happily, met him outside Vanni’s bedroom door. “How we doing?” she asked. “Not so good, Mel. I’m pretty sure I’m not up to this. I’m very inexperienced.” “All right, Paul, don’t worry. It’s going to be a while before the baby comes, and right now all Vanni really needs is someone to rub her back, help her remember to breathe through the contractions, maybe give her a damp cloth for her forehead, or the back of the neck really helps sometimes. That’s all.” “I can do that part.” “That’s good. If you can’t go the distance, that’s okay. Just get us that far, okay?” “I’ll do what I can,” he said. When he got into the room he was very relieved to see Vanni, clothed in a gown that didn’t reveal anything, sitting up in the bed, cross-legged, smiling. So he smiled back. “How are you feeling?” “Fine at the moment, thanks.” “Vanni, you should have told me this was what you wanted a long time ago. I’m totally unprepared to do this.” “Don’t worry, Paul. You’ll be fine.” “Probably
Robyn Carr (Whispering Rock (Virgin River, #3))
I felt the tears well in my eyes. “But your father was murdered. Mine died in an accident.” She lowered her eyes, and for a moment, I thought that maybe I could see the little girl under all those years. “When the war ended—when the world believed that I was dead—I searched for the Butcher of Lodz. I wanted to bring him to justice for what he did. I contacted groups that search for ex-Nazis.” I didn’t know where she was going with this, but I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. “Did you find him?” She looked off again, not responding to my question. “You see, sometimes I still see his face. I see him on the streets, or out my window. He haunts my sleep, even now, even all these years later. I still hear his laugh before he killed my father. Still. But mostly . . .” She stopped. “Mostly what?” I said. She turned and met my eye. “Mostly I remember the way he looked at me when my father asked him to spare me. Like he knew.” “Knew what?” “That my life, the life of a girl named Lizzy Sobek, was over now. That I would survive but never be the same. So I kept searching for him. Through the years and even decades. I finally found his real name and an old photograph of him. All the Nazi hunters told me to relax, not to worry, that the Butcher was dead, that he had been killed in action in the winter of 1945.” And then it happened. She turned the page and pointed at the photograph of the Butcher in his Waffen-SS uniform. I saw right away that he hadn’t died, that the Nazi hunters had been wrong. You see, I had seen this man before. He had sandy hair and green eyes, and last time I saw him, he was taking my father away in an ambulance.
Harlan Coben (Shelter (Micky Bolitar, #1))
A piercing cry came from the playroom. Preacher was on his feet at the same moment Chris came flying into the kitchen, holding his forearm with his other hand. He ran to his mother, with a look of pain and fear, his mouth open in a wail, tears on his face. Paige instantly drew him in, asking, “What’s wrong? What’s wrong?” Preacher leaned over, pulled Chris’s hand away, saw the perfect outline of a juvenile mouth and, with an expression of sheer horror and disbelief, leveled his gaze at Bud. “Someone bit him!” “Aw, kids. They’ll work it out,” Bud said, waving his hand, as though leaving them completely unsupervised had nothing to do with him. Gin said, “I’ll get something for that,” and jumped up. Dolores left the table saying, “Ice. I’ll get ice.” Preacher gently drew Chris away from Paige and lifted him up against his broad chest. Chris put his head on Preacher’s shoulder and cried. He met Paige’s eyes and he was sure that despite his greatest effort to remain calm, his were ablaze. Paige stood, regally, Preacher thought with a touch of pride, and said, “We’ll be going now.” “Sit down,” Bud said sharply, and Preacher was as close as he’d ever been to coming completely unhinged. He passed Chris back to his mother as calmly as he could, then leaned both hands on the table, pressed his face close enough to Bud’s so that Bud actually leaned back a little bit. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw that Paige had her bag over one shoulder and Chris lying against the other, headed for the front door. “We’re going to miss those steaks,” he said in a very menacing whisper. Then he picked up the fork he’d been squeezing and saw that it was a little bent. He bent it the rest of the way, folding it in half with one meaty hand. He dropped it on top of Bud’s salad. “Don’t get up.” By the time Preacher caught up with Paige, she was halfway down the walk toward the truck and already the women were fluttering out the door, calling after her. With no experience at this at all, having never before been in this position, Preacher knew what was going down. They were going to make excuses for Bud, maybe apologize for him, probably beg Paige to come back. He put a soft hand on her shoulder and she stopped, turning toward him. He reached for Chris. “Here,” he said, taking the boy tenderly. “Say goodbye. We’ll get settled.” He got Chris in the car seat while Paige and the other women were still on the walk. Each one of them took one of Paige’s hands, but she pulled out of their clutch. “Lemme see that arm, buddy,” Preacher said to Chris. “Aw, that’s going to be all right. Hey, how about pancakes? Breakfast for supper, huh?” He nodded and sniffed back tears. Preacher wiped a big thumb under each eye. “Yeah, pancakes. And chocolate milk.” Chris nodded again, a slight smile on his lips. Preacher
Robyn Carr (Shelter Mountain (Virgin River, #2))
It was obvious from the start that things weren’t quite right. This time they were supposed to be sending me to observe the crowning of Charlemagne in AD 800, and here I was in the wrong country and, according to the sky, about three centuries too soon. That’s the kind of thing that happens, like I said; it’s going to be at least fifty years before we get it right. Fifty-three years, actually, because I met this man in a bar in 1875 who’s from a hundred years in our future, and he told me. I told them at Base we might as well save a lot of effort by just, you know, bribing one of the future guys for the plans of the next model. They said if we violated the laws of Cause and Effect like that, there’s a good chance the whole universe would suddenly catastrophically collapse into this tiny bubble .005 angstroms across, but I say it’s got to be worth a try.
Terry Pratchett (A Blink of the Screen: Collected Shorter Fiction)
Some of the things the ordinary self wanted to do turn out to be what we call "wrong": well, we must give them up. Other things, which the self did not want to do, turn out to be what we call "right": well, we shall have to do them. But we are hoping all the time that when all the demands have been met, the poor natural self will still have some chance, and some time, to get on with its own life and do what it likes.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
They Just Don’t Do That Anymore He used to wake me, oh so often. He’d had a bad dream, or a cough, or something felt funny inside. I would grumble, or be patient, depending on the night and how tired I was. Back to his room and tuck him in. Rinse and repeat, through many moons. But he doesn’t do that anymore. He used to be our pickiest eater. Though we’d always fed all three the same, he turned up his nose more frequently. I would grumble about this, or be patient, depending on the day and all that had happened up until that point. Trying not to make it worse, we encouraged him to taste new flavors. We also honored his preferences and didn’t force it. Now he gobbles down chili, curry, many of his former not-favorites. He doesn’t do that anymore. They used to argue every day: shout, bite, whine, hit. Clamoring for position and power, each in his or her own way. I would grumble about this, or be patient, depending on the state of my heart and energy level. These days plenty of disagreements occur, but so do apologies, ones I don’t always have to oversee or manage. They don’t do that anymore. The tantrums, oh dear Lord, the tantrums. “Don’t give in and they’ll soon learn that tantrums don’t work.” Ha. I never gave in, but that didn’t stop these daily events that pushed me to my limit and beyond. For years. I would grumble about this, or be patient, depending on how many times we’d been down this road in the past twenty-four hours. At times I found myself sitting through the screaming, my own tears of helplessness running like rivers. Too drained to even wipe them away. Convinced I must be doing everything wrong. But they don’t do that anymore. Some mamas are reading this after multiple times up in the night. Or you’ve stumbled across these words soon after yet another shouting match. Or maybe the dinner you poured weary energy into met with a resounding lack of applause. I don’t want to minimize the stage you’re in. Don’t want to tell you, “Enjoy these days, they go by so fast.” I’m not here to patronize you. Instead let me pour a little encouragement your way: Go ahead and grumble, or be patient. You don’t have to handle all the issues perfectly. Go ahead and cry, and wonder if it’s even worth it. Go ahead and pray, for strength to make it through the next five minutes. Because one day, often when you least expect it, often when you’ve come to peace with the imperfections and decided to be happy anyway, you’ll wake up, look around in amazement and realize: They just don’t do that anymore.
Jamie C. Martin (Introverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt, and Quiet Joy)
REMEMBERING COMPASSION TAKES time, and sometimes the most profound learnings are not a part of a curriculum but are come upon by chance or even grace, the way that Glory found the pinecone. She brought it with her to the afternoon class; a large cone, split down the middle and attached to a Y-shaped branch. I stared at it in fascination, resting there in her lap, and hoped that she would say something about it. If you squinted your eyes, it was exactly the size and shape of a human heart. Glory is a young family practitioner who practices in a small rural town. Her patients range from the newborn to the very old, and her practice has afforded her a profound window on life. I met her at one of the physicians’ retreats I teach on detoxifying death. During the first evening’s discussion, she had said that she would find her own death a relief; in fact, life being as it is, she couldn’t imagine why anyone would struggle to live if there was a way to leave with honor. She had felt this way for as long as she could remember. It was an unusual thing for a physician to say, and the group who listened were surprised. She did not seem suicidal or even depressed, merely matter-of-fact. As she spoke, I found myself wondering what lay behind her words. I had some ideas, but, as it turned out, I couldn’t have been more wrong. When she began to talk about the pinecone, all this became clearer. In a voice that we could barely hear, she told us that she had found it on the path as she was coming in to lunch and had known instantly that it was hers. She looked at it lying there in her lap. “It’s my heart,” she told us. “It’s broken. Split in half.” She began to tell us about a vast sadness that she had experienced all her life, a personal sense of the suffering in the world that goes on and on. She had felt this suffering even as a child. It had broken her heart, made her unwilling to live any longer than she had to. Yet brokenhearted though she was,
Rachel Naomi Remen (My Grandfather's Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging)
Almost everything you’ve just said is wrong,” said Delaney. “In BAU we call them repeaters. They can be from any ethnic group. Any age, within reason. A lot of them are married with a big family. You could live next to one and never know it. The poor social skills and low intelligence are reasonable assumptions, but not always the case. Most evade capture for a long time due to their victim selection. Most victims of repeaters have never met their killer before. Even a dumb repeater can operate for years before the cops catch up to them. But then there’s the one percent. They have highly developed social skills, their IQ is off the scale, and whatever it is in their heads that makes them kill can be successfully hidden from even their closest friends. We don’t catch their kind too often. Best example would be Ted Bundy. And contrary to what you’ll see on TV—these killers don’t want to get caught. Ever. Some will go to extraordinary lengths to ensure they stay out of jail, including masking their kills. Others, while they still don’t want to get caught, secretly want someone to acknowledge their work.
Steve Cavanagh (Thirteen (Eddie Flynn #4))
Grand Provost.” Rava’s voice, clear and crisp, startled me. She stood to my left, in the doorway of her office, and I had the impression she had been watching for me. “Come in for a moment.” The Cokyrian second-in-command retreated into her alcove, and I followed, closing the door as she went to stand behind her desk. “How much power do you think he has?” she asked contemptuously, straightening her black tunic with a hard tug on the bottom. “I don’t understand.” I tenaciously met her eyes, despite the dread creeping along my spine. It was obvious she had overheard my conversation with Narian. “I understand the influence you have all too well. The commander will do exactly what you want, bend to your will. That alone should prove to you that strength is a woman’s endowment, not a man’s.” She was testing me, taunting me, and I resented her for it. “Are you going to continue with cryptic comments or are you going to say what you mean?” I demanded, rallying to take the offensive. “You may love Nantilam’s little prince, but you’re blind to the fact that he is an instrument. He has been from the beginning and he always will be, until she has no further use for him. Nantilam cares for him and would rather see him alive than dead, but she will not listen to him, or to words he bears from you. I have her ear. She will listen only to the most powerful woman n this godforsaken province, and that woman is me.” She was baiting me, successfully; I was on the verge of losing my temper. Knowing that would be a mistake, I let the silence between us lengthen, taking several slow and steady breaths. Then I gave her a small smile. “The High Priestess made me Grand Provost because she wanted a woman in control who would understand the people. You do not understand my people, Rava. You keep them miserable because you fear them. And everything else aside, that makes you weak.” Though Rava glowered at me, I was done with her, and coolly left her office. I could almost feel the slow tick of time, counting down to Narian’s return. He would prove one of us right and one of us wrong.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
When we reached the street that branched off into the western section of the city, I expected Saadi to conintue north, but he did not. We dismounted and walked side by side, leading our horses, until my house came into view. “You should leave,” I said to him, hoping I didn’t sound rude. “Let me help you take King to your stable.” I hesitated, unsure of the idea, then motioned for him to follow me as I cut across the property to approach the barn from the rear. After putting King in his private stall at the back of the building, sectioned off from the mares, I lit a lantern and grabbed a bucket. While Saadi watched me from the open door of the building, I went to the well to fill it. “You should really go now,” I murmured upon my return, not wanting anyone to see us or the light. He nodded and hung the lantern on its hook, but he did not leave. Instead, he took the bucket from me, placing it in King’s stall, and I noticed he had tossed in some hay. Brushing off his hands, he approached me. “Tell your family I returned the horse to your care, that our stable master found him too unruly and disruptive to serve us other than to sire an occasional foal.” “Yes, I will,” I mumbled, grateful for the lie he had provided. I had been so focused on recovering the stallion that explaining his reappearance had not yet entered my mind. Then an image of Rava, standing outside the barn tapping the scroll against her palm, surfaced. What was to prevent her return? “And your sister? What will you tell her?” He smirked. “You seem to think Rava is in charge of everything. Well, she’s not in charge of our stables. And our stable master will be content as long as we can still use the stallion for breeding. As for Rava, keep the horse out of sight and she’ll likely never know he’s back in your hands.” “But what if you’re wrong and she does find out?” “Then I’ll tell her that I have been currying a friendship with you. That you have unwittingly become an informant. That the return of the stallion, while retaining Cokyrian breeding rights, furthered that goal.” I gaped at him, for his words flowed so easily, I wondered if there was truth behind them. “And is that what this is really all about?” I studied his blue eyes, almost afraid of what they might reveal. But they were remarkably sincere when he addressed the question. “In a way, I suppose, for I am learning much from you.” He smiled and reached out to push my hair back from my face. “But it is not the sort of information that would be of interest to Rava.” His hand caressed my cheek, and he slowly leaned toward me until his lips met mine. I moved my mouth against his, following his lead, and a tingle went down my spine. With my knees threatening to buckle, I put my hands on his chest for balance, feeling his heart beating beneath my palms. Then he was gone. I stood dumbfounded, not knowing what to do, then traced my still-moist lips, the taste of him lingering. This was the first time I’d been kissed, and the experience, I could not deny, had been a good one. I no longer cared that Saadi was Cokyrian, for my feelings on the matter were clear. I’d kiss him again if given the chance.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
The progressives pose as the champions not only of fairness and social justice but also of compassion. They are the ones who insist on our obligation to those from whom we have allegedly stolen. Let’s leave aside for the moment whether they are right about the theft. What we do know for sure is that progressives assert there has been a theft. They further acknowledge that they are among the beneficiaries of it. Based on this, they would seem to have a clear obligation to return the stolen goods that they are currently enjoying. We might expect, from this analysis, to discover that progressives are the most generous people in America. We can anticipate that they contribute the highest portion of their incomes and time to help their wronged and less fortunate fellow men and women. The truth, however, is that progressives are the least generous people in America. I saw this personally with Obama, who unceasingly declares that “we are our brother’s keeper” even as he refuses to help his own half brother, George, who lives in a hut in the Huruma slum of Nairobi. I met George in early 2012 when I interviewed him for my film 2016: Obama’s America. A few months after that, when I was back in America, George called me from Kenya to ask me to give him $1,000 because his baby son was sick. Surprised, I asked him, “Why are you calling me? Isn’t there someone else you can call?” He said, “No.” So I sent him the money. I guess on that occasion it was I, not Obama, who proved to be his brother’s keeper. And besides George, the president has other relatives in dire need—his aunt Hawa Auma, for example, sells charcoal on the roadside in rural Kenya, and desperately needs money to get her rotting teeth fixed. Although Obama is aware of their plight, he refuses to help them.
Dinesh D'Souza (Stealing America: What My Experience with Criminal Gangs Taught Me about Obama, Hillary, and the Democratic Party)
Once, in an age long passed, there were two friends who went together to study religion at the feet of a master. When it was explained to them both that the essence of innermost reality is truly spontaneous awareness, they each went off separately to practice what they had been taught. One of them relaxed his mind through meditation and yoga and allowed all negative emotions to simply float away like clouds in the sky until his consciousness was clear, open, and bright. The other began to assert his ego through murder and theft. Using his skill and intelligence to organize a criminal network, he quickly set up a chain of brothels and gambling houses so that he became very rich and powerful indeed. When the tow friends met again some time later, each was surprised to see how the other had understood the teachings they had received together. Returning to the teacher for advice about who was right and who was wrong, they were told that the goal of freedom is freedom from the ego. Hearing this, the one who had spent so much time and energy boosting his ego became very angry indeed and killed the master on the spot. Consequently, in subsequent incarnations, the student who was dominated by the evil ego was born repeatedly in the form of various wild animals and fell down into the lowest of the hell-realms.
Stephen Hodge (The Illustrated Tibetan Book of the Dead: A New Reference Manual for the Soul)
Colin stood. He walked toward her and reached out his hand. "Allow me to wash your hair." What the bloody hell am I doing? She crossed her arms over her breasts and snapped her gaze to him. "You promised you'd keep your eyes averted." He touched her tresses and ran his hand through them until his fingers met water. "I did, but I was wrong to do so." His voice deepened with his longing. He picked up a wooden bowl and knelt beside her. Margaret's brows knitted when she met his gaze. Without removing her arms, she leaned forward and allowed him to ladle the water over her head. He took his time, massaging the water through her thick tresses. "May I have the soap?" he asked. Margaret released one arm and fished through the barrel. Keeping her head down, she held up the soap. Colin wrapped his hand around her slender fingers. Tingles jittered up his hand, all the way to his shoulder. Reluctantly, he slid the cake from her grasp. She took in a stuttering inhale. Unable to determine if his touch had affected her as it had him, or if she was merely cold, he wished he could see her face beneath her locks. He lifted the cake to his nose and inhaled. As he closed his eyes, the fleeting picture of Margaret standing unaware and completely naked ravaged his mind. If only he were in heaven, he could gaze upon such beauty for an eternity.
Amy Jarecki (Knight in Highland Armor (Highland Dynasty, #1))
Alexander walked around the bed to stand in her line of sight. He wasn’t letting go of his rifle. Tatiana wiped her face. “Tania, please don’t cry,” he said emotionally. “Last night I came here ready to sacrifice everything, you included, to satisfy the burning inside me I’ve had since the day we met. But God was looking out for you, and He stopped us, and more important He stopped me, and I, in the gray of the morning, am less confused…” Alexander paused. “Though only more desperate for you.” He took a long breath, staring at his rifle. Tatiana could not find her voice to speak. Alexander said, “You and I—” then broke off, shaking his head. “But the time is all wrong for us.” She turned onto her back, putting her arm over her face. The time, the place, the life. “Couldn’t you have thought this through before you came here?” she said. “Couldn’t you have had this talk with yourself before last night?” “I cannot stay away from you,” he said. “Last night I was drunk. But tonight I’m sober. And I’m sorry.” Tears choking her throat, Tatiana said nothing. Alexander left without touching her.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
iffen he’d been asked two months past he’d have said she may have been the prettiest dame he’d ever met but she seemed like one of the bitchiest too. But turned out she weren’t a bitch at all. She was fucking amazing, and iffen he could spend all his time with her he would.
Stacia Kane (Wrong Ways Down (Downside Ghosts, #1.5))
Yes, I'm so sorry. I don't know what came over me." "Sowing tears" She met his solemn gaze. "What?" "Sowing tears. That's what my ma called them when she got hit with a wave of crying she couldn't explain." " in..." She pretended to stitch a seam. He grinned. "No, in..." He flipped imaginary seeds across the floor. "Oh." She sniffed and pushed her hands into the now-tepid water. "Why did she call them sowing tears?" He popped his hand on the washstand. "Psalm 126:5 says, 'They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.' Ma said when she got overwhelmed and needed to have a cry, she could be sure joy would follow the tears. That the tears watered seeds of joy. I've had some of those tears myself." She paused in scrubbing a plate and gawked at him. "You...cry?" He chuckled. 'Well, sure." "But you're a man!" She'd never seen Father cry. Not even when they had led him from the courtroom in chains. If ever there was a time to cry, that was it. She and Mother had cried themselves to exhaustion. His expression turned serious. “Miss Grant, I don't know where you got the idea that men don't have deep feelings, but that's wrong. Oh, we might be better at hiding them. But we get sad and scared and doubtful, the same as anybody else. I can tell you I cried lots of sowing tears when my uncle died after I came to Spiveyville. Here I was, far away from anybody I knew, and I was all alone." Abigail understood that feeling far too well. "But like Ma said, the tears sowed seeds of joy. I found a new home and people I call my friends." He took the plate and ran the cloth over it. "If you trust God and are patient, you'll find out. Those tears you just shed, there'll be healing behind them. Wait and see.
Kim Vogel Sawyer (Beneath a Prairie Moon)
She was quiet beside him, lost inside another world. One of those things that people called books. She sipped her tea with one hand and held her book in the other that was propped on top of her lap. Every now and again, he’d watch her, like he was doing now. He didn’t mean to intrude on her universe but he liked seeing her in her element. He wondered what sort of effect this book in particular would have on her when she finished it. Because every book rendered a different response. Would she cry? Smile? Let out a gasp for fresh air? Assume the fetal position? Throw the book? Have a look of indifference? Before he had met Eleana, he’d always thought that books had been harmless. Because what could words on a piece of paper really do to someone? But he knew better now, especially on those rare occasions where he himself would pick up a book and read it. Books were dangerous little things and while they seemed harmless, they were anything but. They were so much more than ink and paper. Reading a book was like meeting someone new for the first time. Sometimes you hit it off and became the best of friends. Sometimes they wrecked you in all the wrong ways. Sometimes in all the right ways. Sometimes they left you hollow. Sometimes they left you floating on a cloud. It was difficult to find that one book that completed you just as finding that one person was.
J.A.Braaten (The Connection to You)
But as Bill Gates said to us when Mark and I met with him in his Seattle-area office, “People invest in high-probability scenarios: the markets that are there. And these low-probability things that maybe you should buy an insurance policy for by investing in capacity up front, don’t get done. Society allocates resources primarily in this capitalistic way. The irony is that there’s really no reward for being the one who anticipates the challenge.” Every time there is a new, serious viral outbreak, such as Ebola in 2012 and Zika in 2016, there is a public outcry, a demand to know why a vaccine wasn’t available to combat this latest threat. Next a public health official predicts a vaccine will be available in x number of months. These predictions almost always turn out to be wrong. And even if they’re right, there are problems in getting the vaccine production scaled up to meet the size and location of the threat, or the virus has receded to where it came from and there is no longer a demand for prevention or treatment. Here is Bill Gates again: Unfortunately, the message from the private sector has been quite negative, like H1N1 [the 2009 epidemic influenza strain]: A lot of vaccine was procured because people thought it would spread. Then, after it was all over, they sort of persecuted the WHO people and claimed GSK [GlaxoSmithKline] sold this stuff and they should have known the thing would end and it was a waste of money. That was bad. Even with Ebola, these guys—Merck, GSK, and J & J [Johnson & Johnson]—all spent a bunch of money and it’s not clear they won’t have wasted their money. They’re not break-even at this stage for the things they went and did, even though at the time everyone was saying, “Of course you’ll get paid. Just go and do all this stuff.” So it does attenuate the responsiveness. This model will never work or serve our worldwide needs. Yet if we don’t change the model, the outcome will not change, either.
Michael T. Osterholm (Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs)
Gregori was an impressive figure. Shea watched him as he knelt beside Raven, his entire attention seemed to be concentrated on the woman lying so still. “Have you attended to Shea’s injuries?” The soft inquiry startled Shea. He addressed Jacques, asking the male, as was his irritating way. “The wounds are closing,” Jacques assured him. Rand drew Shea alone into the woods. He is the betrayer, healer. I walked away from him because he is linked to Shea. He could make her feel whatever I did to him. He is very dangerous. I cannot be the ne to bring him to justice. Shea would never forgive me. “Don’t do that, Jacques,” Shea said with a little bite in her voice. She was exasperated with him. “I know you’re talking to Gregori. If you have something to say, say it out loud so that I can hear you. You think Rand is the vampire, don’t you?” The thought was in her mind also, and it made her feel disloyal. She knew something was wrong with Rand; perhaps Maggie’s death had twisted his mind so he was living in the past. But something rand had said in the course of their strange conversation was niggling at her brain. Something she couldn’t put a finger on. Gregori passed a hand over Raven’s stomach, his fingers splayed wide. His touch lingered for a moment, a surprisingly tender gesture, then he turned to Shea. “Jacques knows his duty to you, Shea. This man, Rand, the one who is your birth father, was never in your life. Hold on to what is real, not to your childhood fantasies.” “You don’t know the first thing about my childhood, fantasy or not,” Shea snapped, goaded beyond endurance by his unruffled, superior attitude. Gregori definitely grated on her. She suspected it was because he was always using logic. She was the one who was supposed to do that. “I have my own mind, Gregori, and it is a perfectly good one. Perhaps the first couple of times we met gave you a false impression. I am not a hysterical woman who runs at the first sign of danger. I don’t faint at the sight of blood, and I can make my own decisions.
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
Jacques knows his duty to you, Shea. This man, Rand, the one who is your birth father, was never in your life. Hold on to what is real, not to your childhood fantasies.” “You don’t know the first thing about my childhood, fantasy or not,” Shea snapped, goaded beyond endurance by his unruffled, superior attitude. Gregori definitely grated on her. She suspected it was because he was always using logic. She was the one who was supposed to do that. “I have my own mind, Gregori, and it is a perfectly good one. Perhaps the first couple of times we met gave you a false impression. I am not a hysterical woman who runs at the first sign of danger. I don’t faint at the sight of blood, and I can make my own decisions.” “If I gave you the idea that I thought those things of you, then I must apologize,” Gregori said gently, courteously. “It is not my impression of you at all. You have much courage, and you are a natural healer, but you have little knowledge of our way of life. It takes much to maintain proper health. You have the human aversion to taking blood, as Raven does.” Her chin lifted. “I am well aware I have a problem in that area. In my own time I will deal with it. But there are other much more important things going on at the moment.” Beside her Jacques stirred as if to protest, but he remained silent. “That is where you are wrong. Nothing is more important,” Gregori replied, his voice velvet soft, a whisper of power. “Your health is essential to every member of our race. You are a woman. You are able to create life within you. You represent hope to every male who has no lifemate.
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
From the moment that I met Noah, I loved the boy. I saw something special in him. A love, a fire, a passion for making the world a better place. Noah has been and continues to be, the type of person who would sacrifice himself to help out a stranger. It’s his sheer belief that his small acts of kindness would make the world a better place someday." “But you’re wrong, Noah,” he said, turning to Noah. "Your small acts of kindness won’t make the world a better place someday. They already are and have. Only you’ve been so busy that you haven’t taken the time to notice it. But I have. I’ve seen the good you’ve done and how they’ve affected other people’s lives.
N.A. Leigh (Mr. Hinkle's Verum Ink: the navy blue book (Mr. Hinkle's Verium Ink 1))
He's horrified of being his father's son, but he's also...proud? For the first time in his life, it's easy for him to see that his father is proud of him. That still means more to him than I do, and he's too scared to think of right and wrong. If there'd never been a Garden, if you'd met him at the library or something, do you think you'd love him? Honestly? I don't think I know what that kind of love is. I've seen it in a few others, but for myself? Maybe I'm just not capable of it. I can't decide if that's sad or safe. I can't think of any reason it can't be both.
Dot Hutchison (The Butterfly Garden (The Collector, #1))
The road clung to the spine of the ridge, sidewinding in sinuous loops toward the blue smokes of Smoky Mountain where deposits of coal, ignited by lightning some long-gone summer afternoon a thousand—ten thousand?—years before, smoldered beneath the surface of the mountain’s shoulders. There seemed to be no pursuit. But why should there be? They hadn’t done anything wrong. So far they had done everything right. Down on the alkali flats where only saltbush, cholla and snakeweed grew, they met a small herd of baldface cows ambling up to the higher country. Beef on the hoof, looking for trouble. What Smith liked to call “slow elk,” regarding them with satisfaction as a reliable outdoor meat supply in hard times. How did they survive, these wasteland cattle? It was these cattle which had created the wasteland. Hayduke and Smith dallied several times to get out the old pliers and cut fence. “You can’t never go wrong cuttin’ fence,” Smith would say. “Especially sheep fence.” (Clunk!) “But cow fence too. Any fence.” “Who invented barbed wire anyhow?” Hayduke asked. (Plunk!) “It was a man named J. F. Glidden done it; took out his patent back in 1874.” An immediate success, that barbwire. Now the antelope die by the thousands, the bighorn sheep perish by the hundreds every winter from Alberta down to Arizona, because fencing cuts off their escape from blizzard and drought. And coyotes too, and golden eagles, and peasant soldiers on the coils of concertina wire, victims of the same fat evil the wide world over, hang dead on the barbed and tetanous steel. “You can’t never go wrong cuttin’ fence,” repeated Smith, warming to his task. (Pling!) “Always cut fence. That’s the law west of the hundredth meridian. East of that don’t matter none. Back there it’s all lost anyhow. But west, cut fence.” (Plang!)
Edward Abbey (The Monkey Wrench Gang)
Whack.’ He made a pulling motion as if he had pliers in his hand. Usually, she just let him talk. Jamie found it was better not to say anything unless you needed to. But this time, she did need to. Because Roper was wrong. ‘I don’t think so,’ she said. ‘Look at this.’ Roper screwed up his face and peered down, not leaning in. ‘Looks like ripped out fingernails to me.’ ‘If they were ripped out there’d be less damage here, to the cuticle.’ ‘The skin?’ ‘Yeah, Roper, the skin. See the way it’s split? Pushed back and flattened? Means the nails were lifted off from the tip, not pulled.’ He raised an eyebrow incredulously. ‘Your dad teach you that one?’ She gritted her teeth and let the annoyance welling in her dissipate. Every time she spotted something he didn’t he made a crack like that. She expected it considering who her father was — but it was getting old now. She’d been with the Met nearly ten years, and her father had been dead for fourteen. But she still couldn’t get away from it. Jörgen Johansson was one of the most decorated detectives in Swedish history, with more convictions than any other police officer, and she didn’t know if she’d ever outlive it.  The worst part of all was that he did teach her that. Along with most of the other things she knew about detective work.  Jamie didn’t have a conventional upbringing. It was case files and crime scene photos, not dolls and bicycles. She released Oliver’s fingers, her eyes settling on the ring — scratched and scored — and stood up. ‘We’ll wait for the forensics report.’ ‘Not going to tell us anything we don’t already know. Heroin in the bloodstream, river-water in the lungs.
Morgan Greene (Bare Skin (DS Jamie Johansson #1))
I knew that my remaining "preoccupation"...was not normal. I tried to fix it, and I couldn't. At the same time, I believed someday I would fix it and that fixing it would fix everything, would be the transformation that would lead to all other transformations, to wisdom, generosity, maturity. That's what I thought even through the writing of this book. That's what I thought until I met J. ...I was telling her the metaphor I had for the...stuff, which is something from sound editing: The...stuff was a track that ran in my brain under all the other tracks. Sometimes it would get so loud that it would drown out all the other tracks; sometimes I could lower the volume, but I was never able to remove the track from the session. Deleting the track was the wrong idea, J said; lowering the volume was good, but the main thing was to boost the other tracks. Develop other strengths and ways to cope; raise the signal on all I'd neglected. This had seriously never occurred to wasn't subtraction that I needed; it was addition. How could I raise the signal on the other tracks? "Who's the engineer?" J. said. It was just the right question.
Susan Burton (Empty)
What else did her mother tell you?” Ethan asked, looking for any advantage in his task of winning her over. “That she’d call us later and give us pointers on wooing her daughter. Apparently, Naomi has something of a stubborn nature.” A snort escaped him. “I hadn’t noticed.” Javier paced the living room as Ethan stroked Naomi’s silky hair, unable to resist running his fingers through the long brown strands. “What are you thinking?” “That fate is laughing at me.” A chuckle made Ethan’s chest vibrate, causing Naomi’s head to jiggle. He cradled her head in his big palm to prevent her from falling before replying. “She’s certainly not what either of us expected, that’s for sure.” Javier shot him a dark look. “No shit, Sherlock. I mean don’t get me wrong, short and curvy works fine for me, but I always expected, if ever fate was cruel enough to curse me, she’d at least give me a woman who likes me.” “I’m sure she will in time. We took her by surprise, not to mention she’s in pain. Besides, I kind of like that she’s feisty. She’ll need it to keep up with us.” Round eyes and an open mouth met his answer. “You, my friend, are insane. One ball too many to the head I think. I mean, not only does she not want you, shouldn’t you be more pissed that it looks like she’s meant for both of us?” Ethan shrugged. “I’ll admit, I never expected to share, but if fate says that’s my lot, then at least it chose someone I could tolerate. And beat in a wrestling match if I need to. Besides, I’ll only have to share if you bother to stick around to mark her.” “Oh, I’m staying, so you can forget about keeping her for yourself,” Javier replied shooting him a dark look. “What happened to I’m not meant for monogamy?” Ethan pitched his voice mockingly. A sigh emerged from Javier’s mouth before he slumped in the chair across from him. “I haven’t thought that far ahead. It’s hard to think at all with my damned cat yammering for me to bite her. Mayhap if you were to claim her first, the need for me to do so would vanish?” The optimism in his friend’s voice made him laugh again. “Sorry, no such luck I’m afraid. From everything I’ve ever heard, once you find the one, you’re done for. The need to mark her, claim her, just gets stronger and stronger.” Already the urge to take her rode Ethan hard. It didn’t help that he held her cuddled on his lap, her sweet fragrance tickling his nose while her lush body pressed against his turgid cock.
Eve Langlais (Delicate Freakn' Flower (Freakn' Shifters, #1))
The captain gave the pendant to me when I was four, following the death of Terek, at the time I was sent to live with Baelic and Lania. He didn’t want me to think he’d abandoned me or that I was in danger. It was originally his, and his father’s before him. I’ve worn it ever since.” “Then I’m very glad I was able to secure its return.” His eyes met mine, and the color rose in my cheeks, for I was still affected to some degree by his handsome features and soldier’s build. “I suppose that concludes the coddling,” he finally said, crossing his arms and watching me expectantly. “Yes, I suppose it does.” “Then let the lecture begin.” He spread his hands, giving me a slight nod. “You were part of that revolt,” I accused. “Yes.” I hesitated, his honesty taking my words away, and he sat stiffly on the edge of the bed, his back obviously ailing him. “Why can’t you trust what I’m doing, Steldor? Why can’t you share my goals?” “You’re asking me to trust Narian,” he said with a condescending laugh. “That’s the reason? Because you can’t stand being on his side?” Steldor rolled his eyes. “This had nothing to do with him, and everything to do with our freedom. We fought too hard and lost too many good men to let this kingdom perish without one more battle. Now the battle’s been waged. Just be satisfied with that.” He was bitter, and in many ways, I didn’t blame him. But this was my chance to impress reality upon him. “Will you be satisfied with that? I’ve been advising you, advising everyone on the course that makes the most sense for our people. If you had listened to me, not tried to undercut my efforts, you wouldn’t be hurt right now, London wouldn’t be hiding in the mountains and Halias and his men wouldn’t be dead.” He glared at me, his anger beginning to simmer, which only increased my fervor. “Look at you.” I gestured toward him, for he could not disguise his pain, nor hide the fever that brought beads of sweat to his forehead. “You did this to yourself, Steldor. You punished yourself with your actions, but nothing else was accomplished. You just wanted to be a martyr.” “What’s wrong with that?” he shot back. “You want to be a saint! You want to be the one who brings peace to these people. You’re the one who brought war, Alera. You’re the reason Narian didn’t leave for good when he fled Hytanica. He loves you, and that’s why--” He stopped talking, unable to make himself complete that sentence. “You’re right about one thing,” I whispered in the dead silence. “Narian loves me, but what you won’t acknowledge is that he’s the reason any of us still have our lives. He’s the reason you weren’t killed for that show you put on.” “Extend my thanks,” he said, tone laden with sarcasm.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
I think I arrived just in time,” Leo announced a second before he grabbed a swinging Jeoff. Leo plopped Arabella’s brother onto the couch. “Stay or I’ll sit on you.” A wise man— some of the time— Jeoff didn’t budge. “You were told,” Hayder taunted. “Don’t make me duct tape your mouth again.” Count on Leo to take the wind out of Hayder’s sail. Few people argued with the massive man. Nor did anyone ever tell him to leave, even if Hayder really wished both Leo and Jeoff would go so he could resume the interesting moment he’d shared with Arabella just before all hell broke loose. Alas, judging by Arabella’s guarded expression, that sensual moment was gone. He’d have to find another way to recapture it. But first he needed to convince Jeoff to let her stay, as well as get Leo to depart— without enforcing an omega-calming moment— and have Arabella lose the rounded shoulders as they fought over her. Poor baby. How overwhelming this must be for her. How upsetting. And partially his fault. Shit. Ignoring the others, Hayder dropped to his knees in front of her. “I’m sorry, baby. Don’t get upset. I promise to behave. After all, it’s normal your brother would want to protect you, and I shouldn’t have beaten the hell out of him for it.” “I think it was the other way around, cat,” Jeoff muttered. “Shhh!” Leo said in a loud whisper. “He’s apologizing. Don’t ruin it.” Arabella’s gaze briefly met Hayder’s. “It’s okay.” “No, it’s obviously not. I can see you’re disturbed. You know I didn’t mean for that to happen. I never meant to upset you.” “I’m not upset about the fight.” Her lips twitched into a small smile. “Boys will be boys, my mom used to say. I’m just sorry to cause all this trouble. Jeoff’s right. I shouldn’t be here.” “Ha. Told you so.” Jeoff crowed in triumph. “And I shouldn’t be with his pack either. With this danger hanging over me, I should flee the country and keep my problems away from all of you.” Leave? He meant to say no, but his lion spoke first. More like rawr-ed. And in reply? She sneezed. A few times as a matter of fact. “What’s wrong with you?” Jeoff asked his sister. “Stupid allergies,” she grumbled. Jeoff snickered. “You still suffering from those? That’s hilarious. And yet the cat thinks you’re true mates?” “She’s mine, and a little sneeze and spit won’t change that.” “Is he completely insane?” Jeoff muttered. “Utterly, but the doctors say he’s not a danger to himself or the pride. But I wouldn’t push him. And given these two are talking about the future, a future that isn’t ours to decide, we should leave them to work things out,” Leo politely suggested. “But—” Jeoff never got a chance to finish that thought because Leo had spoken. And when Leo spoke, he acted. “No buts. You. Come.” Leo grabbed a hold of Arabella’s brother, tossed him over a shoulder, and marched him out with a tossed, “Don’t you screw anything up with the girl. I’d hate to have to come back and teach you a lesson.
Eve Langlais (When a Beta Roars (A Lion's Pride, #2))
They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” —Mexican proverb There are some secrets we don’t share because they’re embarrassing. Like that time I met Naval Ravikant (page 546) by accidentally hitting on his girlfriend at a coffee shop? Oops. Or the time a celebrity panelist borrowed my laptop to project a boring corporate video, and a flicker of porn popped up—à la Fight Club—in front of a crowd of 400 people? Another good example. But then there are dark secrets. The things we tell no one. The shadows we keep covered for fear of unraveling our lives. For me, 1999 was full of shadows. So much so that I never wanted to revisit them. I hadn’t talked about this traumatic period publicly until April 29, 2015, during a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). What follows is the sequence of my downward spiral. In hindsight, it’s incredible how trivial some of it seems. At the time, though, it was the perfect storm. I include wording like “impossible situation,” which was reflective of my thinking at the time, not objective reality. I still vividly recall these events, but any quotes are paraphrased. So, starting where it began . . . It’s the beginning of my senior year at Princeton University. I’m slated to graduate around June of 1999. Somewhere in the next six months, several things happen in the span of a few weeks. First, I fail to make it to final interviews for McKinsey consulting and Trilogy software, in addition to others. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong, and I start losing confidence after “winning” in the game of academics for so long. Second, a long-term (for
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
Now many crises in people’s lives occur because the hero role that they’ve assumed for one situation or set of situations no longer applies to some new situation that comes up, or–the same thing in effect–because they haven’t the imagination to distort the new situation to fit their old role. This happens to parents, for instance, when their children grow older, and to lovers when one of them begins to dislike the other. If the new situation is too overpowering to ignore, and they can’t find a mask to meet it with, they may become schizophrenic–a last-resort mask–or simply shattered. All questions of integrity involve this consideration, because a man’s integrity consists in being faithful to the script he’s written for himself. “I’ve said you’re too unstable to play any one part all the time–you’re also too unimaginative–so for you these crises had better be met by changing scripts as often as necessary. This should come naturally to you; the important thing for you is to realize what you’re doing so you won’t get caught without a script, or with the wrong script in a given situation. You did quite well, for example, for a beginner, to walk in here so confidently and almost arrogantly a while ago, and assign me the role of a quack. But you must be able to change masks at once if by some means or other I’m able to make the one
John Barth (The End of the Road)