Minute To Like Someone Quotes

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It takes a minute to have a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone... but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.
Kahlil Gibran
So much of the language of love was like that: you devoured someone with your eyes, you drank in the sight of him, you swallowed him whole. Love was substance, broken down and beating through your bloodstream.
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
My parents danced together, her head on his chest. Both had their eyes closed. They seemed so perfectly content. If you can find someone like that, someone who you can hold and close your eyes to the world with, then you're lucky. Even if it only lasts for a minute or a day. The image of them gently swaying to the music is how I picture love in my mind even after all these years.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
If I had my life to live over... Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything. My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind. If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more. Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I'd have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle. I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded. I would have eaten popcorn in the "good" living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace. I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth. I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored. I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains. I would have cried and laughed less while watching television ... and more while watching real life. I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted. I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream. I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for a day. I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn't show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime. When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner." There would have been more I love yous ... more I'm sorrys ... more I'm listenings ... but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it ... look at it and really see it ... try it on ... live it ... exhaust it ... and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.
Erma Bombeck (Eat Less Cottage Cheese and More Ice Cream: Thoughts on Life from Erma Bombeck)
Some people Never find the right kind of love you know, the kind that steals your breath away. Like diving into a snowmelt. The kind that jolts your heart, sets it beating apace. An anxious hiccuping of hummingbirds wings. The kind that makes every terrible minute apart feel like hours. Days. Years. Some people flit from one insane possibility to the next. Never experincing the connection of two people. rocked by destiny. Never knowing what it means to love someone else, more than themselves. More than life itself, or the promise of something better. Beyond this world, More even (forgive me!) than god. Lucky me, I found the right kind of love. With the wrong person.
Ellen Hopkins (Tricks (Tricks, #1))
I haven’t started counting yet. I wonder if it’s just me or if it’s like that for everybody; that every time someone dies you start counting how much time has passed since they’ve been gone. First you count it in minutes, then in hours. You count in days, then weeks, then months. Then one day you realize that you aren’t counting anymore, and you don’t even know when you stopped. That’s the moment they’re gone.
Katja Millay (The Sea of Tranquility)
You know when sometimes you meet someone so beautiful, and then you actually talk to them, and five minutes later they're dull as a brick. But then there's other people, and you meet them and you think 'not bad, they're okay', and then you get to know them, and their face sort of becomes them, like their personality's written all over it, and they just they turn into something so beautiful...
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Then I think of all the tricks, all the minutes all the hours and days and weeks and months and years waiting for me. All of it without them. And I can't breathe then, like someone's stepping on my heart, Laila. So weak I just want to collapse somewhere.
Khaled Hosseini (A Thousand Splendid Suns)
You can be a pawn, be someone’s reward, and spend the rest of your immortal life bowing and scraping and pretending you’re less than him, than Ianthe, than any of us. If you want to pick that road, then fine. A shame, but it’s your choice.” The shadow of wings rippled again. “But I know you—more than you realize, I think—and I don’t believe for one damn minute that you’re remotely fine with being a pretty trophy for someone who sat on his ass for nearly fifty years, then sat on his ass while you were shredded apart—” “Stop it—” “Or,” he plowed ahead, “you’ve got another choice. You can master whatever powers we gave to you, and make it count. You can play a role in this war. Because war is coming one way or another, and do not try to delude yourself that any of the Fae will give a shit about your family across the wall when our whole territory is likely to become a charnel house.” I stared
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
You know when sometimes you meet someone so beautiful — and then you actually talk with them, and five minutes later they're as dull as a brick. But then there's other people, and you meet them and you think: "Not bad, they're okay," and then you get to know them, and their face sort of becomes them, like their personality's written all over it; and they just — and they turn into something so beautiful. [Simultaneously, with Older Amy] Rory is the most beautiful man I've ever met.
Steven Moffat
It doesn't have any effect on your life. What do you care?! People try to talk about it like it's a social issue. Like when you see someone stand up on a talk show and say, "How am I supposed to explain to my children that two men are getting married?... I dunno. It's your shitty kid. You fuckin' tell 'em. Why is that anyone else's problem? Two guys are in LOVE and they can't get married because you don't want to talk to your ugly child for five fuckin' minutes?
Louis C.K.
Some days, I listen to that clock ticking in the hallway. Then I think of all the ticks, all the minutes, all the hours and days and weeks and months and years waiting for me. All of it without you. And I can’t breathe then, like someone’s stepping on my heart. I get so weak. So weak I just want to collapse somewhere.
Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
Simon whispered to me, “But is everything okay?” “No,” Tori said. “I kidnapped her and forced her to escape with me. I’ve been using her as a human shield against those guys with guns, and I was just about to strangle her and leave her body here to throw them off my trail. But then you showed up and foiled my evil plans. Lucky for you, though. You get to rescue poor little Chloe again and win her undying gratitude.” “Undying gratitude?” Simon looked at me. “Cool. Does that come with eternal servitude? If so, I like my eggs sunnyside up.” I smiled. “I’ll remember that.” *** “Oh, right. You must be starving.” Simon reached into his pockets. “I can offer one bruised apple and one brown banana. Convenience stores aren’t the place to buy fruit, as I keep telling someone.” “Better than these. For you, anyway, Simon.” Derek passed a bar to Tori. “Because you aren’t supposed to have those, are you?” I said. “Which reminds me…” I took out the insulin. “Derek said it’s your backup.” “So my dark secret is out.” “I didn’t know it was a secret.” “Not really. Just not something I advertise.” ... “Backup?” Tori said. “You mean he didn’t need that?” “Apparently not,” I murmured. Simon looked from her to me, confused, then understanding. “You guys thought…” “That if you didn’t get your medicine in the next twenty-four hours, you’d be dead?” I said. “Not exactly, but close. You know, the old ‘upping the ante with a fatal disease that needs medication’ twist. Apparently, it still works.” “Kind of a letdown, then, huh?” “No kidding. Here we were, expecting to find you minutes from death. Look at you, not even gasping.” “All right, then. Emergency medical situation, take two.” He leaped to his feet, staggered, keeled over, then lifted his head weakly. “Chloe? Is that you?” He coughed. “Do you have my insulin?” I placed it in his outstretched hand. “You saved my life,” he said. “How can I ever repay you?” “Undying servitude sounds good. I like my eggs scrambled.” He held up a piece of fruit. “Would you settle for a bruised apple?” I laughed.
Kelley Armstrong (The Awakening (Darkest Powers, #2))
The thing is, every Luxen feared Daemon's notorious temper. His brother was like a lit fuse, ready to explode at any minute, but what they didn't know was that it was another thing Dawson shared with Daemon. When push came to shove, and it involved someone he cared about, he could be just as mean.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Shadows (Lux, #0.5))
But one thing I beg of you, look on me as your friend; and if you want some help, advice, or simply want to open your heart to someone- not now, but when things are clearer in your heart- think of me.' He took her hand and kissed it. 'I shall be happy, if I am able...' Pierre was confused. 'Don't speak to me like that; I'm not worth it!' cried Natasha... 'Hush, hush your whole life lies before you,' he said to her. 'Before me! No! All is over for me,' she said, with shame and humiliation. 'All over?' he repeated. 'If I were not myself, but the handsomest, cleverest, best man in the world, and if I were free I would be on my knees this minute to beg for your hand and your love.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
Plus the fact that the window I was now facing opened up to the part of the lot where people picked up their brand-new cars. Every few minutes, one of the salesmen would walk someone right to the center of the window, hand them their shiny new keys, and then smile benevolently as they drove off into the sunset, just like in the commercials. What a bunch of shit.
Sarah Dessen
She frowned. “I asked if I could kiss you, and you said yes.” “Incorrect. You asked if you could kiss me and I snorted.” “I’m pretty sure I heard you said yes.” He lifted one eyebrow, and for a minute Olive let herself daydream of drowning someone. Dr. Carlsen. Herself. Both sounded like great options.
Ali Hazelwood (The Love Hypothesis)
Voicemail #1: “Hi, Isabel Culpeper. I am lying in my bed, looking at the ceiling. I am mostly naked. I am thinking of … your mother. Call me.” Voicemail #2: The first minute and thirty seconds of “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You” by the Bee Gees. Voicemail #3: “I’m bored. I need to be entertained. Sam is moping. I may kill him with his own guitar. It would give me something to do and also make him say something. Two birds with one stone! I find all these old expressions unnecessarily violent. Like, ring around the rosy. That’s about the plague, did you know? Of course you did. The plague is, like, your older cousin. Hey, does Sam talk to you? He says jack shit to me. God, I’m bored. Call me.” Voicemail #4: “Hotel California” by the Eagles, in its entirety, with every instance of the word California replaced with Minnesota. Voicemail #5: “Hi, this is Cole St. Clair. Want to know two true things? One, you’re never picking up this phone. Two, I’m never going to stop leaving long messages. It’s like therapy. Gotta talk to someone. Hey, you know what I figured out today? Victor’s dead. I figured it out yesterday, too. Every day I figure it out again. I don’t know what I’m doing here. I feel like there’s no one I can —” Voicemail #6: “So, yeah, I’m sorry. That last message went a little pear-shaped. You like that expression? Sam said it the other day. Hey, try this theory on for size: I think he’s a dead British housewife reincarnated into a Beatle’s body. You know, I used to know this band that put on fake British accents for their shows. Boy, did they suck, aside from being assholes. I can’t remember their name now. I’m either getting senile or I’ve done enough to my brain that stuff’s falling out. Not so fair of me to make this one-sided, is it? I’m always talking about myself in these things. So, how are you, Isabel Rosemary Culpeper? Smile lately? Hot Toddies. That was the name of the band. The Hot Toddies.” Voicemail #20: “I wish you’d answer.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
Rosie, I'm returning to Boston tomorrow but before I go I wanted to write this letter to you. All the thoughts and feelings that have been bubbling up inside me are finally overflowing from this pen and I'm leaving this letter for you so that you don't feel that I'm putting you under any great pressure. I understand that you will need to take your time trying to decide on what I am about to say. I no what's going on, Rosie. You're my best friend and I can see the sadness in your eyes. I no that Greg isn't away working for the weekend. You never could lie to me; you were always terrible at it. Your eyes betray you time and time again. Don't pretend that everything is perfect because I see it isn't. I see that Greg is a selfish man who has absolutely no idea just how lucky he is and it makes me sick. He is the luckiest man in the world to have you, Rosie, but he doesn't deserve you and you deserve far better. You deserve someone who loves you with every single beat of his heart, someone who thinks about you constantly, someone who spends every minute of every day just wondering what you're doing, where you are, who you're with and if you're OK. You need someone who can help you reach your dreams and who can protect you from your fears. You need someone who will treat you with respect, love every part of you, especially your flaws. You should be with someone who can make you happy, really happy, dancing-on-air happy. Someone who should have taken the chance to be with you years ago instead of becoming scared and being too afraid to try. I am not scared any more, Rosie. I am not afraid to try. I no what the feeling was at your wedding - it was jealousy. My heart broke when I saw the woman I love turning away from me to walk down the aisle with another man, a man she planned to spend the rest of her life with. It was like a prison sentence for me - years stretching ahead without me being able to tell you how I feel or hold you how I wanted to. Twice we've stood beside each other at the altar, Rosie. Twice. And twice we got it wrong. I needed you to be there for my wedding day but I was too stupid to see that I needed you to be the reason for my wedding day. I should never have let your lips leave mine all those years ago in Boston. I should never have pulled away. I should never have panicked. I should never have wasted all those years without you. Give me a chance to make them up to you. I love you, Rosie, and I want to be with you and Katie and Josh. Always. Please think about it. Don't waste your time on Greg. This is our opportunity. Let's stop being afraid and take the chance. I promise I'll make you happy. All my love, Alex
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
Let me take a minute to say that I love bossy women. Some people hate the word, and I understand how “bossy” can seem like a shitty way to describe a woman with a determined point of view, but for me, a bossy woman is someone to search out and celebrate. A bossy woman is someone who cares and commits and is a natural leader. Also, even though I’m bossy, I like being told what to do by people who are smarter and more interesting than me.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
I can walk into someone's house, kiss their wife, sit down at their table, and eat their dinner. I can lift a passport at an airport, and in twenty minutes it will seem like it's mine. I can be a blackbird staring in the window. I can be a cat creeping along a ledge. I can go anywhere I want and do the worst things I can imagine, with nothing to ever connect me to those crimes. Today I look like me, but tomorrow I could look like you. I could be you.
Holly Black (Black Heart (Curse Workers, #3))
Every morning the maple leaves. Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out You will be alone always and then you will die. So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog of non-definitive acts, something other than the desperation. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your party and seduced you and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing. You want a better story. Who wouldn’t? A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing. Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on. What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon. Love always wakes the dragon and suddenly flames everywhere. I can tell already you think I’m the dragon, that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon. I’m not the princess either. Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down. I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure, I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow glass, but that comes later. Let me do it right for once, for the record, let me make a thing of cream and stars that becomes, you know the story, simply heaven. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing and when you open your eyes only a clearing with deer in it. Hello deer. Inside your head the sound of glass, a car crash sound as the trucks roll over and explode in slow motion. Hello darling, sorry about that. Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud. Especially that, but I should have known. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing, and when you open your eyes you’re washing up in a stranger’s bathroom, standing by the window in a yellow towel, only twenty minutes away from the dirtiest thing you know. All the rooms of the castle except this one, says someone, and suddenly darkness, suddenly only darkness. In the living room, in the broken yard, in the back of the car as the lights go by. In the airport bathroom’s gurgle and flush, bathed in a pharmacy of unnatural light, my hands looking weird, my face weird, my feet too far away. I arrived in the city and you met me at the station, smiling in a way that made me frightened. Down the alley, around the arcade, up the stairs of the building to the little room with the broken faucets, your drawings, all your things, I looked out the window and said This doesn’t look that much different from home, because it didn’t, but then I noticed the black sky and all those lights. We were inside the train car when I started to cry. You were crying too, smiling and crying in a way that made me even more hysterical. You said I could have anything I wanted, but I just couldn’t say it out loud. Actually, you said Love, for you, is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s terrifying. No one will ever want to sleep with you. Okay, if you’re so great, you do it— here’s the pencil, make it work … If the window is on your right, you are in your own bed. If the window is over your heart, and it is painted shut, then we are breathing river water. Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently we have had our difficulties and there are many things I want to ask you. I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again, years later, in the chlorinated pool. I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have these luxuries. I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together. I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes. Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you. Quit milling around the yard and come inside.
Richard Siken
I clawed my eyes open and rolled off my bed. For some reason, someone had moved the floor several feet lower than I had expected, and I fell and crashed with a thud. Ow. A blond head popped over the side of the bed, and a familiar male voice asked, “Are you okay down there?” Curran. The Beast Lord was in my bed. No, wait a minute. I didn’t have a bed, because my insane aunt had destroyed my apartment. I was mated to the Beast Lord, which meant I was in the Keep, in Curran’s rooms, and in his bed. Our bed. Which was four feet high. Right. “Kate?” “I’m fine.” “Would you like me to install one of those child playground slides for you?
Ilona Andrews (Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5))
We've got our heads pulled low inside of our hooded sweatshirts and our eyes are shifty. We look exactly like you'd expect someone to look if they were minutes away from committing a major crime.
Kendare Blake (Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1))
What must it be like? To meet someone, to forge a connection, all in the span of one golden afternoon—only to find out that for her, each passing minute was a year. Each second, an hour. She would be dead before the sun rose the next day. A keen, quiet pain twisted my heart.
Margaret Rogerson (An Enchantment of Ravens)
She’d read somewhere that you only truly saw what someone looked like in the first few minutes of meeting them, that after then it was only an impression, colored by what you thought of them.
Jojo Moyes (The Last Letter from Your Lover)
She wanted to touch him because Hunter looked like he needed someone to be gentle with him for five minutes.
Brigid Kemmerer (Spirit (Elemental, #3))
During the night he'd kicked off a sock; his toes were plump as early peas; it was all she could do not to taste his caramel skin. So much of the language of love was like that: you devoured someone with your eyes, you drank in the sight of him,you swallowed him whole. Love was sustenance, broken down and beating through your bloodstream.
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
To me, bad taste is what entertainment is all about. If someone vomits watching one of my films, it's like getting a standing ovation. But one must remember that there is such a thing as good bad taste and bad bad taste. it's easy to disgust someone; I could make a ninety-minute film of people getting their limbs hacked off, but this would only be bad bad taste and not very stylish or original. To understand bad taste one must have very good taste. Good bad taste can be creatively nauseating but must, at the same time, appeal to the especially twisted sense of humor, which is anything but universal.
John Waters
It’s all about our egos. She felt she was on the edge of understanding something important. They could fall in love with fresh, new people, or they could have the courage and humility to tear off some essential layer of themselves and reveal to each other a whole new level of otherness, a level far beyond what sort of music they liked. It seemed to her everyone had too much self-protective pride to truly strip down to their souls in front of their long-term partners. It was easier to pretend there was nothing more to know, to fall into an easygoing companionship. It was almost embarrassing to be truly intimate with your spouse; how could you watch someone floss one minute, and the next minute share your deepest passion or most ridiculous, trite little fears? It was almost easier to talk about that sort of thing before you’d shared a bathroom and a bank account and argued over the packing of the dishwasher.
Liane Moriarty (The Husband's Secret)
I am a book. Sheaves pressed from the pulp of oaks and pines a natural sawdust made dingy from purses, dusty from shelves. Steamy and anxious, abused and misused, kissed and cried over, smeared, yellowed, and torn, loved, hated, scorned. I am a book. I am a book that remembers, days when I stood proud in good company When the children came, I leapt into their arms, when the women came, they cradled me against their soft breasts, when the men came, they held me like a lover, and I smelled the sweet smell of cigars and brandy as we sat together in leather chairs, next to pool tables, on porch swings, in rocking chairs, my words hanging in the air like bright gems, dangling, then forgotten, I crumbled, dust to dust. I am a tale of woe and secrets, a book brand-new, sprung from the loins of ancient fathers clothed in tweed, born of mothers in lands of heather and coal soot. A family too close to see the blood on its hands, too dear to suffering, to poison, to cold steel and revenge, deaf to the screams of mortal wounding, amused at decay and torment, a family bred in the dankest swamp of human desires. I am a tale of woe and secrets, I am a mystery. I am intrigue, anxiety, fear, I tangle in the night with madmen, spend my days cloaked in black, hiding from myself, from dark angels, from the evil that lurks within and the evil we cannot lurk without. I am words of adventure, of faraway places where no one knows my tongue, of curious cultures in small, back alleys, mean streets, the crumbling house in each of us. I am primordial fear, the great unknown, I am life everlasting. I touch you and you shiver, I blow in your ear and you follow me, down foggy lanes, into places you've never seen, to see things no one should see, to be someone you could only hope to be. I ride the winds of imagination on a black-and-white horse, to find the truth inside of me, to cure the ills inside of you, to take one passenger at a time over that tall mountain, across that lonely plain to a place you've never been where the world stops for just one minute and everything is right. I am a mystery. -Rides a Black and White Horse
Lise McClendon
As we grow up we realize that even the person who was supposed to never let you down probably will. You will probably have your heart broken more than once and it gets harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when your's was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love, so take many pictures, laugh to much and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is one minute of happiness you'll never get back.
Andy Sixx
don’t you dare, for one minute, believe that my kindness makes me anything but insurmountable. i did not unzip my chest to every kind of hurt, and stagger back, wounded and alive, just to hear you call me weak for trying. i opened my door to heartache— i gave her the fucking key. my softness for wayward strangers has made me nothing less than a halfway house for aching soles. so when you open your mouth and call me ‘baby’ understand that i am not your next victim in a laundry list of broken girls. you think i don’t know you? people like you? people with mouths for hands. i’ve got skin like topsoil and your teeth could never take root. so when you go looking to make a plaything of a sunburst, you better look for someone with less fire than me. because softness or no, i will eat you alive before i let you make a meal of me.
Ashe Vernon
Life should be more like hockey. When someone pisses you off, you just beat the shit out of them, then sit in the penalty box for five minutes. ~ Sandman
Nicole James (Shades (Evil Dead MC, #3))
Guess what?" Maggie said as soon as I walked into Celmentine's. "What?" She clapped her hands. "I have a date to the prom!" "Guess what?" I replied. "What?" "I don't." Her mouth dropped open. "Oh, and," I added, "I bought a bike." .... "Okay, let's just slow down." She held up her hands, palms facing me. "First things first. What do you mean, you don't have a date?" "Just that," I said, sitting down at the desk. "Jason bailed on me." "Again?" I nodded. "When?" "About twenty minutes ago." "Oh, my God." She put her hand over her mouth: her expression was so horrified, like someone had died. "That's the worst thing ever." "No," I said, swallowing. "It's actually not." "No?" I shook my head. "The worst thing is that right afterward, I marched right into the bike shop and asked Eli to go with me, and he said no." She threw up her other hand, clapping it over the one already covering her mouth. "Holy crap," she said, her voice muffled. "Where does the bike come in?" "I don't know," I said, waving my hand. "That part's kind of a blur.
Sarah Dessen (Along for the Ride)
People listening to songs are like people reading novels: for a few minutes, for a few hours, someone else gets to come in and hijack that part of your brain that's always thinking. A good book or song kidnaps your interior voice and does all the driving. With the artist in charge you're free for a little while to leave your body and be someone else.
Douglas Coupland (Player One: What Is to Become of Us (CBC Massey Lectures))
Death, mademoiselle, unfortunately creates a prejudice. A prejudice in favour of the deceased. I heard what you said just now to my friend Hastings. ‘A nice bright girl with no men friends.’ You said that in mockery of the newspapers. And it is very true—when a young girl is dead, that is the kind of thing that is said. She was bright. She was happy. She was sweet-tempered. She had not a care in the world. She had no undesirable acquaintances. There is a great charity always to the dead. Do you know what I should like this minute? I should like to find someone who knew Elizabeth Barnard and who does not know she is dead! Then, perhaps, I should hear what is useful to me—the truth.
Agatha Christie (The A.B.C. Murders (Hercule Poirot, #12))
Let me take a minute to say that I love bossy women. Some people hate the word, and I understand how "bossy" can seem like a shitty way to describe a woman with a determined point of view, but for me, a bossy woman is someone to search out and celebrate. A bossy woman is someone who cares and commits and is a natural leader.
Amy Poehler
In the darkest hour of winter, when the starlings had all flown away, Gretel Samuelson fell in love. It happened the way things are never supposed to happen in real life, like a sledgehammer, like a bolt from out of the blue. One minute she was a seventeen year-old senior in high school waiting for a Sicilian pizza to go; the next one she was someone whose whole world had exploded, leaving her adrift in the Milky Way, so far from earth she was walking on stars.
Alice Hoffman (Local Girls)
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))
As we grow up we learn that even the person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it gets harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love, so take many pictures, laugh too much and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is one minute of happiness you'll never get back.
Andy Biersack
You won’t remember, they say, when someone drifts away. One minute you are talking about life’s greatest adventures and listening to mixtapes on Monday afternoons, and the next their presence is replaced with silence: a fragile nonexistence with nothing else to lose. But I will always remember our drift. It took up all this space, like a planet with many moons. It was the year you forgot my birthday.
Courtney Peppernell (Pillow Thoughts)
Sometimes in their pain, people believe that the agony will last forever. But feelings are actually more like weather systems—they blow in and they blow out. Just because you feel sad this minute or this hour or this day doesn’t mean you’ll feel that way in ten minutes or this afternoon or next week. Everything you feel—anxiety, elation, anguish—blows in and out again.
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed)
In the shower today I tried to think about the best advice I'd ever been given by another writer. There was something that someone said at my first Milford, about using style as a covering, but sooner or later you would have to walk naked down the street, that was useful... And then I remembered. It was Harlan Ellison about a decade ago. He said, "Hey. Gaiman. What's with the stubble? Every time I see you, you're stubbly. What is it? Some kind of English fashion statement?" "Not really." "Well? Don't they have razors in England for Chrissakes?" "If you must know, I don't like shaving because I have a really tough beard and sensitive skin. So by the time I've finished shaving I've usually scraped my face a bit. So I do it as little as possible." "Oh." He paused. "I've got that too. What you do is, you rub your stubble with hair conditioner. Leave it a couple of minutes, then wash it off. Then shave normally. Makes it really easy to shave. No scraping." I tried it. It works like a charm. Best advice from a writer I've ever received.
Neil Gaiman
It was a good hald minute before I looked over at Todd. his eyes were slightly foggy, like he was waking up- reluctantly- from a lascivious dream. "I didn't know they still made them like that," he said.... "Cool, tough, retro-manly. The kind who only cries if someone just ran over their dog. The big chested guy we can indulge our pathetic Daddy complexes with.
Lisa Kleypas (Blue-Eyed Devil (Travises, #2))
Nobody wants to admit to this, but bad things will keep on happening. Maybe that’s because it’s all a chain, and a long time ago someone did the first bad thing, and that led someone else to do another bad thing, and so on. You know, like that game where you whisper a sentence into someone’s ear, and that person whispers it to someone else, and it all comes out wrong in the end. But then again, maybe bad things happen because it’s the only way we can keep remembering what good is supposed to look like.
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
The reason we are so controlled is not that we don't have the power to decide our own destiny, it is that we give that power away every minute of our lives. When something happens that we don't like, we look for someone else to blame. When there is a problem in the world, we say "What are they going to do about it". At which point they, who have secretly created the problem in the first place, respond to this demand by introducing a 'solution' - more centralisation of power and erosion of freedom. If you want to give more powers to the police, security agencies and military, and you want the public to demand you do it, then ensure there is more crime, violence and terrorism, and then it's a cinch to achieve your aims. Once the people are in fear of being burgled, mugged or bombed, they will demand that you take their freedom away to protect them from what they have been manipulated to fear. The Oklahoma bombing is a classic of this kind, as I detail in ..And The Truth Shall Set You Free. I call this technique problem-reaction-solution. Create the problem, encourage the reaction "something must be done", and then offer the solution. It is summed up by the Freemason motto 'Ordo Ab Chao' -order out of chaos. Create the chaos and then offer the way to restore order. Your order. The masses are herded and directed by many and varios forms of emotional and mental control. It is the only way it coud be done.
David Icke
Sometimes I feel like I've been waiting for someone to tell me when I can be normal again,' she said. 'I keep thinking I'll get a letter. Or a call. When does it happen?' Pete looked like he wanted to walk toward her, but then he fell back against the car. The staring contest between them for almost a minute, and finally Pete exhaled loudly. It's okay,' he said.
Maureen Johnson (The Key to the Golden Firebird)
Top Trumps appeared to be a game in which you got cards, and the cards had a picture (in this case, of a horse), and told you all kinds of stats for that horse, how fast it was, how big it was, etc. Whoever had the better horse won both the cards. You repeated this until someone had all the cards. So, basically it was exactly like high school, except it only took three minutes. Which was really a bit more humane, if you thought about it.
Maureen Johnson (The Last Little Blue Envelope (Little Blue Envelope, #2))
If you can find someone like that, someone who you can hold and close your eyes to the world with, then you’re lucky. Even if it only lasts for a minute or a day.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
from Pearls and Poison… “In two minutes the cops are going to come barreling though that door,” I whispered to Auntie KiKi hoping to get her mind off the body in the back room. “Any suggestions how we tell these workers out here their candidate just croaked?” “Yell The jackass bit the big one, hip-hip hooray Gloria wins, then run like the dickens before someone recognizes us.
Duffy Brown (Pearls and Poison (Consignment Shop Mystery #3))
You are the last Five left in the competition, yes? Do you think that hurts your chances of becoming the princess?" The word sprang from my lips without thought. "No!" "Oh, my! You do have a spirit there!" Gavril seemed pleased to have gotten such an enthusiastic response. "So you think you'll beat out all the others, then? Make it to the end?" I thought better of myself. "No, no. It's not like that. I don't think I'm better than any of the other girls; they're all amazing. It's just...I don't think Maxon would do that, just discount someone because of their caste." I heard a collective gasp. I ran over the sentence in my head. It took me a minute to catch my mistake: I'd called him Maxon. Saying that to another girl behind closed doors was one thing, but to say his name without the word "Prince" in front of it was incredibly informal in public. And I'd said it on live television. I looked to see if Maxon was angry. He had a calm smile on his face. So he wasn't mad...but I was embarrassed. I blushed fiercely. "Ah, so it seems you really have gotten to know our prince. Tell me, what do you think of Maxon?" I ahd thought of several answers while I was waiting for my turn. I was going to make fun of his laugh or talk about the pet name he wanted his wife to call him. It seemed like the only way to save the situation was to get back the comedy. But as I lifted my eyes to make one of my comments, I saw Maxon's face. He really wanted to know. And I couldn't poke fun at him, not when I had a chance to say what I'd really started to think now that he was my friend. I couldn't joke about the person who'd saved me from facing absolute heartbreak at home, who fed my family boxes of sweets, who ran to me worried that I was hurt if I asked for him. A month ago, I had looked at the TV and seen a stiff, distant, boring person-someone I couldn't imagine anyone loving. And while he wasn't anything close to the person I did love, he was worthy of having someone to love in his life. "Maxon Schreave is the epitome of all things good. He is going to be a phenomenal king. He lets girls who are supposed to be wearing dresses wear jeans and doesn't get mad when someone who doesn't know him clearly mislabels him." I gave Gavril a keen look, and he smiled. And behind him, Maxon looked intrigued. "Whoever he marries will be a lucky girl. And whatever happens to me, I will be honored to be his subject." I saw Maxon swallow, and I lowered my eyes. "America Singer, thank you so much." Gavril went to shake my hand. "Up next is Miss Tallulah Bell." I didn't hear what any of the girls said after me, though I stared at the two seats. That interview had become way more personal than I'd intended it to be. I couldn't bring myself to look at Maxon. Instead I sat there replaying my words again and again in my head.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
If I could take a bite of the whole world And feel it on my palate I’d be more happy for a minute or so... But I don’t always want to be happy. Sometimes you have to be Unhappy to be natural... Not every day is sunny. When there’s been no rain for a while, you pray for it to come. So I take unhappiness with happiness Naturally, like someone who doesn’t find it strange That there are mountains and plains And that there are cliffs and grass... What you need is to be natural and calm In happiness and in unhappiness, To feel like someone seeing, To think like someone walking, And when it’s time to die, remember the day dies, And the sunset is beautiful, and the endless night is beautiful... That’s how it is and that’s how it should be...
Alberto Caeiro (The Keeper of Sheep)
I think people expect too much from marriage today" he said. "They expect perfection. Every moment should be a bliss. That´s TV or movies. But that is not the human experience. Like Sarah says, twenty good minutes here, forty good minutes there, it adds up to something beautiful. The trick is when things aren´t so great, you don´t junk the whole thing. It´s okay to have an argument. It´s okay that the other one nudges you a little, bothers you a little. It´s part of being close to someone. But the joy you get from the sam closeness - when you watch your children, whan you wake up and smile at each other - that, as our tradition teaches us, is a blessing. People forget that. Why do they forget it? Because the word "commitment" has lost its meaning. I´m old enough to remember when it used to be positive. A committed person was someone to be admired. He was loyal and steady. Now a commitment is something you avoid. You don´t want to tie yourself down
Mitch Albom (Have a Little Faith: a True Story)
I didn't really want to talk. I'd wanted him there, but I asn't sure why. Maybe just to have someone to drink with. Actually, that sounded pretty good at the moment. I sat on the seat of the chaise and he sat on the foot, and we just drank at each other for a while. After a few minutes, he leaned back against the railing, like maybe he wanted a backrest, and I shifted my feet over to make room. But I guess I didn't shift far enough, because a large, warm hand covered my right foot, adjusting it slightly. And then it just stayed there, like he'd forgotten to remove it. I looked at it. Pritkin's hands were oddly refined compared to the rest of him: strong but long fingered, with elegant bones and short-clipped nails. They always looked like they'd wandered off from some fine gentleman, one they'd probably like to get back to, because God knew they weren't getting a manicure while attached to him.
Karen Chance (Hunt the Moon (Cassandra Palmer, #5))
I got on with Louis from the word go. We’re very similar and I like the fact that he has this ability to be nice to everyone while living totally for the moment. It puts a smile on your face when you see someone like that. I feel I can tell him anything, and I felt like that straight away. He can be really funny one minute, but if someone has a problem he can go into serious mode straight away and he gives really good advice.
One Direction (Dare to Dream: Life as One Direction (100% Official))
When I was little, I used to pour salt on slugs. I liked watching them dissolve before my eyes. Cruelty is always sort of fun until you realize that something’s getting hurt. It would be one thing to be a loser if it meant that no one paid attention to you, but in school, it means you’re actively sought out. You’re the slug, and they’re holding all the salt. And they haven’t developed a conscience. There’s a word we learned in social studies: schadenfreude. It’s when you enjoy watching someone else suffer. The real question though, is why? I think part of it is self preservation. And part of it is because a group always feels more like a group when it’s banded together against an enemy. It doesn’t matter if that enemy has never done anything to hurt you-you just have to pretend you hate someone even more than you hate yourself. You know why salt works on slugs? Because it dissolved in the water that’s part of a slug’s skin, so the water on the inside its body starts to flow out. They slug dehydrates. This works with snails, too. And with leeches. And with people like me. With any creature, really, too thin-skinned to stand up for itself.
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
A bird like that must fly free and feed on nostalgia for the same time when he flew alongside someone else.
Eleven Minutes
I believe in memory. I believe in remembering someone you love so well that it becomes kind of like a ghost. You remember someone so hard that it feels like they're in the next room, just around the corner, that they could walk in any minute.
Katherine Arden (Dead Voices (Small Spaces, #2))
One minute it was Ohio winter, with doors closed, windows locked, the panes blind with frost, icicles fringing every roof, children skiing on slopes, housewives lumbering like great black bears in their furs along the icy streets. And then a long wave of warmth crossed the small town. A flooding sea of hot air; it seemed as if someone had left a bakery door open. The heat pulsed among the cottages and bushes and children. The icicles dropped, shattering, to melt. The doors flew open. The windows flew up. The children worked off their wool clothes. The housewives shed their bear disguises. The snow dissolved and showed last summer's ancient green lawns. Rocket summer. The words passed among the people in the open, airing houses. Rocket summer. The warm desert air changing the frost patterns on the windows, erasing the art work. The skis and sleds suddenly useless. The snow, falling from the cold sky upon the town, turned to a hot rain before it touched the ground. Rocket summer. People leaned from their dripping porches and watched the reddening sky. The rocket lay on the launching field, blowing out pink clouds of fire and oven heat. The rocket stood in the cold winter morning, making summer with every breath of its mighty exhausts. The rocket made climates, and summer lay for a brief moment upon the land....
Ray Bradbury (The Martian Chronicles)
This is the part where you apologize to me,” I said, getting angry. “You guys screwed up and this is where you make me feel better about it.” I like to use this tactic on people. It can work. When someone is being rude, abusing their power, or not respecting you, just call them out in a really obvious way. Say, “I can’t understand why you are being rude because you are the concierge and this is the part of the evening where the concierge helps me.” Act like they are an actor who has forgotten what part they are playing. It brings the attention back to them and gives you a minute to calm down so you don’t do something silly like burst into tears or break their stupid fucking glasses.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
You guys like to tell jokes and giggle and kid around, huh? Giggling like a bunch of young broads in a school yard. Well, let me tell you a joke: Five guys sitting in a bull pen, San Quentin. Wondering how the fuck they got there. What'd we do wrong? What should we've done? What didn't we do? It's your fault, my fault, his fault. All that bullshit. Finally, someone comes up with the idea, wait a minute, while we were planning this caper, all we did was sit around and tell fucking jokes. Got the message?
Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs)
Profound desire, true desire is the desire to be close to someone. From that point onwards, things change, the man and the woman come into play, but what happens before – the attraction that brought them together – is impossible to explain. It is untouched desire in its purest state. When desire is still in this pure state, the man and the woman fall in love with life, they live each moment reverently, consciously, always ready to celebrate the next blessing. When people feel like this, they are not in a hurry, they do not precipitate events with unthinking actions. They know that the inevitable will happen, that what is real always finds a way of revealing itself. When the moment comes, they do not hesitate, they do not miss an opportunity, they do not let slip a single magic moment, because they respect the importance of each second.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
But now I gotta pay,' he said. To pay?' For my sin. That's why I'm here, right? Justice?' The Blue Man smiled. 'No, Edward. You are here so I can teach you something. All the people you meet here have one thing to teach you...That there are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more seperate a breeze from the wind.' ...'It was my stupidity, running out there like that. Why should you have to die on account of me? It ain't fair.' The Blue Man held out his hand. 'Fairness,' he said, 'does not govern life and death. If it did, no good person would ever die young...Why people gather when others die? Why people feel they should? It is because the human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect. That death doesn't just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed. You say you should have died instead of me. But during my time on earth, people died instead of me, too. It happens every day. When lightning strikes a minute after you are gone, or an airplane crashes that you might have been on. When your colleague falls ill and you do not. We think such things are random. But there is a balance to it all. One withers, another grows. Birth and death are part of a whole.' ... 'I still don't understand,' Eddie whispered. 'What good came from your death?' You lived,' the Blue Man answered. But we barely knew each other. I might as well have been a stranger.' The Blue Man put his arms on Eddie's shoulders. Eddie felt that warm, melting sensation. Strangers,' the Blue Man said, 'are just family have yet to come to know.
Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)
It doesn't have any effect on your life. What do you care?! People try to talk about it like it's a social issue. Like when you see someone stand up on a talk show and say, 'How am I supposed to explain to my child that two men are getting married?' ... I dunno, it's your shitty kid, you fucking' tell 'em. Why is that anyone else's problem? Two guys are in love but they can't get married because you don't want to talk to your ugly child for fuckin' five minutes?
Louis C.K. (Untitled)
I'm just like that woman really. Or rather, that's what I used to be like: someone pretending to know everything, hidden away in my own silence
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
This poem is very long So long, in fact, that your attention span May be stretched to its very limits But that’s okay It’s what’s so special about poetry See, poetry takes time We live in a time Call it our culture or society It doesn’t matter to me cause neither one rhymes A time where most people don’t want to listen Our throats wait like matchsticks waiting to catch fire Waiting until we can speak No patience to listen But this poem is long It’s so long, in fact, that during the time of this poem You could’ve done any number of other wonderful things You could’ve called your father Call your father You could be writing a postcard right now Write a postcard When was the last time you wrote a postcard? You could be outside You’re probably not too far away from a sunrise or a sunset Watch the sun rise Maybe you could’ve written your own poem A better poem You could have played a tune or sung a song You could have met your neighbor And memorized their name Memorize the name of your neighbor You could’ve drawn a picture (Or, at least, colored one in) You could’ve started a book Or finished a prayer You could’ve talked to God Pray When was the last time you prayed? Really prayed? This is a long poem So long, in fact, that you’ve already spent a minute with it When was the last time you hugged a friend for a minute? Or told them that you love them? Tell your friends you love them …no, I mean it, tell them Say, I love you Say, you make life worth living Because that, is what friends do Of all of the wonderful things that you could’ve done During this very, very long poem You could have connected Maybe you are connecting Maybe we’re connecting See, I believe that the only things that really matter In the grand scheme of life are God and people And if people are made in the image of God Then when you spend your time with people It’s never wasted And in this very long poem I’m trying to let a poem do what a poem does: Make things simpler We don’t need poems to make things more complicated We have each other for that We need poems to remind ourselves of the things that really matter To take time A long time To be alive for the sake of someone else for a single moment Or for many moments Cause we need each other To hold the hands of a broken person All you have to do is meet a person Shake their hand Look in their eyes They are you We are all broken together But these shattered pieces of our existence don’t have to be a mess We just have to care enough to hold our tongues sometimes To sit and listen to a very long poem A story of a life The joy of a friend and the grief of friend To hold and be held And be quiet So, pray Write a postcard Call your parents and forgive them and then thank them Turn off the TV Create art as best as you can Share as much as possible, especially money Tell someone about a very long poem you once heard And how afterward it brought you to them
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
Watching the way he treats you made me realize that maybe I had set my sights too low. After chasing someone who didn’t give me the time of day… I just see how Vincent anticipates your every desire and tries to make it come true for you. How, when he sees you walk into a room, it’s like he’s transformed into this person who is bigger and better than the one he was just minutes before. I want to be that for someone. I think I deserve it. And I’m not going to pine away for a guy who feels that for someone else. So until my own chivalrous knight shows up, I’ve decided to live a full life and be happy with my lot.
Amy Plum (If I Should Die (Revenants, #3))
After a few minutes, he turns to my face slowly. Are his eyes lingering on my eyes, my lips? I’m not sure. I want them to. Then he says, “Let’s get home. We’ll take the Bug and go somewhere. Alice owes me.” As we clamber back over the rocks, I can’t stop wondering what just happened there. I could swear he was looking at me like he wanted to kiss me. What’s stopping him? Maybe he isn’t attracted to me at all. Maybe he just wants to be friends? I’m not sure I can pull off being just friends with someone whose clothes I want to rip off. Oh god. Did I actually just think that? I steal another look at Jase in his jeans. Yes. Yes, I did.
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
Oh well, it’s over for you. Call the code at 2:03 p.m.” My eyes widened in shock. “That’s what they say when someone dies.” “Exactly.” He nodded. “Woman have fallen in love with me after staring like that for only thirty seconds and I think you just took a full minute. You’re doomed.
Michele Jaffe (Rosebush)
Imagine that you have to break someone's arm. Right or left, doesn't matter. The point is that you have to break it, because if you don't...well, that doesn't matter either. Let's just say bad things will happen if you don't. Now, my question goes like this: do you break the arm quickly -- snap, whoops, sorry, here let me help you with that improvised splint -- or do you drag the whole business out for a good eight minutes, every now and then increasing the pressure in the tiniest of increments, until the pain becomes pink and green and hot and cold and altogether howlingly unbearable? Well exactly. Of course. The right thing to do, the only thing to do, is to get it over with as quickly as possible. Break the arm, ply the brandy, be a good citizen. There can be no other answer. Unless. Unless unless unless. What if you were to hate the person on the other end of the arm? I mean really, really hate them.
Hugh Laurie (The Gun Seller)
But there was a part of her that wondered what would happen if she let them all in on the secretthat some mornings, it was hard to get out of bed and put on someone else’s smile; that she was standing on air, a fake who laughed at all the right jokes and whispered all the right gossip and attracted the right guy, a fake who had nearly forgotten what it felt like to be real…and who, when you got right down to it, didn’t want to remember, because it hurt even more than this.
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
LOVE THIS QUOTE 131 You know when sometimes you meet someone so beautiful and then you actually talk to them and five minutes later they're as dull as a brick? Then there's other people, when you meet them you think, "Not bad. They're okay." And then you get to know them and... and their face just sort of becomes them. Like their personality's written all over it. And they just turn into something so beautiful. — Amy Pond (Doctor Who Series)
The Doctor
When someone you love disappears, it's like the light goes dim, and you're in the shadows. You try to do what people tell you: put one foot in front of the other; keep looking up; give yourself over to the seconds and minutes and hours. But always there's taht glimmer of light-that way of living you once knew-sort of faded and smoky like the crescent moon on a winter's night when the air is full of ice and clouds, but still there, hanging just over your head. You think it's not far. Your think at any moment you can reach out and grab it.
Lee Martin (The Bright Forever)
*The best way to describe Mr. Windling would be like this: You are at a meeting. You'd like to be away early. So would everyone else. There really isn't very much to discuss, anyway. And just as everyone can see Any Other Business coming over the horizon and is putting their papers neatly together, a voice says "If I can raise a minor matter, Mr. Chairman..." and with a horrible wooden feeling in your stomach you know, now, that the evening will go on for twice as long with much referring back to the minutes of earlier meetings. The man who has just said that, and is now sitting there with a smug smile of dedication to the committee process, is as near Mr. Windling as makes no difference. And something that distinguishes the Mr. Windlings of the universe is the term "in my humble opinion," which they think adds weight to their statements rather than indicating, in reality, "these are the mean little views of someone with the social grace of duckweed".
Terry Pratchett (The Truth)
At the edge of his dreams, there was often a sound like the faint, distant cry of someone in distress, and for minutes after waking, he would feel the anxiety of some duty unfulfilled.
William Peter Blatty (The Exorcist)
It pleased him to imagine God as someone like his mother, someone beleagured by too many responsibilities, too dog-tired to monitor an energetic boy every minute of the day, but who, out of love and fear for his safety, checked in on him whenever she could. Was this so crazy? ...Miles liked the idea of a God who, when He at last had the oppotunity to return His attention to His children, might shake His head with wonder and mutter, "Jesus. Look what they're up to now." A distractible God, perhaps, one who'd be startled to discover so many of His children way up in trees since the last time He looked. A God whose hand would go rushing to His mouth in fear in that instant of recognition that - good God! - that kid's going to hurt himself. A God who could be surprised by unanticipated pride - glory be, that boy is a climber!
Richard Russo (Empire Falls)
He was capable of wild mood swings that went from murder to concern for a spider in under five minutes. In the end, loving Myrnin, really loving him, could be like living with an unexploded bomb - sooner or later it was bound to go off, and for someone fragile and human, it would be fatal.
Rachel Caine (Daylighters (The Morganville Vampires, #15))
Colored people don't like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don't feel good about Uncle Tom's Cabin. Burn it. Someone's written a book on tobacco and cancer of the lungs? The cigarette people are weeping? Burn the book. Serenity, Montag. Peace, Montag. Take your fight outside. Better yet, into the incinerator. Funerals are unhappy and pagan? Eliminate them, too. Five minutes after a person is dead he's on his way to the Big Flue, the Incinerators serviced by helicopters all over the country. Ten minutes after death a man's a speck of black dust. Let's not quibble over individuals with memoriams. Forget them. Burn all, burn everything. Fire is bright and fire is clean.
Ray Bradbury
How is he?" "Who?" "Your father." Of all the things Claire had expected, that wasn't it, and it took her a minute of honest puzzlement to try to work out why someone like Frank Collins would even care. She finally said,"He's doing okay. I talked to my mom yesterday; the doctors think they can fix his heart problem. He's feeling a lot better." Frank nodded. "Good. Family's important," he said. "Maybe too important, sometimes. Iknow how much I screwed it up with Shane. Can't blame the kid for hating me now." It was almost a . . . question? And if it was a question, what could Claire say? Yeah, he hates your guts. That probably wasn't what Frank was hoping to hear. "Just take care of him," she said. "That's what you're supposed to do. Stop using him, and start protecting him. I know he thinks he doesn't need it, but sometimes he does. Sometimes we all do." Now Frank did look up, and Claire felt a blush building in her face as he stared at her like he was actually seeing her for a change. "He did okay," Shane's dad finally said. "Picking you.
Rachel Caine (Ghost Town (The Morganville Vampires, #9))
People say I talk slowly. I talk in a way sometimes called laconic. The phone rings, I answer, and people ask if they’ve woken me up. I lose my way in the middle of sentences, leaving people hanging for minutes. I have no control over it. I’ll be talking, and will be interested in what I’m saying, but then someone—I’m convinced this what happens—someone—and I wish I knew who, because I would have words for this person—for a short time, borrows my head. Like a battery is borrowed from a calculator to power a remote control, someone, always, is borrowing my head.
Dave Eggers
She hadn’t expected to experience this pleasure in her grief, to find it invigorating, in a way. But even as she’s dying, she’s realized, life goes on—even as the cancer invades her body, she still checks Twitter. At first she thought, Why would I waste even ten minutes of the time I have left checking Twitter? And then she thought, Why wouldn’t I? I like Twitter!
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone)
That was ridiculous," I told Dorian, once she'd left. "She's not the kind of person to fall for your flirting." "On the contrary," said Dorian. "She's exactly the kind of person to fall for it. I understand these warrior maids, you know. They live such harsh, cold lives, always trying to keep up with the men... when really, they just need someone to make them feel like a woman. And that, of course, is an area in which I excel. Why, if I'd had ten minutes alone with her—
Richelle Mead (Shadow Heir (Dark Swan, #4))
Travis nursed his beer silently, looking out over the water. “What are you thinking about?” Laird asked. “It’s not important.” “What is it?” Travis turned toward him. “Did you ever notice how some colours are used for people’s names but others aren’t?” “What are you talking about?” “White and Black. Like Mr. White, the guy who owns the tire store. And Mr. Black, our third-grade teacher. Or even Mr. Green from the game Clue. But you never hear of someone named Mr. Orange or Mr. Yellow. It’s like some colours make good names, but other colours just sound stupid. You know what I mean?” “I can’t say I’ve ever thought about it.” “Me neither. Not until just a minute ago, I mean. But it’s kind of strange, isn’t it?” “Sure,” Laird finally agreed. Both men were quiet for a moment. “I told you it wasn’t important.” “Yes, you did.” “Was I right?” “Yep.
Nicholas Sparks (The Choice)
I'm fairly certain that, at this very minute, the [Mars Polar Lander] is floating somewhere around the Neptune feeling tired and cranky and looking for a Holiday Inn. Of course, you'd have to have a heart of titanium not to feel a twinge of sadness while watching those dejected NASA scientiest waiting by the phone like the class wallflower on prom week. On the other hand, it was kind of fun to watch a bunch of men waiting by the phone and seeing how they feel when someone promises they'll call and then YOU NEVER HEAR FROM HIM AGAIN.
Celia Rivenbark (Bless Your Heart, Tramp: And Other Southern Endearments)
As he listened to them, Neil realized he was happy. It was such an unexpected and unfamiliar feeling he lost track of the conversation for a minute. He couldn't remember the last time he'd felt this included or safe. It was nice but dangerous. Someone with a past like his, whose very survival depended on secrecy and lies, couldn't afford to let his guard down. But as Nicky laughed and leaned closer to talk about one of Neil's goals, Neil thought maybe he'd be okay just for a night.
Nora Sakavic (The Raven King (All for the Game, #2))
There is a name for that pebble: passion. It can be used to describe the beauty of an earth-shaking meeting between two people, but it isn't just that. It's there in the excitement of the unexpected, in the desire to do something with real fervour, in the certainty that one is going to realise a dream. Passion sends us signals that guide us through our lives, and it's up to me to interpret those signs. I would like to believe that I'm in love. With someone I don't know and who didn't figure in my plans at all. All these months of self-control, of denying love, have had exactly the opposite result: I have let myself be swept away by the first person to treat me a little differently.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
I turned my back to her. I felt a slight burning on the back of my neck. “Listen to me,” I went on. “I never was much for fucking around, I never got much out of it. I know that everybody else does it; but it’s no fun if you just do like everybody else. To tell you the truth, it bores me, It does you good to live according to your ideas, to not betray yourself, not cop out at the last minute just because some girl has a nice ass, or someone offers you a huge check, or because the path of least resistance runs by your front door. It does you good to hang tough. It’s good for the soul.” I turned around to tell her the Big Secret; “Over Dispersal, I choose Concentration. I have one life—the only thing I’m interested in is making it shine.
Philippe Djian (Betty Blue)
I always wondered what your type was, but I never imagined it would be a hard-core rocker!” Here we go. I had been hoping he'd be too sleepy for this conversation. “He's not my type. If I had a type it would be...nice. Not some hotheaded, egocentric male slut.” “Did you just call him a male slut?” Jay laughed. “Dang, that's, like, the worst language I've ever heard you use.” I glowered at him, feeling ashamed, and he laughed even harder. “Oh, hey, I've got a joke for you. What do you call someone who hangs out with musicians?” He raised his eyebrows and I shrugged. “I don't know. What?” “A drummer!” I shook my head while he cracked up at his joke for another minute before hounding me again about Kaidan. “All right, so you talked about my CDs, you had some cultural confusion with some of his lingo, then you talked about hot dogs? That can't be everything. You looked seriously intense.” “That's because he was intense, even though we weren't really talking about anything. He made me nervous.” “You thought he was hot, didn't you?” I stared out my window at the passing trees and houses. We were almost to school. “I knew it!” He smacked the steering wheel, loving every second of my discomfort. “This is so weird. Anna Whitt has a crush.” “Fine, yes. He was hot. But it doesn't matter, because there's something about him I don't like. I can't explain it. He's...scary.” “He's not the boy next door, if that's what you mean. Just don't get the good-girl syndrome.” “What's that?” “You know. When a good girl falls for a bad boy and hopes the boy will fall in love and magically want to change his ways. But the only one who ends up changing is the girl.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
I think that’s the way it is,” he says after a minute. “When you love someone. Something happens to them, and it’s a punch in the heart. Not like a punch in the heart; a real punch in the heart.
Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1))
Iam a sensitive, introverted woman, which means that I love humanity but actual human beings are tricky for me. I love people but not in person. For example, I would die for you but not, like…meet you for coffee. I became a writer so I could stay at home alone in my pajamas, reading and writing about the importance of human connection and community. It is an almost perfect existence. Except that every so often, while I’m thinking my thoughts, writing my words, living in my favorite spot—which is deep inside my own head—something stunning happens: A sirenlike noise tears through my home. I freeze. It takes me a solid minute to understand: The siren is the doorbell. A person is ringing my doorbell. I run out of my office to find my children also stunned, frozen, and waiting for direction about how to respond to this imminent home invasion. We stare at each other, count bodies, and collectively cycle through the five stages of doorbell grief: Denial: This cannot be happening. ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALLOWED TO BE IN THIS HOUSE ARE ALREADY IN THIS HOUSE. Maybe it was the TV. IS THE TV ON? Anger: WHO DOES THIS? WHAT KIND OF BOUNDARYLESS AGGRESSOR RINGS SOMEONE’S DOORBELL IN BROAD DAYLIGHT? Bargaining: Don’t move, don’t breathe—maybe they’ll go away. Depression: Why? Why us? Why anyone? Why is life so hard? Acceptance: Damnit to hell. You—the little one—we volunteer you. Put on some pants, act normal, and answer the door. It’s dramatic, but the door always gets answered. If the kids aren’t home, I’ll even answer it myself. Is this because I remember that adulting requires door answering? Of course not. I answer the door because of the sliver of hope in my heart that if I open the door, there might be a package waiting for me. A package!
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
Please, ma’am. Please help me. You seem like someone who really appreciates knowledge and learning, and I’d be so grateful if you’d share just a little of your wisdom.” “Why should I help?” she asked. I could tell she was intrigued, though. Flattery really could get you places. “You don’t have any superior knowledge to offer me.” “Because I’m superior in other things. Help me, and I’ll . . . I’ll fix your car out front. I’ll change the tire. That threw her off. “You’re in a skirt.” “I’m offering you what I can. Manual labor in exchange for wisdom.” “I don’t believe you can do it,” she said after several long moments. I crossed my arms. “It’s an eyesore.” “You have fifteen minutes,” she snapped. “I only need ten.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
I left Abnegation because I wasn't selfless enough,no matter how hard I tried to be." "That's not entirely true." He smiles at me. "That girl who let someone throw knives at her to spare a friend,who hit my dad with a belt to protect me-that selfless girl,that's not you?" He's figured out more about me than I have. And even though it seems impossible that he could feel something for me,given all that I'm not...maybe it isn't.I frown at him. "You've been paying close attention,haven't you?" "I like to observe people." "Maybe you were cut out for Candor, Four, because you're a terrible liar." He puts his hand on the rock next to him, his fingers lining up with mine. I look down at our hands. He has long, narrow fingers. Hands made for mine, deft movements.Not Dauntless hands, which should be thick and tough and ready to break things. "Fine." He leans his face closer to mine, his eyes focusing on my chin, and my lips,and my nose. "I watched you because I like you." He says it plainly, boldly, and his eyes flick up to mine. "And don't call me 'Four," okay? It's nice to hear my name again." Just like that,he has finally declared himself, and I don't know how to respond. My cheeks warm,and all I can think to say is, "But you're older than I am...Tobias." He smiles at me. "Yes,that whopping two-year gap really is insurmountable, isn't it?" "I'm not trying to be self-deprecating," I say, "I just don't get it. I'm younger. I'm not pretty.I-" He laughs,a deep laugh that sounds like it came from deep inside him, and touches his lips to my temple. "Don't pretend," I say breathily. "You know I'm not. I'm not ugly,but I am certainly not pretty." "Fine.You're not pretty.So?" He kisses my cheek. "I like how you look. You're deadly smart.You're brave. And even though you found out about Marcus..." His voice softens. "You aren't giving me that look.Like I'm a kicked puppy or something." "Well," I say. "You're not." For a second his dark eyes are on mine, and he's quiet. Then he touches my face and leans in close, brushing my lips with his.The river roars and I feel its spray on my ankles.He grins and presses his mouth to mine. I tense up at first,unsure of myself, so when he pulls away,I'm sure I did something wrong,or badly.But he takes my face in his hands,his figners strong against my skin,and kisses me again, firmer this time, more certain. I wrap an arm around him,sliding my hand up his nack and into his short hair. For a few minutes we kiss,deep in the chasm,with the roar of water all around us. And when we rise,hand in hand, I realize that if we had both chosen differently,we might have ended up doing the same thing, in a safer place, in gray clothes instead of black ones.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Tonight, he'd looked broken. She'd been afraid to touch him, as if one brush of skin would send him shattering into a million pieces. But then she had, and he'd clung to her as if he'd been afraid to let go. Some people might see it as weakness, but she didn't. She knew how it felt to have life yank the rug out from under you. She knew what it meant to need someone to hold you, to share the weight of the world for a minute. For a second. She would have held him all night. And then her father had shown up to act like Detective Dickhead. As usual.
Brigid Kemmerer (Sacrifice (Elemental, #5))
Not long ago you are in a room where someone asks the philosopher Judith Butler what makes language hurtful. You can feel everyone lean in. Our very being exposes us to the address of another, she answers. We suffer from the condition of being addressable. Our emotional openness, she adds, is carried by our addressability. Language navigates this. For so long you thought the ambition of racist language was to denigrate and erase you as a person. After considering Butler’s remarks, you begin to understand yourself as rendered hypervisible in the face of such language acts. Language that feels hurtful is intended to exploit all the ways that you are present. Your alertness, your openness, and your desire to engage actually demand your presence, your looking up, your talking back, and, as insane as it is, saying please. Standing outside the conference room, unseen by the two men waiting for the others to arrive, you hear one say to the other that being around black people is like watching a foreign film without translation. Because you will spend the next two hours around the round table that makes conversing easier, you consider waiting a few minutes before entering the room.
Claudia Rankine (Citizen: An American Lyric)
The darkness behind my closed eyelids was like the cloud-covered sky, but the gray was somewhat deeper. Every few minutes, someone would come and paint over the gray with a different-textured gray - one with a touch of gold or green or red. I was impressed with the variety of grays that existed. Human beings were so strange. All you had to do was sit still for ten minutes, and you could see this amazing variety of grays.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
I remember a relative of mine who used to pick on me all the time, constantly ridiculing my every move and making me feel inferior. One day she had a pimple on her face and was devastated. I told her "Why would you let a little thing like that bother you in such a way? It's just a pimple!" And she cried and said "You can say that, because you're perfect and even if you have ten pimples on your face, it wouldn't even matter!" And I never forgot how I felt in that moment, that moment taught me some important things! First, I realized that the whole time she was picking on me, she actually was feeling that I was perfect! And secondly, I realized that when people think you're perfect, they try to make you feel bad about yourself! I was so taken aback in those few minutes— I couldn't even say anything! I just looked at her while all my realizations flooded my mind and I decided that just because you think someone is perfect, doesn't give you the ticket to make them feel bad about themselves.
C. JoyBell C.
And I’ve been scared, scared like never before, that I’d hurt you.” He lifts his hand. Curves it around my cheek. “That I’d left you in some—any kind of pain. That I couldn’t make amends. Which, let me tell you, is no fun when you know in your lizard brain that you’re about five minutes from falling in love with someone.” He closes his eyes. “Maybe past. Can’t really tell.
Ali Hazelwood (Stuck with You (The STEMinist Novellas, #2))
Griffin spoke around a mouthful of food. “What’s it like being blind?” “Do you think about what it’s like to have hair every second?” Cheyenne blew air out of her nose. “It’s just who I am now. I try not to think about it all the time.” Which was true. But it didn’t work. She never really forgot that she was blind. And even if she did for a minute, she could count on there being a reminder. Usually painful. She sighed. “At first, it feels like someone has thrown a blanket over your head. Some days you just want to scream, ‘I’m inside here! Doesn’t anybody out there see that? Doesn’t anybody remember me? I’m still the same person!’ ” Cheyenne fell silent. She knew the last sentence wasn’t true, even if she wanted it to be. She wasn’t the same person.
April Henry (Girl, Stolen)
With a deliberate shrug, he stepped free of the hold on his shoulder. “Tell me something, boys,” he drawled. “Do you wear that leather to turn each other on? I mean, is it a dick thing with you all?” Butch got slammed so hard against the door that his back teeth rattled. The model shoved his perfect face into Butch’s. “I’d watch your mouth, if I were you.” “Why bother, when you’re keeping an eye on it for me? You gonna kiss me now?” A growl like none Butch had ever heard came out of the guy. “Okay, okay.” The one who seemed the most normal came forward. “Back off, Rhage. Hey, come on. Let’s relax.” It took a minute before the model let go. “That’s right. We’re cool,” Mr. Normal muttered, clapping his buddy on the back before looking at Butch. “Do yourself a favor and shut the hell up.” Butch shrugged. “Blondie’s dying to get his hands on me. I can’t help it.” The guy launched back at Butch, and Mr. Normal rolled his eyes, letting his friend go this time. The fist that came sailing at jaw level snapped Butch’s head to one side. As the pain hit, Butch let his own rage fly. The fear for Beth, the pent-up hatred of these lowlifes, the frustration about his job, all of it came out of him. He tackled the bigger man, taking him down onto the floor. The guy was momentarily surprised, as if he hadn’t expected Butch’s speed or strength, and Butch took advantage of the hesitation. He clocked Blondie in the mouth as payback and then grabbed the guy’s throat. One second later, Butch was flat on his back with the man sitting on his chest like a parked car. The guy took Butch’s face into his hand and squeezed, crunching the features together. It was nearly impossible to breathe, and Butch panted shallowly. “Maybe I’ll find your wife,” the guy said, “and do her a couple of times. How’s that sound?" “Don’t have one.” “Then I’m coming after your girlfriend.” Butch dragged in some air. “Got no woman.” “So if the chicks won’t do you, what makes you think I’d want to?” “Was hoping to piss you off.” “Now why’d you want to do that?” Blondie asked. “If I attacked first”—Butch hauled more breath into his lungs—“your boys wouldn’t have let us fight. Would’ve killed me first. Before I had a chance at you.” Blondie loosened his grip a little and laughed as he stripped Butch of his wallet, keys, and cell phone. “You know, I kind of like this big dummy,” the guy drawled. Someone cleared a throat. Rather officiously. Blondie leaped to his feet, and Butch rolled over, gasping. When he looked up, he was convinced he was hallucinating. Standing in the hall was a little old man dressed in livery. Holding a silver tray. “Pardon me, gentlemen. Dinner will be served in about fifteen minutes.” “Hey, are those the spinach crepes I like so much?” Blondie said, going for the tray. “Yes, Sire.” “Hot damn.” The other men clustered around the butler, taking what he offered. Along with cocktail napkins. Like they didn’t want to drop anything on the floor. What the hell was this? “Might I ask a favor?” the butler said. Mr. Normal nodded with vigor. “Bring out another tray of these and we’ll kill anything you want for you.” Yeah, guess the guy wasn’t really normal. Just relatively so. The butler smiled as if touched. “If you’re going to bloody the human, would you be good enough to do it in the backyard?” “No problem.” Mr. Normal popped another crepe in his mouth. “Damn, Rhage, you’re right. These are awesome.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
Life is too short to hold grudges, plan vengeance, and be angry for too long. And people say things like that all the time, but words like that only take on their meaning when you experience someone close to you passing away. There are truly not enough minutes, hours, days, months, years, to spend any amount of time on being and doing anything other than going into the direction of your happiness. Acceptance is better than correction and joy is better than revenge. Innocent laughter is better than anger.
C. JoyBell C.
This is going to sound trite, I suppose, but you never know when it’s going to be the last time. That you hug someone. That you kiss. That you say goodbye. I don’t know what my last words were to Ty. Probably something like, Smell you later , as I went out the door that morning. I can’t remember. It wasn’t significant, is all I know. We were never one of those families that says “I love you” at the end of every conversation, just in case. Steven’s parents do that. When he calls to tell them he’s going to be late or something, he always ends by saying “I love you, too.” Even if he’ll see them in 10 minutes. I used to think that was the tiniest bit lame. If you say something that often, it loses its meaning, doesn’t it? But now I understand. If the unthinkable happens—a car accident, a heart attack, whatever—at least you’ll know your last words were something positive. There’s a security in that. A comfort.
Cynthia Hand (The Last Time We Say Goodbye)
America, is there lipstick on my teeth?" Zoe asked. I turned to my left and found her smiling maniacally, exposing all her pearly whites. "No, you're good," I answered, seeing out of the corner of my eye that Marlee was nodding in confirmation. "Thanks. How is he so calm?" Zoe asked, pointing over at Maxon, who was talking to a member of the crew. She then bent down and put her head between her legs and started doing controlled breathing. Marlee and I looked at each other, eyes wide with amusement, and tried not to laugh. It was hard if we looked at Zoe, so we surveyed the room and chatted about what others were wearing. There were several girls in seductive reds and lively greens, but no one else in blue. Olivia had gone so far as to wear orange. I'd admit that I didn't know that much about fashion, but Marlee and I both agreed that someone should have intervened on her behalf. The color made her skin look kind of green. Two minutes before the cameras turned on, we realized it wasn't the dress making her look green. Olivia vomited into the closest trash can very loudly and collapsed on the floor. Silvia swooped in, and a fuss was made to wipe the sweat off her and get her into a seat. She was placed in the back row with a small receptacle at her feet, just in case. Bariel was in the seat in front of her. I couldn't hear what she muttered to the poor girl from where I was, but it looked like Bariel was prepared to injure Olivia should she have another episode near her. I guessed that Maxon had seen or heard some of the commotion, and I looked over to see if he was having any sort of reaction to it all. But he wasn't looking toward the disturbance; he was looking at me. Quickly-so quickly it would look like nothing but scratching an itch to anyone else-Maxon reached up and tugged on his ear. I repeated the action back, and we both turned away. I was excited to know that tonight, after dinner, Maxon would be stopping by my room.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
What makes this city different is that nobody expects to be in one place for ten minutes. Everybody moves all the time. Seven nameless men own everything and move us around on a board. People are swept out into the streets because the owners need the space. Then they are swept off the streets because someone owns the air they breathe. Men buy and sell air in the sky and there are bodies heaped together in boxes on the sidewalk. Then they sweep away the boxes." "You like to overstate." "I overstate things to stay alive. This is the point of New York. I completely love and trust this city but I know the moment I stop being angry I'm finished forever.
Don DeLillo (Mao II)
This was the last time I ever saw my mother alive. Just the same, this picture gets all mixed up in my mind with pictures I had of her when she was younger. The way I always see her is the way she used to be on Sunday afternoon, say, when the old folks were talking after the big Sunday dinner. I always see her wearing pale blue. She'd be sitting on the sofa. And my father would be sitting in the easy chair, not far from her. And the living room would be full of church folks and relatives. There they sit, in chairs all around the living room, and the night is creeping up outside, but nobody knows it yet. You can see the darkness growing against the windowpanes and you hear the street noises every now and again, or maybe the jangling beat of a tambourine from one of the churches close by, but it's real quiet in the room. For a moment nobody's talking, but every face looks darkening, like the sky outside. And my mother rocks a little from the waist, and my father's eyes are closed. Everyone is looking at something a child can't see. For a minute they've forgotten the children. Maybe a kid is lying on the rug, half asleep. Maybe somebody's got a kid in his lap and is absent-mindedly stroking the kid's head. Maybe there's a kid, quiet and big-eyed, curled up in a big chair in the corner. The silence, the darkness coming, and the darkness in the faces frighten the child obscurely. He hopes that the hand which strokes his forehead will never stop-- will never die. He hopes that there will never come a time when the old folks won't be sitting around the living room, talking about where they've come from, and what they've seen, and what's happened to them and their kinfolk. But something deep and watchful in the child knows that this is bound to end, is already ending. In a moment someone will get up and turn on the light. Then the old folks will remember the children and they won't talk anymore that day. And when light fills the room, the child is filled with darkness. He knows that every time this happens he's moved just a little closer to that darkness outside. The darkness outside is what the old folks have been talking about. It's what they've come from. It's what they endure. The child knows that they won't talk anymore because if he knows too much about what's happened to them, he'll know too much too soon, about what's going to happen to him.
James Baldwin
Where's my sister?" "She's setting up the island we found tonight." Galen shakes his head. "You slithering eel. You might have told me what you were up to." Toraf laughs. "Oh sure. 'Hey, Galen, I need to borrow Emma for a few minutes so I can kiss her, okay?' Didn't see that going over very well." "You think your surprise attack went over better?" Toraf shrugs. "I'm satisfied." "I could have killed you today." "Yeah." "Don't ever do that again." "Wasn't planning on it. Thought it was real sweet of you to defend your sister's honor. Very brotherly." Toraf snickers. "Shut up." "I'm just saying." Galen runs a hand through his hair. "I only saw Emma. I forgot all about Rayna." "I know, idiot. That's why I let you hit me fifty-eight times. That's what I would do if someone kissed Rayna." "Fifty-nine times." "Don't get carried away, minnow. By the way, was Emma boiling mad or just a little heated? Should I keep my distance for a while?" Galen snorts. "She laughed so hard I thought she'd pass out. I'm the one in trouble." "Shocker. What'd you do?" "The usual." Hiding his feelings. Blurting out the wrong thing. Acting like a territorial bull shark. Toraf shakes his head. "She won't put up with that forever. She already thinks you only want to change her so she can become another of your royal subjects." "She said that?" Galen scowls. "I don't know what's worse. Letting her think that, or telling her the truth about why I'm helping her to change." "In my opinion, there's nothing to tell her unless she can actually change. And so far, she can't." "You don't think she's one of us?" Toraf shrugs. "Her skin wrinkles. It's kind of gross. Maybe she's some sort of superhuman. You know, like Batman." Galen laughs. "How do you know about Batman?" "I saw him on that black square in your living room. He can do all sorts of things other humans can't do. Maybe Emma is like him." "Batman isn't real. He's just a human acting like that so other humans will watch him." "Looked real to me." "They're good at making it look real. Some humans spend their whole lives making something that isn't real look like something that is." "Humans are creepier than I thought. Why pretend to be something you're not?" Galen nods. To take over a kingdom, maybe? "Actually, that reminds me. Grom needs you." Toraf groans. "Can it wait? Rayna's getting all cozy on our island right about now." "Seriously. I don't want to know." Toraf grins. "Right. Sorry. But you can see my point, right? I mean, if Emma were waiting for you-" "Emma wouldn't be waiting for me. I wouldn't have left." "Rayna made me. You've never hit me that hard before. She wants us to get along. Plus, there's something I need to tell you, but I didn't exactly get a change to." "What?" "Yesterday when we were practicing in front of your house, I sensed someone. Someone I don't know. I made Emma get out of the water while I went to investigate." "And she listened to you?" Toraf nods. "Turns out, you're the only one she disobeys.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
And every faggot couple I know is deep into friendship and deep into fucking with everyone else but each other and any minute any bump appears in their commitment to infinitesimally obstruct their view, out they zip like petulant kids to suck someone else’s lollipop instead of trying to work things out, instead of trying not to hide, and…unh…why do faggots have to fuck so fucking much?!
Larry Kramer (Faggots)
I liked it all, but most of all I liked the fact that although the play was entirely focused on Quintana there were, five evenings and two afternoons a week, these ninety full minutes, the run time of the play, during which she did not need to be dead. During which the question remained open. During which the denouement had yet to play out. During which the last scene played did not necessarily need to be played in the ICU overlooking the East River. During which the bells would not necessarily sound and the doors would not necessarily be locked at six. During which the last dialogue heard did not necessarily need to concern the vent. Like when someone dies, don't dwell on it.
Joan Didion (Blue Nights)
Theoretically, let's stipulate, for argument's sake, that there are a lot of powerful people at a university like this who believe things that aren't, strictly speaking, true." Leftists, you mean." Let's just call them people. Powerful people." All right." These powerful people believe things like: One culture is as good as another. Or, there's no such thing as good and evil. Therefore, if America is at odds or at war with someone, it must be America's fault. You only have to think about those statements for two minutes to see that they can't possibly be true. But these people think they should be true and they think they'll seem to be true if no one is allowed to say they're not true. So they attack anyone who says that they're not true. They call him names. Racist, sexist, phobic, offensive, whatever. They demand apologies from him. They make his life a misery, so no one wants to speak up." So it's like the emperor's new clothes." Right. Except instead of clothes, it's all the emperor's lies. And in an Empire of Lies, only a crazy man would speak the truth.
Andrew Klavan
Everything surrounding the ship is gray or dark blue and nothing is particularly hip, and once or maybe twice a day this thin strip of white appears at the horizon line but its so far in the distance you cant be sure whether its land or more sky. Its impossible to believe that any kind of life sustains itself beneath this flat, slate-gray sky or in an ocean so calm and vast, that anything breathing could exist in such limbo, and any movement that occurs below the surface is so faint its like some kind of small accident, a tiny indifferent moment, a minor incident that shouldnt have happened, and in the sky there's never any trace of sun - the air seems vaguely transparent and disposable, with the texture of Kleenex - yet its always bright in a dull way, the wind usually constant as we drift through it, weightless, and below us the trail the ship leaves behind is a Jacuzzi blue that fades within minutes into the same boring gray sheet that blankets everything else surrounding the ship. One day a normal looking rainbow appears and you vaguely notice it, thinking about the enormous sums of money the Kiss reunion tour made over the summer, or maybe a whale swims along the starboard side, waving its fin, showing off. It's easy to feel safe, for people to look at you and think someone's going somewhere. Surrounded by so much boring space, five days is a long time to stay unimpressed.
Bret Easton Ellis
Suicide by train is also popular in many developed countries. Without ready access to firearms, suicidal people often turn to trains. —Der Spiegel, July 27, 2011 Once it happens you can’t remember how you started out: innocent, barreling into the tunnel, shooting out at each station like a dolphin out of a dim green pool. Pneumatic doors inhale open, puff shut, lock with a solid thump. Up and down the line, fifty times a day, it’s a long slow song. You feel the rumble as much as hear it. In your dim green trance the words retain wonder: Vorsicht, Türe werden geschloßen. Caution, the doors are closing. Then the first time: someone decides darkness will answer, hides out in the tunnel, steps out in front of the train like he knows where he’s going, steps out at you, dying at you, knowing you can’t stop in time. Now each time the doors close, they seal you in. You are a human bullet shot into the tunnels, hoping no one will block the light far ahead, each station one minute’s reprieve.
Karen Greenbaum-Maya
That's my window. This minute So gently did I alight From sleep--was still floating in it. Where has my life its limit And where begins the night? I could fancy all things around me Were nothing but I as yet; Like a crystal's depth, profoundly Mute, translucent, unlit. I have space to spare inside me For the stars, too: so full of room Feels my heart; so lightly Would it let go of him, whom For all I know I have started To love, it may be to hold. Strange, as if never charted, Stares my fortune untold. Why is it I am bedded Beneath this infinitude, Fragrant like a meadow, Hither and thither moved, Calling out, yet fearing Someone might hear the cry, Destined to disappearing Within another I.
Rainer Maria Rilke
I have a print - you can buy them at the Victoria and Albert Museum - of a photograph of the village street of Thetford, taken in 1868, in which William Smith is not. The street is empty. There is a grocer's shop and a blacksmith's and a stationary cart and a great spreading tree, but not a single human figure. In fact William Smith - or someone, or several people, dogs too, geese, a man on a horse - passed beneath the tree, went into the grocer's shop, loitered for a moment talking to a friend while the photograph was taken but he is invisible, all of them are invisible. The exposure of the photograph - sixty minutes - was so long that William Smith and everyone else passed through it and away leaving no trace. Not even so much of a mark as those primordial worms that passed through the Cambrian mud of northern Scotland and left the empty tube of their passage in the rock. I like that. I like that very much. A neat image for the relation of man to the physical world. Gone, passed through and away.
Penelope Lively (Moon Tiger)
Imagine two astronauts go to the moon, and while they’re there, there’s an accident and their ship can’t take them back to Earth. They have only enough oxygen for two days. There is no hope of someone coming from Earth in time to rescue them. They have only two days to live. If you were to ask them at that moment, “What is your deepest wish?” they would answer, “To be back home walking on our beautiful planet Earth.” That would be enough for them; they wouldn’t want anything else. They wouldn’t think of being the head of a large corporation, a famous celebrity, or the president of the United States. They wouldn’t want anything but to be back here—walking on Earth, enjoying every step, listening to the sounds of nature, or holding the hand of their beloved while contemplating the moon at night. We should live every day like people who have just been rescued from dying on the moon. We are on Earth now, and we need to enjoy walking on this precious, beautiful planet. Zen Master Linji said, “The miracle is not to walk on water or fire. The miracle is to walk on the earth.” I cherish that teaching. I enjoy just walking, even in busy places like airports and railway stations. Walking like that, with each step caressing our Mother Earth, we can inspire other people to do the same. We can enjoy every minute of our lives.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm)
To judge from the entrance the dawn was making, it promised to be a very iffy day -- that is, blasts of angry sunlight one minute, fits of freezing rain the next, all of it seasoned with sudden gusts of wind -- one of those days when someone who is sensitive to abrupt shifts in weather and suffers them in his blood and brain is likely to change opinion and direction continuously, like those sheets of tin, cut in the shape of banners and roosters, that spin every which way on rooftops with each new puff of wind.
Andrea Camilleri (The Terra-Cotta Dog (Inspector Montalbano, #2))
We have time for everything: to sleep, to run from one place to another, to regret having mistaken and to mistake again, to judge the others and to forgive ourselves we have time for reading and writing, for making corrections to our texts, to regret ever having written we have time to make plans and time not to respect them, we have time for ambitions and sicknesses, time to blame the destiny and the details, we have time to watch the clouds, advertisements or some ordinary accident, we have time to chase our wonders away and to postpone the answers, we have time to break a dream to pieces and then to reinvent it, we have time to make friends, to lose friends, we have time to receive lessons and forget them afterwards, we have time to receive gifts and not to understand them. We have time for them all. There is no time for just a bit of tenderness. When we are aware about to do this we die. I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you; All you can do is to be a loved person. the rest … depends on the others. I’ve learned that as much as I care others might not care. I’ve learned that it takes years to earn trust and just a few seconds to lose it. I’ve learned that it does not matter WHAT you have in your life but WHO you have. I’ve learned that your charm is useful for about 15 minutes Afterwards, you should better know something. I’ve learned that no matter how you cut it, everything has two sides! I’ve learned that you should separate from your loved ones with warm words It might be the last time you see them! I’ve learned that you can still continue for a long time after saying you cannot continue anymore I’ve learned that heroes are those who do what they have to do, when they have to do it, regardless the consequences I’ve learned that there are people who love But do not know how to show it ! I’ve learned that when I am upset I have the RIGHT to be upset But not the right to be bad! I’ve learned that real friendship continues to exist despite the distance And this is true also for REAL LOVE !!! I’ve learned that if someone does not love you like you want them to It does not mean that they do not love you with all their heart. I’ve learned that no matter how good of a friend someone is for you that person will hurt you every now and then and that you have to forgive him. I’ve learned that it is not enough to be forgiven by others Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself. I’ve learned that no matter how much you suffer, The world will not stop for your pain. I’ve learned that the past and the circumstances might have an influence on your personality But that YOU are responsible for what you become !!! I’ve learned that if two people have an argument it does not mean that they do not love each other I’ve learned that sometimes you have to put on the first place the person, not the facts I’ve learned that two people can look at the same thing and can see something totally different I’ve learned that regardless the consequences those WHO ARE HONEST with themselves go further in life. I’ve learned that life can be changed in a few hours by people who do not even know you. I’ve learned that even when you think there is nothing more you can give when a friend calls you, you will find the strength to help him. I’ve learned that writing just like talking can ease the pains of the soul ! I’ve learned that those whom you love the most are taken away from you too soon … I’ve learned that it is too difficult to realise where to draw the line between being friendly, not hurting people and supporting your oppinions. I’ve learned to love to be loved.
Octavian Paler
Things like taking a few dollars out of a paycheck, putting it into savings, and leaving it there. Or doing a few minutes of exercise every day—and not skipping it. Or reading ten pages of an inspiring, educational, life-changing book every day. Or taking a moment to tell someone how much you appreciate them, and doing that consistently, every day, for months and years. Little things that seem insignificant in the doing, yet when compounded over time yield very big results. You could call these “little virtues” or “success habits.” I call them simple daily disciplines. Simple productive actions, repeated consistently over time. That, in a nutshell, is the slight edge.
Jeff Olson (The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness)
My time in camp with Kaden had become awkward several times, or perhaps I was just more self-conscious now. I had known he cared about me. It was hardly a secret. It was the reason I was still alive, but I hadn’t quite grasped how much he cared. And in spite of myself, I knew in my own way, I cared about him too. Not Kaden the assassin, but the Kaden I had known back in Terravin, the one who had caught my attention the minute he walked through the tavern door. The one who was calm and had mysterious, but kind, eyes. I remembered dancing with him at the festival, his arms pulling me closer, and the way he struggled with his thoughts, holding them back. He didn’t hold back the night he was drunk. The fireshine had loosened his lips and he laid it all out quite blatantly. Slurred and sloshy but clear. He loved me. This from a barbarian who was sent to kill me. I lay back, staring into the cloudless sky, a shade bluer and brighter than yesterday. Did he even know what love was? For that matter, did I? Even my parents didn’t seem to know. I crossed my arms behind my head as a pillow. Maybe there was no one way to define it. Maybe there were as many shades of love as the blues of the sky. I wondered if his interest had begun when I tended his shoulder. I remembered his odd look of surprise when I touched him, as if no one had ever shown him a kindness before. If Griz, Finch, and Malich were any indication of his past, maybe no one had. They showed a certain steely devotion to one another, but it in no way resembled kindness. And then there were those scars on his chest and back. Only cruel savage could have delivered those. Yet somewhere along the way, Kaden had learned kindness. Tenderness, even. It surfaced in small actions. He seemed like he was two separate people, the intensely loyal Vendan assassin and someone else far different, someone he had locked away, a prisoner just like me.
Mary E. Pearson (The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1))
Have you ever wondered What happens to all the poems people write? The poems they never let anyone else read? Perhaps they are Too private and personal Perhaps they are just not good enough. Perhaps the prospect of such a heartfelt expression being seen as clumsy shallow silly pretentious saccharine unoriginal sentimental trite boring overwrought obscure stupid pointless or simply embarrassing is enough to give any aspiring poet good reason to hide their work from public view. forever. Naturally many poems are IMMEDIATELY DESTROYED. Burnt shredded flushed away Occasionally they are folded Into little squares And wedged under the corner of An unstable piece of furniture (So actually quite useful) Others are hidden behind a loose brick or drainpipe or sealed into the back of an old alarm clock or put between the pages of AN OBSCURE BOOK that is unlikely to ever be opened. someone might find them one day, BUT PROBABLY NOT The truth is that unread poetry Will almost always be just that. DOOMED to join a vast invisible river of waste that flows out of suburbia. well Almost always. On rare occasions, Some especially insistent pieces of writing will escape into a backyard or a laneway be blown along a roadside embankment and finally come to rest in a shopping center parking lot as so many things do It is here that something quite Remarkable takes place two or more pieces of poetry drift toward each other through a strange force of attraction unknown to science and ever so slowly cling together to form a tiny, shapeless ball. Left undisturbed, this ball gradually becomes larger and rounder as other free verses confessions secrets stray musings wishes and unsent love letters attach themselves one by one. Such a ball creeps through the streets Like a tumbleweed for months even years If it comes out only at night it has a good Chance of surviving traffic and children and through a slow rolling motion AVOIDS SNAILS (its number one predator) At a certain size, it instinctively shelters from bad weather, unnoticed but otherwise roams the streets searching for scraps of forgotten thought and feeling. Given time and luck the poetry ball becomes large HUGE ENORMOUS: A vast accumulation of papery bits That ultimately takes to the air, levitating by The sheer force of so much unspoken emotion. It floats gently above suburban rooftops when everybody is asleep inspiring lonely dogs to bark in the middle of the night. Sadly a big ball of paper no matter how large and buoyant, is still a fragile thing. Sooner or LATER it will be surprised by a sudden gust of wind Beaten by driving rain and REDUCED in a matter of minutes to a billion soggy shreds. One morning everyone will wake up to find a pulpy mess covering front lawns clogging up gutters and plastering car windscreens. Traffic will be delayed children delighted adults baffled unable to figure out where it all came from Stranger still Will be the Discovery that Every lump of Wet paper Contains various faded words pressed into accidental verse. Barely visible but undeniably present To each reader they will whisper something different something joyful something sad truthful absurd hilarious profound and perfect No one will be able to explain the Strange feeling of weightlessness or the private smile that remains Long after the street sweepers have come and gone.
Shaun Tan (Tales from Outer Suburbia)
Someone knocked on the back door. He push back the chair and had to pause. The wolf was angry that someone had breached his sanctuary. Not even his pack had been brave enough the past few days to approch him in his home. By the time he stalked into the kitchen, he had it mostly under control. He jerked open the back door and expect to see one of his wolves. But it was Mercy. She didn't look cheerful—but then, she seldom did when she had to come over and talk to him. She was tough and independent and not at all happy to have him interfere in any way with that independence. It had been a long time since someone had bossed him around the way she did—and he liked it. More than a wolf who'd been Alpha for twenty years ought to like it. She smelled of burnt car oil, Jasmine from the shampoo she'd been using that month, and chocolate. Or maybe that last was the cookies on the plate she handed him. "Here," she said stiffly. And he realize it was shyness in the corner of her mouth. "Chocolate usually helps me regain my balance when life kicks me in the teeth." She didn't wait for him to say anything, just turned around and walked back to her house. He took the cookies back to the office with him. After a few minutes, he ate one. Chocolate, thick and dark, spread across his tongue, it's bitterness alleviated by a sinfull amount of brown sugar and vanilla. He'd forgotten to eat and hadn't realized it. But it wasn't the chocolate or the food that made him feel better. It was Mercy's kindness to someone she viewed as her enemy. And right at that moment, he realized something. She would never love him for what she could do for her. He ate another cookie before getting up to make himself dinner.
Patricia Briggs (Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson, #5))
She had been waiting for someone to notice her, like, really notice her. She felt that that was the key, that she would go from the duck to the swan the minute someone recognized her potential. And they would look into her like they were trying to pierce her eyes with theirs, like they were trying to make her heart stop, and the whole world would become background noise and she would take her first breath after all of these years of nothing but existing. It would be like a coronation, or a star exploding, and then she would be born. She would be alive, and she would be loved.
Rose Fall (Heart: A Romantic Short Story Collection)
Neil Gaiman on librarians as knowledge navigators over time. “And information was hard to find. And it was hard to find because it was like a flower growing in a desert – you had a long way to walk, but a librarian could take you to the flower. Now it’s more like flowers growing in the Amazon jungle and you’re trying to find a specific flower,” Gaiman said. “Anyone who has spent 5 minutes Googling for information and just sees the amount of noise out there starts to realize that actually someone who knows what they’re doing is incredibly useful. And librarians know what they’re doing.
Neil Gaiman
I made it three days before the text messages started one afternoon while I was trying to finish warming up before our afternoon session. I had gotten to the LC later than usual and had gone straight to the training room, praising Jesus that I’d decided to change my clothes before leaving the diner once I’d seen what time it was and had remembered lunchtime traffic was a real thing. I was in the middle of stretching my hips when my phone beeped from where I’d left it on top of my bag. I took it out and snickered immediately at the message after taking my time with it. Jojo: WHAT THE FUCK JASMINE I didn’t need to ask what my brother was what-the-fucking over. It had only been a matter of time. It was really hard to keep a secret in my family, and the only reason why my mom and Ben—who was the only person other than her who knew—had kept their mouths closed was because they had both agreed it would be more fun to piss off my siblings by not saying anything and letting them find out the hard way I was going to be competing again. Life was all about the little things. So, I’d slipped my phone back into my bag and kept stretching, not bothering to respond because it would just make him more mad. Twenty minutes later, while I was still busy stretching, I pulled my phone out and wasn’t surprised more messages appeared. Jojo: WHY WOULD YOU NOT TELL ME Jojo: HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME Jojo: DID THE REST OF YOU KEEP THIS FROM ME Tali: What happened? What did she not tell you? Tali: OH MY GOD, Jasmine, did you get knocked up? Tali: I swear, if you got knocked up, I’m going to beat the hell out of you. We talked about contraception when you hit puberty. Sebastian: Jasmine’s pregnant? Rubes: She’s not pregnant. Rubes: What happened, Jojo? Jojo: MOM DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS Tali: Would you just tell us what you’re talking about? Jojo: JASMINE IS SKATING WITH IVAN LUKOV Jojo: And I found out by going on Picturegram. Someone at the rink posted a picture of them in one of the training rooms. They were doing lifts. Jojo: JASMINE I SWEAR TO GOD YOU BETTER EXPLAIN EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW Tali: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? IS THIS TRUE? Tali: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Jojo: I’m going on Lukov’s website right now to confirm this Rubes: I just called Mom but she isn’t answering the phone Tali: She knew about this. WHO ELSE KNEW? Sebastian: I didn’t. And quit texting Jas’s name over and over again. It’s annoying. She’s skating again. Good job, Jas. Happy for you. Jojo: ^^ You’re such a vibe kill Sebastian: No, I’m just not flipping my shit because she got a new partner. Jojo: SHE DIDN’T TELL US FIRST THO. What is the point of being related if we didn’t get the scoop before everybody else? Jojo: I FOUND OUT ON PICTUREGRAM Sebastian: She doesn’t like you. I wouldn’t tell you either. Tali: I can’t find anything about it online. Jojo: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Jojo: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Tali: Tell us everything or I’m coming over to Mom’s today. Sebastian: You’re annoying. Muting this until I get out of work. Jojo: Party pooper Tali: Party pooper Jojo: Jinx Tali: Jinx Sebastian: Annoying ... I typed out a reply, because knowing them, if I didn’t, the next time I looked at my phone, I’d have an endless column of JASMINE on there until they heard from me. That didn’t mean my response had to be what they wanted. Me: Who is Ivan Lukov?
Mariana Zapata (From Lukov with Love)
...love is always infidelity, isn’t it? Always a betrayal of someone or something. Even with your first girl, when you’re seventeen and living at home, you’re still cheating. Cheating on your parents. Pretending to be a child with them and a man with her. Having to hide the smile on your face and the scent of her on your body. And all that hiding making it so much more precious, so much more exciting. And you’re cheating on your friends too. Pretending you’re still one of the gang, when all you are is her lover and you could care less about any of them. And it doesn’t matter how old you are, or how free you are, you still cheat. A single man with a job in love with a single girl, he’s still unfaithful. He’s cheating every time he drives to work and pretends to go through the old routine, while in his mind he’s really with her, rushing to her, flowing all over her. Just walking down the street, pretending to be a regular human being, he’s betraying all the other human beings around him. Because he’s nothing like them. He’s not walking next to them at all. He’s not even there. He’s with her.
Phoef Sutton (Fifteen Minutes to Live)
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)
Can I tell you something? Off the record?” Alex nodded. “Before I took this job, I used to work in Maine. And I had a case that wasn’t just a case, if you know what I mean.” Alex did. She found herself listening in his voice for a note she hadn’t heard before-a low one that resonated with anguish, like a tuning fork that never stopped its vibration. “There was a woman there who meant everything to me, and she had a little boy who meant everything to her. And when he was hurt, in a way a kid never should be, I moved heaven and earth to work that case, because I thought no one could possibly do a better job than I could. No one could possibly care more about the outcome.” He looked directly at Alex. “I was so sure I could separate how I felt about what had happened from how I had to do my job.” Alex swallowed, dry as dust. “And did you?” “No. Because when you love someone, no matter what you tell yourself, it stops being a job.” “What does it become?” Patrick thought for a moment. “Revenge.
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
Fair greetings. I hope this letter finds you well. I have been counting every minute of every day we have been apart. And on every morning when I awake, the first thought I have is of you. In all my life, I never thought that I would find anyone like you. Someone who makes me laugh even when I no longer have strength even to smile. All I have to do is think of you and my heart is instantly gladded. Indeed, I keep every one of your smiles stored especially there in my heart and in my mind. You’ll never know how truly sorry I am that fate would not see us united. That things couldn’t have been different between you and me. But then there is much in my life that I regret. I hope this note finds you well and that you will smile when you think of me and not be saddened as I am saddened. I would never wish to be the source of your unhappiness. Instead, I hope you have all you desire and that someday, should things be different, you might again welcome me into your arms. Ever yours, Stryder. -A letter to Rowena
Kinley MacGregor (A Dark Champion (Brotherhood of the Sword #5))
When someone becomes a teacher, she’s like the matchmaker in Fiddler on the Roof. All year long she’s trying to entice students to go out on dates with authors—that is, to pick up this book or that book and spend twenty minutes with the author, someone they’ve never met. The better she knows her students and authors or books, the more successful will be the “matchmaking.” But the teacher (or librarian) who doesn’t read much will fail for sure.
Jim Trelease (The Read-Aloud Handbook)
I can tell you that these two statues are not monkeys native to India. This one’s a spider monkey. They come from South America. This one is a chimpanzee, which is technically an ape, not a monkey. They’re often classified as monkeys because of their size.” I gaped at him. “How do you know so much about monkeys?” He crossed him arms over his chest. “Ah, so am I to assume that talking about monkeys is an approved topic of conversation? Perhaps if I were a monkey instead of a tiger you might clue me in as to why you’re avoiding me.” “I’m not avoiding you. I just need some space. It has nothing to do with your species. It has to do with other things.” “What other things?” “Nothing.” “It’s something.” “It can’t be anything.” “What can’t be anything?” “Can we just get back to the monkeys?” I yelled. “Fine!” he hollered back. We stood there glaring at each other for a minute, both of us frustrated and angry. He went back to examining the various monkeys and ticking off a list of their traits. Before I could stop myself, I shot off a sarcastic, “I had no idea that I was walking with a monkey expert, but, then again, you have eaten them right? So I guess that would be the difference between say, pork and chicken, to someone like me.” Ren scowled at me. “I lived in zoos and circuses for centuries, remember? And I don’t…eat…monkeys!
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Like that breeder-woman sitting at the bar, who thinks it's a buzz to go into a gay joint and has no doubt heard somewhere that this is one. Her lurid get-up's a joke, ludicrous. She's the type who dons the camouflage-green combat trousers, wraps a bandanna around her head and paints herself with black lipstick, imagining all the lesbians in the joint'll have the hots for her. Not so much imagining as secretly hoping. Naturally, no one goes and sits with her. She's been here before, and everyone gives the ice-cold shoulder, yet she still turns up again and again. Someone might argue we're zoo animals for her. But I've another theory. For her, we're noble savages, a kind of grey area outside the respectable, minutely organized community, an untamed wilderness it takes a lot of guts to step into. But if you do dare, there's a glorious smell of freedom floating around your trousers and giving the finger to society, making whoever an instant anarchist. Certainly, for her, coming here is like putting a washable tattoo on your shoulder : there's the thrill of deviance with none of the dull commitment - and she'll never have to wonder whether she's too weird to be seen out before dark.
Johanna Sinisalo (Troll: A Love Story)
Loving Sarah was like reading a particularly good book. That pressing and overwhelming need to just devour it as fast as possible is matched only by the need to savour it slowly and completely, lest all come to an end too soon. The all-consuming emotions are so many and varied that it is almost impossible to pick out one for a few minutes attention. They mainly stay jumbled and unattended, and for the most part not entirely understood or satisfied. But then, maybe it is in the understanding of our love for someone that the love itself disappears altogether. If so, then I don't want to understand, and I remain content to simply experience her. Somehow, the more I learn about Sarah, the better I understand myself. And the more I fall in love.
Nadine Rose Larter (Coffee at Little Angels)
Justin: I am falling so in love with you. Her body electrified. Celeste wiped her eyes and read his text again. The drone of the plane disappeared; the turbulence was no more. There was only Justin and his words. Justin: I lose myself and find myself at the same time with you. Justin: I need you, Celeste. I need you as part of my world, because for the first time, I am connected to someone in a way that has meaning. And truth. Maybe our distance has strengthened what I feel between us since we’re not grounded in habit or daily convenience. We have to fight for what we have. Justin: I don’t know if I can equate what I feel for you with anything else. Except maybe one thing, if this makes any sense. Justin: I go to this spot at Sunset Cliffs sometimes. It’s usually a place crowded with tourists, but certain times of year are quieter. I like it then. And there’s a high spot on the sandstone cliff, surrounded by this gorgeous ice plant, and it overlooks the most beautiful water view you’ve ever seen. I’m on top of the world there, it seems. Justin: And everything fits, you know? Life feels right. As though I could take on anything, do anything. And sometimes, when I’m feeling overcome with gratitude for the view and for what I have, I jump so that I remember to continue to be courageous because not every piece of life will feel so in place. Justin: It’s a twenty-foot drop, the water is only in the high fifties, and it’s a damn scary experience. But it’s a wonderful fear. One that I know I can get through and one that I want. Justin: That’s what it’s like with you. I am scared because you are so beyond anything I could have imagined. I become so much more with you beside me. That’s terrifying, by the way. But I will be brave because my fear only comes from finally having something deeply powerful to lose. That’s my connection with you. It would be a massive loss. Justin: And now I am in the car and about to see you, so don’t reply. I’m too flipping terrified to hear what you think of my rant. It’s hard not to pour my heart out once I start. If you think I’m out of mind, just wave your hands in horror when you spot the lovesick guy at the airport. Ten minutes went by. He had said not to reply, so she hadn’t. Justin: Let’s hope I don’t get pulled over for speeding… but I’m at a stoplight now. Justin: God, I hope you aren’t… aren’t… something bad. Celeste: Hey, Justin? Justin: I TOLD YOU NOT TO REPLY! Justin: I know, I know. But I’m happy you did because I lost it there for a minute. Celeste: HEY, JUSTIN? Justin: Sorry… Hey, Celeste? Celeste: I am, unequivocally and wholly falling in love with you, too. Justin: Now I’m definitely speeding. I will see you soon.
Jessica Park (Flat-Out Celeste (Flat-Out Love, #2))
What’s your name again?” “Peter. Peter Granford.” Lewis opened up his mouth to speak, but then just shook his head. “What?” The boy ducked his head. “You just, uh, looked like you were going to say something important.” Lewis looked at this namesake, at the way he stood with his shoulders rounded, as if he did not deserve so much space in this world. He felt that familiar pain that fell like a hammer on his breastbone whenever he thought of Peter, of a life that would be lost to prison. He wished he’d taken more time to look at Peter when Peter was right in front of his eyes, because now he would be forced to compensate with imperfect memories or-even worse-to find his son in the faces of strangers. Lewis reached deep inside and unraveled the smile that he saved for moments like this, when there was absolutely nothing to be happy about. “It was important,” he said. “You remind me of someone I used to know.
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
What in Bursin’s holy name is that?” he snarled. If it were possible to die of embarrassment, Martise was sure she wouldn’t survive the next few minutes.  “I was singing.” His eyebrows rose almost to his hairline.  “Singing.  Is that what you call it?  It sounded like someone was torturing a cat.” “I thought I might work faster if I sang.”  She wiped the perspiration from her forehead with a gloved hand and regretted the action.  The swipe of citrus oil she’d left on her skin burned.  Cael continued to howl, and a door shut with a bang. "That will be Gurn coming to rescue us from whatever demon he thinks is attacking."  The branch supporting Silhara creaked as he adjusted his stance and leaned closer to her.  “Tell me something, Martise.”  A leaf slapped him in the eye, and he ripped it off its twig with an irritated snap.  “How is it that a woman, blessed with a voice that could make a man come, sings badly enough to frighten the dead?” She was saved from having to answer the outlandish question by the quick thud of running footsteps.  Silhara disappeared briefly from view when he bent to greet their visitor.  Unfortunately, his answers to Gurn’s unspoken questions were loud and clear. “That was Martise you heard.  She was…singing. “Trust me, I’m not jesting.  You can unload your bow.” His next indignant response made her smile.  “No, I wasn’t beating her!  She’s the one tormenting me with that hideous wailing!” Martise hid her smile when he reappeared before her.  His scowl was ferocious.  “Don’t sing.”  He pointed a finger at her for emphasis.  “You’ve scared my dog, my birds and my servant with your yowling.”  He paused.  “You’ve even managed to scare me.
Grace Draven (Master of Crows (Master of Crows, #1))
Until I was twenty I was sure there was a being who could see everything I did and who didn't like most of it. He seemed to care about minute aspects of my life, like on what day of the week I ate a piece of meat. And yet, he let earthquakes and mudslides take out whole communities, apparently ignoring the saints among them who ate their meat on the assigned days. Eventually, I realized that I didn't believe there was such a being. It didn't seem reasonable. And I assumed that I was an atheist. As I understood the word, it meant that I was someone who didn't believe in a God; I was without a God. I didn't broadcast this in public because I noticed that people who do believe in a god get upset to hear that others don't. (Why this is so is one of the most pressing of human questions, and I wish a few of the bright people in this conversation would try to answer it through research.) But, slowly I realized that in the popular mind the word atheist was coming to mean something more - a statement that there couldn't be a God. God was, in this formulation, not possible, and this was something that could be proved. But I had been changed by eleven years of interviewing six or seven hundred scientists around the world on the television program Scientific American Frontiers. And that change was reflected in how I would now identify myself. The most striking thing about the scientists I met was their complete dedication to evidence. It reminded me of the wonderfully plainspoken words of Richard Feynman who felt it was better not to know than to know something that was wrong.
Alan Alda
For half an hour they poked about in a happy dusty dream, through the junk and broken furniture and ornaments. It was like reading the story of somebody’s life, Jane thought, as she gazed at the tiny matchstick masts of the ship sailing motionless forever in the green glass bottle. All these things had been used once, had been part of every day in the house below. Someone has slept on the bed, anxiously watched the minutes on the clock, pounced joyfully on each magazine as it arrived. But those people were long dead, or gone away, and now the oddments of their lives were piled up here, forgotten. She found herself feeling rather sad.
Susan Cooper (Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark is Rising, #1))
Listen carefully. Listen and you'll hear everything you need to know. a nightmare is a different case entirely, it's a box of black shadows and vicious red stars, something to keep carefully closed, lest the ground below be broken in two now it's a time like any other, long minutes, tedious seconds, nothing more than flat time moving forward, like it or not it is impossible to stop some things, rainfall, for instance, and love at first sight, and the slow and steady path of sorrow the cruel and desperate variety that always accompanies yearning for someone you're bound to lose when you lose somebody you think you've lost the whole world as well, but that's not the way things turn out in the end. eventually, you pick yourself up and look out the window, and once you do you see everything that was there before the world ended is out there still. there are the same apple trees and the same songbirds, and over our heads, the very same sky that shine like heaven, so far above us qw can never hope to reach such heights sometimes those who love you best are the ones who leave you behind hearts were made for being broken. there's really no way around it if you want to be a human being. ...consider what people are capable of going through in this world and how much courage it's possible to have when someone kisses you with everything they feel, you don't stop thinking about it for a very long time. you didn't think you were going to get married and live happily ever after did you? you're not that stupid... a book of hope that has never been finished, a list of dreams left undone.
Alice Hoffman (Blue Diary)
It was ironic because we would be tested tonight. Our foundation would be shaken, and for a minute, I would forget who we were. Someone would offer up temptation, a whisper of doubt, but it wouldn't come in the form of an apple. No, it would come in the form of something much worse. For the first time ever, I would doubt Phillipe, and with the doubt tricking through my veins, I would feel like I had nothing else in the world. For that moment in time, I would feel completely alone.
Ella Frank (Blind Obsession)
Is this what normal is?" Jay asks as we continue to watch the show. "What part?" "All of it. Having a shitty day and coming home to someone who takes care of you. Making love to that person. Sharing your day. Realizing everyday can suck if it means your evenings end up like this." "I don't know" I answer truthfully. "My parents either avoided each other or argued." Jay doesn't respond, just cuddles more of me under him. "I hope this is our normal." He quietly confides after a few more minutes.
J.M. Sevilla (Becoming Noah Baxter (Marked, #2))
The problem with every sacred text is that it has human readers. Consciously or unconsciously, we interpret it to meet our own needs. There is nothing wrong with this unless we deny that we are doing it, as when someone tells me that he is not 'interpreting' anything but simply reporting what is right there on the page. This is worrisome, not only because he is reading a translation from the original Hebrew or Greek that has already involved a great deal of interpretation, but also because it is such a short distance between believing you possess an error-free message from God and believing that you are an error-free messenger of God. The literalists I like least are the ones who do not own a Bible. The literalists I like most are the ones who admit that they do not understand every word God has revealed in the Bible, though they still believe God has revealed it. I can respect that. I can respect almost anyone who admits to being human while reading a divine text. After that, we can talk - about we highlight some teachings and ignore others, about how we decide which ones are historically conditioned and which ones are universally true, about who has influenced our reading of scripture and how our social location affects what we hear. The minute I believe I know the mind of God is the minute someone needs to tell me to sit down and tell me to breathe into a paper bag.
Barbara Brown Taylor (Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others)
Someone’s up early,” Gabrielle said as the first streaks of sunshine streaked across the sky outside. “Someone’s up late,” Hale told her. Then he turned his gaze to Kat. “Looks like someone also needs a better lock.” “It took me ten minutes,” she admitted. “I’ll be sure to pass that along to Silas. The home security division of Hale Enterprises is his new baby, you know?” “I do know,” Kat said with a laugh. “And my father is blaming me for it. He says putting someone as smart as your head of R&D in charge of home security is bad for business. In any case, you need a better lock.” “Or a less trouble-make-y girlfriend,” Gabrielle tried, but Hale just shook his head. “No. Not that. Never that.
Ally Carter (The Grift of the Magi (Heist Society, #3.5))
Umm, Ren? We have something important we need to discuss. Meet me on the veranda at sundown, okay?” He froze with his sandwich halfway to his mouth. “A secret rendezvous? On the veranda? At sundown?” He arched an eyebrow at me. “Why, Kelsey, are you trying to seduce me?” “Hardly,” I dryly muttered. He laughed. “Well, I’m all yours. But be gentle with me tonight, fair maiden. I’m new at this whole being human business.” Exasperated, I threw out, “I am not your fair maiden.” He ignored my comment and went back to devouring his lunch. He also took the other half of my discarded peanut butter sandwich and ate that too, commenting, “Hey! This stuff’s pretty good.” Finished, I walked over to the kitchen island and began clearing away Ren’s mess. When he was done eating, he stood to help me. We worked well together. It was almost like we knew what the other person was going to do before he or she did it. The kitchen was spotless in no time. Ren took off his apron and threw it into the laundry basket. Then, he came up behind me while I was putting away some glasses and wrapped his arms around my waist, pulling me up against him. He smelled my hair, kissed my neck, and murmured softly in my ear, “Mmm, definitely peaches and cream, but with a hint of spice. I’ll go be a tiger for a while and take a nap, and then I can save all my hours for you this evening.” I grimaced He was probably expecting a make-out session, and I was planning to break up with him. He wanted to spend time with a girlfriend, and my intention was to explain to him how we weren’t meant to be together. Not that we were ever officially together. Still, it felt like a break-up. Why does this have to be so hard? Ren rocked me and whispered, “’How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night, Like soft music to attending ears.’” I turned around in his arms, shocked. “How did you remember that? That’s Romeo and Juliet!” He shrugged. “I paid attention when you were reading it to me. I liked it.” He gently kissed my cheek. “See you tonight, iadala,” and left me standing there. The rest of the afternoon, I couldn’t focus on anything. Nothing held my attention for more than a few minutes. I rehearsed some sentences in front of the mirror, but they all sounded pretty lame to me: “It’s not you, it’s me,” “There are plenty of other fish in the sea,” “I need to find myself,” “Our differences are too big,” “I’m not the one,” “There’s someone else.” Heck, I even tried “I’m allergic to cats.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
It had been communicated to me through the odd, secret whispers of women that a female’s nose must never shine. In war, in famine, in fire, it had to be matte, and no one got a lipstick without the requisite face powder. … I was taunted by the problem: how could someone write something like the ‘Symposium’ and make sure her nose did not shine at the same time? It didn’t matter to me that I was reading a translation. I’d read Plato’s brilliant, dense prose and not be able to tear myself away. Even as a reader my nose shined. It was clearly either/or. You had to concentrate on either one or the other. In a New York minute, the oil from Saudi Arabia could infiltrate your house and end up on your nose. It didn’t hurt, it didn’t make noise, it didn’t incapacitate in any way except for the fact that no girl worth her salt took enough time away from vigilance to read a book let alone write one.
Andrea Dworkin (Heartbreak: The Political Memoir of a Feminist Militant)
Who built this tree of universe that has not stopped changing from the very minute (atomic) times undergoing many beautiful and wonderful changes; Who must eat fruits bearing from this tree? Why is that all are not eating these fruits equally without differences? What is the reason? Could someone like us plant another tree like that? Why not? The eternal that does not dry up but continues to give required fruits to the souls. This creator, is he in front of us or not? If not how does this work? Without doubt we all realize that work does not happen without a reason. Therefore, one who is giving us this variety of unlimited fruits without end in this tree of universe must be immensely powerful, with unlimited knowledge, unfathomable, have infinite empathy and having many other amazing qualities. His existence is documented in all vedas and puranas. Although he exists, the reason we are not able to witness, we have to admit is our deficiency in body, faculty and mind. Our ancestors called and praised him as “Paramatma and Sarveshvara.” We have to resolve that we will practice sadhana to be able to see Paramatma and offer to Sarveshvara with great devotion our spiritual practices, without desire for any benefits. This is called Ishwarapranidhana.
Tirumalai Krishnamacharya
Being jealous does nothing. It turns you into a person who’s unable to feel genuine happiness, and tarnishes every accomplishment when it’s used to measure your sense of worth on a made-up scale. You hear about a friend’s promotion (in an industry that probably isn’t yours) and feel like you will never venture past your existing achievements. You hear someone from high school is getting married and assume that you never will. You discover the guy you worked retail with in 2006 has a new apartment, and you sit wherever you happen to live and actively resent the space you loved five minutes ago. And feelings like will always come up; it’s just up to you to say “fuck off.” So, while I’d like to say you should just decide not to be jealous, and that we’re all in this together so let’s remember that and be best friends, I know that isn’t realistic because jealousy is immune to reason and logic…If I feel myself slipping into a jealousy wormhole when I see someone else shining, I remember that to gauge my self-worth based on someone else’s accomplishments is a one-way ticket to bitterness.
Anne T. Donahue (Nobody Cares)
Why are you trying to fight depression?’ ‘Because that’s what I’m supposed to do … everyone says.’ ‘My mother – I used to call her Auntie – she often felt the same way, maybe worse. People always told her to fight depression. But I have a feeling that as soon as we see something as our enemy we make it stronger. Like a boomerang. You hurl it away, it comes back and hits you with equal force. Maybe what you need is to befriend your depression.’ ‘What a funny thing to say, honey. How am I to do that?’ ‘Well, think about it: a friend is someone you can walk with in the dark and learn lots of things from. But you also know you are different people – you and your friend. You are not your depression. You are much more than what your mood is today or tomorrow.
Elif Shafak (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World)
Colored like a sunset tide is a gaze sharply slicing through the reflective glass. A furrowed brow is set much too seriously, as if trying to unfold the pieces of the face that stared back at it. One eyebrow is raised skeptically, always calculating and analyzing its surroundings. I tilt my head trying to see the deeper meaning in my features, trying to imagine the connection between my looks and my character as I stare in the mirror for the required five minutes. From the dark brown hair fastened tightly in a bun, a curl as bright as woven gold comes loose. A flash of unruly hair prominent through the typical browns is like my temper; always there, but not always visible. I begin to grow frustrated with the girl in the mirror, and she cocks her hip as if mocking me. In a moment, her lips curve in a half smile, not quite detectable in sight but rather in feeling, like the sensation of something good just around the corner. A chin was set high in a stubborn fashion, symbolizing either persistence or complete adamancy. Shoulders are held stiff like ancient mountains, proud but slightly arrogant. The image watches with the misty eyes of a daydreamer, glazed over with a sort of trance as if in the middle of a reverie, or a vision. Every once and a while, her true fears surface in those eyes, terror that her life would amount to nothing, that her work would have no impact. Words written are meant to be read, and sometimes I worry that my thoughts and ideas will be lost with time. My dream is to be an author, to be immortalized in print and live forever in the minds of avid readers. I want to access the power in being able to shape the minds of the young and open, and alter the minds of the old and resolute. Imagine the power in living forever, and passing on your ideas through generations. With each new reader, a new layer of meaning is uncovered in writing, meaning that even the author may not have seen. In the mirror, I see a girl that wants to change the world, and change the way people think and reason. Reflection and image mean nothing, for the girl in the mirror is more than a one dimensional picture. She is someone who has followed my footsteps with every lesson learned, and every mistake made. She has been there to help me find a foothold in the world, and to catch me when I fall. As the lights blink out, obscuring her face, I realize that although that image is one that will puzzle me in years to come, she and I aren’t so different after all.
K.D. Enos
But there is an unbounded pleasure to be had in the possession of a young, newly blossoming soul! It is like a flower, from which the best aroma evaporates when meeting the first ray of the sun; you must pluck it at that minute, breathing it in until you’re satisfied, and then throw it onto the road: perhaps someone will pick it up! I feel this insatiable greed, which swallows everything it meets on its way. I look at the suffering and joy of others only in their relation to me, as though it is food that supports the strength of my soul. I myself am not capable of going mad under the influence of passion. My ambition is stifled by circumstances, but it has manifested itself in another way, for ambition is nothing other than a thirst for power, and my best pleasure is to subject everyone around me to my will, to arouse feelings of love, devotion and fear of me—is this not the first sign and the greatest triumph of power? Being someone’s reason for suffering while not being in any position to claim the right—isn’t this the sweetest nourishment for our pride? And what is happiness? Sated pride. If I considered myself to be better, more powerful than everyone in the world, I would be happy. If everyone loved me, I would find endless sources of love within myself. Evil spawns evil. The first experience of torture gives an understanding of the pleasure in tormenting others. An evil idea cannot enter a person’s head without his wanting to bring it into reality: ideas are organic creations, someone once said. Their birth gives them form immediately, and this form is an action. The person in whom most ideas are born is the person who acts most. Hence a genius, riveted to his office desk, must die or lose his mind, just as a man with a powerful build who has a sedentary life and modest behavior will die from an apoplectic fit. Passions are nothing other than the first developments of an idea: they are a characteristic of the heart’s youth, and whoever thinks to worry about them his whole life long is a fool: many calm rivers begin with a noisy waterfall, but not one of them jumps and froths until the very sea. And this calm is often the sign of great, though hidden, strength. The fullness and depth of both feeling and thought will not tolerate violent upsurges. The soul, suffering and taking pleasure, takes strict account of everything and is always convinced that this is how things should be. It knows that without storms, the constant sultriness of the sun would wither it. It is infused with its own life—it fosters and punishes itself, like a child. And it is only in this higher state of self-knowledge that a person can estimate the value of divine justice.
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
He looks up. Our eyes lock,and he breaks into a slow smile. My heart beats faster and faster. Almost there.He sets down his book and stands.And then this-the moment he calls my name-is the real moment everything changes. He is no longer St. Clair, everyone's pal, everyone's friend. He is Etienne. Etienne,like the night we met. He is Etienne,he is my friend. He is so much more. Etienne.My feet trip in three syllables. E-ti-enne. E-ti-enne, E-ti-enne. His name coats my tongue like melting chocolate. He is so beautiful, so perfect. My throat catches as he opens his arms and wraps me in a hug.My heart pounds furiously,and I'm embarrassed,because I know he feels it. We break apart, and I stagger backward. He catches me before I fall down the stairs. "Whoa," he says. But I don't think he means me falling. I blush and blame it on clumsiness. "Yeesh,that could've been bad." Phew.A steady voice. He looks dazed. "Are you all right?" I realize his hands are still on my shoulders,and my entire body stiffens underneath his touch. "Yeah.Great. Super!" "Hey,Anna. How was your break?" John.I forget he was here.Etienne lets go of me carefully as I acknowledge Josh,but the whole time we're chatting, I wish he'd return to drawing and leave us alone. After a minute, he glances behind me-to where Etienne is standing-and gets a funny expression on hs face. His speech trails off,and he buries his nose in his sketchbook. I look back, but Etienne's own face has been wiped blank. We sit on the steps together. I haven't been this nervous around him since the first week of school. My mind is tangled, my tongue tied,my stomach in knots. "Well," he says, after an excruciating minute. "Did we use up all our conversation over the holiday?" The pressure inside me eases enough to speak. "Guess I'll go back to the dorm." I pretend to stand, and he laughs. "I have something for you." He pulls me back down by my sleeve. "A late Christmas present." "For me? But I didn't get you anything!" He reaches into a coat pocket and brings out his hand in a fist, closed around something very small. "It's not much,so don't get excited." "Ooo,what is it?" "I saw it when I was out with Mum, and it made me think of you-" "Etienne! Come on!" He blinks at hearing his first name. My face turns red, and I'm filled with the overwhelming sensation that he knows exactly what I'm thinking. His expression turns to amazement as he says, "Close your eyes and hold out your hand." Still blushing,I hold one out. His fingers brush against my palm, and my hand jerks back as if he were electrified. Something goes flying and lands with a faith dink behind us. I open my eyes. He's staring at me, equally stunned. "Whoops," I say. He tilts his head at me. "I think...I think it landed back here." I scramble to my feet, but I don't even know what I'm looking for. I never felt what he placed in my hands. I only felt him. "I don't see anything! Just pebbles and pigeon droppings," I add,trying to act normal. Where is it? What is it? "Here." He plucks something tiny and yellow from the steps above him. I fumble back and hold out my hand again, bracing myself for the contact. Etienne pauses and then drops it from a few inches above my hand.As if he's avoiding me,too. It's a glass bead.A banana. He clears his throat. "I know you said Bridgette was the only one who could call you "Banana," but Mum was feeling better last weekend,so I took her to her favorite bead shop. I saw that and thought of you.I hope you don't mind someone else adding to your collection. Especially since you and Bridgette...you know..." I close my hand around the bead. "Thank you." "Mum wondered why I wanted it." "What did you tell her?" "That it was for you,of course." He says this like, duh. I beam.The bead is so lightweight I hardly feel it, except for the teeny cold patch it leaves in my palm.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
It worked! Holy shit, it worked! I just suited up and checked the lander. The high-gain antenna is angled directly at Earth! Pathfinder has no way of knowing where it is, so it has no way of knowing where Earth is. The only way for it to find out is getting a signal. They know I’m alive! I don’t even know what to say. This was an insane plan and somehow it worked! I’m going to be talking to someone again. I spent three months as the loneliest man in history and it’s finally over. Sure, I might not get rescued. But I won’t be alone. The whole time I was recovering Pathfinder, I imagined what this moment would be like. I figured I’d jump up and down a bit, cheer, maybe flip off the ground (because this whole damn planet is my enemy), but that’s not what happened. When I got back to the Hab and took off the EVA suit, I sat down in the dirt and cried. Bawled like a little kid for several minutes. I finally settled down to mild sniffling and then felt a deep calm. It was a good calm.
Andy Weir (The Martian)
PHOENIX: As I was about to say… “Telekinesis” means “mind over matter.” U-Men: I’m not scared… I’ll match your natural powers with my electric blood transfusion. PHOENIX: No… No. I’m sorry, you won’t. All your minds… looking out through those little portholes… Naked insecurities crawling all over you like graffiti… So sad… You’ll be quiet and you’ll listen to someone else for just 5 minutes. Mind over matter? Think back to all that processed food you ate today to help calm your nerves. I’m thinking about it right now. I’m thinking of moving it up. U-Men: Aaautch! Bblaaauuurrr! PHOENIX: And moving it down. U-Men: Oh! Awwwww! PHOENIX: I don’t want you to get hurt but you have to understand… the more you annoy me the more I can’t help thinking about deconstructing you, molecule by molecule, memory by memory… until there’s nothing left but screaming, traumatized atoms. So don’t patronize me. Don’t threaten me. And don’t ever endanger any of my students again. Don’t even think about it. Or I’ll know.
Grant Morrison
He made a noise that sounded like a strangled laugh, and then said: Ah, I like your style. I’ll give you that. You’re not easy to get the upper hand on, are you? Obviously I’m not going to manage it. It’s funny, because you carry on like you’d let me walk all over you, answering my texts at two in the morning, and then telling me you’re in love with me, blah blah blah. But that’s all your way of saying, just try and catch me, because you won’t. And I can see I won’t. You’re not going to let me have it for a minute. Nine times out of ten you’d have someone fooled with the way you go on. They’d be delighted with themselves, thinking they were really the boss of you. Yeah, yeah, but I’m not an idiot. You’re only letting me act badly because it puts you above me, and that’s where you like to be. Above, above. And I don’t take it personally, by the way, I don’t think you’d let anyone near you. Actually, I respect it. You’re looking out for yourself, and I’m sure you have your reasons. I’m sorry I was so harsh on you with what I said, because you were right, I was just trying to hurt you. And I probably did hurt you, big deal. Anyone can hurt anyone if they go out of their way. But then instead of getting mad with me, you go saying I’m welcome to stay over and you still love me and all this. Because you have to be perfect, don’t you? No, you really have a way about you, I must say. And I’m sorry, alright? I won’t be trying to take a jab at you again. Lesson learned. But from now on you don’t need to act like you’re under my thumb, when we both know I’m nowhere near you. Alright? Another long silence fell. Their faces were invisible in darkness. Eventually, in a high and strained voice, straining perhaps for an evenness or lightness it did not attain, she replied: Alright. If I ever do get a hold of you, you won’t need to tell me, he said. I’ll know. But I’m not going to chase too much. I’ll just stay where I am and see if you come to me. Yes, that’s what hunters do with deer, she said. Before they kill them.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
This generation has lost the true meaning of romance. There are so many songs that disrespect women. You can’t treat the woman you love as a piece of meat. You should treat your love like a princess. Give her love songs, something with real meaning. Maybe I’m old fashioned but to respect the woman you love should be a priority. " Wait a minute! I'm actually a Tom Hiddleston fan just putting it out there that this quote and others that you find around the internet are completely fake. Only believe quotes that are written in professional interviews, because I'm here right now to show you that anything can be made up easily by anyone, I could write anything I want here and you could think it's a real quote. So go to interviews or the verified twitter to see the real words someone has said - anything else can be made up! :)
Tom Hiddleston
Someone very clever—certainly someone much cleverer than whoever had trained that imp—must have made the clock for the Partrician’s waiting room. It went tick-tock like any other clock. But somehow, and against all usual horological practice, the tick and the tock were irregular. Tick tock tick…and then the merest fraction of a second longer before…tock tick tock…and then a tick a fraction of a second earlier than the mind’s ear was now prepared for. The effect was enough, after ten minutes, to reduce the thinking processes of even the best-prepared to a sort of porridge. The Patrician must have paid the clockmaker quite highly.
Terry Pratchett (Feet of Clay (Discworld, #19; City Watch, #3))
What kind of soldier are you that you’re going to just sit in a cell while the world is thrown into chaos? Do you not understand what could happen if those weapons fall into the wrong hands? How could you be so selfish? (Syd) I’m selfish? Look, Agent Westbrook, your daddy’s a Boston stockbroker. I’m a death broker. I’m sure you don’t lecture Daddy on finance, so don’t even try to lecture me on assassination politics. I know all about them. Some bureaucratic ass-wipe sitting in a pristine office that’s totally isolated from the rest of the world decides the son of King Oomp-Loomp is a threat. He then hands down orders to people like me to go off King Oomp-Loompa’s son. Like an idiot, I do what he says without question. I hunt my target down, using information that is mostly bullshit and unreliable, gathered by someone like you who assured me it was correct as the time. But hey, if it changes minute by minute, and God forbid we pass that along to you. So me and my spotter lie in the grass, sand, or snow for days on end, cramped and hungry, never able to move more than a millimeter an hour until I have that one perfect shot I’ve been waiting for days. I take it, and then we lie there like pieces of dirt until we can inch our way back to safety, where hopefully the helicopter team will remember that they were supposed to retrieve us. Have you any idea of the nerves it takes to do what I do? To lie there on the ground while other armed men search for you? Have them step on you and not be able to even breathe or wince because if you do, it’s not only your life, but the life of your spotter? Do you know what it’s like to have the brains of your best friend spayed into your face and not be able to render aid to him because you know he’s dead and if you do, you’ll be killed too? I have been into the bowels of hell and back, Miz Westbrook. I have stared down the devil and made him sweat. So don’t tell me I don’t take this seriously. (Steele)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Bad Attitude (B.A.D. Agency #1))
If the passage absolutely demands cursing, be moderate. A little of it goes a long way. I've seen beginning writers pepper curse words through sentence after sentence. 'If you don't -blanking- get your -blanking-blank-blank- in to this house this -blanking- minute, I'm going to -blank- your -blank- and nail it to the -blanking- door.' Two things happen when I read this junk: I get bored and I get angry. I didn't pick up your book to read garbage. If this is as clever as you can be, I don't want to read your prose. In life if you met someone who spoke like this, you'd want to flee. Then why put this stuff on the page? As near as I can determine, this abomination occurs because a writer is corrupted by the awful -blanking- dialog that movies inflict on us these days. It's also a sign of insecurity. The writer wonders if the dialog is strong enough and decides a lot of -blanking-blank- will do the trick. Someone might object that this kind of dialog is realistic in certain situations--intense scenes involving policemen or soldiers for example. I can only reply that in my research I spend considerable time with policemen and soldiers. Few of them curse any more than a normal person would. This garbage isn't realistic. It merely draws attention to itself and holds back the story. Use it sparingly.
David Morrell (The Successful Novelist: A Lifetime of Lessons about Writing and Publishing)
Vexed with herself, Cassandra took a handkerchief from the congealed pocket of her dress and pressed it hard over a new trickle of tears. After a minute or two had passed, she became aware of someone ascending the stairs in a measured tread. Embarrassed to be caught crying on the steps like a lost child, Cassandra struggled to rise. A low voice stopped her. "No... please. I only wanted to give you this." Through a blur, she saw the dark form of Tom Severin, who had come to stand a step below her, with two glasses of iced champagne in his hands. He extended one to her. Cassandra began to reach for it, but hesitated. "I'm not supposed to have champagne unless it's mixed with punch." One corner of his wide mouth tipped upward. "I won't tell." Cassandra took the glass gratefully, and drank. The cold fizz was wonderful, easing the dry tightness of her throat. "Thank you," she murmured.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
Coloured people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it. Someone’s written a book on tobacco and cancer of the lungs? The cigarette people are weeping? Burn the book. Serenity, Montag. Peace, Montag. Take your fight outside. Better yet, into the incinerator. Funerals are unhappy and pagan? Eliminate them, too. Five minutes after a person is dead he’s on his way to the Big Flue, the Incinerators serviced by helicopters all over the country. Ten minutes after death a man’s a speck of black dust. Let’s not quibble over individuals with memoriams. Forget them. Burn them all, burn everything. Fire is bright and fire is clean.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
We entered the cool cave of the practice space with all the long-haired, goateed boys stoned on clouds of pot and playing with power tools. I tossed my fluffy coat into the hollow of my bass drum and lay on the carpet with my worn newspaper. A shirtless boy came in and told us he had to cut the power for a minute, and I thought about being along in the cool black room with Joey. Let's go smoke, she said, and I grabbed the cigarettes off the amp. She started talking to me about Wonder Woman. I feel like something big is happening, but I don't know what to do about it. With The Straight Girl? I asked in the blankest voice possible. With everything. Back in the sun we walked to the edge of the parking lot where a black Impala convertible sat, rusted and rotting, looking like it just got dredged from a swamp. Rainwater pooling on the floor. We climbed up onto it and sat our butts backward on the edge of the windshield, feet stretched into the front seat. Before she even joined the band, I would think of her each time I passed the car, the little round medallions with the red and black racing flags affixed to the dash. On the rusting Chevy, Joey told me about her date the other night with a girl she used to like who she maybe liked again. How her heart was shut off and it felt pretty good. How she just wanted to play around with this girl and that girl and this girl and I smoked my cigarette and went Uh-Huh. The sun made me feel like a restless country girl even though I'd never been on a farm. I knew what I stood for, even if nobody else did. I knew the piece of me on the inside, truer than all the rest, that never comes out. Doesn't everyone have one? Some kind of grand inner princess waiting to toss her hair down, forever waiting at the tower window. Some jungle animal so noble and fierce you had to crawl on your belly through dangerous grasses to get a glimpse. I gave Joey my cigarette so I could unlace the ratty green laces of my boots, pull them off, tug the linty wool tights off my legs. I stretched them pale over the car, the hair springing like weeds and my big toenail looking cracked and ugly. I knew exactly who I was when the sun came back and the air turned warm. Joey climbed over the hood of the car, dusty black, and said Let's lie down, I love lying in the sun, but there wasn't any sun there. We moved across the street onto the shining white sidewalk and she stretched out, eyes closed. I smoked my cigarette, tossed it into the gutter and lay down beside her. She said she was sick of all the people who thought she felt too much, who wanted her to be calm and contained. Who? I asked. All the flowers, the superheroes. I thought about how she had kissed me the other night, quick and hard, before taking off on a date in her leather chaps, hankies flying, and I sat on the couch and cried at everything she didn't know about how much I liked her, and someone put an arm around me and said, You're feeling things, that's good. Yeah, I said to Joey on the sidewalk, I Feel Like I Could Calm Down Some. Awww, you're perfect. She flipped her hand over and touched my head. Listen, we're barely here at all, I wanted to tell her, rolling over, looking into her face, we're barely here at all and everything goes so fast can't you just kiss me? My eyes were shut and the cars sounded close when they passed. The sun was weak but it baked the grime on my skin and made it smell delicious. A little kid smell. We sat up to pop some candy into our mouths, and then Joey lay her head on my lap, spent from sugar and coffee. Her arm curled back around me and my fingers fell into her slippery hair. On the February sidewalk that felt like spring.
Michelle Tea
Along the Merced River there’s a deep sense of peace, yet it coexists with danger. No matter how sedate the river may appear, it’s as wild as the other creatures of Yosemite. Strong currents run underneath the surface. If I were to jump in, the snowmelt cold would induce hypothermia within minutes and, with a little more volume, this calm-looking river would sweep me to my death. People have drowned when it's looked quiet like this, trying to wade across. Someone died here last year, and Sadie Schaeffer, who's buried in the Pioneer Cemetery, died doing that more than a hundred years ago just a short way downriver toward El Capitan. Nature doesn’t stop and make exceptions for people who get in its way.
R. Mark Liebenow (Mountains of Light: Seasons of Reflection in Yosemite)
For the next few minutes, Edith led the room in hollering “Fired up! Ready to go!” back and forth, again and again. I was confused at first, but figured it would be impolite of me not to join in. And pretty soon, I started to feel kinda fired up! I started to feel like I was ready to go! I noticed everybody at the meeting suddenly was smiling too, and after the chanting was done we settled down and talked for the next hour about the community and the country and what we could do to make it better. Even after I left Greenwood, for the rest of the day, every so often, I’d point to someone on my staff and ask, “You fired up?” Eventually it became a campaign rallying cry. And that, I suppose, was the part of politics that would always give me the most pleasure: the part that couldn’t be diagrammed, that defied planning or analytics. The way in which, when it works, a campaign—and by extension a democracy—proved to be a chorus rather than a solo act.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Tonight, no one will rage and cry: "My Kingdom for a horse!" No ghost will come to haunt the battlements of a castle in the kingdom of Denmark where, apparently something is rotten. Nor will anyone wring her hands and murmur: "Leave, I do not despise you." Three still young women will not retreat to a dacha whispering the name of Moscow, their beloved, their lost hope. No sister will await the return of her brother to avenge the death of their father, no son will be forced to avenge an affront to his father, no mother will kill her three children to take revenge on their father. And no husband will see his doll-like wife leave him out of contempt. No one will turn into a rhinoceros. Maids will not plot to assassinate their mistress, after denouncing her lover and having him jailed. No one will fret about "the rain in Spain!" No one will emerge from a garbage pail to tell an absurd story. Italian families will not leave for the seashore. No soldier will return from World War II and bang on his father's bedroom dor protesting the presence of a new wife in his mother's bed. No evanescent blode will drown. No Spanish nobleman will seduce a thousand and three women, nor will an entire family of Spanish women writhe beneath the heel of the fierce Bernarda Alba. You won't see a brute of a man rip his sweat-drenched T-shirt, shouting: "Stella! Stella!" and his sister-in-law will not be doomed the minute she steps off the streetcar named Desire. Nor will you see a stepmother pine away for her new husband's youngest son. The plague will not descend upon the city of Thebes, and the Trojan War will not take place. No king will be betrayed by his ungrateful daughters. There will be no duels, no poisonings, no wracking coughs. No one will die, or, if someone must die, it will become a comic scene. No, there will be none of the usual theatrics. What you will see tonight is a very simple woman, a woman who will simply talk...
Michel Tremblay
I might not like what you do, but you’re not going to lose me, Gin.” “Why not?” I said, forcing the words out through the lump of emotion that clogged my throat. “What’s changed?” Bria looked at me. “Because we came down here, and I saw how Donovan treated you. How he thought he was so much better than you, so much more righteous, and I realize that it’s the same way I’ve been treating you for months now, when you’ve done nothing but save my life over and over again. With no question, no hesitation, and nothing asked in return. Not one damn thing.” Tears streaked down her cheeks, and her blue eyes were agonizingly bright in her face. “The truth is that I’m ashamed of myself for acting like him and most especially for taking you for granted. When we found out that Callie was in trouble, you were the first one to do anything about it. You immediately stepped up and offered to help her. If it wasn’t for you, Callie would be dead now and probably Donovan along with her. You saved her not because I asked you to and not even because she was my friend but because you saw someone who was in trouble and you realized you could help her. Maybe you are an assassin, maybe you are one of the bad guys, but you know what? I don’t give a damn anymore. You’re my sister first, and that’s all that matters to me.” I blinked and was surprised to find hot tears sliding down my own cheeks, one after another in a torrent that I couldn’t control. She . . . she . . . understood. She actually understood who and what I was and that I would probably never change or give up being the Spider. She knew it all, and she was still here with me. All sorts of emotions surged through my heart then, but there was one that drowned out all the others—relief. Pure, sweet relief that she wasn’t going to walk out of my life, that she was going to stick with me through the good and the bad and whatever else the world threw at us. I reached forward and wrapped my arms around Bria, and she did the same to me. We stood like that for several minutes, still and quiet, with silent sobs shaking both of our bodies. Just letting out all the fear and anger and guilt that had crept up on us both and had created this gulf between us. But we’d overcome those emotions, and I’d be damned if we’d ever grow apart like this again.
Jennifer Estep (By a Thread (Elemental Assassin #6))
I let the divine being leave first and gave him a few minutes to do whatever it was he needed to do to get back to Heaven. It seemed polite, though I’d only made that rule up in my head. When I stepped out of the shack, Quentin was there by the roadside, waiting for me. “Have a nice chat?” I knew his peevish tone was his usual allergic reaction to Erlang Shen, but for some reason I didn’t field it well today. “Yeah, we really connected on an emotional level,” I snapped. “I promised to turn into a stick for him.” That was perhaps the weirdest, most hyper-targeted dig I’d ever leveled at someone, but boy did it work. Quentin looked like I’d broken him in half and left him on the curb for pickup. He was completely silent the entire trip back to civilization. He didn’t call or text me that night either
F.C. Yee (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, #1))
Higher purpose: I am here to serve. I am here to inspire. I am here to love. I am here to live my truth. Communion: I will appreciate someone who doesn’t know that I feel that way. I will overlook the tension and be friendly to someone who has ignored me. I will express at least one feeling that has made me feel guilty or embarrassed. Awareness: I will spend ten minutes observing instead of speaking. I will sit quietly by myself just to sense how my body feels. If someone irritates me, I will ask myself what I really feel beneath the anger—and I won’t stop paying attention until the anger is gone. Acceptance: I will spend five minutes thinking about the best qualities of someone I really dislike. I will read about a group that I consider totally intolerant and try to see the world as they do. I will look in the mirror and describe myself exactly as if I were the perfect mother or father I wish I had had (beginning with the sentence “How beautiful you are in my eyes”). Creativity: I will imagine five things I could do that my family would never expect—and then I will do at least one of them. I will outline a novel based on my life (every incident will be true, but no one would ever guess that I am the hero). I will invent something in my mind that the world desperately needs. Being: I will spend half an hour in a peaceful place doing nothing except feeling what it is like to exist. I will lie outstretched on the grass and feel the earth languidly revolving under me. I will take in three breaths and let them out as gently as possible. Efficiency: I will let at least two things out of my control and see what happens. I will gaze at a rose and reflect on whether I could make it open faster or more beautifully than it already does—then I will ask if my life has blossomed this efficiently. I will lie in a quiet place by the ocean, or with a tape of the sea, and breathe in its rhythms. Bonding: When I catch myself looking away from someone, I will remember to look into the person’s eyes. I will bestow a loving gaze on someone I have taken for granted. I will express sympathy to someone who needs it, preferably a stranger. Giving: I will buy lunch and give it to someone in need on the street (or I will go to a café and eat lunch with the person). I will compliment someone for a quality that I know the individual values in him- or herself. I will give my children as much of my undivided time today as they want. Immortality: I will read a scripture about the soul and the promise of life after death. I will write down five things I want my life to be remembered for. I will sit and silently experience the gap between breathing in and breathing out, feeling the eternal in the present moment.
Deepak Chopra (The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life)
If ideas flow out of you easily like a chocolate fountain, bless you, and skip to the next chapter. But if you’re someone like me, who longs to create but finds the process agonizing, here’s my advice: –Find a group to support you, to encourage you, to guilt you into DOING. If you can’t find one, start one yourself. Random people enjoy having pancakes. –Make a goal. Then strike down things that are distracting you from that goal, especially video games. (Unless it’s this book; finish reading it and THEN start.) –Put the fear of God into yourself. Okay, I’m not religious. Whatever spiritual ideas float your boat. Read some obituaries, watch the first fifteen minutes of Up, I don’t care. Just scare yourself good. You have a finite number of toothpaste tubes you will ever consume while on this planet. Make the most of that clean tooth time. For yourself. The creative process isn’t easy, even for chocolate-fountain people. It’s more like a wobbly, drunken journey down a very steep and scary hill, not knowing if there’s a sheer cliff at the end of it all. But it’s worth the journey, I promise.
Felicia Day (You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost))
Oh, you're right. I'm just a human with thick skin, purple eyes, and hard bones. Which means you can go home. Tell Galen I said hi." Toraf opens and shuts his mouth twice. Both times it seems like he wants to say something, but his expression tells me his brain isn't cooperating. When his mouth snaps shut a third time, I splash water in his face. "Are you going to say something, or are you trying to catch wind and sail? A grin the size of the horizon spreads across his face. "He likes that, you know. Your temper." Yeahfreakingright. Galen's a classic type A personality-and type A's hate smartass-ism. Just ask my mom. "No offense, but you're not exactly an expert at judging people's emotions." "I'm not sure what you mean by that." "Sure you do." "If you're talking about Rayna, then you're wrong. She loves me. She just won't admit it." I roll my eyes. "Right. She's playing hard to get, is that it? Bashing your head with a rock, splitting your lip, calling you squid breath all the time." "What does that mean? Hard to get?" "It means she's trying to make you think she doesn't like you, so that you end up liking her more. So you work harder to get her attention." He nods. "Exactly. That's exactly what she's doing." Pinching the bridge of my nose, I say, "I don't think so. As we speak, she's getting your mating seal dissolved. That's not playing hard to get. That's playing impossible to get." "Even if she does get it dissolved, it's not because she doesn't care about me. She just likes to play games." The pain in Toraf's voice guts me like the catch of the day. She might like playing games, but his feelings are real. And can't I relate to that? "There's only one way to find out," I say softly. "Find out?" "If all she wants is games." "How?" "You play hard to get. You know how they say. 'If you love someone, set them free. If they return to you, it was meant to be?'" "I've never heard that." "Right. No, you wouldn't have." I sigh. "Basically, what I'm trying to say is, you need to stop giving Rayna attention. Push her away. Treat her like she treats you." He shakes his head. "I don't think I can do that." "You'll get your answer that way," I say, shrugging. "But it sounds like you don't really want to know." "I do want to know. But what if the answer isn't good?" His face scrunches as if the words taste like lemon juice. "You've got to be ready to deal with it, no matter what." Toraf nods, his jaw tight. The choices he has to consider will make this night long enough for him. I decide not to intrude on his time anymore. "I'm pretty tired, so I'm heading back. I'll meet you at Galen's in the morning. Maybe I can break thirty minutes tomorrow, huh?" I nudge his shoulder with my fist, but a weak smile is all I get in return. I'm surprised when he grabs my hand and starts pulling me through the water. At least it's better than dragging me by the ankle. I can't but think how Galen could have done the same thing. Why does he wrap his arms around me instead?
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
I think people like him think work is supposed to be drudgery punctuated by very occasional moments of happiness, but when I say happiness, I mostly mean distraction. You know what I mean?” “No, please elaborate.” “Okay, say you go into the break room,” she said, “and a couple people you like are there, say someone’s telling a funny story, you laugh a little, you feel included, everyone’s so funny, you go back to your desk with a sort of, I don’t know, I guess afterglow would be the word? You go back to your desk with an afterglow, but then by four or five o’clock the day’s just turned into yet another day, and you go on like that, looking forward to five o’clock and then the weekend and then your two or three annual weeks of paid vacation time, day in day out, and that’s what happens to your life.” “Right,” Clark said. He was filled in that moment with an inexpressible longing. The previous day he’d gone into the break room and spent five minutes laughing at a colleague’s impression of a Daily Show bit. “That’s what passes for a life, I should say. That’s what passes for happiness, for most people. Guys like Dan, they’re like sleepwalkers,” she said, “and nothing ever jolts them awake.
Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven)
The face that Moses had begged to see – was forbidden to see – was slapped bloody (Exodus 33:19-20) The thorns that God had sent to curse the earth’s rebellion now twisted around his brow… “On your back with you!” One raises a mallet to sink the spike. But the soldier’s heart must continue pumping as he readies the prisoner’s wrist. Someone must sustain the soldier’s life minute by minute, for no man has this power on his own. Who supplies breath to his lungs? Who gives energy to his cells? Who holds his molecules together? Only by the Son do “all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). The victim wills that the soldier live on – he grants the warrior’s continued existence. The man swings. As the man swings, the Son recalls how he and the Father first designed the medial nerve of the human forearm – the sensations it would be capable of. The design proves flawless – the nerves perform exquisitely. “Up you go!” They lift the cross. God is on display in his underwear and can scarcely breathe. But these pains are a mere warm-up to his other and growing dread. He begins to feel a foreign sensation. Somewhere during this day an unearthly foul odor began to waft, not around his nose, but his heart. He feels dirty. Human wickedness starts to crawl upon his spotless being – the living excrement from our souls. The apple of his Father’s eye turns brown with rot. His Father! He must face his Father like this! From heaven the Father now rouses himself like a lion disturbed, shakes His mane, and roars against the shriveling remnant of a man hanging on a cross.Never has the Son seen the Father look at him so, never felt even the least of his hot breath. But the roar shakes the unseen world and darkens the visible sky. The Son does not recognize these eyes. “Son of Man! Why have you behaved so? You have cheated, lusted, stolen, gossiped – murdered, envied, hated, lied. You have cursed, robbed, over-spent, overeaten – fornicated, disobeyed, embezzled, and blasphemed. Oh the duties you have shirked, the children you have abandoned! Who has ever so ignored the poor, so played the coward, so belittled my name? Have you ever held a razor tongue? What a self-righteous, pitiful drunk – you, who moles young boys, peddle killer drugs, travel in cliques, and mock your parents. Who gave you the boldness to rig elections, foment revolutions, torture animals, and worship demons? Does the list never end! Splitting families, raping virgins, acting smugly, playing the pimp – buying politicians, practicing exhortation, filming pornography, accepting bribes. You have burned down buildings, perfected terrorist tactics, founded false religions, traded in slaves – relishing each morsel and bragging about it all. I hate, loathe these things in you! Disgust for everything about you consumes me! Can you not feel my wrath? Of course the Son is innocent He is blamelessness itself. The Father knows this. But the divine pair have an agreement, and the unthinkable must now take place. Jesus will be treated as if personally responsible for every sin ever committed. The Father watches as his heart’s treasure, the mirror image of himself, sinks drowning into raw, liquid sin. Jehovah’s stored rage against humankind from every century explodes in a single direction. “Father! Father! Why have you forsaken me?!” But heaven stops its ears. The Son stares up at the One who cannot, who will not, reach down or reply. The Trinity had planned it. The Son had endured it. The Spirit enabled Him. The Father rejected the Son whom He loved. Jesus, the God-man from Nazareth, perished. The Father accepted His sacrifice for sin and was satisfied. The Rescue was accomplished.
Joni Eareckson Tada (When God Weeps Kit: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty)
lower her to my side and pull her against me so that her head is resting on my jacket. Her breath tastes like starburst and it makes me want to keep kissing her until I can identify every single flavor. Her hand touches my arm and she gives it a tight squeeze just as my tongue slips inside her mouth. That would be strawberry on the tip of her tongue. She keeps her hand on my arm, periodically moving it to the back of my head, then returning it to my arm. I keep my hand on her waist, never once moving it to touch any other part of her. The only thing we explore is each other’s mouths. We kiss without making another sound. We kiss until the alarm sounds off on my phone. Despite the noise, neither of us stops kissing. We don’t even hesitate. We kiss for another solid minute until the bell rings in the hallway outside and suddenly lockers are slamming shut and people are talking and everything about our moment is stolen from us by all the inconvenient external factors of school. I still my lips against hers, then slowly pull back. “I have to get to class,” she whispers. I nod, even though she can’t see me. “Me, too,” I reply. She begins to scoot out from beneath me. When I roll onto my back, I feel her move closer to me. Her mouth briefly meets mine one more time, then she pulls away and stands up. The second she opens the door, the light from the hallway pours in and I squeeze my eyes shut, throwing my arm over my face. I hear the door shut behind her and by the time I adjust to the brightness, the light is gone again. I sigh heavily. I also remain on the floor until my physical reaction to her subsides. I don’t know who the hell she was or why the hell she ended up here, but I hope to God she comes back. I need a whole hell of a lot more of that. • • • She didn’t come back the next day. Or the day after that. In fact, today marks exactly a week since she literally fell into my arms, and I’ve convinced myself that maybe that whole day was a dream. I did stay up most of the night before watching zombie movies with Chunk, but even though I was going on two hours of sleep, I don’t know that I would have been able to imagine that. My fantasies aren’t that fun. Whether she comes back or not, I still don’t have a fifth period and until someone calls me out on it, I’ll keep hiding out in here. I actually slept way too much last night, so I’m not tired. I pull my phone out to text Holder when the door to the closet begins to open. “Are you in here, kid?” I hear her whisper. My heart immediately picks up pace and I can’t tell if it’s that she came back or if it’s because the
Colleen Hoover (Finding Cinderella (Hopeless, #2.5))
Receiving forgiveness when we know we’ve truly blown it is a humbling and growth-producing experience. It’s the only thing better than forgiving someone else. On the other hand, an unsafe person who is unable to forgive can be very destructive. Instead of forgiving, she condemns: She centers on my failings. She won’t let go of the past, even when I’ve confessed, repented, and made restitution. She uses my weaknesses to avoid looking at hers. She sees me as morally inferior to her. She desires justice more than intimacy. Unsafe people are often good at identifying your weaknesses. They can quote the minute and hour you hurt them, and recall the scene in intimate detail and living color. Like a good attorney, they have the entire case mapped out. And you are judged “guilty.” Yes, we need to be confronted with our weaknesses. Unsafe people, however, confront us not to forgive us, but to condemn and punish us. They remove their love until we are appropriately chastened. This, obviously, destroys any chance for connection or safety.
Henry Cloud (Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't)
Bring Cecily home,” he said curtly. “I won’t have her at risk, even in the slightest way.” “I’ll take care of Cecily,” came the terse reply. “She’s better off without you in her life.” Tate’s eyes widened. “I beg your pardon?” he asked, affronted. “You know what I mean,” Holden said. “Let her heal. She’s too young to consign herself to spinsterhood over a man who doesn’t even see her.” “Infatuation dies,” Tate said. Holden nodded. “Yes, it does. Goodbye.” “So does hero worship,” he continued, laboring the point. “And that’s why after eight years, Cecily has had one raging affair after the other,” he said facetiously. The words had power. They wounded. “You fool,” Holden said in a soft tone. “Do you really think she’d let any man touch her except you?” He went to his office door and gestured toward the desk. “Don’t forget your gadget,” he added quietly. “Wait!” Holden paused with his hand on the doorknob and turned. “What?” Tate held the device in his hands, watching the lights flicker on it. “Mixing two cultures when one of them is all but extinct is a selfish thing,” he said after a minute. “It has nothing to do with personal feelings. It’s a matter of necessity.” Holden let go of the doorknob and moved to stand directly in front of Tate. “If I had a son,” he said, almost choking on the word, “I’d tell him that there are things even more important than lofty principles. I’d tell him…that love is a rare and precious thing, and that substitutes are notoriously unfulfilling.” Tate searched the older man’s eyes. “You’re a fine one to talk.” Holden’s face fell. “Yes, that’s true.” He turned away. Why should he feel guilty? But he did. “I didn’t mean to say that,” Tate said, irritated by his remorse and the other man’s defeated posture. “I can’t help the way I feel about my culture.” “If it weren’t for the cultural difference, how would you feel about Cecily?” Tate hesitated. “It wouldn’t change anything. She’s been my responsibility. I’ve taken care of her. It would be gratitude on her part, even a little hero worship, nothing more. I couldn’t take advantage of that. Besides, she’s involved with Colby.” “And you couldn’t live with being the second man.” Tate’s face hardened. His eyes flashed. Holden shook his head. “You’re just brimming over with excuses, aren’t you? It isn’t the race thing, it isn’t the culture thing, it isn’t even the guardian-ward thing. You’re afraid.” Tate’s mouth made a thin line. He didn’t reply. “When you love someone, you give up control of yourself,” he continued quietly. “You have to consider the other person’s needs, wants, fears. What you do affects the other person. There’s a certain loss of freedom as well.” He moved a step closer. “The point I’m making is that Cecily already fills that place in your life. You’re still protecting her, and it doesn’t matter that there’s another man. Because you can’t stop looking out for her. Everything you said in this office proves that.” He searched Tate’s turbulent eyes. “You don’t like Colby Lane, and it isn’t because you think Cecily’s involved with him. It’s because he’s been tied to one woman so tight that he can’t struggle free of his love for her, even after years of divorce. That’s how you feel, isn’t it, Tate? You can’t get free of Cecily, either. But Colby’s always around and she indulges him. She might marry him in an act of desperation. And then what will you do? Will your noble excuses matter a damn then?
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
He was, he realized, comforted by her presence. They didn’t need to talk. They didn’t even need to touch (although he wasn’t about to let go just then). Simply put, he was a happier man— and quite possibly a better man— when she was near. He buried his face in her hair, inhaling her scent, smelling . . . Smelling . . . He drew back. “Would you care for a bath?” Her face turned an instant scarlet. “Oh, no,” she moaned, the words muffled into the hand she’d clapped over her mouth. “It was so filthy in jail, and I was forced to sleep on the ground, and—” “Don’t tell me any more,” he said. “But—” “Please.” If he heard more he might have to kill someone. As long as there had been no permanent damage, he didn’t want to know the details. “I think,” he said, the first hint of a smile tugging at the left corner of his mouth, “that you should take a bath.” “Right.” She nodded as she rose to her feet. “I’ll go straight to your mother’s—” “Here.” “Here?” The smile spread to the right corner of his mouth. “Here.” “But we told your mother—” “That you’d be home by nine.” “I think she said seven.” “Did she? Funny, I heard nine.” “Benedict . . .” He took her hand and pulled her toward the door. “Seven sounds an awful lot like nine.” “Benedict . . .” “Actually, it sounds even more like eleven.” “Benedict!” He deposited her right by the door. “Stay here.” “I beg your pardon?” “Don’t move a muscle,” he said, touching his fingertip to her nose. Sophie watched helplessly as he slipped out into the hall, only to return two minutes later. “Where did you go?” she asked. “To order a bath.” “But—” His eyes grew very, very wicked. “For two.” She gulped. He leaned forward. “They happened to have water heating already.” “They did?” He nodded. “It’ll only take a few minutes to fill the tub.” She glanced toward the front door. “It’s nearly seven.” “But I’m allowed to keep you until twelve.” “Benedict!” He pulled her close. “You want to stay.” “I never said that.” “You don’t have to. If you really disagreed with me, you’d have something more to say than, ‘Benedict’!” She had to smile; he did that good an imitation of her voice. His mouth curved into a devilish grin. “Am I wrong?” She looked away, but she knew her lips were twitching. “I thought not,” he murmured.
Julia Quinn (An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3))
Today, many of us feel like we live in a highly polarized world, where people with opposing opinions cannot even be civil to each other. If you want things to be different, I offer you a challenge. Pick a controversial political issue that you feel strongly about. […] Spend five minutes per day deliberately considering the issue from the perspective of those you disagree with, not to have an argument with them in your head, but to understand how someone who’s just as smart as you can believe the opposite of what you do. I’m not asking you to change your mind. I’m also not saying this challenge is easy. It requires a withdrawal from your body budget, and it might feel pretty unpleasant or even pointless. But when you try, really try, to embody someone else’s point of view, you can change your future predictions about the people who hold those different views. If you can honestly say, “I absolutely disagree with those people, but I can understand why they believe what they do”, you’re one step closer to a less polarized world. That is not magical liberal academic rubbish. It’s a strategy that comes from basic science about your predicting brain.
Lisa Feldman Barrett (Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain)
Because now mental health disorders have gone “mainstream”. And for all the good it’s brought people like me who have been given therapy and stuff, there’s a lot of bad it’s brought too. Because now people use the phrase OCD to describe minor personality quirks. “Oooh, I like my pens in a line, I’m so OCD.” NO YOU’RE FUCKING NOT. “Oh my God, I was so nervous about that presentation, I literally had a panic attack.” NO YOU FUCKING DIDN’T. “I’m so hormonal today. I just feel totally bipolar.” SHUT UP, YOU IGNORANT BUMFACE. Told you I got angry. These words – words like OCD and bipolar – are not words to use lightly. And yet now they’re everywhere. There are TV programmes that actually pun on them. People smile and use them, proud of themselves for learning them, like they should get a sticker or something. Not realizing that if those words are said to you by a medical health professional, as a diagnosis of something you’ll probably have for ever, they’re words you don’t appreciate being misused every single day by someone who likes to keep their house quite clean. People actually die of bipolar, you know? They jump in front of trains and tip down bottles of paracetamol and leave letters behind to their devastated families because their bullying brains just won’t let them be for five minutes and they can’t bear to live with that any more. People also die of cancer. You don’t hear people going around saying: “Oh my God, my headache is so, like, tumoury today.” Yet it’s apparently okay to make light of the language of people’s internal hell
Holly Bourne
You heard me. Let someone else send you to your blaze of glory. You're a speck, man. You're nothing. You're not worth the bullet or the mark on my soul for taking you out." You trying to piss me off again, Patrick?" He removed Campbell Rawson from his shoulder and held him aloft. I tilted my wrist so the cylinder fell into my palm, shrugged. "You're a joke, Gerry. I'm just calling it like I see it." That so?" Absolutely." I met his hard eyes with my own. "And you'll be replaced, just like everything else, in maybe a week, tops. Some other dumb, sick shit will come along and kill some people and he'll be all over the papers, and all over Hard Copy and you'll be yesterday's news. Your fifteen minutes are up, Gerry. And they've passed without impact." They'll remember this," Gerry said. "Believe me." Gerry clamped back on the trigger. When he met my finger, he looked at me and then clamped down so hard that my finger broke. I depressed the trigger on the one-shot and nothing happened. Gerry shrieked louder, and the razor came out of my flesh, then swung back immediately, and I clenched my eyes shut and depressed the trigger frantically three times. And Gerry's hand exploded. And so did mine. The razor hit the ice by my knee as I dropped the one shot and fire roared up the electrical tape and gasoline on Gerry's arm and caught the wisps of Danielle's hair. Gerry threw his head back and opened his mouth wide and bellowed in ecstasy. I grabbed the razor, could barely feel it because the nerves in my hand seemed to have stopped working. I slashed into the electric tape at the end of the shotgun barrel, and Danielle dropped away toward the ice and rolled her head into the frozen sand. My broken finger came back out of the shotgun and Gerry swung the barrels toward my head. The twin shotgun bores arced through the darkness like eyes without mercy or soul, and I raised my head to meet them, and Gerry's wail filled my ears as the fire licked at his neck. Good-bye, I thought. Everyone. It's been nice. Oscar's first two shots entered the back of Gerry's head and exited through the center of his forehead and a third punched into his back. The shotgun jerked upward in Gerry's flaming arm and then the shots came from the front, several at once, and Gerry spun like a marionette and pitched toward the ground. The shotgun boomed twice and punched holes through the ice in front of him as he fell. He landed on his knees and, for a moment, I wasn't sure if he was dead or not. His rusty hair was afire and his head lolled to the left as one eye disappeared in flames but the other shimmered at me through waves of heat, and an amused derision shone in the pupil. Patrick, the eye said through the gathering smoke, you still know nothing. Oscar rose up on the other side of Gerry's corpse, Campbell Rawson clutched tight to his massive chest as it rose and fell with great heaving breaths. The sight of it-something so soft and gentle in the arms of something so thick and mountaineous-made me laugh. Oscar came out of the darkness toward me, stepped around Gerry's burning body, and I felt the waves of heat rise toward me as the circle of gasoline around Gerry caught fire. Burn, I thought. Burn. God help me, but burn. Just after Oscar stepped over the outer edge of the circle, it erupted in yellow flame, and I found myself laughing harder as he looked at it, not remotely impressed. I felt cool lips smack against my ear, and by the time I looked her way, Danielle was already past me, rushing to take her child from Oscar. His huge shadow loomed over me as he approached, and I looked up at him and he held the look for a long moment. How you doing, Patrick?" he said and smiled broadly. And, behind him, Gerry burned on the ice. And everything was so goddamned funny for some reason, even though I knew it wasn't. I knew it wasn't. I did. But I was still laughing when they put me in the ambulance.
Dennis Lehane
The mass media causes sexual misdirection: It prompts us to need something deeper than what we want. This is why Woody Allen has made nebbish guys cool; he makes people assume there is something profound about having a relationship based on witty conversation and intellectual discourse. There isn’t. It’s just another gimmick, and it’s no different than wanting to be with someone because they’re thin or rich or the former lead singer of Whiskeytown. And it actually might be worse, because an intellectual relationship isn’t real at all. My witty banter and cerebral discourse is always completely contrived. Right now, I have three and a half dates worth of material, all of which I pretend to deliver spontaneously. This is my strategy: If I can just coerce women into the last half of that fourth date, it’s anyone’s ball game. I’ve beaten the system; I’ve broken the code; I’ve slain the Minotaur. If we part ways on that fourth evening without some kind of conversational disaster, she probably digs me. Or at least she thinks she digs me, because who she digs is not really me. Sadly, our relationship will not last ninety-three minutes (like Annie Hall) or ninety-six minutes (like Manhattan). It will go on for days or weeks or months or years, and I’ve already used everything in my vault. Very soon, I will have nothing more to say, and we will be sitting across from each other at breakfast, completely devoid of banter; she will feel betrayed and foolish, and I will suddenly find myself actively trying to avoid spending time with a woman I didn’t deserve to be with in the first place.
Chuck Klosterman (Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto)
Alec took another bite and pushed it to the side of his mouth. “That’s the spirit.” “Do they not teach manners in the army?” Trina asked. “You know, it’s just as easy to take a bite after you say something as right before it.” Alec chomped on his bar. “It is?” He croaked a laugh and little pieces of granola shot out. Which made him roar even harder. He choked out a cough, composed himself, then was laughing all over again. It was such a rare sight to see Alec acting like this, Mark didn’t know how to respond at first. But then he soaked it in, chuckling right along even though he’d forgotten what was funny in the first place. Trina had a smile on her face, and little Deedee was giggling heartily. The sound of it filled Mark up and washed away the doldrums. “You’d think someone farted, the way you’re all getting on,” Lana said with a deadpan look. That sent everyone into an even bigger fit that went on for several minutes, resparked every time it began to die down by Alec making gassy noises. Mark laughed until his face hurt and he tried his best to stop smiling, which made him laugh even harder. Finally it did settle down, ending with one big sigh from the former soldier. Then he stood up.
James Dashner (The Kill Order (The Maze Runner, #0.4))
Shall we, my lady?" "You go on," she said coolly. "I need to speak to Mr. Pinter alone." Glancing from her to Jackson, the duke nodded. "I'll expect a dance from you later, my dear," he said with a smile that rubbed Jackson raw. "Of course." Her gaze locked with Jackson's. "I'd be delighted." The minute the duke was gone, however, any "delight" she was feeling apparently vanished. "How dare you interfere! You should be upstairs searching my suitors' rooms or speaking to their servants or something useful instead of-" "Do you realize what could have happened if I hadn't come along?" he snapped. "This room is private and secluded, with a nice hot stove keeping it cozy. All he would have had to do was lay you down on one of those damned benches that are everywhere and-" He caught himself. But not quickly enough. "And what?" she prodded. "I would have let him ravish me like the wanton I am?" Confound it all. "I wasn't saying that." "That's what it sounded like. Apparently you have some notion that I have no restraint, no ability to resist the attentions of a man I've known since childhood." "You have no idea what a man can do to a woman!" Jackson shouted. She paled. "It was just a kiss." He strode up to her, driven by a madness he couldn't control. "That's how it begins. A man like him coaxes you into a kiss, then a caress, then..." "I would never let it go beyond a kiss," she said in outrage. "What sort of woman do you think I am?" He backed her toward the wall. "The sort who is too trusting to realize what some men are really after. You can't control every situation, my lady. Some men take what they want, and there isn't a damned thing you can do about it." "I know more about the true nature of men than you think." She stopped short as she came up against the wall. "I can take care of myself." "Can you?" He thrust his hands against the wall on either side of her, trapping her. He thought of his mother and the heartbreak she'd endured because some nobleman had taken a fancy to her. A roiling sickness swamped him at the idea of Lady Celia ever suffering such a thing because she was too reckless and naïve to recognize that she was not invincible. Bending in close, he lowered his voice. "You really believe you can stop any man who wants to hurt you, no matter how strong and determined he is?" Challenge shone in her eyes. "Absolutely." It was time someone made her realize he vulnerability. "Prove it," he growled. Then he brought his mouth down on hers.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
While I was contemplating what to do, Storm’s voice came from behind me. “Sun, could you come and chat with me for a while ?” “Brother Storm, would you like to talk about the God of Light’s benevolence or the God of Light’s devotion ?” Of course I would ! I was actually trying to find someone, anyone, to talk to so that I could pass some time not waving, so that my subsequent waving speed could be increased slightly. However, I never thought that Storm would actually initiate a conversation with me. But Storm initiating a conversation with me is a strange thing ; he always says that talking to me for one minute is about as exhausting as winking one hundred times. We only need to talk for ten minutes for him to have an especially good night’s sleep that night, because he would be way too tired. “We don’t need to look for a topic, its fine to just talk about anything ; I just want to pretend to be talking.” After Storm’s hurried explanation, he saw my doubtful expression and added, “You know, there are hundreds of women on this street right now, and this march will pass by more than ten streets. If I have to wink at every single woman, then at the end of this march, even if I don’t go blind, I will still suffer a horrible fate. So, my teacher taught me the technique of handling this march with only one thousand winks !” “...” Why does this sentence sound so familiar ?
Yu Wo (騎士每日例行任務 (吾命騎士, #2))
There were two ways of forgetting. For many years, he had envisioned (unimaginatively) a vault, and at the end of the day, he would gather the images and sequences and words that he didn’t want to think about again and open the heavy steel door only enough to hurry them inside, closing it quickly and tightly. But this method wasn’t effective: the memories seeped out anyway. The important thing, he came to realize, was to eliminate them, not just to store them. So he had invented some solutions. For small memories—little slights, insults—you relived them again and again until they were neutralized, until they became near meaningless with repetition, or until you could believe that they were something that had happened to someone else and you had just heard about it. For larger memories, you held the scene in your head like a film strip, and then you began to erase it, frame by frame. Neither method was easy: you couldn’t stop in the middle of your erasing and examine what you were looking at, for example; you couldn’t start scrolling through parts of it and hope you wouldn’t get ensnared in the details of what had happened, because you of course would. You had to work at it every night, until it was completely gone. Though they never disappeared completely, of course. But they were at least more distant—they weren’t things that followed you, wraithlike, tugging at you for attention, jumping in front of you when you ignored them, demanding so much of your time and effort that it became impossible to think of anything else. In fallow periods—the moments before you fell asleep; the minutes before you were landing after an overnight flight, when you weren’t awake enough to do work and weren’t tired enough to sleep—they would reassert themselves, and so it was best to imagine, then, a screen of white, huge and light-lit and still, and hold it in your mind like a shield.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Emma, I came out here to tell you that you don't have to mate with Grom." I raise a brow. "Uh, I was never going to mate with Grom." "What I mean is, Grom is mating with someone else who has the gift of Poseidon. Which means that-" "I don't have to mate with Grom," I finish for him. "That's what I just said." "I mean, I don't have to feel like I've let the entire species of Syrena go extinct because I won't mate with Grom." He grins. "Exactly." "But that doesn't change what I am-a Half-Breed. You still can't be with me, can you?" He rubs his thumb over my bottom lip, thoughtful. "The law forbids it right now. But I think if we give it time, we could get it overturned somehow. And I'm not going anywhere until I do." He turns us toward the SUV, stopping to retrieve my heels from the side of the road. He helps me in the passenger seat of the Escalade, then hands me my shoes. "Thank you," I tell him as he walks around to the driver's side. "It's a little late to blush," he says, strapping in. "I don't think I'll ever stop blushing." "I really hope not," he says, shutting his door. Taking my face into both hands, he pulls me to him again. His lips brush mine, but I want more. Sensing my intention, he puts his hand over mine and the seat belt I'm trying to unsnap. "Emma," he says against my lips. "I've missed you so much. But we can't. Not yet." I'm not trying to do that, I just want to get in a better position to accept his lips. Telling him so would just embarrass us both. But he says yet. What does that mean? That he wants to wait until he can get the law overturned? Or will he give it time, and if it doesn't work out, break Syrena law to be with me? For some reason, I don't want the answer bad enough to ask. Images of "that girl" flare up in my head. I don't want Galen to break his laws-it's a big part of why I love him so much. His loyalty to his people, his commitment to them. It's the kind of devotion almost nonexistent among humans. But I don't want to be "that girl" either. Syrena or not, I want to go to college. I want to experience the world above and below sea level. But it's not like any decisions need to be made right now, do they? I mean, life-changing decisions take time to make. Time and meditation. And physical space between my lips and his. I pull back. "Right. Sorry." He seizes a few tendrils of my hair and runs them along his face, grinning. "Not as sorry as I am. You'll have to help me keep my hands off you." I laugh, even as a charge runs through my veins. "Yeah. No." He laughs too and turns to start the car, then stops. Letting go of the keys, he says, "So. About breaking up." "Let me think about it some more," I tell him on the brink of giggling at his expression. "I'll see what I can do to help you make up your mind." We stay parked for another fifteen minutes. But at least we're not broken up anymore.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
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
Todd wrapped his arm around her. They stood together in silent awe, watching the sunset. All Christy could think of was how this was what she had always wanted, to be held in Todd's arms as well as in his heart. Just as the last golden drop of sun melted into the ocean, Christy closed her eyes and drew in a deep draught of the sea air. "Did you know," Todd said softly, "that the setting sun looks so huge from the island of Papua New Guinea that it almost looks like you're on another planet? I've seen pictures." Then, as had happened with her reflection in her cup of tea and in her disturbing dream, Christy heard those two piercing words, "Let go." She knew what she had to do. Turning to face Todd, she said, "Pictures aren't enough for you, Todd. You have to go." "I will. Someday. Lord willing," he said casually. "Don't you see, Todd? The Lord is willing. This is your 'someday.' Your opportunity to go on the mission field is now. You have to go." Their eyes locked in silent communion. "God has been telling me something, Todd. He's been telling me to let you go. I don't want to, but I need to obey Him." Todd paused. "Maybe I should tell them I can only go for the summer. That way I'll only be gone a few months. A few weeks, really. We'll be back together in the fall." Christy shook her head. "It can't be like that, Todd. You have to go for as long as God tells you to go. And as long as I've known you, God has been telling you to go. His mark is on your life, Todd. It's obvious. You need to obey Him." "Kilikina," Todd said, grasping Christy by the shoulders, "do you realize what you're saying? If I go, I may never come back." "I know." Christy's reply was barely a whisper. She reached for the bracelet on her right wrist and released the lock. Then taking Todd's hand, she placed the "Forever" bracelet in his palm and closed his fingers around it. "Todd," she whispered, forcing the words out, "the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and give you His peace. And may you always love Jesus more than anything else. Even more than me." Todd crumbled to the sand like a man who had been run through with a sword. Burying his face in his hands, he wept. Christy stood on wobbly legs. What have I done? Oh, Father God, why do I have to let him go? Slowly lowering her quivering body to the sand beside Todd, Christy cried until all she could taste was the salty tears on her lips. They drove the rest of the way home in silence. A thick mantle hung over them, entwining them even in their separation. To Christy it seemed like a bad dream. Someone else had let go of Todd. Not her! He wasn't really going to go. They pulled into Christy's driveway, and Todd turned off the motor. Without saying anything, he got out of Gus and came around to Christy's side to open the door for her. She stepped down and waited while he grabbed her luggage from the backseat. They walked to the front door. Todd stopped her under the trellis of wildly fragrant white jasmine. With tears in his eyes, he said in a hoarse voice, "I'm keeping this." He lifted his hand to reveal the "Forever" bracelet looped between his fingers. "If God ever brings us together again in this world, I'm putting this back on your wrist, and that time, my Kilikina, it will stay on forever." He stared at her through blurry eyes for a long minute, and then without a hug, a kiss, or even a good-bye, Todd turned to go. He walked away and never looked back.
Robin Jones Gunn (Sweet Dreams (Christy Miller, #11))
We take so much of the universe on trust. You tell me: “In 1950 I lived on the north side of Beacon Street in Somerville.” You tell me: “She and I were lovers, but for months now we have only been good friends.” You tell me: “It is seventy degrees outside and the sun is shining.” Because I love you, because there is not even a question of lying between us, I take these accounts of the universe on trust: your address twenty-five years ago, your relationship with someone I know only by sight, this morning’s weather. I fling unconscious tendrils of belief, like slender green threads, across statements such as these, statements made so unequivocally, which have no tone or shadow of tentativeness. I build them into the mosaic of my world. I allow my universe to change in minute, significant ways, on the basis of things you have said to me, of my trust in you. I also have faith that you are telling me things it is important I should know; that you do not conceal facts from me in an effort to spare me, or yourself, pain. Or, at the very least, that you will say, “There are things I am not telling you.” When we discover that someone we trusted can be trusted no longer, it forces us to reexamine the universe, to question the whole instinct and concept of trust. For a while, we are thrust back onto some bleak, jutting ledge, in a dark pierced by sheets of fire, swept by sheets of rain, in a world before kinship, or naming, or tenderness exist; we are brought close to formlessness.
Adrienne Rich
MY FATHER If I have to write a poem about my father it has to be about integrity and kindness — the selfless kind of kindness that is so very rare I am sure there will be many people living somewhere who must be as kind as him but what I mean to say is I have not met one yet and when it comes to helping others he always helps too much and as the saying goes — help someone, you earn a friend. help someone too much, you make an enemy. — so you know the gist of what I’m trying to say here anyways I was talking about the poem about my father it has to be about passion and hard work because you see you cannot separate these things from him they are part of him as his two eyes and two hands and his heart and his soul and his whole being and you cannot separate wind and waves or living and the universe or earth and heavens and although he never got any award from bureaucracy the students he taught ages ago still touch his feet and some of them are the people you have to make an appointment to meet even if it is for two minutes of their time and that’s a reward for him bigger than any other that some of his colleagues got for their flattery and also I have to write about reliability as well because you see as the sun always rises and the snowflakes are always six-folds and the spring always comes and the petals of a sunflower and every flower follows the golden ratio of symmetry my father never fails to keep his promise I have to mention the rage as well that he always carries inside him like a burning fire for wrongdoings for injustice and now he carries a bitterness too for people who used him good and discarded as it always happens with every good man in our world of humans and you must be thinking he has learned his lessons well you go to him — it does not matter who you are if he knows you or you are a stranger from other side of the world — and ask for his help he will be happy to do so as you must know people never change not their soul in any case.
Neena H. Brar
Others may not notice it, because an angry Toraf is truly a rare thing to behold, but Galen can practically feel the animosity emanating from his friend. Which is why he casually bumps into him, taking care to be overly apologetic. “Oh, sorry about that, minnow. I didn’t even see you there.” Galen mimics Toraf’s demeanor, crossing his arms and staring ahead of them. What they’re supposed to be staring at, he’s not sure. His effort is rewarded with a slight upward curve of his friend’s mouth. “Oh, don’t think twice about it, tadpole. I know it must be difficult to swim straight with a whale’s tail.” Galen scowls, taking care not to glance down at his fin. Ever since they went to retrieve Grom, he’s been sore all below the waist, but he’d just attributed it to tension from finding Nalia, and then the whole tribunal mess-not to mention, hovering in place for hours at a time. Still, he did examine his fin the evening before, hoping to massage out any knots he found, but was a bit shocked to see that his fin span seemed to have widened. He decided that he was letting his imagination get the better of him. Now he’s not so sure. “What do you mean?” he says lightly. Toraf nods down toward the sand. “You know what I mean. Looks like you have the red fever.” “The red fever bloats you all over, idiot. Right before it kills you. It doesn’t make your fin grow wider. Besides, the red tide hasn’t been bad for years now.” But Toraf already knows what the red fever looks like. Not long after he first became a Tracker, Toraf was commissioned to find an older Syrena who had gone off on his own to die after he’d been caught in what the humans call the red tide. Toraf was forced to tie seaweed around the old one’s fin and pull his body to the Cave of Memories. No, he doesn’t think I have the red fever. Toraf allows himself a long look at Galen’s fin. If it were anyone else, Galen would consider it rude. “Does it hurt?” “It’s sore.” “Have you asked anyone about it?” “I’ve had other things on my mind.” Which is the truth. Galen really hadn’t given it much thought until right now. Now that it has been noticed by someone else. Toraf pulls his own fin around and after a few seconds of twisting and bending, he’s able to measure it against his torso. It spans from his neck to where his waist turns into velvety tail. He nods to Galen to do the same. Galen is horrified to find that his fin now spans from the top of his head to well below his waist. It really does look like a whale tail. “I don’t know how I feel about that,” Toraf says, thoughtful. “I’ve gotten used to having the most impressive fin out of the two of us.” Galen grins, letting his tail fall. “For a minute there I thought you really cared.” Toraf shrugs. “Being self-conscious doesn’t suit you.” Galen follows his gaze back out into the sea ahead of them. “So what do you think about yesterday’s tribunal?” “I think I know where Nalia and Emma get their temper.” Galen laughs. “I thought Jagen was going to pass out when Antonis grabbed him.” “He’s not very good at interacting with others anymore, is he?” “I wonder if he ever was. I told you how crazy Nalia always acted. Could be a family trait.” It looks like Toraf might actually smile but instead his gaze jerks back out to sea, a new scowl on his face. “Oh, no,” Galen groans. “What is it?” Please don’t say Emma. Please don’t say Emma. “Rayna,” Toraf says through clenched teeth. “She’s heading straight for us.” That’s almost as bad.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
Then we’re kissing right there in front of everyone. And nothing else seems to matter. Certainly not etiquette, or what anyone else thinks. It’s only his lips on mine, the pressure gentle. It’s only us. And I can’t stop— Which is when Derrick arrives out of thin air and careens into my shoulder in a mess of wings and limbs. “Hellooooo! Don’t mind me, I’m just interrupting your brazen cuddle to steal the lady for a few minutes.” Oh, damnation, not now. I’m really regretting not giving Derrick that extra five minutes. “Derrick,” I say through clenched teeth. I step back from Kiaran and try to control the pixie’s wriggling body in my hair. “Not—” “My god.” Derrick collapses on my shoulder. “I am full of pie. I can barely even move my wings. I—” He squints over at Kiaran and smiles in delight. “Oh, hulloooooo, villainous wastrel!” Kiaran is clearly not impressed. “You’ve a bit of pastry on your jacket.” Derrick swipes at the morsel, snatches it, and eats it. “Was just saving a wee snack for later.” He giggles. For god’s sake. I look pleadingly at Kiaran. “Just . . . save that thought. Don’t go anywhere.” I’d like to resume the kissing. “I’ll be right back—” “Kiaraaaaaaaaaan.” Derrick giggles. “Or would you prefer I keep villainous wastrel? I never asked.” Kiaran arches an eyebrow. “I suppose that depends. Would you prefer pain in my arse?” Derrick bursts into laughter. “Arse! Aileana. He said arse.” “Hell,” I mutter. “Will you excuse me for a moment?” I don’t wait for Kiaran’s response. I take Derrick with me to the lift and don’t say anything until I reach the fourth floor. “Let me just say, if someone gave you honey, I’ll—” “No, no, no,” Derrick says, gliding off my shoulder. He now looks suspiciously lucid. “You said to save you after twenty-five minutes. So I did.” “I said to save me if I was around Daniel and in obvious distress.” Not when I’m kissing someone in obvious delight. “Firstly, I was the one in distress watching you kiss Kiaran because ughhhh.” Derrick wags a finger at me. “And secondly, you never said anything about distress, you said—” “Forget what I said.” I narrow my eyes. “Are you telling me that down there was all an act?” He grins. “I would have been perfect in the theater, wouldn’t you say?” “Good heavens,” I murmur. At least I don’t have to deal with a drunk pixie. “Let’s just check the wards, all right
Elizabeth May (The Vanishing Throne (The Falconer, #2))
But now Max wanted Gina to look out the window. “The cavalry had arrived,” he told her. Someone was standing directly in front of the tank. Whoever he was—a boy, dressed like a surfer, on crutches—was holding one hand out in front of him like a traffic cop signaling halt. The tank, of course, had rolled to a stop. And Gina realized this was no ordinary surfer, this was Jules Cassidy. Jules was alive! And here she’d thought she was all cried out. Max laughed as he peered out through the slit that passed as a windshield for the tank. “He has no idea that we’re in here,” he said. Damn, Jules looked like he’d been hit by a bus. “Jesus, he has some balls.” Jules turned to the interpreter, who still didn’t quite believe that they weren’t going to kill him. “Open the hatch.” “Yes, sir.” He poked his head out. “Do you speak English?” Max could hear Jules through the opening. “Yes, sir.” “Tell your commanding officer to back up. In fact, tell him to leave the area. I’m in charge of this situation now. My name is Jules Cassidy and I’m an American, with the FBI. There are Marine gunships on their way, they’ll be here any minute. They have armor-penetrating artillery—they’ll blow you to hell, so back off.” “Tell him Jones wants to know if the gunships are really coming, or if that’s just something he learned in FBI Bullshitting 101.” The interpreter passed the message along. As Max watched, surprise and relief crossed Jules’s face. “Is Max in there, too?” Jules asked. “Yes, sir,” the interpreter said. “Well, shit.” Jules grinned. “I should’ve stayed in the hospital.” “I hear helicopters!” Gina’s voice came through the walkie-talkie. “I can see them, too! They’re definitely American!” Max took a deep breath, keyed the talk button. And sang. “Love me tender, love me sweet, never let me go . . .
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
But there’s never been anyone? Really?” Sarah shrugs. “Penny and I were tutored at home when we were young . . . but in year ten, there was this one boy.” I rub my hands together. “Here we go—tell me everything. I want all the sick, lurid details. Was he a footballer? Big and strong, captain of the team, the most popular boy in school?” I could see it. Sarah’s delicate, long and lithe, but dainty, beautiful—any young man would’ve been desperate to have her on his arm. In his lap. In his bed, on the hood of his car, riding his face . . . all of the above. “He was captain of the chess team.” I cover my eyes with my hand. “His name was Davey. He wore these adorable tweed jackets and bow ties, he had blond hair, and was a bit pale because of the asthma. He had the same glasses as I and he had a different pair of argyle socks for every day of the year.” “You’re messing with me, right?” She shakes her head. “Argyle socks, Sarah? I am so disappointed in you right now.” “He was nice,” she chides. “You leave my Davey alone.” Then she laughs again—delighted and free. My cock reacts hard and fast, emphasis on hard. It’s like sodding granite. “So what happened to old Davey boy?” “I was alone in the library one day and he came up and started to ask me to the spring social. And I was so excited and nervous I could barely breathe.” I picture how she must’ve looked then. But in my mind’s eyes she’s really not any different than she is right now. Innocent, sweet, and so real she couldn’t deceive someone if her life depended on it. “And then before he could finish the question, I . . .” I don’t realize I’m leaning toward her until she stops talking and I almost fall over. “You . . . what?” Sarah hides behind her hands. “I threw up on him.” And I try not to laugh. I swear I try . . . but I’m only human. So I end up laughing so hard the car shakes and I can’t speak for several minutes. “Christ almighty.” “And I’d had fish and chips for lunch.” Sarah’s laughing too. “It was awful.” “Oh you poor thing.” I shake my head, still chuckling. “And poor Davey.” “Yes.” She wipes under her eyes with her finger. “Poor Davey. He never came near me again after that.” “Coward—he didn’t deserve you. I would’ve swam through a whole lake of puke to take a girl like you to the social.” She smiles so brightly at me, her cheeks maroon and round like two shiny apples. “I think that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.” I wiggle my eyebrows. “I’m all about the compliments.
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))
inspire. I am here to love. I am here to live my truth. Communion: I will appreciate someone who doesn’t know that I feel that way. I will overlook the tension and be friendly to someone who has ignored me. I will express at least one feeling that has made me feel guilty or embarrassed. Awareness: I will spend ten minutes observing instead of speaking. I will sit quietly by myself just to sense how my body feels. If someone irritates me, I will ask myself what I really feel beneath the anger—and I won’t stop paying attention until the anger is gone. Acceptance: I will spend five minutes thinking about the best qualities of someone I really dislike. I will read about a group that I consider totally intolerant and try to see the world as they do. I will look in the mirror and describe myself exactly as if I were the perfect mother or father I wish I had had (beginning with the sentence “How beautiful you are in my eyes”). Creativity: I will imagine five things I could do that my family would never expect—and then I will do at least one of them. I will outline a novel based on my life (every incident will be true, but no one would ever guess that I am the hero). I will invent something in my mind that the world desperately needs. Being: I will spend half an hour in a peaceful place doing nothing except feeling what it is like to exist. I will lie outstretched on the grass and feel the earth languidly revolving under me. I will take in three breaths and let them out as gently as possible. Efficiency: I will let at least two things out of my control and see what happens. I will gaze at a rose and reflect on whether I could make it open faster or more beautifully than it already does—then I will ask if my life has blossomed this efficiently. I will lie in a quiet place by the ocean, or with a tape of the sea, and breathe in its rhythms. Bonding: When I catch myself looking away from someone, I will remember to look into the person’s eyes. I will bestow a loving gaze on someone I have taken for granted. I will express sympathy to someone who needs it, preferably a stranger. Giving: I will buy lunch and give it to someone in need on the street (or I will go to a café and eat lunch with the person). I will compliment someone for a quality that I know the individual values in him- or herself. I will give my children as much of my undivided time today as they want. Immortality: I will read a scripture about the soul and the promise of life after death. I will write down five things I want my life to be remembered for. I will sit and silently experience the gap between breathing in and breathing out, feeling the eternal in the present moment.
Deepak Chopra (The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life)
Do you have a piece of paper I could write on?” I jump up too fast. “Sure. Just one? Do you—of course you need something to write with. Sorry. Here.” I grab him a paper from my deskdrawer and one of my myriad pencils, and he uses the first Children of Hypnos book as a flat surface to write on. When I’m sure he’s writing something for me to read right now, I say, “I thought you only needed to do that when other people were around?” He etches one careful line after the next. He frowns, shakes his head. “Sometimes it’s . . . tough to say things. Certain things.” His voice is hardly a whisper. I sit down beside him again, but his big hand blocks my view of the words. He stops writing, leaves the paper there, and stares. Then he hands it to me and looks the other direction. Can I kiss you? “Um,” is a delightfully complex word. “Um” means “I want to say something but don’t know what it is,” and also “You have caught me off guard,” and also “Am I dreaming right now? Someone please slap me.” I say “um,” then. Wallace’s entire head-neck region is already flushed with color, but the “um” darkens it a few shades, and goddammit, he was nervous about asking me and I made it worse. What good is “um” when I should say “YES PLEASE NOW”? Except there’s no way I’m going to say “YES PLEASE NOW” because I feel like my body is one big wired time bomb of organs and if Wallace so much as brushes my hand, I’m going to jump out of my own skin and run screaming from the house. I’ll like it too much. Out of control. No good. I say, “Can I borrow that pencil?” He hands me the pencil, again without looking. Yes, but not right now. I know it sounds weird. Sorry. I don’t think it’ll go well if I know it’s coming. I will definitely freak out and punch you in the face or scream bloody murder or something like that. Surprising me with it would probably work better. I am giving you permission to surprise me with a kiss. This is a formal invitation for surprise kisses. I don’t like writing the word “kiss.” It makes my skin crawl. Sorry. It’s weird. I’m weird. Sorry. I hope that doesn’t make you regret asking. I hand the paper and pencil back. He reads it over, then writes: No regret. I can do surprises. That’s it. That’s it? Shit. Now he’s going to try to surprise me with a kiss. At some point. Later today? Tomorrow? A week from now? What if he never does it and I spend the rest of the time we hang out wondering if he will? What have I done? This was a terrible idea. I’m going to vomit. “Be right back,” I say, and run to the bathroom to curl up on the floor. Just for like five minutes. Then I go back to my room and sit down beside Wallace. As I’m moving myself into position, his hand falls over mine, and I don’t actually jump out of my skin. My control shakes for a moment, but I turn in to it, and everything smooths out. I flip my hand over. He flexes his fingers so I can fit mine in the spaces between. And we sit there, shoulder to shoulder, with our hands resting on the bed between us. It’s not so bad
Francesca Zappia (Eliza and Her Monsters)
Seconds turn into minutes and minutes into hours. It is all still the same. Or it no longer is. If I were to ask what has changed, perhaps nothing, but conceivably everything would be the befitting reply. I no longer feel the same. Loss preceded me, alienating my soul from the body. I feel I am gliding through an alley making a journey from the known towards the unknown. There is a deep abyss inside where sometime back, my heart used to beat and a noisy, rusty old machine has replaced my mind; solitarily creating useless noise. I don’t remember what day it is and since when have I been lying here. It must have been yesterday… or was it day before. I cannot recollect anything except the dull throbbing pain inside my brain. I can see the time, almost 9: 45, difficult to say which time of the day it is. The bigger hand is soon going to overshadow the smaller hand. It looks like a game of cat and mouse; the bigger hand chasing the smaller one. Anyone stronger in terms of physical appearance, money, power, fame or name tramples upon the weak ones - that is the rule of the world. There are only two possible reasons behind it, love or hate. When you love someone you want to control everything that person does and hence, sometimes, knowingly or unknowingly you squash them like melons. While on the other hand in the case of hate, there is no need to specify the reason for walking over someone like that. Hate is a strong reason in itself. I am confused as to what crushed me, was it love or hate? I somehow don’t like the sound of it – love, it in itself smells of treachery, for love is not a pure emotion. Lust and hatred are the only pure emotions. Love is camouflaged, for needs and desires. Desires – they are magical in their own way. They can be innocent. They can be monstrous. But they exist, no matter what, and many such needs and desires make us helpless slaves of the same. We hide these desires either in the realms of our mind or in the dusty corners of our hearts for we are scared…what if someone finds out what we desire. We give them identities so as to not let the real thing show. The only thing visible on the front is a mask we wear to deceive people or that’s what I thought. For I was deceived while I believed I am the deceiver. Or was I not? I debated as my mind once again tried to enter a sleep-induced trance.
Namrata (Time's Lost Atlas)
I didn’t answer, occupied in dissolving the penicillin tablets in the vial of sterile water. I selected a glass barrel, fitted a needle, and pressed the tip through the rubber covering the mouth of the bottle. Holding it up to the light, I pulled back slowly on the plunger, watching the thick white liquid fill the barrel, checking for bubbles. Then pulling the needle free, I depressed the plunger slightly until a drop of liquid pearled from the point and rolled slowly down the length of the spike. “Roll onto your good side,” I said, turning to Jamie, “and pull up your shirt.” He eyed the needle in my hand with keen suspicion, but reluctantly obeyed. I surveyed the terrain with approval. “Your bottom hasn’t changed a bit in twenty years,” I remarked, admiring the muscular curves. “Neither has yours,” he replied courteously, “but I’m no insisting you expose it. Are ye suffering a sudden attack of lustfulness?” “Not just at present,” I said evenly, swabbing a patch of skin with a cloth soaked in brandy. “That’s a verra nice make of brandy,” he said, peering back over his shoulder, “but I’m more accustomed to apply it at the other end.” “It’s also the best source of alcohol available. Hold still now, and relax.” I jabbed deftly and pressed the plunger slowly in. “Ouch!” Jamie rubbed his posterior resentfully. “It’ll stop stinging in a minute.” I poured an inch of brandy into the cup. “Now you can have a bit to drink—a very little bit.” He drained the cup without comment, watching me roll up the collection of syringes. Finally he said, “I thought ye stuck pins in ill-wish dolls when ye meant to witch someone; not in the people themselves.” “It’s not a pin, it’s a hypodermic syringe.” “I dinna care what ye call it; it felt like a bloody horseshoe nail. Would ye care to tell me why jabbing pins in my arse is going to help my arm?” I took a deep breath. “Well, do you remember my once telling you about germs?” He looked quite blank. “Little beasts too small to see,” I elaborated. “They can get into your body through bad food or water, or through open wounds, and if they do, they can make you ill.” He stared at his arm with interest. “I’ve germs in my arm, have I?” “You very definitely have.” I tapped a finger on the small flat box. “The medicine I just shot into your backside kills germs, though. You get another shot every four hours ’til this time tomorrow, and then we’ll see how you’re doing.” I paused. Jamie was staring at me, shaking his head. “Do you understand?” I asked. He nodded slowly. “Aye, I do. I should ha’ let them burn ye, twenty years ago.
Diana Gabaldon (Voyager (Outlander, #3))
There is a sort of subdued pandemonium in the air, a note of repressed violence, as if the awaited explosion required the advent of some utterly minute detail, something microscopic but thoroughly unpremeditated, completely unexpected. In that sort of half-reverie which permits one to participate in an event and yet remain quite aloof, the little detail which was lacking began obscurely but insistently to coagulate, to assume a freakish, crystalline form, like the frost which gathers on the windowpane. And like those frost patterns which seem so bizarre, so utterly free and fantastic in design, but which are nevertheless determined by the most rigid laws, so this sensation which commenced to take form inside me seemed also to be giving obedience to ineluctable laws. My whole being was responding to the dictates of an ambience which it had never before experienced; that which I could call myself seemed to be contracting, condensing, shrinking from the stale, customary boundaries of the flesh whose perimeter knew only the modulations of the nerve ends. And the more substantial, the more solid the core of me became, the more delicate and extravagant appeared the close, palpable reality out of which I was being squeezed. In the measure that I became more and more metallic, in the same measure the scene before my eyes became inflated. The state of tension was so finely drawn now that the introduction of a single foreign particle, even a microscopic particle, as I say, would have shattered everything. For the fraction of a second perhaps I experienced that utter clarity which the epileptic, it is said, is given to know. In that moment I lost completely the illusion of time and space: the world unfurled its drama simultaneously along a meridian which had no axis. In this sort of hair-trigger eternity I felt that everything was justified, supremely justified; I felt the wars inside me that had left behind this pulp and wrack; I felt the crimes that were seething here to emerge tomorrow in blatant screamers; I felt the misery that was grinding itself out with pestle and mortar, the long dull misery that dribbles away in dirty handkerchiefs. On the meridian of time there is no injustice: there is only the poetry of motion creating the illusion of truth and drama. If at any moment anywhere one comes face to face with the absolute, that great sympathy which makes men like Gautama and Jesus seem divine freezes away; the monstrous thing is not that men have created roses out of this dung heap, but that, for some reason or other, they should want roses. For some reason or other man looks for the miracle, and to accomplish it he will wade through blood. He will debauch himself with ideas, he will reduce himself to a shadow if for only one second of his life he can close his eyes to the hideousness of reality. Everything is endured – disgrace, humiliation, poverty, war, crime, ennui – in the belief that overnight something will occur, a miracle, which will render life tolerable. And all the while a meter is running inside and there is no hand that can reach in there and shut it off. All the while someone is eating the bread of life and drinking the wine, some dirty fat cockroach of a priest who hides away in the cellar guzzling it, while up above in the light of the street a phantom host touches the lips and the blood is pale as water. And out of the endless torment and misery no miracle comes forth, no microscopic vestige of relief. Only ideas, pale, attenuated ideas which have to be fattened by slaughter; ideas which come forth like bile, like the guts of a pig when the carcass is ripped open.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #1))
She gives just enough hints about him to make you wonder why he became so villainous. And if he dies, I’ll never learnt the answer.” Oliver eyes her closely. “Perhaps he was born villainous.” “No one is born villainous.” “Oh?” he said with raised eyebrow. “So we’re all born good?” “Neither. We start as animals, with an animal’s needs and desires. It takes parents and teachers and other good examples to show us how to restrain those needs and desires, when necessary, for the greater good. But it’s still our choice whether to heed that education or to do as we please.” “For a woman who loves murder and mayhem, you’re quite the philosopher.” “I like to understand how things work. Why people behave as they do.” He digested that for a moment. “I happen to think that some of us, like Rockton, are born with a wicked bent.” She chose her words carefully. “That certainly provides Rockton with a convenient excuse for his behavior.” His features turned stony. “What do you mean?” “Being moral and disciplined is hard work. Being wicked requires no effort at all-one merely indulges every desire and impulse, no matter how hurtful or immoral. By claiming to be born wicked, Rockton ensures that he doesn’t have to struggle to be god. He can just protest that he can’t help himself.” “Perhaps he can’t,” he clipped out. “Or maybe he’s simply unwilling to fight his impulses. And I want to know the reason for that. That’s why I keep reading Minerva’s books.” Did Oliver actually believe he’d been born irredeemably wicked? How tragic! It lent a hopelessness to his life that helped to explain his mindless pursuit of pleasure. “I can tell you the reason for Rockton’s villainy.” Oliver rose to round the desk. Propping his hip on the edge near her, he reached out to tuck a tendril of hair behind her ear. A sweet shudder swept over her. Why must he have this effect on her? It simply wasn’t fair. “Oh?” she managed. “Rockton knows he can’t have everything he wants,” he said hoarsely, his hand drifting to her cheek. “He can’t have the heroine, for example. She would never tolerate his…wicked impulses. Yet he still wants her. And his wanting consumes him.” Her breath lodged in her throat. It had been days since he’d touched her, and she hadn’t forgotten what it was like for one minute. To have him this near, saying such things… She fought for control over her volatile emotions. “His wanting consumes him precisely because he can’t have her. If he thought he could, he wouldn’t want her after all.” “Not true.” His voice deepening, he stroked the line of her jaw with a tenderness that roused an ache in her chest. “Even Rockton recognizes when a woman is unlike any other. Her very goodness in the face of his villainy bewitches him. He thinks if he can just possess that goodness, then the dark cloud lying on his soul will lift, and he’ll have something other than villainy to sustain him.” “Then he’s mistaken.” Her pulse trebled as his finger swept the hollow of her throat. “The only person who can lift the dark cloud on his soul is himself.” He paused in his caress. “So he’s doomed, then?” “No!” Her gaze flew to his. “No one is doomed, and certainly not Rockton. There’s still hope for him. There is always hope.” His eyes burned with a feverish light, and before she could look away, he bent to kiss her. It was soft, tender…delicious. Someone moaned, she wasn’t sure who. All she knew was that his mouth was on hers again, molding it, tasting it, making her hungry in the way that only he seemed able to do. “Maria…” he breathed. Seizing her by the arms, he drew her up into his embrace. “My God, I’ve thought of nothing but you since that day in the carriage.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
Diana” was the first thing out of her mouth. “I’m dying,” the too familiar voice on the other end moaned. I snorted, locking the front door behind me as I held the phone up to my face with my shoulder. “You’re pregnant. You’re not dying.” “But it feels like I am,” the person who rarely ever complained whined. We’d been best friends our entire lives, and I could only count on one hand the number of times I’d heard her grumble about something that wasn’t her family. I’d had the title of being the whiner in our epic love affair that had survived more shit than I was willing to remember right then. I held up a finger when Louie tipped his head toward the kitchen as if asking if I was going to get started on dinner or not. “Well, nobody told you to get pregnant with the Hulk’s baby. What did you expect? He’s probably going to come out the size of a toddler.” The laugh that burst out of her made me laugh too. This fierce feeling of missing her reminded me it had been months since we’d last seen each other. “Shut up.” “You can’t avoid the truth forever.” Her husband was huge. I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t expect her unborn baby to be a giant too. “Ugh.” A long sigh came through the receiver in resignation. “I don’t know what I was thinking—” “You weren’t thinking.” She ignored me. “We’re never having another one. I can’t sleep. I have to pee every two minutes. I’m the size of Mars—” “The last time I saw you”—which had been two months ago—“you were the size of Mars. The baby is probably the size of Mars now. I’d probably say you’re about the size of Uranus.” She ignored me again. “Everything makes me cry and I itch. I itch so bad.” “Do I… want to know where you’re itching?” “Nasty. My stomach. Aiden’s been rubbing coconut oil on me every hour he’s here.” I tried to imagine her six-foot-five-inch, Hercules-sized husband doing that to Van, but my imagination wasn’t that great. “Is he doing okay?” I asked, knowing off our past conversations that while he’d been over the moon with her pregnancy, he’d also turned into mother hen supreme. It made me feel better knowing that she wasn’t living in a different state all by herself with no one else for support. Some people in life got lucky and found someone great, the rest of us either took a long time… or not ever. “He’s worried I’m going to fall down the stairs when he isn’t around, and he’s talking about getting a one-story house so that I can put him out of his misery.” “You know you can come stay with us if you want.” She made a noise. “I’m just offering, bitch. If you don’t want to be alone when he starts traveling more for games, you can stay here as long as you need. Louie doesn’t sleep in his room half the time anyway, and we have a one-story house. You could sleep with me if you really wanted to. It’ll be like we’re fourteen all over again.” She sighed. “I would. I really would, but I couldn’t leave Aiden.” And I couldn’t leave the boys for longer than a couple of weeks, but she knew that. Well, she also knew I couldn’t not work for that long, too. “Maybe you can get one of those I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up—” Vanessa let out another loud laugh. “You jerk.” “What? You could.” There was a pause. “I don’t even know why I bother with you half the time.” “Because you love me?” “I don’t know why.” “Tia,” Louie hissed, rubbing his belly like he was seriously starving. “Hey, Lou and Josh are making it seem like they haven’t eaten all day. I’m scared they might start nibbling on my hand soon. Let me feed them, and I’ll call you back, okay?” Van didn’t miss a beat. “Sure, Di. Give them a hug from me and call me back whenever. I’m on the couch, and I’m not going anywhere except the bathroom.” “Okay. I won’t call Parks and Wildlife to let them know there’s a beached whale—” “Goddammit, Diana—” I laughed. “Love you. I’ll call you back. Bye!” “Vanny has a whale?” Lou asked.
Mariana Zapata (Wait for It)
I’m really enjoying my solitude after feeling trapped by my family, friends and boyfriend. Just then I feel like making a resolution. A new year began six months ago but I feel like the time for change is now. No more whining about my pathetic life. I am going to change my life this very minute. Feeling as empowered as I felt when I read The Secret, I turn to reenter the hall. I know what I’ll do! Instead of listing all the things I’m going to do from this moment on, I’m going to list all the things I’m never going to do! I’ve always been unconventional (too unconventional if you ask my parents but I’ll save that account for later). I mentally begin to make my list of nevers. -I am never going to marry for money like Natasha just did. -I am never going to doubt my abilities again. -I am never going to… as I try to decide exactly what to resolve I spot an older lady wearing a bright red velvet churidar kurta. Yuck! I immediately know what my next resolution will be; I will never wear velvet. Even if it does become the most fashionable fabric ever (a highly unlikely phenomenon) I am quite enjoying my resolution making and am deciding what to resolve next when I notice Az and Raghav holding hands and smiling at each other. In that moment I know what my biggest resolve should be. -I will never have feelings for my best friend’s boyfriend. Or for any friend’s boyfriend, for that matter. That’s four resolutions down. Six more to go? Why not? It is 2012, after all. If the world really does end this year, at least I’ll go down knowing I completed ten resolutions. I don’t need to look too far to find my next resolution. Standing a few centimetres away, looking extremely uncomfortable as Rags and Az get more oblivious of his existence, is Deepak. -I will never stay in a relationship with someone I don’t love, I vow. Looking for inspiration for my next five resolutions, I try to observe everyone in the room. What catches my eye next is my cousin Mishka giggling uncontrollably while failing miserably at walking in a straight line. Why do people get completely trashed in public? It’s just so embarrassing and totally not worth it when you’re nursing a hangover the next day. I recoil as memories of a not so long ago night come rushing back to me. I still don’t know exactly what happened that night but the fragments that I do remember go something like this; dropping my Blackberry in the loo, picking it up and wiping it with my new Mango dress, falling flat on my face in the middle of the club twice, breaking my Nine West heels, kissing an ugly stranger (Az insists he was a drug dealer but I think she just says that to freak me out) at the bar and throwing up on the Bandra-Worli sea link from Az’s car. -I will never put myself in an embarrassing situation like that again. Ever. I usually vow to never drink so much when I’m lying in bed with a hangover the next day (just like 99% of the world) but this time I’m going to stick to my resolution. What should my next resolution be?
Anjali Kirpalani (Never Say Never)
He whirled,almost violently,and stared at her accusingly. "Damn it, Gennie, I've had my head lopped off." It was her turn to stare.Her fingers went numb against the stoneware. Her pulse seemed to stop long enough to make her head swim before it began to race. The color drained from her face until it was like porcelain against the glowing green of her eyes.On another oath, Grant dragged a hand through his hair. "You're spilling the coffee," he muttered, then stuck his hands in his pockets. "Oh." Gennie looked down foolishly at the tiny twin puddles that were forming on the floor,then set down the mugs. "I'll-I'll wipe it up." "Leave it." Grant grabbed her arm before she could reach for a towel. "Listen,I feel like someone's just given me a solid right straight to the gut-the kind that doubles you over and makes your head ring at the same time.I feel that way too often when I look at you." When she said nothing, he took her other arm and shook. "In the first place I never asked to have you walk into my life and mess up my head. The last thing I wanted was for you to get in my way,but you did.So now I'm in love with you, and I can tell you,I'm not crazy about the idea." Gennie found her voice, though she wasn't quite certain what to do with it. "Well," she managed after a moment, "that certainly puts me in my place." "Oh,she wants to make jokes." Disgusted, Grant released her to storm over to the coffee. Lifting a mug, he drained half the contents, perversely pleased that it scalded his throat. "Well, laugh this off," he suggested as he slammed the mug down again and glared. "You're not going anywhere until I figure out what the hell I'm going to do about you." Struggling against conflicting emotions of amusement,annoyance,and simple wonder, she put her hands on her hips. The movement shifted the too-big robe so that it threatened to slip off one shoulder. "Oh,really? So you're going to figure out what to do about me, like I was an inconvenient head cold." "Damned inconvenient," he muttered. "You may not have noticed, but I'm a grown woman with a mind of my own, accustomed to making my own decisions. You're not going to do anything about me," she told him as her temper began to overtake everything else. She jabbed a finger at him,and the gap in the robe widened. "If you're in love with me, that's your problem. I have one of my own because I'm in love with you." "Terrific!" he shouted at her. "That's just terrific.We'd both have been better off if you'd waited out that storm in a ditch instead of coming here." "You're not telling me anything I don't already know," Gennie retorted, then spun around to leave the room. "Just a minute." Grant had her arm again and backed her into the wall. "You're not going anywhere until this is settled." "It's settled!" Tossing her hair out of her face, she glared at him. "We're in love with each other and I wish you'd go jump off that cliff.If you had any finesse-" "I don't." "Any sensitivty," she continued, "you wouldn't announce that you were in love with someone in the same tone you'd use to frighten small children.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
I like rainbows. We came back down to the meadow near the steaming terrace and sat in the river, just where one of the bigger hot streams poured into the cold water of the Ferris Fork. It is illegal – not to say suicidal – to bathe in any of the thermal features of the park. But when those features empty into the river, at what is called a hot pot, swimming and soaking are perfectly acceptable. So we were soaking off our long walk, talking about our favorite waterfalls, and discussing rainbows when it occurred to us that the moon was full. There wasn’t a hint of foul weather. And if you had a clear sky and a waterfall facing in just the right direction… Over the course of a couple of days we hked back down the canyon to the Boundary Creek Trail and followed it to Dunanda Falls, which is only about eight miles from the ranger station at the entrance to the park. Dunanda is a 150-foot-high plunge facing generally south, so that in the afternoons reliable rainbows dance over the rocks at its base. It is the archetype of all western waterfalls. Dunenda is an Indian name; in Shoshone it means “straight down,” which is a pretty good description of the plunge. ... …We had to walk three miles back toward the ranger station and our assigned campsite. We planned to set up our tents, eat, hang our food, and walk back to Dunanda Falls in the dark, using headlamps. We could be there by ten or eleven. At that time the full moon would clear the east ridge of the downriver canyon and would be shining directly on the fall. Walking at night is never a happy proposition, and this particular evening stroll involved five stream crossings, mostly on old logs, and took a lot longer than we’d anticipated. Still, we beat the moon to the fall. Most of us took up residence in one or another of the hot pots. Presently the moon, like a floodlight, rose over the canyon rim. The falling water took on a silver tinge, and the rock wall, which had looked gold under the sun, was now a slick black so the contrast of water and rock was incomparably stark. The pools below the lip of the fall were glowing, as from within, with a pale blue light. And then it started at the base of the fall: just a diagonal line in the spray that ran from the lower east to the upper west side of the wall. “It’s going to happen,” I told Kara, who was sitting beside me in one of the hot pots. Where falling water hit the rock at the base of the fall and exploded upward in vapor, the light was very bright. It concentrated itself in a shining ball. The diagonal line was above and slowly began to bend until, in the fullness of time (ten minutes, maybe), it formed a perfectly symmetrical bow, shining silver blue under the moon. The color was vaguely electrical. Kara said she could see colors in the moonbow, and when I looked very hard, I thought I could make out a faint line of reddish orange above, and some deep violet at the bottom. Both colors were very pale, flickering, like bad florescent light. In any case, it was exhilarating, the experience of a lifetime: an entirely perfect moonbow, silver and iridescent, all shining and spectral there at the base of Dunanda Falls. The hot pot itself was a luxury, and I considered myself a pretty swell fellow, doing all this for the sanity of city dwellers, who need such things more than anyone else. I even thought of naming the moonbow: Cahill’s Luminescence. Something like that. Otherwise, someone else might take credit for it.
Tim Cahill (Lost in My Own Backyard: A Walk in Yellowstone National Park)