I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!
I'm sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now.
Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1))
Soul Alone by Hannah Baker
I meet your eyes
you don't even see me
You hardly respond
when I whisper
Could be my soul mate
two kindred spirits
Maybe we're not
I guess we'll never
My own mother
you carried me in you
Now you see nothing
but what I wear
People ask you
how I'm doing
You smile and nod
don't let it end
underneath God's sky and
don't just see me with your eyes
this mask of flesh and bone and
for my soul
Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)
That's the thing about lessons, you always learn them when you don't expect them or want them.
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
Coach: "All right, Patch. let's say you're at a party. the room is full of girls of all shapes and sizes. You see blondes, brunettes, redheads, a few girl with black hair. Some are talkive, while other appear shy. You've one girl who fits your profile - attractive, intelligent and vulnerable. Dow do you let her know you're interested?"
Patch: "Single her out. Talk to her."
Coach: "Good. Now for the big question - how do you know if she's game or if she wants you to move on?"
Patch: "I study her. I figure out what she's thinking and feeling. She's not gonig to come right out and tell me, which is why i have to pay attention. Does she turn her body toward mine? Does she hold me eyes, then look away? Does she bite her lip and play with her hair, the way Nora is doing right now?
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
Let us begin this letter, this prelude to an encounter, formally, as a declaration, in the old-fashioned way: I love you. You do not know me (although you have seen me, smiled at me). I know you (although not so well as I would like. I want to be there when your eyes flutter open in the morning, and you see me, and you smile. Surely this would be paradise enough?). So I do declare myself to you now, with pen set to paper. I declare it again: I love you.
Tessa craned her head back to look at Will. “You know that feeling,” she said, “when you are reading a book, and you know that it is going to be a tragedy; you can feel the cold and darkness coming, see the net drawing tight around the characters who live and breathe on the pages. But you are tied to the story as if being dragged behind a carriage and you cannot let go or turn the course aside.” His blue eyes were dark with understanding — of course Will would understand — and she hurried on. “I feel now as if the same is happening, only not to characters on a page but to my own beloved friends and companions. I do not want to sit by while tragedy comes for us. I would turn it aside, only I struggle to discover how that might be done.”
“You fear for Jem,” Will said.
“Yes,” she said. “And I fear for you, too.”
“No,” Will said, hoarsely. “Don’t waste that on me, Tess.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
If you want some advice—which I'm sure you don't—you guys should lay off on the magic. Christian still thinks you're moving in on Lissa."
"What?" he asked in mock astonishment. "Doesn't he know my heart belongs to you?"
"It does not. And no, he's still worried about it, despite what I've told him."
"You know, I bet if we started making out right now, it would make him feel better."
"If you touch me," I said pleasantly, "I'll provide you with the opportunity to see if you can heal yourself. Then we'd see how badass you really are.
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
You don't make me feel like you used to.
That's why I'm leaving
That's why people leave each other
They come to their senses and get selfish again.
Henry Rollins (See A Grown Man Cry/Now Watch Him Die)
It happens like this.
"One day you meet someone and for some inexplicable reason, you feel more connected to this stranger than anyone else--closer to them than your closest family. Perhaps this person carries within them an angel--one sent to you for some higher purpose; to teach you an important lesson or to keep you safe during a perilous time. What you must do is trust in them--even if they come hand in hand with pain or suffering--the reason for their presence will become clear in due time."
Though here is a word of warning--you may grow to love this person but remember they are not yours to keep. Their purpose isn't to save you but to show you how to save yourself. And once this is fulfilled; the halo lifts and the angel leaves their body as the person exits your life. They will be a stranger to you once more.
It's so dark right now, I can't see any light around me.
That's because the light is coming from you. You can't see it but everyone else can.
Lang Leav (Love & Misadventure)
Ginny, listen...I can't be involved with you anymore. We've got to stop seeing each other. We can't be together."
"It's for some stupid noble reason isn't it?"
"It's been like...like something out of someone else's life these last few weeks with you. But I can't...we can't...I've got to do things alone now. Voldemort uses people his enemies are close to. He's already used you as bait once, and that was just because you were my best friend's sister. Think how much danger you'll be in if we keep this up. He'll know, he'll find out. He'll try and get me through you."
"What if I don't care?"
"I care. How do you think I'd feel if this was your funeral...and it was my fault...
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
Despite everything, I can't bear the thought of this ring being lost forever, any more then I can bear the thought of leaving you forever. And though I have no choice about the one, at least I can choose about the other. I'm leaving you our family ring because you have as much right to it as I do.
I'm writing this watching the sun come up. You're asleep, dreams moving behind your restless eyelids. I wish I knew what you were thinking. I wish I could slip into your head and see the world the way you do. I wish I could see myself the way you do. But maybe I dont want to see that. Maybe it would make me feel even more than I already do that I'm perpetuating some kind of Great Lie on you, and I couldn't stand that.
I belong to you. You could do anything you wanted with me and I would let you. You could ask anything of me and I'd break myself trying to make you happy. My heart tells me this is the best and greatest feeling I have ever had. But my mind knows the difference between wanting what you can't have and wanting what you shouldn't want. And I shouldn't want you.
All night I've watched you sleeping, watched the moonlight come and go, casting its shadows across your face in black and white. I've never seen anything more beautiful. I think of the life we could have had if things were different, a life where this night is not a singular event, separate from everything else that's real, but every night. But things aren't different, and I can't look at you without feeling like I've tricked you into loving me.
The truth no one is willing to say out loud is that no one has a shot against Valentine but me. I can get close to him like no one else can. I can pretend I want to join him and he'll believe me, up until that last moment where I end it all, one way or another. I have something of Sebastian's; I can track him to where my father's hiding, and that's what I'm going to do. So I lied to you last night. I said I just wanted one night with you. But I want every night with you. And that's why I have to slip out of your window now, like a coward. Because if I had to tell you this to your face, I couldn't make myself go.
I don't blame you if you hate me, I wish you would. As long as I can still dream, I will dream of you.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
I think in the end, you would have stayed with me, out of obligation...or maybe comfort. Maybe I was safe to you, and you needed to feel that. I know how scared you get of the unknown. To you...I must be kind of a security blanket. Do you see now, how that doesn't work for me? I don't want to be there, simply because the idea of me being gone is too...scary. I want to be someone's everything. I want fire and passion, and love that's returned, equally. I want to be someone's heart... Even if it means breaking my own.
S.C. Stephens (Thoughtless (Thoughtless, #1))
So, Grace, how's school?" I asked myself.
Dad nodded, eyes on the baby koala now struggling in the guest's arms.
"Oh, it's fine," I continued, and Dad made a mumbling noise of agreement. I added, "Nothing special, aside from the load of pandas they brought in, and the teachers abandoning us to cannibalistic savages-" I paused to see if I'd caught his attention yet, then pressed on. "The whole building caught fire, then I failed drama, and then sex, sex, sex."
Dad's eyes abruptly focused, and he turned to me and frowned. "What did you say they were teaching you in school?
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
You should see it. V for Vendetta I mean.
"I'll look it up."
No. With Me. At my house. Now
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
I think I wished for you all of my life.
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
But now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me. I thought of your hand-grenades, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony--Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy?
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
Three months ago, if you asked me, I would have told you that if you really loved someone, you’d let them go. But now I look at you, and I dreamed about Maggie, and I see that I’ve been wrong. If you really love someone, Allie, I think you have to take them back.
Jodi Picoult (Mercy)
A Dream Within A Dream
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
Edgar Allan Poe (The Complete Stories and Poems)
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Dylan Thomas (Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night)
I could wait patiently, but I really wish you would:
Drop everything now, meet me in the pourin' rain,
Kiss me on the sidewalk, take away the pain;
Cause I see sparks fly whenever you smile
Hit me with those green eyes, baby, as the lights go down,
Give me somethin' that'll haunt me when you're not around;
Cause I see sparks fly whenever you . . . smile.
The more you try to simplify things the more you complicate them. You create rules, build walls, push people away, lie to yourself and ignore true feelings. That is not simplifying things.
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
He thumbed quickly through the ledger and said, “When people see a cripple walking down the street, leaning on his cane, what do they feel?” Wylan looked away. People always did when Kaz talked about his limp, as if he didn’t know what he was or how the world saw him. “They feel pity. Now, what do they think when they see me coming?”
Wylan’s mouth quirked up at the corner. “They think they’d better cross the street.”
Kaz tossed the ledger back in the safe. “You’re not weak because you can’t read. You’re weak because you’re afraid of people seeing your weakness. You’re letting shame decide who you are.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
you were already more beautiful than anything I dared to dream. In our years apart, my imaginings did their best to improve on you perfection. At night, your face was forever behind my eyes. And now I see that that vision who kept me company in my loneliness was a hag compared to the beauty now before me.” –Westley
Enough about my beauty.” Buttercup said. “Everybody always talks about how beautiful I am. I’ve got a mind, Westley. Talk about that.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
Unhappy? I was lucky. So, so lucky. And I couldn’t see it.” His eyes met hers. “I love you,” he said. “And you make me happier than I ever thought I could be. And now that I know what it’s like to be someone else—to lose myself—I want my life back. My family. You. All of it.” His eyes darkened. “I want it back.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
“You can put me down now.”
“I’m not ready yet.” He tightens his hold.
“You don’t have to hold—“
“Emma? Can you hear me?”
“Uh, yes. I can hear fine. I just can’t see—“
“That’s a relief. Because for a minute there, I thought maybe you didn’t hear me when I said I’m not ready yet.”
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
I've seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought. You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more."
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the lost Lenore —
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore —
Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door —
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; —
This it is, and nothing more."
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"— here I opened wide the door; —
Darkness there, and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!" —
Merely this, and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore —
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; —
'Tis the wind and nothing more."
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door —
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door —
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore —
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning— little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door —
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore.
Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven)
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)
Life is made up of meetings and partings. People come into your life everyday, you say good morning, you say good evening, some stay for a few minutes, some stay for a few months, some a year, others a whole lifetime. No matter who it is, you meet and then you part. I'm so glad I met you Elizabeth Egan; I'll thank my lucky stars for that. I think I wished for you all of my life" He whispered. "But now it is time for us to part.
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
It's okay,' he tells me. 'If you want to go. Everyone wants you to stay. I want you to stay more than I've ever wanted anything in my life.' His voice cracks with emotion. He stops, clears his throat, takes a breath, and continues. 'But that's what I want and I could see why it might not be what you want. So I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. It's okay if you have to leave us. It's okay if you want to stop fighting.'
For the first time since I realized that Teddy was gone, too, I feel something unclench. I feel myself breathe. I know that Gramps can't be that late-inning pinch hitter I'd hoped for. He won't unplug my breathing tube or overdoes me with morphine or anything like that. But this is the first time today that anyone has acknowledged what I have lost. I know that the social worker warned Gran and Gramps not to upset me, but Gramps's recognition, and the permission he just offered me--it feels like a gift.
Gramps doesn't leave me. He slumps back into the chair. It's quiet now. So quiet you can almost hear other people's dreams. So quiet that you can almost hear me tell Gramps, 'Thank you.
Gayle Forman (If I Stay (If I Stay, #1))
How did I go so long without noticing you, damn it? Why did it take seeing a stupid A on your midterm to make me notice?”
He sounds so genuinely upset that I scoot closer and kiss him. “It doesn’t matter. You know me now.”
“I do,” he says fiercely.
Elle Kennedy (The Deal (Off-Campus, #1))
Hurts to see you everyday
Cupid shuts his eyes and shot me twice
Smell your perfume on my bed
Thoughts of you invade my head
Truths are written, never said
And if I can't be yours now
I'll wait here on this ground
Till you come, till you take me away
Colleen Hoover (Maybe Someday (Maybe, #1))
I think you ought to let me take poor Tessa into town to get some new clothes. Otherwise, the first time she takes a deep breath, that dress will fall right off her."
Will looked interested. "I think she should try that out now and see what happens.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
All I can think about is how fucked up it would be for your life to end here, now. I mean I know that your life if fucked up no matter what now, forever. And I'm not dumb enough to think that I can undo that, that anyone can. But I can't wrap my mind around the notion of you not getting old, having kids, going to Juilliard, getting to play that cello in front of a huge audience, so that they can get the chills the way I do every time I see you pick up your bow, every time I see you smile at me.
Gayle Forman (If I Stay (If I Stay, #1))
Know that it is a corpse who loves you and adores you and will never, never leave you!...Look, I am not laughing now, crying, crying for you, Christine, who have torn off my mask and who therefore can never leave me again!...Oh, mad Christine, who wanted to see me!
Gaston Leroux (The Phantom of the Opera)
I watched him pitch the ball at a table neatly lined with six bowling pins, my stomach giving a little flutter when his T-shirt crept up in the back, revealing a stripe of skin. I knew from experience that every inch of him was hard, defined muscle. His back was smooth and perfect too, the scars from when he’d fallen once again replaced with wings—wings I, and every other human, couldn’t see.
“Five dollars says you can’t do it again,” I said, coming up behind him.
Patch looked back and grinned. “I don’t want your money, Angel.”
“Hey now, kids, let’s keep this discussion PG-rated,” Rixon said.
“All three remaining pins,” I challenged Patch.
“What kind of prize are we talking about?” he asked.
“Bloody hell,” Rixon said. “Can’t this wait until you’re alone?”
Patch gave me a secret smile, then shifted his weight back, cradling the ball into his chest. He dropped his right shoulder, brought his arm around, and sent the ball flying forward as hard as he could. There was a loud crack! and the remaining three pins scattered off the table.
“Aye, now you’re in trouble, lass,” Rixon shouted at me over the commotion caused by a pocket of onlookers, who were clapping and whistling for Patch. Patch leaned back against the booth and arched his eyebrows at me. The gesture said it all: Pay up.
“You got lucky,” I said.
“I’m about to get lucky.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2))
Don't ever take for granted when people look in your eyes; you have no idea how important it is to be acknowledged. Even if it's an angry stare, because it's when they ignore you, when they look right through you, that you should start worrying.
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
The cord, a familiar voice said. Remember your lifeline, dummy!
Suddenly there was a tug in my lower back. The current pulled at me, but it wasn't carrying me away anymore. I imagined the string in my back keeping me tied to the shore.
"Hold on, Seaweed Brain." It was Annabeth's voice, much clearer now. "You're not getting away from me that easily."
The cord strengthened.
I could see Annabeth now- standing barefoot above me on the canoe lake pier. I'd fallen out of my canoe. That was it. She was reaching out her hand to haul me up, and she was trying not to laugh. She wore her orange camp T-shirt and jeans. Her hair was tucked up in her Yankees cap, which was strange because that should have made her invisible.
"You are such an idiot sometimes." She smiled. "Come on. Take my hand."
Memories came flooding back to me- sharper and more colorful. I stopped dissolving. My name was Percy Jackson. I reached up and took Annabeth's hand.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
It's alright, just wait and see, your string of lights is still bright to me. Who you are is not where you've been. You're still an innocent. It's okay life is a tough crowd, 32 is still growing up now.
Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift: Speak Now)
But I've bought a big bat.
I'm all ready, you see.
Now my troubles are going
To have troubles with me!
The important thing is not what we look like, but the role we play in our
best friend’s life. Friends choose certain friends because that’s the kind of company they are looking for at that specific time, not because they’re the
correct height, age, or have the right hair color
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
If you love something, let it go. if it was meant to be, it will come back to you.
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
It's so dark right now, I can't see any light around me. That's because the light is coming from you. You can't see it but everyone else can.
I will love you as a thief loves a gallery and as a crow loves a murder, as a cloud loves bats and as a range loves braes. I will love you as misfortune loves orphans, as fire loves innocence and as justice loves to sit and watch while everything goes wrong. I will love you as a battlefield loves young men and as peppermints love your allergies, and I will love you as the banana peel loves the shoe of a man who was just struck by a shingle falling off a house. I will love you as a volunteer fire department loves rushing into burning buildings and as burning buildings love to chase them back out, and as a parachute loves to leave a blimp and as a blimp operator loves to chase after it.
I will love you as a dagger loves a certain person’s back, and as a certain person loves to wear dagger proof tunics, and as a dagger proof tunic loves to go to a certain dry cleaning facility, and how a certain employee of a dry cleaning facility loves to stay up late with a pair of binoculars, watching a dagger factory for hours in the hopes of catching a burglar, and as a burglar loves sneaking up behind people with binoculars, suddenly realizing that she has left her dagger at home. I will love you as a drawer loves a secret compartment, and as a secret compartment loves a secret, and as a secret loves to make a person gasp, and as a gasping person loves a glass of brandy to calm their nerves, and as a glass of brandy loves to shatter on the floor, and as the noise of glass shattering loves to make someone else gasp, and as someone else gasping loves a nearby desk to lean against, even if leaning against it presses a lever that loves to open a drawer and reveal a secret compartment. I will love you until all such compartments are discovered and opened, and until all the secrets have gone gasping into the world. I will love you until all the codes and hearts have been broken and until every anagram and egg has been unscrambled.
I will love you until every fire is extinguised and until every home is rebuilt from the handsomest and most susceptible of woods, and until every criminal is handcuffed by the laziest of policemen. I will love until M. hates snakes and J. hates grammar, and I will love you until C. realizes S. is not worthy of his love and N. realizes he is not worthy of the V. I will love you until the bird hates a nest and the worm hates an apple, and until the apple hates a tree and the tree hates a nest, and until a bird hates a tree and an apple hates a nest, although honestly I cannot imagine that last occurrence no matter how hard I try. I will love you as we grow older, which has just happened, and has happened again, and happened several days ago, continuously, and then several years before that, and will continue to happen as the spinning hands of every clock and the flipping pages of every calendar mark the passage of time, except for the clocks that people have forgotten to wind and the calendars that people have forgotten to place in a highly visible area. I will love you as we find ourselves farther and farther from one another, where we once we were so close that we could slip the curved straw, and the long, slender spoon, between our lips and fingers respectively.
I will love you until the chances of us running into one another slip from slim to zero, and until your face is fogged by distant memory, and your memory faced by distant fog, and your fog memorized by a distant face, and your distance distanced by the memorized memory of a foggy fog. I will love you no matter where you go and who you see, no matter where you avoid and who you don’t see, and no matter who sees you avoiding where you go. I will love you no matter what happens to you, and no matter how I discover what happens to you, and no matter what happens to me as I discover this, and now matter how I am discovered after what happens to me as I am discovering this.
I wonder sometimes whether you've exploded already, like a star, and what I'm seeing you is three million years into the past, and you're not here anyore. How can we be together here, now, when you are so far away. When you are so far ago? I'm shouting so loudly, but you never turn around to see me. Perhaps it is I who have already exploded. Either way, we are going to bring beautiful things into the universe.
Alice Oseman (Radio Silence)
It has made me better loving you... it has made me wiser, and easier, and brighter. I used to want a great many things before, and to be angry that I did not have them. Theoretically, I was satisfied. I flattered myself that I had limited my wants. But I was subject to irritation; I used to have morbid sterile hateful fits of hunger, of desire. Now I really am satisfied, because I can’t think of anything better. It’s just as when one has been trying to spell out a book in the twilight, and suddenly the lamp comes in. I had been putting out my eyes over the book of life, and finding nothing to reward me for my pains; but now that I can read it properly I see that it’s a delightful story.
Henry James (The Portrait of a Lady)
I want to take back at least half of the “I love you”s, because I didn’t mean them as much as the other ones. I want to take back the book of artsy photos I gave you, because you didn’t get it and said it was hipster trash. I want to take back what I said about you being an emotional zombie. I want to take back the time I called you “honey” in front of your sister and you looked like I had just shown her pictures of us having sex. I want to take back the wineglass I broke when I was mad, because it was a nice wineglass and the argument would have ended anyway. I want to take back the time we had sex in a rent-a-car, not because I feel bad about the people who got in the car after us, but because it was massively uncomfortable. I want to take back the trust I had while you were away in Austin. I want to take back the time I said you were a genius, because I was being sarcastic and I should have just said you’d hurt my feelings. I want to take back the secrets I told you so I can decide now whether to tell them to you again. I want to take back the piece of me that lies in you, to see if I truly miss it. I want to take back at least half the “I love you”s, because it feels safer that way.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
I am starting to accept
that you never loved me.
And it's sad
because I don't think you see
how beautiful you are to me.
Your face was the light
that chased away the shadows,
every nightmare, every fear.
But you burned out and now
I'm learning to be afraid
of the dark once again.
Sade Andria Zabala (Coffee and Cigarettes)
Baby you light up my world like nobody else. The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed. And when you smile at the ground it ain't hard to tell. You don't know-oh-oh, you don't know you're beautiful. If only you saw what I can see, you'd understand why I want you so desperately. Right now I'm looking at you and I can't believe, you don't know-oh-oh, you don't know you're beautiful. That's What Makes You Beautiful.
Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me it means texture. This book has pores. It has features. This book can go under the microscope. You’d find life under the glass, streaming past in infinite profusion. The more pores, the more truthfully recorded details of life per square inch you can get on a sheet of paper, the more ‘literary’ you are. That’s my definition anyway. Telling detail. Fresh detail. The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies. So now you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
Now I know who you are
U got nothin' on me, I see
I should've known it from the start
You can't tell me lies
Don't even try cuz
This is goodbye
you dont see me, now you do, but only if i want you to
Wait a second," Four says. I turn toward him, wondering which version of Four I'll see now-the one who scolds me, or the one who climbs Ferris wheels with me. He smiles a little, but the smile doesn't spread to his eyes, which look less tense and worried.
"You belong here, you know that?" he says. "You belong with us. It'll be over soon, so just hold on, okay?"
He scratches behind his ear and looks away, like he's embarrassed by what he said.
I stare at him. I feel my heartbeat everywhere, even in my toes. I feel like doing something bold, but I could just as easily walk away. I am not sure which option is smarter, or better. I am not sure that I care.
I reach out and take his hand. His fingers slide between mine. I can't breathe.
I stare up at him, and he stares down at me. For a long moment, we stay that way. Then I pull my hand away and run after Uriah and Lynn and Marlene. Maybe now he thinks I'm stupid, or strange. Maybe it was worth it.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Now you'll get to see how I can really run a building, darlin. Not even a cracked knee to hold me back, yeah? What a nice birthday present.
Marie Lu (Prodigy (Legend, #2))
If invisible people eat invisible food does invisible wind blow invisible trees?
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
When you drop a glass or a plate to the ground it makes a loud crashing sound. When a window shatters a table leg breaks or when a picture falls off the wall it makes a noise. But as for your heart when that breaks it s completely silent. You would think as it s so important it would make the loudest noise in the whole world or even have some ... Read Moresort of ceremonious sound like the gong of a cymbal or the ringing of a bell. But it s silent and you almost wish there was a noise to distract you from the pain. If there is a noise it s internal. It screams and no one can hear it but you. It screams so loud your ears ring and your head aches. It trashes around in your chest like a great white shark caught in the sea it roars like a mother bear whose cub has been taken. That s what it looks like and that s what it sounds like a trashing panicking trapped great big beast roaring like a prisoner to its own emotions. But that s the thing about love no one is untouchable.
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
That was all part of giving someone a piece of your heart; they ended up taking a whole chunk of your mind and reserving it all for themselves.
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
For you, and for any dear to you, I would do anything. If my career were of that better kind that there was any opportunity or capacity of sacrifice in it, I would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you. Try to hold me in your mind, at some quiet times, as ardent and sincere in this one thing. The time will come, the time will not be long in coming, when new ties will be formed about you--ties that will bind you yet more tenderly and strongly to the home you so adorn--the dearest ties that will ever grace and gladden you. O Miss Manette, when the little picture of a happy father's face looks up in yours, when you see your own bright beauty springing up anew at your feet, think now and then that there is a man who would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you!
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
Why not? It's true. My best hope is to not disgrace myself and..." He hesitates.
And what?" I say.
I don't know how to say it exactly. Only... I want to die as myself. Does that make any sense?" he asks. I shake my head. How could he die as anyone but himself? "I don't want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I'm not."
I bite my lip feeling inferior. While I've been ruminating on the availability of trees, Peeta has been struggling with how to maintain his identity. His purity of self. "Do you mean you won't kill anyone?" I ask.
No, when the time comes, I'm sure I'll kill just like everybody else. I can't go down without a fight. Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to... to show the Capitol they don't own me. That I'm more than just a piece in their Games," says Peeta.
But you're not," I say. "None of us are. That's how the Games work."
Okay, but within that frame work, there's still you, there's still me," he insists. "Don't you see?"
A little, Only... no offense, but who cares, Peeta?" I say.
I do. I mean what else am I allowed to care about at this point?" he asks angrily. He's locked those blue eyes on mine now, demanding an answer.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
Edgar Allan Poe (The Complete Stories and Poems)
And I don't want to look at you every day, to see you naked,to watch you wandering around the annexe in your crazy dresses and not...not be able to do what I want with you. Oh, Clark,if you had any idea what I want to do to you right now.And I...i can't live with that knowledge. I can't. It's Not who I am. I can't be the kind of man who just...accepts.
Jojo Moyes (Me Before You (Me Before You, #1))
It is important for a husband to understand that his words have tremendous power in his wife’s life. He needs to bless her with words. She’s given her life to love and care for him, to partner with him, to create a family together, to nurture his children. If he is always finding fault in something she’s doing, always putting her down, he will reap horrendous problems in his marriage and in his life. Moreover, many women today are depressed and feel emotionally abused because their husbands do not bless them with their words. One of the leading causes of emotional breakdowns among married women is the fact that women do not feel valued. One of the main reasons for that deficiency is because husbands are willfully or unwittingly withholding the words of approval women so desperately desire. If you want to see God do wonders in your marriage, start praising your spouse. Start appreciating and encouraging her. Every single day, a husband should tell his wife, “I love you. I appreciate you. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.” A wife should do the same for her husband. Your relationship would improve immensely if you’d simply start speaking kind, positive words, blessing your spouse instead of cursing him or her.
Joel Osteen (Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential)
If I was bound for hell, let it be hell. No more false heavens. No more damned magic. You hate me and I hate you. We’ll see who hates best. But first, first I will destroy your hatred. Now. My hate is colder, stronger, and you’ll have no hate to warm yourself. You will have nothing.
Jean Rhys (Wide Sargasso Sea)
Now everyone dreams of a love faithful and true,
But you and I know what this world can do.
So let's make our steps clear so the other may see.
And I'll wait for you...should I fall behind wait for me.
I’m sorry for screwing everything up. I hurt you again, and for that I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I don’t want to do that anymore. So … I’m not going to stay
for the wedding. I’m just going to take off now. I won’t see you again, not for a long time. Probably for the best. Being near you like this, it hurts. And
Jere”—Conrad cleared his throat and stepped backward, making space between us—“he’s the one who needs you.”
Hoarsely, he said, “I need you to know that no matter what happens, it was worth it to me. Being with you, loving you. It was all worth it
Jenny Han (We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3))
Yes,” I whisper. The red blinking light on one of the cameras catches my eye. I know I’m being recorded. “Yes,” I say more forcefully. Everyone is drawing away from me—Gale, Cressida, the insects—giving me the stage. But I stay focused on the red light. “I want to tell the rebels that I am alive. That I’m right here in District Eight, where the Capitol has just bombed a hospital full of unarmed men, women, and children. There will be no survivors.” The shock I’ve been feeling begins to give way to fury. “I want to tell people that if you think for one second the Capitol will treat us fairly if there’s a cease-fire, you’re deluding yourself. Because you know who they are and what they do.” My hands go out automatically, as if to indicate the whole horror around me. “This is what they do! And we must fight back!”
I’m moving in toward the camera now, carried forward by my rage. “President Snow says he’s sending us a message? Well, I have one for him. You can torture us and bomb us and burn our districts to the ground, but do you see that?” One of the cameras follows as I point to the planes burning on the roof of the warehouse across from us. The Capitol seal on a wing glows clearly through the flames. “Fire is catching!” I am shouting now, determined that he will not miss a word. “And if we burn, you burn with us!
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
The best-case scenario here is that you make friends with a boy who's going to die."
"Ah," said Calla, in a very, very knowing way. "Now I see."
"Don't psychoanalyse me," her mother said.
"I already have. And I say again, 'ah'.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
For several years, I had been bored. Not a whining, restless child's boredom (although I was not above that) but a dense, blanketing malaise. It seemed to me that there was nothing new to be discovered ever again. Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative). We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world, dull-eyed, underwhelmed. Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, ancient icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can't recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn't immediately reference to a movie or TV show. A fucking commercial. You know the awful singsong of the blasé: Seeeen it. I've literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can't anymore. I don't know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script.
It's a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters.
And if all of us are play-acting, there can be no such thing as a soul mate, because we don't have genuine souls.
It had gotten to the point where it seemed like nothing matters, because I'm not a real person and neither is anyone else.
I would have done anything to feel real again.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
I'm not with Rob," I say quickly. "Not anymore."
"You're not?" He's staring at me so intensely I can see the stripes of gold alternating with the green in his eyes like spokes of a wheel.
I shake my head.
"That's a good thing." He's still staring at me like that, like he's the first and last person who will ever stare at me.
"Because..." His voice trails off, and his eyes travel slowly down to my lips, and there's so much heat roaring through
my body I swear I'm going to pass out.
"Because?" I prompt him, surprised I can still speak.
"Because I'm sorry, but I can't help it, and I really need to kiss you right now.
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
Can I say something?'
'I'm a little drunk'
'Me too. That's okay.'
'Just....I missed you, you know.'
'I missed you too.'
'But so, so much, Dexter. There were so many things I wanted to talk to you about, and you weren't there-'
'I tell you what it is. It's.....When I didn't see you, I thought about you every day, I mean EVERY DAY in some way or another-'
'-Even if it was just "I wish Dexter could see this" or "Where's Dexter now?" or "Christ that Dexter, what an idiot", you know what I mean, and seeing you today, well, I thought I'd got you back - my BEST friend. And now all this, the wedding, the baby- I'm so happy for you, Dex, but it feels like I've lost you again.'-
-'You know what happens you have a family, your responsibilities change, you lose touch with people'
'It won't be like that, I promise.'
'You swear? No more disappearing?'
'I won't if you won't.'
Their lips touched now, mouths pursed tight, their eyes open, both of them stock still. The moment held, a kind of glorious confusion.
David Nicholls (One Day)
I don’t know if I will have the time to write any more letters, because I might be too busy trying to participate. So, if this does end up being the last letter, I just want you to know that I was in a bad place before I started high school, and you helped me. Even if you didn’t know what I was talking about, or know someone who’s gone through it, you made me not feel alone. Because I know there are people who say all these things don’t happen. And there are people who forget what it’s like to be sixteen when they turn seventeen. I know these will all be stories some day, and our pictures will become old photographs. We all become somebody’s mom or dad. But right now, these moments are not stories. This is happening. I am here, and I am looking at her. And she is so beautiful. I can see it. This one moment when you know you’re not a sad story. You are alive. And you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you’re listening to that song, and that drive with the people who you love most in this world. And in this moment, I swear, we are infinite.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
You are beautiful like demolition. Just the thought of you draws my knuckles white. I don’t need a god. I have you and your beautiful mouth, your hands holding onto me, the nails leaving unfelt wounds, your hot breath on my neck. The taste of your saliva. The darkness is ours. The nights belong to us. Everything we do is secret. Nothing we do will ever be understood; we will be feared and kept well away from. It will be the stuff of legend, endless discussion and limitless inspiration for the brave of heart. It’s you and me in this room, on this floor. Beyond life, beyond morality. We are gleaming animals painted in moonlit sweat glow. Our eyes turn to jewels and everything we do is an example of spontaneous perfection. I have been waiting all my life to be with you. My heart slams against my ribs when I think of the slaughtered nights I spent all over the world waiting to feel your touch. The time I annihilated while I waited like a man doing a life sentence. Now you’re here and everything we touch explodes, bursts into bloom or burns to ash. History atomizes and negates itself with our every shared breath. I need you like life needs life. I want you bad like a natural disaster. You are all I see. You are the only one I want to know.
Most people write me off when they see me.
They do not know my story.
They say I am just an African.
They judge me before they get to know me.
What they do not know is
The pride I have in the blood that runs through my veins;
The pride I have in my rich culture and the history of my people;
The pride I have in my strong family ties and the deep connection to my community;
The pride I have in the African music, African art, and African dance;
The pride I have in my name and the meaning behind it.
Just as my name has meaning, I too will live my life with meaning.
So you think I am nothing?
Don’t worry about what I am now,
For what I will be, I am gradually becoming.
I will raise my head high wherever I go
Because of my African pride,
And nobody will take that away from me.
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for all Africans: How Every African Can Live the Life of Their Dreams)
Okay. He had a point but it wasn’t like I could tell him anything. I
could see me now: Guess what? You ever watch Clash of the Titans or
read any Greek fables? Well those gods are real and yeah, I’m sort of
a descendant of them. Kind of like the stepchild no one wants to claim.
Oh, and I hadn’t even been around mortals until three years ago. Can
we still be friends?
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Daimon (Covenant, #0.5))
I had no illusions about you,' he said. 'I knew you were silly and frivolous and empty-headed. But I loved you. I knew that your aims and ideals were vulgar and commonplace. But I loved you. I knew that you were second-rate. But I loved you. It's comic when I think how hard I tried to be amused by the things that amused you and how anxious I was to hide from you that I wasn't ignorant and vulgar and scandal-mongering and stupid. I knew how frightened you were of intelligence and I did everything I could to make you think me as big a fool as the rest of the men you knew. I knew that you'd only married me for convenience. I loved you so much, I didn't care. Most people, as far as I can see, when they're in love with someone and the love isn't returned feel that they have a grievance. They grow angry and bitter. I wasn't like that. I never expected you to love me, I didn't see any reason that you should. I never thought myself very lovable. I was thankful to be allowed to love you and I was enraptured when now and then I thought you were pleased with me or when I noticed in your eyes a gleam of good-humored affection. I tried not to bore you with my love; I knew I couldn't afford to do that and I was always on the lookout for the first sign that you were impatient with my affection. What most husbands expect as a right I was prepared to receive as a favor.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Painted Veil)
Oh, parts of my body got all kinds of tingly seeing that go down.
Kat whipped toward me, her eyes glowing from within. In that moment, she looked like a goddess— a goddess of vengeance.
If we weren’t in the middle of a fight, I’d have you up against a tree right now.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
You were joking about the whole please and thank you thing, right?"
"Meant every word." A little light danced in his eyes and he very deliberately said, "Baby."
He laughed. "You should see your face right now."
"Don't call me that."
"Would you prefer 'darling'? Or maybe 'cupcake'?" He winked.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
Aren’t you going to say, I told you so?” Hadrian whispered.
“What would be the point in that?”
“Oh, so you’re saying that you’re going to hang on to this and throw it at me at some future, more personally beneficial moment?”
“I don’t see the point in wasting it now, do you?
Michael J. Sullivan (Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations, #1-2))
Just three words? Nothing about his physical health? His equipment? His supplies?'
'You got me,' she said. 'He left a detailed status report. I just decided to lie for no reason.'
'Funny,' Venkat said. 'Be a smart-ass to a guy seven levels above you at your company. See how that works out.'
'Oh no,' Mindy said. 'I might lose my job as an interplanetary voyeur? I guess I'd have to use my master's degree for something else.'
'I remember when you were shy.'
'I'm space paparazzi now. The attitude comes with the job.
Andy Weir (The Martian)
You want what you can’t have. I see it in your eyes. The
pain that fills your nights is because of my pack of lies. I’ve
opened up the door for you to walk away. There’s a better
path for you even though I want you to stay. I’ve broken the
rules, I’ve veered from the path but when I met you I knew
to save you was worth the wrath. Let me leave now before
it’s too late. Let me leave now before you know what I am
and your love becomes hate.
Abbi Glines (Existence (Existence, #1))
Can you think what the Mirror of Erised shows us all?" Harry shook his head.
"Let me explain. The happiest man on earth would be able to use the Mirror of Erised like a normal mirror, that is, he would look into it and see himself exactly as he is. Does that help."
Harry thought. Then he said slowly, "It shows us what we want... whatever we want..."
"Yes and no," said Dumbledore quietly.
"It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of all of them. However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible.
"The Mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again. If you ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. Now, why don't you put that admirable cloak back on and get off to bed.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
I like storms. Thunder torrential rain, puddles, wet shoes. When the clouds roll in, I get filled with this giddy expectation. Everything is more beautiful in the rain. Don't ask me why. But it’s like this whole other realm of opportunity. I used to feel like a superhero, riding my bike over the dangerously slick roads, or maybe an Olympic athlete enduring rough trials to make it to the finish line. On sunny days, as a girl, I could still wake up to that thrilled feeling. You made me giddy with expectation, just like a symphonic rainstorm. You were a tempest in the sun, the thunder in a boring, cloudless sky. I remember I’d shovel in my breakfast as fast as I could, so I could go knock on your door. We’d play all day, only coming back for food and sleep. We played hide and seek, you’d push me on the swing, or we’d climb trees. Being your sidekick gave me a sense of home again. You see, when I was ten, my mom died. She had cancer, and I lost her before I really knew her. My world felt so insecure, and I was scared. You were the person that turned things right again. With you, I became courageous and free. It was like the part of me that died with my mom came back when I met you, and I didn’t hurt if I knew I had you. Then one day, out of the blue, I lost you, too. The hurt returned, and I felt sick when I saw you hating me. My rainstorm was gone, and you became cruel. There was no explanation. You were just gone. And my heart was ripped open. I missed you. I missed my mom. What was worse than losing you, was when you started to hurt me. Your words and actions made me hate coming to school. They made me uncomfortable in my own home. Everything still hurts, but I know none of it is my fault. There are a lot of words that I could use to describe you, but the only one that includes sad, angry, miserable, and pitiful is “coward.” I a year, I’ll be gone, and you’ll be nothing but some washout whose height of existence was in high school. You were my tempest, my thunder cloud, my tree in the downpour. I loved all those things, and I loved you. But now? You’re a fucking drought. I thought that all the assholes drove German cars, but it turns out that pricks in Mustangs can still leave scars.
Penelope Douglas (Bully (Fall Away, #1))
I can give her no greater power than she has already, said the woman; don't you see how strong that is? How men and animals are obliged to serve her, and how well she has got through the world, barefooted as she is. She cannot receive any power from me greater than she now has, which consists in her own purity and innocence of heart. If she cannot herself obtain access to the Snow Queen, and remove the glass fragments from little Kay, we can do nothing to help her.
Hans Christian Andersen (The Snow Queen)
We’re so self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. I’m tired of this shit. I’m tired of f-ing Earth Day. I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.
The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles … hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages … And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE are!
We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam … The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas.
The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed. And if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice toward plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, “Why are we here?”
Face it, you stupid little cookie maker,” Jenks said, almost sounding fond, “in the last couple of days you’ve seen what it’s like to be in a family, with all the touchy tempers and irritation that goes on. Now you get to see the other side, where we do stupid stuff for each other just because we like you. Rache is the little sister. Ivy’s the big sister. I’m the uncle from out of state, and you’re the rich nephew no one likes but we put up with you anyway because we feel sorry for you. Just let me help, huh? It won’t kill you.
Kim Harrison (Pale Demon (The Hollows, #9))
If you come as softly
As wind within the trees
You may hear what I hear
See what sorrow sees.
If you come as lightly
As threading dew
I will take you gladly
Nor ask more of you.
You may sit beside me
Silent as a breath
Only those who stay dead
Shall remember death.
And if you come I will be silent
Nor speak harsh words to you.
I will not ask you why, now.
Or how, or what you do.
We shall sit here, softly
Beneath two different years
And the rich earth between us
Shall drink our tears.
God made mud.
God got lonesome.
So God said to some of the mud, "Sit up!"
"See all I've made," said God, "the hills, the sea, the
sky, the stars."
And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look
Lucky me, lucky mud.
I, mud, sat up and saw what a nice job God had done.
Nice going, God.
Nobody but you could have done it, God! I certainly
I feel very unimportant compared to You.
The only way I can feel the least bit important is to
think of all the mud that didn't even get to sit up and
I got so much, and most mud got so little.
Thank you for the honor!
Now mud lies down again and goes to sleep.
What memories for mud to have!
What interesting other kinds of sitting-up mud I met!
I loved everything I saw!
I will go to heaven now.
I can hardly wait...
To find out for certain what my wampeter was...
And who was in my karass...
And all the good things our karass did for you.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Cat's Cradle)
Keep me up till five because all your stars are out, and for no other reason…Oh dare to do it Buddy! Trust your heart. You’re a deserving craftsman. It would never betray you. Good night. I’m feeling very much over-excited now, and a little dramatic, but I think I’d give almost anything on earth to see you writing a something, an anything, a poem, a tree, that was really and truly after your own heart.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
You saw a ghost, didn't you?" he said.
To my relief, I managed to laugh. "Hate to break it to you, but
there's no such thing as ghosts."
His gaze traveled around the laundry room, like a cop searching
for an escaped convict. When he turned that
piercing look on me, its intensity sucked the backbone out of me.
What do you see, Chloe?"
I -I-I don't s-s-s-"
Slow down." He snapped the words, impatient. "What do they
look like? Do they talk to you?"
You really want to know?"
I chewed my lip, then lifted onto my tiptoes. He bent to listen.
They wear white sheets with big eye holes. And they say 'Boo!'" I
glowered up at him. "Now get out of my
I expected him tosneer. Cross his arms and say, Make me, little girl.His lips twitched and I steeled myself, then I realized he was smiling.Laughing at me.
He stepped aside. I swept past him to the stairs.
Kelley Armstrong (The Summoning (Darkest Powers, #1))
-BDB on the board-
May 8, 2006
Rhage (in his bedroom posting in V's room on the board)
Hi, my name is V.
I've been knitting for 125 years now.
It's begun to impact my personal relationships: my brothers think I'm a nancy. It's begun to affect my health: I'm getting a callus on my forefinger and I find bits of yarn in all my pockets and I'm starting to smell like wool. I can't concentrate at work: I keep picturing all these lessers in Irish sweaters and thick socks.
(*sounds of sympathy*)
I've come seeking a community of people who, like me, are trying not to knit.
Can you help me?
(*We're with you*)
Thank you (*takes out hand-knitted hankie in pink*)
("We embrace you, V")
Vishous (in the pit): Oh hell no...you did not just put that up. And nice spelling in the title. Man...you just have to roll up on me, don't you. I got four words for you, my brother.
Rhage: Four words? Okay...lemme see... Rhage, you're so sexy.
Rhage, you're SO smart. No wait! Rhage, you're SO right! That's it, isn't it...g'head. You can tell me.
Vishous: First one starts with a "P"
Use your head for the other three.
Rhage: P? Hmm... Please pass the yarn
Vishous: Payback is a bitch!
I'm so scuuuuuurred.
Can you whip me up a blanket to hide under?
J.R. Ward (The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide (Black Dagger Brotherhood))
When I’m with you, even my past seems like a bad dream,” he says. “I’ve sat on this hill a hundred times, and all I used to see were lights that represented places where I wasn’t wanted, where I never belonged. Now, when you aren’t with me, I look east and know one of those lights represents you, and I don’t feel alone anymore.
Katie McGarry (Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3))
I made up my mind I was going to find someone who would love me unconditionally three hundred and sixty five days a year, I was still in elementary school at the time - fifth or sixth grade - but I made up my mind once and for all.”
“Wow,” I said. “Did the search pay off?”
“That’s the hard part,” said Midori. She watched the rising smoke for a while, thinking. “I guess I’ve been waiting so long I’m looking for perfection. That makes it tough.”
“Waiting for the perfect love?”
“No, even I know better than that. I’m looking for selfishness. Perfect selfishness. Like, say I tell you I want to eat strawberry shortcake. And you stop everything you’re doing and run out and buy it for me. And you come back out of breath and get down on your knees and hold this strawberry shortcake out to me. And I say I don’t want it anymore and throw it out the window. That’s what I’m looking for.”
“I’m not sure that has anything to do with love,” I said with some amazement.
“It does,” she said. “You just don’t know it. There are time in a girl’s life when things like that are incredibly important.”
“Things like throwing strawberry shortcake out the window?”
“Exactly. And when I do it, I want the man to apologize to me. “Now I see, Midori. What a fool I have been! I should have known that you would lose your desire for strawberry shortcake. I have all the intelligence and sensitivity of a piece of donkey shit. To make it up to you, I’ll go out and buy you something else. What would you like? Chocolate Mousse? Cheesecake?”
“So then what?”
“So then I’d give him all the love he deserves for what he’s done.”
“Sounds crazy to me.”
“Well, to me, that’s what love is…
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
He began to trace a pattern on the table with the nail of his thumb. "She kept saying she wanted to keep things exactly the way they were, and that she wished she could stop everything from changing. She got really nervous, like, talking about the future. She once told me that she could see herself now, and she could also see the kind of life she wanted to have - kids, husband, suburbs, you know - but she couldn't figure out how to get from point A to point B.
Jodi Picoult (The Pact)
She came awake, stomach rumbling, and opened her eyes to see a plate being held right under her nose.
When she reached for it, Shane snatched it back. 'Nuh-uh. Mine.'
'Share!' she demanded.
'Man, you are one grabby girlfriend.'
She grinned. It always made her feel so fiercly warm inside to hear him say that- the girlfriend part, not the grabby part.
'If you love me, you'll give me a taco.'
'Seriously? That's all you got? What about you'll do sexy, illegal things to me for a taco?'
'Not for a taco,' she said. 'I'm not cheap.'
'They're brisket tacos.'
'Now you're talking.
Rachel Caine (Ghost Town (The Morganville Vampires, #9))
Come on, Hathaway," he said, taking my arm. "You can be my partner. Let’s see what you’ve been doing all this time."
An hour later, he had his answer.
"Not practicing, huh?"
"Ow,” I groaned, momentarily incapable of normal speech.
He extended a hand and helped me up from the mat he’d knocked me down on—about fifty times.
"I hate you,” I told him, rubbing a spot on my thigh that was going to have a wicked bruise tomorrow.
"You’d hate me more if I held back."
"Yeah, that’s true," I agreed, staggering along as the class put the equipment back.
"You actually did okay."
"What? I just had my ass handed to me."
"Well, of course you did. It’s been two years. But hey, you’re still walking. That’s something." He grinned mockingly.
"Did I mention I hate you?”
He flashed me another smile, which quickly faded to something more serious. "Don’t take this the wrong way…I mean, you really are a scrapper, but there’s no way you’ll be able to take your trials in the spring—"
"They’re making me take extra practice sessions," I explained. Not that it mattered. I planned on getting Lissa and me out of here before those practices really became an issue.
"Extra sessions with who?"
"That tall guy. Dimitri."
Mason stopped walking and stared at me. "You’re putting in extra time with Belikov?"
"Yeah, so what?"
"So the man is a god."
"Exaggerate much?" I asked.
"No, I’m serious. I mean, he’s all quiet and antisocial usually but when he fights...wow. If you think you’re hurting now, you’re going to be dead when he’s done with you."
Great. Something else to improve my day.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
You forgave me in a dream the other night. The more you told me it was alright, the worse I felt. I know that you were only doing it because you knew I couldnt possibly hurt you more than I already had. I could see what forgiving me was doing to you. I know that you think I'm to stupid to figure it all out. When you forgave me, you knew that it was finally over. The pain would leave me, I would forget you and you would never see me again except in a dream. It is sad that the things that we saw in each other are no longer there. It is a shame that we tore each other apart looking for things that we needed desperately but could never find. It is tragic that we only wanted to give each other but only stole from ourselves and blamed each other for the emptiness in our lives. I see you differently now. I no longer fear you. It took years to see you for what you really are.
Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new: late have I loved you. And see, you were within and I was in the external world and sought you there, and in my unlovely state I plunged into those lovely created things which you made. You were with me, and I was not with you. The lovely things kept me far from you, though if they did not have their existence in you, they had no existence at all. You called and cried out loud and shattered my deafness. You were radiant and resplendent, you put to flight my blindness. You were fragrant, and I drew in my breath and now pant after you. I tasted you, and I feel but hunger and thirst for you. You touched me, and I am set on fire to attain the peace which is yours.
Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)
Archer?” I asked, raising my eyebrows. Hey, you might be able to take away my magical powers, but the power of sarcasm was still at my disposal. “Is your last name Newport or Vanderbilt? Maybe followed by some numbers? Ooh!” I said, widening my eyes, “or maybe even Esquire!”
I’d hoped to hurt his feelings or, at the very least, make him angry, but he just kept smiling at me. “Actually, it’s Archer Cross, and I’m the first one. Now what about you?” He squinted. “Let’s see . . . brown hair, freckles, whole girl-next-door vibe going on . . . Allie? Lacie? Definitely something cutesy ending in ie.”
You know those times when your mouth moves but no sound actually comes out? Yeah, that’s pretty much what happened. And then, of course, my mom took that opportunity to end her conversation with Justin’s parents and call out, “Sophie! Wait up.”
“I knew it.” Archer laughed. “See you, Sophie,” he called over his shoulder as he disappeared into the house.
Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1))
Don't talk like one of them. You're not! Even if you'd like to be. To them, you're just a freak, like me! They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these... these civilized people, they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve. -The Joker
Cinderella was such a dork. She left behind her glass slipper at the ball and then went right back to her step-monster's house. It seems to me she should have worn the glass slipper always, to make herself easier to find. I always hoped that after the prince found Cinderella and they rode away in their magnificent carriage, after a few miles she turned to him and said, "Could you drop me off down the road please? Now that I've finally escaped my life of horrific abuse, I'd like to see something of the world, you know?... I'll catch back up with you later, Prince, once I've found my own way.
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
In 2002, having spent more than three years in one residence for the first time in my life, I got called for jury duty. I show up on time, ready to serve. When we get to the voir dire, the lawyer says to me, “I see you’re an astrophysicist. What’s that?” I answer, “Astrophysics is the laws of physics, applied to the universe—the Big Bang, black holes, that sort of thing.” Then he asks, “What do you teach at Princeton?” and I say, “I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.
A few years later, jury duty again. The judge states that the defendant is charged with possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine. It was found on his body, he was arrested, and he is now on trial. This time, after the Q&A is over, the judge asks us whether there are any questions we’d like to ask the court, and I say, “Yes, Your Honor. Why did you say he was in possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine? That equals 1.7 grams. The ‘thousand’ cancels with the ‘milli-’ and you get 1.7 grams, which is less than the weight of a dime.” Again I’m out on the street.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier)
Did you miss me, Alina? Did you miss me when you were gone?"
"Every day," I said hoarsely.
"I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I'd catch myself walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I'd seen something I wanted to tell you about, or because I just wanted to hear your voice. And then I'd realize that you weren't there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I've risked my life for you. I've walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I'd do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don't tell me we don't belong together," he said fiercely. He was very close now, and my heart was suddenly hammering in my chest. "I'm sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now.
Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1))
Within this Christian vision of marriage, here's what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of what God is creating, and to say, "I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, 'I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
Haven't I? - he thought. Haven't I thought of it since the first time I saw you? Haven't I thought of nothing else for two years? ...He sat motionless, looking at her. He heard the words he had never allowed himself to form, the words he had felt, known, yet had not faced, had hoped to destroy by never letting them be said within his own mind. Now it was as sudden and shocking as if he were saying it to her ...Since the first time I saw you ...Nothing but your body, that mouth of yours, and the way your eyes would look at me, if ...Through every sentence I ever said to you, through every conference you thought so safe, through the importance of all the issues we discussed ...You trusted me, didn't you? To recognize your greatness? To think of you as you deserved - as if you were a man? ...Don't you suppose I know how much I've betrayed? The only bright encounter of my life - the only person I respected - the best business man I know - my ally - my partner in a desperate battle ...The lowest of all desires - as my answer to the highest I've met ...Do you know what I am? I thought of it, because it should have been unthinkable. For that degrading need, which would never touch you, I have never wanted anyone but you ...I hadn't known what it was like, to want it, until I saw you for the first time. I had thought : Not I, I couldn't be broken by it ...Since then ...For two years ...With not a moments respite ...Do you know what it's like, to want it? Would you wish to hear what I thought when I looked at you ...When I lay awake at night ...When I hear your voice over a telephone wire ...When I worked, but could not drive it away? ...To bring you down to things you cant conceive - and to know that it's I who have done it. To reduce you to a body, to teach you an animal's pleasure, to see you need it, to see you asking me for it, to see your wonderful spirit dependent on the upon the obscenity of your need. To watch you as you are, as you face the world with your clean, proud strength - then to see you, in my bed, submitting to any infamous whim I may devise, to any act which I'll preform for the sole purpose of watching your dishonor and to which you'll submit for the sake of an unspeakable sensation ...I want you - and may I be damned for it!
I turn to face him. "Listen, I'm grateful you're going to help me train now-really, I am. Thank you for that. But you can't go around proclaiming your fake love for me-especially not in front of Adam-and you have to let me cross this room before the breakfast hour is over, okay? I hardly ever get to see him."
Kenji nods very slowly, looks a little solemn. You're right. I'm sorry. I get it."
"Adam is jealous of our love."
"Just go get your food!" I push him, hard, fighting back an exasperated laugh.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Do you remember infinity?”
Slowly, I turned around. “What about it?”
Tossing something toward me, he said, “Catch.”
I reached out and caught it in the air. A silver necklace. I held it up and examined it. The infinity necklace.
It didn’t shine the way it used to; it looked a bit coppery now. But I recognized it. Of course I recognized it.
“What is this?” I asked.
“You know what it is,” he said.
I shrugged. “Nope, sorry.”
I could see that he was both hurt and angry. “Okay, then. You don’t remember it. I’ll remind you. I bought
you that necklace for your birthday.”
It had to have been for my sixteenth birthday. It was the only year he ever forgot to buy me a birthday
present—the last summer we’d all been together at the beach house, when Susannah was still alive.
Jenny Han (We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3))
The library smells like old books — a thousand leather doorways into other worlds. I hear silence, like the mind of God. I feel a presence in the empty chair beside me. The librarian watches me suspiciously. But the library is a sacred place, and I sit with the patron saint of readers. Pulsing goddess light moves through me for one moment like a glimpse of eternity instantly forgotten. She is gone. I smell mold, I hear the clock ticking, I see an empty chair. Ask me now and I'll say this is just a place where you can't play music or eat. She's gone. The library sucks.
Laura Whitcomb (A Certain Slant of Light (Light, #1))
Anyway, George comes up to me the first day of filming and he takes one look at the dress and says, 'You can't wear a bra under that dress.'
So, I say, 'Okay, I'll bite. Why?'
And he says, 'Because... there's no underwear in space.'
I promise you this is true, and he says it with such conviction too! Like he had been to space and looked around and he didn't see any bras or panties or briefs anywhere.
Now, George came to my show when it was in Berkeley. He came backstage and explained why you can't wear your brassiere in other galaxies, and I have a sense you will be going to outer space very soon, so here's why you cannot wear your brassiere, per George. So, what happens is you go to space and you become weightless. So far so good, right? But then your body expands??? But your bra doesn't- so you get strangled by your own bra. Now I think that this would make a fantastic obit- so I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.
Carrie Fisher (Wishful Drinking)
She has the blood of a wolf,” said Joffrey.
“And you have the wits of a goose,” said Tyrion.
“You can’t talk to me that way. The king can do as he likes.”
“Aerys Targaryen did as he liked. Has you mother ever told you what happened to him?”
Ser Boros Blount harrumphed. “No man threatens His Grace in the presence of the Kingsguard.”
Tyrion Lannister raised an eyebrow. “I am not threating the king, ser, I am educating my nephew. Bronn, Timett, the next time Ser Boros opens his mouth, kill him.” The dwarf smiled. “Now that was a threat, ser. See the difference?
George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
I always loved you, Will, whatever you did. And now I need you to do for me what I cannot do for myself. For you to be my eyes when I do not have them. For you to be my hands when I cannot use my own. For you to be my hear when mine is done with beating.
No, said Will wildly. No, no, no. I will not be those things. Your eyes will see, your hands will feel, your hear will continue to beat.
But if not, Will-
If I could tear myself in half, I would-that half of me might remain with you and half follow Tessa-
Half of you would be no good to either of us, said Jem.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
I can't believe you've been here all day and didn't come visit. ", Tatiana said.
"Aw, I figured you had more important things to do than see me, " Adrian told her. "Besides, I quit smoking, so now we won't be able to go sneak cigarettes out behind the throne room together. "
"Adrian!" chastised Nathan, turning bright red. It occurred to me then that I could have based a drinking game around how many times he exclaimed his son's name disapprovingly.
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
It's like you took a bottle of ink and you threw it at a wall. Smash! And all that ink spread. And in the middle, it's dense, isn't it? And as it gets out on the edge, the little droplets get finer and finer and make more complicated patterns, see? So in the same way, there was a big bang at the beginning of things and it spread. And you and I, sitting here in this room, as complicated human beings, are way, way out on the fringe of that bang. We are the complicated little patterns on the end of it. Very interesting. But so we define ourselves as being only that. If you think that you are only inside your skin, you define yourself as one very complicated little curlique, way out on the edge of that explosion. Way out in space, and way out in time. Billions of years ago, you were a big bang, but now you're a complicated human being. And then we cut ourselves off, and don't feel that we're still the big bang. But you are. Depends how you define yourself. You are actually--if this is the way things started, if there was a big bang in the beginning-- you're not something that's a result of the big bang. You're not something that is a sort of puppet on the end of the process. You are still the process. You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are. When I meet you, I see not just what you define yourself as--Mr so-and- so, Ms so-and-so, Mrs so-and-so--I see every one of you as the primordial energy of the universe coming on at me in this particular way. I know I'm that, too. But we've learned to define ourselves as separate from it.
Alan W. Watts
I know there were no guaratnees. No way of knowing what came next for me, or him, or anything. Some things dont last forever, but some things do. Like a great song, or a good book, or a good memory you can take out and unfold in your darkest times, pressing down the corners and peering close, hoping you still see the person you see there . . . That was the thing, you just never knew. Right now, though, I wanted not to think forward or backward, but only to lose myself in the words.
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
He touched my cheek softly, his eyes intense as they gazed into mine."You might have to teach me a little about the human world, but I'm willing to learn if it means being close to you." He smiled again, a wry quirk of his lips. "I'm sure I can adapt to 'being human' if I must. If you want me to attend classes as a student, I can do that. If you want to move to a large city to pursue your dreams, I will follow. And if, someday, you wish to be married in a white gown and make this official in human eyes I'm willing to do that, too." He leaned in, close enough for me to see my reflection in his silver gaze." For better or worse, I'm afraid you're stuck with me now.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
Simon: You're in a dangerous line of work, Jayne. Odds are you'll be under my knife again, often. So I want you to understand one thing very clearly: No matter what you do or say or plot, no matter how you come down on us, I will never, ever harm you. You're on this table, you're safe... 'cause I'm your medic. And however little we may like or trust each other, we're on the same crew. Got the same troubles, same enemies, and more than enough of both. Now, we could circle each other and growl, sleep with one eye open, but that thought wearies me. I don't care what you've done, I don't know what you're planning on doing, but I'm trusting you. I think you should do the same. 'Cause I don't see this working any other way.
River: Also, I can kill you with my brain.
Close your eyes and picture it. Can you see it?"
I nod, eyes closed.
"Imagine it right there before you. See its texture, shape, and color—got it?"
I smile, holding the image in my head.
"Good. Now reach out and touch it. Feel its contours with the tips of your fingers, cradle its weight in the palms of your hands, then combine all of your senses—sight, touch, smell, taste—can you taste it?"
I bite my lip and suppress a giggle.
"Perfect. Now combine that with feeling. Believe it exists right before you. Feel it, see it, touch it, taste it, accept it, manifest it!" he says.
So I do. I do all of those things. And when he groans, I open my eyes to see for myself.
"Ever." He shakes his head. "You were supposed to think of an orange. This isn't even close."
"Nope, nothing fruity about him." I laugh, smiling ateach of my Damens—the replica I manifested before me, and the flesh and blood version beside me. Both of them equally tall, dark, and so devastatingly handsome they hardly seem real.
Alyson Noel (Blue Moon (The Immortals, #2))
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Maya Angelou (Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women)
Make me an offer, " I said at last. "Write it up, and give me a point-by-point outline of why you're a good would-be suitor. "
He started to laugh, then saw my face. "Seriously? That's like homework. There's a reason I'm not in college. " I snapped my fingers. "Get to it, Ivashkov. I want to see you put in a good day's work. "
I expected a joke or a brush-off until later, but instead, he said, "Okay. "
"Yep. I'm going to go back to my room right now to start drafting my assignment. "
I stared incredulously as he reached for his coat. I had never seen Adrian move that fast when any kind of labor was involved. Oh no. What had I gotten myself into?
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
I understand addiction now. I never did before, you know. How could a man (or a woman) do something so self-destructive, knowing that they’re hurting not only themselves, but the people they love? It seemed that it would be so incredibly easy for them to just not take that next drink. Just stop. It’s so simple, really. But as so often happens with me, my arrogance kept me from seeing the truth of the matter.
I see it now though.
Every day, I tell myself it will be the last. Every night, as I’m falling asleep in his bed, I tell myself that tomorrow I’ll book a flight to Paris, or Hawaii, or maybe New York. It doesn’t matter where I go, as long as it’s not here. I need to get away from Phoenix—away from him—before this goes even one step further.
And then he touches me again, and my convictions disappear like smoke in the wind.
This cannot end well. That’s the crux of the matter, Sweets. I’ve been down this road before—you know I have—and there’s only heartache at the end. There’s no happy ending waiting for me like there was for you and Matt. If I stay here with him, I will become restless and angry. It’s happening already, and I cannot stop it. I’m becoming bitter and terribly resentful. Before long, I will be intolerable, and eventually, he’ll leave me. But if I do what I have to do, what my very nature compels me to do, and move on, the end is no better. One way or another, he’ll be gone. Is it not wiser to end it now, Sweets, before it gets to that point? Is it not better to accept that this happiness I have is destined to self-destruct?
Tomorrow I will leave. Tomorrow I will stop delaying the inevitable. Tomorrow I will quit lying to myself, and to him.
What about today, you ask? Today it’s already too late. He’ll be home soon, and I have dinner on the stove, and wine chilling in the fridge. And he will smile at me when he comes through the door, and I will pretend like this fragile, dangerous thing we have created between us can last forever.
Just one last time, Sweets. Just one last fix. That’s all I need.
And that is why I now understand addiction.
Marie Sexton (Strawberries for Dessert (Coda Books, #4; Strawberries for Dessert, #1))
My dearest Emma," said he, "for dearest you will always be, whatever the event of this hour's conversation, my dearest, most beloved Emma -- tell me at once. Say 'No,' if it is to be said." She could really say nothing. "You are silent," he cried, with great animation; "absolutely silent! at present I ask no more."
Emma was almost ready to sink under the agitation of this moment. The dread of being awakened from the happiest dream, was perhaps the most prominent feeling.
"I cannot make speeches, Emma," he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intelligible tenderness as was tolerably convincing. "If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am. You hear nothing but truth from me. I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it. Bear with the truths I would tell you now, dearest Emma, as well as you have borne with them. The manner, perhaps, may have as little to recommend them. God knows, I have been a very indifferent lover. But you understand me. Yes, you see, you understand my feelings and will return them if you can. At present, I ask only to hear, once to hear your voice.
Jane Austen (Emma)
Sorry doesn’t mean anything! Not when you’re still with him. It’s not just that you cheated—it’s that he’s still here, and you’re still with him. It just goes on and on, and it hurts every single time I see you with him. I hate it that he makes you smile, and that there’s nothing I can do to stop this. I can’t think straight, and everything hurts, and nothing makes sense anymore. You’re shredding my heart with one hand and stroking his ego with the other. And it’s killing me, Faythe. You’re killing me. And it’s only going to get worse, now that everyone knows.
Rachel Vincent (Alpha (Shifters, #6))
We now know the basic rules governing the universe, together with the gravitational interrelationships of its gross components, as shown in the theory of relativity worked out between 1905 and 1916. We also know the basic rules governing the subatomic particles and their interrelationships, since these are very neatly described by the quantum theory worked out between 1900 and 1930. What's more, we have found that the galaxies and clusters of galaxies are the basic units of the physical universe, as discovered between 1920 and 1930.
...The young specialist in English Lit, having quoted me, went on to lecture me severely on the fact that in every century people have thought they understood the universe at last, and in every century they were proved to be wrong. It follows that the one thing we can say about our modern 'knowledge' is that it is wrong...
My answer to him was, when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.
The basic trouble, you see, is that people think that 'right' and 'wrong' are absolute; that everything that isn't perfectly and completely right is totally and equally wrong.
However, I don't think that's so. It seems to me that right and wrong are fuzzy concepts, and I will devote this essay to an explanation of why I think so.
When my friend the English literature expert tells me that in every century scientists think they have worked out the universe and are always wrong, what I want to know is how wrong are they? Are they always wrong to the same degree?
Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (see Revelation 7:9), I shall see the prostitute from the Kit-Kat Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, who tearfully told me that she could find no other employment to support her two-year-old son. I shall see the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions; the insecure clergyman addicted to being liked, who never challenged his people from the pulpit and longed for unconditional love; the sexually abused teen molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last 'trick', whispers the name of the unknown God he learned about in Sunday school.
'But how?' we ask.
Then the voice says, 'They have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'
There they are. There *we* are - the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life's tribulations, but through it all clung to faith.
My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace.
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
Aware of every breath, every movement, I sat in his lap. His hands gently braced my hips as I studied his face. “And now I want you to know, Rhysand, that I love you. I want you to know … ” His lips trembled, and I brushed away the tear that escaped down his cheek. “I want you to know,” I whispered, “that I am broken and healing, but every piece of my heart belongs to you. And I am honored—honored to be your mate.”
His arms wrapped around me and he pressed his forehead to my shoulder, his body shaking. I stroked a hand through his silken hair.
“I love you,” I said again. I hadn’t dared say the words in my head. “And I’d endure every second of it over again so I could find you. And if war comes, we’ll face it. Together. I won’t let them take me from you. And I won’t let them take you from me, either.”
Rhys looked up, his face gleaming with tears. He went still as I leaned in, kissing away one tear. Then the other. As he had once kissed away mine.
When my lips were wet and salty with them, I pulled back far enough to see his eyes. “You’re mine,” I breathed.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
Now I want to live like everybody else. I want to have a wife like everybody else and to take her out on Sundays. I have invented a mask that makes me look like anybody. People will not even turn round in the streets. You will be the happiest of women. And we will sing, all by ourselves, till we swoon away with delight. You are crying! You are afraid of me! And yet I am not really wicked. Love me and you shall see! All I wanted was to be loved for myself. If you loved me I should be as gentle as a lamb; and you could do anything with me that you pleased.
Gaston Leroux (The Phantom of the Opera)
Peeta,” I say lightly. “You said at the interview you’d had a crush on me forever. When did forever start?”
“Oh, let’s see. I guess the first day of school. We were five. You had on a red plaid dress and your hair... it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out when we were waiting to line up,” Peeta says.
“Your father? Why?” I ask.
“He said, ‘See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner,’” Peeta says.
“What? You’re making that up!” I exclaim.
“No, true story,” Peeta says. “And I said, ‘A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could’ve had you?’ And he said, ‘Because when he sings... even the birds stop to listen.’”
“That’s true. They do. I mean, they did,” I say. I’m stunned and surprisingly moved, thinking of the baker telling this to Peeta. It strikes me that my own reluctance to sing, my own dismissal of music might not really be that I think it’s a waste of time. It might be because it reminds me too much of my father.
“So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She stood you up on a stool and had you sing it for us. And I swear, every bird outside the windows fell silent,” Peeta says.
“Oh, please,” I say, laughing.
“No, it happened. And right when your song ended, I knew—just like your mother—I was a goner,” Peeta says. “Then for the next eleven years, I tried to work up the nerve to talk to you.”
“Without success,” I add.
“Without success. So, in a way, my name being drawn in the reaping was a real piece of luck,” says Peeta. For a moment, I’m almost foolishly happy and then confusion sweeps over me. Because we’re supposed to be making up this stuff, playing at being in love not actually being in love. But Peeta’s story has a ring of truth to it. That part about my father and the birds. And I did sing the first day of school, although I don’t remember the song. And that red plaid dress... there was one, a hand-me-down to Prim that got washed to rags after my father’s death.
It would explain another thing, too. Why Peeta took a beating to give me the bread on that awful hollow day. So, if those details are true... could it all be true?
“You have a... remarkable memory,” I say haltingly. “I remember everything about you,” says Peeta, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear. “You’re the one who wasn’t paying attention.”
“I am now,” I say.
“Well, I don’t have much competition here,” he says. I want to draw away, to close those shutters again, but I know I can’t. It’s as if I can hear Haymitch whispering in my ear, “Say it! Say it!”
I swallow hard and get the words out. “You don’t have much competition anywhere.” And this time, it’s me who leans in.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Having solved all the major mathematical, physical, chemical, biological, sociological, philosophical, etymological, meteorological and psychological problems of the Universe except for his own, three times over, [Marvin] was severely stuck for something to do, and had taken up composing short dolorous ditties of no tone, or indeed tune. The latest one was a lullaby.
Now the world has gone to bed,
Darkness won't engulf my head,
I can see in infrared,
How I hate the night.
He paused to gather the artistic and emotional strength to tackle the next verse.
Now I lay me down to sleep,
Try to count electric sheep,
Sweet dream wishes you can keep,
How I hate the night.
Douglas Adams (Life, the Universe and Everything (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #3))
don't say no to me you can't say no to me because it's such a relief to have love again and to lie in bed and be held and touched and kissed and adored and your heart will leap when you hear my voice and see my smile and feel my breath on your neck and your heart will race when I want to see you and I will lie to you from day one and use you and screw you and break your heart because you broke mine first and you will love me more each day until the weight is unbearable and your life is mine and you'll die alone because I will take what I want then walk away and owe you nothing it's always there it's always been there and you cannot deny the life you feel fuck that life fuck that life fuck that life I have lost you now.
Sarah Kane (Crave)
Do you know what I see in you now? The usual aura. A steady golden yellow, healthy and strong, with spikes of purple here and there. But when I do this. . . .”
He rested a hand on my hip, and my whole body tensed up. That hand moved around my hip, slipping under my shirt to rest on the small of my back. My skin burned where he touched me, and the places that were untouched longed for that heat.
“See?” he said. He was in the throes of spirit now, though with me at the same time. “Well, I guess you can’t. But when I touch you, your aura . . . it smolders. The colors deepen, it burns more intensely, the purple increases. Why? Why, Sydney?” He used that hand on me to pull me closer. “Why do you react that way if I don’t mean anything to you?” There was a desperation in his voice, and it was legitimate.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
In this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it. They don't love your eyes; they'd just as soon pick em out. No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. Those they only use, tie, bind, chop off and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them. Touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face 'cause they don't love that either. You got to love it, you! And no, they ain't in love with your mouth. Yonder, out there, they will see it broken and break it again. What you say out of it they will not heed. What you scream from it they do not hear. What you put into it to nourish your body they will snatch away and give you leavins instead. No, they don't love your mouth. You got to love it. This is flesh I'm talking about here. Flesh that needs to be loved. Feet that need to rest and to dance; backs that need support; shoulders that need arms, strong arms I'm telling you. And O my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up. and all your inside parts that they'd just as soon slop for hogs, you got to love them. The dark, dark liver--love it, love it and the beat and beating heart, love that too. More than eyes or feet. More than lungs that have yet to draw free air. More than your life-holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize.
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
How do I love thee? wondered Orion. "Let me see. I love thee passionately and eternally...obviously eternally-that goes without saying." Holly blinked sweat from her eyes. "Is he serious?" she called over her shoulder to Foaly. "Oh, absolutely," said the centaur "If he asks you to look for birthmarks, say no immediately." "Oh, I would never." Orion assured her. "Ladies don't look for birthmarks; that is work for jolly fellows like the Goodly Beast and myself. Ladies, like Miss Short, do enough by simply existing. They exude beauty, and that is enough." "I am not exuding anything." said Holly, through gritted teeth. Orion tapped her shoulder. "I beg to differ. You're exuding right now, a wonderful aura. It's pastel blue with little dolphins." Holly gripped the wheel tightly. "I'm going to be sick. Did he just say pastel blue?" "And dolphins, little ones," said Foaly.
Eoin Colfer (The Atlantis Complex (Artemis Fowl, #7))
I tried to warn you,
But girls never listen.
Got your innocence insured?
’Cause it’s ’bout to be stolen
Right out from under your nose.
Prepare to curl your toes.
I’ve got a one-track mind.
You’ve got a nice behind.
I had a good thing goin’
All numb in my shell,
Then you took me by surprise
And now I’m scared as hell.
I don’t wanna feel for you,
I don’t wanna feel.
If feeling means hurting,
Then I don’t wanna be real.
You crank up my lust, girl,
You tame down my rage.
You let your inner vixen
Roam out of her cage.
The moment our lips met
I saw it in your eyes,
But you were seeing me,
too, I now realize.
What do I want from you?
I want everything.
And I’m not gonna share—
This ain’t a casual fling.
You can be my bad girl,
I’ll even be your good boy.
How’d the tables get turned?
F*** it, I’ll be your love toy.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Peril (Sweet, #2))
See, there were these two guys in a lunatic asylum... and one night, one night they decide they don't like living in an asylum any more. They decide they're going to escape! So, like, they get up onto the roof, and there, just across this narrow gap, they see the rooftops of the town, stretching away in the moon light... stretching away to freedom. Now, the first guy, he jumps right across with no problem. But his friend, his friend didn't dare make the leap. Y'see... Y'see, he's afraid of falling. So then, the first guy has an idea... He says 'Hey! I have my flashlight with me! I'll shine it across the gap between the buildings. You can walk along the beam and join me!' B-but the second guy just shakes his head. He suh-says... He says 'Wh-what do you think I am? Crazy? You'd turn it off when I was half way across!
Alan Moore (Batman: The Killing Joke)
[The Old Astronomer to His Pupil]
Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet,
When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet;
He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how
We are working to completion, working on from then to now.
Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete,
Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet,
And remember men will scorn it, 'tis original and true,
And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you.
But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn,
You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn,
What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and smiles;
What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles.
You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late,
But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant's fate.
Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.
What, my boy, you are not weeping? You should save your eyes for sight;
You will need them, mine observer, yet for many another night.
I leave none but you, my pupil, unto whom my plans are known.
You 'have none but me,' you murmur, and I 'leave you quite alone'?
Well then, kiss me, -- since my mother left her blessing on my brow,
There has been a something wanting in my nature until now;
I can dimly comprehend it, -- that I might have been more kind,
Might have cherished you more wisely, as the one I leave behind.
I 'have never failed in kindness'? No, we lived too high for strife,--
Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life;
But your spirit is untainted, I can dedicate you still
To the service of our science: you will further it? you will!
There are certain calculations I should like to make with you,
To be sure that your deductions will be logical and true;
And remember, 'Patience, Patience,' is the watchword of a sage,
Not to-day nor yet to-morrow can complete a perfect age.
I have sown, like Tycho Brahe, that a greater man may reap;
But if none should do my reaping, 'twill disturb me in my sleep
So be careful and be faithful, though, like me, you leave no name;
See, my boy, that nothing turn you to the mere pursuit of fame.
I must say Good-bye, my pupil, for I cannot longer speak;
Draw the curtain back for Venus, ere my vision grows too weak:
It is strange the pearly planet should look red as fiery Mars,--
God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.
Sarah Williams (Twilight Hours: A Legacy of Verse)
I saw a picture of you and Vincent in a 1968 newspaper that said you died in a fire," I said, turning to Ambrose.
He nodded at me with a little smile, urging me on.
"So how can you be here now?"
"Well, I'm glad we're starting with the easy questions," he said, stretching his powerful arms and then leaning toward me. "The answer would be ... because we're zombies!" and he let out a horrible groan, stretching his mouth open and baring his teeth as he curled his hands into claws.
Seeing my terrified expression, Ambrose began cracking up and slapping his knee with his hand. "Just kidding," he cackled, and then, calming down, looked at me sedately. "But no, seriously. We're zombies."
"We are not zombies!" said Charlotte, her voice rising with annoyance.
Amy Plum (Die for Me (Revenants, #1))
You know that feeling at the end of the day, when the anxiety of that-which-I-must-do falls away and, for maybe the first time that day, you see, with some clarity, the people you love and the ways you have, during that day, slightly ignored them, turned away from them to get back to what you were doing, blurted out some mildly hurtful thing, projected, instead of the deep love you really feel, a surge of defensiveness or self-protection or suspicion? That moment when you think, Oh God, what have I done with this day? And what am I doing with my life? And how must I change to avoid catastrophic end-of-life regrets?
I feel like that now: tired of the Me I've always been, tired of making the same mistakes, repetitively stumbling after the same small ego strokes, being caught in the same loops of anxiety and defensiveness. At the end of my life, I know I won't be wishing I'd held more back, been less effusive, more often stood on ceremony, forgiven less, spent more days oblivious to the secret wishes and fears of the people around me...
George Saunders (The Braindead Megaphone)
You are so full of light,” I say after a moment. “You align with joy, and I with fear and fury. If you could see into my thoughts, you would surely turn away. So why would you stay with me, even if return to Kenettra and resume our lives?”
“You paint me as a saint,” he murmurs. “But I aligned with greed solely to prevent that.”
Even now, he can make my lips twitch with a smile. “I’m serious, Magiano.”
“As am I. None of us are saints. I have seen your darkness, yes, and know your struggle. I won’t deny it.” He touches my chin with one hand. At this gesture, the whispers seem to settle, pushed away where I can’t hear them. “But you are also passionate and ambitious and loyal. You are a thousand things, mi Adelinetta, not just one. Do not reduce yourself to that.
Marie Lu (The Midnight Star (The Young Elites, #3))
I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that - I don’t mind people being happy - but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep”, and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position - it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness”. Ask yourself “is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.
What are you doing following me around the back streets of London, you little idiot?” Will demanded, giving her arm a light shake.
Cecily’s eyes narrowed. “This morning it was cariad (note: Welsh endearment, like ‘darling’ or ‘love’), now it’s idiot.”
“Oh, you’re using a Glamour rune. There’s one thing to declare, you are not afraid of anything when you live in the country. But this is London.”
“I’m not afraid of London,” Cecily said defiantly.
Will leaned closer, almost hissing in her ear *and said something very complicated in Welsh*
She laughed. “No, it wouldn’t do you any good to tell me to go home. You are my brother, and I want to go with you.”
Will blinked at her words.
You are my brother, and I want to go with you.
It was the sort of thing he was used to hearing Jem say.
Although Cecily was unlike Jem in every other conceivable possible way, she did share one quality with him. Stubbornness. When Cecily said she wanted something, it did not express an idle desire, but an iron determination.
“Do you even care where I’m going?” he said. “What if I were going to hell?”
“I’ve always wanted to see hell,” Cecily said. “Doesn’t everyone?”
“Most of us spend our time trying to stay out of it, Cecily. I’m going to an ifrit den, if you must know, to purchase drugs from vile, dissolute criminals. They may clap eyes on you, and decide to sell you.”
“Wouldn’t you stop them?”
“I suppose it would depend on whether they cut me a part of the profit.”
She shook her head. “Jem is your parabatai,” she said. “He is your brother, given to you by the Clave, but I am your sister by blood. Why would you do anything for him, but you only want me to go home?”
“How do you know the drugs are for Jem?” Will said.
“I’m not an idiot, Will.”
“No, more’s the pity. Jem- Jem is like the better part of me. I would not expect you to understand. I owe him. I owe him this.”
“So what am I?” Cecily said.
Will exhaled, too desperate to check himself. “You are my weakness.”
“And Tessa is your heart,” she said, not angrily, but thoughtfully. “I am not fooled. As I told you, I’m not an idiot. And more’s the pity for you, although I suppose we all want things we can’t have.”
“Oh,” said Will, “and what do you want?”
“I want you to come home.” A strand of black hair was stuck to her cheek by the dampness, and Will fought the urge to pull her cloak closer about her, to make her safe as he had when she was a child.
“The Institute is my home,” Will sighed, and leaned his head against the stone wall. “I can’t stand out her arguing with you all evening, Cecily. If you’re determined to follow me into hell, I can’t stop you.”
“Finally,” she said provingly. “You’ve seen sense. I knew you would, you’re related to me.”
Will fought the urge to shake her.
“Are you ready?”
She nodded, and he raised his hand to knock on the door.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
The first time I was ever called ugly, I was thirteen. It was a rich friend of my brother Carlton's over to shoot guns in the field.
'Why you crying, girl?' Constantine asked me in the kitchen.
I told her what the boy had called me, tears streaming down my face.
'Well? Is you?'
I blinked, paused my crying. 'Is I what?'
'Now you look a here, Egenia'-because constantien was the only one who'd occasionally follow Mama's rule. 'Ugly live up on the inside. Ugly be a hurtful, mean person. Is you one a them peoples?'
'I don't know. I don't think so,' I sobbed.
Constantine sat down next to me, at the kitchen table. I heard the cracking of her swollen joints. She pressed her thumb hard in the palm of my hand, somthing we both knew meant Listen. Listen to me.
'Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision.' Constantine was so close, I could see the blackness of her gums. 'You gone have to ask yourself, Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?'
She kept her thumb pressed hard in my hand. I nodded that I understood. I was just smart enough to realize she meant white people. And even though I still felt miserable, and knew that I was, most likely, ugly, it was the first time she ever talked to me like I was something besides my mother's white child. All my life I'd been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl. But with Constantine's thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
When they bombed Hiroshima, the explosion formed a mini-supernova, so every living animal, human or plant that received direct contact with the rays from that sun was instantly turned to ash.
And what was left of the city soon followed. The long-lasting damage of nuclear radiation caused an entire city and its population to turn into powder.
When I was born, my mom says I looked around the whole hospital room with a stare that said, "This? I've done this before." She says I have old eyes.
When my Grandpa Genji died, I was only five years old, but I took my mom by the hand and told her, "Don't worry, he'll come back as a baby."
And yet, for someone who's apparently done this already, I still haven't figured anything out yet.
My knees still buckle every time I get on a stage. My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth.
But in Hiroshima, some people were wiped clean away, leaving only a wristwatch or a diary page. So no matter that I have inhibitions to fill all my pockets, I keep trying, hoping that one day I'll write a poem I can be proud to let sit in a museum exhibit as the only proof I existed.
My parents named me Sarah, which is a biblical name. In the original story God told Sarah she could do something impossible and she laughed, because the first Sarah, she didn't know what to do with impossible.
And me? Well, neither do I, but I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others while things are blowing up around you, knowing that while you're speaking, they aren't just waiting for their turn to talk -- they hear you. They feel exactly what you feel at the same time that you feel it. It's what I strive for every time I open my mouth -- that impossible connection.
There's this piece of wall in Hiroshima that was completely burnt black by the radiation. But on the front step, a person who was sitting there blocked the rays from hitting the stone. The only thing left now is a permanent shadow of positive light. After the A bomb, specialists said it would take 75 years for the radiation damaged soil of Hiroshima City to ever grow anything again. But that spring, there were new buds popping up from the earth.
When I meet you, in that moment, I'm no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all.
So if you tell me I can do the impossible, I'll probably laugh at you. I don't know if I can change the world yet, because I don't know that much about it -- and I don't know that much about reincarnation either, but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I'm in.
This isn't my first time here. This isn't my last time here. These aren't the last words I'll share.
But just in case, I'm trying my hardest to get it right this time around.
He sighed. "You want to live in your church, going about your life as if you're like everyone else."
"You aren't. And because of that, someday you're probably going to find yourself in a position where your choices will have an impact far beyond what you see right now. And when that happens, I want you to remember what it's like to ride through the woods on horseback under a night sky with no moon and nothing stronger than you are. I want you to know so you will fight for it. So that my children will know of it. You have to keep the demons where they are, Rachel. No one else can do it. You won't fight for us unless you know. Let me show you what you're fighting for.
Kim Harrison (Black Magic Sanction (The Hollows, #8))
When his thumb hovered over the red button, she stared at him aghast. “You’re truly going to … torture me?”
He cast her a puzzled look. “Why wouldn’t I torture you?”
Because you used to love me, used to cherish me. “I thought we had a moment yesterday? Didn’t you like seeing me in lingerie?”
In a monotone voice, he said, “Why did the charge throwers have no ill effect on you?”
He’s truly going to do it? Then fuck him. DEFCON. “Chase, I’ve tussled with vibrators stronger than your charge throwers.”
No reaction. “You consumed energy. And channeled it at will. How?”
All Valkyrie consumed it—they were each connected through a grid of mystical energy—but Regin was the only one she knew of who could radiate it through her body. She’d inherited the talent from her birth mother. “So how does one get started as a magister? College or trade school?”
“I don’t have the time or patience for games. Now, tell me, why do you … glow?”
“I touched a radioactive alien cock once.”
He pressed the button.
Kresley Cole (Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark, #10))
I want you, Hank. I'm much more of an animal than you think. I wanted you from the first moment I saw you - and the only thing I'm ashamed of is that I did not know it. I did not know why, for two years, the brightest moments I found were the ones in your office, where I could lift my head to look up at you. I did not know the nature of what I felt in your presence, nor the reason. I know it now. That is all I want, Hank. I want you in my bed - and you are free of me for all the rest of your time. There's nothing you'll have to pretend - don't think of me, don't feel; don't care - I do not want your mind, your will, your being or your soul, so long as it's to me you will come for that lowest one of your desires. I am an animal who wants nothing but the sensation of pleasure which you despise - but I want it from you. You'd give up amy height of virtue for it , while I - I haven't any to give up. There's none I seek or wish to reach. I am so low that I would exchange the greatest sight of beauty in the world for the sight of your figure in the cab of a railroad engine. Amd seeing it, I would not be able to see it indifferently. You don't have to fear that you're now dependent on me. It's I who will depend on any whim of yours. You'll have me anytime you wish, anywhere, on any terms. Did you call it the obscenity of my talent? It's such that it gives you a safer hold on me than on any other property you own. You may dispose of me as you please - I'm not afraid to admit it - I have nothing to protect from you and nothing to reserve. You think that this is a threat to your achievement, but it is not to mine. I will sit at my desk, and work, and when the things around me get hard to bear, I will think that for my reward I will be in your bed that night. Did you call it depravity? I am much more depraved than you are: you hold it as your guilt, and I - as my pride. I'm more proud of it than anything I've done, more proud than of building the Line. If I'm asked to name my proudest attainment, I will say: I have slept with Hank Rearden. I had earned it.
You see, I have never felt the need to invent a world beyond this world, for this world has always seemed large and beautiful enough for me. I have wondered why it is not large and beautiful enough for others-- why they must dream up new and marvelous spheres, or long to live elsewhere, beyond this dominion... but that is not my business. We are all different, I suppose. All I ever wanted was to know this world. I can say now, as I reach my end, that I know quite a bit more of it than I knew when I arrived. Moreover, my little bit of knowledge has been added to all the other accumulated knowledge of history-- added to the great library, as it were. That is no small feat, sir. Anyone who can say such a thing has lived a fortunate life.
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Signature of All Things)
Ron, you're making it snow," said Hermione patiently, grabbing his wrist and redirecting his wand away from the ceiling from which, sure enough, large white flakes had started to fall. Lavender Brown, Harry noticed, glared at Hermione from a neighboring table through very red eyes, and Hermione immediately let go of Ron's arm.
"Oh yeah," said Ron, looking down at his shoulders in vague surprise." Sorry...looks like we've all got horrible dandruff now...."
He brushed some of the fake snow off Hermione's shoulder. Lavender burst into tears. Ron looked immensely guilty and turned his back on her.
"We split up," he told Harry out of the corner of his mouth. "Last night. When she saw me coming out of the dormitory with Hermione. Obviously she couldn't see you, so she thought it had just been the two of us."
"ah," said Harry. "Well - you don't mind it's over, do you?" "No," Ron admitted. "It was pretty bad while she was yelling, but at least I didn't have to finish it."
"Coward," said Hermione, though she looked amused. "Well, it was a bad night for romance all around. Ginny and Dean split up too, Harry."
Harry thought there was a rather knowing look in her eye as she told him that, but she could no possibly know that his insides were suddenly dancing the conga.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
I waited for him to say something more, but he was quiet.
"Was there something you wanted?" I asked.
He didn't answer right away, but I could feel him struggling, so I waited.
"If I asked you something, would you tell me the truth?"
It was my turn to hesitate. "I don't know everything," I hedged.
"You would know this. When we were walking... me and Jeb... he was telling me some things. Things he thought, but I don't know if he's right."
Melanie was suddenly very in my head.
Jamie's whisper was hard to hear, quieter than my breathing. "Uncle Jeb thinks that Melanie might still be alive. Inside there with you, I mean."
I said nothing to either of them.
"I didn't know that could happen. Does that happen?" His voice broke and I could hear that he was fighting tears. He was not a boy to cry, and here I'd grieved him this deeply twice in one day. A pain pierced through the general region of my chest.
"Does it, Wanda?"
"Why won't you answer me?" Jamie was really crying now but trying to muffle the sound.
I crawled off the bed, squeezing into the hard space between the mattress and the mat, and threw my arm over his shaking chest. I leaned my head against his hair and felt his tears, warm on my neck.
"Is Melanie still alive, Wanda? Please?"
He was probably a tool. The old man could have sent him just for this, Jeb was smart enough to see how easily Jamie broke through my defenses.
Jamie's body shook beside me.
Melanie cried. She battered ineffectually at my control.
But I couldn't blame this on Melanie if it turned out to be a huge mistake. I knew who was speaking now.
"She promised she would come back, didn't she?" I murmured. "Would Melanie break a promise to you?"
Jamie slid his arms around my waist and clung to me for a long time. After a few minutes, he whispered. "Love you, Mel."
"She loves you, too. She's so happy that you're here and safe."
He was silent long enough for the tears on my skin to dry, leaving a fine, salty dust behind.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
Whatever it is," I said, "the point is moot because as long as I'm on these pills, I can't make contact to ask."
Derek ... snapped, "Then you need to stop taking the pills."
Love to. If I could. But after what happened last night, they're giving me urine tests now."
Ugh. That's harsh." Simon went quiet, then snapped his fingers.
Hey, I've got an idea. It's kinda gross, but what if you take the pills, crush them and mix them with your, you know, urine."
Derek stared at him.
You did pass chem last year, didn't you?"
Simon flipped him the finger. "Okay, genius, what's your idea?"
I'll think about it. ..."
Here," Derek whispered, pressing an empty Mason jar into my hand. He'd pulled me aside after class and we were now standing at the base of the boy's staircase. "Take this up to your room and hide it."
It's a ... jar."
He grunted, exasperated that I was so dense I failed to see the critical importance of hiding an empty Mason jar in my room.
It's for your urine."
He rolled his eyes, a growl-like sound sliding through his teeth as
he leaned down, closer to my ear. "Urine. Pee. Whatever. For the testing."
I lifted the jar to eye level. "I think they'll give me something
You took your meds today, right?" he whispered.
Then use this jar to save it."
Save . . . ?"
Your urine. If you give them some of today's tomorrow, it'll seem like you're still taking your meds."
You want me to . . . dole it out? Into specimen jars?"
Got a better idea?"
Um, no, but ..." I lifted the jar and stared into it.
Oh, for God's sake. Save your piss. Don't save your piss. It's all the same to me."
Simon peeked around the corner, brows lifted. "I was going to ask what you guys were doing, but hearing that, I think I'll pass.
Kelley Armstrong (The Summoning (Darkest Powers, #1))
Beside me, Molly rolled her shoulders in a few jerky motions and pushed at her hair in fitful little gestures. She tugged at her well-tattered skirts, and grimaced at her boots. "Can you see if there’s any mud on them?"
I paused to consider her for a second. Then I said, "You have two tattoos showing right now, and you probably used a fake ID to get them. Your piercings would set off any metal detector worth the name, and you’re featuring them in parts of your anatomy your parents wish you didn’t yet realize you had. You’re dressed like Frankenhooker, and your hair has been dyed colors I previously thought existed only in cotton candy.” I turned to face the door again. “I wouldn’t waste time worrying about a little mud on the boots.
Jim Butcher (Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, #8))
The Saddest Thing
There was someone I knew, a long time ago. I was so in love with him I couldn’t see straight. The saddest thing is, he felt the same way about me.
It was easy in the beginning. All we had to do was laugh at the same things and love took care of the rest. I had never felt so connected to another person.
He would always say it felt as though I was made for him. How glad he was to have met me. We were so sure of what we felt. We should have held tight, onto that certainty.
There is never one particular reason why two people are pulled apart. All these years later, I have stopped looking for answers. I know better now, that love is never a guarantee. Not when you have the rest of the world to contend with.
Sometimes you have to step back and look at these things from a philosophical standpoint. And I know loving him has taught me something about myself, it has broadened my understanding of the world. And if it has done the same for him, then it wasn’t all in vain.
Lang Leav (Lullabies)
Because I always feel like running
Not away, because there is no such place
Because if there was, I would have found it by now
Because it's easier to run,
Easier than staying and finding out you're the only one who didn't run
Because running will be the way your life and mine will be described,
As in "the long run"
Or as in having "given someone a run for his money"
Or as in "running out of time"
Because running makes me look like everyone else, though I hope there will never be cause for that
Because I will be running in the other direction, not running for cover
Because if I knew where cover was, I would stay there and never have to run for it
Not running for my life, because I have to be running for something of more value to be running and not in fear
Because the thing I fear cannot be escaped, eluded, avoided, hidden from, protected from, gotten away from,
Not without showing the fear as I see it now
Because closer, clearer, no sir, nearer
Because of you and because of that nice
That you quietly, quickly be causing
And because you're going to see me run soon and because you're going to know why I'm running then
You'll know then
Because I'm not going to tell you now
Gil Scott-Heron (Now and Then...)
So what else can I tell you?" I asked. "I mean, to get you to reveal Lily to me."
She triangled her fingers under her chin. "Let's see. Are you a bed wetter?"
"Am I a...?"
"Bed wetter. I am asking if you are a bed wetter."
I knew she was trying to get me to blink. But I wouldn't.
"No, ma'am. I leave my beds dry."
"Not even a little drip every now and then?"
"I'm trying hard to see how this is germane."
"I'm gauging your honesty. What is the last periodical you read methodically?"
"Vogue. Although, in the interest of full disclosure, that's mostly because I was in my mother's bathroom, enduring a rather long bowel movement. You know, the kind that requires Lamaze."
"What adjective do you feel the most longing for?"
That was easy. "I will admit I have a soft spot for fanciful."
"Let's say I have a hundred million dollars and offer it to you. The only condition is that if you take it, a man in China will fall off his bicycle and die. What do you do?"
"I don't understand why it matters whether he's in China or not. And of course I wouldn't take the money."
The old woman nodded.
"Do you think Abraham Lincoln was a homosexual?"
"All I can say for sure is that he never made a pass at me."
"Are you a museumgoer?"
"Is the pope a churchgoer?"
"When you see a flower painted by Georgia O'Keefe, what comes to mind?"
"That's just a transparent ploy to get me to say the word vagina, isn't it? There. I said it. Vagina.
David Levithan (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
To my son,
If you are reading this letter, then I am dead.
I expect to die, if not today, then soon. I expect that Valentine will kill me. For all his talk of loving me, for all his desire for a right-hand man, he knows that I have doubts. And he is a man who cannot abide doubt.
I do not know how you will be brought up. I do not know what they will tell you about me. I do not even know who will give you this letter. I entrust it to Amatis, but I cannot see what the future holds. All I know is that this is my chance to give you an accounting of a man you may well hate.
There are three things you must know about me. The first is that I have been a coward. Throughout my life I have made the wrong decisions, because they were easy, because they were self-serving, because I was afraid.
At first I believed in Valentine’s cause. I turned from my family and to the Circle because I fancied myself better than Downworlders and the Clave and my suffocating parents. My anger against them was a tool Valentine bent to his will as he bent and changed so many of us. When he drove Lucian away I did not question it but gladly took his place for my own. When he demanded I leave Amatis, the woman I love, and marry Celine, a girl I did not know, I did as he asked, to my everlasting shame.
I cannot imagine what you might be thinking now, knowing that the girl I speak of was your mother. The second thing you must know is this. Do not blame Celine for any of this, whatever you do. It was not her fault, but mine. Your mother was an innocent from a family that brutalized her. She wanted only kindess, to feel safe and loved. And though my heart had been given already, I loved her, in my fashion, just as in my heart, I was faithful to Amatis. Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae. I wonder if you love Latin as I do, and poetry. I wonder who has taught you.
The third and hardest thing you must know is that I was prepared to hate you. The son of myslef and the child-bride I barely knew, you seemed to be the culmination of all the wrong decisions I had made, all the small compromises that led to my dissolution. Yet as you grew inside my mind, as you grew in the world, a blameless innocent, I began to realize that I did not hate you. It is the nature of parents to see their own image in their children, and it was myself I hated, not you.
For there is only one thing I wan from you, my son — one thing from you, and of you. I want you to be a better man than I was. Let no one else tell you who you are or should be. Love where you wish to. Believe as you wish to. Take freedom as your right.
I don’t ask that you save the world, my boy, my child, the only child I will ever have. I ask only that you be happy.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister; but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee’s life of the poet. She died young—alas, she never wrote a word. She lies buried where the omnibuses now stop, opposite the Elephant and Castle. Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the cross–roads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here to–night, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh. This opportunity, as I think, it is now coming within your power to give her. For my belief is that if we live another century or so—I am talking of the common life which is the real life and not of the little separate lives which we live as individuals—and have five hundred a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a little from the common sitting–room and see human beings not always in their relation to each other but in relation to reality; and the sky. too, and the trees or whatever it may be in themselves; if we look past Milton’s bogey, for no human being should shut out the view; if we face the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not only to the world of men and women, then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare’s sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down. Drawing her life from the lives of the unknown who were her forerunners, as her brother did before her, she will be born. As for her coming without that preparation, without that effort on our part, without that determination that when she is born again she shall find it possible to live and write her poetry, that we cannot expect, for that would he impossible. But I maintain that she would come if we worked for her, and that so to work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worth while.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
Evey: Who are you?
V. : Who? Who is but the form following the function of what and what I am is a man in a mask.
Evey: Well I can see that.
V. : Of course you can, I’m not questioning your powers of observation, I’m merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.
Evey: Oh, right.
V. : But on this most auspicious of nights, permit me then, in lieu of the more commonplace soubriquet, to suggest the character of this dramatis persona. Voila! In view humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the “vox populi” now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin, van guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.
The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.
Verily this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honour to meet you and you may call me V.
Evey: Are you like a crazy person?
V. : I’m quite sure they will say so.
Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
Halt waited a minute or two but there was no sound except for the jingling of harness and the creaking of leather from their saddles. Finally, the former Ranger could bear it no longer.
The question seemed to explode out of him, with a greater degree of violence than he had intended. Taken by surprise, Horace’s bay shied in fright and danced several paces away.
Horace turned an aggrieved look on his mentor as he calmed the horse and brought it back under control.
What?” he asked Halt, and the smaller man made a gesture of exasperation.
That’s what I want to know,” he said irritably. “What?”
Horace peered at him. The look was too obviously the sort of look that you give someone who seems to have taken leave of his senses. It did little to improve Halt’s rapidly growing temper.
What?” said Horace, now totally puzzled.
Don’t keep parroting at me!” Halt fumed. “Stop repeating what I say! I asked you ‘what,’ so don’t ask me ‘what’ back, understand?”
Horace considered the question for a second or two, then, in his deliberate way, he replied: “No.”
Halt took a deep breath, his eyebrows contracted into a deep V, and beneath them his eyes with anger but before he could speak, Horace forestalled him.
What ‘what’ are you asking me?” he said. Then, thinking how to make the question clearer, he added, “Or to put it another way, why are you asking ‘what’?”
Controlling himself with enormous restraint, and making no secret of the fact, Halt said, very precisely: “You were about to ask me a question.”
Horace frowned. “I was?”
Halt nodded. “You were. I saw you take a breath to ask it.”
I see,” Horace said. “And what was it about?”
For just a second or two, Halt was speechless. He opened his mouth, closed it again, then finally found the strength to speak.
That is what I was asking you,” he said. “When I said ‘what,’ I was asking you what you were about to ask me.”
I wasn’t about to ask you ‘what,’” Horace replied, and Halt glared at him suspiciously. It occurred to him that Horace could be indulging himself in a gigantic leg pull, that he was secretly laughing at Halt. This, Halt could have told him, was not a good career move. Rangers were not people who took kindly to being laughed at. He studied the boy’s open face and guileless blue eyes and decided that his suspicion was ill-founded.
Then what, if I may use that word once more, were you about to ask me?”
Horace drew a breath once more, then hesitated. “I forget,” he said. “What were we talking about?
John Flanagan (The Battle for Skandia (Ranger's Apprentice, #4))
And without you is how I disappear,
And live my life alone forever now.
And without you is how I disappear,
And live my life alone forever now.
Who walks among the famous living dead,
Drowns all the boys and girls inside your bed.
And if you could talk to me,
Tell me if it's so,
That all the good girls go to heaven.
Well, heaven knows
That without you is how I disappear,
And live my life alone forever now.
And without you is how I disappear,
And live my life alone forever now.
Can you hear me cry out to you?
Words I thought I'd choke on figure out.
I'm really not so with you anymore.
I'm just a ghost,
So I can't hurt you anymore,
And now, you wanna see how far down I can sink?
Let me go, fuck!
So, you can, well now so, you can
I'm so far away from you.
Well now so, you can.
And without you is how I disappear,
And without you is how I disappear,
Whoa whoa... (And without you is how I disappear)
Whoa whoa... (And without you... is how, is how, is how...)
Forever, forever now!
To the most inconsiderate asshole of a friend,
I’m writing you this letter because I know that if I say what I have to say
to your face I will probably punch you.
I don’t know you anymore.
I don’t see you anymore.
All I get is a quick text or a rushed e-mail from you every few days. I
know you are busy and I know you have Bethany, but hello? I’m supposed to
be your best friend.
You have no idea what this summer has been like. Ever since we were
kids we pushed away every single person that could possibly have been our
friend. We blocked people until there was only me and you. You probably
haven’t noticed, because you have never been in the position I am in now.
You have always had someone. You always had me. I always had you. Now
you have Bethany and I have no one.
Now I feel like those other people that used to try to become our friend,
that tried to push their way into our circle but were met by turned backs. I
know you’re probably not doing it deliberately just as we never did it deliberately.
It’s not that we didn’t want anyone else, it’s just that we didn’t need
them. Sadly now it looks like you don’t need me anymore.
Anyway I’m not moaning on about how much I hate her, I’m just trying
to tell you that I miss you. And that well . . . I’m lonely.
Whenever you cancel nights out I end up staying home with Mum and
Dad watching TV. It’s so depressing. This was supposed to be our summer
of fun. What happened? Can’t you be friends with two people at once?
I know you have found someone who is extra special, and I know you
both have a special “bond,” or whatever, that you and I will never have. But
we have another bond, we’re best friends. Or does the best friend bond disappear
as soon as you meet somebody else? Maybe it does, maybe I just
don’t understand that because I haven’t met that “somebody special.” I’m
not in any hurry to, either. I liked things the way they were.
So maybe Bethany is now your best friend and I have been relegated to
just being your “friend.” At least be that to me, Alex. In a few years time if
my name ever comes up you will probably say, “Rosie, now there’s a name I
haven’t heard in years. We used to be best friends. I wonder what she’s doingnow; I haven’t seen or thought of her in years!” You will sound like my mum
and dad when they have dinner parties with friends and talk about old times.
They always mention people I’ve never even heard of when they’re talking
about some of the most important days of their lives. Yet where are those
people now? How could someone who was your bridesmaid 20 years ago not
even be someone who you are on talking terms with now? Or in Dad’s case,
how could he not know where his own best friend from college lives? He
studied with the man for five years!
Anyway, my point is (I know, I know, there is one), I don’t want to be
one of those easily forgotten people, so important at the time, so special, so
influential, and so treasured, yet years later just a vague face and a distant
memory. I want us to be best friends forever, Alex.
I’m happy you’re happy, really I am, but I feel like I’ve been left behind.
Maybe our time has come and gone. Maybe your time is now meant to be
spent with Bethany. And if that’s the case I won’t bother sending you this letter.
And if I’m not sending this letter then what am I doing still writing it?
OK I’m going now and I’m ripping these muddled thoughts up.
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
I turn to head outside when the boys make their way back into the house. Kel stops in the doorway and puts his hands on his hips, then looks up at me.
“Are you my sister’s boyfriend?”
I’m thrown off by his directness. I pull my jacket on and shake my head. “Um, no. Just her friend.”
“She told my mom you were taking her on a date. I thought only boyfriends took girls on dates.”
“Well,” I pause. “Sometimes boys take girls on dates to see if they want them to be their girlfriend.”
I notice Caulder standing beside me, taking in the conversation as if he’s just as curious. I wasn’t prepared to have to explain the rules of dating right now.
“So it’s like a test?” Caulder asks. “To see if you want Layken to be your girlfriend?”
I shrug and nod. “Yeah, I guess you could say that.”
Kel laughs. “You aren’t gonna like her. She burps a lot. And she’s bossy. And she never lets me drink coffee, so she probably won’t let you have any, either. And she has really bad taste in music and sings way too loud and leaves her bras all over the house. It’s gross.”
I laugh. “Thanks for the warning. You think it’s too late to back out now?”
Kel shakes his head, missing my sarcasm completely. “No, she’s already dressed so you have to take her now.”
I sigh, pretending to be annoyed. “Well, it’s just a few hours. Hopefully she won’t burp a lot and boss me around and steal my coffee and sing to her really bad music and leave her bra in my car.”
Or hopefully she will.
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
people used to tell me that i had beautiful hands
told me so often, in fact, that one day i started to believe them until i asked my photographer father, “hey daddy could i be a hand model”
to which he said no way,
i dont remember the reason he gave me and i wouldve been upset,
but there were far too many stuffed animals to hold
too many homework assignment to write,
too many boys to wave at
too many years to grow,
we used to have a game, my dad and i about holding hands cus we held hands everywhere, and every time either he or i would whisper a great
big number to the other, pretending that we were keeping track of how many times we had held hands that we were sure, this one had to be 8 million 2 thousand 7 hundred and fifty three.
hands learn more than minds do,
hands learn how to hold other hands,
how to grip pencils and mold poetry,
how to tickle pianos and dribble a basketball,
and grip the handles of a bicycle
how to hold old people, and touch babies ,
i love hands like i love people,
they're the maps and compasses in which we navigate our way through life, some people read palms to tell your future,
but i read hands to tell your past,
each scar marks the story worth telling,
each calloused palm,
each cracked knuckle is a missed punch
or years in a factory,
now ive seen middle eastern hands clenched in middle eastern fists pounding against each other like war drums, each country sees theyre fists as warriors and others as enemies.
even if fists alone are only hands. but this is not about politics, no hands arent about politics, this is a poem about love, and fingers. fingers interlock like a beautiful zipper of prayer.
one time i grabbed my dads hands so that our fingers interlocked perfectly but he changed positions, saying no that hand hold is for your mom.
kids high five, but grown ups, we learn how to shake hands, you need a firm hand shake,but dont hold on too tight, but dont let go too soon, but dont hold down for too long,
but hands are not about politics, when did it become so complicated. i always thought its simple.
the other day my dad looked at my hands, as if seeing them for the first time, and with laughter behind his eye lids, with all the seriousness a man of his humor could muster, he said you know you got nice hands, you could’ve been a hand model, and before the laughter can escape me, i shake my head at him, and squeeze his hand, 8 million 2 thousand 7hundred and fifty four.
Looking for Your Face
From the beginning of my life
I have been looking for your face
but today I have seen it
Today I have seen
the charm, the beauty,
the unfathomable grace
of the face
that I was looking for
Today I have found you
and those who laughed
and scorned me yesterday
are sorry that they were not looking
as I did
I am bewildered by the magnificence
of your beauty
and wish to see you
with a hundred eyes
My heart has burned with passion
and has searched forever
for this wondrous beauty
that I now behold
I am ashamed
to call this love human
and afraid of God
to call it divine
Your fragrant breath
like the morning breeze
has come to the stillness of the garden
You have breathed new life into me
I have become your sunshine
and also your shadow
My soul is screaming in ecstasy
Every fiber of my being
is in love with you
has lit a fire in my heart
and you have made radiant
the earth and sky
My arrow of love
has arrived at the target
I am in the house of mercy
and my heart
is a place of prayer
Rumi (The Love Poems of Rumi)
When you took me from the witch trial at Cranesmuir--you said then that you would have died with me, you would have gone to the stake with me, had it come to that!"
He grasped my hands, fixing me with a steady blue gaze.
"Aye, I would," he said. "But I wasna carrying your child."
The wind had frozen me; it was the cold that made me shake, I told myself. The cold that took my breath away.
"You can't tell," I said, at last. "It's much too soon to be sure."
He snorted briefly, and a tiny flicker of amusement lit his eyes.
"And me a farmer, too! Sassenach, ye havena been a day late in your courses, in all the time since ye first took me to your bed. Ye havena bled now in forty-six days."
"You bastard!" I said, outraged. "You counted! In the middle of a bloody war, you counted!"
"No!" I hadn't; I had been much too afraid to acknowledge the possibility of the thing I had hoped and prayed for so long, come now so horribly too late.
"Besides," I went on, trying still to deny the possibility, "that doesn't mean anything. Starvation could cause that; it often does."
He lifted one brow, and cupped a broad hand gently beneath my breast.
"Aye, you're thin enough; but scrawny as ye are, your breasts are full--and the nipples of them gone the color of Champagne grapes. You forget," he said, "I've seen ye so before. I have no doubt--and neither have you."
I tried to fight down the waves of nausea--so easily attributable to fright and starvation--but I felt the small heaviness, suddenly burning in my womb. I bit my lip hard, but the sickness washed over me.
Jamie let go of my hands, and stood before me, hands at his sides, stark in silhouette against the fading sky.
"Claire," he said quietly. "Tomorrow I will die. This child...is all that will be left of me--ever. I ask ye, Claire--I beg you--see it safe.
Diana Gabaldon (Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2))
Please take away my pain and despair of yesterday and any unpleasant memories and replace them with Your glorious promise of new hope. Show me a fresh HS-inspired way of relating to negative things that have happened. I ask You for the mind of Christ so I can discern Your voice from the voice of my past. I pray that former rejection and deep hurts will not color what I see and hear now.
Help me to see all the choices I have ahead of me that can alter the direction of my life. I ask You to empower me to let go of the painful events and heartaches that would keep me bound. Thank You for Your forgiveness that You have offered to me at such a great price. Pour it into my heart so I can relinquish bitterness hurts and disappointments that have no place in my life. Please set me free to forgive those who have sinned against me and caused me pain and also myself. Open my heart to receive Your complete forgiveness and amazing grace. You have promised to bind up my wounds Psa 147:3 and restore my soul Psa 23:3 .
Help me to relinquish my past surrender to You my present and move to the future You have prepared for me. I ask You to come into my heart and make me who You would have me to be so that I might do Your will here on earth. I thank You Lord for all that’s happened in my past and for all I have become through those experiences. I pray You will begin to gloriously renew my present.
Sue Augustine (When Your Past Is Hurting Your Present: Getting Beyond Fears That Hold You Back)
The stars are brilliant at this time of night
and I wander these streets like a ritual I don’t dare to break
for darling, the times are quite glorious.
I left him by the water’s edge,
still waving long after the ship was gone
and if someone would have screamed my name I wouldn’t have heard for I’ve said goodbye so many times in my short life that farewells are a muscular task and I’ve taught them well.
There’s a place by the side of the railway near the lake where I grew up and I used to go there to burry things and start anew.
I used to go there to say goodbye.
I was young and did not know many people but I had hidden things inside that I never dared to show and in silence I tried to kill them,
one way or the other,
leaving sin on my body
scrubbing tears off with salt
and I built my rituals in farewells.
Endings I still cling to.
So I go to the ocean to say goodbye.
He left that morning, the last words still echoing in my head
and though he said he’d come back one day I know a broken promise from a right one
for I have used them myself and there is no coming back.
Minds like ours are can’t be tamed and the price for freedom is the price we pay.
I turned away from the ocean
as not to fall for its plea
for it used to seduce and consume me
and there was this one night
a few years back and I was not yet accustomed to farewells
and just like now I stood waving long after the ship was gone.
But I was younger then and easily fooled
and the ocean was deep and dark and blue
and I took my shoes off to let the water freeze my bones.
I waded until I could no longer walk and it was too cold to swim but still I kept on walking at the bottom of the sea for I could not tell the difference between the ocean and the lack of someone I loved and I had not yet learned how the task of moving on is as necessary as survival.
Then days passed by and I spent them with my work
and now I’m writing letters I will never dare to send.
But there is this one day every year or so
when the burden gets too heavy
and I collect my belongings I no longer need
and make my way to the ocean to burn and drown and start anew
and it is quite wonderful, setting fire to my chains and flames on written words
and I stand there, starring deep into the heat until they’re all gone.
Nothing left to hold me back.
You kissed me that morning as if you’d never done it before and never would again and now I write another letter that I will never dare to send, collecting memories of loss
like chains wrapped around my veins,
and if you see a fire from the shore tonight
it’s my chains going up in flames.
The time of moon i quite glorious.
We could have been so glorious.
Charlotte Eriksson (You're Doing Just Fine)
What did she say?” asked Matthias.
Nina coughed and took his arm, leading him away. “She said you’re a very nice fellow, and a credit to the Fjerdan race. Ooh, look, blini! I haven’t had proper blini in forever.”
“That word she used: babink,” he said. “You’ve called me that before. What does it mean?”
Nina directed her attention to a stack of paper-thin buttered pancakes. “It means sweetie pie.”
“I was just asking, there’s no need to name-call.”
“No, babink means barbarian.” Matthias’ gaze snapped back to the old woman, his glower returning to full force. Nina grabbed his arm. It was like trying to hold on to a boulder. “She wasn’t insulting you! I swear!”
“Barbarian isn’t an insult?” he asked, voice rising.
“No. Well, yes. But not in this context. She wanted to know if you’d like to play Princess and Barbarian.”
“It’s a game?”
“Then what is it?”
Nina couldn’t believe she was actually going to attempt to explain this. As they continued up the street, she said, “In Ravka, there’s a popular series of stories about, um, a brave Fjerdan warrior—”
“Really?” Matthias asked. “He’s the hero?”
“In a manner of speaking. He kidnaps a Ravkan princess—”
“That would never happen.”
“In the story it does, and”—she cleared her throat—“they spend a long time getting to know each other. In his cave.”
“He lives in a cave?”
“It’s a very nice cave. Furs. Jeweled cups. Mead.”
“Ah,” he said approvingly. “A treasure hoard like Ansgar the Mighty. They become allies, then?”
Nina picked up a pair of embroidered gloves from another stand. “Do you like these? Maybe we could get Kaz to wear something with flowers. Liven up his look.”
“How does the story end? Do they fight battles?”
Nina tossed the gloves back on the pile in defeat. “They get to know each other intimately.”
Matthias’ jaw dropped. “In the cave?”
“You see, he’s very brooding, very manly,” Nina hurried on. “But he falls in love with the Ravkan princess and that allows her to civilize him—”
“To civilize him?”
“Yes, but that’s not until the third book.”
“There are three?”
“Matthias, do you need to sit down?”
“This culture is disgusting. The idea that a Ravkan could civilize a Fjerdan—”
“Calm down, Matthias.”
“Perhaps I’ll write a story about insatiable Ravkans who like to get drunk and take their clothes off and make unseemly advances toward hapless Fjerdans.”
“Now that sounds like a party.” Matthias shook his head, but she could see a smile tugging at his lips. She decided to push the advantage. “We could play,” she murmured, quietly enough so that no one around them could hear.
“We most certainly could not.”
“At one point he bathes her.”
Matthias’ steps faltered. “Why would he—”
“She’s tied up, so he has to.”
“Already giving orders. That’s very barbarian of you. Or we could mix it up. I’ll be the barbarian and you can be the princess. But you’ll have to do a lot more sighing and trembling and biting your lip.”
“How about I bite your lip?”
“Now you’re getting the hang of it, Helvar.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
I was helpless in trying to return people's kindness, but also helpless to resist it. Kindness is a scarier force than cruelty, that's for sure. Cruelty isn't that hard to understand. I had no trouble comprehending why the phone company wanted to screw me over; they just wanted to steal some money, it was nothing personal. That's the way of the world. It made me mad, but it didn't make me feel stupid. If anything, it flattered my intelligence. Accepting all that kindness, though, made me feel stupid.
Human benevolence is totally unfair. We don't live in a kind or generous world, yet we are kind and generous. We know the universe is out to burn us, and it gets us all the way it got Renee, but we don't burn each other, not always. We are kind people in an unkind world, to paraphrase Wallace Stevens. How do you pretend you don't know about it, after you see it? How do you go back to acting like you don't need it? How do you even the score and walk off a free man? You can't. I found myself forced to let go of all sorts of independence I thought I had, independence I had spent years trying to cultivate. That world was all gone, and now I was a supplicant, dependent on the mercy of other people's psychic hearts.
Rob Sheffield (Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time)
She stepped forward as if to pick up the fur she'd tossed over a chair. Smoothly, she turned to hand it to him. And with perfect timing, flung herself into his arms.
The sable fell as he took her shoulders to shove her back.
Eve stepped to the doorway to see Magdelana with her arms locked around Roarke's neck, his hands on her bare shoulders--one of the ivory straps sliding to her elbow.
"Son of a bitch," she said.
On cue, Magdelana spun around, her face full of passion and shock. "Oh, God. Oh...it's not what it looks like."
"Bet." Eve strode in.
Actually, Roarke thought, it was more of a swagger. He had a moment to admire it, before Eve rammed her fist in his face.
"Fuck me." His head snapped back, and he tasted blood.
Magdelana cried out, but even the deaf would have caught the suppressed laughter in the sound. "Roarke! Oh, my God, you're bleeding. Please, let me just--"
"Don't look now," Eve said cheerfully. "But he's not the only one." She decked Magdelana with a straight-armed jab. "Bitch," Eve added as Magdelana's eyes rolled back and she fell, unconscious, to the floor.
Roarke looked down. "Well, now, fuck us all.
J.D. Robb (Innocent in Death (In Death, #24))
The whole time I pretend I have mental telepathy. And with my mind only, I’ll say — or think? — to the target, 'Don’t do it. Don’t go to that job you hate. Do something you love today. Ride a roller
coaster. Swim in the ocean naked. Go to the airport and get on the next flight to anywhere just for the fun of it. Maybe stop a spinning globe with your finger and then plan a trip to that very spot; even if it’s in the middle of the ocean you can go by boat. Eat some type of ethnic food you’ve never even
heard of. Stop a stranger and ask her to explain her greatest fears and her secret hopes and aspirations in detail and then tell her you care because she is a human being. Sit down on the sidewalk and make pictures with colorful chalk. Close your eyes and try to see the world with your nose—allow smells
to be your vision. Catch up on your sleep. Call an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Roll up your pant legs and walk into the sea. See a foreign film. Feed squirrels. Do anything! Something! Because you start a revolution one decision at a time, with each breath you take. Just don’t go back to thatmiserable place you go every day. Show me it’s possible to be an adult and also be happy. Please. This is a free country. You don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to. You can do anything you want. Be anyone you want. That’s what they tell us at school, but if you keep getting on that train and going to the place you hate I’m going to start thinking the people at school are liars like the Nazis who told the Jews they were just being relocated to work factories. Don’t do that to us. Tell us the truth. If adulthood is working some death-camp job you hate for the rest of your life, divorcing your secretly criminal husband, being disappointed in your son, being stressed and miserable, and dating a poser and pretending he’s a hero when he’s really a lousy person and anyone can tell that just by shaking his slimy hand — if it doesn’t get any better, I need to know right now. Just tell me. Spare me from some awful fucking fate. Please.
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
He started to dance. And all at once, because Cole was dancing, I was dancing. And this Cole was even more persuasive than the last one. This was everything about Cole's smile made into a real thing, a physical object made out of his hands looped around me, and his long body pushed up against mine. I loved to dance, but I'd always been aware that I was dancing, aware of what my body was doing. Now, with this music thumping and Cole dancing with me, everything became invisible but the music. I was invisible. My hips were the booming bass. My hands on Cole were the wails of the synthesizer. My body was nothing but the hard, pulsing beat of the track.
My thoughts were flashes in between the downbeats.
my hand pressed on Cole's stomach
our hips crushed together
we were one person
Even knowing that Cole was good at this because it was what he did didn't make it any less of an amazing thing. Plus, he wasn't trying to be amazing without me--every move of his body was to make us move together. There was no ego, just the music and our bodies.
When the track ended, Cole stepped back, out of breath, half a smile on his face. I couldn't see how he could stop. I wanted to dance until I couldn't stand up. I wanted to crush our bodies against each other until there was no pulling them apart.
"You're an addiction," I told him.
"You should know.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
Prove it!" she hissed. "Prove you are who you are!"
"We don't have time for this! You really want me to prove who I am?" he asked.
"Yes!" she challenged.
In answer, he took her in his arms, lifting her up and against the wall. He pressed his lips against hers, and with each kiss she could see into his mind, into his soul. She saw a year of hate...saw him alone, alienated, hurt. She had lied to him and had left him. With every kiss he made her see, made her feel...every emotion, every dream he had of her...every ounce of his wanting and his need...and his love...his all-consuming, life-affirming love for her. In the darkness they found each other again...and she kissed him back, so greedily and hungrily, she never wanted to stop kissing him...to feel his heart against hers, the two of them intertwined together, his hands in her hair, then down the small of her back. She wanted to cry from the overwhelming emotion that engulfed the two of them....
"Now do you belive me?" Jack asked huskily, pulling away from a moment so they could look into each other's eyes. Schuyler nodded, breathless. Jack. Every fiber of her being tingled with love and desire and remorse and forgiveness. Oh Jack...the love of her life, her sweet, her soul...
Melissa de la Cruz (The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods, #4))
love. she liberated me to life, she continued to do that. and when she was in her final sickness i went out to san francisco and the doctor said she had 3 weeks to live, i asked her "would you come to north carolina?" she said yes. she had emphysema and lung cancer, i brought her to my home. she lived for a year and a half ..and when she was finally in extemis, she was on oxygen and fighting cancer for her life and i remembered her liberating me, and i said i hoped i would be able to liberate her, she deserved that from me. she deserved a great daughter and she got one. so in her last days, i said "i understand some people need permission to go… as i understand it you may have done what god put you here to do. you were a great worker, you must've been a great lover cause a lot of men and if I'm not wrong maybe a couple of woman risked their lives to love you. you were a piss poor mother of small children but a you were great mother of young adults, and if you need permission to go, i liberate you". and i went back to my house, and something said go back- i was in my pajamas, i jumped in my car and ran and the nurse said "she just gone". you see love liberates. it doesn't bind, love says i love you. i love you if you're in china, i love you if you're across town, i love you if you're in harlem, i love you. i would like to be near you, i would like to have your arms around me i would like to have your voice in my ear but thats not possible now, i love you so go. love liberates it doesn't hold. thats ego. love liberates.
The first language humans had was gestures. There was nothing primitive about this language that flowed from people’s hands, nothing we say now that could not be said in the endless array of movements possible with the fine bones of the fingers and wrists. The gestures were complex and subtle, involving a delicacy of motion that has since been lost completely.
During the Age of Silence, people communicated more, not less. Basic survival demanded that the hands were almost never still, and so it was only during sleep (and sometimes not even then) that people were not saying something or other. No distinction was made between the gestures of language and the gestures of life. The labor of building a house, say, or preparing a meal was no less an expression than making the sign for I love you or I feel serious. When a hand was used to shield one’s face when frightened by a loud noise something was being said, and when fingers were used to pick up what someone else had dropped something was being said; and even when the hands were at rest, that, too, was saying something. Naturally, there were misunderstandings. There were times when a finger might have been lifted to scratch a nose, and if casual eye contact was made with one’s lover just then, the lover might accidentally take it to be the gesture, not at all dissimilar, for Now I realize I was wrong to love you. These mistakes were heartbreaking. And yet, because people knew how easily they could happen, because they didn’t go round with the illusion that they understood perfectly the things other people said, they were used to interrupting each other to ask if they’d understood correctly. Sometimes these misunderstandings were even desirable, since they gave people a reason to say, Forgive me, I was only scratching my nose. Of course I know I’ve always been right to love you. Because of the frequency of these mistakes, over time the gesture for asking forgiveness evolved into the simplest form. Just to open your palm was to say: Forgive me."
"If at large gatherings or parties, or around people with whom you feel distant, your hands sometimes hang awkwardly at the ends of your arms – if you find yourself at a loss for what to do with them, overcome with sadness that comes when you recognize the foreignness of your own body – it’s because your hands remember a time when the division between mind and body, brain and heart, what’s inside and what’s outside, was so much less. It’s not that we’ve forgotten the language of gestures entirely. The habit of moving our hands while we speak is left over from it. Clapping, pointing, giving the thumbs-up, for example, is a way to remember how it feels to say nothing together. And at night, when it’s too dark to see, we find it necessary to gesture on each other’s bodies to make ourselves understood.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
Shepley walked out of his bedroom pulling a T-shirt over his head. His eyebrows pushed together. “Did they just leave?”
“Yeah,” I said absently, rinsing my cereal bowl and dumping Abby’s leftover oatmeal in the sink. She’d barely touched it.
“Well, what the hell? Mare didn’t even say goodbye.”
“You knew she was going to class. Quit being a cry baby.”
Shepley pointed to his chest. “I’m the cry baby? Do you remember last night?”
“That’s what I thought.” He sat on the couch and slipped on his sneakers. “Did you ask Abby about her birthday?”
“She didn’t say much, except that she’s not into birthdays.”
“So what are we doing?”
“Throwing her a party.” Shepley nodded, waiting for me to explain. “I thought we’d surprise her. Invite some of our friends over and have America take her out for a while.”
Shepley put on his white ball cap, pulling it down so low over his brows I couldn’t see his eyes. “She can manage that. Anything else?”
“How do you feel about a puppy?”
Shepley laughed once. “It’s not my birthday, bro.”
I walked around the breakfast bar and leaned my hip against the stool. “I know, but she lives in the dorms. She can’t have a puppy.”
“Keep it here? Seriously? What are we going to do with a dog?”
“I found a Cairn Terrier online. It’s perfect.”
“Pidge is from Kansas. It’s the same kind of dog Dorothy had in the Wizard of Oz.”
Shepley’s face was blank. “The Wizard of Oz.”
“What? I liked the scarecrow when I was a little kid, shut the fuck up.”
“It’s going to crap every where, Travis. It’ll bark and whine and … I don’t know.”
“So does America … minus the crapping.”
Shepley wasn’t amused.
“I’ll take it out and clean up after it. I’ll keep it in my room. You won’t even know it’s here.”
“You can’t keep it from barking.”
“Think about it. You gotta admit it’ll win her over.”
Shepley smiled. “Is that what this is all about? You’re trying to win over Abby?”
My brows pulled together. “Quit it.”
His smile widened. “You can get the damn dog…”
I grinned with victory.
“…if you admit you have feelings for Abby.”
I frowned in defeat. “C’mon, man!”
“Admit it,” Shepley said, crossing his arms. What a tool. He was actually going to make me say it.
I looked to the floor, and everywhere else except Shepley’s smug ass smile. I fought it for a while, but the puppy was fucking brilliant. Abby would flip out (in a good way for once), and I could keep it at the apartment. She’d want to be there every day.
“I like her,” I said through my teeth.
Shepley held his hand to his ear. “What? I couldn’t quite hear you.”
“You’re an asshole! Did you hear that?”
Shepley crossed his arms. “Say it.”
“I like her, okay?”
“Not good enough.”
“I have feelings for her. I care about her. A lot. I can’t stand it when she’s not around. Happy?”
“For now,” he said, grabbing his backpack off the floor.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
I see how it is,” I snapped. “You were all in favor of me breaking the tattoo and thinking on my own—but that’s only okay if it’s convenient for you, huh? Just like your ‘loving from afar’ only works if you don’t have an opportunity to get your hands all over me. And your lips. And . . . stuff.”
Adrian rarely got mad, and I wouldn’t quite say he was now. But he was definitely exasperated. “Are you seriously in this much self-denial, Sydney? Like do you actually believe yourself when you say you don’t feel anything? Especially after what’s been happening between us?”
“Nothing’s happening between us,” I said automatically. “Physical attraction isn’t the same as love. You of all people should know that.”
“Ouch,” he said. His expression hadn’t changed, but I saw hurt in his eyes. I’d wounded him. “Is that what bothers you? My past? That maybe I’m an expert in an area you aren’t?”
“One I’m sure you’d just love to educate me in. One more girl to add to your list of conquests.”
He was speechless for a few moments and then held up one finger. “First, I don’t have a list.” Another finger, “Second, if I did have a list, I could find someone a hell of lot less frustrating to add to it.” For the third finger, he leaned toward me. “And finally, I know that you know you’re no conquest, so don’t act like you seriously think that. You and I have been through too much together. We’re too close, too connected. I wasn’t that crazy on spirit when I said you’re my flame in the dark. We chase away the shadows around each other. Our backgrounds don’t matter. What we have is bigger than that. I love you, and beneath all that logic, calculation, and superstition, I know you love me too. Running away and fleeing all your problems isn’t going to change that. You’re just going to end up scared and confused.”
“I already feel that way,” I said quietly.
Adrian moved back and leaned into his seat, looking tired. “Well, that’s the most accurate thing you’ve said so far.”
I grabbed the basket and jerked open the car door. Without another word, I stormed off, refusing to look back in case he saw the tears that had inexplicably appeared in my eyes. Only, I wasn’t sure exactly which part of our conversation I was most upset about.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
My sweet little whorish Nora I did as you told me, you dirty little girl, and pulled myself off twice when I read your letter. I am delighted to see that you do like being fucked arseways. Yes, now I can remember that night when I fucked you for so long backwards. It was the dirtiest fucking I ever gave you, darling. My prick was stuck in you for hours, fucking in and out under your upturned rump. I felt your fat sweaty buttocks under my belly and saw your flushed face and mad eyes. At every fuck I gave you your shameless tongue came bursting out through your lips and if a gave you a bigger stronger fuck than usual, fat dirty farts came spluttering out of your backside. You had an arse full of farts that night, darling, and I fucked them out of you, big fat fellows, long windy ones, quick little merry cracks and a lot of tiny little naughty farties ending in a long gush from your hole. It is wonderful to fuck a farting woman when every fuck drives one out of her. I think I would know Nora’s fart anywhere. I think I could pick hers out in a roomful of farting women. It is a rather girlish noise not like the wet windy fart which I imagine fat wives have. It is sudden and dry and dirty like what a bold girl would let off in fun in a school dormitory at night. I hope Nora will let off no end of her farts in my face so that I may know their smell also.
You say when I go back you will suck me off and you want me to lick your cunt, you little depraved blackguard. I hope you will surprise me some time when I am asleep dressed, steal over to me with a whore’s glow in your slumberous eyes, gently undo button after button in the fly of my trousers and gently take out your lover’s fat mickey, lap it up in your moist mouth and suck away at it till it gets fatter and stiffer and comes off in your mouth. Sometimes too I shall surprise you asleep, lift up your skirts and open your drawers gently, then lie down gently by you and begin to lick lazily round your bush. You will begin to stir uneasily then I will lick the lips of my darling’s cunt. You will begin to groan and grunt and sigh and fart with lust in your sleep. Then I will lick up faster and faster like a ravenous dog until your cunt is a mass of slime and your body wriggling wildly.
Goodnight, my little farting Nora, my dirty little fuckbird! There is one lovely word, darling, you have underlined to make me pull myself off better. Write me more about that and yourself, sweetly, dirtier, dirtier.
James Joyce (Selected Letters of James Joyce)
There was once an invisible man, the monster continued, though Conor kept his eyes firmly on Harry, who had grown tired of being unseen.
Conor set himself into a walk.
A walk after Harry.
It was not that he was actually invisible, the monster said, following Conor, the room volume dropping as they passed. It was that the people had become used to not seeing him.
"Hey!" Conor called. Harry didn't turn around. Neither did Sully nor Anton, though thet were still sniggering as Conor picked up his pace.
And if no one sees you, the monster said, picking up its pace, too, are you really there at all?
"HEY!" Conor called loudly.
The dining hall had fallen silent now, as Conor and the monster moved faster after Harry.
Harry who had still not turned around.
Conor reached him and grabbed him by the shoulder, twisting him round. Harry pretended to question what had happened, looking hard at Sully, acting like he was the one who'd done it. "Quit messing about," Harry said and turned away again.
Turned away from Conor.
And then one day the invisible man decided, the monster said, its voice ringing in Conor's ears, I will make them see me.
"How?" Conor asked, breathing heavily again, not turning back to see the monster standing there, not looking at the reaction of the room to the huge monster now in the midst, though he was aware of nervous murmurs and a strange anticipation in the air. "How did the man do it?"
Conor could feel the monster close behind him, knew that it was kneeling, knew that it was putting its face up to his ear to whisper into in, to tell him the rest of the story.
He called, it said for a monster.
Patrick Ness (A Monster Calls)
Now I must give one smirk, and then we may be rational again." Catherine turned away her head, not knowing whether she might venture to laugh. "I see what you think of me," said he gravely -- "I shall make but a poor figure in your journal tomorrow."
Yes, I know exactly what you will say: Friday, went to the Lower Rooms; wore my sprigged muslin robe with blue trimmings -- plain black shoes -- appeared to much advantage; but was strangely harassed by a queer, half-witted man, who would make me dance with him, and distressed me by his nonsense."
Indeed I shall say no such thing."
Shall I tell you what you ought to say?"
If you please."
I danced with a very agreeable young man, introduced by Mr. King; had a great deal of conversation with him -- seems a most extraordinary genius -- hope I may know more of him. That, madam, is what I wish you to say."
But, perhaps, I keep no journal."
Perhaps you are not sitting in this room, and I am not sitting by you. These are points in which a doubt is equally possible. Not keep a journal! How are your absent cousins to understand the tenour of your life in Bath without one? How are the civilities and compliments of every day to be related as they ought to be, unless noted down every evening in a journal? How are your various dresses to be remembered, and the particular state of your complexion, and curl of your hair to be described in all their diversities, without having constant recourse to a journal? My dear madam, I am not so ignorant of young ladies' ways as you wish to believe me; it is this delightful habit of journaling which largely contributes to form the easy style of writing for which ladies are so generally celebrated. Everybody allows that the talent of writing agreeable letters is peculiarly female. Nature may have done something, but I am sure it must be essentially assisted by the practice of keeping a journal.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
Amanda: This weekend was wonderful, but it isn't real life. It was more like a honeymoon, and after a while the excitement will wear off. We can tell ourselves it won't happen, we can make all the promises we want, but it's inevitable, and after that you'll never look at me the way you do now. I won't be the woman you dream about, or the girl you used to love. And you won't be my long-lost love, my one true thing anymore, either. You'll be someone my kids despise because you ruined the family, and you'll see me for who I really am. In a few years, I'll simply be a woman pushing fifty with three kids who might or might not hate her, and who might end up hating herself because of all this. And in the end, you'll end up hating her, too.
Dawson: That's not true.
Amanda: But it is. Honeymoons always come to an end.
Dawson: Being together isn't about a honeymoon. It's about the real you and me. I want to wake up with you beside me in the mornings, I want to spend my evenings looking at you across the dinner table. I want to share every mundane detail of my day with you and hear every detail of yours. I want to laugh with you and fall asleep with you in my arms. Because you aren't just someone I loved back then. You were my best friend, my best self, and I can't imagine giving that up again. You might not understand, but I gave you the best of me, and after you left, nothing was ever the same. I know you're afraid, and I'm afraid, too. But if we let this go, if we pretend none of this ever happened, then I'm not sure we'll ever get another chance. We're still young. We still have time to make this right.
Amanda: We're not that young anymore-
Dawson: But we are. We still have the rest of our lives.
Amanda: I know. That's why I need you to do something for me.
Amanda: Please...don't ask me to go with you, because if you do, I'll go. Please don't ask me to tell Frank about us, because I'll do that, too. Please don't ask me to give up my responsibilities or break up my family. I love you, and if you love me, too, then you just can't ask me to do these things. Because I don't trust myself enough to say no.
Nicholas Sparks (The Best of Me)
Shigure: Perhaps I can offer some advice? ...You know, Tohru-kun, when you get anxiety about the future it's better not to think about it. And let's not wipe our faces with dishtowels... For example let's say, Tohru-kun, that you are surrounded with a mountain of laundry piled so high around your feet that you can't move. Are you with me? Now, let's assume you don't have a washing machine, so you have to wash everything individually by hand. You would be at a loss for what to do, right? You'd worry about if you could ever wash everything, if you could get it all clean, if you'd ever have time for anything but laundry ever again! The more you'd think about it, the more anxious you'd get. But the time keeps passing, and the laundry doesn't wash itself. So what do you do, Tohru-kun? It might be a good idea to start washing the laundry right at your feet. Of course it's important to think about what lies ahead, too, but if you only look at what's down the road you'll get tangled in the laundry at your feet and you'll fall, won't you? You see, it's also important to think about what you can do now, what you can do today. And if you keep washing things one at a time, you'll be done before you know it. Because fortune is looking out for you. Sometimes the anxiety will start to well up, but when it does, take a little break. Read a book, watch TV, or eat soumen with everyone. Oh my, I'm shocked! Wow! What a wonderful analogy! I really must treat myself to some soumen as a reward... Oh! I'd like some tea, too!
Kyo: Why you... You just wanted to eat soumen, didn't you?!
Natsuki Takaya (Fruits Basket, Vol. 8)
Wolf took Scarlet’s hands into his, as tenderly as he would pick up an injured butterfly, and slid the band onto her finger. His voice was rough and wavering as he recited—“I, Ze’ev Kesley, do hereby claim you, Scarlet Benoit, as my wife and my Alpha. Forevermore, you will be my mate, my star, my beginning of everything.” He smiled down at her, his eyes swimming with emotion. Scarlet returned the look, and though Wolf’s expression teetered between proud and bashful, Scarlet’s face contained nothing but joy. “You are the one. You have always been, and you will always be, the only one.
Scarlet took the second ring—a significantly larger version of the same unadorned band—and pressed it onto Wolf’s finger. “I, Scarlet Benoit, do hereby claim you, Ze’ev Kesley, as my husband and my Alpha. Forevermore, you will be my mate, my star, my beginning of everything. You are the one. You have always been, and you will always be, the only one.”
Wolf folded his hands around hers. From where she sat, Cinder could see that he was shaking.
Kai grinned. “By the power given to me by the people of Earth, under the laws of the Earthen Union and as witnessed by those gathered here today, I do now pronounce you husband and wife.” He spread his hands in invitation. “You may kiss your—”
Wolf wrapped his arms around Scarlet’s waist, lifting her off the floor, and kissed her before Kai could finish. Or maybe she kissed him. It seemed mutual, as her hands wound through his disheveled hair.
The room exploded with cheers, everyone launching to their feet to congratulate the still-kissing couple. Scarlet had lost one of her red shoes.
“I’ll get the champagne,” said Thorne, heading toward the kitchen. “Those two are going to be thirsty when they finally come up for air.
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5))
God spreads the heavens above us like great wings
And gives a little round of deeds and days,
And then come the wrecked angels and set snares,
And bait them with light hopes and heavy dreams,
Until the heart is puffed with pride and goes
Half shuddering and half joyous from God's peace;
And it was some wrecked angel, blind with tears,
Who flattered Edane's heart with merry words.
Come, faeries, take me out of this dull house!
Let me have all the freedom I have lost;
Work when I will and idle when I will!
Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.
I would take the world
And break it into pieces in my hands
To see you smile watching it crumble away.
Once a fly dancing in a beam of the sun,
Or the light wind blowing out of the dawn,
Could fill your heart with dreams none other knew,
But now the indissoluble sacrament
Has mixed your heart that was most proud and cold
With my warm heart for ever; the sun and moon
Must fade and heaven be rolled up like a scroll
But your white spirit still walk by my spirit.
When winter sleep is abroad my hair grows thin,
My feet unsteady. When the leaves awaken
My mother carries me in her golden arms;
I'll soon put on my womanhood and marry
The spirits of wood and water, but who can tell
When I was born for the first time?
The wind blows out of the gates of the day,
The wind blows over the lonely of heart,
And the lonely of heart is withered away;
While the faeries dance in a place apart,
Shaking their milk-white feet in a ring,
Tossing their milk-white arms in the air;
For they hear the wind laugh and murmur and sing
Of a land where even the old are fair,
And even the wise are merry of tongue;
But I heard a reed of Coolaney say--
When the wind has laughed and murmured and sung,
The lonely of heart is withered away.
W.B. Yeats (The Land of Heart's Desire)
I am, and always have been - first, last, and always - a child of America.
You raised me. I grew up in the pastures and hills of Texas, but I had been to thirty-four states before I learned how to drive. When I caught the stomach flu in the fifth grade, my mother sent a note to school written on the back of a holiday memo from Vice President Biden. Sorry, sir—we were in a rush, and it was the only paper she had on hand.
I spoke to you for the first time when I was eighteen, on the stage of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, when I introduced my mother as the nominee for president. You cheered for me. I was young and full of hope, and you let me embody the American dream: that a boy who grew up speaking two languages, whose family was blended and beautiful and enduring, could make a home for himself in the White House.
You pinned the flag to my lapel and said, “We’re rooting for you.” As I stand before you today, my hope is that I have not let you down.
Years ago, I met a prince. And though I didn’t realize it at the time, his country had raised him too.
The truth is, Henry and I have been together since the beginning of this year. The truth is, as many of you have read, we have both struggled every day with what this means for our families, our countries, and our futures. The truth is, we have both had to make compromises that cost us sleep at night in order to afford us enough time to share our relationship with the world on our own terms.
We were not afforded that liberty.
But the truth is, also, simply this: love is indomitable. America has always believed this. And so, I am not ashamed to stand here today where presidents have stood and say that I love him, the same as Jack loved Jackie, the same as Lyndon loved Lady Bird. Every person who bears a legacy makes the choice of a partner with whom they will share it, whom the American people will “hold beside them in hearts and memories and history books. America: He is my choice.
Like countless other Americans, I was afraid to say this out loud because of what the consequences might be. To you, specifically, I say: I see you. I am one of you. As long as I have a place in this White House, so will you. I am the First Son of the United States, and I’m bisexual. History will remember us.
If I can ask only one thing of the American people, it’s this: Please, do not let my actions influence your decision in November. The decision you will make this year is so much bigger than anything I could ever say or do, and it will determine the fate of this country for years to come. My mother, your president, is the warrior and the champion that each and every American deserves for four more years of growth, progress, and prosperity. Please, don’t let my actions send us backward. I ask the media not to focus on me or on Henry, but on the campaign, on policy, on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans at stake in this election.
And finally, I hope America will remember that I am still the son you raised. My blood still runs from Lometa, Texas, and San Diego, California, and Mexico City. I still remember the sound of your voices from that stage in Philadelphia. I wake up every morning thinking of your hometowns, of the families I’ve met at rallies in Idaho and Oregon and South Carolina. I have never hoped to be anything other than what I was to you then, and what I am to you now—the First Son, yours in actions and words. And I hope when Inauguration Day comes again in January, I will continue to be.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
My “Best Woman” speech
Good evening everyone, my name is Rosie and as you can see Alex has
decided to go down the non-traditional route of asking me to be his best
woman for the day. Except we all know that today that title does not belong
to me. It belongs to Sally, for she is clearly his best woman.
I could call myself the “best friend” but I think we all know that today
that title no longer refers to me either. That title too belongs to Sally.
But what doesn’t belong to Sally is a lifetime of memories of Alex the
child, Alex the teenager, and Alex the almost-a-man that I’m sure he would
rather forget but that I will now fill you all in on. (Hopefully they all will
I have known Alex since he was five years old. I arrived on my first day
of school teary-eyed and red-nosed and a half an hour late. (I am almost sure
Alex will shout out “What’s new?”) I was ordered to sit down at the back of
the class beside a smelly, snotty-nosed, messy-haired little boy who had the
biggest sulk on his face and who refused to look at me or talk to me. I hated
this little boy.
I know that he hated me too, him kicking me in the shins under the table
and telling the teacher that I was copying his schoolwork was a telltale sign.
We sat beside each other every day for twelve years moaning about school,
moaning about girlfriends and boyfriends, wishing we were older and wiser and out of school, dreaming for a life where we wouldn’t have double maths
on a Monday morning.
Now Alex has that life and I’m so proud of him. I’m so happy that he’s
found his best woman and his best friend in perfect little brainy and annoying
I ask you all to raise your glasses and toast my best friend Alex and his
new best friend, best woman, and wife, Sally, and to wish them luck and
happiness and divorce in the future.
To Alex and Sally!
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
You don't notice the dead leaving when they really choose to leave you. You're not meant to. At most you feel them as a whisper or the wave of a whisper undulating down. I would compare it to a woman in the back of a lecture hall or theater whom no one notices until she slips out.Then only those near the door themselves, like Grandma Lynn, notice; to the rest it is like an unexplained breeze in a closed room.
Grandma Lynn died several years later, but I have yet to see her here. I imagine her tying it on in her heaven, drinking mint juleps with Tennessee Williams and Dean Martin. She'll be here in her own sweet time, I'm sure.
If I'm to be honest with you, I still sneak away to watch my family sometimes. I can't help it, and sometimes they still think of me. They can't help it....
It was a suprise to everyone when Lindsey found out she was pregnant...My father dreamed that one day he might teach another child to love ships in bottles. He knew there would be both sadness and joy in it; that it would always hold an echo of me.
I would like to tell you that it is beautiful here, that I am, and you will one day be, forever safe. But this heaven is not about safety just as, in its graciousness, it isn't about gritty reality. We have fun.
We do things that leave humans stumped and grateful, like Buckley's garden coming up one year, all of its crazy jumble of plants blooming all at once. I did that for my mother who, having stayed, found herself facing the yard again. Marvel was what she did at all the flowers and herbs and budding weeds. Marveling was what she mostly did after she came back- at the twists life took.
And my parents gave my leftover possessions to the Goodwill, along with Grandma Lynn's things.
They kept sharing when they felt me. Being together, thinking and talking about the dead, became a perfectly normal part of their life. And I listened to my brother, Buckley, as he beat the drums.
Ray became Dr. Singh... And he had more and more moments that he chose not to disbelieve. Even if surrounding him were the serious surgeons and scientists who ruled over a world of black and white, he maintained this possibility: that the ushering strangers that sometimes appeared to the dying were not the results of strokes, that he had called Ruth by my name, and that he had, indeed, made love to me.
If he ever doubted, he called Ruth. Ruth, who graduated from a closet to a closet-sized studio on the Lower East Side. Ruth, who was still trying to find a way to write down whom she saw and what she had experienced. Ruth, who wanted everyone to believe what she knew: that the dead truly talk to us, that in the air between the living, spirits bob and weave and laugh with us. They are the oxygen we breathe.
Now I am in the place I call this wide wide Heaven because it includes all my simplest desires but also the most humble and grand. The word my grandfather uses is comfort.
So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore, but underneath this more obvious patchwork quilt are places like a quiet room where you can go and hold someone's hand and not have to say anything. Give no story. Make no claim. Where you can live at the edge of your skin for as long as you wish. This wide wide Heaven is about flathead nails and the soft down of new leaves, wide roller coaster rides and escaped marbles that fall then hang then take you somewhere you could never have imagined in your small-heaven dreams.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
What was she thinking?” muttered Alexander, closing his eyes and imagining his Tania.
“She was determined. It was like some kind of a personal crusade with her,” Ina said. “She gave the doctor a liter of blood for you—”
“Where did she get it from?”
“Herself, of course.” Ina smiled. “Lucky for you, Major, our Nurse Metanova is a universal donor.”
Of course she is, thought Alexander, keeping his eyes tightly shut.
Ina continued. “The doctor told her she couldn’t give any more, and she said a liter wasn’t enough, and he said, ‘Yes, but you don’t have more to give,’ and she said, ‘I’ll make more,’ and he said, ‘No,’ and she said, ‘Yes,’ and in four hours, she gave him another half-liter of blood.”
Alexander lay on his stomach and listened intently while Ina wrapped fresh gauze on his wound.
He was barely breathing.
“The doctor told her, ‘Tania, you’re wasting your time. Look at his burn. It’s going to get infected.’ There wasn’t enough penicillin to give to you, especially since your blood count was so
low.” Alexander heard Ina chuckle in disbelief. “So I’m making my rounds late that night, and who do I find next to your bed? Tatiana. She’s sitting with a syringe in her arm, hooked up to a
catheter, and I watch her, and I swear to God, you won’t believe it when I tell you, Major, but I see that the catheter is attached to the entry drip in your IV.” Ina’s eyes bulged. “I watch her
draining blood from the radial artery in her arm into your IV. I ran in and said, ‘Are you crazy? Are you out of your mind? You’re siphoning blood from yourself into him?’ She said to me in
her calm, I-won’t-stand-for-any-argument voice, ‘Ina, if I don’t, he will die.’ I yelled at her. I said, ‘There are thirty soldiers in the critical wing who need sutures and bandages and their wounds cleaned. Why don’t you take care of them and let God take care of the dead?’ And she said, ‘He’s not dead. He is still alive, and while he is alive, he is mine.’ Can you believe it, Major? But that’s what she said. ‘Oh, for God’s sake,’ I said to her. ‘Fine, die yourself. I don’t care.’ But the next morning I went to complain to Dr. Sayers that she wasn’t following procedure,
told him what she had done, and he ran to yell at her.” Ina lowered her voice to a sibilant, incredulous whisper. “We found her unconscious on the floor by your bed. She was in a dead faint, but you had taken a turn for the better. All your vital signs were up. And Tatiana got up from the floor, white as death itself, and said to the doctor coldly, ‘Maybe now you can give him the penicillin he needs?’ I could see the doctor was stunned. But he did. Gave you penicillin and more plasma and extra morphine. Then he operated on you, to get bits of the shell fragment out
of you, and saved your kidney. And stitched you. And all that time she never left his side, or yours. He told her your bandages needed to be changed every three hours to help with drainage,
to prevent infection. We had only two nurses in the terminal wing, me and her. I had to take care of all the other patients, while all she did was take care of you. For fifteen days and nights she unwrapped you and cleaned you and changed your dressings. Every three hours. She was a ghost by the end. But you made it. That’s when we moved you to critical care. I said to her, ‘Tania, this man ought to marry you for what you did for him,’ and she said, ‘You think so?’ ” Ina tutted again. Paused. “Are you all right, Major? Why are you crying?
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
Once upon a time there was a young prince who believed in all things but three. He did not believe in princesses, he did not believe in islands, he did not believe in God. His father, the king, told him that such things did not exist. As there were no princesses or islands in his father's domains, and no sign of God, the young prince believed his father.
But then, one day, the prince ran away from his palace. He came to the next land. There, to his astonishment, from every coast he saw islands, and on these islands, strange and troubling creatures whom he dared not name. As he was searching for a boat, a man in full evening dress approached him along the shore.
Are those real islands?' asked the young prince.
Of course they are real islands,' said the man in evening dress.
And those strange and troubling creatures?'
They are all genuine and authentic princesses.'
Then God must exist!' cried the prince.
I am God,' replied the man in full evening dress, with a bow.
The young prince returned home as quickly as he could.
So you are back,' said the father, the king.
I have seen islands, I have seen princesses, I have seen God,' said the prince reproachfully.
The king was unmoved.
Neither real islands, nor real princesses, I have seen God,' said the prince reproachfully.
The king was unmoved.
Neither real islands, nor real princesses, nor a real God exist.'
I saw them!'
Tell me how God was dressed.'
God was in full evening dress.'
Were the sleeves of his coat rolled back?'
The prince remembered that they had been. The king smiled.
That is the uniform of a magician. You have been deceived.'
At this, the prince returned to the next land, and went to the same shore, where once again he came upon the man in full evening dress.
My father the king has told me who you are,' said the young prince indignantly. 'You deceived me last time, but not again. Now I know that those are not real islands and real princesses, because you are a magician.'
The man on the shore smiled.
It is you who are deceived, my boy. In your father's kingdom there are many islands and many princesses. But you are under your father's spell, so you cannot see them.'
The prince pensively returned home. When he saw his father, he looked him in the eyes.
Father, is it true that you are not a real king, but only a magician?'
The king smiled, and rolled back his sleeves.
Yes, my son, I am only a magician.'
Then the man on the shore was God.'
The man on the shore was another magician.'
I must know the real truth, the truth beyond magic.'
There is no truth beyond magic,' said the king.
The prince was full of sadness.
He said, 'I will kill myself.'
The king by magic caused death to appear. Death stood in the door and beckoned to the prince. The prince shuddered. He remembered the beautiful but unreal islands and the unreal but beautiful princesses.
Very well,' he said. 'I can bear it.'
You see, my son,' said the king, 'you too now begin to be a magician.
Sir, people never wanted me to make it to squire. They won't like it any better if I become a knight. I doubt I'll ever get to command a force larger than, well, just me.'
Raoul shook his head. 'You're wrong.' As she started to protest, he raised a hand. 'Hear me out. I have some idea of what you've had to bear to get this far, and it won't get easier. But there are larger issues than your fitness for knighthood, issues that involve lives and livelihoods. Attend,' he said, so much like Yayin, one of her Mithran teachers, that Kel had to smile.
'At our level, there are four kids of warrior,' he told Kel. He raised a fist and held up one large finger. 'Heroes, like Alanna the Lioness. Warriors who find dark places and fight in them alone. This is wonderful, but we live in the real world. There aren't many places without any hope or light.'
He raised a second finger. 'We have knights- plain, everyday knights, like your brothers. They patrol their borders and protect their tenants, or they go into troubled areas at the king's command and sort them out. They fight in battles, usually against other knights. A hero will work like an everyday knight for a time- it's expected. And most knights must be clever enough to manage alone.'
'We have soldiers,' Raoul continued, raising a third finger. 'Those warriors, including knights, who can manage so long as they're told what to do. These are more common, thank Mithros, and you'll find them in charge of companies in the army, under the eye of a general. Without people who can take orders, we'd be in real trouble.
'Commanders.' He raised his little finger. 'Good ones, people with a knack for it, like, say, the queen, or Buri, or young Dom, they're as rare as heroes. Commanders have an eye not just for what they do, but for what those around them do. Commanders size up people's strengths and weaknesses. They know where someone will shine and where they will collapse. Other warriors will obey a true commander because they can tell that the commander knows what he- or she- is doing.' Raoul picked up a quill and toyed with it. 'You've shown flashes of being a commander. I've seen it. So has Qasim, your friend Neal, even Wyldon, though it would be like pulling teeth to get him to admit it. My job is to see if you will do more than flash, with the right training. The realm needs commanders. Tortall is big. We have too many still-untamed pockets, too curse many hideyholes for rogues, and plenty of hungry enemies to nibble at our borders and our seafaring trade. If you have what it takes, the Crown will use you. We're too desperate for good commanders to let one slip away, even a female one. Now, finish that'- he pointed to the slate- 'and you can stop for tonight.
Tamora Pierce (Squire (Protector of the Small, #3))
Do you know about the spoons? Because you should. The Spoon Theory was created by a friend of mine, Christine Miserandino, to explain the limits you have when you live with chronic illness. Most healthy people have a seemingly infinite number of spoons at their disposal, each one representing the energy needed to do a task. You get up in the morning. That’s a spoon. You take a shower. That’s a spoon. You work, and play, and clean, and love, and hate, and that’s lots of damn spoons … but if you are young and healthy you still have spoons left over as you fall asleep and wait for the new supply of spoons to be delivered in the morning. But if you are sick or in pain, your exhaustion changes you and the number of spoons you have. Autoimmune disease or chronic pain like I have with my arthritis cuts down on your spoons. Depression or anxiety takes away even more. Maybe you only have six spoons to use that day. Sometimes you have even fewer. And you look at the things you need to do and realize that you don’t have enough spoons to do them all. If you clean the house you won’t have any spoons left to exercise. You can visit a friend but you won’t have enough spoons to drive yourself back home. You can accomplish everything a normal person does for hours but then you hit a wall and fall into bed thinking, “I wish I could stop breathing for an hour because it’s exhausting, all this inhaling and exhaling.” And then your husband sees you lying on the bed and raises his eyebrow seductively and you say, “No. I can’t have sex with you today because there aren’t enough spoons,” and he looks at you strangely because that sounds kinky, and not in a good way. And you know you should explain the Spoon Theory so he won’t get mad but you don’t have the energy to explain properly because you used your last spoon of the morning picking up his dry cleaning so instead you just defensively yell: “I SPENT ALL MY SPOONS ON YOUR LAUNDRY,” and he says, “What the … You can’t pay for dry cleaning with spoons. What is wrong with you?” Now you’re mad because this is his fault too but you’re too tired to fight out loud and so you have the argument in your mind, but it doesn’t go well because you’re too tired to defend yourself even in your head, and the critical internal voices take over and you’re too tired not to believe them. Then you get more depressed and the next day you wake up with even fewer spoons and so you try to make spoons out of caffeine and willpower but that never really works. The only thing that does work is realizing that your lack of spoons is not your fault, and to remind yourself of that fact over and over as you compare your fucked-up life to everyone else’s just-as-fucked-up-but-not-as-noticeably-to-outsiders lives. Really, the only people you should be comparing yourself to would be people who make you feel better by comparison. For instance, people who are in comas, because those people have no spoons at all and you don’t see anyone judging them. Personally, I always compare myself to Galileo because everyone knows he’s fantastic, but he has no spoons at all because he’s dead. So technically I’m better than Galileo because all I’ve done is take a shower and already I’ve accomplished more than him today. If we were having a competition I’d have beaten him in daily accomplishments every damn day of my life. But I’m not gloating because Galileo can’t control his current spoon supply any more than I can, and if Galileo couldn’t figure out how to keep his dwindling spoon supply I think it’s pretty unfair of me to judge myself for mine. I’ve learned to use my spoons wisely. To say no. To push myself, but not too hard. To try to enjoy the amazingness of life while teetering at the edge of terror and fatigue.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
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))
Clay, did you ever love me?"
I'm studying a billboard and say that I didn't hear what she said.
"I asked if you ever loved me?"
On the terrace the sun bursts into my eyes and for one blinding moment I see myself clearly. I remember the first time we made love, in the house in Palm Springs, her body tan and wet, lying against cool, white sheets.
"Don't do this, Blair," I tell her.
"Just tell me."
I don't say anything.
"Is it such a hard question to answer?"
I look at her straight on.
"Yes or no?"
"Damnit, Clay," she sighs.
"Yeah, sure, I guess."
"Don't lie to me."
"What in the fuck do you want to hear?"
"Just tell me," she says, her voice rising.
"No," I almost shout. "I never did." I almost start to laugh.
She draws in a breath and says, "Thank you. That's all I wanted to know." She sips her wine.
"Did you ever love me?" I ask her back, though by now I can't even care.
She pauses. "I thought about it and yeah, I did once. I mean I really did. Everything was all right for a while. You were kind." She looks down and then goes on. "But it was like you weren't there. Oh shit, this isn't going to make any sense." She stops.
I look at her, waiting for her to go on, looking up at the billboard. Disappear Here.
"I don't know if any other person I've been with has been really there, either ... but at least they tried."
I finger the menu; put the cigarette out.
"You never did. Other people made an effort and you just ... It was just beyond you." She takes another sip of her wine. "You were never there. I felt sorry for you for a little while, but then I found it hard to. You're a beautiful boy, Clay, but that's about it."
I watch the cars pass by on Sunset.
"It's hard to feel sorry for someone who doesn't care."
"Yeah?" I ask.
"What do you care about? What makes you happy?"
"Nothing. Nothing makes me happy. I like nothing," I tell her.
"Did you ever care about me, Clay?"
I don't say anything, look back at the menu.
"Did you ever care about me?" she asks again.
"I don't want to care. If I care about things, it'll just be worse, it'll just be another thing to worry about. It's less painful if I don't care."
"I cared about you for a little while."
I don't say anything.
She takes off her sunglasses and finally says, "I'll see you later, Clay." She gets up.
"Where are you going?" I suddenly don't want to leave Blair here. I almost want to take her back with me.
"Have to meet someone for lunch."
"But what about us?"
"What about us?" She stands there for a moment, waiting. I keep staring at the billboard until it begins to blur and when my vision becomes clearer I watch as Blair's car glides out of the parking lot and becomes lost in the haze of traffic on Sunset. The waiter comes over and asks, "Is everything okay, sir?"
I look up and put my sunglasses on and try to smile. "Yeah.
Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero)
I was born free, and that I might live in freedom I chose the solitude of the fields; in the trees of the mountains I find society, the clear waters of the brooks are my mirrors, and to the trees and waters I make known my thoughts and charms. I am a fire afar off, a sword laid aside. Those whom I have inspired with love by letting them see me, I have by words undeceived, and if their longings live on hope—and I have given none to Chrysostom or to any other—it cannot justly be said that the death of any is my doing, for it was rather his own obstinacy than my cruelty that killed him; and if it be made a charge against me that his wishes were honourable, and that therefore I was bound to yield to them, I answer that when on this very spot where now his grave is made he declared to me his purity of purpose, I told him that mine was to live in perpetual solitude, and that the earth alone should enjoy the fruits of my retirement and the spoils of my beauty; and if, after this open avowal, he chose to persist against hope and steer against the wind, what wonder is it that he should sink in the depths of his infatuation? If I had encouraged him, I should be false; if I had gratified him, I should have acted against my own better resolution and purpose. He was persistent in spite of warning, he despaired without being hated. Bethink you now if it be reasonable that his suffering should be laid to my charge. Let him who has been deceived complain, let him give way to despair whose encouraged hopes have proved vain, let him flatter himself whom I shall entice, let him boast whom I shall receive; but let not him call me cruel or homicide to whom I make no promise, upon whom I practise no deception, whom I neither entice nor receive. It has not been so far the will of Heaven that I should love by fate, and to expect me to love by choice is idle. Let this general declaration serve for each of my suitors on his own account, and let it be understood from this time forth that if anyone dies for me it is not of jealousy or misery he dies, for she who loves no one can give no cause for jealousy to any, and candour is not to be confounded with scorn. Let him who calls me wild beast and basilisk, leave me alone as something noxious and evil; let him who calls me ungrateful, withhold his service; who calls me wayward, seek not my acquaintance; who calls me cruel, pursue me not; for this wild beast, this basilisk, this ungrateful, cruel, wayward being has no kind of desire to seek, serve, know, or follow them. If Chrysostom's impatience and violent passion killed him, why should my modest behaviour and circumspection be blamed? If I preserve my purity in the society of the trees, why should he who would have me preserve it among men, seek to rob me of it? I have, as you know, wealth of my own, and I covet not that of others; my taste is for freedom, and I have no relish for constraint; I neither love nor hate anyone; I do not deceive this one or court that, or trifle with one or play with another. The modest converse of the shepherd girls of these hamlets and the care of my goats are my recreations; my desires are bounded by these mountains, and if they ever wander hence it is to contemplate the beauty of the heavens, steps by which the soul travels to its primeval abode.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from ME, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting ON to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth SAY I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie--I found that out.
So I was full of trouble, full as I could be; and didn't know what to do. At last I had an idea; and I says, I'll go and write the letter--and then see if I can pray. Why, it was astonishing, the way I felt as light as a feather right straight off, and my troubles all gone. So I got a piece of paper and a pencil, all glad and excited, and set down and wrote:
Miss Watson, your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville, and Mr. Phelps has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send.
I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off, but laid the paper down and set there thinking--thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, 'stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had small-pox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the ONLY one he's got now; and then I happened to look around and see that paper.
It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself:
"All right, then, I'll GO to hell"--and tore it up.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
Fundamentalist Christianity: fascinating. These people actually believe that the world is twelve thousand years old. Swear to God. Based on what? I asked them.
"Well, we looked at all the people in the Bible and we added 'em up all the way back to Adam and Eve, their ages? Twelve thousand years."
"Well, how fucking scientific, OK. I didn't know that you'd gone to so much trouble there. That's good. You believe the world's twelve thousand years old?"
"OK, I got one word to ask you, a one word question, ready?"
You know, the world's twelve thousand years old and dinosaurs existed, and existed in that time, you'd think it would been mentioned in the fucking Bible at some point:
And O, Jesus and the disciples walked to Nazareth. But the trail was blocked by a giant brontosaurus... with a splinter in its paw. And the disciples did run a-screamin'. "What a big fucking lizard, Lord!"
"I'm sure gonna mention this in my book," Luke said.
"Well, I'm sure gonna mention it in my book," Matthew said.
But Jesus was unafraid. And he took the splinter from the brontosaurus paw, and the brontosaurus became his friend. And Jesus sent him to Scotland where he lived in a loch, O so many years, attracting fat American families with their fat fuckin' dollars to look for the Loch Ness Monster. And O the Scots did praise the Lord: "Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!"
Twelve thousand years old. But I actually asked this guy, "OK, dinosaur fossils-- how does that fit into your scheme of life? What's the deal?" He goes:
"God put those here to test our faith."
"I think God put you here to test my faith, dude. I think I've figured this out."
Does that-- That's what this guy said. Does that bother anyone here? The idea that God might be fucking with our heads? Anyone have trouble sleeping restfully with that thought in their head? God's running around burying fossils: "Ho ho! We'll see who believes in me now, ha ha! I'm a prankster God. I am killing me, ho ho ho!" You know? You die, you go to St. Peter:
"Did you believe in dinosaurs?"
"Well, yeah. There were fossils everywhere. (trapdoor opens) Aaaaarhhh!"
"You fuckin' idiot! Flying lizards? You're a moron. God was fuckin' with you!"
"It seemed so plausible, aaaaaahh!"
"Enjoy the lake of fire, fucker!"
They believe this. But you ever notice how people who believe in Creationism usually look pretty unevolved. Eyes really close together, big furry hands and feet? "I believe God created me in one day." Yeah, looks like he rushed it.
Such a weird belief. Lots of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back he's gonna want to see a fucking cross, man? "Ow." Might be why he hasn't shown up yet.
"Man, they're still wearing crosses. Fuck it, I'm not goin' back, Dad. No, they totally missed the point. When they start wearing fishes, I might show up again, but... let me bury fossils with you, Dad. Fuck 'em, let's fuck with 'em! Hand me that brontosaurus head, Dad.
Bill Hicks (Love All the People: Letters, Lyrics, Routines)
A woman in her thirties came to see me. As she greeted me, I could sense the pain behind her polite and superficial smile. She started telling me her story, and within one second her smile changed into a grimace of pain. Then, she began to sob uncontrollably. She said she felt lonely and unfulfilled.
There was much anger and sadness. As a child she had been abused by a physically violent father. I saw quickly that her pain was not caused by her present life circumstances but by an extraordinarily heavy pain-body. Her pain-body had become the filter through which she viewed her life situation.
She was not yet able to see the link between the emotional pain and her thoughts, being completely identified with both. She could not yet see that she was feeding the pain-body with her thoughts. In other words, she lived with the burden of a deeply unhappy self. At some level, however, she must have realized that her pain originated within herself, that she was a burden to herself. She was ready to awaken, and this is why she had come.
I directed the focus of her attention to what she was feeling inside her body and asked her to sense the emotion directly, instead of through the filter of her unhappy thoughts, her unhappy story. She said she had come expecting me to show her the way out of her unhappiness, not into it.
Reluctantly, however, she did what I asked her to do. Tears were rolling down her face, her whole body was shaking. “At this moment, this is what you feel.” I said. “There is nothing you can do about the fact that at this moment this is what you feel. Now, instead of wanting this moment to be different from the way it is, which adds more pain to the pain that is already there, is it possible for you to completely accept that this is what you feel right now?”
She was quiet for a moment. Suddenly she looked impatient, as if she was about to get up, and said angrily, “No, I don't want to accept this.” “Who is speaking?” I asked her. “You or the unhappiness in you? Can you see that your unhappiness about being unhappy is just another layer of unhappiness?” She became quiet again. “I am not asking you to do anything. All I'm asking is that you find out whether it is possible for you to allow those feelings to be there. In other words, and this may sound strange, if you don't mind being unhappy, what happens to the unhappiness? Don't you want to find out?”
She looked puzzled briefly, and after a minute or so of sitting silently, I suddenly noticed a significant shift in her energy field. She said, “This is weird. I 'm still unhappy, but now there is space around it. It seems to matter less.”
This was the first time I heard somebody put it like that: There is space around my unhappiness. That space, of course, comes when there is inner acceptance of whatever you are experiencing in the present moment.
I didn't say much else, allowing her to be with the experience. Later she came to understand that the moment she stopped identifying with the feeling, the old painful emotion that lived in her, the moment she put her attention on it directly without trying to resist it, it could no longer control her thinking and so become mixed up with a mentally constructed story called “The Unhappy Me.” Another dimension had come into her life that transcended her personal past – the dimension of Presence. Since you cannot be unhappy without an unhappy story, this was the end of her unhappiness. It was also the beginning of the end of her pain-body. Emotion in itself is not unhappiness. Only emotion plus an unhappy story is unhappiness.
When our session came to an end, it was fulfilling to know that I had just witnessed the arising of Presence in another human being. The very reason for our existence in human form is to bring that dimension of consciousness into this world. I had also witnessed a diminishment of the pain-body, not through fighting it but through bringing the light of consciousness to it.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
My dearest friend Abigail, These probably could be the last words I write to you and I may not live long enough to see your response but I truly have lived long enough to live forever in the hearts of my friends. I thought a lot about what I should write to you. I thought of giving you blessings and wishes for things of great value to happen to you in future; I thought of appreciating you for being the way you are; I thought to give sweet and lovely compliments for everything about you; I thought to write something in praise of your poems and prose; and I thought of extending my gratitude for being one of the very few sincerest friends I have ever had. But that is what all friends do and they only qualify to remain as a part of the bunch of our loosely connected memories and that's not what I can choose to be, I cannot choose to be lost somewhere in your memories. So I thought of something through which I hope you will remember me for a very long time. I decided to share some part of my story, of what led me here, the part we both have had in common. A past, which changed us and our perception of the world. A past, which shaped our future into an unknown yet exciting opportunity to revisit the lost thoughts and to break free from the libido of our lost dreams. A past, which questioned our whole past. My dear, when the moment of my past struck me, in its highest demonised form, I felt dead, like a dead-man walking in flesh without a soul, who had no reason to live any more. I no longer saw any meaning of life but then I saw no reason to die as well. I travelled to far away lands, running away from friends, family and everyone else and I confined myself to my thoughts, to my feelings and to myself. Hours, days, weeks and months passed and I waited for a moment of magic to happen, a turn of destiny, but nothing happened, nothing ever happens. I waited and I counted each moment of it, thinking about every moment of my life, the good and the bad ones. I then saw how powerful yet weak, bright yet dark, beautiful yet ugly, joyous yet grievous; is a one single moment. One moment makes the difference. Just a one moment. Such appears to be the extreme and undisputed power of a single moment. We live in a world of appearance, Abigail, where the reality lies beyond the appearances, and this is also only what appears to be such powerful when in actuality it is not. I realised that the power of the moment is not in the moment itself. The power, actually, is in us. Every single one of us has the power to make and shape our own moments. It is us who by feeling joyful, celebrate for a moment of success; and it is also us who by feeling saddened, cry and mourn over our losses. I, with all my heart and mind, now embrace this power which lies within us. I wish life offers you more time to make use of this power. Remember, we are our own griefs, my dear, we are our own happinesses and we are our own remedies.
Title: Letter to Abigail
Chapter: The Road To Awe
Here's the thing, say Shug. The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it. And sometimes it just manifest itself even if you not looking, or don't know what you looking for. Trouble do it for most folks, I think. Sorrow, lord. Feeling like shit.
It? I ast.
Yeah, It. God ain't a he or a she, but a It.
But what do it look like? I ast.
Don't look like nothing, she say. It ain't a picture show. It ain't something you can look at apart from anything else, including yourself. I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you've found It.
Shug a beautiful something, let me tell you. She frown a little, look out cross the yard, lean back in her chair, look like a big rose. She say, My first step from the old white man was trees. Then air. Then birds. Then other people. But one day when I was sitting quiet and feeling like a motherless child, which I was, it come to me: that feeling of being part of everything, not separate
at all. I knew that if I cut a tree, my arm would bleed. And I laughed and I cried and I run all around the house. I knew just what it was. In fact, when it happen, you can't miss it. It sort of like you know what, she say, grinning and rubbing high up on my thigh.
Shug! I say.
Oh, she say. God love all them feelings. That's some of the best stuff God did. And when you know God loves 'em you enjoys 'em a lot more. You can just relax, go with everything that's going, and praise God by liking what you like.
God don't think it dirty? I ast.
Naw, she say. God made it. Listen, God love everything you love? and a mess of stuff you don't. But more than anything else, God love admiration.
You saying God vain? I ast.
Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.
What it do when it pissed off? I ast.
Oh, it make something else. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.
Yeah? I say.
Yeah, she say. It always making little surprises and springing them on us when us least expect.
You mean it want to be loved, just like the bible say.
Yes, Celie, she say. Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk?
Well, us talk and talk bout God, but I'm still adrift. Trying to chase that old white man out of my head. I been so busy thinking bout him I never truly notice nothing God make. Not a blade of corn (how it do that?) not the color purple (where it come from?). Not the little wildflowers. Nothing. Now that my eyes opening, I feels like a fool. Next to any little scrub of a bush in my yard, Mr. ____s evil sort of shrink. But not altogether. Still, it is like Shug say, You have to git man off your eyeball, before you can see anything a'tall.
Man corrupt everything, say Shug. He on your box of grits, in your head, and all over the radio. He try to make you think he everywhere.
Soon as you think he everywhere, you think he God. But he ain't. Whenever you trying to pray, and man plop himself on the other end of it, tell him to git lost, say Shug. Conjure up flowers, wind,water, a big rock.
But this hard work, let me tell you. He been there so long, he don't want to budge. He threaten lightening, floods and earthquakes. Us fight. I hardly pray at all. Every time I conjure up a rock, I throw it.
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
Thank you, Mr. Secretary General, UNICEF Executive Director, Excellencies and distinguished guests from across the world.
My name is Kim Nam Jun, also known as RM, the leader of the group BTS. It’s an incredible honour to be invited to an occasion with such significance for today’s young generation.
Last November, BTS launched the “Love Myself” campaign with UNICEF, building on our belief that “true love first begins with loving myself.” We have been partnering with UNICEF’s #ENDviolence program to protect children and young people all over the world from violence.
Our fans have become a major part of this campaign with their action and enthusiasm. We truly have the best fans in the world!
I would like to begin by talking about myself.
I was born in Ilsan, a city near Seoul, South Korea. It’s a beautiful place, with a lake, hills, and even an annual flower festival. I spent a happy childhood there, and I was just an ordinary boy.
I would look up at the night sky in wonder and dream the dreams of a boy. I used to imagine that I was a superhero, saving the world.
In an intro to one of our early albums, there is a line that says, “My heart stopped…I was maybe nine or ten.”
Looking back, that’s when I began to worry about what other people thought of me and started seeing myself through their eyes. I stopped looking up at the stars at night. I stopped daydreaming. I tried to jam myself into moulds that other people made. Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and started to listen to the voices of others. No one called out my name, and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. So, like this, I, we, all lost our names. We became like ghosts.
I had one sanctuary, and that was music. There was a small voice in me that said, ‘Wake up, man, and listen to yourself!” But it took me a long time to hear music calling my name.
Even after making the decision to join BTS, there were hurdles. Most people thought we were hopeless. Sometimes, I just wanted to quit.
I think I was very lucky that I didn’t give it all up.
I’m sure that I, and we, will keep stumbling and falling. We have become artists performing in huge stadiums and selling millions of albums.
But I am still an ordinary, twenty-four-year-old guy. If there’s anything that I’ve achieved, it was only possible because I had my other BTS members by my side, and because of the love and support of our ARMY fans.
Maybe I made a mistake yesterday, but yesterday’s me is still me. I am who I am today, with all my faults. Tomorrow I might be a tiny bit wiser, and that’s me, too. These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life. I have come to love myself for who I was, who I am, and who I hope to become.
I would like to say one last thing.
After releasing the “Love Yourself” albums and launching the “Love Myself” campaign, we started to hear remarkable stories from our fans all over the world, how our message helped them overcome their hardships in life and start loving themselves. These stories constantly remind us of our responsibility.
So, let’s all take one more step. We have learned to love ourselves, so now I urge you to "speak yourself".
I would like to ask all of you. What is your name? What excites you and makes your heart beat?
Tell me your story. I want to hear your voice, and I want to hear your conviction. No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin colour, gender identity: speak yourself.
Find your name, find your voice by speaking yourself.
I’m Kim Nam Jun, RM of BTS.
I’m a hip-hop idol and an artist from a small town in Korea.
Like most people, I made many mistakes in my life.
I have many faults and I have many fears, but I am going to embrace myself as hard as I can, and I’m starting to love myself, little by little.
What is your name? Speak Yourself!
Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900.
WHOEVER you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams,
I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet and hands;
Even now, your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners, troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away from you,
Your true Soul and Body appear before me,
They stand forth out of affairs—out of commerce, shops, law, science, work, forms, clothes, the house, medicine, print, buying, selling, eating, drinking, suffering, dying.
Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem;
I whisper with my lips close to your ear,
I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you.
O I have been dilatory and dumb;
I should have made my way straight to you long ago;
I should have blabb’d nothing but you, I should have chanted nothing but you.
I will leave all, and come and make the hymns of you;
None have understood you, but I understand you;
None have done justice to you—you have not done justice to yourself;
None but have found you imperfect—I only find no imperfection in you;
None but would subordinate you—I only am he who will never consent to subordinate you;
I only am he who places over you no master, owner, better, God, beyond what waits intrinsically in yourself.
Painters have painted their swarming groups, and the centre figure of all;
From the head of the centre figure spreading a nimbus of gold-color’d light;
But I paint myriads of heads, but paint no head without its nimbus of gold-color’d light;
From my hand, from the brain of every man and woman it streams, effulgently flowing forever.
O I could sing such grandeurs and glories about you!
You have not known what you are—you have slumber’d upon yourself all your life;
Your eye-lids have been the same as closed most of the time;
What you have done returns already in mockeries;
(Your thrift, knowledge, prayers, if they do not return in mockeries, what is their return?)
The mockeries are not you;
Underneath them, and within them, I see you lurk;
I pursue you where none else has pursued you;
Silence, the desk, the flippant expression, the night, the accustom’d routine, if these conceal you from others, or from yourself, they do not conceal you from me;
The shaved face, the unsteady eye, the impure complexion, if these balk others, they do not balk me,
The pert apparel, the deform’d attitude, drunkenness, greed, premature death, all these I part aside.
There is no endowment in man or woman that is not tallied in you;
There is no virtue, no beauty, in man or woman, but as good is in you;
No pluck, no endurance in others, but as good is in you;
No pleasure waiting for others, but an equal pleasure waits for you.
As for me, I give nothing to any one, except I give the like carefully to you;
I sing the songs of the glory of none, not God, sooner than I sing the songs of the glory of you.
Whoever you are! claim your own at any hazard!
These shows of the east and west are tame, compared to you;
These immense meadows—these interminable rivers—you are immense and interminable as they;
These furies, elements, storms, motions of Nature, throes of apparent dissolution—you are he or she who is master or mistress over them,
Master or mistress in your own right over Nature, elements, pain, passion, dissolution.
The hopples fall from your ankles—you find an unfailing sufficiency;
Old or young, male or female, rude, low, rejected by the rest, whatever you are promulges itself;
Through birth, life, death, burial, the means are provided, nothing is scanted;
Through angers, losses, ambition, ignorance, ennui, what you are picks its way.
What is to be done with the millions of facts that bear witness that men, consciously, that is fully understanding their real interests, have left them in the background and have rushed headlong on another path, to meet peril and danger, compelled to this course by nobody and by nothing, but, as it were, simply disliking the beaten track, and have obstinately, wilfully, struck out another difficult, absurd way, seeking it almost in the darkness. So, I suppose, this obstinacy and perversity were pleasanter to them than any advantage...
The fact is, gentlemen, it seems there must really exist something that is dearer to almost every man than his greatest advantages, or (not to be illogical) there is a most advantageous advantage (the very one omitted of which we spoke just now) which is more important and more advantageous than all other advantages, for the sake of which a man if necessary is ready to act in opposition to all laws; that is, in opposition to reason, honour, peace, prosperity -- in fact, in opposition to all those excellent and useful things if only he can attain that fundamental, most advantageous advantage which is dearer to him than all. "Yes, but it's advantage all the same," you will retort. But excuse me, I'll make the point clear, and it is not a case of playing upon words. What matters is, that this advantage is remarkable from the very fact that it breaks down all our classifications, and continually shatters every system constructed by lovers of mankind for the benefit of mankind. In fact, it upsets everything...
One's own free unfettered choice, one's own caprice, however wild it may be, one's own fancy worked up at times to frenzy -- is that very "most advantageous advantage" which we have overlooked, which comes under no classification and against which all systems and theories are continually being shattered to atoms. And how do these wiseacres know that man wants a normal, a virtuous choice? What has made them conceive that man must want a rationally advantageous choice? What man wants is simply independent choice, whatever that independence may cost and wherever it may lead. And choice, of course, the devil only knows what choice.
Of course, this very stupid thing, this caprice of ours, may be in reality, gentlemen, more advantageous for us than anything else on earth, especially in certain cases… for in any circumstances it preserves for us what is most precious and most important -- that is, our personality, our individuality. Some, you see, maintain that this really is the most precious thing for mankind; choice can, of course, if it chooses, be in agreement with reason… It is profitable and sometimes even praiseworthy. But very often, and even most often, choice is utterly and stubbornly opposed to reason ... and ... and ... do you know that that, too, is profitable, sometimes even praiseworthy?
I believe in it, I answer for it, for the whole work of man really seems to consist in nothing but proving to himself every minute that he is a man and not a piano-key! …And this being so, can one help being tempted to rejoice that it has not yet come off, and that desire still depends on something we don't know?
You will scream at me (that is, if you condescend to do so) that no one is touching my free will, that all they are concerned with is that my will should of itself, of its own free will, coincide with my own normal interests, with the laws of nature and arithmetic. Good heavens, gentlemen, what sort of free will is left when we come to tabulation and arithmetic, when it will all be a case of twice two make four? Twice two makes four without my will. As if free will meant that!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)