Now You See Me Quotes

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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!
Dr. Seuss
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 hello Could be my soul mate two kindred spirits Maybe we're not I guess we'll never know 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 there Put me underneath God's sky and know me don't just see me with your eyes Take away this mask of flesh and bone and See me for my soul alone
Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)
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))
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))
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))
Clary, 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. _Jace
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
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)
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)
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))
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)
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)
Galen?” “Hmm?” “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.” “Jackass.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
If I had my life to live over... Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything. My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind. If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more. Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I'd have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle. I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded. I would have eaten popcorn in the "good" living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace. I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth. I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored. I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains. I would have cried and laughed less while watching television ... and more while watching real life. I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted. I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream. I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for a day. I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn't show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime. When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner." There would have been more I love yous ... more I'm sorrys ... more I'm listenings ... but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it ... look at it and really see it ... try it on ... live it ... exhaust it ... and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.
Erma Bombeck (Eat Less Cottage Cheese And More Ice Cream Thoughts On Life From Erma Bombeck)
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)
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))
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))
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)
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))
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)
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'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
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.
Lemony Snicket
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 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)
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)
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))
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)
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)
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)
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)
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))
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 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)
Can I say something?' 'Go on' '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-' 'same here.' '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-' 'same here.' '-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.' 'Do you?' 'Absolutely' '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)
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.
Henry Rollins
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)
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)
Children are the ones that know exactly what's going on in the world, you know. They 'see' more than adults, 'believe' in more, are honest, and will always, 'always' let you know where you stand.
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
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?” Plastic… asshole.
George Carlin
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 around. 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 couldn't have. 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 look around. 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! Good night. 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. Amen.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Cat's Cradle)
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 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)
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." Huh." 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?" Yeah." 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 way." 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))
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))
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
Christoper Nolan
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)
We have tears in our eyes As we wave our goodbyes, We so loved being with you, we three. So do please now and then Come and see us again, The Giraffe and the Pelly and me. "All you do is to look At a page in this book Because that’s where we always will be. No book ever ends When it’s full of your friends The Giraffe and the Pelly and me.
Roald Dahl
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)
Do you remember infinity?” Slowly, I turned around. “What about it?” Tossing something toward me, he said, “Catch.” I reached out and caught it in the air. A silver necklace. I held it up and examined it. The infinity necklace. It didn’t shine the way it used to; it looked a bit coppery now. But I recognized it. Of course I recognized it. “What is this?” I asked. “You know what it is,” he said. I shrugged. “Nope, sorry.” I could see that he was both hurt and angry. “Okay, then. You don’t remember it. I’ll remind you. I bought you that necklace for your birthday.” My birthday. It had to have been for my sixteenth birthday. It was the only year he ever forgot to buy me a birthday present—the last summer we’d all been together at the beach house, when Susannah was still alive.
Jenny Han (We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3))
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
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))
You used to care about me as a person—my happiness, the things that made me thrive. Now I was a service provider. You didn’t see me as a woman. I was just the mother of your child.
Ashley Audrain (The Push)
Not like a heart, which let people in without permission, held them in a special place she never had any say in and then yearned for them to remain there longer than they planned.
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
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))
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. I say, 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 Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. 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. I say, 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 Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. 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. I say, 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 Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. 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. I say, 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 Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me.
Maya Angelou (Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women)
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.
Ben Edlund
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))
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. Tomorrow. 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, #4; Strawberries for Dessert, #1))
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. " "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))
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. Marvin droned, 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))
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)
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))
People forget they have options. And they forget that those things don't really matter. They should concentrate on what they have and not what they don't have. And by the way, wishing and dreaming doesn't mean concentrating on what you don't have, it's positive thinking that encourages hoping and believing, not whinging and moaning.
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
He's like a drug for you, Bella." His voice was still gentle, not at all critical. "I see that you can't live without him now. It's too late. but I would have been healthier for you. Not a drug; I would have been the air, the sun." The corner of my mouth turned up in a wistful half-smile. "I used to think of you that way, you know. Like the sun. My personal sun. You balanced out the clouds nicely for me." He sighed. "The clouds I can handle. But I can't fight with an eclipse.
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
I’ve never gotten a love letter before. But reading these notes like this, one after the other, it feels like I have. It’s like . . . it’s like there’s only ever been Peter. Like everyone else that came before him, they were all to prepare me for this. I think I see the difference now, between loving someone from afar and loving someone up close. When you see them up close, you see the real them, but they also get to see the real you. And Peter does. He sees me, and I see him.
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
To hell with you all, I DO believe
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
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)
Seth,” she says, “wherever you are, it’s okay. You can come back from it. Whatever happened to you down there, whatever the world looks like now, that’s not how it always looks. That’s not how it’s always going to look. There’s more. There’s always more. Whatever you see, wherever you are, we’re still here with you. Me and Tommy.
Patrick Ness (More Than This)
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))
well i think its quite obvious that if you're going to rely on something to carry your wishes, you might as well know where exactly it has come from and where it intends on going
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
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))
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)
There has never been a time in which I have been convinced from within myself that I am alive. You see, I have only such a fugitive awareness of things around me that I always feel they were once real and are now fleeting away. I have a constant longing, my dear sir, to catch a glimpse of things as they may have been before they show themselves to me. I feel that they were calm and beautiful. It must be so, for I often hear people talking about them as though they were.
Franz Kafka
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)
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." Melanie sighed. 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))
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. Stephen
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
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)
He’s a time bomb for me, do you see now? That he’ll hurt me. He’ll always hurt me. I’ll never be safe with him, even if I’m always safe next to him.
Jessa Hastings (Magnolia Parks (Magnolia Parks Universe, #1))
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. What?” 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))
Intellectual labor is a common technique for the avoidance of thinking.
Peter Straub (If You Could See Me Now)
It never ceases to amaze me the precious time we spend chasing the squirrels around our brains, playing out our dramas, worrying about unwanted facial hair, seeking adoration, justifying our actions, complaining about slow Internet connections, dissecting the lives of idiots, when we are sitting in the middle of a full-blown miracle that is happening right here, right now. We're on a planet that somehow knows how to rotate on its axis and follow a defined path while it hurtles through space! Our hearts beat! We can see! We have love, laughter, language, living rooms, computers, compassion, cars, fire, fingernails, flowers, music, medicine, mountains, muffins!
Jen Sincero (You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life)
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.” “Nina—” “Barbarian.” “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?” “Not exactly.” “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.” “Be silent.” “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))
You see, I have only such a fugitive awareness of things around me that I always feel they were once real and are now fleeting away.
Franz Kafka
Isabella." He pronounced my full name carefully, then playfully ruffled my hair with his free hand. A shock ran through my body at his casual touch. "Bella, I couldn't live with myself if I ever hurt you. You don't know how it's tortured me." He looked down, ashamed again. "The thought of you, still, white, cold . . . to never see you blush scarlet again, to never see that flash of intuition in your eyes when you see through my pretenses . . . it would be unendurable." he lifted his glorious, agonized eyes to mine. "You are the most important thing to me now. The most important thing to me ever.
Stephenie Meyer (Twilight (The Twilight Saga, #1))
You are my heart, my soul, my equal. You see the light in me when I’m lost within darkness. When I’m cold and distant, you’re as warm as autumn sunshine, bathing me in your glow. If I am the night, then you are the stars lighting up my endless dark.” His voice broke, wrenching my heart. “My best friend, the absolute love of my life, now until forevermore, I call you my wife.
Kerri Maniscalco (Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #4))
Nietzsche was the one who did the job for me. At a certain moment in his life,the idea came to him of what he called 'the love of your fate.' Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, 'This is what I need.' It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment--not discouragement--you will find the strength is there. Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow. Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures followed by wreckage were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see that this is really true. Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not. The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes.
Joseph Campbell (A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living)
Now you fear punishment and beg for your lives, so I will let you free, if not for any other reason so that you can see the difference between a Greek king and a barbarian tyrant, so do not expect to suffer any harm from me. A king does not kill messengers.
Alexander the Great
Now the world has gone to bed, Darkness won't engulf my head, I can see by infrared, How I hate the night. Now I lay me down to sleep, Try to count electric sheep, Sweet dream wishes you can keep, How I hate the night. -Marvin
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1-5))
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)
Fall down eight times, stand up nine. For me, this saying is less about the dead paving the way for future generations than it is for the women of Jeju. We suffer and suffer and suffer, but we also keep getting up. We keep living. You would not be here if you weren't brave. Now you need to be braver still.
Lisa See (The Island of Sea Women)
What If I cut off your arm right now? Then you'd see how fast the Institution would cast you aside. Just like they did me." "You wouldn't." "No I wouldn't. And I'm the villain. What do you suppose that says about you?
N.D. Stevenson (Nimona)
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!" "President Snow says he's sending a message. Well I have one for him. You can torture us and bomb and burn our districts to the ground, but do you see that?" One of the cameras follows where I point to the planes burning on the roof of a warehouse across from us. "Fire is catching!" I am shouting now, determined he will not miss a word of it, "And if we burn, you burn with us!
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Tell me how you could say such a thing, she said, staring down at the ground beneath her feet. You're not telling me anything I don't know already. 'Relax your body, and the rest of you will lighten up.' What's the point of saying that to me? If I relaxed my body now, I'd fall apart. I've always lived like this, and it's the only way I know how to go on living. If I relaxed for a second, I'd never find my way back. I'd go to pieces, and the pieces would be blown away. Why can't you see that? How can you talk about watching over me if you can't see that?
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Don't ever think that what my Son chose to do didn't cost us dearly. Love always leaves a significant mark," she stated softly and gently. "We were there together." Mack was surprised. "At the cross? Now wait. I thought you left him - you know - 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?'" It was a Scripture that had often haunted Mack in The Great Sadness. "You misunderstand the mystery there. Regardless of what he felt at that moment, I never left him." "How can you say that? You abandonded him just like you abandoned me!" "Mackenzie, I never left him, and I have never left you." "That makes no sense to me," he snapped. "I know it doesn't, at least not yet. Will you at least consider this: when all you can see is your pain, perhaps then you lose sight of me?
William Paul Young (The Shack)
Freedom isn't an illusion; it's perfectly real in the context of sequential consciousness. Within the context of simultaneous consciousness, freedom is not meaningful, but neither is coercion; it's simply a different context, no more or less valid than the other. It's like that famous optical illusion, the drawing of either an elegant young woman, face turned away from the viewer, or a wart-nosed crone, chin tucked down on her chest. There's no “correct” interpretation; both are equally valid. But you can't see both at the same time. “Similarly, knowledge of the future was incompatible with free will. What made it possible for me to exercise freedom of choice also made it impossible for me to know the future. Conversely, now that I know the future, I would never act contrary to that future, including telling others what I know: those who know the future don't talk about it. Those who've read the Book of Ages never admit to it.
Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
He looked down at the keys and played a gentle chord. Jesper wondered at how he could have mistaken Kuwei for Wylan. Their hands were completely different, the shape of the fingers, the knuckles. “Jes,” Wylan said, “did you mean what you told my father? Will you stay with me? Will you help?” Jesper leaned back on the pianoforte, resting on his elbows. “Let’s see. Live in a luxurious merch mansion, get waited on by servants, spend a little extra time with a budding demolitions expert who plays a mean flute? I guess I can manage it.” Jesper’s eyes traveled from the top of Wylan’s red-gold curls to the tips of his toes and back again. “But I do charge a pretty steep fee.” Wylan flushed a magnificent shade of pink. “Well, hopefully the medik will be here to fix my ribs soon,” he said as he headed back into the parlor. “Yeah?” “Yes,” said Wylan, glancing briefly over his shoulder, his cheeks now red as cherries. “I’d like to make a down payment.” Jesper released a bark of laughter. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d felt this good. And no one was even shooting at him.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
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))
I know exactly how you feel," Schmendrick said eagerly. The unicorn looked at him out of dark, endless eyes, and he smiled nervously and looked at his hands. "It's a rare man who is taken for what he truly is," he said. "There is much misjudgment in the world. Now I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so must I be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem, and hardly ever what we dream. Still I have read, or heard it sung, that unicorns when time was young, could tell the difference 'twixt the two - the false shining and the true, the lips' laugh and the heart's rue.
Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1))
Shepley walked out of his bedroom pulling a T-shirt over his head. His eyebrows pushed together. “Did they just leave?” “Yeah,” I said absently, rinsing my cereal bowl and dumping Abby’s leftover oatmeal in the sink. She’d barely touched it. “Well, what the hell? Mare didn’t even say goodbye.” “You knew she was going to class. Quit being a cry baby.” Shepley pointed to his chest. “I’m the cry baby? Do you remember last night?” “Shut up.” “That’s what I thought.” He sat on the couch and slipped on his sneakers. “Did you ask Abby about her birthday?” “She didn’t say much, except that she’s not into birthdays.” “So what are we doing?” “Throwing her a party.” Shepley nodded, waiting for me to explain. “I thought we’d surprise her. Invite some of our friends over and have America take her out for a while.” Shepley put on his white ball cap, pulling it down so low over his brows I couldn’t see his eyes. “She can manage that. Anything else?” “How do you feel about a puppy?” Shepley laughed once. “It’s not my birthday, bro.” I walked around the breakfast bar and leaned my hip against the stool. “I know, but she lives in the dorms. She can’t have a puppy.” “Keep it here? Seriously? What are we going to do with a dog?” “I found a Cairn Terrier online. It’s perfect.” “A what?” “Pidge is from Kansas. It’s the same kind of dog Dorothy had in the Wizard of Oz.” Shepley’s face was blank. “The Wizard of Oz.” “What? I liked the scarecrow when I was a little kid, shut the fuck up.” “It’s going to crap every where, Travis. It’ll bark and whine and … I don’t know.” “So does America … minus the crapping.” Shepley wasn’t amused. “I’ll take it out and clean up after it. I’ll keep it in my room. You won’t even know it’s here.” “You can’t keep it from barking.” “Think about it. You gotta admit it’ll win her over.” Shepley smiled. “Is that what this is all about? You’re trying to win over Abby?” My brows pulled together. “Quit it.” His smile widened. “You can get the damn dog…” I grinned with victory. “…if you admit you have feelings for Abby.” I frowned in defeat. “C’mon, man!” “Admit it,” Shepley said, crossing his arms. What a tool. He was actually going to make me say it. I looked to the floor, and everywhere else except Shepley’s smug ass smile. I fought it for a while, but the puppy was fucking brilliant. Abby would flip out (in a good way for once), and I could keep it at the apartment. She’d want to be there every day. “I like her,” I said through my teeth. Shepley held his hand to his ear. “What? I couldn’t quite hear you.” “You’re an asshole! Did you hear that?” Shepley crossed his arms. “Say it.” “I like her, okay?” “Not good enough.” “I have feelings for her. I care about her. A lot. I can’t stand it when she’s not around. Happy?” “For now,” he said, grabbing his backpack off the floor.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
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)
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))
Fuck, that stubborn, feisty look always makes me want to kiss you.” “And you say this now, where people will see if you actually do.” “When did I ever give you the impression that I give a fuck what people think about me?
Rebecca Yarros (Fourth Wing (The Empyrean, #1))
Because the first time I fuck you, I want you to have all of me. Not just bits and pieces.” He takes a breath. “I’m not whole right now. And I can’t worship you when all I see is her.
H.D. Carlton (Haunting Adeline (Cat and Mouse, #1))
What are you so afraid will happen? Afraid you might start to like me?” He said nothing. Despite her fatigue, she trotted ahead of him. “That’s it, isn’t it? You don’t want to like a Grisha. You’re scared that if you laugh at my jokes or answer my questions, you might start thinking I’m human. Would that be so terrible?” “I do like you.” “What was that?” “I do like you,” he said angrily. She’d beamed, feeling a well of pleasure erupt through her. “Now, really, is that so bad?” “Yes!” he roared. “Why?” “Because you’re horrible. You’re loud and lewd and . . . treacherous. Brum warned us that Grisha could be charming.” “Oh, I see. I’m the wicked Grisha seductress. I have beguiled you with my Grisha wiles!” She poked him in the chest. “Stop that.” “No. I’m beguiling you.” “Quit it.” She danced around him in the snow, poking his chest, his stomach, his side. “Goodness! You’re very solid. This is strenuous work.” He started to laugh. “It’s working! The beguiling has begun. The Fjerdan has fallen. You are powerless to resist me.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
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)
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)
Where are you going, Master?' cried Sam, though at last he understood what was happening. 'To the Havens, Sam,' said Frodo. 'And I can't come.' 'No, Sam. Not yet, anyway, not further than the Havens. Though you too were a Ring-bearer, if only for a little while. Your time may come. Do not be too sad, Sam. You cannot always be torn in two. You will have to be one and whole, for many years. You have so much to enjoy and to be, and to do.' 'But,' said Sam, and tears started in his eyes, 'I thought you were going to enjoy the Shire, too, for years and years, after all you have done.' 'So I thought too, once. But I have been too deeply hurt, Sam. I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them. But you are my heir: all that I had and might have had I leave to you. And also you have Rose, and Elanor; and Frodo-lad will come, and Rosie-lass, and Merry, and Goldilocks, and Pippin; and perhaps more that I cannot see. Your hands and your wits will be needed everywhere. You will be the Mayor, of course, as long as you want to be, and the most famous gardener in history; and you will read things out of the Red Book, and keep alive the memory of the age that is gone, so that people will remember the Great Danger, and so love their beloved land all the more. And that will keep you as busy and as happy as anyone can be, as long as your part in the Story goes on. 'Come now, ride with me!
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3))
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)
Daydream delusion, limousine eyelash Oh baby with your pretty face Drop a tear in my wineglass. Look at those big eyes See what you mean to me Sweet-cakes and milkshakes I'm a delusion angel I'm a fantasy parade. I want you to know what I think Don't want you to guess anymore You have no idea where I came from We have no idea where we're going Lodged in life Like branches in a river Flowing downstream Caught in the current I carry you, You'll carry me That's how it could be Don't you know me? Don't you know me by now?
before sunrise
Yes," Bitterblue said. "I suppose you could convert everything into minutes. Twelve times sixty is seven hundred twenty, and fifteen times fifty is seven hundred fifty. So our seven-hundred-twenty-minute half day equals its seven-hundred-fifty-minute half day. Let's see...Right now, the watch reads a time of nearly twenty-five past two. That's one hundred twenty-five total minutes, which, divided by seven hundred fifty, should equal our time in minutes divided by seven hundred twenty...so, seven hundred twenty times one hundred twenty-five is...give me a moment...ninety thousand...divided by seven hundred fifty...is one hundred twenty...which means...well! The numbers are quite neat, aren't they? It's just about two o'clock. I should go home.
Kristin Cashore (Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3))
Brendan cleared his throat hard. “What does ‘follow’ mean?” “Don’t,” Deke rushed to say. “Don’t press it.” His thumb was already on the way back up. “Too late.” All three of his crew members surged to their feet. “No. Brendan, don’t tell me you just tapped the blue button,” Sanders groaned, hands on his mop of red hair. “She’s going to see you followed her. She’s going to know you internet stalked her.” “Can’t I just unfollow now?” Brendan started to tap again. Fox lunged forward. “No! No, that’s even worse. If she already noticed you followed her, she’s just going to think you’re playing games.” “Jesus. I’m deleting the whole thing,” Brendan said, throwing the offending device onto the dashboard.
Tessa Bailey (It Happened One Summer (Bellinger Sisters, #1))
What do you think, Samantha?” Fosco asks me. That it’s a piece of pretentious shit. That it says nothing, gives nothing. That I don’t understand it, that probably no one does and no one ever will. That not being understood is a privilege I can’t afford. That I can’t believe this woman got paid to come here. That I think she should apologize to trees. Spend a whole day on her knees in the forest, looking up at the trembling aspens and oaks and whatever other trees paper is made of with tears in her languid eyes and say, I’m fucking sorry. I’m sorry that I think I’m so goddamned interesting when it is clear that I am not interesting. Here’s what I am: I’m a boring tree murderess. But I look at Vignette, at Creepy Doll, at Cupcake, the Duchess. All of them staring at me now with shy smiles. “I think I’d like to see more of the soup too,” I hear myself say.
Mona Awad (Bunny)
Well, I must endure the presence of two or three caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies. It seems that they are very beautiful. And if not the butterflies– and the caterpillars– who will call upon me? You will be far away. . . as for the large animals– I am not at all afraid of any of them. I have my claws.” And, navely, she showed her four thorns. Then she added: “Don’t linger like this. You have decided to go away. Now go!” For she did not want him to see her crying. She was such a proud flower. . .
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)
I continue to wonder,' he said, glancing down at Min, 'why you all assume that I am too dense to see what you find so obvious. Yes, Nynaeve. Yes, this hardness will destroy me. I know.' ... You all claim that I have grown too hard, that I will inevitably shatter and break if I continue on. But you assume that there needs to be something left of me to continue on. ... That's the key, Nynaeve. I see it now. I will not live through this, and so I don't need to worry about what might happen to me after the Last Battle. I don't need to hold back, don't need to salvage anything of this beaten up soul of mine.
Brandon Sanderson (The Gathering Storm (The Wheel of Time, #12))
Now are the woods all black, but still the sky is blue. May you always see a blue sky overhead, my young friend; and then, even when the time comes, which is coming now for me, when the woods are all black, when night is fast falling, you will be able to console yourself, as I am doing, by looking up to the sky.
Marcel Proust (Du côté de chez Swann (À la recherche du temps perdu, #1))
Dimitri Fedorov, I already gave you my useless heart. Now, have everything else that matters. Have my loyalty, my right hand. Have everything that was once my mother’s and give me everything you once swore to Koschei. Give me all of you, take everything of me, and let’s see who stands against us then.
Olivie Blake (One for My Enemy)
I like you.” “I like you, too.” “I’ve liked you since the morning you ran into me.” I giggle and try to shove him away, but he uses the motion to pull us closer. “You have not,” I say. “I have,” he whispers, and now his lips brush against my cheek. “I remember thinking, ‘Nice job, dickhead. Add another girl to the list of people who hate you.’” “I don’t hate you. I’ve never hated you.” “Now, that’s reassuring,” he says, but I can hear the smile in his voice. He inhales along my cheekbone, and sparks flare through my abdomen. “You should write for Hallmark.” “All my future love letters will start with ‘To whom it may concern.’” “Are you going to send me future love letters?” I flush, and I’m sure he can see it. Feel it.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
Kazi of Brightmist...you are the love I didn't know I needed. You are the hand pulling me through the wilderness, The sun warming my face. You make me stronger, smarter, wiser. You are the compass that makes me a better man. With you by my side, no challenge will be too great. I vow to honor you, Kazi, and do all I can to be worthy of your love. I will never stumble in my devotion to you, and I vow to keep you safe always. My family is now your family, and your family, mine. You have not stolen my heart, but I give it freely, And in the presence of these witnesses, I take you to be my wife." He squeezed my hand. His brown eyes danced, just as they had the first time he spoke those vows to me. It was my turn now. I took a deep breath. Were any words enough? But I said the ones closest to my heart, the ones I had said in the wilderness and repeated almost daily when I lay in a dark cell, uncertain where he was but needing to believe I would see him again. "I love you, Jase Ballenger, and I will for all my days. You have brought me fullness where there was only hunger, You have given me a universe of stars and stories, Where there was emptiness. You've unlocked a part of me I was afraid to believe in, And made the magic of wish stalks come true. I vow to care for you, to protect you and everything that is yours. Your home is now my home, your family, my family. I will stand by you as a partner in all things. With you by my side, I will never lack for joy. I know life is full of twists and turns, and sometimes loss, but whatever paths we go down, I want every step to be with you. I want to grow old with you, Jase. Every one of my tomorrows is yours, And in the presence of these witnesses, I take you to be my husband.
Mary E. Pearson (Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #2))
What?” I cut him off. “That’s not true—I do take this seriously—” “Bullshit.” He laughs a short, sharp, angry laugh. “All you do is sit around and think about your feelings. You’ve got problems. Boo-freaking-hoo,” he says. “Your parents hate you and it’s so hard but you have to wear gloves for the rest of your life because you kill people when you touch them. Who gives a shit?” He’s breathing hard enough for me to hear him. “As far as I can tell, you’ve got food in your mouth and clothes on your back and a place to pee in peace whenever you feel like it. Those aren’t problems. That’s called living like a king. And I’d really appreciate it if you’d grow the hell up and stop walking around like the world crapped on your only roll of toilet paper. Because it’s stupid,” he says, barely reining in his temper. “It’s stupid, and it’s ungrateful. You don’t have a clue what everyone else in the world is going through right now. You don’t have a clue, Juliette. And you don’t seem to give a damn, either.” I swallow, so hard. “Now I am trying,” he says, “to give you a chance to fix things. I keep giving you opportunities to do things differently. To see past the sad little girl you used to be—the sad little girl you keep clinging to—and stand up for yourself. Stop crying. Stop sitting in the dark counting out all your individual feelings about how sad and lonely you are. Wake up,” he says. “You’re not the only person in this world who doesn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. You’re not the only one with daddy issues and severely screwed-up DNA. You can be whoever the hell you want to be now. You’re not with your shitty parents anymore. You’re not in that shitty asylum, and you’re no longer stuck being Warner’s shitty little experiment. So make a choice,” he says. “Make a choice and stop wasting everyone’s time. Stop wasting your own time. Okay?
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Okay, you know, is it weird to get so depressed watching a children’s Christmas special— Oh, wait, I shouldn’t say that. I mean, that’s not a good word. It’s not just “sadness,” the way one feels sad at a film or a funeral. It’s more of a plummeting quality. Or the way, you know, the way that light gets in winter just before dusk, or the way she is with me. All right, at the height of lovemaking, you know, the very height, when she’s starting to climax, and she’s really responding to you now, you know, her eyes widening in that way that’s both, you know, surprise and recognition, which not a woman alive could fake or feign if you really look intently at her, really see her. And I don’t know, this moment has this piercing sadness to it, of the loss of her in her eyes. And as her eyes, you know, widen to their widest point and as she begins to climax and arch her back, they close. You know, shut, the eyes do. And I can tell that she’s closed her eyes to shut me out. You know, I become like an intruder. And behind those closed lids, you know, her eyes are now rolled all the way around and staring intently inward into some void where l, who sent them, can’t follow.
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
Did you know sometimes it frightens me-- when you say my name and I can't see you? will you ever learn to materialize before you speak? impetuous boy, if that's what you really are. how many centuries since you've climbed a balcony or do you do this every night with someone else? you tell me that you'll never leave and I am almost afraid to believe it. why is it me you've chosen to follow? did you like the way I look when I am sleeping? was my hair more fun to tangle? are my dreams more entertaining? do you laugh when I'm complaining that I'm all alone? where were you when I searched the sea for a friend to talk to me? in a year where will you be? is it enough for you to steal into my mind filling up my page with music written in my hand you know I'll take the credit for I must have made you come to me somehow. but please try to close the curtains when you leave at night, or I'll have to find someone to stay and warm me. will you always attend my midnight tea parties-- as long as I set it at your place? if one day your sugar sits untouched will you have gone forever? would you miss me in a thousand years-- when you will dry another's tears? but you say you'll never leave me and I wonder if you'll have the decency to pass through my wall to the next room while I dress for dinner but when I'm stuck in conversation with stuffed shirts whose adoration hurts my ears, where are you then? can't you cut in when I dance with other men? it's too late not to interfere with my life you've already made me a most unsuitable wife for any man who wants to be the first his bride has slept with and you can't just fly into people's bedrooms then expect them to calmly wave goodbye you've changed the course of history and didn't even try where are you now-- standing behind me, taking my hand? come and remind me who you are have you traveled far are you made of stardust too are the angels after you tell me what I am to do but until then I'll save your side of the bed just come and sing me to sleep
Emilie Autumn
Yes,’ he cried, ‘you have killed my love! You used to stir my imagination. Now you don’t even stir my curiosity. You simply produce no effect. I loved you because you were marvelous, because you had genius and intellect, because you realized the dreams of great poets and gave shape and substance to the shadows of art. You have thrown it all away. You are shallow and stupid. My God! how mad I was to love you! What a fool I have been! You are nothing to me now. I will never see you again. I will never think of you. I will never mention your name. You can’t know what you were to me, once. Why, once… Oh, I can’t bear to think of it! I wish I had never laid eyes upon you! You have spoiled the romance of my life. How little you can know of love if you say it mars your art! Without your art you are nothing. I would have made you famous, splendid, magnificent. The world would have worshiped you, and you would have borne my name. What are you now? A third-rate actress with a pretty face.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
-You know how to call me although such a noise now would only confuse the air Neither of us can forget the steps we danced the words you stretched to call me out of dust Yes I long for you not just as a leaf for weather or vase for hands but with a narrow human longing that makes a man refuse any fields but his own I wait for you at an unexpected place in your journey like the rusted key or the feather you do not pick up.- -I WILL NEVER FIND THE FACES FOR ALL GOODBYES I'VE MADE.- For Anyone Dressed in Marble The miracle we all are waiting for is waiting till the Parthenon falls down and House of Birthdays is a house no more and fathers are unpoisoned by renown. The medals and the records of abuse can't help us on our pilgrimage to lust, but like whips certain perverts never use, compel our flesh in paralysing trust. I see an orphan, lawless and serene, standing in a corner of the sky, body something like bodies that have been, but not the scar of naming in his eye. Bred close to the ovens, he's burnt inside. Light, wind, cold, dark -- they use him like a bride. I Had It for a Moment I had it for a moment I knew why I must thank you I saw powerful governing men in black suits I saw them undressed in the arms of young mistresses the men more naked than the naked women the men crying quietly No that is not it I'm losing why I must thank you which means I'm left with pure longing How old are you Do you like your thighs I had it for a moment I had a reason for letting the picture of your mouth destroy my conversation Something on the radio the end of a Mexican song I saw the musicians getting paid they are not even surprised they knew it was only a job Now I've lost it completely A lot of people think you are beautiful How do I feel about that I have no feeling about that I had a wonderful reason for not merely courting you It was tied up with the newspapers I saw secret arrangements in high offices I saw men who loved their worldliness even though they had looked through big electric telescopes they still thought their worldliness was serious not just a hobby a taste a harmless affectation they thought the cosmos listened I was suddenly fearful one of their obscure regulations could separate us I was ready to beg for mercy Now I'm getting into humiliation I've lost why I began this I wanted to talk about your eyes I know nothing about your eyes and you've noticed how little I know I want you somewhere safe far from high offices I'll study you later So many people want to cry quietly beside you
Leonard Cohen (Flowers for Hitler)
When you're young you believe that love is infatuation, but infatuation is simple, any child can become infatuated, fall in love. But real love? Love is a job for an adult. Love demands a whole person, all the best of you, all the worst. It has nothing to do with romance, because the hard part of a marriage isn't that I have to live seeing all your faults, but that you have to live with me seeing them. That I know everything about you now. Most people aren't brave enough to live without secrets. Everyone dreams about being invisible sometimes, no one dreams of being transparent. Marriage? There ought to be a different word for it after a while. Because there's no such thing as 'eternal infatuation,' only love lasts that long, and it's never simple. It requires a whole person, everything you have. The whole lot.
Fredrik Backman (The Winners (Beartown, #3))
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)
She felt as if she had been crying without end for minutes now. Yet this parting, this final farewell ... Aelin looked at Chaol and Dorian and sobbed. Opened her arms to them, and wept as they held each other. “I love you both,” she whispered. “And no matter what may happen, no matter how far we may be, that will never change.” “We will see you again,” Chaol said, but even his voice was thick with tears. “Together,” Dorian breathed, shaking. “We’ll rebuild this world together.” She couldn’t stand it, this ache in her chest. But she made herself pull away and smile at their tear-streaked faces, a hand on her heart. “Thank you for all you have done for me.” Dorian bowed his head. “Those are words I’d never thought I’d hear from you.” She barked a rasping laugh, and gave him a shove. “You’re a king now. Such insults are beneath you.” He grinned, wiping at his face. Aelin smiled at Chaol, at his wife waiting beyond him. “I wish you every happiness,” she said to him. To them both. Such light shone in Chaol’s bronze eyes—that she had never seen before. “We will see each other again,” he repeated. Then he and Dorian turned toward their horses, toward the bright day beyond the castle gates. Toward their kingdom to the south. Shattered now, but not forever. Not forever.
Sarah J. Maas (Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7))
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))
Aye. You gender-malcontent. You otherling,” she said, the fog of anesthesia wearing off. She could see him clearly now. The curl of his lashes. The white flecks of skin over his dry lips. “Me too. I am a boy and a girl and a witch all wrapped into one very strange, flimsy, indecisive body. Do you think my body couldn’t decide what it wanted to be?” “I think it doesn’t matter because we get to decide what our bodies are or are not,” he answered. Aster sat up, and Theo helped her prop two pillows beneath her head. “Is that so? Then I am magic. I say it, therefore it is true,” she said.
Rivers Solomon (An Unkindness of Ghosts)
I only wanted to . . . I mean, just now, when Mr. George interrupted us, there was something very important I wanted to say to you.” “It is about what I told you in the church yesterday? I mean, I can understand that you may think me crazy because I see these beings, but a psychiatrist wouldn’t make any difference.” Gideon frowned. “Just keep quiet for a moment, would you? I have to pluck up all my courage to make you a declaration of love . . . I’ve had absolutely no practice in this kind of thing.” “What?” “Gwyneth,” he said, perfectly seriously, “I’ve fallen in love with you.” My stomach muscles contracted as if I’d had a shock. But it was joy. “Really?” “Yes, really!” In the light of the torch I saw Gideon smile. “I do realize we’ve known each other for less than a week, and at first I thought you were rather . . . childish, and I probably behaved badly to you. But you’re terribly complicated, I never know what you’ll do next, and in some ways you really are terrifyingly . . . er. . . naïve. Sometimes I just want to shake you.” “Okay, I can see you were right about having no practice in making declarations of love,” I agreed. “But then you’re so amusing, and clever, and amazingly sweet,” Gideon went on, as if he hadn’t heard me. “And the worst of it is, you only have to be in the same room and I need to touch you and kiss you . . .” “Yes, that’s really too bad,” I whispered, and my heart turned over as Gideon took the hatpin out of my hair, tossed the feathered monstrosity into the air to fall on the floor, draw me close, and kissed me. About three minutes later, I was leaning against the wall, totally breathless, making an effort to stay upright. “Hey, Gwyneth, try breathing in and out in the normal way,” said Gideon, amused. I gave him a little push. “Stop that! I can’t believe how conceited you are!” “Sorry. It’s just such a . . . a heady feeling to think you’d forget to breathe on my account.
Kerstin Gier (Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie, #2))
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?" "Why?" "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)
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. Amen
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
Your daddy is standing in a swimming pool out a little bit from the edge. You are, let’s say, three years old and standing on the edge of the pool. Daddy holds out his arms to you and says, “Jump, I’ll catch you. I promise.” Now, how do you make your daddy look good at that moment? Answer: trust him and jump. Have faith in him and jump. That makes him look strong and wise and loving. But if you won’t jump, if you shake your head and run away from the edge, you make your daddy look bad. It looks like you are saying, “he can’t catch me” or “he won’t catch me” or “it’s not a good idea to do what he tells me to do.” And all three of those make your dad look bad. But you don’t want to make God look bad. So you trust him. Then you make him look good–which he really is. And that is what we mean when we say, “Faith glorifies God” or “Faith gives God glory.” It makes him look as good as he really is. So trusting God is really important. And the harder it seems for him to fulfill his promise, the better he looks when you trust him. Suppose that you are at the deep end of a pool by the diving board. You are four years old and can’t swim, and your daddy is at the other end of the pool. Suddenly a big, mean dog crawls under the fence and shows his teeth and growls at you and starts coming toward you to bite you. You crawl up on the diving board and walk toward the end to get away from him. The dog puts his front paws up on the diving board. Just then, your daddy sees what’s happening and calls out, “Johnny, jump in the water. I’ll get you.” Now, you have never jumped from one meter high and you can’t swim and your daddy is not underneath you and this water is way over your head. How do you make your daddy look good in that moment? You jump. And almost as soon as you hit the water, you feel his hands under your arms and he treads water holding you safely while someone chases the dog away. Then he takes you to the side of the pool. We give glory to God when we trust him to do what he has promised to do–especially when all human possibilities are exhausted. Faith glorifies God. That is why God planned for faith to be the way we are justified.
John Piper
Even if you wake up and you don’t know who you are and you don’t know who I am, it’ll be okay. I’ll be here, and I’ll help you remember.” His lips brushed my forehead. “I’ve got enough love for you that I’m overflowing with it. It’ll be more than enough if you wake up and see me as a stranger.” Luc’s next breath sounded as ragged as my heart felt. “No matter how you come back to me, as Evie or as Nadia or someone else, I’ll still love you like I do now, like I did yesterday and the day before, and that’ll be enough.” I’ll still love you.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Brightest Night (Origin, #3))
Starling lowered her voice, but it carried anyway. “He is FitzChivalry, son of Chivalry the Abdicated. And you are the Fool.” “Once, perhaps, I was the Fool. It is common knowledge here in Jhaampe. But now I am the Toymaker. As I no longer use the other title, you may take it for yourself if you wish. As for Tom, I believe he takes the title Bed Bolster these days.” “I will be seeing the Queen about this.” “A wise decision. If you wish to become her Fool, she is certainly the one you must see. But for now, let me show you something else. No, step back, please, so you can see it all. Here it comes.” I heard the slam and the latch. “The outside of my door,” the Fool announced gladly. “I painted it myself. Do you like it?
Robin Hobb (Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3))
Little Brother, do not treat me as if I am already dead, or dying. If you see me that way, then I would rather truly be dead. You steal the now of my life away, when you constantly fear that tomorrow will bring my death. Your fears clutch cold at me and snatch all my pleasure in the day's warmth from me.
Robin Hobb (Fool's Errand (Tawny Man, #1))
No!” Lancelot’s helmet is gone now. I can see the scruff on his chin now, the dark blond hair matted in sweat against his forehead. “I can’t lose you; I won’t lose her….” “You’ll lose us both if you don’t let me try,” Merlin says.
Tracy Deonn (Bloodmarked (Legendborn, #2))
When I was a young man, I had liberty, but I did not see it. I had time, but I did not know it. And I had love, but I did not feel it. Many decades would pass before I understood the meaning of all three. And now, the twilight of my life, this understanding has passed into contentment. Love, liberty, and time: once so disposable, are the fuels that drive me forward. And love, most especially, mio caro. For you, our children, our brothers and sisters. And for the vast and wonderful world that gave us life, and keeps us guessing. Endless affection, mia Sofia. Forever yours, Ezio Auditore.
Ezio Auditore da Firenze
Within this Christian vision for marriage, here's what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person 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!'" Each spouse should see the great thing that Jesus is doing in the life of their mate through the Word, the gospel. Each spouse then should give him- or herself to be a vehicle for that work and envision the day that you will stand together before God, seeing each other presented in spotless beauty and glory.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
[…] I think by now, February, we’ve, as they say, ‘lost touch’. Not that we ever touched in the first place. In the end I’m still only ever looking where you’ve looked, I’m only ever walking where you’ve walked, I’m in your dark blue shadow and you never seem to turn around to find me there. I wonder sometimes whether you’ve exploded already, like a star, and what I’m seeing is you three million years into the past, and you’re not here any more. 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)
So, son, let me explain to you that all this that you see around you right now is called 'life.' It's going to be complicated at times and it's going to demand certain things of you. You'll need to be honest and brave and just. Love and be loved. Fail. Embarrass yourself. Triumph. Fall from something. Fall for someone.
Fredrik Backman (Saker min son behöver veta om världen)
At the age when we are all of us most apt to take our colouring, in the form of a reflection from the colouring of other people, he had been sent abroad, and had been passed on from one nation to another, before there was time for any one colouring more than another to settle itself on him firmly. As a consequence of this, he had come back with so many different sides to his character, all more or less jarring with each other, that he seemed to pass his life in a state of perpetual contradiction with himself. He could be a busy man, and a lazy man; cloudy in the head, and clear in the head; a model of determination, and a spectacle of helplessness, all together. He had his French side, and his German side, and his Italian side--the original English foundation showing through, every now and then, as much as to say, "Here I am, sorely transmogrified, as you see, but there's something of me left at the bottom of him still.
Wilkie Collins (The Moonstone)
I had a dream about you. It's been a while since I could remember any of my dreams, and still, this one has left me with such strong impression. Even now, when I am fully awake, your face flashes before my eyes. It's a face I can totally relate to, as if it wasn't any more yours than it is mine. Terrifying thing, you know? I can't say I've felt that sort of intimacy with anyone. For a moment you knew all my secrets, without me even having to tell them. For a moment I even knew them myself… While I was looking into your eyes, I suddenly started to realize things about myself that were unspoken for years, like fragments of my inner life that were deeply repressed. It’s hard to distinguish if they were buried inside because dealing with them was such a dirty work, or if leaving them unnamed meant that it was not possible to define them precisely enough, so they would keep their true meaning. Perhaps, all this life that I've known so far was in fact no more but a dream about living. The only thing that has kept me in touch with reality was you… I know it comes as a surprise, and you may be wondering why it took me so long to come clean. You also may be wondering how come you've never noticed before. I've tricked you on purpose, yes, and you must realize it really has nothing to do with you. It’s always been me. This is why, seeing you in my dream like that, came out as a shock. You also must forgive me. You must forgive me because I know how it looks like, that everything we ever shared was a lie, and it wasn't… I am more of an illusionist that a deceiver, but it all comes from being in fact, a very private person. Even if it was true that you knew me better than anyone, I’d never admit it. I’d rather dig my own heart out, with a rotten spoon, than admitting it. I may let people in my own little world occasionally, but I would never let them be aware of it. I don’t throw my intimacy in front of others, especially when I care. The more I care, the less I give away, and this is something for you to understand, and grant me your forgiveness. I didn't play my tricks on you in order to deceive you, but rather to save myself, and maybe even deceive myself as well. I’ve had hidden my feelings for you so deeply that I've learned to live with them, as if any other casualty. I have done wrong to myself as much as I did to you, and I don’t know if I can forgive myself. So now I wonder, could you forgive me without feeling sorry for me? I certainly don’t deserve your pity. Especially not now that I am awake.
Aleksandra Ninković (Dreaming is for lovers)
For many years I have been asking myself why intelligent children act unintelligently at school. The simple answer is, "Because they're scared." I used to suspect that children's defeatism had something to do with their bad work in school, but I thought I could clear it away with hearty cries of "Onward! You can do it!" What I now see for the first time is the mechanism by which fear destroys intelligence, the way it affects a child's whole way of looking at, thinking about, and dealing with life. So we have two problems, not one: to stop children from being afraid, and then to break them of the bad thinking habits into which their fears have driven them. What is most surprising of all is how much fear there is in school. Why is so little said about it. Perhaps most people do not recognize fear in children when they see it. They can read the grossest signs of fear; they know what the trouble is when a child clings howling to his mother; but the subtler signs of fear escaping them. It is these signs, in children's faces, voices, and gestures, in their movements and ways of working, that tell me plainly that most children in school are scared most of the time, many of them very scared. Like good soldiers, they control their fears, live with them, and adjust themselves to them. But the trouble is, and here is a vital difference between school and war, that the adjustments children make to their fears are almost wholly bad, destructive of their intelligence and capacity. The scared fighter may be the best fighter, but the scared learner is always a poor learner.
John C. Holt (How Children Fail (Classics in Child Development))
I don’t want to say it, I truly don’t, but if you’ve gone this far I suppose it’s obvious that what was ignited when I loved you continues to burn. But that’s of small importance to you now, and that’s how it should be. Everything is in its place. The past rests, breathing faintly in the darkness. It no longer holds me as it used to; now I must reach back to touch it. It is night and I am alone and there is still time, a moment more. I am standing on a long black stage, with a circle of light on me, which is my love for you, enduring. I have escaped—or have been expelled—from eternity and am back in time. But I step out once more to sing this aria, this confession, this testament without end. My arms open wide, not to embrace you but to embrace the world, the mystery we are caught in. There is no orchestra, no audience; it is an empty theater in the middle of the night and all the clocks in the world are ticking. And now for this last time, Jade, I don’t mind, or even ask if it is madness: I see your face, I see you, you; I see you in every seat.
Scott Spencer (Endless Love)
You see, you have feelings. You can appreciate the inner me. Like right now I feel a closeness between us that Ive never felt with anyone before … anyone. Yeah, I know what you mean. Thats how I feel. I don’t know if I can put it into words, but— Thats just it, it doesnt need words. Thats the whole point. Like whats the use of all those words when the feelings arent behind them. Theyre just words. Like I can look at a painting and tell it, youre beautiful. What does it mean to the painting? But Im not a painting. Im not two dimensional. Im a person. Even a Botticelli doesnt breathe and have feelings. Its beautiful, but its still a painting. No matter how beautiful the outside may be, the inside still has feelings and needs that just words dont fulfill.
Hubert Selby Jr. (Requiem for a Dream)
Who are we to say getting incested or abused or violated or any of those things can’t have their positive aspects in the long run? … You have to be careful of taking a knee-jerk attitude. Having a knee-jerk attitude to anything is a mistake, especially in the case of women, where it adds up to this very limited and condescending thing of saying they’re fragile, breakable things that can be destroyed easily. Everybody gets hurt and violated and broken sometimes. Why are women so special? Not that anybody ought to be raped or abused, nobody’s saying that, but that’s what is going on. What about afterwards? All I’m saying is there are certain cases where it can enlarge you or make you more of a complete human being, like Viktor Frankl. Think about the Holocaust. Was the Holocaust a good thing? No way. Does anybody think it was good that it happened? No, of course not. But did you read Viktor Frankl? Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning? It’s a great, great book, but it comes out of his experience. It’s about his experience in the human dark side. Now think about it, if there was no Holocaust, there’d be no Man’s Search for Meaning… . Think about it. Think about being degraded and brought within an inch of your life, for example. No one’s gonna say the sick bastards who did it shouldn’t be put in jail, but let’s put two things into perspective here. One is, afterwards she knows something about herself that she never knew before. What she knows is that the most totally terrible terrifying thing that she could ever have imagined happening to her has now happened, and she survived. She’s still here, and now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. Look, totally terrible things happen… . Existence in life breaks people in all kinds of awful fucking ways all the time, trust me I know. I’ve been there. And this is the big difference, you and me here, cause this isn’t about politics or feminism or whatever, for you this is just ideas, you’ve never been there. I’m not saying nothing bad has ever happened to you, you’re not bad looking, I’m sure there’s been some sort of degradation or whatever come your way in life, but I’m talking Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning type violation and terror and suffering here. The real dark side. I can tell from just looking at you, you never. You wouldn’t even wear what you’re wearing, trust me. What if I told you it was my own sister that was raped? What if I told you a little story about a sixteen-year-old girl who went to the wrong party with the wrong guy and four of his buddies that ended up doing to her just about everything four guys could do to you in terms of violation? But if you could ask her if she could go into her head and forget it or like erase the tape of it happening in her memory, what do you think she’d say? Are you so sure what she’d say? What if she said that even after that totally negative as what happened was, at least now she understood it was possible. People can. Can see you as a thing. That people can see you as a thing, do you know what that means? Because if you really can see someone as a thing you can do anything to him. What would it be like to be able to be like that? You see, you think you can imagine it but you can’t. But she can. And now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. This is what you wanted to hear, you wanted to hear about four drunk guys who knee-jerk you in the balls and make you bend over that you didn’t even know, that you never saw before, that you never did anything to, that don’t even know your name, they don’t even know your name to find out you have to choose to have a fucking name, you have no fucking idea, and what if I said that happened to ME? Would that make a difference?
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
You look ill,” Matthew observed. “Is it my dancing? Is it me personally?” “Perhaps I’m nervous,” she said. “Lucie did say you didn’t like many people.” Matthew gave a sharp, startled laugh, before schooling his face back into a look of lazy amusement. “Did she? Lucie’s a chatterbox.” “But not a liar,” she said. “Well, fear not. I do not dislike you. I hardly know you,” said Matthew. “I do know your brother. He made my life miserable at school, and Christopher’s, and James’s.” “Alastair and I are very different,” Cordelia said. She didn’t want to say more than that. It felt disloyal to Alastair. “I like Oscar Wilde, for instance, and he does not.” The corner of Matthew’s mouth curled up. “I see you go directly for the soft underbelly, Cordelia Carstairs. Have you really read Oscar’s work?” “Just Dorian Gray,” Cordelia confessed. “It gave me nightmares.” “I should like to have a portrait in the attic,” Matthew mused, “that would show all my sins, while I stayed young and beautiful. And not only for sinning purposes—imagine being able to try out new fashions on it. I could paint the portrait’s hair blue and see how it looks.” “You don’t need a portrait. You are young and beautiful,” Cordelia pointed out. “Men are not beautiful. Men are handsome,” objected Matthew. “Thomas is handsome. You are beautiful,” said Cordelia, feeling the imp of the perverse stealing over her. Matthew was looking stubborn. “James is beautiful too,” she added. “He was a very unprepossessing child,” said Matthew. “Scowly, and he hadn’t grown into his nose.” “He’s grown into everything now,” Cordelia said. Matthew laughed, again as if he was surprised to be doing it. “That was a very shocking observation, Cordelia Carstairs. I am shocked.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1))
Citizens of Luna, I ask that you stop what you’re doing to listen to this message. My name is Selene Blackburn. I am the daughter of the late Queen Channary, niece to Princess Levana, and the rightful heir to Luna’s throne. You were told that I died thirteen years ago in a nursery fire, but the truth is that my aunt, Levana, did try to kill me, but I was rescued and taken to Earth. There, I have been raised and protected in preparation for the time when I would return to Luna and reclaim my birthright. In my absence, Levana has enslaved you. She takes your sons and turns them into monsters. She takes your shell infants and slaughters them. She lets you go hungry, while the people in Artemisia gorge themselves on rich foods and delicacies. But Levana’s rule is coming to an end. I have returned and I am here to take back what’s mine. Soon, Levana is going to marry Emperor Kaito of Earth and be crowned the empress of the Eastern Commonwealth, an honor that could not be given to anyone less deserving. I refuse to allow Levana to extend her tyranny. I will not stand aside while my aunt enslaves and abuses my people here on Luna, and wages a war across Earth. Which is why, before an Earthen crown can be placed on Levana’s head, I will bring an army to the gates of Artemisia. I ask that you, citizens of Luna, be that army. You have the power to fight against Levana and the people that oppress you. Beginning now, tonight, I urge you to join me in rebelling against this regime. No longer will we obey her curfews or forgo our rights to meet and talk and be heard. No longer will we give up our children to become her disposable guards and soldiers. No longer will we slave away growing food and raising wildlife, only to see it shipped off to Artemisia while our children starve around us. No longer will we build weapons for Levana’s war. Instead, we will take them for ourselves, for our war. Become my army. Stand up and reclaim your homes from the guards who abuse and terrorize you. Send a message to Levana that you will no longer be controlled by fear and manipulation. And upon the commencement of the royal coronation, I ask that all able-bodied citizens join me in a march against Artemisia and the queen’s palace. Together we will guarantee a better future for Luna. A future without oppression. A future in which any Lunar, no matter the sector they live in or the family they were born to, can achieve their ambitions and live without fear of unjust persecution or a lifetime of slavery. I understand that I am asking you to risk your lives. Levana’s thaumaturges are powerful, her guards are skilled, her soldiers are brutal. But if we join together, we can be invincible. They can’t control us all. With the people united into one army, we will surround the capital city and overthrow the imposter who sits on my throne. Help me. Fight for me. And I will be the first ruler in the history of Luna who will also fight for you.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
First having read the book of myths, and loaded the camera, and checked the edge of the knife-blade, I put on the body-armor of black rubber the absurd flippers the grave and awkward mask. I am having to do this not like Cousteau with his assiduous team aboard the sun-flooded schooner but here alone. There is a ladder. The ladder is always there hanging innocently close to the side of the schooner. We know what it is for, we who have used it. Otherwise it is a piece of maritime floss some sundry equipment. I go down. Rung after rung and still the oxygen immerses me the blue light the clear atoms of our human air. I go down. My flippers cripple me, I crawl like an insect down the ladder and there is no one to tell me when the ocean will begin. First the air is blue and then it is bluer and then green and then black I am blacking out and yet my mask is powerful it pumps my blood with power the sea is another story the sea is not a question of power I have to learn alone to turn my body without force in the deep element. And now: it is easy to forget what I came for among so many who have always lived here swaying their crenellated fans between the reefs and besides you breathe differently down here. I came to explore the wreck. The words are purposes. The words are maps. I came to see the damage that was done and the treasures that prevail. I stroke the beam of my lamp slowly along the flank of something more permanent than fish or weed the thing I came for: the wreck and not the story of the wreck the thing itself and not the myth the drowned face always staring toward the sun the evidence of damage worn by salt and sway into this threadbare beauty the ribs of the disaster curving their assertion among the tentative haunters. This is the place. And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair streams black, the merman in his armored body. We circle silently about the wreck we dive into the hold. I am she: I am he whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes whose breasts still bear the stress whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies obscurely inside barrels half-wedged and left to rot we are the half-destroyed instruments that once held to a course the water-eaten log the fouled compass We are, I am, you are by cowardice or courage the one who find our way back to this scene carrying a knife, a camera a book of myths in which our names do not appear.
Adrienne Rich (Diving Into the Wreck)
HOME no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark you only run for the border when you see the whole city running as well your neighbors running faster than you breath bloody in their throats the boy you went to school with who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory is holding a gun bigger than his body you only leave home when home won’t let you stay. no one leaves home unless home chases you fire under feet hot blood in your belly it’s not something you ever thought of doing until the blade burnt threats into your neck and even then you carried the anthem under your breath only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets sobbing as each mouthful of paper made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back. you have to understand, that no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land no one burns their palms under trains beneath carriages no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled means something more than journey. no one crawls under fences no one wants to be beaten pitied no one chooses refugee camps or strip searches where your body is left aching or prison, because prison is safer than a city of fire and one prison guard in the night is better than a truckload of men who look like your father no one could take it no one could stomach it no one skin would be tough enough the go home blacks refugees dirty immigrants asylum seekers sucking our country dry niggers with their hands out they smell strange savage messed up their country and now they want to mess ours up how do the words the dirty looks roll off your backs maybe because the blow is softer than a limb torn off or the words are more tender than fourteen men between your legs or the insults are easier to swallow than rubble than bone than your child body in pieces. i want to go home, but home is the mouth of a shark home is the barrel of the gun and no one would leave home unless home chased you to the shore unless home told you to quicken your legs leave your clothes behind crawl through the desert wade through the oceans drown save be hunger beg forget pride your survival is more important no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear saying- leave, run away from me now i dont know what i’ve become but i know that anywhere is safer than here
Warsan Shire
With time to think, the full reality of what had happened hit Thomas like a falling boulder. Ever since Thomas had entered the Maze, Newt had been there for him. Thomas hadn’t realized just how much of a friend he’d become until now. His heart hurt. He tried to remind himself that Newt wasn’t dead. But in some ways this was worse. In most ways. He’d fallen down the slope of insanity, and he was surrounded by bloodthirsty Cranks. And the prospect of never seeing him again was almost unbearable. [...] He pulled the envelope out of his pocket and ripped it open, then took out the slip of paper. The soft lights that ringed the mirror lit up the message in a warm glow. It was two short sentences: Kill me. If you’ve ever been my friend, kill me. Thomas read it over and over, wishing the words would change. To think that his friend had been so scared that he’d had the foresight to write those words made him sick to his stomach. And he remembered how angry Newt had been at Thomas specifically when they’d found him in the bowling alley. He’d just wanted to avoid the inevitable fate of becoming a Crank. And Thomas had failed him. [...] “Newt suddenly twisted around and grabbed Thomas by the hand holding the gun. He yanked it toward himself, forcing it up until the end of the pistol was pressed against his own forehead. “Now make amends! Kill me before I become one of those cannibal monsters! Kill me! I trusted you with the note! No one else. Now do it!” Thomas tried to pull his hand away, but Newt was too strong. “I can’t, Newt, I can’t.” “Make amends! Repent for what you did!” The words tore out of him, his whole body trembling. Then his voice dropped to an urgent, harsh whisper. “Kill me, you shuck coward. Prove you can do the right thing. Put me out of my misery.” The words horrified Thomas. “Newt, maybe we can—” “Shut up! Just shut up! I trusted you! Now do it!” “I can’t.” “Do it!” “I can’t!” How could Newt ask him to do something like this? How could he possibly kill one of his best friends? “Kill me or I’ll kill you. Kill me! Do it!” “Newt …” “Do it before I become one of them!” “I …” “KILL ME!” And then Newt’s eyes cleared, as if he’d gained one last trembling gasp of sanity, and his voice softened. “Please, Tommy. Please.” With his heart falling into a black abyss, Thomas pulled the trigger.
James Dashner (The Death Cure (The Maze Runner, #3))
Before enlightenment I believed my ego was me, then enlightenment comes along and no more ego, only the underlying reality. Now it’s after enlightenment and this ego might be slightly uncomfortable or ill-fitting at times, but it’s all I’ve got. The idea that your ego is destroyed in the process of becoming enlightened is roughly correct, but it’s not complete. Before enlightenment, you’re a human being in the world, just like everyone you see. During enlightenment you realize the human being you thought you were is just a character in a play, and that the world you thought you were in is just a stage, so you go through a process of radical deconstruction of your character to see what’s left when it’s gone. The result isn’t enlightened-self or true-self, it’s no-self. When it’s all over it’s time to be a human being in the world again, and that means slipping back into costume and getting back on stage.
Jed McKenna (Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing (The Enlightenment Trilogy Book 1))
You come and see me among flowers and pictures, and think me mysterious, romantic, and all the rest of it. Being yourself very inexperienced and very emotional, you go home and invent a story about me, and now you can't separate me from the person you've imagined me to be. You call that, I suppose, being in love; as a matter of fact it's being in delusion.
Virginia Woolf (Night and Day)
I am thinking of beauty again, how some things are hunted because we have deemed them beautiful. If, relative to the history of our planet, an individual life is so short, a blink of an eye, as they say, then to be gorgeous, even from the day you're born to the day you die, is to be gorgeous only briefly. Like right now, how the sun is coming on, low behind the elms, and I can't tell the difference between a sunset and a sunrise. The world, reddening, appears the same to me--and I lose track of east and west. The colors this morning have the frayed tint of something already leaving. I think of the time Trev and I sat on the toolshed roof, watching the sun sink. I wasn't so much surprised by its effect--how, in a few crushed minutes, it changes the way things are seen, including ourselves--but that it was ever mine to see. Because the sunset, like survival, exists only on the verge of its own disappearing. To be gorgeous, you must first be seen, but to be seen allows you to be hunted.
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
A refurbished Star Wars is on somewhere or everywhere. I have no intention of revisiting any galaxy. I shrivel inside each time it is mentioned. Twenty years ago, when the film was first shown, it had a freshness, also a sense of moral good and fun. Then I began to be uneasy at the influence it might be having. The first bad penny dropped in San Francisco when a sweet-faced boy of twelve told me proudly that he had seen Star Wars over a hundred times. His elegant mother nodded with approval. Looking into the boy's eyes I thought I detected little star-shells of madness beginning to form and I guessed that one day they would explode. 'I would love you to do something for me,' I said. 'Anything! Anything!' the boy said rapturously. 'You won't like what I'm going to ask you to do,' I said. 'Anything, sir, anything!' 'Well,' I said, 'do you think you could promise never to see Star Wars again?' He burst into tears. His mother drew herself up to an immense height. 'What a dreadful thing to say to a child!' she barked, and dragged the poor kid away. Maybe she was right but I just hope the lad, now in his thirties, is not living in a fantasy world of secondhand, childish banalities.
Alec Guinness (A Positively Final Appearance)
You're certainly chipper this morning." "Damn straight. Chipper's my middle name. I'm going out to spread joy and laughter to all of mankind." "What a nice change of pace." There was amusement riding along with the Irish in his voice. "Perhaps you'll start now by going down with me to see Summerset off." She grimaced. "That might spoil my appetite." Testing, she polished off the pancakes. "No, no, it doesn't. I can do that. I can go down and wave bye-bye." Brow lifted, he gave her hair a quick tug. "Nicely." "I won't do the happy dance until he's out of sight. Three weeks.
J.D. Robb (Portrait in Death (In Death, #16))
Charlie is already outdated, Zheraldin! Sooner or later, instead of white silk to the scene, you will have to wear black to go to my grave. Now I do not want to bother. Only from time to time look in the mirror, there will see me. My blood runs in your veins. I even when in my veins the blood dried up, not to forget his father – Charlie. I was not an angel, but as far as could be stremyah to be a man. Try it and you.
Charlie Chaplin
We live in an age in which saving is subterfuge for spending. No doubt you sincerely believe that there is margarine in your refrigerator because it is more economical than butter. But you are wrong. Look in your bread drawer. How many boxes of cute snack crackers are there? How many packages of commercial cookies reeking of imitation vanilla badly masked with oil of coconut? How many presweetened breakfast cereals? Tell me now that you bought the margarine because you couldn't afford butter. You see - you can't. You bought the bread drawer of goodies because you were conned into them; and you omitted the butter because you were conned out of it. The world has slipped you culinary diagrams instead of food. It counts on your palate being not only wooden, but buried under ten coats of synthetic varnish as well. Therefore, the next time you go to check out of the supermarket, simply put back one box of crackers, circle round the dairy case again, swap your margarine for a pound of butter and walk up to the checker with your head held high, like the last of the big spenders. This is no time for cost-counters: It is time to be very rich or very poor - or both at once.
Robert Farrar Capon (The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection (Modern Library Food))
We made it, baby. We’re riding in the back of the black limousine. They have lined the road to shout our names. They have faith in your golden hair & pressed grey suit. They have a good citizen in me. I love my country. I pretend nothing is wrong. I pretend not to see the man & his blond daughter diving for cover, that you’re not saying my name & it’s not coming out like a slaughterhouse. I’m not Jackie O yet & there isn’t a hole in your head, a brief rainbow through a mist of rust. I love my country but who am I kidding? I’m holding your still-hot thoughts in, darling, my sweet, sweet Jack. I’m reaching across the trunk for a shard of your memory, the one where we kiss & the nation glitters. Your slumped back. Your hand letting go. You’re all over the seat now, deepening my fuchsia dress. But I’m a good citizen, surrounded by Jesus & ambulances. I love this country. The twisted faces. My country. The blue sky. Black limousine. My one white glove glistening pink—with all our American dreams.
Ocean Vuong (Night Sky with Exit Wounds)
[Aunt Dahlia to Bertie Wooster] 'To look at you, one would think you were just an ordinary sort of amiable idiot--certifiable, perhaps, but quite harmless. Yet, in reality, you are worse a scourge than the Black Death. I tell you, Bertie, when I contemplate you I seem to come up against all the underlying sorrow and horror of life with such a thud that I feel as if I had walked into a lamp post. I thought as much. Well, it needed but this. I don't see how things could possibly be worse than they are, but no doubt you will succeed in making them so. Your genius and insight will find the way. Carry on, Bertie. Yes, carry on. I am past caring now. I shall even find a faint interest in seeing into what darker and profounder abysses of hell you can plunge this home. Go to it, lad..I remember years ago, when you were in your cradle, being left alone with you one day and you nearly swallowed your rubber comforter and started turning purple. And I, ass that I was, took it out and saved your life. Let me tell you, young Bertie, it will go very hard with you if you ever swallow a rubber comforter again when only I am by to aid.
P.G. Wodehouse
Who told you that?" I say. "Davy Prentiss?" He blinks. "What?" "What do you mean what?" My voice is harder now. "Your new best friend. The man who shot me, Todd, and who you ride to work with laughing every morning." He clenches his hands into fists. "You've been spying on me?" he says. "Three months I don't see you, three months I don't hear nothing from you and you been spying? Is that what yer doing in your spare time when yer not blowing people up?" "Yeah," I yell, my voice getting louder to match his. "Three months of defending you to people who'd only be too happy to call you enemy, Todd. Three months of wondering why the hell you're working so hard for the Mayor and how he knew to go right for the ocean the day after we spoke." He winces, but I keep going, thrusting out my arm and pulling up on the sleeve. "Three months wondering why you put these on women!" His face changes in an instant. He actually calls out as if he felt the pain himself. He puts a hand to his mouth to stifle it but his Noise is suddenly washed with blackness. He moves his fingertips of his other hand within reach of the band, hovering over my skin, over the band that'll never be removed unless I lose my arm. The skin is still red, and band 1391 still trobs, despite the healing of three mistresses. "Oh, no," he says. "Oh, no." The side door opens and the man who let me in leans out. "Everything all right out there, Lieutenant?" "Lieutenant?" I say. "We're fine," Todd chokes a little. "We're fine." The man waits for a second, then goes back inside. "Lieutenant?" I say again, lowering my voice. Todd's leant down, his hands on his knees, staring at the floor. "It wasn't me, was it?" he says, his voice quiet, too. "I didn't-" He gestures again at the band without looking up. "I didn't do it without knowing it was you, did I?
Patrick Ness (The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2))
But we’d have each other. And that’s enough for me.” She was crying now, the tears streaking down her face and carrying her mascara with them. I put my arms around her and wiped her cheek with my thumb. “I love you so much, sweetheart. So, so much. And it’s in part because of things like that. You’re an idealist and a romantic, and you have a beautiful soul. And I wish the world was ready to be the way you see it. I wish that the rest of the people on earth with us were capable of living up to your expectations. But they aren’t. The world is ugly, and no one wants to give anyone the benefit of the doubt about anything. When we lose our work and our reputations, when we lose our friends and, eventually, what money we have, we will be destitute. I’ve lived that life before. And I cannot let it happen to you. I will do whatever I can to prevent you from living that way. Do you hear me? I love you too much to let you live only for me.” She heaved into my body, her tears growing inside her. For a moment, I thought she might flood the backyard. “I love you,” she said. “I love you, too,” I whispered into her ear. “I love you more than anything else in the entire world.” “It’s not wrong,” Celia said. “It shouldn’t be wrong, to love you. How can it be wrong?” “It’s not wrong, sweetheart. It’s not,” I said. “They’re wrong.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
A: Absorbed in our discussion of immortality, we had let night fall without lighting the lamp, and we couldn't see each other's faces. With an offhandedness or gentleness more convincing than passion would have been, Macedonio Fernandez' voice said once more that the soul is immortal. He assured me that the death of the body is altogether insignificant, and that dying has to be the most unimportant thing that can happen to a man. I was playing with Macedonio's pocketknife, opening and closing it. A nearby accordion was infinitely dispatching La Comparsita, that dismaying trifle that so many people like because it's been misrepresented to them as being old... I suggested to Macedonio that we kill ourselves, so we might have our discussion without all that racket. Z: (mockingly) But I suspect that at the last moment you reconsidered. A: (now deep in mysticism) Quite frankly, I don't remember whether we committed suicide that night or not.
Jorge Luis Borges (Collected Fictions)
I kept saying her name and she would ask What? and I’d say her name again. I’m not afraid of how this sounds to you. I’m not embarrassed now. But if you could understand, had I—can you see why there’s no way I could let her just go away after this? Why I felt this apical sadness and fear at the thought of her getting her bag and sandals and New Age blanket and leaving and laughing when I clutched her hem and begged her not to leave and said I loved her and closing the door gently and going off barefoot down the hall and never seeing her again? Why it didn’t matter if she was fluffy or not terribly bright? Nothing else mattered. She had all my attention. I’d fallen in love with her. I believed she could save me. I know how this sounds, trust me. I know your type and I know what you’re bound to ask. Ask it now. This is your chance. I felt she could save me I said. Ask me now. Say it. I stand here naked before you. Judge me, you chilly cunt. You dyke, you bitch, cooze, cunt, slut, gash. Happy now? All borne out? Be happy. I don’t care. I knew she could. I knew I loved. End of story.
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
Arabella squinted back. “You’re almost nine months pregnant. Shouldn’t you be soft, and happy, and glowing? When are we gonna see some glow?” Arabella clearly had a death wish. Nevada finished her pickle spear and licked honey off her fingertips. “I’m the size of a house, the kid inside me keeps kicking me in the kidneys, I have to pee every five minutes, my legs cramp, and I can’t get out of bed by myself. I have to roll to the side like a walrus, which is harder right now since my husband is somewhere in the Russian Empire and he isn’t there to steady me. And how was your day of being young, beautiful, skinny, and carefree? Why aren’t you glowing?
Ilona Andrews (Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy, #5))
Here are the sounds of Wear. It rattles stone on stone. It sucks its teeth. It sings. It hisses like the rain. It roars. It laughs. It claps its hands. Sometimes I think it prays. In winter, through the ice, I've seen it moving swift and black as Tune, without a sound. Here are the sights of Wear. It falls in braids. It parts at rocks and tumbles round them white as down or flashes over them in silver quilts. It tosses fallen trees like bits of straw yet spins a single leaf as gentle as a maid. Sometimes it coils for rest in darkling pools and sometimes it leaps its banks and shatters in the air. In autumn, I've seen it breathe a mist so thick and grey you'd never know old Wear was there at all. Each day, for years and years, I've gone and sat in it. Usually at dusk I clamber down and slowly sink myself to where it laps against my breast. Is it too much to say, in winter, that I die? Something of me dies at least. First there's the fiery sting of cold that almost stops my breath, the aching torment in my limbs. I think I may go mad, my wits so outraged that they seek to flee my skull like rats a ship that's going down. I puff. I gasp. Then inch by inch a blessed numbness comes. I have no legs, no arms. My very heart grows still. These floating hands are not my hands. The ancient flesh I wear is rags for all I feel of it. "Praise, Praise!" I croak. Praise God for all that's holy, cold, and dark. Praise him for all we lose, for all the river of the years bears off. Praise him for stillness in the wake of pain. Praise him for emptiness. And as you race to spill into the sea, praise him yourself, old Wear. Praise him for dying and the peace of death. In the little church I built of wood for Mary, I hollowed out a place for him. Perkin brings him by the pail and pours him in. Now that I can hardly walk, I crawl to meet him there. He takes me in his chilly lap to wash me of my sins. Or I kneel down beside him till within his depths I see a star. Sometimes this star is still. Sometimes she dances. She is Mary's star. Within that little pool of Wear she winks at me. I wink at her. The secret that we share I cannot tell in full. But this much I will tell. What's lost is nothing to what's found, and all the death that ever was, set next to life, would scarcely fill a cup.
Frederick Buechner (Godric)
Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded –with what caution –with what foresight –with what dissimulation I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it –oh so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, so that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly –very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed. Ha! –would a madman have been so wise as this? And then, when my head was well in the room, I undid the lantern cautiously –oh, so cautiously –cautiously (for the hinges creaked) –I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights –every night just at midnight –but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye. And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the chamber, and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he has passed the night. So you see he would have been a very profound old man, indeed, to suspect that every night, just at twelve, I looked in upon him while he slept.
Edgar Allan Poe (The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings)
So 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)
She raised the long glass and peered back down at the harbor, at the passengers disembarking, but the image was blurry. Reluctantly, she released his hand. It felt like a promise, and she didn’t want to let go. She adjusted the lens, and her gaze caught on two figures moving down the gangplank. Their steps were graceful, their posture straight as knife blades. They moved like Suli acrobats. She drew in a sharp breath. Everything in her focused like the lens of the long glass. Her mind refused the image before her. This could not be real. It was an illusion, a false reflection, a lie made in rainbow-hued glass. She would breathe again and it would shatter. She reached for Kaz’s sleeve. She was going to fall. He had his arm around her, holding her up. Her mind split. Half of her was aware of his bare fingers on her sleeve, his dilated pupils, the brace of his body around hers. The other half was still trying to understand what she was seeing. His dark brows knitted together. “I wasn’t sure. Should I not have—” She could barely hear him over the clamor in her heart. “How?” she said, her voice raw and strange with unshed tears. “How did you find them?” “A favor, from Sturmhond. He sent out scouts. As part of our deal. If it was a mistake—” “No,” she said as the tears spilled over at last. “It was not a mistake.” “Of course, if something had gone wrong during the job, they’d be coming to retrieve your corpse.” Inej choked out a laugh. “Just let me have this.” She righted herself, her balance returning. Had she really thought the world didn’t change? She was a fool. The world was made of miracles, unexpected earthquakes, storms that came from nowhere and might reshape a continent. The boy beside her. The future before her. Anything was possible. Now Inej was shaking, her hands pressed to her mouth, watching them move up the dock toward the quay. She started forward, then turned back to Kaz. “Come with me,” she said. “Come meet them.” Kaz nodded as if steeling himself, flexed his fingers once more. “Wait,” he said. The burn of his voice was rougher than usual. “Is my tie straight?” Inej laughed, her hood falling back from her hair. “That’s the laugh,” he murmured, but she was already setting off down the quay, her feet barely touching the ground. “Mama!” she called out. “Papa!” Inej saw them turn, saw her mother grip her father’s arm. They were running toward her. Her heart was a river that carried her to the sea.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Unerringly locating Riley's dick in his loose dress pants, Jack grabbed it forcefully and leaned close to Riley's ear, hearing the quick indrawn breath from his husband. A spark of lust flashed through his own body as he contemplated what to do next. Finally he decided. He was tired of all the pussy-footing around, and the darkness of the hallway invited sin. He moved his hand on Riley's hard dick, listening to the groan in Riley's throat. Riley, you know who this belongs to? This belongs to me." He gentled the touch, twisting his hand. "I saw you flirting and sharing with those girls out there, and I'm telling you now, I don't share. No one else gets to see this. No one else gets to touch it. No one else gets to taste it. Just me. It's mine for one whole year, and I have the contract to prove it." Riley tried to form a reply as Jack moved his hand again. It was good to see the other man speechless for once. "Don't worry though, husband.I'm gonna treat it so good. I've decided that I'm gonna make it,and you, feel so damn good you'll never look at another woman again. You only have to say the word, and I'll show you what you signed up for." His voice fell into a heated whisper, the words low and drawled. Now do we need to get out of here? I'm thinking I might need to take you home and show you who you belong to." Riley's eyes widened, his dick fully hard, iron in Jack's clever hands. "I can make you scream. You wouldn't even know your name when I finished with you." "Jack—please." Riley's voice was broken. Everything Jack wanted to hear. "Please?" Riley blinked, unconsciously pushing his groin into Jack's hold. Jack knew what followed next was certainly not a decision Riley made with his upstairs brain. "Fuck, Jack. Let's get the hell out of here.
R.J. Scott (The Heart of Texas (Texas, #1))
She told them that the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it. "Here," she said, "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." Saying no more, she stood up then and danced with her twisted hip the rest of what her heart had to say while the others opened heir mouths and gave her the music.
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him. In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him. Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshiped and loved. We are to fear Him. The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us. Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation? If God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed? Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world? Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream. How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all? True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity. When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You’ll drive for hours to be together, even if it’s only for a short while. You don’t mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You’ll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you’re crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it’s painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at any chance to be together. There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God, the God of the universe who made galaxies, leaves, laughter, and me and you. Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him? Are you ready and willing to make yourself nothing? To take the very nature of a servant? To be obedient unto death? True love requires sacrifice. What are you doing right now that requires faith? God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. If one person “wastes” away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one? Am I loving my neighbor and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk?” If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate. The way we live out our days is the way we will live our lives. What will people say about your life in heaven? Will people speak of God’s work and glory through you? And even more important, how will you answer the King when He says, “What did you do with what I gave you?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
You’re all right, Blue Eyes.” She lifted her head to look into them. “You’re all right, down the line. You ever want a free bang, you got one coming.” “It would, no doubt be a memorable bang. But my wife is fiercely jealous and territorial.” He grinned over at a very cold-eyed Eve. “Her? You? That’s a kick in the ass.” “Every damn day,” Eve muttered, and strode out. She kept striding, out of the club, back into the comparatively fresh air of the city street. And fisted her hands on her hips as she spun to him. “Did you have to do the ‘my wife’ crap?” His grin remained, and only widened. “I did, yes. I felt a desperate need for your protection. I believe that woman had designs on me.” “I’ll put a design on you that won’t come off in the shower.” “See, now I’m excited.” Reaching out, he toyed with the lapel of her coat."What have you got in mind ?
J.D. Robb (Strangers in Death (In Death, #26))
It was that summer, too, that I began the cutting, and was almost as devoted to it as to my newfound loveliness. I adored tending to myself, wiping a shallow red pool of my blood away with a damp washcloth to magically reveal, just above my naval: queasy. Applying alcohol with dabs of a cotton ball, wispy shreds sticking to the bloody lines of: perky. I had a dirty streak my senior year, which I later rectified. A few quick cuts and cunt becomes can't, cock turns into back, clit transforms to a very unlikely cat, the l and i turned into a teetering capital A. The last words I ever carved into myself, sixteen years after I started: vanish. Sometimes I can hear the words squabbling at each other across my body. Up on my shoulder, panty calling down to cherry on the inside of my right ankle. On the underside of a big toe, sew uttering muffled threats to baby, just under my left breast. I can quiet them down by thinking of vanish, always hushed and regal, lording over the other words from the safety of the nape of my neck. Also: At the center of my back, which was too difficult to reach, is a circle of perfect skin the size of a fist. Over the years I've made my own private jokes. You can really read me. Do you want me to spell it out for you? I've certainly given myself a life sentence. Funny, right? I can't stand to look myself without being completely covered. Someday I may visit a surgeon, see what can be done to smooth me, but now I couldn't bear the reaction. Instead I drink so I don't think too much about what I've done to my body and so I don't do any more. Yet most of the time that I'm awake, I want to cut. Not small words either. Equivocate. Inarticulate. Duplicitous. At my hospital back in Illinois they would not approve of this craving. For those who need a name, there's a gift basket of medical terms. All I know is that the cutting made me feel safe. It was proof. Thoughts and words, captured where I could see them and track them. The truth, stinging, on my skin, in a freakish shorthand. Tell me you're going to the doctor, and I'll want to cut worrisome on my arm. Say you've fallen in love and I buzz the outlines of tragic over my breast. I hadn't necessarily wanted to be cured. But I was out of places to write, slicing myself between my toes - bad, cry - like a junkie looking for one last vein. Vanish did it for me. I'd saved the neck, such a nice prime spot, for one final good cutting. Then I turned myself in.
Gillian Flynn (Sharp Objects)
And What Good Will Your Vanity Be When The Rapture Comes” says the man with a cart of empty bottles at the corner of church and lincoln while I stare into my phone and I say I know oh I know while trying to find the specific filter that will make the sun’s near-flawless descent look the way I might describe it in a poem and the man says the moment is already right in front of you and I say I know but everyone I love is not here and I mean here like on this street corner with me while I turn the sky a darker shade of red on my phone and I mean here like everyone I love who I can still touch and not pass my fingers through like the wind in a dream but I look up at the man and he is a kaleidoscope of shadows I mean his shadows have shadows and they are small and trailing behind him and I know then that everyone he loves is also not here and the man doesn’t ask but I still say hey man I’ve got nothing I’ve got nothing even though I have plenty to go home to and the sun is still hot even in its endless flirt with submission and the man’s palm has a small river inside I mean he has taken my hand now and here we are tethered and unmoving and the man says what color are you making the sky and I say what I might say in a poem I say all surrender ends in blood and he says what color are you making the sky and I say something bright enough to make people wish they were here and he squints towards the dancing shrapnel of dying light along a rooftop and he says I love things only as they are and I’m sure I did once too but I can’t prove it to anyone these days and he says the end isn’t always about what dies and I know I know or I knew once and now I write about beautiful things like I will never touch a beautiful thing again and the man looks me in the eyes and he points to the blue-orange vault over heaven’s gates and he says the face of everyone you miss is up there and I know I know I can’t see them but I know and he turns my face to the horizon and he says we don’t have much time left and I get that he means the time before the sun is finally through with its daily work or I think I get that but I still can’t stop trembling and I close my eyes and I am sobbing on the corner of church and lincoln and when I open my eyes the sun is plucking everyone who has chosen to love me from the clouds and carrying them into the light-drunk horizon and I am seeing this and I know I am seeing this the girl who kissed me as a boy in the dairy aisle of meijer while our parents shopped and the older boy on the basketball team who taught me how to make a good fist and swing it into the jaw of a bully and the friends who crawled to my porch in the summer of any year I have been alive they were all there I saw their faces and it was like I was given the eyes of a newborn again and once you know what it is to be lonely it is hard to unsee that which serves as a reminder that you were not always empty and I am gasping into the now-dark air and I pull my shirt up to wipe whatever tears are left and I see the man walking in the other direction and I chase him down and tap his arm and I say did you see it did you see it like I did and he turns and leans into the glow of a streetlamp and he is anchored by a single shadow now and he sneers and he says have we met and he scoffs and pushes his cart off into the night and I can hear the glass rattling even as I watch him become small and vanish and I look down at my phone and the sky on the screen is still blood red.
Hanif Abdurraqib
My delightful, my love, my life, I don’t understand anything: how can you not be with me? I’m so infinitely used to you that I now feel myself lost and empty: without you, my soul. You turn my life into something light, amazing, rainbowed—you put a glint of happiness on everything—always different: sometimes you can be smoky-pink, downy, sometimes dark, winged—and I don’t know when I love your eyes more—when they are open or shut. It’s eleven p.m. now: I’m trying with all the force of my soul to see you through space; my thoughts plead for a heavenly visa to Berlin via air . . . My sweet excitement . . . Today I can’t write about anything except my longing for you. I’m gloomy and fearful: silly thoughts are swarming—that you’ll stumble as you jump out of a carriage in the underground, or that someone will bump into you in the street . . . I don’t know how I’ll survive the week. My tenderness, my happiness, what words can I write for you? How strange that although my life’s work is moving a pen over paper, I don’t know how to tell you how I love, how I desire you. Such agitation—and such divine peace: melting clouds immersed in sunshine—mounds of happiness. And I am floating with you, in you, aflame and melting—and a whole life with you is like the movement of clouds, their airy, quiet falls, their lightness and smoothness, and the heavenly variety of outline and tint—my inexplicable love. I cannot express these cirrus-cumulus sensations. When you and I were at the cemetery last time, I felt it so piercingly and clearly: you know it all, you know what will happen after death—you know it absolutely simply and calmly—as a bird knows that, fluttering from a branch, it will fly and not fall down . . . And that’s why I am so happy with you, my lovely, my little one. And here’s more: you and I are so special; the miracles we know, no one knows, and no one loves the way we love. What are you doing now? For some reason I think you’re in the study: you’ve got up, walked to the door, you are pulling the door wings together and pausing for a moment—waiting to see if they’ll move apart again. I’m tired, I’m terribly tired, good night, my joy. Tomorrow I’ll write you about all kinds of everyday things. My love.
Vladimir Nabokov (Letters to Vera)
I relied on him to find answers I couldn’t, to blaze a path when I found myself lost. David saw things no one else did. He saw through the world to the mysteries on the other side. I know that he’s gone on to solve those mysteries.” A faint smile touched Nikolai’s lips. “I can see him in some great library, already lost in his work, head bent to some new problem, making the unknown known. When I enter the laboratory, when I wake in the night with a new idea, I will miss him…” His voice broke. “I miss him now. May the Saints receive him on a brighter shore.” “May the Saints receive him,” the crowd murmured. But David hadn’t believed in Saints. He’d believed in the Small Science. He’d believed in a world ordered by facts and logic. What do you believe? Zoya didn’t know. She believed in Ravka, in her king, in the chance that she could be a part of something better than herself. But maybe she didn’t deserve that. All eyes had turned to Genya now. She was David’s wife, his friend, his compatriot. She was expected to speak. Genya stood straighter, lifted her chin. “I loved him,” she said, her body still trembling as if it had been torn apart and hastily stitched back together. “I loved him and he loved me. When I was … when no one could reach me … he saw me. He…” Genya turned her head to Zoya’s shoulder and sobbed. “I loved him and he loved me.” Was there any greater gift than that? Any more unlikely discovery in this world? “I know,” said Zoya. “He loved you more than anything.” The dragon’s eye had opened and Zoya felt that love, the enormity of what Genya had lost. It was too much to endure knowing she could do nothing to erase that pain
Leigh Bardugo (Rule of Wolves (King of Scars, #2))
My Lord, you own wisdom has taught me to aspire to One even more great, more beautiful, and more closely approximate to perfection than yourself. As you yourself, superior to all Flatland forms, combine many Circles in One, so doubtless there is One above you who combines many Spheres in One Supreme Existence, surpassing even the Solids of Spaceland. And even as we, who are now in Space, look down on Flatland and see the inside of all things, so of a certainly there is yet above us some higher, purer region, whither thou dost surely purpose to lead me - O Thou Whome I shall always call everywhere and in all Dimensions, my Priest, Philosopher, and Friend - some yet more spacious Space, some more dimensionable Dimensionality, from the vantage-ground of which we shall look down together upon the revealed insides of solid things, and where thine own intestines, and those of thy kindred Spheres, will lie exposed to the View of the poor wandering exile from Flatland, to whome so much has already been vouchsafed.
Edwin A. Abbott (Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions)
Now I'll never see him again, and maybe it's a good thing. He walked out of my life last night for once and for all. I know with sickening certainty that it's the end. There were just those two dates we had, and the time he came over with the boys, and tonight. Yet I liked him too much - - - way too much, and I ripped him out of my heart so it wouldn't get to hurt me more than it did. Oh, he's magnetic, he's charming; you could fall into his eyes. Let's face it: his sex appeal was unbearably strong. I wanted to know him - - - the thoughts, the ideas behind the handsome, confident, wise-cracking mask. "I've changed," he told me. "You would have liked me three years ago. Now I'm a wiseguy." We sat together for a few hours on the porch, talking, and staring at nothing. Then the friction increased, centered. His nearness was electric in itself. "Can't you see," he said. "I want to kiss you." So he kissed me, hungrily, his eyes shut, his hand warm, curved burning into my stomach. "I wish I hated you," I said. "Why did you come?" "Why? I wanted your company. Alby and Pete were going to the ball game, and I couldn't see that. Warrie and Jerry were going drinking; couldn't see that either." It was past eleven; I walked to the door with him and stepped outside into the cool August night. "Come here," he said. "I'll whisper something: I like you, but not too much. I don't want to like anybody too much." Then it hit me and I just blurted, "I like people too much or not at all. I've got to go down deep, to fall into people, to really know them." He was definite, "Nobody knows me." So that was it; the end. "Goodbye for good, then," I said. He looked hard at me, a smile twisting his mouth, "You lucky kid; you don't know how lucky you are." I was crying quietly, my face contorted. "Stop it!" The words came like knife thrusts, and then gentleness, "In case I don't see you, have a nice time at Smith." "Have a hell of a nice life," I said. And he walked off down the path with his jaunty, independent stride. And I stood there where he left me, tremulous with love and longing, weeping in the dark. That night it was hard to get to sleep.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
I have spent many an hour, when I was younger, floating over its surface as the zephyr willed, having paddled my boat to the middle, and lying on my back across the seats, in a summer forenoon, dreaming awake, until I was aroused by the boat touching the sand, and I arose to see what shore my fates had impelled me to; days when idleness was the most attractive and productive industry. Many a forenoon have I stolen away, preferring to spend thus the most valued part of the day; for I was rich, if not in money, in sunny hours and summer days, and spent them lavishly; nor do I regret that I did not waste more of them in the workshop or the teacher's desk. But since I left those shores the woodchoppers have still further laid them waste, and now for many a year there will be no more rambling through the aisles of the wood, with occasional vistas through which you see the water. My Muse may be excused if she is silent henceforth. How can you expect the birds to sing when their groves are cut down?
Henry David Thoreau
He made a noise that sounded like a strangled laugh, and then said: Ah, I like your style. I’ll give you that. You’re not easy to get the upper hand on, are you? Obviously I’m not going to manage it. It’s funny, because you carry on like you’d let me walk all over you, answering my texts at two in the morning, and then telling me you’re in love with me, blah blah blah. But that’s all your way of saying, just try and catch me, because you won’t. And I can see I won’t. You’re not going to let me have it for a minute. Nine times out of ten you’d have someone fooled with the way you go on. They’d be delighted with themselves, thinking they were really the boss of you. Yeah, yeah, but I’m not an idiot. You’re only letting me act badly because it puts you above me, and that’s where you like to be. Above, above. And I don’t take it personally, by the way, I don’t think you’d let anyone near you. Actually, I respect it. You’re looking out for yourself, and I’m sure you have your reasons. I’m sorry I was so harsh on you with what I said, because you were right, I was just trying to hurt you. And I probably did hurt you, big deal. Anyone can hurt anyone if they go out of their way. But then instead of getting mad with me, you go saying I’m welcome to stay over and you still love me and all this. Because you have to be perfect, don’t you? No, you really have a way about you, I must say. And I’m sorry, alright? I won’t be trying to take a jab at you again. Lesson learned. But from now on you don’t need to act like you’re under my thumb, when we both know I’m nowhere near you. Alright? Another long silence fell. Their faces were invisible in darkness. Eventually, in a high and strained voice, straining perhaps for an evenness or lightness it did not attain, she replied: Alright. If I ever do get a hold of you, you won’t need to tell me, he said. I’ll know. But I’m not going to chase too much. I’ll just stay where I am and see if you come to me. Yes, that’s what hunters do with deer, she said. Before they kill them.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
Rebuffed from his fine feelings, Milkman matched her cold tone. "You loved those white folks that much?" "Love?" she asked. "Love?" "Well, what are you taking care of their dogs for?" "Do you know why she killed herself? She couldn't stand to see the place go to ruin. She couldn't live without servants and money and what it could buy. Every cent was gone and the taxes took whatever came in. She had to let the upstairs maids go, then the cook, then the dog trainer, then the yardman, then the chauffeur, then the car, then the woman who washed once a week. Then she started selling bits and pieces––land, jewels, furniture. The last few years we ate out of the garden. Finally she couldn't take it anymore. The thought of having no help, no money––well, she couldn't take that. She had to let everything go." "But she didn't let you go." Milkman had no trouble letting his words snarl. "No, she didn't let me go. She killed herself." "And you still loyal." "You don't listen to people. Your ear is on your head, but it's not connected to your brain. I said she killed herself rather than do the work I'd been doing all my life!" Circe stood up, and the dogs too. "Do you hear me? She saw the work I did all her days and died, you hear me, died rather than live like me. Now, what do you suppose she thought I was! If the way I lived and the work I did was so hateful to her she killed herself to keep from having to do it, and you think I stay on here because I loved her, then you have about as much sense as a fart!
Toni Morrison (Song of Solomon)
You know, I'm really trying to cut down on this stuff. But..." Peabody ripped into the pack of cookies. "Thing is, weird, McNab doesn't think I'm chubby. And when a guy sees you naked, he knows where the extra layers are." "Peabody, do you have some delusion that I want to hear how McNab sees you naked?" She crunched into a cookie. "I'm just saying. Anyway, you know we have sex, so you've probably reached the conclusion we're naked when we're having it. You being an ace detective and all." "Peabody, in the chain of command, you may, on rare occasions and due to my astonishing good nature, respond to sarcasm with sarcasm. You are not permitted to lead with it. Give me a damn cookie." "They're coconut crunchies. You hate coconut." "Then why did you buy coconut?" "To piss you off." Grinning now, Peabody pulled another pack of cookies from her bag. "Then I bought chocolate chip, just for you." "Well, hand them over then." "Okay, so ..." Peabody ripped open the second pack, offered Eve a cookie. "Anyway, McNab's got a little, bitty butt, and hardly any shoulders. Still -- " "Stop. Stop right there. If I get an image of a naked McNab in my head, you're going back to traffic detail." Peabody munched, hummed, waited. "Damn it! There he is." Hooting with laughter, Peabody polished off the last cookie. "Sorry. Dallas, I'm sorry. I couldn't help it. Kinda cute, isn't he?
J.D. Robb (Witness in Death (In Death, #10))
It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me. I cannot rest from travel; I will drink life to the lees. All times I have enjoyed Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those that loved me, and alone; on shore, and when Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades Vexed the dim sea. I am become a name; For always roaming with a hungry heart Much have I seen and known---cities of men And manners, climates, councils, governments, Myself not least, but honored of them all--- And drunk delight of battle with my peers, Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy. I am part of all that I have met; Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough Gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades Forever and forever when I move. How dull it is to pause, to make an end. To rust unburnished, not to shine in use! As though to breathe were life! Life piled on life Were all too little, and of one to me Little remains; but every hour is saved From that eternal silence, something more, A bringer of new things; and vile it were For some three suns to store and hoard myself, And this gray spirit yearning in desire To follow knowledge like a sinking star, Beyond the utmost bound of human thought. This is my son, my own Telemachus, To whom I leave the scepter and the isle--- Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfill This labor, by slow prudence to make mild A rugged people, and through soft degrees Subdue them to the useful and the good. Most blameless is he, centered in the sphere Of common duties, decent not to fail In offices of tenderness, and pay Meet adoration to my household gods, When I am gone. He works his work, I mine. There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail; There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners, Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought with me--- That ever with a frolic welcome took The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed Free hearts, free foreheads---you and I are old; Old age hath yet his honor and his toil. Death closes all; but something ere the end, Some work of noble note, may yet be done, Not unbecoming men that strove with gods. The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks; The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends. 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world. Push off, and sitting well in order smite the sounding furrows; for my purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths Of all the western stars, until I die. It may be that the gulfs will wash us down; It may be that we shall touch the Happy Isles, And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. Though much is taken, much abides; and though We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are--- One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Alfred Tennyson
I hear another man cry, “Oh, sir my want of strength lies mainly in this, that I cannot repent sufficiently!” A curious idea men have of what repentance is! Many fancy that so many tears are to be shed, and so many groans are to be heaved, and so much despair is to be endured. Whence comes this unreasonable notion? Unbelief and despair are sins, and therefore I do not see how they can be constituent elements of acceptable repentance; yet there are many who regard them as necessary parts of true Christian experience. They are in great error. Still, I know what they mean, for in the days of my darkness I used to feel in the same way. I desired to repent, but I thought that I could not do it, and yet all the while I was repenting. Odd as it may sound, I felt that I could not feel. I used to get into a corner and weep, because I could not weep; and I fell into bitter sorrow because I could not sorrow for sin. What a jumble it all is when in our unbelieving state we begin to judge our own condition! It is like a blind man looking at his own eyes. My heart was melted within me for fear, because I thought that my heart was as hard as an adamant stone. My heart was broken to think that it would not break. Now I can see that I was exhibiting the very thing which I thought I did not possess; but then I knew not where I was. Remember that the man who truly repents is never satisfied with his own repentance. We can no more repent perfectly than we can live perfectly. However pure our tears, there will always be some dirt in them: there will be something to be repented of even in our best repentance. But listen! To repent is to change your mind about sin, and Christ, and all the great things of God. There is sorrow implied in this; but the main point is the turning of the heart from sin to Christ. If there be this turning, you have the essence of true repentance, even though no alarm and no despair should ever have cast their shadow upon your mind.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (All of Grace)
Oh, by the way," Coop announces as he weaves his DeathBot ship through a barrage of space debris on his laptop screen. "In case you didn't know. It's national 'That's What She Said' Day." I give him a thumbs-up. "I like it." We're camping out in Sean's backyard tonight. It's another one of our traditions. One night, every summer, we buy a ton of junk food and energy drinks and set up Sean's six-person tent in the far corner of his yard. We've got an extension cord running from the garage so that we can rough it in style, with computers and a TV and DVD player. There's a citronella candle burning in the middle of the tent to ward off mosquitoes and to mask the thick stink of mildew. Everyone's brought sleeping bags and pillows, but we aren't planning on logging too many Zs. Sean enters the tent carrying his Xbox. "I don't think there are enough sockets for all of these." I waggle my eyebrows at Coop. "That's what she said." Coop busts up. Sean stands there, looking confused. "I don't get it." "That's what she says," Coop says, sending him and me into hysterics. Sean sighs and puts the Xbox down. "I can see this is going to be a long night." "That's what she said," me and Coop howl in chorus. "Are you guys done yet?" Coop is practically in tears. "That's what she said." "Okay. I'll just keep my mouth shut," Sean grumbles. "That's what she said." I can barely talk I'm laughing so hard. "Enough. No more. My cheeks hurt," Coop says, rubbing his face. I point at him. "That's what she said." And with that, the three of us fall over in fits. "Oh, man, now look what you made me do." Coop motions to his computer. "That was my last DeathBot ship." "That's what she said," Sean blurts out, laughing at his nonsensical joke. Coop and I stare at him, and then silmultaniously, we hit Sean in the face with our pillows.
Don Calame (Swim the Fly (Swim the Fly, #1))
Something creaked beneath me! A soft step on rotting wood! I jumped startled, scared, and turned, expecting to see-God knows what! Then I sighed, for it was only Chris standing in the gloom, silently staring at me. Why? Did I look prettier than usual? Was it the moonlight, shining through my airy clothes? All random doubts were cleared when he said in a voice gritty and low, "You look beautiful sitting there like that." He cleared the frog in his throat. "The moonlight is etching you with silver-blue, and I can see the shape of your body through your clothes." Then, bewilderingly, he seized me by the shoulders, digging in his fingers, hard! They hurt. "Damn you, Cathy! You kissed that man! He could have awakened and seen you, and demanded to know who you were! And not thought you only a part of his dream!" Scary the way he acted, the fright I felt for no reason at all. "How do you know what I did? You weren't there; you were sick that night." He shook me, glaring his eyes, and again I thought he seemed a stranger. "He saw you, Cathy-he wasn't soundly asleep!" "He saw me?" I cried, disbelieving. It wasn't possible . . . wasn't! "Yes!" he yelled. This was Chris, who was usually in such control of his emotions. "He thought you a part of his dream! But don't you know Momma can guess who it was, just by putting two and two together-just as I have? Damn you and your romantic notions! Now they're on to us! They won't leave money casually about as they did before. He's counting, she's counting, and we don't have enough-not yet!" He yanked me down from the widow sill! He appeared wild and furious enough to slap my face-and not once in all our lives had he ever struck me, though I'd given him reason to when I was younger. But he shook me until my eyes rolled, until I was dizzy and crying out: "Stop! Momma knows we can't pass through a looked door!" This wasn't Chris . . . this was someone I'd never seen before . . . primitive, savage. He yelled out something like, "You're mine, Cathy! Mine! You'll always be mine! No matter who comes into your future, you'll always belong to me! I'll make you mine . . . tonight . . . now!" I didn't believe it, not Chris! And I did not fully understand what he had in mind, nor, if I am to give him credit, do I think he really meant what he said, but passion has a way of taking over. We fell to the floor, both of us. I tried to fight him off. We wrestled, turning over and over, writhing, silent, a frantic strug- gle of his strength against mine. It wasn't much of a battle. I had the strong dancer's legs; he had the biceps, the greater weight and height . . . and he had much more determination than i to use something hot, swollen and demanding, so much it stile reasoning and sanity from him. And I loved him. I wanted what he wanted-if he wanted it that much, right and wrong. Somehow we ended up on that old mattress-that filthy, smelly, stained mattress that must have known lovers long before this night. And that is where he took me, and forced in that swollen, rigid male sex part of him that had to be satisfied. It drove into my tight and resisting flesh which tore and bled. Now we had done what we both swore we'd never do.
V.C. Andrews (Flowers in the Attic/Petals on the Wind (Dollganger, #1-2))
Then he says, “I once read a story about three brothers who washed up on an island in Hawaii. A myth. An old one. I read it when I was a kid, so I probably don’t have the story exactly right, but it goes something like this. Three brothers went out fishing and got caught in a storm. They drifted on the ocean for a long time until they washed up on the shore of an uninhabited island. It was a beautiful island with coconuts growing there and tons of fruit on the trees, and a big, high mountain in the middle. The night they got there, a god appeared in their dreams and said, ‘A little farther down the shore, you will find three big, round boulders. I want each of you to push his boulder as far as he likes. The place you stop pushing your boulder is where you will live. The higher you go, the more of the world you will be able to see from your home. It’s entirely up to you how far you want to push your boulder.’” The young man takes a drink of water and pauses for a moment. Mari looks bored, but she is clearly listening. “Okay so far?” he asks. Mari nods. “Want to hear the rest? If you’re not interested, I can stop.” “If it’s not too long.” “No, it’s not too long. It’s a pretty simple story.” He takes another sip of water and continues with his story. “So the three brothers found three boulders on the shore just as the god had said they would. And they started pushing them along as the god told them to. Now these were huge, heavy boulders, so rolling them was hard, and pushing them up an incline took an enormous effort. The youngest brother quit first. He said, ‘Brothers, this place is good enough for me. It’s close to the shore, and I can catch fish. It has everything I need to go on living. I don’t mind if I can’t see that much of the world from here.’ His two elder brothers pressed on, but when they were midway up the mountain, the second brother quit. He said, ‘Brother, this place is good enough for me. There is plenty of fruit here. It has everything I need to go on living. I don’t mind if I can’t see that much of the world from here.’ The eldest brother continued walking up the mountain. The trail grew increasingly narrow and steep, but he did not quit. He had great powers of perseverance, and he wanted to see as much of the world as he possibly could, so he kept rolling the boulder with all his might. He went on for months, hardly eating or drinking, until he had rolled the boulder to the very peak of the high mountain. There he stopped and surveyed the world. Now he could see more of the world than anyone. This was the place he would live—where no grass grew, where no birds flew. For water, he could only lick the ice and frost. For food, he could only gnaw on moss. Be he had no regrets, because now he could look out over the whole world. And so, even today, his great, round boulder is perched on the peak of that mountain on an island in Hawaii. That’s how the story goes.
Haruki Murakami (After Dark)
Fire, fire! The branches crackle and the night wind of late autumn blows the flame of the bonfire back and forth. The compound is dark; I am alone at the bonfire, and I can bring it still some more carpenters' shavings. The compound here is a privileged one, so privileged that it is almost as if I were out in freedom -- this is an island of paradise; this is the Marfino "sharashka" -- a scientific institute staffed with prisoners -- in its most privileged period. No one is overseeing me, calling me to a cell, chasing me away from the bonfire, and even then it is chilly in the penetrating wind. But she -- who has already been standing in the wind for hours, her arms straight down, her head drooping, weeping, then growing numb and still. And then again she begs piteously "Citizen Chief! Please forgive me! I won't do it again." The wind carries her moan to me, just as if she were moaning next to my ear. The citizen chief at the gatehouse fires up his stove and does not answer. This was the gatehouse of the camp next door to us, from which workers came into our compound to lay water pipes and to repair the old ramshackle seminary building. Across from me, beyond the artfully intertwined, many-stranded barbed-wire barricade and two steps away from the gatehouse, beneath a bright lantern, stood the punished girl, head hanging, the wind tugging at her grey work skirt, her feet growing numb from the cold, a thin scarf over her head. It had been warm during the day, when they had been digging a ditch on our territory. And another girl, slipping down into a ravine, had crawled her way to the Vladykino Highway and escaped. The guard had bungled. And Moscow city buses ran right along the highway. When they caught on, it was too late to catch her. They raised the alarm. A mean, dark major arrived and shouted that if they failed to catch the girl, the entire camp would be deprived of visits and parcels for whole month, because of her escape. And the women brigadiers went into a rage, and they were all shouting, one of them in particular, who kept viciously rolling her eyes: "Oh, I hope they catch her, the bitch! I hope they take scissors and -- clip, clip, clip -- take off all her hair in front of the line-up!" But the girl who was now standing outside the gatehouse in the cold had sighed and said instead: "At least she can have a good time out in freedom for all of us!" The jailer had overheard what she said, and now she was being punished; everyone else had been taken off to the camp, but she had been set outside there to stand "at attention" in front of the gatehouse. This had been at 6 PM, and it was now 11 PM. She tried to shift from one foot to another, but the guard stuck out his head and shouted: "Stand at attention, whore, or else it will be worse for you!" And now she was not moving, only weeping: "Forgive me, Citizen Chief! Let me into the camp, I won't do it any more!" But even in the camp no one was about to say to her: "All right, idiot! Come on it!" The reason they were keeping her out there so long was that the next day was Sunday, and she would not be needed for work. Such a straw-blond, naive, uneducated slip of a girl! She had been imprisoned for some spool of thread. What a dangerous thought you expressed there, little sister! They want to teach you a lesson for the rest of your life! Fire, fire! We fought the war -- and we looked into the bonfires to see what kind of victory it would be. The wind wafted a glowing husk from the bonfire. To that flame and to you, girl, I promise: the whole wide world will read about you.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
Tatyana’s Letter to Onegin I’m writing you this declaration— What more can I in candour say? It may be now your inclination To scorn me and to turn away; But if my hapless situation Evokes some pity for my woe, You won’t abandon me, I know. I first tried silence and evasion; Believe me, you‘d have never learned My secret shame, had I discerned The slightest hope that on occasion— But once a week—I’d see your face, Behold you at our country place, Might hear you speak a friendly greeting, Could say a word to you; and then, Could dream both day and night again Of but one thing, till our next meeting. They say you like to be alone And find the country unappealing; We lack, I know, a worldly tone, But still, we welcome you with feeling. Why did you ever come to call? In this forgotten country dwelling I’d not have known you then at all, Nor known this bitter heartache’s swelling. Perhaps, when time had helped in quelling The girlish hopes on which I fed, I might have found (who knows?) another And been a faithful wife and mother, Contented with the life I led. Another! No! In all creation There’s no one else whom I’d adore; The heavens chose my destination And made me thine for evermore! My life till now has been a token In pledge of meeting you, my friend; And in your coming, God has spoken, You‘ll be my guardian till the end…. You filled my dreams and sweetest trances; As yet unseen, and yet so dear, You stirred me with your wondrous glances, Your voice within my soul rang clear…. And then the dream came true for me! When you came in, I seemed to waken, I turned to flame, I felt all shaken, And in my heart I cried: It’s he! And was it you I heard replying Amid the stillness of the night, Or when I helped the poor and dying, Or turned to heaven, softly crying, And said a prayer to soothe my plight? And even now, my dearest vision, Did I not see your apparition Flit softly through this lucent night? Was it not you who seemed to hover Above my bed, a gentle lover, To whisper hope and sweet delight? Are you my angel of salvation Or hell’s own demon of temptation? Be kind and send my doubts away; For this may all be mere illusion, The things a simple girl would say, While Fate intends no grand conclusion…. So be it then! Henceforth I place My faith in you and your affection; I plead with tears upon my face And beg you for your kind protection. You cannot know: I’m so alone, There’s no one here to whom I’ve spoken, My mind and will are almost broken, And I must die without a moan. I wait for you … and your decision: Revive my hopes with but a sign, Or halt this heavy dream of mine— Alas, with well-deserved derision! I close. I dare not now reread…. I shrink with shame and fear. But surely, Your honour’s all the pledge I need, And I submit to it securely.
Alexander Pushkin (Eugene Onegin)
The Heiligenstadt Testament" Oh! ye who think or declare me to be hostile, morose, and misanthropical, how unjust you are, and how little you know the secret cause of what appears thus to you! My heart and mind were ever from childhood prone to the most tender feelings of affection, and I was always disposed to accomplish something great. But you must remember that six years ago I was attacked by an incurable malady, aggravated by unskillful physicians, deluded from year to year, too, by the hope of relief, and at length forced to the conviction of a lasting affliction (the cure of which may go on for years, and perhaps after all prove impracticable). Born with a passionate and excitable temperament, keenly susceptible to the pleasures of society, I was yet obliged early in life to isolate myself, and to pass my existence in solitude. If I at any time resolved to surmount all this, oh! how cruelly was I again repelled by the experience, sadder than ever, of my defective hearing! — and yet I found it impossible to say to others: Speak louder; shout! for I am deaf! Alas! how could I proclaim the deficiency of a sense which ought to have been more perfect with me than with other men, — a sense which I once possessed in the highest perfection, to an extent, indeed, that few of my profession ever enjoyed! Alas, I cannot do this! Forgive me therefore when you see me withdraw from you with whom I would so gladly mingle. My misfortune is doubly severe from causing me to be misunderstood. No longer can I enjoy recreation in social intercourse, refined conversation, or mutual outpourings of thought. Completely isolated, I only enter society when compelled to do so. I must live like art exile. In company I am assailed by the most painful apprehensions, from the dread of being exposed to the risk of my condition being observed. It was the same during the last six months I spent in the country. My intelligent physician recommended me to spare my hearing as much as possible, which was quite in accordance with my present disposition, though sometimes, tempted by my natural inclination for society, I allowed myself to be beguiled into it. But what humiliation when any one beside me heard a flute in the far distance, while I heard nothing, or when others heard a shepherd singing, and I still heard nothing! Such things brought me to the verge of desperation, and well-nigh caused me to put an end to my life. Art! art alone deterred me. Ah! how could I possibly quit the world before bringing forth all that I felt it was my vocation to produce? And thus I spared this miserable life — so utterly miserable that any sudden change may reduce me at any moment from my best condition into the worst. It is decreed that I must now choose Patience for my guide! This I have done. I hope the resolve will not fail me, steadfastly to persevere till it may please the inexorable Fates to cut the thread of my life. Perhaps I may get better, perhaps not. I am prepared for either. Constrained to become a philosopher in my twenty-eighth year! This is no slight trial, and more severe on an artist than on any one else. God looks into my heart, He searches it, and knows that love for man and feelings of benevolence have their abode there! Oh! ye who may one day read this, think that you have done me injustice, and let any one similarly afflicted be consoled, by finding one like himself, who, in defiance of all the obstacles of Nature, has done all in his power to be included in the ranks of estimable artists and men. My brothers Carl and [Johann], as soon as I am no more, if Professor Schmidt be still alive, beg him in my name to describe my malady, and to add these pages to the analysis of my disease, that at least, so far as possible, the world may be reconciled to me after my death. I also hereby declare you both heirs of my small fortune (if so it may be called). Share it fairly, agree together and assist each other. You know that any
Ludwig van Beethoven