Put Your Phone Down Quotes

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Just for future reference, don't use words like "love" anymore. It's a very sensitive word and it wears out quickly. Romeo barely says it, but John Hinckley filled up a whole journal with it. To put it into your terms, it's a currency that's easily devalued. Pretty soon you're saying it whenever you hang up the phone or whenever you leave. It turns into an apology. Then it's an excuse. Some assholes want it to be a bulletproof vest: don't hate me; I love you. But mostly it just means--more. More, more--give me something more. A couple of years from now, when you're on your own completely, if you really fall in love, if it really comes to that--and I pity you if it does--you have to look right down into the black of her eyes, right down into the emptiness in there and feel everything, absolutely everything she needs and you have to be willing to drown in it, Kevin. You'd have to want to be crushed, buried alive. Because that's what real love feels like--choking. They used to bury some women in their wedding dresses, you know. I thought it was because all those husbands were too cheap to spring for another gown, but now it makes sense: love is your first foot in the grave. That's why the second most abused word is "forever".
Peter Craig (Hot Plastic)
Every morning the maple leaves. Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out You will be alone always and then you will die. So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog of non-definitive acts, something other than the desperation. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your party and seduced you and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing. You want a better story. Who wouldn’t? A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing. Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on. What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon. Love always wakes the dragon and suddenly flames everywhere. I can tell already you think I’m the dragon, that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon. I’m not the princess either. Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down. I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure, I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow glass, but that comes later. Let me do it right for once, for the record, let me make a thing of cream and stars that becomes, you know the story, simply heaven. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing and when you open your eyes only a clearing with deer in it. Hello deer. Inside your head the sound of glass, a car crash sound as the trucks roll over and explode in slow motion. Hello darling, sorry about that. Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud. Especially that, but I should have known. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing, and when you open your eyes you’re washing up in a stranger’s bathroom, standing by the window in a yellow towel, only twenty minutes away from the dirtiest thing you know. All the rooms of the castle except this one, says someone, and suddenly darkness, suddenly only darkness. In the living room, in the broken yard, in the back of the car as the lights go by. In the airport bathroom’s gurgle and flush, bathed in a pharmacy of unnatural light, my hands looking weird, my face weird, my feet too far away. I arrived in the city and you met me at the station, smiling in a way that made me frightened. Down the alley, around the arcade, up the stairs of the building to the little room with the broken faucets, your drawings, all your things, I looked out the window and said This doesn’t look that much different from home, because it didn’t, but then I noticed the black sky and all those lights. We were inside the train car when I started to cry. You were crying too, smiling and crying in a way that made me even more hysterical. You said I could have anything I wanted, but I just couldn’t say it out loud. Actually, you said Love, for you, is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s terrifying. No one will ever want to sleep with you. Okay, if you’re so great, you do it— here’s the pencil, make it work … If the window is on your right, you are in your own bed. If the window is over your heart, and it is painted shut, then we are breathing river water. Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently we have had our difficulties and there are many things I want to ask you. I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again, years later, in the chlorinated pool. I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have these luxuries. I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together. I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes. Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you. Quit milling around the yard and come inside.
Richard Siken
I started to put my phone back in my bag when Ozzy yelled out, his accent so thick, I was only half certain he said, "Where the foock are ya goin'?" Uncle Bob jumped. I must've turned on my GPS. "You have to tahn the foock around. You're in the middle of foockin' nowhere." "What the hell is that?" Uncle Bob asked, almost swerving off the road. "Sorry, it's Ozzy." I grabbed my phone and turned down the volume. "He's so demanding." I pushed a few buttons to turn off the app, then put the phone to my ear. "Sweet, buttermilk pancakes, Ozzy, you have to stop calling me. You're a married man!" I pretended to hang up, then rolled my eyes. "Rock stars.
Darynda Jones (Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson, #5))
The way you are self-sabotaging: Mindlessly scrolling through social media as a way to pass the time. What your subconscious mind might want you to know: This is one of the easiest ways to numb yourself, because it is so accessible and addictive. There is a world-altering difference between using social media in a healthy way versus as a coping mechanism. Mostly, it has to do with how you feel after you’re finished. If you don’t put the phone down feeling inspired or relaxed, you’re probably trying to avoid some kind of discomfort within yourself—the very discomfort that just might be telling you that you need to change.
Brianna Wiest (The Mountain Is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage Into Self-Mastery)
Where's my cell phone?" I ask. "And please put a shirt on." He reaches down and grabs my phone off the floor. "Why?" "The reason I need my cell," I say as I take it from him, "is to call a cab and the reason I want you to put a shirt on is, well, because, urn . . ." "You've never seen a guy with his shirt off?" "Ha, ha. Very funny. Believe me, you don't have anything I haven't seen before." "Wanna bet?" he says, then moves his hands to the button on his jeans and pops it open. Isabel walks in at that exact moment. "Whoa, Alex. Please keep your pants on.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
An incomplete list: No more diving into pools of chlorinated water lit green from below. No more ball games played out under floodlights. No more porch lights with moths fluttering on summer nights. No more trains running under the surface of cities on the dazzling power of the electric third rail. No more cities. No more films, except rarely, except with a generator drowning out half the dialogue, and only then for the first little while until the fuel for the generators ran out, because automobile gas goes stale after two or three years. Aviation gas lasts longer, but it was difficult to come by. No more screens shining in the half-light as people raise their phones above the crowd to take pictures of concert states. No more concert stages lit by candy-colored halogens, no more electronica, punk, electric guitars. No more pharmaceuticals. No more certainty of surviving a scratch on one's hand, a cut on a finger while chopping vegetables for dinner, a dog bite. No more flight. No more towns glimpsed from the sky through airplane windows, points of glimmering light; no more looking down from thirty thousand feet and imagining the lives lit up by those lights at that moment. No more airplanes, no more requests to put your tray table in its upright and locked position – but no, this wasn't true, there were still airplanes here and there. They stood dormant on runways and in hangars. They collected snow on their wings. In the cold months, they were ideal for food storage. In summer the ones near orchards were filled with trays of fruit that dehydrated in the heat. Teenagers snuck into them to have sex. Rust blossomed and streaked. No more countries, all borders unmanned. No more fire departments, no more police. No more road maintenance or garbage pickup. No more spacecraft rising up from Cape Canaveral, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, from Vandenburg, Plesetsk, Tanegashima, burning paths through the atmosphere into space. No more Internet. No more social media, no more scrolling through litanies of dreams and nervous hopes and photographs of lunches, cries for help and expressions of contentment and relationship-status updates with heart icons whole or broken, plans to meet up later, pleas, complaints, desires, pictures of babies dressed as bears or peppers for Halloween. No more reading and commenting on the lives of others, and in so doing, feeling slightly less alone in the room. No more avatars.
Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven)
Being present is not just putting your phone down for a few minutes. It is a way of being, from interaction to interaction, where you consciously inhabit your own body and show up with the best of your attention, offering your presence as a gift.
Jessica Fern (Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Nonmonogamy)
Now, if I could get Mark to put down his phone and stop taking breaks, we’d be able to finish up before Oprah comes on.” – Bubba “Bubba, what are you going to do when they cancel her show?” – Caleb “Shut your mouth, boy. That’s sacrilege in this store. You talk like that, and I’ll toss you through the window like an old-timey hobo in a Western.” – Bubba
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Invincible (Chronicles of Nick, #2))
And this is how we danced: with our mothers’ white dresses spilling from our feet, late August turning our hands dark red. And this is how we loved: a fifth of vodka and an afternoon in the attic, your fingers sweeping though my hair—my hair a wildfire. We covered our ears and your father’s tantrum turned into heartbeats. When our lips touched the day closed into a coffin. In the museum of the heart there are two headless people building a burning house. There was always the shotgun above the fireplace. Always another hour to kill—only to beg some god to give it back. If not the attic, the car. If not the car, the dream. If not the boy, his clothes. If not alive, put down the phone. Because the year is a distance we’ve traveled in circles. Which is to say: this is how we danced: alone in sleeping bodies. Which is to say: This is how we loved: a knife on the tongue turning into a tongue.
Ocean Vuong
I cannot stress enough that the answer to life's questions is often in people's faces. Try putting your iPhones down once in a while, and look in people's faces. People's faces will tell you amazing things. Like if they are angry, or nauseous or asleep.
Amy Poehler
Advice to friends. Advice to fellow mothers in the same boat. "How do you do it all?" Crack a joke. Make it seem easy. Make everything seem easy. Make life seem easy and parenthood and marriage and freelancing for pennies, writing a novel and smiling after a rejection, keeping the faith after two, reminding oneself that four years of work counted for a lot, counted for everything. Make the bed. Make it nice. Make the people laugh when you sit down to write and if you can't make them laugh make them cry. Make them want to hug you or hold you or punch you in the face. Make them want to kill you or fuck you or be your friend. Make them change. Make them happy. Make the baby smile. Make him laugh. Make him dinner. Make him proud. Hold the phone, someone is on the other line. She says its important. People are dying. Children. Friends. Press mute because there is nothing you can say. Press off because you're running out of minutes. Running out of time. Soon he'll be grown up and you'll regret the time you spent pushing him away for one more paragraph in the manuscript no one will ever read. Put down the book, the computer, the ideas. Remember who you are now. Wait. Remember who you were. Wait. Remember what's important. Make a list. Ten things, no twenty. Twenty thousand things you want to do before you die but what if tomorrow never comes? No one will remember. No one will know. No one will laugh or cry or make the bed. No one will have a clue which songs to sing to the baby. No one will be there for the children. No one will finish the first draft of the novel. No one will publish the one that's been finished for months. No one will remember the thought you had last night, that great idea you forgot to write down.
Rebecca Woolf
Our world is moving so fast and we are apt to miss so much of what is happening "right now." If we can put down our smart phones for one moment and be present to what is around us, I believe these incidental meetings and strangers who come into our lives can give us unexpected fortitude, perspective and even wisdom just when we need them the most - if we are just awake, aware and open to these new insights.
Kristin S. Kaufman (Is This Seat Taken?: Random Encounters That Change Your Life)
If you can't put magnolia on a wall then there are always a million other colors you can use, if you can't pay your phone bill then just write letters telling them. I'm not playing down the importance of these things, yes you need money for food, yes you need food to survive, but you also need sleep to have energy, to smile to be happy, and to be happy so you can laugh, just so you don't keel over with a heart attack. People forget they have options. And they forget that those things really don't 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 whining and moaning.
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
Put your hand out.” “You’re going to put my phone in it, right?” “No I have taken down my pants and I’m going to stick my dick in it.
Vi Keeland (Mister Moneybags)
On May 26th, 2003, Aaron Ralston was hiking, a boulder fell on his right hand, he waited four days, he then amputated his own arm with a pocketknife. On New Year’s Eve, a woman was bungee jumping, the cord broke, she fell into a river and had to swim back to land in crocodile-infested waters with a broken collarbone. Claire Champlin was smashed in the face by a five-pound watermelon being propelled by a slingshot. Mathew Brobst was hit by a javelin. David Striegl was actually punched in the mouth by a kangaroo. The most amazing part of these stories is when asked about the experience they all smiled, shrugged and said “I guess things could’ve been worse.” So go ahead, tell me you’re having a bad day. Tell me about the traffic. Tell me about your boss. Tell me about the job you’ve been trying to quit for the past four years. Tell me the morning is just a townhouse burning to the ground and the snooze button is a fire extinguisher. Tell me the alarm clock stole the keys to your smile, drove it into 7 am and the crash totaled your happiness. Tell me. Tell me how blessed are we to have tragedy so small it can fit on the tips of our tongues. When Evan lost his legs he was speechless. When my cousin was assaulted she didn’t speak for 48 hours. When my uncle was murdered, we had to send out a search party to find my father’s voice. Most people have no idea that tragedy and silence often have the exact same address. When your day is a museum of disappointments, hanging from events that were outside of your control, when you feel like your guardian angel put in his two weeks notice two months ago and just decided not to tell you, when it seems like God is just a babysitter that’s always on the phone, when you get punched in the esophagus by a fistful of life. Remember, every year two million people die of dehydration. So it doesn’t matter if the glass is half full or half empty. There’s water in the cup. Drink it and stop complaining. Muscle is created by lifting things that are designed to weigh us down. When your shoulders are heavy stand up straight and call it exercise. Life is a gym membership with a really complicated cancellation policy. Remember, you will survive, things could be worse, and we are never given anything we can’t handle. When the whole world crumbles, you have to build a new one out of all the pieces that are still here. Remember, you are still here. The human heart beats approximately 4,000 times per hour and each pulse, each throb, each palpitation is a trophy, engraved with the words “You are still alive.” You are still alive. So act like it.
Rudy Francisco (Helium (Button Poetry))
She’s a telepath?” demanded Dominic. “And he catches up with the conversation.” I patted his knee. “Yes, she’s a telepath. Sarah reads minds. Don’t worry, she’s not reading yours.” “It would be rude,” said Sarah. Putting her phone down, she began arranging herself carefully in the chair. “Telepathic ethics say you should never read a sentient creature’s mind without permission, provocation, or legitimate reason to fear for your life.” “Telepaths have ethics?” Dominic’s eyes narrowed, tone and posture united to convey his disbelief. “My mother and I do,” said Sarah, letting her head settle against the back of the chair. “We mostly got them from Babylon 5, but they still work.
Seanan McGuire (Discount Armageddon (InCryptid, #1))
Sometimes we just need to put down our phones, close our eyes and take a few deep breaths. Ideas are often in flight patterns around our brains, just waiting for clearance to land.
Sam Harrison
Italy: It's been a while since I slept with you, Romano. Romano: Shut up! You should have at least two beds in your place! Italy: How weird... I usually sleep together with Germany and Japan. Romano: [Grabs Italy's throat] You still get along with them! [Repeatedly bashes his head into his brother's] Italy: Bro, I can't breathe. Bro, I can't breathe! [Cut to Germany's office; his phone is ringing. He picks it up] Italy: Germany, save me! I'm on my bed and my brother is- ow! Romano: Not there! Italy: It's stuck! OW! Romano: Put down the phone, you fool! Italy: TAKE IT OUT! Romano: Put it down! [Line goes dead] Germany: [Slightly disturbed] His brother's... stuck..."ow"... take it out... [Germany bursts into Italy's room] Italy: Italy, are you okay! What's going-! [He realizes the brothers' signature hair curls are merely tangled with each other] Italy: Germany, you're late!
Hidekaz Himaruya
from an article called “Three Things to Say to Your Child Every Day” by Lisa A. McCrohan, Wellness Counselor at Georgetown University.* She explains the power of these three phrases: I see you. You matter. I love to watch you.
Rachel Macy Stafford (Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!)
here’s my 8-step process for maximizing efficacy (doing the right things): Wake up at least 1 hour before you have to be at a computer screen. Email is the mind-killer. Make a cup of tea (I like pu-erh) and sit down with a pen/pencil and paper. Write down the 3 to 5 things—and no more—that are making you the most anxious or uncomfortable. They’re often things that have been punted from one day’s to-do list to the next, to the next, to the next, and so on. Most important usually equals most uncomfortable, with some chance of rejection or conflict. For each item, ask yourself: “If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?” “Will moving this forward make all the other to-dos unimportant or easier to knock off later?” Put another way: “What, if done, will make all of the rest easier or irrelevant?” Look only at the items you’ve answered “yes” to for at least one of these questions. Block out at 2 to 3 hours to focus on ONE of them for today. Let the rest of the urgent but less important stuff slide. It will still be there tomorrow. TO BE CLEAR: Block out at 2 to 3 HOURS to focus on ONE of them for today. This is ONE BLOCK OF TIME. Cobbling together 10 minutes here and there to add up to 120 minutes does not work. No phone calls or social media allowed. If you get distracted or start procrastinating, don’t freak out and downward-spiral; just gently come back to your ONE to-do.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
Dear Daniel, How do you break up with your boyfriend in a way that tells him, "I don't want to sleep with you on a regular basis anymore, but please be available for late night booty calls if I run out of other options"? Lily Charlotte, NC Dear Lily, The story's so old you can't tell it anymore without everyone groaning, even your oldest friends with the last of their drinks shivering around the ice in their dirty glasses. The music playing is the same album everyone has. Those shoes, everybody has the same shoes on. It looked a little like rain so on person brought an umbrella, useless now in the starstruck clouded sky, forgotten on the way home, which is how the umbrella ended up in her place anyway. Everyone gets older on nights like this. And still it's a fresh slap in the face of everything you had going, that precarious shelf in the shallow closet that will certainly, certainly fall someday. Photographs slipping into a crack to be found by the next tenant, that one squinter third from the left laughing at something your roommate said, the coaster from that place in the city you used to live in, gone now. A letter that seemed important for reasons you can't remember, throw it out, the entry in the address book you won't erase but won't keep when you get a new phone, let it pass and don't worry about it. You don't think about them; "I haven't thought about them in forever," you would say if anybody brought it up, and nobody does." You think about them all the time. Close the book but forget to turn off the light, just sit staring in bed until you blink and you're out of it, some noise on the other side of the wall reminding you you're still here. That's it, that's everything. There's no statue in the town square with an inscription with words to live by. The actor got slapped this morning by someone she loved, slapped right across the face, but there's no trace of it on any channel no matter how late you watch. How many people--really, count them up--know where you are? How many will look after you when you don't show up? The churches and train stations are creaky and the street signs, the menus, the writing on the wall, it all feels like the wrong language. Nobody, nobody knows what you're thinking of when you lean your head against the wall. Put a sweater on when you get cold. Remind yourself, this is the night, because it is. You're free to sing what you want as you walk there, the trees rustling spookily and certainly and quietly and inimitably. Whatever shoes you want, fuck it, you're comfortable. Don't trust anyone's directions. Write what you might forget on the back of your hand, and slam down the cheap stuff and never mind the bad music from the window three floors up or what the boys shouted from the car nine years ago that keeps rattling around in your head, because you're here, you are, for the warmth of someone's wrists where the sleeve stops and the glove doesn't quite begin, and the slant of the voice on the punch line of the joke and the reflection of the moon in the water on the street as you stand still for a moment and gather your courage and take a breath before stealing away through the door. Look at it there. Take a good look. It looks like rain. Love, Daniel Handler
Daniel Handler
You want my advice? Put down your phone. Hug her from behind and kiss the back of her neck. Entwine your fingers with hers…. You’re welcome.
Steve Maraboli
Today you too are presented with a blank page. A beautifully flawed, memorable, and gratitude-filled life is at your fingertips. All you have to do is open your hands. And say yes. Say it loud enough for the world to hear. Or just say it loud enough for the people who matter most to hear.
Rachel Macy Stafford (Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!)
I got to go! Bye!” “You’re ammmmmmmmmmmaaaaaaaazing—” Click. This time when she put her cell phone back down, she felt as light and frothy as the bubbles in a champagne flute. And a little drunk, too.
J.R. Ward (Blood Kiss (Black Dagger Legacy, #1))
Helena silently put down the phone and tiptoed to the bathroom door. What should she do? Run? Knock? Walk in? Get naked? And…how should she feel? Excited? Freaked out? Angry because he hadn’t called for three weeks? Relieved, because the wait was over and she could finally start asking all those questions swimming in her head? The door swung open, and Niccolo boldly stood before her in his birthday-suit-glory, his unforgettable diamond-cut abs glistening with drops of water. A whoosh of air left her lungs. I’m going with…naked and excited!
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff (Accidentally Married to...a Vampire? (Accidentally Yours, #2))
What if you missed hearing the best part of your child’s day because you were on the phone? What if you missed a chance to inhale the sweet scent of your energetic child because you insisted on folding that basket of laundry before bedtime? What if you missed a chance to console your worried spouse because of your mile-long to-do list?
Rachel Macy Stafford (Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!)
People had always amazed him, he began. But they amazed him more since the sickness. For as long as the two of them had been together, he said, Gary’s mother had accepted him as her son’s lover, had given them her blessing. Then, at the funeral, she’d barely acknowledged him. Later, when she drove to the house to retrieve some personal things, she’d hunted through her son’s drawers with plastic bags twist-tied around her wrists. “…And yet,” he whispered, “The janitor at school--remember him? Mr. Feeney? --he’d openly disapproved of me for nineteen years. One of the nastiest people I knew. Then when the news about me got out, after I resigned, he started showing up at the front door every Sunday with a coffee milkshake. In his church clothes, with his wife waiting out in the car. People have sent me hate mail, condoms, Xeroxed prayers…” What made him most anxious, he told me, was not the big questions--the mercilessness of fate, the possibility of heaven. He was too exhausted, he said, to wrestle with those. But he’d become impatient with the way people wasted their lives, squandered their chances like paychecks. I sat on the bed, massaging his temples, pretending that just the right rubbing might draw out the disease. In the mirror I watched us both--Mr. Pucci, frail and wasted, a talking dead man. And myself with the surgical mask over my mouth, to protect him from me. “The irony,” he said, “… is that now that I’m this blind man, it’s clearer to me than it’s ever been before. What’s the line? ‘Was blind but now I see…’” He stopped and put his lips to the plastic straw. Juice went halfway up the shaft, then back down again. He motioned the drink away. “You accused me of being a saint a while back, pal, but you were wrong. Gary and I were no different. We fought…said terrible things to each other. Spent one whole weekend not speaking to each other because of a messed up phone message… That time we separated was my idea. I thought, well, I’m fifty years old and there might be someone else out there. People waste their happiness--That’s what makes me sad. Everyone’s so scared to be happy.” “I know what you mean,” I said. His eyes opened wider. For a second he seemed to see me. “No you don’t,” he said. “You mustn’t. He keeps wanting to give you his love, a gift out and out, and you dismiss it. Shrug it off because you’re afraid.” “I’m not afraid. It’s more like…” I watched myself in the mirror above the sink. The mask was suddenly a gag. I listened. “I’ll give you what I learned from all this,” he said. “Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love.
Wally Lamb (She’s Come Undone)
One of the study’s major findings was that in the successful relationships, positive attention outweighed negative on a daily basis by a factor of five to one. This positive attention wasn’t about dramatic actions like throwing over-the-top birthday parties or purchasing a dream home. It took the form of small gestures, such as: using a pleased tone of voice when receiving a phone call from the partner, as opposed to an exasperated tone or a rushed pace that implied the partner’s call was interrupting important tasks inquiring about dentist appointments or other details of the other person’s day putting down the remote control, newspaper, or telephone when the other partner walked through the door arriving home at the promised time—or at least calling if there was a delay These small moments turned out to be more predictive of a loving, trusting relationship than were the more innovative steps of romantic vacations and expensive presents. Possibly, that’s because small moments provide consistent tending and nurturing.
Robert Maurer (One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way)
So I got my stuff and the girl at the register puts these other things in my bag, too. Little free samples: gum and a comb and a marker pen. So I says to her, 'Look, girlie, I got false teeth and I wear a wig.' So she fishes back in my bag and takes out the comb and the gum. Left the pen in there. Anyways, I went back to the van, even though I knew it was locked. Figured I'd just wait and have a smoke. You can't smoke in the van, see? So while I'm waiting there, minding my own business, this car pulls into the handicapped space right next to us--brand-new car, white and clean, and it's got this bumper sticker on it that says, 'Life Is a Shit Sandwich.' Isn't that stupid? So this guy gets out--good-lookin' fella, in his twenties. I say to him, 'Hey, handsome, tell me something.' He takes a look at my walker and gets all panicky. 'I'm just running in for two seconds,' he says. See, he thinks I'm going to yell at him for parking in a handicapped space, but I ain't. I don't give a rat's ass about that, you see. I'd rather walk the extra ten feet than be called handicapped. Where was I?' She amazed me. 'Life's a shit sandwich,' I said. 'Oh, yeah. Right. So that guy goes runnin' into the store and here's what I did. I fished that free pen out of the bag and marched right over there to that bumper of his. Got myself right down on the ground--and I wrote--just after the 'Life's a shit sandwich' part--I wrote, 'But only if you're a shithead.' 'Course, then I couldn't get myself back up again--had to yell over to a couple of kids at the phone booth to come pick me back up.
Wally Lamb
Ren crossed his arms over his chest. "is it LoJacked?" "Of course," Andy said indignantly. "That's my baby. I even have a kill switch on her." "Then stop the engine." Andy appeared downright horrified by Ren's suggestion. "Are you out of your mind? What if someone hits it for stalling? I had that thing on order for over a year. Custom hand built. The epitome of German engineering. I even paid extra for the paint on her. Ain't no way I'm going to chance someone denting my baby. Or, God forbid, totaling it." Jess rolled his eyes at the boy's hissy fit. If he kept that up, he'd be putting Andy back in diapers. He turned to Ren. "You take the air. I'll get a bike." Then he focused his attention on Andy again. "And you-" Andy held his cell phone out to him. "Have an app. Track her down, get my car back, and beat the hell out of her...in that precise order.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Retribution (Dark-Hunter, #19))
It wasn’t beautiful. A Winter wedding is a union of elation and depression, red velvet blankets in a cheap motel room stained with semen from sex devoid of meaning, and black mold clinging to the fringe of floral shower curtains like a heap of dead forevers. You sat down at the foot of the bed, looking at me like I had already
driven away. I was thinking about watching CNN. How fucked up is that? I wanted to know that your second hand, off-white dress, and my black polyester bow tie wasn’t as tragic as a hurricane devouring a suburb, or a train derailment in no where, Virginia, ending the lives of two young college hopefuls. I was naïve. I thought that there were as many right ways to feel love as the amount of
 pubic hair, 
 belly lint, and 
scratch marks abandoned by lovers in our honeymoon suite. When you looked at me in bed that night, I put my hand on your chest to feel a little more human. I don’t know what to call you; a name does not describe the aches, or lack of. This love is unusual and comfortable. If you were to leave, I know I’d search for days, in newspapers and broadcasts, in car accidents and exposés on genocide in Kosovo. (How do I address this? How is one to feel about a love without a name?) My heart would be ambivalent, too scared to look for you behind the curtains of the motel window, outside in the abyss of powder and pay phones because I don’t know how to love you. -Kosovo
Lucas Regazzi
What rhymes with insensitive?” I tap my pen on the kitchen table, beyond frustrated with my current task. Who knew rhyming was so fucking difficult? Garrett, who’s dicing onions at the counter, glances over. “Sensitive,” he says helpfully. “Yes, G, I’ll be sure to rhyme insensitive with sensitive. Gold star for you.” On the other side of the kitchen, Tucker finishes loading the dishwasher and turns to frown at me. “What the hell are you doing over there, anyway? You’ve been scribbling on that notepad for the past hour.” “I’m writing a love poem,” I answer without thinking. Then I slam my lips together, realizing what I’ve done. Dead silence crashes over the kitchen. Garrett and Tucker exchange a look. An extremely long look. Then, perfectly synchronized, their heads shift in my direction, and they stare at me as if I’ve just escaped from a mental institution. I may as well have. There’s no other reason for why I’m voluntarily writing poetry right now. And that’s not even the craziest item on Grace’s list. That’s right. I said it. List. The little brat texted me not one, not two, but six tasks to complete before she agrees to a date. Or maybe gestures is a better way to phrase it... “I just have one question,” Garrett starts. “Really?” Tuck says. “Because I have many.” Sighing, I put my pen down. “Go ahead. Get it out of your systems.” Garrett crosses his arms. “This is for a chick, right? Because if you’re doing it for funsies, then that’s just plain weird.” “It’s for Grace,” I reply through clenched teeth. My best friend nods solemnly. Then he keels over. Asshole. I scowl as he clutches his side, his broad back shuddering with each bellowing laugh. And even while racked with laughter, he manages to pull his phone from his pocket and start typing. “What are you doing?” I demand. “Texting Wellsy. She needs to know this.” “I hate you.” I’m so busy glaring at Garrett that I don’t notice what Tucker’s up to until it’s too late. He snatches the notepad from the table, studies it, and hoots loudly. “Holy shit. G, he rhymed jackass with Cutlass.” “Cutlass?” Garrett wheezes. “Like the sword?” “The car,” I mutter. “I was comparing her lips to this cherry-red Cutlass I fixed up when I was a kid. Drawing on my own experience, that kind of thing.” Tucker shakes his head in exasperation. “You should have compared them to cherries, dumbass.” He’s right. I should have. I’m a terrible poet and I do know it. “Hey,” I say as inspiration strikes. “What if I steal the words to “Amazing Grace”? I can change it to…um…Terrific Grace.” “Yup,” Garrett cracks. “Pure gold right there. Terrific Grace.” I ponder the next line. “How sweet…” “Your ass,” Tucker supplies. Garrett snorts. “Brilliant minds at work. Terrific Grace, how sweet your ass.” He types on his phone again. “Jesus Christ, will you quit dictating this conversation to Hannah?” I grumble. “Bros before hos, dude.” “Call my girlfriend a ho one more time and you won’t have a bro.” Tucker chuckles. “Seriously, why are you writing poetry for this chick?” “Because I’m trying to win her back. This is one of her requirements.” That gets Garrett’s attention. He perks up, phone poised in hand as he asks, “What are the other ones?” “None of your fucking business.” “Golly gee, if you do half as good a job on those as you’re doing with this epic poem, then you’ll get her back in no time!” I give him the finger. “Sarcasm not appreciated.” Then I swipe the notepad from Tuck’s hand and head for the doorway. “PS? Next time either of you need to score points with your ladies? Don’t ask me for help. Jackasses.” Their wild laughter follows me all the way upstairs. I duck into my room and kick the door shut, then spend the next hour typing up the sorriest excuse for poetry on my laptop. Jesus. I’m putting more effort into this damn poem than for my actual classes.
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
Want to enhance your family life and relationships? PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE! You will be surprised how enriching it can be.
Steve Maraboli
At least three times every day take a moment and ask yourself what is really important. Have the wisdom and the courage to build your life around your answer.
Rachel Macy Stafford (Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!)
Please Note: I will not engage in work emails after 7 pm or on weekends. IF I AM YOUR BOSS, MAY I SUGGEST: PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE.
Shonda Rhimes (Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person)
Choosing connection over distraction offers a chance to nurture your most sacred relationships — now and in the future.
Rachel Macy Stafford (Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!)
She passed weeks in bed, hours and hours, just playing the jewel game on her phone. The game was easy and beautiful and she felt she was very good at it. Every time she played, she would think "After this game, you will put down your phone and do something else." But she never put down her phone, and she never did something else. She continued to play the jewel game. She thought, "It's okay, don't worry. You won't play the jewel game forever." But, what if she did play the jewel game forever? She thought about her life as she arranged jewels upon jewels. She thought about her life very slowly. She felt her brain get slow, clear, and focused. Organizing jewels took care of the nervous part of her brain and replaced it with a pleasant sensation of having done a good job cleaning jewels. She felt like she was creating order in the universe as the jewels disappeared. As she was clearing away jewels, she wondered "Isn't it time yet to become part of the world?" What world? After all, the world was also right where she was living. Her bed was as much the world as anything outside it. The world included her phone, her bed, these jewels. The world included her doing this. How could she ever become more a part of it? So she cleaned away the jewels, assured there was nowhere she had to go.
Sheila Heti (Pure Colour)
I didn't have a choice." "Are you saying...What are you saying?" Is he...could he be talking about me? He runs a hand through his hair. I've never seen him this emotional before. He's always so controlled, so sure of himself. "I'm saying you're what I want, Emma. I'm saying I'm in love with you." He steps forward and lifts his hand to my cheek, blazing a line of fire with his fingertips as they trace down to my mouth. "How do you think it would make me feel to see you with Grom?" he whispers. "Like someone ripped my heart out and put it through Rachel's meat grinder, that's how. Probably worse. It would probably kill me. Emma, please don't cry." I throw my hands in the air. "Don't cry? Are you serious? Why did you come here, Galen? Did you think it would make me feel better to know that you do love me, but that it still won't work out? That I still have to mate with Grom for the greater good? Don't you tell me not to cry, Galen! I...c...c...can't h...h...help-" The waterworks soak me. Galen looks at me, hands by his side, helpless as a trapped crab. I'm bordering on hyperventilation, and pretty soon I'll start hiccupping. This is too much. His expression is so severe, it looks like he's in physical pain. "Emma," he breathes. "Emma, does this mean you feel the same way? Do you care for me at all?" I laugh, but it sounds sharper than I intended, because of a hiccup. "What does it matter how I feel, Galen? I think we pretty much covered why. No need to rehash things, right?" "It matters, Emma." He grabs my hand and pulls me to him again. "Tell me right now. Do you care for me?" "If you can't tell that I'm stupid in love with you, Galen, then you aren't a very good ambassador for the hum-" His mouth covers mine, cutting me off. This kiss isn't gentle like the first one. It's definitely not sweet. It's rough, demanding, searching. And disorienting. There's not a part of me that isn't melting against Galen, not a part that isn't combusting with his fevered touch. I accidentally moan into his lips. He takes it for his cue to lift me off my feet, to pull me up to his height for more leverage. I take his groan for my cue to kiss him harder. He ignores his cell phone ringing in his pocket. I ignore the rest of the universe. Even when headlights approach, I'm willing to overlook their intrusion and keep kissing. But, prince that he is, Galen is a little more refined than me at this moment. He gently pries his lips from mine and sets me down. His smile is both intoxicated and intoxicating. "We still need to talk." "Right," I say, but I'm shaking my head. He laughs. "I didn't come all the way to Atlantic City to make you cry." "I'm not crying." I lean into him again. He doesn't refuse my lips, but he doesn't do them justice either, planting a measly little kiss on them before stepping back.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
I called Matt from Columbia when I needed help." "Yeah," Nicky said, unimpressed. "So we all heard. You called Matt, gave him your 'I'm fine' song and dance routine, and then hitchhiked with strangers back to campus. Maybe you remember?" Nicky waited, but Neil couldn't defend himself against an accusation like that. "Anyway, you're welcome. I just saved you at least two hundred dollars in intensive therapy." Neil didn't think Nicky wearing down his guard was something to be grateful for, but he obediently said, "Thank you." "You ever say that like it's not a question?" Nicky asked, looking pained. "Oh well. I'll take my victories where I can. Focus on the battles first, then win the war, right? I don't know how the quote actually goes but you know what I mean. So where was I?" It didn't take him long to remember. He chattered away a mile a minute about his upcoming presentation. Neil let it go in one ear and out the other. His mind was more on the phone still sitting in his hands than the put-upon tone of Nicky's voice. When Nicky finally turned away to harass Aaron about something, Neil flipped his phone open. He went past his packed inbox to his call history. It hadn't changed; Andrew's name was still the only one there.
Nora Sakavic (The Raven King (All for the Game, #2))
In today's climate, listening is so compelling because it is so rare. Give the gift of listening to the kid in your life. Put down your phone and have a real conversation. Get to know him. Look him in the eyes.
Sharilee Swaity (16 Gifts From a Stepmom)
The sad truth is that many of us are addicted to our phones because we crave immediate approval and affirmation. The fear we feel in our hearts when we are engaged online is the impulse that drives our "highly selective self-representations." We want to be loved and accepted by others, so we wash away our scars and defects. When we put this scrubbed-down representation of ourselves online, we tabulate the human approval in a commodity index of likes and shares. We post an image, then watch the immediate response. We refresh. We watch the stats climb-or stall. We gauge the immediate responses from friends, family members, and strangers. Did what we posted gain the immediate approval of others? We know within minutes. Even the promise of religious approval and the affirmations of other Christians is a gravitational pull that draws us toward our phones.
Tony Reinke (12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You)
What made him most anxious, he told me, was not the big questions -the mercilessness of fate, the possibility of heaven. He was too exhausted, he said, to wrestle with those. But he'd become impatient with the way people wasted their lives, squandered their chances like paychecks. I sat on the bed, massaging his temples, pretending that just the right rubbing might draw out the disease. In the mirror I watched us both -Mr. Pucci, frail and wasted, a talking dead man. And myself with a surgical mask over my mouth, to protect him from me. "The irony," he said, "... is that now that I'm this blind man, it's clearer to me now then it's ever been before. What's the line? 'Was blind but now I see...' " He stopped and put his lips to the plastic straw. Juice went halfway up the shaft, then back down again. He motioned the drink away. "You accused me of being a saint a while back, pal, but you were wrong. Gary and I were no different. We fought ...said terrible things to each other. Spent one whole weekend not speaking to each other because of a messed-up phone message... That time we separated was my idea. I thought, well, I'm fifty years old and there might be someone else out there. People waste their happiness -that's what makes me sad. Everyone's so scared to be happy." "I know what you mean," I said. His eyes opened wider. For a second he seemed to see me. "No you don't," he said. "You mustn’t. He keeps wanting to give you his love, a gift out and out and you dismiss it. Shrug it off because you're afraid." "I'm not afraid. It's more like ..." I watched myself in the mirror above the sink. The mask was suddenly a gag. I listened. "l'll give you what I learned from all this," he said. "Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love.
Wally Lamb (She’s Come Undone)
I tried to call your cell phone when we got in to see if you made it." Ash immediately tensed as he put his comic down and pulled out another issue. "I turned it off on the day I got here." "Really?" Dante asked, stunned by Ash's confession. It wasn't like him to be out of touch with his Dark-Hunter charges. "What if one of the Dark-Hunters needed you?" Ash shrugged. "If they can't survive alone for four days once a year, they deserve to die.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Stroke of Midnight)
We’re working. Can you put the phone down.” “Can I? Yes. Will I? No.” “Are you that intent on inflicting yourself on the nearest hottie on Tinder? Or are you sliding into the DMs of some of your faithful fans?” He stays focused on the screen. “Neither. I’m on a new app called Whiner. It locates the most insufferable nag within a four-block radius.” He looks at me in mock-surprise. “Holy shit, would you look at that? It’s pointing right at you.
Leisa Rayven (Professor Feelgood (Masters of Love, #2))
 It’s weird being alone in the museum. It’s dark and eerily quiet: Only the after-hours lights are on—just enough to illuminate the hallways and stop you from tripping over your own feet—and the background music that normally plays all the time is shut off. I quickly organize the flashlights and check their batteries, and when I don’t hear Porter walking around, I stare at the phone sitting at the information desk. How many chances come along like this? I pick up the receiver, press the little red button next to the word ALL, and speak into the phone in a low voice. “Paging Porter Roth to the information desk,” I say formally, my voice crackling through the entire lobby and echoing down the corridors. Then I press the button again and add, “While you’re at it, check your shoes to make sure they’re a match, you bastard. By the way, I still haven’t quite forgiven you for humiliating me. It’s going to take a lot more than a kiss and a cookie to make me forget both that and the time you provoked me in the Hotbox.” I’m only teasing, which I hope he knows. I feel a little drunk on all my megaphone power, so I page one more thing: “PS—You look totally hot in those tight-fitting security guard pants tonight, and I plan to get very handsy with you at the movies, so we better sit in the back row.” I hang up the phone and cover my mouth, silently laughing at myself. Two seconds later, Porter’s footfalls pound down Jay’s corridor—Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! He sounds like a T. rex running from Godzilla. He races into the lobby and slides in front of the information desk, grabbing onto the edge to stop himself, wild curls flying everywhere. His grin is enormous. “Whadidya say ’bout where you want to be puttin’ your hands on me?” he asks breathlessly. “I think you have me confused with someone else,” I tease. His head sags against the desk. I push his hair away from one of his eyes. He looks up at me and asks, “You really still haven’t forgiven me?” “Maybe if you put your hands onme, I might.” “Don’t go getting my hopes up like that.” “Oh, your hopes should be up. Way up.” “Dear God, woman,” he murmurs. “And here I was, thinking you were a classy dame.” “Pfft. You don’t know me at all.” “I aim to find out. What are we still doing here? Let’s blow this place and get to the theater, fast.
Jenn Bennett (Alex, Approximately)
More because of your disappointing love life and the behavior that results from it. I have seen your manic LOLs, and I’m not laughing. No. This is an intervention. Put the phone down. STEP AWAY FROM THE PHONE! PUT YOUR HANDS UP AND STEP AWAY FROM THE PHONE!
David Levithan (Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story)
the six of us are supposed to drive to the diner in Hastings for lunch. But the moment we enter the cavernous auditorium where the girls told us to meet them, my jaw drops and our plans change. “Holy shit—is that a red velvet chaise lounge?” The guys exchange a WTF look. “Um…sure?” Justin says. “Why—” I’m already sprinting toward the stage. The girls aren’t here yet, which means I have to act fast. “For fuck’s sake, get over here,” I call over my shoulder. Their footsteps echo behind me, and by the time they climb on the stage, I’ve already whipped my shirt off and am reaching for my belt buckle. I stop to fish my phone from my back pocket and toss it at Garrett, who catches it without missing a beat. “What is happening right now?” Justin bursts out. I drop trou, kick my jeans away, and dive onto the plush chair wearing nothing but my black boxer-briefs. “Quick. Take a picture.” Justin doesn’t stop shaking his head. Over and over again, and he’s blinking like an owl, as if he can’t fathom what he’s seeing. Garrett, on the other hand, knows better than to ask questions. Hell, he and Hannah spent two hours constructing origami hearts with me the other day. His lips twitch uncontrollably as he gets the phone in position. “Wait.” I pause in thought. “What do you think? Double guns, or double thumbs up?” “What is happening?” We both ignore Justin’s baffled exclamation. “Show me the thumbs up,” Garrett says. I give the camera a wolfish grin and stick up my thumbs. My best friend’s snort bounces off the auditorium walls. “Veto. Do the guns. Definitely the guns.” He takes two shots—one with flash, one without—and just like that, another romantic gesture is in the bag. As I hastily put my clothes back on, Justin rubs his temples with so much vigor it’s as if his brain has imploded. He gapes as I tug my jeans up to my hips. Gapes harder when I walk over to Garrett so I can study the pictures. I nod in approval. “Damn. I should go into modeling.” “You photograph really well,” Garrett agrees in a serious voice. “And dude, your package looks huge.” Fuck, it totally does. Justin drags both hands through his dark hair. “I swear on all that is holy—if one of you doesn’t tell me what the hell just went down here, I’m going to lose my shit.” I chuckle. “My girl wanted me to send her a boudoir shot of me on a red velvet chaise lounge, but you have no idea how hard it is to find a goddamn red velvet chaise lounge.” “You say this as if it’s an explanation. It is not.” Justin sighs like the weight of the world rests on his shoulders. “You hockey players are fucked up.” “Naah, we’re just not pussies like you and your football crowd,” Garrett says sweetly. “We own our sex appeal, dude.” “Sex appeal? That was the cheesiest thing I’ve ever—no, you know what? I’m not gonna engage,” Justin grumbles. “Let’s find the girls and grab some lunch
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
It was getting late, but sleep was the furthest thing from my racing mind. Apparently that was not the case for Mr. Sugar Buns. He lay back, closed his eyes, and threw an arm over his forehead, his favorite sleeping position. I could hardly have that. So, I crawled on top of him and started chest compressions. It seemed like the right thing to do. "What are you doing?" he asked without removing his arm. "Giving you CPR." I pressed into his chest, trying not to lose count. Wearing a red-and-black football jersey and boxers that read, DRIVERS WANTED. SEE INSIDE FOR DETAILS, I'd straddled him and now worked furiously to save his life, my focus like that of a seasoned trauma nurse. Or a seasoned pot roast. It was hard to say. "I'm not sure I'm in the market," he said, his voice smooth and filled with a humor I found appalling. He clearly didn't appreciate my dedication. "Damn it, man! I'm trying to save your life! Don't interrupt." A sensuous grin slid across his face. He tucked his arms behind his head while I worked. I finished my count, leaned down, put my lips on his, and blew. He laughed softly, the sound rumbling from his chest, deep and sexy, as he took my breath into his lungs. That part down, I went back to counting chest compressions. "Don't you die on me!" And praying. After another round, he asked, "Am I going to make it?" "It's touch-and-go. I'm going to have to bring out the defibrillator." "We have a defibrillator?" he asked, quirking a brow, clearly impressed. I reached for my phone. "I have an app. Hold on." As I punched buttons, I realized a major flaw in my plan. I needed a second phone. I could hardly shock him with only one paddle. I reached over and grabbed his phone as well. Started punching buttons. Rolled my eyes. "You don't have the app," I said from between clenched teeth. "I had no idea smartphones were so versatile." "I'll just have to download it. It'll just take a sec." "Do I have that long?" Humor sparkled in his eyes as he waited for me to find the app. I'd forgotten the name of it, so I had to go back to my phone, then back to his, then do a search, then download, then install it, all while my patient lay dying. Did no one understand that seconds counted? "Got it!" I said at last. I pressed one phone to his chest and one to the side of his rib cage like they did in the movies, and yelled, "Clear!" Granted, I didn't get off him or anything as the electrical charge riddled his body, slammed his heart into action, and probably scorched his skin. Or that was my hope, anyway. He handled it well. One corner of his mouth twitched, but that was about it. He was such a trouper. After two more jolts of electricity--it had to be done--I leaned forward and pressed my fingertips to his throat. "Well?" he asked after a tense moment. I released a ragged sigh of relief,and my shoulders fell forward in exhaustion. "You're going to be okay, Mr. Farrow." Without warning, my patient pulled me into his arms and rolled me over, pinning me to the bed with his considerable weight and burying his face in my hair. It was a miracle!
Darynda Jones (The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #10))
Today, a really hot guy walked into my office. Wanting to impress him, I picked up the phone and pretended to be making a huge business deal, talking loudly about big sums of money. I put the phone down and smiled seductively at him. He said, ‘Hi! I’m here to connect your phone lines.’ FML
Maxime Valette (F My Life: And You Thought You'd Had A Bad Day...)
We finally made our way to the front of the line, where a young bouncer snapped an underage wristband on me and gave me an appraising look, eyes scanning my waist-length hair before raising the velvet rope. I rushed under it with Jay on my heels. “For real, Anna, don't let me stand in the way of all these dudes tonight.” Jay laughed behind me, raising his voice as we entered the already packed room, music thumping. I knew I should have put my hair up before we came, but Jay's sister, Jana had insisted on my keeping it down. I pulled my hair over my shoulder and wound it into a rope with my finger, looking around at the tightly packed crowd and wincing slightly at the noise and blasts of emotion. “They only think they like me because they don't know me,” I said. Jay shook his head. "I hate when you say things like that.” “Like what? That I'm especially special?” I was trying to make a joke, using the term us Southerners fondly called people who "weren't right" but anger burst gray from Jay's chest, surprising me, then fizzled away. “Don't talk about yourself that way. You're just...shy.” I was weird and we both knew it. But I didn't like to upset him, and it felt ridiculous having a serious conversation at the top of our lungs. Jay pulled his phone from his pocket and looked at the screen as it vibrated in his hand. He grinned and handed it to me. Patti. “Hello?” I stuck a finger in my other ear so I could hear. “I'm just checking to see if you made it safely, honey. Wow, it's really loud there!” “Yeah, it is!” I had to shout. “Everything is fine. I'll be home by eleven.” It as my first time going to something like this. Ever. Jay had begged Patti for permission himself, and by some miracle got her to agree. But she was not happy about it. All day she'd been as nervous as a cat the vet.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
The Pascal of our generation puts it this way: “We run away like conscientious little bugs, scared rabbits, dancing attendance on our machines, our slaves, our masters”—clicking, scrolling, tapping, liking, sharing . . . anything. “We think we want peace and silence and freedom and leisure, but deep down we know that this would be unendurable to us.” In fact, “we want to complexify our lives. We don’t have to, we want to. We want to be harried and hassled and busy. Unconsciously, we want the very thing we complain about. For if we had leisure, we would look at ourselves and listen to our hearts and see the great gaping hole in our hearts and be terrified, because that hole is so big that nothing but God can fill it.”12
Tony Reinke (12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You)
In the fall he picked up his phone one afternoon to hear Grandma Lynn. 'Jack,' my grandmother announced, 'I am thinking of coming to stay.' My father was silent, but the line was riddled with his hesitation. 'I would like to make myself available to you and the children. I've been knocking around in this mausoleum long enough.' 'Lynn, we're just beginning to start over again,' he stammered. Still, he couldn't depend on Nate's mother to watch Buckley forever. Four months after my mother left, her temporary absence was beginning to take on the feel of permanence. My grandmother insisted. I watched her resist the remaining slug of vodka in her glass. 'I will contain my drinking until'- she thought hard here- 'after five o'clock, and,' she said,' what the hell, I'll stop altogether if you should find it necessary.' 'Do you know what you're saying?' My grandmother felt a clarity from her phone hand down to her pump-encased feet. 'Yes, I do. I think' It was only after he got off the phone that he let himself wonder, Where will we PUT her? It was obvious to everyone. ~pgs 213-214; Grandma Lynn and Jack;
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
A cell phone rang from the end table to my right and Kristen bolted up straight. She put her beer on the coffee table and dove across my lap for her phone, sprawling over me. My eyes flew wide. I’d never been that close to her before. I’d only ever touched her hand. If I pushed her down across my knees, I could spank her ass. She grabbed her phone and whirled off my lap. “It’s Sloan. I’ve been waiting for this call all day.” She put a finger to her lips for me to be quiet, hit the Talk button, and put her on speaker. “Hey, Sloan, what’s up?” “Did you send me a potato?” Kristen covered her mouth with her hand and I had to stifle a snort. “Why? Did you get an anonymous potato in the mail?” “Something is seriously wrong with you,” Sloan said. “Congratulations, he put a ring on it. PotatoParcel.com.” She seemed to be reading a message. “You found a company that mails potatoes with messages on them? Where do you find this stuff?” Kristen’s eyes danced. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Do you have the other thing though?” “Yeeeess. The note says to call you before I open it. Why am I afraid?” Kristen giggled. “Open it now. Is Brandon with you?” “Yes, he’s with me. He’s shaking his head.” I could picture his face, that easy smile on his lips. “Okay, I’m opening it. It looks like a paper towel tube. There’s tape on the—AHHHHHH! Are you kidding me, Kristen?! What the hell!” Kristen rolled forward, putting her forehead to my shoulder in laughter. “I’m covered in glitter! You sent me a glitter bomb? Brandon has it all over him! It’s all over the sofa!” Now I was dying. I covered my mouth, trying to keep quiet, and I leaned into Kristen, who was howling, our bodies shaking with laughter. I must not have been quiet enough though. “Wait, who’s with you?” Sloan asked. Kristen wiped at her eyes. “Josh is here.” “Didn’t he have a date tonight? Brandon told me he had a date.” “He did, but he came back over after.” “He came back over?” Her voice changed instantly. “And what are you two doing? Remember what we talked about, Kristen…” Her tone was taunting. Kristen glanced at me. Sloan didn’t seem to realize she was on speaker. Kristen hit the Talk button and pressed the phone to her ear. “I’ll call you tomorrow. I love you!” She hung up on her and set her phone down on the coffee table, still tittering. “And what did you two talk about?” I asked, arching an eyebrow. I liked that she’d talked about me. Liked it a lot. “Just sexually objectifying you. The usual,” she said, shrugging. “Nothing a hot fireman like you can’t handle.” A hot fireman like you.I did my best to hide my smirk. “So do you do this to Sloan a lot?” I asked. “All the time. I love messing with her. She’s so easily worked up.” She reached for her beer. I chuckled. “How do you sleep at night knowing she’ll be finding glitter in her couch for the next month?” She took a swig of her beer. “With the fan on medium.” My laugh came so hard Stuntman Mike looked up and cocked his head at me. She changed the channel and stopped on HBO. Some show. There was a scene with rose petals down a hallway into a bedroom full of candles. She shook her head at the TV. “See, I just don’t get why that’s romantic. You want flower petals stuck to your ass? And who’s gonna clean all that shit up? Me? Like, thanks for the flower sex, let’s spend the next half an hour sweeping?” “Those candles are a huge fire hazard.” I tipped my beer toward the screen. “Right? And try getting wax out of the carpet. Good luck with that.” I looked at the side of her face. “So what do you think is romantic?” “Common sense,” she answered without thinking about it. “My wedding wouldn’t be romantic. It would be entertaining. You know what I want at my wedding?” she said, looking at me. “I want the priest from The Princess Bride. The mawage guy.
Abby Jimenez (The Friend Zone (The Friend Zone, #1))
Just A Dream Lyrics I was thinkin about her thinkin about me thinkin about us what we gunna be open my eyes... it was only just a dream so i travel back down that road wish you come back no one knows i realize, it was only just a dream i was at the top now its like i'm in the basement number 1 spot now shes finding a replacement i swear now i cant take it knowing somebodys got my baby now you wait around, baby i cant think i should put it down, shoulda got that ring cuz i can still feel it in the air see your pretty face run my fingers through her hair my love my life my shawty my wife she left me, i'm tight cuz i knew that it just aint right i was thinkin about her thinkin about me thinkin about us where we gunna be open my eyes... it was only just a dream so i travel back down that road wish you come back no one knows i realize, it was only just a dream and i be ridin and i swear i see your face and every time i try to get my usher on but i cant let it burn and i just hope that she notice she the only one i yearn for no more sooner will i learn didn't give her all my love i guess now i got my payback now i'm in the club thinking all about my baby hey she was so easy to love but wait, i guess that love wasnt enough i'm goin through it every time that i'm alone now i'm wishing she would just pick up the phone but she made a decision that she wanted to move on cuz i was wrong i was thinkin about her thinkin about me thinkin about us where we gunna be open my eyes... it was only just a dream so i travel back down that road wish you come back no one knows i realize, it was only just a dream if you ever loved somebody put your hands up x2 and now theyre gone and you wish you could give them everything (x2) i was thinkin about her thinkin about me thinkin about us where we gunna be open my eyes... it was only just a dream so i travel back down that road wish you come back no one knows i realize, it was only just a dream
But she drew in a breath and asked with saccharine sweetness, “Trace, are you ready?” No, he wasn’t ready. Somehow he had to regain control of this situation. Right now she had the upper hand, and that was untenable. With the perfect plan in mind, Trace shook his head, but said with what he hoped sounded like indifference, “Quit stalling.” And then he pulled out his cell phone. This time, she was all but naked. What little material covered her proved mere decoration, like icing on a very sweet cake—a cake he wouldn’t mine eating, slowly, top to toes and everywhere in between. Priss stood with her hands on her generous hips, her feet apart, shoulders back. How such a small woman packed so many perfect curves, he didn’t know. But she managed it with flair. Boy, did she ever. “Good enough.” When she smiled at him, he lifted the cell phone and used it to take a picture. Squawking, Priss leaped behind the curtain and her face went up in flames. “What do you think you’re doing?” “Suddenly shy?” Content with her appalled tone and burning-red face, Trace looked down at the phone. Oh, yeah, that’d do. He pushed a few buttons, then put the cell phone away. “Don’t worry, honey. I emailed it to myself.” His smile felt like a leer. “No one else will see it.” Unappeased by that promise, she glared at him. “You—!” “Now, Priss. Modesty at this late date is more than suspicious. You wanted my approval.” He shrugged—and struggled to keep his attention on her face and off the curves that showed even beneath the curtain she clutched to her chin. “You’ve got it, with my admiration, too.
Lori Foster (Trace of Fever (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #2))
I turn on my heel, which is no easy feat in a gravel parking lot. Not losing eye contact with Galen, I stare him down until I get to the door he's opened for me. He seems unconcerned. In fact, he seems downright emotionless. "This better be good," I tell him as I plop down. "You should have returned my calls. Or my texts," he says, his voice tight. As he backs out of the parking space, I yank my cell out of my purse, perusing the texts. "Well, doesn't look like anyone died, so why the hell did you ruin my date?" It's the first time I've ever cursed at royalty and it's liberating. "Or is this a kidnapping? Is Grom in the trunk? Are you taking us on our honeymoon?" You're supposed to be hurting him, not yourself, moron. My lip trembles like the traitor it is. Even though I'm looking away, I can tell Galen's impassive expression has softened because of the way he says, "Emma." "Leave me alone, Galen." He pulls my chin to face him. I knock his hand away. "You can't go forty miles an hour on the interstate, Galen. You need to speed up.” He sighs and presses the gas. By the time we reach a less-embarrassing speed, I’ve abandoned my hurt for rage-o-plenty, struck by the realization that I’ve turned into “that girl.” Not the one who exchanges her doctorate for some kids and a three-bedroom two-bath, but the other kind. That girl who exchanges her dignity and chances for happiness for some possessive loser who beats her when she makes eye contact with some random guy working the hot dog stand. Not that Galen beats me, but after his little show, what will people think? He acted like a lunatic tonight, stalking me to Atlantic City, blowing up my phone, and threatening my date with physical violence. He made serial-killer eyes, for crying out loud. That might be acceptable in the watery grave, but by dry-land standards, it’s the ingredients for a restraining order. And why are we getting off the interstate? “Where are you taking me? I told you I want to go home.” “We need to talk,” he says quietly, taking a dark road just off the exit. “I’ll take you home after I feel you understand.” “I don’t want to talk. You might have realized that when I didn’t answer your calls.” He pulls over on the shoulder of Where-Freaking-Are-We Street. Shutting off the engine, he turns to me, putting his arm around the back of my seat. “I don’t want to break up.” One Mississippi…two Mississippi…”You followed me like a crazy person to tell me that? You ruined my date for that? Mark is a nice guy. I deserve a nice guy, don’t I, Galen?” “Absolutely. But I happen to be a nice guy, too.” Three Mississippi…four Mississippi…”Don’t you mean Grom? And you’re not a nice guy. You threatened Mark with physical pain.” “You threw Rayna through a window. Call it even?” “When are you going to get over that? Besides, she provoked me!” “Mark provoked me, too. He put his hand on your leg. We won’t even talk about the kiss on your cheek. Don’t think I didn’t hear you give him permission either.” “Oh, now that’s rich,” I snort, getting out of the car. Slamming the door, I scream at him. “Now you’re acting jealous on behalf of your brother,” I say, spinning in place. “Can Grom do anything without the almighty Galen helping him?
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Well, you have to be near death to understand why life matters, otherwise, you don't have the perspective. You believe you have the time to put off that phone call you haven't made to your mother. You let an old argument fester. You fold down the page in a travel magazine and tell yourself one day, you'll get to Istanbul or Santorini or back to the town where you were born. You have the luxury of time, until you don't- and then it becomes clear what's most important.
Jodi Picoult (The Book of Two Ways)
I’m crossing our backyard to the Pearces’, trying to juggle the bag and the portable speakers and my phone, when I see John Ambrose McClaren standing in front of the tree house, staring up at it with his arms crossed. I’d know the back of his blond head anywhere. I freeze, suddenly nervous and unsure. I’d thought Peter or Chris would be here with me when he arrived, and that would smooth out any awkwardness. But no such luck. I put down all my stuff and move forward to tap him on the shoulder, but he turns around before I can. I take a step back. “Hi! Hey!” I say. “Hey!” He takes a long look at me. “Is it really you?” “It’s me.” “My pen pal the elusive Lara Jean Covey who shows up at Model UN and runs off without so much as a hello?” I bite the inside of my cheek. “I’m pretty sure I at least said hello.” Teasingly he says, “No, I’m pretty sure you didn’t.” He’s right: I didn’t. I was too flustered. Kind of like right now. It must be that distance between knowing someone when you were a kid and seeing them now that you’re both more grown-up, but still not all the way grown-up, and there are all these years and letters in between you, and you don’t know how to act. “Well--anyway. You look…taller.” He looks more than just taller. Now that I can take the time to really look at him, I notice more. With his fair hair and milky skin and rosy cheeks, he looks like he could be an English farmer’s son. But he’s slim, so maybe the sensitive farmer’s son who steals away to the barn to read. The thought makes me smile, and John gives me a curious look but doesn’t ask why. With a nod, he says, “You look…exactly the same.” Gulp. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? “I do?” I get up on my tiptoes. “I think I’ve grown at least an inch since eighth grade.” And my boobs are at least a little bigger. Not much. Not that I want John to notice--I’m just saying.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
Diana” was the first thing out of her mouth. “I’m dying,” the too familiar voice on the other end moaned. I snorted, locking the front door behind me as I held the phone up to my face with my shoulder. “You’re pregnant. You’re not dying.” “But it feels like I am,” the person who rarely ever complained whined. We’d been best friends our entire lives, and I could only count on one hand the number of times I’d heard her grumble about something that wasn’t her family. I’d had the title of being the whiner in our epic love affair that had survived more shit than I was willing to remember right then. I held up a finger when Louie tipped his head toward the kitchen as if asking if I was going to get started on dinner or not. “Well, nobody told you to get pregnant with the Hulk’s baby. What did you expect? He’s probably going to come out the size of a toddler.” The laugh that burst out of her made me laugh too. This fierce feeling of missing her reminded me it had been months since we’d last seen each other. “Shut up.” “You can’t avoid the truth forever.” Her husband was huge. I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t expect her unborn baby to be a giant too. “Ugh.” A long sigh came through the receiver in resignation. “I don’t know what I was thinking—” “You weren’t thinking.” She ignored me. “We’re never having another one. I can’t sleep. I have to pee every two minutes. I’m the size of Mars—” “The last time I saw you”—which had been two months ago—“you were the size of Mars. The baby is probably the size of Mars now. I’d probably say you’re about the size of Uranus.” She ignored me again. “Everything makes me cry and I itch. I itch so bad.” “Do I… want to know where you’re itching?” “Nasty. My stomach. Aiden’s been rubbing coconut oil on me every hour he’s here.” I tried to imagine her six-foot-five-inch, Hercules-sized husband doing that to Van, but my imagination wasn’t that great. “Is he doing okay?” I asked, knowing off our past conversations that while he’d been over the moon with her pregnancy, he’d also turned into mother hen supreme. It made me feel better knowing that she wasn’t living in a different state all by herself with no one else for support. Some people in life got lucky and found someone great, the rest of us either took a long time… or not ever. “He’s worried I’m going to fall down the stairs when he isn’t around, and he’s talking about getting a one-story house so that I can put him out of his misery.” “You know you can come stay with us if you want.” She made a noise. “I’m just offering, bitch. If you don’t want to be alone when he starts traveling more for games, you can stay here as long as you need. Louie doesn’t sleep in his room half the time anyway, and we have a one-story house. You could sleep with me if you really wanted to. It’ll be like we’re fourteen all over again.” She sighed. “I would. I really would, but I couldn’t leave Aiden.” And I couldn’t leave the boys for longer than a couple of weeks, but she knew that. Well, she also knew I couldn’t not work for that long, too. “Maybe you can get one of those I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up—” Vanessa let out another loud laugh. “You jerk.” “What? You could.” There was a pause. “I don’t even know why I bother with you half the time.” “Because you love me?” “I don’t know why.” “Tia,” Louie hissed, rubbing his belly like he was seriously starving. “Hey, Lou and Josh are making it seem like they haven’t eaten all day. I’m scared they might start nibbling on my hand soon. Let me feed them, and I’ll call you back, okay?” Van didn’t miss a beat. “Sure, Di. Give them a hug from me and call me back whenever. I’m on the couch, and I’m not going anywhere except the bathroom.” “Okay. I won’t call Parks and Wildlife to let them know there’s a beached whale—” “Goddammit, Diana—” I laughed. “Love you. I’ll call you back. Bye!” “Vanny has a whale?” Lou asked.
Mariana Zapata (Wait for It)
This is the definition of peace. The definition is interrupted by Toraf's ringtone. Why did Rachel get Toraf a phone? Does she hate me? Fumbling behind him in the sand, Galen puts a hand on it right before it stops ringing. He waits five seconds and...Yep, he's calling again. "Hello?" he whispers. "Galen, it's Toraf." Galen snorts. "You think?" "Rayna's ready to leave. Where are you?" Galen sighs. “We’re on the beach. Emma’s still sleeping. We’ll walk back in a few minutes.” Emma braved her mom’s wrath by skipping curfew again last night to be with him. Grom’s mating ceremony is tomorrow, and Galen and Rayna’s attendance is required. He’ll have to leave her in Toraf’s care until he gets back. “Sorry, Highness. I told you, Rayna’s ready to go. You have about two minutes of privacy. She’s heading your way. “The phone disconnects. Galen leans down and sweeps his lips over her sweet neck. “Emma,” he whispers. She sighs. “I heard him,” she groans drowsily. “You should tell Toraf that he doesn’t have to yell into the phone. And if he keeps doing it, I’m going to accidentally break it.” Galen grins. “He’ll get the hang of it soon. He’s not a complete idiot.” At this, Emma opens one eye. He shrugs. “Well, three quarters maybe. But not a complete one.” “Are you sure you don’t want me to come with you?” she says, sitting up and stretching. “You know I do. But I think this mating ceremony will be interesting enough without introducing my Half-Breed girlfriend, don’t you think?” Emma laughs and pulls her hair to one side, draping it over her shoulder. “This is our first time away from each other. You know, as a couple. We’ve only been really dating for two weeks now. What will I do without you?” He pulls her to him, leaning her back against his chest. “Well, I’m hoping that this time when I come back, it won’t be to the sight of you kissing Toraf.” The snickers beside them let them know their two minutes of privacy are up. “Yeah. Or someone’s gonna die,” Rayna says cordially. Galen helps Emma up and swats the leftover sand out of her sundress. He takes her hands into his. “Could I please just ask one thing without you getting all mad about it?” She scowls. “Let me guess. You don’t want me to get in the water while you’re gone.” “But I’m not ordering you to stay out of it. I’m asking, no begging, very politely, and with all my heart for you not to get in. It’s your choice. But it would make me the happiest man-fish on the coast if you wouldn’t.” They sense the stalker almost daily now. That and the fact that Dr. Milligan blew his theory about Emma’s dad being a Half-Breed out of the water makes Galen more nervous than he can say. It means they still don’t have any answers about who could know about Emma. Or why they keep hanging around. Emma rewards him with a breathtaking smile. “I won’t. Because you asked.” Toraf was right. I just had to ask. He shakes his head. “Now I can sleep tonight.” “That makes one of us. Don’t stay gone too long. Or Mark will sit by me at lunch.” He grimaces. “I’ll hurry.” He leans down to kiss her. Behind them, he hears Rayna’s initial splash. “She’s leaving without you,” Emma whispers on his lips. “She could have left hours ago and I’d still catch her. Good-bye, angelfish. Be good.” He places a forceful kiss on her forehead, then gets a running start and dives in. And he misses her already.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
My Truck Takes Diesel “‘In your anger do not sin’; Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” EPHESIANS 4:26–27 I know she thought she was helping me when my wife filled my truck with gas. The problem is that my truck is a diesel. Now she was phoning me to come rescue her because the truck wouldn’t start! I told her I was on my way, but all I could think about was what my wife’s actions were going to cost me—anything from draining the tank to replacing the engine. I wish I could say I was just a little frustrated, but the truth is I was angry. I prayed and asked Jesus to help me respond in the right way. Then, because I need to be accountable, I called one of my brothers in recovery and told him what had happened and how angry I was. When I saw my wife, the first words out of my mouth were, “I am so sorry this happened to you. I know this wasn’t in your plans today.” It felt good talking to my brother later and telling him that God had helped me with my anger and given me a good response when I saw my wife. I had acted on, rather than reacted to, a bad situation. It turned out the truck was fine. I drained the tank, put diesel in, and it started right up. The best part is that because I made a good choice, I won’t have to make amends. PRAYER Father, thank you for helping me choose to be kind and forgiving rather than rude and judgmental. Things always go better when I surrender to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
John Baker (Celebrate Recovery Daily Devotional: 366 Devotionals)
I can’t find out anything, but I’ve put together a network. I’ll find her.” “The thing is, she doesn’t want to be found. That isn’t going to make things any easier.” He didn’t want to ask, but he had to know. “Why doesn’t she want to be found?” “Because you’re marrying Audrey at Christmas,” Colby said simply. “I’m not marrying Audrey,” came the sort reply. “I never meant to marry Audrey. She outflanked me while I was getting used to the idea of being a media snack.” “Well, Cecily doesn’t know that,” Colby replied. “Great,” he muttered. “That’s just great. I leave the country and come home to find myself engaged to a woman I wouldn’t have, at any price!” “That’s not the only reason Cecily left,” Colby said tersely. “She knew you wouldn’t forgive her for not telling you about Matt Holden.” Tate ran a hand through his hair, missing the former length of it. “I’ve had a rough few weeks.” “So has she,” the other man said curtly. “She could have told me about my mother and Holden!” “Cecily gives her word and keeps it. There aren’t a lot of people on the planet who could make that claim. She promised the senator she wouldn’t tell you anything.” The senator. His father. Tate paced with the phone to his ear, his mind busy with possible places she might have gone to. “She might have told my mother where she was going.” “I’d bet good money that she didn’t,” Colby returned immediately. “She doesn’t want you to find her.” Tate stopped pacing. He scowled. “She doesn’t want me to find her?” “Actually, she doesn’t want any of us to find her. Especially you.” Tate’s eyes narrowed thoughtfully. “Any particular reason for that? Other than what I already know?” “Oh, boy.” Colby made a rough sound in his throat. “I still don’t think I should tell you. But if something should happen to her…” “Damn you, tell me!” Colby took a breath and went for broke. “All right. Cecily’s pregnant. That’s why she ran.” “You son of a bitch!” The phone slammed down so hard that Colby shuddered at the noise. He put the receiver down with a grimace. He shouldn’t have blown Cecily’s cover. But what else could he do? She was pregnant and alone and an attempt had been made on her life. It Tate wasn’t told, and Cecily was hurt or lost the baby, he might never get over it. That went double for Tate.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
AN INCOMPLETE LIST: No more diving into pools of chlorinated water lit green from below. No more ball games played out under floodlights. No more porch lights with moths fluttering on summer nights. No more trains running under the surface of cities on the dazzling power of the electric third rail. No more cities. No more films, except rarely, except with a generator drowning out half the dialogue, and only then for the first little while until the fuel for the generators ran out, because automobile gas goes stale after two or three years. Aviation gas lasts longer, but it was difficult to come by. No more screens shining in the half-light as people raise their phones above the crowd to take photographs of concert stages. No more concert stages lit by candy-colored halogens, no more electronica, punk, electric guitars. No more pharmaceuticals. No more certainty of surviving a scratch on one’s hand, a cut on a finger while chopping vegetables for dinner, a dog bite. No more flight. No more towns glimpsed from the sky through airplane windows, points of glimmering light; no more looking down from thirty thousand feet and imagining the lives lit up by those lights at that moment. No more airplanes, no more requests to put your tray table in its upright and locked position—but no, this wasn’t true, there were still airplanes here and there. They stood dormant on runways and in hangars. They collected snow on their wings. In the cold months, they were ideal for food storage. In summer the ones near orchards were filled with trays of fruit that dehydrated in the heat. Teenagers snuck into them to have sex. Rust blossomed and streaked. No more countries, all borders unmanned. No more fire departments, no more police. No more road maintenance or garbage pickup. No more spacecraft rising up from Cape Canaveral, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, from Vandenburg, Plesetsk, Tanegashima, burning paths through the atmosphere into space. No more Internet. No more social media, no more scrolling through litanies of dreams and nervous hopes and photographs of lunches, cries for help and expressions of contentment and relationship-status updates with heart icons whole or broken, plans to meet up later, pleas, complaints, desires, pictures of babies dressed as bears or peppers for Halloween. No more reading and commenting on the lives of others, and in so doing, feeling slightly less alone in the room. No more avatars.
Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven)
Put your glasses on mate ….. Come down from there, you’re gonna kill yourself …. Well, what does your Method Statement say? …. Right, let’s get you re-inducted. You need a reminder of site rules ….. Where are your outriggers, mate? ….. Put your glasses on ….. Put your glasses on …. Put your glasses on …. Oh, they steam up, do they? I’ve never heard that one before …. Where’s your mask? If you breathe this shit in you’re going to kill yourself. Silicosis is incurable ….. Right STOP! Do not reverse another inch without a banksman ….. Don’t put your glasses on just because you see me walk around the corner. They won’t protect MY eyes …. Hook yourself on, what’s the matter with you? Are all you scaffolders superhuman or something? ….. Put your glasses on ….. Oi! What stops me walking right in there? Where’s your barriers and signage? ….. Oi! I’m getting showered in fucking sparks here. And so is that can of petrol ….. Put your glasses on …. Where’s the flashback arrestor on this bottle of propane? ….. Hey, pal, stop welding until you’ve sheeted up ….. What are you doing climbing up there? Where’s your supervisor? What did he say about access in this morning’s Safe Start briefing? Nothing? Right, he can sit through another induction tomorrow ….. Where are the retaining pins to the joint clamps in this concrete pump line? SEAMUS! Fucking deal with this, will you? ….Put your glasses on …. Hey! Hey! Come here! Why have you got a nail instead of an ‘R’ clip to the quick-hitch system on your excavator bucket? NO! IT WON’T DO! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? If that bucket falls on someone they’re not going to get up again. And you trust a fucking nail to hold it in position! Take this machine out of service immediately until you’ve got the proper ‘R’ clip! ….. Put your glasses on …. Where’s the edge protection. Who removed the edge protection? Right, let me phone for a scaffolder ….. Put your glasses on ….. Oi! Get out from under there! Never, ever stand underneath a suspended load. Even if all the equipment’s been inspected, which it obviously has, you can never trust the crane driver. He can be taken ill suddenly ….. Come here, mate, let’s have a little chat. Why are you working on Fall Arrest? You’re supposed to be working on Fall Restraint (FR ‘restrains’ you going near the perimeter edge of the building, FA ‘arrests’ your fall if, well, if you fall. If you’re hanging off a building we’ve got less than ten minutes to reach you before you start going into toxic shock brought on by suspension trauma. In other words, we need a Rescue Plan, which is why we’d prefer people work on Fall Restraint)
Karl Wiggins (Dogshit Saved My Life)
I don't care if you use this phone tomorrow. I don't care if you never use it again. But you are going to keep it on you because one day you might need it." Andrew put a finger to the underside of Neil's chin and forced Neil's head up until they were looking at each other. "On that day you're not going to run. You're going to think about what I promised you and you're going to make the call. Tell me you understand." Neil's voice had left him, but he managed a nod. Andrew let go and snapped his phone shut. Neil closed his own with a quiet click. After looking down at it for another endless minute, he leaned over and put it in his messenger bag. Andrew watched with hooded eyes until Neil sat upright. Neil didn't want to look at him when he wasn't sure he'd gotten his expression back under control, but he couldn't help it. Andrew considered him a minute longer, then sighed and straightened out of Neil's space.
Nora Sakavic (The Raven King (All for the Game, #2))
Two seconds went by before I got a response. Lenny: The offer stands, bish. Lenny: You’re the best person I know, fyi. I smiled down at my phone. Me: I love you too Lenny: [eye rolling emoji] Lenny: I was texting you because Grandpa G is making margaritas and he was asking where you were. Me: Tell him I love him. Lenny: I will. You find Rip? Me: I’m watching him. Lenny: Stalker Me: He’s standing in front of me, I can’t help it. Lenny: Pretty sure that’s what every stalker thinks. I chanced another glance at the man and held back a sigh. Me: Sometimes I don’t understand why him. Lenny: Because he looks like he’s been in jail and that’s about as far away from what every jackass you’ve ever dated looks like? Lenny: Grandpa G says he loves you too and to come over and bring the girl with you if she’s around. I didn’t tell him you’re at the bar, otherwise he’d want to invite himself. You know how that man gets in public. I almost laughed at the first comment and definitely laughed at the second one. Rip did look like he’d done time. That was unfair, but it was the truth. For all I knew, he probably had. Then again, I was probably judging him by a face he had no say in. For all I knew, he had a marshmallow heart and rescued and rehabilitated small animals when he wasn’t at work. Deep down, he might have a caring and loving disposition that he only shared around very few people—people who had won his trust. You never knew. The idea of that put a small smile on my face and kept it there as I typed a message back, leaving the first comment alone. Me: I don’t know how much longer I’ll be here, but if I leave soon, I’ll drop by. Tell Grandpa G that the girl is working tonight. You’re all coming for the graduation, right? Lenny: Yes. I’m legit ready to cry this Saturday. Lenny: I’ve got the blow horn ready by the way. TOOT TOOT, bish. She wasn’t the only one preparing herself to cry this weekend, and that made me happy for some reason.
Mariana Zapata (Luna and the Lie)
There were aspects he wanted to understand. Like most laymen he thought of things in physical terms. As if the internet was a swimming pool, chock-full of floating tennis balls. The tennis balls representing individual web sites, naturally. Which is wrong, of course. Web sites are not physical things. The internet has no physical reality. It has no dimensions, and no boundaries. No up or down, no near or far. Although one might argue it has mass. Digital information is all ones and zeroes, which means memory cells are either charged or not charged. And charge is energy, so if one believes Einstein’s e=mc2, where e is energy, and m is mass, and c is the speed of light, then one must also believe that m equals e divided by c2, which is the same equation expressed differently, and which would imply that charge has detectable mass. The more songs and the more photos you put on your phone, the heavier it gets. Only by a trillion-billionth of the tiniest fraction of an ounce, but still.
Lee Child (Make Me (Jack Reacher, #20))
As the other startups do at the end of their presentations, Shen offers to the batch the expertise of his team's members: "Kalvin and Randy are developers," he says, and as for himself, he knows how to stay motivated in the face of rejection. "I've gotten rejected thirty days in a row," he says, a reference to his putting himself through "Rejection Therapy," in which one must make unreasonable requests so that one is rejected by a different person, at least once, every single day- inuring one to the pain of rejection. (One example of Shen's first bid to be rejected: he asked a flight attendant if he could move up to first class for free. In another case, he saw an attractive woman on the train and decided he would ask her for her phone number, and when she would turn him down, he would have fulfilled the day's required quota of rejection. He sat near her, fell into a conversation, and when they got off the train and he asked for her number, she said, "Sure." He categorized this as "Failed Rejection.") "So if you need to get pumped up for your sales calls, talk to me. p121
Randall E. Stross (The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups)
How did you find me?" "I've followed you for a long time." He must have mistaken the look on my face for alarm or fear, and said, "Not literally. I just mean I never lost track." But it wasn't fear, or anything like that. It was an instant of realization I'd have a lot in the coming days: I'd been thinking of him as coming back from the dead, but the fact was he'd been there all along. He'd been alive when I cried in my room over him being gone. He'd been alive when I started a new school without him, the day I made my first friend a Jones Hall, the time I ran into Ethan at the library. Cameron Quick and I had existed simultaneously on the planet during all of those moments. It didn't seem possible that we could have been leading separate lives, not after everything we'd been through together. "...then I looked you up online," he was saying, "and found your mom's wedding announcement from before you changed your name. I didn't even need to do that. It's easy to find someone you never lost." I struggled to understand what he was saying. "You mean...you could have written to me, or seen me, sooner?" "I wanted to. Almost did, a bunch of times." "Why didn't you? I wish you had." And I did, I wished it so much, imagined how it would have been to know all those years that he was there, thinking of me. "Things seemed different for you," he said, matter-of-fact. "Better. I could tell that from the bits of information I found...like an interview with the parents who were putting their kids in your school when it first started. Or an article about that essay contest you won a couple years ago." "You knew about that?" He nodded. "That one had a picture. I could see just from looking at you that you had a good thing going. Didn't need me coming along and messing it up." "Don't say that," I said quickly. Then: "You were never part of what I wanted to forget." "Nice of you to say, but I know it's not true." I knew what he was thinking, could see that he'd been carrying around the same burden all those years as me. "You didn't do anything wrong." It was getting cold on the porch, and late, and the looming topic scared me. I got up. "Let's go in. I can make coffee or hot chocolate or something?" "I have to go." "No! Already?" I didn't want to let him out of my sight. "Don't worry," he said. "Just have to go to work. I'll be around." "Give me your number. I'll call you." "I don't have a phone right now." "Find me at school," I said, "or anytime. Eat lunch with us tomorrow." He didn't answer. "Really," I continued, "you should meet my friends and stuff." "You have a boyfriend," he finally said. "I saw you guys holding hands." I nodded. "Ethan." "For how long?" "Three months, almost." I couldn't picture Cameron Quick dating anyone, though he must have at some point. If I'd found Ethan, I was sure Cameron had some Ashley or Becca or Caitlin along the way. I didn't ask. "He's nice," I added. "He's..." I don't know what I'd planned to say, but whatever it was it seemed insignificant so I finished that sentence with a shrug. "You lost your lisp." And about twenty-five pounds, I thought. "I guess speech therapy worked for both of us." He smiled. "I always liked that, you know. Your lisp. It was...you." He started down the porch steps. "See you tomorrow, okay?" "Yeah," I said, unable to take my eyes off of him. "Tomorrow.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
I Never Told You You can fill a book with everything I never said Or the lines of a poem Or an Empty pool Or an empty bedroom, the candles all blown out I never told you how the reflection of myself in your eyes Was the only mirror I could bear to look at Or how I fought every day To transfuse the girl I saw there with the girl I am I tried to breathe in the words you made me: beautiful good brave I tried to be them for you even though they were weighted with impossibility I never told you how I always feared the rough edges of myself were too sharp for you and how I fought everyday to blunt them To bring down the walls To let you in without cutting you because I could never bear to hurt you like the others did Every day a fierce pride roared in me I was so lucky to know the truth I was the beneficiary of your radiance I basked in it and felt special And if not for the pain of your solitude I would have been content to be the only one I never told you How your touch made me feel like laughing and crying and singing all at once How your hand passing over my skin where atrocities Had not yet sloughed off, Skin cells remembering the worst touches Was like a tide washing over the ruddy sand And leaving it whole and smooth You made my skin forget Gave me new memories New sensations that didn't drag the shadows from the past In your arms I could start again, Start over. There is no greater gift in all the world Than you to the wreckage that is me... I never told you How I longed to kiss away your every bruise until there was no evidence No ghosts of your own suffering To put your pieces back together Seal the cracks Vanish them like they never were And never, ever Leave a scar I never told you I would take your pain if I could I would drink it down And take my comfort In making you ache a little less For a little while Did I? I'll never know because I never told you that I loved you I love you I love you It's too lat to say it now The time has passed for words How pathetic and small and weak On the phone Or on a piece of paper Starving Without the force of my own vitality My voice My breath My blood singing n my veins for you To give them power They are lost I love you It's too late but I love you And I'm sorry I never told you.
Emma Scott (How to Save a Life (Dreamcatcher, #1))
I’m happy here, Tate. I’ll let you know when the baby comes,” she added quietly. “Certainly, you’ll have access to him any time you like.” Doors were closing. Walls were going up around her. He clenched his teeth together in impotent fury. “I want you,” he said forcefully, which was not at all what he wanted to say. “I don’t want you,” she replied, lying through her teeth. She wasn’t about to become an obligation again. She even smiled. “Thanks for coming to see about me. I’ll phone Leta when she and Matt come home from Nassau.” “They’re already home,” he said flatly. “I’ve been to make peace with them.” “Have you?” She smiled gently. “I’m glad. I’m so glad. It broke Leta’s heart that you wouldn’t speak to her.” “What do you think it’s going to do to her when she hears that you won’t marry the father of your child?” She gaped at him. “She…knows?” “They both know, Cecily,” he returned. “They were looking forward to making a fuss over you.” He turned toward the door, bristling with hurt pride and rejection. “You can call my mother and tell her yourself that you aren’t coming back. Then you can live here alone in the middle of ‘blizzard country,; and I wish you well.” He turned at the door with his black eyes flashing. “As for me, hell will freeze over before I come near you again!” He went out and slammed the door. Cecily stared after him with her heart in her throat. Why was he so angry that she’d relieved him of any obligations about the baby? He couldn’t want her for herself. If he had, if he’d had any real feeling for her, he’d have married her years ago. It was only the baby. She let the tears rush down her face again with pure misery as she heard the four-wheel drive roar out of the driveway and accelerate down the road. She hoped he didn’t run over anybody. Her hand went to her stomach and she remembered with anguish the look on his face when he’d put his big, strong hand over his child. She’d sent him away for the sake of his own happiness, didn’t he know that? She supposed it was just hurt pride that had caused his outburst. But she wished he hadn’t come. It would be so much harder to live here now that she could see him in this house, in these rooms, and be haunted by the memory of him all over again. He wouldn’t come back. She’d burned her bridges. There was no way to rebuild them.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Work" I laid telephone line, then cable when it came along. I pulled T-shirts off a silk-screen press. I cleaned offices in buildings thirty-five floors high. I filed the metal edges of grease fryers hot off a welding line. I humped sod in townhouse complexes, and when it became grass I cut it. I sorted mail. I washed police cars, and then I changed their oil. I installed remotes on gas meters so a truck could simply drive down the street and get the readings. I set posts and put up fences, wood and chain link. Five a.m. at the racetrack, I walked hot horses after their exercise. I bathed them. I mopped and swept aisles in a grocery store. Eventually, I stocked shelves. I corrected errors on mortgage papers for a bank. I racked tables in a pool hall. There’s more I’m not telling you. All of this befell me as an adult. As a kid, I cut neighbors’ lawns and delivered newspapers, and I watched after little kids while their parents worked. I painted houses. I collected frogs from ponds and sold them to pet stores. And so on. At fifteen, I went for a busboy position at an all-night diner, but they told me to come back when I turned sixteen. I did. Sometimes, on top of one, I took a second job. It gave me just enough time to sleep between the two. And eat. My father worked, harder than I did, and then he died. Then I worked harder. My mother said, “You’re the man of the house now.” I was seventeen. She kept an eye on me, to make sure I worked. I did. You've just read about all that. Eventually she died, too. I watched my social security numbers grow. I have a pretty good lump. I could leave it to somebody, a spouse or dependent. But there's no one. I have no plan to spend it, but I’ve paid into it. Today I quit my job, my jobs. I had them all written down, phone numbers too, and I called them. You should have seen me, dialing and dialing, crossing names off the list as I went. Some of them I called sounded angry. Some didn’t remember me, and a few didn’t answer. Others had answering machines, but I told the machines I quit anyway. I think about my father. How he worked. I sit by the phone now, after quitting all my jobs, and wish he could see this. A blank calendar on the wall. A single bulb hanging over my head, from a single cord, like the one he wrapped around his neck just before he died.
Michael Stigman
And here's a fantastic thing that would happen: this person that you had maybe seen at the gym for months, or weeks, or just today. And now he's writing his phone number down on a ripped off piece of paper (the front desks always had pens and paper for just such moments), and you fold it up and put it in your gym shorts. And later you take it out and unfold it and it is like he is there again. The slip of paper with the number on it has now been replaced with grindr and scruff and instagram but nothing - nothing, can be as exciting as walking back to your apartment and climbing the stairs and unlocking the door and reaching into your pocket and pulling out that tiny slip of paper and looking at his handwriting. How he writes his 7's, 4's, his 8's. And a little bit of him is there with you, and it's thrilling because this paper is a contract that tells you something happened. A moment, a brief moment recognising that you have been seen and this paper could hold your future. This could be the piece of paper you keep for 50 years, the paper you will show him when you're old and the excitement of that moment is long gone but something better is left in its place; a lifetime. 
Gary Janetti (Do You Mind If I Cancel?: Things That Still Annoy Me)
The one-eyed guy waited thirty seconds, and then dialed his desk phone, and when it was answered he said, “She met a guy off the train. It was late. She waited five hours for it. She brought the guy here and he took a room.” There was the plastic crackle of a question, and the one-eyed clerk said, “Another big guy. A mean son of a bitch. He busted my balls on the room rate. I gave him 106, in the back corner.” Another crackling question, and another answer: “Not from here. I’m in the office.” Another crackle, but this time a different tone and a different cadence. An instruction, not a question. The one-eyed guy said, “OK.” And he put the phone down and struggled to his feet, and stepped out of the office, and took the lawn chair from outside 102, which was empty, and dragged it to a spot on the blacktop where he could see his own door and 106’s equally. Can you see his room from there? had been the question, and Move your ass somewhere you can watch him all night had been the instruction, and the one-eyed guy always obeyed instructions, if sometimes a little reluctantly, as at that point, as he adjusted his angle and dumped his bulk down on the uncomfortable plastic. Outside, in the nighttime air. Not his preferred way of doing things.
Lee Child (Make Me (Jack Reacher, #20))
By seeing what triggers procrastination, and then making a plan to flip those triggers, doing your taxes becomes attractive. If I found myself putting off doing my taxes, I might sit down and make a plan to changes those triggers. For example, if the trigger is: • Boring: I go to my favorite café for an afternoon on Saturday to do my taxes over a fancy drink while doing some people watching. • Frustrating: I bring a book to the same café, and set a timer on my phone to limit myself to working on my taxes for thirty minutes—and only work for longer if I’m on a roll and feel like going on. • Difficult: I research the tax process to see what steps I need to follow, and what paperwork I need to gather. And I visit the café during my Biological Prime Time, when I’ll naturally have more energy. • Unstructured or Ambiguous: I make a detailed plan from my research that has the very next steps I need to take to do them. • Lacking in Personal Meaning: If I expect to get a refund, think about how much money I will get back, and make a list of the meaningful things I’ll spend that money on. • Lacking in Intrinsic Rewards: For every fifteen minutes I spend on my taxes, I set aside $2.50 to treat myself or reward myself in some meaningful way for reaching milestones.
Chris Bailey (The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy)
I suggest you stand slowly and walk out with my men,” Zrakovi said, tapping a napkin against his lying, two-faced mouth and putting a twenty on the table to cover the drinks. “If you make a scene, innocent humans will be injured. I have a Blue Congress cleanup team in place, however, so if you want to fight in public and damage a few humans, knock yourself out. It will only add to your list of crimes.” I stood slowly, gritting my teeth when Squirrel Chin patted me down while feeling me up and making it look like a romantic moment. He’d been so busy feeling the naughty bits that he missed both Charlie, sitting in my bag next to my foot, and the dagger attached to my inner forearm. Idiot. Alex would never have been so sloppy. If Alex had patted me down, he’d have found not only the weapons but also the portable magic kit. From the corner of my eye, I saw a tourist taking mobile phone shots of us. He’d no doubt email them to all his friends back home with stories of those crazy New Orleanians and their public displays of affection. I considered pretending to faint, but I was too badly outnumbered for it to work. Like my friend Jean Lafitte, whose help I could use about now, I didn’t want to try something unless it had a reasonable chance at succeeding. I also didn’t want to pull Charlie out and risk humans getting hurt. “Walk out the door onto Chartres and turn straight toward the cathedral.” Zrakovi pulled his jacket aside enough for me to see a shoulder holster. I hadn’t even known the man could hold a gun, although for all I knew about guns it could be a water pistol. The walk to the cathedral transport was three very long city blocks. My best escape opportunity would be near Jackson Square. When the muscular goons tried to turn me left toward the cathedral, I’d try to break and run right toward the river, where I could get lost among the wharves and docks long enough to draw and power a transport. Of course in order to run, I’d have to get away from the clinch of Dreadlocks and Squirrel Chin. Charlie could take care of that. I slipped the messenger bag over my head slowly, and not even Zrakovi noticed the stick of wood protruding from the top by a couple of inches. Not to be redundant, but . . . idiots. None of us spoke as we proceeded down Chartres Street, where, to our south, the clouds continued to build. The wind had grown stronger and drier. The hurricane was sucking all the humidity out of the air, all the better to gain intensity. I hoped Zrakovi, a Bostonian, would enjoy his first storm. I hoped a live oak landed on his head.
Suzanne Johnson (Belle Chasse (Sentinels of New Orleans #5))
It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time. Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control. I was stunned. Everyone was, I know that. It was hard to believe. The entire government, gone like that. How did they get in, how did it happen? That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn’t even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn’t even an enemy you could put your finger on. Look out, said Moira to me, over the phone. Here it comes. Here what comes? I said. You wait, she said. They’ve been building up to this. It’s you and me up against the wall, baby. She was quoting an expression of my mother’s, but she wasn’t intending to be funny. Things continued in that state of suspended animation for weeks, although some things did happen. Newspapers were censored and some were closed down, for security reasons they said. The roadblocks began to appear, and Identipasses. Everyone approved of that, since it was obvious you couldn’t be too careful. They said that new elections would be held, but that it would take some time to prepare for them. The thing to do, they said, was to continue on as usual.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale)
More than anything, we have lost the cultural customs and traditions that bring extended families together, linking adults and children in caring relationships, that give the adult friends of parents a place in their children's lives. It is the role of culture to cultivate connections between the dependent and the dependable and to prevent attachment voids from occurring. Among the many reasons that culture is failing us, two bear mentioning. The first is the jarringly rapid rate of change in twentieth-century industrial societies. It requires time to develop customs and traditions that serve attachment needs, hundreds of years to create a working culture that serves a particular social and geographical environment. Our society has been changing much too rapidly for culture to evolve accordingly. There is now more change in a decade than previously in a century. When circumstances change more quickly than our culture can adapt to, customs and traditions disintegrate. It is not surprising that today's culture is failing its traditional function of supporting adult-child attachments. Part of the rapid change has been the electronic transmission of culture, allowing commercially blended and packaged culture to be broadcast into our homes and into the very minds of our children. Instant culture has replaced what used to be passed down through custom and tradition and from one generation to another. “Almost every day I find myself fighting the bubble-gum culture my children are exposed to,” said a frustrated father interviewed for this book. Not only is the content often alien to the culture of the parents but the process of transmission has taken grandparents out of the loop and made them seem sadly out of touch. Games, too, have become electronic. They have always been an instrument of culture to connect people to people, especially children to adults. Now games have become a solitary activity, watched in parallel on television sports-casts or engaged in in isolation on the computer. The most significant change in recent times has been the technology of communication — first the phone and then the Internet through e-mail and instant messaging. We are enamored of communication technology without being aware that one of its primary functions is to facilitate attachments. We have unwittingly put it into the hands of children who, of course, are using it to connect with their peers. Because of their strong attachment needs, the contact is highly addictive, often becoming a major preoccupation. Our culture has not been able to evolve the customs and traditions to contain this development, and so again we are all left to our own devices. This wonderful new technology would be a powerfully positive instrument if used to facilitate child-adult connections — as it does, for example, when it enables easy communication between students living away from home, and their parents. Left unchecked, it promotes peer orientation.
Gabor Maté (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
When you first get down there, just let her talk,” Caroline said. She’d been unlucky enough to stop in that morning en route from the beach house, walking right into this maelstrom. Now we were in the bathroom, where I was devoting twice as much time as usual to brushing my teeth as I attempted to put off the inevitable. “Sit and listen. Don’t nod. Oh, and don’t smile. That really makes her mad.” I rinsed, then spit. “Right.” “You have to apologize, but don’t do it right off, because it seems really ungenuine. Let her blow it out of her system, and then say you’re sorry. Don’t make excuses, unless you have a really valid one. Do you?” “I was at the hospital,” I said, picking up the bottle of mouthwash. If I was going down, at least I’d have nice breath. “My friend was giving birth.” “Was there not a phone there?” she asked. “I called her!” I said. “An hour after you were supposed to be at the picnic,” she pointed out. “God, Caroline. Whose side are you on?” “Yours! That’s why I’m helping you, can’t you see?” She sighed impatiently. “The phone thing is so basic, she’ll go to that right off. Don’t even try to make an excuse; there isn’t one. You can always find a phone. Always.” I took in a mouthful of Listerine, then glared at her. “Tears help,” she continued, leaning against the doorjamb and examining her fingernails, “but only if they’re real. The fake cry only makes her more angry. Basically, you just have to ride it out. She’s always really harsh at first, but once she starts talking she calms down.” “I’m not going to cry,” I told her, spitting. “And, oh, whatever you do,” she said, “don’t interrupt her. That’s, like, lethal.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
May 19th 2031_ Eleven months before_ I opened my eyes to see darkness and the sound of my alarm beeping. 0400 hours. I turned it off and got up. I looked for my glasses on my bedside cabinet and put them on. "Alexa, Good morning roll," I said loudly in the dark room. The lights came on and the curtains opened, the speaker turned on and started playing my Spotify playlist. I slowly got dressed and made myself breakfast. After breakfast, I downed a 500ml bottle of zero coke. I leaned to one side and burped. I looked around my kitchen. The dark marble counter and white cupboards, walls and ceiling matched with each other. I looked outside the kitchen window at the traffic down below. I was about 6 floors high, if you were to jump off from that high, there is a very high chance you might die. And if you were lucky to survive, you would be immobilised from your broken legs and hip and ribs. I turned around and sat on the black leathery sofa and switched on the TV. I looked on Netflix at old World War Two films that I could watch before bed. I scrolled through the list. From 'Dunkirk' to 'Unbroken' to a lot more films. I chose a couple and switched the TV onto the news. The reporter said that there was a knife crime in Redding earlier. I sighed but was relieved that it wasn't me. It is a low chance that I would get murdered by someone or people with knives in England but it's still a possibility. I turned the TV off and looked at my phone. There was nothing new on Discord and nothing new on WhatsApp. I checked my Snapchat and opened a few Snaps from my friends at work. I took a selfie of myself in my apartment not working. I sent it off and was happy that I don't work on
John Struckman (2032: The Beginning)
Well, my epic freedom moment was short-lived, because I realized my cell phone was dead. I walked down the road to a gas station and asked if I could use the phone. I called Tracy and told her where I was and asked her to pick me up. When Tracy arrived I hopped in the car and the very first thing I said to her was “I gotta get home. I have to print out some TV guides and I need to write a letter to some of the guys in there.” She started laughing and when she could compose herself enough to talk said, “My sisters and I all said we guarantee Noah is going to come out of jail with new friends. He’s going to be friends with everybody.” I got home and immediately wrote a letter to Michael Bolton. I put my email address at the bottom. I printed out TV guides. I printed out crossword puzzles. I even printed a couple of pages of jokes and riddles and whatever would be fun to read and do and folded them up and put them in an envelope. All that was left to do was to write the address, put a stamp on the envelope, and put it in the mailbox. I put the envelope in the car in between the seat and the center console to take to the post office. I must have been distracted or had to do something else because the envelope sat there for months. Every so often I would look at it and go, Oh crap, I haven’t sent that yet. And then at some point I spilled something on it so I knew I would never send it now. I threw it out. To this day I’m worried that one day I’m going to be at the gas station in line and hear a voice behind me say, “I’m Michael Bolton and you never sent me my damn TV guide. You’re just like the rest.” He’s going to shank me in my side and that will be the end of the Noah Galloway story.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
By becoming the aggressor in sharing the good news of Christ with everyone in earshot, I became the one doing the influencing for good rather than the one being influenced for evil. I deduced that my Christianity is not about me but about Christ living through me. Jesus Christ represents everything that is truly good about me. Oddly enough, it started with a prank telephone call when I was seventeen. As I was studying the Bible one night, I had just said a prayer in which I asked God for the strength to be more vocal about my faith. All of a sudden, the phone rang and I answered. “Hello?” I asked. No one answered. “Hello?” I asked again. There was still silence on the other end. I started to hang up the phone, but then it hit me. “I’m glad you called,” I said. “You’re just the person I’m looking for.” Much to my surprise, the person on the other end didn’t hang up. “I want to share something with you that I’m really excited about,” I said. “It’s what I put my faith in. You’re the perfect person to hear it.” So then I started sharing the Gospel, and whoever was on the other end never said a word. Every few minutes, I’d hear a little sound, so I knew the person was still listening. After several minutes, I told the person, “I’m going to ask you a few questions. Why don’t you do one beep for no and two beeps for yes? We can play that game.” The person on the other end didn’t say anything. Undaunted by the person’s silence, I took out my Bible and started reading scripture. After a few minutes, I heard pages rustling on the other end of the phone. I knew the person was reading along with me! After a while, every noise I heard got me more excited! At one point, I heard a baby crying in the background. I guessed that the person on the phone was a mother or perhaps a babysitter. I asked her if she needed to go care for her child. She set the phone down and came back a few minutes later. I figured that once I started preaching, she would hang up the phone. But the fact that she didn’t got my adrenaline flowing. For three consecutive hours, I shared the message of God I’d heard from my little church in Luna, Louisiana, and what I’d learned by studying the Bible and listening to others talk about their faith over the last two years. By the time our telephone call ended, I was out of material! “Hey, will you call back tomorrow night?” I asked her. She didn’t say anything and hung up the phone. I wasn’t sure she would call me back the next night. But I hoped she would, and I prepared for what I was going to share with her next. I came across a medical account of Jesus’ death and decided to use it. It was a very graphic account of Jesus dying on a cross. Around ten o’clock the next night, the phone rang. I answered it and there was silence on the other end. My blood and adrenaline started pumping once again! Our second conversation didn’t last as long because I came out firing bullets! I worried my account of Jesus’ death was too graphic and might offend her. But as I told her the story of Jesus’ crucifixion--how He was sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate, beaten with leather-thonged whips, required to strip naked, forced to wear a crown of thorns on His head, and then crucified with nails staked through His wrists and ankles--I started to hear sobs on the other end of the phone. Then I heard her cry and she hung up the phone. She never called back. Although I never talked to the woman again or learned her identity, my conversations with her empowered me to share the Lord’s message with my friends and even strangers. I came to truly realize it was not about me but about the power in the message of Christ.
Jase Robertson (Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl)
This story begins when Tay’s daughter Emily, who was nearly seven, shouted to her that she was stuck on a jungle gym, that she needed help to get off. I told her to get down and, when she said she couldn’t, I suddenly felt furious. I thought she was being ridiculous—she could easily get down herself. I shouted, “Get down this minute!” She eventually did. Then she tried to hold my hand, but I was still furious, and I said no, and then she howled. Once we got home and made tea together she calmed down and I wrote off the whole thing to myself as “God, kids can be a pain.” Fast-forward a week: we’re at the zoo and there’s another jungle gym. Looking at it, I felt a flash of guilt. It obviously reminded Emily of the previous week too, because she looked up at me almost fearfully. I asked her if she wanted to play on it. This time, instead of sitting on a bench looking at my phone, I stood by the jungle gym and watched her. When she felt she’d got stuck, she held out her arms to me for help. But this time I was more encouraging. I said, “Put one foot there and the other there and grab that and you’ll be able to do it by yourself.” And she did. When she had got down, she said, “Why didn’t you help me last time?” I thought about it, and I said, “When I was little, Nana treated me like a princess and carried me everywhere, told me to ‘be careful’ all the time. It made me feel incapable of doing anything for myself and I ended up with no confidence. I don’t want that to happen to you, which is why I didn’t want to help when you asked to be lifted off the jungle gym last week. And it reminded me of being your age, when I wasn’t allowed to get down by myself. I was overcome with anger and I took it out on you, and that wasn’t fair.” Emily looked up at me and said, “Oh, I just thought you didn’t care.” “Oh no,” I said. “I care, but at that moment I didn’t know that I was angry at Nana and not at you. And I’m sorry.
Philippa Perry (The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read: (And Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did))
As I sat down to dinner in the dining room in my accustomed place, with Maxim at the head of the table, I pictured Rebecca sitting in where I sat now, picking up her fork for the fish, and then the telephone ringing and Frith coming into the room and saying “Mr. Favell on the phone, Madam, wishing to speak to you,” and Rebecca would get up from her chair with a quick glance at Maxim, who would not say anything, who would go on eating his fish. And when she came back, having finished her conversation, and sat down in her place again, Rebecca would begin talking about something different, in a gay, careless way, to cover up the little cloud between them. At first Maxim would be glum, answering in monosyllables, but little by little she would win his humor back again, telling him some story of her day, about someone she had seen in Kerrith, and when they had finished the next course he would be laughing again, looking at her and smiling, putting out his hand to her across the table. “What the devil are you thinking about?” said Maxim. I started, the color flooding my face, for in that brief moment, sixty seconds in time perhaps, I had so identified myself with Rebecca that my own dull self did not exist, had never come to Manderley. I had gone back in thought and in person to the days that were gone. “Do you know you were going through the most extraordinary antics instead of eating your fish?” said Maxim. “First you listened, as though you heard the telephone, and then your lips moved, and you threw half a glance at me. And you shook your head, and smiled, and shrugged your shoulders. All in about a second. Are you practicing your appearance for the fancy dress ball?” He looked across at me, laughing, and I wondered what he would say if he really knew my thoughts, my heart, and my mind, and that for one second he had been the Maxim of another year, and I had been Rebecca. “You look like a little criminal,” he said, “what is it?” “Nothing,” I said quickly, “I wasn’t doing anything.” “Tell me what you were thinking?
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
Hey, can I help you—whoa!” As he wheeled around and settled into his attack stance, the black human salesperson jumped back and put his palms up. “Forgive me,” Xcor muttered. At least he hadn’t outed one of his weapons. “No problem.” The handsome, well-dressed man smiled. “You looking for something specific?” Xcor glanced around, and nearly walked back to that fancy stairwell. “I require a new shirt.” “Oh, cool, you got a hot date?” “And pants. And socks.” Come to think of it, he never wore underwear. “And undergarments. And a jacket.” The salesman smiled and raised a hand as if he were going to clap his customer on the shoulder—but then caught himself as he clearly rethought the contact. “What kind of look are you going for?” he asked instead. “Clothed.” The guy paused like he wasn’t sure whether that was a joke. “Ah . . . okay, I can work with non-naked. Plus it’s legal. Come on with me.” Xcor followed, because he didn’t know what else to do—he’d gotten this ball rolling; there was no reason not to follow through. The man stopped in front of a display of shirts. “So I’m going to go with the it’s-a-date thing, unless you tell me otherwise. Casual? You didn’t mention a suit.” “Casual. Yes. But I want to look. . . .” Well, not like himself, at any rate. “Presentable.” “Then I think what you’re going to want is a button-down.” “A button-down.” The guy regarded him steadily. “You’re not from here, are you.” “No, I’m not.” “I can tell by the accent.” The salesman passed a hand over the dizzying array of folded-up squares with collars. “These are our traditional cuts. I can tell without measuring you that the European stuff isn’t going to do you right—you’re too muscled in the shoulders. Even if we could get the neck and arm size right, you’d bust out of them. Do you like any of these colors?” “I don’t know what to like.” “Here.” The man picked up a blue one that reminded Xcor of the backdrop on his phone. “This is good with your eyes. Not that I go that way—but you gotta work with what you got. Do you have any idea of your size?” “XXXL.” “We need to be a little more exact.
J.R. Ward (The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #12))
After we finished the interview Paul thanked me for my time and told me he thought I was great on the radio. He suggested I think about it as a career. I thanked him and said I’d consider it. But really all I was thinking about was Jamie. As soon as I got in my car I looked on my phone and saw I had a Facebook friend request from her. I felt schoolgirl giddy. I accepted the request and immediately called my Army buddy Max. Max is one of the guys who came with me on that first Tough Mudder. We are really close friends, and he’s someone I’ve always confided in. Just a few weeks before I had called and told him, “You know what? I’m done with women for the time being, but the next time I talk to a girl, I’m shooting out of my league.” So now I called Max and said, “I’ve met a girl way out of my league and I’m gonna take a shot.” I wasn’t good at asking women out and felt really nervous. I told Max she had sent me a friend request and he urged me to send her a private message on Facebook. I typed out a pretty long message and hit SEND. Then I finally put the keys in the ignition and left the radio station parking lot. Every red light I hit, I checked my phone to see if she had responded. She hadn’t. Why wasn’t she responding? Finally, I pulled over and looked again. The message hadn’t gone through! I panicked and called Max back. “What am I gonna do? What if I send another one and the first one is just floating through the Internet and it eventually goes through? Do I send another one? Do I make it sound exactly the same? I’m gonna look like a crazy person! What do I do? I don’t know what to do!” Max calmed me down again and I rewrote my original message. This time she responded. “Jamie, it was great meeting you and Paul today. Sorry you got stuck with a used bracelet. If I run into you again I will hook you up with a new one. You’ll just have to give that one back. They aren’t free. LOL. Take care.” She responded: “Ha ha. Actually, Noah Galloway, I got the one I wanted ;). Great to meet you, too. Love your story. Tragedy to triumph. I can’t imagine the number of people you inspire every day. Hope to run into you sooner rather than later.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
And then, with a shock like high-voltage coursing through me, the phone beside me started pealing thinly. I just stood there and stared at it, blood draining from my face. A call to a tollbooth? It must, it must be a wrong number, somebody wanted the Information Booth or-! It must have been audible outside, with all I had the slide partly closed. One of the redcaps passing by turned, looked over, then started coming across toward where I was. To get rid of him I picked up the receiver, put it to my ear. 'You'd better come out now, time's up,' a flat, deadly voice said. 'They're calling your train, but you're not getting on that one - or any other.' 'Wh-where are talking from?' 'The next booth to yours,' the voice jeered. 'You forgot the glass inserts only reach halfway down.' The connection broke and a man's looming figure was shadowing the glass in front of my eyes, before I could even get the receiver back on the hook. I dropped it full-length, tensed my right arm to pound it through his face as soon as I shoved the glass aside. He had a revolver-bore for a top vest-button, trained on me. Two more had shown up behind him, from which direction I hadn't noticed. It was very dark in the booth now, their collective silhouettes shut out all the daylight. The station and all its friendly bustle was blotted out, had receded into the far background, a thousand miles away for all the help it could give me. I slapped the glass wearily aside, came slowly out. One of them flashed a badge - maybe Crow had loaned him his for the occasion. 'You're being arrested for putting slugs in that phone. It won't do any good to raise your voice and shriek for help, try to tell people different. But suit yourself.' I knew that as well as he; heads turned to stare after us by the dozens as they started with me in their midst through the station's main-level. But not one in all that crowd would have dared interfere with what they mistook for a legitimate arrest in the line of duty. The one with the badge kept it conspicuously tilted in his upturned palm, at sight of which the frozen onlookers slowly parted, made way for us through their midst. I was being led to my doom in full view of scores of people. ("Graves For The Living")
Cornell Woolrich
If Jim was back at the imaginary dinner party, trying to explain what he did for a living, he'd have tried to keep it simple: clearing involved everything that took place between the moment someone started at trade — buying or selling a stock, for instance — and the moment that trade was settled — meaning the stock had officially and legally changed hands. Most people who used online brokerages thought of that transaction as happening instantly; you wanted 10 shares of GME, you hit a button and bought 10 shares of GME, and suddenly 10 shares of GME were in your account. But that's not actually what happened. You hit the Buy button, and Robinhood might find you your shares immediately and put them into your account; but the actual trade took two days to complete, known, for that reason, in financial parlance as 'T+2 clearing.' By this point in the dinner conversation, Jim would have fully expected the other diners' eyes to glaze over; but he would only be just beginning. Once the trade was initiated — once you hit that Buy button on your phone — it was Jim's job to handle everything that happened in that in-between world. First, he had to facilitate finding the opposite partner for the trade — which was where payment for order flow came in, as Robinhood bundled its trades and 'sold' them to a market maker like Citadel. And next, it was the clearing brokerage's job to make sure that transaction was safe and secure. In practice, the way this worked was by 10:00 a.m. each market day, Robinhood had to insure its trade, by making a cash deposit to a federally regulated clearinghouse — something called the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, or DTCC. That deposit was based on the volume, type, risk profile, and value of the equities being traded. The riskier the equities — the more likely something might go wrong between the buy and the sell — the higher that deposit might be. Of course, most all of this took place via computers — in 2021, and especially at a place like Robinhood, it was an almost entirely automated system; when customers bought and sold stocks, Jim's computers gave him a recommendation of the sort of deposits he could expect to need to make based on the requirements set down by the SEC and the banking regulators — all simple and tidy, and at the push of a button.
Ben Mezrich (The Antisocial Network: The GameStop Short Squeeze and the Ragtag Group of Amateur Traders That Brought Wall Street to Its Knees)
I’ve gotta go,” I say, scowling at my phone. “Now?” Ryder asks, tipping my chin up with one hand so that our eyes meet. “Unfortunately. It’s my mom. Lucy and Morgan are covering for me, but I’ve got to get back. I’m supposed to be at the drugstore.” “What are we going to tell them? Our moms, I mean?” I shake my head. “We can’t tell them anything. At least, not yet. Can you imagine the pressure they’d put on us if they knew? I mean, they already drive us nuts and they think we hate each other.” “You’re right. So…we keep it a secret?” “Not exactly. I’ve got to tell Lucy and Morgan. Just…not our parents, okay? Besides, think how fun it will be, sneaking around.” His eyes light with mischief. “Good point.” “Don’t go getting any naughty ideas,” I tease. “C’mon, walk me to my car.” He takes my hand and falls into step beside me, glancing down at me with a wicked grin. “What?” I ask. “Hey, you’re the one who brought up ‘naughty,’ not me.” I poke him playfully in the ribs. “I’ve got an idea,” he says. “Let’s pretend we’ve got to do a school project together. You know, say that we’ve been paired up against our will. We can make a big fuss about it--complain about having to spend so much time together.” “While we secretly do lots of naughty things?” I offer. He nods. “Exactly.” I shiver, imagining the possibilities. Suddenly, I’m looking forward to those Sunday dinners at Magnolia Landing. And to Christmas and the inevitable Cafferty-Marsden winter vacation. In fact, the rest of the school year looms ahead like a lengthy stretch of opportunities, no longer filled with uncertainty and doubt, but with the knowledge that I’m on the right path now…the perfect path. And like Nan suggested, I’m going to grab it. Embrace it. Hold on to it tightly--just like I’m holding on to this boy beside me. We reach my car way too quickly. I’m not ready to go, to leave him, to begin this necessary charade. I lean against my car’s door with a sigh, drawing Ryder toward me. His entire body is pressed against mine, firing every cell inside me at once. My knees go weak as he kisses me softly, his lips lingering on mine, despite the urgency. “Good night,” I whisper. “Good night,” he whispers back, his breath warm against my cheek. Oh man. It just about kills me to slip inside the car and turn the key in the ignition. I’m grinning to myself as I drive away, watching as Ryder becomes a speck in my rearview mirror before melting into the night.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
I tell Jack by accident. We’re talking on the phone about unprotected sex, how it isn’t good for people with our particular temperament, our anxiety like an incorrigible weed. He asks if I’ve had any sex that was “really stressful,” and out the story comes, before I can even consider how to share it. Jack is upset. Angry, though not at me. I’m crying, even though I don’t want to. It’s not cathartic, or helping me prove my point. I still make joke after joke, but my tears are betraying me, making me appear clear about my pain when I’m not. Jack is in Belgium. It’s late there, he’s so tired, and I’d rather not be having this conversation this way. “It isn’t your fault,” he tells me, thinking it’s what I need to hear. “There’s no version of this where it’s your fault.” I feel like there are fifty ways it’s my fault. I fantasized. I took the big pill and the small pill, stuffed myself with substances to make being out in the world with people my own age a little bit easier. To lessen the space between me and everyone else. I was hungry to be seen. But I also know that at no moment did I consent to being handled that way. I never gave him permission to be rough, to stick himself inside me without a barrier between us. I never gave him permission. In my deepest self I know this, and the knowledge of it has kept me from sinking. I curl up against the wall, wishing I hadn’t told him. “I love you so much,” he says. “I’m so sorry that happened.” Then his voice changes, from pity to something sharper. “I have to tell you something, and I hope you’ll understand.” “Yes?” I squeak. “I can’t wait to fuck you. I hope you know why I’m saying that. Because nothing’s changed. I’m planning how I’m going to do it.” “You’re going to do it?” “All different ways.” I cry harder. “You better.” I have to go put on a denim vest for a promotional appearance at Levi’s Haus of Strauss. I tell Jack I have to hang up now, and he moans “No” like I’m a babysitter wrenching him from the arms of his mother who is all dressed up for a party. He’s sleepy now. I can hear it. Emotions are exhausting to have. “I love you so much,” I tell him, tearing up all over again. I hang up and go to the mirror, prepared to see eyeliner dripping down my face, tracks through my blush and foundation. I’m in LA, so bring it on, universe: I can only expect to go down Lohan style. But I’m surprised to find that my face is intact, dewy even. Makeup is all where it ought to be. I look all right. I look like myself.
Lena Dunham (Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned")
You want to kiss her, right?” “What?” I have lost track of our conversation. I was thinking about how if Kit called me her friend, then I would have multiplied my number of them by a factor of two. And then I considered the word flirting, how it sounds like fluttering, which is what butterflies do. Which of course looped me back to chaos theory and my realization that I’d like to have more information to provide Kit on the topic. “Do. You. Want. To. Kiss. Her?” Miney asks again. “Yes, of course I do. Who wouldn’t want to kiss Kit?” “I don’t want to kiss Kit,” Miney says, doing that thing where she imitates me and how I answer rhetorical questions. Though her intention is to mock rather than to educate, it’s actually been a rather informative technique to demonstrate my tendency toward taking people too literally. “Mom doesn’t want to kiss Kit. I don’t know about Dad, but I doubt it.” My father doesn’t look up. His face is buried in a book about the mating patterns of migratory birds. It’s too bad our scholarly interests have never overlapped. Breakfast would be so much more interesting if we could discuss our work. “So if you want to kiss Kit, that means you want her to see you like a real guy,” Miney says, and points at me with her cup of coffee. She’s drinking it black. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with Miney. Maybe she’s just tired. “I am a real guy.” How come even my own sister sees me as something not quite human? Something other. “I have a penis.” “And just when I think we’ve made progress you go and mention your penis.” “What? Fact: I have a penis. That makes me a guy. Though technically there are some trans people who have penises but self-identify as girls.” “Please stop saying that word.” “What word? Penis?” “Yes.” “Do you prefer member? Shlong? Wang? Johnson?” I ask. “Dongle, perhaps?” “I would prefer we not discuss your man parts at all.” “Wait, should I text Kit immediately and clarify that I do in fact have man parts?” I pick up my phone and start typing. “Dear Kit. Just to be clear. I have a penis.” “Oh my God. Do not text her. Seriously, stop.” Miney puts her coffee down hard. She’ll climb over the table and tackle me if she has to. “Ha! Totally got you!” I smile, as proud as I was the other day for my that’s what she said joke. “Who are you?” Miney asks, but she’s grinning too. I’ll admit it takes a second—something about the disconnect between her confused tone and her happy face—and I almost, almost say out loud: Duh, I’m Little D. Instead I let her rhetorical question hang, just like I’m supposed to
Julie Buxbaum (What to Say Next)
He moved his lips to my cheek, to my ear, back to my mouth. I had never been kissed like this in my life. Each time I thought I should protest because there were so many unsettled matters between us, Hunter kissed me harder, forcing those concerns out of my mind. The cold air heated up around us. He unsnapped the top of my jacket and slipped his hand inside. His warm palm cupped my breast beneath my shirt. Then he straightened, blinking at me, and pulled his hand away. “What is it?” I asked. “Okay,” he panted. “I’m going to kick myself for this in the morning, but I don’t want to do this while I’m drunk. And I don’t want to do it behind the stable. I want everything to be perfect between you and me.” He stroked my hair away from my face. “Are you mad?” “Mad?” I squeaked. “No. Horny? Yes. Frustrated?” “Yes.” He set his forehead against mine. “Yes,” I agreed. “Mad? No.” He watched me with serious eyes. His gaze fell to my chest. He fastened the snaps he’d unfastened a few moments before, then put his hands on my shoulders. “I’m just so thankful we’re finally together.” “Me, too,” I whispered. I felt uncomfortable saying this. I wished I had a cell phone so I could call Summer for verification that I was not making a terrible mistake. But she would yell at me and tell me to stop being stupid. I did not need her permission to fall in love. He kissed me on the forehead, then stood, holding out his hand to me. “I’ll walk you home.” I took his hand and swung it as we rounded the stable again, back the way we’d come. “I’ll walk you home,” I said. With his other hand he gestured toward the top of my grandmother’s mansion, just visible over the rise. “I’m not leaving you wandering around in the night with all these drunk people and, my God, Whitfield Farrell and his fucking bowl.” I giggled. It made me insanely happy that he was jealous of Whitfield Farrell. “You’re drunk, though. You might stumble into the road and get hit by a car.” “They will be sorry,” he said. “I will dent their car. I am strong like an ox.” I burst into laughter, and he laughed with me. He was so handsome in the gentle starlight, and he looked so happy. I couldn’t remember ever being this happy myself. I was still nearly broke and my grandmother hated me and I had a history paper due Monday that I hadn’t started writing, but I could handle all of this with Hunter laughing beside me. I squeezed his warm hand. “I’ll cross back through the pasture if it makes you feel better.” Dropping my hand, he draped his arm around me and pulled me close for another kiss on the forehead. He walked me all the way down to his house, backed me against the front door, and thoroughly kissed me good night.
Jennifer Echols (Love Story)
His phone dinged again. “This crazy-ass voicemail. It’s all jacked—Wait, when did you call me?” “Please don’t listen to that,” I blurted. He grinned. “Okay, now I have to hear it. Was this last night? Were you drunk? Did you drunk-dial me?” he teased. But it was too late, he’d already lifted the phone. Bile rose in my throat and the room became a thousand degrees hotter. “Please. Don’t.” “Why? What’s wrong?” He grew quiet and listened. “I don’t hear anything. Wait. You didn’t mean to call, did you? Is that another guy?” I put my face in my hands. Cade was quiet as he listened. And I prayed for a giant black hole to open and swallow me. His phone made a soft thump as he tossed it onto the coffee table. The couch moved with him as he settled back. “You can uncover your face now.” His tone didn’t sound angry but I still couldn’t face him. His hands slid around my wrists and gently tugged, forcing me to lower them. I swallowed the lump in my throat, annoyed that I didn’t even have my own car to leave. “Was that your roommate?” he asked. I nodded, my face still tucked down. “And…her boyfriend?” “No, her best friend.” “So you told your roommate about me?” I could hear the smile in his voice and looked up. “I mean, I assume you don’t know a bunch of ‘therapy dog’ guys named Cade, but I could be wrong.” “You aren’t pissed about what you heard?” “All I heard were some friends teasing you…about me. They think you want me. Bad.” He grinned. “And what I said?” “Were you serious? Because to me you sounded annoyed, maybe even defensive. And considering you stayed home last night and are with me tonight, I don’t think you really planned a, how did you put it? ‘Weekend fuckfest.’ ” He bit back a smile. “You were never supposed to hear that.” I crossed my arms. “And I expected you to be upset, not tease me about it.” He grabbed my hand. “C’mon, I’m sorry. Did you want to have a weekend fuckfest? I don’t want to interfere with your plans.” He tugged my hand, urging me to look up. “Look, we can have one. I’m game. Don’t stop on account of me.” “Shut up.” His hand made its way to my arm and he slid me along the leather couch, and tucked me into him. “Quit being all grumpy. I’m RSVPing to your fuckfest. I mean, I’ve never had one, but it seems pretty self-explanatory.” “You’re an asshole.” And by that I really meant the most perfect fucking guy ever. Who hears something like that and plays it totally cool? “So, am I also supposed to bend you over a table or something? Because I think your roommate might have mentioned that as well.” I shoved him back while trying hard not to smile. “I hate you.” He laughed and scooped me into his lap. “If it makes you feel any better, my roommate knows I have the hots for you too.” I rolled my eyes
Renita Pizzitola (Just a Little Flirt (Crush, #2))
Please give me another chance!” Breathing hard, I waited for a light to come on, a door to open, a sign that she still loved me . . . but the house remained dark and silent. Crickets chirped. I glanced over at the girls, who seemed just as distraught as I was. They looked at each other, and then back at me. That’s when I heard a feminine voice come out of the darkness behind me. “Hey Winnie? Yeah, it’s Audrey. There’s some guy across the street yelling at the Wilsons’ house, but I think he’s talking to you.” Oh, fuck. Horrified, I spun around on my knees. A teenage couple stood under a front porch light at a home across the street. The girl was talking into her phone. “Dude,” the guy called out. “I think you’re at the wrong house.” Fuck. Me. Behind the couple, the front door opened and a barrel-chested man came storming out the front door wearing jeans, a USMC sweatshirt, and a scowl. “What’s going on out here? Who’s shouting?” “That guy over there is telling Winnie that he’s sorry and he loves her, but he’s at the wrong house,” said the girl. “I feel really bad for him.” “What?” The man’s chest puffed out further and he squinted in my direction. Then Winnie’s mom appeared on the porch, pulling a cardigan around her. “Is everything okay?” No. Everything was not okay. “Who is that guy?” her dad asked, and by his tone I could tell what he meant was, Who is that fucking idiot? “Is it Dex?” Frannie leaned forward and squinted. “Is that you, Dex?” “Yeah. It’s me.” I’d never wanted a sinkhole to open up and swallow me as badly as I did at that moment. If my kids hadn’t been there, I might have taken off on foot. Just then, a car pulled into their driveway, and my stomach lurched when Winnie jumped out of the passenger side. Her friend Ellie got out of the driver’s side and looked back and forth between Winnie and me. “Holy shit,” she said. “Dex?” Winnie started walking down the drive and stopped at the sidewalk, gaping at me kneeling in the spotlight from the streetlamp above. “What on earth are you doing?” “Hi, Winnie!” Hallie and Luna started jumping up and down and waving like mad. “Hi!” And then, because apparently there wasn’t a big enough audience, another car pulled up in front of the MacAllisters’ house, and a second teenage girl jumped out. “Bye!” she yelled, waving as the car drove off. Then she noticed everyone outside. “Oh, crap. Did I miss curfew or something?” “No,” the first teenage girl said, hopping down from the porch. “Omigod, Emmeline, this is amazing. Kyle was just leaving when this man pulled up, jumped out of his car, and starts shouting to Winnie that he loves her and he wants another chance—but he was yelling at the Wilsons’ house, not ours. Not that it mattered, because she wasn’t even here.” “Audrey, be quiet!” Winnie put her hands on her head. “Dex. What is this? Why are you on your knees?” “We told him to do that!” Hallie shouted proudly. “Because that’s what the ogre would do!
Melanie Harlow (Ignite (Cloverleigh Farms, #6))
Soon after I arrived on the island I had a run-in with my son’s first grade teacher due to my irreverent PJ sense of humor. When Billy lost a baby tooth I arranged the traditional parentchild Tooth Fairy ritual. Only six years old, Billy already suspected I was really the Tooth Fairy and schemed to catch me in the act. With each lost tooth, he was getting harder and harder to trick. To defeat my precocious youngster I decided on a bold plan of action. When I tucked him in I made an exaggerated show of placing the tooth under his pillow. I conspicuously displayed his tooth between my thumb and forefinger and slid my hand slowly beneath his pillow. Unbeknownst to him, I hid a crumpled dollar bill in the palm of my hand. With a flourish I pretended to place the tooth under Billy’s pillow, but with expert parental sleight of hand, I kept the tooth and deposited the dollar bill instead. I issued a stern warning not to try and stay awake to see the fairy and left Billy’s room grinning slyly. I assured him I would guard against the tricky fairy creature. I knew Billy would not be able to resist checking under his pillow. Sure enough, only a few minutes later he burst from his room wide-eyed with excitement. He clutched a dollar bill tightly in his fist and bounced around the room, “Dad! Dad! The fairy took my tooth and left a dollar!” I said, “I know son. I used my ninja skills and caught that thieving fairy leaving your room. I trapped her in a plastic bag and put her in the freezer.” Billy was even more excited and begged to see the captured fairy. I opened the freezer and gave him a quick glimpse of a large shrimp I had wrapped in plastic. Viewed through multiple layers of wrap, the shrimp kind of looked like a frozen fairy. I stressed the magnitude of the occasion, “Tooth fairies are magical, elusive little things with their wings and all. I think we are the first family ever to capture one!” Billy was hopping all over the house and it took me quite awhile to finally calm him down and get him to sleep. The next day I got an unexpected phone call at work. My son’s teacher wanted to talk to me about Billy, “Now what?” I thought. When I arrived at the school, Billy’s teacher met me at the door. Once we settled into her office, she explained she was worried about him. Earlier that day, Billy told his first grade class his father had killed the tooth fairy and had her in a plastic bag in the freezer. He was very convincing. Some little kids started to cry. I explained the previous night’s fairy drama to the teacher. I was chuckling—she was not. She looked at me as if I had a giant booger hanging out of a nostril. Despite the look, I could tell she was attracted to me so I told her no thanks, I already had a girlfriend. Her sputtering red face made me uncomfortable and I quickly left. Later I swore Billy to secrecy about our fairy hunting activities. For dinner that evening, we breaded and fried up a couple dozen fairies and ate them with cocktail sauce and fava beans.
William F. Sine (Guardian Angel: Life and Death Adventures with Pararescue, the World's Most Powerful Commando Rescue Force)
The door was still open, so I shut it and was returning to my desk when I braked. There was a backpack resting on the other side of my desk chair. It wasn’t mine. It wasn’t Missy’s. I was pretty sure it wasn’t Holly’s or the cousin’s. “Shit,” I muttered under my breath. “Huh?” she barked, her head swinging around to me. A quick glance confirmed what I already knew. She was drunk. “Nothing.” She pulled out one of her shirts, but it wasn’t her normal pajama top. She was really drunk. I picked up Shay’s bag and checked the contents to make sure it was his. It was. I saw his planner with his name scrawled at the top, so I zipped that bag and put it in the back of my closet. No one needed to go through it. I didn’t think Missy would, but I just never knew. Dropping into my chair, I picked up my phone to text Shay as Missy fell to the floor. I looked up to watch. I couldn’t not see this. I was tempted to video it, but I was being nice. For once. As Missy wrestled with her jeans and lifted them over her head to throw into her closet, I texted Shay. Me: You left your bag here. Missy let out a half-gurgled moan and a cry of frustration at the same time. She didn’t stand, instead crawling to the closet. She grabbed another pair of pants. Those weren’t her pajamas, either. As she pulled them on—or tried since her feet kept eluding the pants’ hole—my phone buzzed back. Coleman: Can I pick it up in the morning? I texted back. Me: When? Missy got one leg in. Success. I wanted to thrust my fist in the air for her. My phone buzzed again. Coleman: Early. My playbook is in there. I groaned. Me: When is early? I’m in college, Coleman. Sleeping in is mandatory. Coleman: Nine too early for you? I can come back to get it now. Nine was doable. Me: Let’s do an exchange. You bring me coffee, and I’ll meet you at the parking lot curb with your bag. Coleman: Done. Decaf okay? I glared at my phone. Me: Back to hating you. Coleman: Never stop that. The world’s equilibrium will be fucked up. I have to know what’s right and wrong. Don’t screw with my moral compass, Cute Ass. Oh, no! No way. Me: Third rule of what we don’t talk about. No nicknames unless they reconfirm our mutual dislike for each other. No Cute Ass. His response was immediate. Coleman: Cunt Ass? A second squeak from me. Me: NO! I could almost hear him laughing. Coleman: Relax. I know. Clarke’s Ass. That’s how you are in my phone. The tension left my shoulders. Me: See you in the morning. 9 sharp. Coleman: Night. I put my phone down, but then it buzzed once again. Coleman: Ass. I was struggling to wipe this stupid grin off my face. All was right again. I plugged my phone in, pulled my laptop back toward me, and sent a response to Gage’s email. I’ll sit with you, but only if we’re in the opposing team’s section. He’d be pissed, but that was the only way. I turned the computer off, and by then Missy was climbing up the ladder in a bright pink silk shirt. The buttons were left buttoned, and her pajama bottoms were a pair of corduroy khakis. I was pretty sure she didn’t brush her teeth, but before my head even hit the pillow, she was snoring
Tijan (Hate to Love You)
Excuse me, sir.” One the young officers put his hand up to stop them. “Are you Furious Barkley?” “Maybe. Maybe not. Is there a problem, officers?” Doug stepped in front of Furi. “Damn straight there’s a problem.” Syn stepped inside the door, yanking his dark aviator glasses off his face. The scowl he wore told Furi this was not a pleasant coincidence. “Thanks guys, you can go.” Furi stood with his mouth hanging open while Syn dismissed the officers. “Seriously, Starsky. You gonna track my boy down every time he leaves the house?” Doug said angrily, still blocking Furi. “He’s not your boy. And what I do regarding Furi is none of your goddamn business.” Syn’s clenched jaw made his words sound like an evil hiss. He shouldered past Doug and got directly in Furi’s face. “When I’ve been calling him for over six hours and he hasn’t picked up or returned any of my calls, I’ll send a fuckin’ SWAT team to find him if I want to.” Syn spun and pointed his finger in Doug’s face, “That’s my say, not yours.” Syn’s voice was rising with his growing temper, and all eyes were on them. “Okay, let’s get out of here.” Furi pushed at both men, urging them out the door. As soon as they were out in the brisk fall air, Syn rounded on Furi, pushing their chest together. “Where have you been, Furious? I’ve been going crazy trying to check on you, and you’re sitting here casually eating pancakes,” Syn growled. “Hey, back up, man.” Doug tried to wedge in between Furi and Syn. Syn looked up in annoyance. “Doug, I swear, if you touch me, I’m gonna ensure that you never regain the use of that hand.” “Okay, okay.” Furi put both hands flat on Syn’s chest, feeling his rapid heartbeat underneath all that muscle. Fuck. He really was scared. What was I thinking turning off my phone with everything that’s going on? “Syn. I’m so sorry. I turned my phone off because–” “You don’t owe him an explanation. You’re a grown man, Furious. You were having a business meeting; he has no right to demand you be available to him at all times, just like Patrick.” Furi and Syn both snapped at Doug. But Furi took control. “Hey! Don’t you ever say that again. This man is nothing like that asshole.” Furi shook his head at the absurdity of Doug’s accusation. “Don’t even say his name in the same sentence as Patrick’s.” Doug looked at Furi as if he were a stranger. “Doug, you don’t know everything that’s been going on. But I promise I’ll catch you up, okay? Then you’re going to feel pretty shitty about what you just said about Syn.” Furi nodded his head. “Go home. I’ll call you when I’m back at Syn’s place.” “You’re staying with him?” Doug yelled. “Doug. You know it’s not safe at my place,” Furi said softly, his eyes pleading with his friend for him to understand. “Then you should come to stay with me. I don’t trust this guy!” “This is fuckin’ crazy,” Syn snarled. “I know you’re his friend, but you’re sounding more pissed than a friend should be.” “Don’t try to read me, Detective. Furi is my best friend, and I’ve had his back since the first day he got here.” Doug wasn’t backing down from Syn’s intimidating posture. Syn’s dark glasses were back on, creating a perfectly badass look with his black leather coat and boots. All the hardware Syn had tucked under his arms and the shiny badge hanging around his neck was a sight right out of a sexy cop porno.
A.E. Via
Get dressed. We’re going hunting,” he says randomly. In my half-woke state, I feel like I’ve missed something crucial, because I don’t understand how those words are supposed to make sense. “I’m sorry, but what?” I ask, sipping the coffee like the lack of caffeine is the reason I heard him wrong. “We’re going hunting. Emit has some rogue, unregistered wolves who’ve just done something heinous and stupid, and we’re taking you with us, apparently.” “I don’t want to hunt wolves,” I point out, taking a step back, since he’s acting very un-Vance-like. “I don’t want you to hunt wolves, but apparently you’re going with us, or you’re going with him,” he says bitterly, glancing over his shoulder to where there’s a large SUV. Emit’s behind the wheel, smirking like he’s proud of all this. “Yeah, no. Thanks for the offer,” I say as I shut the door…and lock it. I sip my coffee again, as Lemon drinks hers in the kitchen. Her phone rings, and she stands and answers it, while I go to the fridge in search of something to eat. I hear the door unlocking, and look over my shoulder, as Lemon gives me a very unapologetic grin. “Sorry,” she says, confusing me. “But he’s still my alpha.” Emit walks in, filling up my doorway, before he grins over at me in a way that’s sort of…scary. “It’s not really optional,” he says before he stalks to me so fast I don’t have time to react, and I’m unceremoniously slung over his shoulder. My breath comes out in a surprised rush, and I bounce against him as my mind comes to terms with why the world has tipped upside down. Ingrid comes down the stairs with a small bag, giving me a shitty excuse for a contrite smile. “I’ll remember this,” I tell the traitorous omegas dryly, as they give me a little wave and send me on my way like this is a planned vacation. I don’t really put up a fight. I’ve never seen Emit actually determined to do anything, but clearly I’m outnumbered and out wolfed on this one... I allow a small smile as I’m dropped to my feet, and then wipe the smile away because I’m supposed to be annoyed... I climb in as my backpack and small duffel finish flopping to a stop, and close my robe a little more before digging for my boots. “We’ve got everything here under control! Don’t worry about deliveries or the store,” Leiza calls very excitedly, bouncing on her feet. “This is a hunting trip to kill things, right?” I ask Vance directly, though my eyes are on the very happy omegas, who are animatedly waving from the porch now. “Yes,” he states in a tone that assures me he’s not one bit happy I’m here. “Why are they treating it like I’m going on spring break?” I ask, genuinely concerned about their level of enthusiasm. I thought they were a little saner than this. Emit snorts, but clears his expression quickly. “Do I want to know what spring break is a euphemism for?” Vance asks Emit. “You’re really that old?” I groan. “Do you know how long a century is?” Vance asks me dryly. “I averaged a C on vocab tests, so yeah,” I retort, matching his condescension. Emit releases a rumble of laughter, as his body shakes with the force. Then he pulls out and begins to drive us off on our hunt. I’m so not adjusting this fast, but it seems I have no choice in the matter. It’s like a snowball rolling downhill, gaining size and momentum. Either I’ll boulder through anything when I reach the bottom, or I’ll simply go splat into a mountainside. “Do you know how quickly the vernacular shifts and accents devolve, evolve, or simply cease to exist?” Vance asks me. Now I feel a little talked down to. “No.” “I swear he used to be fun,” Emit tells me, smiling at me through the rearview
Kristy Cunning (Gypsy Origins (All The Pretty Monsters #3))
The Raisin meditation2 Set aside five to ten minutes when you can be alone, in a place, and at a time, when you will not be disturbed by the phone, family or friends. Switch off your cell phone, so it doesn’t play on your mind. You will need a few raisins (or other dried fruit or small nuts). You’ll also need a piece of paper and a pen to record your reactions afterward. Your task will be to eat the fruit or nuts in a mindful way, much as you ate the chocolate earlier (see p. 55). Read the instructions below to get an idea of what’s required, and only reread them if you really need to. The spirit in which you do the meditation is more important than covering every instruction in minute detail. You should spend about twenty to thirty seconds on each of the following eight stages: 1. Holding Take one of the raisins (or your choice of dried fruit or nuts) and hold it in the palm of your hand, or between your fingers and thumb. Focusing on it, approach it as if you have never seen anything like it before. Can you feel the weight of it in your hand? Is it casting a shadow on your palm? 2. Seeing Take the time really to see the raisin. Imagine you have never seen one before. Look at it with great care and full attention. Let your eyes explore every part of it. Examine the highlights where the light shines; the darker hollows, the folds and ridges. 3. Touching Turn the raisin over between your fingers, exploring its texture. How does it feel between the forefinger and thumb of the other hand? 4. Smelling Now, holding it beneath your nose, see what you notice with each in-breath. Does it have a scent? Let it fill your awareness. And if there is no scent, or very little, notice this as well. 5. Placing Slowly take the object to your mouth and notice how your hand and arm know exactly where to put it. And then gently place it in your mouth, noticing what the tongue does to “receive” it. Without chewing, simply explore the sensations of having it on your tongue. Gradually begin to explore the object with your tongue, continuing for thirty seconds or more if you choose. 6. Chewing When you’re ready, consciously take a bite into the raisin and notice the effects on the object, and in your mouth. Notice any tastes that it releases. Feel the texture as your teeth bite into it. Continue slowly chewing it, but do not swallow it just yet. Notice what is happening in the mouth. 7. Swallowing See if you can detect the first intention to swallow as it arises in your mind, experiencing it with full awareness before you actually swallow. Notice what the tongue does to prepare it for swallowing. See if you can follow the sensations of swallowing the raisin. If you can, consciously sense it as it moves down into your stomach. And if you don’t swallow it all at one time, consciously notice a second or even a third swallow, until it has all gone. Notice what the tongue does after you have swallowed. 8. Aftereffects Finally, spend a few moments registering the aftermath of this eating. Is there an aftertaste? What does the absence of the raisin feel like? Is there an automatic tendency to look for another? Now take a moment to write down anything that you noticed when you were doing the practice. Here’s what some people who’ve attended our courses said: “The smell for me was amazing; I’d never noticed that before.” “I felt pretty stupid, like I was in art school or something.” “I thought how ugly they looked … small and wrinkled, but the taste was very different from what I would normally have thought it tasted like. It was quite nice actually.” “I tasted this one raisin more than the twenty or so I usually stuff into my mouth without thinking.
J. Mark G. Williams (Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World)
22. Giving up Distraction Week #4 Saturday Scripture Verses •Hebrews 12:1–2 •Mark 1:35 •John 1:14–18 Questions to Consider •What distracts you from being present with other people around you? •What distracts you from living out God’s agenda for your life? •What helps you to focus and be the most productive? •How does Jesus help us focus on what is most important in any given moment? Plan of Action •At your next lunch, have everyone set their phone facing down at the middle of the table. The first person who picks up their phone pays for the meal. •Challenge yourself that the first thing you watch, read, or listen to in the morning when you wake up is God’s Word (not email or Facebook). •Do a digital detox. Turn off everything with a screen for 24 hours. Tomorrow would be a great day to do it, since there is no “40 Things Devotion” on Sunday. Reflection We live in an ever connected world. With smart phones at the tip of our fingers, we can instantly communicate with people on the other side of the world. It is an amazing time to live in. I love the possibilities and the opportunities. With the rise of social media, we not only connect with our current circle of friends and family, but we are also able to connect with circles from the past. We can build new communities in the virtual world to find like-minded people we cannot find in our physical world. Services like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram all have tremendous power. They have a way of connecting us with others to shine the light of Jesus. While all of these wonderful things open up incredible possibilities, there are also many dangers that lurk. One of the biggest dangers is distraction. They keep us from living in the moment and they keep us from enjoying the people sitting right across the room from us. We’ve all seen that picture where the family is texting one another from across the table. They are not looking at each other. They are looking at the tablet or the phone in front of them. They are distracted in the moment. Today we are giving up distraction and we are going to live in the moment. Distraction doesn’t just come from modern technology. We are distracted by our work. We are distracted by hobbies. We are distracted by entertainment. We are distracted by busyness. The opposite of distraction is focus. It is setting our hearts and our minds on Jesus. It’s not just putting him first. It’s about him being a part of everything. It is about making our choices to be God’s choices. It is about letting him determine how we use our time and focus our attention. He is the one setting our agenda. I saw a statistic that 80% of smartphone users will check their phone within the first 15 minutes of waking up. Many of those are checking their phones before they even get out of bed. What are they checking? Social media? Email? The news of the day? Think about that for a moment. My personal challenge is the first thing I open up every day is God’s word. I might open up the Bible on my phone, but I want to make sure the first thing I am looking at is God’s agenda. When I open up my email, my mind is quickly set to the tasks those emails generate rather than the tasks God would put before me. Who do I want to set my agenda? For me personally, I know that if God is going to set the agenda, I need to hear from him before I hear from anyone else. There is a myth called multitasking. We talk about doing it, but it is something impossible to do. We are very good at switching back and forth from different tasks very quickly, but we are never truly doing two things at once. So the challenge is to be present where God has planted you. In any given moment, know what is the one most important thing. Be present in that one thing. Be present here and now.
Phil Ressler (40 Things to Give Up for Lent and Beyond: A 40 Day Devotion Series for the Season of Lent)