Seconds Away Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Seconds Away. Here they are! All 200 of them:

Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don't blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being "in love", which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Shawn Slovo (Captain Corelli's Mandolin)
There is something demoralizing about watching two people get more and more crazy about each other, especially when you are the only extra person in the room. It's like watching Paris from an express caboose heading in the opposite direction--every second the city gets smaller and smaller, only you feel it's really you getting smaller and smaller and lonelier and lonelier, rushing away from all those lights and excitement at about a million miles an hour.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
Failure is just a few seconds away from success.
John Flanagan (The Battle for Skandia (Ranger's Apprentice, #4))
You’re not asleep, and you’re not dead. I’m here, and I love you. I have always loved you, and I will always love you. I was thinking of you, seeing your face in my mind, every second that I was away. When I told you that I didn’t want you, it was the very blackest kind of blasphemy.
Stephenie Meyer (New Moon (The Twilight Saga, #2))
You can be the most beautiful person in the world and everybody sees light and rainbows when they look at you, but if you yourself don't know it, all of that doesn't even matter. Every second that you spend on doubting your worth, every moment that you use to criticize yourself; is a second of your life wasted, is a moment of your life thrown away. It's not like you have forever, so don't waste any of your seconds, don't throw even one of your moments away.
C. JoyBell C.
There’s a Japanese phrase that I like: koi no yokan. It doesn’t mean love at first sight. It’s closer to love at second sight. It’s the feeling when you meet someone that you’re going to fall in love with them. Maybe you don’t love them right away, but it’s inevitable that you will.
Nicola Yoon (The Sun Is Also a Star)
I have noticed that if you look carefully at people's eyes the first five seconds they look at you, the truth of their feelings will shine through for just an instant before it flickers away.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees)
Even when I detach, I care. You can be separate from a thing and still care about it. If I wanted to detach completely, I would move my body away. I would stop the conversation midsentence. I would leave the bed. Instead, I hover over it for a second. I glance off in another direction. But I always glance back at you.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
I love no one but you, I have discovered, but you are far away and I am here alone. Then this is my life and maybe, however unlikely, I’ll find my way back there. Or maybe, one day, I’ll settle for second best. And on that same day, hell will freeze over, the sun will burn out and the stars will fall from the sky.
Lemony Snicket
I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn't know who I was - I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I'd never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn't know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn't scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost.
Jack Kerouac (On the Road)
In the end, he was nobody to Adam, he was nobody to Ronan. Adam spit his words back at him and Ronan squandered however many second chances he gave him. Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
By now it was clear that Howl was in a mood to produce green slime any second. Sophie hurriedly put her sewing away. "I'll make some hot buttered toast," she said. "Is that all you can do in the face of tragedy??" Howl asked. "Make toast!
Diana Wynne Jones (Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle, #1))
He looked back at her, and when she saw the look on his face, she saw his eyes at Renwick’s, when he had watched the Portal that separated him from his home shatter into a thousand irretrievable pieces. He held her gaze for a split second, then looked away from her, the muscles in his throat working.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Once upon a time, there was a girl who talked to the moon. And she was mysterious and she was perfect, in that way that girls who talk to moons are. In the house next door, there lived a boy. And the boy watched the girl grow more and more perfect, more and more beautiful with each passing year. He watched her watch the moon. And he began to wonder if the moon would help him unravel the mystery of the beautiful girl. So the boy looked into the sky. But he couldn't concentrate on the moon. He was too distracted by the stars. And it didn't matter how many songs or poems had already been written about them, because whenever he thought about the girl, the stars shone brighter. As if she were the one keeping them illuminated. One day, the boy had to move away. He couldn't bring the girl with him, so he brought the stars. When he'd look out his window at night, he would start with one. One star. And the boy would make a wish on it, and the wish would be her name. At the sound of her name, a second star would appear. And then he'd wish her name again, and the stars would double into four. And four became eight, and eight became sixteen, and so on, in the greatest mathematical equation the universe had ever seen. And by the time an hour had passed, the sky would be filled with so many stars that it would wake the neighbors. People wondered who'd turned on the floodlights. The boy did. By thinking about the girl.
Stephanie Perkins (Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2))
Stuff your eyes with wonder," he said, "live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that," he said, "shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.
Ray Bradbury
Stuff your eyes with wonder. Live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that . Shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness... The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
Claire. Wake up.” She blinked and realized that her head was on Shane’s shoulder, and Michael was nowhere to be seen. Her first thought was, Oh my God, am I drooling? Her second was that she hadn’t realized she was so close to him, snuggled in. Her third was that although Michael’s part of the couch was empty, Shane hadn’t moved away. And he was watching her with warm, friendly eyes. Oh. Oh, wow, that was nice.
Rachel Caine (Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires, #1))
Please don't take him away from this world. Please don't let him die here in my arms, not after everything we've been through together, not after You've taken so many others. Please, I beg You, let him live. I am willing to sacrifice anything to make this happen- I'm willing to do anything You ask. Maybe you'll laugh at me for such a naive promise, but I mean it in earnest, and I don't care if it makes no sense or seems impossible. Let him live. Please. I can't bear this a second time. Tell me there is still good in this world. Tell me there is still hope for all of us.
Marie Lu (Champion (Legend, #3))
The tongue can conceal the truth, but the eyes never! You're asked an unexpected question, you don't even flinch, it takes just a second to get yourself under control, you know just what you have to say to hide the truth, and you speak very convincingly, and nothing in your face twitches to give you away. But the truth, alas, has been disturbed by the question, and it rises up from the depths of your soul to flicker in your eyes and all is lost.
Mikhail Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita)
I'm two seconds away from castrating you with my heel.
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard (Beautiful Bastard, #1))
I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don't worry. It's all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don't know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It's a dream already ended. There's nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about. I know this from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away? Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born.
Jack Kerouac (The Portable Jack Kerouac)
Wait a second," Four says. I turn toward him, wondering which version of Four I'll see now-the one who scolds me, or the one who climbs Ferris wheels with me. He smiles a little, but the smile doesn't spread to his eyes, which look less tense and worried. "You belong here, you know that?" he says. "You belong with us. It'll be over soon, so just hold on, okay?" He scratches behind his ear and looks away, like he's embarrassed by what he said. I stare at him. I feel my heartbeat everywhere, even in my toes. I feel like doing something bold, but I could just as easily walk away. I am not sure which option is smarter, or better. I am not sure that I care. I reach out and take his hand. His fingers slide between mine. I can't breathe. I stare up at him, and he stares down at me. For a long moment, we stay that way. Then I pull my hand away and run after Uriah and Lynn and Marlene. Maybe now he thinks I'm stupid, or strange. Maybe it was worth it.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
But you know: you know that if I could have stayed, if I could have gone on, that I would have clutched every second: whatever it was, this death, you know that it came and took me, like a child carried away by goblins.
Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife)
Long since, the desert wind wiped away our footprints in the sand. But at every second of my existence, I remember what happened, and you still walk in my dreams and in my reality. Thank you for having crossed my path.
Paulo Coelho (The Fifth Mountain)
Oh, Claire," he said. "You think me a far better man than I am. That's kind, and flattering." "Are you saying that you -" "Doughnuts!" Myrnin interrupted her and darted away, to zip back in seconds with an open box.
Rachel Caine (Ghost Town (The Morganville Vampires, #9))
I have a plan.” He groaned. “I was afraid of that.” “My plans are not terrible.” “Isabelle’s plans are terrible.” He pointed a finger at her. “Your plans are suicidal. At best.” She sat back, her arms crossed over her chest. “Do you want to hear it or not? You have to keep it a secret.” “I would pluck out my own eyes with a fork before I would give away your secrets,” Simon said, then looked anxious. “Wait a second. Do you think that’s likely to be required?
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Where are the cops when you need them? (Nick) Probably eating beignets. As the old saying goes, when seconds count, the police are just minutes away. (Caleb)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Infinity (Chronicles of Nick, #1))
Yes,” I whisper. The red blinking light on one of the cameras catches my eye. I know I’m being recorded. “Yes,” I say more forcefully. Everyone is drawing away from me—Gale, Cressida, the insects—giving me the stage. But I stay focused on the red light. “I want to tell the rebels that I am alive. That I’m right here in District Eight, where the Capitol has just bombed a hospital full of unarmed men, women, and children. There will be no survivors.” The shock I’ve been feeling begins to give way to fury. “I want to tell people that if you think for one second the Capitol will treat us fairly if there’s a cease-fire, you’re deluding yourself. Because you know who they are and what they do.” My hands go out automatically, as if to indicate the whole horror around me. “This is what they do! And we must fight back!” I’m moving in toward the camera now, carried forward by my rage. “President Snow says he’s sending us a message? Well, I have one for him. You can torture us and bomb us and burn our districts to the ground, but do you see that?” One of the cameras follows as I point to the planes burning on the roof of the warehouse across from us. The Capitol seal on a wing glows clearly through the flames. “Fire is catching!” I am shouting now, determined that he will not miss a word. “And if we burn, you burn with us!
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
I touch her cheek to slow the kiss down, holding her mouth on mine so I can feel every place where our lips touch and every place where they pull away. I savor the air we share in the second afterwards and the slip of her nose across mine. I think of something to say, but it is too intimate, so I swallow it. A moment later I decide I don't care. "I wish we were alone," I say as I back out of the cell. She smiles. "I almost always wish that.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
Adrian Ivashkov wasn’t easy to surprise, but I surprised him then when I brought his mouth toward mine. I kissed him, and for a moment, he was too stunned to respond. That lasted for, oh, about a second. Then the intensity I’d come to know so well in him returned. He pushed me backward, lifting me so that I sat at the table. The tablecloth bunched up, knocking over some of the glasses. I heard what sounded like a china plate crash against the floor. Whatever logic and reason I normally possessed had melted away. There was nothing but flesh and fire left, and I wasn’t going to lie to myself—at least not tonight.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
And stop doing that,” he said. “Backing away, giving me that look.” Like you’re scaring me? Maybe you are.” He stepped back so fast he wobbled and caught himself, and the look on his face—It vanished in a second, the scowl returning. I’d never hurt you, Chloe. You should know—” He stopped. Paused. Then wheeled and started walking away. “Next time? Handle it yourself. I’m done taking care of you.
Kelley Armstrong (The Awakening (Darkest Powers, #2))
What was the point of trying to run away if people were going to insist on reminding you of what you were running from?
Morgan Matson (Second Chance Summer)
And for a moment―for a split second―everything else falls away, the whole pattern and order of my life, and a huge joy crests in my chest. I am no one, and I owe nothing to anybody, and my life is my own.
Lauren Oliver (Hana (Delirium, #1.5))
I know you'll think this is crazy, but all I want to do is hold you, and I think that if you'll let me do that just for a few seconds, I can walk away, and never speak to you again.
David Guterson (Snow Falling on Cedars)
I'm going to enjoy every second, and I'm going to know I'm enjoying it while I'm enjoying it. Most people don't live; they just race. They are trying to reach some goal far away on the horizon, and in the heat of the going they get so breathless and panting that they lose sight of the beautiful, tranquil country they are passing through; and then the first thing they know, they are old and worn out, and it doesn't make any difference whether they've reached the goal or not.
Jean Webster
Doubts [can] be swept away only by deeds.
Winston S. Churchill (Their Finest Hour (The Second World War, #2))
Mom says each of us has a veil between ourselves and the rest of the world, like a bride wears on her wedding day, except this kind of veil is invisible. We walk around happily with these invisible veils hanging down over our faces. The world is kind of blurry, and we like it that way. But sometimes our veils are pushed away for a few moments, like there's a wind blowing it from our faces. And when the veil lifts, we can see the world as it really is, just for those few seconds before it settles down again. We see all the beauty, and cruelty, and sadness, and love. But mostly we are happy not to. Some people learn to lift the veil themselves. Then they don't have to depend on the wind anymore.
Rebecca Stead (When You Reach Me)
Facing this stuff, in real life is not like school, in school, if you make a mistake you can just try again tomorrow, but out there...when your a second away from being murdered or watching a friend die right before your eyes...you don't know what that's like.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
Instead he was staring at me like he was seconds away from getting up and storming across the bar and telling me I was up past my bedtime. He wouldn’t dare. Kyler’s eyes narrowed. He would.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Frigid (Frigid, #1))
It’s easy when we’re on the outside to believe that we would walk away without a second thought if a person mistreated us. It’s easy to say we couldn’t continue to love someone who mistreats us when we aren’t the ones feeling the love of that person. When you experience it firsthand, it isn’t so easy to hate the person who mistreats you when most of the time they’re your godsend. Ryle
Colleen Hoover (It Ends With Us)
I hate both of my parents right now: for sitting quietly in our house, while out in the darkness my heart was beating away all of the seconds of my life, ticking them off one by one until my time was up; for letting the thread between us stretch so far and so thin that the moment it was severed for good they didn't even feel it.
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
Through it all, I stare at the boy on the throne. He maintains his mask. Jaw clenched, lips pressed into a thin, unforgiving line. Still fingers, straight back. But his gaze wavers. Something in his eyes has gone far away. And at his collar, the slightest gray flush rises, painting his neck and the tips of his ears. He's terrified. For a second, it makes me happy. Then I remember―monsters are most dangerous when they're afraid.
Victoria Aveyard (King's Cage (Red Queen, #3))
He and I together was a terrible idea. We were both unstable, we were both shattered, and there was no getting around it. He was thunder, I was lightning, and we were seconds away from creating the perfect storm.
Brittainy C. Cherry (The Air He Breathes (Elements, #1))
And then they were kissing. Something exploded within his chest burning away the tension and confusion and fear. Burning away the hurt of seconds earlier. For a moment it felt like nothing mattered anymore. Like nothing would matter ever again.
James Dashner (The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner, #2))
I can’t not be with you, Nathan. I wanted to leave you in that grave and walk away but I couldn’t. I can’t walk ten paces away from you without it hurting me. I treasure every second with you. Every second. More than you know.
Sally Green (Half Wild (The Half Bad Trilogy, #2))
I want to write my life. I want to be able to write my life. You are a second away from saying it. You have no idea how much I love you.
David Levithan (How They Met, and Other Stories)
Ian stood above me, his chest heaving with exertion and fury. For a second he turned away and put the door back in place with one swift wrench. And then he was glowering again. I took a deep breath and rolled up onto my knees, holding my hands out, palms up, wishing that some magic would appear in them. Something I could give him, something I could say. But my hands were empty. "You. Are. Not. Leaving. Me." His eyes blazed - burning brighter than I had ever seen them, blue fires. "Ian," I whispered. "You have to see that... that I can't stay. You must se that." "No!" he shouted at me. I cringed back, and, abruptly, Ian crumpled forward, falling to his knees, falling into me. He buried his head in my stomach, and his arms locked around my waist. He was shaking, shaking hard, and loud, desperate sobs were breaking out of his chest. "No, Ian, no," I begged. This was so much worse than his anger. "Don't, please. Please, don't." "Wanda," he moaned. "Ian, please. Don't feel this way. Don't. I'm so sorry. Please." I was crying too, shaking too, though that might have been him shaking me. "You can't leave." "I have to, I have to," I sobbed. And then we cried wordlessly for a long time.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
I saw the gun. I sensed the van as it rushed forward, seconds away and coming faster. I heard the screams of the fight behind us. But nothing that night was louder than the masked man's astonished whisper as he looked at the boy who stood beside me and said, 'you?
Ally Carter (Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover (Gallagher Girls, #3))
...the people who move through the streets are all strangers. At each encounter, they imagine a thousand things about one another; meetings which could take place between them, conversations, surprises, caresses, bites. But no one greets anyone; eyes lock for a second, then dart away, seeking other eyes, never stopping...something runs among them, an exchange of glances like lines that connect one figure with another and draw arrows, stars, triangles, until all combinations are used up in a moment, and other characters come on to the scene...
Italo Calvino (Invisible Cities)
[19:29] JOHANSSEN: When we pick you up, I will make wild, passionate love to you. Prepare your body. [19:29] JOHANSSEN: I didn’t type that! That was Martinez! I stepped away from the console for like 10 seconds!
Andy Weir (The Martian)
Happy couples make it a habbit to refocus. Because it's quite normal to be distracted. So they talk. They get away for a while. They pray. They go on a marriage retreat. They take a second honeymoon or a 3rd, or 4th, or a 5th..
Bo Sánchez (You Have The Power to Create Love: Take Another Step on the Simple Path to Happiness)
Thankfully I had to stand solitary for only one long moment before Jay came back feeling over-the-moon happy. I let his emotion drench me. “What were you and Kaidan Rowe talking ’bout?” Jay asked me. “Man, y’all looked like you were gonna rip each other’s clothes off!” I gasped and smacked his arm, but he didn’t flinch. “We did not.” My eyes darted over to Kaidan for a fraction of a second, and though he was too far away to have heard, the wink he sent me brought another flush to my skin.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
As soon as the words leave her mouth, I'm completely consumed by a sense of peace. For the first time since the second she was taken away from me, I finally know what forgiveness feels like.
Colleen Hoover (Losing Hope (Hopeless, #2))
Love", I said, "is the rug they pull out from under you. Love is Lucy always lifting the football at the last second so that Charlie Brown falls on his ass. Love is something that every time you believe in it, it goes away. Love is for suckers, and I'm not going to be a sucker ever again.
Jennifer Weiner (Good in Bed (Cannie Shapiro, #1))
He couldn’t stand it, all of this inside him. In the end, he was nobody to Adam, he was nobody to Ronan. Adam spit his words back at him and Ronan squandered however many second chances he gave him. Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year. They were always walking away from him. But he never seemed able to walk away from them.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
It’s the moment when you know that you can have what you want if you’re only brave enough to say so. It’s a split second when everything can change, but you pussy out because you’re too afraid to risk the rejection.
Penelope Douglas (Until You (Fall Away, #1.5))
Bending his head, Kai pressed his lips to her knuckles. The plating had no nerve endings, and yet the touch sent a tingle of electricity along her arm. “Cinder?” “Mm?” He lifted his gaze. “Just to be clear, you’re not using your mind powers on me right now, are you?” She blinked. “Of course not.” “Just checking.” Then he slid his arms around her waist and kissed her. Cinder gasped, pressing her palms against his chest. Kai pulled her closer. Seconds later, her brain began registering all the new chemicals flooding her system. INCREASED LEVELS OF DOPAMINE AND ENDORPHINS, REDUCED AMOUNTS OF CORTISOL, ERRATIC PULSE, RISING BLOOD PRESSURE … Leaning into him, Cinder sent the messages away. Her hands tentatively made their way to his shoulders, before stringing around his neck.
Marissa Meyer
Sometimes we let the first ones get away, but it teaches us to cherish the second ones that much more.
Claire Contreras (Kaleidoscope Hearts (Hearts, #1))
Something unexpected seemed to clear away between us, and, for a second, it seemed there was absolutely no difference in age between us, just two men kissing, and even this seemed to dissolve, as I began to feel we were not even two men, just two beings.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
And, she was able to tell herself with some satisfaction, the man in question - one Colin Bridgerton - felt precisely the same way.... ....His earth shook, his heart leaped, and Penelope knew without a doubt that his breath was taken away as well. For a good ten seconds. Falling off a horse tended to do that to a man.
Julia Quinn (Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Bridgertons, #4))
People could leave her; they could die. Something you loved so much could be taken away from you in seconds. Therefore, she decided to let no one else in. No one could hurt her that way.
Rachel Green
It seemed cruelly unfair to me, even then, how fast your life can change before you have an opportunity to rethink your choices. We should get second chances on the big stuff. We should come equipped with erasers attached to the tops of our heads. Like pencils. We should be able to flip over and scribble away mistakes, at least once or twice during the duration of our existence, especially in matters of life and death.
Tiffanie DeBartolo (God-Shaped Hole)
Look. I don’t want to push you into anything, but do you maybe want to —” “Call Magnus? Look, that’s a dead end, I know you’re trying to be helpful, but —” “—kiss me?” Jace finished. Alec looked as if he were about to fall off his chair. “WHAT? What? What?” “Once what would do.” Jace did his best to look as if this were the sort of suggestion one made all the time. “I think it might help.” Alec looked at him with something like horror. “You don’t mean that.” “Why wouldn’t I mean it?” “Because you’re the straightest person I know. Possibly the straightest person in the universe.” “Exactly,” Jace said, and leaned forward, and kissed Alec on the mouth. The kiss lasted approximately four seconds before Alec pulled forcefully away, throwing his hands up as if to ward Jace off from coming at him again. He looked as if he were about to throw up. “By the Angel,” he said. “Don’t ever do that again.” “Oh yeah?” Jace grinned, and almost meant it. “That bad?” “Like kissing my brother,” said Alec, with a look of horror in his eyes. “I thought you might feel that way.” Jace crossed his arms over his chest. “Also, I’m hoping we can just gloss over all the irony in what you just said.” “We can gloss over whatever you want to,” Alec said fervently. “Just don’t kiss me again.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
You Are One Decision Away from a Completely Different Life
Mel Robbins (The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage)
As I looked out at the water, I realized there was nowhere to go, nowhere left to run. And I just had to stay here, facing this terrible truth. I felt, as more tears fell, just how tired I was, a tiredness that had nothing to do with the hour. I was tired of running away from this, tired of not telling people, tired of not talking about it, tired of pretending things were okay when they had never, ever been less than okay.
Morgan Matson (Second Chance Summer)
If people are dishonest once, they will be dishonest a second time. And honest people should keep away from them. (Lady Chiltern)
Oscar Wilde (An Ideal Husband)
Most things, even the greatest movements on earth, have their beginnings in something small. An earthquake that shatters a city with a tremor, a tremble, a breath. Music begins with a vibration. The flood that rushed into Portland twenty years ago after nearly two months of straight rain, that hurtled up beyond the labs and damaged more than a thousand houses, swept up tire and trash bags and old, smelly shoes and floated them through the streets like prizes, that left a thin film of green mold behind, a stench of rotting and decay that didn't go away for months, began with a trickle of water, no wider than a finger, lapping up onto the docks. And God created the whole universe from an atom no bigger than a thought. Grace's life fell apart because of a single word: sympathizer. My world exploded because of a different word: suicide. Correction: That was the first time my world exploded. The second time my world exploded, it was also because of a word. A word that worked its way out of my throat and danced onto and out of my lips before I could think about it, or stop it. The question was: Will you meet me tomorrow? And the word was: Yes.
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
You know, I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. Oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance. But I knew it all along. When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it. See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves. After you go so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. You can have seconds of it. Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why. When a song stirs a memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track at night in the distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are. For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm. That’s what I believe. The truth of life is that every year we get farther away from the essence that is born within us. We get shouldered with burdens, some of them good, some of them not so good. Things happen to us. Loved ones die. People get in wrecks and get crippled. People lose their way, for one reason or another. It’s not hard to do, in this world of crazy mazes. Life itself does its best to take that memory of magic away from us. You don’t know it’s happening until one day you feel you’ve lost something but you’re not sure what it is. It’s like smiling at a pretty girl and she calls you “sir.” It just happens. These memories of who I was and where I lived are important to me. They make up a large part of who I’m going to be when my journey winds down. I need the memory of magic if I am ever going to conjure magic again. I need to know and remember, and I want to tell you.
Robert McCammon (Boy's Life)
If you wear black, then kindly, irritating strangers will touch your arm consolingly and inform you that the world keeps on turning. They're right. It does. However much you beg it to stop. It turns and lets grenadine spill over the horizon, sends hard bars of gold through my window and I wake up and feel happy for three seconds and then I remember. It turns and tips people out of their beds and into their cars, their offices, an avalanche of tiny men and women tumbling through life... All trying not to think about what's waiting at the bottom. Sometimes it turns and sends us reeling into each other's arms. We cling tight, excited and laughing, strangers thrown together on a moving funhouse floor. Intoxicated by the motion we forget all the risks. And then the world turns... And somebody falls off... And oh God it's such a long way down. Numb with shock, we can only stand and watch as they fall away from us, gradually getting smaller... Receding in our memories until they're no longer visible. We gather in cemeteries, tense and silent as if for listening for the impact; the splash of a pebble dropped into a dark well, trying to measure its depth. Trying to measure how far we have to fall. No impact comes; no splash. The moment passes. The world turns and we turn away, getting on with our lives... Wrapping ourselves in comforting banalities to keep us warm against the cold. "Time's a great healer." "At least it was quick." "The world keeps turning." Oh Alec— Alec's dead.
Alan Moore (Swamp Thing, Vol. 5: Earth to Earth)
Then I realize from the hollow sound of her gun's click that her gun isn't loaded. Apparently she just wants to slap me around with it. The Girl doesn't move her gun away. "How old are you?" "Fifteen." "That's better." The Girl lowers her gun a little. "Time for a few confessions.Were you responsible for the break-in at the Arcadia bank?" The ten-second place. "Yes." "Then you must be responsible for stealing sixteen thousand five hundred Notes from there as well." "You got that right." "Were you responsible for vandalizing the Department of Intra-Defense two years ago, and destroying the engines of two warfront airships?" "Yes." "Did you set fire to a series of ten F-472 fighter jets parked at the Burbank air force base right before they were to head out to the warfront?" "I'm kinda proud of that one." "Did assault a cadet standing guard at the edge of the Alta sector's quarantine zone?" "I tied him up and delivered food to some quarantined families.Bite me.
Marie Lu (Legend (Legend, #1))
Ronan's second secret was Adam Parrish. Adam was different since making the bargain with Cabeswater. Stronger, Stranger, farther away. It was hard not to stare at the odd elegant lines of his face.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
First, it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to feel things. Remember that. Second, be a kid for as long as you can. Play games, Travis. Be silly”—her eyes glossed over—“and you and your brothers take care of each other, and your father. Even when you grow up and move away, it’s important to come home. Okay?” My head bobbed up and down, desperate to please her. “One of these days you’re going to fall in love, son. Don’t settle for just anyone. Choose the girl that doesn’t come easy, the one you have to fight for, and then never stop fighting. Never”—she took a deep breath—“stop fighting for what you want. And never”—her eyebrows pulled in—“forget that Mommy loves you. Even if you can’t see me.” A tear fell down her cheek. “I will always, always love you.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
And then we're kissing. His lips are soft and leave mine tingling. I close my eyes, and in the darkness behind them I see beautiful blooming things, flowers spinning like snowflakes, and hummingbirds beating the same rhythm as my heart. I'm gone, lost, floating away into nothingness like I am in my dream, but this time it's a good feeling - like soaring, like being totally free. His other hand pushes my hair from my face, and I can feel the impression of his fingers everywhere that they touch, and I think of stars streaking through the sky and leaving burning trails behind them, and in that moment - however long it lasts, seconds, minutes, days - while he's saying my name into my mouth and I"m breathing into him, I realize this, right here, is the first and only time I've ever been kissed.
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
How did you ever get here, Maddie Brodatt?" "'Second to the right, and then straight on till morning,'" she answered promptly-it did feel like Neverland. "Crikey, am I so obviously Peter Pan?" Maddie laughed. "The Lost Boys give it away." Jamie studied his hands. "Mother keeps the windows open in all our bedrooms while we're gone, like Mrs. Darling, just in case we come flying home when she's not expecting us.
Elizabeth Wein (Code Name Verity)
Whatever problems we had back then don’t exist anymore. It’s why we have this second chance, and we can’t throw it away. Besides, you were the one who said we’re not exactly the same as we were back then. If we’re not the same, then things can turn out differently.
Michelle Madow (Remembrance (Transcend Time, #1))
She revealed her pale face and sniffed again. One red curl clung to her tearstained cheek. My hand reached out to release it, but I hesitated a mere heartbeat away from her skin. I swear to God she quit breathing and even blinking, and for a second so did I. In a deliberate movement, I freed the curl.~Noah
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Aware of every breath, every movement, I sat in his lap. His hands gently braced my hips as I studied his face. “And now I want you to know, Rhysand, that I love you. I want you to know … ” His lips trembled, and I brushed away the tear that escaped down his cheek. “I want you to know,” I whispered, “that I am broken and healing, but every piece of my heart belongs to you. And I am honored—honored to be your mate.” His arms wrapped around me and he pressed his forehead to my shoulder, his body shaking. I stroked a hand through his silken hair. “I love you,” I said again. I hadn’t dared say the words in my head. “And I’d endure every second of it over again so I could find you. And if war comes, we’ll face it. Together. I won’t let them take me from you. And I won’t let them take you from me, either.” Rhys looked up, his face gleaming with tears. He went still as I leaned in, kissing away one tear. Then the other. As he had once kissed away mine. When my lips were wet and salty with them, I pulled back far enough to see his eyes. “You’re mine,” I breathed.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
In almost every professional field, in business and in the arts and sciences, women are still treated as second-class citizens. It would be a great service to tell girls who plan to work in society to expect this subtle, uncomfortable discrimination--tell them not to be quiet, and hope it will go away, but fight it. A girl should not expect special privileges because of her sex, but neither should she "adjust" to prejudice and discrimination
Betty Friedan (The Feminine Mystique)
All I want, oh dear friend of mine, is for you to go out with someone. Do something, even if it's not the magical, wonderful thing you had in mind. Don't sit around for one more second pining away for some fantasy that might never come along, because it might not even exist.
Lauren Morrill (Meant to Be)
Do you know how long a year takes when it's going away?' Dunbar repeated to Clevinger. 'This long.' He snapped his fingers. 'A second ago you were stepping into college with your lungs full of fresh air. Today you're an old man.' 'Old?' asked Clevinger with surprise. 'What are you talking about?' 'Old.' 'I'm not old.' 'You're inches away from death every time you go on a mission. How much older can you be at your age? A half minute before that you were stepping into high school, and an unhooked brassiere was as close as you ever hoped to get to Paradise. Only a fifth of a second before that you were a small kid with a ten-week summer vacation that lasted a hundred thousand years and still ended too soon. Zip! They go rocketing by so fast. How the hell else are you ever going to slow down?' Dunbar was almost angry when he finished. 'Well, maybe it is true,' Clevinger conceded unwillingly in a subdued tone. 'Maybe a long life does have to be filled with many unpleasant conditions if it's to seem long. But in that event, who wants one?' 'I do,' Dunbar told him. 'Why?' Clevinger asked. 'What else is there?
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
See, forgiveness doesn't happen all at once. It's not an event -- it's a process. Forgiveness happens while you're asleep, while you're dreaming, while you're inline at the coffee shop, while you're showering, eating, farting, jerking off. It happens in the back of your mind, and then one day you realize that you don't hate the person anymore, that your anger has gone away somewhere. And you understand. You've forgiven them. You don't know how or why. It sneaked up on you. It happened in the small spaces between thoughts and in the seconds between ideas and blinks. That's where forgiveness happens. Because anger and hatred, when left unfed, bleed away like air from a punctured tire, over time and days and years. Forgiveness is stealth. At least, that's what I hope.
Barry Lyga (Boy Toy)
Pretty fucking tragic twist of fate, but you don’t seem to remember that we first met years ago. An issue, since I remember a little too well. I like no one, absolutely no one, but I liked you from the start. I liked you when I didn’t know you, and now that I do know you it’s only gotten worse. Sometimes, often, always, I think about you before falling asleep. Then I dream of you, and when I wake up my head’s still there, stuck on something funny, beautiful, filthy, intelligent that’s all about you. It’s been going on for a while, longer than you think, longer than you can imagine, and I should have told you, but I have this impression, this certainty that you’re half a second from running away, that I should give you enough reasons to stay. Is there anything I can do for you? I’ll take you grocery shopping and fill your fridge when we’re back home. Buy you a new bike and a case of decent reagent and that sludge you drink. Kill the people who made you cry. Is there something you need? Name it. It’s yours. If I have it, it’s yours.
Ali Hazelwood (The Love Hypothesis)
See, there were these two guys in a lunatic asylum... and one night, one night they decide they don't like living in an asylum any more. They decide they're going to escape! So, like, they get up onto the roof, and there, just across this narrow gap, they see the rooftops of the town, stretching away in the moon light... stretching away to freedom. Now, the first guy, he jumps right across with no problem. But his friend, his friend didn't dare make the leap. Y'see... Y'see, he's afraid of falling. So then, the first guy has an idea... He says 'Hey! I have my flashlight with me! I'll shine it across the gap between the buildings. You can walk along the beam and join me!' B-but the second guy just shakes his head. He suh-says... He says 'Wh-what do you think I am? Crazy? You'd turn it off when I was half way across!
Alan Moore (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Catch me, Seth," she invited. He paused. "Faeries chase," he said, an then , with a flirtatious smile, he turned away, but before he could take a second step, she was behind him, arms around him, lips pressed against his neck. "I seem caught," he murmured. The Summer Queen whispered, "Me too." And They fell together in a bed of flowers that now covered the floor
Melissa Marr (Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely, #5))
That time of year thou mayst in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. In me thou seest the twilight of such day As after sunset fadeth in the west, Which by and by black night doth take away, Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, As the death-bed whereon it must expire Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by. This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
William Shakespeare (Shakespeare's Sonnets)
If you imagine the 4,500-bilion-odd years of Earth's history compressed into a normal earthly day, then life begins very early, about 4 A.M., with the rise of the first simple, single-celled organisms, but then advances no further for the next sixteen hours. Not until almost 8:30 in the evening, with the day five-sixths over, has Earth anything to show the universe but a restless skin of microbes. Then, finally, the first sea plants appear, followed twenty minutes later by the first jellyfish and the enigmatic Ediacaran fauna first seen by Reginald Sprigg in Australia. At 9:04 P.M. trilobites swim onto the scene, followed more or less immediately by the shapely creatures of the Burgess Shale. Just before 10 P.M. plants begin to pop up on the land. Soon after, with less than two hours left in the day, the first land creatures follow. Thanks to ten minutes or so of balmy weather, by 10:24 the Earth is covered in the great carboniferous forests whose residues give us all our coal, and the first winged insects are evident. Dinosaurs plod onto the scene just before 11 P.M. and hold sway for about three-quarters of an hour. At twenty-one minutes to midnight they vanish and the age of mammals begins. Humans emerge one minute and seventeen seconds before midnight. The whole of our recorded history, on this scale, would be no more than a few seconds, a single human lifetime barely an instant. Throughout this greatly speeded-up day continents slide about and bang together at a clip that seems positively reckless. Mountains rise and melt away, ocean basins come and go, ice sheets advance and withdraw. And throughout the whole, about three times every minute, somewhere on the planet there is a flash-bulb pop of light marking the impact of a Manson-sized meteor or one even larger. It's a wonder that anything at all can survive in such a pummeled and unsettled environment. In fact, not many things do for long.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Mr Willy Wonka can make marshmallows that taste of violets, and rich caramels that change colour every ten seconds as you suck them, and little feathery sweets that melt away deliciously the moment you put them between your lips. He can make chewing-gum that never loses its taste, and sugar balloons that you can blow up to enormous sizes before you pop them with a pin and gobble them up. And, by a most secret method, he can make lovely blue birds' eggs with black spots on them, and when you put one of these in your mouth, it gradually gets smaller and smaller until suddenly there is nothing left except a tiny little DARKRED sugary baby bird sitting on the tip of your tongue.
Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1))
You forget what it was like. You'd swear on your life you never will, but year by year it falls away. How your temperature ran off the mercury, your heart galloped flat-out and never needed to rest, everything was pitched on the edge of shattering glass. How wanting something was like dying of thirst. How your skin was too fine to keep out any of the million things flooding by; every color boiled bright enough to scald you, any second of any day could send you soaring or rip you to bloody shreds.
Tana French (The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #5))
And it's a disquieting thought that not even the past is done with, even that continues to change, as if in reality there is only one time, for everything, one time for every purpose under heaven. One single second, one single landscape, in which what happens activates and deactivates what has already happened in endless chain reactions, like the processes that take place in the brain, perhaps, where cells suddenly bloom and die away, all according to the way the winds of consciousness are blowing.
Karl Ove Knausgård (A Time for Everything)
Love doesn't give you very many choices. When you love someone, you just want to be with them. If they break your heart, you will still love them. Because hearts are easy to break, and though love is tender and sometimes fragile, love isn't. Love sort of envelops you. It covers you like a giant shadow, then pulls you in like a blanket. You are so warm. The feeling surrounds you, and no matter how you feel, it is always there. You can't escape it. But you wouldn't want to. You are so, so safe. You can't remember the last time you were this happy. Were you ever? This happy? Every second you are apart feels like hours. Sometimes, right before you fall asleep, you miss them so much it hurts. You ache for them. Their warmth. Their touch. Their smell. You need them. When you can't sleep you wish and wish and wish that they would wake up and talk to you. When you dream of them, you wake up smiling. When pain stabs into you, you reach out for them. You cry to them, begging them to hold you and make it all go away, make everything go away. Love addicts you to its feeling. You never, ever want to lose that feeling. Sometimes the fear of losing love drives people to do crazy things. Like buy a plane ticket. Make a phone call. Run out of a class. Cry. Write. Laugh. Because when you love someone, you really love them. You give them your whole heart. You trust them. You never want to be away from them. Sometimes, you don't even need their words. You just need them there. Love is such an amazing thing, and too many people take it for granted. If you're in love, don't let it go. Don't you dare let it go.
Alysha Speer
You are told from the moment you enter school that time is constant. It never changes. It is one of those set things in life that you can always rely on...much like death and taxes. There will always be sixty seconds in a minute. There will always be sixty minutes in an hour. And there will always be twenty-four hours in a day. Time was not fluctuating. It moved on at the same, constant pace at every moment in your life. And that was the biggest load of crap that I’d ever been taught in school. Truth was, time did fluctuate. It was easy to lose hours or even days in a blink of an eye. Other times, it was a struggle to get through a mere hour. It ebbed and flowed as relentlessly as the tides, and just as powerfully too. The moments that you wanted to last forever were the ones that were washed away all too soon. The moments that you wanted to speed up, were slowed down to a snail’s pace. That was the truth of the matter.
S.C. Stephens (Effortless (Thoughtless, #2))
For one brief, never-ending second, an entirely different path expanded behind the lids of my tear-wet eyes. As if I were looking through the filter of Jacob's thoughts, I could see exactly what I was going to give up, exactly what this new self-knowledge would not save me from losing. I could see Charlie and Renée mixed into a strange collage with Billy and Sam and La Push. I could see years passing, and meaning something as they passed, changing me. I could see the enormous red-brown wolf that I loved, always standing as protector if I needed him. For the tiniest fragment of a second, I saw the bobbing heads of two small, black-haired children, running away from me into the familiar forest. When they disappeared, they took the rest of the vision with them.
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
They made a major mistake," he blurted out, "the dumb bastards, when they didn't start by killing you first." "Benjamin Thomas Parish, that was the sweetest and most bizarre compliment anyone's ever given me." I kissed him on the cheek. He kissed me on the mouth. "You know," I whispered, "a year ago, I would have sold my soul for that." He shook his head. "Not worth it." And, for one-ten thousandth of a second, all of it fell away, the despair and grief and anger and pain and hunger, and the old Ben Parish rose from the dead. The eyes that impaled. The smile that slayed. In another moment, he would fade, slide back into the new Ben, the one called Zombie, and I understood something I hadn't before: He was dead, the object of my schoolgirl desires, just as the schoolgirl who desired him was dead.
Rick Yancey (The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave, #2))
This was it. And it was right. Perfect without the dinner, movies, and flowers, because how could you really plan something like this? You couldn't Daemon sat back- A fist pounded on the door, and Andrew's voice intruded. "Daemon, are you awake?" We stared at each other in disbelief. "If I ignore him," he whispered, "do you think he'll go away?" My hands dropped to my sides. "Maybe" The pounding came again. "Daemon, I really need you downstairs. Dawson is ready to go back to Mount Weather. Nothing Dee or I are saying to him is making a bit of difference. He's like a suicidal Energizer bunny." Daemon squeezed his eyes shut. "Son of a bitch..." "It's okay." I started to sit up. "He needs you." He let out a ragged sigh. "Stay here and get some rest. I'll talk-or beat some sense into him." He kissed me briefly and then gently pushed me back down. "I'll be back." Settling in, I smiled. "Try not to kill him." "No promises." He stood, pulled on his pajama bottoms, and headed for the door. Stopping short, he looked over his shoulder,his intense gaze melting my bones. "Dammit." A few seconds after he stepped out into the hallway and closed the door behind him, there was a fleshly smack and then Andrew yelling. "Ouch. What in the hell was that for?" "Your timing sucks on an epic level," Daemon shot back.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opal (Lux, #3))
It's like watching paris from an express caboose heading in the opposite direction - every second the city gets smaller and smaller, only you feel it's really you getting smaller and smaller and lonelier and lonelier, rushing away from all those lights and that excitement at about a million miles an hour.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
Engaged in a fiery dance, their bodies were linked and seperated by the flashing blades. At times they nearly touched, taut skin only a hair's breadth away, but then momentum would whirl them apart, and they would withdraw for a second, only to join again. Their sinuous forms wove together like twisting ropes of windblown smoke.
Christopher Paolini (Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle, #1))
There's always a price you pay when you lie. Once you introduce a lie into a relationship, even for the best of intentions, it is always there. Whenever you’re with that person again, that lie is in the room too. It sits on your shoulder. Good lie or bad lie, it's in the room with you forever now. It's your constant companion.
Harlan Coben (Seconds Away (Mickey Bolitar, #2))
To my son, If you are reading this letter, then I am dead. I expect to die, if not today, then soon. I expect that Valentine will kill me. For all his talk of loving me, for all his desire for a right-hand man, he knows that I have doubts. And he is a man who cannot abide doubt. I do not know how you will be brought up. I do not know what they will tell you about me. I do not even know who will give you this letter. I entrust it to Amatis, but I cannot see what the future holds. All I know is that this is my chance to give you an accounting of a man you may well hate. There are three things you must know about me. The first is that I have been a coward. Throughout my life I have made the wrong decisions, because they were easy, because they were self-serving, because I was afraid. At first I believed in Valentine’s cause. I turned from my family and to the Circle because I fancied myself better than Downworlders and the Clave and my suffocating parents. My anger against them was a tool Valentine bent to his will as he bent and changed so many of us. When he drove Lucian away I did not question it but gladly took his place for my own. When he demanded I leave Amatis, the woman I love, and marry Celine, a girl I did not know, I did as he asked, to my everlasting shame. I cannot imagine what you might be thinking now, knowing that the girl I speak of was your mother. The second thing you must know is this. Do not blame Celine for any of this, whatever you do. It was not her fault, but mine. Your mother was an innocent from a family that brutalized her. She wanted only kindess, to feel safe and loved. And though my heart had been given already, I loved her, in my fashion, just as in my heart, I was faithful to Amatis. Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae. I wonder if you love Latin as I do, and poetry. I wonder who has taught you. The third and hardest thing you must know is that I was prepared to hate you. The son of myslef and the child-bride I barely knew, you seemed to be the culmination of all the wrong decisions I had made, all the small compromises that led to my dissolution. Yet as you grew inside my mind, as you grew in the world, a blameless innocent, I began to realize that I did not hate you. It is the nature of parents to see their own image in their children, and it was myself I hated, not you. For there is only one thing I wan from you, my son — one thing from you, and of you. I want you to be a better man than I was. Let no one else tell you who you are or should be. Love where you wish to. Believe as you wish to. Take freedom as your right. I don’t ask that you save the world, my boy, my child, the only child I will ever have. I ask only that you be happy. Stephen
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Both life and death manifest in every moment of existence. Our human body appears and disappears moment by moment, without cease, and this ceaseless arising and passing away is what we experience as time and being. They are not separate. They are one thing, and in even a fraction of a second, we have the opportunity to choose, and to turn the course of our action either toward the attainment of truth or away from it. Each instant is utterly critical to the whole world.
Ruth Ozeki (A Tale for the Time Being)
It slowly began to dawn on me that I had been staring at her for an impossible amount of time. Lost in my thoughts, lost in the sight of her. But her face didn't look offended or amused. It almost looked as if she were studying the lines of my face, almost as if she were waiting. I wanted to take her hand. I wanted to brush her cheek with my fingertips. I wanted to tell her that she was the first beautiful thing that I had seen in three years. The sight of her yawning to the back of her hand was enough to drive the breath from me. How I sometimes lost the sense of her words in the sweet fluting of her voice. I wanted to say that if she were with me then somehow nothing could ever be wrong for me again. In that breathless second I almost asked her. I felt the question boiling up from my chest. I remember drawing a breath then hesitating--what could I say? Come away with me? Stay with me? Come to the University? No. Sudden certainty tightened in my chest like a cold fist. What could I ask her? What could I offer? Nothing. Anything I said would sound foolish, a child's fantasy. I closed my mouth and looked across the water. Inches away, Denna did the same. I could feel the heat of her. She smelled like road dust, and honey, and the smell the air holds seconds before a heavy summer rain. Neither of us spoke. I closed my eyes. The closeness of her was the sweetest, sharpest thing I had ever known.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Want your boat, Georgie?' Pennywise asked. 'I only repeat myself because you really do not seem that eager.' He held it up, smiling. He was wearing a baggy silk suit with great big orange buttons. A bright tie, electric-blue, flopped down his front, and on his hands were big white gloves, like the kind Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck always wore. Yes, sure,' George said, looking into the stormdrain. And a balloon? I’ve got red and green and yellow and blue...' Do they float?' Float?' The clown’s grin widened. 'Oh yes, indeed they do. They float! And there’s cotton candy...' George reached. The clown seized his arm. And George saw the clown’s face change. What he saw then was terrible enough to make his worst imaginings of the thing in the cellar look like sweet dreams; what he saw destroyed his sanity in one clawing stroke. They float,' the thing in the drain crooned in a clotted, chuckling voice. It held George’s arm in its thick and wormy grip, it pulled George toward that terrible darkness where the water rushed and roared and bellowed as it bore its cargo of storm debris toward the sea. George craned his neck away from that final blackness and began to scream into the rain, to scream mindlessly into the white autumn sky which curved above Derry on that day in the fall of 1957. His screams were shrill and piercing, and all up and down Witcham Street people came to their windows or bolted out onto their porches. They float,' it growled, 'they float, Georgie, and when you’re down here with me, you’ll float, too–' George's shoulder socked against the cement of the curb and Dave Gardener, who had stayed home from his job at The Shoeboat that day because of the flood, saw only a small boy in a yellow rain-slicker, a small boy who was screaming and writhing in the gutter with muddy water surfing over his face and making his screams sound bubbly. Everything down here floats,' that chuckling, rotten voice whispered, and suddenly there was a ripping noise and a flaring sheet of agony, and George Denbrough knew no more. Dave Gardener was the first to get there, and although he arrived only forty-five seconds after the first scream, George Denbrough was already dead. Gardener grabbed him by the back of the slicker, pulled him into the street...and began to scream himself as George's body turned over in his hands. The left side of George’s slicker was now bright red. Blood flowed into the stormdrain from the tattered hole where his left arm had been. A knob of bone, horribly bright, peeked through the torn cloth. The boy’s eyes stared up into the white sky, and as Dave staggered away toward the others already running pell-mell down the street, they began to fill with rain.
Stephen King (It)
SEPTEMBER 1, 1939 I sit in one of the dives On Fifty-second Street Uncertain and afraid As the clever hopes expire Of a low dishonest decade: Waves of anger and fear Circulate over the bright And darkened lands of the earth, Obsessing our private lives; The unmentionable odour of death Offends the September night. Accurate scholarship can Unearth the whole offence From Luther until now That has driven a culture mad, Find what occurred at Linz, What huge imago made A psychopathic god: I and the public know What all schoolchildren learn, Those to whom evil is done Do evil in return. Exiled Thucydides knew All that a speech can say About Democracy, And what dictators do, The elderly rubbish they talk To an apathetic grave; Analysed all in his book, The enlightenment driven away, The habit-forming pain, Mismanagement and grief: We must suffer them all again. Into this neutral air Where blind skyscrapers use Their full height to proclaim The strength of Collective Man, Each language pours its vain Competitive excuse: But who can live for long In an euphoric dream; Out of the mirror they stare, Imperialism's face And the international wrong. Faces along the bar Cling to their average day: The lights must never go out, The music must always play, All the conventions conspire To make this fort assume The furniture of home; Lest we should see where we are, Lost in a haunted wood, Children afraid of the night Who have never been happy or good. The windiest militant trash Important Persons shout Is not so crude as our wish: What mad Nijinsky wrote About Diaghilev Is true of the normal heart; For the error bred in the bone Of each woman and each man Craves what it cannot have, Not universal love But to be loved alone. From the conservative dark Into the ethical life The dense commuters come, Repeating their morning vow; 'I will be true to the wife, I'll concentrate more on my work,' And helpless governors wake To resume their compulsory game: Who can release them now, Who can reach the dead, Who can speak for the dumb? All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And the lie of Authority Whose buildings grope the sky: There is no such thing as the State And no one exists alone; Hunger allows no choice To the citizen or the police; We must love one another or die. Defenseless under the night Our world in stupor lies; Yet, dotted everywhere, Ironic points of light Flash out wherever the Just Exchange their messages: May I, composed like them Of Eros and of dust, Beleaguered by the same Negation and despair, Show an affirming flame.
W.H. Auden (Another Time)
If they want to flirt or initiate a friendship, they should carefully avoid giving the impression they are taking the initiative; men do not like tomboys, nor bluestockings, nor thinking women; too much audacity, culture, intelligence, or character frightens them. In most novels, as George Eliot observes, it is the dumb, blond heroine who outshines the virile brunette; and in The Mill on the Floss, Maggie tries in vain to reverse the roles; in the end she dies and it is blond Lucy who marries Stephen. In The Last of the Mohicans, vapid Alice wins the hero’s heart and not valiant Cora; in Little Women kindly Jo is only a childhood friend for Laurie; he vows his love to curly-haired and insipid Amy. To be feminine is to show oneself as weak, futile, passive, and docile. The girl is supposed not only to primp and dress herself up but also to repress her spontaneity and substitute for it the grace and charm she has been taught by her elder sisters. Any self-assertion will take away from her femininity and her seductiveness.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex)
It's not reasonable to love people who are only going to die," she said. Nash thought about that for a moment, stroking Small's neck with great deliberation, as if the fate of the Dells depended on that smooth, careful movement. "I have two responses to that," he said finally. "First, everyone's going to die. Second, love is stupid. It has nothing to do with reason. You love whomever you love. Against all reasons I loved my father." He looked at her keenly. "Did you love yours?" "Yes," she whispered. He stroked Small's nose. "I love you," he said, "even knowing you'll never have me. And I love my brother, more than I ever realized before you came along. You can't help whom you love, Lady. Nor can you know what it's liable to cause you to do." She made a connection then. Surprised she sat back from him and studied his face, soft with shadows and light. She saw a part of him she hadn't seen before. "You came to me for lessons to guard your mind," she said, "and you stopped asking me to marry you, both at the same time. You did those things out of love for your brother." "Well" he said, looking a bit sheepishly at the floor. "I also took a few swings at him, but that's neither here nor there." "You're good at love," she said simply, because it seemed to her that it was true. "I'm not so good at love. I'm like a barbed creature. I push everyone I love away." He shrugged. "I don't mind you pushing me away if it means you love me, little sister.
Kristin Cashore (Fire (Graceling Realm, #2))
There’s this moment when I first wake, a moment where I forget that you left me, that you didn’t want me. And for just a second, everything is perfect and I reach for you, but you’re not there. And then I remember, and I can’t breathe. So I lock away all of the want and need, all of the pain, until I can breathe again. And if that makes me a cold bastard, so be it. It’s what I have to do to survive.
Stormy Glenn
Halt waited a minute or two but there was no sound except for the jingling of harness and the creaking of leather from their saddles. Finally, the former Ranger could bear it no longer. What?” The question seemed to explode out of him, with a greater degree of violence than he had intended. Taken by surprise, Horace’s bay shied in fright and danced several paces away. Horace turned an aggrieved look on his mentor as he calmed the horse and brought it back under control. What?” he asked Halt, and the smaller man made a gesture of exasperation. That’s what I want to know,” he said irritably. “What?” Horace peered at him. The look was too obviously the sort of look that you give someone who seems to have taken leave of his senses. It did little to improve Halt’s rapidly growing temper. What?” said Horace, now totally puzzled. Don’t keep parroting at me!” Halt fumed. “Stop repeating what I say! I asked you ‘what,’ so don’t ask me ‘what’ back, understand?” Horace considered the question for a second or two, then, in his deliberate way, he replied: “No.” Halt took a deep breath, his eyebrows contracted into a deep V, and beneath them his eyes with anger but before he could speak, Horace forestalled him. What ‘what’ are you asking me?” he said. Then, thinking how to make the question clearer, he added, “Or to put it another way, why are you asking ‘what’?” Controlling himself with enormous restraint, and making no secret of the fact, Halt said, very precisely: “You were about to ask me a question.” Horace frowned. “I was?” Halt nodded. “You were. I saw you take a breath to ask it.” I see,” Horace said. “And what was it about?” For just a second or two, Halt was speechless. He opened his mouth, closed it again, then finally found the strength to speak. That is what I was asking you,” he said. “When I said ‘what,’ I was asking you what you were about to ask me.” I wasn’t about to ask you ‘what,’” Horace replied, and Halt glared at him suspiciously. It occurred to him that Horace could be indulging himself in a gigantic leg pull, that he was secretly laughing at Halt. This, Halt could have told him, was not a good career move. Rangers were not people who took kindly to being laughed at. He studied the boy’s open face and guileless blue eyes and decided that his suspicion was ill-founded. Then what, if I may use that word once more, were you about to ask me?” Horace drew a breath once more, then hesitated. “I forget,” he said. “What were we talking about?
John Flanagan (The Battle for Skandia (Ranger's Apprentice, #4))
And your will shall decide your destiny," he said: "I offer you my hand, my heart, and a share of all my possessions." You play a farce, which I merely laugh at." I ask you to pass through life at my side--to be my second self, and best earthly companion." For that fate you have already made your choice, and must abide by it." Jane, be still a few moments: you are over-excited: I will be still too." A waft of wind came sweeping down the laurel-walk, and trembled through the boughs of the chestnut: it wandered away--away--to an indefinite distance--it died. The nightingale's song was then the only voice of the hour: in listening to it, I again wept. Mr. Rochester sat quiet, looking at me gently and seriously. Some time passed before he spoke; he at last said - Come to my side, Jane, and let us explain and understand one another." I will never again come to your side: I am torn away now, and cannot return." But, Jane, I summon you as my wife: it is you only I intend to marry." I was silent: I thought he mocked me. Come, Jane--come hither." Your bride stands between us." He rose, and with a stride reached me. My bride is here," he said, again drawing me to him, "because my equal is here, and my likeness. Jane, will you marry me?
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
I thought I made you up. I thought that I was living in a world of darkness and I imagined you into existence. That somehow my mind crafted you, placing you on that train months ago. But then I realized I could never dream of something so beautiful. “You’re the reason people believe in tomorrow. You’re the voice that scares the shadows away. You’re the love that makes me breathe. So for the next few seconds, I’m going to be selfish. I’m going to say things that I don’t want you to listen to.” My hands ran up and down her back as I pulled her closer, feeling her nerves rocking throughout her. I kissed the edge of her ear. “Don’t go. Stay with me forever. Please, Ashlyn. Let me be your everything. Make me your golden. Don’t. Go.
Brittainy C. Cherry (Loving Mr. Daniels)
Will saw the first Senshi officer release and instantly knew where the arrow was aimed. 'They've spotted Shigeru!' He was about to turn and shove Shigeru to the ground, but as he did so, his eye caught a flicker of movement and he spun back. When asked later about what he did next, he could never explain how he managed it. Nor could he ever repeat the feat. He acted totally from instinct, an unbelievable piece of coordination between hand and eye. The Senshi arrow flashed downward, heading directly for Shigeru. Will flicked his bow at it, caught it and deflected it from its course. The arrowhead screeched on the hard, rocky ground and the arrow skittered away. Even Halt took a second to be impressed. 'My god!' he said. 'How did you do that?
John Flanagan (The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger's Apprentice, #10))
He cocked his head in an overly dramatic fashion. "Hey, I just got it: it was you, wasn't it?" He looked at Lissa, the back at me. "She got you to kill the fox, didn't she?Some weird kind of lesbian voo—ahhh!” Ralf burst into flames. I jumped up and pushed Lissa out of the way—not easy to do, since we were sitting at our desks. We both ended up on the floor as screams—Ralf's in particular—filled the classroom and Ms. Meissner sprinted for the fire extinguisher. And then, just like that, the flames disappeared. Ralf was still screaming and patting himself down, but he didn't have a single singe mark on him. The only indication of what had happened was the lingering smell of smoke in the air. For several seconds, the entire classroom froze. Then, slowly, everyone put the pieces together. Moroi magical specializations were well known, and after scanning the room, I deduced three fire users: Ralf, his friend Jacob, and— Christian Ozera. Since neither Jacob nor Ralf would have set Ralf on fire, it sort of made the culprit obvious. The fact that Christian was laughing hysterically sort of gave it away too.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
I realized that the worst part of someone you love dying suddenly isn't the saying good-bye part. It's the part where you hope you said and did enough good stuff to make up for the bad stuff. It's the part where there are no second chances, no going back, no more opportunities to tell them how you feel about them.
Jennifer Brown (Torn Away)
CUSTOMER: Which was the first Harry Potter book? BOOKSELLER: The Philosopher’s Stone. CUSTOMER: And the second? BOOKSELLER: The Chamber of Secrets. CUSTOMER: I’l take The Chamber of Secrets. I don’t want The Philosopher’s Stone. BOOKSELLER: Have you already read that one? CUSTOMER: No, but with series of books I always find they take a while to really get going. I don’t want to waste my time with the useless introductory stuff at the beginning. BOOKSELLER: The story in Harry Potter actually starts right away. Personally, I do recommend that you start with the first book – and it’s very good. CUSTOMER: Are you working on commission? BOOKSELLER: No. CUSTOMER: Right. How many books are there in total? BOOKSELLER: Seven. CUSTOMER: Exactly. I’m not going to waste my money on the first book when there are so many others to buy. I’l take the second one. BOOKSELLER: . . . If you’re sure. (One week later, the customer returns) BOOKSELLER: Hi, did you want to buy a copy of The Prisoner of Azkaban? CUSTOMER: What’s that? BOOKSELLER: It’s the book after The Chamber of Secrets. CUSTOMER: Oh, no, definitely not. I found that book far too confusing. I ask you, how on earth are children supposed to understand it if I can’t? I mean, who the heck is that Voldemort guy anyway? No. I’m not going to bother with the rest. BOOKSELLER: . . .
Jen Campbell (Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops)
You have been given a second chance to start your life over. You can't throw this opportunity away. If you do you will be a colossal fool. If you get the chance to do something and don't do it then you'll simply live with regret. That's a worse situation than trying something daring and maybe not succeeding. At least you tried. Isn't that what you want to show your kids?
Lorena Bathey (Beatrice Munson)
Jude," I said, biting my lip. "I just can't. I can't do this." His expression darkened. "I know I don't deserve a second, or third, or whatever the hell this is chance, but you and I have something special, Luce, and you know it. Give me another chance, one more chance, and I'll walk a line so straight people will think I've been possessed." God I wanted to look away from those eyes, but I just couldn't. They were impossible to ignore. "One more chance. Not because I deserve it, but because we deserve one.
Nicole Williams (Crash (Crash, #1))
I need to hear you say it.” “I love you,” she said. She touched her lips to mine, and then pulled a few inches away. “Now quit being such a baby.” Once she kissed me, my heart slowed, and every muscle in my body relaxed. How much I needed her terrified me. I couldn’t imagine love was like this for everyone, or men would all be walking around like lunatics the second they were old enough to notice girls. Maybe it was just me. Maybe it was just me and her. Maybe together we were this volatile entity that would either implode or meld together. Either way, it seemed the moment I met her, my life had been turned upside down. And I didn’t want it any other way.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
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
Because I finally can,” Sebastian said. “You’ve no idea what it’s been like, being around the lot of you these past few days, having to pretend I could stand you. That the sight of you didn’t make me sick. You,” he said to Jace, “every second you’re not panting after your own sister, you’re whining on and on about how your daddy didn’t love you. Well, who could blame him? And you, you stupid bitch”—he turned to Clary—“giving that priceless book away to a half-breed warlock; have you got a single brain cell in that tiny head of yours?
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Blue got herself back together and then turned on the radio. Adam hadn't even realized the ancient tape deck worked, but after a hissing few seconds, a tape inside jangled a tune. Noah began to sing along at once. 'Squash one, squash two-' Adam pawed for the radio at the same time as Blue. The tape ejected with enough force that Noah stretched a hand to catch it. 'That song. What are you doing with that in your player?' Demanded Blue. 'Do you listen to that recreationally? How did that song escape from the Internet?' Noah cackled and showed them the cassette. It boasted a handmade label marked with Ronan's handwriting: PARRISH'S HONDAYOTA ALONE TIME. The other side was A SHITBOX SINGALONG. 'Play it! Play it!' Noah said gaily, waving the tape. 'Noah. Noah! Take that away from him,' Adam said.
Maggie Stiefvater (Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3))
Aw, hell!" Kyle grumbled. My gaze flickered toward him at the sound of his voice. I could just see his bright eyes around Jared's elbow, focused on me. " It didn't fall!" He complained. Jared lundged forward, away from me. With a loud smacking sound, his fist hit Kyle's face. Kyle's eyes rolled back in his head, and his mouth fell slack. The room was very quiet for a few seconds. "Um," Doc said in a mild voice, "medically speaking, I'm not sure that was the most helpful thing for his condition." "But I feel better," Jared answered, sullen.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
Every second you spend thinking about what you don't want in your life is a second denying focus and energy from getting what you do want. Every minute you worry about what's not working is a minute drawn away from creating what will work. And every hour spent reflecting on the disappointments of the past is an hour stolen from seeing the possibilities that your future holds.
Robin S. Sharma
I believe . . . that the petal of a flower or a tiny worm on the path says far more, contains far more than all the books in the library. One cannot say very much with mere letters and words. Sometimes I'll be writing a Greek letter, a theta or an omega, and tilt my pen just the slightest bit; suddenly the letter has a tail and becomes a fish; in a second it evokes all the streams and rivers of the world, all that is cool and humid, Homer's sea and the waters on which Saint Peter wandered; or becomes a bird, flaps its tail, shakes out its feathers, puffs itself up, laughs, flies away. You probably don't appreciate letters like that, very much, do you, Narcissus? But I say: with them God wrote the world.
Hermann Hesse (Narcissus and Goldmund)
You want me to have feelings?" he said. "I already told you that I love you. What else should I say? That I long to be near you every second of every day? I see colors, only around you....I smell perfume, only around you. God, it's like...like I'm alive again. Sometimes I go crazy just wondering if I imagined it all, and I wait to see when it...you...will be taken away from me." "I feel all these things, Abbey," he continued on. "Rage that I can't run my fingers through your hair. Sorrow that I can't lay my face next to yours. Agony that I can't steal the breath from your lips. I can't eat or breathe or sleep for wanting to touch you, and yet I don't eat or breathe or sleep. I'm just here. Stuck in between.
Jessica Verday (The Haunted (The Hollow, #2))
And then she started climbing/ The girl is in the seventh grade, and she's climbing a tree--way, way up in the tree. And why does she do it? So she can yell down at us that the bus is five! four! three blocks away! Blow-by-blow traffic watch from a tree--what every kid in junior high feels like hearing first thing in the morning. She tried to get me to come up there with her, too. "Bryce, come on! You won't believe the colors! It's absolutely magnificent! Bryce, you've got to come up here!" Yeah, I could just hear it: "Bryce and Juli sitting in a tree..." Was I ever going to leave the second grade behind?
Wendelin Van Draanen (Flipped)
And, for one– ten thousandth of a second, all of it fell away, the despair and grief and anger and pain and hunger, and the old Ben Parish rose from the dead. The eyes that impaled. The smile that slayed. In another moment, he would fade, slide back into the new Ben, the one called Zombie, and I understood something I hadn’t before: He was dead, the object of my schoolgirl desires, just as the schoolgirl who desired him was dead.
Rick Yancey (The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave, #2))
I don’t want to be a widow, I don’t want Michael Bayning, and I don’t want you to joke about such things, you tactless clodpole!” As all three of them stared at her openmouthed, Poppy leapt up and stalked away, her hands drawn into fists. Bewildered by the immediate force of her fury—it was like being stung by a butterfly—Harry stared after her dumbly. After a moment, he asked the first coherent thought that came to him. “Did she just say she doesn’t want Bayning?” “Yes,” Win said, a smile hovering on her lips. “That’s what she said. Go after her, Harry.” Every cell in Harry’s body longed to comply. Except that he had the feeling of standing on the edge of a cliff, with one ill-chosen word likely to send him over. He gave Poppy’s sister a desperate glance. “What should I say?” “Be honest with her about your feelings,” Win suggested. A frown settled on Harry’s face as he considered that. “What’s my second option?
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
I love you so much I spend all day with you, and it still isn’t enough for me,” he kept going. I stopped breathing. “I love you so much, if I can’t skate with you, I don’t want to skate with anyone else.” Holy. Fuck. “I love you so fucking much, Jasmine, that if I broke my ankle during a program, I would get up and finish it for you, to get you what you’ve always wanted.” It was love. All I could feel was love. I was going to cry. I was going to fucking cry. Right. Then. “You mean so much to me that that’s why whatever happens doesn’t really matter to me. Not like it used to. Not like it ever will again,” he finished, pressing his forehead against mine, his eyes intense and heartbreaking. “You’re not ever going to be anyone else’s partner. Not while I’m alive, Meatball. I will drag your stubborn, beautiful ass kicking and screaming back to me because nobody else will ever be good enough for you.” I blinked. I blinked so fast I knew I was about two point five seconds away from losing my shit. And then Ivan ended me. He ended every worry I’d ever had about there being someone after him. He did it right there with the tip of his nose touching my own and his forehead against mine too. “Because I’m okay with you having ten other people be your favorite. But you’re always going to be my favorite person,” he finished. “Always. No matter what.
Mariana Zapata (From Lukov with Love)
Song of a Second April APRIL this year, not otherwise Than April of a year ago Is full of whispers, full of sighs, Dazzling mud and dingy snow; Hepaticas that pleased you so Are here again, and butterflies. There rings a hammering all day, And shingles lie about the doors; From orchards near and far away The gray wood-pecker taps and bores, And men are merry at their chores, And children earnest at their play. The larger streams run still and deep; Noisy and swift the small brooks run. Among the mullein stalks the sheep Go up the hillside in the sun Pensively; only you are gone, You that alone I cared to keep.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
The first thing I noticed when I woke up was that I was covered in blood. The second thing I noticed was that this didn’t bother me the way it should have. I didn’t feel the urge to scream or speak, to beg for help, or even to wonder where I was. Those instincts were dead, and I was calm as my wet fingers slid up the tiled wall, groping for a light switch. I found one without even having to stand. Four lights slammed on above me, one after the other, illuminating the dead body on the floor just a few feet away. My mind processed the facts first. Male. Heavy. He was lying face down in a wide, red puddle that spread out from beneath him. The tips of his curly black hair were wet with it. There was something in his hand. The fluorescent lights in the white room flickered and buzzed and hummed. I moved to get a better view of the body. His eyes were closed. He could have been asleep, really, if it weren’t for the blood. There was so much of it. And by one of his hands it was smeared into a weird pattern. No. Not a pattern. Words. PLAY ME. My gaze flicked to his hand. His fist was curled around a small tape recorder. I moved his fingers—still warm—and pressed play. A male voice started to speak. "Do I have your attention?" the voice said. I knew that voice. But I couldn’t believe I was hearing it.
Michelle Hodkin (The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #3))
I will never, ever regret stopping you from walking out of my life a second time, Kyle," she said in an emotional voice. "And I can prove it." She reached for the buttons on her trench coat and undid them, one at a time. Then she opened the coat and let it drop to the floor. And even if she didn't say a single word more, Kyle knew he would never again doubt the way Rylann felt about him. She was wearing his flannel shirt. "You kept it," he said softly. "All this time." She nodded. "For nine years, I've held on to this darn shirt, literally dragging it across the country and back." Kyle touched her cheek, gently brushing away a tear with his thumb. "Why?" She paused hesitantly, and then with a tender smile, finally put it all on the line, too. "I guess I always hoped you'd come back for it someday.
Julie James (About That Night (FBI/US Attorney, #3))
Finally, he pushed back the chair and exhaled. "He's alive," I said. "Your dad's alive." He loooked up at me and, I couldn't help it-- I threw my arms around his neck and hugged him. Then I realized what I was doing. I let go, backing away, tripping over my feet, stammering. "I-I'm sorry. I'm just--I'm happy for you." "I know." Still sitting, he reached out and pulled me toward him. We stayed there, looking at each other, his hand still wrapped around my shirt hem, my heart hammering so hard I wash sure he could hear it. "There's more," I said after a few seconds. "More emails, Tori said." He nodded and swiveled back to the computer, making room for me. When I inched closer, not wanting to intrude, he tugged me in front of him and I stumbled, half falling onto his lap. I tried to scramble up, cheeks burning, but he pulled me down onto his knee, one arm going around my waist, tentative, as if to say Is this okay? It was, even if my blood pounded in my ears so hard I couldn't think.
Kelley Armstrong (The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3))
Finally, I wish to remember the millions of Allied servicemen and prisoners of war who lived the story of the Second World War. Many of these men never came home; many others returned bearing emotional and physical scars that would stay with them for the rest of their lives. I come away from this book with the deepest appreciation for what these men endured, and what they scarified, for the good of humanity. It is to them that this book {Unbroken} is dedicated,
Laura Hillenbrand (Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption)
When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No... don't blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn't sound very exciting, does it? But it is!
Louis de Bernières (Corelli's Mandolin)
Yes,” she purred. “I really think you can do better. Lots better.” As she spoke, she trailed a red-painted finger down the center of his chest, over his abdomen, heading straight for the button on his jeans. And oh, hell to the no. “Get your hands off him.” Sadi’s head snapped in my direction. “Excuse me?” “I don’t think I stuttered.” I took a step forward. “But it looks like you need me to repeat it. Get your freaking hands off him.” One side of her plump red lips curled up. “You want to make me?” In the back of my head, I was aware that Sadi didn’t move or speak like the other Luxen. Her mannerisms were too human, but then that thought was quickly chased away when Daemon reached down and pulled her hand away. “Stop it,” he murmured, voice dropped low in that teasing way of his. I saw red. The pictures on the wall rattled and the papers on the desk started to lift up. Static charged over my skin. I was about to pull a Beth right here, seconds away from floating to the ceiling and ripping out every strand of red—
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
He finished tying the knot and looked me in the face and I felt my gaze fall from his eyes to his lips and back again. "Why are you giving it back to me?" I asked. He pressed his thumb to my bottom lip and I heard an intake of air. That was me, I thought, before my head started to spin. Then he bent his head and kissed me. Just lightly, for a short few seconds before drawing away again.
Sarah Alderson (Hunting Lila (Lila, #1))
Tell me how you could say such a thing, she said, staring down at the ground beneath her feet. You're not telling me anything I don't know already. 'Relax your body, and the rest of you will lighten up.' What's the point of saying that to me? If I relaxed my body now, I'd fall apart. I've always lived like this, and it's the only way I know how to go on living. If I relaxed for a second, I'd never find my way back. I'd go to pieces, and the pieces would be blown away. Why can't you see that? How can you talk about watching over me if you can't see that?
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
I sunk down onto the bench in the middle of the car. So Alex had loved me the whole time, from the moment we'd seen each other again? All that time I'd been freaking out about Rachel? All that time I'd spent inches away from him, sleeping in his bed by myself; sitting opposite him at dinner, smashing plates; clinging to him on the back of his bike; sneaking peeks at him through a half-ajar bathroom door - and all the time he'd been in love with me? We'd wasted all that time when we could have been kissing? And he'd had to wait until two seconds before leaving me until he told me? If the Unit didn't kill him, I was going to.
Sarah Alderson (Hunting Lila (Lila, #1))
See, that’s the tragedy of the human condition. No one wants to be corrupted by power when they set out to get it. They have good, even noble reasons for doing whatever it is they do. They don’t want to misuse it, they don’t want to abuse it, and they don’t want to become vicious monsters. Good people, decent people, set out to take the high road, to pick up power without letting it change them or push them away from their ideals. But it keeps happening anyway. History is full of it. As a rule, people aren’t good at handling power. And the second you start to think you’re better at controlling your power than anyone else, you’ve already taken the first step.
Jim Butcher (Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14))
He's bent over the strings tuning his guitar with such passionate attention I almost feel I should look away but I can't. In fact I'm full on gawking wondering what it would be like to be cool and casual and fearless and passionate and so freaking alive just like he is- and for a split second I want to play with him. I want to disturb the birds. Later as he plays and plays as all the fog burns away I think he's right. That's exactly it- I am crazy sad and somewhere deep inside all I want is to fly.
Jandy Nelson (The Sky Is Everywhere)
Laurel look up at him in question, but he wouldn't meet her eyes. She always wished she had more time to draw secrets from him. "I'll wear it always," she said. "And think of me?" His eyes held her captive, and she knew there was only one answer. "Yes." "Good." She started to turn, but before she could step away, Tamani grabbed her hand. Without breaking eye contact, he raised her hand to his face and brushed his lips over her knuckles. For just a second, his eyes were unguarded. A spark went through Laurel at what she saw there: raw, unbridled desire. Before she could look any closer, he smiled, and the flash was gone.
Aprilynne Pike (Wings (Wings, #1))
According to Maslow, I was stuck on the second level of the pyramid, unable to feel secure in my health and therefore unable to reach for love and respect and art and whatever else, which is, utter horseshit: The urge to make art or contemplate philosophy does not go away when you are sick. Those urges just become transfigured by illness. Maslow's pyramid seemed to imply I was less human than other people, and most people seemed to agree with him.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
First one gives off his best picture, the bright and finished product mended with bluff and falsehood and humor. Then more details are required and one paints a second portrait, and third---before long the best lines cancel out---and the secret is exposed at last; the planes of the picture have intermingled and given us away, and though we paint and paint we can no longer sell a picture. We must be satisfied with hoping such fatuous accounts of ourselves as we make to our wives and children and business associates are accepted as true.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Beautiful and Damned)
I see how it is,” I snapped. “You were all in favor of me breaking the tattoo and thinking on my own—but that’s only okay if it’s convenient for you, huh? Just like your ‘loving from afar’ only works if you don’t have an opportunity to get your hands all over me. And your lips. And . . . stuff.” Adrian rarely got mad, and I wouldn’t quite say he was now. But he was definitely exasperated. “Are you seriously in this much self-denial, Sydney? Like do you actually believe yourself when you say you don’t feel anything? Especially after what’s been happening between us?” “Nothing’s happening between us,” I said automatically. “Physical attraction isn’t the same as love. You of all people should know that.” “Ouch,” he said. His expression hadn’t changed, but I saw hurt in his eyes. I’d wounded him. “Is that what bothers you? My past? That maybe I’m an expert in an area you aren’t?” “One I’m sure you’d just love to educate me in. One more girl to add to your list of conquests.” He was speechless for a few moments and then held up one finger. “First, I don’t have a list.” Another finger, “Second, if I did have a list, I could find someone a hell of lot less frustrating to add to it.” For the third finger, he leaned toward me. “And finally, I know that you know you’re no conquest, so don’t act like you seriously think that. You and I have been through too much together. We’re too close, too connected. I wasn’t that crazy on spirit when I said you’re my flame in the dark. We chase away the shadows around each other. Our backgrounds don’t matter. What we have is bigger than that. I love you, and beneath all that logic, calculation, and superstition, I know you love me too. Running away and fleeing all your problems isn’t going to change that. You’re just going to end up scared and confused.” “I already feel that way,” I said quietly. Adrian moved back and leaned into his seat, looking tired. “Well, that’s the most accurate thing you’ve said so far.” I grabbed the basket and jerked open the car door. Without another word, I stormed off, refusing to look back in case he saw the tears that had inexplicably appeared in my eyes. Only, I wasn’t sure exactly which part of our conversation I was most upset about.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
<…>"No, Ty, you drew it when one second you had your tongue in my mouth, your hands on me and me on my back in your bed and swear to God, swear to God, that was all you had to do, I was this close," she lifted a hand and held her thumb and forefinger an inch apart, "to climax just with that and the next second you took it all away from me. All of it and you fucking know exactly what I'm talking about because the next second I was standing on my feet, you were two feet away but you might as well still have been in fucking California and then I watched you shut down."<…>
Kristen Ashley (Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3))
Wordlessly, she slipped off her shoes. Gently, she placed a palm on the floor, shifted to stand, but that was when Macey felt another hand pressing down on hers.Hard. Too Hard. "Just what do you think you're doing ?" Hale hissed in her ear. His fingers burned into her skin. And Macey knew if she was going to take out the gunman, she was first going to have to neutralize the boy beside her. "Why don't you let me go and I'll show you," she said with only a modicum of flirt in her voice. "Why don't you put your fancy shoes back on and sit there like a good little girl?" "First of all, I'm good at a lot of things. Taking orders from bored billionaires isn't one of them. Second of all, he's alone, and I can take him," Macey said. "No!" Hale said. "You don't know anything about this guy." "I know he's left handed and has an old injury to his right knee---probably a torn ACL at some point but the details don't matter. And the way he keeps his finger purposefully away from the safety of that gun means he's never fired it. And he doesn't want to." "You're kinda scary.
Ally Carter (Double Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story (Gallagher Girls, #5.5; Heist Society, #2.5))
He turned my way, and I was so engrossed in my thoughts that I didn't notice for a second. Then I realized I was staring at him, and looked away fast, cheeks flaming. I could feel him looking at me. Frowning slightly, like he was trying to figure something out. Before he could, I gulped my warm water and said, "Must be almost lunchtime," which was a stupid thing to say, but all I could think of. It took him a moment before he answered, shrugging and saying, "Maybe." Then, " You okay?" I nodded. "You want to talk about what happened downstairs? With Banks?" I nodded again. "I should get Simon," he said. "He'll want to know." Another nod, but he didn't move, just watched me as I kept sipping the warm water. "Chloe." I took my time looking up, certain he'd figured out what I'd been thinking and was about to let me down gently. He wouldn't say, " Sorry, I'm not interested, " because that wouldn't be Derek- too presumptious- but he'd find some way to convey the same message, as I had with Simon. I like you. I just don't like you that way. "Chloe?" I looked up than, and what I saw in his eyes-- my hands fumbled the glass, and I dropped it, water spalashing over me, soaking my jeans. I scrambled to catch that glass before it hit the floor, barely making it, on one knee, prize gripped firmly in my hand. And I was still there when I felt the glass being tugged from my fingers. I looked up to see Derek crouching in front of me, his face inches from mine. He leaned forward and-- "What'd you lose?" Simon's voice came from the doorway, and we shot to our feet so fast we collided.
Kelley Armstrong (The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3))
Most parents try really hard to give their kids the best possible life. They give them the best food and clothes they can afford, take their own kind of take on training kids to be honest and polite. But what they don't realize is no matter how much they try, their kids will get out there. Out to this complicated little world. If they are lucky they will survive, through backstabbers, broken hearts, failures and all the kinds of invisible insane pressures out there. But most kids get lost in them. They will get caught up in all kinds of bubbles. Trouble bubbles. Bubbles that continuously tell them that they are not good enough. Bubbles that get them carried away with what they think is love, give them broken hearts. Bubbles that will blur the rest of the world to them, make them feel like that is it, that they've reached the end. Sometimes, even the really smart kids, make stupid decisions. They lose control. Parents need to realize that the world is getting complicated every second of every day. With new problems, new diseases, new habits. They have to realize the vast probability of their kids being victims of this age, this complicated era. Your kids could be exposed to problems that no kind of therapy can help. Your kids could be brainwashed by themselves to believe in insane theories that drive them crazy. Most kids will go through this stage. The lucky ones will understand. They will grow out of them. The unlucky ones will live in these problems. Grow in them and never move forward. They will cut themselves, overdose on drugs, take up excessive drinking and smoking, for the slightest problems in their lives. You can't blame these kids for not being thankful or satisfied with what they have. Their mentality eludes them from the reality.
Thisuri Wanniarachchi (COLOMBO STREETS)
People are made of stories. Our memories are not the impartial accumulation of every second we’ve lived; they’re the narrative that we assembled out of selected moments. Which is why, even when we’ve experienced the same events as other individuals, we never constructed identical narratives: the criteria used for selecting moments were different for each of us, and a reflection of our personalities. Each of us noticed the details that caught our attention and remembered what was important to us, and the narratives we built shaped our personalities in turn. But, I wondered, if everyone remembered everything, would our differences get shaved away? What would happen to our sense of self? It seemed to me that a perfect memory couldn’t be a narrative any more than unedited security-cam footage could be a feature film. ·
Ted Chiang (Exhalation)
-If I somehow possessed a set of videotapes that contained all the most significant events of your childhood, in their entirety, would you want to see them? -Absolutely. Right this very second. -But why? Don't you think some of the tapes would be very sad? -Most of them, yes. But if I could see them, then I could have them in my brain like regular memories-horrible memories, yes, but regular memories, not sinister little ghosts in my head that pop out of some part of me I don't even know, and take the rest of me away. Do you know what I mean? -I think so, If you have to remeber, you'd rather do it in the front of your brain than in the back.
Martha Stout (The Myth of Sanity: Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness)
A Second Childhood.” When all my days are ending And I have no song to sing, I think that I shall not be too old To stare at everything; As I stared once at a nursery door Or a tall tree and a swing. Wherein God’s ponderous mercy hangs On all my sins and me, Because He does not take away The terror from the tree And stones still shine along the road That are and cannot be. Men grow too old for love, my love, Men grow too old for wine, But I shall not grow too old to see Unearthly daylight shine, Changing my chamber’s dust to snow Till I doubt if it be mine. Behold, the crowning mercies melt, The first surprises stay; And in my dross is dropped a gift For which I dare not pray: That a man grow used to grief and joy But not to night and day. Men grow too old for love, my love, Men grow too old for lies; But I shall not grow too old to see Enormous night arise, A cloud that is larger than the world And a monster made of eyes. Nor am I worthy to unloose The latchet of my shoe; Or shake the dust from off my feet Or the staff that bears me through On ground that is too good to last, Too solid to be true. Men grow too old to woo, my love, Men grow too old to wed; But I shall not grow too old to see Hung crazily overhead Incredible rafters when I wake And I find that I am not dead. A thrill of thunder in my hair: Though blackening clouds be plain, Still I am stung and startled By the first drop of the rain: Romance and pride and passion pass And these are what remain. Strange crawling carpets of the grass, Wide windows of the sky; So in this perilous grace of God With all my sins go I: And things grow new though I grow old, Though I grow old and die.
G.K. Chesterton (The Collected Poems of G. K. Chesterton)
They were beyond the present, outside time, with no memories and no future. There was nothing but obliterating sensation, thrilling and swelling, and the sound of fabric on fabric and skin on fabric as their limbs slid across each other in this restless, sensuous wrestling. ... They moved closer, deeper and then, for seconds on end, everything stopped. Instead of an ecstatic frenzy, there was stillness. They were stilled not by the astonishing fact of arrival, but by an awed sense of return - they were face to face in the gloom, staring into what little they could see of each other's eyes, and now it was the impersonal that dropped away.
Ian McEwan (Atonement)
Grief and loss are probably the most fearful creatures that exist. But loss shouldn't be a fearful creature. It should be a creature of wisdom. It should teach us not to fear that tomorrow may never come, but live fully, as though the hours are melting away like seconds. Loss should teach us to cherish those we love, to never do anything that will result in regret, and to cheer on tomorrow with all of its promises of greatness. It's easy and un-extraordinary to be frightened of life. It's far more difficult to arm yourself with the good stuff despite all the bad and step foot into tomorrow as an everyday warrior.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
Come, I'll take you to San Giacomo before you change your mind,' I finally said. 'There is still time before lunch. Remember the way?' 'I remember the way.' 'You remember the way,' I echoed. He looked at me and smiled. It cheered me. Perhaps because I knew he was taunting me. Twenty years was yesterday, and yesterday was just earlier this morning, and morning seemed light-years away. 'I'm like you,' he said. 'I remember everything.' I stopped for a second. If you remember everything, I wanted to say, and if you are really like me, then before you leave tomorrow, or when you're just ready to shut the door of the taxi and have already said goodbye to everyone else and there's not a thing left to say in this life, then, just this once, turn to me, even in jest, or as an afterthought, which would have meant everything to me when we were together, and, as you did back then, look me in the face, hold my gaze, and call me by your name.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
And right then it felt like I finally understood where everything was, eternity, the heart , the soul. It was like I was sharing every experience I'd ever had in my past 13 years. And then, the next moment, I became unbearably sad. I didn't know what to do with these feeling. Her warmth, her soul. How was I supposed to treat them? That, I did not know. Then right then, I clearly understood that we would never be together. Our lives not yet fully realized, the vast expanse of time. They lay before us and there was nothing we could do. But then, all my worries, all my doubt, started melting away. All that was left were Akari's soft lips on mine.
Makoto Shinkai (秒速5センチメートル 1 [Byousoku 5 Centimeter 1])
GGRRROOCCCCK... Ian's knees buckled. The rock outcropping shook the ground, sending a spew of grayish dust that quickly billowed around them. Shielding his eyes, he spotted Amy standing by the figurine, which was now moving toward her. She was in shock, her backpack on the ground by her feet. "Get back!" he shouted. Ian pulled Amy away and threw her to the ground, landing on top of her. Gravel showered over his back, embedding into his hair and landing on the ground like a burst of applause. His second though was that the shirt would be ruined. And this was the shock of it-that his first thought had not been about the shirt. Or the coin. Or himself. It had been about her. But that was not part of the plan. She existed for a purpose. She was a tactic, a stepping stone. She was... "Lovely," he said. Amy was staring up at him, petrified, her eyelashes flecked with dust. Ian took her hand, which was knotted into a fist. "Y-y-you don't have to do that," she whispered. "Do what?" Ian asked. "Be sarcastic. Say things like 'lovely.' You saved my life. Th-thank you." "My duty," he replied. He lowered his head and allowed his lips to brush hers. Just a bit.
Peter Lerangis (The Sword Thief (The 39 Clues, #3))
Emma convinced herself she'd lost him because she was fast. She was also adept at convincing herself of things that might not be - good at pretending. She could pretend she took classes at night by choice, and that blushing didn't make her thirsty-- A vicious growl sounded. Her eyes widened, but she didn't turn back, just sprinted across the field. She felt claws sink into her anckle a second before she was dragged to the muddy ground and thrown onto her back. A hand covered her mouth, though she'd been trained not to scream. "Never run from one such as me." Her attacker didn't sound human. "You will no' get away. And we like it." His voice was guttural like a beast's, breaking, yet his accent was... Scottish?
Kresley Cole (A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, #1))
I have scars on my hand from touching certain people. Once, in the park, when Frannie was still in the carriage, I put my hand on the downy pate of her head and left it there too long. Another time, at Loew's Seventy-second Street, with Zooey during a spooky movie. He was about six or seven, and he went under the seat to avoid watching a scary scene. I put my hand on his head. Certain heads, certain colors and textures of human hair leave permanent marks on me. Other things, too. Charlotte once ran away from me, outside the studio, and I grabbed her dress to stop her, to keep her near me. A yellow cotton dress I loved because it was too long for her. I still have a lemon-yellow mark on the palm of my right hand.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
I think that the real religion is about the understanding that if we can only still our egos for a few seconds, we might have a chance of experiencing something that is divine in nature. But in order to do that, we have to slice away at our egos and try to get them down to a manageable size, and then still work some practiced light meditation. So real religion is about reducing our egos, whereas all the churches are interested in is egotistical activities, like getting as many members and raising as much money and becoming as important and high-profile and influential as possible. All of which are egotistical attitudes. So how can you have an egotistical organization trying to teach a non-egotistical ideal? It makes no sense, unless you regard religion as crowd control. What I think most organized religion—simply crowd control.
John Cleese
A man walks into a bar and says: Take my wife–please. So you do. You take her out into the rain and you fall in love with her and she leaves you and you’re desolate. You’re on your back in your undershirt, a broken man on an ugly bedspread, staring at the water stains on the ceiling. And you can hear the man in the apartment above you taking off his shoes. You hear the first boot hit the floor and you’re looking up, you’re waiting because you thought it would follow, you thought there would be some logic, perhaps, something to pull it all together but here we are in the weeds again, here we are in the bowels of the thing: your world doesn’t make sense. And then the second boot falls. And then a third, a fourth, a fifth. A man walks into a bar and says: Take my wife–please. But you take him instead. You take him home, and you make him a cheese sandwich, and you try to get his shoes off, but he kicks you and he keeps kicking you. You swallow a bottle of sleeping pills but they don’t work. Boots continue to fall to the floor in the apartment above you. You go to work the next day pretending nothing happened. Your co-workers ask if everything’s okay and you tell them you’re just tired. And you’re trying to smile. And they’re trying to smile. A man walks into a bar, you this time, and says: Make it a double. A man walks into a bar, you this time, and says: Walk a mile in my shoes. A man walks into a convenience store, still you, saying: I only wanted something simple, something generic… But the clerk tells you to buy something or get out. A man takes his sadness down to the river and throws it in the river but then he’s still left with the river. A man takes his sadness and throws it away but then he’s still left with his hands.
Richard Siken
Mom." I couldn't believe she was doing this again. She was taking this moment, this time when I was strongest, away from me. "I don't care what I have to do," she said, her voice low and even. "I don't care if I have to send you away or switch schools. I don't care if I have to follow you twenty-four hours a day, you will not see him, Halley. You will not destroy yourself this way." "Why are you just assuming I'm going back to him?" I asked her, just as she was drawing in breath to make another point. "Why don't you ask me what I said to him out there?" She shut her mouth, caught off guard. "What?" "Why don't you ever wait a second and see what I'm planning, or thinking, before you burst in with your opinions and ideas? You never even give me a chance." "Yes, I do," she said indignantly. "No," I said. "You don't. And then you wonder why I never tell you anyone or share anything with you. I can never trust you with anything or share anything with you. I can never trust you with anything, give you any piece of me without you grabbing it to keep for yourself." "That's not true," she said slowly, but it was just now hitting her, I could see it. "Halley, you don't always know what's at stake, and I do." "I will never learn," I said to her slowly, "until you let me." And so we stood there in the kitchen, my mother and I, facing off over everything that had built up since June, when I was willing to hand myself over free and clear. Now I needed her to return it all to me, with the faith that I could make my own way.
Sarah Dessen (Someone Like You)
Sir, people never wanted me to make it to squire. They won't like it any better if I become a knight. I doubt I'll ever get to command a force larger than, well, just me.' Raoul shook his head. 'You're wrong.' As she started to protest, he raised a hand. 'Hear me out. I have some idea of what you've had to bear to get this far, and it won't get easier. But there are larger issues than your fitness for knighthood, issues that involve lives and livelihoods. Attend,' he said, so much like Yayin, one of her Mithran teachers, that Kel had to smile. 'At our level, there are four kids of warrior,' he told Kel. He raised a fist and held up one large finger. 'Heroes, like Alanna the Lioness. Warriors who find dark places and fight in them alone. This is wonderful, but we live in the real world. There aren't many places without any hope or light.' He raised a second finger. 'We have knights- plain, everyday knights, like your brothers. They patrol their borders and protect their tenants, or they go into troubled areas at the king's command and sort them out. They fight in battles, usually against other knights. A hero will work like an everyday knight for a time- it's expected. And most knights must be clever enough to manage alone.' Kel nodded. 'We have soldiers,' Raoul continued, raising a third finger. 'Those warriors, including knights, who can manage so long as they're told what to do. These are more common, thank Mithros, and you'll find them in charge of companies in the army, under the eye of a general. Without people who can take orders, we'd be in real trouble. 'Commanders.' He raised his little finger. 'Good ones, people with a knack for it, like, say, the queen, or Buri, or young Dom, they're as rare as heroes. Commanders have an eye not just for what they do, but for what those around them do. Commanders size up people's strengths and weaknesses. They know where someone will shine and where they will collapse. Other warriors will obey a true commander because they can tell that the commander knows what he- or she- is doing.' Raoul picked up a quill and toyed with it. 'You've shown flashes of being a commander. I've seen it. So has Qasim, your friend Neal, even Wyldon, though it would be like pulling teeth to get him to admit it. My job is to see if you will do more than flash, with the right training. The realm needs commanders. Tortall is big. We have too many still-untamed pockets, too curse many hideyholes for rogues, and plenty of hungry enemies to nibble at our borders and our seafaring trade. If you have what it takes, the Crown will use you. We're too desperate for good commanders to let one slip away, even a female one. Now, finish that'- he pointed to the slate- 'and you can stop for tonight.
Tamora Pierce (Squire (Protector of the Small, #3))
It's not all gone. She loved someone before and so did I. The Society and the Rising and the world are all still out there, pressing against us. But Lei holds them away. She's made enough space for two people to stand up together, whether or not any Society or Rising says that they can. She's done it before. The amazing thing is that she's not afraid to do it again. When we fall in love the first time, we don't know anything. We risk a lot less than we do if we choose to love again. There is something extraordinary about the first time falling. But if feels even better to find myself standing on solid ground, with someone holding on to me, pulling me back, and know that I'm doing the same for her.
Ally Condie (Reached (Matched, #3))
Do you know the parable about the frog in the cream? Two frogs landed in a pail of cream. One, thinking rationally, understood straight away that there was no point in resistance and that you can’t deceive destiny. But then what if there’s an afterlife – why bother jumping around, entertaining false hopes in vain? He crossed his legs and sank to the bottom. The second, the fool, was probably an atheist. And she started to flop around. It would seem that she had no reason to flail about if everything was predestined. But she flopped around and flopped around anyway . . . Meanwhile, the cream turned to butter. And she crawled out. We honour the memory of this second frog’s friend, eternally damned for the sake of progress and rational thought.
Dmitry Glukhovsky (Metro 2033)
Okay." I bounced down the stairs. "I'm decent." He was waiting at the foot of the stairs, closer than I'd thought, and I bounded right into him. He steadied me, holding me a careful distance away for a few seconds before suddenly pulling me closer. "Wrong again," he murmured in my ear. "You are utterly indecent - no one should look so tempting, it's not fair." "Tempting how?" I asked. "I can change . . ." He sighed, shaking his head. "You are so absurd." He pressed his cool lips delicately to my forehead, and the room spun. The smell of his breath made it impossible to think. "Shall I explain how you are tempting me?" he said. It was clearly a rhetorical question. His fingers traced slowly down my spine, his breath coming more quickly against my skin. My hands were limp on his chest, and I felt ligtheaded again. He tilted his head slowly and touched his cool lips to mine for the second time, very carefully, parting them slightly. And then I collapsed.
Stephenie Meyer (Twilight (The Twilight Saga, #1))
I didn’t want to see you but you invaded my world Every dark corner you found a way in Bringing color to the lifeless and lost. I didn’t want to touch you but you reached inside me Every lost memory you found a way to melt the frost Until the small closed world inside opened up into the sea You made me love you by the smile on your face, the kindness in your eyes and the heat of your skin. One kiss makes all that’s been hurt fade away. You made me love you for the man inside. The one no one sees but me. The man who listens to what my heart has to say. I didn’t want to love you but you’re impossible not to love. Every perfect moment I spend in your arms draws me closer Showing me that life isn’t over because its path takes a sudden turn I didn’t see you coming when you arrived Nothing prepared me for the gift of a second chance. I’ve been loved in life but all that matters now is that I’m loved by you You made me love you by the smile on your face, the kindness in your eyes and the heat of your skin. One kiss makes all that’s been hurt fade away. You made me love you for the man inside. The one no one sees but me. The man who listens to what my heart has to say. I’ll spend eternity in your arms if you’ll trust me when I say that I love you.
Abbi Glines (While It Lasts (Sea Breeze, #3))
The tapping grows insistent, and I turn, intending to tell off the Cadet. Instead, I'm faced with a slave-girl looking up at me through impossibly long eyelashes. A heated, visceral shock flares through me at the clarity of her dark gold eyes. For a second, I forget my name. I've never seen her before, because if I had, I'd remember. Despite the heavy silver cuffs and high, painful-looking bun that mark all of Blackcliff's drudges, nothing about her says slave. Her black dress fits her like a glove, sliding over every curve in a way that makes more than one head turn. Her full lips and fine, straight nose would be the envy of most girls, Scholar or not. I stare at her, realize I'm staring, tell myself to stop staring, and then keep staring. My breath falters, and my body, traitor that is, tugs me forward until there are only inches between us. “Asp-aspirant Veturius.” It's the way she says my name—like it's something to fear—that brings me back to myself. Pull it together, Veturius. I step away, appalled at myself when I see the terror in her eyes. “What is it?” I ask calmly.
Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1))
If, by the virtue of charity or the circumstance of desperation, you ever chance to spend a little time around a Substance-recovery halfway facility like Enfield MA’s state-funded Ennet House, you will acquire many exotic new facts… That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. That sleeping can be a form of emotional escape and can with sustained effort be abused. That purposeful sleep-deprivation can also be an abusable escape. That you do not have to like a person in order to learn from him/her/it. That loneliness is not a function of solitude. That logical validity is not a guarantee of truth. That it takes effort to pay attention to any one stimulus for more than a few seconds. That boring activities become, perversely, much less boring if you concentrate intently on them. That if enough people in a silent room are drinking coffee it is possible to make out the sound of steam coming off the coffee. That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt. That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness. That it is possible to fall asleep during an anxiety attack. That concentrating intently on anything is very hard work. That 99% of compulsive thinkers’ thinking is about themselves; that 99% of this self-directed thinking consists of imagining and then getting ready for things that are going to happen to them; and then, weirdly, that if they stop to think about it, that 100% of the things they spend 99% of their time and energy imagining and trying to prepare for all the contingencies and consequences of are never good. In short that 99% of the head’s thinking activity consists of trying to scare the everliving shit out of itself. That it is possible to make rather tasty poached eggs in a microwave oven. That some people’s moms never taught them to cover up or turn away when they sneeze. That the people to be the most frightened of are the people who are the most frightened. That it takes great personal courage to let yourself appear weak. That no single, individual moment is in and of itself unendurable. That other people can often see things about you that you yourself cannot see, even if those people are stupid. That having a lot of money does not immunize people from suffering or fear. That trying to dance sober is a whole different kettle of fish. That different people have radically different ideas of basic personal hygiene. That, perversely, it is often more fun to want something than to have it. That if you do something nice for somebody in secret, anonymously, without letting the person you did it for know it was you or anybody else know what it was you did or in any way or form trying to get credit for it, it’s almost its own form of intoxicating buzz. That anonymous generosity, too, can be abused. That it is permissible to want. That everybody is identical in their unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else. That this isn’t necessarily perverse. That there might not be angels, but there are people who might as well be angels.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Let me tell you something you haven't learnt yet, something you learn only by living awhile. As you get older, you find that life begins to wear you down. Doesn't matter who you are or what you do, it happens. Experience, time, events - they all conspire against you to steal away your energy, to erode your confidence, to make you question things you wouldn't have given a second thought to when you were young. It happens gradually, a chipping away that you don't even notice at first, and then one day it's there. You wake up and you just don't have the fire anymore...Then you have a choice. You can either give in to what you're feeling, just say "okay, enough is enough" and be done with it, or you can fight it. You can accept that every day you're alive you're going to have to face it down, that you're going to have to say to yourself that you don't care what you feel, that it doesn't matter what happens anyway, that you're going to do what you have to because otherwise you're defeated and life doesn't have any real pupose left. When you can do that, little Wren, when you can accept the wearing down and the eroding, then you can do anything. How did I manage to keep going out nights? I just told myself I didn't matter all that much - that those in here mattered more. You know something? It's not so hard really. You just have to get past the fear.
Terry Brooks
The world is like a waiting room in a railway station; it is not your house. You are not going to remain in the waiting room forever. Nothing in the waiting room belongs to you – the furniture, the paintings on the wall .... You use them – you see the painting, you sit on the chair, you rest on the bed – but nothing belongs to you. You are just here for a few ...minutes, or for a few hours at the most, then you will be gone. Yes, what you have brought in with you, into the waiting room, you will take away with you; that’s yours. What have you brought into the world? And the world certainly is a waiting room. The waiting may not be in seconds, minutes, hours, days, it may be in years; but what does it matter whether you wait seven hours, or seventy years? You may forget, in seventy years, that you are just in a waiting room. You may star t thinking perhaps you are the owner, perhaps this is the house you have built. You may start putting your nameplate on the waiting room.
Osho
Suddenly I realized, horrified, that Darry was crying. He didn’t make a sound, but tears were running down his cheeks. I hadn’t seen him cry in years, not even when Mom and Dad had been killed. (I remembered the funeral. I had sobbed in spite of myself; Soda had broken down and bawled like a baby; but Darry had only stood there, his fists in his pockets and that look on his face, the same helpless, pleading look that he was wearing now.) In that second what Soda and Dally and Two-Bit had been trying to tell me came through. Darry did care about me, maybe as much as he cared about Soda, and because he cared he was trying too hard to make something of me. When he yelled “Pony, where have you been all this time?” he meant “Pony, you’ve scared me to death. Please be careful, because I couldn’t stand it if anything happened to you.” Darry looked down and turned away silently. Suddenly I broke out of my daze. “Darry!” I screamed, and the next thing I knew I had him around the waist and was squeezing the daylights out of him. “Darry,” I said, “I’m sorry . . .” He was stroking my hair and I could hear the sobs racking him as he fought to keep back the tears. “Oh, Pony, I thought we’d lost you . . . like we did Mom and Dad . . .” That was his silent fear then—of losing another person he loved. I remembered how close he and Dad had been, and I wondered how I could ever have thought him hard and unfeeling. I listened to his heart pounding through his T-shirt and knew everything was going to be okay now. I had taken the long way around, but I was finally home. To stay.
S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders)
There are so many impatient people in the world. It seems everyone wants something right this second. We don't want to wait in lines, we get fidgety when our food takes too long to cook, and we have no tolerance whatsoever for anyone who holds us up from doing anything we want to do the moment we want to do it. I'm bothered right now that I'm having to wait till the end of this sentence to see what word I end up on. On, who knew? It's particularly hard to wait for things that are days or weeks or even months away. Calendars mock you, clocks pester you, and the rotation of the earth seems to slow by at least forty percent. I suppose, however, that if you were preparing to take over the world and you needed one final piece to fall into place, but that piece had to be slowly dragged over the dirt so it didn't die, that would be really hard to wait for. I'd feel sorry for whoever that happened to, but then again they were trying to take over the world and all. So please, no sympathy for Azure.
Obert Skye (Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra (Leven Thumps, #4))
In the silent aftermath, I said, "We'll give them a second chance." With my right hand, I reached to the other pocket. I had known as soon as I lifted the false bottom in the gun case and looked underneath what it meant. I had tried without ceasing to find some alternative to Attolia's ruthless advice and I had failed. Gen's gift told me that I had not failed for lack of trying. I'd lifted out the matching gun and read its archaic inscription. Realisa onum. Not 'the queen made me,' but 'I can make the king.' Looking at Akretenesh's startled face down the long barrel of the handgun, I smiled, until I felt the scar tissue tighten. That one expression, I'd never showed him. My face gave away my humiliation, my rage, my surprise, and my embarrassment, but I had never let him see what I looked like when I smiled: my uncle. His diplomatic mask dissolved, and he backed away. In Attolia, I had been in front of a mirror at last, and I had understood what made Oerus back in Hanaktos ask me if my expression was a happy one or not. The smile rumpled the scar tissue under my skin, and it dragged my face askew, giving me the leer of a man who'd never had a moment of self-doubt, who'd never regretted a life lost. I'd worried that I wouldn't have the nerve to carry this off, but in the moment, it was easy. Seeing Akretenesh recoil, I laughed out loud.
Megan Whalen Turner (A Conspiracy of Kings (The Queen's Thief, #4))
But Gemma, you could change the world." "That should take far more than my power," I say. "True. But change needn't happen all at once. It can be small gestures." "Moments. Do you understand?" He's looking at me differently now, though I cannot say how. I only know I need to look away... We pass by the pools, where the mud larks sift. And for only a few seconds, I let the magic loose again. "Oi! By all the saints!" a boy cries from the river. "Gone off the dock?" an old woman calls. The mud larks break into cackles. "'S not a rock!" he shouts. He races out of the fog, cradling something in his palm. Curiosity gets the better of the others. They crowd about trying to see. In his palm is a smattering of rubies. "We're rich mates! It's a hot bath and a full belly for every one of us!" Kartik eyes me suspiciously. "That was a strange stroke of good fortune." "Yes it was." "I don't suppose that was your doing." "I'm not sure I don't know what you mean," I say. And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3))
Fifty thousand years ago there were these three guys spread out across the plain and they each heard something rustling in the grass. The first one thought it was a tiger, and he ran like hell, and it was a tiger but the guy got away. The second one thought the rustling was a tiger and he ran like hell, but it was only the wind and his friends all laughed at him for being such a chickenshit. But the third guy thought it was only the wind, so he shrugged it off and the tiger had him for dinner. And the same thing happened a million times across ten thousand generations - and after a while everyone was seeing tigers in the grass even when there were`t any tigers, because even chickenshits have more kids than corpses do. And from those humble beginnings we learn to see faces in the clouds and portents in the stars, to see agency in randomness, because natural selection favours the paranoid. Even here in the 21st century we can make people more honest just by scribbling a pair of eyes on the wall with a Sharpie. Even now we are wired to believe that unseen things are watching us.
Peter Watts (Echopraxia (Firefall, #2))
Gansey despised raising his voice (in his head, his mother said, People shout when they don't have the vocabulary to whisper), but he heard it happening despite himself and so, with effort, he kept his voice even. "Not like this. At least you have a place to go. 'End of the world'... What is your problem, Adam? I mean, is there something about my place that's too repugnant for you to imagine living there? Why is it that everything kind I do is pity to you? Everything is charity. Well, here it is: I'm sick of tiptoeing around your principles." "God, I'm sick of your condescension, Gansey," Adam said. "Don't try to make me feel stupid. Who whips out repugnant? Don't pretend you're not trying to make me feel stupid." "This is the way I talk. I'm sorry your father never taught you the meaning of repugnant. He was too busy smashing your head against the wall of your trailer while you apologized for being alive." Both of them stopped breathing. Gansey knew he'd gone too far. It was too far, too late, too much. Adam shoved open the door. "Fuck you, Gansey. Fuck you," he said, voice low and furious. Gansey close his eyes. Adam slammed the door, and then he slammed it again when the latch didn't catch. Gansey didn't open his eyes. He didn't want to see if people were watching some kid fight with a boy in a bright orange Camaro and an Aglionby jumper. Just then he hated his raven-breasted uniform and his loud car and every three- and four-syllable word his parents had used in casual conversation at the dinner table and he hated Adam's hideous father and Adam's permissive mother and most of all, most of all, he hated the sound of Adam's last words, playing over and over. He couldn't stand it, all of this inside him. In the end, he was nobody to Adam, he was nobody to Ronan. Adam spit his words back at him and Ronan squandered however many second chances he gave him. Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year. They were always walking away from him. But he never seemed able to walk away from them. Gansey opened his eyes. The ambulance was still there, but Adam was gone.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
What was I thinking?" Chiron cried. " I can't let you get away without this." He pulled a pen from his coat pocket. It was an ordinary disposable ballpoint, black ink, removable cap. Probably thirty cents. Gee," I said. "Thanks." Percy, that's a gift from your father. I've kept it for years, not knowing you were who I was waiting for. But the profecy is clear to me now. You are the one. I remembered the feild trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, when I'd vaporized Mrs. Dodds. Chiron had thrown me a pen that turned into a sword. Could this be...? I took off the cap, and the pen grew longer and heavier in my hand. In half a second, I held a shimmering bronze sword with a double-edged blade, a leather=wrapped grip, and a flat hilt riveted with gold studs. It was the first weapon that actually felt balanced in my hands. The sword has a long and tragic history that we need not go into," Chiron told me. "It's name is Anaklusmos." Riptide," I translated, surprised the Ancient Greek came so easily. Use it only for emergencies" Chiron said, "and only against monsters No hero should harm mortals unless absolutely, of course, but this sword wouldn't harm them in any case.
Rick Riordan
When Ava turned away, Jules leaned in and whispered, “He’s totally whipped. Watch.” She raised her voice to a panicked level. “Oh my God! Ava, are you bleeding?” Alex’s head snapped up. Less than five seconds later, he ended his call and crossed the room to a confused-looking Ava, whose hand froze halfway to the scones on the table. “I’m fine,” Ava said as Alex searched her for injuries. She glared at Jules. “What did I just say?” “I can’t help it.” Jules’s eyes sparkled with mischief. “It’s so much fun. It’s like playing with a windup toy.” “Until the toy comes alive and kills you,” Stella murmured loud enough for everyone to hear. Alex stared at Jules with displeasure scrawled all over his face. His features were so perfect it was a little unnerving, like seeing a carefully sculpted statue come to life. Some people were into that, but I preferred men with a little more grit. Give me scars and a nose that was slightly crooked from being broken too many times over perfection. “Pray you and Ava stay friends forever,” Alex said, icy enough to elicit a rash of goosebumps on my arms.
Ana Huang (Twisted Games (Twisted, #2))
At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war--seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln (Great Speeches / Abraham Lincoln: with Historical Notes by John Grafton)
Winter’s head snapped around, away from Scarlet. Scarlet’s pace slowed, dread pulsing through her as she, too, heard the footsteps. Pounding footsteps, like someone was running at full speed toward them. She reached for the knife Jacin had given her. A man barrelled around the corner, heading straight for the princess. Winter tensed half a second before he reached her. Grabbing Winter’s elbow, he yanked back the red hood. Scarlet gasped. Her knees weakened. The man stared at Winter with a mixture of confusion and disappointment and maybe even anger, all locked up in eyes so vividly green that Scarlet could see them glowing from here. She was the one hallucinating now. She took a stumbling, uncertain step forward. Wanting to run toward him, but terrified it was a trick. Her hand tightened around the knife handle as Wolf, ignoring how Winter was trying to pull away, grabbed her arm and smelled the filthy red sleeve of Scarlet’s hoodie, streaked with dirt and blood. He growled, ready to tear the princess apart. “Where did you get this?” So desperate, so determined, so him. The knife slipped out of Scarlet’s hand. Wolf’s attention snapped to her. “Wolf?” she whispered. His eyes brightened, wild and hopeful. Releasing Winter, he strode forward. His tumultuous eyes scooped over her. Devoured her. When he was in arm’s reach, Scarlet almost collapsed into him, but at the last moment she had the presence of mind to step back. She planted a hand on his chest. Wolf froze, hurt flickering across his face. “I’m sorry,” said Scarlet, her voice teetering with exhaustion. “It’s just…I smell so awful, I can hardly stand to be around myself right now, so I can’t even imagine what it’s like for you with your sense of sm-“ Batting her hand away, Wolf dug his fingers into Scarlet’s hair and crushed his mouth against hers. Her protests died with a muffled gasp. This time, she did collapse, her legs unable to hold her a second longer. Wolf fell with her, dropping his knees to break Scarlet’s fall and cradling her body against his. He was here. He was here.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
He dabbed at his tuxedo with a damp rag, and the fungi came away easily. "Hate to do this, Bill," he said of the fungi he was murdering. "Fungi have as much right to life as I do. they know what they want, Bill. Damned if I do anymore." Then he thought about what Bill himself might want. It was easy to guess. "Bill," he said, "I like you so much, and I am such a big shot in the Universe, that I will make your three biggest wishes come true." He opened the door of the cage, something Bill couldn't have done in a thousand years. Bill flew over to the windowsill. He put his little shoulder against the glass. there was just one layer of glass between Bill and the great out-of-doors. Although Trough was in the storm window business, he had no storm windows on his own abode. "Your second wish is about to come true," said Trout, and he again did something which Bill could never have done. he opened the window. But the opening of the window was such an alarming business to the parakeet that he flew back to his cage and hopped inside. Trout closed the door of the cage and latched it. "That's the most intelligent use of three wishes I ever heard of," he told the bird. "You made sure you'd still have something worth wishing for--to get out of the cage.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
No more boys taking you on trips, you hear?” His voice was gravelly. “You can take your own self from now on. Last thing you need is some boy distracting you and making this whole situation even more complicated. Promise me you'll stay away from that son of Pharzuph.” I opened my mouth but the words stuck in my dry throat. How sweat beaded up on my forehead. “I tried that once, John,” Patti warned him. “It didn't work out so well for me.” “Have you seen the way he looks at her?” He focused on Patti, but pointed at me. “Yes, and I've seen the way she looks at him. Truthfully, I think they need each other.” “Those two need each other like a bullet needs a target. Trust me. I've seen Nephilim kids killed for falling in love and letting it get in the way of their work.” “Well, you don't have to worry, because we're not in love,” I chimed in. “He doesn't like me like that.” Dad puffed out a breath of air. “Well, he must feel something, 'cause he sure doesn't want that other kid near you.” “Is there someone else you're interested in?” Patti asked. I rolled my colors back up, tucked them inside, and yanked the barrier back into place. Then I entertained the image of Kopano's sweet dimple for a brief second before pushing it away. “I'm not ready to think about that,” I answered. My father tilted his head up to the ceiling and pressed his giant hands to his face, muffling his speech. “I'm way too old for this.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
Uphill? There's nothing up the hill," Colly said, trying desperately to work out where this conversation was going. "As a matter of fact, there is. There's a bluff about twelve meters high, with a river running below it. The water's deep, so it'll be quite safe for you to jump." In his brief glimpse of the river, Halt had noticed that the fast-flowing water cut under the bluff in a sharp curve. That should mean that the bottom had been scoured out over the years. A thought struck him. "You can swim, I assume?" "Yes. I can swim," Colly said. "But I'm going jumping off some bluff just because you say to!" "No, no. Of course not. That'd be asking far too much of you. You'll jump off because if you don't, I'll shoot you. It'll be the same effect, really. If I have to shoot you, you'll fall off. But I thought I'd give you a chance to survive." Halt paused, then added, "Oh, and if you decide to run downhill, I'll also shoot you with an arrow. Uphill and off is really your only chance of survival." "You can't be serious!" Colly said. "Do you really-" But he got no further. Halt leaned forward, putting a hand up to stop the outburst. "Colly, take a good, long look into my eyes and tell me if you see anything, anything at all, that says I'm not deadly serious." His eyes were deep brown, almost black. They were steady and unwavering and there was no sign of anything there but utter determination. Colly looked at them and after a few second, his eyes dropped away. halt nodded as the other man's gaze slid away from his. "Good. Now we've got that settled, you should try to get some sleep. You have a big day ahead of you tomorrow.
John Flanagan (The Kings of Clonmel (Ranger's Apprentice, #8))
But… all I said was that I was scared." After what you got to experience? That's smart, kid," I said. "I'm scared, too. Every time something like this happens, it scares me. But being strong doesn't get you through. Being smart does. I've beaten people and things who were stronger than I was, because they didn't use their heads, or because I used what I had better than they did. It isn't about muscle, kiddo, magical or otherwise. It's about your attitude. About your mind." She nodded slowly and said, "About doing things for the right reasons." You don't throw down like this just because you're strong enough to do it," I said. "You do it because you don't have much choice. You do it because it's unacceptable to walk away, and still live with yourself later." She stared at me for a second, and then her eyes widened. "Otherwise, you're using power for the sake of using power." I nodded. "And power tends to corrupt. It isn't hard to love using it, Molly. You've got to go in with the right attitude or…" Or the power starts using you," she said. She'd heard the argument before, but this was the first time she said the words slowly, thoughtfully, as if she'd actually understood them, instead of just parroting them back to me. Then she looked up. "That's why you do it. Why you help people. You're using the power for someone other than yourself.
Jim Butcher (White Night (The Dresden Files, #9))
However, the majority of women are neither harlots nor courtesans; nor do they sit clasping pug dogs to dusty velvet all through the summer afternoon. But what do they do then? and there came to my mind’s eye one of those long streets somewhere south of the river whose infinite rows are innumerably populated. With the eye of the imagination I saw a very ancient lady crossing the street on the arm of a middle-aged woman, her daughter, perhaps, both so respectably booted and furred that their dressing in the afternoon must be a ritual, and the clothes themselves put away in cupboards with camphor, year after year, throughout the summer months. They cross the road when the lamps are being lit (for the dusk is their favourite hour), as they must have done year after year. The elder is close on eighty; but if one asked her what her life has meant to her, she would say that she remembered the streets lit for the battle of Balaclava, or had heard the guns fire in Hyde Park for the birth of King Edward the Seventh. And if one asked her, longing to pin down the moment with date and season, but what were you doing on the fifth of April 1868, or the second of November 1875, she would look vague and say that she could remember nothing. For all the dinners are cooked; the plates and cups washed; the children sent to school and gone out into the world. Nothing remains of it all. All has vanished. No biography or history has a word to say about it. And the novels, without meaning to, inevitably lie. All these infinitely obscure lives remain to be recorded, I said, addressing Mary Carmichael as if she were present; and went on in thought through the streets of London feeling in imagination the pressure of dumbness, the accumulation of unrecorded life, whether from the women at the street corners with their arms akimbo, and the rings embedded in their fat swollen fingers, talking with a gesticulation like the swing of Shakespeare’s words; or from the violet-sellers and match-sellers and old crones stationed under doorways; or from drifting girls whose faces, like waves in sun and cloud, signal the coming of men and women and the flickering lights of shop windows. All that you will have to explore, I said to Mary Carmichael, holding your torch firm in your hand.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
Life is an island in an ocean of solitude and seclusion. Life is an island, rocks are its desires, trees its dreams, and flowers its loneliness, and it is in the middle of an ocean of solitude and seclusion. Your life, my friend, is an island separated from all other islands and continents. Regardless of how many boats you send to other shores, you yourself are an island separated by its own pains,secluded its happiness and far away in its compassion and hidden in its secrets and mysteries. I saw you, my friend, sitting upon a mound of gold, happy in your wealth and great in your riches and believing that a handful of gold is the secret chain that links the thoughts of the people with your own thoughts and links their feeling with your own. I saw you as a great conqueror leading a conquering army toward the fortress, then destroying and capturing it. On second glance I found beyond the wall of your treasures a heart trembling in its solitude and seclusion like the trembling of a thirsty man within a cage of gold and jewels, but without water. I saw you, my friend, sitting on a throne of glory surrounded by people extolling your charity, enumerating your gifts, gazing upon you as if they were in the presence of a prophet lifting their souls up into the planets and stars. I saw you looking at them, contentment and strength upon your face, as if you were to them as the soul is to the body. On the second look I saw your secluded self standing beside your throne, suffering in its seclusion and quaking in its loneliness. I saw that self stretching its hands as if begging from unseen ghosts. I saw it looking above the shoulders of the people to a far horizon, empty of everything except its solitude and seclusion. I saw you, my friend, passionately in love with a beautiful woman, filling her palms with your kisses as she looked at you with sympathy and affection in her eyes and sweetness of motherhood on her lips; I said, secretly, that love has erased his solitude and removed his seclusion and he is now within the eternal soul which draws toward itself, with love, those who were separated by solitude and seclusion. On the second look I saw behind your soul another lonely soul, like a fog, trying in vain to become a drop of tears in the palm of that woman. Your life, my friend, is a residence far away from any other residence and neighbors. Your inner soul is a home far away from other homes named after you. If this residence is dark, you cannot light it with your neighbor's lamp; if it is empty you cannot fill it with the riches of your neighbor; were it in the middle of a desert, you could not move it to a garden planted by someone else. Your inner soul, my friend, is surrounded with solitude and seclusion. Were it not for this solitude and this seclusion you would not be you and I would not be I. If it were not for that solitude and seclusion, I would, if I heard your voice, think myself to be speaking; yet, if I saw your face, i would imagine that I were looking into a mirror.
Kahlil Gibran (Mirrors of the Soul)
The train bore me away, through the monstrous scenery of slag-heaps, chimneys, piled scrap-iron, foul canals, paths of cindery mud criss-crossed by the prints of clogs. This was March, but the weather had been horribly cold and everywhere there were mounds of blackened snow. As we moved slowly through the outskirts of the town we passed row after row of little grey slum houses running at right angles to the embankment. At the back of one of the houses a young woman was kneeling on the stones, poking a stick up the leaden waste-pipe which ran from the sink inside and which I suppose was blocked. I had time to see everything about her—her sacking apron, her clumsy clogs, her arms reddened by the cold. She looked up as the train passed, and I was almost near enough to catch her eye. She had a round pale face, the usual exhausted face of the slum girl who is twenty-five and looks forty, thanks to miscarriages and drudgery; and it wore, for the second in which I saw it, the most desolate, hopeless expression I have ever-seen. It struck me then that we are mistaken when we say that ‘It isn’t the same for them as it would be for us,’ and that people bred in the slums can imagine nothing but the slums. For what I saw in her face was not the ignorant suffering of an animal. She knew well enough what was happening to her—understood as well as I did how dreadful a destiny it was to be kneeling there in the bitter cold, on the slimy stones of a slum backyard, poking a stick up a foul drain-pipe.
George Orwell (The Road to Wigan Pier)
Tori swiveled in her seat as we came in. "There are more," she said. "He sent one every couple of weeks. The last one was only a few days ago." "Good," I said. "Would you mind keeping and eye on Andrew?" "Sure." She took off. "Wait." I grabbed Derek's sleeve as he headed for the chair Tori had vacated. I wanted to say something. I didn't know what. But there was no way to tell him that wouldn't be much of a shock, so I ended up stupidly murmuring, "Never mind." When he read what was on the screen, he went absolutely still, like he wasn't even breathing. After a few seconds, he yanked the laptop closer, leaning in to read it again. And again. Finally, he pushed back the chair and exhaled. "He's alive," I said. "You're dad's alive." He looked up at me and, I couldn't help it- I threw my arms around his neck and hugged him. Then I realized what I was doing. I let go, backing away, tripping over my feet, stammering, "I-I'm sorry. I'm just- I'm happy for you." "I know." Still sitting, he reached out and pulled me toward him. We stayed there, looking at each other, his hand still wrapped in my shirt hem, my heart hammering so hard I was sure he could hear it. "There's more," I said after a few seconds. "More emails, Tori said." He nodded and swiveled back to the computer, making room for me. When I inched closer, not wanting to intrude, he tugged me in front of him and I stumbled, half falling onto his lap. I tried to scramble up, cheeks burning, but he pulled me down onto his knee, one arm going around my waist, tentative, as if to say Is this okay? It was, even if my blood pounded in my ears so hard I couldn't think. Thankfully, I had my back to him because I was sure my cheeks were scarlet.
Kelley Armstrong (The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3))
You’re thinking, maybe it would be easier to let it slip let it go say ”I give up” one last time and give him a sad smile. You’re thinking it shouldn’t be this hard, shouldn’t be this dark, thinking love could flow easily with no holding back and you’ve seen others find their match and build something great together, of each other, like two halves fitting perfectly and now they achieve great things one by one, always together, and it seems grand. But you love him. Love him like a black stone in your chest you couldn’t live without because it fits in there. Makes you who you are and the thought of him gone—no more—makes your chest tighten up and maybe this is your fairytale. Maybe this is your castle. You could get it all on a shiny piece of glass with wooden stools and a neverending blooming garden but that’s not yours. This is yours. The cracks and the faults, the ugly words in the winter walking home alone and angry but falling asleep thinking you love him. This is your fairy tale. The quiet in the hallway, wishing for him to turn around, tell you to stay, tell you to please don’t go I need you like you need me and maybe it’s not a Jane Austen novel but this is your novel and your castle and you can run from it your whole life but this is here in front of you. Maybe nurture it? Sweet girl, maybe close the world off and look at him for an hour or two. This is your fairy. It ain’t perfect and it ain’t honey sweet with roses on the bed. It’s real and raw and ugly at times. But this is your love. Don’t throw it away searching for someone else’s love. Don’t be greedy. Instead, shelter it. Protect it. Capture every second of easy, pull through every storm of hardship. And when you can, look at him, lying next to you, trusting you not to harm him. Trusting you not to go. Be someone’s someone for someone. Be that someone for him. That’s your fairy tale. This is your castle. Now move in. Build a home. Build a house. Build a safety around things you love. It’s yours if you make it so. Welcome home, sweet girl, it will be all be fine.
Charlotte Eriksson
Selethen was names Hawk. Alyss had been given the title of Tsuru, or Crane. . .Evanlynn was Kitsune, the Nihon-Jan word for Fox . . .Halt strangly enough had been known only as Halto-san. . . But Will had been taken aback in his confrotation with Arisaka to discover that his name - Chocho - meant "butterfly". It seemed a highly unwarlike name to him- not at all glamorous.And he was puzzled to know why they had selected it. His friends,of course, were delighted in helping him guess the reason. "I assume its because you're such a snazzy dresser," Evanlynn said. "You Rangers are like a riot of color after all." Will glared at her and was mortified to hear Alyss snigger at the princess's sally. He'd thought Alyss, at least, might stick up for him. "I think it might be more to do with the way he raced around the the training ground, darting here and there to correct the way a man might be holding his sheidl then dashing off to show someone how to put theri body weight into their javelin cast," said Horace, a little more sympathetically. Then he ruined the effect by adding thoughtlessly, "I must say, your cloak did flutter around like a butterfly's wings." "It was neither of those things," Halt said finally, and they all turned to look at him. "I asked Shigeru," he explained. "He said that they had all noticed how Will's mind and imagination darts from one idea to another at such high speed," . . Will looked mollified. "Isuppose it's not too bad it you put it that way. It's just it does seem a bit . . girly." .... " I like my name Horace said a little smugly. "Black Bear. It describes my prodigous strength and my mighty prowess in battle." Alyss might have let him get away with it if it hadn't been for his tactless remark about Will's cloak flapping like a butterfly's wings. "Not quite," she said. "I asked Mikeru where the name came from. He said it described your prdogious appetite and your mighty prowess at the dinner table. It seems that when you were escaping through the mountains, Shigeru and his followers were worried you'd eat the supplies all by yourself." There was a general round of laughter. After a few seconds, Horace joined in.
John Flanagan (The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger's Apprentice, #10))
And so we know the satisfaction of hate. We know the sweet joy of revenge. How it feels good to get even. Oh, that was a nice idea Jesus had. That was a pretty notion, but you can't love people who do evil. It's neither sensible or practical. It's not wise to the world to love people who do such terrible wrong. There is no way on earth we can love our enemies. They'll only do wickedness and hatefulness again. And worse, they'll think they can get away with this wickedness and evil, because they'll think we're weak and afraid. What would the world come to? But I want to say to you here on this hot July morning in Holt, what if Jesus wasn't kidding? What if he wasn't talking about some never-never land? What if he really did mean what he said two thousand years ago? What if he was thoroughly wise to the world and knew firsthand cruelty and wickedness and evil and hate? Knew it all so well from personal firsthand experience? And what if in spite of all that he knew, he still said love your enemies? Turn your cheek. Pray for those who misuse you. What if he meant every word of what he said? What then would the world come to? And what if we tried it? What if we said to our enemies: We are the most powerful nation on earth. We can destroy you. We can kill your children. We can make ruins of your cities and villages and when we're finished you won't even know how to look for the places where they used to be. We have the power to take away your water and to scorch your earth, to rob you of the very fundamentals of life. We can change the actual day into actual night. We can do these things to you. And more. But what if we say, Listen: Instead of any of these, we are going to give willingly and generously to you. We are going to spend the great American national treasure and the will and the human lives that we would have spent on destruction, and instead we are going to turn them all toward creation. We'll mend your roads and highways, expand your schools, modernize your wells and water supplies, save your ancient artifacts and art and culture, preserve your temples and mosques. In fact, we are going to love you. And again we say, no matter what has gone before, no matter what you've done: We are going to love you. We have set our hearts to it. We will treat you like brothers and sisters. We are going to turn our collective national cheek and present it to be stricken a second time, if need be, and offer it to you. Listen, we-- But then he was abruptly halted.
Kent Haruf (Benediction (Plainsong, #3))
I circled the site before I came in. If there's anyone within five kilometers, I'll eat my quiver." Halt regarded him, eyebrow arched once more. "Anyone?" "Anyone other than Crowley," Will amended, making a dismissive gesture. "I saw him watching me from that hide he always uses about two kilometers out. I assumed he'd be back in here by now." Halt cleared his throat loudly. "Oh, you saw him, did you?" he said. "I imagine he'll be overjoyed to hear that." Secretly, he was pleased with his former pupil. In spite of his curiosity and obvious excitement, he hadn't forgotten to take the precautions that had been drilled into him. THat augured well for what lay ahead, Halt thought, a sudden grimness settling onto his manner. Will didn't notice the momentary change of mood. He was loosening Tug saddle girth. As he spoke, his voice was muffled against the horses's flank. "he's becoming too much a creature of habit," he said. "he's used that hide for the last three Gatherings. It's time he tried something new. Everyone must be onto it by now." Rangers constantly competed with each other to see before being seen and each year's Gathering was a time of heightened competition. Halt nodded thoughtfully. Crowley had constructed teh virtually invisible observation post some four years previously. Alone among the younger Rangers, Will had tumbled to it after one year. Halt had never mentioned to him that he was the only one who knew of Crowley's hide. The concealed post was the Ranger Commandant's pride and joy. "Well, perhaps not everyone," he said. Will emerged from behind his horse, grinning at the thought of the head of the Ranger Corps thinking he had remained hidden from sight as he watched Will's approach. "All the same, perhaps he's getting a bit long in the tooth to be skulking around hiding in the bushes, don't you think?" he said cheerfully. Halt considered the question for a moment. "Long in the tooth? Well, that's one opinion. Mind you, his silent movement skills are still as good as ever," he said meaningfully. The grin on Will's face slowly faded. He resisted the temptation to look over his shoulder. "He's standing behind me, isn't he?" he asked Halt. THe older Ranger nodded. "He's standing behind me, isn't he?" Will continued and Halt nodded once more. "Is he...close enough to have heard what I said?" Will finally managed to ask, fearin teh worst. This time, Halt didn't have to answer. "Oh, good grief no," came a familiar voice from behind him. "he's so old and decrepit these days he's as deaf as a post." Will's shoulders sagged and he turned to see the sandy-haired Commandant standing a few meters away. The younger man's eyes dropped. "Hullo, Crowley," he said, then mumbled, "Ahhh...I'm sorry about that." Crowley glared at teh young Ranger for a few more seconds, then he couldn't help teh grin breaking out on his face. "No harm done," he said, adding with a small note of triumph, "It's not often these days I amange to get the better of one of you young ones." Secretly, he was impressed at teh news that Will had spotted his hiding place. Only the sarpest eyes could have picked it. Crowley had been in the business of seeing without being seen for thirty years or more, and despite what Will believed, he was still an absolute master of camouflage and unseen movement.
John Flanagan (The Sorcerer of the North (Ranger's Apprentice, #5))
Some people read for instruction, which is praiseworthy, and some for pleasure, which is innocent, but not a few read from habit, and I suppose that is neither innocent nor praiseworthy. Of that lamentable company am I. Conversation after a time bores me, games tire me, and my own thoughts, which we are told are the unfailing resource of a sensible man, have a tendency to run dry. Then I fly to my book as the opium-seeker to his pipe. I would sooner read the catalogue of the Army and Navy stores or Bradshaw's Guide than nothing at all, and indeed I have spent many delightful hours over both these works. At one time I never went out without a second-hand bookseller's list in my pocket. I know no reading more fruity. Of course to read in this way is as reprehensible as doping, and I never cease to wonder at the impertinence of great readers who, because they are such, look down on the illiterate. From the standpoint of what eternity is it better to have read a thousand books than to have ploughed a million furrows? Let us admit that reading with us is just a drug that we cannot do without — who of this band does not know the restlessness that attacks him when he has been severed from reading too long, the apprehension and irritability, and the sigh of relief which the sight of a printed page extracts from him? — and so let us be no more vainglorious than the poor slaves of the hypodermic needle or the pint-pot. And like the dope-fiend who cannot move from place to place without taking with him a plentiful supply of his deadly balm I never venture far without a sufficiency of reading matter. Books are so necessary to me that when in a railway train I have become aware that fellow-travellers have come away without a single one I have been seized with a veritable dismay. But when I am starting on a long journey the problem is formidable.
W. Somerset Maugham (Collected Short Stories: Volume 4)
Dunbar loved shooting skeet because he hated every minute of it and the time passed so slowly. He had figured out that a single hour on the skeet-shooting range with people like Havermeyer and Appleby could be worth as much as eleven-times-seventeen years. “I think you’re crazy,” was the way Clevinger had responded to Dunbar’s discovery. “Who wants to know?” Dunbar answered. “I mean it,” Clevinger insisted. “Who cares?” Dunbar answered. “I really do. I’ll even go as far as to concede that life seems longer i—“ “—is longer i—“ “—is longer—IS longer? All right, is longer if it’s filled with periods of boredom and discomfort, b—“ “Guess how fast?” Dunbar said suddenly. “Huh?” “They go,” Dunbar explained. “Who?” “Years.” “Years?” “Years,” said Dunbar. “Years, years, years.” “Do you know how long a year takes when it’s going away?” Dunbar asked Clevinger. “This long.” He snapped his fingers. “A second ago you were stepping into college with your lungs full of fresh air. Today you’re an old man.” “Old?” asked Clevinger with surprise. “What are you talking about?” “Old.” “I’m not old.” “You’re inches away from death every time you go on a mission. How much older can you be at your age? A half minute before that you were stepping into high school, and an unhooked brassiere was as close as you ever hoped to get to Paradise. Only a fifth of a second before that you were a small kid with a ten-week summer vacation that lasted a hundred thousand years and still ended too soon. Zip! They go rocketing by so fast. How the hell else are you ever going to slow time down?” Dunbar was almost angry when he finished. “Well, maybe it is true,” Clevinger conceded unwillingly in a subdued tone. Maybe a long life does have to be filled with many unpleasant conditions if it’s to seem long. But in that event, who wants one?” “I do,” Dunbar told him. “Why?” Clevinger asked. “What else is there?
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
I drove by all the places we used to hang out getting wasted I thought about our last kiss, how it felt the way you tasted And even though your friends tell me you're doing fine Are you somewhere feeling lonely even though he's right beside you? When he says those words that hurt you, do you read the ones I wrote you? Sometimes I start to wonder, was it just a lie? If what we had was real, how could you be fine? 'Cause I'm not fine at all I remember the day you told me you were leaving I remember the make-up running down your face And the dreams you left behind you didn't need them Like every single wish we ever made I wish that I could wake up with amnesia And forget about the stupid little things Like the way it felt to fall asleep next to you And the memories I never can escape 'Cause I'm not fine at all The pictures that you sent me they're still living in my phone I'll admit I like to see them, I'll admit I feel alone And all my friends keep asking why I'm not around It hurts to know you're happy, yeah, it hurts that you've moved on It's hard to hear your name when I haven't seen you in so long It's like we never happened, was it just a lie? If what we had was real, how could you be fine? 'Cause I'm not fine at all I remember the day you told me you were leaving I remember the make-up running down your face And the dreams you left behind you didn't need them Like every single wish we ever made I wish that I could wake up with amnesia And forget about the stupid little things Like the way it felt to fall asleep next to you And the memories I never can escape If today I woke up with you right beside me Like all of this was just some twisted dream I'd hold you closer than I ever did before And you'd never slip away And you'd never hear me say I remember the day you told me you were leaving I remember the make-up running down your face And the dreams you left behind you didn't need them Like every single wish we ever made I wish that I could wake up with amnesia And forget about the stupid little things Like the way it felt to fall asleep next to you And the memories I never can escape 'Cause I'm not fine at all No, I'm really not fine at all Tell me this is just a dream 'Cause I'm really not fine at all
5 Seconds of Summer
I left Abnegation because I wasn't selfless enough,no matter how hard I tried to be." "That's not entirely true." He smiles at me. "That girl who let someone throw knives at her to spare a friend,who hit my dad with a belt to protect me-that selfless girl,that's not you?" He's figured out more about me than I have. And even though it seems impossible that he could feel something for me,given all that I'm not...maybe it isn't.I frown at him. "You've been paying close attention,haven't you?" "I like to observe people." "Maybe you were cut out for Candor, Four, because you're a terrible liar." He puts his hand on the rock next to him, his fingers lining up with mine. I look down at our hands. He has long, narrow fingers. Hands made for mine, deft movements.Not Dauntless hands, which should be thick and tough and ready to break things. "Fine." He leans his face closer to mine, his eyes focusing on my chin, and my lips,and my nose. "I watched you because I like you." He says it plainly, boldly, and his eyes flick up to mine. "And don't call me 'Four," okay? It's nice to hear my name again." Just like that,he has finally declared himself, and I don't know how to respond. My cheeks warm,and all I can think to say is, "But you're older than I am...Tobias." He smiles at me. "Yes,that whopping two-year gap really is insurmountable, isn't it?" "I'm not trying to be self-deprecating," I say, "I just don't get it. I'm younger. I'm not pretty.I-" He laughs,a deep laugh that sounds like it came from deep inside him, and touches his lips to my temple. "Don't pretend," I say breathily. "You know I'm not. I'm not ugly,but I am certainly not pretty." "Fine.You're not pretty.So?" He kisses my cheek. "I like how you look. You're deadly smart.You're brave. And even though you found out about Marcus..." His voice softens. "You aren't giving me that look.Like I'm a kicked puppy or something." "Well," I say. "You're not." For a second his dark eyes are on mine, and he's quiet. Then he touches my face and leans in close, brushing my lips with his.The river roars and I feel its spray on my ankles.He grins and presses his mouth to mine. I tense up at first,unsure of myself, so when he pulls away,I'm sure I did something wrong,or badly.But he takes my face in his hands,his figners strong against my skin,and kisses me again, firmer this time, more certain. I wrap an arm around him,sliding my hand up his nack and into his short hair. For a few minutes we kiss,deep in the chasm,with the roar of water all around us. And when we rise,hand in hand, I realize that if we had both chosen differently,we might have ended up doing the same thing, in a safer place, in gray clothes instead of black ones.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
His vulnerability allowed me to let my guard down, and gently and methodically, he tore apart my well-constructed dam. Waves of tender feelings were lapping over the top and slipping through the cracks. The feelings flooded through and spilled into me. It was frightening opening myself up to feel love for someone again. My heart pounded hard and thudded audibly in my chest. I was sure he could hear it. Ren’s expression changed as he watched my face. His look of sadness was replaced by one of concern for me. What was the next step? What should I do? What do I say? How do I share what I’m feeling? I remembered watching romance movies with my mom, and our favorite saying was “shut up and kiss her already!” We’d both get frustrated when the hero or heroine wouldn’t do what was so obvious to the two of us, and as soon as a tense, romantic moment occurred, we’d both repeat our mantra. I could hear my mom’s humor-filled voice in my mind giving me the same advice: “Kells, shut up and kiss him already!” So, I got a grip on myself, and before I changed my mind, I leaned over and kissed him. He froze. He didn’t kiss me back. He didn’t push me away. He just stopped…moving. I pulled back, saw the shock on his face, and instantly regretted my boldness. I stood up and walked away, embarrassed. I wanted to put some distance between us as I frantically tried to rebuild the walls around my heart. I heard him move. He slid his hand under my elbow and turned me around. I couldn’t look at him. I just stared at his bare feet. He put a finger under my chin and tried to nudge my head up, but I still refused to meet his gaze. “Kelsey. Look at me.” Lifting my eyes, they traveled from his feet to a white button in the middle of his shirt. “Look at me.” My eyes continued their journey. They drifted past the golden-bronze skin of his chest, his throat, and then settled on his beautiful face. His cobalt blue eyes searched mine, questioning. He took a step closer. My breath hitched in my throat. Reaching out a hand, he slid it around my waist slowly. His other hand cupped my chin. Still watching my face, he placed his palm lightly on my cheek and traced the arch of my cheekbone with his thumb. The touch was sweet, hesitant, and careful, the way you might try to touch a frightened doe. His face was full of wonder and awareness. I quivered. He paused just a moment more, then smiled tenderly, dipped is head, and brushed his lips lightly against mine. He kissed me softly, tentatively, just a mere whisper of a kiss. His other hand slid down to my waist too. I timidly touched his arms with my fingertips. He was warm, and his skin was smooth. He gently pulled me closer and pressed me lightly against his chest. I gripped his arms. He sighed with pleasure, and deepened the kiss. I melted into him. How was I breathing? His summery sandalwood scent surrounded me. Everywhere he touched me, I felt tingly and alive. I clutched his arms fervently. His lips never leaving mine, Ren took both of my arms and wrapped them, one by one, around his neck. Then he trailed one of his hands down my bare arm to my waist while the other slid into my hair. Before I realized what he was planning to do, he picked me up with one arm and crushed me to his chest. I have no idea how long we kissed. It felt like a mere second, and it also felt like forever. My bare feet were dangling several inches from the floor. He was holding all my body weight easily with one arm. I buried my fingers into his hair and felt a rumble in his chest. It was similar to the purring sound he made as a tiger. After that, all coherent thought fled and time stopped.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him. In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him. Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshiped and loved. We are to fear Him. The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us. Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation? If God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed? Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world? Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream. How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all? True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity. When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You’ll drive for hours to be together, even if it’s only for a short while. You don’t mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You’ll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you’re crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it’s painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at any chance to be together. There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God, the God of the universe who made galaxies, leaves, laughter, and me and you. Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him? Are you ready and willing to make yourself nothing? To take the very nature of a servant? To be obedient unto death? True love requires sacrifice. What are you doing right now that requires faith? God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. If one person “wastes” away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one? Am I loving my neighbor and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk?” If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate. The way we live out our days is the way we will live our lives. What will people say about your life in heaven? Will people speak of God’s work and glory through you? And even more important, how will you answer the King when He says, “What did you do with what I gave you?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
GO BACK TO DALLAS!” the man sitting somewhere behind us yelled again, and the hold Aiden still had on the back of my neck tightened imperceptibly. “Don’t bother, Van,” he demanded, pokerfaced. “I’m not going to say anything,” I said, even as I reached up with the hand furthest away from him and put it behind my head, extending my middle finger in hopes that the idiot yelling would see it. Those brown eyes blinked. “You just flipped him off, didn’t you?” Yeah, my mouth dropped open. “How do you know when I do that?” My tone was just as astonished as it should be. “I know everything.” He said it like he really believed it. I groaned and cast him a long look. “You really want to play this game?” “I play games for a living, Van.” I couldn’t stand him sometimes. My eyes crossed in annoyance. “When is my birthday?” He stared at me. “See?” “March third, Muffin.” What in the hell? “See?” he mocked me. Who was this man and where was the Aiden I knew? “How old am I?” I kept going hesitantly. “Twenty-six.” “How do you know this?” I asked him slowly. “I pay attention,” The Wall of Winnipeg stated. I was starting to think he was right. Then, as if to really seal the deal I didn’t know was resting between us, he said, “You like waffles, root beer, and Dr. Pepper. You only drink light beer. You put cinnamon in your coffee. You eat too much cheese. Your left knee always aches. You have three sisters I hope I never meet and one brother. You were born in El Paso. You’re obsessed with your work. You start picking at the corner of your eye when you feel uncomfortable or fool around with your glasses. You can’t see things up close, and you’re terrified of the dark.” He raised those thick eyebrows. “Anything else?” Yeah, I only managed to say one word. “No.” How did he know all this stuff? How? Unsure of how I was feeling, I coughed and started to reach up to mess with my glasses before I realized what I was doing and snuck my hand under my thigh, ignoring the knowing look on Aiden’s dumb face. “I know a lot about you too. Don’t think you’re cool or special.” “I know, Van.” His thumb massaged me again for all of about three seconds. “You know more about me than anyone else does.” A sudden memory of the night in my bed where he’d admitted his fear as a kid pecked at my brain, relaxing me, making me smile. “I really do, don’t I?” The expression on his face was like he was torn between being okay with the idea and being completely against it. Leaning in close to him again, I winked. “I’m taking your love of MILF porn to the grave with me, don’t worry.” He stared at me, unblinking, unflinching. And then: “I’ll cut the power at the house when you’re in the shower,” he said so evenly, so crisply, it took me a second to realize he was threatening me… And when it finally did hit me, I burst out laughing, smacking his inner thigh without thinking twice about it. “Who does that?” Aiden Graves, husband of mine, said it, “Me.” Then the words were out of my mouth before I could control them. “And you know what I’ll do? I’ll go sneak into bed with you, so ha.” What the hell had I just said? What in the ever-loving hell had I just said? “If you think I’m supposed to be scared…” He leaned forward so our faces were only a couple of inches away. The hand on my neck and the finger pads lining the back of my ear stayed where they were. “I’m not
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
I went back in and grabbed my running clothes, then changed in the bathroom. I opened the door to the bathroom, stopping when I saw Kaidan's toiletry bag on the sink. I was overcome with curiosity about his cologne or aftershave, because I'd never smelled it on anyone else before. Feeling sneaky, I prodded one finger into the bag and peeked. No cologne bottle. Only a razor, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant. I picked up the deodorant, pulled off the lid, and smelled it. Nope, that wasn't it. The sound of Kaidan's deep chuckle close to the doorway made me scream and drop the deodorant into the sink with a clatter. I smacked one hand to my chest and grabbed the edge of the sink with the other. He laughed out loud now. “Okay, that must have looked really bad.” I spoke to his reflection in the mirror, then fumbled to pick up the deodorant. I put the lid on and dropped it in his bag. “But I was just trying to figure out what cologne you wear.” My face was on fire as Kaidan stepped into the small bathroom and leaned against the counter, crossing his arms over his chest. I stepped away. He seemed entertained by my predicament. “I haven't been wearing any cologne.” “Oh.” I cleared my throat. “Well, I didn't see any, so I thought it might be your deodorant, but that's not it either. Maybe it's your laundry detergent or something. Let's just forget about it.” “What is it you smell, exactly?” His voice took on a husky quality, and it felt like he was taking up a lot of room. I couldn't bring myself to look at him. Something strange was going on here. I stepped back, hitting the tub with my heel as I tried to put the scent into words. “I don't know. It's like citrus and the forest or something...leaves and tree sap. I can't explain it.” His eyes bored into mine while he wore that trademark sexy smirk, arms still crossed. “Citrus?” he asked. “Like lemons?” “Oranges mostly. And a little lime, too.” He nodded and flicked his head to the side to get hair out of his eyes. Then his smile disappeared and his badge throbbed. “What you smell are my pheromones, Anna.” A small, nervous laugh burst from my throat. “Oh, okay, then. Well...” I eyed the small space that was available to pass through the door. I made an awkward move toward it, but he shifted his body and I stepped back again. “People can't usually smell pheromones,” he told me. “You must be using your extra senses without realizing it. I've heard of Neph losing control of their senses with certain emotions. Fear, surprise...lust.” I rubbed my hands up and down my upper arms, wanting nothing more than to veer this conversation out of the danger zone. “Yeah, I do have a hard time reining in the scent sometimes,” I babbled. “It even gets away from me while I sleep now and then. I wake up thinking Patti's making cinnamon rolls and it ends up being from someone else's apartment. Then I'm just stuck with cereal. Anyway...” “Would you like to know your own scent?” he asked me. My heart swelled up big in my chest and squeezed small again. This whole scent thing was way too sensual to be discussed in this small space. Any second now my traitorous body would be emitting some of those pheromones and there'd be red in my aura. “Uh, not really,” I said, keeping my eyes averted. “I think I should probably go.” He made no attempt to move out of the doorway. “You smell like pears with freesia undertones.” “Wow, okay.” I cleared my throat, still refusing eye contact. I had to get out of there. “I think I'll just...” I pointed to the door and began to shuffle past him, doing my best not to brush up against him. He finally took a step back and put his hands up by his sides to show that he wouldn't touch me. I broke out of the confined bathroom and took a deep breath.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
We have time for everything: to sleep, to run from one place to another, to regret having mistaken and to mistake again, to judge the others and to forgive ourselves we have time for reading and writing, for making corrections to our texts, to regret ever having written we have time to make plans and time not to respect them, we have time for ambitions and sicknesses, time to blame the destiny and the details, we have time to watch the clouds, advertisements or some ordinary accident, we have time to chase our wonders away and to postpone the answers, we have time to break a dream to pieces and then to reinvent it, we have time to make friends, to lose friends, we have time to receive lessons and forget them afterwards, we have time to receive gifts and not to understand them. We have time for them all. There is no time for just a bit of tenderness. When we are aware about to do this we die. I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you; All you can do is to be a loved person. the rest … depends on the others. I’ve learned that as much as I care others might not care. I’ve learned that it takes years to earn trust and just a few seconds to lose it. I’ve learned that it does not matter WHAT you have in your life but WHO you have. I’ve learned that your charm is useful for about 15 minutes Afterwards, you should better know something. I’ve learned that no matter how you cut it, everything has two sides! I’ve learned that you should separate from your loved ones with warm words It might be the last time you see them! I’ve learned that you can still continue for a long time after saying you cannot continue anymore I’ve learned that heroes are those who do what they have to do, when they have to do it, regardless the consequences I’ve learned that there are people who love But do not know how to show it ! I’ve learned that when I am upset I have the RIGHT to be upset But not the right to be bad! I’ve learned that real friendship continues to exist despite the distance And this is true also for REAL LOVE !!! I’ve learned that if someone does not love you like you want them to It does not mean that they do not love you with all their heart. I’ve learned that no matter how good of a friend someone is for you that person will hurt you every now and then and that you have to forgive him. I’ve learned that it is not enough to be forgiven by others Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself. I’ve learned that no matter how much you suffer, The world will not stop for your pain. I’ve learned that the past and the circumstances might have an influence on your personality But that YOU are responsible for what you become !!! I’ve learned that if two people have an argument it does not mean that they do not love each other I’ve learned that sometimes you have to put on the first place the person, not the facts I’ve learned that two people can look at the same thing and can see something totally different I’ve learned that regardless the consequences those WHO ARE HONEST with themselves go further in life. I’ve learned that life can be changed in a few hours by people who do not even know you. I’ve learned that even when you think there is nothing more you can give when a friend calls you, you will find the strength to help him. I’ve learned that writing just like talking can ease the pains of the soul ! I’ve learned that those whom you love the most are taken away from you too soon … I’ve learned that it is too difficult to realise where to draw the line between being friendly, not hurting people and supporting your oppinions. I’ve learned to love to be loved.
Octavian Paler