Supposed To Be Best Friend Quotes

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I borrowed this from Kyle. My other shirt was pretty filthy." "Wow, you're wearing each other's clothes now. That's, like, best friend stuff." "Feeling left out?" said Kyle. "I suppose you want to borrow a black T-shirt too." "As long as everyone's wearing their own pants." "I see have come in on a fascinating moment in the conversation." Eric poked his head through the curtain.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
Thought we were supposed to be friends? Best friends?” “We are, Sev.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
They were the best of friends as long as they did not know they were supposed to be enemies. The truth would do its damage soon enough. - Brothers in Fire, by Jedtare
Marie Lu (The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1))
Via Joseph Campbell: My friend Heinrich Zimmer of years ago used to say, "The best things can't be told," because they transcend thought. "The second best are misunderstood," because those are the thoughts that are supposed to refer to that which can't be thought about, and one gets stuck in the thoughts."The third best are what we talk about.
Heinrich Robert Zimmer
What do we do now?” “Well, we escape. I’m not sure how yet, but—” “No,” said Valkyrie. “What do we do now? We’re partners. You’re my best friend. I love you. You were my… I looked up to you. What am I supposed to do now?” He turned away. “You need to find yourself a new hero.
Derek Landy (Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, #6))
To the most inconsiderate asshole of a friend, I’m writing you this letter because I know that if I say what I have to say to your face I will probably punch you. I don’t know you anymore. I don’t see you anymore. All I get is a quick text or a rushed e-mail from you every few days. I know you are busy and I know you have Bethany, but hello? I’m supposed to be your best friend. You have no idea what this summer has been like. Ever since we were kids we pushed away every single person that could possibly have been our friend. We blocked people until there was only me and you. You probably haven’t noticed, because you have never been in the position I am in now. You have always had someone. You always had me. I always had you. Now you have Bethany and I have no one. Now I feel like those other people that used to try to become our friend, that tried to push their way into our circle but were met by turned backs. I know you’re probably not doing it deliberately just as we never did it deliberately. It’s not that we didn’t want anyone else, it’s just that we didn’t need them. Sadly now it looks like you don’t need me anymore. Anyway I’m not moaning on about how much I hate her, I’m just trying to tell you that I miss you. And that well . . . I’m lonely. Whenever you cancel nights out I end up staying home with Mum and Dad watching TV. It’s so depressing. This was supposed to be our summer of fun. What happened? Can’t you be friends with two people at once? I know you have found someone who is extra special, and I know you both have a special “bond,” or whatever, that you and I will never have. But we have another bond, we’re best friends. Or does the best friend bond disappear as soon as you meet somebody else? Maybe it does, maybe I just don’t understand that because I haven’t met that “somebody special.” I’m not in any hurry to, either. I liked things the way they were. So maybe Bethany is now your best friend and I have been relegated to just being your “friend.” At least be that to me, Alex. In a few years time if my name ever comes up you will probably say, “Rosie, now there’s a name I haven’t heard in years. We used to be best friends. I wonder what she’s doingnow; I haven’t seen or thought of her in years!” You will sound like my mum and dad when they have dinner parties with friends and talk about old times. They always mention people I’ve never even heard of when they’re talking about some of the most important days of their lives. Yet where are those people now? How could someone who was your bridesmaid 20 years ago not even be someone who you are on talking terms with now? Or in Dad’s case, how could he not know where his own best friend from college lives? He studied with the man for five years! Anyway, my point is (I know, I know, there is one), I don’t want to be one of those easily forgotten people, so important at the time, so special, so influential, and so treasured, yet years later just a vague face and a distant memory. I want us to be best friends forever, Alex. I’m happy you’re happy, really I am, but I feel like I’ve been left behind. Maybe our time has come and gone. Maybe your time is now meant to be spent with Bethany. And if that’s the case I won’t bother sending you this letter. And if I’m not sending this letter then what am I doing still writing it? OK I’m going now and I’m ripping these muddled thoughts up. Your friend, Rosie
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
friend request from ........." a) the girl who said you were ugly. b) the girl who said your voice was off-key. c) the girl who refused to defend you. d) the girl who laughed at you behind your back & to your face. e) the girl who took your lunch money every day because she said you didn't need to eat. f) the girl who said you were "fat" even after you starved yourself to death. g) the girl who was supposed to be your best friend. h) all the above. -keep pressing ignore, lovely.
Amanda Lovelace (The Princess Saves Herself in This One (Women Are Some Kind of Magic, #1))
When people dis fantasy—mainstream readers and SF readers alike—they are almost always talking about one sub-genre of fantastic literature. They are talking about Tolkien, and Tolkien's innumerable heirs. Call it 'epic', or 'high', or 'genre' fantasy, this is what fantasy has come to mean. Which is misleading as well as unfortunate. Tolkien is the wen on the arse of fantasy literature. His oeuvre is massive and contagious—you can't ignore it, so don't even try. The best you can do is consciously try to lance the boil. And there's a lot to dislike—his cod-Wagnerian pomposity, his boys-own-adventure glorying in war, his small-minded and reactionary love for hierarchical status-quos, his belief in absolute morality that blurs moral and political complexity. Tolkien's clichés—elves 'n' dwarfs 'n' magic rings—have spread like viruses. He wrote that the function of fantasy was 'consolation', thereby making it an article of policy that a fantasy writer should mollycoddle the reader. That is a revolting idea, and one, thankfully, that plenty of fantasists have ignored. From the Surrealists through the pulps—via Mervyn Peake and Mikhael Bulgakov and Stefan Grabiński and Bruno Schulz and Michael Moorcock and M. John Harrison and I could go on—the best writers have used the fantastic aesthetic precisely to challenge, to alienate, to subvert and undermine expectations. Of course I'm not saying that any fan of Tolkien is no friend of mine—that would cut my social circle considerably. Nor would I claim that it's impossible to write a good fantasy book with elves and dwarfs in it—Michael Swanwick's superb Iron Dragon's Daughter gives the lie to that. But given that the pleasure of fantasy is supposed to be in its limitless creativity, why not try to come up with some different themes, as well as unconventional monsters? Why not use fantasy to challenge social and aesthetic lies? Thankfully, the alternative tradition of fantasy has never died. And it's getting stronger. Chris Wooding, Michael Swanwick, Mary Gentle, Paul di Filippo, Jeff VanderMeer, and many others, are all producing works based on fantasy's radicalism. Where traditional fantasy has been rural and bucolic, this is often urban, and frequently brutal. Characters are more than cardboard cutouts, and they're not defined by race or sex. Things are gritty and tricky, just as in real life. This is fantasy not as comfort-food, but as challenge. The critic Gabe Chouinard has said that we're entering a new period, a renaissance in the creative radicalism of fantasy that hasn't been seen since the New Wave of the sixties and seventies, and in echo of which he has christened the Next Wave. I don't know if he's right, but I'm excited. This is a radical literature. It's the literature we most deserve.
China Miéville
You were my best friend. I was supposed to know you.
Koushun Takami (Battle Royale, Vol. 01 (Battle Royale, #1))
He was, I suppose, my best friend, which is a less pathetic way of saying he was my only friend.
Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1))
As we grow up we realize that even the person who was supposed to never let you down probably will. You will probably have your heart broken more than once and it gets harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when your's was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love, so take many pictures, laugh to much and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is one minute of happiness you'll never get back.
Andy Sixx
The Standover Man. all my life, I've been scared of men standing over me. I suppose my first standover man was my father, but he vanished before I could remember him. For some reason when I was a boy, I liked to fight. a lot of the time, I lost. Another boy, sometimes with blood falling from his nose, would be standing over me. Many years later, I needed to hide. I tried not to sleep because I as afraid of who might be there when I woke up. But I was lucky. It was always my friend.When I was hiding. I dreamed of a certain man. The hardest was when I traveled to find him. Out of sheer luck and many footsteps, I made it. I slept there for a long time. Three days, they told me...and what did I find when I woke up? Not a man, but someone else standing over me. As time passed by the girl and I realized we had things in common. But there is one strange thing. The girl says I look like something else. Now I live in a basement. Bad dreams still live in my sleep. One night, after my usual nightmare, a shadow stood above me. She said, "Tell me what you dream of." So I did. In return, she explained what her own dreams were made of. Now I think we are friends, this girl and me. It was she who gave me a gift - to me. It makes me understand that the best standover man I've ever known is not a man at all...
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
As we grow up we learn that even the person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it gets harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love, so take many pictures, laugh too much and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is one minute of happiness you'll never get back.
Andy Biersack
I suppose that means you don’t want any band-aids, either,” I said, a touch more bitterly than I’d meant to.
J.M. Richards (Tall, Dark Streak of Lightning (Dark Lightning Trilogy, #1))
Did you ever notice me at Keramzin?" He was silent for a long moment, and when I glanced at him, he was looking up at the glass ceiling. He'd gone red as a beet. "Mal?" He cleared his throat, crossed his arms. "As a matter of fact, I did. I had some very ... distracting thoughts about you." "You did?" I sputtered. "And I felt guilty for every one of them. You were supposed to be my best friend, not ..." He shrugged and turned even redder. "Idiot.
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
You hurt me, I want to say. You’re my best friend. The one who’s supposed to tell me I’d be the best boyfriend in the world and that any girl would be lucky to have me, not the one who laughs outright at the thought that I might need someone to love.
Lauren Layne (Blurred Lines (Love Unexpectedly, #1))
CUSTOMER: These books are really stupid, aren’t they? BOOKSELLER: Which ones? CUSTOMER: You know, the ones where animals like cats and mice are best friends. BOOKSELLER: I suppose they’re not very realistic, but then that’s fiction. CUSTOMER: They’re more than unrealistic; they’re really stupid. BOOKSELLER: Well, writers use that kind of thing to teach kids about accepting people different to themselves, you know? CUSTOMER: Yeah, well, books shouldn’t pretend that different people get on like that and that everything is ‘la de da’ and wonderful, should they? Kids should learn that life’s a bitch, and the sooner the better.
Jen Campbell (Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops)
The person who knew you best when you were seventeen will always have a claim on you, no matter how much you change. There's something seductive and magnetic about it, the feeling of being understood like that. I suppose it goes both ways." (19)
Lauren Fox
You’re not supposed to be attracted to your best friend like this. That’s not how it works. I’m probably going to have to get checked into a facility to deal with the amount of attraction I have for you. I’ll ask them to remove it, and they’ll say ‘sorry, sir, it’s spread across your entire body and we can’t take it out’.
Lauren Blakely (Big Rock (Big Rock, #1))
Friends, personal growth is supposed to be personal. It’s not one size fits all. It has to be customized to you and the way you learn best, or it’s never going to stick. Be strict about your goal but flexible in how you get there.
Rachel Hollis (Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals (Girl, Wash Your Face))
Dear Son, I would call you by name, but I’m waiting for your mother to decide. I only hope she is joking when she calls you Albert Dalbert. For weeks now I have watched your mother zealously gather her tokens for this box. She’s so afraid of you not knowing anything about her, and it bothers me greatly that you’ll never know her strength firsthand. I’m sure by the time you read this, you’ll know everything I do about her. But you’ll never know her for yourself and that pains me most of all. I wish you could see the look on her face whenever she talks to you. The sadness she tries so hard to hide. Every time I see it, it cuts through me. She love you so much. You’re all she talks about. I have so many orders from her for you. I’m not allowed to make you crazy the way I do your Uncle Chris. I’m not allowed to call the doctors every time you sneeze and you are to be allowed to tussle with your friends without me having a conniption that someone might bruise you. Nor am I to bully you about getting married or having kids. Ever. Most of all, you are allowed to pick your own car at sixteen. I’m not supposed to put you in a tank. We’ll see about that one. I refuse to promise her this last item until I know more about you. Not to mention, I’ve seen how other people drive on the roads. So if you have a tank, sorry. There’s only so much changing man my age can do. I don’t know what our futures will hold. I only hope that when all is said and done, you are more like your mother than you are like me. She’s a good woman. A kind woman. Full of love and compassion even though her life has been hard and full of grief. She bears her scars with a grace, dignity, and humor that I lack. Most of all, she has courage the likes of which I haven’t witnessed in centuries. I hope with every part of me that you inherit all her best traits and none of my bad ones. I don’t really know what more to say. I just thought you should have something of me in here too. Love, Your father (Wulf)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Kiss of the Night (Dark-Hunter, #4))
I do not think there is a demonstrative proof (like Euclid) of Christianity, nor of the existence of matter, nor of the good will and honesty of my best and oldest friends. I think all three are (except perhaps the second) far more probable than the alternatives. The case for Christianity in general is well given by Chesterton…As to why God doesn't make it demonstratively clear; are we sure that He is even interested in the kind of Theism which would be a compelled logical assent to a conclusive argument? Are we interested in it in personal matters? I demand from my friend trust in my good faith which is certain without demonstrative proof. It wouldn't be confidence at all if he waited for rigorous proof. Hang it all, the very fairy-tales embody the truth. Othello believed in Desdemona's innocence when it was proved: but that was too late. Lear believed in Cordelia's love when it was proved: but that was too late. 'His praise is lost who stays till all commend.' The magnanimity, the generosity which will trust on a reasonable probability, is required of us. But supposing one believed and was wrong after all? Why, then you would have paid the universe a compliment it doesn't deserve. Your error would even so be more interesting and important than the reality. And yet how could that be? How could an idiotic universe have produced creatures whose mere dreams are so much stronger, better, subtler than itself?
C.S. Lewis
Being in love with someone was supposed to be a sweet and tender release. However, being in love with your best friend, who didn't interpret those feelings in the same way, became a violently brutal ache.
Angela McPherson (Distraction (Distraction, #1))
You know you're my best friend, right?' he said. I shrugged. I guessed it was true. Now that I wasn't going to be at the parade, they would all hate me. Everything had been carefully choreographed, and me not being there would throw them all off. I realized that kids like Theo and me weren't supposed to have real friends. We were supposed to be all alone and confused. By being each other's friend, we were defying our laws of gravity.
Heather O'Neill (Lullabies for Little Criminals)
You're a beautiful and wonderful and sensual and strong golden fawn, she says, followed by That was supposed to say "my best friend," but my phone...
Emily Henry (The Love That Split the World)
But when he said he couldn’t shoot, it just seemed to make an odd sort of sense to tell him that Hermione couldn’t dance. It fit, really. Men were supposed to shoot, and women were supposed to dance, and trusty best friends were supposed to keep their foolish mouths shut. Clearly, all three of them needed a bit of instruction.
Julia Quinn (On the Way to the Wedding (Bridgertons, #8))
And that's how it was with Garrett. Because he understood me, the me I wanted so desperately to be. Think about your best friend - how you tell them everything, how they're the person who knows you best, all your deepest fears and insecurities. They're the one you call when something amazing happens or when everything falls apart and you need someone to come over and watch movies and tell you that everything's going to be OK. It's not like family, who are obligated to love you and even then sometimes fail to be everything they're supposed to be. Your true friend has chosen you, and you them, and that's a different kind of bond. That's Garrett to me. I'm used to talking to him all the time, about the most meaningless stuff. To have him gone feels like a loss, an absence haunting me every day. Without him, there's just the empty space that used to be filled with laughter and friendship and comfort. Can you really blame me for finding it so hard to let go?
Abby McDonald (Getting Over Garrett Delaney)
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I a tired of being treated like a child. My father says it's because I am a child--I am twelve-and-a-half years old--but it still isn't fair. If I go into a store to buy something, nobody pays any attention to me, or if they do, it's to say, "Leave that alone," "Don't touch that," although I haven't done anything. My money is as good as anybody's, but because I am younger, they feel they can be mean to me. It happens to me at home, too. My mother's friend who comes over after dinner sometimes, who doesn't have any children of her own and doesn't know what's what, likes to say to me, "Shouldn't you be in bed by now,dear?" when she doesn't even know what my bedtime is supposed to be. Is there any way I can make these people stop? GENTLE READER: Growing up is the best revenge.
Judith Martin
Children fail to realize that a mother doesn’t have to provide their “wants”. Her bags are heavy because they are filled by everyone’s “wants”. There isn’t one “want” in the bags a mother is carrying that belongs to her. She looks past her self-fulfillment. She feels as though her wants and needs are not important; therefore, they are never on the list. Children cannot see past their selfish ways. By law, a parent is supposed to provide shelter, food, clothing, make sure their children attend schools and have their annual health checkups. A mother isn’t required to put her children in extracurricular activities; that is a choice. Friends come and go; a marriage may last or fail, but once you’re a mother there is no such thing as divorcing your children. Being a mother is the hardest job ever; it is “till death do you part”. As a mother, you try your best to make sure your children do not make the same mistakes that you did.
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
most cherished desires of present-day Westerners are shaped by romantic, nationalist, capitalist and humanist myths that have been around for centuries. Friends giving advice often tell each other, ‘Follow your heart.’ But the heart is a double agent that usually takes its instructions from the dominant myths of the day, and the very recommendation to ‘follow your heart’ was implanted in our minds by a combination of nineteenth-century Romantic myths and twentieth-century consumerist myths. The Coca-Cola Company, for example, has marketed Diet Coke around the world under the slogan ‘Diet Coke. Do what feels good.’ Even what people take to be their most personal desires are usually programmed by the imagined order. Let’s consider, for example, the popular desire to take a holiday abroad. There is nothing natural or obvious about this. A chimpanzee alpha male would never think of using his power in order to go on holiday into the territory of a neighbouring chimpanzee band. The elite of ancient Egypt spent their fortunes building pyramids and having their corpses mummified, but none of them thought of going shopping in Babylon or taking a skiing holiday in Phoenicia. People today spend a great deal of money on holidays abroad because they are true believers in the myths of romantic consumerism. Romanticism tells us that in order to make the most of our human potential we must have as many different experiences as we can. We must open ourselves to a wide spectrum of emotions; we must sample various kinds of relationships; we must try different cuisines; we must learn to appreciate different styles of music. One of the best ways to do all that is to break free from our daily routine, leave behind our familiar setting, and go travelling in distant lands, where we can ‘experience’ the culture, the smells, the tastes and the norms of other people. We hear again and again the romantic myths about ‘how a new experience opened my eyes and changed my life’. Consumerism tells us that in order to be happy we must consume as many products and services as possible. If we feel that something is missing or not quite right, then we probably need to buy a product (a car, new clothes, organic food) or a service (housekeeping, relationship therapy, yoga classes). Every television commercial is another little legend about how consuming some product or service will make life better. 18. The Great Pyramid of Giza. The kind of thing rich people in ancient Egypt did with their money. Romanticism, which encourages variety, meshes perfectly with consumerism. Their marriage has given birth to the infinite ‘market of experiences’, on which the modern tourism industry is founded. The tourism industry does not sell flight tickets and hotel bedrooms. It sells experiences. Paris is not a city, nor India a country – they are both experiences, the consumption of which is supposed to widen our horizons, fulfil our human potential, and make us happier. Consequently, when the relationship between a millionaire and his wife is going through a rocky patch, he takes her on an expensive trip to Paris. The trip is not a reflection of some independent desire, but rather of an ardent belief in the myths of romantic consumerism. A wealthy man in ancient Egypt would never have dreamed of solving a relationship crisis by taking his wife on holiday to Babylon. Instead, he might have built for her the sumptuous tomb she had always wanted. Like the elite of ancient Egypt, most people in most cultures dedicate their lives to building pyramids. Only the names, shapes and sizes of these pyramids change from one culture to the other. They may take the form, for example, of a suburban cottage with a swimming pool and an evergreen lawn, or a gleaming penthouse with an enviable view. Few question the myths that cause us to desire the pyramid in the first place.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
I have come to realize that bad times coupled with good reflections provide some of the best lessons, and not just about business but also about relationships. One has many more supposed friends when one is up than when one is down, because most people like to be with winners and shun losers. True friends are the opposite.
Ray Dalio (Principles: Life and Work)
Don't insult Moony like that. You may not like him, but he's Padfoot's best friend. I can't stand by you and let you insult Padfoot's best friend." "Oh, is that right?" Remus asks, lips twitching. "It is," Sirius replies solemnly. Remus looks charmed, the fool.
Zeppazariel (Just Lovers [Like We Were Supposed to Be])
Pink Balloons My name is Olivia King I am five years old My mother bought me a balloon. I remember the day she walked through the front door with it. The curly hot pink ribbon trickling down her arm, wrapped around her wrist . She was smiling at me as she untied the ribbon and wrapped it around my hand. "Here Livie, I bought this for you." She called me Livie. I was so happy . I'd never had a balloon before. I mean, I always saw balloon wrapped around other kids wrist in the parking lot of Wal-Mart , but I never dreamed I would have my very own. My very own pink balloon. I was excited! So ecstatic! So thrilled! i couldn't believe my mother bought me something! She'd never bought me anything before! I played with it for hours . It was full of helium and it danced and swayed and floated as I drug it around from room to room with me, thinking of places to take it. Thinking of places the balloon had never been before. I took it in the bathroom , the closet , the laundry room , the kitchen , the living room . I wanted my new best friend to see everything I saw! I took it to my mother's bedroom! My mothers Bedroom? Where I wasn't supposed to be? With my pink balloon... I covered my ears as she screamed at me, wiping the evidence off her nose! She slapped me across the face as she told me how bad I was! How much I misbehaved! How I never listened! She shoved me into the hallways and slammed the door, locking my pink balloon inside with her. I wanted him back! He was my best friend! Not her! The pink ribbon was still tied around my wrist so I pulled and pulled , trying to get my new best friend away from her. And it popped. My name is Eddie. I'm seventeen years old. My birthday is next week. I'll be big One-Eight. My foster dad is buying me these boots I've been wanting. I'm sure my friends will take me out to eat. My boyfriend will buy me a gift, maybe even take me to a movie. I'll even get a nice little card from my foster care worker, wishing me a happy eighteenth birthday, informing me I've aged out of the system. I'll have a good time. I know I will. But there's one thing I know for sure I better not get any shitty ass pink balloons!
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
It's like one of those summer nights with your friends by the ocean. You're drinking straight from the bottle, singing the memories of the best years and for just that night you're infinite. You're exactly where you're supposed to be. There is no future. You have earned the present. And I'm taking trains to nowhere, hoping to be able to hold on to these few moments on stage every night. And I'm thinking that I'm me, and this very moment, I'm actually okay with that.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
Suppose you’re called on to navigate some particularly difficult life dilemma, your own, or that of a close confidant. You yearn to talk matters over with your mentor, spouse, or best friend. Yet, for whatever reason, you can’t get a hold of these valued others—perhaps they’re traveling, busy, or even deceased. Research shows that simply imagining having a conversation with them is as good as actually talking with them. So consult them in your mind. Ask them what advice they’d offer. In this way, a cherished parent or mentor, even if deceased, leaves you with an inner voice that guides you through challenging times. Your past moments of love and connection make you lastingly wiser.
Barbara L. Fredrickson (Love 2.0: Creating Happiness and Health in Moments of Connection)
She reached across the table and squeezed my hand. 'The last time you were here, you were so lost. So . . . well, if you don't mind me saying —' 'Pathetic,' I blurted out. 'Whiny, entitled, selfish. I felt terribly sorry for myself.' Meg nodded along with my words as if listening to her favourite song. 'You still feel sorry for yourself.' 'But now,' Sally said, sitting back again, 'you're more . . . human, I suppose.' There was that word again: human, which not long ago I would have considered a terrible insult. Now, every time I heard it, I thought of Jason Grace's admonition: Remember what it's like to be human. He hadn't meant all the terrible things about being human, of which there were plenty. He'd meant the best things: standing up for a just cause, putting others first, having stubborn faith that you could make a difference, even if it meant you had to die to protect your friends and what you believed in. These were not the kind of feelings that gods had . . . well, ever.
Rick Riordan (The Tower of Nero (The Trials of Apollo, #5))
As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let us down, probably will. You'll have your heart broken and you'll break others' hearts. You'll fight with your best friend or maybe even fall in love with them, and you'll cry because time is flying by. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, forgive freely, and love like you've never been hurt. Life comes with no guarantees, no time outs, no second chances. You just have to live life to the fullest, tell someone what they mean to you and tell someone off, speak out, dance in the pouring rain, hold someone's hand, comfort a friend, fall asleep watching the sun come up, stay up late, be a flirt, and smile until your face hurts. Don't be afraid to take chances or fall in love and most of all, live in the moment because every second you spend angry or upset is a second of happiness you can never get back.
Matti Nykanen
I thought bridesmaid's dresses were supposed to be horrid and ugly to make the bride more stunning," I joked to her in a whisper. "Yeah right, you marry a gorgeous actor and you want me to show up in a Goodwill special? No way sister! There are bound to be other single, gorgeous actors around, and I intend to land one of them for myself. Or get laid at the very least."...
Off the Market578 (The Missing Chapters)
I sound like an idiot. But what else am I supposed to say? My parents are getting a divorce? I'm practically flunking drawing and literature? My best friend's barely speaking to me and changes the subject when I ask where she was on Saturday night? I think about you all the time and I want your body?
E. Lockhart (Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything)
How can you say it was all a lie?” I ask, just above a whisper. “Matt was my best friend. I loved him that way always. ‘We have to look out for her.’ That was the last thing he said to me alone. And then he died. What was I supposed to do, Frank? Tell me?
Sarah Ockler (Twenty Boy Summer)
Grandmere says she can't get over the change in me. She says I seem taller. And you know maybe I am. She thinks it's because I'm wearing another one of Sebastiano's original creations, designed just for me,just like the dress that was supposed to make Michael see me as more than just his little sister's best friend . . . except that it turned out he already did. But I know that's not it. And it isn't love, either. Well, not entirely. I'll tell you what it is: self-actualization. That and the fact that it turns out I'm really a princess, after all. I must be, because guess what? I'm living happily ever after.
Meg Cabot (Princess in Love (The Princess Diaries, #3))
When she says margarita she means daiquiri. When she says quixotic she means mercurial. And when she says, "I'll never speak to you again," she means, "Put your arms around me from behind as I stand disconsolate at the window." He's supposed to know that. When a man loves a woman he is in New York and she is in Virginia or he is in Boston, writing, and she is in New York, reading, or she is wearing a sweater and sunglasses in Balboa Park and he is raking leaves in Ithaca or he is driving to East Hampton and she is standing disconsolate at the window overlooking the bay where a regatta of many-colored sails is going on while he is stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway. When a woman loves a man it is one ten in the morning she is asleep he is watching the ball scores and eating pretzels drinking lemonade and two hours later he wakes up and staggers into bed where she remains asleep and very warm. When she says tomorrow she means in three or four weeks. When she says, "We're talking about me now," he stops talking. Her best friend comes over and says, "Did somebody die?" When a woman loves a man, they have gone to swim naked in the stream on a glorious July day with the sound of the waterfall like a chuckle of water rushing over smooth rocks, and there is nothing alien in the universe. Ripe apples fall about them. What else can they do but eat? When he says, "Ours is a transitional era," "that's very original of you," she replies, dry as the martini he is sipping. They fight all the time It's fun What do I owe you? Let's start with an apology Ok, I'm sorry, you dickhead. A sign is held up saying "Laughter." It's a silent picture. "I've been fucked without a kiss," she says, "and you can quote me on that," which sounds great in an English accent. One year they broke up seven times and threatened to do it another nine times. When a woman loves a man, she wants him to meet her at the airport in a foreign country with a jeep. When a man loves a woman he's there. He doesn't complain that she's two hours late and there's nothing in the refrigerator. When a woman loves a man, she wants to stay awake. She's like a child crying at nightfall because she didn't want the day to end. When a man loves a woman, he watches her sleep, thinking: as midnight to the moon is sleep to the beloved. A thousand fireflies wink at him. The frogs sound like the string section of the orchestra warming up. The stars dangle down like earrings the shape of grapes.
David Lehman (When a Woman Loves a Man: Poems)
I know I can be a royal asshole. But I love you. You’re my best friend and the only person I’ve ever told that I have a problem. It doesn’t matter if we’re in a fucking fake relationship. We’re supposed to talk to each other. Come to me before you go off the deep end, okay?
Krista Ritchie (Addicted to You (Addicted, #1))
Dear Alex, I think I’m going to organize a search party. Have you fallen off the edge of the earth? Are you still alive? I called your mother the other day and they haven’t heard from you very much either. Is everything OK? Because if it’s not, I have a right to know. You’re supposed to confide in me because I’m your best friend and . . . it’s law. And if things are OK then contact me anyway, I’m your friend and I need gossip. It’s section two of the same law.
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
I tried to lose myself in school and friends as best as I was able, trying to put Dorian's world out of my mind. But that was pretty much impossible with Clarrisa's constant, homicidally cheerful presence, which was, I supposed, something like making friends with a live grenade.
V.M. Black (Time Out of Mind (Cora's Bond, #3))
I believed I loved him, I really did. And I guess I do love him, but not in the right way. I love him like a brother or a best friend. I just didn’t know, until Luke, that I was supposed to feel more.
Elizabeth O'Roark (The Summer We Fell (The Summer, #1))
Are you going to hand me over to him?" "I haven't decided yet," I teased, and he smiled again, erasing his momentary seriousness. "So, where'd you get the suit?" "Believe it or not, that lovely friend of yours, Willa," Loki said. "She brought me a whole slew of clothes last night. When I asked her why she was being so generous, she said it was out of fear that I would run around naked." I smiled. "That does sound like something you would do. Why are you wearing all black, though? Didn't you know you were going to a wedding?" "On the contrary," he said, doing his best to look unhappy. "I'm in mourning over the wedding." "Oh, because it's too late?" I asked. "No, Wendy, it's never too late." His voice was light, but his eyes were solemn. "May I cut in?" the best man asked. "No, you may not," Loki said. I'd started to move away from him, but he held fast. "Loki," I said, and my eyes widened. "I'm still dancing with her," Loki said, turning to look at him. "You can have her when I'm done." "Loki," I said again, but he was already twirling me away. "You can't do that." "I just did." He grinned. "Oh, Wendy, don't look so appalled. I'm already the rebel Prince of thine enemy. I can't do much more to tarnish my image." "You can certainly tarnish mine," I pointed out. "Never," Loki said, and it was his turn to look appalled. "I'm merely showing them how it's done." He began spinning me around the dance floor in grand arcs, my gown swirling around me. He was a brilliant dancer, moving with grace and speed. Everyone had stopped to watch us, but I didn't care. This was the way a Princess was supposed to dance on her wedding day. The song ended, switching to something by Mozart, and he slowed, almost to a stop, but he kept me in his arms. "Thank you." I smiled. My skin felt flushed from dancing, and I was a little out of breath. "That was a wonderful dance." "You're welcome," he said, staring intently at me. "You are so beautiful." "Stop," I said, looking away as my cheeks reddened. "How can you blush?" Loki asked, laughing gently. "People must tell you how beautiful you are a thousand times a day." "It's not the same," I said. "It's not the same?" Loki echoed. "Why? Because you know they don't mean it like I do?" We did stop dancing them, and neither of us said anything. Garrett came up to us. He smiled, but his eyes didn't appear happy. "Can I cut in?" Garrett asked. "Yes," Loki said, shaking off the intensity he'd had a moment ago, and grinned broadly at Garrett. "She's all yours, good sir. Take care of her." He patted Garrett on the arm once for good measure and gave me a quick smile before heading back over to the refreshment table.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
That was our friendship: equal parts irritation and cooperation... That he made my parents deeply uncomfortable was merely a bonus...He was, I suppose, my best friend, which is a less pathetic way of saying he was my only friend.
Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1))
I knew what she’d tell me. She’d say, “Something’s off about my life. I feel restless and frustrated. I have this hunch that everything was supposed to be more beautiful than this. I imagine fenceless, wide-open savannas. I want to run and hunt and kill. I want to sleep under an ink-black, silent sky filled with stars. It’s all so real I can taste it.” Then she’d look back at the cage, the only home she’s ever known. She’d look at the smiling zookeepers, the bored spectators, and her panting, bouncing, begging best friend, the Lab. She’d sigh and say, “I should be grateful. I have a good enough life here. It’s crazy to long for what doesn’t even exist.” I’d say: Tabitha. You are not crazy. You are a goddamn cheetah.
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
Goodbye, Lizzy. I will see you again, of course—but you will not see me. Not really. You never have. It is too bad. This the part, I suppose, where the novel would wrap up with a tidy boring moral, so I will say this: Love your best friends. Forgive your worst friends. Remember, always, not to judge people too hastily, for everyone is living out a story of their own, and you only get to read the pages you appear on.
Melinda Taub (The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch)
Ah yes…” He made an exaggerated nod. “I was supposed to be filling you in on Nangí’s story.” He winked at me playfully, as I kept up my glare. “Now, where should I begin?” “Tell you what, let me get you started,” I came back. “Once upon a time, there was this über-creepy old man—who looks like he lives in a haunted shack and eats small children for breakfast—and I decided to make him my new best friend becaaauuse… Okay, your turn.
M.A. George (Relativity (Proximity, #2))
Frau Freud Ladies, for argument’s sake, let us say that I’ve seen my fair share of ding-a-ling, member and jock, of todger and nudger and percy and cock, of tackle, of three-for-a-bob, of willy and winky; in fact, you could say, I’m as au fait with Hunt-the-Salami as Ms M. Lewinsky – equally sick up to here with the beef bayonet, the pork sword, the saveloy, love-muscle, night-crawler, dong, the dick, prick, dipstick and wick, the rammer, the slammer, the rupert, the shlong. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve no axe to grind with the snake in the trousers, the wife’s best friend, the weapon, the python – I suppose what I mean is, ladies, dear ladies, the average penis – not pretty . . . the squint of its envious solitary eye . . . one’s feeling of pity . . .
Carol Ann Duffy (The World's Wife)
Her partner now drew near, and said, "That gentleman would have put me out of patience, had he stayed with you half a minute longer. He has no business to withdraw the attention of my partner from me. We have entered into a contract of mutual agreeableness for the space of an evening, and all our agreeableness belongs solely to each other for that time. Nobody can fasten themselves on the notice of one, without injuring the rights of the other. I consider a country-dance as an emblem of marriage. Fidelity and complaisance are the principal duties of both; and those men who do not choose to dance or marry themselves, have no business with the partners or wives of their neighbours." But they are such very different things!" -- That you think they cannot be compared together." To be sure not. People that marry can never part, but must go and keep house together. People that dance only stand opposite each other in a long room for half an hour." And such is your definition of matrimony and dancing. Taken in that light certainly, their resemblance is not striking; but I think I could place them in such a view. You will allow, that in both, man has the advantage of choice, woman only the power of refusal; that in both, it is an engagement between man and woman, formed for the advantage of each; and that when once entered into, they belong exclusively to each other till the moment of its dissolution; that it is their duty, each to endeavour to give the other no cause for wishing that he or she had bestowed themselves elsewhere, and their best interest to keep their own imaginations from wandering towards the perfections of their neighbours, or fancying that they should have been better off with anyone else. You will allow all this?" Yes, to be sure, as you state it, all this sounds very well; but still they are so very different. I cannot look upon them at all in the same light, nor think the same duties belong to them." In one respect, there certainly is a difference. In marriage, the man is supposed to provide for the support of the woman, the woman to make the home agreeable to the man; he is to purvey, and she is to smile. But in dancing, their duties are exactly changed; the agreeableness, the compliance are expected from him, while she furnishes the fan and the lavender water. That, I suppose, was the difference of duties which struck you, as rendering the conditions incapable of comparison." No, indeed, I never thought of that." Then I am quite at a loss. One thing, however, I must observe. This disposition on your side is rather alarming. You totally disallow any similarity in the obligations; and may I not thence infer that your notions of the duties of the dancing state are not so strict as your partner might wish? Have I not reason to fear that if the gentleman who spoke to you just now were to return, or if any other gentleman were to address you, there would be nothing to restrain you from conversing with him as long as you chose?" Mr. Thorpe is such a very particular friend of my brother's, that if he talks to me, I must talk to him again; but there are hardly three young men in the room besides him that I have any acquaintance with." And is that to be my only security? Alas, alas!" Nay, I am sure you cannot have a better; for if I do not know anybody, it is impossible for me to talk to them; and, besides, I do not want to talk to anybody." Now you have given me a security worth having; and I shall proceed with courage.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
Supposedly you could kill them by saying their name but a)how would you find it out in the first place,and b) its a little hard to talk when your lungs are slowly filling up with water. Still,legend had it they were occasionally benign,giving music lessons and even marrying mortals every now and again. I didn't get the impression this one had any intentions of taking vows. "So you aren't going to be best friends." "I dunno-he could be fun at a pool party. Assuming you hated everyone you invited.
Kiersten White (Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2))
Keep laser-focused on school, and I'll see YOU at Christmas. Josh leans his lanky body over my shoulder and peers at my laptop. "Is it just me,or is that 'YOU' sort of threatening?" "No.It's not just YOU," I say. "I thought your dad was a writer.What's with the 'laser-focused''gentle reminder' shit?" "My father is fluent in cliche. Obviously, you've never read one of his novels." I pause. "I can't believe he has the nerve to say he'll give Seany my best." Josh shakes his head in disgust. My friends and I are spending the weekend in the lounge because it's raining again. No one ever mentions this, but it turns out Paris is as drizzly as London. According to St. Clair,that is, our only absent member. He went to some photography show at Ellie's school. Actually,he was supposed to be back by now. He's running late.As usual. Mer and Rashmi are curled up on one of the lobby couches,reading our latest English assignment, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. I turn back to my father's email. Gentle reminder... your life sucks.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Number 23 had plenty of redeeming qualities that made falling for him a justifiable accident. But our connection had nothing to do with our similarities, our differences, our aesthetic attractions, or our emotional and physical needs. When we spoke, he was truly with me. Our egos, our personas, expected social cues, the facades that everyone builds around them that are supposed to sculpt the way the world sees us, were stripped with Number 23 and I. He was immediately my best friend, familiar and safe - an epiphany that I had been spending my life alone in crowded rooms. Our souls were naked. We initially curled into the warmth of that connection. But once we knew how real it was, we felt exposed, vulnerable, and raw. While his defense was his fearful recoil, mine was dictation.
Maggie Georgiana Young (Just Another Number)
Roark reached for the 'link again, cursed himself for a fool, then turned away from it. He wasn’t going to keep calling her, her friends, her haunts, hoping for a scrap. Bugger that. She’d be home when she came home. Or she wouldn’t. Christ Jesus, where was she? Why the hell was she putting him through this? He’d done nothing to earn it. God knew he’d done plenty along the way to earn her wrath, but not this time. Not this way. Still, that look on her face that morning had etched itself in his head, on his heart, into his guts. He couldn’t burn it out. He’d seen that look once or twice before, but not on his account. He’d seen it when they’d gone to that fucking room in Dallas where she’d once suffered beyond reason. He’d seen it when she tore out of a nightmare. Didn’t she know he’d cut off his own hand before he’d put that look on her face? She bloody well should know it. Should know him. This was her own doing, and she’d best get her stubborn ass home right quick so they could have this out as they were supposed to have things out. She could kick something. Punch something. Punch him if that would put an end to it. A good rage, that’s what was needed here, he told himself, then they’d be done with this nonsense once and for all. Where the fucking hell was she? He considered his own rage righteous, deserved—and struggled not to acknowledge it hid a sick panic that she didn’t mean to come back to him. She’d damn well come back, he thought furiously. If she thought she could do otherwise, he had a bulletin for her. He’d hunt her down, by Christ, he would, and he’d drag her back where she belonged. Goddamn it all, he needed her back where she belonged. He paced the parlor like a cat in a cage, praying as he rarely prayed, for the remote in his pocket to beep, signaling the gates had opened. And she was coming home.
J.D. Robb (Innocent in Death (In Death, #24))
HAZEL WASN’T PROUD OF CRYING. After the tunnel collapsed, she wept and screamed like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum. She couldn’t move the debris that separated her and Leo from the others. If the earth shifted any more, the entire complex might collapse on their heads. Still, she pounded her fists against the stones and yelled curses that would’ve earned her a mouth-washing with lye soap back at St. Agnes Academy. Leo stared at her, wide-eyed and speechless. She wasn’t being fair to him. The last time the two of them had been together, she’d zapped him into her past and shown him Sammy, his great-grandfather—Hazel’s first boyfriend. She’d burdened him with emotional baggage he didn’t need, and left him so dazed they had almost gotten killed by a giant shrimp monster. Now here they were, alone again, while their friends might be dying at the hands of a monster army, and she was throwing a fit. “Sorry.” She wiped her face. “Hey, you know…” Leo shrugged. “I’ve attacked a few rocks in my day.” She swallowed with difficulty. “Frank is…he’s—” “Listen,” Leo said. “Frank Zhang has moves. He’s probably gonna turn into a kangaroo and do some marsupial jujitsu on their ugly faces.” He helped her to her feet. Despite the panic simmering inside her, she knew Leo was right. Frank and the others weren’t helpless. They would find a way to survive. The best thing she and Leo could do was carry on. She studied Leo. His hair had grown out longer and shaggier, and his face was leaner, so he looked less like an imp and more like one of those willowy elves in the fairy tales. The biggest difference was his eyes. They constantly drifted, as if Leo was trying to spot something over the horizon. “Leo, I’m sorry,” she said. He raised an eyebrow. “Okay. For what?” “For…” She gestured around her helplessly. “Everything. For thinking you were Sammy, for leading you on. I mean, I didn’t mean to, but if I did—” “Hey.” He squeezed her hand, though Hazel sensed nothing romantic in the gesture. “Machines are designed to work.” “Uh, what?” “I figure the universe is basically like a machine. I don’t know who made it, if it was the Fates, or the gods, or capital-G God, or whatever. But it chugs along the way it’s supposed to most of the time. Sure, little pieces break and stuff goes haywire once in a while, but mostly…things happen for a reason. Like you and me meeting.” “Leo Valdez,” Hazel marveled, “you’re a philosopher.” “Nah,” he said. “I’m just a mechanic. But I figure my bisabuelo Sammy knew what was what. He let you go, Hazel. My job is to tell you that it’s okay. You and Frank—you’re good together. We’re all going to get through this. I hope you guys get a chance to be happy. Besides, Zhang couldn’t tie his shoes without your help.” “That’s mean,” Hazel chided, but she felt like something was untangling inside her—a knot of tension she’d been carrying for weeks. Leo really had changed. Hazel was starting to think she’d found a good friend. “What happened to you when you were on your own?” she asked. “Who did you meet?” Leo’s eye twitched. “Long story. I’ll tell you sometime, but I’m still waiting to see how it shakes out.” “The universe is a machine,” Hazel said, “so it’ll be fine.” “Hopefully.” “As long as it’s not one of your machines,” Hazel added. “Because your machines never do what they’re supposed to.” “Yeah, ha-ha.” Leo summoned fire into his hand. “Now, which way, Miss Underground?” Hazel scanned the path in front of them. About thirty feet down, the tunnel split into four smaller arteries, each one identical, but the one on the left radiated cold. “That way,” she decided. “It feels the most dangerous.” “I’m sold,” said Leo. They began their descent.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
What kind of soldier are you that you’re going to just sit in a cell while the world is thrown into chaos? Do you not understand what could happen if those weapons fall into the wrong hands? How could you be so selfish? (Syd) I’m selfish? Look, Agent Westbrook, your daddy’s a Boston stockbroker. I’m a death broker. I’m sure you don’t lecture Daddy on finance, so don’t even try to lecture me on assassination politics. I know all about them. Some bureaucratic ass-wipe sitting in a pristine office that’s totally isolated from the rest of the world decides the son of King Oomp-Loomp is a threat. He then hands down orders to people like me to go off King Oomp-Loompa’s son. Like an idiot, I do what he says without question. I hunt my target down, using information that is mostly bullshit and unreliable, gathered by someone like you who assured me it was correct as the time. But hey, if it changes minute by minute, and God forbid we pass that along to you. So me and my spotter lie in the grass, sand, or snow for days on end, cramped and hungry, never able to move more than a millimeter an hour until I have that one perfect shot I’ve been waiting for days. I take it, and then we lie there like pieces of dirt until we can inch our way back to safety, where hopefully the helicopter team will remember that they were supposed to retrieve us. Have you any idea of the nerves it takes to do what I do? To lie there on the ground while other armed men search for you? Have them step on you and not be able to even breathe or wince because if you do, it’s not only your life, but the life of your spotter? Do you know what it’s like to have the brains of your best friend spayed into your face and not be able to render aid to him because you know he’s dead and if you do, you’ll be killed too? I have been into the bowels of hell and back, Miz Westbrook. I have stared down the devil and made him sweat. So don’t tell me I don’t take this seriously. (Steele)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Bad Attitude (B.A.D. Agency #1))
Wyatt knew with absolute conviction Clay didn't mean it. They didn't suffer through two very painful concussions together to walk the other way once they'd healed up. Those were battle wounds. It was like surviving a war together. Wyatt just chose to forget they'd been on opposing sides. He knew Clay was supposed to be his best friend. It felt like destiny. Just like he knew he was supposed to grow up, be sheriff, and marry Tabitha McMillen.
Kele Moon (Crossing the Line (Battered Hearts, #3))
My opinion means nothing. It happens every day. The most unlikely people commit the most unlikely crimes. Nice old ladies poison whole families. Clean-cut kids commit multiple holdups and shootings. Bank managers with spotless records going back twenty years are found out to be long-term embezzlers. And successful and popular and supposedly happy novelists get drunk and put their wives in the hospital. We know damn little about what makes even our best friends tick.
Raymond Chandler
Bliss?” I called. “Yeah?” “Check the drawers of the nightstand! She was playing with it in the middle of the night, and I think I remember taking it away and sticking it in there.” “Okay!” Through the open door, I watched her circle around the edge of the bed. I walked in place for a few seconds, letting my feet drop a little heavier than necessary, then opened and closed the door like I’d gone back inside the bathroom. Then I hid in the space between the back of the bedroom door and the wall where I could just see through the crack between the hinges. She pulled open the top drawer, and my heartbeat was like a bass drum. I don’t know when it had started beating so hard, but now it was all that I could hear. It wasn’t like I was asking her to marry me now. I just knew Bliss, and knew she tended to panic. I was giving her a very big, very obvious hint so that she’d have time to adjust before I actually asked her. Then in a few months, when I thought she’d gotten used to the idea, I’d ask her for real. That was the plan anyway. It was supposed to be simple, but this felt… complicated. Suddenly, I thought of all the thousands of ways this could go wrong. What if she freaked out? What if she ran like she did our first night together? If she ran, would she go back to Texas? Or would she go to Cade who lived in North Philly? He’d let her stay until she figured things out, and then what if something developed between them? What if she just flat out told me no? Everything was good right now. Perfect, actually. What if I was ruining it by pulling this stunt? I was so caught up in my doomsday predictions that I didn’t even see the moment that she found the box. I heard her open it though, and I heard her exhale and say, “Oh my God.” Where before my mouth had been dry, now I couldn’t swallow fast enough. My hands were shaking against the door. She was just standing there with her back to me. I couldn’t see her face. All I could see was her tense, straight spine. She swayed slightly. What if she passed out? What if I’d scared her so much that she actually lost consciousness? I started to think of ways to explain it away. I was keeping it for a friend? It was a prop for a show? It was… It was… shit, I didn’t know. I could just apologize. Tell her I knew it was too fast. I waited for her to do something—scream, run, cry, faint. Anything would be better than her stillness. I should have just been honest with her. I wasn’t good at things like this. I said what I was thinking—no plans, no manipulation. Finally, when I thought my body would crumble under the stress alone, she turned. She faced the bed, and I only got her profile, but she was biting her lip. What did that mean? Was she just thinking? Thinking of a way to get out of it? Then, slowly, like the sunrise peeking over the horizon, she smiled. She snapped the box closed. She didn’t scream. She didn’t run. She didn’t faint. There might have been a little crying. But mostly… she danced. She swayed and jumped and smiled the same way she had when the cast list was posted for Phaedra. She lost herself the same way she did after opening night, right before we made love for the first time. Maybe I didn’t have to wait a few months after all. She said she wanted my best line tomorrow after the show, and now I knew what it was going to be.
Cora Carmack (Losing It (Losing It, #1))
Introspection means talking to yourself, and one of the best ways of talking to yourself is by talking to another person. One other person you can trust, one other person to whom you can unfold your soul. One other person you feel safe enough with to allow you to acknowledge things—to acknowledge things to yourself—that you otherwise can’t. Doubts you aren’t supposed to have, questions you aren’t supposed to ask. Feelings or opinions that would get you laughed at by the group or reprimanded by the authorities. This is what we call thinking out loud, discovering what you believe in the course of articulating it. But it takes just as much time and just as much patience as solitude in the strict sense. And our new electronic world has disrupted it just as violently. Instead of having one or two true friends that we can sit and talk to for three hours at a time, we have 968 “friends” that we never actually talk to; instead we just bounce one-line messages off them a hundred times a day. This is not friendship, this is distraction.
Kate Fagan (What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen)
the six of us are supposed to drive to the diner in Hastings for lunch. But the moment we enter the cavernous auditorium where the girls told us to meet them, my jaw drops and our plans change. “Holy shit—is that a red velvet chaise lounge?” The guys exchange a WTF look. “Um…sure?” Justin says. “Why—” I’m already sprinting toward the stage. The girls aren’t here yet, which means I have to act fast. “For fuck’s sake, get over here,” I call over my shoulder. Their footsteps echo behind me, and by the time they climb on the stage, I’ve already whipped my shirt off and am reaching for my belt buckle. I stop to fish my phone from my back pocket and toss it at Garrett, who catches it without missing a beat. “What is happening right now?” Justin bursts out. I drop trou, kick my jeans away, and dive onto the plush chair wearing nothing but my black boxer-briefs. “Quick. Take a picture.” Justin doesn’t stop shaking his head. Over and over again, and he’s blinking like an owl, as if he can’t fathom what he’s seeing. Garrett, on the other hand, knows better than to ask questions. Hell, he and Hannah spent two hours constructing origami hearts with me the other day. His lips twitch uncontrollably as he gets the phone in position. “Wait.” I pause in thought. “What do you think? Double guns, or double thumbs up?” “What is happening?” We both ignore Justin’s baffled exclamation. “Show me the thumbs up,” Garrett says. I give the camera a wolfish grin and stick up my thumbs. My best friend’s snort bounces off the auditorium walls. “Veto. Do the guns. Definitely the guns.” He takes two shots—one with flash, one without—and just like that, another romantic gesture is in the bag. As I hastily put my clothes back on, Justin rubs his temples with so much vigor it’s as if his brain has imploded. He gapes as I tug my jeans up to my hips. Gapes harder when I walk over to Garrett so I can study the pictures. I nod in approval. “Damn. I should go into modeling.” “You photograph really well,” Garrett agrees in a serious voice. “And dude, your package looks huge.” Fuck, it totally does. Justin drags both hands through his dark hair. “I swear on all that is holy—if one of you doesn’t tell me what the hell just went down here, I’m going to lose my shit.” I chuckle. “My girl wanted me to send her a boudoir shot of me on a red velvet chaise lounge, but you have no idea how hard it is to find a goddamn red velvet chaise lounge.” “You say this as if it’s an explanation. It is not.” Justin sighs like the weight of the world rests on his shoulders. “You hockey players are fucked up.” “Naah, we’re just not pussies like you and your football crowd,” Garrett says sweetly. “We own our sex appeal, dude.” “Sex appeal? That was the cheesiest thing I’ve ever—no, you know what? I’m not gonna engage,” Justin grumbles. “Let’s find the girls and grab some lunch
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
And I’m not sure how much time has passed since Galen and his best friend, Toraf, left my house to retrieve Grom. Grom, the Triton king, Galen’s older brother. Grom, who was supposed to mate with my mother. Grom, who is a Syrena, a man-fish. A man-fish who was supposed to mate with my mother. My mother, who is also Nalia, the long-lost supposed-to-be-dead Poseidon princess who’s been living on land all these years because _______. Speaking of Her Esteemed Majesty Mom…she’s lost her freaking mind. And I’ve been kidnapped.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
I’m supposed to meet Ainsley for lunch and then...we’re hanging out.” He was silent for a moment and then shoved his hands into his pockets. “Cool.” His gaze flipped up and over me. I turned slightly, spying Hector’s car coming down the center aisle. “I’d like to meet her.” Wait. What? He wanted to meet Ainsley? Rider bit down on his lower lip. “So, you know, I’m sort of inviting myself along.” He really wanted to meet my best friend? His head tilted to the side. “And if you think that’s not cool, this is about to get real awkward.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Problem with Forever)
Pulling to a stop in front of Aly’s house, I take a deep breath. With a flick of my wrist, I cut the engine and listen to the silence. I’ve sat in this exact spot more times than I can count. In many ways, Aly’s house is like my sanctuary. A place I go when my own home feels like a graveyard. I glance up at the bedroom window of the girl who knows me better than anyone, the only person I let see me cry after Dad died. I won’t let this experiment take that or her away from me. Tonight, I’m going to prove that Aly and I can go back to our normal, easy friendship. Throwing open my door, I trudge up her sidewalk, plant my feet outside her front door, and ring the bell. “Coming!” I step back and see Aly stick her head out of her second-story window. “No problem,” I call back up. “Take your time.” More time to get my head on straight. Aly disappears behind a film of yellow curtain, and I turn to look out at the quiet neighborhood. Up and down the street, the lights blink on, filling the air with a low hum that matches the thrumming of my nerves. Across the street, old Mr. Lawson sits at his usual perch under a gigantic American flag, drinking beer and mumbling to himself. Two little girls ride their bikes around the cul-de-sac, smiling and waving. Just a normal, run-of-the-mill Friday night. Except not. I thrust my hands into my pockets, jiggling the loose change from my Taco Bell run earlier tonight, and grab my pack of Trident. I toss a stick into my mouth and chew furiously. Supposedly, the smell of peppermint can calm your nerves. I grab a second stick and shove it in, too. With the clacking sound of Aly’s shoes approaching the door behind me, I remind myself again about tonight’s mission. All I need is focus. I take another deep breath for good measure and rock back on my heels, ready to greet my best friend. She opens the door, wearing a black dress molded to her skin, and I let the air out in one big huff.
Rachel Harris (The Fine Art of Pretending (The Fine Art of Pretending, #1))
I shall say that he is mistaken in supposing that I can regret the birth of my daughters, (who have been the pride of my life, and are likely to be the comfort of my old age), or the thirty years I have passed in the company of my best and dearest friend;–that, had our misfortunes been three times as great as they were, (unless they had been of my bringing on,) I should still the more rejoice to have shared them with your father, and administered what consolation I was able; and, had his sufferings in illness been ten times what they were, I could not regret having watched over and laboured to relieve them–that, if he had married a richer wife, misfortunes and trials would no doubt have come upon him still, while–I am egotist enough to imagine that no other woman could have cheered him through them so well–not that I am superior to the rest, but I was made for him, and he for me; and I can no more repent the hours–days–years of happiness we have spent together, and which neither could have had without the other, than I can the privilege of having been his nurse in sickness, and his comfort in affliction.
Anne Brontë (Agnes Grey)
I hate that word,” she says between fits of laughter. “Moist?” “I always change it on the manuscripts I edit … If should only be used when describing the consistency of baked goods. It should never be used to describe any part of a woman’s anatomy.” “You mean…” Inadvertently, my eyes drift to her crotch and then I shake the thought away. “Wait? What?” “Yes, I’ve seen it used to describe the women who are…” She looks up, apparently trying to think of the best word to use here, but I see where this is going. “Turned on.” “They must not be that turned on if they are just moist,” I point out… “A man should be able to get a woman wet. Drenched. Not moist.” I want to add that I’d give my right nut to see how wet I could make her. But I keep my thoughts to myself, because we’re supposed to be keeping things friendly. But fuck friendship.
Sidney Halston (Pull Me Close (Panic, #1))
Have you ever been in a demon rumble before, Jenna?” I asked. Hoisting her own demonglass dagger, she shook her head. “Nope. I have a feeling it’s going to be super violent.” “Maybe we can talk to them,” I said, rubbing my nose with the back of my hand. “Have a little sit-down chat.” “With tea.” “Ooh, yeah, with the nice china, and those little sandwiches that don’t have crusts.” Cal came to stand with us. Aislinn and Finley were getting to their feet, but I could tell they were far away from optimum Brannick strength. “I don’t want to kill these kids,” Cal said. “Neither do I. But I don’t want them to kill me, either.” “Not sure what we want is going to matter that much,” Jenna said. I stared out into the trees, hearing my fate move closer. And here’s the thing: I knew I was supposed to be courageous. I was supposed to use my magic for as long as I could, and be all Braveheart about it. But I didn’t want to. I wanted to cry. I wanted to hug my mom and dad again. I wanted to see Archer. And I wanted to know that I’d done more here than just delay Aislinn’s and Finley’s deaths by a few minutes. So there was no stoic badass facing down the demon hordes. There was just a teenage girl with tears streaming down her face, her two best friends on either side of her, as all kinds of hellish creatures rushed forward.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
You’re supposed to be the big boss.” Sam said nothing. The crowd hushed, ready to watch this one-on-one confrontation. “You’re the big boss of the freaks,” Zil yelled. “But you can’t do anything. You can shoot laser beams out of your hands, but you can’t get enough food, and you can’t keep the power on, and you won’t do anything about that murderer Hunter, who killed my best friend.” He paused to fill his lungs for a final, furious cry. “You shouldn’t be in charge.” “You want to be in charge, Zil? Last night you were running around trying to get a lynch mob together. And let’s not even pretend that wasn’t you responsible for graffiti I saw driving into town just now.” “So what?” Zil demanded. “So what? So I said what everyone who isn’t a freak is thinking.” He spit the word “freak,” making it an insult, making it an accusation. “You really think what we need right now is to divide up between freaks and normals?” Sam asked. “You figure that will get the lights turned back on? That will put food on people’s tables?
Michael Grant (Hunger (Gone, #2))
Here's my impression of you when we met the other day: you HAVE changed completely--but I wish you hadn't. I think I understand why you're on your best behavior at school, and I suppose I ought to praise you for showing such an improvement, but please don't force yourself to change too much. Please, at least when you're with me, be the same bright Naomi who chats about everything under the sun. You and I have grown up in different environments, we have different lives, and we also think differently--yet in spite of all these differences I'm sure we can be the best of friends. One day we may come to share the same ideas, but I'd like to believe that it's a natural growing together.
Shizuko Gō (Requiem)
Suppose you are particularly rich and well-to-do, and say on that last day, 'I am very rich; I am tolerably well known; I have lived all my life in the best society, and, thank Heaven, come of a most respectable family. I have served my King and country with honour. I was in Parliament for several years, where, I may say, my speeches were listened to, and pretty well received. I don't owe any man a shilling: on the contrary, I lent my old college friend, Jack Lazarus, fifty pounds, for which my executors will not press him. I leave my daughters with ten thousand pounds a piece--very good portions for girls: I bequeath my plate and furniture, my house in Baker Street, with a handsome jointure, to my widow for her life; and my landed property, besides money in the Funds, and my cellar of well-selected wine in Baker Street, to my son. I leave twenty pound a year to my valet; and I defy any man after I am gone to find anything against my character.' Or suppose, on the other hand, your swan sings quite a different sort of dirge, and you say, 'I am a poor, blighted, disappointed old fellow, and have made an utter failure through life. I was not endowed either with brains or with good fortune: and confess that I have committed a hundred mistakes and blunders. I own to having forgotten my duty many a time. I can't pay what I owe. On my last bed I lie utterly helpless and humble: and I pray forgiveness for my weakness, and throw myself with a contrite heart at the feet of the Divine Mercy.' Which of these two speeches, think you, would be the best oration for your own funeral? Old Sedley made the last; and in that humble frame of mind, and holding by the hand of his daughter, life and disappointment and vanity sank away from under him.
William Makepeace Thackeray (Vanity Fair)
Settle. The word gives me pause...I suppose what you are reading is my attempt to settle. There's a story I've been trying to tell, one about friendship and friends and what place they have in life, and one I've been trying not to tell about my family. Does that make me an unreliable narrator? To a certain extent, aren't we all? We don't get to write from scratch the whole story of our lives. We are given certain plot points that must be incorporated. Maybe we settle when we've done the best we can. Is it real? I once asked Amber. What? she said. Your life. The things that happen to you. Is it real or are you just really good at making it all into stories? She said, I don't understand the difference.
Jessica Francis Kane (Rules for Visiting)
...[Y]ou know very well the truth of what I [say]... I have incurred a great deal of bitter hostility; and this is what will bring about my destruction, if anything does... the slander and jealousy of a very large section of the people. They have been fatal to a great many other innocent men, and I suppose will continue to be so; there is no likelihood that they will stop at me. But perhaps someone will say 'Do you feel no compunction, Socrates, at having followed a line of action which puts you in danger of the death-penalty?' I might fairly reply to him 'You are mistaken, my friend, if you think that a man who is worth anything ought to spend his time weighing up the prospects of life and death. He has only one thing to consider in performing any action; that is, whether he is acting rightly or wrongly, like a good man or a bad one...['] The truth of the matter is this, gentlemen. Where a man has once taken up his stand, either because it seems best to him or in obedience to his orders, there I believe he is bound to remain and face the danger, taking no account of death or anything else before dishonour.
Socrates (Apology, Crito And Phaedo Of Socrates.)
They went back to scooping up breakfast, licking the mess off their fingers. Soon the pile of berry mush was gone and their tongues were dyed a nice midnight blue. Ian seemed in a good mood, sticking his tongue out playfully at his best friend. Eena did likewise, right back at him. She was happy he was smiling, even if his teeth were purple. (You’re too much fun, Eena,) Ian announced in her mind. (I’m really glad we’re friends.) (Me too,) she agreed. (Best friends.) Ian leaned back on his hands and watched the waves roll in from far off. The swells were building into large, flat-crested waves. (Angelle never thought like you do. You’re creative and kinda crazy. Her thoughts were always more simple and, well…..normal.) (Yeah, well, deadly dragons and evil witches tend to suck all the normal right out of you,) she grumbled. (I suppose.)
Richelle E. Goodrich (Eena, The Two Sisters (The Harrowbethian Saga #4))
But if you are a poor creature—poisoned by a wretched upbringing in some house full of vulgar jealousies and senseless quarrels—saddled, by no choice of your own, with some loathsome sexual perversion—nagged day in and day out by an inferiority complex that makes you snap at your best friends—do not despair. He knows all about it. You are one of the poor whom He blessed. He knows what a wretched machine you are trying to drive. Keep on. Do what you can. One day (perhaps in another world, but perhaps far sooner than that) He will fling it on the scrap-heap and give you a new one. And then you may astonish us all—not least yourself: for you have learned your driving in a hard school. (Some of the last will be first and some of the first will be last). ‘Niceness’—wholesome, integrated personality—is an excellent thing. We must try by every medical, educational, economic, and political means in our power to produce a world where as many people as possible grow up ‘nice’; just as we must try to produce a world where all have plenty to eat. But we must not suppose that even if we succeeded in making everyone nice we should have saved their souls. A world of nice people, content in their own niceness, looking no further, turned away from God, would be just as desperately in need of salvation as a miserable world—and might even be more difficult to save.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
She touched his arm. “If you need anything, send word. It’ll be a few weeks before we reach Orynth, but—I suppose with magic returned, you can find a messenger to get word to me quickly.” “Thanks to you—and to your friends.” She glanced over her shoulder at them. They were all trying their best to look like they weren’t eavesdropping. “Thanks to all of us,” she said quietly. “And to you.” Dorian gazed toward the city horizon, the rolling green foothills beyond. “If you had asked me nine months ago if I thought …” He shook his head. “So much has changed.” “And will keep changing,” she said, squeezing his arm once. “But … There are things that won’t change. I will always be your friend.” His throat bobbed. “I wish I could see her, just one last time. To tell her … to say what was in my heart.” “She knows,” Aelin said, blinking against the burning in her eyes. “I’ll miss you,” Dorian said. “Though I doubt the next time we meet will be in such … civilized circumstances.” She tried not to think about it. He gestured over her shoulder to her court. “Don’t make them too miserable. They’re only trying to help you.” She smiled. To her surprise, a king smiled back. “Send me any good books that you read,” she said. “Only if you do the same.” She embraced him one last time. “Thank you—for everything,” she whispered. Dorian squeezed her, and then stepped away as Aelin mounted her horse and nudged it into a walk.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
When we reluctantly set out for someone’s house, thinking all the while that we don’t want to go, that we’re sure to end up bored to distraction, it’s often the case that the people we’re going to visit are genuinely delighted to have us. But suppose we’re thinking: Ah, that house is my home away from home. In fact, it’s more like home than my own place. It’s my only shelter from the storm! What then? We set out for the visit in high spirits, but in this case, my friends, we’re very likely to be considered a nuisance, an excrescence, and a hound from hell and to find our hosts repeatedly checking their watches. Thinking of someone else’s house as our shelter from the storm is, perhaps, evidence of a certain imbecility, but the fact remains that we often labor under astonishing misconceptions when calling on others. Unless we have a particular mission in mind, it’s probably best to refrain from visiting even our most intimate friends at home.
Osamu Dazai (Otogizōshi: The Fairy Tale Book of Dazai Osamu)
Why are you smiling?” Harvard asked, teasing. “Because I know something you don’t know,” Aiden teased back. Harvard raised an eyebrow. “And what is that?” “You’re really cute,” murmured Aiden, and leaned in. His lean was arrested when Harvard laughed. “Ha! That’s such a line. These things really work on your guys?” Overcome by the magnitude of this insult, Aiden snapped, “Invariably!” Harvard rolled his eyes. “I hate to tell you this, buddy, but I think they’re letting you get away with substandard lines because you’re cute.” Aiden paused, torn between being deeply offended and ridiculously flattered. Harvard bit his lip, seeming to think this over. “I guess if you guys both know you’re just playing around, what you say doesn’t really count,” he offered. “That’s why people call them lines, like the things you say in a play. I know this isn’t real, but…” Aiden tried to keep his voice soft, to be understanding. “But it’s practice for being real.” His mouth twisted on the name, but he forced it out. “For Neil.” Harvard winced. Aiden supposed it might feel a little weird, to hear the name of the boy he actually liked, while tangled up with another. For Harvard, who was so good, it might feel close to cheating. Aiden didn’t want to say the name or hear it or think it. Harvard seemed to be struggling with a thought, and Aiden waited to hear Harvard tell him what he wanted. That was all Aiden wished to know or to do. What Harvard wanted.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Striking Distance (Fence, #1))
ON THE A TRAIN There were no seats to be had on the A train last night, but I had a good grip on the pole at the end of one of the seats and I was reading the beauty column of the Journal-American, which the man next to me was holding up in front of him. All of a sudden I felt a tap on my arm, and I looked down and there was a man beginning to stand up from the seat where he was sitting. "Would you like to sit down?" he said. Well, I said the first thing that came into my head, I was so surprised and pleased to be offered a seat in the subway. "Oh, thank you very much," I said, "but I am getting out at the next station." He sat back and that was that, but I felt all set up and I thought what a nice man he must be and I wondered what his wife was like and I thought how lucky she was to have such a polite husband, and then all of a sudden I realized that I wasn't getting out at the next station at all but the one after that, and I felt perfectly terrible. I decided to get out at the next station anyway, but then I thought, If I get out at the next station and wait around for the next train I'll miss my bus and they only go every hour and that will be silly. So I decided to brazen it out as best I could, and when the train was slowing up at the next station I stared at the man until I caught his eye and then I said, "I just remembered this isn't my station after all." Then I thought he would think I was asking him to stand up and give me his seat, so I said, "But I still don't want to sit down, because I'm getting off at the next station." I showed him by my expression that I thought it was all rather funny, and he smiled, more or less, and nodded, and lifted his hat and put it back on his head again and looked away. He was one of those small, rather glum or sad men who always look off into the distance after they have finished what they are saying, when they speak. I felt quite proud of my strong-mindedness at not getting off the train and missing my bus simply because of the fear of a little embarrassment, but just as the train was shutting its doors I peered out and there it was, 168th Street. "Oh dear!" I said. "That was my station and now I have missed the bus!" I was fit to be fled, and I had spoken quite loudly, and I felt extremely foolish, and I looked down, and the man who had offered me his seat was partly looking at me, and I said, "Now, isn't that silly? That was my station. A Hundred and Sixty-eighth Street is where I'm supposed to get off." I couldn't help laughing, it was all so awful, and he looked away, and the train fidgeted along to the next station, and I got off as quickly as I possibly could and tore over to the downtown platform and got a local to 168th, but of course I had missed my bus by a minute, or maybe two minutes. I felt very much at a loose end wandering around 168th Street, and I finally went into a rudely appointed but friendly bar and had a martini, warm but very soothing, which cost me only fifty cents. While I was sipping it, trying to make it last to exactly the moment that would get me a good place in the bus queue without having to stand too long in the cold, I wondered what I should have done about that man in the subway. After all, if I had taken his seat I probably would have got out at 168th Street, which would have meant that I would hardly have been sitting down before I would have been getting up again, and that would have seemed odd. And rather grasping of me. And he wouldn't have got his seat back, because some other grasping person would have slipped into it ahead of him when I got up. He seemed a retiring sort of man, not pushy at all. I hesitate to think of how he must have regretted offering me his seat. Sometimes it is very hard to know the right thing to do.
Maeve Brennan
In Civil War days a performer named Blondin astonished the nation by crossing the Niagara River on a tightrope. President Abraham Lincoln, facing a delegation of critics, said: “Gentlemen, suppose all the property you possessed were in gold, and you had placed it in the hands of a Blondin to carry across the Niagara River on a rope. With slow, cautious steps he walks to the rope, bearing your all. Would you shake the cable and keep shouting at him, ‘Blondin, stand up a little straighter; Blondin, stoop a little more; go a little faster; lean more to the south; lean a little more to the north?’ Would that be your behaviour in such an emergency? “No, you would hold your breath, every one of you, as well as your tongues. You would keep your hands off until he was safe on the other side. “This government, gentlemen, is carrying an immense weight. Untold treasures are in its hands. The persons managing the ship of state in this storm are doing the best they can. Don’t worry them with needless warnings and complaints. . . . Be patient, and we will get you safe[ly] across.”19
Jeffrey R. Holland (To My Friends: Messages of Counsel and Comfort)
WHEN I DESCRIBED THE TUMOR IN MY ESOPHAGUS as a “blind, emotionless alien,” I suppose that even I couldn’t help awarding it some of the qualities of a living thing. This at least I know to be a mistake: an instance of the pathetic fallacy (angry cloud, proud mountain, presumptuous little Beaujolais) by which we ascribe animate qualities to inanimate phenomena. To exist, a cancer needs a living organism, but it cannot ever become a living organism. Its whole malice—there I go again—lies in the fact that the “best” it can do is to die with its host. Either that or its host will find the measures with which to extirpate and outlive it. But, as I knew before I became ill, there are some people for whom this explanation is unsatisfying. To them, a rodent carcinoma really is a dedicated, conscious agent—a slow–acting suicide–murderer—on a consecrated mission from heaven. You haven’t lived, if I can put it like this, until you have read contributions such as this on the websites of the faithful: Who else feels Christopher Hitchens getting terminal throat cancer [sic] was God’s revenge for him using his voice to blaspheme him? Atheists like to ignore FACTS. They like to act like everything is a “coincidence.” Really? It’s just a “coincidence” [that] out of any part of his body, Christopher Hitchens got cancer in the one part of his body he used for blasphemy? Yeah, keep believing that, Atheists. He’s going to writhe in agony and pain and wither away to nothing and then die a horrible agonizing death, and THEN comes the real fun, when he’s sent to HELLFIRE forever to be tortured and set afire. There are numerous passages in holy scripture and religious tradition that for centuries made this kind of gloating into a mainstream belief. Long before it concerned me particularly I had understood the obvious objections. First, which mere primate is so damn sure that he can know the mind of god? Second, would this anonymous author want his views to be read by my unoffending children, who are also being given a hard time in their way, and by the same god? Third, why not a thunderbolt for yours truly, or something similarly awe–inspiring? The vengeful deity has a sadly depleted arsenal if all he can think of is exactly the cancer that my age and former “lifestyle” would suggest that I got. Fourth, why cancer at all? Almost all men get cancer of the prostate if they live long enough: It’s an undignified thing but quite evenly distributed among saints and sinners, believers and unbelievers. If you maintain that god awards the appropriate cancers, you must also account for the numbers of infants who contract leukemia. Devout persons have died young and in pain. Betrand Russell and Voltaire, by contrast, remained spry until the end, as many psychopathic criminals and tyrants have also done. These visitations, then, seem awfully random. My so far uncancerous throat, let me rush to assure my Christian correspondent above, is not at all the only organ with which I have blasphemed. And even if my voice goes before I do, I shall continue to write polemics against religious delusions, at least until it’s hello darkness my old friend. In which case, why not cancer of the brain? As a terrified, half–aware imbecile, I might even scream for a priest at the close of business, though I hereby state while I am still lucid that the entity thus humiliating itself would not in fact be “me.” (Bear this in mind, in case of any later rumors or fabrications.)
Christopher Hitchens (Mortality)
He Is Too Good To Be True!! When I first meet you we were suppose to be friends Who would of thought that I would love you in the end? We talked and talked for months and months Got to know each other in a way that no one would I didn't want to give you my heart I was so scared that You would tear it apart, but then I gradually let to commit the perfect crime Cause you stole my heart with no intentions of giving it back Now is the time for us to grow old together that is what you say But I just cannot wait for that special day. Every time that I'm with you I still get butterflies after all these months You are so cute the way that you smile Your eyes looking into mine makes me want to kiss you every time The way that you hold me at night makes me feel like I am floating in the air It all just feels so right to be next to every single second of the day Your love lights up my life and when I am down it lights up the stars in the night. I promise to love you in every way that I can and to be by your side in every way. You just make me feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have you as a boyfriend and my best friend. From now until forever I will always love you
Angela Gutiérrez
Ten years later . . . “Dude, you look like shit,” Carson says, clapping me on the shoulder. “This is my best sweater, and it’s supposed to make me look devastatingly handsome.” “It’s olive green,” Carson says with a question in his raised eyebrow. “Leave me alone.” I rest my head on the counter. “It’s been ten years since my heart was broken and it still aches.” “Ten years?” Carson laughs. “It’s been ten fucking days.” Ten days later (That’s right, sorry about that) . . . “Iknow, but ten days has felt like ten years. And I thought wearing my green sweater to Friendsgiving would be a nice pick-me-up but you just peed all over that idea.” “Does anyone like this sweater besides you?” “I get a lot of once-overs whenever I wear it. I think it’s how the color brings out my delicate green eyes.” “Or it’s the cross-stitched mountain range on the front.” I glance at my sweater and then rub my fingers over the cross-stitch. “I used to pretend it was brail and it would read, ‘You’re handsome, always have been, always will be.’” “I don’t understand how we’re friends.” Carson shakes his head. “Running pole-to-pole suicides at Brentwood together formed an unbreakable bond.” “God, you’re right.” 
Meghan Quinn (The Lineup)
You’re suggesting the mysterious X. Where do we look for him?’ Poirot said: ‘Obviously in a close circle. There were five people, were there not, whocould have been concerned?’ ‘Five? Let me see. There was the old duffer who messed about with his herb brewing. A dangerous hobby-but an amiable creature. Vague sort of person. Don’t see him as X. There was the girl-she might have polished off Caroline, but certainly not Amyas. Then there was the stockbroker-Crale’s best friend. That’s popular in detective stories, but I don’t believe in it in real life. There’s no one else-oh yes, the kid sister, but one doesn’t seriously consider her. That’s four.’ Hercule Poirot said: ‘You forget the governess.’ ‘Yes, that’s true. Wretched people, governesses, one never does remember them. I do recall her dimly though. Middle-aged, plain, competent. I suppose a psychologist would say that she had a guilty passion for Crale and therefore killed him. The repressed spinster! It’s no good-I just don’t believe it. As far as my dim remembrance goes she wasn’t the neurotic type.’ ‘It is a long time ago.’ ‘Fifteen or sixteen years, I suppose. Yes, quite that. You can’t expect my memories of the case to be very acute.
Agatha Christie (Five Little Pigs (Hercule Poirot, #25))
How different it could all have been … Taylor Swift was never meant to be a singer-songwriter; she was supposed to become a stockbroker. Her parents even chose her Christian name with a business path in mind. Her mother, Andrea, selected a gender-neutral name for her baby girl so that when she grew up and applied for jobs in the male-dominated finance industry no one would know if she were male or female. It was a plan that came from a loving place, but it was not one that would ever be realised. Instead, millions and millions of fans across the world would know exactly which gender Andrea’s firstborn was, without ever meeting her. In Taylor’s track ‘The Best Day’, which touchingly evokes a childhood full of wonder, she sings of her ‘excellent’ father whose ‘strength is making me stronger’. That excellent father is Scott Kingsley Swift, who studied business at the University of Delaware. He lived in the Brown residence hall. There, he made lots of friends, one of whom, Michael DiMuzio, would later cross paths with Taylor professionally. Scott graduated with a first-class degree and set about building his career in similarly impressive style. Perhaps a knack for business is in the blood: his father and grandfather also worked in finance. Scott set up his own investment-banking firm called the Swift
Chas Newkey-Burden (Taylor Swift: The Whole Story)
Ravelly pointed to the illustration as he told his friend that he used to read the same story nightly to his son, Wahlister. “Imorih’s Journey—quite the moralistic quest.” Unan nodded in agreement. “I read it to Ian and Eena when they were children.” Then he held up the opened page with the picture of Imorih and the tiny, shouldered bug. He asked curiously, “Why do you say this is your favorite part, Master Ravelly?” The question caught Eena’s interest. Her ears tuned in to their conversation, but her eyes continued to scan the lively crowd below. The old Grott went on to explain. “That is the part where Imorih realizes the whispered voice she has been listening to, the advice she has been heeding, doesn’t belong to her conscience as she first supposed. It shocks her to learn that for the more part of her journey she has been following the promptings of a negligible, albeit well-intentioned, creature. That’s when two things happen in her life. First, she comprehends how cunning and manipulative the power of suggestion can be. Secondly, she learns to recognize the difference between her own voice—her own desires—and someone else’s.” Unan hummed a sound of accordance. “That’s right. Things change quite drastically after that discovery, don’t they?” “Yes, yes, they most certainly do. For the best, I recall.” “Because she becomes master of her own destiny after that.” “As we all should be.” Unan nodded, examining the illustration once again. “Yes, as we all should be.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Eena, The Tempter's Snare (The Harrowbethian Saga #5))
...The gulag—with its millions of victims, if you listen to Solzehnitsyn and Sakharov—supposedly existed in the Soviet Union right down to the very last days of communism. If so—as I've asked before—where did it disappear to? That is, when the communist states were overthrown, where were the millions of stricken victims pouring out of the internment camps with their tales of torment? I'm not saying they don't exist; I'm just asking, where are they? One of the last remaining camps, Perm-35—visited in 1989 and again in '90 by Western observers—held only a few dozen prisoners, some of whom were outright spies, as reported in the Washington Post. Others were refuseniks who tried to flee the country. The inmates complained about poor-quality food, the bitter cold, occasional mistreatment by guards. I should point out that these labor camps were that: they were work camps. They weren't death camps that you had under Nazism where there was a systematic extermination of the people in the camps. So there was a relatively high survival rate. The visitors also noted that throughout the 1980s, hundreds of political prisoners had been released from the various camps, but hundreds are not millions. Even with the great fall that took place after Stalin, under Khrushchev, when most of the camps were closed down...there was no sign of millions pouring back into Soviet life—the numbers released were in the thousands. Why—where are the victims? Why no uncovering of mass graves? No Nuremburg-style public trials of communist leaders, documenting the widespread atrocities against these millions—or hundreds of millions, if we want to believe our friend at the Claremont Institute. Surely the new...anti-communist rulers in eastern Europe and Russia would have leaped at the opportunity to put these people on trial. And the best that the West Germans could do was to charge East German leader Erich Honecker and seven of his border guards with shooting persons who tried to escape over the Berlin Wall. It's a serious enough crime, that is, but it's hardly a gulag. In 1955[sic], the former secretary of the Prague communist party was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. 'Ah, a gulag criminal!' No, it was for ordering police to use tear gas and water cannons against demonstrators in 1988. Is this the best example of bloodthirsty communist repression that the capitalist restorationists could find in Czechoslovakia? An action that doesn't even qualify as a crime in most Western nations—water cannons and tear gas! Are they kidding? No one should deny that crimes were committed, but perhaps most of the gulag millions existed less in reality and more in the buckets of anti-communist propaganda that were poured over our heads for decades.
Michael Parenti
Derrick flies through the portal first. “Look at you,” he says, stopping to study me. “Alive. Unscathed. Good. If you hadn’t been, I would have lopped his fingers off.” Kiaran moves to stand beside me. “I would have pulled off your wings.” “Ignore him, pixie.” Aithinne strides into the room, her long coat billowing behind her. “I should have figured he’d be sullen and moody.” Kiaran’s emotionless gaze flickers to her. “Phiuthair.” “Bhràthair.” She stops and studies him. “You look like hell. I suppose you haven’t fed in a few days, if the lack of gifts is any indication.” “Don’t.” Kiaran’s voice dips in warning. “I’m wonderful, by the way,” she continues, as if he hadn’t spoken. “Do you like my coat? Don’t I look lovely? Aren’t I the best sister for standing here, still willing to talk to you after you’ve ignored me for months, you stubborn bastard?” “Well, this is fun,” Derrick says. “I’m really feeling the love in this room. It’s beautiful. Aileana, isn’t it beautiful?” “You’re here because Kam wanted your help. Not because I did.” “Damn it, MacKay—” “You might not have wanted me,” Aithinne says, ignoring my attempts to stand between them, “but look how quickly I came. Because I still care about you. Though god only knows why, since you’re such an obstinate pain in my arse.” “I love it when Aithinne curses at people.” Derrick says to me. “I say we let them fight it out. A round of fisticuffs. No killing. I’ll go and find refreshments.” “Oh, for god’s sake,” Sorcha says from behind us. “If you’re all going to squabble, I’d prefer to be back in my prison. That wasn’t torture. This is torture.” Derrick peeks through my hair. “What’s that murderous arsehole doing here?” Sorcha blinks at him. “What did you just call me?” “You heard me, pointy-toothed hag.” “Sorcha can find the Book,” I interrupt. “And we need her blood to get there. It was her or Lonnrach.” “So given a choice between murderous arseholes you chose the one who killed you.” Derrick’s laugh is dry. “That’s interesting.” “I chose the one who was conveniently chained up, rather than the one in hiding.” Derrick doesn’t look convinced. “And we’re just supposed to believe she’s helping out of the goodness of that black hunk of rock in her chest that she calls a heart?” “I’m standing right here,” Sorcha says sharply. “Wish you weren’t,” Derrick sings. Then, to me: “Let me give you some advice, friend. If you’re going to take her along, make her go first. That way you don’t have to worry about her shoving a blade into your back.” “Sweet little pixie,” Sorcha says. “If there’s one thing you should have learned, it’s that I’m perfectly willing to stab her in the front.” She turns on her heel and heads toward the great hall, the fabric of her brocade dress sweeping across the ground like a cloak. “If you’re coming, the door is this way
Elizabeth May (The Fallen Kingdom (The Falconer, #3))
Sir Thomas, poor Sir Thomas, a parent, and conscious of errors in his own conduct as a parent, was the longest to suffer. He felt that he ought not to have allowed the marriage; that his daughter’s sentiments had been sufficiently known to him to render him culpable in authorising it; that in so doing he had sacrificed the right to the expedient, and been governed by motives of selfishness and worldly wisdom. These were reflections that required some time to soften; but time will do almost everything; and though little comfort arose on Mrs. Rushworth’s side for the misery she had occasioned, comfort was to be found greater than he had supposed in his other children. Julia’s match became a less desperate business than he had considered it at first. She was humble, and wishing to be forgiven; and Mr. Yates, desirous of being really received into the family, was disposed to look up to him and be guided. He was not very solid; but there was a hope of his becoming less trifling, of his being at least tolerably domestic and quiet; and at any rate, there was comfort in finding his estate rather more, and his debts much less, than he had feared, and in being consulted and treated as the friend best worth attending to. There was comfort also in Tom, who gradually regained his health, without regaining the thoughtlessness and selfishness of his previous habits. He was the better for ever for his illness. He had suffered, and he had learned to think: two advantages that he had never known before; and the self-reproach arising from the deplorable event in Wimpole Street, to which he felt himself accessory by all the dangerous intimacy of his unjustifiable theatre, made an impression on his mind which, at the age of six-and-twenty, with no want of sense or good companions, was durable in its happy effects. He became what he ought to be: useful to his father, steady and quiet, and not living merely for himself.
Jane Austen (Mansfield Park)
You know, one time I saw Tiger down at the water hole: he had the biggest testicles of any animal, and the sharpest claws, and two front teeth as long as knives and as sharp as blades. And I said to him, Brother Tiger, you go for a swim, I’ll look after your balls for you. He was so proud of his balls. So he got into the water hole for a swim, and I put his balls on, and left him my own little spider balls. And then, you know what I did? I ran away, fast as my legs would take me “I didn’t stop till I got to the next town, And I saw Old Monkey there. You lookin’ mighty fine, Anansi, said Old Monkey. I said to him, You know what they all singin’ in the town over there? What are they singin’? he asks me. They singin’ the funniest song, I told him. Then I did a dance, and I sings, Tiger’s balls, yeah, I ate Tiger’s balls Now ain’t nobody gonna stop me ever at all Nobody put me up against the big black wall ’Cos I ate that Tiger’s testimonials I ate Tiger’s balls. “Old Monkey he laughs fit to bust, holding his side and shakin’, and stampin’, then he starts singin’ Tiger’s balls, I ate Tiger’s balls, snappin’ his fingers, spinnin’ around on his two feet. That’s a fine song, he says, I’m goin’ to sing it to all my friends. You do that, I tell him, and I head back to the water hole. “There’s Tiger, down by the water hole, walkin’ up and down, with his tail switchin’ and swishin’ and his ears and the fur on his neck up as far as they can go, and he’s snappin’ at every insect comes by with his huge old saber teeth, and his eyes flashin’ orange fire. He looks mean and scary and big, but danglin’ between his legs, there’s the littlest balls in the littlest blackest most wrinkledy ball-sack you ever did see. “Hey, Anansi, he says, when he sees me. You were supposed to be guarding my balls while I went swimming. But when I got out of the swimming hole, there was nothing on the side of the bank but these little black shriveled-up good-for-nothing spider balls I’m wearing. “I done my best, I tells him, but it was those monkeys, they come by and eat your balls all up, and when I tell them off, then they pulled off my own little balls. And I was so ashamed I ran away. “You a liar, Anansi, says Tiger. I’m going to eat your liver. But then he hears the monkeys coming from their town to the water hole. A dozen happy monkeys, boppin’ down the path, clickin’ their fingers and singin’ as loud as they could sing, Tiger’s balls, yeah, I ate Tiger’s balls Now ain’t nobody gonna stop me ever at all Nobody put me up against the big black wall ’Cos I ate that Tiger’s testimonials I ate Tiger’s balls. “And Tiger, he growls, and he roars and he’s off into the forest after them, and the monkeys screech and head for the highest trees. And I scratch my nice new big balls, and damn they felt good hangin’ between my skinny legs, and I walk on home. And even today, Tiger keeps chasin’ monkeys. So you all remember: just because you’re small, doesn’t mean you got no power.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
... They're really going to mash the world up this time, the damn fools. When I read that description of the victims of Nagasaki I was sick: "And we saw what first looked like lizards crawling up the hill, croaking. It got lighter and we could see that it was humans, their skin burned off, and their bodies broken where they had been thrown against something." Sounds like something out of a horror story. God save us from doing that again. For the United States did that. Our guilt. My country. No, never again. And then one reads in the papers "Second bomb blast in Nevada bigger than the first! " What obsession do men have for destruction and murder? Why do we electrocute men for murdering an individual and then pin a purple heart on them for mass slaughter of someone arbitrarily labeled "enemy?" Weren't the Russians communists when they helped us slap down the Germans? And now. What could we do with the Russian nation if we bombed it to bits? How could we "rule" such a mass of foreign people - - - we, who don't even speak the Russian language? How could we control them under our "democratic" system, we, who even now are losing that precious commodity, freedom of speech? (Mr. Crockett," that dear man, was questioned by the town board. A supposedly "enlightened" community. All he is is a pacifist. That, it seems, is a crime.) Why do we send the pride of our young men overseas to be massacred for three dirty miles of nothing but earth? Korea was never divided into "North" and "South." They are one people; and our democracy is of no use to those who have not been educated to it. Freedom is not of use to those who do not know how to employ it. When I think of that little girl on the farm talking about her brother - "And he said all they can think of over there is killing those God-damn Koreans." What does she know of war? Of lizard-like humans crawling up a hillside? All she knows is movies and school room gossip. Oh, America's young, strong. So is Russia. And how they can think of atom-bombing each other, I don't know. What will be left? War will come some day now, with all the hothead leaders and articles "What If Women are Drafted?" Hell, I'd sooner be a citizen of Africa than see America mashed and bloody and making a fool of herself. This country has a lot, but we're not always right and pure. And what of the veterans of the first and second world wars? The maimed, the crippled. What good their lives? Nothing. They rot in the hospitals, and we forget them. I could love a Russian boy - and live with him. It's the living, the eating, the sleeping that everyone needs. Ideas don't matter so much after all. My three best friends are Catholic. I can't see their beliefs, but I can see the things they love to do on earth. When you come right down to it, I do believe in the freedom of the individual - but to kill off all the ones who could forge a strong nation? How foolish! Of what good - living and freedom without home, without family, without all that makes life?
Sylvia Plath
You didn’t tell me,” he says. “Why not?” “Because I didn’t…” I shake my head. “I didn’t know how to.” He scowls. “It’s pretty easy, Tris--” “Oh yeah,” I say, nodding. “It’s so easy. All I have to do is go up to you and say, ‘By the way, I shot Will, and now guilt is ripping me to shreds, but what’s for breakfast?’ Right? Right?” Suddenly it is too much, too much to contain. Tears fill my eyes, and I yell, “Why don’t you try killing one of your best friends and then dealing with the consequences?” I cover my face with my hands. I don’t want him to see me sobbing again. He touches my shoulder. “Tris,” he says, gently this time. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t pretend that I understand. I just meant that…” He struggles for a moment. “I wish you trusted me enough to tell me things like that.” I do trust you, is what I want to say. But it isn’t true--I didn’t trust him to love me despite the terrible things I had done. I don’t trust anyone to do that, but that isn’t his problem; it’s mine. “I mean,” he says, “I had to find out that you almost drowned in a water tank from Caleb. Doesn’t that seem a little strange to you?” Just when I was about to apologize. I wipe my cheeks hard with my fingertips and stare at him. “Other things seem stranger,” I say, trying to make my voice light. “Like finding out that your boyfriend’s supposedly dead mother is still alive by seeing her in person. Or overhearing his plans to ally with the factionless, but he never tells you about it. That seems a little strange to me.” He takes his hand from my shoulder. “Don’t pretend this is only my problem,” I say. “If I don’t trust you, you don’t trust me either.” “I thought we would get to those things eventually,” he says. “Do I have to tell you everything right away?” I feel so frustrated I can’t even speak for a few seconds. Heat fills my cheeks. “God, Four!” I snap. “You don’t want to have to tell me everything right away, but I have to tell you everything right away? Can’t you see how stupid that is?” “First of all, don’t use that name like a weapon against me,” he says, pointing at me. “Second, I was not making plans to ally with the factionless; I was just thinking it over. If I had made a decision, I would have said something to you. And third, it would be different if you had actually intended to tell me about Will at some point, but it’s obvious that you didn’t.” “I did tell you about Will!” I say. “That wasn’t truth serum; it was me. I said it because I chose to.” “What are you talking about?” “I was aware. Under the serum. I could have lied; I could have kept it from you. But I didn’t, because I thought you deserved to know the truth.” “What a way to tell me!” he says, scowling. “In front of over a hundred people! How intimate!” “Oh, so it’s not enough that I told you; it has to be in the right setting?” I raise my eyebrows. “Next time should I brew some tea and make sure the lighting is right, too?” Tobias lets out a frustrated sound and turns away from me, pacing a few steps. When he turns back, his cheeks are splotchy. I can’t remember ever seeing his face change color before. “Sometimes,” he says quietly, “it isn’t easy to be with you, Tris.” He looks away. I want to tell him that I know it’s not easy, but I wouldn’t have made it through the past week without him. But I just stare at him, my heart pounding in my ears. I can’t tell him I need him. I can’t need him, period--or really, we can’t need each other, because who knows how long either of us will last in this war? “I’m sorry,” I say, all my anger gone. “I should have been honest with you.” “That’s it? That’s all you have to say?” He frowns. “What else do you want me to say?” He just shakes his head. “Nothing, Tris. Nothing.” I watch him walk away. I feel like a space has opened up within me, expanding so rapidly it will break me apart.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
You didn’t tell me,” he says. “Why not?” “Because I didn’t…” I shake my head. “I didn’t know how to.” He scowls. “It’s pretty easy, Tris--” “Oh yeah,” I say, nodding. “It’s so easy. All I have to do is go up to you and say, ‘By the way, I shot Will, and now guilt is ripping me to shreds, but what’s for breakfast?’ Right? Right?” Suddenly it is too much, too much to contain. Tears fill my eyes, and I yell, “Why don’t you try killing one of your best friends and then dealing with the consequences?” I cover my face with my hands. I don’t want him to see me sobbing again. He touches my shoulder. “Tris,” he says, gently this time. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t pretend that I understand. I just meant that…” He struggles for a moment. “I wish you trusted me enough to tell me things like that.” I do trust you, is what I want to say. But it isn’t true--I didn’t trust him to love me despite the terrible things I had done. I don’t trust anyone to do that, but that isn’t his problem; it’s mine. “I mean,” he says, “I had to find out that you almost drowned in a water tank from Caleb. Doesn’t that seem a little strange to you?” Just when I was about to apologize. I wipe my cheeks hard with my fingertips and stare at him. “Other things seem stranger,” I say, trying to make my voice light. “Like finding out that your boyfriend’s supposedly dead mother is still alive by seeing her in person. Or overhearing his plans to ally with the factionless, but he never tells you about it. That seems a little strange to me.” He takes his hand from my shoulder. “Don’t pretend this is only my problem,” I say. “If I don’t trust you, you don’t trust me either.” “I thought we would get to those things eventually,” he says. “Do I have to tell you everything right away?” I feel so frustrated I can’t even speak for a few seconds. Heat fills my cheeks. “God, Four!” I snap. “You don’t want to have to tell me everything right away, but I have to tell you everything right away? Can’t you see how stupid that is?” “First of all, don’t use that name like a weapon against me,” he says, pointing at me. “Second, I was not making plans to ally with the factionless; I was just thinking it over. If I had made a decision, I would have said something to you. And third, it would be different if you had actually intended to tell me about Will at some point, but it’s obvious that you didn’t.” “I did tell you about Will!” I say. “That wasn’t truth serum; it was me. I said it because I chose to.” “What are you talking about?” “I was aware. Under the serum. I could have lied; I could have kept it from you. But I didn’t, because I thought you deserved to know the truth.” “What a way to tell me!” he says, scowling. “In front of over a hundred people! How intimate!” “Oh, so it’s not enough that I told you; it has to be in the right setting?” I raise my eyebrows. “Next time should I brew some tea and make sure the lighting is right, too?” Tobias lets out a frustrated sound and turns away from me, pacing a few steps. When he turns back, his cheeks are splotchy. I can’t remember ever seeing his face change color before. “Sometimes,” he says quietly, “it isn’t easy to be with you, Tris.” He looks away. I want to tell him that I know it’s not easy, but I wouldn’t have made it through the past week without him. But I just stare at him, my heart pounding in my ears. I can’t tell him I need him. I can’t need him, period--or really, we can’t need each other, because who knows how long either of us will last in this war? “I’m sorry,” I say, all my anger gone. “I should have been honest with you.” “That’s it? That’s all you have to say?” He frowns. “What else do you want me to say?” He just shakes his head. “Nothing, Tris. Nothing.” I watch him walk away. I feel like a space has opened up within me, expanding so rapidly it will break me apart.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
After a series of promotions—store manager at twenty-two, regional manager at twenty-four, director at twenty-seven—I was a fast-track career man, a personage of sorts. If I worked really hard, and if everything happened exactly like it was supposed to, then I could be a vice president by thirty-two, a senior vice president by thirty-five or forty, and a C-level executive—CFO, COO, CEO—by forty-five or fifty, followed of course by the golden parachute. I’d have it made then! I’d just have to be miserable for a few more years, to drudge through the corporate politics and bureaucracy I knew so well. Just keep climbing and don't look down. Misery, of course, encourages others to pull up a chair and stay a while. And so, five years ago, I convinced my best friend Ryan to join me on the ladder, even showed him the first rung. The ascent is exhilarating to rookies. They see limitless potential and endless possibilities, allured by the promise of bigger paychecks and sophisticated titles. What’s not to like? He too climbed the ladder, maneuvering each step with lapidary precision, becoming one of the top salespeople—and later, top sales managers—in the entire company.10 And now here we are, submerged in fluorescent light, young and ostensibly successful. A few years ago, a mentor of mine, a successful businessman named Karl, said to me, “You shouldn’t ask a man who earns twenty thousand dollars a year how to make a hundred thousand.” Perhaps this apothegm holds true for discontented men and happiness, as well. All these guys I emulate—the men I most want to be like, the VPs and executives—aren’t happy. In fact, they’re miserable.  Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t bad people, but their careers have changed them, altered them physically and emotionally: they explode with anger over insignificant inconveniences; they are overweight and out of shape; they scowl with furrowed brows and complain constantly as if the world is conspiring against them, or they feign sham optimism which fools no one; they are on their second or third or fourth(!) marriages; and they almost all seem lonely. Utterly alone in a sea of yes-men and women. Don’t even get me started on their health issues.  I’m talking serious health issues: obesity, gout, cancer, heart attacks, high blood pressure, you name it. These guys are plagued with every ailment associated with stress and anxiety. Some even wear it as a morbid badge of honor, as if it’s noble or courageous or something. A coworker, a good friend of mine on a similar trajectory, recently had his first heart attack—at age thirty.  But I’m the exception, right?
Joshua Fields Millburn (Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists)
Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction. A good form of government may hold the rotten materials together for some time, but beyond a certain pitch, even the best constitution will be ineffectual, and slavery must ensue. On the other hand, when the manners of a nation are pure, when true religion and internal principles maintain their vigour, the attempts of the most powerful enemies to oppress them are commonly baffled and disappointed. . . . [H]e is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy to God, I scruple not to call him an enemy to his country. Do not suppose, my brethren, that I mean to recommend a furious and angry zeal for the circumstantials of religion, or the contentions of one sect with another about their peculiar distinctions. I do not wish you to oppose any body’s religion, but every body’s wickedness. Perhaps there are few surer marks of the reality of religion, than when a man feels himself more joined in spirit to a true holy person of a different denomination, than to an irregular liver of his own. It is therefore your duty in this important and critical season to exert yourselves, every one in his proper sphere, to stem the tide of prevailing vice, to promote the knowledge of God, the reverence of his name and worship, and obedience to his laws. . . . Many from a real or pretended fear of the imputation of hypocrisy, banish from their conversation and carriage every appearance of respect and submission to the living God. What a weakness and meanness of spirit does it discover, for a man to be ashamed in the presence of his fellow sinners, to profess that reverence to almighty God which he inwardly feels: The truth is, he makes himself truly liable to the accusation which he means to avoid. It is as genuine and perhaps a more culpable hypocrisy to appear to have less religion than you really have, than to appear to have more. . . . There is a scripture precept delivered in very singular terms, to which I beg your attention; “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart, but shalt in any wise rebuke him, and not suffer sin upon him.” How prone are many to represent reproof as flowing from ill nature and surliness of temper? The spirit of God, on the contrary, considers it as the effect of inward hatred, or want of genuine love, to forbear reproof, when it is necessary or may be useful. I am sensible there may in some cases be a restraint from prudence, agreeably to that caution of our Saviour, “Cast not your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rent you.” Of this every man must judge as well as he can for himself; but certainly, either by open reproof, or expressive silence, or speedy departure from such society, we ought to guard against being partakers of other men’s sins.
John Witherspoon
Oh,Ella. I wish you'd had a better time at the ball." "Fuhgeddaboudit," I muttered. Greaseball. Freddy. Freak. "It's not like she and I were ever going to be BFFs." "I wasn't just referring to Amanda." Of course he wasn't. "I'll try," I moaned into the crook of my elbow. "Oh, Lord.I'll try to carry on." "That sounds rather dramatic, even for you." "It's Styx," I told him. "After your time, before mine. I don't know all the words,but those work for the moment. And for the record, I'm being ironic, not dramatic." "If you say so." I ignored him. "I have had my last flutter over Alex Bainbridge. I mean it. Frankie was right.How many signs do I need that we are never, ever going to have...anything...before I get it? Obviously, it doesn't matter that we realte to the same schizo seventies songs. Or that we can discuss antique Japanese woodblock prints. Or that when he sits next to me, he kinda takes my breath away. You would think that would count for a lot,wouldn't you?" Edward gets the concept of rhetorical questions, so I went on. "I wouldn't even want to hazard a guess about what makes Amanda's pulse go all skittery, but I would bet anything it's not Alex. And he's still with her. He doesn't belong with her, but apparently he feels he belongs to her. Explain that,please." "Oh,Ella.We men are not always the best at looking beyond the...er..." "Boobs,Edward. You can say it. Amanda Alstead has boobs and blonda hair. Beyond that, I can't see a single thing that's special about her." "Because there isn't a single thing. Beyond the...er, obvious. You,on the other hand,are a creature of infinite charms. Shall I list them alphabetically or from the top down?" I scowled up at him. "Y'know, you are beginning to sound a little too much like Frankie and Sadie,my deluded Greek chorus." "yes,well,I rather thought that's what friends are for." "You're not supposed to be my friend," I muttered. "You're supposed to be my Prince Charming." "Ahem." Edward's sculpted lips compressed into a grim line. "Have you looked at me lately? I am supposed to be startling and even a bit scary." "Nope.Neither." I rested my chin on my forearm. "To me,you are perfect. You are loyal and reliable and completely lacking in surprises." "That is a good thing?" "Absolutely," I said. "It's an excellent thing.I don't want any more surprises, over." "Hardly an admirable goal,that." "Maybe not," I agreed, "but pleasant. Among all the other bizarreness tonight, I found something new to be afraid of. Evil girlfriends." "Now,Ella. You can't go on being afraid forever." "Oh,yes,I can. As far as Amanda Alstead is concerned, I can." Edward tilted his head and studied me for a moment. He looked annoyed. "Why do you insist on having these conversations with me when you ignore everything I have to say?" It was a pretty good question. "Fine." I sat up straight and folded my hands in my lap. Home Truth time. "Go ahead. On this night when we celebrate the mysteries of life and death..Say something profound, something startling." There was a long silence. Then, "Boo," Edward said. "Thank you,Mr. Willing." "Don't mention it, Miss Marino. I am yours to command.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
Christina walks out, bumping me with her shoulder as she leaves. Tris lifts her eyes to mine. “We should talk,” I say. “Fine,” she says, and I follow her into the hallway. We stand next to the door until everyone else leaves. Her shoulders are drawn in like she’s trying to make herself even smaller, trying to evaporate on the spot, and we stand too far apart, the entire width of the hallway between us. I try to remember the last time I kissed her and I can’t. Finally we’re alone, and the hallway is quiet. My hands start to tingle and go numb, the way they always do when I panic. “Do you think you’ll ever forgive me?” I say. She shakes her head, but says, “I don’t know. I think that’s what I need to figure out.” “You know…you know I never wanted Uriah to get hurt, right?” I look at the stitches crossing her forehead and I add, “Or you. I never wanted you to get hurt either.” She’s tapping her foot, her body shifting with the movement. She nods. “I know that.” “I had to do something,” I say. “I had to.” “A lot of people got hurt,” she says. “All because you dismissed what I said, because--and this is the worst part, Tobias--because you thought I was being petty and jealous. Just some silly sixteen-year-old girl, right?” She shakes her head. “I would never call you silly or petty,” I say sternly. “I thought your judgment was clouded, yes. But that’s all.” “That’s enough.” Her fingers slide through her hair and wrap around it. “It’s just the same thing all over again, isn’t it? You don’t respect me as much as you say you do. When it comes down to it, you still believe I can’t think rationally--” “That is not what’s happening!” I say hotly. “I respect you more than anyone. But right now I’m wondering what bothers you more, that I made a stupid decision or that I didn’t make your decision.” “What’s that supposed to mean?” “It means,” I say, “that you may have said you just wanted us to be honest with each other, but I think you really wanted me to always agree with you.” “I can’t believe you would say that! You were wrong--” “Yeah, I was wrong!” I’m shouting now, and I don’t know where the anger came from, except that I can feel it swirling around inside me, violent and vicious and the strongest I have felt in days. “I was wrong, I made a huge mistake! My best friend’s brother is as good as dead! And now you’re acting like a parent, punishing me for it because I didn’t do as I was told. Well, you are not my parent, Tris, and you don’t get to tell me what to do, what to choose--!” “Stop yelling at me,” she says quietly, and she finally looks at me. I used to see all kinds of things in her eyes, love and longing and curiosity, but now all I see is anger. “Just stop.” Her quiet voice stalls the anger inside me, and I relax into the wall behind me, shoving my hands into my pockets. I didn’t mean to yell at her. I didn’t mean to get angry at all. I stare, shocked, as tears touch her cheeks. I haven’t seen her cry in a long time. She sniffs, and gulps, and tries to sound normal, but she doesn’t. “I just need some time,” she says, choking on each word. “Okay?” “Okay,” I say. She wipes her cheeks with her palms and walks down the hallway. I watch her blond head until it disappears around the bend, and I feel bare, like there’s nothing left to protect me against pain. Her absence stings worst of all.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
The phone rang. It was a familiar voice. It was Alan Greenspan. Paul O'Neill had tried to stay in touch with people who had served under Gerald Ford, and he'd been reasonably conscientious about it. Alan Greenspan was the exception. In his case, the effort was constant and purposeful. When Greenspan was the chairman of Ford's Council of Economic Advisers, and O'Neill was number two at OMB, they had become a kind of team. Never social so much. They never talked about families or outside interests. It was all about ideas: Medicare financing or block grants - a concept that O'Neill basically invented to balance federal power and local autonomy - or what was really happening in the economy. It became clear that they thought well together. President Ford used to have them talk about various issues while he listened. After a while, each knew how the other's mind worked, the way married couples do. In the past fifteen years, they'd made a point of meeting every few months. It could be in New York, or Washington, or Pittsburgh. They talked about everything, just as always. Greenspan, O'Neill told a friend, "doesn't have many people who don't want something from him, who will talk straight to him. So that's what we do together - straight talk." O'Neill felt some straight talk coming in. "Paul, I'll be blunt. We really need you down here," Greenspan said. "There is a real chance to make lasting changes. We could be a team at the key moment, to do the things we've always talked about." The jocular tone was gone. This was a serious discussion. They digressed into some things they'd "always talked about," especially reforming Medicare and Social Security. For Paul and Alan, the possibility of such bold reinventions bordered on fantasy, but fantasy made real. "We have an extraordinary opportunity," Alan said. Paul noticed that he seemed oddly anxious. "Paul, your presence will be an enormous asset in the creation of sensible policy." Sensible policy. This was akin to prayer from Greenspan. O'Neill, not expecting such conviction from his old friend, said little. After a while, he just thanked Alan. He said he always respected his counsel. He said he was thinking hard about it, and he'd call as soon as he decided what to do. The receiver returned to its cradle. He thought about Greenspan. They were young men together in the capital. Alan stayed, became the most noteworthy Federal Reserve Bank chairman in modern history and, arguably the most powerful public official of the past two decades. O'Neill left, led a corporate army, made a fortune, and learned lessons - about how to think and act, about the importance of outcomes - that you can't ever learn in a government. But, he supposed, he'd missed some things. There were always trade-offs. Talking to Alan reminded him of that. Alan and his wife, Andrea Mitchell, White House correspondent for NBC news, lived a fine life. They weren't wealthy like Paul and Nancy. But Alan led a life of highest purpose, a life guided by inquiry. Paul O'Neill picked up the telephone receiver, punched the keypad. "It's me," he said, always his opening. He started going into the details of his trip to New York from Washington, but he's not much of a phone talker - Nancy knew that - and the small talk trailed off. "I think I'm going to have to do this." She was quiet. "You know what I think," she said. She knew him too well, maybe. How bullheaded he can be, once he decides what's right. How he had loved these last few years as a sovereign, his own man. How badly he was suited to politics, as it was being played. And then there was that other problem: she'd almost always been right about what was best for him. "Whatever, Paul. I'm behind you. If you don't do this, I guess you'll always regret it." But it was clearly about what he wanted, what he needed. Paul thanked her. Though somehow a thank-you didn't seem appropriate. And then he realized she was crying.
Suskind (The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill)