“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”
“Holding Eleanor's hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.”
“I want everyone to meet you. You're my favorite person of all time.”
“What are the chances you’d ever meet someone like that? he wondered. Someone you could love forever, someone who would forever love you back? And what did you do when that person was born half a world away? The math seemed impossible.”
“I don't like you, Park," she said, sounding for a second like she actually meant it. "I..." - her voice nearly disappeared - "think I live for you."
He closed his eyes and pressed his head back into his pillow.
"I don't think I even breathe when we're not together," she whispered. "Which means, when I see you on Monday morning, it's been like sixty hours since I've taken a breath. That's probably why I'm so crabby, and why I snap at you. All I do when we're apart is think about you, and all I do when we're together is panic. Because every second feels so important. And because I'm so out of control, I can't help myself. I'm not even mine anymore, I'm yours, and what if you decide that you don't want me? How could you want me like I want you?"
He was quiet. He wanted everything she'd just said to be the last thing he heard. He wanted to fall asleep with 'I want you' in his ears.”
“I just want to break that song into pieces and love them all to death.”
“I just can’t believe that life would give us to each other,’ he said, ‘and then take it back.’
‘I can,’ she said. ‘Life’s a bastard.”
“He made her feel like more than the sum of her parts.”
“You can be Han Solo," he said, kissing her throat. "And I'll be Boba Fett. I'll cross the sky for you.”
“Nothing before you counts," he said. "And I can't even imagine an after."
She shook her head. "Don't."
"Don't talk about after."
"I just meant that... I want to be the last person who ever kisses you, too.... That sounds bad, like a death threat or something. What I'm trying to say is, you're it. This is it for me.”
“You saved me life, she tried to tell him. Not forever, not for good. Probably just temporarily. But you saved my life, and now I'm yours. The me that's me right now is yours. Always.”
“I don’t like you, Park. Sometimes I think I live for you”
“Damn, damn, damn," she said. "I never said why I like you, and now I have to go."
"That's okay," he said.
"It's because you're kind," she said. "And because you get all my jokes..."
"Okay." He laughed.
"And you're smarter than I am."
"I am not."
"And you look like a protagonist." She was talking as fast as she could think. "You look like the person who wins in the end. You're so pretty, and so good. You have magic eyes," she whispered. "And you make me feel like a cannibal."
"I have to go." She leaned over so the receiver was close to the base.
"Eleanor - wait," Park said. She could hear her dad in the kitchen and her heartbeat everywhere.
"Eleanor - wait - I love you.”
“What do you want to show me?"
"Nothing, really. I just want to be alone with you for a minute."
He pulled her to the back of the driveway, where they were almost completely hidden by a line of trees and the RV and the garage.
"Seriously?" she said. "That was so lame."
"I know," he said, turning to her. "Next time, I'll just say, 'Eleanor, follow me down this dark alley, I want to kiss you.'"
She didn't roll her eyes. She took a breath, then closed her mouth. He was learning how to catch her off guard.
She pushed her hands deeper in her pockets, so he put his hands on her elbows. "Next time," he said, "I'll just say, 'Eleanor, duck behind these bushes with me, I'm going to lose my mind if I don't kiss you.'"
She didn't move, so he thought it was probably okay to touch her face. Her skin was as soft as it looked, white and smooth as freckled porcelain.
"I'll just say, 'Eleanor, follow me down this rabbit hole...'"
He laid his thumb on her lips to see if she'd pull away. She didn't. He leaned closer. He wanted to close his eyes, but he didn't trust her not to leave him standing there.”
“..I love your name. I don't want to cheat myself out of a single syllable.”
“The first time he'd held her hand, it felt so good that it crowded out all the bad things. It felt better than anything had ever hurt.”
“If you can’t save your own life, is it even worth saving?”
“Nothing was dirty. With Park.
Nothing could be shameful.
Because Park was the sun, and that was the only way Eleanor could think to explain it.”
“It was the nicest thing she could imagine. It made her want to have his babies and give him both of her kidneys.”
“I miss you, Eleanor. I want to be with you all the time. You’re the smartest girl I’ve ever met, and the funniest, and everything you do surprises me. And I wish I could say that those are the reasons I like you, because that would make me sound like a really evolved human being …‘But I think it’s got as much to do with your hair being red and your hands being soft … and the fact that you smell like homemade birthday cake”
“My girlfriend is sad and quiet and keeps me up all night worrying about her.”
“Bono met his wife in high school," Park says.
"So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be," she says, "we’re sixteen."
"What about Romeo and Juliet?"
"Shallow, confused," then dead.
"I love you, Park says.
"Wherefore art thou," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be.”
“Can't you just like a girl who likes you back?'
'None of them likes me back. I may as well like the one I really want.”
“He wound the scarf around his fingers until her hand was hanging in the space between them.
Then he slid the silk and his fingers into her open palm.
And Eleanor disintegrated.”
“You think that holding someone hard will bring them closer. You think that you can hold them so hard that you'll still feel them, embossed on you, when you pull away.
Every time Eleanor pulled away from Park, she felt the gasping loss of him.”
“I love you," he said.
She looked up at him, her eyes shiny and black, then looked away. "I know," she said.
He pulled one of his arms out from under her and traced her outline against the couch. He could spend all day like this, running his hand down her ribs, into her waist, out to her hips and back again.... If he had all day, he would. If she weren't made of so many other miracles.
"You know?" he repeated. She smiled, so he kissed her. "You're not the Han Solo in this relationship, you know."
"I'm totally the Han Solo," she whispered. It was good to hear her. It was good to remember it was Eleanor under all this new flesh.
"Well, I'm not the Princess Leia," he said.
"Don't get so hung up on gender roles," Eleanor said.”
“And because I’m so out of control, I can’t help myself. I’m not even mine anymore, I’m yours, and what if you decide that you don’t want me? How could you want me like I want you?”
“But it’s up to us …’ he said softly. ‘It’s up to us not to lose this”
“Don't bite his face, Eleanor told herself. It's disturbing and needy and never happens in situation comedies or movies that end with big kisses.”
“Maybe Park had paralyzed her with his ninja magic, his Vulcan handhold, and now he was going to eat her.
That would be awesome.”
“It is consciousness that brings both suffering and enjoyment to the world.”
“the best way to hide in plain sight was to get fat.”
“...too many people in such a limited place only served to fuel her anxiety.”
“All she is sure about is that she needs to be alone.”
“The next thing I know I'm outside and Lynne is teaching me how to give life. Sarah was helping also, but she was getting herself too dirty so her mother told her to go play with David. David who is riding his bike around the parking lot proclaiming that flowers are for girls. The indirect insult kind of makes me feel feminine. I never liked flowers anyway.”
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