“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.”
“I know, 0 Caesar, that thou art awaiting my arrival with impatience, that thy true heart of a friend is yearning day and night for me. I know that thou art ready to cover me with gifts, make me prefect of the pretorian guards, and command Tigellinus to be that which the gods made him, a mule-driver in those lands which thou didst inherit after poisoning Domitius. Pardon me, however, for I swear to thee by Hades, and by the shades of thy mother, thy wife, thy brother, and Seneca, that I cannot go to thee. Life is a great treasure. I have taken the most precious jewels from that treasure, but in life there are many things which I cannot endure any longer. Do not suppose, I pray, that I am offended because thou didst kill thy mother, thy wife, and thy brother; that thou didst burn Eome and send to Erebus all the honest men in thy dominions. No, grandson of Chronos. Death is the inheritance of man; from thee other deeds could not have been expected. But to destroy one's ear for whole years with thy poetry, to see thy belly of a Domitius on slim legs whirled about in a Pyrrhic dance; to hear thy music, thy declamation, thy doggerel verses, wretched poet of the suburbs, — is a thing surpassing my power, and it has roused in me the wish to die. Eome stuffs its ears when it hears thee; the world reviles thee. I can blush for thee no longer, and I have no wish to do so. The howls of Cerberus, though resembling thy music, will be less offensive to me, for I have never been the friend of Cerberus, and I need not be ashamed of his howling. Farewell, but make no music; commit murder, but write no verses; poison people, but dance not; be an incendiary, but play not on a cithara. This is the wish and the last friendly counsel sent thee by the — Arbiter Elegantiae.”
“What is this," said the leopard,"that is so 'sclusively dark, and yet so full of little pieces of light?”
“I imagine there must be only a very, very few men in the world, that I should like to marry; and of those few, it is ten to one I may never be acquainted with one; or if I should, it is twenty to one he may not happen to be single, or to take a fancy to me.”
“But Eve had already scented it, already—despite herself—begun to smile. “It’s coffee,” she murmured, unaware of the way her voice softened as she reached for the simple brown bag Mavis held. “Coffee.” Illusions shattered, Mavis stared. “The man’s got more money than God, and he sends you a bag of coffee?”
“Oh, well then.” In disgust, Mavis waved a hand. “I don’t care what the damn stuff costs a pound, Dallas. A woman wants glitter.”
Eve brought the bag to her face and sniffed deep. “Not this woman. The son of a bitch knew just how to get to me.” She sighed. “In more ways than one.”
“What kind of world is it that lets a thing like that happen? That lets a girl like Sue get murdered for kicks, or kids in Afghanistan starve, or baby seals get skinned alive?
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