“Everyone's allowed to be in love with the wrong person at some point. In fact, it's a mistake not to be.”
“I fell in love with you that summer all those years ago. I never really told you, because of everything that happened. But I suppose I've been in love with you ever since.
Everything's been wrong with us, timing -wise. Hasn't it?
I just wanted you to know I wasn't an idiot, some stupid bastard who wanted to hurt you. I could never do that to you. There were reasons.”
“She missed him. And she was scared, deep down, because she felt him pulling away from her, and even though he assured her he wasn't, she didn't believe him.”
“I want to be happy. To make someone else happy. To do my job well, be a good person”
“She was different. She liked hearing it, because she wanted to recall just enough of it to remember that she never wanted to go back to being the person she'd been before.”
“I think sometimes the bits of your life happen in the wrong order, or all at the same time and you waste time feeling angry about it, but that's the way it is, it's real life. You meet the person who you think could make you happy the rest of your life, but at the same time your ex-girlfriend who's told you umpteen times she never wants to see you again tells you you're going to be a dad.'
Elle took up the story.
'And then you move to another country and then the next time you see that person, even though its like no time has passed, you sleep together and then - your mum dies'
She gave a short, sad laugh.
'Yep that's rubbish timing”
“She had lost him. Lost him because she'd let him go. And she could not allow herself to regret that decision.”
“She didn't want to forget how deeply she had loved him, how important it had been to her; she felt as if to discard the memory would be a betrayal of her younger self.”
“Why is someone only passionate about books if they're into literary books that win prizes? Why can't you be passionate about books and only read romance?”
“WHY did she do this? She was a terrible drunk texter. All the things she wanted to say to people during the day came out at night, like a vampire.”
“Elle wondered if he had regrets. But she didn't let herself wonder for too long. She had locked her heart up against him, and it would take something extraordinarily strong to break it open.”
“It's weird I don't know anything about you,"
"What are you talking about? We just spent the whole day together."
"Yes, but we drank loads and chatted about - I don't even know what we chatted about,"
"I like conversations like that," Tom said. "Much less hard work. with my ex, it was like pulling teeth sometimes. We had loads in common but we didn't see the world the same way." He stopped. "Oh, that sounds good. I should write it down." He got out his phone.
"You're writing that down?"
"Yep" Tom said, fiddling with his phone
She stared at him, trying not to laugh. "Wow. You are weird, do you know that," she said. "Most of the time you're almost normal, but occasionally your super-weird side comes out.”
“It's just odd being a guest at the wedding. When you dreamed about it for so long, even if you we're a different person, and it was years ago. Sounds so stupid. I was stupid.”
“That happy ending business - it's all a bit contrived. I don't ever believe it."
How unromantic. It wasn't true either. The truth was, Elle wanted to believe in happy ever after, more than anything. But to admit it would be to discount what she knew to be the real facts of life. So she didn't know how to admit that she longed, secretly, to have her perspective changed, by something or someone, she didn't know which.”
“I hate the fact that it obsesses me so much. Who're we gonna end up with?
It's a race, and everyone else is on the tracks and I'm at the wrong venue, with the wrong shoes on."
"That's rubbish. He's out there, I promise."
"How do you know?"
" I don't," said Elle firmly. " I just like to kid myself that he is. And if he's not, well, there's more to life than just hanging around ruining your life waiting for him. Much more.”
“Life would be easier for some people if it wasn't such a big deal”
“To know yourself is to know where you're from”
“Since being back in London everything seemed greyer, but clearer. She couldn't explain it. The strangest thing was she couldn't recall her New York self. She wanted that part of herself back, but she couldn't remember what it was like to be that Elle. She would catch a whiff of it, like the snatch of a song that still won't lead you to the chorus, and then it would be gone.”
“The trouble is I'm not very good at trusting my own instincts. I've been wrong before. A lot."
"About what? You worry too much, about everything. You're to hard on yourself."
"I was wrong about Rory -"
"You were twenty-five, twenty-six! Everyone's allowed to be in love with the wrong person at some point. In fact, its a mistake not to be.”
“I like the idea of being with someone forever, being married to them.”
“She, who had never liked weddings, had allowed herself this fantasy. Her wedding day to Rory. A pretty church in Sussex, festooned with spring flowers. Rows of relatives, and her, Elle, floating down the aisle in cream silk to 'The arrival of queen Sheba', with eyes only for him... Rory, slightly rumpled, slightly scared, her love, her only one.
But that wasn't how it had turned out. She knew she was OK, watching him, in fact she was happy for him, happy for Libby. But she couldn't help but feel a pang of sympathy for the girl she'd been, who'd loved him so much. She was still dreaming somewhere, hoping this day would come.”
“Elle Remembered Yorkshire road and the flat he shared with Caitlin and their daughter, and she almost stopped and turned back, and then she hardened herself against it.
It's his problem if he wants to sleep with someone and he shouldn't, she told herself. It's a one night thing. I'm in the clear. It's sex, nothing else.”
“She didn't realise it, for a long time, and it wasn't until they were having dinner one evening that he said something that she found funny and she looked at him and thought, Yes. I know you. I know you”
“Drain your drink, come on. You don't leave a full glass in a pub. Charles II outlawed it.”
“She knew him so well, the amused, detached tone of his voice, the scroll of his ear, his eyes, his bony frame. Someone whom she always wanted in the room, someone who saw the world the same way, and it had always been like that.”
“To Felicity, she saw now. Love was something that only really happened within the pages of a book. For long periods of Elle's life, she'd thought that was true, too. But it wasn't. It was you and him, the two of you, a team to face the world together, and that was what she'd been looking for all those years; not an idol, or someone to lust after, or someone to fix her”
“She knew she could drink up to a certain point, but after that she never did anything interesting like dancing on the bar with her top off or snogging random strangers. She would merely fall over and then probably be sick.”
“She wanted to sit in the pub with him the way Sam did with Steve, the way Matty and Karen had done last weekend with their boyfriends, to hold his hand as they walked down the street, to be able to smile in public at him, not this controlled, agonisingly formal behaviour.
It struck her, this week in particular, that she was completely isolated. She couldn't talk to him, she couldn't talk to her friends, and she didn't know when that would change. And she couldn't do anything about it; she was weak, because she loved him too much, not that that was weakness, but - she was powerless.”
“She stood firm, biting her lip. "I asked you a question, Rory. Yes, or no?"
He hesitated. "It's not as easy as that."
'It is," said Elle, feeling her heart physically ache. "It has to be. If you won't come to the pub with me, I have to go now, otherwise I'll change my mind, and that would be stupid. Very, very stupid.' She covered her face with her hands, breathing deeply. "As stupid as I've been these past few years... Oh, God, no.”
“She'd learned now that the only way to write a list was to finish with something you actually wanted to do.”
“Hittite law emphasized restitution rather than revenge. Humankind lost a certain useful practicality when it chose the other Semitic response—never to forgive and never to forget.”
“I'm tired of the whole anti gun thing. Saying that Guns cause Murders is like saying Steering Wheels cause car wrecks”
“As Shakespeare attested, there are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of. In these days of modern marvels that is even more so.”
“أنت ترى، لم أكن قادراً على قول شيء جديد، لكني ما زلت قد نجحت في أن أقول شيئاً! لم أعد أهتم إذا ما كان جديداً أم لا، على النقيض مما يعتقده المدَعون الحمقى، فمن الأفضل أن أقول عدة كلمات على أن أبقى ساكتاَ ، ما فائدة أن تبقى أفواهنا مغلقة بحق السماء ؟
لماذا نشاهد الحياة بسلبيه وهي تطعن أجسادنا وأرواحنا مثل قطار قاسٍ يتقدم ببطء إلى واجهته ؟
عرفت رجلاً كان في نفس عمري لمَح إلي أن الصمت أفضل من المحاربه ضد قوى الشر التي تتربص بنا وتدمرنا ; أقول أنه لمح لأنه لم يصرح بذلك قط، كان جالساً على مكتب مثل صبي مطيع، وظل يكتب في كراسة من الصباح وحتى الليل كلمات شخص آخر في صمت، أحياناًأتخيل أنه لم يمت وما زال يكتب، أخاف من أن صمته قد يمتد بداخلي في شكل رعب فظيع .”
“Sorry, Toby," said Max, plucking up the smee by one end. "This will have to do." He unceremoniously dunked the creature into a nearby pitcher of water. "Better?"
"Invigorated," groused the smee. "And now I will ask you to kindly put me down and never to grab me by that particular part of my anatomy again."
Horrified, Max promptly dropped the smee onto its pillow.”
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