“You smell good, too,” said Patch
It’s called a shower.” I was staring straight ahead. When he didn’t answer, I turned sideways. “Soap. Shampoo. Hot water.”
Naked. I know the drill.”
“Say 'provoking' again. Your mouth looks provocative when you do.”
“You possess other people's...bodies."
He accepted that statement with a nod.
"Do you want to possess my body?"
"I want to do a lot of things to your body, but that's not one of them.”
“Keep in mind that people change, but the past doesn't.”
“I don't go out with strangers," I said.
"Good thing I do. I'll pick you up at five.”
“You're a guardian angel now." I was still too much in awe to wrap my mind around it, but at the same time I felt amazement, curiosity...happiness.
"I'm your guardian angel," he said.
"I get my very own guardian angel? What, exactly, is your job description?"
"Guard your body." His smile tipped higher. "I take my job seriously, which means I'm going to need to get acquainted with the subject matter on a personal level.”
“Hang on, did you just call me Angel?" I asked.
"If I did?"
"I don't like it."
He grinned. "It stays, Angel.”
“Coach: "All right, Patch. let's say you're at a party. the room is full of girls of all shapes and sizes. You see blondes, brunettes, redheads, a few girl with black hair. Some are talkive, while other appear shy. You've one girl who fits your profile - attractive, intelligent and vulnerable. Dow do you let her know you're interested?"
Patch: "Single her out. Talk to her."
Coach: "Good. Now for the big question - how do you know if she's game or if she wants you to move on?"
Patch: "I study her. I figure out what she's thinking and feeling. She's not gonig to come right out and tell me, which is why i have to pay attention. Does she turn her body toward mine? Does she hold me eyes, then look away? Does she bite her lip and play with her hair, the way Nora is doing right now?”
“All this time I've hated myself for it. I thought I'd given it up for nothing. But if I hadn't fallen, I wouldn't have met you.”
“If you can't feel, why did you kiss me?"
Patch traced a finger along my collarbone, then headed south stopping at my heart. I felt it pounding through my skin. "Because I feel it here, in my heart," he said quietly.”
“Call me Patch. I mean it. Call me.”
“Before I forget, here's your homework. Where do you want me to put it?"
She pointed at the trash can. "Right there would be fine.”
“Cheshvan starts tonight," Rixon said, "What are you doing arsing around in a graveyard?"
"A process by which I use my brain to make a rational decision.”
“You should go," I breathed. "You should definitely go."
"Go here?" His mouth was on my shoulder. "Or here?" It moved up my neck.”
“She'll kill me if she finds you in here. Can you climb trees? Tell me you can climb a tree!"
Patch grinned, "I can fly.”
“The problem with human attraction is not knowing if it will be returned.”
“He was the worst kind of wrong. He was so wrong it felt right, and that made me feel completely out of control.”
“He grinned when I didn't protest, and lowered his mouth toward mine. The first touch was just that - a touch. A teasing, tempting softness. I licked my lips and Patch's grin deepened.
"More?" he asked.
I curled my hands into his hair, pulling him closer. "More.”
“Patch wasn't the kind of guy mothers smiled on. He was the kind of guy they changed the house locks for.”
“Let’s be honest, Nora. You’ve got it bad for me." His eyes held a lot of depth. "And I’ve got it bad for you.”
“Is everything a joke to you?” I asked.
He dabbed his tongue to his lip again. “Not everything.”
“What good is a body if I can't have you?”
“Tell me what's going on here. Why can I hear your voice inside my head and why did you say you came to school for me?"
"I was tired of admiring your legs from a distance.”
“But if I hadn't fallen, I wouldn't have met you.”
“I'm not good," he said, piercing me with eyes that absorbed all light but reflected none, "but I was worse.”
“The more time I spent with him, the more I knew the feelings weren't going away.”
“Are you gloating inside? That's what this is about, isn't it? Getting me to trust you so you could blow it up in my face!" [...]
"I get that you're angry—," said Patch.
"I am ripped apart!" I shouted.”
“What was up with class today? It was watered-down porn. He practically had you and Patch on top of your lab table, horizontal, minus your clothes, doing the Big Deed.”
“If I'd wanted you dead five minutes ago, you'd have died five minutes ago.”
“But I was in search of love in those days, and I went full of curiosity and the faint, unrecognized apprehension that here, at last, I should find that low door in the wall, which others, I knew, had found before me, which opened on an enclosed and enchanted garden, which was somewhere, not overlooked by any window, in the heart of that grey city.”
“Are not there little chapters in everybody's life, that seem to be nothing, and yet affect all the rest of the history?”
“Though the details differ across the world, no known culture lacks some version of the time-consuming, wealth consuming, hostility provoking rituals, the anti-factual, counter-productive fantasies of religion.”
“Heart, we will forget him!
You and I, to-night!
You may forget the warmth he gave,
I will forget the light.
When you have done, pray tell me,
That I my thoughts may dim;
Haste! lest while you’re lagging,
I may remember him!”
“Of course a lot of guys were ashamed. Somebody said let's go out and fight for liberty and so they went out and got killed without ever once thinking of liberty. And what kind of liberty were they fighting for anyway? How much liberty and whose kind of liberty? Were they fighting for the liberty of eating free ice cream cones all their lives or for the liberty of robbing anybody they pleased whenever they wanted to or what? You tell a man he can't rob and you take away some of his liberty. You've got to. What the hell does liberty mean anyhow? It's a word like house or table or any other word. Only it's a special kind of word. A guy says house and he can point to a house to prove it. But a guy says come on let's fight for liberty and he can't show you liberty. He can't prove the thing he's talking about so how in the hell can he be telling you to fight for it? No sir anybody who went out and got into the front line trenches to fight for liberty was a goddamn fool and the guy who got him there was a liar.”
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