“I don't know why you're so hard to convince," I said, "But I'm really not that bad of a guy."
"Spoken like a true serial killer.”
“There was no point in lying. "Yes. I am following you."
Her carefully controlled exterior faltered. "Why?"
"Because I like you. I'm sorry if that makes you nervous."
All the color drained from her face. "I thought you thought I was crazy."
"I like crazy."
"You're unbelievable," she grumbled.
"So I've been told.”
“Forgiveness is freedom. It's something you do for yourself - to keep who you are intact. Now that I think about it - in some ways, it's kind of a selfish act.”
“You can't find happiness outside yourself, Calder."
I shook my head. "You sound like a fortune cookie."
"It's still true. Everyone's always trying to do it, y'know. They try to get with the right people, hook up with the right guy, join the right club - without ever asking what 'right' is."
"And this is somehow supposed to apply to me? I'm not some identity-confused sophomore, Lily. If you haven't been listening, I turn into a thieving, murdering fish.”
“What are you doing out there?" Lily hissed.
"Would you believe me if I said I was just passing by?"
She groaned. "You are a terrible liar, Calder White.”
“I like the color of the Caribbean." I paused and absorbed the warmth of her smile before adding, "Dogs, not cats. Boxers, not briefs. Redheads over brunettes..." I glanced sideways at her, and she met my gaze. "I have a penchant for girls in velvet jackets... and I think you're the most beautiful girl I've ever seen."
She choked in surprise, sputtered, and shook her head.
"You see? This is what I mean."
"Nobody talks like that. I barely know you."
I was genuinely confused. Didn't girls like to hear this stuff? Besides, it was, conveniently enough, the truth. "Well, I talk like this. And you should be used to people telling you you're beautiful."
"Well, I'm not," she said, and she sounded like she was getting irritated with me again. The feeling was mutual.
I leaned against the wall and pulled up one knee. "Okay. I take it back. You are completely average. Dull, dull, dull. Unremarkable in every way.”
“She rolled her eyes. " I was talking about your temperature, jerk. But just to be clear, I never said you weren't good-looking. If you remember, I said you made me nervous."
"Right. So, you think I'm good-looking?"
She swatted me over the head with her fedora, then went back to the cash register, saying, "You're really annoying. If you're sisters are pains in the ass, I'm thinking they learned it from you.”
“See the stars, Lily?"
She sighed, surrendering. "Of course."
"Do you think they can see the sun coming up?"
"I don't know. Probably?"
"Do you think they're scared?"
"They're burning balls of gas, Calder."
"Oh, c'mon. Where's the poet in you?"
She exhaled, and I sensed her smile. "I see. Well, in that case, yes. They've finally come home. They are triumphant in their midnight kingdom. But the enemy approaches. They have the numbers on their side, but the enemy is bigger, stronger, with a history of winning that goes back to the dawn of time. They're definitvely terrified."
I nodded. She understood my analogy.
"But they don't run, Calder.”
“I'd rather lie in a hammock with you -- with nothing but happiness surrounding us -- and be ambushed than run away.”
“I squirmed in my hiding spot. Do something, people,” I urged. Say something. The silence dragged on. I imagined my first report to Maris. “We have underestimated our enemy. They are lethal. We are in serious danger of the Hancocks boring us to death. Abort, abort, abort.”
“Calder, do you like me?" And then I laughed, breaking the spell. Her eyes flashed open and blood flooded her cheeks. She pushed off, but I reached out and pulled her toward me again. That one second of physical separation was too painful a void.”
“But it seemed I had fallen for a human—and not just any human, the worst possible human out of all seven billion possibilities.”
“Lily walked up the beach, looking over her shoulder at me again, probably afraid I was going to swim off and leave her. For a second I considered it. It wasn’t a terrible idea. She’d be out of the way. Maris wouldn’t be looking for her here. In a couple months, there’d be plenty of wild blackberries to eat . . . that was about when idea fizzled.”
“The memory of her kiss was still fresh on my lips, and I knew that with Lily, I was both free and imprisoned for all eternity.”
“I hadn't killed anyone all winter and I have to say I felt pretty good about that.”
“Forgiveness isn't just for them, Calder. It's for you. Forgiveness is freedom. It's something you do for yourself - to keep who you are intact. Now that I think about it, in some ways, it's kind of a selfish act" -Lily”
“I swallowed hard. Fortunately, she had no way of knowing the demon was inches from her, steaming a carafe of milk into a perfect froth.”
“I had no idea how long that breath would last. I hoped not long. I wanted another excuse to tie myself to her.”
“Spontaneity is a good thing. The best things in life happen when you just let events … unfold. When you try to control things too much, you do yourself a disservice.”
“Was it better to see the source of one’s demise approaching or to be surprised?”
“You're also going to be out of luck with weapons. And weapons are mandatory for zombie apocalypse survival.'
Camilla is silent for a moment. 'You couldn't just beat them to death with Tupperware? That stuff's tough.'
I grin. 'Maybe if it's filled with Adrian's grandma's cupcakes. I think those are a valuable addition to any arsenal.”
“Writing is something that you can learn only by doing. To become a writer, you need an imagination, which you clearly have. You need to read books, which you clearly do. And you need to write, which you don't yet do, but should.”
“از صاحب مغازۀ سگفروشی، اجازه خواستم که سگِ کوچولوی خاکستریِ موفرفریاش را ناز کنم. سگ را به من داد. سگ را گرفتم، نازش کردم و مثل برق زدم به چاک. اگر چیزی را خوب بلد باشم، همین دویدن است. بدون دویدن، در زندگی هیچ کاری نمیشود کرد”
“Our species had to engage in complex cooperative behavior in order to survive in the wild, and—as I keep reminding my teenage children—pointing and grunting get you only so far.”
“Marriage is patterned after Christ’s covenant relationship to his redeemed people, the church. And therefore, the highest meaning and the most ultimate purpose of marriage is to put the covenant relationship of Christ and his church on display. That is why marriage exists. If you are married, that is why you are married. If you hope to be, that should be your dream.”
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