“Just remember, Callum when you’re floating up and up in your bubble, that bubbles have a habit of bursting. The higher you climb, the further you have to fall.”
“That just the way it is. Some things will never change. That's just the way it is. But don't you believe them.”
“I used to comfort myself with the belief that it was only certain individuals and their peculiar notions that spoilt things for the rest of us. But how many individuals does it take before it's not the individuals who are prejudiced but society itself?”
“The news lies all the time. They tell us what they think we would want to hear.”
“I pulled him closer to me, wrapping my arms around him, kissing him just as desperately as he was kissing me. Like if we could just love long enough and hard enough and deep enough, then the world outside would never, could never hurt us.”
“I hadn't fully realized just how powerful words could be before this. Whoever came up with the saying 'sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me' was talking out of his or her armpit.”
“She stays lost in the middle of her own world somewhere. We can’t get in and she doesn’t come out. Not often anyway, and certainly not for any length of time. But her mind takes her to somewhere kind, I think, to judge by the peaceful, serene look on her face most of the time. ”
“Dear God, please let him have heard me. Please.
If you're up there.
“You're a Nought and I'm a Cross and there's nowhere for us to be, nowhere for us to go where we'd be left in peace...That's why I started crying. That's why I couldn't stop. For all the things we might've had and all the things we're never going to have.”
“People are people. We'll always find a way to mess up, doesn't matter who's in charge.”
“So why did you want to kiss me?"
"We're friends aren't we?" Callum shrugged.
I relaxed into a smile. "Of course we are."
"And if you can't kiss your friends who can you kiss?" Callum smiled.”
“And things go unsaid soon get forgotten”
“Love was like an avalanche, with Sephy and I hand-in-hand racing like hell to get out of it's way-only, instead of running away from it, we kept running straight towards it.”
“He pulls the hood over my head. I try to pull back. I'm not trying to run away. I just want to see her... One last time...”
“D'you ever wonder what it would be like if our positions were reversed?' I ask. At Jack's puzzled look I continue. 'If we whites were in charge instead of you Crosses?'
'Can't say it's ever crossed my mind,' Jack shrugs.
'I used to think about it a lot,' I sigh. 'Dreams of living in a world with no more discrimination, no more prejudice, a fair police force, an equal justice system, equality of education, equality of life, a level playing field...”
“But the Good Book said a lot of things. Like 'love thy neighbor' and ' do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. If nothing else, wasn't the message of the Good Book to live and let live? So how could the Crosses call themselves 'God's chosen' and still treat us the way they did?”
“Why was it that when noughts committed criminal acts, the fact that they were noughts was always pointed out? The banker was a Cross. The newsreader didn't even mention it.”
“Lynny's solution was better. Just fade out, until you were ready to fade back in.”
“Who did it, Sephy?' She repeated. 'Who beat you up? 'Cause whoever it was, I'll kill them.”
“Was that all love did for you? Made you give up and give in? Left you open to pain and hurt?”
“The higher you climb, the further you have to fall.”
“I lay on her bed with my arms wrapped around her, wondering how on earth we'd managed to end up like this. I'm not sure what'd been on my mind when I came to see her, but this wasn't it! Strange the way things turn out. When I'd come into her room I'd been burning up with desire to smash her and everything around her. And yet here she was, asleep and still holding on to my arms like I was a life-raft or something. There's not a single millimetre between her body and mine. I could move my hands and, and, anything I liked. Caress or strangle. Kill or cure. Her or me. Me or her.”
“What was it about the differences in others that scared some people so much?”
“Noughts... Even the word was negative. Nothing. Nil. Zero. Nonentities. It wasn't a name we'd chosen for ourselves. It was a name we'd been given.”
“He wrapped his arms around me. We were cuddled up like a couple of spoons in a cutlery drawer.”
“No-one understood. No-one. Least of all - me.”
“It was because I was scared. Scared of standing out, scared of being invisible. Scared of seeming too big, scared of being too small.”
“We were comfort kissing, that's all. We wrapped our arms around each other for solace. Bear hugging. Squeezing the life out of each other as if we were trying to merge together. When at last we loosened our grip, in a strange way we were both more calm. Physically, at least. Not mentally.”
“Mrs Bawden yanked me away from the table and dragged me across the food hall. I tried to twist away from her, but she had a grip like a python on steroids.”
“A yawning hole deep inside me was begging to be filled up with words and thoughts and ideas and facts and fictions.”
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
“The identification of courage with truth pops up often in history, even in our day: talk-show host Bill Maher was kicked off network TV for suggesting that the suicide hijackers of 9/11 were brave. Common decency demands that no positive character traits be associated with someone whose actions and ideas are vicious. Unfortunately, this equation enables people to validate questionable ideas by defending them with courage, as if a coward cannot say something that is true or a brave man something that is false.”
“He did what good lawyers always do. He shifted his argument in the direction his audience was already going.”
“So how do you know when the boy's perfect for you?' Dulcie asked
Betty gave her a tender look. 'You'll just know. That sounds vague, I know, but it's true.”
“These days I often have a struggle not to feel inferior to you, that is in your judgment of human beings.’ ‘I don’t think I have any judgment, at least not to be proud of. But perhaps I am nearer the earth than you. Like Garrick, I can smell a friend.”
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