“It's the truth. I'm sorry to be blunt about it, but girls don't like guys who are doormats. Especially pretty girls, because there's no novelty in it. Guys are hitting on them all of the time. They can't walk down the street or order a coffee or stand on a corner without some idiot making a comment about how attractive they are. And the women smile because it's easier than telling them to go fuck themselves. And less dangerous, because if a man rejects a woman, she goes home and cries for a few days. If a woman rejects a man, he can rape and kill her.”
“Because I said so." She paused again. "Sweetheart, I know you're an adult, but adults are like vampires. The older ones are much more powerful.”
“Your mother and I had always been secretly pleased that you were so headstrong and passionate about your causes. Once you were gone, we understood that these were the qualities that painted young men as smart and ambitious and young women as trouble.”
“Optimism is a sliver of glass in your heart.”
“You couldn't turn on the TV without hearing about the missing teenage girl. Sixteen years old. White. Middle class. Very pretty. No one ever seemed quite as outraged when an ugly woman went missing.”
“Her father always said that the price for hearing gossip was having someone else gossip about you.”
“There is kindness in so many unexpected places”
“I want you to know that this is what happens when you meet the person you are supposed to spend the rest of your life with: that restless feeling dissolves like butter.”
“Having a teenager is like having a really, really shitty roommate. They eat all your food and steal your clothes and take money out of your purse and borrow your car without asking.”
“Anybody could be smart. It took a special somebody to be clever.”
“People did not change their basic, core personalities. Their values tended to stay the same.”
“She took him for granted sometimes. That was the luxury of a long marriage. But she knew that she loved him. She needed him. He was the anchor that kept her from drifting away.”
“I loved him. I know you don’t want to believe that, but I really, truly, giddy, heart-breaking, longing, achingly loved him.”
“In her defense, her helicoptering tended to revolve around making sure that Dee could take care of herself. LEARN HOW TO TAKE OUT THE TRASH OR I WILL KILL YOU. LOVE MOM.”
“He said that children always have different parents, even in the same family.”
“Sweetheart, I know you’re an adult, but adults are like vampires. The older ones are much more powerful.”
“Maybe that's why Claire had perfected the art of invisibility. It was a form of self-preservation. You couldn't resent what you could not see. She was so quiet, but she noticed everything. Her eyes tracked the world like it was a book written in a language that she could not understand. There was nothing timorous about her, but you got the feeling that she always had one foot out the door. If the situation got too hard, or too intense, she would simply disappear.”
“Marriage. That’s what he called it, though men like Paul do not marry women. They own them. They control them. They are voracious gluttons who devour every part of a woman, then clean their teeth with the bones.”
“Lydia supposed his headstone had been ordered. Something large and garish made of the finest marble and phallic shaped because being dead didn't stop you from being a dick.”
“[...]"but instead of apologizing, I said, 'It's your own fault for playing tennis.”
“because if a man rejects a woman, she goes home and cries for a few days. If a woman rejects a man, he can rape and kill her.”
“That doesn’t sound invisible to me.” “I’m saying it wrong, then.” Lydia searched for a better way to explain. “She was always holding herself back. She was cocaptain, not captain. She could’ve dated the quarterback, but she dated his brother instead. She could’ve been top in her class, but she’d purposefully turn in a paper late or miss an assignment so she’d fall closer to the middle. She would know about Mauna Kea, but she would say Everest because winning would bring too much attention.”
“Clair watched the young man pour Paul's Scotch with a previously unseen professionalism. Her wedding ring, her gentle brush-offs, and her outright rejection had been minor obstacles compared to the big no of another man kissing her cheek.”
“He had always told her that winners only competed with themselves.”
“Dyadic completion,” Paul would’ve told Claire. “The human brain tends to assume that, if there’s a victim, there has to be a villain.”
“Rick shuffled through the cards again. “Where is the tallest mountain on earth?” Lydia put her hand over her eyes so she could concentrate. “You said tallest, not highest elevation, so it can’t be Everest.” She made some thinking noises that caused the dogs to stir. The cat started making biscuits on her stomach. She could hear the clock ticking in the kitchen. Finally, Rick said, “Think ukulele.” She peeked through her fingers. “Hawaii?” “Mauna Kea.”
“children always have different parents, even in the same family.”
“She was so quiet, but she noticed everything. Her eyes tracked the world like it was a book written in a language she could not understand”
“Then again, Paul had once told her that there was no such thing as coincidence. “The Law of Truly Large Numbers provides that given a large enough sample size, any outrageous thing can happen.”
“Claire hates you now. She believes me. She will never, ever take you back.
We are never ever ever getting back together. Taylor Swift. How many times had Dee played that song after she caught Heath Carmichael cheating”
“If I wasn’t so happy he was alive, I would’ve killed him.”
“The moon in her chariot of pearl”
“And before me the empty table at the Theater Café with my reservation - Barnum Nilsen, 8PM - the only table no one sits at. And this too is an echo, an echo of time, the shadows of a discus spinning through blinding sunlight.”
“I've been watching you ever since you came into town, and you never gave a single sign that you were interested in her. That's why I made a move. If I couldn't tell, neither can she."
"I'm very bad at communi-
"I know", said Calix firmly. "I am very quickly becoming an expert in how bad at communicating you are. We've established that, and we're moving past it.”
“Eden will stay with you." I glanced up at the blue-haired woman who watched us. "She promises to take good care of you. Right, Eden?"
Eden nodded, curt and no-nonsense, a soldier to the bones.
I glanced back at Angelina. "You trust her, don't you?"
Angelina didn't turn her wide eyes away from me. I needed Angelina's answer. But then her eyes sparkled, ever so slightly, as she gave me her response, a barely perceptible nod.
No one else could have possibly known how much meaning that single gesture held.
Eden was honorable. Angelina had told me so.”
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