“I can't live without you. I haven't lived a day without you.”
“Erin called us soul mates, but I…I’ve always known it was more than that. It’s like we share the same soul, and when we’re apart, each half is looking for the other.”
“My body trembled as all the regrets of my life washed through me, my heart feeling as if it were on the verge of failing. My sould cried out for her. It had never stopped its search for her in nine years, and I could still feel her calling for me.”
“He had the same look on his face that I had every day when I looked in the mirror. He was nothing more than a shell of a person.”
“Baby, I wish I could tell you how much I love you, how much you mean to me."
He nuzzled my cheek and continued down my neck, setting a fire across my skin, churning coals that burst into flames deep within my soul.
“I turned to him, wishing for nothing more than to tell him who I was.
That I was supposed to be Melanie's husband, not him.
That I adored her more than any other creature that had ever lived and always would.
That I had every intention of taking her away from him.”
“I loved every broken piece of her and was determined to make her whole again”
“Seeing her was like seeing a reflection of myself, a mirror of my pain, my loss, my regret. A mirror of what stirred within me now – this love that had refused to die. She had found me. I had always felt her heart calling to mine just as mine called to hers, this power bringing us together once again.”
“I still couldn't believe Melanie was here. It was all I could do to keep myself from jumping over the table to get to her, to fall to my knees, to plead for forgiveness, to beg her to take me back.”
“I stood to take a few minutes to clear my head when a strangled sob grounded me to the floor. My head jerked up, my eyes desperate to find what I so longed to see.
My knees went weak, and I grasped the table for support when my eyes met with the emerald that owned my soul.”
“Go bring me back my daughter.”
“He stood above me, his body visibly trembling.
"This is forever.”
“No, baby, I like the dress."
I was just going to like it much, much more in a pile on my bedroom floor.”
“My eyes darted to her, dreading to see the pain I knew I would find. Please, Melanie, you have to know I only wanted this with you.
I couldn't say the words out loud, but I prayed she would understand, that she could see it in my eyes.”
“That's how I spent the next day and night - dividing my time between my girls. I felt like the go between until the three of us could be together. It was as if I were carrying a piece of one to the other, making them whole, as if we were part of the same soul.”
“I’ll never let you go again,Melanie.Never.Nothing will come between us...nothing."
I would destroy anything,and anyone who tried to take her from me.
Being away from her was no longer an option.
She was mine.Only mine.”
“Gently, I caressed along the puckered, angry scar slanting in a long, jagged line across my lower abdomen to where it crossed the smooth, silvered scar running in a horizontal line just above my pelvis, wishing she could somehow find comfort in my touch. Chills shook my body as I ran my fingers over the still sensitive skin, and just like every night, the bitterness and anger I found myself feeling faded away into sadness as I lost myself in this tangible reminder of my child. I loved her, so much. Steam filled the room, and I eased myself into the water, allowing myself to drift back to Daniel. I missed him, almost more than I could bear. This was never supposed to have happened to us. We were supposed to make it…we should have made it.”
“. I missed him, almost more than I could bear. This was never supposed to have happened to us. We were supposed to make it…we should have made it.”
“His fingers splayed out while my heart slammed against his hand.
"How did i ever stay away from you ? I heard this calling out for me everyday." I could feel is breath across my face,his words so sad,filled with so much regret."Did you here mine?"
"yes",I breathed out as my whole body began to shake under his."My heart only beat because I could still feel your love.It was the only thing i had.”
“His love was so intense, yet his soul held so much sorrow. I wondered if his hurt went so deep that he could never heal.”
“I missed nine years.” With trembling hands, he held me, his anguish apparent, and I could hold back no longer.”
“Promise me,” I grunted in desperation as I moved against her. “Promise you’ll never leave me.”
“life, a spirit roused, two souls rejoined, marking it the most significant moment in my life as she became one with me.”
“Here, where we were home. Here, where we’d been Pulled.”
“How did I ever stay away from you?” Gentle fingertips caressed my cheeks, my lips, ran over my chin and down my neck. His palm came to rest on my chest, his fingers splayed out over my heart. It thrummed in devotion against his hand. “I heard this calling out for me every day.” His breath whispered across my face, his words so sad, filled with so much regret. “Did you hear mine?”
“embraces. I was filled with awe at being able hold this precious woman again, the one who had invaded every thought of mine for more than eleven years.”
“I was filled with awe at being able hold this precious woman again, the one who had invaded every thought of mine for more than eleven years.”
“Nothing will come between us...nothing.” I would destroy anything, anyone who tried to take her from me. Being away from her was no longer an option. She was mine, only mine.”
“Heaven. There was no other way to describe it.”
“Hey!” a voice calls out behind us, and we turn to find Ryder standing beside the row of orange lockers outside Mr. Jepsen’s classroom. I have no idea why he’s out of class early, and I don’t care. “I just heard the announcement--congrats.”
“Thanks,” Morgan chirps. “This is epic, right? Both of us.”
Ryder nods, his gaze shifting from Morgan to me.
I duck my head, averting my eyes. This is worse than when I hated him, I realize. At least then, it wasn’t awkward. I could just ignore him and go about my business. Now I feel all queasy and mad and breathless and guilty. I need to get away from him. Fast.
Mercifully, Morgan glances down at her watch. “We gotta get going. There’s a meeting in the media center.”
“Right,” Ryder says. “But, uh…Jemma, could I talk to you for a second after school today? Before practice, maybe?”
My gaze snaps up to meet his. “I…um, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“I’ll be quick,” he says. “Actually, maybe I’ll come over to your house after dinner. That way I can say hi to Nan.”
“She’s…really not up to visitors.”
“Really?” He fixes me with a stare, one brow raised in disbelief. “’Cause your mom said just the opposite.”
Crap. Now what? I’m out of excuses. Besides, the last thing I want to do is pique Morgan’s curiosity. “Oh, fine. Whatever.”
“Great. See you then.” He turns and heads back into the classroom without a backward glance.
I have no clue what he wants to talk about. Things are already uncomfortable enough between us as it is. No use making it worse by discussing things that don’t need to be discussed. We made out, even though I hadn’t bothered to break up with Patrick first. It was a mistake--a big mistake. End of story.
The memory of that night hits me full force--his shirt was off; mine was close to it. My cheeks flare with sudden heat as I recall the feel of his fingertips skimming up my sides, moving beneath my bra as he kissed me like no one’s kissed me before. Ho-ly crap.
“What was that about?” Morgan asks me as we continue on our way. “He was acting kinda weird, wasn’t he?”
“I didn’t notice,” I say with a shrug, going for nonchalance. “Anyway, we should hurry. We’re probably late already.”
“Maybe he wants you to ask him to escort you,” she teases, hurrying her step.
I match my pace to hers, needing to take two steps for every one of hers. “Yeah, right,” I say breathlessly.
“Hey, you never know.” She looks at me and winks. “Weirder things have happened.”
Oh, man. She has no idea.”
“The change which the writing wrought in me (and of which I did not write) was only a beginning; only to prepare me for the gods' surgery. They used my own pen to probe my wound. ”
“up for it, and I’m sorry. That’s not enough. You’re going to search until you find something, and you’re going to tell me. Right now. Sheri. Please. You do it now or we’re gone. You give me some way to have some sympathy for you as I stand in this nice house, all lovingly redone, and think about the broken house you left us in, with its leaky roof and no heat and no insulation and nothing. Tell your sob story about the fucking war, whatever it was that my mom thought you were so broken about. My grandfather closed his eyes. No story ever explains. But I’ll give you what you want. I think I know the moment you want, because I made a kind of decision. There was some change. But I can’t start the story at the beginning. I’ve never been able to do that. I have to start at the end and then go back, and it doesn’t finish, because you can go back forever. Do it, my mother said. I don’t think Caitlin should hear. She can hear. Okay. You’re her mother. That’s right. So I won’t give the awful details, but I was lying in a pile of bodies. My friends. The closest friends I’ve ever had. Not piled there on purpose, but just the way it ended up because I had been working on the axle, lying on the ground. And the thing is, the war was over. It had been over for days, and we were laughing and a bit drunk, telling jokes. There was something unbearable about the fact that we’d all be going our separate ways now. The truth is that we didn’t want to leave. We wanted the war over, but we didn’t want what we had together to be over. I think we all had some sense that this was the closest we’d ever be to anyone, and that our families might feel like strangers now. So that’s it? You couldn’t be a father and husband because you weren’t done being a buddy? No. No. It’s the way it happened, in a moment that was supposed to be safe. After every moment of every day in fear for years, we were finally safe, and that’s when the slugs came and I watched my friends torn apart and landing on me, dying. That’s the point. We were supposed to be safe. And with your mother, too, I was supposed to be safe. A wife, a family. The story doesn’t make any sense unless you know every moment before it, every time we thought we were going to die, all the times we weren’t safe. You can’t just be told about that. You have to feel it, how long one night can be, and then all of them put together, hundreds of nights and then more, and there’s a kind of deal that’s made, a deal with god. You do certain terrible things, you endure things, because there’s a bargain made. And then when god says the deal’s off later, after you’ve already paid, and you see your friends ripped through, yanked like puppets on a day that was safe, and you find out your wife is going to die young, and you get to watch her dying, something that again is going to be for years, hundreds of nights more, all deals are off.”
“By simplifying our lives, we’re making space for what matters—to hear God more clearly, to give more wholeheartedly, and to place our energy in people and hearts rather than in things.”
“was the only halo I ever wanted again, a circle of wicked wants and devilish delights.”
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