“Someone created all of this, all of the beauty of the earth, all of the fragility of human life and all of the extraordinary existence of us. Choosing to believe in a god only when you are surrounded by death and destruction is to truly not know God at all.”
“Yes my love, because Eden, I have loved you avidly from the first moment I saw you and I will love you completely with all that I am until the day I die.”
“Excuse me, Ms. Matthews; you are going to be late for class if you don’t get going. Can you read the map, or are you already lost?” the stern voice of the secretary pulled me out of my stupor.
“Um, no, I can read,” I said, sheepishly, still unable to take my eyes off the mysterious boy staring back.
“Of course, you can read,” she said sharply, snapping my entranced head back to reality. “Now, get to class.”
“If I was going to be treated like a child, then I was going to act like one.”
“I was sure that if he didn’t have that damn accent I would have seen through him immediately. Oh, those Brits could be so charming and manipulative with their proper way of talking.”
“The depth of longing I felt for him didn’t seem possible for someone my age.”
“I decided the poor thing loved crazy people.”
“I wanted to be the one to take you tonight. Know that I’ll be thinking of only you. “What a bunch of bull-sh--”
“stop pining over the one guy that you can’t have,”
“I wasn’t falling for it. At least that’s what I kept telling myself.”
“Someone created all of this, all of the beauty of the earth, all of the fragility of human life and all of the extraordinary existence of us. Choosing to believe in God only when you are surrounded by death and destruction is to truly not know God at all.”
“I always imagined the walk down the tall, wooden staircase, to be somewhat magical my first date when I was a little girl. Unfortunately, I never imagined my first date to be with someone who despised me, to a dance where I was sure to make a fool of myself, by orders from a Royal Prince who likes me but has been forbidden to talk to me; but I never had much of an imagination.”
“Yes, my love. Because Eden, I have loved you avidly from the first moment I saw you and I will love you completely with all that I am until the day I die,”
“Sshhh…” she responded, entering my room with a”
“I could feel my tan skin, turning translucent with nerves,”
“felt the extra sense that came with being an”
“An English teacher at school once said to her, 'Alice, one thing I hope you never find out is that a broken heart hurts physically.' Nothing she has ever experienced has prepared her for the pain of this. Most of the time her heart feels as though it's waterlogged and her ribcage, her arms, her back, her temples, her legs all ache in a dull, persistent way: but at times like this the incredulity and the appalling irreversibility of what has happened cripple her with a pain so bad she often doesn't speak for days.”
“She was nobody here. It was not just that she had no friends and family; it was rather that she was a ghost in this room, in the streets on the way to work, on the shop floor. Nothing meant anything.”
“We get in and I start the car. “Are you going to be good to Lani?” I ask. I think of Tommy Cook, a pale boy with psoriasis; we used to tie him to a chair with bungee cords and put him in the middle of the road, then hide. Few cars would actually come down Rainbow Drive, but when they did, it always surprised me that the drivers would slow their vehicles and swerve around the chair. None of them ever got out of their cars to help Tommy; it was as though they were in on the prank. I don’t know how Tommy managed to let us catch him more than once. Maybe he liked the attention.
“I’ll try,” Scottie says. “But it’s hard. She has this face that you just want to hit.”
“I know what you mean,” I say, thinking of Tommy, but realize I’m not supposed to empathize. “What does that mean?” I ask. “The kind of face that you want to hit. Where did you get that?” Sometimes I wonder if Scottie knows what she’s saying or if it’s something she recites, like those kids who memorize the Declaration of Independence.
“It’s something Mom said about Danielle.”
“I see.” Joanie has carried her juvenile meanness into her adult life. She sends unflattering pictures of her ex-friends to the Advertiser to put in their society pages. She always has some sort of drama in her life, some friend I’m not supposed to speak to or invite to our barbecues, and then I hear her on the phone gossiping about the latest scandal in an outraged and thrilled voice. “You are going to die,” I’ll hear her say. “Oh my God, you will just die.”
Is this where Scottie gets it? By watching her mother use cruelty as a source of entertainment? I feel almost proud that I have made these deductions without the blogs and without Esther, and I’m eager to tell Joanie about all of this, to prove that I was capable without her.”
“I turn sentences around. That's my life. I write a sentence and then I turn it around. Then I look at it and turn it around again...”
“But, I get this feeling that if I stay close to you, I'll find what I'm looking for”
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