“I've decided that it's possible to love someone for entirely selfless reasons, for all of their flaws and weaknesses, and still not succeed in having them love you back. It's sad, perhaps, but not tragic, unless you dwell forever in the pursuit of their elusive affections.”
“This feeling will pass. The fear is real but the danger is not.”
“Let's don't wait forever for our lives to start. Let's begin them ourselves. Let's be fearless for once and say, we can do this.”
“I thought helping someone else might take me out of my own head for a while.”
There's one more thing I didn't get to tell you that night in my bedroom. Here it is: I love you. I'm in love with you. I have been for a long time. This might seem like a strange thing for me to say given the fact we aren't speaking to each other. But I've decided that it's possible to love someone for entirely selfless reasons, for all of their flaws and weaknesses, and still not succeed in having them love you back. It's sad perhaps, but not tragic, unless you dwell forever in the pursuit of their elusive affections.”
“Stains were a patchwork of mistakes you couldn't get rid of. They showed the world your real self, even the parts you didn't want it to see.”
“Freakishness could happen to anyone at any time.”
“I have learned not to judge people by their limitations, but by the way they push past them.”
“The real problem with his type of OCD--chronic fear of hurting other people--was that you thought so much about not running over children, not sideswiping pedestrians, not poisoning strangers with germs on your hands--essentially not killing a world full of strangers--that you ended up hurting the people you loved most. He saw that now.”
“He stood in front of her and told her he'd come, not to climb her tower but to shelter it. In his clumsy way, he was like a prince who arrived with sweaty armpits and bad hair. At least I'm here, he might have said. That's better than nothing. And it was.”
“I have learned that some people who look fine are more crippled than I am, by fears they can’t explain. Other people are held back by shyness, or anger. In making friends, I see the way some people handicap themselves. I believe there are choices each of us make every single day. We can dwell on our limitations or we can push ourselves past them.”
“Her idea had a beautiful simplicity at first.”
“What's a strapless bra?" he finally asked.
"LIKE A TOURNIQUET FOR YOUR CHEST."
"Can you breathe if you're wearing it?"
“There isn't any one big test or way to validate ourselves in the world. There's just a long, quiet process of finding our place in it”
“It was electrifying the way he watched her so carefully that he forgot himself.”
“JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE TOO SCARED TO TAKE ANY RISKS DOESN'T MEAN THE REST OF US SHOULD BE.”
“According to Sarah, who had gone two years ago, prom was famous for being an overpriced disappointment where most people had no fun.”
“Oh God, this is my fantasy! Where those just-friend boys suddenly realize they love me.'
'I don't know if this was like that.'
He thought for a moment. 'Well. I realized I loved her.'
Hannah gasped. 'Oh God, that's so sweet.”
“Don't worry. Here's the thing I've learned about pregnancy. Everything feels like a crisis and everything turns out to be heartburn.”
“YOUR FEAR MAY SEEM REAL BUT THE DANGER IS NOT. YOU’RE SAFE. YOU’RE ALL RIGHT. YOU’RE HAVING A PANIC ATTACK.”
“He had no idea how wonderful he was. How his hands were so beautiful she could hardly look at them. How his truest smile was crooked and lifted higher on the left side than the right, which made her feel like he might understand her better, her hemiplegic face that was all crooked half smiles, too. But it couldn't be denied. He was also slightly crazy. Maybe more than slightly.”
“WHY DID YOU TELL PEOPLE MY ESSAY WASN’T TRUE?”
“I don’t know,” he said, breaking out in a sweat. “Because I don’t believe it. I don’t believe anyone could be so well adjusted.”
She typed. “WHY NOT?”
“You said you look at your friends’ lives and feel like your own is better, which is fine, except that you don’t have any friends.”
“HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT?”
“I sit behind you. I notice things.”
“WHAT KIND OF THINGS?”
“It’s not your fault that you don’t have any friends. You always have an aide with you. No one is going to be themselves when there’s a teacher standing right there. Plus, you talked about parties and dances, but I don’t think you’ve even been to any, so how would you know what you’re not sorry to be missing?”
He kept going. He started saying too much, telling her all the things he’d noticed—that she never said hi to other kids, that she never answered questions when people asked her things before class. “I’m not pretending I’m Mr. Popularity or anything. I’m just saying you’ve got this whole message that doesn’t seem believable. To me, anyway.”
“I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE SAYING THIS.”
Her facial expressions were impossible to read. He couldn’t tell how mad she was. Probably pretty mad. “I’m sorry. You’re right. I shouldn’t have said anything. It’s none of my business. Like, none at all. I don’t know why I just said all that. I had this theory that you’re trying to be a certain kind of person, and that must be hard. But God, I’m hardly one to talk. So let’s forget the whole thing. Please. I’m sorry.”
It startled him when her machine blurted out a single word. “NO!”
“DON’T BE SORRY. YOU’RE RIGHT. MY GOSH, I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW RIGHT YOU ARE.”
“I’ve decided that it’s possible to love someone for entirely selfless reasons, for all of their flaws and weaknesses, and still not succeed in having them love you back.”
“It was about acceptance, he thought. About realizing no one is perfect and no one can expect to change someone else. Which”
“After that, a strange thing happened: Amy couldn't stop her expectations from rising. She imagined herself transformed and beautiful, like Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink, with her homemade dress and mysterious lace boots. She pictured her hair in an upsweep of loose curls. In the fantasy, her prom face looked like the one she only wore asleep, loose and relaxed. She imagined a photographer asking her to smile and, for the first time in her life, being able to do it.”
“JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE TOO SCARED TO TAKE ANY RISKS DOESN'T MEAN THE REST OF US SHOULD BE.”
“I just slipped into my mother’s office to look at the names of my new peer helpers, and I’m so happy! Your name is on the list! I thought maybe I’d scared you by coming right out and asking you to apply. I realize it’s an unusual setup, but try not to think of it as my parents offering to pay people to be my friend. I know there’s something unsettling and prideless in that. I prefer to think of it this way: my parents are paying people to pretend to be my friend. This will be much closer to the truth, I suspect, and I have no problem with this. I’m guessing that a lot of people in high school are only pretending to be friends, right? It’ll be a start, I figure.”
“It's embarrassing, how much effort it took for me to wear something that looks exactly like a blank piece of paper.”
“The completion of this book was supported in part by a grant from the Ralph and Elisa Landin Foundation. They are not responsible for the views expressed herein.”
“It's a frightening thing to be truly honest with yourself. It means you have no one left to turn to anymore, no-one to blame, and to one to look to for salvation. You have to give up any possibility that there will ever be any refuge for you. You have to accept the reality that you are truly and finally on your own. The best thing you can hope for in life is to meet a teacher who will smash all of your dreams, dash all of your hopes, tear your teddy-bear beliefs out of your arms and fling them over a cliff.”
“He’d told her how orphaned birds would sometimes accept the most pathetic substitutes for their mothers—a pullover, a hot-water bottle, an armpit, or even a paper airplane—anything rather than nothing, but preferably something that moved.”
“He perched on the end of the bed like some elegant dark bird. A very beautiful bird, she decided. His looks were similar to the laird’s, their kinship plain to see, but his beauty was far more refined. The color of his eyes was more golden than brown, a little too similar to those of some beast of the forest. He suddenly smiled at her and she tensed. “I saw ye,” she said. “Ye came from out of the hills, from behind me.” “Aye, just as those bastards readied themselves to attack,” replied Jankyn. Images crowded her mind so quickly they made her head ache. “Those men who were chasing me?” “And willnae chase ye again. Their thieving, murdering days are at an end.” She”
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