“Love is not a because, it's a no matter what.”
“Did you ever walk through a room that's packed with people, and feel so lonely you can hardly take the next step?”
“Heroes didn't leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn't wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised, and their superpowers were as simple as listening, or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else's. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back.”
“Love meant jumping off a cliff and trusting that a certain person would be there to catch you at the bottom.”
“When we're awake, we see what we need to see. When we're asleep, we see what is really there.”
“People work too hard to figure out the meaning of their lives. Why me, why now. The truth is, sometimes things don't happen to you for a reason. Sometimes it's just about being in the right place at the right time for someone else.”
“Some women are meant to change the world, while others are meant to hold it together. And then there are those of us who simply don't want to be in it, because we know no matter how much we struggle, we can't comfortably fit.”
“I have never fit into this town, this marriage, this skin. I am the child who was picked last to play tag; I am the girl who laughed although she did not get the joke; I am the piecemeal part of you that you pretend doesn't exist, except it is all I am, all the time. ”
“Infatuation's just another word for not seeing clearly. When you start to love a person- that's when they become real”
“And oh she had been broken. She hid it well, but Ross knew from personal experience that once you had put the pieces together, even though you might look intact, you were never quite the same as you'd been before the fall”
“What makes you walk past thirty-thousand people without a second glance, and then you look at the thirty-thousandth-and-first person and know you'll never take your eyes off her again?”
“Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else's. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back.”
“I wish I could tell him I understand: the higher you raise your hopes, the farther you have to fall.”
“Life was all about being in a certain place, at a certain time.”
“Words, for all they were flimsy and invisible, had great strength. They could be fortified as a castle wall and sharp as a foil. They could bite, slap, shock, wound. But unlike deeds, words couldn't really help you. No promise ever rescued a person; it was the carrying-through of it that brought about salvation.”
“She understood what it was like to stand right in front of people you loved, even though they could not see you.”
“Ross believed in past lives. Moreover, he believed that the person you fell in love with in each life was the same person you fell in love with in the life before, and the one before that. Sometimes, you might miss her - she'd be reborn in post-World War I generation, and you wouldn't come back until the fifties. Sometimes, your paths would cross and you wouldn't recognize each other. Get it right - that is: fall madly, truly, deeply - and perhaps there'd be an eternity carved out solely for the two of you.”
“Then they scrambled through the window and into the darkness, determined to turn themselves into what they were not.”
“After all, once you know that part of something exists, it stands to reason that the rest of it is somewhere out there, too.”
“History could hover, like a faint perfume or a memory stamped on the back of one's eyelids.”
“The world is a place where the extraordinary can sit just beside the ordinary with the thinnest of boundaries; that even in environments inhospitable to man, all sort of entities might thrive.”
“Shelby believed that love was like a solar eclipse - breathtakingly beautiful, absorbing, and capable of rendering you blind. She had not necessarily gone out of her way to avoid a relationship, but she hadn't wanted on either. It was called falling in love for a reason - because, inevitably, you crashed at the bottom.”
“Regret hung from the hem of everyone's lives, a rip cord reminder that what you want is not always what you get. Look at himself, outliving Aimee. Or Az, trying to find his daughter, only to have her wind up dead. Look at Shelby, with a child who was dying by degrees. Ethan, born into a body nobody deserves. At some point or another, everyone was failed by this world. Disappointment was the one thin humans had in common.
Taken this way, Ross didn't feel quite so alone. Trapped in your whirlpool of what might have been, you might no be able to drag yourself out - but you could be saved by someone else who reached in.”
“She thought of death like the seam of a hem: each time you lose someone close, it unraveled a little. You could still go along with your life, but you'd be forever tripping over something you previously took for granted.”
“Close a door, and you'd still feel a breeze through the window.”
“He is dark and quiet and completely different from me, which is exactly why I should put distance between us. But it is also the reason I find him so fascinating.”
“As anyone who's ever contracted it knows, lies are an infectious disease. They slip under the almond slivers of your fingernails and into your bloodstream.”
“How could you beat an enemy you couldn't see?”
“When someone loves you up one side and down the other like that, you make every effort to stick around.”
“That's because you've never been one. You haven't spent years wearing someone else's clothes, taking someone else's name, living in someone else's houses, and working someone else's job to fit in. And if you don't sell out, then you run away... proving you're the Gypsy they said you were all along.”
“Still lying on the ground, half tingly, half stunned, I held my left hand in front of my face and lightly spread my fingers, examining what Marlboro Man had given me that morning. I couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful ring, or a ring that was a more fitting symbol of my relationship with Marlboro Man. It was unadorned, uncontrived, consisting only of a delicate gold band and a lovely diamond that stood up high--almost proudly--on its supportive prongs. It was a ring chosen by a man who, from day one, had always let me know exactly how he felt. The ring was a perfect extension of that: strong, straightforward, solid, direct. I liked seeing it on my finger. I felt good knowing it was there.
My stomach, though, was in knots. I was engaged. Engaged. I was ill-prepared for how weird it felt. Why hadn’t I ever heard of this strange sensation before? Why hadn’t anyone told me? I felt simultaneously grown up, excited, shocked, scared, matronly, weird, and happy--a strange combination for a weekday morning. I was engaged--holy moly. My other hand picked up the receiver of the phone, and without thinking, I dialed my little sister.
“Hi,” I said when Betsy picked up the phone. It hadn’t been ten minutes since we’d hung up from our last conversation.
“Hey,” she replied.
“Uh, I just wanted to tell you”--my heart began to race--“that I’m, like…engaged.”
What seemed like hours of silence passed.
“Bullcrap,” Betsy finally exclaimed. Then she repeated: “Bullcrap.”
“Not bullcrap,” I answered. “He just asked me to marry him. I’m engaged, Bets!”
“What?” Betsy shrieked. “Oh my God…” Her voice began to crack. Seconds later, she was crying.
A lump formed in my throat, too. I immediately understood where her tears were coming from. I felt it all, too. It was bittersweet. Things would change. Tears welled up in my eyes. My nose began to sting.
“Don’t cry, you butthead.” I laughed through my tears.
She laughed it off, too, sobbing harder, totally unable to suppress the tears. “Can I be your maid of honor?”
This was too much for me. “I can’t talk anymore,” I managed to squeak through my lips. I hung up on Betsy and lay there, blubbering on my floor.”
“She said she had learnt one thing from Balzac: that a woman's beauty is a treasure beyond price.”
“But then every man is ludicrous if you look at him from outside, without taking into account what’s going on in his heart and mind.”
“Either I’m right,” he continued, “and he doesn’t exist, or you’re right, and he’s the kind of God who watches children die. The kind of God who sits around while men like Herod build palaces and good people starve. Either way, he’s not worth worshipping.”
“This book tells the story of that moment in time. It is a story of high adventure set during the age of exploration—when Francis Drake, Henry Hudson, and Captain John Smith were expanding the boundaries of the world, and Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Galileo, Descartes, Mercator, Vermeer, Harvey, and Bacon were revolutionizing human thought and expression.”
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