“Just breathe. Ten tiny breaths … Seize them. Feel them. Love them.”
“I don't hate you. I could never hate you. Give me your heart, Kacey. I'll take everything that comes with it.”
“I want to make you smile. For real. Always. We're going to go for dinners, and see movies, and walk on the beach. We'll go hang-gliding, or bungee jumping, or whatever you want to do. Whatever makes you smile and laugh more. Let me make you smile.”
“What’s wrong is that every morning and every night, I lie in bed wondering why you’re not beside me.”
“I'll make you whole again, Kacey. I promise you, I will.”
“You don't want me, Ben. I'm seven layers of fucked up with a side of bullshit.”
“Out past isn't who we are. I'm me and you're you and that's who we need to be.”
“Trent has kept his promise. He makes me smile every day.”
“Hope. Hope that something beautiful may come from this tragic story.
Fear. Fear that it won’t.
Forgiveness … forgiveness.”
“Forever’s a long time.” Trent’s arms squeeze around me. “Forever’s not long enough when it’s with you.”
“Do You think it matters if they're tiny or deep? he asked. Well, if they're not tiny breaths and they're not deep breaths, then they're just ... breaths. Then you're just breathing for the sake of ... breathing.
... Seize them. Feel them. Love them ...”
“I barrel into his arms, my mouth connecting with his. Seizing him. Feeling him. Loving him.”
“I should stalk over there and pee around his table to stake my claim. Wait...what? Jeez, Kacey.”
“No human can bury their past indefinitely. It’s only a matter of time before you crack.”
“What if he's a psychopath who tries to stuff kittens in ATMs?”
“I could lay here and stare at him forever. I don’t want to let go. Ever.”
“And you must be Princess Mia? I've heard about you."
Her lips pucker and she leans out just a bit further from Storm's cover. "You have?!
He nods. "Well, I heard about a Princess Mia who likes ice cream. That must be you, right?"
She nods slowly and whispers, "Did you hear that, Mommy? People know I'm a princess!”
“I can feel his very existence as if it's wrapping its hand around my soul, cradling it, trying to protect it from harm and I'm terrified. Terrified because I don't ever want the feeling to end.”
“What the hell do I have to do to get your attention? Do I need to get up there?” I throw an arm toward the stage. His eyes swell for just a second, in shock. He reaches forward to hold my hands, but he catches himself in time and instead folds them across his chest. “Believe me, you have my full attention.”
“I think I’m going to fall in love with this man.”
“And if that’s all he’s looking for then we’ll set fire to his balls.”
“What?” Storm’s face twists in a mixture of shock and amusement.
I shrug. “What can I say, Storm? I’m into some weird shit.”
“There’s something different about him, and I don’t have to think hard to see it. Something about the way he takes over a room, the way he looks at me, like he has already identified and can disarm every one of my defense mechanisms with no effort, like he sees through them to the disaster lying beneath. And he wants it.”
“Did I think he was “the one?” Iʼll never know. At sixteen, everyone is “the one.”
“Trent’s chest rises with a quick inhale as his hands lift to grab mine and pull them out, placing them with a pat on the outside of his shirt. “Okay, you win. But don’t do that while I’m driving or we’ll end up in a ditch.” He looks over his shoulder again, adding in a soft, solemn tone, “I’m serious, Kacey. I can’t handle it.”
“I crave his presence, his body, his voice, his laugh, his everything.
I need him.
I need Trent.”
“For two years, I haven’t given anyone the time of day. Now, here I am, day one into our new life, and I’m ready to straddle this guy on the washer.”
“He leans in closer and closer until his breath caresses my mouth. I’m paralyzed. I swear he’s going to kiss me. I swear I’m going to let him.”
“And there's nowhere I'd rather be than with you.”
“I feel happiness.
Happiness that Trent is here.
Longing. Longing to feel him against my skin again, his arms protecting me, his mouth on mine.
Love. Whatever happened between us, it was real. I know it was real. And I love him for letting me experience that.
Hope. Hope that something beautiful may come from this tragic story.
Fear. Fear that it won’t.
Forgiveness . . . forgiveness.”
“I just don’t understand why you don’t get angry.” Joe continued to stare ahead through the windshield. “It takes energy to get angry. It eats you up inside. I can’t waste my energy like that and expect to get ahead. When they left, it took everything I had in me just to survive. Now I have to stay focused. I’ve just gotta take care of it myself.”
“He pulled out a book here and there, but what kept catching his attention were the diagonal tunnels of sunlight rolling in through the dormer windows. All around him dust motes rose and fell, shimmering, quivering in those shafts of roiling light. He found several shelves full of old editions of classical writers and began vaguely browsing, hoping to find a cheap edition of Virgil's Aeneid, which he had only ever read in a borrowed copy. It wasn't really the great poem of antiquity that Dorrigo Evans wanted though, but the aura he felt around such books--an aura that both radiated outwards and took him inwards to another world that said to him that he was not alone.
And this sense, this feeling of communion, would at moments overwhelm him. At such times he had the sensation that there was only one book in the universe, and that all books were simply portals into this greater ongoing work--an inexhaustible, beautiful world that was not imaginary but the world as it truly was, a book without beginning or end.”
“The idea that she would have the opportunity to get over something thrilled her. The”
“It is funny the things that run through your mind when you're sitting in your underpants in front of a pair of strangers.”
“Have you ever put finger, algea-filled lake-water, or shampoo in there? Yeah, that gets your eyes screaming in pain pretty quick, doesn't it? Unless you're using baby No More Tears shampoo, of course, in which case feel free to lather your eyeballs right on up, no worries.”
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