Jennifer E. Smith · 337 pages
Rating: (27.7K votes)
“But there's no such thing as a completely fresh start. Everything new arrives on the heels of something old, and every beginning comes at the cost of an ending.”
“There was no point in waiting for someone who hadn't asked, and there was no point in wishing for something that would never happen.”
“There's a difference between loneliness and solitude.”
“You can't know the answer until you ask the question.”
“The most basic sort of love: to be worried about the one who was worrying about you.”
“If you were to draw a map of the two of them, of where they started out and where they would both end up, the lines would be shooting away from each other like magnets spun around on their poles. And it occurred to Owen that there was something deeply flawed about this, that there should be circles or angels or turns, anything that might make it possible for the two lines to meet again. Instead, they were both headed in the exact opposite directions. The map was as good as a door swinging shut. And the geography of the thing- the geography of them- was completely and hopelessly wrong.”
“Maybe they were never meant to have more than just one night. After all, not everything can last. Not everything is supposed to mean something.”
“There are so many ways to be alone here, even when you're surrounded by this many people.”
“When there was nothing but space between you, everything felt like a leap.”
“Sometimes it seemed as if his whole life was an exercise in waiting; not waiting to leave, exactly, but simply waiting to go. He felt like one of those fish that had the capacity to grow in unimaginable ways if only the tank were big enough. But his tank had always been small, and as much as he loved his home- as much as he loved his family- he'd always felt himself bumping up against the edges of his own life.”
“Something like that," he said, his eyes shining, and she realized just how much there was she didn't know about him. He was like one of her novels, still unfinished and best understood in the right place and at the right time. She couldn't wait to read the rest.”
“Not everything can last. Not everything is supposed to mean something.”
“How long could a single night really be expected to last? How far could you stretch such a small collection of minutes? He was just a boy on a roof. She was just a girl in an elevator.”
“They just stood there, regarding each other silently, the room suddenly as quiet as the elevator had been, as comfortable as the kitchen floor, as remote as the roof. Because that's what happened when you were with someone like that: the world shrank to just the right size. It molded itself to fit only the two of you, and nothing more.”
“They were like a couple of asteroids that had collided, she and Owen, briefly sparking before ricocheting off again, a little chipped, maybe even a little scarred, but with miles and miles still to go.”
“... they discover that sometimes it is a person rather than a place that anchors you most in the world.”
“He was like one of her novels, still unfinished and best understood in the right place and at the right time.
She couldn't wait to read the rest.”
“It is what it is..." he murmured, letting the words trail off at the end.
"I hate that expression," Lucy said, a bit more forcefully than intended. "Nothing is what it is. Things are always changing. They can always get better.”
“Being on her own had never been a burden. Instead of weighing her down, it buoyed her up; when she was alone, she was lighter. When she was by herself, she felt untethered and free.”
“So you’re just here—”
“For a couple of days,” she said, ducking her head. “To see you.”
He smiled. “Really?”
She nodded, wincing already, and he understood why; he knew better than anyone how it sounded, realized how crazy it was to fly halfway around the world to see a person you hardly knew. But he also knew exactly what to say to make her feel better.
“Me too,” he said, moving close so that there was only the rustle of clothing and limbs and beating hearts as he looped an arm over her shoulder. “I only came to see you.”
“The quiet between them had gone on for far too long now to pretend it was anything other than what it was. There were no more words; all that was left were two faintly beating hearts.”
“There was a lump in her throat as she watched him fidget with the buttons on his vest, and it struck her as the truest form of kindness, the most basic sort of love: to be worried about the one who was worrying about you.”
“That was the thing about books, she was realizing; they could take you somewhere else entirely, it was true. but it wasn't the same thing as actually going there yourself.”
“She twisted a piece of his T-shirt, then let it go and laid her palm flat against his chest, right over his heart, and he could suddenly feel it again: the steady thump of it drowning out all his other thoughts. It was more drumbeat than countdown, more metronome than ticking clock, and he felt himself carried forward with each muffled beat, as if hope were a rhythm, a song he'd only just discovered.”
“Maybe it was possible that you could take someone out of their life and drop them in the middle of another place entirely and they could seem like someone completely different. But even if that were the case, she thought, it wasn't really 'they' change—it was just the backdrop, the circumstances, the cast of characters. Just because you painted a house didn't mean the furniture inside was any different. It had to be the same with people. Deep down, at the very core, they'd still be the same no matter where they were, wouldn't they?”
“For hours, they wrote back and forth, a conversation punctuated by short periods of waiting, where Lucy held her breath and kept watch over her phone, resenting the constraints of technology, the limits of distance.”
“Maybe this was why Owen had been so desperate to travel, why she'd longed for it herself without ever really knowing why. It wasn't just that you got to be somewhere else entirely. It was that you got to be someone else entirely, too.”
“This, it seemed, was just what happened when you left someone. They disappeared behind you like the wake of a boat.”
“And the geography of the thing--the geography of them--was completely and hopelessly wrong.”
“Don't, he says and then places his free hand underneath mine.”
“People never believed of others what they couldn't imagine of themselves.”
“father could hope for in a son.To have”
“Music can inspire people to wake up and say, ‘Somebody’s lying.’ This is the point I’d like to make with my music,” Watt told Rolling Stone in 1985. “Make you think about what’s expected of you, of your friends. What’s expected of you by your boss. Challenge those expectations. And your own expectations. Man, you should challenge your own ideas about the world every day.”
“Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting.”
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