“I know how betrayal and disillusionment feel, when someone who could give you the world refuses even a tiny piece of it.”
“The goal with teenagers is simply getting through it alive, with no permanent damage.”
“The Chicago winter is harsh. But every now and then God blesses us with a thirty-or forty-degree day to remind us that misery comes and goes.”
“But he holds me so tightly that for a moment, the emotions are at bay. The sadness and fear, the regret and the loathing. He bottles them up inside his arms so that for a split second I don’t have to be the one carrying the weight of them. For this moment, the burden is his.”
“Teenagers believe they’re invincible—nothing bad can happen. It isn’t until later that we realize that bad things do, in fact, happen.”
“That I love her. That I’m sorry.”
“As it was, being a bad mother was child’s play compared to being a good mother, which was an incessant struggle, a lose-lose situation 24 hours a day; long after the kids were in bed the torment of what I did or didn’t do during those hours we were trapped together would scourge my soul.”
“We fall into oblivion this way, into a world where nothing matters. Nothing but us.”
“The weathermen warn us for days of the impending snowstorm that's to arrive Thursday night. The grocery stores have run out of bottle water as people prepare to take shelter in their homes; my God, I think, it's winter, an annual certainty, not the atomic bomb.”
“His arms wrap around me from behind, and my heart rhythm slows to a steady jog. His chin rests on the top of my head, and my breath comes back to me, oxygen filling my lungs.”
“She said something to you and you smiled and I thought to myself that I'd never seen anything so... I don't know... I'd never seen anything so beautiful in my life.”
“What did you want?” she asks. What I wanted was a dad. Someone to take care of my mother and me, so I didn’t have to do it myself. But what I tell her is Atari.”
“There was a time in my life when the eyes of men followed me. When men thought I was beautiful. When I passed through a room on the arm of James Dennett and every man and his covetous wife turned to stare. I feel the detective’s arms around me still, the reassurance and compassion, the warmth of his flesh. But now he stands feet away and I find myself staring at the floor. His hand comes to my chin. He lifts my face, forces me to see him. “Mrs. Dennett,” he says, and then he starts again, knowing I’m not quite looking. I can’t. I’m too ashamed to see what’s in his eyes. “Eve.” I look and there’s no anger, no scorn. “There isn’t anything in the world that I’d rather do. It’s just that...under the circumstances...” I nod. I know. “You’re an honorable man,” I say. “Or a good liar.”
“She says that the sky was the color of persimmon and sangria, shades of red only God could make.”
“Picasso, that’s abstract art. Kandinsky. Jackson Pollock.”
“The ducks and geese fly overhead. Everyone is leaving me.”
“Beethoven wrote Für Elise around 1810, though Elise was actually supposed to be Therese, a woman he was to marry in the same year. Before”
“But mostly I think of the things I didn’t do.”
“I didn't set out to be a bad mother, however. It just happened. As it was, being a bad mother was child's play compared to being a good mother, which was an incessant struggle, a lose-lose situation 24 hours a day; long after the kids were in bed the torment of what I did or didn't do during those hours we were trapped together would scourge my soul.”
“According to research, people who live with animals have decreased anxiety and lower blood pressure. They have lower cholesterol. They are more relaxed and less stressed and are, overall, in better health. Unless of course you have a dog who pees uncontrollably wherever it wishes or eats your furniture to shreds.”
“She’s disoriented, her visions cluttered, random memories running adrift in her mind.”
“But if I wanted to atone, I would have bought her that sketch pad.”
“an artist. My mother’s deluded sense of reality.” What pisses me off is that she talks like she got the short end of the stick. Like her life is full of hard knocks. She doesn’t have a fucking clue what tough luck is like. I think of the mint-green trailer home, of sitting out a storm in a makeshift shelter while we watched our home blow over. “I’m supposed to feel sorry for you?” I ask. A bird begins to warble. In the distance, another returns its call. Her voice is quiet. “I never asked you to feel sorry for me. You asked a question. I gave you an answer,” she confides. “You’re just full of self-pity, aren’t you?” “It isn’t like that.” “Always the victim.” I’m unsympathetic. This girl doesn’t know a damn thing about tough luck. “No,” she hisses at me. She thrusts the fishing rod into my hands. “Take it,” she says. She unzips”
“Mi intuición, sin embargo, me dice que algo le ha sucedido a mi hija. Algo malo.”
“I've been following her for the last few days. I know where she buys her groceries where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I've never spoken to her. I wouldn't recognize the sound of her voice. I don't know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she's scared. But I will.”
“She says that she used to enjoy, when darkness set in, when the outside world changed. She describes it for me: the way the streetlights and buildings twinkled in the night sky. She says that she liked the anonymity of it, and all the possibilities that developed when the sun went to sleep. But now the darkness terrifies her, all the nameless things on the other side of the silk drapes.”
“I watch the way her skin becomes red from the cold. The way her hair blows around in the breeze. She tucks it behind an ear, hoping to contain it, but it doesn't work. Not all things like to be contained.”
“I wonder if she could ever this right. This scene. In her sketch pad. The shape of the blue lake and the leaves spilled across the ground. The forest-green pine and evergreen trees. The enormous sky. Could she ever get the wind whipping through the remains of trees? Could she draw the cold air that eats at our hands and ears until they burn?”
“But he holds me so tightly that for a moment, the emotions are at bay. The sadness and fear, the regret and the loathing. He bottles them up inside his arms so that for a split second I don't have to be the one carrying the weight of them. For this moment, the burden is his.”
“This is Annabeth,” Jason said. “Uh, normally she doesn't judo-flip people.”
“Sarcasm... the protest of those who are weak.”
“There is a proper way to greet the sentinels in Ceris, certain patterns and forms that you must observe when presented to Queen Islanzadí, and a hundred different manners in which to greet those around you, if it’s not better to just remain quiet.”
“With all your customs,” Eragon risked saying, “it seems as though you’ve only made it easier to offend people.”
A smile flickered across her lips. “Perhaps.”
“What is the opposite of two? A lonely me and a lonely you.”
“Yet suppose further. Suppose that all worlds, all universes, met at a single nexus, a single pylon, a Tower. And within it, a stairway, perhaps rising to the Godhead itself. Would you dare climb to the top, gunslinger? Could it be that somewhere above all of endless reality, there exists a room?...'
You dare not.'
And in the gunslinger's mind, those words echoed: You dare not.”
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