“Did you know I always thought you were braver than me? Did you ever guess that that was why I was so afraid? It wasn't that I only loved some of you. But I wondered if you could ever love more than some of me.
I knew I'd miss you. But the surprising thing is, you never leave me. I never forget a thing. Every kind of love, it seems, is the only one. It doesn't happen twice. And I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn't seem broken at all. I know young people look at me and think my youth seems so far away, but it's all around me, and you're all around me. Tiger Lily, do you think magic exists if it can be explained? I can explain why I loved you, I can explain the theory of evolution that tells me why mermaids live in Neverland and nowhere else. But it still feels magic.
The lost boys all stood at our wedding. Does it seem odd to you that they could have stood at a wedding that wasn't yours and mine? It does to me. and I'm sorry for it, and for a lot, and I also wouldn't change it.
It is so quiet here. Even with all the trains and the streets and the people. It's nothing like the jungle. The boys have grown. Everything has grown. Do you think you will ever grow? I hope not. I like to think that even if I change and fade away, some other people won't.
I like to think that one day after I die, at least one small particle of me - of all the particles that will spread everywhere - will float all the way to Neverland, and be part of a flower or something like that, like that poet said, the one that your Tik Tok loved. I like to think that nothing's final, and that everyone gets to be together even when it looks like they don't, that it all works out even when all the evidence seems to say something else, that you and I are always young in the woods, and that I'll see you sometime again, even if it's not with any kind of eyes I know of or understand. I wouldn't be surprised if that is the way things go after all - that all things end happy. Even for you and Tik Tok. and for you and me.
P.S. Please give my love to Tink. She was always such a funny little bug.”
“Sometimes I think that maybe we are just stories. Like we may as well just be words on a page, because we're only what we've done and what we are going to do.”
“For the girls with messy hair and thirsty hearts.”
“She did not believe he could have really gone, because for her, to leave the person you loved was impossible.”
“You have to be careful who you meet. You can’t unmeet them.”
“Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you've ever heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn't win.”
“I'm not myself," she offered, guiltily. She softened around Tik Tok, and when she did she was, for those rare moments, girlish.
He smiled. "You can never say that. You're just a piece of yourself right now that you don't like.”
“It turned out that my curiosity did not outweigh my courage after all. Sometimes love means not being able to bear seeing the one you love the way they are, when they're not what you hoped for.”
“To love someone was not what she had expected. It was like falling from somewhere high up and breaking in half, and only one person having the secret to the puzzle of putting her back together.”
“Sometimes I can't see myself when I'm with you. I can only just see you.”
“And I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn't seem broken at all.”
“Still, the longer I was around her, the more I could see the colors of her mind and the recesses of her heart. There was a beast in there. But there was also a girl who was afraid of being a beast, and who wondered if other people had beasts in their hearts too. There was strength, and there was also just the determination to look strong. She guarded herself like a secret.”
“How can I describe Peter's face, the pieces of him that stick to my heart? Peter sometimes looked aloof and distant; sometimes his face was open and soft as a bruise. Sometimes he looked completely at Tiger Lily, as if she were the point on which all the universe revolved, as if she were the biggest mystery of life, or as if she were a flame and he couldn't not look even though he was scared. And sometimes it would all disappear into carelessness, confidence, amusement, as if he didn't need anyone or anything on this earth to feel happy and alive.”
“Tiger Lily went back into the house, from which she kept watch of the ocean. She held her arms around her stomach and stayed awake. She didn't want him to catch her sleeping.
Peter did not come that night, or the next day, and she stayed awake. She did not believe he could have really gone, because for her, to leave the person you loved was impossible.
For three days, she kept on studying the horizon, even speaking to it, as if a ship that had already disappeared could hear her. "Choose me."
And Peter did choose. But he chose something else.”
“If there was a true moment that Tiger Lily fell so in love with Peter she could never turn back, it was that night, when he shivered and walked and told her he was warm, and told her he loved her so much. She was fierce, to be sure, but she had a girl's heart, after all. As she walked home that night, she was shaking from the largeness of it.”
“There was no twinkle in his eyes.
"Maybe I just love some of you. Maybe not enough."
Tiger Lily blinked at him, and she didn't understand how anyone could only love a part. Her greedy heart didn't work that way.”
“Sometimes love means not being able to bear seeing the one you love the way they are, when they’re not what you hoped for them.”
“I like to think that nothing's final, and that everyone gets to be together even when it looks like they don't, that it all works out even when all the evidence seems to say something else, that you and I are always young in the woods, and that I'll see you sometime again, even if it's not with any kind of eyes I know of or understand. I wouldn't be surprised if that is the way things go after all - that all things end happy.”
“If you have reasons for not coming back, I don’t want to know them. I just want you to come back anyway. Ignorance, see?”
“A faerie heart is different from a human heart. Human hearts are elastic. They have room for all sorts of passions, and they can break and heal and love again and again. Faerie hearts are evolutionarily less sophisticated. They are small and hard, like tiny grains of sand. Our hearts are too small to love more than one person in a lifetime.”
“Everyone will think I'm ugly."
Tik Tok smiled. "That's true. But we are a small village. We have narrow tastes. There's no telling who else in the world would think you're beautiful.”
“To not do what you can to protect someone, that's cowardly.”
“Many people in the village wanted her to be more of a girl, and Peter had wanted her to be large and brave but a little less large and brave than him. But Pine Sap was sure enough to want her to be exactly who she was.”
“I could have been stronger,” she said. “I wasn’t enough to keep something so important.”
“Peter loves to make promises. He has the best intentions of keeping them. It makes it worse, somehow, that he doesn’t know how to. He thinks he’s a nice boy, that’s the worst part.”
“There was a long moment between them that might have gone differently. Of all the times I saw the two of them together, this is the picture that is most stamped in my soul. It's the two of them, jumbled up and broken apart into confused pieces, and not really understanding, themselves, what they were doing.
"I won't wait for you to change your mind," she finally said, her chin set stubbornly.
He bit his lip thoughtfully. "I understand." And to Tiger Lily, he suddenly, inexplicably, seemed older than her, and wiser, and the thought hit her hard that it wasn't fair, because she'd suffered, and there he was, looking like he knew so much more than she ever would.”
“Maybe all of her strangeness, her curse, her always feeling like an outsider, had all existed so that she could belong here, with Peter.”
“As you may have guessed already, Peter had a soul that was always telling itself lies. When he was frightened, his soul told itself, "I'm not frightened." And when something mattered that he couldn't control, Peter's soul told itself, "it doesn't matter." So while I trained my ears and tired to listen hard to him, I couldn't always make out where he was, or what he felt. And so each time he let Wendy come a little closer, I didn't see what it meant, or how it would end.”
“From where I sat, Peter and Wendy were the two loneliest figures in the world. But Peter was somehow the lonelier of the two.”
“He even listened to more than her sounds, because Tiger Lily was a girl of few words. He listened with his eyes, watched her facial expressions, judged body language, and therefore read Tiger Lily better than anyone else.”
“He had no idea that grief was a reward. That it only came to those who were loyal, to those who loved more than they were capable of. ”
“all I knew was that I had spent my life begging the Lord to hear me out, to let me know He was out there somewhere, actually caring about what happened to Catherine Grace Cline. Turns out, I think He was talking to me all along, I just never bothered to listen to what He had to say.”
“Ne nevere mo ne lakked hire pite;
Tendre-herted, slydynge of corage;
But trewely, I kan nat telle hire age.”
“The speaker was stringy and angular, his blond hair pulled back in a ponytail, his plaid workman's shirtsleeves rolled up around his pale biceps. Journalism major, I guessed.”
“…wondering, not for the first time, if there was a kind of dark bliss built into dementia: an immunity from death and abandonment, a way of fixing a point in time so that nothing can change, nothing can be rewritten, no one can leave.”
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