Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

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I gave him a hard look.

Stepping away from the plate, I took a few more practice swings. I almost missed Elliot coming up behind me. He reached his arms around me and positioned his hands on the bat, flush with mine.
“Let me show you,” he said in my ear. “Like this. Feel that?Relax. Now pivot your hips- it’s all in the hips.”

I could feel my face heat up with the eyes of the entire class on us. “I think I’ve got it, thanks.”

“Get a room!” Marcie called to us. The infield laughed.

“If you’d throw her a decent pitch,” Elliot called back, “she’d hit the ball.”

“My pitch is on.”

“Her swing is on.” Elliot dropped his voice, speaking to me alone. “You lose neye contact the minute she lets go of the ball. Her pitches aren’t clean, so you’re going to have to work to get them.”

“We’re holding up the game here, people!” Miss Sully called out.

Just then, something in the parking lot beyond the dugout drew my attention. I thought I`d heard my name called. I turned, but even as I did, I knew my name hadn’t been said out loud. It had been spoken quietly to my mind.

Nora. 

Patch wore a faded blue baseball cap and had his fingers hooked in the chain-like fence, leaning against it. No coat, despite the weather. Just head-to-toe black. His eyes were opaque and inaccessible as he watched me, but I suspected there was a lot going on behind them.

Another string of words crept into my mind.

Batting lessons? Nice. . . touch. 

I drew a steadying breathe and told myself I imagined the words. Because the alternative was considering that Patch had power to channel thoughts into my mind. Which couldn’t be. It just couldn’t. Unless I was delusional. That scared m,e more than the idea that he had breached normal communication methods and could, at will, speak to me without ever opening his mouth.

“Grey! Head in the game!”

I blinked, jerking to life just in time tp see the ball rolling through the air toward me. I started to swing, then heard another trickle of words.

Not. . . yet.

I held back, waiting for the ball to come to me. As it descended, I stepped toward the front of the plate. I swung with everything I had.
A huge crack sounded, and the bat vibrated in my hands. The ball drove to Marcie, who fell flat on her backside. Squeezing between shortstop and second base, the ball bounced in the outfield grass.

“Run!” my team shouted from the dugout. “Run, Nora!”

I ran.

 

-Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick.
Pages 85-87.

Image result for hush hush book and author The author.

 

Because you`ll never meet me by Leah Thomas

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I am not kicking you while you are down, Ollie. I am telling you to celebrate what is real in your life. Celebrate who you are. Not who Liz wishes you to be. Claw your way out of this nostalgic hole you are digging.

Get out of bed.

For the last time, abandon the idea that we might be blood relatives. Nonsense. I spent a lot of time with my mother, even if I never understood her. My birth father was nobody. Nothing more than the person who impregnated my mother. He made a bastard and vanished. There is no sense in romanticizing it. Herr Farber is my father now. There is no sense in seeking the past.

The past is never any better than the present, and it is not what you have to look forward to.

We don’t have to be related in order to be close. Sometimes you are not as amusing as you think you are. Sometimes I think you are a child, Oliver.

Perhaps I should be kinder to you in your sadness. But nothing makes me so angry as the idea that you are letting yourself wither away. For the sake of a girl who does not appreciate you.

 

 

 

 

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

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The envelope was thin. One, maybe two pages. Whatever he had written wasn’t too long. First, she turned it over and checked the back. No name, just a street address in New Jersey. She held her breath as she used her fingernail to pry it open.

Unfolding it, she saw it was dated March 1935.

Two and a half years without a reply.

She imagined him sitting an old desk, crafting the letter, somehow knowing this was the end, and she saw what she thought were tearstains on the paper. Probably just her imagination.

She straightened the page and began to read in the soft white sunlight that shone the window.

My dearest Allie,

I don’t know what to say anymore except that I couldn’t sleep last night because I knew that it is over between us. It is a different feeling for me, one that I never expected, but looking back, I suppose it couldn’t have ended awake way.
You and I were different. We came from different worlds, and yet you were the one who taught me the value of love. You showed me what it was like to care for another, and I am a better man because of it. I don’t want you to ever forget that.
I am not bitter because of what has happened. On the contrary, I am secure in knowing that what we had was real, and I am happy we were able to come together for even a short period of time. And if, in some distant place in the future, we see each other in our new lives, I will smile at you with joy, and remember how we spent a summer beneath the trees, learning from each other and growing in love. And maybe, for a brief moment, you’ll feel it too and you’ll smile back, and savor the memories we will always share together.

 

I love you, Allie.
Noah.

She read the letter again, more slowly this time, then read it a third time before she put it back into the envelope. Once more, she imagined him writing it, and for a moment she debated reading another, but she knew she couldn’t delay any longer. Lon was waiting for her.

Her legs felt weak as she stepped out of the car. She paused and took a deep breath, and as she started across the parking lot, she realized she still wasn’t sure what she was going to say to him.

And the answer didn’t finally come until she reached the door and opened it and saw Lon standing in the lobby.

 

-The Notebook
Page 133-135

THE RAPING OF AVA DeSANTIS

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Ava rinsed her mouth with water as she stared at herself in the mirror. Her large woodsy-green eyes were filling with revenge. How dare you flaunt your unborn baby in my face. Her eyes darkened in the mirror. And to watch that fat demon make three after what he did to me? What kind of man are you? Tell me? Who the F**k are you? You f*****g son of a whoring bitch!

“Are you okay in there?” asked Michelle outside the door.

“Just washing up,” replied Ava in a sing-songy-manner. She then rinsed her mouth one last time and shut off the water. As she reached for the decorative hand towel, she noticed a bottle of nail loish and an old-fashioned, sharp metal nail file on the marble countertop.

Ava picked up the knife-like nail file with all her might as she slowly reached for the doorknob.

“Trust me, it gets better in a few weeks,” shouted Michelle.

Ava’s large green eyes were turning black with murderous rage. . .

“You really are sick in there, aren’t you?”

Silence.

“Ava. . . are you okay?”

Silence.

Then suddenly Ava SPRUNG OPEN the door, leapt out of the bathroom and shoved the metal file into Michelle’s face. In response, Michelle bent backwards, terrified.

“I can’t believe they still make these.” Ava stood cool and calm as a Druid tree.

Michelle breathed heavily for a few moments. . . then started laughing, recovering from the false alarm.

“Oh, did I scare you? Bless your heart.”

Michelle continued laughing at herself. “You scared the hell out of me. How silly?”

Ava joined in on the laughter. “How rude of me. I am so sorry.”

“And yes, they do still make those. I`ll grab you one next time I go to Piggly Wiggly.”

 

-The raping of Ava DeSantis
Page 223-224

 

THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by JANDY NELSON

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I`m too mortified to sleep. What was I thinking? I keep imagining Joe reading my ridiculous poem to his brothers, and worse to Rachel, all of them laughing at poor lovelorn Lennie, who knows nothing about romance except what she learned from Emily Bronte. I told him : I belong to him. I told him: My heart is his. I told him: I hear his soul in his music. I`m going to jump off of a building. Who says things like this in the twenty-first century? No one! How is it possible that something can seem like such a brilliant idea one day and such a bonehead one the next?

as soon as there’s enough light, I throw a sweatshirt over my pajamas, put on some sneakers, and run through the dawn to the forest bedroom to retrieve the note, but when I get there, it’s gone. I tell myself that the wind blew it away like all the other poems. I mean, how likely is it that he showed up yesterday afternoon after I left? Not likely at all.

Sarah is keeping me company, providing humiliation support while I make lasagnas.
She can’t stop from squealing. “You’re going to be first clarinet, Lennie. For sure.”

“We’ll see.”

“It’ll help you get into a conservatory. Julliard even.”

I take a deep breath. How like an imposter I`d felt every time Marguerite mentioned it, how like a traitor, conspiring to steal my sister’s dream, just as it got swiped from her. Why didn’t it occur to me then I could dream at all?

“I`d love to go to Julliard,” I tell Sarah. There. Finally. “But any goof conservatory would be okay.” I just want to study music: what life, what living itself sounds like.

“We could go together,” Sarah’s saying, while shoveling into her mouth each slice of mozzarella as I cut it. I slap her hand. She continues, “Get an apartment together in New York City.” I think Sarah might rocket into outer space at the idea-me too, though, I, pathetically, keeping thinking: What about Joe? “Or Berklee in Boston,” she says, her big blue eyes boinging out of her head. “Don’t forget Berklee. Either way, we could drive there in Ennui, zigzag our way across. Hang out at the Grand Canyon, go to New Orleans, maybe-”

“Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” I groan.

“Not the poem again. What could be a better distraction than the divine goddesses Julliard and Berklee. Sheesh. Unfreakingbelievable. . . ”

“You have no idea how dildonic it was.”

Nice word, Len.” She’s flipping through a magazine someone left on the counter.

Lame isn’t lame enough of a word for this poem,” I mutter. “Sarah, I told a guy that I belong to him.”

“That’s what happens when you read Wuthering Heights eighteen times.”

“Twenty-three.”

I`m layering away: sauce, noodles, I belong to you, cheese, sauce, my heart is yours, nooddles, cheese, I hear your soul in your music, cheese, cheese, CHEESE. . .

She’s smiling at me. “You know, it might be okay, he seems kind of the same way.”

“What way?”

“You know, like you.”

 

-The sky is everywhere.
Page 293-295

 

Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

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Right before I went in to work, I stopped off at the drugstore where Dante was working. I think I just wanted to see that he really had a job. When I walked into the drugstore, he was behind the counter, placing cigarettes on the shelf.

“Are you wearing shoes?” I said.

He smiled. I stared at his name tag. Dante Q.

“I was just thinking of you,” he said.

“Yeah?”

“Some girls came in a little while ago.”

“Girls?”

“They knew you. We got to talking.”

I knew which girls they were before he told me. “Gina and Susie,” I said.

“Yeah. They’re nice. Pretty, too. They go to school with you.”

“Yeah, they’re nice and pretty. And pushy, too.”

“They looked at my name tag. And then they looked at each other. And then one of them asked me if I knew you. I thought that if was a funny question to ask.”

“What did you tell them?”

“I told them yeah. I said you were my best friend.”

“You told them that?”

“You are my best friend.”

“Did they ask you anything else?”

“Yeah, they asked if I knew anything about an accident and you breaking your legs.”

“I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it!”

“What?”

“Did you tell them?”

“Of course I told them.”

“You told them??”

“Why are you getting mad?”

“You told them about what happened?”

“Of course I did.”

“There’s a rule, Dante.”

“You’re mad? You’re mad at me?”

“The rule was we weren’t supposed to talk about the accident.”

“Wrong. The rule was we weren’t supposed to talk about the accident with each other. The rule doesn’t apply to anyone else.”

There was a line forming behind me.

“I have to get back to work,” Dante said.

Later that afternoon, Dante called me at work. “Why are you mad?”

“I just don’t like other people to know.”

“I don’t get you, Ari.” He hung up the phone.

What I knew was going to happen, happened. Gina and Susie followed me up at the Charcoaler just as I was getting off work.

“You were telling us the truth,” Gina said.

“So what?” I said.

“So what? You saved Dante’s life.”

“Gina, let’s not talk about it.”

“Why not, Ari?” You’re a hero.” Susie Byrd had this thing in her voice.

“And how come,” Gina said, “we don’t know anything about your best friend?”

“Yeah, how come?”

I looked at both of them.

“He’s so cute. I’d have thrown myself in front of a moving car for him too.”

“Shut up, Gina,” I said.

“How come he’s such a secret?”

“He’s not a secret. He just goes to Cathedral.”

Susie had this gaga look on her face. “Cathedral boys are cute.”

“Cathedral boys suck,” I said.

“So when are we going to get to know him?”

“Never.”

“Oh, so you want him all to yourself.”

“Knock it off, Gina, you’re really pissing me off.”

“You’re really touhy about things, you know that, ari.”

“Go to hell, Gina.”

“You really don’t want us to know him, do you?”

“I don’t really care. You know where he works, go help him. Maybe that way, you’ll leave me alone.”

–  Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe.
Page 264-266

 

Looking For Alaska by John Green

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Eighty-nine Days Before.

“We found you a girlfriend”, Alaska said to me. Still, no one had explained to me what happened the week before with the Jury. It didn’t seem to have affected Alaska, though, who was (1) in our room after dark with the door closed, and (2) smoking a cigarette as she sat on the mostly foam couch. She had stuffed a towel into the bottom of our door and insisted it was safe, but I worried about the cigarette and “girlfriend”.

“All I have to do now,” she said, “is convince you to like her and convince her to like you.”

“Monumental tasks”, the Colonel pointed out. He lay on thr top bunk, reading for his English class. Moby Dick.

“How can you read and talk at the same time?” I asked.

“Well, I usually can’t, but neither the book nor the conversation is particularly intellectually challenging.”

“I like that book,” Alaska said.

“Yes.” The Colonel smiled and leaned over to look at her from his top bunk. “You would. Big white whale is a metaphor for everything. You live for pretentious metaphors.”

Alaska was unfazed. “So, Pudge, what’s your feeling on the former Soviet bloc?”

“Um. I`m in favor of it?”

She flicked the ashes of her cigarette into my pencil holder. I almost protested, but why bother. You know that girl in our precalc class?,” Alaska asked. “Soft voice, says these not this. Know that girl?”

“Yeah. Lara. She sat on my lap on the way to McDonald’s.”

“Right. I know. And she liked you. You thought she was quietly discussing precalc, when she was clearly talking having hot sex with you. Which is why you need me.”

“She has great breasts,” the Colonel said without looking upfrom the whale.

“DO NOT OBJECTIFY WOMEN’S BODIES!”Alaska shouted.

Now he looked up, “Sorry. Perky breasts.”

“That’s not any better!”

“Sure it is,” he said. “Great is a judegement on a women’s body. Perky is merely an observation. They are perky. I mean, Christ.”

“You’re hopeless,” she said. “So she thinks you’re cute, Pudge.”

“Nice.”

“Doesn’t mean anything. Problem with you is that if you talk to her you’l; ‘uh um uh’ your way to disaster.”

“Don’t be so hard on him,” the Colonel interrupted, as if he’s my mom. “God, I understand whale anatomy. Can we move on now, Herman?”

– Looking for Alaska
Page 74-75