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 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

 

Hold Me Closer by David Levithan

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TINY

Love is the most common miracle. Love is always a miracle, everywhere, every time. But for us, it’s a little different. I don’t want to say it’s more miraculous- it, though. Our miracle is different because some people say it’s impossible. But let me tell you-it’s possible. Very possible.

 

Tiny leaps off the swing and lands in what seems to be a heap .

 

TINY

I fall and I fall and I fall and I fall and I fall…

 

The swing set is wheeled off, and the EX- BOYFRIENDS march onstage to the start of their song.

 

[“PARADE OF EX-BOYFRIENDS”]

CHORUS OF EX-BOYFRIENDS:

We are the parade of ex-boyfriends!

EX-BOYFRIEND #1

You’re too clingy

EX-BOYFRIEND #2

You’re too sing-y.

EX-BOYFRIEND #3

You’re so massive

EX-BOYFRIEND #4

I`m just too passive.

EX-BOYFRIEND #5

I`d rather be friends

 

EX-BOYFRIEND #6

I don’t date tight ends.

EX-BOYFRIEND #7

I found another guy.

EX-BOYFRIEND #8

I don’t have to tell you why.

EX-BOYFRIEND #9

I don’t feel the spark.

EX-BOYFRIEND #10

It was only just a lark.

EX-BOYFRIEND #11

You mean you won’t put out?

EX-BOYFRIEND #12

I can’t conquer my doubt.

EX-BOYFRIEND #13

I have other things to do.

EX-BOYFRIEND #14

I have other guys to screw.

EX-BOYFRIEND #15

Our love has all been in your head.

EX-BOYFRIEND #16

I`m worried that you’ll break my bed.

EX-BOYFRIEND #17

I think I`ll just stay home and read.

 

EX-BOYFRIEND #18

I think you’re in love with my need.

 

CHORUS OF EX-BOYFRIENDS

Tiny cooper, have no doubt:
You’re the one we can live without.

TINY (in a Sondheimian frenzy):

What’d I do?
What’d I say?
Why did these boys
all go away?
I tried hard to be
who they’d want me to be
though most of the time
I couldn’t help being me.
Was I too loud?
Too quiet?
Why work on the package
when there’s no one to buy it?
Am I not enough of a gay?
Not enough of a guy?
My love life’s a train wreck
so I might as well fly. . .

CHORUS OF EX-BOYFRIENDS

Parade!
Of the ex-boyfriends!
Any relationship that starts
Inevitably ends!

 

-Page 85-88
Hold me closer, (Will Grayson, Will Grayson #2)
David Levithan.

 

The Author.

 

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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We waited until the auditorium was empty, then I wheeled him out, down to the car park in the lift, loaded Will up without incident. I didn’t say much; my head was still ringing with the music, and I didn’t want it to fade/ I kept thinking back to it, the way that Will’s friend had been so lost in what he was playing. I hadn’t realized that music could unlock things in you, could transport you to somewhere even the composer hadn’t predicted. It left an imprint in the air around you, as if you carried its remnants with you when you went. For some time, as we sat there in the audience, I had completely forgotten Will was even beside me.

We pulled up outside the annex. In front of us, just visible above the wall, the castle sat, floodlit under the full moon , gazing serenely down from its position on the top of the hill.

“So you’re not a classical music person.”

I looked into the rearview mirror. Will was smiling.

“I didn’t enjoy that in the slightest.”

“I could tell.”

“I especially didn’t enjoy that bit near the end, the bit where the violin was singing by itself.”

“I could see you didn’t like that bit. In fact, I think you had tears in your eyes you hated it so much.”

I grinned back at him. “I really loved it,” I said. “I`m not sure I`d like all classical music, but I thought that was amazing.” I rubbed my nose. “Thank you. Thank you for taking me.”

We sat in silence, gazing at the castle. Normally, at night, it was bathed in a kind of orange glow from the lights dotted around the fortress wall. But tonight, under a full moon, it seemed flooded in an ethereal blue.

“What kind of music would they have played there, do you think?” I said. “They must have listened to something.”

“The castle? Medieval stuff. Lutes, strings. Not my cup of tea, but I`ve got some I can lend you, if you like. You should walk around the castle with it on earphones, if you really want the full experience.”

“Nah. I don’t really go to the castle.”

“It’s always the way, when you live close by somewhere.”

We sat there a moment longer, listening to the engine tick its way to silence.

“Right,” I said, unfastening my belt. “We’d better get you in. The evening routine awaits.”

“Just wait a minute, Clark.”

I turned in my seat. Will’s face was in shadow and I couldn’t quite make it out.

“Just hold on. Just for a minute.”

“Are you alright?” I found my gaze dropping toward his chair, afraid some part of him was pinched, trapped, that I had gotten something wrong.

“I`m fine. I just…”

I could see his pale collar, his dark suit jacket a contrast against it.

“I don’t want to go in just yet. I just want to sit and not have to think about…”He swallowed.

Even in the half-dark it seemed effortful.

“I just…want to be a man who has been to a concert with a girl in a red dress. Just for a few minutes more.”

I released the door handle.

“Sure.”

I closed my eyes and lay my head against the headrest, and we sat there together for a while longer, two people lost in remembered music, half hidden in the shadow of a castle on a moonlit hill.

 

  • Page 158-159
    Chapter 12
    Me before you by Jojo Moyes.

 

                                   

The author.