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I thought you were dead,” I say. “It almost killed me.”
“Did it?” His voice is neutral. “You made a pretty fast recovery.”
“No. You don’t understand.” My throat is tight; I feel as though I’m being strangled. “I couldn’t keep hoping, and then waking up every day and finding out it wasn’t true, and you were still gone. I—I wasn’t strong enough.”
He is quiet for a second. It’s too dark to see his expression: He is standing in shadow again, but I can sense that he is staring at me.
Finally he says, “When they took me to the Crypts, I thought they were going to kill me. They didn’t even bother. They just left me to die. They threw me in a cell and locked the door.”
“Alex.” The strangled feeling has moved from my throat to my chest, and without realizing it, I have begun to cry. I move toward him. I want to run my hands through his hair and kiss his forehead and each of his eyelids and take away the memory of what he has seen. But he steps backward, out of reach.
“I didn’t die. I don’t know how. I should have. I’d lost plenty of blood. They were just as surprised as I was. After that it became a kind of game—to see how much I could stand. To see how much they could do to me before I’d—”
He breaks off abruptly. I can’t hear any more; don’t want to know, don’t want it to be true, can’t stand to think of what they did to him there. I take another step forward and reach for his chest and shoulders in the dark. This time, he doesn’t push me away. But he doesn’t embrace me either. He stands there, cold, still, like a statue.
“Alex.” I repeat his name like a prayer, like a magic spell that will make everything okay again. I run my hands up his chest and to his chin. “I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry.”
Suddenly he jerks backward, simultaneously finding my wrists and pulling them down to my sides. “There were days I would rather they have killed me.” He doesn’t drop my wrists; he squeezes them tightly, pinning my arms, keeping me immobilized. His voice is low, urgent, and so full of anger it pains me even more than his grip. “There were days I asked for it—prayed for it when I went to sleep. The belief that I would see you again, that I could find you—the hope for it—was the only thing that kept me going.” He releases me and takes another step backward. “So no. I don’t understand.


Lauren Oliver

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LAUREN OLIVER
Nothing has ever been so painful or delicious as being so close to him and being unable to do anythi...
LAUREN OLIVER
....love and desire enjoy a symbiotic relationship, meaning that one cannot exist without the other....
LAUREN OLIVER
This is what I want. This is the only thing I've ever wanted. Everything else—every single second ...
LAUREN OLIVER
She knew that this day, this feeling, couldn't last forever. Everything passed; that was partly why ...
LAUREN OLIVER
The dagger pin is all I have left. It is comfort and pain, both, because it reminds me of all I’ve...
LAUREN OLIVER
This is how Tack and Raven work: It’s their private language of push and return, argument and conc...
LAUREN OLIVER
I’m Hana,” Hana says. “And this is Lena.” She jabs me with an elbow. I
know I must look...
LAUREN OLIVER
I guess there are some things you never get used to.
LAUREN OLIVER
There is no before. There is only now, and what comes next.
LAUREN OLIVER
I need him to know that I came for him. I need him to know that somehow, at some point in the tunnel...
LAUREN OLIVER
He who jumps may fall, but he may also fly.

It’s time to jump.
LAUREN OLIVER
The butterflies are working their way up from my stomach into my head, making me feel dizzy, and I t...
LAUREN OLIVER
That's the thing about best friends. That's what they do. They keep you from spinning off the edge.
LAUREN OLIVER
We are always being pushed and squeezed down one road or another. We have no choice but to step forw...
LAUREN OLIVER
But that wasn't why the boy, whose name was Will but who also answered to "Useless" and "Hopeless" a...
LAUREN OLIVER
. . . Liesl & Po is the embodiment of what writing has always been for me at its purest and most...
LAUREN OLIVER
What glitters may not be gold; and even wolves may smile; and fools will be led by promises to their...
LAUREN OLIVER
It's so strange how life works: You want something and you wait and wait and feel like it's taking f...
LAUREN OLIVER
I vowed after that day that I would be your hero too, no matter how long it took
LAUREN OLIVER
In a world without love, this is what people are to each other: values, benefits, and liabilities, n...
LAUREN OLIVER
We wanted the freedom to love. We wanted the freedom to choose. Now we have to fight for it.
LAUREN OLIVER
I guess that’s just part of loving people: You have to give things up. Sometimes you even have to ...
LAUREN OLIVER
You can't be happy unless you're unhappy sometimes".
LAUREN OLIVER
I'd rather die my way than live yours.
LAUREN OLIVER
That is the rule of the Wilds: You must be bigger and stronger and tougher. You must hurt or be hurt...
LAUREN OLIVER
Promise me we'll stay together, okay?" His eyes are once again the clear blue of a perfectly transpa...
LAUREN OLIVER
My boyfriend's an idiot," I say as soon as he lurches away.

"A cute idiot," Ally c...
LAUREN OLIVER
In my dream I know I am falling. But there is no up or down, no walls or sides or ceilings, just the...
LAUREN OLIVER
It’s for the best. But no matter how many times I repeat it, the strange, hollow feeling in my sto...
LAUREN OLIVER
The rules of Panic are simple. Anyone can enter. But only one person will win.
LAUREN OLIVER
Her fierce and fearful friend --who loved country music and cherry Pop Tarts and singing in public a...
LAUREN OLIVER
Chance. Stupid, dumb, blind chance. Just a part of the strange mechanism of the world, with its fits...
LAUREN OLIVER
And when I wake up it's wonderful, like I've been carried quietly onto a calm, peaceful shore, and t...
LAUREN OLIVER
Memory is like that, too. We build careful bridges. But they're weaker than we think.
LAUREN OLIVER
The funny thing about almost-dying is that afterward everyone expects you to jump on the happy train...
LAUREN OLIVER
How do I know I can trust you?' she said finally.
'That's the thing about trust.' He crunched a...
LAUREN OLIVER
But maybe happiness isn't in the choosing. Maybe it's in the fiction, in the pretending: that wherev...
LAUREN OLIVER
Now, after so many years, I understand what the Coldness was and where it came from—this sense tha...
LAUREN OLIVER
I run for I don't know how long. Hours, maybe, or days. Alex told me to run. So I run. You have to u...
LAUREN OLIVER
Could it be? Samantha Kingston? Home? On a Friday?”
I roll my eyes. “I don’t know. Did y...
LAUREN OLIVER
I shiver, thinking how easy it is to be totally wrong about people-to see one tiny part of them and ...
LAUREN OLIVER
Here's another thing to remember: hope keeps you alive. Even when you're dead, it's the only thing t...
LAUREN OLIVER
Most of the time - 99 percent of the time - you just don't know how and why the threads are looped t...
LAUREN OLIVER
Everywhere he touches is fire. My whole body is burning up, the two of us becoming twin points of th...
LAUREN OLIVER
One of the strangest things about life is that it will chug on, blind and oblivious, even as your pr...
LAUREN OLIVER
Now I'd rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years sm...
LAUREN OLIVER
And now I know why they invented words for love, why they had to: It's the only thing that can come ...
LAUREN OLIVER
[S]he'd realized that he had loved her only because she belonged to him.
LAUREN OLIVER
Sometimes I feel as though there are two me's, one coasting directly on top of the other: the superf...
LAUREN OLIVER
Everything in me feels fluttering and free, like I could take off from the ground at any second. Mus...
LAUREN OLIVER
Time becomes a stutter-the space between drumbeats, splintered into fragments, and also endlessly lo...
LAUREN OLIVER
If you're ever wishing for things to go back to the way they were. You just have to look up
LAUREN OLIVER
That’s when you realize the most of it—life, the relentless mechanism of existing—isn’t abou...
LAUREN OLIVER
Someday all the wilds will be razed, and we will be left with a concrete landscape, a land of pretty...
LAUREN OLIVER
I wonder idly how long i can go without sleep before I flip my shit and start running down the stree...
LAUREN OLIVER
Finishing books - and leaving the world you've created - is always a kind of emotionally wrenchi...
LAUREN OLIVER
Everything looks stark and vivid and frozen, as though drawn precisely and outlined in ink - parents...
LAUREN OLIVER
I’ll tell you another secret, this one for your own good. You may think the past has something to ...
LAUREN OLIVER
It's funny, isn't it? When you are young you just want to be old, and then later you wish you could ...
LAUREN OLIVER
Live free or die.
Four words. Thirteen letters. Ridges, bumps, swirls under my fingertips.
LAUREN OLIVER
Grief is like sinking, like being buried. I am in water the tawny color of kicked-up dirt. Every bre...
LAUREN OLIVER
That was what her parents did not understand—and had never understood—about stories. Liza told h...
LAUREN OLIVER
This is the past: It drifts, it gathers. If you are not careful, it will bury you.
LAUREN OLIVER
Be honest: Are you surprised that I didn't realize sooner? Are you surprised that it took me so long...
LAUREN OLIVER
I want to apologize to you,” she says calmly.
“Oh yeah? For what?” I don’t have time fo...
LAUREN OLIVER
I'm a nonperson, a shadow, a ghost. Even before the accident I'm not sure that I was a whole ...
LAUREN OLIVER
No one can tell us no. No one can make us stop. We have picked each other, and the rest of the world...
LAUREN OLIVER
My heart shoots into my throat every time I think I see his loping walk, or catch sight of some flop...
LAUREN OLIVER
i feel like a curtain has dropped away and i'm seeing people for who they really are, different, and...
LAUREN OLIVER
Who the hell calls at two in the morning?"
"Maybe it's Matt Wilde, confessing his love," Lindsa...
LAUREN OLIVER
Love will turn the whole world into something greater than itself.
LAUREN OLIVER
How did I love her?
Let me count the ways.
The freckles on her nose like the shadow of a s...
LAUREN OLIVER
Everyone is asleep. They've all been asleep for years. You seemed ... awake.' Alex is whispering now...
LAUREN OLIVER
A good friend keeps your secrets for you. A best friend helps you keep your own secrets.
LAUREN OLIVER
Quizá para ti hay un
mañana. Quizá para ti hay mil mañanas, o tres mil, o diez mil, tanto t...
LAUREN OLIVER
That’s when I realized that certain moments go on forever. Even after they’re over they still go...
LAUREN OLIVER
(I)f you do not believe that hearts can bloom suddenly bigger, and that love can open like a flower ...
LAUREN OLIVER
I used to think that's what love was: knowing someone so well he was like a part of you.
LAUREN OLIVER
How is it possible, I think, to change so much and not be able to change anything at all?
LAUREN OLIVER
With 'Delirium,' I had to spend time thinking about the political, social and religious stru...
LAUREN OLIVER