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His hands are holding my cheeks, and he pulls back just to look me in the eye and his chest is heaving and he says, "I think," he says, "my heart is going to explode," and I wish, more than ever, that I knew how to capture moments like these and revisit them forever.

Because this.

This is everything.


Tahereh Mafi

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I'm going to be okay." His eyes held mine as he stepped closer lining his booted feet with mine."Not...
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I'll be your family now," he says.
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His chest, heaving harder this time. His words, almost gasping this time. “You destroy me.”
TAHEREH MAFI
And then I kiss him for real, and he kisses me back, and his hands fist my hair. And we're kissing l...
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Reasons"

I wish I knew why he left. What his reason were. Why he changed his mind.
<...
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A WISH

Sometimes I wish
that he will live
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But m...
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Do you really have any idea how important you are to me? Any concept at all of how much I love you?"...
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Bono met his wife in high school," Park says.
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"...
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Let me go!” I snarl at him, trying to wrest my arm from his grasp.

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So that's it?" Kenji says. "You just like him for his personality, huh?"

"What?"
TAHEREH MAFI
It's the kind of kiss that inspires stars to climb into the sky and light up the world.
TAHEREH MAFI
Words are like seeds, I think, planted into our hearts at a tender age. They take root in us as we g...
TAHEREH MAFI
His smile is laced with dynamite. "Go to sleep"
"Go to hell."
He works his jaw. Walks to t...
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Why are you touching me?"

"Because I can.
TAHEREH MAFI
Raindrops are my only reminder that clouds have a heartbeat. That I have one, too.
TAHEREH MAFI
we write every day, we fight every day, we think and scheme and dream a little dream every day. manu...
TAHEREH MAFI
The tattoo is just setting below his hp bone.
H e l l i s e m p t y
a n d a l l t h e d ...
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Hate looks just like everybody else until it smiles. Until it spins around and lies with lips and te...
TAHEREH MAFI
We're too different now. We want different things. And this?" I say nodding at our hands. "All this ...
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But he grins, so brilliantly, not even paying attention. “I love it when you say my name,” he sa...
TAHEREH MAFI
Love is a heartless bastard
TAHEREH MAFI
Water that never moves." I say to him. "Its fine for a little while. You can drink from it and it'll...
TAHEREH MAFI
I sigh. "I don't know what's happening to me."
"They're called hormones."

I shoot hi...
TAHEREH MAFI
I never thought it would get this bad. I never thought the Reestablishment would take things so far....
TAHEREH MAFI
They filled our world with weapons aimed at foreheads and smiled as they shot 16 candles right throu...
TAHEREH MAFI
I am nothing more than the consequence of catastrophe.
TAHEREH MAFI
Hope in this world bleeds out of the barrel of a gun.
TAHEREH MAFI
My voice softens. 'How old are you?'
'I'll be eleven next year.'
I grin. 'So you're...
TAHEREH MAFI
Hope is hugging me, holding me in its arms, wiping away my tears and telling me that today and tomor...
TAHEREH MAFI
Have you ever had a girlfriend, Kenji?"
"What?" He looks mortally offended. "Do I look l...
TAHEREH MAFI
I imagine this is what it feels like to fall apart.
TAHEREH MAFI
Sir, can you hear me?" Another cry. But this time, a voice I don't detest.
"Sire, please, can y...
TAHEREH MAFI
She searches me with those odd, blue-green eyes and I feel guilty so suddenly, without understanding...
TAHEREH MAFI
Sometimes I wish I could step outside of myself for a while. I want to leave this worn body behind, ...
TAHEREH MAFI
Tell me what you want" he [Warner] says desperately. "Tell me what to do," he says, "and I'll do it.
TAHEREH MAFI
He and I would end up like water going nowhere. Water that never moves-- It's fine for a little whil...
TAHEREH MAFI
So I take a deep breath.
Step forward.
Let go.

10 seconds and I'm trying to bre...
TAHEREH MAFI
I want to trust but it scares the skin off my bones.
TAHEREH MAFI
I can do anything I want.
Be with anyone I want.
And it'll be my choice.
TAHEREH MAFI
Only an idiot would rely on the energy of a bean or a leaf to stay awake throughout the day.
TAHEREH MAFI
I am going to MURDER YOU—”
“No,” he says, pointing at me as he shifts backward again. ...
TAHEREH MAFI
Hey, um, I'm sorry to bother you, but I'm looking for a friend of mine," he says. "Have you seen her...
TAHEREH MAFI
There will be a bird today. It will be white with streaks of gold like a crown atop its head. It wil...
TAHEREH MAFI
For so many years I lived in constant terror of myself. Doubt had married my fear and moved into my ...
TAHEREH MAFI
Lift your hips for me, love.
TAHEREH MAFI
I like the way I feel about myself when I'm with him." I say quietly. "Warner thinks I'm strong and ...
TAHEREH MAFI
I peek up at his features, at the crooked grin i want to savor, at the color in his eyes i'd use to ...
TAHEREH MAFI
Every butterfly in the world has migrated to my stomach.
TAHEREH MAFI
Hope is a pocket of possibility.
I'm holding it in my hand.
TAHEREH MAFI
And he leans in, so carefully. Breathing
and not breathing and hearts beating
between us a...
TAHEREH MAFI
I clench my fists and try not to scream and I tuck my friends in my heart and
revenge TAHEREH MAFI
Twice.
Once for Adam.
Once for Warner.
TAHEREH MAFI
My mind is a warehouse of carefully organized human emotions.
I lock away the things that do no...
TAHEREH MAFI
And I do. I do wonder, I think about it all the time. What it would be like to kill myself. Because ...
TAHEREH MAFI
Friendship is not a thing I have ever experienced. Not as a child, and not as I am now.
TAHEREH MAFI
I’ve come to believe that the most dangerous man in the world is the one who feels no remorse. The...
TAHEREH MAFI
The small hand of a clock taps me at one and two, three and four, whispering hello, get up, stand up...
TAHEREH MAFI
I promise myself then, in that moment, that I will hold him forever, just like this, until all the p...
TAHEREH MAFI
You think Warner is sexy?"
...
"I do like his face.
TAHEREH MAFI
Can you hear my heart? I want to ask him.

I want you to make a list of all you...
TAHEREH MAFI
It's not charity," I snap. "He cares about me--and I care about him!"

Warner nods, unimpr...
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And we are quotation marks, inverted and upside down, clinging to one another at the end of this lif...
TAHEREH MAFI
My words wear no parachutes as they fall out of my mouth.
TAHEREH MAFI
I love you, ” he says , his words harsh and soft all at once. “ I love you and it isn’t enough...
TAHEREH MAFI
I'm petrified. Because being this close to you is doing things to me. Strange things and irrational ...
TAHEREH MAFI
I’m happy to have her close even if it hurts, even if it doesn’t make any sense.
TAHEREH MAFI
If it were nothing but sexual attraction I’m sure I would not suffer such unbearable humiliation. ...
TAHEREH MAFI
I will give no one the satisfaction of my death.
TAHEREH MAFI
This girl is destroying me. A girl who has spent the last year in an insane asylum. A girl who would...
TAHEREH MAFI
These letters are all I have left.
26 friends to tell my stories to.
26 letters are all I ...
TAHEREH MAFI
I am suspended in the moment. Flickering images faded with age, frozen thoughts hovering precariousl...
TAHEREH MAFI
I grieve nothing. I take everything.
TAHEREH MAFI
.. but you-with you-" Hefalters. Looks down. "How am I supposed to go back?" he asks, so quietly. "H...
TAHEREH MAFI
You're naked?" Kenji is suddenly studying my sheet and not bothering to be subtle about it. I flush ...
TAHEREH MAFI
I'm oxygen and he's dying to breathe.
TAHEREH MAFI
I feel like I’ve been split open and stuffed with sunshine.
TAHEREH MAFI
Books are easily destroyed. But words will live as long as people can remember them.
TAHEREH MAFI
I’m not sure. But there’s something about the darkness, the stillness of this hour, I think, tha...
TAHEREH MAFI
I always wonder about raindrops.

I wonder about how they're always falling down, tripping...
TAHEREH MAFI
Loneliness is a strange sort of thing.
It creeps on you, quiet and still, sits by your side in ...
TAHEREH MAFI
I want to be the friend you fall hopelessly in love with. The one you take into your arms and into y...
TAHEREH MAFI
And if you insist on continuing to make assumptions about my character, I’ll advise you only this:...
TAHEREH MAFI
While a part of me wants to know, another part of me is too exhausted to ask.
TAHEREH MAFI
Do you never get exhausted being so wholly unbearable?
TAHEREH MAFI
Studies have shown that thinking and wondering lead to thoughtful decision-making. It's an epidemic.
TAHEREH MAFI
What difference does it make?" he says. "People can think whatever they like. I don't desire their v...
TAHEREH MAFI
You allow the world to think you're a heartless murderer," I tell him. "And you're not."

...
TAHEREH MAFI
You’re perfect,” I tell him, so overcome I forget myself. “All of you. Your entire body.
...
TAHEREH MAFI
Watching her talk to someone else made me crazy. I was jealous. Ridiculous. I wanted her to know me;...
TAHEREH MAFI
I loved making you mad," he says to me, his eyes wicked. "I love making you mad.
TAHEREH MAFI
And I've fallen.

So hard.

I've hit the ground. Gone right through it. Never in...
TAHEREH MAFI
I'm not trying to fix you; I don't think you need to be fixed. I'm not trying to turn you into someo...
TAHEREH MAFI
She is a soft, deadly creature. Kind and timid and terrifying. She's completely out of control and h...
TAHEREH MAFI
You deserve so much more than charity," he said, his chest heaving. "You deserve to live, You deserv...
TAHEREH MAFI
Find me a cure for these tears, I'd really like to exhale for the first time in my life.
TAHEREH MAFI
I only know now that the scientists are wrong.

The world is flat.

I know becau...
TAHEREH MAFI
No gun, no sword, no army or king will ever be more powerful than a sentence. Swords may cut and kil...
TAHEREH MAFI
We are hours and minutes reaching for the same second, holding hands as we spin forward into new day...
TAHEREH MAFI
I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed...
TAHEREH MAFI
You can't touch me," I whisper. I'm lying, is what I don't tell him. He can touch me, is what I'll n...
TAHEREH MAFI
I am nothing but novocaine. I am numb, a world of nothing, all feeling and emotion gone forever. TAHEREH MAFI Time goes on even when we do not.
TAHEREH MAFI
I've been screaming for years and no one has ever heard me.
TAHEREH MAFI
My father couldn't warm my frozen hands.
TAHEREH MAFI
Friendship is not a thing I have ever experienced. Not as a child, and not as I am now. Except. One ...
TAHEREH MAFI
That traitorous bastard. The idiot who thinks he's won himself a pretty girl. He has no idea who she...
TAHEREH MAFI
Sometimes I close my eyes and paint these walls a different color. I imagine I’m wearing warm sock...
TAHEREH MAFI
The truth," he says, "is a painful reminder of why I prefer to live among the lies.
TAHEREH MAFI
Please—please get up—and lower your voice—”
“Hell no.”
“Why no...
TAHEREH MAFI
Sticks and stones keep breaking my bones but these words, these words will kill me.
TAHEREH MAFI
I would rather be dead, than go back to being silent and suffocated.
TAHEREH MAFI
You know, I can sort of control it now," I tell him, beaming. "I can moderate my strength levels." TAHEREH MAFI Because I was dying.
  And Warner could’ve let me die. He was angry and hurt and had ever...
TAHEREH MAFI
Hang tight
Hold on
Look up
Stay strong
Hang on
Hold tight
Look strong<...
TAHEREH MAFI
Back to work. And this time, focus. You’re not an ape. Don’t just throw your shit everywhere.
TAHEREH MAFI
Please," he says. "I'm begging you to stop."

I still.

"I can't stomach your p...
TAHEREH MAFI
This planet is a broken bone that didn’t set right, a hundred pieces of crystal glued together. We...
TAHEREH MAFI
Kenji snorts.“That’s because you’re not fragile,” Kenji says. “If anything, everyone needs...
TAHEREH MAFI
I love walking into a bookstore. It's like all my friends are sitting on shelves, waving their pages...
TAHEREH MAFI
Hey--jazz hands!" Kenji barks. "Get your ass back over here." He makes it a point to look as irritat...
TAHEREH MAFI
On the darkest days you have to search for a spot of brightness, on the coldest days you have to see...
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Hope.

It's like a drop of honey, a field of tulips blooming in the springtime. It's a fre...
TAHEREH MAFI
He's looking at the wall and at the floor and at the bedsheets and at the way his knuckles look when...
TAHEREH MAFI
Selfish needs, wants, and desires needed to be obliterated. Greed, overindulgence, and gluttony had ...
TAHEREH MAFI
Words, I think, are such unpredictable creatures.
No gun, no sword, no army or king will ever ...
TAHEREH MAFI
He looks immaculate.
Flawless, especially as he stands here among the dirt and destruction, sur...
TAHEREH MAFI
Truth is a jealous, vicious mistress that never, ever sleeps.
TAHEREH MAFI
You think that because I am unwanted, because I am neglected and-and discarded-" My voice inches hig...
TAHEREH MAFI
I allowed myself to believe she’d seen a future for us; that she wanted to be with me and simply t...
TAHEREH MAFI
That this girl would know exactly how to shatter me.
TAHEREH MAFI
Nothing in this life will ever make sense to me but I can't help but try to collect the change and h...
TAHEREH MAFI
Warner was supposed to be dead. Warner was supposed to be dead because I was supposed to have shot h...
TAHEREH MAFI
Because I want her.
Now.
Here.
Everywhere.
I want nothing between us.
I wa...
TAHEREH MAFI
Three forty-five-pound plates on each side of what Kenji told me is an Olympic bar, which weighs an ...
TAHEREH MAFI
In a world where there is so much to grieve and so little good to take? I grieve nothing. I take eve...
TAHEREH MAFI
I do want you," I say to him, my voice shaking. "I want you so much it scares me.
TAHEREH MAFI
Have you ever been in love?" I ask, turning on my side to look at him. He stares up at the sky. Blin...
TAHEREH MAFI
Come back to life, love. I'll be here when you wake up.
TAHEREH MAFI
Ignite, my love. Ignite.
TAHEREH MAFI
You sick piece of shit," Adam says to him, his voice low, measured.
"Such unfortunate language....
TAHEREH MAFI
My life is four walls of missed opportunities poured in concrete molds.
TAHEREH MAFI
He's wrong he's so he's so wrong he's more wrong than an upside-down rainbow.
TAHEREH MAFI
Juliette ? ” A tentative voice . “ Are you okay? ” I lower the pillow . Blink up . Warner is w...
TAHEREH MAFI
He’s kissing me like the world is rolling right off a cliff, like he’s trying to hang on and he...
TAHEREH MAFI
I want so many things,” he whispers. “I want your mind. Your strength. I want to be worth your t...
TAHEREH MAFI
Adam stares at me so long I begin to blush. He tips my chin up so I meet his eyes. Blue blue blue bo...
TAHEREH MAFI
Girls are always talking about electricity in their romance, but none are too happy to actually be e...
TAHEREH MAFI
I have to get out of this room as soon as possible, or my own thoughts will wage war against me.
TAHEREH MAFI
I’ve fallen for her…So hard. I’ve hit the ground. Gone right through it. Never in my life have...
TAHEREH MAFI
I've never read anything that could speak directly to my bones.
TAHEREH MAFI
There was something about my face,she said, that she couldn't stand. Something about my eyes, the wa...
TAHEREH MAFI
I want to be someone else somewhere else with something else to fill my mind.
TAHEREH MAFI
The man is moody as hell.”

“I am not moody—”

“Yeah, bro.” K...
TAHEREH MAFI
Because something inside of my heart is ripping apart and it feels like fear, it tastes like panic a...
TAHEREH MAFI
It's incredible how someone can look so right and feel so wrong. Kent is a lucky bastard.
TAHEREH MAFI
At least I'm honest about being a liar
TAHEREH MAFI
People can think whatever they like....I don't desire their validation.
TAHEREH MAFI
A handful of letters doesn't always make a word, love.
TAHEREH MAFI
All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my ...
TAHEREH MAFI
I do know that I don't want to wake him.

We were up very late last night.
TAHEREH MAFI
I touch the tip of my finger to his lips. "There are secrets in here," I say. "I want them out."
TAHEREH MAFI
The moon is a loyal companion.
It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowi...
TAHEREH MAFI
Red was ruby, green was fluorescent, yellow was simply incandescent. Color was life. Color was every...
TAHEREH MAFI
I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships I form...
TAHEREH MAFI
So she told me a story. A story about a boy who was born with very green eyes, and the man who was s...
TAHEREH MAFI
His lips soften into a smile that cracks apart my spine. He repeats my name like the word amuses him...
TAHEREH MAFI
Hate looks like everybody else until it smiles
TAHEREH MAFI
His eyes are two buckets of rainwater: deep, fresh, clear. Hurt.
TAHEREH MAFI
I'm wearing dead cotton on my limbs and a blush of roses on my face.
TAHEREH MAFI
You’ve been on the edge of insanity your entire life, haven’t you? So many people called you cra...
TAHEREH MAFI
Are you out of your goddamn mind? You think we can take on two hundred soldiers? I know I am an extr...
TAHEREH MAFI
I hear Warner laugh.
I see him smile.
It's the kind of smile that transforms him into some...
TAHEREH MAFI
I didn't want the clothes or the perfect shoes or the expensive anything. I didn't want to be draped...
TAHEREH MAFI
Good God, I have taken leave of my senses. I never thank Delalieu. I've likely given the poor man a ...
TAHEREH MAFI
She could see all of Ferenwood from here: the rolling hills, the endless explosion of color cascadin...
TAHEREH MAFI
My opinions,” I say to him, quietly this time, “should not so easily break your own. Stand by yo...
TAHEREH MAFI
This girl is destroying me.
TAHEREH MAFI
I almost forget that she still hates me, despite how hard I've fallen for her.
And I've fallen....
TAHEREH MAFI
People seldom realize that they tell lies with their lips and truths with their eyes all the time.
TAHEREH MAFI
There is nothing to fear. Nothing to worry about. Grieve nothing in this transitory world," he says ...
TAHEREH MAFI
Don't do that," he says. "Don't ask me questions you already know the answers to. Twice I've laid my...
TAHEREH MAFI
Aaron Warner Anderson, chief commander and regent of Sector 45, son of the supreme commander of The ...
TAHEREH MAFI
Why do you call her 'love'?" James asks. "I've heard you say that before, too. A lot. Are you in lov...
TAHEREH MAFI
In just two days, one girl has managed to cripple me.
TAHEREH MAFI
Of course I remember you." My voice is a strangled whisper. I squeeze my eyes shut. "You were the on...
TAHEREH MAFI
It's like there are a million screams caught inside of my chest but I have to keep them all in becau...
TAHEREH MAFI
I open the book and turn to the next page. Day three.

I started screaming today.
TAHEREH MAFI
Damn,” Kenji says after a moment. “Damn damn damn. This shit is bananas
TAHEREH MAFI
It's strange. How hollow i feel. Like there might be echoes inside of me. Like I'm one of those choc...
TAHEREH MAFI
This isn't about Adam or Warner," I tell him, "This is about me and what I want. This is about me fi...
TAHEREH MAFI
I have a curse.
I HAVE A GIFT.
I'm a monster.
I'M MORE THAN HUMAN.
My touch Is l...
TAHEREH MAFI
Narrow-mindedness will only get you as far as Nowhere, and once you're there, you're lost forever.
TAHEREH MAFI
There is nothing to fear. Nothing to worry about. Grieve nothing in this transitionary world. It's t...
TAHEREH MAFI
Warner. A white bird with streaks of gold like a crown atop its head. A fair - skinned boy with gold...
TAHEREH MAFI
His chest, heaving harder this time. His words, almost gasping this time. “You destroy me.”
TAHEREH MAFI
Dude, you ran off with the crazy chick! You ran off with the psycho girl!" he's calling after Adam. ...
TAHEREH MAFI
He whispers, "You have no idea how much I've thought about you. How many times I've dreamt"-he takes...
TAHEREH MAFI
Killing time isn't as difficult as it sounds.

I can shoot a hundred numbers through the c...
TAHEREH MAFI
Someone picked up the sun and pinned it to the sky again, but every day it hangs a little lower than...
TAHEREH MAFI
Swallow the tears back often enough and they’ll start feeling like acid dripping down your throat....
TAHEREH MAFI
Kenji is a walking paradox of Unflinchingly Serious Person and 12-Year-Old Boy Going Through Puberty...
TAHEREH MAFI
I have an extremely low threshold for disorder; it offends my very being.
TAHEREH MAFI
There’s something simmering inside of me. Something I’ve never dared to tap into, something I’...
TAHEREH MAFI
Torture is not torture when there’s any hope of relief.
TAHEREH MAFI
We breathe when we're wrong, we breathe when we're right, we breathe even as we slip off the ledge t...
TAHEREH MAFI
You can go to hell!"
"Just because I'm going to hell doesn't mean you'll ever deserve her.
TAHEREH MAFI
All I know next are his arms, the desperate edge to his voice when he says my name, and I'm unraveli...
TAHEREH MAFI
I'm not falling for Warner," I say quietly.
"Sure you aren't."
"I'm not," I insist. "I'm j...
TAHEREH MAFI
At least I'm honest about being a liar
TAHERAH MAFI