• "you’re not alone, ari. i know it feels that way. but you’re not.” "how can you love me so much?” "how could i not love you? you’re the most beautiful boy in the world.” “i’m not.” “you are. you are.”
    • sometimes, you do things and you do them not because you’re thinking but because you’re feeling. because you’re feeling too much. and you can’t always control the things you do when you’re feeling too much.
    • ari, the problem isn’t just that dante’s in love with you. the real problem — for you, anyway — is that you’re in love with him.”
    • it was good to laugh. i wanted to laugh and laugh and laugh until i laughed myself into becoming someone else.
    • “ashamed? of loving dante?” i took dante’s hand and held it. how could i have ever been ashamed of loving dante quintana?
    • i placed my hand on the back of his neck. i pulled him toward me. and kissed him. i kissed him. and i kissed him. and i kissed him. and i kissed him. And he kept kissing me back.
    • “ari, i know what i see. you saved his life. why do you suppose you did that? why do you suppose that, in an instant, without even thinking, you dove across the street and shoved dante out of the way of a moving car? you think that just happened? i think you couldn’t stand the thought of losing him. you just couldn’t. why would you risk your own life to save dante if you didn’t love him?”
    • we all fight our own private wars.
    • i wondered what that was like, to hold someone’s hand. i bet you could sometimes find all the mysteries of the universe in someone's hand.
    • i wanted to tell them that i'd never had a friend, not ever, not a real one. until dante. i wanted to tell them that i never knew that people like dante existed in the world, people who looked at the stars, and knew the mysteries of water, and knew enough to know that birds belonged to the heavens and weren't meant to be shot down from their graceful flights by mean and stupid boys. i wanted to tell them that he had changed my life and that i would never be the same, not ever. and that somehow it felt like it was sante who had saved my life and not the other way around. i wanted to tell them that he was the first human being aside from my mother who had ever made me want to talk about the things that scared me. i wanted to tell them so many things and yet i didn't have the words. so i just stupidly repeated myself. "dante's my friend.”
    • and it seemed to me that dante's face was a map of the world. a world without any darkness. wow, a world without darkness. how beautiful was that?
    • i renamed myself ari. if i switched the letter, my name was air. i thought it might be a great thing to be the air. i could be something and nothing at the same time. i could be necessary and also invisible. everyone would need me and no one would be able to see me.
    • why do we smile? why do we laugh? why do we feel alone? why are we sad and confused? why do we read poetry? why do we cry when we see a painting? why is there a riot in the heart when we love? why do we feel shame? what is that thing in the pit of your stomach called desire?
    • “i love swimming — and you.” i didn’t say anything. “swimming and you, ari. those are the things i love the most.”
may 30 2019 ∞
may 30 2019 +