It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way — in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
I put my hand in his and followed. He was one of those men who can make you feel like Ginger Rogers on the dance floor, conveying an entire set of suggestions in the way he applied pressure to the small of my back. He moved automatically while he scanned the bar. It was a behavior I recognized.
I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”
My mind drifted away thinking about us..thinking how perfect my life was..
That was the exact moment she entered. A small woman, hardly more than five feet. She had the figure of a teenage girl. Her suit was a blue tweed, smartly cut, and over her thin shoulders she wore a fur jacket, bolero length. Tiny gold circular earrings clung to her small pierced ears. Her hands and feet were small, and when she seated herself at the counter, I noticed she wasn’t wearing any rings.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighborhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of someone or other of their daughters.
“One day,” you said to me, “I saw the sunset forty-four times!”
And a little later you added:
“You know– one loves the sunset, when one is so sad…”
“Were you so sad, then?” I asked, “on the day of the forty-four sunsets?”
But there was no reply..
We live in time – it holds us and molds us – but I never felt I understood it very well. And I’m not referring to theories about how it bends and doubles back, or may exist elsewhere in parallel versions. No, I mean ordinary, everyday time, which clocks and watches assure us passes regularly: tick-tock, click-clock. Is there anything more plausible than a second hand? And yet it takes only the smallest pleasure or pain to teach us time’s malleability. Some emotions speed it up, others slow it down; occasionally, it seems to go missing – until the eventual point when it really does go missing, never to return.
Your absence has gone through me, like thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its color.
Have you ever been in love? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up a whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life… You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ or ‘how very perceptive’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart.
It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. Nothing should be able to do that. Especially not love. I hate love.
It was a pleasure to burn.
Maybe…you’ll fall in love with me all over again.”
“Hell,” I said, “I love you enough now. What do you want to do? Ruin me?”
“Yes. I want to ruin you.”
“Good,” I said. “That’s what I want too.”
He used to say she is the perfect girl for me, and she thought to herself that he was perfect for her.
But the glow of their memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had the clarity of fourteen years earlier. Without a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowd.
It was indeed a pleasure to burn in his love and in his memories.
Every reader loves a line, a paragraph from every book they read..some relate to those words, some feel it..some note it down. I did the same too. I just converted these wonderful paragraphs from different books into a story..
For serious readers:
These beautiful paragraphs are a part of these books:
- A tale of two cities– Charles Dickens
- H is for Homicide– Sue Grafton
- Pick-Up– Charles Willeford
- Pride & Prejudice– Jane Austen
- Fahrenheit 451– Ray Bradbury
- The little Prince– Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- The Sense of an Ending– Julian Barnes
- Separation- S. Merwin
- The elephant vanishes- Haruki Murakami
- Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte
- The Sandman- Neil Gaiman
- A Farewell to Arms– Ernest Hemingway