168. “Juliette.” I close my eyes. He says, “I don’t want you to call me Warner anymore.” I open my eyes. “I want you to know me,” he says, breathless, his fingers pushing a stray strand of hair away from my face. “I don’t want to be Warner with you,” he says. “I want it to be different now. I want you to call me Aaron.”
169. “And even when you’re ready to let go. When you’re ready to break free. When you’re ready to be brand-new. Loneliness is an old friend standing beside you in the mirror, looking you in the eye, challenging you to live your life without it. You can’t find the words to fight yourself, to fight the words screaming that you’re not enough never enough never ever enough. Loneliness is a bitter, wretched companion. Sometimes.”
175. “Sometimes I think the loneliness inside of me is going to explode through my skin and sometimes I’m not sure if crying or screaming or laughing through the hysteria will solve anything at all. Sometimes I’m so desperate to touch, to be touched, to feel, that I’m almost certain I’m going to fall off a cliff in an alternate universe where no one will ever be able to find me.”
188. “But how?” she says, her voice breaking on the word. “How do I get them out of my head?” “Set them on fire.” Her eyes go wide. “In your mind,” I say, attempting a smile. “Let them fuel the fire that keeps you striving.” I reach out, touch my fingers to her cheek. “Idiots are highly flammable, love. Let them all burn in hell.”
190. “He kept trying to be nice to me and, in an unexpected turn of events, his kindness left me angry and confused. I pushed him away because i was afraid to be even remotely close to someone who, i was certain, would one day hurt me. I trusted no one anymore. I was so raw from repeated exposure to cruelty that now even the most minor abrasions left a mark.”
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