The Dead-Tossed Waves (The Forest of Hands and Teeth #2)

But of course everything presses forward, even as we dig our feet against the reality of it all.

But that's what love is like when it's fresh and new. It's fire and thunder and heat.

Do you still believe that if you truly want something enough it can happen?" I ask. I think of all the times I wanted to stop the world from spinning, all the times I wanted to go back and start over again. All the things I've wanted to undo or take back. Did I not want them enough?

He presses his lips to my jaw, to the corner of my mouth, to my ear. "I promise I'll find you again," he whispers. "I promise you I'll remember you. And I promise I'll love you.

I know that to you everything has changed for the worse over the last weeks. But for me..." Elias pauses. rests his forehead into the curve of my neck. "Before you my life was nothing but wandering and solitude and death. Now with you there's possibility." He pulls back until we're looking into each other's eyes. "I'm falling inn love with you, Gabrielle. Not with the person you used to be, but you.

I realize that life is risks. It’s acknowledging the past but looking forward. It’s taking a chance that we will
make mistakes but believing that we all deserve to be forgiven.

I realize that this is the way the world works. If I could stop the spin, stop the rotation, I would have done so long ago. I would have stopped it the first moment that Catcher's lips met mine under the moon in the amusement park. I would have held us in that eternity forever. But of course everything presses forward, even as we dig our feet against the reality of it all. One even tumbles from the next out of our control and we are dragged along, helpless.

I remember my mother telling me earlier that we are nothing more than our stories. I look at the masses of dead flesh, at all the stories that are now forever silenced.

Is that all we have left? Is that all we are? Lights on a map that are slowly dying, hanging on for nothing?

I think she was afraid to love sometimes. I think it scared her. She was the type to like things that were concrete, like the ocean. Something you could point to and know what it was. I think that's why she always struggled with God. And I think that's why she also struggled with love. She couldn't touch it. She couldn't hold on to it and make sure it never changed.

It's as if everything shifts around me, the pieces that didn't fit together finally twisting until they match. The terror that had been clouding and suffocating me begins to filter away, dissipating in the night. "I want something more too," I whisper. "I want more than looking back and wishing for what was or what could have been. Who I was or could have been. I want..." I lick my lips, tasting him. "I want you.

It's never been a perfect world. It's never going to be. It's going to be hard and scary, and if you're lucky, wonderful and awe-inspiring. But you have to push through the bad parts to get to the good.

It's the most beautiful thing in the world." he says, "I just..." He pauses and looks back into the fire. "I just kept walking. Wrapped in this white nothingness.

Life is life. You choose to live it or you do not.

She must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.

So many memories roll through me and I realize that this is who we are: memories and shared experiences. This is what ties us all together.

Sometimes it’s the mistakes that turn out to be the
best parts of life,

Sometimes it's those things you can't touch that you need to hold on to the most.

That's what I've started to learn about this world. It might give, but it always takes away.

The more we lose, the more we become the survivors.

The morning sun burned away the mist so the valley below is now clear. The scope of what I see drowns out every other sense: There's no river, no water. Instead, hundreds of feet below the bridge the ground shifts and writhes. At first I think maybe it's a field of some sort but then individual colors begin to pull apart.

And all at once I understand what it is. Like a river flooding its banks, the entire valley is full of Mudo. The sound is not that of a raging waterfall but the pounding of two hundred million feet. The moans of a hundred million mouths. They pour through the valley, more people than I have ever seen. More people than I ever thought could have existed in one world. And they sense me, reach for me but are trapped by the mountains.

We are nothing more than our stories and who we love. What we pass on, how we exist … it’s having people remember who we are. We’re terrible at that in this world. At remembering. At passing it on.

We're both just human. Nothing more. But also nothing less.

We’re set in motion and then we spend our lives maintaining that motion, but to what end? For what purpose?

We will always survive. There is always hope.

What use are experiences if we're not allowed to remember them? If we forget in order to avoid the pain of loss? What is the point of living if we have to always insulate ourselves?

When you're young you have such expectations of each other. So many needs. And when you're older..." He shrugs. "You want someone who understands. We've lived different lives. We've loved different people. But I think that there will always be that..." He struggles for the right word. "That understanding we share. Of having grown up in the same world, of having live through the same memories.

-you can think you know someone and then they say something or do something and suddenly everything changes.

You know how you can think you know someone or think you know them but maybe you only know them one way?" He sneaks a glance at me and I notice that his cheeks are red in the moonlight. "Maybe you know someone as your little sister's friend," he says. "And then maybe something shifts. Maybe one day you hear them say something unexpected. Or hear the way they laugh and then suddenly you see them all over again. Like this time it's different. This time maybe you see them as ..." He pauses. "Beautiful," he finishes. Catcher leans in closer. "Wonderful and funny.

You stay safe, You love. You survive. You laugh and cry and struggle and sometimes you fail and sometimes you succeed. You Push.