Requiem by Lauren Oliver [Quotes]

My feet turn me, and move me down the embankment, toward the fire, which is now burning hot and strong; toward the boy who becomes shadow standing next to it, blotted out by the smoke. That is what Alex is now: a shadow-boy, an illusion.

*

I remember feeling just like that baby: torn apart by feeling, split in two, caught between loyalties and desires.

*

Now, more than ever, the country needs its symbols.

*

This, too, has changed since my cure. When I was uncured, even though people always told me I was pretty, I never felt it. But after the cure, a wall came down inside me. Now I see that yes, I am quite simply and inarguably beautiful. I also no longer care.

*

Perfection is a promise, and a reassurance that we are not wrong.

*

But we have chosen a different road. And in the end that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.

*

Raven stops walking. She turns to me. “We don’t know anything about anyone,” she says. “Don’t you get that yet? You don’t know shit about me, I don’t know shit about you. You don’t even know shit about you.”

*

I’ll never forget what he said that night: Amor deliria nervosa isn’t a disease of love. It’s a disease of selfishness.

*

Mama, Mama, put me to bed I won’t make it home, I’m already half-dead I met an Invalid, and fell for his art He showed me his smile, and went straight for my heart.

*

This is what amazes me: that people are new every day. That they are never the same. You must always invent them, and they must invent themselves, too.

*

I can’t convince them if they won’t listen. Welcome to the free world. We give people the power to choose. They can even choose the wrong thing. Beautiful, isn’t it?

*

But the cure works differently for everybody; and it does not work perfectly for all.

*

“I hate to break it to you, Fred,” I say, “but not everything I do is about you. In fact, most things I do are about me.”

*

“We’re headed to Portland,” Max says. “We have friends there— lots of them. There’ll be payback,” he adds with sudden fierceness. “An eye for an eye.” “And the whole world goes blind,” Coral puts in quietly.

*

“In the real story, King Solomon decides that the baby should be cut in half. But it’s only a test. One mother agrees; the other woman says that she’ll give up claim to the baby altogether. She doesn’t want the child injured.”

*

Over the past week, I’ve accepted that I will never love Julian as much as I loved Alex. But now that idea is overwhelming, like a wall between us. I will never love Julian like I love Alex.

*

In the distance, a band is playing a wedding march.

*

This is what we are made for: promises, pledges, and sworn oaths of obedience.

*

Even though I can see people openmouthed, shouting, only the sound of the alarms penetrates the thick windows. Strangely, this is more frightening than anything— all these people voiceless, screaming silently.

*

But it’s not about knowing. It is simply about going forward. The cureds want to know; we have chosen faith instead. I asked Grace to trust me. We will have to trust too— that the world won’t end, that tomorrow will come, and that truth will come too.

*

That is, after all, the whole point. You do not know what will happen if you take down the walls; you cannot see through to the other side, don’t know whether it will bring freedom or ruin, resolution or chaos. It might be paradise, or destruction.

*

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