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336 pages, Hardcover
First published June 1, 2021
"Sometimes poetry is more about the feeling the words give you, the emotion, the placement, and not necessarily the words themselves. But the words are what you read. And you read the words to find the emotion, so the words do matter."
"So there was nowhere. Nowhere that I belonged."
"No clubs, no friends, no lonely person reports. Nothing. Just bake sales and dead brothers."
"I was foolish in my belief that grief was a straightforward thing. I thought the first wave would hit, and gradually the feelings of sadness and desperation would slip away until I found myself normal again. But I was so very wrong. Because grief is a complicated, ugly, messy thing. And it makes you do complicated, ugly, messy things."
"And wasn’t that what death really was? Forgetting. Could Ethan truly be gone if I never forgot him? I’d keep remembering him. I’d keep him alive with me."
"But knowing what you have to do and actually doing what you need to are two different things, two separate worlds."
"I didn’t know how I was feeling; I couldn’t feel anything except numbness. Simple, reliable concepts like time moving forward, or even the space around me, didn’t feel real. It felt more like a dream that I’d wake up from soon. But it wasn’t a dream. And I wouldn’t wake up."
"I wanted something for me. Maybe that was the point. To live just for me?"
"I didn’t want to die. Not really. What I wanted was to disappear. To blink out of existence, to be forgotten by everyone who ever knew me. I didn’t want to be here anymore, to have to think, to have to feel. What was the point anyway? The older I got, the more people would vanish."
"But now it was clear to me, I didn’t belong anywhere; there was nowhere for me to go. No friends for me to talk to, no parents who wanted to understand me. There was nothing for me. Nothing."
"That, and I was unsure of what my role would be in that world. Would I want to stay behind the scenes, produce and write the music that other people would be famous for singing? Or would I want to be in the spotlight, have it be my name on the tickets and the songs?"
"I was trying to fool myself, and if the last few months had taught me anything, it was that I was incredibly good at fooling myself. The truth would always find me. No matter how hard I pushed down its ugly head, it would find a way back in. Always. And it didn’t smell like vanilla. I still found it so much easier to discuss frozen yogurt instead of my dead brother."
"It hurt because I missed him so much. I missed my brother more than anything I’d ever missed before. And I knew that I was never going to stop missing him. But I had to learn to live alongside the pain, alongside this missing part of my life that I’d never get back. With every single day, it’d get easier."