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“So often this summer I keep thinking: I know I'm holding back. I know I'm waiting. I know I'm afraid to go forward. But I don't know how to get there from here."
He was quiet, so she kept going. "Sometimes I see it as a tricky mountain pass between two valleys. Other times, it's like perilous straits connecting two lands. Partly it's the fear of the trip itself, I think, but partly it's the fear that I won't be able to get back. I'll turn around and the clouds will have settled over the mountaintop. Or the waters will have risen and shifted, and there will be no way home."
Paul nodded. He took her hand again, which she discovered she appreciated.
But that's not even the real fear."
He gave her an odd smile. Short on mirth but affectionate. "What's the real fear?"
The real fear is that I won't want to go home.”


Ann Brashares
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