BOOKS MEME | (4/9) nine otps. → Juliette Ferrars and Aaron Warner from Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.
(insp) “I want you to know,” I tell him, “that I don’t think you’re crazy.” “What?” He startles. “I don’t think you’re crazy.” The world is blurring away as I watch it through the window. “And I don’t think you’re a psychopath. I also don’t think you’re a sick, twisted monster. I don’t think you’re a heartless murderer, and I don’t think you deserve to die, and I don’t think you’re pathetic. Or stupid. Or a coward. I don’t think you’re any of the things people have said about you.”
I turn to look at him.
Warner is staring out the windshield. “You d o n’t?” His voice is so soft and so scared I can scarcely hear it.
“He pulls himself up onto the roof and walks over to me, so steadily. Calm, like there’s nothing in the world we’d planned to do today but to stand here, together, looking out over a field of dead bodies and happy children.
“Aaron,” I whisper.
He pulls me into his arms.
And I fall.
Every bone, every muscle, every nerve in my body comes undone at his touch and I cling to him, holding on for dear life.
“You know,” he whispers, his lips at my ear, “the whole world will be coming for us now.”
“You’re a coward,“ he whispers. "You want to be with me and it terrifies you. And you’re ashamed,” he says. “Ashamed you could ever want someone like me. Aren’t you?” He drops his gaze and his nose grazes mine and I can almost count the millimeters between our lips. I’m struggling to focus, trying to remember that I’m mad at him, mad about something, but his mouth is right in front of mine and my mind can’t stop trying to figure out how to shove aside the space between us.
“You want me,” he says softly, his hands moving up my back, “And it’s killing you.”
Every Book/Series I’ve Ever Read: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
“I spent my life folded between the pages of books. In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”
This girl is destroying me. A girl who has spent the last year in an insane asylum. A girl who would try to shoot me dead for kissing her. A girl who ran off with another man just to get away from me. Of course this is the girl I would fall for. I close a hand over my mouth. I am losing my mind.
“Juliette,” he says and he mouths the name, barely speaking at all, and he’s pouring molten lava into my limbs and I never even knew I could melt straight to death.
“I want you,” he says. He says “I want all of you. I want you inside and out and catching your breath and aching for me like I ache for you.” He says it like it’s a lit cigarette lodged in his throat, like he wants to dip me in warm honey and he says “It’s never been a secret. I’ve never tried to hide that from you. I’ve never pretended I wanted anything less.”
“You-you said you wanted f-friendship—”
“Yes,” he says, he swallows, “I did. I do. I do want to be your friend.” He nods and I register the slight movement in the air between us. “I want to be the friend you fall hopelessly in love with. The one you take into your arms and into your bed and into the private world you keep trapped in your head. I want to be that kind of friend,” he says. “The one who will memorize the things you say as well as the shape of your lips when you say them. I want to know every curve, every freckle, every shiver of your body, Juliette—” “No,” I gasp. “Don't—don’t s-say that—”
“I want to know where to touch you,” he says. “I want to know how to touch you. I want to know how to convince you to design a smile just for me.” I feel his chest rising, falling, up and down and up and down and “Yes,” he says. “I do want to be your friend.” He says “I want to be your best friend in the entire world.”
“I want so many things,” he whispers. “I want your mind. Your strength. I want to be worth your time.” His fingers graze the hem of my top and he says “I want this up.” He tugs on the waist of my pants and says “I want these down.” He touches the tips of his fingers to the sides of my body and says, “I want to feel your skin on fire. I want to feel your heart racing next to mine and I want to know it’s racing because of me, because you want me. Because you never,” he says, he breathes, “never want me to stop. I want every second. Every inch of you. I want all of it.”
And I drop dead, all over the floor.
I can’t understand why I can still hear him speaking because I’m dead, I’m already dead, I’ve died over and over and over again.
He swallows, hard, his chest heaving, his words a breathless, shaky whisper when he says “I’m so— I’m so desperately in love with you—”