Quentin quieted and watched her for a moment, hungrily, like he was trying to memorize every detail. Maybe he was. Forever is a long time. You have to burn the edges of memory onto your heart, or they can fade, and sometimes the second loss is worse than the first one.

This time, there are no tears. This time, there is only emptiness and I feel it set in the straight line of my mouth. I am not strong enough for this. I want an earthquake, a hurricane, anything – even a devil, the one with the cloven hoof – Mrs. Leed’s unfortunate 13th child – to rush out and stomp on me, break me into little pieces and hurl me to the stars, let me go back with those people I love. Please.

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