“It has been the privilege and the honor of my life to know you.”
Tess, Tess, Tessa.
Was there ever a more beautiful sound than your name? To speak it aloud makes my heart ring like a bell. Strange to imagine that, isn’t it – a heart ringing – but when you touch me that is what it is like: as if my heart is ringing in my chest and the sound shivers down my veins and splinters my bones with joy.
Why have I written these words in this book? Because of you. You taught me to love this book where I had scorned it. When I read it for the second time, with an open mind and heart, I felt the most complete despair and envy of Sydney Carton. Yes, Sydney, for even if he had no hope that the woman he loved would love him, at least he could tell her of his love. At least he could do something to prove his passion, even if that thing was to die.
I would have chosen death for a chance to tell you the truth, Tessa, if I could have been assured that death would be my own. And that is why I envied Sydney, for he was free.
And now at last I am free, and I can finally tell you, without fear of danger to you, all that I feel in my heart.
You are not the last dream of my soul.
You are the first dream, the only dream I ever was unable to stop myself from dreaming. You are the first dream of my soul, and from that dream I hope will come all other dreams, a lifetime’s worth.
With hope at least,
Her throat ached: adoration, heartbreak, in equal measure. “Kiss me,” she said. “Please.”
“You hurt everyone,” said Jem. “Everyone whose life you touch.”
“Not you,” Will whispered. “I hurt everyone but you. I never meant to hurt you.”
Jem put his hands up, pressing his palms against his eyes. “Will—”
“You can’t never forgive me,” Will said, hearing the panic tinging his own voice. “I’d be—”
“Alone?” Jem lowered his hands, but he was smiling now, crookedly. “And whose fault is that?” He leaned back against the seat, his eyes half-lidded with tiredness. “I would always have forgiven you,” he said. “I would have forgiven you if you hadn’t apologized.”
“…It was like following a ghost. The next morning he was ready with some ribald tale of false adventures, and I never demanded the truth. If he wishes to lie to me, then he must have a reason.”
“He lies to you, and yet you trust him?”
“Yes,” Jem said. “I trust him.”
“He lies consistently. He always invents the story that will make him look the worst.”