Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
Edward Klein, All Too Human
David Levithan, Love Is the Higher Law
Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
'Cause all of me, loves all of you. All your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections.
Their rejection is too much for my delicate ego. I prefer the unconditional hero-worship of my dog.
I can understand that. I’m used to rejection, so I’ve built up a tolerance to it.
I don’t believe anyone would reject you professor, not for a minute. Being overly humble is just as bad as being under-ly so.
There- that was the root of the issue. He just couldn’t let her love him, and that drove her nuts. She just didn’t understand that. After years and years of being doted on constantly she couldn’t fathom his absence of love. There was nothing in the world she wanted more than for him to let himself be loved. For the first time she sat down her gaze softened, because she finally understood. Jake was like a complex puzzle that she had to piece together with a million missing pieces. She knew the overall picture- how he was as a person- but bits and pieces of him she was still trying to discover. There was a heartbeat where she thought she might cry, but she held herself together.
How did she move on? She wanted to cup his face and tell him that she loved him more than anything in the world but she wasn’t sure he would believe her. There was no grand show of affection that could convince him, that she was mostly certain. They were at a stalemate of sorts, she wanted to reach for him but she didn’t know if she would be received. There was no way to make years of abuse vanish. With a huff she decided to speak, though she wasn’t completely sure it would be effective. “Love isn’t about letting yourself be loved, Jake. It’s about learning how to let yourself believe that someone else can love you. Because I do, for some stupid reason.”
Then she stood, because the space was too much for her. She pushed his chair back and sat herself in front of him on the table. Rose motioned for him to pull his chair towards her and took his face in her hands. “Sometimes I bloody hate you, honestly. You’re a fucking arse. You drive me nuts. I hate the way you chew your food. I can’t stand that look on your face when you think it’s funny to fuck with me.” She raised her eyebrows, daring him to interrupt her. “But I also love you. I love the way you say my name. I love the way you spoon. I love that I can tell you all this without feeling embarrassed. That’s just how it is, Jake. That’s how it will be. You… You have to live. Stop obsessing over the past.”
And she meant every word, but she didn’t know if he would believe her. She closed her eyes and kissed his forehead gently. It wasn’t about sexual desire or lust, it was love. It might have started as a shag after a drunken night in a bar, but it was so much more now. Sure, they would have plenty of drunken shags. They were Jake and Rose and that’s just how things were, but they would always make love. A wave of calm descended upon her that had been absent for days. She didn’t want to kill him anymore, far from it. Now she had a point to prove and she wouldn’t rest until it was proven.
"Ro…" Jake said, voice quiet. He cradled her head to his, their foreheads resting gently against each other. He inhaled deeply, taking comfort in her soft scent. He stroked her cheeks with his thumbs, her skin soft under the sensitive pads of his fingers. "I know you do, I really do," he murmured, eyes still closed. This moment was too perfect to break by letting reality in, even a little bit. They were in their own world, somehow managing to transcend time and space, inconvenient as they were.
"I’m trying, love, I’m trying so hard." Jake wished his voice didn’t sound quite as pathetic and broken as it did, but- well, he was pathetic and broken so it was fitting. "You’ve got to believe me, you’ve helped me so much, but there’s only so much that can be done right now. A lot of it’s just going to be time," he said, taking one of her hands from his cheek and folding it in his. He wove his fingers in hers, planting a soft kiss on her fingers.
Jake let out a soft sigh. Rose just didn’t understand. He didn’t want her to understand. His default setting was alone; he didn’t wake up every morning remembering that there was a gorgeous young woman out there that loved him. In his first moments, before he was fully conscious, Jake reverted to the boy he had been ten years ago. He woke up tense, alert—an experience that was one-third auror training and two-thirds still being afraid that his mother might appear unexpected, somehow reappearing from her grave nine years after- after her death.
But that sensation typically disappeared after ten seconds. Rose replaced it, her image in his mind swelling to shed light on the dark corners of his self—well, most of them. There were some places Rose couldn’t even fix, things he’d done that were so vile, so evil, that they could never be forgiven. Shouldn’t be, really. But they were his past, things that made him him. Things that he wasn’t even sure he felt sorry for. Maybe Rose was right, maybe he was obsessed with the past. But he couldn’t just forget it.
No, no, the way you’ve managed to uh…turn it this appealing shade of- is that brown?- is rather impressive. Anyone I know?
I must be feeling generous.
I’m exceedingly talented, you know. And er- no, I doubt it.
You’re so giving mate, I should nominate you for sainthood or something.
Yeah, you should….stick to letting the House Elves cook for you. You keep trying to cook- what even is that- and you’ll burn the whole damn place down.
Yeah, yeah, you sound like a fifth year.
I was trying to make shrimp scampi. To impress someone, you know. It’s not working.
That’s an upgrade.