Hello again! This is the follow-up to my review for Things We Couldn’t Say and the second installment of my stop for the blog tour hosted by Colored Pages. Please see my review for the full details about the book.
Notes: Quotes are taken from the digital review copy I received, so I don’t have page numbers. The quotes may differ from the final published version. All quotes are from Gio’s narration unless otherwise stated/attributed.
“MatchUp is for hookups, Ayesha.” I sound like an overprotective brother. I would know because I went through this phase last year where I met up with some random girls every now and then for a quick hookup and even some guys, too, as an experiment to see if I was really into guys the way I started to think I was. Somehow making out with a random guy helped me figure things out, like icing on the cake.
Sometimes I wonder if things would be different if she were still here with us. I wonder if pops would drink like he does. I wonder if Theo would still need me to walk him to school every morning. I wonder a lot of things and I might not ever know the answers. And I tell myself that it’s…okay.
Dr. McCullough, she said counting or naming the states in alphabetical order and even reverse alphabetical order helps you clear your head, helps push through anxiety and panic attacks.
In my thoughts.
But I can’t shake this grief.
Suddenly I wonder if the darkness that I feel in my chest is there because I’m holding on to it rather than emptying it out. Something inside me is stirring and stirring and it feels wrong. I can’t focus on anything.
I’m so hurt and beat up about the fact that this whole time I could’ve had some sort of relationship with her, some sort of contact. Maybe I wouldn’t have needed to go through counseling with Dr. McCullough back when I was a freshman and sophomore. At least, not as often as I did. Or maybe at least her absence wouldn’t have felt as heavy. Maybe I would have the answers to all the questions written on my heart that I don’t even know to ask. Maybe the grief I experience in waves and seasons wouldn’t be as heavy as a tsunami tiding over me, completely consuming every inch of my body until I, too, am something to be grieved.
“Loss fucks you up, but it doesn’t change who you are. I have to believe that. It forces you to be brave and strong so you can hold your life together, and the lives of the people you love together—the ones who are still here.”-David
This boy is such a mystery, but I can’t help but feel like I’m on top of the world when I’m near him. I can’t help but feel every butterfly in a fifty-mile radius flutter in my stomach. I don’t take my eyes off him—I can’t.
“The biggest lie the world tells you is that you have to have everything figured out. You don’t. That’s part of the journey of life—figuring out the different layers of you. And when you’re ready to share those layers, you deserve to be able to do that. But you don’t have to do it till that time comes.”-Jackie, Gio’s mother
On top of everything else, I’m terrified David will see right through the different layers of me. He won’t see this soft, nice, somewhat shy boy, but instead and ugly fucking disaster.
That’s the thing about grief: it’s a sneaky little devil that creeps up on you and catches you off guard. It pops up when you’re not prepared and takes shapes that you least expect.