Lost by M. Lathan - Quotes/Highlights
“Now she thinks I’m a predator trying to liquor up her angel to deflower her,” he groaned. “I’m sorry. I told her you’re a perfect gentleman, but Sophia is weird about me and sex … because of my mom, I think.”
“You haven’t texted me since seven when you spilled your drink on the table,” I said. “I replied with the smiley that looks shocked.” She popped the other earbud out and checked her phone. “Oh. I didn’t press SEND. You’re forgiven.”
“Don’t give up before you tell him,” I said. “I can’t. It’s Paul. Paul Harrison Ewing. Sophie used to bathe us together. He’s supposed to be my brother.” I laughed. The times I’d seen Emma and Paul make out, they’d looked nothing like siblings.
“I made breakfast for your first day of …” She paused and cleared her throat, deleting the rest of her sentence. “Just say it, Sophia,” I said. “Work. Work. Work. The word isn’t going to kill me.”
“It’s a surprise that he’s going to love. That’s all you need to know.” She turned my shoulders and forced me to spin on the stool. She pointed a long and wrinkled finger in my face. “I’m not giving you a bow to put on yourself. I don’t care that he’s leaving for two months or that it’s his birthday! You don’t owe Nathan Reece anything. Especially not your body!” I coughed, choking on air and the absurdity of her comment. “Oh my God! It’s a real gift, Sophia. Not my … body.”
“Stop worrying. You’re going to give yourself indigestion. And this room is too tiny to escape a gas attack from you.”
“Or I would’ve roamed in an orange field and found you, the creep who thought she could live in one, sleeping under a tree.” I pinched his arm, and he laughed. “Seriously, I would’ve stayed there with you. Doesn’t matter the place or circumstance, I think we would always be together.” I wanted to do too many things at once—kiss him, undress him, cry. I loved the thought of us being soul mates.
“I feel like scum for going on the trip now,” Nate said. “First, the seizure. Now this.” “Me, too,” Emma said. “Me, three,” Paul said. And now I felt like scum.
Blue monkey.” “Huh?” I asked, wondering if I’d missed something she’d said. “I said, ‘blue monkey’. What are you thinking of?” “A blue monkey, actually.” It was hopping around in my head. I could even hear it shrieking.
“Kamon is like your classic villain from any superhero movie.” She dabbed the corners of her eyes, catching what seemed like happy tears. “He plans to take over the world every week of his life and never succeeds. He’s not getting any closer, even though he believes he is.
“Ready?” I asked him. He groaned. “Taking my girl to meet the people who can’t be my real parents?” He sighed. “I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.”
“Lesson one,” she said. “Loosen up. I don’t bite.”
The only odd thing was the three KEEP OFF THE GRASS signs. One seemed like enough to get the point across.
“Snow is beautiful, magical, and pure,” I said. “You are obviously these things, a hundred times over. Of course you smell like snow.
“They invited me as a special guest. It’s supposed to show their cooperation with the treaty or some other bull—” “Lydia,” Sophia scolded. “Bull-stuff. I was going to say bull-stuff.”
“So … you’re my what?” Emma asked Paul hesitantly. “Your boyfriend. Duh. I guess you’ll have to break up with Lou.” I laughed first, then Em joined me. “By the way, that is the worst fake boyfriend name of all time. I can’t believe you expected me to buy that.”
One night before I had you, I summoned my mother. I didn’t know if she would remember me, they’d died thinking they had no children, but I guess the truth came back in death. So … she pops in and the first thing she said was … ‘God, your hair is greasy!’ Never mind that my stomach was huge.” “Of course, she did.”
“I don’t want an attitude. Don’t let Lydia rub off on you. I want you to stay my sweet Christine. Now, get dressed before I spank you.”
“Toss another knife at my child and I’m going to burn you alive!”
She told me no and explained the dangers of spying on grown men in the middle of the night.
“Focus, Nate, and pretend your girlfriend is not naked right now.”
“So … did you see any cute guys there?” he asked. “So many. I couldn’t keep count.” He whined, sounding like a wounded puppy, and I chuckled.
“I’m just hungry, man. I love … peanuts. I really really love peanuts.” He hung up. “I love you, too,” I said. Nate hated peanuts.
“I can’t believe I’m doing this to you. You’re living in a gym … just to spend time with me. I’m beginning to doubt your sanity.”
They’d preserved my childhood room, too. “Okay … this is more like the Mom I know,” I said. “A little obsessed with me.”
I’d sniffed around until that scent led me to the third floor. I remember pressing my hands against her door, completely entranced. I heard her sleeping in there. She sounded adorable. I hadn’t even seen her face, and I was hooked.
“Your hat looks stupid,” I said. “Hater.”
“You’re supposed to be getting dressed to go bowling, not filling out applications,” she said. “I am dressed.” She pointed to my bare chest. “I will put that leash on when it’s time to leave. Shirts are for humans. They’re bad for my kind. Actually … shirts are bad for everyone. They are dangerous. Let me save you from yours.”
Finally he said, “Okay, go play with your pup—I mean—your boyfriend.”
“Nathan, calm down,” Paul said. “We’re here. Just relax.” “You relax! If some dude answered Em’s phone and yelled at you, you’d be pissed, too!”
Nate spoke first. “You mean to tell me I threatened to kill your father on the phone?” I winced and mouthed an apology. “Oh, my God.”
“So you’re staying?” I couldn’t think of one reason to leave him. Where else would I go? Who else could I ever want to be with? “Forever,” I said, breathless and falling into another kiss.
“Stay with me,” he said. “It feels like I’ve wanted to be with you, exactly you, for my entire life. Please don’t leave.” We kissed for a while as I tried to formulate a response. I was trying to remember why I couldn’t stay. “I know I’m asking a lot, but you’re my mate. That’s why you smell like this to me. I’m begging you to give up everything, the drugs, your boyfriend, everything, and stay.”
“You don’t think the scars make me look crazy and damaged?” he asked. I shook my head. “Shannon thinks so.” “I hate her!” He moaned. “I think Nate might fight with you on purpose. You smell even better angry.”
“Wow. I didn’t get that at all. You seemed sort of annoyed with me at first.” “You are annoying. In a really adorable way.”
It reminded me of the pool house in a way—the way he kept things, in an order only he saw in his mind. I knew he’d meant for the tattered armchair to be slightly crooked. Testing him, I nudged it with my knee as I passed it. Slowly, he walked behind me and nudged it back to its crooked place. I laughed. He was so my Nate.
“Baby, you’re one year older. Let’s just celebrate,” she said. “I’m one year closer to death. Let’s not,”