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415 pages, Kindle Edition
First published September 7, 2021
I can’t stop the tender shoots and slender, seeking roots of him, and I am his garden, his soil, his place, and it would be wonderful if I wasn’t supposed to be the garden of my god instead.
Aiden,” he says softly, and I relish hearing my secular name from him, because it was the name that belonged to him, to his lips and thoughts and even his fingers when he was scolding or flirting over text or email.
"I am the opposite of turned off by the potential suffering—I crave it, I crave it to the point of masochistic desire. Suffering can be good; suffering can be essential."
"He is the only thing in my world that feels real now, the only thing that I can truly see. I’m hypnotized by him."
“And because every time I leave you, the only thing I can think about is coming back.”
“No one kisses like you,” Elijah murmurs, his eyes closing as I bite his jaw and then his neck."
"He’s got sunglasses hanging from the collar of his tank top, and they tug the fabric down just enough to expose a scalene triangle of brown chest, and I want to die."
“I saw you that day, and nothing was the same for me. Nothing.”
“We wouldn’t still be together, because I cared about him too much to fake a life where I wasn’t still in love with you.”
"when I’m with you, I want to eat up life with great big bites, I want to feed life to you until you’re full. There’s never been anyone like you, and all I’ve ever wanted was to give you everything.”
I keep asking myself what I want. What I want from this, knowing that it will end, and it will hurt more than the first time it ended— […] and as I write this under the shade of an old oak tree, I can watch a shirtless Aiden move through the rows of lavender as he harvests the lavender flowers with the other monks.
I think I could watch him forever, simply watch him be a monk. The work, the prayer, the singing, the silence.
Maybe I don’t understand, maybe I’ll never understand, but when I watch him, it feels like I don’t have to. It feels like simply being with him is enough.