Excerpts from Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments

by Ella Bernadette


“That’s because you ooze preemptive leave-me-alone death rays.”

“He knew why he wanted to kiss her. Because she was beautiful. And before that, because she was kind. And before that, because she was smart and funny. Because she was exactly the right kind of smart and funny. Because he could imagine taking a long trip with her without ever getting bored. Because whenever he saw something new and interesting, or new and ridiculous, he always wondered what she’d have to say about it–how many stars she’d give it and why.”

“I pictured a girl who made every moment, everything she touched, and everyone around her feel lighter and sweeter.
“I pictured you,” he said. “I just didn’t know what you looked like.
“And then, when I did know what you looked like, you looked like the girl who was all those things. You looked like the girl I loved.”

“Every woman wants a man who’ll fall in love with her soul as well as her body.”

“Why are tall guys always attracted to short women? Not just moderately short women, either… Tiny women. Polly Pockets. The tallest guys always-always-always go for the shortest girls. Always.It’s like they’re so infatuated with their own height that they want to be with someone who makes them feel even taller. Someone they can tower over. A little doll that will make them feel even bigger and stronger.”

“Well, at first, I was sure that he would feel the cosmic forces pulling us together. I wanted him so badly, I could feel my heart racing for him with every beat. It was destiny. “He was a magnet and I was steel.”

“No,” he said. “No, I’ll never wonder what it would be like to have sex with someone else for the same reason I don’t want to kiss anyone else. You’re the only girl I’ve ever touched. And I feel like it was supposed to be that way. I touch you and my whole body …rings. Like a bell or something. And I could touch other girls, and maybe there would be something, you know, like maybe there would be noise. But not like with you. And what would happen if I kept touching and touching them, and then …and then, I tried to touch you again? I might not be able to hear us anymore. I might not ring true.”

“I told him that I didn’t want magic, that I wanted someone who wouldn’t leave me if he could. Who wouldn’t feel being committed to me was such a burden.”

“And strong-looking. Like the kind of guy you feel standing next to you before you actually see him, because he’s blocking so much ambient light.”

“It’s still romantic falling in love for someone for who she is and what she says and what she believes in.”

“Christine: There’s something really romantic about that. Every woman wants a man who’ll fall in love with her soul as well as her body. But what if you meet her, and you don’t think she’s attractive?
Lincoln: I don’t think I care what she looks like.”

“But the aching faded, too. Things get better – hurt less – over time. If you let them.”

“I didn’t know someone could love me like this,” she said. “Could love me and love me and love me without…needing space.”
Lincoln wasn’t asleep. He rolled on top of her.
“There’s no air in space,” he said.”

“Keep typing his name, even his name is handsome.”

“I couldn’t love anyone more than I do you, it would kill me. And I couldn’t love anyone less because it would always feel like less. Even if I loved some other girl, that’s all I would ever think about, the difference between loving her and loving you.”

“The strange thing about seeing someone for first time in nine years is the way they look totally different, just for a second, a split second, and then they look at you the way they always have, as if no time has passed between you.”

“There’s never been a moment,’ he barely said, ‘when I didn’t recognize you.’
She wiped her eyes. Her mascara smeared. He nudged the merry-to-round into motion. He could kiss her now. If he wanted.
‘I’d know you in the dark,’ he said. ‘From a thousand miles away. There’s nothing you could become that I haven’t already fallen in love with.’He could kiss her. “I know you,’ he said.”

“There are moments when you can’t believe something wonderful is happening. And there are moments when your entire consciousness is filled with knowing absolutely that something wonderful is happening.”


“I’d know you in the dark,” he said. “From a thousand miles away. There’s nothing you could become that I haven’t already fallen in love with.”


“I’d know you in the dark,” he said. “From a thousand miles away. There’s nothing you could become that I haven’t already fallen in love with.”

“It’s so easy for someone else to say, ‘Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be all right.’ Why not say it? It doesn’t cost anything. It doesn’t mean anything. No one will hold you to it if you’re wrong.”

“Wasn’t hitting bottom the thing you had to do to knock some sense into yourself? Wasn’t hitting bottom the thing that showed you which way was up?”


“I know that people change. I thought… I thought we’re going to change together. I thought that’s what it meant to be in love.”

“He never hurries. He never shows his cards. He always hangs up first….Like when we first started talking on the phone, he would always be the one who got off first. When we kissed, he always pulled away first. He always kept me just on the edge of crazy. Feeling like I wanted him too much, which just made me want him more….[It was] excruciating and wonderful. It feels good to want something that bad. I thought about him the way you think about dinner when you haven’t eaten for a day and a half. Like you’d sell your soul for it.”

“So, what if, instead of thinking about solving you whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.”

“Lincoln closed his eyes. It seemed like the right thing to do, no matter what happened next. He closed his eyes and felt her fingertips touching his cheek, then his forehead, then his eyelids. He took a breath–ink and hand soap.
‘I’–he heard her whisper, closer than he expected, and shaky and strange–‘think I might be a very stupid girl.’
He shook his head no. Just barely. So that only someone who was holding his cheek and his neck would notice.
‘Yes,’ she said, sounding closer. He didn’t move, didn’t open his eyes. What if he opened his eyes and she saw what she was doing?
She kissed his cheek, and he let his head tip forward into her hands. She kissed his other cheek. And his chin. the groove below his bottom lip. ‘Stupid girl,’ she said near the corner of his mouth, sounding incredulous, ‘what could you possibly be thinking?’
Lincoln found his mouth. ‘Perfect girl,’ he said so quietly that only someone with her hands in his hair and her lips all but touching his could possibly hear. ‘Pretty girl.’ He found her mouth. ‘Perfect.’ Kiss. ‘Magic.’ Kiss. ‘Only girl.”