Happiness is the most natural thing in the world when you have it, and the slowest, strangest, most impossible thing when you don't. It's like learning a foreign language: You can think about the words all you want, but you'll never be able to speak it until you suck up your courage and say them out loud.
I've been clinically diagnosed with sociopathy,' I said. 'Do you know what that means?''It means you're a freak,' he said.'It means that you're about as important to me as a carboard box,' I said. 'You're just a thing - a piece of garbage that no one's thrown away yet. Is that what you want me to say?''Shut up,' said Rob. He was still acting tough, but I could see his bluster was starting to fail. He didn't know what to say.'The thing about boxes,' I said, 'is that you can open them up. Even though they're completely boring on the outside, there might be something interesting inside. So while you're saying all of these stupid, boring things I'm imagining what it would be like to cut you open and see what you've got in there.
Hello, Bradley,' said Mom. She'd regained her composure after my outburst, and now raised her camera. 'Stand close.''No, Mom,' I said. 'No pictures.''But you're friend's here now,' she said, waving us together. 'Smile!''I don't need a picture with-' the flash snapped '-another guy. That's great, Mom, thank you. Send that one to Dad and tell him we're going steady.
I'm on the edge, Neblin, I'm off the edge - I'm over the edge and falling into hell on the other side.''Calm down, John,' he said. 'We can work through this. Just tell me where you are.''I'm down in the cracks of the sidewalks,' I said, 'in the dirt and in the blood, and the ants are looking up and we're damning you all, Neblin. I'm down in the cracks and I can't get out.
It's not enough, is it? Just to follow; just to have faith in someone bigger and smarter and better informed. That's how we're built, that's how every Partial is wired - to follow orders and trust in our leaders - but it's not enough. It never has been. We've followed our leaders, and sometimes they win and sometimes they lose; we do what they say and we play our part. But this is our decision. Our mission. And when we're done, it will be our victory, or our defeat. I don't want to fail, but if I do, I want to be able to look back and say, 'I did that. I failed. That was all me.