It's sometimes more torment for a man, Mr. Fagin said, to consider what might have been than to live with what is.
My children have gone to Catholic school... Part of their whole education is talking about the inner life and looking at your life, even though you're only 15 or 16 - thinking about your mortality, thinking about the value of your life, thinking about your obligations.
The story she then told was as all attempts at sympathy are: an effort to match in form and size and detail what another has known: to hold one experience next to another the way lovers and children match fingers and hands, as if these two, side by side, are linked by their likeness, are both identical and unique.
The banging at the door was his excuse to turn away—some people had their coats in there—and while he stood with his back to her she dressed again and unlocked the door and walked out. She smiled at the taunts and jeers of her friends and when someone asked, Where's Mike? she said, I think I killed him, which got a great laugh.
Now, as the labor began, it was the storm she recalled. The thrash of wind and trees and the quiet terror that had kept her flat in her bed, wide awake, anticipating disaster but unable to rise to avert it—or to shake her husband, to call for help. There was only silence now, in the small living room.
The book had convinced her (there in the softly lit waiting room of the abortion clinic) that despite war and death and pain )despite the way the girl with a woman who might have been her mother seemed to gulp air every once in a while, a handkerchief to her mouth), life was lovely, rich with small gifts: a warm fire, a fine meal, love.