I wish I had a boyfriend. I wish he lived in the wardrobe on a coat hanger. Whenever I wanted, I could get him out and he'd look at me the way boys do in films, as if I'm beautiful.— Jenny Downham
The most promising Jenny Downham quotes to discover and learn by heart
I want to die in my own way. It's my illness, my death, my choice. This is what saying yes means.
Every seven years our bodies change, every cell. Every seven years, we disappear.
Then she says, ‘I love you.’ Like three drops of blood falling onto snow.
All I know is that I have two choices – stay wrapped in blankets and get on with dying, or get the list back together and get on with living.
It's all right, Tessa, you can go. We love you. You can go now.' 'Why are you saying that?' 'She might need permission to die, Cal.' 'I don't want her to. She doesn't have my permission.
Keep breathing. Just keep doing it. It's easy. In and out.
Perhaps I'm dead. Perhaps this is all it will be. The living will carry on in their world – touching, walking. And I'll continue in this empty world, tapping soundlessly on the glass between us.
Don't pretend to care. I don't need you as an anesthetic.
Maybe I’ll come back as somebody else.
I’ll be the wild-haired girl Adam meets in his first week at university. ‘Hi, are you on the horticultural course as well?
I imagine horses in the engine, their manes flying, their breaths steaming, their nostrils flaring as they gallop.
Are you afraid, Tessa?
I love you. I love you. I send this message through my fingers and into his, up his arm and into his heart. Hear me. I love you. And I'm sorry to leave you.
It's a shame i can't be there myself - i like parties. Text me if you think of any good hymns!
Three points for the dead slowly prising open the lids of their coffins.
They want to hunt the living. They can't stop. Their throats have turned to liquid and their fingers glint under the weak autumn sun.
Bye, Tess. haunt me if you like. I don't mind.
Nurses never tell you what they know.
They're hired for their cheeriness and the thickness of their hair. They need to look alive and healthy, to give the patients something to aim for.
It hurts and hurts to have him this close. I feel sick with it.
We make patterns, we share moments.
a little bird moves a mountain of sand one grain at a time it picks up one grain every million years and when the mountain has been moved the bird puts it all back again and that's how long eternity is and that's a very long time to be dead
She needed food. Diets didn't count in a crisis.
I didn't understand that when you make love, you actually do MAKE love.
Stir things. Affect each other. The breath that escapes from me is dazzled. He breathes it in with a gasp.
Hold my hand. Don't let go.
I lean back on the pillows and look at the corners of the room.
When I was a kid, I always wanted to live on the ceiling - it looked so clean and uncluttered, like the top of a cake.
Moments. All gathering towards this one.
Humans are made from nuclear ash of dead stars
Every few years we disappear, Zoey. All our cells are replaced by others. Not a single bit of me is the same as when I was last in this room.
That slow smile again. I love that smile! DId I think he was ugly just now? No, his face is transformed.
I made a fatal error thinking he could save me.
Is this how it is for everyone?' she whispered.
'No.' 'How do you know?' 'I just do. I've never felt this with anyone before.' 'Serious?' 'Serious. That isn't a line.' 'Kiss me,' she said. He did. Everywhere.
. . . my bones they'll burn or bury. It'll be my death.
Don't think you have to be good because you're the only one left. Be as bad as you like.
I said I wouldn't leave her.
Instructions for Adam Look after no one except yourself.
Go to university and make lots of friends and get drunk. Forget your door keyes. Laugh. Eat pot-noodles for breakfast. Miss lectures. Be irresponsible.
It was strange how words meant something when they came out of your mouth.
Inside your head they were safe and silent, but once they were outside, people grabbed hold of them.
Sometimes if you want something badly enough, you can make it happen.
If you miss someone so desperately that it wrecks your insides, you say their name over and over until you conjure then. It's called sympathetic magic and you just have to believe in it to make it work.
Was this love? Because it hurt. It was like a bit of glass stuck somewhere important--his heart or his head, and it was throbbing.
Adam strokes my head, my face, he kisses my tears.
We are blessed. Let them all go. The sound of a bird flying low across the garden. Then nothing. Nothing. A cloud passes. Nothing again. Light falls through the window, falls onto me, into me. Moments. All gathering towards this one.
If you want a girl to like you, you have to listen like a woman and love like a man.
I want you to be with me in the dark.
To hold me. To keep loving me. To help me when I get scared. To come right to the edge and see what's there.
I'm here, Tess. I'm right here, holding your hand. Adam's here, too, he's sitting on the other side of the bed. And Cal. Mum's on her way, she'll be just a minute. We all love you, Tessa. We're all right here with you.
The last few weeks, it was as if someone had taken his life to pieces and let him see the way it worked.
I want the people I love to get up and speak about me, and even if you cry it'll be OK. I want you to say honest things.
Her face crashes. She hasn't dealt with a single transfusion or lumbar puncture. She wasn't allowed near me for the bone-marrow transplant, but she could have been there for any number of diagnoses, and wasn't. Even her promises to visit more often have faded away with Christmas. It's her turn to taste some reality.
I'm me and you're you, and all of them out there are them.
And we're all so different and equally unimportant.
She'll understand what I already know - that death surrounds us all.
And it tastes like metal between your teeth.
Should we say something?’ Cal asks.
‘Goodbye, bird?’ I suggest. He nods. ‘Goodbye, bird. Thank you for coming. And good luck.
I shrug him off. 'Can't you just go away?" There's a moment. It has a sound in it, as if something very small got broken.
The shops in High Street still have their metal grilles down, blank-eyed and sleeping. My name is scrawled across them all. I'm outside Ajay's newsagent's. I'm on the expensive shutters of the health food store. I'm massive on Handie's furniture shop, King's Chicken Joint and the Barbecue Cafe. I thread the pavement outside the bank and all the way to Mothercare. I've possessed the road and am a glistening circle at the roundabout.
I miss him as soon as he goes. When he isn't with me, I think I made him up.