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Read {PDF Epub} Download Switching for Her by Laura Kaye from the story Nothing in his life makes sense anymore-and nothing gives him pleasure, either. Feeling like a fraud, he turns to an old friend for help-and receives an offer he's Real estate investor Alina Lane likes to switch things up-houses, investments. What'll be her response? Will she break her own heart for him? But most importantly, Will he ever love her the same way she loves him? When Emily agrees to. Book When Love Dies, genre: Romantic suspense, author Osaro Oghadeva. Content with being blind and having the love of her life with her, she felt perfect. But one Should she move on and forget him, or should she find a way to fix this puzzle of life? such a breathtaking novel i liked it and i feel lyk i want more of it .


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年10月15日 The Alice Collection/High School and Beyond: I Like Him, He Likes Her; It's Not Like I Planned It This Way; Please Don't Be True; You and Me. Her parents took her from everything and everyone she loved, Working construction has given him stability, but working with wood is Jed will soon see that whether he likes Serena or not, she's Too Enchanting to ignore. It's not that he doesn't like other people he just finds them so draining. She likes her anonymity and a quiet, unobtrusive neighbour is exactly Even though she knows she needs to keep away from him, she is drawn to.

When she was young, Serena Lewis was uprooted from the life she knew. Her parents took her from everything and everyone she loved, including her best friends… her cousins. Jed Monroe is a self-made man. Working construction has given him stability, but working with wood is where his passion truly lies. On the outside, petite and perfect Serena and rough and hardworking Jed have nothing in common. When Serena moves into the house next door, Jed is determined to ignore the sexy art gallery manager, who he just knows will be a pain in his ass.

Well, after that, you can imagine, it was clear we had to break up.

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But which one do you prefer? Well if you don't mind, then I'll take the chocolate, I just can't resist it. In fact, you see the double chocolate cake at the bottom there? I think I'll order that. It looks far more chocolaty. You're absolutely right.

Life is short and all that. Yet again I had lied I was beginning to hear the sounds of cocks crowing in the kitchen. I had been more or less allergic to chocolate all my life, but how could I have been honest when the love of chocolate had been so conclusively identified as a criterion of Chloe-compatibility?

I had decided that attraction was synonymous with the removal of all personal characteristics, my true self being necessarily in conflict with, and unworthy of the perfections found in the beloved. I had lied, but did Chloe like me any the more for it? Curiously, she merely expressed a certain disappointment, in view of the inferior taste of caramel, that I should have insisted so strongly on taking the chocolate — adding in an off-hand way that a chocophile was in the end perhaps as much of a problem as a chocophobe.

We charm by coincidence rather than design. What had Chloe done to make me fall in love with her? My feelings had as much to do with the adorable way she had asked the waiter for extra butter as they had to do with her views on politics or the dress she had carefully chosen.

The steps I had on occasion seen women take to seduce me were rarely the ones I had responded to. I was more likely to be attracted by tangential details that the seducer had not even been sufficiently aware of to push to the fore.

I had once taken to a woman who had a trace of down on her upper lip. Normally squeamish about this, I had mysteriously been charmed by it in her case, my desire stubbornly deciding to collect there rather than around her warm smile or intelligent conversation.

When I discussed my attraction with friends, I struggled to suggest that it had to do with an indefinable 'aura' - but I could not disguise to myself that I had fallen in love with a hairy upper lip. When I saw the woman again, someone must have suggested electrolysis, for the down was gone, and despite her many qualities my desire soon followed suit. The Euston Road was still blocked with traffic when we made our way back towards Islington. Long before such issues could have become meaningful, we'd arranged that I would drop Chloe home, but nevertheless the dilemmas of seduction remained a weighty presence in the car.

At some point in the game, the actor must risk losing his audience. However, reaching the door of 23a Liverpool Road, awed by the dangers of misreading the signs, I concluded that the moment to propose metaphorical coffee had not yet arisen. But after such a tense and chocolate-rich meal, my stomach suddenly developed different priorities, and I was forced to ask to be allowed up to the flat. I followed Chloe up the stairs, into the living room and was directed to the bathroom.

Emerging a few minutes later with my intentions unaltered, I reached for my coat and announced, with all the thoughtful authority of a man who has decided restraint would be best and fantasies entertained in weeks previous should remain just that, that I had spent a lovely evening, hoped to see her again soon and would call her after the Christmas holidays.

Pleased with such maturity, I kissed her on both cheeks, wished her goodnight and turned to leave the flat.

It was therefore fortunate that Chloe was not so easily persuaded, arresting my flight by the ends of my scarf. She drew me back into the apartment, placed both arms around me and, looking me firmly in the eye with a grin she had previously reserved for the idea of chocolate, whispered, 'We're not children, you know.

Few things are as antithetical to sex as thought. Sex is instinctive, unreflexive and spontaneous, while thought is careful, uninvolved, and judgemental.

To think during sex is to violate a fundamental law of intercourse. But did I have a choice? It was the sweetest kiss, everything one dreams a kiss might be. It began with a light grazing and tender tentative forays that secreted the unique flavour of our skins. Then the pressure increased, our lips rejoined and parted, mine leaving Chloe's for a moment in order to run along her cheeks, her temples, her ears.

She pressed her body closer and our legs intertwined. Dizzy, we collapsed onto the sofa, clutching at one another. Yet if there was something interrupting this Eden, it was the awareness of how strange it was for me to be lying in Chloe's living room, my lips on hers, feeling her heat beside me. After all the ambiguity, the kiss had come so suddenly that my mind now refused to cede control of events to the body.

It was the thought of the kiss, rather than the kiss itself, that was holding my attention. I couldn't help but think that a woman whose body had but a few hours ago been an area of complete privacy only suggested by the outlines of her blouse and the contours of her skirt was now preparing to undress before me. Though we had talked at length, I felt a disproportion between my day-time and night-time knowledge of Chloe, between the intimacy that contact with her body implied and the largely unknown realms of the rest of her life.

But the presence of such thoughts, flowing in conjunction with our physical breathlessness, seemed to run rudely counter to the laws of desire. They seemed to be ushering in an unpleasant degree of objectivity, like a third person who would watch, observe, and perhaps even judge. Or why don't we move into the bedroom?

We'll have more space. A large white bed stood in the centre, piled high with cushions and papers, clothes, and a telephone. There was an awkwardness while Chloe cleared the surface of the bed, the eagerness of our bodies only a minute before had given way to a heavy silence that indicated how uncomfortably close we were to our own nakedness.

When Chloe and I undressed one another on top of the large white bed and, by the light of a small bedside lamp, saw each other naked for the first time, we attempted to be as unselfconscious as Adam and Eve before the Fall. I slipped my hands under Chloe's skirt and she unbuttoned my trousers with an air of indifferent normality, like someone opening the post or changing a duvet.

But if there was one thing likely to check our passion, it was clumsiness. It was clumsiness that reminded Chloe and me of the humour and bizarreness of having ended up in bed together, I struggling to peel off her underwear some of it had become caught around her knees , she having trouble with the buttons of my shirt — yet each of us trying not to comment, not to smile even, looking at one another with an earnest air of desire, as though oblivious to the potentially comic side of what was going on, sitting semi-naked on the edge of the bed, our faces flushed like those of guilty schoolchildren.

The philosopher in the bedroom is as ludicrous a figure as the philosopher in the nightclub. In both arenas, because the body is predominant and vulnerable, the mind becomes an instrument of silent, uninvolved assessment. Thought's infidelity lies in its privacy. Because thought implies judgement, and because we are all paranoid enough to take judgement to be negative, it is constitutionally suspect in the bedroom.

Hence the sighing that drowns the sounds of lovers' thoughts, sighing that confirms: I am too passionate to be thinking. I kiss, and therefore I do not think — such is the official myth under which lovemaking takes place, the bedroom a unique space in which partners tacitly agree not to remind one another of the awe-inspiring wonder of their nudity. There is the story of a nineteenth-century pious young virgin who, on the day of her wedding, was warned by her mother, 'Tonight, it will seem your husband has gone mad, but you will find he has recovered by morning.

In the course of what Masters and Johnson have called a plateau period, Chloe looked up at me and asked, 'What are you thinking about, Socrates? Had Chloe been watching us all the while? It might have made you self-conscious. When we look at someone an angel from a position of unrequited love and imagine the pleasures that being in heaven with them might bring us, we are prone to overlook a significant danger: We fall in love because we long to escape from ourselves with someone as ideal as we are corrupt.

But what if such a being were one day to turn around and love us back? We can only be shocked. How could they be divine as we had hoped when they have the bad taste to approve of someone like us? If in order to love, we must believe that the beloved surpasses us in some way, does not a cruel paradox emerge when we witness this love returned? There is no richer territory for students of romantic psychology than the atmosphere of the morning after.

But Chloe had other priorities upon stumbling out of sleep. She went to wash her hair in the bathroom next door and I awoke to hear water crashing on tiles. I remained in bed, encasing myself in the shape and smell of her body that lingered in the sheets. It was Saturday morning, and the timid rays of a December sun were filtering through the curtains.

It was a privilege to be curled up in Chloe's inner sanctum, looking at the objects that made up her daily life, at the walls she woke to every morning, at her alarm clock, a packet of aspirins, her watch and her earrings on the bedside table.

My love manifested itself as a fascination for everything Chloe owned, for the material signs of a life I had yet fully to discover but that seemed infinitely rich, full of the wonder the everyday takes on in the hands of an extraordinary being.

There was a bright yellow radio in one corner, a print by Matisse was leaning against a chair, her clothes from the night before were hanging in the closet by the mirror. On the chest of drawers there was a pile of paperbacks, next to it, her handbag and keys, a bottle of mineral water and Guppy the elephant.

By a form of transference, I fell in love with everything she owned, it all seemed so intriguing, tasteful, different from what one could ordinarily download in the shops. You have to get out of bed, we can't waste our day. There's some clean towels in the cupboard.

And how about a kiss? The bathroom was another chamber of wonders, full of jars, lotions, and perfumes: I washed my hair, sang like a hyena beneath the cascade, dried myself, and made use of a new toothbrush Chloe had given me.

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When I returned to the bedroom some fifteen minutes later, she was gone, the bed was made, the room tidied and the curtains opened. Chloe had not just made toast, she'd prepared a feast. There was a basket of croissants, orange juice, a pot of fresh coffee, some eggs and toast, and a huge bowl of yellow and red flowers in the centre of the table. Come on, let's eat before everything gets cold.

It's not every day I get breakfast cooked for me,' I said, and put my arms around her waist. She didn't turn to look at me, but took my hand in hers and squeezed it for a moment. In the course of a supremely mushy breakfast, I realized something that might perhaps have seemed obvious, but that struck me as both unexpected and complicated: Objectively, this was not an unusual thought, but in falling in love with her, I had somehow entirely overlooked the possibility of reciprocation.

I had counted more on loving than being loved. And if I had concentrated largely on the former dynamic, it was perhaps because being loved is always the more complicated of the two emotions, Cupid's arrow easier to send than receive. It was this difficulty of receiving that struck me over breakfast, for though the croissants could not have been more buttery and the coffee more aromatic, something about the attention and affection they symbolized disturbed me.

Chloe had opened her body to me the night before, in the morning she had opened her kitchen, but I could not now prevent a sense of uneasiness, that bordered on irritation, and amounted to the muffled thought: If one is not wholly convinced of one's own lovability, receiving affection can appear like being bestowed an honour for a feat one feels no connection with.

Lovers unfortunate enough to prepare breakfast for such types must brace themselves for the recriminations due to all false flatterers. What arguments are about is never as important as the discomfort for which they are an excuse. Ours started over strawberry jam. So there's no decent jam? There's five pots of jam on the table, there's just no strawberry' 'I see.

I've cooked you this whole breakfast and all you can do is make a fuss about some pot of jam. If you really want your jam, just get the hell out of here and eat it in someone else's company. There was a silence, Chloe's eyes glazed, then abruptly she stood up and walked into the bedroom, slamming the door behind her. I remained at the table, listening to what might have been crying, feeling like a fool for upsetting the woman I claimed to love.

Unrequited love may be painful, but it is safely painful, because it does not involve inflicting damage on anyone but oneself, a private pain that is as bitter-sweet as it is self-induced. But as soon as love is reciprocated, one must be prepared to give up the passivity of simply being hurt to take on the responsibility of perpetrating hurt oneself. The repugnance I felt towards myself for hurting Chloe was momentarily turned against her. I hated her for all the efforts she had made with me, for her weakness in believing in me, for her bad taste in allowing me to upset her.

It suddenly seemed pitiable that she had given me her toothbrush, prepared breakfast for me, and begun to cry in the bedroom like a child. I gave way to an overwhelming urge to punish her for her weakness. What had turned me into such a monster? The fact that I had always been something of a Marxist. There is the old joke made by the Marx who laughed about not deigning to belong to a club that would accept someone like him as a member, a truth as appropriate in love as it is in club membership.

We laugh at the Marxist position because of its absurd contradictions: How is it possible that I should both wish to join a club, and yet lose that wish as soon as it comes true? How was it that I might have wished Chloe to love me, but have been irritated by her when she did so? Perhaps because the origins of a certain kind of love lie in an impulse to escape ourselves and our weaknesses by an alliance with the beautiful and noble.

But if the loved ones love us back, we are forced to return to ourselves, and are hence reminded of the things that had driven us into love in the first place.

Perhaps it was not love we wanted after all, perhaps it was simply someone in whom to believe, but how can we continue to believe in the beloved now that they believe in us? I wondered how Chloe could be justified in even thinking she could base her emotional life around a scoundrel like me. If she appeared to be a little in love, was this not simply because she had misunderstood me?

Though from a position of unrequited love they long to see their love returned, Marxists unconsciously prefer that their dreams remain in the realm of fantasy. Why should others think any better of them than they of themselves?

Only so long as the loved one believes the Marxist to be more or less nothing, can the Marxist continue to believe the loved one to be more or less everything. If Chloe had been lowered in my estimation because she had slept with me, it was because she had in the process caught a bad case of I-infection. At the age of sixteen, I was for a while in love with a fifteen-year-old girl, who was both captain of her school volleyball team, very beautiful, and a committed Marxist.

After all, what's he so desperate for? The only guy I like is the one who'll keep me waiting, by nine thirty I'll do anything for him. My reward came with our first kiss a few weeks later, but though she was unquestionably beautiful and as adept at the arts of love as she was at volleyball , the relationship did not last.

It was too tiring to make a point of always calling late. A few years later, I was seeing another girl, who like a good Marxist believed that men should in some way defy her in order to earn her love. One morning, before going out for a walk with her in the park, I had put on an old and particularly off-putting electric-blue pullover.

We're only going for a walk in the park,' I replied, half-fearing she was serious. To be loved by someone is to realize how much they share the same needs that lie at the heart of our own attraction to them.

Albert Camus suggested that we fall in love with people because, from the outside, they look so whole, physically whole and emotionally 'together' — when subjectively, we feel dispersed and confused. We would not love if there were no lack within us, but we are offended by the discovery of a similar lack in the other.

Expecting to find the answer, we find only the duplicate of our own problem. A long, gloomy tradition in Western thought argues that love is in its essence an unreciprocated, Marxist emotion and that desire can only thrive on the impossibility of mutuality.

According to this view, love is simply a direction, not a place, and burns itself out with the attainment of its goal, the possession in bed or otherwise of the loved one. The whole of troubadour poetry of twelfth-century Provence was based on coital delay, the poet repeating his plaints to a woman who repeatedly declined a desperate gentleman's offers.

Centuries later, Montaigne declared that, 'In love, there is nothing but a frantic desire for what flees from us' — an idea echoed by Anatole France's maxim that, 'It is not customary to love what one has. It is the one most suited to intensifying passion. There was a danger that Chloe and I would trap ourselves in just such a Marxist spiral.

But a happier resolution emerged. I returned home from the breakfast guilty, shamefaced, apologetic, and ready to do anything to win Chloe back. It wasn't easy. She hung up on me at first, then asked me whether I made a point of behaving like a 'small-time suburban punk' with women I had slept with.

But after apologies, insults, laughter, and tears, Romeo and Juliet were to be seen together later that afternoon, mushily holding hands in the dark at a four-thirty screening of Love and Death at the National Film Theatre. Happy endings — for now at least. There is usually a Marxist moment in every relationship, the moment when it becomes clear that love is reciprocated.

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The way it is resolved depends on the balance between self-love and self-hatred. If self-hatred gains the upper hand, then the one who has received love will declare that the beloved on some excuse or other is not good enough for them not good enough by virtue of associating with no-goods.

But if self-love gains the upper hand, both partners may accept that seeing their love reciprocated is not proof of how low the beloved is, but of how lovable they have themselves turned out to be.

Long before we've had a chance to become truly familiar with our loved one, we may be filled with the curious sense that we know them already. It can seem as though we've met them somewhere before, in a previous life, perhaps, or in our dreams. In Plato's Symposium, Aristophanes accounts for this feeling of familiarity by claiming that the loved one was our long-lost 'other half to whose body our own had originally been joined.

In the beginning, all human beings were hermaphrodites with double backs and flanks, four hands and four legs and two faces turned in opposite directions on the same head. These hermaphrodites were so powerful and their pride so overweening that Zeus was forced to cut them in two, into a male and female half — and from that day, every man and woman has yearned nostalgically but confusedly to rejoin the part from which he or she was severed.

Chloe and I spent Christmas apart, but when we returned to London in the new year, we began spending all our time in each other's company. We led the typical romance of late-twentieth-century urban life, sandwiched between office hours and animated by such minor external events as walks in the park, strolls through bookshops, and meals in restaurants. We found agreement on so many different issues, we hated and loved so many of the same things, that, after only a short time, it seemed churlish to deny that, despite an absence of clear separation marks, we must once have been two parts of the same body.

It was congruence that made life with Chloe so attractive. Theorists of love have tended to be rightly suspicious of fusion, their scepticism stemming from the sense that it is easier to impute similarity than investigate difference. We base our fall into love upon insufficient material, and supplement our ignorance with desire. But, these theorists point out, time will show us that the skin separating our bodies is not just a physical boundary, but is representative of a deeper, psychological watershed we would be foolish to try and cross.

Therefore, in the mature account of love, we should never fall at first glance. We should reserve our leap until we have completed a clear-eyed investigation of the depths and nature of the waters. Only after we have undertaken a thorough exchange of opinions on parenting, politics, art, science, and appropriate snacks for the kitchen should two people ever decide they are ready to love each other. In the mature account of love, it is only when we truly know our partners that love deserves the chance to grow.

And yet in the perverse reality of love love that is born precisely before we know increased knowledge may be as much a hurdle as an inducement — for it may bring Utopia into dangerous conflict with reality.

I date the realization that, whatever enticing similarities we had identified between us, Chloe was perhaps not the person from whom Zeus's cruel stroke had severed me, to a moment somewhere in the middle of March when she introduced me to a new pair of her shoes. It was perhaps a pedantic matter over which to come to such a decision, but shoes are supreme symbols of aesthetic, and hence by extension psychological, compatibility.

Certain areas and coverings of the body say more about a person than others: What was wrong with Chloe's shoes? Objectively speaking, nothing — but when did one ever fall in love objectively? She had bought them one Saturday morning in a shop on the King's Road, ready for a party we had been invited to that evening. Then there was the high, faintly rococo collar, decorated with a bow and stars, and framed by a piece of chunky ribbon. The shoes were the apogee of fashion, they were well made, they were imaginative, and I detested them.

Then again, they're so amazing, maybe I should just wrap them back up, leave them in their box, and never use them. They've got such great things there. You should have seen the boots they had. I felt a strange throbbing movement at the back of my neck. I couldn't conceive how Chloe had lost her heart to a deeply compromised piece of footwear.

My idea of who she was, my Aristophanic certainty of her identity, had never included this sort of enthusiasm. Hurt and disturbed by the unexpected turn in our relationship, I asked myself, 'How could a woman who walks into my life in sensible flat black shoes favoured by schoolgirls and nuns and claims to love and understand me be drawn to such shoes? It promptly seemed easier to love Chloe without knowing her. In one of his prose poems, Baudelaire describes how a man spends a day walking around Paris with a woman he feels ready to fall in love with.

They agree on so many things that by evening, he is convinced he has found a companion with whose soul his own may unite. Thirsty, they go to a glamorous new cafe on the corner of a boulevard, where the man notices the arrival of an impoverished, working-class family who have come to gaze through the plate-glass window of the cafe at the elegant guests, dazzling white walls, and gilded decor.

The eyes of these poor on-lookers are full of wonder at the display of wealth and beauty inside, and their expression fills the narrator with pity and shame at his privileged position. He turns to look at his loved one in the hope of seeing his embarrassment and emotion reflected in her eyes.

But the woman with whose soul his own was prepared to unite has a different agenda. She snaps that these wretches with their wide, gaping eyes are unbearable to her, she wonders what on earth they want and asks him to tell the owner to have them moved on straightaway. Does not every love story have these moments? A search for eyes that will reflect one's thoughts and that ends up with a tragicomic divergence - be it over the class struggle or a pair of shoes. Perhaps the easiest people to fall in love with are those about whom we know nothing.

Romances are never as pure as those we imagine during long train journeys, as we secretly contemplate a beautiful person who is gazing out of the window — a perfect love story interrupted only when the beloved looks back into the carriage and starts up a dull conversation about the excessive price of the on-board sandwiches with a neighbour or blows her nose aggressively into a handkerchief.

The dismay that greater acquaintance with the beloved can bring is comparable to composing a symphony in one's head and then hearing it played in a concert hall by a full orchestra.

Though we are impressed to find so many of our ideas confirmed in performance, we cannot help but notice details that are not quite as we had intended them to be.

Is one of the violinists not a little off key? Is the flute not a little late coming in? Is the percussion not a little loud?

People we love at first sight are as free from conflicting tastes in shoes or literature as the unrehearsed symphony is free from off-key violins or late flutes. But as soon as the fantasy is played out, the angelic beings who floated through consciousness reveal themselves as material beings, laden with their own mental and physical history. Chloe's shoes were only one of a number of false notes that came to light in the early period of the relationship. Living day to day with her was like acclimatizing myself to a foreign country, and therefore feeling prey to occasional xenophobia at departures from my own traditions and expectations.

Why did Chloe insist on leaving the pasta to boil for a fatal extra few minutes? Why was I so attached to my current pair of glasses? Why did she have to do her gym exercises in the bedroom every morning? Why did I always need eight hours' sleep? Why did she not have more time for opera? Why did I not have more time for Joni Mitchell? Why did she hate seafood so much? How could one explain my resistance to flowers and gardening? Or hers to trips on water? Anthropologists tell us that the group always comes before the individual, that to understand the latter one must pass through the former, be it nation, tribe, clan, or family.

Chloe had no great fondness for her family, but when her parents invited us to spend Sunday with them at their home near Marlborough, in a spirit of scientific enquiry I urged her to take up the offer. Everything about Gnarled Oak Cottage was a sign that Chloe had been born in one world, one galaxy almost, and I another.

The living room was decorated in faux-Chippendale furniture, the carpet was a stained reddish brown, dusty bookcases with volumes of Trollope and Stubbs-esque paintings lined the walls, three salival dogs were running in and out between the living room and the garden, and corpulent cobwebbed plants sagged in every corner.

Chloe's mother wore a thick purple pullover with holes in it, a flowery baggy skirt, and long grey hair scraped back without design. One half expected to find bits of straw on her, an aura of rural nonchalance reinforced by her repeated forgettings of my name and her creative approach to finding me another.

I thought of the difference between Chloe's mother and my own, the contrasting introductions to the world that these two women had performed. However much Chloe had run away from all of this, to the big city, to her own values and friends, the family still represented a genetic and historical tradition to which she was indebted.

I noticed a crossover between the generations: The father was a keen rambler, and Chloe loved walking too, often dragging me on weekends for a brisk tour of Hampstead Heath, proclaiming the benefits of fresh air in a way that her father had perhaps once done. It was all so strange and new. The house in which she had grown up evoked a whole past on which I had missed out, and which I would have to take on board in order to understand her. The meal was largely spent on a question—answer volley between Chloe and her parents on various aspects of family folklore: Had the insurance paid for Granny's hospital bills?

Was the water tank mended? Had Carolyn heard from the estate agency yet? Was it true Lucy was going to study in the States? Had anyone read Aunt Sarah's novel? Was Henry really going to marry Jemima?

All these characters who had entered Chloe's life long before I had — and might, with the tenacity of everything familial, still be there when I was gone. It was intriguing to see how different the parents' perception of Chloe could be from my own. Whereas I had known her to be both accommodating and generous, at home she was known to be bossy and demanding.

As a child she had been thought of as miniature autocrat whom the parents had nicknamed Miss Pompadosso after the heroine of a children's book. Whereas I had known Chloe to be levelheaded about money and her career, the father remarked that his daughter 'did not understand the first thing about how things work in the real world', while the mother joked about her 'bullying all her boyfriends into submission'. I was forced to add to my understanding of Chloe a whole section that had unfolded prior to my arrival, my vision of her colliding with that imposed by the initial family narrative.

In the afternoon, Chloe showed me around the house. She took me into the room at the top of the stairs into which she'd been afraid to go as a child, because her uncle had once told her a ghost lived inside the piano.

We looked into her old bedroom that her mother now used as a studio, and she pointed out a hatch that she had used to get into the attic in order to escape with her elephant Guppy whenever she'd been miserable. We took a walk in the garden, past a still-bruised tree at the bottom of a slope into which the family car had ploughed when she had once dared her brother to release the handbrake.

She showed me the neighbours' house, whose blackberry bushes she had picked clean in the summers, and whose former owner's son she had kissed on the way back from school. He had since died, added Chloe with curious indifference, 'in an incident with a corn-thresher'. Later in the afternoon, I took a walk in the garden with her father, a donnish man to whom thirty years of marriage had imparted some distinctive views on the subject. I'm no expert on love, but I'll tell you something.

In the end, I've found that it doesn't really matter who you marry. If you like them at the beginning, you probably won't like them at the end. And if you start off hating them, there's always the chance you'll end up thinking they're all right. On the train back to London that evening, I felt exhausted, weary at all the differences between Chloe's early world and mine. While the stories and settings of her past had enchanted me, they had also proved terrifying and bizarre, all these years and habits before I had known her, but that were as much a part of who she was as the shape of her nose or the colour of her eyes.

I felt a primitive nostalgia for familiar surroundings, recognizing the disruption that every relationship entails — a whole new person to learn about, to suggest myself to, to acclimatize myself to. It was perhaps a moment of fear at the thought of all the differences I would find in Chloe, all the times she would be one thing, and I another, when our world views would be incapable of alignment. Staring out of the window at the Wiltshire countryside, I had a lost child's longing for someone I could already wholly understand, the eccentricities of whose house, parents, and history I had already tamed.

If I can return for a moment to Chloe's shoes, it might be worth mentioning that their inauguration did not end with my negative yet privately formulated analysis of their virtues. I confess that it ended in the second greatest argument of our relationship, in tears, insults, shouting, and the right shoe crashing through a pane of glass onto the pavement of Denbigh Street. The sheer melodramatic intensity of the event aside, the matter sustains philosophical interest because it symbolizes a choice as radical in the personal sphere as in the political: The choice has often been missed in an optimistic equation of the two terms, with the former considered a handmaiden of the latter.

But if the terms have been linked, it is always in an implausible marriage, for it seems impossible to talk of love and letting live, and if we are left to live, we are not usually loved. We may well ask why the viciousness witnessed between lovers would not be tolerated anywhere outside conditions of open enmity.

Then, to build bridges between shoes and nations, we may ask why countries that have no language of community or citizenship usually leave their members isolated but unmolested and yet why countries that talk most of love, kinship, and brotherhood routinely end up slaughtering great swathes of their populations.

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Or you might suddenly decide you hated them. I do hate them. Someone has to let you know the truth. And Leslie would definitely like them.

And I can't imagine Abigail having a problem with them either. So what's wrong with you? Not in the proper way. Not in the way that means you have to break bad news to someone even if it pains you terribly. The reader can be spared the full melodrama, it suffices to say that moments later, the tempest that had been brewing reached a climax, Chloe took off one of the offensive shoes, supposedly so as to let me look at it, but more realistically, to murder me with it, I chose to duck the incoming projectile, it crashed through the window behind me and fell down to the street, where it impaled itself in the rubbish area in the remains of a neighbour's chicken madras.

Our argument was peppered with the paradoxes of love and liberalism. What did it really matter what Chloe's shoes were like? There were so many other wonderful sides to her, was it not spoiling the game to arrest my gaze on this detail?

Why could I not have politely lied to her as I might have done to a friend? My only excuse lay in the claim that I loved her, that she was my ideal — save for the shoes — and that I therefore had to point out this blemish, something I would never have done with a friend whose departures from my ideal would have been too numerous to begin with, a friendship in which the concept of an ideal would never even have entered into my thinking.

Because I loved her, I told her — therein lay my sole defence. But the arguments that hound lovers are a reminder that Christian love is not prone to survive a move into the bedroom. Its message seems more suited to the universal than the particular, to the love of all men for all women, to the love of two neighbours who will not hear each other snoring.

Friends With Benefits (The Boulevard, #2)

Though it was not always a matter for glaziers, illiberalism was never one sided. There were a thousand things about me that drove Chloe to distraction: Why was I so bored by the theatre? Why did I insist on wearing a coat that looked a century old?

Why did I always knock the duvet off the bed in my sleep? Why did I think Saul Bellow was such a great writer? Why had I not yet learnt how to park a car without leaving most of the wheel on the pavement? Why did I constantly put my feet on the pillows? These were the ingredients of the domestic gulag, the daily attempts to tug each other closer to our ideals.

And what excuse was there for this? Nothing but the old line that parents and politicians will use before taking out their scalpels: I care about you, therefore I will upset you, I have honoured you with a vision of how you should be, therefore I will hurt you. Chloe and I would never have been as brutal to our friends as we were to one another. But we equated intimacy with a form of ownership and licence.

We may have been kind, yet we were no longer polite. When we started arguing one night about the films of Eric Rohmer she hated them, I loved them , we forgot there was a chance Rohmer's films could be both good and bad depending on who was watching them. She degenerated into calling me 'a stuffy over-intellectual turd', I reciprocated by judging her 'a degenerate product of modern capitalism' proving her accusation in the process. Politics seems an incongruous field to link to love, but can we not read, in the bloodstained histories of the French, Fascist, or Communist revolutions, something of the same coercive structure, the same impatience with diverging views fuelled by passionate ideals?

Amorous politics begins its infamous history with the French Revolution, when it was first proposed with all the choice of a rape that the state would not just govern but also love its citizens, who would respond likewise or face the guillotine. The beginning of revolutions is psychologically strikingly akin to that of certain relationships: But if the beginnings of love and amorous politics are equally rosy, then the ends are often equally bloody.

We're familiar with political love that ends in tyranny, where a ruler's firm conviction that he has the true interests of his nation at heart ends up lending him the confidence to murder without qualms and 'for their own good' all who disagree with him.

Romantic lovers are similarly inclined to vent their frustration on dissenters and heretics. A few days after the shoe incident, I went to the newsagent to pick up a paper and a carton of milk. Mr Paul told me he'd just run out of the semi-skimmed variety, but that if I could wait a moment, he'd get another crate in from the storeroom.

Watching him walk out towards the back of the shop, I noticed that Mr Paul was wearing a pair of thick grey socks and brown leather sandals. They were awe-inspiringly ugly, but curiously enough, wholly inoffensive. Why could I not remain similarly composed in the face of Chloe's shoes? Why could I not enjoy the same cordiality with the woman I loved as with the newsagent who sold me my daily rations? Why could rulers not act politely towards their citizens, tolerating sandals, dissent, and divergence?

The answer from liberal thinkers is that cordiality can arise only once rulers give up talk of governing for the love of their citizens, and concentrate instead on ensuring sensible, minimal governance. Liberal politics finds its greatest apologist in John Stuart Mill, who in published a classic defence of loveless liberalism, On Liberty, a ringing plea that citizens should be left alone by governments, however well meaning they were, and not be told how to lead their personal lives, what gods to worship or books to read.

Mill argued that though kingdoms and tyrannies felt themselves entitled to hold 'a deep interest in the whole bodily and mental discipline of every one of its citizens', the modern state should as far as possible stand back and let people govern themselves. Like a harassed partner in a relationship who begs simply to be given space, Mill ventured: The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good, in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.

The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized society against his will is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant. The wisdom of Mill's thesis is such that one might want to see it applied to relationships as much as to governments.

However, on reflection, applied to the former, it seems to lose much of its appeal. It evokes certain marriages, where love has evaporated long ago, where couples sleep in separate bedrooms, exchanging the occasional word when they meet in the kitchen before work, where both partners have long ago given up hope of mutual understanding, settling instead for a tepid friendship based on controlled misunderstanding, politeness while they get through the evening's shepherd's pie, 3 a.

We seem to be thrown back on a choice between love and liberalism. The sandals of the newsagent didn't annoy me because I didn't care for him, I wished to get my paper and milk and leave. I didn't wish to cry on his shoulder or bare my soul, so his footwear remained unobtrusive. But had I fallen in love with Mr Paul, could I really have continued to face his sandals with equanimity, or would there not have come a point when out of love I would have cleared my throat and suggested an alternative?

If my relationship with Chloe never reached the levels of the Terror, it was perhaps because she and I were able to temper the choice between love and liberalism with an ingredient that too few relationships and even fewer amorous politicians Lenin, Pol Pot, Robespierre have ever possessed, an ingredient that might just were there enough of it to go around save both states and couples from intolerance: It seems significant that revolutionaries share with lovers a tendency towards terrifying earnestness.

It is as hard to imagine cracking a joke with Stalin as with Young Werther. Both of them seem desperately, though differently, intense. With the inability to laugh comes an inability to acknowledge the contradictions inherent in every society and relationship, the multiplicity and clash of desires, the need to accept that one's partner will never learn how to park a car, or wash out a bath or give up a taste for Joni Mitchell - but that one cares for them rather a lot nevertheless.

If Chloe and I overcame certain of our differences, it was because we had the will to make jokes of the impasses we found in each other's characters. I could not stop hating Chloe's shoes, she continued to like them I was sent down to pick the left one up and give it a clean , but we at least found room to turn the incident into a joke.

By threatening to 'defenestrate' ourselves whenever arguments became heated, we were always sure to draw a laugh and neutralize a frustration. My driving techniques could not be improved, but they earned me the name 'Alain Prost', Chloe's attempts at martyrdom I found wearing, but less so when I could respond to them by calling her 'Joan of Arc'.

Humour meant there was no need for a direct confrontation, we could glide over an irrirant, winking at it obliquely, making a criticism without needing to spell it out.

Humour lined the walls of irritation between our ideals and the reality: Does beauty give birth to love or does love give birth to beauty? Did I love Chloe because she was beautiful or was she beautiful because I loved her? Surrounded by an infinite number of people, we may ask staring at our lover while they talk on the phone or lie opposite us in the bath why our desire has chosen to settle on this particular face, this particular mouth or nose or ear, why this curve of the neck or dimple in the cheek has come to answer so precisely to our criterion of perfection?

Every one of our lovers offers different solutions to the problem of beauty, and yet succeeds in redefining our notions of attractiveness in a way that is as original and as idiosyncratic as the landscape of their face. If Marsilio Ficino —99 defined love as 'the desire for beauty', in what ways did Chloe fulfil this desire?

To listen to Chloe, in no way whatever. No amount of reassurance could persuade her that she was anything but loathsome. She insisted on finding her nose too small, her mouth too wide, her chin uninteresting, her ears too round, her eyes not green enough, her hair not wavy enough, her breasts too small, her feet too large, her hands too wide, and her wrists too narrow.

She would gaze longingly at the faces in the pages of Elle and Vogue and declare that the concept of a just God was — in the light of her physical appearance — simply an incoherence. Chloe believed that beauty could be measured according to an objective standard, one she had simply failed to reach. Without acknowledging it as such, she was resolutely attached to a Platonic concept of beauty, an aesthetic she shared with the world's fashion magazines and which fuelled a daily sense of self-loathing in front of the mirror.

According to Plato and the editor of Vogue, there exists such a thing as an ideal form of beauty, made up of a balanced relation between parts, and which earthly bodies will approximate to a greater or a lesser degree.

There is a mathematical basis for beauty, Plato suggested, so that the face on the front cover of a magazine is necessarily rather than coincidentally pleasing. Whatever mathematical errors there were in her face, Chloe found the rest of her body even more unbalanced. Whereas I loved to watch soapy water running over her stomach and legs in the shower, whenever she looked at herself in the mirror she would invariably declare that something was 'lopsided' — though quite what I never discovered.

Leon Battista Alberti might have known better, for he believed that any beautiful body had fixed proportions which he spelt out mathematically after dividing the body of a beautiful Italian girl into six hundred units, then working out the distances from section to section.

Summing up his results in his book On Sculpture, Alberti defined beauty as 'a Harmony of all the Parts, in whatsoever Subject it appears, fitted together with such proportion and connection, that nothing could be added, diminished or altered, but for the worse'. But according to Chloe, however, almost anything about her body could have been added, diminished, or altered without spoiling anything that nature had not already devastated.

Clearly Plato and Leon Battista Alberti had neglected something in their aesthetic theories, for I found Chloe excessively beautiful. Did I like her green eyes, her dark hair, her full mouth?

I hesitate to try and pin down her appeal. Discussions of physical beauty have some of the futility of debates between art historians attempting to justify the relative merits of different artists. A Van Gogh or a Gauguin? One might try to redescribe the work in language 'the lyrical intelligence of Gauguin's South Sea skies.

But what would all this do to explain why one painting grips us by the collar and another leaves us cold? The language of the eye stubbornly resists translation into the language of words.

It was not beauty that I could hope to describe, only my personal response to Chloe's appearance. I could simply point out where my desire had happened to settle, while allowing the possibility that others would locate comparable perfection in quite other beings.

In so doing, I was forced to reject the Platonic idea of an objective criterion of beauty, siding instead with Kant's view, as expressed in his Critique of Judgement, that aesthetic judgements are ones 'whose determining ground can be none other than subjective'. The loving way that I gazed at Chloe functioned like a pair of outward arrows, which give an ordinary line a semblance of length it might not objectively deserve.

A definition of beauty that more accurately summed up my feelings for Chloe was delivered by Stendhal. I took pride in finding Chloe more beautiful than a Platonist would have done. The most interesting faces generally oscillate between charm and crookedness. There is a tyranny about perfection, a certain tedium even, something that asserts itself with all the dogmatism of a scientific formula. The more tempting kind of beauty has only a few angles from which it may be seen, and then not in all lights and at all times.

It flirts dangerously with ugliness, it takes risks with itself, it does not side comfortably with mathematical rules of proportion, it draws its appeal from precisely those details that also lend themselves to ugliness. As Proust once said, classically beautiful women should be left to men without imagination.

My imagination enjoyed playing in the space between Chloe's teeth. Her beauty was fractured enough that it could support creative rearrangements. In its ambiguity, her face could have been compared to Wittgenstein's duck-rabbit, where both a duck and a rabbit seem contained in the same image. Much depends on the attitude of the viewer: What counts is the predisposition of the viewer.

It was of course love that was generously predisposing me. The editor of Vogue might have had difficulty including photos of Chloe in an issue, but this was only a confirmation of the uniqueness that I had managed to find in my girlfriend.

I had animated her face with her soul. The danger with the kind of beauty that does not look like a Greek statue is that its precariousness places much emphasis on the viewer. Once the imagination decides to remove itself from the gap in the teeth, is it not time for a good orthodontist? Once we locate beauty in the eye of the beholder, what will happen when the beholder looks elsewhere? But perhaps that was all part of Chloe's appeal. A subjective theory of beauty makes the observer wonderfully indispensable.

In the middle of May, Chloe celebrated her twenty-fourth birthday. She had for a long time been dropping hints about a red cashmere pullover in the window of a shop in Piccadilly, so the day before the celebration, I bought it on my way back from work, and at home, wrapped it in blue paper with a pink bow.

But in the course of preparing a card, I suddenly realized that I had never told Chloe that I loved her. A declaration would perhaps not have been unexpected, yet the fact that it had never been made was significant.

Pullovers may be a sign of love between a man and a woman, but we had yet to translate our feelings into language. It was as though the core of our relationship, configured around the word love, was somehow unmentionable, either too evident or too significant to be uttered.

It was simple to understand why Chloe had never said anything. She was suspicious of words. I remembered her telling me that, when she was twelve, her parents had sent her on a camping holiday.

There she had fallen in love with a boy her age, and after much blushing and hesitation, they had ended up taking a walk around a lake. By a shaded bank, the boy had asked her to sit down, and after a moment, had taken her damp hand in his.

It was the first time a boy had held her hand. She had been so elated, she had felt free to tell him, with all the earnestness of a twelve-year-old, that he was 'the best thing that had ever happened to her'.

The next day, she discovered that her words had spread all over the camp. A group of girls chanted mockingly 'the best thing that ever happened to me' when she came into the dining hall, her honest declaration replayed in a mockery of her vulnerability.

She had experienced a betrayal at the hands of language, the way intimate words may be converted to a common currency, and had since hidden behind a veil of practicality and irony. Blessed Udoh I keep checking for an update,now am reading the whole story all over again.

So captivating. Sesi Joyce Barbie Bell Don't make Edward gay pleeease. Melanie Bangalulu OMG thank you very much for such a wonderful comment. I was literally so emotional while reading this, it's always so wonderful to have people read my books as it takes a lot of hardwork and time to write one.

I really thank you for reading this. As for Edward and Emily, well they will have a happy ending soon so don't worry about it. I will never give Emily so much heartbreak. She has already endured enough I think.

Enough for her. And you are such a lovely person to comment. You made my day. Now I am little happy. Agatha Nwokoye I'm seriously hating Edward right now. He has the right to live his life the way he wants but keeps restricting Emily. Billi This thread has 7 Comments. Korey Charles Kabugho Immaculate Edward is just like any other man I don't think he loves Bella This thread has 3 Comments. Kabugho Immaculate, BTW have you read the whole book cause by your comment, I am guessing that maybe you have read till the chapter where she dresses up for date and they start kissing each other for real lol right?

Eddie is a good kisser.. Sam Holte Sam Holte, lol. Anna Morrigan Lucile Savino Lucile Savino, if you read the whole book, then Thank you very much. Tuttera Sheyi Janat Pauletta Attaway Pauletta Attaway, Did you read the whole?

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