Anna Reiley: The 16-year-old narrator of the story whose best friend Matt passed away last year. Unknown to anyone else, they had a relationship going for a month before he died. She's determined not to tell anyone their secret. She's also Frankie's best friend and they are going on a trip to California, their first vacation since Matt's death. Anna is the more quiet one of the two.
“When someone you love dies, people ask you how you're doing, but they don't really want to know. They seek affirmation that you're okay, that you appreciate their concern, that life goes on and so can they. Secretly they wonder when the statute of limitations on asking expires (it's three months, by the way). Written or unwritten, that's about all the time it takes for people to forget the one thing that you never will.”
“Sometimes I think we all feel guilty for being happy, and as soon as we catch ourselves acting like everything is okay, someone remembers it's not.”
“It's really bad when dads cry. ... Dads are supposed to be the strong ones. That's probably why Red has so many lines on his forehead. All the hurt goes up there to hide.”
“I really don't even know you, and yet, in my life, you are forever entangled; to my history, inextricably bound.”
“And everything else that ever mattered in my entire existence just...stopped. I was underwater again, seeing things in a slow-motion fuzz without sound or context, without feeling, without care. The world could have ended and I wouldn't have noticed. In a way, it did end.”
“Nothing ever really goes away - it just changes into something else. Something beautiful.”
“Pieces of sea glass are supposedly the tears of a lovesick mermaid.”
“Right. But I did see it. And now someone else can, too.”
“My entire life has changed in the span of three weeks, but as the seals howl against the Pacific, everything around me remains exactly the same.”
“Matt-Red and Jayne's Matt,Frankie's Matt,my Matt,- died of a broken heart”
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