David Nicholls

«Dexter, I love you so much. So, so much, and I probably always will. I just don't like you anymore. I'm sorry.»

David Nicholls


«I'm just not going to do it so that we can say that we've done it. And I'm not going to do it if the first thing you say afterwards is 'please don't tell anyone' or 'let's forget it ever happened'. If you have to keep something secret it's because you shouldn't be doing it in the first place!»

David Nicholls


«She drinks pints of coffee and writes little observations and ideas for stories with her best fountain pen on the linen-white pages of expensive notebooks. Sometimes, when it's going badly, she wonders if what she believes to be a love of the written word is really just a fetish for stationery.»

David Nicholls


«Who's he seeing now then?"»

David Nicholls


«He hadn't been this nervous since the last disastrous night at the improv, and he firmly told himself to calm down as he blotted at the tablecloth, glancing upwards to see Emma wriggling out of her summer jacket, pushing her shoulders back and her chest forward in that way that women do without realising the ache they cause.»

David Nicholls


«If you're my friend I should be able to talk to you but I can't, and if I can't talk to you, well, what is the point of you? Of us?»

David Nicholls


«He wanted to live life to the extreme, but without any mess or complications. He wanted to live life in such a way that if a photograph were taken at random, it would be a cool photograph. Things should look right. Fun; there should be a lot of fun and no more sadness than absolutely necessary.»

David Nicholls


«No, friends were like clothes: fine while they lasted but eventually they wore thin or you grew out of them.»

David Nicholls


«You should visit the Palatine. It's at the top of that hill . . ."»

David Nicholls


«The beauty of the ultrasound scan is something that only parents can appreciate, but Emma had seen these things before and knew what was required of her. ‘Beautiful,’ she sighed, though in truth it could have been a Polaroid of the inside of his pocket.»

David Nicholls


«Can I say something?'»

David Nicholls


«Lonely' is a troubling word and not one to be tossed around lightly. It makes people uncomfortable, summoning up as it does all kinds of harsher adjectives, like 'sad' or 'strange'. I have always been well liked, I think, always well regarded and respected, but having few enemies is not the same as having many friends, and there was no denying that I was, if not 'lonely', more solitary than I'd hoped to be at that time.»

David Nicholls


«For his thirtieth birthday he had filled a whole night-club off Regent Street; people had been queuing on the pavement to get in. The SIM card of his mobile phone in his pocket was overflowing with telephone numbers of all the hundreds of people he had met in the last ten years, and yet the only person he had ever wanted to talk to in all that time was standing now in the very next room.»

David Nicholls


«Their friendship was like a wilted bunch of flowers that she insisted on topping up with water. Why not let it die instead? It was unrealistic to expect a friendship to last forever…»

David Nicholls


«He put one hand lightly on the back of her neck and simultaneously she placed one hand lightly on his hip, and they kissed in the street as all around them people hurried home in the summer light, and it was the sweetest kiss that either of them would ever know. This is where it all begins. Everything starts here, today. And then it was over.»

David Nicholls


«Maybe they're in love."»

David Nicholls


«Keep the change," he smiled. Was there ever a more empowering phrase than "Keep the change"?»

David Nicholls


«I have always been well liked, I think, always well regarded and respected, but having few enemies is not the same as having many friends, and there was no denying that I was, if not "lonely", more solitary than I'd hoped to be at that time.»

David Nicholls


«And there it is again, the look. There's no doubt about it, if Sylvie had a receipt, she would have taken him back by now; this one's gone wrong. It's not what I wanted.»

David Nicholls


«You start out wanting to change the world through language, and end up thinking it's enough to tell a few good jokes.»

David Nicholls


«The early days of any relationship are punctuated with a series of firsts - first sight, first words, first laugh, first kiss, first nudity, etc., with these shared landmarks becoming more widely spaced and innocuous as days turn to years, until eventually you're left with first visit to a National Trust property or some such.»

David Nicholls


«Familiarity, globalisation, cheap travel, mere weariness had diluted our sense of foreign-ness.»

David Nicholls


«He could feel her laughter against his chest, and at that moment he thought that there was no better feeling than making Emma Morley laugh.»

David Nicholls


«A moment passed, perhaps half a second when their faces said what they felt, and then Emma was smiling, laughing, her arms around his neck.»

David Nicholls


«Why, I wondered, did people seek out portrayals of the very experiences that, in real life, would send them mad with despair? Shouldn't art be an escape, a laugh, a comfort, a thrill?»

David Nicholls


«Their lips touched now, mouths pursed tight, their eyes open, both of them stock still. The moment held, a kind of such glorious confusion.»

David Nicholls


«These days grief seems like walking on a frozen river; most of the time he feels safe enough, but there is always that danger that he will plunge through. Now he hears the ice creak beneath him, and so intense and panicking is the sensation that he has to stand for a moment, press his hands to his face and catch his breath.»

David Nicholls


«Paris was all so... Parisian. I was captivated by the wonderful wrongness of it all - the unfamiliar fonts, the brand names in the supermarket, the dimensions of the bricks and paving stones. Children, really quite small children, speaking fluent French!»

David Nicholls


«Happyish. Well, happyish isn't so bad.'»

David Nicholls


«You can live your whole life not realizing that what you're looking for is right in front of you.»

David Nicholls