Noah Calhoun Quotes in The Notebook
I am nothing special; of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts, and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.
It would work out for him, he knew; it always did. Besides, thinking about money usually bored him. Early on, he'd learned to enjoy simple things, things that couldn't be bought, and he had a hard time understanding people who felt otherwise.
But he had been in love once, that he knew. Once and only once, and a long time ago. And it had changed him forever. Perfect love did that to a person, and this had been perfect.
"So that's the ghost you been running from." When asked what he meant, Gus said, "You know, the ghost, the memory. I been watchin' you, workin' day and night, slavin' so hard you barely have time to catch your breath. People do that for three reasons. Either they crazy, or stupid, or tryin' to forget. And with you, I knew you was tryin' to forget. I just didn't know what. […] This girl you been tellin' me about was your first love. And no matter what you do, she'll stay with you forever."
Most of the summer, [Allie] had to make excuses to her parents whenever they wanted to see each other. It wasn't that they didn't like [Noah]—it was that he was from a different class, too poor, and they would never approve if their daughter became serious with someone like him. "I don't care what my parents think, I love you and always will," she would say. "We'll find a way to be together."
"You did a wonderful job restoring it. It looks perfect, just like I knew it would someday."
[Noah] turned his head in the same direction as hers while he wondered about the small talk and what she was holding back.
“Thanks, that's nice of you. It was quite a project, though. I don't know if I would do it again."
"Of course you would," she said. [Allie] knew exactly how he felt about this place.
"When's the big day?"
"Three weeks from Saturday. Lon wanted a November wedding."
"Lon Hammond Jr. My fiancé."
[Noah] nodded, not surprised. The Hammonds were one of the most powerful and influential families in the state. Cotton money. […] "With his name, he must be busy."
"He is. He works a lot."
He thought he heard something in her tone, and the next question came automatically.
"Does he treat you well?"
"It's unbelievable, Noah. How long did the restoration take?"
He looked up from the last bag he was unpacking. "Almost a year."
"Did you do it yourself?"
[…] "I started that way. But it was just too much. It would have taken years, and so I ended up hiring some people . . . actually a lot of people. But even with them, it was still a lot of work, and most of the time I didn't stop until past midnight."
"Why'd you work so hard?"
Ghosts, he wanted to say, but didn't.
"I don't know. Just wanted to finish, I guess.”
"Do you remember sneaking over here the night you first told me about this place? […] I got home a little late that evening, and my parents were furious when I finally came in. […] My mother had a long talk with me later that night. She said to me, 'I'm sure you think that I don't understand what you're going through, but I do. It's just that sometimes, our future is dictated by what we are, as opposed to what we want.’ […] It was a terrible thing for a girl to learn. That status is more important than feelings."
"Lon's handsome, charming, and successful, and most of my friends are insanely jealous. They think he's perfect, and in a lot of ways he is. "But there's always going to be something missing in our relationship." […]
[…] "I guess I still look for the kind of love we had that summer."
"C'mon," he said, reaching for her hand, "I want to show you something."
She got up and followed him through the door to the living room. He stopped in front of the fireplace and pointed to the painting that hung above the mantel. […]
"You kept it?"
"Of course I kept it. […] It makes me feel alive when I look at it. Sometimes I have to get up and touch it. It's just so real—the shapes, the shadows, the colors. I even dream about it sometimes. It's incredible, Allie—I can stare at it for hours."
"Poets often describe love as an emotion that we can't control, one that overwhelms logic and common sense. That's what it was like for me. I didn't plan on falling in love with you, and I doubt if you planned on falling in love with me. But once we met, it was clear that neither of us could control what was happening to us. We fell in love, despite our differences, and once we did, something rare and beautiful was created.”
Would Lon encourage her painting? She remembered showing him one of her paintings a couple of months after they had first started going out. It was an abstract painting and was meant to inspire thought. In a way, it resembled the painting above Noah's fireplace, the one Noah understood completely, though it may have been a touch less passionate. Lon had stared at it, studied it almost, and then had asked her what it was supposed to be. She hadn't bothered to answer.
Though he wasn't Noah, Lon was a good man, the kind of man she'd always known she would marry. With Lon there would be no surprises, and there was comfort in knowing what the future would bring. He would be a kind husband to her, and she would be a good wife. She would have a home near friends and family, children, a respectable place in society. […] And though she wouldn't describe theirs as a passionate relationship, she had convinced herself long ago that this wasn't necessary… […] Passion would fade in time, and things like companionship and compatibility would take its place.
"Noah, what are they doing here?"
"I don't know. I know the swans from up north migrate to Lake Mattamuskeet every winter, but I guess they came here this time. I don't know why. Maybe the early blizzard had something to do with it. Maybe they got off track or something. They'll find their way back, though."
"They won't stay?"
"I doubt it. They're driven by instinct, and this isn't their place."
The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected. Maybe they always have been and will be. Maybe we've lived a thousand lives before this one and in each of them we've found each other. And maybe each time, we've been forced apart for the same reasons. That means that this goodbye is both a goodbye for the past ten thousand years and a prelude to what will come.
'What are you going to do?" her mother asked, pulling back. There was a long pause.
"I don't know," Allie finally answered. They stood together for another minute, just holding each other. […]
On her way out the door, Allie thought that she heard her mother whisper, "Follow your heart," but she couldn't be sure.
"You can't live your life for other people. You've got to do what's right for you, even if it hurts some people you love."
"I know," she said, "but no matter what I choose I have to live with it. Forever. I have to be able to go forward and not look back anymore. Can you understand that?"
You and I were different. We came from different worlds, and yet you were the one who taught me the value of love. You showed me what it was like to care for another and I am a better man because of it. I don’t want you to ever forget that.
"I've heard it before, haven't I?"
"Yes," I say again, just as I do every time on days like these. I have learned to be patient.
She studies my face. Her eyes are as green as ocean waves.
"It makes me feel less afraid," she says.
"I know." I nod, rocking my head softly.
We are in the final minutes in the day of our lives, and the clock is ticking. Loudly. I wonder if I am the only one who can hear it.
There is beauty where we sit this afternoon, Allie and I. This is the pinnacle of my life.
This is why Allie is considered a miracle, because sometimes, just sometimes, after I read to her, her condition isn't so bad. There is no explanation for this.
I open a drawer and find the flowers I'd once given her long ago, old and faded and tied together with ribbon. They, like me, are dry and brittle and difficult to handle without breaking. But she saved them. "I don't understand what you want with them," I would say, but she would just ignore me. And sometimes in the evenings I would see her holding them, almost reverently, as if they offered the secret of life itself.