The Sun Also Rises
How we cite our quotes:
"Oh, Jake," Brett said, "we could have had such a damned good time together."
Ahead was a mounted policeman in khaki directing traffic. He raised his baton. The car slowed suddenly pressing Brett against me.
"Yes," I said. "Isn’t it pretty to think so?" (19.60)
This line gets us every time. As the novel closes, Jake doesn’t even have the energy to imagine a happy ending – he knows that he and Brett can’t be together, and now that this possibility has been irrevocably cancelled out, he recognizes that it could never have happened, even in the past. The idea of their relationship is simply a pretty but impossible dream.