Leland: This one is something a friend of mine said to me. "You have to believe that life is more than the sum of its parts, kiddo." I remember it right now to the "kiddo" part. When I think about what she said, the same thing always comes into my head. What if you can't put the pieces together in the first place?
Mrs. Calderon: You have to believe that life is more than the sum of its parts, kiddo.
Leland: You know what the funny thing about earthquakes is? After an earthquake you see people pulling other people out of broken down buildings and people hugging and junk because they saw a little girl's shoe in the middle of the road and no little girl around. Then a couple days later they forget all about it.
Pearl Madison: Well it still shows you that there's goodness in people.
Leland: During earthquakes at least.
Leland: The worst part is knowing that there is goodness in people. Mostly it stays deep down and buried. Maybe we don't have God because we're scared of the bad stuff. Maybe we're really scared of the good stuff. Because if there's no God, well, that means it's inside of us and we could be good all the time if we wanted. So when we do bad things, it'd be because we want to or because we have to. Or maybe we just need the bad stuff to remind us what the good stuff is in the first place.
Leland: I know what they want from me. They want a reason. Something to tie up with a little bow and bury in the backyard. Bury it down so deep it's like it never happened. They want me to say how I'm so sorry, and it was my mom's fault. Or maybe it was my dad's fault. Or it happened because of TV or movies or some junk like that. Or maybe I blame some girl.
Leland: Maybe it makes sense now. Maybe somewhere in all of this there's a reason. Maybe somewhere in all of this there's a why. Maybe somewhere there's that thing that lets you tie it all up with a neat bow and bury it in the backyard. But nothing, not getting angry, not prayers, and not tears, nothing can make something that happened unhappen.
Becky Pollard: I don't want to hurt you.
Leland: Then don't.
Leland: I think there are two ways you can see the world. You either see the sadness that's behind everything or you choose to keep it all out.