Haruki Murakami, "Kafka on the Shore"

    “When I was fifteen,” Miss Saeki says with a smile, “all I wanted was to go off to some other world, a place beyond anybody’s reach. A place beyond the flow of time.”     “But there’s not place like that in this world.”     “Exactly. Which is why I’m living here, in this world where things are continually damaged, where the heart is fickle, where time flows past without a break.” As if hinting at the flow of time, she’s silent for a while. “But you know,” she goes on, “when I was fifteen, I thought there had to be a place like that in the world. I was sure the somewhere I’d run across the entrance that would take me to that other world. “     “Were you lonely when you were fifteen?”     “In a sense, I guess. I wasn’t alone, but I was terribly lonely. Because I knew that I would never be happier than I was then. That much I knew for sure. That’s why I wanted to go— just as I was— to some place where there was no time.”

Robert Harmon, "The Hitcher"

Julian Barnes, "The Sense of an Ending"