After

Chapter 32 - The day after

Page: 122

Setting: Culver Creek

Characters: Miles, Colonel, the Eagle, students of Culver Creek

The Eagle wakes Miles and the Colonel. They are told to come to the gym where all the students have already gathered. The Eagle informs them, with tears in his eyes, that Alaska died in a car accident last night. Miles' first thought is that it's his fault. He throws up. The Colonel crouches down on a bench and yells over and over that he is sorry.

Miles tells himself that this is just a prank by Alaska, but the Eagle has to tell him that he saw her body. He tells Miles that a truck and trailer overturned on I-65 and blocked the lane. The police were already on the scene and Alaska crashed her car into the patrol car without braking. She was killed instantly. The police smelled alcohol. The Eagle thinks she must have been very drunk. He is very sorry.

Miles and the Colonel go back to her room. Miles can't believe that Alaska is dead. He thinks about how he will never know Alaska's last words. The Colonel can barely walk and Miles supports him. He continues to repeat that he is sorry. Miles replies that he is sorry too, because he is convinced that they are both to blame for Alaska's death.

 

Chapter 33 - Two days after

Page: 127

Setting: Culver Creek

Characters: Miles, Colonel, Hank Walsten, Lara, the Eagle, Takumi

Miles and the Colonel sit in their room grieving. Finally, the Colonel snaps and rants about how Alaska was so irresponsible and how they always had to watch her. He decides to go out for a walk.

One by one, students stop by Miles' room to offer their condolences. Miles thinks about how Alaska had promised him to continue kissing the next day. He wonders if he really meant anything to her. Lara comes over crying and Miles tries to comfort her. She asks what happened, and Miles only tells her half the truth. The Colonel and Alaska had been drinking that evening, he says. Then, he says, the Colonel and himself fell asleep as Alaska apparently drove away. From now on, Miles and the Colonel stick to this story.

In the afternoon, the Eagle announces that buses have been rented so that everyone could go to Alaska's funeral at Vine Station on Sunday. Takumi and Lara approach Miles, but he cannot stand their presence and leaves. When Miles wakes up in the night from a nightmare about Alaska, he finds that the Colonel is still not back. He hopes he will be back for the funeral so he will not be alone.

 

Chapter 34 - Four days after

Page: 132

Setting: Culver Creek

Characters: Miles, Colonel

The Colonel finally returns at five in the morning. He is completely frozen through. He ran as far as he could, then turned back. The reason he hasn't slept is because he sees Alaska in his dreams. In those dreams, however, she doesn't look like Alaska and he can’t remember what she looked like.

Miles gets the yearbook and shows him the photo of Alaska. The Colonel complains that he was tired of Alaska's mood swings and drama. Therefore, he says, he just let her go that night. Miles realizes that he only wanted to fulfill Alaska's request that night and therefore helped her.

 

Chapter 35 - Six days after

Page: 134

Setting: Culver Creek, Vine Station (Alaska's funeral)

Characters: Miles, Colonel, Takumi, Lara, Alaska's father

On the day of the funeral, although the school has rented buses, Lara, the Colonel, Takumi, and Miles ride in Takumi's car to Vine Station. Miles thinks about how unfair it is that he loves Alaska and will never know if she loved him too. The grief physically hurts him. They are the first to arrive at the funeral. The only person there so far is Alaska's father.

Miles is distraught when he sees that the casket is not open. He wanted to see Alaska one last time. But her father explains that Alaska didn’t want an open casket. Miles kneels down in front of the casket and feels the Colonel behind him, putting a hand on his shoulder. For a moment, it's just the three of them. They are the only ones who know what really happened that night. Miles tells Alaska again that he loves her. The Colonel also kneels down and kisses the coffin. He says again that he is sorry and that she deserved a better friend. 

 

Chapter 36 - Seven days after

Page: 136

Setting: Culver Creek

Characters: Miles, Colonel

The Colonel learns from the Eagle that Alaska's aunt is coming to clean out Alaska's room. Therefore, they should take the opportunity to remove everything forbidden from Alaska's room beforehand. But Miles and the Colonel can't find any alcohol or anything like that in her room. Miles knows why, because he knows where Alaska's alcohol stash is. However, he wants to keep this secret t...

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