This is a Looking for Alaska short fanfiction. All characters belong to John Green and his brilliant mind.
I sneaked out of the house that night and I witnessed how his face was glorified by street lights by the moment I saw him right after going out of my walled home. I felt my beating heart against my chest and thought that I was just nervous. I smiled at him and he returned a warm, genuine and boyish grin at me. His eyes were sparkling from the distance that we had and that distance was soon limited when I ran to his side and gave him a playful punch on his shoulder.
“You’ll fall harder, you know,” I joked. Somehow, I was in high spirits. Something seemed really, really magical and I felt like I was glowing with warm light.
After that, we went inside the car. I sat on the seat beside the driver’s where he occupied the said space. We smiled at each other before he started the engine.
The car started and our outside surroundings became faintly distorted as we chased off the distance set to us by roads of questionable yet endless destinations. The roads were the existing infinity of journeys.
A smile graced my lips as I watched the lights become different. They were becoming brighter and more breathtaking. I loved the flickering street lights and how they seemed like they were eyes that were blinking at me. I was so seduced.
Then, I sensed the sudden change of my friend’s movement. My attention was turned to him and I noticed him switch the stereo on. He turned it to different stations yet none of them could satisfy him. Thus, he took his phone out and decided to just use Bluetooth to let us hear the songs of his phone.
The first song that came had the introduction of a faint guitar sound as though the strings were all over the sky and the tugging was just caused by the blow of the wind. I loved how it made everything perfect.
The car drove by the bridge and I could see the lights reflected on the water under it. Only a few cars were around and it felt like we owned everything that we had passed by.
Just then, the song changed into something I was really familiar with.
“Welcome to the sleepless city,” he said. His voice sounded so calm yet so comforting as though he was handling me with care. The lights became brighter than ever when we were finally past the bridge. I could feel my breath being taken away.
“Touché,” I told him as my eyes searched for his and when they found his soul’s windows, I noticed that the light that came from his side touched half of his face. His left eye was the top part of the ocean and his right eye was just as dark as the deep depths of the said body of water. For a moment, my breath hitched and I felt galactic explosions inside me. My beating heart was pounding dandelions – pink and sparkling dandelions that never existed. But that was how I could describe it. It felt so appropriate.
During that moment, that sudden moment, I realized that I wanted more moments like that. I wanted more midnight car trips. I wanted more music heard with him. I wanted more moments with him to remember. And I knew that I’d have more if we continued being nothing but friends. A relationship would ruin my chances of being close to him in the future; that’s why I didn’t want to hear my heartbeats for him and I didn’t want to notice my feelings. I had to pretend that I knew nothing and I had to keep on pretending that I thought of the two of us as nothing but pals.
Besides, I was still in a relationship with Jake. Jake’s enough. I love him.
I let out a sigh, wishing that the feelings came with it. I pursed my lips and clenched my fists. Just for this precious moment, let me see him as nothing but a friend, I repeated to myself over and over inside my mind. Despite my sincere yet sad wish, my heart continued being a treacherous traitor. I looked away, hoping that the darkness could swallow my face. I knew that colors were surfacing my cheeks.
“Hey,” he bothered the silence with a simple word that was accompanied by a soothing voice which gave me goosebumps.
“W-what?” My voice was shaky and was caused by my nervous self. I cleared my throat and repeated my question in a better way.
“Why did you leave me behind?”
His voice was now of sadness and emptiness, and a hint of guilt was trying to let itself be obvious. I looked at him and realized that he hadn’t touched me since we met a while ago. And I wasn’t really the one he was looking at. His eyes were glued to the window. I turned around and saw no reflection of me.
“Pudge, what do you mean?”
I was not dumb and I knew what he meant. I just wanted him to answer me so that I could pretend that what I was thinking wasn’t true.
“To be continued? Where’s the continuation?”
He faced the road again and this time, he looked mad. An angered Pudge, now that’s rare!
“Pudge,” I called out and he wasn’t looking at me.
He was saying something to himself, and I didn’t really care about what the words were.
“Pudge,” I repeated. Still, there was no reply from him.
The distance between us felt like it was the distance of two worlds and I couldn’t accept it. I didn’t want to accept it.
My voice cracked. I wanted to cry, but no tears would approach my eyes. Just as time went on, the beating of my heart got fainter and fainter. And my senses were slowly failing me.
I shouted and he still had his monologue ongoing. He wouldn’t listen to me. He wouldn’t hear me out.
No, Alaska. Pudge wasn’t like that. He would listen. He’s that cute and sweet. Just this moment, he couldn’t.
Out of all the things I could hear him say, the very verification of my horrible idea about my state was the one I heard clearly: “Why did you die?”
“I’m not dead,” I told him.
I reached my hand out and tried to touch his shoulder. But I couldn’t. I stopped. There’s no point in trying to fool myself with a lie.
“Were you that desperate to get out of the labyrinth?”
“Straight and fast.”
Then, my gaze landed on him and the image was no longer clear. Everything was blurred. I couldn’t see well.
“Pudge, I didn’t mean to hurt all of you.”
“The strong and wonderful Alaska Young was actually a weak and frail child.”
I smiled to myself, knowing that he was right.
I had smoked and finished my cigarette in a fast way. Always. My journey had always been forward and straight ahead. That’s why my pranks had been born. Those obstacles in the way were always kicked aside. Even so, I had also experienced being almost blown by the strong and cold wind.
“Straight and fast,” I whispered again.
I was going to disappear just like the not-so-thick smoke that I used to create whenever I was kissing my cigarettes. It was my choice. I could have hit the brake when I was about to hit the car. I could have not let the accident happen. I could have lived for dad, for Jake, for Pudge, for the Colonel, for Takumi, for Lara, for the Eagle, for the crappy and shitty misogynists who deserved my insults and for the people who might miss me. But I didn’t.
I had killed myself before I could even regret it.
“I’m leaving the labyrinth,” I said to no one in particular. He couldn’t hear me, but I could hear him. All I could do was say something he would never ever know.
“I won’t forget you.”
“You could have saved yourself.”
“I’m out of the labyrinth once you forget me. Forget me, Pudge. I have to leave.”
“It will be an offense if I forget you.”
“It will be, but I will forgive you.”
And after that, I could no longer see nor feel. I was disappearing, fading. Straight and fast. Straight and fast. Straight and fast. I died. My memories did, too. But my friends’ memories of me didn’t.
I was selfish during that particular moment. And even now. And just as I was about to disappear, I heard something unexpected.
“I wasn’t even able to tell you that I have loved you all this time.”