I never truly understood Alaska Young, but wasn't that part of her personality, leaving out bits and clues for people to put together themselves. That is why I cried so much at her funeral, I felt like I could never put together the clues, not without knowing her last words. I would hope that her last words were my name being whispered over and over again, but knowing what little I do know about Alaska, it would be the last piece of the puzzle. The last puzzle piece you find hidden between the couch cushions.

I remember everyone leaving to go to the lobby and me and Cornel just sitting there in our rented tuxedos, staring at the coffin, getting that last look as she is finally closed off to the world forever. I will never get to see her smile from ear to again or get to share a smoke with her, all those books that will go unread. If only people knew how endlessly fascinating she was, maybe then it wouldn't have ended this way, but it did and I am to blame. She deserved better friends, but we were too foolish to notice that she was slipping through our fingers, and she fell too quickly for us to catch her. She was gone.

Nothing really seemed to register in my mind after that, I talked to no one, I sat alone and snuck out once during the lunch to smoke. It all went by in a blur. People who didn't even know Alaska gave speeches about how much they will miss her, bullshit. Through the night I kept tell myself that she will come back. She can't just be gone like that; she couldn't just come into my life, change me, and then leave. That is not how it works.

I remember getting on the bus to go back, but I don't remember the drive or how I ended up in bed right now. All that matters is that I keep myself awake for fear that if I fall asleep I will see her in my dreams, remind off all the things I did wrong and how I could do it so much better this time. That's just not how life works though, you don't get second chances, you just get stuck in the labyrinth and have to find a way out, straight and fast.