Week 3 Summary (After-14 Days After)

Hey everyone! Not the brightest part of the book, but I'm here to post a summary.

This section starts with After. They wake up, the Colonel with a hangover, to the Eagle knocking on their door, which is unusual to begin with at Culver Creek. They are ordered to go to the gym, which they do after being reassured that they aren't in trouble but that something terrible happened. At first, they think Hyde has died. Pudge rather constantly brings up the fact that he made out with Alaska in disbelief. When Hyde appears at the gym, they begin to panic, soon realizing that Alaska isn't there. Pudge insists on waiting until Alaska gets there to start, but he soon realizes what has happened yet continues to beg the Eagle to wait.

The Eagle announces that Alaska died in an accident and Pudge flees the gym and throws up. He instantly begins blaming himself for letting her drive drunk and then convinces himself that she's alive and she's just playing a trick on them; this is the only way he can cope with her death. Pudge returns to the gym to see the Colonel screaming "I'm so sorry" over and over again and all of Alaska's friends mourning, or as he puts it, "disintegrating". The Eagle approaches Pudge and Pudge says that he thinks Alaska is pulling a prank, but the Eagle says that he saw her after she hit a police cruiser without swerving or braking and the steering wheel of her car went through her chest.

Pudge struggles with her death for quite some time. He focuses on the fact that she said "To be continued?" after she made out with him. He realizes that he will never know her last words, as the Eagle said her death was instantaneous. He hugs the Colonel for the first time and they mourn together.

Miles calls his parents and informs them of Alaska's death, as he just needs someone to pick up the phone. He then compares his loss to a man losing his glasses and being informed that the world has run out of glasses. It's a beautiful metaphor, as it perfectly describes both his fear and how irrational he believes the situation is.

Pudge and the Colonel continue to mourn as they see Alaska in everything around them at Culver Creek, such as bufriedos and cigarettes. They go through the stages of grief - especially denial and anger to start with. The Colonel leaves to go on a walk to nowhere in particular.

Various visitors try to comfort Pudge, but all he can think is that an instant of blinding pain doesn't feel instant, that none of these people really knew Alaska. Pudge comes up with a standard lie - that he and the Colonel hadn't seen her between going to bed and her death. Pudge ponders that he is in a love triangle with one dead side, given that he is still technically dating Lara.

Pudge has a nightmare about her a few days after her death. It starts off as a good dream, but he soon has to relive her death even though he never lived it.

The Colonel returns about two days after going for his walk. He had walked forty two miles each way, taking forty five hours. He walked until he got too cold and then came back without any sleep, admitting that he has dreams similar to Pudge's. The Colonel copes by memorizing the capitals and populations of all the countries in the world.

Six days after Alaska's death, the students of Culver Creek attend her funeral. Most take a bus, but Takumi, Lara, the Colonel, and Pudge take Takumi's car to avoid the spot where she died. They finally begin to progress to the later stages of grief, somewhere between acceptance and depression for a while. Pudge laments the fact that she has a closed casket funeral and that he will never see her again. It was Alaska's request - her mom had an open casket and she didn't want them to see her dead.. Pudge admits that he loves her present tense and he ponders whether death is worse than his position.

Pudge and the Colonel have to return to Alaska's room to get anything they don't want her aunt to find. Pudge tries to find The General in His Labyrinth, which was Alaska's favorite book, and he keeps it. Near the quote "'How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?'", Alaska recently wrote "Straight and fast", which leads them to speculate that she may have committed suicide. They are both depressed by her unfinished Life's Library - one garage sale to another, ashes to ashes.

They return to school the next day and the Colonel and Pudge have to deal with the everyday trials of school without Alaska, which includes several students mourning her when they hardly knew her. In religion class, Dr. Hyde brings Alaska's question of how to get out of they labyrinth into class.

The Colonel then comes up with a theory, which basically is that Jake calls and they have a fight about her cheating, so she rushes off campus to drive to Nashville and reconcile the relationship. A few miles in, she sees the cop car and she realizes how she's going to get out of the labyrinth and kills herself. Pudge is convinced that this is ridiculous, but it's the best explanation they have. They come up with a game plan to figure out what happens, but Pudge doesn't really want to go along with it - he's too depressed. The Colonel makes him, though.

They go to the police department to talk to the police officer who saw her die and he says that he's never seen someone so drunk that they didn't even swerve. He affirms that Pudge won't get any last words and that her blood alcohol level was .24 (3 times the legal limit for adults in California). He also reveals that she had white flowers in the backseat - the same flowers she got from Jake, or so Pudge assumes. The cop convinces them that it definitely could have been a suicide. The section ends with Pudge just wanting to let her remain dead and not turn her into a selfish b*tch, but the Colonel insists on continuing the search and Pudge grudgingly agrees, ending the section.

Well, long summary. Hope I covered everything!



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