THE DAY OF

The next morning, I awoke with a start. I sat up so quickly that I smacked my head really hard on the top bunk where The Colonel was sleeping. Holding back my screams of agony in fear of waking him, I looked over at the alarm clock on the side table. It read "4:02 am". What? I thought. It couldn't be that early. My phone began to ring.

IT'S PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME! PEANUT…

"Hello?" I whispered.

"Pudge? Are you there?" A hushed, frail voice answered.

"Who is this?"

"I'm so sorry, Pudge."

"WHO IS THIS?" I roared.

"You're never going to believe me," the voice sobbed, "This is Alaska."

I proceeded to dislodge my heart from my throat.

"I…but…you…" I stammered, choking on my words.

"Don't speak," Alaska said in her luscious voice. "I can explain."

"You have a lot of explaining to do."

"Yes, I know."

Alaska and I talked about what the circumstances of the night of the crash were. Apparently, she had taken some extreme depressant drug and that had put in her in a state of comatose like Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. But, just like in Romeo and Juliet, the drug wore off, and she had escaped the hospital and had paid the hospital staff not to reveal her name to anyone. She had posed as a girl named Rachel to avoid confusion. Supposedly, she had gotten the name Rachel from stealing someones mail from their mailbox. Just like Alaska. Always getting into trouble.

"Don't tell anyone, Pudge," she had said, "not even Chip."

"Okay. Anything for you, Alaska."

"Do you want to know why I faked my death?"

"Do I?"

"Probably."

"Okay, tell me."

"To get away from Jake."

"But, why?"

"I don't know. Just don't tell anyone. I want to tell them myself."

"I have so many questions."

"Fire away, Pudge."

"Where did you get a drug like that? Why did you not tell us about your plan? Are you coming back? Do you want to be called Alaska or Rachel? Did anyone else know you were alive? You confuse me."

"Here are your answers, in order: It's confidential, Pudge. I didn't want Chip to get angry at me. Maybe in like a week or two. Alaska. The hospital and some other people. And the last isn't a question."

"There's some things you should know, Alaska."

"What?"

"There's a girl that lives in room 143 now and Lara and I broke up."

Alaska paused for a moment.

"Tell the girl to get out of my dorm and I knew you and Lara wouldn't work out."

"Hey, Alaska. I gotta go. It's almost 6:00, and that's when The Colonel wakes up. I don't want him to ask who I'm talking to."

"Okay, I understand. Remember, don't tell anyone. I'll tell them myself."

"See you soon."

"Goodbye, Pudge."

"Goodbye, Alaska. Be safe. Don't get caught."

"Do you forget who you're talking to?"

Alaska and I laughed and we ended the conversation.

I closed my ancient flip-phone and got up quietly. The Colonel shifted positions in his bed, narrowly avoiding a fall from the top bunk. He sniffled and rolled over to the other side, but rolled too far and plummeted onto the concrete floor.

"UGH!" The Colonel grunted as he fell. "What?... why am I on the floor?"

"You rolled off the top bunk," I answered, trying hard to hold back my laughter.

"Okay, whatever you say," he replied, deadpan.

Sorry for the short chapter. I'll have to write more in the near future.