Hazel Grace Lancaster wasn't dead.
Of course, I couldn't say that out loud. People would think I was crazy. Why else would I be dressed in a tux, looking – that is, if I could see – at her casket? Feeling the sickeningly smooth wood and the stinging prick to the eyes that I don't have, as it always is with funerals?
"Poor Isaac, he's experienced so much loss these last few years," They would cluck, like overbearing mother hens. "His eyes, and then Augustus, and now Hazel."
Pity. The one downside to Cancer. Besides dying, I mean. But when you live with it everyday, it becomes taboo. You can't think about death all the time, even when you're a Cancer Kid. Maybe especially when you're a Cancer Kid.
Hazel would get it. She always got these things. But I couldn't tell her that now.
And no, not because she's dead, of course, because she's not. In any sense of the word; especially not in the mushy, "You'll always be in my heart." way, either. God, Hazel would hate that.
It's like this: before Augustus Waters died, we – Hazel and I - gave him a living funeral in the Literal Heart of Jesus, where, in my eulogy, I told him, for the last time, that he was a self – aggrandizing bastard, but one who was worth more to me than any robot eyes ever could.
But Hazel's eulogy just made more sense.
She introduced me to, and reminisced Augustus of, their infinity – the numberless hopes and dreams and wishes and all the faulty-starred grief they gave each other, stuffed into the impossible vicinity of so few days. Somehow – I don't think I'll ever understand it – she explained that some infinities are larger than others. The infinity between one and two is innumerably smaller than the one between two and one hundred. But their crossed, faulty stars only doled them out a small one, and Hazel, though she wished for a larger one, loved the one that was theirs.
But I didn't have the heart to tell her that a small infinity is still an infinity. Hazel only focused on the end of something that had no end. It was just as endless, as boundless, as limitless as their love could be. That's when I realized just what their infinity was: their love. The little moments and big epiphanies that came with their love, the places and people and times that gave them their chance to stick it to star –crossed stars.
So, Hazel Grace Lancaster is not dead. She is sitting in Amsterdam, drinking stars, while, at the same time, playing video games with Gus, laughing harder and harder at his valiant deaths until her sides burn and, for the first time in a long time, her lack of air is not due to her stupid lungs. She is sitting in a park with kids climbing on a skeleton, surrounded by orange and talking with Augustus about how life, as well as An Imperial Affliction, can end in the middle of a sente -
And I hope that, somewhere in that infinity, I made enough of a mark (not a scar, mind you. I wouldn't dare leave a scar on Hazel when she tried so hard not to leave her own.) that I am somewhere in that infinity, stomping on trophies or egging a car I can't see, while aiming with eyes that aren't my own, right alongside them.
Because Hazel Grace Lancaster noticed the Universe.
And so the Universe granted her an infinity.