Back to part 7-9!
So here we are. I'm still narrating, which is sort of against the rules.
"Why is Alex still narrating?" you're asking.
You mean, "Thought you had an aneurysm, Alex. Thought you're supposed to be rotting somewhere."
Well, I'm not sure where I'm supposed to be. Just think of me as Patrick Swayze in that movie...
No, smartass, the other one. With Demi Moore and Whoopi- yeah, that one.
Now I've got your attention. What do you want to know, the meaning of life? Sorry, I'm still not sure. I've got some theories.
Where do we go when we die? All around, I guess. Some places more than others. But I could be an exception.
There's weird little things about Patrick Swayze Me (Alex Whitman version 3.0, if you're counting). I don't yawn. Literally, I can't. It just never happens. I kinda miss yawning. It's one of the minor things you don't notice until they're gone.
What else can I tell you? Oh, I saw some of my funeral. That really sucked and was depressing. People say they daydream about what their funeral would be like - trust me, you don't want to know. When you die, you want fields of flowers and puppies and conversations with God or John Lennon. You do not want to be stuck in your hometown, even for a few minutes. It's not like you can do anything when you're there.
I mean, sometimes you think people see you. Like your dad or your neighbor's dog or someone who's asleep or a space satellite (I told you, all around). Maybe they do, but it's only for a little while. Most of the time you just want them to, like you want a lot of things. I want Isabel to stop crying and I want Liz to stop looking. I want Tess to stop hurting. You can't always get what you want - that's multiplied by a thousand when you're dead.
Ask me again why I'm still narrating...
Every time I have a chance to say something, I'm afraid it will be my last. Someone will figure out the time/space continuim or the afterlife or whatever got screwed up, and my soul's not supposed to be here, and I'll get sucked somewhere else. So I want everything I say to be really important, even right now.
I want to say that the past couple of years have been strange. The past couple of months were stranger.
There was losing my best friends and then getting them back. Having a Walking Goddess actually look at me like I matter to her - sometimes. Uncovering government conspiracies, running for my life, all that fun stuff. And then there was Tess, lying to people I never thought I would lie to, becoming a jealous idiot, etc.
Realizing how little you know about someone when you first meet them. Getting self-confidence. Needing someone. Having a secret, having memories- hell, having sex (I'm allowed to be a guy, okay?). Being inspired. Reading someone's mind in every possible way. Laughing just because, at one given second, you're happy to be exactly where you are.
I told you once about omens and being sorry we met. I told you I shouldn't have ever gotten involved with her. I was lying through my teeth then. (I kinda miss teeth.)
If I was born a different person, in a different family, maybe even in a different state or country, I don't know what my life would've been like. It could have been longer. There might have been similar experiences, like they were fated to happen to me no matter where I was. I could have gone to another school with a different circle of friends and everything I know in this life would be some kind of insane fantasy.
Some people go their whole lives without knowing aliens exist. Where I ended up, I'm one of the lucky ones that found out. I fell in love with one.
And I'm not one bit sorry. You have to know that.
I have a dream again.
I'm lying in the sand where I suppose I was born (or died?) a long time ago. I have the feeling it's cooler than Roswell and Earth, but it doesn't bother me.
Max remembers me. Max knows me. Max loves me.
This is where it changes. It starts out very clear, but suddenly everything looks faded and unreal. It's like when the lights come on during movie credits, and you realize for the first time in 90 minutes that you're in a theater and you'll have to get in your car and go home.
That's what I do, in a hybrid way. Tess tells Ava to fuck off tonight, gets in her Honda, and just drives along dark roads. The roads in my dream are always dark, and then there's yellow tape and a policeman blocking my way. "Move back. There's been an accident."
I say, "I know."
He says, "You'd better go home."
I say, "I know. I'm lost." I start to feel dizzy and fall, and he catches me. It's okay.
His voice sounds different.
It's okay, Tess. Please. It's okay.
What happened to the policeman?
I love you, Tess. Can you hear me? Answer me.
I don't answer. I run and run until I wake up.
A girl in black walks up to me today and says, "I know you."
I doubt it.
"Um... Tammy? Tricia?"
"Tess." And you are?
"You were friends with... Alex. We, um, we met last summer when-" Instead of finishing the sentence, she puts her hand by her eye and squeaks. "I'm sorry... it's-it's probably my contact lens or some..thing..."
"I didn't know him that well," I lie, looking for a direction to flee in.
"Oh, but didn't he write a song for you?" she whimpers.
Wait, who *is* this girl?
She sniffles, then takes her contact lenses out (uh, ew?) and replaces them with dark square-shaped glasses from her pocket. "I didn't mean to bother... I'm just... still so... you know?" Oh jeez, I do know her.
"Listen, I was just heading to this thing," she manages, "like a candle-lighting for... you should come."
I have a headache.
"I gotta go somewhere else," I say, and I apologize, and I smile. This is the kind of thing I don't need right now, like Kyle acting cluelessly sincere or Max telling me what the blood looked like. I do have somewhere else to go, and tonight I'm going to put my alien half back in charge and pretend I like letting Max use me to work out his confusion and anger and grief.
It's not so bad. He's pretty good in bed. Well, good on the floor. I'm just really afraid he'll "see into my soul" or whatever they call it. I'm glad he doesn't.
On the inside, I am a living, breathing tribute to everything shitty in the world.
What, you don't believe me? Think about this...
I don't think Alex read all of the translated book.
I know Max didn't.
There's a lovely section on alien pregnancies. Turns out they last *three* months, not one.
Oh, but I am pregnant. And I am due.
How are your math skills? Hopefully we'll be gone and home before Max's kick in.
It all makes sense if you think about it. If the baby isn't Max's, if the real father is dead, well there's nothing we can do about that. It's just as well he doesn't know, he'll still be a good dad. And husband. And king.
And we get to go home, which was the point from the start. Part of me knows that. Part of me says this is the best way it could have ended. Almost.
Nothing you can do about death except move on and replace it with life. I have a new life to think about, and so does Max, and so will our child (*practically* our child). I'm not alone anymore, maybe I never really was.
We'll use the book, and we'll go home, and maybe Alex's life wasn't without purpose.
I'm in the pod chamber again, with my family of sorts, and it's almost time to go. I wanted this so much once.
Yesterday Max clenched his jaw and sarcastically asked Liz if I'd killed Alex. For just a second, I thought I heard someone say No, and it sounded like the voice from my dream.
The funny thing was that it seemed like an accusation to me - how young and naive. Older and wiser, I know what a real accusation sounds like.
It's like this: "It was Tess! Tess killed Alex!"
Now *there's* an accusation.
I hear another No in my head. No no no. Do you really think that?
I don't answer and soon he's drowned out by Liz yelling and the Granilith beeping.
Max's eyes turn cold and scary, and he doesn't remember or know me at all. Kyle, this supposed best friend of mine, is shaking and nodding. Everyone else is fixed on me like I'm cancer personified and all they needed was a little proof.
I'm all alone. The lights come up in the movie theater. I've been so, so stupid.
Max asks if it's true, as if he'll believe something different now that Liz Parker Has A Theory. They'll all refuse anything else, and I'd hate to rain on Alex's memory anyway. Wouldn't it come out ridiculous? The sweet, innocent, protective nice guy gets corrupted by something like me. Intentionally.
So I just agree with it and cry and curse like I haven't allowed my human half to in so long.
So I step into my fate alone. Noise and light close in on me, and Max runs. Go.
Go back to your girlfriend. Go back to the nice Earth life you chose while you had the chance.
Go. You lucky bastard.
Can you hear me? Why did you do it, Tess?
Leave me alone... No don't really.
Why did you lie to them?
I don't know- I didn't mean that, don't go away.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean that, I didn't-
I didn't mean to, I-
Shit, I'm crying.
That's okay too.
No it's not.
Yes it is.
Don't you argue with me. You're a stupid dream.
What are you doing here?
I wish I knew.
Am I dying or crazy or something?
I hope not.
Do you hate me?
Why in the hell would- *no*. Tess, swear to God, you did not kill me. Okay? Why do you even thi- how- argh. Why would you...
But you don't blame me?
Of course not, not for anything. Except you screwing up your own life just now.
You didn't do anything. I'm sorry.
I love you.
And I love you too. And I should've said that a million times.
Um, yeah? Who did you think this was?
No, I knew, I just- don't kid around, this is serious.
You can't see me, but I promise I'm making a very serious face.
There's something I have to tell you about alien pregnancies.
If I had a nickel for every time I heard that...
I said serious, jerk.
You know about me being... you know, right?
Yours. Don't get sarcastic.
What do you mean "yours"?
I mean *yours*. Do the dead get infinite wisdom or what?
I missed out on the wisdom.... Wait, mine?
As in my baby.
I'm having a baby.
*I'm* having a baby. You're just the father.
Calm down, I'm still here. Wow.
Give me a second.
Is this good? Does it suck big? I need a hint.
What is your planet gonna think about this?
I'm not technically going there. I'm supposed to find that Larek guy and see what happens. I don't know what I'll tell them.
But you could stay there and not be in danger or anything, right?
Sounds good to me.
What do I do?
As long as I can.
Don't ever go away, do that for me. Stay here.
And don't baby me.
Promise I didn't cause it.
Are you kidding?
God, I do not understand alien girls.
I wake up under a few moons and a bluish tree. Tess and Ava both think it's weirdly beautiful, like we're the same person for a minute.
(Alex thinks it's pretty cool. Alex likes to talk about himself in the third person too. Would Alex like to finish the story or let me? Sorry. Go ahead.)
Some beings look me over and glow and smile as much as they can with teeny mouths. One says something in another language, then tells me in broken English that everything will be fine.
And the baby moves, and the stars keep watching, and I think I really believe him.
Have you emailed me yet?
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