His eyes shot open.
Stretching his muscles, he stood up from the ground.
He had been lying on gravel. The last thing he remembered…
His mind quickly puzzled things together.
"I'm dead," he said. Now that he spoke it out loud, it seemed so obvious.
"You're fast," a voice behind him spoke.
He spun around on his heels and found himself staring at what was probably the hottest girl in human history.
Her eyes were like two green gems. The light mascara made them really stand out from her pale face. She had restrained her black hair in a braid which danced over one shoulder. Her clothes consisted of tight blue jeans and a light gray tank top, both of which accentuated her curvy figure.
"Welcome to the Afterlife," she continued.
"Afterlife huh? I knew it."
"I see. Although they call this the Afterlife, it's not actually an Afterlife."
"How do you mean? Is this the Afterlife or not?"
"Otonashi has a good way of explaining it. Let's say you are on a train. This is one of its stations. Eventually, you have to move on, get back on the train."
"So why did I stop here?"
"To get a second chance."
"A second chance?"
"You have regrets about your life. This world gives you a second chance at fulfilling your dreams. Once you accomplished that, you can get back on the train."
"Fulfilling my dreams." Leaving a mark on the world. Overcoming oblivion. He paused for a moment. "So why are you here?" he asked.
"I still have stuff to do. Reading my life's library, apologizing to a certain boy. But most importantly I want to find God."
"If this is the Afterlife, he has to be here somewhere."
"And what do you intend to do once you find him?"
"I'm gonna look him in the eye and ask him why?"
"I see." He liked this girl. If it wasn't for Hazel…
He hadn't even thought about her yet.
The girl smiled. "Is that your girlfriend?"
"Yeah. She had cancer, just like me, but, well… I went first."
"Don't worry about it, you'll meet her again. This place has a habit of making your dreams come true."
The guy pulled out his pack of cigarettes. "Would you like one?" he asked.
"Sure," the girl said, accepting his offer.
"You know," she said, taking out her lighter. "In the past, I smoked to die."
"Self destructing urges huh? I did things like that too."
"You don't seem the type for that," she replied, handing him the lighter.
The boy lit up his cigarette for the first time. "Oh I was. I always lost at Counterinsurgence 2: the Price of Dawn because I insisted on saving the prisoners."
"The Price of Dawn," the girl mumbled. "Hey, I know that one. That's a book."
"You've read it?"
"Yeah. It was good."
Are you hitting on me?
Does this classify as cheating?
The boy cleared his throat. "Now might be a good time to introduce myself. I'm Augustus Waters, cancer non-survivor, my friends call me Gus."
"Alaska Young, I died in a car accident," she said, shaking his hand.
A unique name, for a unique girl.