This alternative ending is set at the end of chapter sixteen, replacing all other chapters from seventeen onwards. Augustus is dying, and Hazel is regularly visiting his house.
Augustus was dying. He tried to hide it, with pained laughter and enigmatic smiles, but I wasn’t a complete imbecile. Something about the greater, cosmic plan of the universe was decidedly off-kilter in a manner which saw the gradual fading of charming, confidant Augustus Waters to desperate, resigned Gus. He was dying. Of course, we are all dying, plodding through life towards the inevitable end. But something in the Grand Book of Augustus meant that this process was being sped up at an uncomfortable rate.
And every morning I gripped the steering wheel, and took deep calming breaths to fool myself into believing that reality had somehow warped into a terrible nightmare. As I have discovered, the human mind is very good at lying, even to itself. Especially to itself.
My phone was lying innocently on the dashboard as I slowed down at the red lights. It began to vibrate, resolutely refusing to be ignored until, mentally offering a profuse apology to the God of Road safety, I answered it. It was Gus.
“Hazel Grace.” Even his voice sounded strained; a little too bright, a little too forced.
“Gus,” I shifted the phone to my shoulder and pressed my foot to the accelerator. “I’m on my way, traffic sorry.”
“Of course you are. And how long does Miss Lancaster estimate she will be?”
“10 minutes, 34 and a half seconds. Give or take a few.”
“Excellent. No rush, of course, but I just thought I would inform you that there is a very attractive one legged sex-god here, and I wouldn’t want you to miss him.”
I laughed in spite of myself. Augustus Waters was, without a doubt, the most self-assured being since Narcissus.
“Well, be careful. Don’t run over any poor old Granny’s crossing the road.”
“Okay,” I replied.
“Okay,” he was smirking, I could tell.
“I’m going to put the phone down now. Okay?”
He hung up.
I flicked the phone back to its perch on the dashboard and turned out onto the road, which was swarming with cars, each one containing a different person with a different story.
I sighed. As per usual, I prayed to a being who may or may not exist in the hope for a happy ending, and ea