A week later, Alaska herself tells Miles that she ratted out Marya. Miles is very attracted to Alaska, but he can’t tell if he should trust her, and he’s annoyed with her mood swings. Alaska climbs into bed with him and he counts the five layers of clothing that separate their bodies. Alaska convinces Miles to ask his parents if he can stay with her at Culver Creek over Thanksgiving break. When Miles calls his parents to talk about it, he tells them about how nice it is to finally have friends that he wants to spend time with. This convinces his mom to let him stay.
Miles seems unable to escape from Alaska’s spell. He knows that she is not necessarily trustworthy, and that she can be mean, yet he is obsessed with getting closer to her—so much so that he forgoes the opportunity to see his family to do so. The layers of fabric that separate Miles from Alaska not only measure how far he is from her physically, but also symbolize how far he is from her emotionally.
Later that day, the Colonel warns Miles not to go after Alaska over the break because of the drama that would ensue if she cheated on Jake. Miles worries that maybe he shouldn’t have decided to stay, but when he calls his parents to say he might come home, he learns that they’ve already booked a trip to England for the week of Thanksgiving. Miles feels abandoned, even though he abandoned Thanksgiving with his family first. He starts to cry and Alaska finds him and comforts him, even though she doesn’t know what’s wrong. He asks her why she isn’t going home, and she tells him that Vine Station is “full of ghosts” that she’s scared of.
There is a start contrast between Miles’ home life and Alaska’s. Neither of them feels that they can go home for Thanksgiving, but Miles can’t return mostly for logistical reasons. His parents will not be home because he did not want to be home. Alaska, on the other hand, is afraid of going home. She is haunted by something that happened there or someone who lived there, and she does her best to avoid having to remember these ghosts.