You are Pharaoh Raul II. One day you drink a little too much wine and pass out. When you wake up you find yourself in a place called Maine. A pale skinned man calling himself Stephen King is looking at you with a strange look in his eyes. You have no idea what he wants, but when he tells you to get on your knees and kiss the ring of your king, you do it without question. You get on one, kiss the ring, and tell Stephen King, "I love Tony from AIPD. I'm tired of him being Tonyzoned. I'm gonna be his wingman." He laughs and says, "Good luck with that," and walks away. The next morning you're back in Maine. It's been six months since then. You get a job as a waitress. It pays well enough, though not great, so you can save some money. But every night you dream about flying through the skies over New York City, shooting down enemy fighters. In your free time you sign up for aircraft pilot classes at night school. They're tough courses, but you know you'll need them someday if you want to fly planes. Your instructors are all good guys who just want to help. You try to warn the people of New York about the coming invasion. Most ignore you or laugh at you. Some say they believe you because you were once a famous actress named Elizabeth Maxwell. You wait tables and tell people details about yourself that are too personal and sad. Because of this, no one ever gives you good tips. In fact, most customers avoid you altogether. That doesn't bother you. You don't mind making minimum wage. What bothers you is that you haven't seen Tony again. Not even on television. You ask a table of elderly women, "Does anybody want to date Tony from AIPD? He might yawn a lot, but he has quality hair and lots of Sister Act 2 memorabilia." Nobody looks interested. One evening you go home after work to an empty apartment. All your furniture is gone. So is everything else. Except for the TV set. You climb into your sarcophagus as you wait for the police and watch your favorite show: America's Next Top Model. As always, the host is standing in front of a model wearing nothing but her underwear and holding a gun. She asks, "Who should win?" The police arrive and take your statement. They say that one other break-in has happened tonight to a neighbor close by and it was Tony. But they couldn't find any evidence of a struggle. There were no signs of forced entry. They ask if you've heard anything from Tony lately. You cry a single tear. You decide to pay Tony a surprise visit. He isn't there. His bedroom door is open, but there is no sign of anyone having been inside. His clothes are still neatly folded on top of his dresser. "Tony!" You look around his house and find his phone. You read his latest texts: I'm sorry. I had to leave. I will explain later. Don't worry about me. Sorry, Mom! I love you. Your cell phone battery died. Sorry! You see Tony sitting in the backyard tending to a bonfire. You walk outside and greet him. He smiles. "Hi, Lizzy." You hug him tightly. "I missed you so much," you whisper into his ear. You nibble Tony's earlobe. "Liz, please..." You pull away. "Don't do that," you say. You can tell that he's embarrassed. "We need to talk, Liz." You sit down and listen to what Tony has to say. It turns out that Tony is part of something called the Superhuman Underground. It's like a secret society that works behind the scenes, trying to stop the alien invaders. You show Tony your pilots license and say, "you need me." Tony nods and you hop in your plane with him and head for New York to fight the aliens. But it doesn't end well for either of you. As you lie dying, you realize that Tony didn't love you. You are Pharaoh Raul II. As you lay dying, you see your entire life flash before your eyes: your acting career, your marriage, your children, your divorce, and finally you land on that fateful day in Maine. You are Pharaoh Raul II. Epilogue: The End You wake up in your sarcophagus. It's dark and quiet. You reach out with your hand and touch your ring. It's not gold. The moral of the story: Sometimes you have to let go of the past and start over. And sometimes the past just won't let go. ⁂ "You're going to be my wingman. And we are going to shoot the shit." —Carmen Sandiego A few weeks ago you were the star of a reality television series called "America's Next Top Model."