6: Bucket List

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She goes home, her mother rushing to her and asking if she feels okay. She does.

After finishing her homework, Autumn sits back and tries to think of what she can do with such little time left.

A tear rolls out of her closed eyes, and she brushes it away. Instead, she takes a sheet of paper from the printer and fifteen colored sharpies and writes at the top (in all 15 colors alternatively):

AUTUMN PAISLEY'S BUCKET LIST

She thinks. What is it that she wants to do before she dies?

"1. Read 1,000 books," she writes in red at the top. This had been a goal of hers for a while. She pushes the thought that she always assumed she'd get there by the time she was an adult out of her mind.

What else does she want to do? To see? To own?

This third question sparks her second item. "2. Own a pet hedgehog," is written in orange.

She randomly thinks of another one. "3. Buy a stranger a cookie," She writes it in yellow, then outlines it with a thin black sharpie since it's so hard to read.

She taps the bottom of her light green sharpie against her chin. She uncaps it and writes what would have been a lifetime goal on her list. Why not put the harder ones on there, too? "4. Travel to every state in the US."

Thinking about travelling, she uses dark green to inscribe, "5. Learn to drive." She could drive to each one by herself! That would count for something, taking a road trip around the US in less than a year.

She stays on the topic of things to see for another one. "6. See an eclipse," she uses her turquoise sharpie.

She's running low on ideas. She takes a break and plugs in her earbuds and clicks shuffle.

The first song that plays spurs the next item. She smiles as she writes it down in light blue. "7. Meet favorite band." Of all the things on her list, this was one she wanted to do most.

"8." she writes in dark blue ink. She stops to think. What else does she want to see?

"See a shooting star," she continues the line.

At the moment, she can't think of anything else worth viewing. She goes back to the reading idea.

Read 1000 books... writing she's always enjoyed. Maybe...

She picks up her purple marker. "9. Publish a novel." She had hundreds of unfinished stories about everything, from One Direction fan fictions to supernatural murder mysteries. She would love to sit down and finish one. And what if she did send it to a publisher and people around the world could read her writing? The thought makes her sigh with longing.

Autumn uncaps the lavender sharpie. She just thought of something else she wants to see. "10. See the Northern Lights." During her trip around the country, she could travel all the way to Alaska and see the Northern Lights! How cool would that be??

She wants to do more than ten things with her life, and the page still has plenty of blank space. She combs her brain for some goals she has, or has had but gave up on, or just something that she wants to do in order to make her life seem fun and exciting.

She stains the page with a pink "11." She was a naturally shy person, and she knew that one day she wanted to come out of her shell. Could that happen in such a short time frame? She pushes the thought from her mind. She writes it down anyway, "Be in a movie."

She thinks more about her personality. What are some things she could never do? Well, I'll never be pretty, she thinks sourly. But she pulls out a maroon sharpie and jots down her thinking. "12. Feel pretty (for a change)." If she could do that, though there wasn't much of a chance, it would be so worth it.

She opens her computer and logs on. Pulling up the internet, she looks up common bucket list goals. She finds some interesting ones that she would never do, and a few that she already has. She soon comes upon "Take one picture every day for a year."

That's an interesting idea, thinks Autumn. Assuming she has enough time to achieve it (she forces her mind from wandering to what happens if she doesn't), she scribes it in brown.

She had two colors left: silver and gold. She speculated the bucket list itself, and used silver to write, "14. Help someone else fulfill a bucket list goal." That sounds like fun and a worthwhile achievement, she thinks.

Lastly, gold. There was one thing she was ready to write, and the fear that there was a chance it would never happen was overwhelming. She's afraid to write it down, in case it jinxes it or something, but it was truly a goal that she wanted and needed to accomplish.

"15.," she writes, her hand shaking. "Beat cancer."

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