28: Utah and Idaho

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They pass the Four Corners Park for the last time and head to Utah, where they plan to spend the day in Salt Lake City. However, they get there at dusk so stay in the hotel and waste the night relaxing. 

Autumn pulls out the crumpled piece of paper that is her list and smoothes it on the bedside table. She skims it. 

Number 1: Read 1000 books. 

It is in the process of being achieved, as she has read over 625 so far. 

Number 2: Own a pet hedgehog. 

Not yet!

Number 3: Buy a stranger a cookie. 

Though Autumn goes through these things in her mind as she falls asleep every night, she keeps forgetting this one. She supposes she'll know who that stranger will be once she finds them. 

Four: Travel to every state in the US. 

She smiles as she reads it. 

Five: Learn to drive. 


Six: See an eclipse. 

She reads it, then digs through her bag to find the black sharpie. She uncaps it and crosses it off with one major strikethrough. 

She caps the marker and keeps reading. 

Seven: Meet One Direction. 

She smirks at that one. Though it was something that she did want to do, she knew it would take a miracle for it to actually happen. 

Eight: See a shooting star. 

She is surprised that she has gotten along this far in her life without ever seeing a meteor shower. She wonders if she'll see one on this trip, as she had the eclipse. 

She pauses for a minute and unfocuses her eyes as she quickly calculates that the trip is almost over. There were less than ten states left. 

She lets her mind wander to Alaska and Hawaii. They were states. Was Adrian going to be willing to drive her all the way up to Alaska, or fly to Hawaii? He had done so much for her already, and she knew it was something he'd do, but she would never dare bring it up in case he wasn't planning to bring her to them. 

She shakes her head slightly to clear her thoughts. She was being selfish, she realized. Adrian had helped her go to so many states, something she would have never been able to do on her own. If forty-eight states wasn't satisfying to her, she shouldn't be complaining. Look at everything he had done for her already. Was she really so mean as to not care about any of it?

She blinked and refocused her eyes on her list. 

Nine: Publish a novel. 

Hey, it could happen, she tells herself. I just have to finish one of my many books I've started and send it in to a publisher, and hope for the best. That's all. Her pessimistic side whispers that it won't happen, that it's a long shot, that the chances of it actually being published are impossibly small, but her optimistic side overpowers it. 

Ten: See the Northern Lights. 

She could do it, if she purchased a plane ticket to Greenland or somewhere one day to see them. That would make quite a picture. 

11: Be in a movie. 

Again, a long shot. How many people audition for movies? How many have experience and training? The chance was low, but the chance was still there. 

12: Feel pretty (for a change). 

She skips over that one, her right hand subconsciously floating to her unnaturally large eyes and freakishly shaped ears. 

13: Take one picture a day for a year. 

So far, so good!

14: Help someone else achieve a bucket list goal. 

She thought about that one for a while. She hadn't yet thought of someone whose bucket list she could help fulfill. She had pondered Adrian's, a few weeks back, but she wasn't sure he even had one in his mind. He had a long life ahead of him. 

She doesn't read number 15, but folds the paper in half and shoves it back where she had stored it in her suitcase. She falls asleep, thinking about nothing at all. 

The two float in a salty lake, the sensation that they should be sinking but aren't unfamiliar and addicting. They would get out, then get back in every few minutes. 

When they finally get back on the road, Adrian tells Autumn to keep her swimsuit on. She doesn't question it, finally getting accustomed to his secretiveness. They arrive at a White Water Rafting resort, where they rent a raft and are pushed into the water. 

They ride with the current, laughing every time the other one gets splashed in the face. The wetter Autumn's hair gets, the more it starts to frizz. 

"Autumn," Adrian laughs, "Your hair!"

She reaches up to feel it as the raft jerks around. Her eyes grow wide and she starts laughing. 

The two are still smiling when they get to their motel. Autumn wastes no time and showers as soon as they walk in, washing her hair to flatten the fat curls on her head. 

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