The Bucket List ~ An Original Story
Ashley was diagnosed with leukemia, and it's certainly taken a toll on her. Her loyal boyfriend, Henry, found a bucket list she wrote, and wants to help her conquer it before the cancer takes her away.
NOTE: This story will be sad and depressing. If, for some reason, you can't read sad stories or cancer ones, I suggest that you don't read this.
Finding the List
Henryâ€™s late, but Iâ€™ve become quite used to it. His band rehearsals frequently ran late, but I wasnâ€™t necessarily angry at him. Music was always a passion of his, and I donâ€™t want to take that away from him, especially since Iâ€™d soon be gone from him. Itâ€™s just that I feel as if heâ€™s abandoning me for his fourth and probably unsuccessful band when I need him most. I know Iâ€™m being selfish, because soon Iâ€™ll be abandoning him, but I just want my boyfriend by my side to give me the support that I need.
He finally sprinted through the door, out of breath, and dark hair mildly sweaty.
â€œIâ€™m so sorry Iâ€™m late, babe. Machine Fire and I are just really struggling to get gigs, and I lost track of time while we were contacting bars and venues,â€ he pants, beads of sweat trickling down his forehead.
â€œYouâ€™re really out of shape, Henry. All you did was run through a hospital, and you act like you just ran three miles,â€ I teasingly scold, sticking my tongue out playfully.
â€œIt probably was three miles,â€ he says with a laugh, â€œYouâ€™re on the 15th floor and the elevator is broken. But anyways, I have a surprise for you.â€
â€œPlease tell me that itâ€™s candy. Iâ€™ve really been craving Swedish Fish, and the gift shop in the lobby doesnâ€™t have any damn candy!â€
â€œNo,â€ he chuckles, â€œWell, I was visiting your mom, and I-I found your bucket list you wrote when you first got the news on the table, and y-you only have about a mo-month left to live,â€ he paused to brush away some tears, â€œso I want to help you do everything on the list. I already got permission from your doctors for you to leave the hospital. Do you want to?â€ Only a month left to live. I forgot about that for a little, and tears threaten to pour out at the reminder of whatâ€™s left of my short life. I love Henry, though, and Iâ€™m desperate to get out this hell house.
â€œSure, Henry. Did you bring me a change of clothes, though? I donâ€™t want to go out into the world in a hospital gown! My underwear is totally visible,â€ I say with laugh.
â€œOf course I did, babe. I donâ€™t want any other guys to see your underwear and get the wrong idea,â€ he says, chuckling, and tosses me some jeans, an old band t-shirt, and a bra. Itâ€™s a bit awkward that he had to get my bra from my house, but it would be even more awkward to go out without one. He sets my Converse down on the bed, not wanting to throw them at me to avoid injuries.
â€œCould you go into the bathroom or something while I change?â€ I say awkwardly, not meeting his eyes.
â€œOh, uh, yeah. Sorry,â€ he says, cheeks flushed. I wait until he walks out of the door and change into normal clothes. It feels weird to be out of the gown after Iâ€™ve been in it for a few months and the tighter garments donâ€™t feel right. I look in the mirror in my room, face crinkling in disgust at the dark blue spots leukemia left on me. I look unappealing, disgusting, like a zombie. My skin is shade of pale and my eye color faded down a few notches. All my good features from before the damned cancer left me, leaving me with this body.
â€œAre you done yet, Ashley? Can I come in?â€ Henry says, knocking on the door. Itâ€™s sweet, really, how much he respects me. Iâ€™m glad he knocked, though. If he saw how I was looking at myself, heâ€™d give me a boyfriend required pep talk about how Iâ€™m beautiful inside and out, and Iâ€™m really not in the mood.
â€œYep! Come on in,â€ I say, hiding my depression behind a masked smile. He knows me too well and sees right through it.
â€œAshley, are you okay? Is there something on your mind you want to talk about?â€ he says, voice full of concern.
â€œNo, Henry. Iâ€™m fine. Well, not really, but you know what I mean,â€ I say, avoiding eye contact. Every muscle in my body begs me to let me break down and cry, but I refuse. Heâ€™s barely maintaining as it is. I donâ€™t want to be a burden.
â€œDonâ€™t lie to me. I know youâ€™re not. You can tell me anything,â€ he says firmly, and I know he wonâ€™t give up until I tell him. I wish he didnâ€™t care so much about me. Itâ€™ll destroy him once I pass away.
â€œI just.. I donâ€™t feel pretty,â€ I whisper, biting my lip. His protective, strong arms wrap around me, and he kisses my head softly.
"Babe, youâ€™re beautiful to me. When I look at you, I donâ€™t see a sick girl with cancer. I see a funny, brave, strong, smart, amazing girl, and thatâ€™s as beautiful as it gets to me. I know you donâ€™t see yourself as pretty right now, and Iâ€™m not going to force how gorgeous you are down your throat, because I know that youâ€™d hate it. Just know that I and plenty of other people think that youâ€™re completely stunning,â€ he whispers into my ear, pecking my lips softly once he finishes his speech. It was a bit clichÃ©, but it made my heart melt. I have the best boyfriend in the world.
â€œThanks, Henry. Youâ€™re the best. Now letâ€™s go defeat the bucket list!â€ I pipe, fist pumping wildly, and laugh as he joins in with me.
â€œGod, I love your laugh. Now, to the car! First thing to conquer â€“ being in two places at once! I know just how to do that,â€ he says with a sly smile, tugging me into his silver BMW. This is going to be a wild ride.