¨The two hardest things to say in life are 'hello' for the first time and 'goodbye' for the last.¨ Creating a bucket list isn't something most teens have to worry about, but Skylar isn't an ordinary teen anymore. Skylar just learned that she has Coronary Artery Disease and is left with a few months to live. She soon accepts the help of Shane, who learned about Skylar’s disease and yearns to help her with completing her bucket list before time is up. One thing the two new friends have in common: they haven't found love. Until they find each other. How will Shane say goodbye to his first love?
“Skylar, I'm sorry. Your CT scan came back.¨ Dr. Johnson announced.
I should have known that the tests were gonna turn out bad, I thought. I tried to swallow the lump in my throat, ¨Is it bad?¨ I hesitantly asked as I looked up at the doctor.
He nodded while trapping his lip between his teeth, a nervous habit, staring down at the file in his hand as his glasses slowly slid down the bridge of his long nose. He pushed his glasses up his nose and looked up at me, ¨You have coronary artery disease.¨
As soon as those words left his mouth, I immediately became nervous and hoped that it wasn’t gonna be as bad as it sounds. ¨Coronary what?¨ I asked with confusion portrayed on my face.
He sighed before continuing, ¨Coronary artery disease.¨
¨What does that mean?¨
¨Let me explain a little bit to you,¨ he said, sitting in his wheely chair and setting the file down on the table next to him, lacing his long fingers together in his lap. ¨There is plaque buildup in your artery, which blocks blood flow and heightens the risk for heart attack and stroke.¨
¨Am I gonna be okay?¨ I asked, hopefully.
¨By the looks of the CT scan, you have at least a few months to live unless you can receive a transplant. When the plaque buildups more in the artery, it will block the blood flow from coming out of the heart which can cause your heart to explode. The transplant list is long and by the time you reach the top, you would be on your death bed.¨ He explained quickly to us.
My eyes started to burn as I looked up at Dr. Johnson; my mouth wide open. I wanted to talk, but it felt as if my whole mouth was filled with cotton. I looked down at my pale, trembling hands as they gripped onto the wooden arm rests.
As soon as it became hard to breathe, I felt as if I was drowning, to the point, that my breathing came out as short, harsh gasps. I heard my heart pounding relentlessly in my ears as the sounds around me became barely audible. This can’t be happening to me, I thought repeatedly in my head, hoping that this moment was just a nightmare.
I shook my head violently, ¨No, this can’t be happening.¨
¨I’m sorry,¨ he apologized to me.
¨You’re not sorry!¨ I snapped at him as I slammed my hands onto the arm rests.
¨Calm down, we need to talk about this,¨ he ordered, motioning for me to sit down.
I knew my mom would be mad if I left in the middle of my appointment so I sat back down in the plastic chair. He must had made a mistake and switched my results with some other patient. I’m only eighteen! This had to be a cruel joke!
He swallowed nervously, ¨If I were in your position, I would be careful as possible and avoid anything that could make it harder for your heart to pump blood. I want to schedule appointments with you every two weeks to see how your heart is doing, you might live a little longer or shorter, it depends on how fast the blockage is building in your artery.¨
I stared up at him blankly, trying hard to swallow the lump in my throat that was keeping me from talking. After a while, I just nodded in response. This had to be a dream, I thought as I closed my eyes and pinched my arm; I was immediately disappointed when I saw that I was still in the same position.
He got up from his chair while he spoke to me, ¨If you experience a burning sensation in your chest or lower abdomen, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, or you're sweating badly, I want you to call the ambulance immediately.¨
After a while, he handed us a few papers before continuing, ¨ Here are a few information leaflets that have a more in depth explanation, but if you have any questions, call me, okay? Have a good day.¨ He shook both of my hand before leaving the room.
I sat there for a while, listening to the chatter that was coming from outside the closed door. I couldn’t cry. I had to be the strong, I repeated in my head as my tears made their appearance in my vision. After a few deep breaths to calm myself down, I grabbed my jacket from the table as I thought about how I was going to tell my mother. I was nervous on how she would react to the news since she already lost my dad and I don't think she can deal with losing me. It would had been much easier if she came to my appointment, since I would had one less person to tell, but she got stuck at work.
Nurses and doctors gazed at me concerned as I made my throughout the hall to the exit with my hands shoved in my pockets. I crossed the dank parking garage towards my beat up Jeep Cherokee. I was out of breath as soon as I made it to my car, I’m already tired of being breathless every time I walk for a short time because I enjoy walking to places.
I immediately heard a clicking sound when I turned the key in the ignition, ¨Are you kidding me?!¨ I slammed my fists on the steering wheel as tears made their way onto my cheeks.. This is the third time this year that I had to buy a new battery for this god damn car, why did it have to die today?
Before I left my car, I grabbed the notebook from the glove compartment; I really needed some alone time to myself and I knew the perfect place. Several questions filled my mind as I walked towards the park; how was I going to tell Mia or Spencer? How would they react to the news? His words replayed in my mind as I drive home, ¨You only have a few months to live...¨
I sat on the worn down bench as I observed the lake that is in front of me. Midnight blue water reflected the sky as the clouds passed by. The vibrant green grass sat along the border occupied by daisies with bright yellow petals. The whole surface made a gentle, waving motion as the breeze passed by. I watched as ducks hovered by the water’s surface before making a gentle landing; their quacks filled my ears as I began to write my bucket list.
¨Hello,¨ a hand appeared in front of my face; waving. I was suddenly pulled out of my trance to reveal a tall, lanky boy standing before me. I concluded that he was running because there was many sweat stains on his gray t-shirt and running shorts.
He cleared his throat, ¨Are you okay?¨ he asked, concerned. At first, I was confused on why he asked me that until I realized my cheeks were moist; I quickly wiped at my eyes.
¨Uh, sorry. Can I help you with anything?¨ I asked the boy, politely.
¨May I sit here?¨ He pointed to the empty seat beside me on the green bench.
I nodded before returning to the open notebook that sits on my lap. I decided to write a small bucket list of a few things that I’ve always wanted to do.
¨If you don’t mind me asking, what are you writing?¨
I closed my notebook quickly, making sure to leave my pen on the page I was on, ¨Nothing.¨
We sat in silence for a while as we watched ducks come in and out of the lake as if it was a revolving door. A few runners past by us before I broke the silence between us, ¨I’m Skylar, what’s your name?¨
He was twiddling his thumbs in his lap when I glanced over at him. We stared at each other for a while before he replied, ¨Why should I tell you?¨
It was a game as soon as he winked at me. Well, two can play at this game,¨I think I’m allowed to know your name since I let you, a complete stranger, sit by me. For all I know, you could be a serial killer.¨
He chuckled, ¨You could have told me no and I would have sat by the weird old lady over there.¨ He pointed over to an old lady who had several dogs on leashes. Instantly, I knew I would have felt bad if I declined him.
Moments later, his phone went off, ¨I’m sorry, but I got to go. My mom is here to pick me up. Thank you for letting me sit next to you.¨
¨Wait!¨ I grabbed his arm, ¨What’s your name?¨
¨Sully.¨ Who would name their child Sully? That couldn’t be his real name unless his parents loved Monster Inc. Before I could ask for his real name, he ran off towards the parked car.
I might never see this mysterious boy again, but if I do, I will make sure that I find out his name even if it killed me.
The welcoming scent of coffee wafted through the air as I made my way to the back of the coffee shop to start my daily shift. I sat on the stool that faces the entrance of the shop along as I observed the scene outside. The pavements were covered in various birds as they fight over specks of what may, or may not even be food. Children ran towards them, squealing with pleasure as the birds fly off in several different directions.
I loved this place and I wish I could stay here all day long. Mom didn't think it was necessary for me to work, but I convinced her since I loved it so much.The sound of the jingling bell interrupted my thoughts as a new customer walked in. I smiled as soon as I saw Mia and Spencer; they always visited me when I was working.
¨Can we have the usual, beautiful?¨ Spencer winked towards me. I’ve rejected him umpteen times and yet he always flirted with me.
I nodded before grabbing their usual; two black coffees served with apple pie. ¨That will be $7.35.¨ As I glanced up at Spencer; my mind couldn’t help, but bring up the mysterious boy at the park.
I watched them as they took a seat in their usual spot; you could have easily mistaken them as celebrities. Mia with her long, curly brown hair that I’ve always been jealous of, along with her large, light blue eyes that gave the illusion that she had colored contacts in. Spencer, on the other hand, was very tall and had light brown hair that was combed back, complimenting his hazel eyes. I haven’t seen my friends for two months since they left for their family vacation in Orlando. I tried to convince my mom to let me go with them, but no matter how hard I tried, she said no.
Once it was my break, I made my way over to my friends and sat next to Mia with Spencer in front of us, ¨How are you guys doing?¨
¨Fantastic!¨ Mia squealed before continuing to talk about their trip to Orlando. I smiled and laughed with her when I had to; I wish I could be as happy as she was. Once Mia was finished with her story, the table became quiet since Spencer was on his phone while Mia was reading.
After a while I broke the silence, ¨I have something to tell you guys,¨ I spoke up while I stared down at my trembling hands. Too late to go back now, I thought.
¨What is it, babe?¨ Spencer asked, concerned.
I looked up at their worried faces; I don’t want them to leave me, I can’t tell them. ¨Nothing, I really missed you guys,¨ I lied as I faked smiled and hugged Mia.
¨We missed you too, Sky!¨ Mia replied while giving me a tight hug.
After my break was over, I made my way over to the counter; I’m such a wimp for not telling my friends about everything. I sighed as I took out my notebook from one of the shelves that was hidden behind the counter. The bucket list slowly came together as I added more things to the list. I doubt I will be able to do some things, but a girl can dream. My mom suggested that I could complete the bucket list with some friends so I might ask Mia and Spencer, but I would have to tell them about my disease.
I thought for a while before writing down goals that I wanted to achieve, 7.) Mystery Boy.
1.Watch a Sunrise and sunset in the same day.
4.Make homemade cookies.
5. Learn how to ice skate.
6. Go Surfing.
7. Mystery Boy.
8. Dance in the rain.
9. Send a message in a bottle.
10. Dress up fancy and go somewhere mundane.
11. Dye my hair a different color.
12. Jump off a cliff into the water.
13. Kiss underwater.
14.Ride a motorcycle.
15. Get a tattoo.
16 Go Rock-climbing.
17. Ride a horse.
18. Buy something at Victoria Secret.
19. Get my first kiss.
20. Write a note and leave it in a library book.
21. Learn how to ride a skateboard.
22. Adopt a shelter animal.
23. Make s'mores over a campfire.
24. Release a sky lantern.
25. Travel to Orlando.
26. Swim with the dolphins.
27. Bring a meal to a homeless person.
28. Build a fort.
29. Ride in a shopping cart in a restaurant’s drive through.