Malcolm was eleven years old. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer. They gave him six months. He still went to school, and wasn’t yet in too much pain.
His teacher decided to surreptitiously help. She got everyone in the class to write their own bucket list. That way, they might manage to help Malcolm fulfil one or two of his dreams. No wish too big hopefully, but something simple that they could all help with.
Chelsea was the first to give her bucket list. I want to own a pony, and a collie dog, and a trip to Disneyland, and to have my own bedroom instead of having to share it with my sister. I want to become famous and be in a magazine.
Cormac followed. For my bucket list I want to fly a plane, and also learn to scuba dive and make lots of money so I can go all over the world and especially see the pyramids in Egypt. Also to jump out of a parachute. With a parachute on. Jump out of a plane. Not jump out of a parachute!
Serenity was next. I want to become a model and also a fashion designer. And then I can wear lovely clothes. And also I want to design my own jewellery. And live in a big house. And I want to be a hairdresser and go to the Grand Canyon. I also want to be an actress and star in a movie and marry a film star.
It was Malcolm’s turn. I have cancer, and I have three wishes on my bucket list. I don’t want it to hurt too much. I don’t want to get scared. And I don’t want my parents to worry and be sad.
Serenity was at pains to point out that it wasn’t a proper bucket list. That’s not a proper bucket list, she said. They’re not things you can cross off.