What’s the 11th item on your bucket list?
She scattered the travel brochures across the table, watching wearily as they skidded across the polished wood and fluttered to the floor. Why had she agreed to this? She scrubbed her hands through dirty blonde hair, raking it back from her face and twisting it into a knot at the base of her skull.
The phone rang, shrill and incessant, but she didn’t move, didn’t even lift her eyes. Two rings. Three. Five. Seven. Her answering machine beeped on.
“This is Cara. Leave your name and phone number at the beep and I’ll get back to you.” Beep.
“Cara. Where are you?” Susan gushed. “Call me as soon as you get in. I have to…. ohhhh.. I can’t wait. I heard from Tracy and she said she’d heard from Mary he was going to be on the trip! Can you imagine!” She giggled. “I can’t wait. So where are we going?” Click.
Cara sank into the nearest chair. He was going? Why the hell would he be going on this trip? It was her trip, their trip, her friends and her, counting down the travels on their bucket lists. Who had invited him?
She wondered then how the name came about. Had the first bucketneers used a bucket to hold the folded scraps of their wishes and dreams? Bucket Lists. She wished she’d never heard the words.
They choose destinations by rolling dice, each one of them a number. Once the list was chosen, they rolled again to select the number off the chosen list. The only hitch was the destination had to be somewhere none of them had previously gone. Susan had been first and they had gone to the Canadian Rockies, renting a rustic cabin and spending a long weekend living a simpler life. Donny was next and the trip had been to the Dog Bark Park Inn in Idaho. Weird, but his first choice had been the Corn Palace in South Dakota. They’d teased him so relentlessly, he’d changed the trip. Instead of a palace of corn, they spent the night in a beagle’s belly.
Now it was her turn, her bucket list number 11. Number eleven on her list was Busch Gardens Theme Park. Roller coasters were her secret sin, something she just recently shared with her closest friends. Did she want to share this part of herself with him? How could she not? If she refused, her friends would want to know why and they would never understand how much she hated him. How trapped she felt suddenly. She didn’t even want to know.
Sighing, she rose, gathered up the brochures and lay them gently on the table. Picking up her phone, she dialed Susan’s number.