When Amber-Louise Bradshaw was given the diagnosis that her leukaemia was terminal, the 19-year-old’s closest friends in Caterham rallied round to ensure that she would get to do all the things she had always wanted to do in the six months she still has left. Now, having seen the depressingly awful ‘bucket list’ she drew up, they are beginning to regret it.
‘I busted a gut to get her picture in the Surrey Comet and ask readers to give generously,’ said older sister Clare, 25. ‘And, guess what, because Amber-Louise is quite pretty in a certain light, they printed it and the money came flooding in. Now I’ve got to take a week off work and freeze my tits off taking her to EuroDisney in bloody November. Thanks a bunch.’
Others in the family circle, who had hitherto not realised that fatal illnesses can also strike down the unimaginative, are equally dismayed that this mediocre girl, who had been training to become a hairdresser, can really not think of anything better to do than “Pass my driving test”, “Swim with dolphins” or “Meet Nathan out of The Wanted”.
‘”Fly first class” – God give me strength,’ said her cousin Jason Wilkins. ‘Or in other words piss away thousands of quid so that you can bump around the clouds in a thin aluminium tube perched on a settee instead of a seat. Yeah, nice one Amber. And when you crash, the ones in cattle class even get to hear your dying screams for a split second, what with planes not normally flying into the sea backwards. I’d think she was having a satirical joke there, if only she had the brains.’
With considerable embarrassment, Bradshaw’s parents have now put the deposit on for the item that has to be done during warm weather, “Ride in a hot air balloon”, although as life-long residents they are perfectly well aware that Caterham looks a hole wherever you are seeing it from. On-off boyfriend Tom Riley has also admitted that he is in a bit of a quandary.
‘Cheating scumbag though I am, even I wouldn’t dump her right now,’ he admitted, ‘but that cringe-making list pretty much sums why I was going to. “Become a mum” – er, yeah, I’m sure I’ll be a great dad at 20 and on probation. And her younger sister, who I’ve been secretly shagging for three months, will be a great step-mum too. Not. Besides which, nine months pregnancy, six months to live – er hello-o…’