The big C. It had ravaged her body for years, making a home out of a house out of a bone. Just recently it had spread to other parts of her, finally eating from the inside out.
The doctor said she had a few months. If she was lucky.
The worst part wasn't that she was going to die- she could live with that; no, the worst part was seeing all her friends and family that would have to live.
She knew that her mother would be a different person when she was gone, and her friends had told her numerous times that their group would always be one member short.
Everyone said she was taking the news in stride, but when she thought about how much everyone would miss her, about all the things she would never do,
about how her little brother was going to deal with growing up, she didn't feel so great about it.
Towards the end, her friends set up a bonfire for her. They said to bring whatever was dear to her and they could make sure the stuff could follow her to heaven or wherever.
The evening led with lots of jokes and games. It was one of the most fun times of her short life. Later, they made their way out into the cold night and stood next to the blazing fire.
She had lined the pit with numerous books, old toys, some concert tickets and poster, and other various memories. They started with the books.
Every person gave a speech before ripping the pages of a novel from the spine and throwing it into the flames. From then on, the party really started.
Carelessly, every item was tossed in and turned to ashes. Molly said the spirit of every item burned was released and thus could go wherever she went.
At the end of the night, when everyone had fallen asleep on each other's shoulders, she thought she would have felt a greater regret at the burning. But no, she was happy- delighted, even.
She freed herself from the constraints of the world, left behind less for her family to worry about, and got to spend a wonderful night with her friends.
After all, she wouldn't really need these things where she was going.