Hope against Hope

Hope against Hope

A Story by Mannat Singhi
"

“...you are my rainbow to keep. My eyes will always be watching you; never will I lose sight of you.” ― Vesna Bailey

"

Samaira woke up and remained awake for barely few minutes. She looked around at the white I.C.U. room and slipped in to a deep slumber almost immediately. She was no match for the sedatives they were infusing into her veins.

At around 10 o’ clock the team of doctors came in for their daily morning rounds. Her nurse,  handed them Samaira’s files, which they assessed and discussed.

Samaira heard nothing. She did not even realize when another nurse for the next shift replaced Pema. She did not even realize when her mother walked in.

She wore a blue mask, a blue apron and blue covers over her shoes to prevent infection as instructed by the nurses. She just stood at the door and looked at the thing on the bed with papery skin tightly stretched over her bones. The thing she was supposed to call her daughter.

MOTHER

 

“You can come in, ma’am,” the nurse calls out when she sees me hesitating at the I.C.U door.

I take small steps and move forward. I stop a metre away from the bed where my daughter now lies like a lifeless corpse. I’m afraid to go nearer than that.

I can’t stop crying. And I don’t even try to stop anymore.

My daughter.

My Samaira.

I remember the day she was born. That moment. Her first shrill ear-piercing cry. Which hadn’t really changed till now. Her tiny little hands. The first time she smiled. Her bubbly laughter. Her first words. Her love for fairy tales. Her wish to be Rapunzel. Her first day in school. Her fancy dress competition dressed up as Mirabai " a devotee of Lord Krishna. Somehow some of that devotion had rubbed off on her. Her first race…, which she had won, and the countless more that followed. The innumerable medals and trophies…Hockey…Athletics…Basketball…Academics. Her taste in food. Her love for food, actually. Her fussy behavior when it came to choosing clothes. The rebellious look that flashed in her eyes if someone told her what to do. The earphones of her IPod constantly plugged into her ears. Her humming. Her incessant loud screaming when she fought. Her running after her brother with a broom and hurling anything she could get her hands on across the room. Her…

It just went on and on.

18 years of memories. Seventeen and a half to be precise. Is that all I’m going to get?

Will my daughter ever open those dark brown eyes of hers? Would she ever demand to be listened to until she had finished, again? Would she laugh that mad laugh she laughed each time her brother and she got together and made fun of every person existing on this planet?

I begin to make promises to God. Deals. Anything to keep my daughter with me.

“I will visit every religious place...temple, mosque and church. Just make her open her eyes. I will fast on Mondays. And Fridays. And Saturdays,” I beg.

I keep on adding irrational things to the list.

My sorrow deepens with every tear that I shed, every second that passes by.

I remember how as a four-year-old Samaira used to lie down on the floor, take out her tongue and announce, “Samaira is dead.” The image keeps on playing in my head.

Why am I here? Why cant I be the one on that bed? Why my daughter? Not that it mattered right now. Why does my luck always run out in the last leg of the race? She was to be my saviour. She had been my only hope. She was to deliver me from the darkness I had been sucked into.

Was she ever going to reach the eighteenth birthday she had been so excited about? The first time she had been excited about her birthday in ages. Was this going to be the end of all her dreams and aspirations?

A whimper escapes my lips.

None of my questions are going to be answered. I hold onto a stand nearby for support.

I remember the doctors telling me about the multiple complications that can take place within my Samaira’s body.

“Samaira can go into organ failure. So we are monitoring her kidneys and liver. She might lose her memory. There is no guarantee as to when she will wake up. Some take days, some months…some years. Some never wake up,” he had said in the morning in a solemn voice hardened up by years of experience.

I see the multiple tubes going into her neck, her arms. The big one into her mouth. That was probably the ventilator. The machine breathing for her. It killed me a thousand times inside to know that my daughter couldn’t even breathe on her own.

My real sister. A doctor. Hadn’t she told me to do something before I came here? I cannot recall.

Oh. She had told me to read Samaira’s latest stats from the display monitors.

I look at the monitors. I try to remember the numbers but I forget them as soon as I have read them. I try again. I cannot do this. I give up. I’m a mother, not a doctor.

My daughter " my beautiful daughter looks so different. I had never imagined her like this. Her skin has darkened. Her bones protrude out. She reminds of a highly malnourished child living in some remote corner of the world.

“Some people take years. Some never wake up,” the doctor’s words keep echoing in my ears.

“Samaira…Samaira...please wake up. I need you…” I sob harder.

“Ma’am its time. You need to leave,” the nurse reminds me.

She holds me up.

“Just make her cross it. Either way. Don’t leave her dangling between life and death,” I offer my final fervent prayers as the nurse walks me out.

A cold draught hovers about me when I step outside I.C.U 5.

I take one last longing look at my daughter.

I begin to walk. The guard smiles at me, infusing hope. The dim light of a single star in a pitch-black vast sky. But still there.

“She will get through,” he tries to console me.

Immediately I hear Mrs. Valentine, one of Samaira’s teachers complaining, “Your daughter has the skin of a crocodile. Nothing ever affects her.”

The words that had stung me so bad four years back, today gave me strength.

And then another memory hit me.

Four-year-old Samaira getting up after pretending to be dead and laughing uncontrollably at me. “Mom!! How can I die?” her laughter wouldn’t stop.

Then I knew. My daughter was going to get up. She would fulfill all the great things she was destined to do. And she was going to laugh at me for thinking she was going to die.

Through a stream of tears, I smile.

…………………………………..............................................................................................................

The phone rang at Samaira’s grandmother’s house.

“How is she?” her grandmother croaked. Her voice had turned hoarse from all the crying.

“Hanging on. It can go either way,” was the reply she got.

She banged the receiver shut and went to the small temple in her house and prayed with tears continually running down her face.

Her son, Samaira’s uncle understood the reply his mother had got.

He too joined his mother in prayer and tears.

It was all they had done for the past few days.

And in the last room at the back of the house, Samaira’s brother sat on the bed rocking his body to his favorite music at the loudest possible volume, completely oblivious to the fact that the sister he loved so much was dying.


© 2015 Mannat Singhi



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I rewrote the first section which is included below. It is not a good idea to switch from third person to first person in a story - it confuses the reader. There are some how-to's on first and third person on the Internet.

The mother's section contains all the emotional elements needed in the story. A condensed version will still convey the emotion are aiming for.

The last section draws the story to a nice conclusion. So, all the elements of a good story are there. All you have to do is let it sit for a while, reread, edit, again and again - just like the rest of us.

I have a list of words that you should avoid using or use sparingly. I'll send those along in another email.

Here's my take on the first section . . .

Samaira woke, looked around at the white I.C.U. room and slipped into a deep slumber. She was no match for the sedatives coursing through her veins. She heard nothing as the team of doctors came in for their morning rounds. They assessed and discussed Samaira’s case, returned the file to the Pema, her nurse, and left the room. It was 10 a.m.

Samaira remained in deep slumber as the shift changed and another nurse took Pema’s place.

Samaira’s mother paused at the door. As instructed by the nurses, she wore a blue mask, a blue apron, and blue covers over her shoes to prevent infection. Her heart ached as she looked at the skeletal form lying on the bed. It was difficult for her to believe this form, with papery skin tightly stretched over fragile bones, was her beloved daughter.

Switching from third to first person is not a good idea.

The nurse looked up, “You may come in, ma’am.”

I moved forward and stopped a metre from the bed. I was afraid to go any nearer. I began to cry at the sight of my daughter, my Samaira lying there like a lifeless corpse. I can’t stop crying, I don’t want to stop crying.

I remember the day she was born. That moment of her first shrill ear-piercing cry, which hadn’t changed untill now. Her tiny hands, the first time she smiled, her bubbly laughter. Her first words, her love for fairy tales, and her wish to be Rapunzel.

Her first day in school, the fancy dress competition where she was dressed as Mirabai - a devotee of Lord Krishna. Mirabai’s devotion had somehow rubbed off on Samaira.


Posted 2 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

ANTO

2 Years Ago

An excellent review Wandering Monk. Kudos.
Mannat Singhi

2 Years Ago

I completely agree.
This comment has been deleted by the poster.



Reviews

I wish it was a happy ending... or you could make something good out of this at the end... like her last smile even while in so much pain and then the death... or her dreams getting fulfilled in the last moments... but this one is very touching too. the elements of emotions are used well.. good job Mannat :)

Posted 1 Year Ago


Mannat Singhi

1 Year Ago

Thanks. Will work on that.
Okay. Great job, I hope to see more!
First, this was very emotional. Really, it was. You captured the situation perfectly with as little descrption as possible, which is good because a writer can't bog down the reader with words that aren't needed. Basically. you got the heart of it almost immediatly. I am curious to know what happens next.
Second, I was listening to Ad Honorem by Phil Rey, and it actually went with it. I recommend taking a listen while rereading this slowly and you will see what I mean.


Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Sebastian Falzarano

2 Years Ago

You listened! Great! I told you. I have a link in my blog to more if you would like to listen. And y.. read more
Mannat Singhi

2 Years Ago

Of course, I listened. I'll check out the link.
Sebastian Falzarano

2 Years Ago

I am glad that you liked it.
Nice work :) To keep my attention the write has to be really good and you had my full attention :)

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Mannat Singhi

2 Years Ago

Good to know I could do that. Thank you.
AaronFreitas

2 Years Ago

You are welcome my friend :)
had me totally hooked from start to finish, excellent writing Mannat you show lots of promise and great quality, great work, bravo :)

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Mannat Singhi

2 Years Ago

Thank you for always encouraging me.
I will get to it. I have a few other requests to read first.

Posted 2 Years Ago


When my husband was suffering so much, machines breathing for him, not able to even swallow. My heart spoke to my head and told me to just let him go to God. Valentine

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Mannat Singhi

2 Years Ago

I'm sorry. It's not an easy thing to do. Takes a lot of strength.
I rewrote the first section which is included below. It is not a good idea to switch from third person to first person in a story - it confuses the reader. There are some how-to's on first and third person on the Internet.

The mother's section contains all the emotional elements needed in the story. A condensed version will still convey the emotion are aiming for.

The last section draws the story to a nice conclusion. So, all the elements of a good story are there. All you have to do is let it sit for a while, reread, edit, again and again - just like the rest of us.

I have a list of words that you should avoid using or use sparingly. I'll send those along in another email.

Here's my take on the first section . . .

Samaira woke, looked around at the white I.C.U. room and slipped into a deep slumber. She was no match for the sedatives coursing through her veins. She heard nothing as the team of doctors came in for their morning rounds. They assessed and discussed Samaira’s case, returned the file to the Pema, her nurse, and left the room. It was 10 a.m.

Samaira remained in deep slumber as the shift changed and another nurse took Pema’s place.

Samaira’s mother paused at the door. As instructed by the nurses, she wore a blue mask, a blue apron, and blue covers over her shoes to prevent infection. Her heart ached as she looked at the skeletal form lying on the bed. It was difficult for her to believe this form, with papery skin tightly stretched over fragile bones, was her beloved daughter.

Switching from third to first person is not a good idea.

The nurse looked up, “You may come in, ma’am.”

I moved forward and stopped a metre from the bed. I was afraid to go any nearer. I began to cry at the sight of my daughter, my Samaira lying there like a lifeless corpse. I can’t stop crying, I don’t want to stop crying.

I remember the day she was born. That moment of her first shrill ear-piercing cry, which hadn’t changed untill now. Her tiny hands, the first time she smiled, her bubbly laughter. Her first words, her love for fairy tales, and her wish to be Rapunzel.

Her first day in school, the fancy dress competition where she was dressed as Mirabai - a devotee of Lord Krishna. Mirabai’s devotion had somehow rubbed off on Samaira.


Posted 2 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

ANTO

2 Years Ago

An excellent review Wandering Monk. Kudos.
Mannat Singhi

2 Years Ago

I completely agree.
This comment has been deleted by the poster.
Wow. Sad, intense and full of mother's love to her daughter. I felt the real emotions and prayers. Thank you so much for sharing with us. God bless...:)....

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Mannat Singhi

2 Years Ago

Thank you for reading it :)

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Added on May 18, 2015
Last Updated on May 18, 2015

Author

Mannat Singhi
Mannat Singhi

Chandigarh, India



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I love to write because it's the most beautiful way to get what's inside me out. more..

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