Love You......Love You More

Love You......Love You More

A Story by Annam Neeta

The re-entry of her nephew, whom she had once saved from being cut off on the abortion table, changes the course of Rhea's life.


In the midst of a meeting, I noticed a call from my mother. As the cell phone was on silent mode, I ignored her continuous calls. The call flashes ceased after a while, but then I received an SMS from her which was the first of its kind. I opened the message amusedly. “Sia has met with an accident and is in a critical condition”. I left the conference room immediately and rushed to the hospital.

Sia, my younger twin by 5 minutes, and I had been out of touch for the past eleven years, although we lived in the same city. I was vexed with her for ruining her life once again by taking back the man I knew was a mean coward, although I alone had supported her decision to get married to him. The showdown that followed had us accusing each other in unkind and hurtful words. I hadn’t seen or spoken to her ever since. I left my family home as I did not want to share the same roof with the man I knew would bring back disaster into her life. Sia bore all her pain silently until Ravi started accusing her of giving birth to a child with a ‘Rotten Heart’. The mother in Sia defeated the wife in her and she cut off Ravi from her life for good. Her decision to escape from her torturous marriage made me feel proud of her, although the official divorce and custody procedures were going on. Despite efforts from her side, I never bothered to reconcile with her.

Driving to the hospital, I looked up to the heavens and asked the Almighty, “Give me a chance. I want to talk to her one last time”. Rushing to the ICU, I saw Sia gasping for breath. My mother and Sia’s son were stationed helplessly witnessing her go through her final moments. “Sia baby”, I said holding her hands unsure of whether she could hear or even recognize me. Her tight grip on my hand said it all. She was waiting to hear me one last time following which she left us. I held her tightly hoping that the sound of the two hearts beating in me would revive her. She loved to listen to their rhythm. But she was gone forever. I did not cry, because I knew she was dead long back and today her physical existence bid adieu to this world.

After her cremation, I did not wish to stay in our family home where I had a million memories with her. I drove to meet Brij, a friend more than a spiritual guru. The lustrous green pastures soothed my distressed soul. Lying on the grass, gazing at the stars in the night sky, I knew my Sia baby was one amongst them. I let go of the unshed tears of bitterness, pain and anger. Besides healing, the motive behind visiting Brij was because I had always wanted to have a biological baby which my malformed uterus did not permit. The unmarried weren’t allowed to have a child through surrogacy, but Brij had promised to arrange for a surrogate mother who would bear the child and leave the baby in the orphanage run by him from where I could take the baby. “Brij, when am I going to get my baby?”. I demanded. “Patience dear, I still have to find the right person. It has to be absolutely confidential. There’s a right time for everything”, said Brij hugging me.

When I reached home back from the ashram, I received my mother’s call. She shared her doctor’s warning regarding the dangers of living with two hearts, “Given her age and family history, the condition may cause her massive attacks, following which her chance of survival will be next to nil.” I yelled at my mother, “We will see that, if I am alive. Until then, both my hearts beat in me alone”.

'Are you sure, Rhea?' asks my mother.

'Of course I am. Survival of the fittest, mother. I'm not going against Darwin. Also don't want unnecessary scars on my body.'

It's a known fact that we are all born to die. And frankly, I don't understand why it has to be made into such a big deal. If it were not for my mother I would have said that to the bunch of people outside my house, some of them with young kids, shouting slogans, waving placards, literally wanting me to cut one of my beating hearts out. "Save A Life. Donate!" they shout.

For someone who is one in billions, 7.125 billion to be exact, I expect to be treated better. Scientists are still befuddled regarding my condition that gave me two hearts in my mother's womb. But years of research and sticking needles into me have led them nowhere, and they have labelled me as a freak mutation. It's so rare - literally one in all humankind - that they didn't even name the anomaly (as they call it, I will call it awesomeness). I wanted to name the condition myself, something on the lines of Rhea's Heartsawesome but the doctors aren't thrilled with the suggestion. Instead they want to cut one of them out and save a life. Huh?

An IQ of 180, increased concentration, exceptional athleticism and a phenomenal metabolism rate - are just the few boring benefits of an increased blood circulation. Why would I ever give that up?

I avoided my mother, aside from the occasional phone calls. I never enquired about Sia’s son He was a year old the last time I really saw him. One day at work I received my mother’s call. A very soft voice spoke, “Hello”. “Sia baby, tell me”, I said at the spur of the moment. “Sorry, who’s this?”, I asked. “Rehan”, replied the voice. My God, not only did he resemble Sia, but also sounded like her younger self. He informed me that my mother suffered from a vertigo attack and was feeling uneasy despite taking medicines. When Sia was alive, she took care of our mother if the need arose. Sia, Rehan and mother were a family. I used to seldom meet my mother in some hotel or park. It was I who chose to be alone and out of their lives after Ravi’s re-entry into Sia’s life and our family home.

When I reached my mother’s place, I noticed some neighbours and the doctor administering an injection onto my mother. I sat near her while Rehan brought me a steaming cup of coffee. Though all of twelve, he looked tinier and childlike due to his heart problem. He smiled at me. I resisted at first, but with each passing moment, I knew the love that I had for him was intentionally masked. He practically knew me “mind, heart and soul”. The loss of Sia slowly started fading away. Once Rehan jokingly asked what I would do with my two hearts. “I will love you with one and love you even more with the other”, I said. I wanted Rehan to be the center of my universe, but saw that he still kept a distance.

Meanwhile, Brij informed that he had found the right person to be the surrogate. I wasn’t elated upon hearing the news, but in order to not insult his efforts, I went ahead and signed the papers. When I reached office, I got a call from my mother saying that Rehan was admitted in the hospital. I rushed, my heart racing faster each moment, only relieved to see a smiling Rehan on the hospital bed. I met the doctors, who told me that Rehan’s condition would get worse, if we do not get a donor immediately.

Observing the nervousness on my face, Rehan told me, “I am aware that I am a guest here only for a few days”. “Shut up. I will not let that happen. You are going to live with my heart”, I told him, firmly controlling my tears. “I am sorry for coming back into your life. But I would have never been at peace if I did not thank you for this life”, he said. “You owe it to Sia, not me baby”, I replied back. Shaking his head, he said, “I know everything. But since you have decided to donate your heart, why don’t you go ahead? Someone may benefit.” “I am not going to give it to anyone else, but you”, I replied, a pitch higher. “But I will be unable to accept it even if the transplant is successful medically”, he said in a softer voice. “Do you hate me baby?”, my eyes welled with tears. “How can I ever hate you? Had you not stopped mamma and grandma from going to the abortion clinic, I wouldn’t have been alive. You were the first to touch her tummy lovingly and kiss me. You spoke to me every day. I have heard your heartbeats along with my mamma’s whenever she kept her ears to your chest. When I arrived, you were the first to caress me in your arms. I love you very much, but I love my mamma even more and I want to be with her”, he cried softly.

Walking out, I headed straight to the doctor’s consulting room and expressed my desire to donate my heart with a condition that Rehan would be given the priority. But as Rehan had foreseen, my heart would create complications in him and someone else was to be the recipient. I was admitted in the hospital for surgery. On special request, I was given the bed adjacent to Rehan in the two bed ward. Rehan held his ears to my chest to hear the beats as only one heart would beat the next day on. When the nurse came in to tell me that the husband and the kids of the donee wished to see me, I smiled and nodded and she let them in. My smile turned into a frown on seeing the husband. He was once my lover, who had dumped me on knowing my two heart condition. The little girls thanked and kissed my hands for my kindness. “I haven’t saved your mother yet”, I said rudely leaving my ex-lover in a state of shock.

“I am not going to give away my heart to that lady. Find someone else”, I told the doctor. The doctor was exasperated and tried to convince me in every way, but I was stubborn. Rehan, who witnessed this entire scene held me tightly saying, “But is that lady at fault for her husband’s action? Didn’t you see the hope in the eyes of the little girls to see a life with their mother tomorrow? Wouldn’t it be an apt punishment to the man who rejected you for your medical condition to hear your heartbeats for the rest of his life?” The last sentence made me chuckle. I was proud of this gem my sister brought into this world. Meanwhile, Brij called to inform me that the first IVF procedure done on the surrogate was not successful. It did not bother me anymore.

Post-surgery, I was in the ICU for a few days and discharged only when the green signal was given. But Rehan’s condition worsened. One day when I reached the hospital, I saw Ravi talking to my mother outside Rehan’s room. As I neared them, I heard my mother tell him, “What kind of a father are you? Your son is on his deathbed and all you worry about is who gets Sia’s office dues, in the event of his death. For your information, we have not even put in the papers to claim her dues.” By then both had seen me and Ravi left in a haste. Ravi never confronted me or even looked at me since the day I publicly slapped him for torturing Sia after their first separation.

When I went to meet Rehan he looked all disturbed. Running my hands over his hair, I asked him the reason. “I don’t want to be cremated by this man. He can claim my body as I am legally his son”. I put my palm on his mouth gesturing him to talk no further. My mother came in to tell me that my ex-lover’s wife had come to meet me. I looked around to see a beautiful lady smile at me. She told me that she was getting discharged after a two month stay in the hospital. While holding my hands and thanking me for the gift of a heart she said, “You still love him, right?” I shook my head saying, “My part in his life was over the very day I left him. When your life becomes meaningless after the very people for whom you want to live now, consider you a waste, you can always come to me. I am your soul sister as my heart beats in you.” With tears she left the room. Rehan said weakly, “I feel so proud of you and I am craving to live with a strong woman like you, but the custody battle frightens me”. He started gasping for breath. I screamed for help, holding him tightly, pleading him not to leave me. “I will come back to you again, but promise me you will not shed a tear for me”, were his last words.

Ravi came to claim Rehan’s body. On my request, my lawyer had already prepared an affidavit stating that neither me nor my mother were interested in any money due to my sister from her office and the sole beneficiary would be her husband, Ravi. A copy of this was shown to Ravi by my lawyer, whose face lit up into smiles. I waved the original at Ravi and said, “Either this or Rehan. Make your choice”. He knew that messing up with me would mean hell for him, so he walked off with the affidavit.

I performed the last rites of my baby. I would hold the urn of ashes to my bosom wanting to bawl without restraint, but would hold back on remembering my promise to Rehan. On the day I had to immerse his ashes into the river, I broke my promise and cried at letting my baby go forever from me. Don’t know how much time I spent in the water seeing him flow away from me. When I came out of the water, my mom informed me of Brij’s call. I did not call back. I stood at the bank staring at the river which had taken my baby far away from me when Brij’s number flashed on my screen again. I picked it up this time, “Congrats, you are going to be a mother. The IVF procedure was successful”.

I broke out into tears. Though I broke my promise, My Rehan had kept his promise. He was coming back to me to be only mine

© 2016 Annam Neeta

Author's Note

Annam Neeta
Open to all types of comments on my writing

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It's a heart touching story of Rhea and the love for her nephew changes the course of her life

Posted 7 Years Ago

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Added on March 12, 2016
Last Updated on March 12, 2016
Tags: heart, love, rites, ashes, bosom, divorce, bawl, vertigo, IVF, ashram, beneficiary, legal, affidavit, doctors, body, river, banks, money, dead, proud, live, gasping, breath, strong woman, custody


Annam Neeta
Annam Neeta

Mumbai, South Mumbai, India

Just love to pen down my overflowing thoughts more..