She lived on. I died that day. Wasn’t dying supposed to be the easy task? Didn’t you simply stop breathing and the pain recedes instantly? She didn’t feel any pain and I felt it keenly ever since.
We were nothing special. She and I. And yet every day left us with a sense of isolation. Like a small shrub in the overgrown thick forest. It knew sun was shining bright, only, it found it in patches. We knew there is a world out there but we saw it only in snatches. Time stood frozen for us. We were eternal playmates, in an endless game.
But isn’t that an illusion? Time doesn’t stop does it? Life goes on, an adage that meant nothing to us then. Looking back I realize how naïve we were.
You must be wondering now, as in how I can write, if I was dead isn’t it? I can, if I like, leave you with no explanations. Or I can simply say, like those “sadhus”, I have come back from the world of dead. And if you were religious enough, or fanciful enough to believe in mystery, you might nod your head and accept. Or I can simply tell you the truth. I am technically not dead. But then, there are other ways of dying isn’t it?
Now, you might have figured out that this is one more You- broke-my-heart kind of a story. Sorry to disappoint you, I am not a guy and this is not a ‘modernistic’ story where a girl lusts for a girl. But yes something does break or rather something used to break like a china doll. It was my bones. Only, I was rearranged and re-stitched , until what remained was a huge collage of nothingness. A mess of fragments held together tenuously by charity. And this charity was performed by none another than my sister.
I wanted to give up long back but I couldn’t dare suggest it. I was the cause that my mom lived for. A religion she believed in. I should live on no matter what. I wonder, if I was really worth the trouble my family went into.
She was not the child they planned. She happened so that I could live. And they never let her forget that. Never let me forget that. My precarious brittle bones didn’t let me go out of the house and she wasn’t allowed to, lest she is not around to bail me out of the sudden accidental death. Such a beholden life fate had given me. At this point, I am sorely tempted to digress and wax about karmic cycle et al and prove to you what a genius I am and justfy my existence, but then that would be quite spurious. So I would let it be. I am sure you are sympathetic already.
I could have still born everything and accepted my lot(For haven’t I done it already for so many years?) if it wasn’t for the fact that I was confused about what I was – a prolonged sacrifice, a set of broken dreams, a saga of neglect and torture, or a borrowed body. My entity so enmeshed with my mothers yearnings and my sisters disappointment that “I” was lost in this labyrinth.
The irony of my existence is such that even my death is a gift by my sister. For it is she who sued my parents, for her right to her body, that gave me the right to my death. What a beholden death!
But fate, that quirky little bird, can’t help but butt in where it is not supposed to. It whisked her away in an unfortunate accident granting me life and her organs. I suppose, we had no choice. She and I. Since she was not meant to be, she suffused in me. Its an comforting feeling really.
I prefer to think that I died that day and I gifted her life albeit in my body. This would be my gift to her. This would be my living sacrifice.
P.S: This is not really an original story. Infact if you have read ‘Her sister’s keeper‘ by Jodi Picoult you would know that the story is completely ripped. I dont deny that. However, since I have read the story, I have been wanting to put it in my own words and thats what I have done here.
P.P.S: I wanted to title this as ‘beholden’ but at the last moment changed it.. what do you think which is better?
P.P.P.S: I have changed the nature of the disease.. I didn’t want to follow the script entirely.. but then it doesnt make much difference does it? Put it down to my quirks 🙂