The Story Begins-Chapter 1
‘Are you sure, Rhea?’ asks my mother.
‘Of course I’m. Survival of the fittest, mother. I’m not going against Darwin. Also I 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 labeled 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?
“She needs it dear where as it is complicating your system”, pleaded my mother.”I have met her parents. They are thrilled to know that there is a chance to revive their daughter. Do not take away their only happiness. Ask me what is the pain of losing your own child .Even the thought kills me. And moreover this time it is a perfect match dear. May be this is a signal from God”
“Please mother, God only made me this way. You see I am His special child. The one blessed with two hearts, “I reasoned trying hard to tone down the bitterness growing inside me.
“Yes my child. You are very special .Special to save another child of His along with your own. You are His angel you see,” tried my mother.
I looked away still battling over the decision to rip my hearts apart. It was all my mother’s fault. For years she has waited for me to take this decision whether to go ahead with this operation or not. She never wanted to thrust her opinion upon me. But things changed a little after my last medical checkup. You see there is a spot visible on the wall connecting my two hearts. Microscopic now, but the doctors are suggesting it will eventually blow a hole in my hearts risking my life. Ever since my mother had come to know about it she is behaving like a paranoid. Her only concern is my life risk. Well I really do not blame her. I am her whole world you see. But what about me? All along I have taken decisions by following my hearts. My twin hearts are so intelligent that they overshadow my brain sometime it seems. They can converse with each other, debate on the pros and cons consciously and always lead to the right decision. How on this earth can I separate them. Can they ever live without each other? And how will I be complete ever again without them?
My mother was still looking at me with tears in her eyes. “The final call will be yours Rhea, just remember one thing, you are everything I have,” my mother managed to speak at last and started sobbing. Well that settled the matter. It means I am definitely not having any other choice so I gave a silent nod. My two hearts gave a silent scream in unison.
No sooner I said yes , stream of activities followed. Doctors were just waiting for my final nod. Nurses began the preparation of my operation. My mother’s face was sad yet relieved I felt. The doctors were leading her out of the room was the last thing I remembered before lapsing into unconsciousness as the anesthesiologist pumped into the injection.
My operation was successful and within 2 weeks I was discharged from the hospital. Doctors were in all praise about my medical progress, about how strong I have been to face it. But little did the world know how my heart wept and bled within due to the partition. So before leaving when my mother suggested that I meet the girl to whom my heart was donated I sharply refused. In her words, ‘you must see the sweet girl.’Well she was definitely not sweet in view of the awesome Rhea whose awesomeness has somehow been diminished because of her medical condition. In my opinion this “sweet” girl is still the main culprit for my tragedy and no amount of persuasion from my mother could change the perception.
Weeks have passed since my surgery. I have been discharged from the hospital. My scars have started to heal with the care and love of my beloved specially my mother. But I know no amount of care can do away with these scars .They will always be there as a constant reminder that a part of me was taken away. My heart is now forever alone. These days also my heart beat, but slower than before and sometime she calls out for her partner. I feel her craving for the partner in the dead silence of night. I can sense the heaviness in my heart which I have to carry now lifelong. The second heart was abundant in my body as per the doctor. But now that it has gone, it seems a part of my life is with someone else. An unknown grief surrounds me every time I think about it. My mother says I am over thinking. I know no body will understand this feeling. Well it’s a one in a 7.125 billion person’s feeling after all.
Months have passed since the surgery and I have resumed college now. Though my life seems to return at the usual pace something have changed. My friends try to cheer me up but I do not feel socializing these days. The gold medalist athlete of her college now gets tired only after two rounds. After effect of my surgery my doctors console. The books do not appeal to me like before. It was as if my heart has lost its heart on everything it loved before.
Then something happened. She joined our class in the midterm. As our professor was introducing the new girl, Vidhi, to the class I could not help but notice she was looking straight at me. My heart skipped a beat. Pretty unusual I thought and decided it was best to avoid her. But destiny had something else in mind
In the coming days Vidhi tried to talk to me in some pretext or other but I avoided her completely. Her presence was disturbing me in some weird ways. On one hand I was desperate to talk with her. On the other hand she affected my heart in strange way. It was a feeling very new to me. Then one day I was sitting by the field , trying to gasp some air after a small practice at running(my favorite hobby before the surgery) when she came and sat beside me.
‘Hi Rhea’, she said,’ How are you?’ Her voice was soft and innocent. My pulsation increased. I smiled and gave a small ‘fine’ in reply.
‘You are a champion in athletics I heard. I also loved running, you know’, she continued,’ but my heart condition never allowed me to run for a long time”
‘Hey, you had a heart problem?’ I queried in a rather astonished way. Well, she seemed pretty healthy to me.
“Yes, I had one” she replied and after a pause added with a coy, “Then you came along “. Then as if to change the topic asked me if I will have some tea as she was heading towards canteen. I followed her without even thinking. Her presence was mesmerizing me in a odd way.
While going to the canteen I suggested a little reroute to which she agreed. This lake beside my college was one of my favorite places. Walking beside her through the dusky road bathed in the crimson hue of the sunset, I suddenly felt my heart was at peace. My heart has found her nest at last. Vidhi was humming some song on her own as we walked beside the lake and never realized when we have started holding each other’s hand. Then what seemed like eternity, she finally smiled softly saying, ‘ I always knew, my heart will find you at a single glance, you had kept her well. My heart was in continual search of yours. May be they cannot live without each other.’ Here she was speaking the words which deep inside I have always known only refused to accept. She was here at last, my lost piece of heart, in human form in front of me. And I felt the first stab of love, like the setting Sun behind her, a blaze of color — oranges, pearly pinks, vibrant purples. Beneath the warmth of a dancing rainbow of a summer sunset we were standing at last as one. We both know that the road from here will be full of hardship. We have to face our family, this society. But in the tranquility of our first evening together, we took a solemn oath that we will be there for each other till death do us apart. Two souls with but a single thought, Two hearts that beat as one.