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The sisters tried to unfasten the rope around them. After a few attempts Mira successfully uncoiled the rope. Tara was free now. But it was getting increasingly difficult to breathe for both of them.
It was stormy outside. The wind hissed like an agitated serpent and suddenly there was a loud thud. Mira opened her eyes first to notice that something wasn’t right. Her younger twin, Tara, clutched one of her arms and was still asleep. But they were not in their room. It was too dark and something was tied around their bodies. Mira tried to move her hands but she couldn’t. She tried to move one more time, only to find the rope around them tighten even more. They could hear indiscreet chatter in unfamiliar voices outside. Tara woke up scared and breathless.
“What’s happening?” She asked.
“I don’t know. But we have to get out of here. Else we die. ”
“Die? Why? Tara asks. Her eyes brimming with tears. “Is it baba? He never wanted us. Never loved us. Is he doing all this?”
“I don’t know but we can’t waste time thinking about this. We have to get out.”
“But how? We are tied, can’t you see? The door is closed from outside. I am scared Mira.”
“Hey, look at me.” Mira cupped her sisters face.
“You remember what mama said that day?
We have everything we need within ourselves.”
The sisters tried to unfasten the rope around them. After a few attempts Mira successfully uncoiled the rope. Tara was free now. But it was getting increasingly difficult to breathe for both of them. Tara’s eyes started to drop. Just then Mira saw a small opening in the wall. She pushed her sister towards the opening but couldn’t get out herself. Just then, a hand appeared and pulled her out.
Mamta opened her eyes. Beads of perspiration dotted her face. A strange metallic aftertaste lingered on her tongue and her body felt numb. It was a dream after all. Just then, a man in a white coat walked into the room. His face was familiar. She tried to remember.
“Rajeev.. Hi. What am I doing here?”
“First of all, Congratulations! You are blessed with two lovely baby girls.”
Mamta tried to make sense of what was happening around her. Hers was a high risk pregnancy. She had just finished the grueling years of post graduation in radiation oncology and joined the team as a senior resident. Her marriage was falling apart. Ajay, her husband has already moved out and staying in a different place. Every single person she knew advised her against going with the pregnancy.
“You will be alone one day. So better work on the marriage. You can have kids later. Come on, you are just twenty five. With a family and a husband, you are nothing.” One of her closest friend had warned.
“I have everything I need within myself.” She had candidly replied that day.
For nine months she worked 14 hour shifts, took her pre-natal vitamins and rigorously practiced pelvic floor strengthening exercises, just the way the gynaecologist recommended. At night before going to bed, she often read to her unborn babies.
“Ahh… ha” Rajeev cleared his throat.
“If you are wondering how you came here, then you need to know this. While doing your rounds this morning, you passed out. On examination, we found out that your water levels were dangerously low and the babies are in distress. We had to induce you. The babies had a fighting chance but they are real fighters, just like you. Want to meet them?”
A nurse picked up the babies from the cradle and brought to Mamta. The newborns, holding each other’s hand were fast asleep. The single mother remembered the golden words of Rupi Kaur. She held her babies close to the bosom and whispered,
“What is the greatest lesson a woman should learn?
That since day one she’s already had everything she needs within herself
it’s the world that convinced her she did not.”
As if knowing exactly what their mother was saying, the twins smiled in their sleep.
It’s going to be one hell of a journey!
Editor’s note: This story had been shortlisted at the June 2019 Muse of the Month contest.
Image source: pexels
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