The room was quiet, save for the hiss and the beeps of the machines hooked to the man on the bed. On a chair, next to the bed, sat a young woman. She looked heartbreakingly fragile, ready to break into a million fragments. Her eyes refused to leave the sight of him lying on the bed, broken, comatose. Just then, the doctor walked in. After examining the man, he turned to the young woman and said, “He is not responding. He seems to have lost the will to fight. Priti, you need to make a decision. I will wait till tomorrow morning!”
After the doctor left, Priti covered her face with her hands as she broke down. Twenty-four hours to make a decision that would change the course of her life? A decision, that would shatter her life, her heart and her soul? “Why Adi? Why?”She wailed, remembering the hot summer’s day, five years ago, when she had first met him. Of how, she had tripped on the pavement, just before her meeting at the bank. How Adi, passing by, had helped her gather the papers. Of the how, Priti had been so attracted by Adi’s dancing eyes and sincere smile, that she had impulsively asked him out for a coffee. Their coffee date was the start of a flirtation that lead to love. A couple of years later, they had moved in together.
The past few months though, Priti and Adi’s relationship had hit a rough patch. Adi’s failure in raising capital for his start-up had shaken his self-worth. Adi had started doubting everything about himself. He had lost his passion for life. Every day he sank deeper into depression, thinking of self-harm. Priti had tried her best to remind him of his abilities and her love. But failed. That night, Priti had waited past midnight to tell him a piece of news that would give him hope, give him a reason to live for. But instead, a phone call had come from his phone. Only, it was not his voice at the other end but a stranger’s. Adi had been in an accident and was in a hospital.
Numb with shock, Priti had rushed to the hospital where she found that Adi had sustained extensive head injuries. Only the machines were keeping him alive. Priti needed to make a decision. Of whether to prolong his life in this state or let his soul fly free. “Why don’t you fight? For me? For our love?” she shouted at him. But he remained immobile, impassive.
Taking a deep breath, Priti shuddered and said, “If this is the last night I am going to be spending with you, I will not waste it with tears“. Priti spent the night laughing and talking, reminding him of their love. The only response she got was the hiss and the beep of the machines. And yet, she continued talking.
At eight in the morning, the doctor was back. He asked, “have you decided?”
Priti nodded. Leaning over Adi, she whispered something in his ear. Dropping a soft kiss over his unresponsive lips, she turned to the doctor, saying, “Go ahead”.
As the machines went quiet, the doctor leaned over to check Adi. He looked up in surprise. There was a faint heartbeat. After waiting for five minutes, the doctor checked again. The heartbeat was stronger! He was amazed. Priti, who had not looked away from Adi’s face for even a minute, smiled gently.
Putting a gentle hand on her stomach, she said,” He now has a reason to live for”.
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