Hello. My literature homework was to edit out the ending of any novel i liked. So, as i hadn’t been satisfied by the ending of My Sister’s Keeper, i chose to edit it. And here it is. Also, i took a little help from the novel ‘IT’ by Stephen King. I hope you like it! Please comment your views, criticisms will also be appreciated.
‘Anna’s head hit the window with great force, MrsFitzgerald. It caused an extremely dangerous head injury. A respirator is keeping her breathing right now, but she’s showing very little indications of neurological activity…if she survives which is a very minute chance, her memory will be wiped out completely. I’m sorry,’ the doctor says.
In the English Language there are orphans and widows, but there is no word for a parent who loses a child.
I was so occupied with Kate’s illness that I overlooked upon my other two babies. I was so sure that Kate would die that I preoccupied myself in saving the priceless memories she gave to our family. I never realized that my other children, under the shadow of Kate’s illness, had made memories too. Memories that I forgot to capture or write down.
In the end it was Campbell who spoke confidently, answering the doctor, ‘I have power of attorney for Anna,’ he explains, ‘not her parents.’ He looks from me to Brian. ‘And there is a girl upstairs who needs her kidney.’ Because unlike me,Campbellknows what I failed to realize in all these fourteen years, that just like Kate, my other children were also not immortal.
There are stars in the sky that look brighter than the others, and when you look at them through a telescope you realize that you are looking at twins. The two stars rotate around each other, sometimes taking nearly a hundred years to do it. They create so much gravitational pull there’s no room around for anything else.
However, the sun, a might celestial being as it is, beats their shine and makes them invisible through his magnanimous light. You forget staring at the twin stars, lost in the sun’s light. You do this without knowing because you know that they will still be present when you gaze up in the sky at night.
I knew I will be loosing Kate one day. I had imagined my life without my first daughter, even. Sure, we tried as much as we could to defy God, if there is any, but deep down we knew that she would leave us all. But loosing both of out daughters never touched my mind.
Anna would have been infuriated at Campbell’s decision, after all this was not what she had fought for so bravely in the court just a couple of hours ago. But old habits die hard and eventually Campbell, who had suddenly now had the authority over Anna decided to give her kidney to Kate, in the hope that maybe one of our daughters would come our of death’s grasp.
When I was seventeen, I had my first dose of being in a relationship. I fell hard for Sandra and no, it wasn’t because she was hot, as Dud said. Anyways, we were extremely serious about each other and that is when I decided to do something which guys do at thirty-five.
I invited her to my house, you know to meet my parents and stuff like that. I made sure that Kate was in a good health during those days and sans any allergies. You see, I had always been understood as a weirdo at school because of Kate’s illness and people used to stay away from me thinking that I had something physically wrong as well which would catch them. I was keen on showing Sandra that I had a normal family under the shadow of Kate’s illness.
Anyways, I picked her up from her place which was like some twenty miles away from where I lived. When we arrived to my house, Kate was in the drive way, shrieking as she had a nose-bleed which in fact wasn’t unusual but my mother was in the process of taking her to the hospital.
Despite all this, I tried to show Sandra that we acted normal even when under pressure and stopped my mom who was about to enter the car, with Kate in the backseat. ‘Hey, Mom,’ I signaled her towards Sandra, -they were already informed of her arrival like a week back and she had promised to make something special and get the whole damn place all right. ‘Not now Jesse, can’t you see that Kate is in a critical condition? Can’t you see that?’ My mother had said without even glancing towards Sandra who was stunned by the whole situation. She left without another word with Kate and I stood there as the car disappeared, dumbstruck.
This wasn’t going as I had planned but I knew that there would be dinner for us and Anna, yes, Anna would be there to give us company as well and to get to know Sandra. However, I knew something was wrong when I entered the place. Firstly, the whole place was still a fucking mess, (much to my claims of being a normal family) and secondly there was no aroma of the ‘special’ dinner, that woman had promise me. I stood their like an idiot, gwaping at the place as if I had entered it for the first time, with my hand in Sandra’s arm.
I was so infuriated and ashamed of my family that I left Sandra in the entrance and returned to my apartment above the shed. Since then we have never met again and I heard that she was going out with one of the jockeys of the school. As usual, I had become a weirdo, even for her.
I know I should be worried about Anna. Hell, I am worried for both of them! But what will happen to me if one or both of them die? Would I regain that place which was for only four years of my initial life or would I be still be trying to break the icy aura in the dinner table by saying some ridiculous joke like how many Frenchmen it takes to screw in a light bulb? And have my father’s reply, ‘One to hold the bulb and four to turn the house’ just like he used to do when both, Kate and Anna were in the hospital.
They would still be with us won’t they? Only now, they may be the daughters they couldn’t hear, daughters who never demanded the popcorn of hollered when I pinched them.
They are still in the ICU as I walk upstairs, to the roof to get the smell of medicines and surgical instruments out of my nostrils. Brian is standing at one of the far ends, staring at the sky. There are no stars. Not tonight. The sky is filled up with clouds which are brown-black and colossal, pregnant with rain, loaded with lightning. I stand beside Brian, staring at the streetlights instead because I can not lift up my face up to God, whom I tried to defy so passionately.
Somewhere deep within Brian’s chest, a moan erupts, and he drops on his knees. He looks up to me in anguish and suddenly, he seems very old for his age. I can feel his tiredness, his hopelessness coming out as waves from his body, as I kneel down beside him and pull him into my arms.
I have spent so much time in the hospital that I can read the eyes of the operators as they come out of the operation theatre. When, they succeed their eyebrows are relaxed and eyes open wide, speaking of happiness as if they have performed a miracle. However, when they fail, their eyebrows are tensed and their eyes squint a little, no matter how much hard they try to not to do that. But most of all, their eyes hold a certain sort of pity for each relative they see, and that is what I can see after they have transplanted Anna’s kidney into Kate’s body.
‘It has been six months,’ Jesse speaks gently to both of us. We are sitting beside a body which once contained Anna’s soul. ‘She isn’t here now. And she wasn’t here yesterday. She will be in our hearts though, and she would be at ease if her body is laid to rest finally.’
I look at Brian who has his head down and is gazing over Anna so intently as if trying to revive those times when this body moved and we didn’t paid much heed. For the first time in these six months, Brian is not drunk today. He simply glances towards me, his eyes shinning of hurt and defeat, with the knowledge of being present at his second daughter’s burial. ‘Okay,’ he answers, and with trembling hand, flips off the respirator. I rub her skin in small circles as if this might become easier. When the monitors flat-line, I wait to seem some change in her. And then I feel it, as her heart stops beating beneath my palm- that tiny loss of rhythm, that hollow calm, that utter loss.