This short story is participating in Write Story from Picture India 2012 – Short Story Writing Competition.
As soon as Jyoti saw the doctor come out of the operation theatre, she jumped up. She had been sitting in the bucket seat of the waiting room. ‘How is my Aditya?’She asked. ‘Is he going to be fine? When can I see him?’
The surgeon looked down and said, ‘I am sorry, Ma`am.’ Jyoti`s world came crushing down. The tears that she had controlled for so long flowed freely. ‘Why do little children get cancer? Doesn`t God care anymore? God where were you when my son needed you?’
‘One of the nurses will take you inside,’ the doctor said, ‘so that you can be with your son for a while before we transport his body to the Medical Research Centre as per his wishes.’Jyoti requested the nurse to stay with her while she said goodbye to her son. Jyoti stared at the serene and calm face of her son and then ran her fingers through his black, curly hair. ‘Would you like to keep a lock of his hair?’ the nurse asked sympathetically. Jyoti nodded slowly. The nurse cut a lock of Aditya’s hair, put it in a plastic bag, and handed it to Jyoti.
‘It was Aditya`s idea to give his body to the Medical Research Centre for research purposes.’ Jyoti said. ‘He said it might help save somebody else, and that was what he wanted. I refused at first, but Adi said, ‘Maa, I won’t be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little child to be able to spend one more day with his Mother.’
‘My Adi had a heart of gold, always thinking someone else and always wanting to help others if he could.’Jyoti continued talking to herself as she walked out of the Children’s Hospital for the last time after having spent most of the past six months there. She sat in her car with the bag containing Aditya’s things in it. The drive home was hard and it was even harder to go into an empty house. She took the bag to Aditya’s room and started placing cars and books back in their places exactly where he always kept them.
She laid down across bed and cried herself to sleep holding his pillow tightly. Jyoti woke up around midnight and her eyes fell on a folded sheet of paper lying on the bed. She opened the paper. It was letter from Aditya!
I know you are going to miss me, but don`t think that I will ever forget you or stop loving you because I am not around to say ‘Love You.’ I will think of you every day, Mom and I will love you even more each day. Someday we will see each other again. If you want to adopt a little boy, please do so. Then you won`t be so lonely. It is ok Ma; he can have my room and my stuff to play with. But one thing I remember, you always told me that you wanted a baby girl. So if you decide to get a girl instead, she would probably not like same things as we boys do, so you will have to buy dolls, teddy bears.
Don`t be sad when you think about me. This is really a great place. Grandma met me as soon as I got here and showed me around a bit, but it will take a long time to see everything here. The angels are very friendly and I love to watch them fly. God doesn`t look like any of the pictures I saw of Him, but I knew it was Him as soon as I saw Him.An angel took me to see God! And guess what, Ma? I got to sit on God`s knee and talk to Him like I was somebody important. I told Him that I wanted to write a letter to you to say goodbye and I love you. God handed me some paper and His own personal pen to write you this letter with. I think the angel is going to drop this letter off to you. God wanted me to answer one of the questions you asked Him about where was He when I needed Him. God said, ‘He was always with me and with all His children.’
Oh yes, Ma nobody else can see what it is written on this paper except you. To everyone it looks like blank piece of paper. I have to give God His pen back now. He has some more names to write in the Books Of Life. I almost forgot to tell you something. Now I don`t feel pain anymore, the cancer is all gone. I am glad because I couldn`t stand that pain anymore and God couldn`t stand to see me suffer the pain either, so he sent the Angel of Mercy to get me.Ma, you know the angel told me one nice story.
A mother used to ask her son this question: ‘What is the most important part of the body?’When he was younger, the boy thought that sound was very important to us as humans, so he said, ‘Ears.’ The mother said, ‘No, many people are deaf. But you keep thinking about it.’Several years passed before she asked him again. This time his answer was, ‘Eyes.’ The mother looked at him and said, ‘you are learning fast, but the answer is not correct because there are many people who are blind.’
Then one day his Grandpa died. Everybody was crying. As everybody bid their final goodbye to Grandpa, the mother looked at her boy and asked, ‘Do you know the most important part of the body yet, my son?’ The boy was shocked. He always thought that it was a game. She saw the confusion on his face. She looked down at him as only a mother can and said, ‘This question is very important, son. It shows that you have really lived your life. Every time I asked you in the past, you gave me a wrong answer. But today is the day you need to learn this important lesson. The most important body part is Shoulder. The boy asked, ‘Is it because it holds up our head?’ She replied, ‘No, it is because it can hold the head of a friend or a loved one when they cry. Wherever you go so many people are there to become eyes, ears but you have to be shoulder of your parents as well as friends. Whether you are happy or sad you need someone else’s love, affection and hug.’
And then angel asked me the moral of a story. I said it is very important to be sympathetic to the pain of others and not be selfish. The angel smiled at me.
Goodbye Ma.Love you
With tears in her eyes, Jyoti completed the last chapter of the Book, “Aditya-The Little Angel.” She decided that she will never cry thinking about her son. She planned to start Aditya Foundation and help other children.She wrote the last sentence in the book: Never say goodbye and May Your Journey Be Peaceful, Sweetheart.