It was just this once that I could go back in time and relive a moment.
I entered the date and time in front of me. The very time that squeezed my heart to the point that it would stop beating. In a rush, I was there. I was going there just to hear my mother's honey voice again, after nine years.
The time machine left me outside room 314 in the hospital. I looked down at my outfit to see that I am still wearing my chemistry lab coat with my ripped jeans.
I stepped in to see my mother, as frail as a dragonfly's wing, lying pale on the bed, motionless, with an enormous number of tubes and wires attached to her. A small, chubby girl held her hand. I was holding her hand. I felt a tingling sensation in my own hands. I sucked in a breath. Tears were already on my eyelids. Little did the girl know that she would be alone in the matter of moments now. Ten minutes, she stayed motionless, steadily breathing. My younger self let a tear slip from her eye onto her cheek.
"Hey, don't cry. Mom doesn't want you to." I whispered to her. Her eyes widened for a moment before she realized that I looked much like her. The tiny spot on the edge of my mouth remained intact, and she had noticed it.
"Yes, I am you. But, older." I replied before she could question the same.
Suddenly our mother jolted awake. Eyes red and ragged breaths. She knew it was time to go. Thinking that I was the nurse, she asked me to fetch her some water. After doing so, she held the girl's hand and said, "Beta, you won't understand this right now. I might not be alive physically soon in the time to come, but I will always be alive in your heart. Be a good daughter and sister. Please be the mother to your younger sister. The one that I failed to be. Take care of your father." I looked around and then realized that my father wasn't in the hospital. He was with my younger sister at her poetry recital. My seven year old self, who understood far more said, "You won't die. I promise. I will call Dr. Beverly." She pressed the button on her right and instructed the nurse who had arrived to send the doctor.
"Jhanavi, darling, never give up. On your dreams, your ambitions and hope. Don't give up. You deserve the best life and I can see that you will achieve it." She lifted her head just enough to kiss the girl's forehead. She squeezed my hand I didn't realize she had been holding.
Her gripped on my hand loosened. Life left her. And there was the machine that started beeping loudly and suddenly it screeched.
"I'm so sorry. There is nothing I can do right now. You will survive this. I did, too." I said as I held her in my arms, carefully holding her as if she would disappear the moment I will loosen my grip on her.
Her convulsive sobs did not stop. The wound in her heart was fresh compared to mine which had had numerous emotions stitching it back. I felt our wounds pressed against each other - the large one in her little heart against the healing one in mine.
I had to go. I pulled her aside, wiped all the tears off her face and kiss her cheek. "I promise you, everything will get better."
She smiled meekly at my tear streaked face and let her gaze fall on my now wet coat. "Don't worry about it. Go call Dad. And it's okay to cry. It's called being human."ns 22.214.171.124da2