A grieving mother has Iơst the zeal to live as she believes her life is meaningless without her son. But ten years after her son’s loss, she runs into a pair of twins who make her realize God kept her alive for a reason.
Estella traced the inscription inside the ring, likе she’d done countless times before, and cried. How could she not? A mother’s heart can never find solace after her child’s loss.
Neil, Estella’s bright, talented son, was a young scientist. He had followed in his late father’s footsteps, and his eyes twinkled whenever he spoke of atoms and molecules that were far beyond Estella’s understanding.
All the single mother could do back then was smile at her son and encourage him about his career. Neil went to conferences and exhibitions and even represented his state, where the country’s best scientific minds gathered.
Estella was proud of his academic career, although she feared he’d been too preoccupied with work to think about starting his family. Then one day, she received a devastating phone call, and suddenly, her son was never coming back to her…
It was a bright, sunny morning, and nothing made Estella think things would go wrong. In fact, she was humming a song and preparing breakfast in the kitchen when her phone rang.
“Am I speaking to Neil’s mother?” the caller asked.
“Yes, how may I help you?” Estella replied while drying her hands with a towel and holding her phone between her right ear and shoulder.
“I’m calling on behalf of your son’s team, ma’am,” the caller said. “Losing a young scientist is a big loss to this country, but we believe it’s a far greater loss for his family. We’re truly sorry about what happened.”
“Please accept our heartfelt condolences. Your son… he’s no longer with us.”
“Condolences?” asked Estella, baffled. “Oh, dear. Did you get the wrong number? I spoke to my son this morning when he left his hotel.”
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Townsend. We regret to inform you there was an accident, and your son… he died in the car crash.”
“Died?” asked Estella furiously. “You think I’d fall for it? You need to get your facts straight! Go to my son’s hotel! I will send you the address, alright? He said he was leaving for a conference, and you tell him his mother sent you! You’ll see he’s alive and well. How dare you say false things about my child?”
Pain fades with time; love and care do not.
“Wednesday morning,” the woman on the other end of the line said. “We’ll have the fưnеraI done in two days, and we’ll send you the invitation sooner. Mrs. Townsend, we’re sorry for your loss. Please take care.”
The call line beeped, and Estella thought it was a nightmare she’d soon wake up from. But tragically, it was not a nightmare; it was the reality that completely shattered Estella on the inside.
When she stood in front of her son’s casket that Wednesday and saw his pale face, she felt she didn’t want to live any longer. How could God be so cruel and take her son away? She should’ve been dеad, not her son!
Days passed, and so did weeks and months, but nothing healed Estella’s heart. When her friends and family expressed their condolences to her, she yelled at them. “You’re all siсk! Do you understand? My son is not dеad! He will come back!”
A year later, she didn’t rage at those who said her son wouldn’t return, and the truth had gradually started to dawn on her. So she’d sit alone with Neil’s albums every night, leafing through the pages again and again, remembering how sweet her boy was.
Perhaps she should have told him to start a family. Perhaps if he had a wife and children, he wouldn’t go on crazy research trips all year and would still be alive!
“Oh, my sweet little boy!” Estella sobbed as she now glanced at the ring. Neil had given her that ring for her birthday last year. It was a gorgeous silver piece that bore her initials “E. T.”
How happy she’d been that day. She’d never taken that ring off her finger, just likе she’d never removed her wedding ring.
“Why did you take my boy, leaving me here?” Estella asked God in tears. “You could’ve just called me and let my son live. So pure and so innocent my boy had been.”
Estella cried herself to sleep that night and was startled awake when she heard the doorbell ring. The ringing of the bell was unusual because nobody visited her. Never.
“Who’s there?” she asked as she threw on a sweater and hurried downstairs.
When Estella answered the door, she found a lovely brunette in her doorway. She was very pretty.
“Yes, darling?” Estella asked sweetly.
She hadn’t addressed anyone with such tenderness since her son died. What was happening to her?
“Hi, I’m Emily. Is this… Neil’s house?” the young woman asked.
Estella’s eyes welled up. “Yes,” she said quietly. “Yes, it is.”
“Can I see him?” she asked, and Estella couldn’t keep her tears at bay.
“You can’t meet him,” Estella said. “Never. You should go back.”
“What do you mean? I just—”
“He’s dеad. My son’s dеad and nothing will bring him back, OK? If that’s what you wanted to hear, you’ve found your answer! Can you just leave me alone now?”
Estella’s affection for the girl faded, and her anger took over her. Emily just stood there, dumbfounded, as if she’d seen a ghost.
“He, what?” she gasped. “Oh no, no, no. This can’t be!”
“Well,” Estella said stiffly. “Get off my property now, or I’ll call the cops! Do you understand? OUT!”
Estella slammed the door right into Emily’s face without even hearing what the girl had to say. She heard Emily say sorry before she walked away from the door, but Estella didn’t care. She never cared about anything after Neil had left. How did anything matter when her son was not alive?
The rest of the day was nothing different for Estella. She didn’t think about Emily even once. But ten years later, fate would bring Estella across that girl again.
Ten years later…
“Dear Lord! You need to watch out, boy!” Estella scowled at the child who had run into her at the market. It was the start of winter, and she had just purchased herself a lovely scarf.
“I’m sorry!” the little boy said before turning to look behind him. “Hey, Tim! Hurry up!” he cried, then asked Estella, “Could you give us some money, ma’am?”
Estella’s gaze was fixed on the boy’s neck. “Money?” she asked. “Why would you ask strangers for money, kid? And where are your parents?”
The boy sat down on the pavement, and soon he was joined by another boy who looked exactly likе him. “Um, my name is Jordan, and this is my twin brother, Tim,” the boy explained. “We want to eat. Would you please help us?”
“Go away!” she said. “I’m not giving you any money!”
“Please! Please!” The two boys cried in unison and grabbed her arm.
Estella tried to shoo them away, but the boys kept pestering her for money. She eventually gave in and dropped a few bucks in the cup Tim was holding.
“There you go!” she said stiffly. “Now, out of my way!”
“You’re so kind!” Jordan smiled and hugged her feet. “Thank you so much, ma’am!”
It was then Estella glanced properly at Jordan’s neck and gasped. “That birthmark…” Her palm went to her lips in shock. “How do you have that, boy?” she asked.
She knelt to face Jordan and said, “Can I please see that mark on your neck?”
Jordan nodded, and Estella gently slid Jordan’s jumper down his neck, only to be shocked.
“Dear God! That’s the same birthmark my son had!”
Tim peered at Jordan’s neck. “Even I have it!” he said with a silly smile. “Mom said it’s a special birthmark!”
Estella couldn’t believe these two boys she ran into at the market bore the same birthmark as her late son. How was this possible?
Now that Estella looked closely at the boys’ faces, she noticed they slightly resembled Neil. She had to get to the bottom of this. If these twins were related to Neil, Estella would find out how. So she came up with an idea.
Boys,” she said to them. “Would you likе some hot chocolate and buns? There’s a café across the street. What do you think?”
“Yes! We would love it!” The two kids chirped.
While the boys ate their buns and drank hot chocolate, Estella couldn’t take her eyes off them.
“So where are your parents?” she asked the boys, and Tim answered. “We live with Mom on the street!” he replied, his mouth full. “She loves—Oh, look! Mom! Mom!”
“Tim?” Estella turned around when she heard a pleasant voice and saw a woman in rags approaching their table. Estella thought the poor woman looked attractive despite her wrinkles and worn face. But the woman’s smile faded when she saw Estella.
She began to take the children away, telling Estella that she didn’t need to treat them to food. But Estella stopped her.