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“You’re nearly there. Just one more step!” Mom said encouragingly. From last 10 minutes, Austin was trying hard to put his legs down one by one to reach the dinning room but all his efforts were in vain. “Mom, when will we have lunch?” Aaron asked impatiently. “Wait, Aaron. Let Austin descend the staircase. “But...” Aaron was about to protest when his mom cut him mid – sentence. Aaron walked away, grumbling. Austin felt very sad that he had made his brother angry.

Aaron and Austin were twin brothers. Their parents were on cloud nine as they were blessed with two charming kids. But little did they know that fate had carved it’s own path for the family.

At the time of birth, Aaron had turned out to be a perfectly healthy baby but Austin was not fortunate enough. Little later, the doctors diagnosed Austin with a neurological disorder called Cerebral Palsy. Their dreams came crashing down as quickly as a house of cards. From that day onwards, Austin’s parents spent all their time and energy behind Austin and Aaron began to feel neglected.

Austin was really good at painting but would often had to take lot of efforts to stretch his arms in creating resplendent masterpieces. So on their 11th birthday, their parents gifted him an advanced machine with which he could paint by holding the brush in his mouth. He was thrilled. But Aaron only got a pair of sports shoes. Aaron felt very infuriated with his parents and Austin.

Over the course of time, the family grew further apart or that was how, Aaron felt. Even though the twins were poles a part, Austin loved Aaron unconditionally and wanted to spend time with him playing and laughing.

But one day everything changed. Aaron was playing in the park and Austin was sitting on the bench, few kids of their age came near Austin and started whispering loud enough for him to hear. “Just look at his distorted legs” commented one of the girls. Aaron continued playing, pretending not to notice. Just then, one of the children pushed Austin hard and he fell down with a loud thud. Austin tried to get up on his own but found it very strenuous. The children started laughing at him. Austin felt very dejected. Tears rolled down his cheeks. Till now Aaron had been trying to ignore what was happening but he could not hold up any more and he rushed to his brother's safety. Aaron helped his brother stand up holding his hand and tried to reassure him by wiping his tears. Austin also felt secured by Aaron’s presence. Aaron warned children not to mock Austin any more or make fun of him.

From then onwards, Aaron and Austin’s relationship got better, they started spending a lot of time together and Aaron began helping his brother in everything he wanted to do. In return, Austin taught his brother to draw. Seeing this, their parents were also ecstatic. The family stayed put for many years to come.

Ananya Ambrit


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