The grief-stricken mother lost the will to live because she believed her life was meaningless without her son. But ten years after his disappearance, she meets two twins who make her realize that God saved her life for a reason.
Estella traced the inscription inside the ring, as she had done countless times before, and she cried. How could she not cry? A mother’s heart can never find comfort after the loss of her child.
Neil, Estella’s brilliant and talented son, was a young scientist. He followed in the footsteps of his late father, and his eyes sparkled every time he talked about atoms and molecules that were far beyond Estella’s understanding.
As a single mother at the time, Estella could only smile at her son and encourage him in his career. Neil attended conferences and exhibitions and even represented his state, where the country’s top scientists gathered.
Estella was proud of Neil’s academic career, although she feared that he was too engrossed in his work to think about starting a family. One day, she received a terrifying phone call, and suddenly her son never returned to her…
It was a bright, sunny morning, and Estella had no reason to think that anything could go wrong. In fact, she was humming a tune, preparing breakfast in the kitchen when the phone rang.
“Am I speaking to Neil’s mother?” the caller asked.
“Yes, how may I help you?” Estella answered, wiping her hands with a towel and holding the 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 for our country, but we believe it’s an even bigger loss for his family. We’re deeply sorry for what happened.”
“Please accept our deepest condolences. Your son… he’s no longer with us,” the caller said.
“Condolences?” Estella asked, confused. “Oh, dear. Did you dial the wrong number? I spoke to my son this morning when he left the hotel.”
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Townsend, but it’s true. Your son was in a car accident this morning. We’ve been trying to contact you ever since, but it seems we’ve only just managed to reach you. Please accept our sincere condolences.”
“‘Died?” – Estella asked angrily. “You expect me to fall for that? You must come clean! Go to my son’s hotel! I’ll send you the address, OK? He said he was going to a conference and you tell him his mother sent you! You’ll see he’s alive and well. How dare you talk such nonsense about my child?”
“Wednesday morning,” the woman on the other end of the line said. “The funeral will take place in two days and we will send you a notice shortly. Mrs. Townsend, we are very sorry for your loss. Take care of yourself.”
A dial tone sounded on the call line, and Estella thought it was a nightmare from which she would soon wake up. Unfortunately, however, it was not a nightmare, but a reality that completely broke Estella from the inside out.
When she stood in front of her son’s coffin on that Wednesday, seeing his pale face, she felt like she didn’t want to live anymore. How could God be so cruel and take her son? She should have died, not her son!
Days, weeks, and months passed, but nothing healed Estella’s heart. When her friends and relatives offered condolences, she screamed at them, “You’re all sick! You’re all sick! Do you understand? My son didn’t die! He’ll come back!”
A year later she was no longer angry at those who said her son was not coming back, and she gradually came to terms with this fact. Every evening she sat alone with Neil’s albums, turning the pages over and over again, remembering how good her son had been.
Maybe she should have advised him to start a family. Maybe if he had had a wife and children, he would not have been doing crazy research all year and would be alive!
“Oh, my little boy!” sobbed Estella, looking at the ring. Neil had given her this ring for her birthday last year. It was a beautiful silver ring with her initials “E. T.”.
She was so happy on that day that she never took off the ring off her finger, just like her engagement ring.
In tears, she asked God, ‘Why did You take my son and leave me here? You could have called me instead and let my son live. My son was so pure and innocent.’”
Estella fell asleep that night but was awakened by the ringing of the doorbell, which was unusual as no one ever came to see her. She quickly pulled on her jumper and went down the stairs, asking “Who’s there?” When she opened the door, she saw a pretty brunette standing in the doorway.
“Yes, dear?” – Estella asked softly.
She hadn’t spoken to anyone so affectionately since her son had died. What’s the matter with her?
“Hello, I’m Emily. Is this Neil’s house?” – the young woman asked.
Estella’s eyes widened. “Yes,” she said in a low voice. “Yes, it’s true.”
“Can I see him?” – she asked, and Estella couldn’t hold back the tears.
“You can’t meet him,” Estella said. “Never again. You must go home.”
“What do you mean? I just wanted…”
“He’s dead. My son is dead, and nothing is going to bring him back, okay? If that’s what you wanted to hear, you got your answer! Can you leave me alone now?”
Estella’s sympathy for the girl faded and anger overtook her. Emily stood stunned as if she had seen a ghost.
“He, what?” – she gasped. “Oh no, no, no. It can’t be!”
“All right,” Estella said sharply. “Get off my property or I’ll call the police! Do you understand? GET OUT!”
Estella slammed the door in Emily’s face without even listening to what she wanted to say. She heard Emily apologize before stepping away from the door, but Estella didn’t care. After Neil’s death, nothing mattered to her anymore. What was the point when her son was no longer alive?
The rest of the day passed without any changes for Estella. She didn’t think about Emily once. But ten years later, fate arranged for her to meet this girl again.
Ten years later…
“Oh, my God! You have to be careful, young boy!” Estella frowned as she watched the child pass by her in the market. It was the beginning of winter, and she had just bought herself a beautiful scarf.
“Sorry,” said the little boy, turning around to look back. “Hey, Tim! Hurry up!” he yelled, then asked Estella, “Could you give us some money, ma’am?”
Estella’s gaze fell on the neck of the little boy. “Money?” she asked. “Why ask for money from strangers, boy? And where are your parents?”
The boy sat down on the pavement and was soon joined by another boy who looked just like him. “My name is Jordan and this is my twin brother Tim,” the boy explained. “We want something to eat. Could you help us?”
“Go away!” she said. ‘I’m not giving you any money!
“Please! Please!” The two boys shouted in unison and grabbed her hand.
She knelt down in front of Jordan and said: “Can I see that mark on your neck?”
Jordan nodded and Estella gently slid Jordan’s jumper down his neck before she experienced a shock.
“Oh, my God! It’s the same birthmark as my son’s!”
Tim looked at Jordan’s neck. “I have one too,” he said with a funny smile. “Mom said it’s a special birthmark!”
Estella couldn’t believe that the two boys she had passed by in the market had the same birthmark as her late son. How could this be?
Upon closer inspection of the boys’ faces, Estella noticed that they bore some resemblance to Neil. She had to get to the bottom of this. If these twins were related to Neil, Estella had to find out how. And an idea came to her.
“Boys,” she said, “would you like some hot chocolate and pastries? There’s a café across the street. What do you say?”
“Yes, please!” the children exclaimed.
As the boys ate their pastries and drank hot chocolate, Estella couldn’t take her eyes off them.
“And where are your parents?” she asked the boys, and Tim replied, “We live with our mom on the street,” he said with a mouthful. “She loves… Oh, look! Mommy! Mommy!”
“Tim?” Estella turned, hearing a pleasant voice, and saw a disheveled woman approaching their table. Estella found the poor woman attractive despite her wrinkles and tired face. But the woman’s smile faded when she saw Estella. She started to take the children away, telling Estella she didn’t need to feed them. But Estella stopped her.
“May I have a word with you? ” she asked. “I need to ask you something, my dear.”
“Excuse me, Mrs. Townsend!” – The woman said hurriedly, taking her children in her arms. “I must…”
“How do you know my name?” – Estella asked, slowly rising to her feet. “You know me? I’m sure I recognize you!”
The woman’s shoulders slumped and tears came to her eyes. “You really don’t recognize me? We’ve met before! My name is Emily, Mrs. Townsend. Does that remind you of anything?”
Estella’s eyes widened in surprise as she looked at the woman standing before her. Emily had been so beautiful a few years ago!
“Emily? Oh my God, you visited me that day!”
“Indeed,” she sighed, taking a seat in one of the chairs. “Please, sit down. I don’t think I can run away from you anymore.”
When Emily starts talking, Estella can’t believe her ears. Emily tells her that she met Neil when she was a student, many years ago. They met at a scientific conference at the university, and so their romance began.
Six months after meeting Neil, Emily found out she was pregnant. She was thrilled to be pregnant and wanted to share the news with him. But fate had other plans. Neil suddenly stopped communicating with her, and she was heartbroken.
So she decides to contact their mutual friends to get his home address and visit him.
Then she learns that Neil is no longer alive.
Emily couldn’t decide whether to keep the pregnancy or not. But she couldn’t bring herself to give up on the two lives growing inside of her. So she dropped out of university and took on odd jobs to support her children. However, life turned out to be harder than she anticipated and led her and her children to the streets.
“I was so sad when I found out I was having twins. I knew I wouldn’t be able to provide them with everything they needed,” Emily tells Estelle. “Then I thought, ‘This is something that is part of Neil and me. It’s a symbol of our love, and I couldn’t bring myself to let it go’. Mrs. Townsend, I didn’t mean to bother you. I knew it was hard for you to come to terms with Neil’s death, and my parents were not happy about my pregnancy. They didn’t support me; in fact, they kicked me out of the house.”
“No, no,” whispered Estella, her hand resting on Emily’s hand. “You should have come to me and hugged me and told me you were the mother of Neil’s children. I would have welcomed you with open arms, my dear, and I… you know what? It’s never too late. I have you, and I have my grandchildren. And I could not ask for more from God. Please.”
Then Estella takes off the ring that Neil gave her on her birthday and hands it to Emily. “He would have proposed to you and given you this ring. You would have become his wife and a part of our family. But it wasn’t the right time for us. Now the time has come. Luckily, you would have had the same initials as me if you had married my Neil, so keep it. It belongs to you rightfully.”
“And you and your children will come home with me. Even if I don’t have anything special, I can give you and my grandchildren a loving home. And now I know that’s exactly why God spared my life.”