(This is the twelfth part of a short story - Love takes courage)
When the Karmarkars got back home, they called Pooja and updated her about the happenings. Pooja was shocked and worried. She insisted that she would go immediately to the hospital. After a great deal of convincing by Mrs. Karmarkar, she agreed to wait till the next morning and go and pick up Rohan from Breach Candy and bring him home.
Pooja woke up early, prepared some tea and put it in a flask and drove down to Breach Candy Hospital. She reached there around 4:45. She went straight to the dialysis unit and opened the door. As she went in, she saw Rohan sleeping on the bed, still connected to the dialysis machine. Kunal was sitting on a stool, his head on the bed, sleeping, and his hands were holding Rohan's hands. Discomfited by what she saw, she called out to Kunal.
Kunal awoke with a start. He immediately got up and said, "Good morning Pooja ji!"
Pooja returned the greeting with a smile. Kunal looked at the machine and said, "Almost done! I will close right away and then you can take Rohan home."
"Sure! I will wait outside."
In about fifteen minutes, Rohan emerged from the dialysis unit, looking tired and weak. Pooja held his hand and led him to the car.
"How are you feeling?"
"Feeling fine, Pooja."
Pooja drove him home and served him a small cup of hot tea. Rohan had the tea and lay on the bed. Pooja sat next to him and gently caressed his forehead. Rohan fell asleep.
That evening, Pooja came home after work and went up to Rohan's room. Rohan was watching television.
"Yes, much better!"
Pooja sat next to Rohan on his bed and held his hand.
"Please don't start lecturing me on fluid!"
"Did I even mention it?"
"Yes, so don't even think about it. I learnt my lesson."
The two of them spent the rest of the evening in each other's arms watching television.
Kunal went up to Dr. Mehta that evening. He gave him an update on Rohan's case and how the dialysis went. He also enquired from Dr. Mehta on what the long term plan was for him. Dr. Mehta told him about how his family was not a match and he was on the cadaver transplant list.
Kunal couldn't sleep that night. He thought about the enormous suffering dialysis patients have to go through. The sight of Rohan coming into the dialysis unit gasping for breath with a pleading look in his eyes to help him haunted him.
Was there something I can do? My blood group matches Rohan's after all. Why can't I donate a kidney to Rohan? If I don't donate, he will have to wait for many, many years. What will happen to Pooja ji? She is so amazing to stand by Rohan despite all this. Why can't I help them out? But what if something goes wrong? What if something happens to me? What about my future? What can happen though? I have seen so many transplants happen in this hospital. Has any donor ever been harmed? I know only the initial story however. I have no idea what happened to the donors after many years. If anything could happen to donors, we would definitely know about it. It should be safe!
Kunal kept debating this in his mind and finally went to sleep.