He was a Dr, passionate, merciful and dedicated toward eliminating human sufferings. He selflessly and tirelessly went about his duty as a physician. Then unavoidably came down with the incurable contagious disease. A disease that will forever make him a stranger to the ones he loved and truly cares for all his days. A disease that would estrange him from his beautiful wife, his angelic daughter and his handsome and beautiful son.
Indeed, he was sent out of the city, away into the dreary forest, to live away from human civilization and dwell among fellow lepers, wasting away with strong mind while his body depart from him day by day. With greatest pain of loneliness and abandonment, while his body feel no pain, no matter how painful.
One night, unable to bear his loneliness, he stole himself from the lepers’ camp to steal a glimpse, just a single sight of his wife and lovely children, before resigning finally into eternal oblivion in the heart of the forsaken forest where the rest of his humanity will rot away.
While stealing this last peek at his beloved ones, the neighbours saw him and raised an alert.
“He’s a leper, unclean, unclean!” A leper, once condemned to the forest, now seen in the city, “he must die, yea, he must not be spare!” The angry bloodthirsty mobs were gathering . . .
His wife, his beautiful half, and dutiful mother of his children, saw him, came to him, and before the angry mob could lay their hands on him, fled with him . . .
Few miles away, in the heart of big but perfectly tranquil garden, was a young man, a physician too, by calling. He just lost a patient and was still in a state of denial and anger against God. He held God as an enemy, his greatest foe, for how can He, God, claimed otherwise while He watches and allow men to suffer and die. “God you are wicked, and merciless, and . . .”
Then, he heard the footsteps, latter he saw the faces, a man dressed in rag, with his skin displaying characteristic patches. Behind the man was a woman, young, dress modestly and respectably.
‘What is the matter’, asked the young physician.
The leper said to his wife, ‘follow this man and he will help you escape, leave me and return to our children!’ The wife answered, ‘No I will remain with you forever, and I will die with you.’
The sound of the pursuers arouse the physician, he quickly gathered the couple and hide them in a secret place within the garden.
The mobs arrived, and the leader inquired, ‘‘Sir, did you see a man and a woman around this place?”
Not used to lie, the physician replied, ‘as you can see, I’m alone.’
The leader said, ‘the man is a leper.’
The physician, bewildered by the news but yet akin to saving humanity from the ‘Killer’, said ‘then I advise you direct your search down towards the brook.’ He suggested, and the mobs were diverted.
Sneaking, he went back to meet the couple. He walked into the courtyard.
The couple lost in their fate, were not aware of his presence.
”Ah, my dearest,” wept the woman, “if only you, as a physician, had not attempted to cure the lepers! But you, so merciful, tender, and kind, must attend them, and must hide them from the authorities, saying ‘Are they not human, my brothers?” That is what you said, my dear husband. You told me you are dedicated to the sworn oath to cherish humanity and alleviate its sufferings. And the dreadful disease came to you from the afflicted.”
The man replied, “I did not betray my oath. If the gods have betrayed me, then that’s their own crime.”
She rose and moved to her husband, her arms extended to him pitifully. However, he cried out ‘unclean, unclean!’
“Not to me, not to me. I am your wife. Where you go, there I’ll go. Where you live, I’ll live. Will you dwell in a cave? There I’ll dwell also. Will you eat bread of sorrow? That I’ll eat also. If you sleep with the foxes and wild vultures, there I’ll also sleep, and your bed shall be my bed. No sea, no death, no bloody hand of man, no hatred of the gods shall divide us.”
Yet the husband implores, “My love, do not approach me! Keep far from me. No you shall not go with me to die as a leper, to ring a bell to warn off the warmness of others, to rot and bleed and become numb, blind, and filled with sores. I have cherished your sweetness and your beauty.”
She replied, “Shall I die, remembering that I have deserted you?” she reached for him.
Go, I beg you. Go and forget me. I have died and I’m with the dead. The rotten thing you see is not your husband. You are young, marry again and bear other children. Weep for me, but do not remember me long.”
She answered, “In my heart, forever, there will be remembrance. Do not drive me away from you, let me embrace you, and once again kiss your lips.
She wept, they both wept.
She followed him slowly, as pursuer quivering with love and devotion.
“No, your husband is right, you must not touch him.” the physician advised.
The couple started at the sound of his voice . . . .
To be continued.