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Black dead

The happiness of finding someone lost

The church clock chimed at eleven o'clock, and every night he went out into the street and went to the chapel a few blocks from his house. The smell of jasmine flooded the night. He opened the door and entered the holy place. The candlelight cast tremulous shadows over the tall, emaciated walls. No one was there except the images of the Virgin and the Saints, and on the altar the imposing carving of Jesus crucified. The chapel was his refuge since he lost his family in the black plague epidemic. He knelt and prayed for more than an hour. He always did it in the space that separated one day from another, convinced that prayer in those moments in which one day ends and the next one is born, assured God's protection to those who were no longer with him.

He had returned from his stay in the islands, where he was practicing as a doctor in the army. Confused news came over the situation of his family. They had all got sick. He traveled as soon as he could in a caravel infested with sick and wounded who were repatriated to the peninsula. When they arrived in the city, they gave him the terrible news. His wife and children had died as a result of the plague that had spread from France.

Three months had passed since he returned to try to know where his loved ones were buried and he, practically dead in life, had not managed to overcome his loss.

When he had finished his supplications to the Blessed Sacrament, he left the chapel. His empty house was waiting for him again. He slowly pushed the door open. The deafening silence gave him intense pain. The memories came back to invade his dulled senses by the suffering. Slowly he went to the bedroom. Through the small window, the aromas of lavender flowed from the outside.

Someone was knocking at the door. It was too late. The doctor dressed hastily and ran to the entrance to ask:

"Who calls? Who is it?"

"We are your wife and your children."

Panicked, the doctor could not believe what he had just heard. He thought he was having a nightmare.

"Open the door, please."

It's possible after so much suffering. After trying to assimilate the absence of those who had given meaning to his life ... Is it possible that they are alive?

The darkness of the night did not allow him to identify his visitors, but his wife's voice was unmistakable. She began to sob and embraced him with the desperation from only someone who has been about to experience the death. Their children embraced them, and they stayed so for a while. Fortune had willed that when the plague reached the city, in their ran away they met a doctor with whom they traveled far from the affected areas and he managed to keep them alive.



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