TUNIS - When winter came, she was at forlorn. The rain was slacking heavily outside. The sun seemed to have long been out from behind the clouds. It was so cold, chilly and bitter but every now and then, the sun was attempting to come through. People, save the villagers and some farmers, would take winter for the cruelest of all seasons when they saw the rain and therefore start exclaiming on spring. Winter was not always cruel. Sometimes, it was nice and would therefore take its things and pack them hastily and withdraw for the sake of sunny days. Spring, regretfully and oddly enough, was not as nice as winter because it would quickly take its things and leave then enough room for rainy days. Time was creeping up without stopping. People were never aware of anything but the absence of happy days. There were only wintry cold days.
TUNIS – When winter came, she was at forlorn. The rain was slacking heavily outside. The sun seemed to have long been out from behind the clouds. It was so cold, chilly and bitter but every now and then, the sun was attempting to come through. People, save the villagers and some farmers, would take winter for the cruelest of all seasons when they saw the rain and therefore start exclaiming on spring. Winter was not always cruel. Sometimes, it was nice and would therefore take its things and pack them hastily and withdraw for the sake of sunny days. Spring, regretfully and oddly enough, was not as nice as winter because it would quickly take its things and leave then enough room for rainy days. Time was creeping up without stopping. People were never aware of anything but the absence of happy days. There were only wintry cold days.
– Mum, can you see that beggar in the street? He will die the poor. It is horrible. Are there no people to feel for him? He won’t forgive us, mum, will he?
-He has got the lord to save him, Catherine. I’m starting to be afraid now. Your father has not come yet and it is turning so badly.
– Are they asking about him this poor beggar? I will go and ask him to come up with me.
– Catherine, have you gone crazy? What will your father say when he sees him at home?
– I’m not crazy. If he stays outside much longer, he will get frozen. Can’t you see he can’t stir any more? I’m going mum.
Catherine quickly got dressed and took an old coat with her in order to cover the beggar. The rain did not stop. It was a very cold night. Catherine crossed the street and immediately went to the beggar and covered him with the coat. Her mother, seeing this, started to weep. She uttered one or two prayers for Catherine. She is now the girl she always prayed for and hankered after. Her father will be so proud of her. May the lord keep her out of harm’s way. She is like an angel. I wonder where she wanted to go this night.
The beggar, having felt the warmth he never felt before, looked at Catherine and tried to say something but nothing but whispering managed to come out of his mouth. His hands were frozen. He could not even get them into the coat’s pockets. Catherine smiled through her tears and told him to come along with her so as to get some fire. The poor man refused to stir. He could not go any further. What would she do now? She could not go and leave him like that. He would perish.
-Are you hungry? Speak please. Do you want me to get you some food?
The beggar looked at her without uttering one single word. He was not even capable of making signs. Catherine was astounded when she suddenly saw that the poor man was so gentle and young. She wondered what sort of disgrace had taken possess of him. People of his age would not allow themselves to be reduced to such a heart breaking dispensation. It was not at all within the prospect of belief for Catherine to accept to even see him like that.
-Are you parched? The rain water is fresh and can be of help to you. What makes you go outside at this very time of frost?
Again, the beggar did not utter a word. Something like an intuition soon caused Catherine to believe that this beggar is not a beggar. He seems to be unaware of his present condition. He seems to have long opted for this condition. But then, something like another intuition soon paved the way for Catherine to realize that this beggar does not even feel like wanting her to be beside him in the rain. May be he is the one who is pitying her. May be he is the one who is pitying them those who are sitting by fire and talking about him.
-Are you a stranger, an outsider? Speak please. I can’t bear it up any more.
Catherine was sobbing and tears were brimming in her eyes till they choked her. Nevertheless, the beggar was still numb and he did not give any air of wanting to respond. All he could, Catherine ended up by giving in to it, was simply to look at her unconsciously. The rain continued to fall in gusts. Catherine was determined to know after believing more than she could afford that this man is not to be a beggar. She pondered that no matter how heavy the rain is and will be, she will be patient and she will resist till she knows the truth of this man. Her father must have come back home by now and she cared less for that. He will be inquiring after her and she cared lesser for that.
He will frown at her mother for having permitted her to go alone outside at night and yet she cared lesser and lesser for that. What if he joins her into straining to know why is it that this beggar is refusing to be saved? What if he comes up unexpectedly? What if he comes forward and finds out the extent of soreness and pain Catherine and this beggar are moving through under the rain? Catherine was overwhelmingly convinced that her father will not possibly make such a terrible mistake. He must have been by fire by now. He is not strong enough to put up with his work and his family. Domesticity is for him a matter of natural conduct. Should there be something wrong in the family; domesticity is still for him a matter of natural conduct. Should there be something at stake and under the threat of danger; domesticity is a matter of natural conduct. Catherine was guessing all the time the fact that this is exactly what they mean by natural upbringing. Parents strongly want their children to be something similar to them and they call it natural upbringing.
If children happen to be very badly brought up and take to rebuff to the extent of disobedience, then it is the outcome of the so-called natural upbringing. Catherine was even about to guess that the term natural upbringing is self-contradictory when the beggar, by way of impatience surely, started to breathe unnaturally. Catherine felt the descending shroud of terror and fear. What if he dies? Why does he want to die this way under no shelter? He must be at an end the poor. Despite his age that is one characterized by the prominent resistance to death, this young poor man is lending himself to it being even resistant to the reverse of it. No wonder he is exceedingly miserable and unhappy. No wonder he is extremely sad and despondent. Nonetheless, he appears to be natural in his condition. He refuses to be saved or fetched for the simple and obvious reason that he hates people to boast about his being saved by them and thanks to them when he is saved. Catherine strove in vain to see what is unnatural about him till he fell completely into faint and no airing no breathing is to be heard out of him… Catherine retreated back in terror and started to scream in helplessness and sadness. Mother, please, where are you? Mother, please, come. Mother, please, I need your help… Father, please, he is dying.
Never has she felt so disappointed like that when nobody whatever took the initiative and ventured to join her into helping this man and preventing him from giving himself to death under the heavy rain. Catherine continued to cry and scream until her voice failed her that her tears stood against its sounding with fury. Thus, she rushed to the man and covered him and pressed him so tightly against her while weeping and weeping. She pressed him so tightly and wanted to die with him. It would be better than to leave him alone suffering and come back to sit by fire. Catherine wept and sobbed for some time while pressing him against her until she felt his heart beat again. She could not believe that. No, she could not believe that. May be she was mistaken in her heart so that instead of feeling hers, felt his… She held the man tight to her body and soul stronger than before but no beating of his heart could be felt.
Besides, it is as though the skies were weeping along with Catherine because the rain never stopped for one single moment. What was even worse was that the sound of a storm could now be heard and no beating of his heart Catherine could feel. The wind was blowing fiercely and the sound of it is boding with a storm that Catherine thought would hear of no abating. She never relinquished him. Let the rain fall and go on pouring even. Let the wind blow and go on blowing. Let the storm worsen and go on worsening. Let people sit by fire and go on sitting by fire. Catherine would never relinquish this man. He must be dead. He is so cold. Catherine touched his hands. They were paralyzed. She put her head against his chest trying to consider and examine and see if there is any beating… He must be dead.
No sooner did the storm abate, no sooner did the rain stop, no sooner did the daylight establish itself in the place of darkness, and then the streets grew crowded with people. No sooner were Catherine and the poor gentleman seen, children hurried and dashed to them. Men and Women were passing and wondering and saying things about Catherine and The beggar but in passing as they had always done when they chance to witness a similar scene. For them, it is undoubtedly a comic scene instead of being a tragic one. It is a comic scene because as Man (and Woman as well) sows, so shall he or she reap. A comic scene generative of laughter for them because Catherine and the beggar are now moaning for the harvest they have reapt. May be they were caught committing one of the cardinal sins. So they died in the rain as a sorte of punishment.
Perhaps they were killed by the police and thrown away in the street for every one to see and learn the lesson. Or probably, why? It is very probable that they passed away because they had not tried at least to cover their shame and instead they were trumpeting it in the rain. So they died. It was always said that a man (and woman of course!) never goes around trumpeting his or her shame. But here can anything be made of the shame Catherine and the beggar had been moving through at night? God never forgive those who are trumpeting their shame. If only they tried a little bit to hide themselves so that people would not come across them and take them for the principal cause of the absence of happy days. If only they tried a little bit to call for help when they were about to die so that people would come to their rescue no matter what kind of shame or cardinal sin they had undergone or committed. People would not mind forgiving them for that provided that they do it in secret not in the street and what is more at night. But then, what makes a girl like Catherine go at night to meet a man like this beggar and then die in this manner in the street? Perhaps they were ashamed of their deed and consequently found nothing and no body to resort to in the middle of a storm so railing and embracing the night before. They should have waited for a better prospect of place and time.
Children, having approached the two lovers, became filled with fear and started to yell and shout and run here and there like people confronting the oppressing armed forces. It was only at that moment when pedestrians realized the critical situation and began to be aware of what a man and woman have made of themselves. More and more folks gathered around the victims and the noise started. No less than three ladies and one old man, when casting sight on Catherine and the beggar, found quickest access to and lapsed into unconsciousness. The wail of ambulance sirens was heard and the medical crew stepped down as soon as the ambulance stopped. They elbowed their ways with difficulty in the incredible crowd of people. The police alarms went off and every one recognized then what a man and woman have made of themselves. The scene, to the greatest disappointment of many a man and woman, did not prove to be comic. It did not even prove to be tragic. It was real and this is how it was.
Have we not reason to lament what Catherine and the poor young gentle man have made of themselves? We have and there is as a matter of fact more to Catherine and the poor young gentle man than what the pen has written or could still write. To lament the loss of something requires no more than awareness. To lament the loss of somebody requires no more than acting and make belief. Here, the case is awfully different. Here, to lament requires no less than madness. Madness of the type of King Lear’s. To lament, faced with this case, presents the human savagery in its most disgusting form. Nobody must be allowed to cry and display his or her weakness and misery. Catherine’s mother herself must not be permitted to shed tears over the loss of her daughter. She is more than welcome to watch over her self and go on waiting for her husband day and night. She is more than welcome to pray for her daughter and wonder where she wanted to go last night. As for her husband, the most open-minded and affluent merchant of the city, he needs to develop his ideas and sharpen his arguments about domesticity and harnesses further what he takes to be natural upbringing by means of communication. He is now in perfect position to illustrate his conduct and point out to the loss of his daughter as an outstanding example sustaining his theory of domesticity. A framework of reference is now made accessible by the way.
What does it mean to lament? Or to say it differently, what meaning does human lamentation offer? There is, in fact, far more and more to lamentation than the poor meaning it offers.
All any one can say is without sense when silence makes sense. These words are far from expressing what silence could express…
Schizophrenia is but one psychological aspect characterizing the one who laments over the loss of somebody or something… When the victims, the story intervenes, were carried to the central hospital of the city in almost no time, time was not important. There was no cause for anxiety and fear. The clinical circle coupled with voluntary medical doctors and assisted with surgeons were to bring Catherine and her beloved back into life. It was great! By all standards and accounts, it was great! The two lovers were brought back to life in order to face death more clearly than ever before.
God, the almighty, cure the patients, and the clinical circle takes the fee.