Chapter 22: The Night Visitor│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com
A house in a slum.
Because his wife was feverish, Hasen could only hold her hand.
Since his wife gave birth to their child, her fever has not subsided. The fever has been present for over twenty-five days. The baby is being breastfed, but she has lost her appetite and is only drinking water.
(She might not be able to make it.)
My wife has been mumbling in her sleep since yesterday. I’m afraid the poison in her blood has gotten into her head.
What will I do with the baby if my wife dies? Who will look after the baby while I go to work? The neighbor’s wife, who is nursing the baby, will not look after it. “I don’t have that much milk myself,” she apologized.
There was a knock at the door while Hasen was at a loss for words. He hesitantly opened the door, wondering who it could be at this late hour.
“I’m here to help your wife.”
Hasen opened the door wide after hearing an elderly woman’s voice.
“Who are you?”
“Please don’t ask me that. Isn’t your wife in critical condition? Perhaps I can assist you.”
“Thank you for your offer, but we only have a few coppers. But if you help me, I will work and gradually repay you! Please help her.”
Hasen mistook the woman for a doctor or a pharmacist. The elderly lady wore a hood over her eyes and a coat that reached her ankles. She took a look around the house.
“No, you don’t have to pay. I’d rather you buy your wife some food first. I’ll see if I can help you with your wife. But there is one condition.”
“I will do whatever you say you want. I’ll give you everything except your life and family!”
In her hood, the elderly lady appeared to smile.
“I’m not interested in your life or your family. There are two conditions. You must never tell anyone about me, and she has recovered by herself. The other requirement is that you report back to me whether or not what I’m about to give you works.”
“…Is that all?”
“Yes. You don’t have to pay if you don’t talk about me. When people ask, simply say, “[My wife recovered on her own] but… If you tell them about me…”
As the old woman slurred her words meaningfully, Hasen shook his head up and down several times.
“I’m not going to talk. Never. Never. I guarantee it. So, please!”
But, in the back of his mind, he thought he was being cheated, but if she didn’t want the money, what could be worse than his wife dying? Hasen wanted to cling to whatever he could find.
The elderly lady inquires about Hasen’s wife’s health. He replied truthfully, “She has been babbling non-stop since yesterday.”
The elderly lady then looked at Hasen’s wife and took a gleaming white cloth from her pocket. The cloth was draped over his wife’s head and down to her waist. And Hasen got down on his knees and prayed on the floor.
(What is that cloth?) he wondered.
Three or four minutes passed. When the old woman removed the white cloth, his wife opened her eyes and looked around. Her previously erratic breathing became smooth.
“Hasen, I need water. I’m hungry.”
His wife, who should have been mumbling to herself, said these things clearly.
“Gashna. Gashna. Oh, God. Thank you very much!”
He sobs and tries to hug the elderly woman but is pushed away.
“I’m not God. Look. I’m going to leave this cloth. Don’t be afraid to use it if something happens to you or your family again. Simply place the cloth over the sickly area. Place a flower pot in the lower right corner of the entrance after you’ve used it again. When I see it, I’ll come back and tell me if it worked or not.”
“All right. Is that all you need?”
“You just don’t tell anyone about me or the cloth.”
His wife, Gashna, had been breastfeeding the baby since that night.
After that, Gashna was completely fine.
But after a while, our baby developed a heat rash, so I applied the cloth to him. His recovery was not as dramatic as my wife’s, but the heat rash appeared to be less severe.
As instructed, I placed the flowerpot in the lower right corner of the entrance, and three nights later.
The elderly lady returned.
“I see. Your wife has been in critical condition because this cloth is no longer effective after the second try. I repeat again, it would be a disappointment if you mentioned me. Can you ignore me if you see me in the future?”
“I know. I’m not going to tell anyone. I’ll even pretend I don’t know you!”
What if I didn’t keep my promise to the powerful old lady? I can only imagine how terrifying it must have been.
The couple bowed their heads in unison. The elderly lady rose from her seat.
“I’m leaving now. And remove the flower pot; it’s unnecessary now. So, do you know anyone who is too poor to see a doctor and is in a lot of pain? Not only sick, but also injured.”
His wife, Gashna, told her about a man who lived alone across the street from the general store where Gashna worked and had arthritis for many years. He could get by with a cane, but it was clear that soon he would not be able to make ends meet.
“I see. Can you promise not to talk about me with him if he gets better?”
“”I swear to God!””
The couple said it together.
Gashna gave the elderly lady a knitted hat she had made herself. “At the very least, receive this.”
A few months later, the three family members visited Gashna’s former workplace.
Unaware of his wife’s illness, the shopkeeper offered tea to the three of them, laughed at the baby, and began to chat cheerfully.
“Do you remember old Joaquin who lived across the street, Gahsna?”
“Yes. He appeared to be in a lot of pain.”
“Yes. And then he started feeling better. He no longer uses a cane. I had no idea it was possible to be pain-free all of a sudden. I was astounded!”
Gashna muttered something as the three of them walked back to the house.
“Hey, Hasen… did someone tell the old lady about my illness by any chance?”
“I see. I suppose so.”
“I have no idea who it was, but I’m grateful.”
“Yeah, that’s very thoughtful of them.”
Gashna talks to the sleeping baby in her arms as they walk side by side.
“My baby—there are more good people in this world than we thought.”
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