Marked to die – Part 2

Paulo Coelho

[...]

The car is tossed back on the road and finally comes to a standstill lying on its left side. I can make out the driver’s shirt. I pull up alongside, and the only thing going through my head is that I have to get out and help him. At this moment I feel my wife’s nails digging deep into my arm: she begs me for the love God to drive on and park further ahead, the other car could explode and burst into flames.

I drive another hundred meters and park. The radio is still playing the Brazilian music as if nothing has happened. Everything seems so surrealistic, so distant. My wife and Isabel, our maid, get out and run back towards the scene of the accident. Another car coming in the opposite direction brakes. A woman jumps out, all nervous: her headlights too have illuminated the Dantesque scene. She asks if I have a cell phone, I answer yes, I do. “Then call emergency!”

What’s the emergency number? She looks at me in astonishment: everybody knows that! Three times 51! The cell phone is turned off: before the film starts, they always remind us to do that. I dial the access code and then call emergency – 51 51 51. I know exactly where all this has happened: between the village of Laloubere and the village of Horgues.

My wife and the maid come back: a young man is bruised and scratched, but it does not seem to be anything too serious. After all I have seen, after turning upside down six times, nothing too serious! He gets out the car a bit groggy, other cars stop, the firemen arrive five minutes later, and everything is all right. Everything is all right! For a fraction of a second, he would have run into me, pushed me over the side of the road, it would have been very bad for both of us. Very bad indeed.

When I get back home, I look up at the stars. Sometimes certain things stand in our path, but because our time has not yet arrived, they pass by without even grazing us – but they are clear enough for us to see them. I thank God for being able to understand that – as a friend of mine always says – everything that had to happen did, and nothing happened.

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Comments

  1. Maggie says:

    I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to be dead. Although I don't know when it was supposed to happen, I know that someone else went in my place. And I know who that someone is; he is someone that I loved for a very long time. If not the love of this lifetime, then the love of many lifetimes.

    Although I can't explain why I know this to be true, I know it to be true.

    Once, long ago, I met a man. He was just a boy then. He fell in love with me, but I didn't fall in love with him. It took me a little longer back then; I was stubborn. Before I left him, he wrote me a letter. In it, he promised me our story was unfinished. That we would be together one day. It's the kind of letter you only ever get once, and you never forget.

    Of course, I called him. But by then it was years later, and he'd fallen in love with someone else. Over a decade, this pattern of mutually unrequited love repeated itself, again and again.

    Then one day he died.

    In the first few days after his death, I walked the streets of my city, talking to myself, “It wasn't supposed to end this way,” I would say, demanding an answer from silence. Slowly, I came to a conclusion that I'm still working out in my head: that his death was supposed to happen, and it wasn't, all at the same time. I guess the sense in that, if there is any, is that there is choice. His choice was to go, and in so doing, he saved love for another lifetime. In his absence, I have nothing more than this belief, and the reality of the present tense.

  2. orly says:

    well i think nothig happend but so much happend with a happy end- so in our religion we have a special prayer to G-d after these kind of NOTHING!!! and u can even get some idea for ur new book,,, one day,,,, but the most important in this drama -is that u r with us ,,, and we love u!
    orly

  3. Ross Martin says:

    I do not understand the Universe,how it works,but I do understand my place in it,yet I have no real conception of either time (a million years? or size(so Mount Everest is 29,000 ft high?) The measuring tools required aren’t yet available.To fully understand I have to climb the mountain -or live a 1000 yrs.I am iminiscule,and such a narrow survival as yours- would only confirm my insignificance.Death paid its clandestine visit,brushed past you and the other driver.to remind you of the power of life-not so much a laser beam -more a candle in the wind.

  4. T.K. says:

    “…everything that had to happen did, and nothing happened.”

    I’ve repeated that quote you stated a few times in the course of this day. My question is if everything happens for a reason and the end result is nothing happened what do we take away from moments such as the one you experienced?

  5. Alex M Uk says:

    I am so thankful that you were all ok after that near miss. That was so lucky that the cars did not collide. Is it luck? It is a strange word. Lucky is a word we use when we are grateful for something that has or has not happened.

    Situations like this show us that we are all human and that we are only here on this earth for the amount of time that we are meant to be here. Accidents are often very, very close to us, but that just reinforces that we should take care of our life and celebrate every day that we are here.

  6. Pandora says:

    I was once travelling from Iguazu to Buenos Aires in the 90′s with a pilot friend of mine. There was a storm brewing and just as the stewardess had served us our food, and we were eating the plane suddenly plunged completely and totally unexpectedly.

    There was lots of screams, the food and our drink went everywhere, we didn’t even have our belts on. I gripped the sides of the seat and looked over to my friend for support thinking that this can’t be serious and he would know what to do and give me support.

    But to my completely and utter dismay, there he was in the BRACE position, abosolutely terrified. It was then that I got scared, the plane seemed really small, clasutrophobic, I couldn’t understand a word the pilot was saying and had to rely on prayer to get me through.

    I was checking others faces desperate for a sign of relief and …. eventually after much upping and downing the plane calmed down a bit, and when we landed everyone on the plane smiled and cheered.

    I then had to get another ajoining flight to New York and go back through the same storm, the stewardess on that flight, kept giving me small bottles of whisky after I told her my tale, and I fell into an intoxicated sleep. Once I got to New York (with a very sore head) I then had to catch a plane to London …. and yes the storm was still raging. (It seemed to be following us!).

    It took me years to get over my fear of flying after this, but I have got over it. Fear does paralyse you, and to not be able to travel by aeroplane anymore would have seriously hindered my travels.

    I’ve had other very near death experiences, and since this has happened my conclusion is that when your time is up, it is up. And when these experiences happen they make you appreciate your life a whole lot more.

    Thanks Maggie for your tale, I think that Love can expand through many lifetimes, soulmates/twinsouls meet time and time again, maybe in this life you have balanced some negative karma which will be resolved when you meet again.

    With love
    Pandora

  7. Irina Black says:

    Extremes.Are they the brutal “coursecorrelations?”

  8. Maggie says:

    I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be dead. Although I don’t know when it was supposed to happen, I know that someone else went in my place. And I know who that someone is; he is someone that I loved for a very long time. If not the love of this lifetime, then the love of many lifetimes.

    Although I can’t explain why I know this to be true, I know it to be true.

    Once, long ago, I met a man. He was just a boy then. He fell in love with me, but I didn’t fall in love with him. It took me a little longer back then; I was stubborn. Before I left him, he wrote me a letter. In it, he promised me our story was unfinished. That we would be together one day. It’s the kind of letter you only ever get once, and you never forget.

    Of course, I called him. But by then it was years later, and he’d fallen in love with someone else. Over a decade, this pattern of mutually unrequited love repeated itself, again and again.

    Then one day he died.

    In the first few days after his death, I walked the streets of my city, talking to myself, “It wasn’t supposed to end this way,” I would say, demanding an answer from silence. Slowly, I came to a conclusion that I’m still working out in my head: that his death was supposed to happen, and it wasn’t, all at the same time. I guess the sense in that, if there is any, is that there is choice. His choice was to go, and in so doing, he saved love for another lifetime. In his absence, I have nothing more than this belief, and the reality of the present tense.

  9. Heart says:

    Would I run into a burning building to save a life? Probably not. I’m not that brave. A previous co worker saved three lives in one year, in three different occasions. Once at a golf course, an older man fell over on the ground. My co worker did mouth-to-mouth and saved his life. Then he saved a woman out of a car in a car accident. The third incident was when he broke into a clients house and found the client had over dosed, and saved her life. My intuition, the co worker from Chicago, told me in so many words, without saying it straight out, tells me, this man had killed somebody in the past too. I’m thinking God put these opportunities in front of him, to try to heal his wrong doings in the past? The sad end of this story. Just after he had saved the woman’s life, my previous co worker committed suicide himself. If I could only had been there for him. Sigh.

  10. Christine says:

    This story reminds me of something that just very recently happened to me. I was the one speeding along (trying not to miss a train–never intentionally driving that way) and while driving past a car, in the turning lane, the man driving was too busy looking at me and what I was doing and he ran a red light. It made me feel scared for him & bad but he shouldn’t have been so concerned with my driving when I wasn’t interfering with him. In that situation I thought of a line from one of your stories something like ‘Always be aware of everything around you but never drop the oil.’ (I think it’s the story of a boy carrying oil in a spoon.) I was aware of what was going on around me. I have every intention when I leave my house in the morning to return at night to my family. And I have a great respect for the people around me because I know that they have families that they want to return to as well. I did feel bad about what happened & later when the man told me to leave earlier I wished that I had a copy of your story on me because while I realize that I was wrong (and have since made a mental note to relax, that missing the train isn’t the end of the world) He should have been more aware of his own safety & the safety of others rather then watching me because I was in a turning lane. He ran the light and almost caused an accident. I am always conscious that life is fragile and always aware of the “oil.” I now realize that not everyone is doing the same. I, like you, am glad that everyone was okay and I think that both this man & I learned a lesson.

  11. Alexandra says:

    Happy end.I felt danger more the last times I took a plane.From above is really difficult to get out from an accident alive, but not impossible.And,when I felt the plane shaking, people praying,holding each others hand as for the last time,I was scared.But was only little turbulence.False alarm.Thanks God

  12. He pasado por esos pueblos y he recordado esta historia y le doy gracias a ¨¨Dios por no haber pasado nada.
    Mas tarde este suceso me hizo pensar que tenemos que tener cuidado con lo que entra por nuestros ojos pues somos creadores, llevamos a la realidad todo aquello que vemos en la ficción por eso decimos que la realidad supera la ficción.
    Un beso Paulo y gracias por compartir estos escritos que me traen recuerdos de un viaje maravilloso.

  13. Savita Vega says:

    “Everything that had to happen did.” As I always like to say: “It is as it should be.” In the end, regardless of the outcome – happy or sad, glorious or tragic – this is the ultimate answer: It is as it should be. Once we accept that fully and completely, we are able to move on, even when the outcome is not so fortunate.

    So long as we stand around screaming, “This just isn’t right! It isn’t supposed to be like this! This is a mistake of some kind,” we are resisting what is, and we are unable to move on. But, as soon as we accept the IS of what is – the inevitability of it, the “rightness” of it (even if it is “unjust”) – we are able to pick up the pieces of whatever remains and build again.

    When my mother died, I was rather young. But it didn’t seem a huge tragedy, and it never has. I just said to myself, “It is as it should be.” This is the length of time we were meant to spend together in this life. She taught me all that she had to teach me. Offered me all that she had to offer. The lesson is complete.

    I still think about her from time to time. But I don’t “miss
    her – I don’t regret, I don’t lament. Although she died at a rather early age, I do not perceive her death as “premature.” It simply is as it should be, as it was. I wouldn’t seek to change that, even if I could.

  14. Marie-Christine says:

    You can thank your lucky stars that nothing happened to any of you.
    Love