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Marked to die

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  • tsenshab
    Marked to die      Perhaps I was supposed to die at 22:30 on the 22nd of August 2004, less than 48 hours before my birthday. In order for the scenario of
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 30, 2005
      Marked to die

           Perhaps I was supposed to die at 22:30 on the 22nd of August 2004, less than 48
      hours before my birthday. In order for the scenario of my near-death to be set up, a series
      of factors were brought into play:

           A] In the interviews held to promote his new film, actor Will Smith always spoke of my
      book "The Alchemist".
           B] The film was based on a book I had read years before and liked a lot: "I, Robot", by
      Isaac Asimov. I decided to go and see the film in homage to Smith and Asimov.
           C] The film was showing in a small town in the southwest of France in the first week of
      August. But a whole lot of things without the least importance made me put off going to
      the cinema – until this Sunday.

           I had an early dinner, shared a half-bottle of wine with my wife and invited our maid to
      come with us (she was reluctant but eventually accepted). We reached the cinema on time,
      bought some popcorn, and saw the film, which we enjoyed. We returned to the car for the
      ten-minute ride back to the old mill that had become our home. I put on a CD of Brazilian
      music and decided to drive slowly so that we could listen to at least three songs before we
      reached the house.

           On the two-way road cutting through sleepy little towns, all of a sudden I see a pair of
      headlights in the rear mirror, surging out of nowhere. There is a crossroads right in front
      of us, with posts on either side. I try stepping on the brakes because I know that the car
      won't be able to make it, for the posts make it quite impossible to overtake. All this takes
      a fraction of a second - I remember thinking "this guy's crazy!" - but there is no time to
      say anything. The driver of the car (the image engraved on my memory is a Mercedes, but I
      am not sure about that) spots the posts, accelerates, cuts in front of me, and when he tries
      to correct his course he ends up at right angles in the middle of the road.

           From that moment on, everything seems to happen in slow motion: he overturns once,
      twice, three times. Then the car is tossed over to the shoulder of the road, where it flips
      over again, this time bouncing high in the air, with both front and rear windshields
      crashing on the ground. My headlights illuminate the whole scene and I can't brake
      suddenly – I watch the car doing somersaults beside me just like in the film I have just
      seen – except that, my God, there it was fiction, here it's real life!

           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

           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

      by author Paulo Coelho
      Source: http://www.warriorofthelight.com
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