On building a virtual life.

‘We are doomed to remember what never really happened.’

Before the first chapter of Marina, Carlos Ruiz Zafon wrote a little letter addressing his readers which he ended with these very words: Maybe, as Marina once told Oscar, we are doomed to remember what never really happened.

We all know that the world is full of possibilities. The perfect blue of the sky, decorated with the golden sun and wispy white clouds could never last. Eventually, the sun will hide behind those clouds and the clouds will change their colour. They will become darker and heavier. There maybe strong winds accompanying their colour. All of it, describing the inevitable possibility of rain.

But what’s more intriguing is when it does not rain. When it goes dark for a few seconds, minutes or hours then the darkness subsides as if saying, ‘not quite feeling it today.’ For those of us that are yet to learn how to appreciate this messenger of rain, we are overjoyed by the light to pay any heed to the darkness. It’s forgotten. Now there’s only the light to be enjoyed. At least, for the moment.

Sometimes, possibilities do not end with a clear result, contrary to the nature of the weather. Perhaps, we are cursed to never know what could have happened. Or, we are saved from knowing it.

Maybe, that stranger could’ve been your best friend. If you only applied to that university, you could’ve been accepted. If you only worked a little bit more, you could’ve accomplished greatness. If you only spoke to that person you fancied, you could’ve met the love of your life. If you only did this or that, you could have gotten this or that. I hope you understand what I am trying to imply.

However, it might be so that the stranger could’ve been a deranged psychopath. Or you would have hated studying in that university. Or that extra work would have produced the exact same result. Or that person you fancied is in reality, an intolerably troubled soul. So on and so forth.

But when some of us reflect on these moments, we reminisce in them. We love to dwell on the optimism of our imaginations. Build a virtual life around a certain moment. I, for one, am tragically guilty of doing so. Perhaps, we really are doomed to remember what never really happened.

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