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The longer we exist and evolve as a species, the more we come to realize that all things are possible. It has been stated that only about five percent of what makes up the universe we live in is, in fact, visible to us. What might compose that other 95 percent? As we explore the vastness of the cosmos, we find that what was once unimaginable is now accepted and considered commonplace. Thus, the idea of a parallel universe can now be considered.

The idea that parallel universes exist has been debated for a very long time. One theory bantered about subscribes to the notion that the universe we know of, the one in which we all live and call home, is in actuality one of many possible such universes. Many suggest that this universe and a parallel one are separated only by an incredibly slender membrane. This vibrating membrane is so very thin, only one-half the diameter of an atom.

I have decided to form my own unique and personal version of that parallel dimension. I choose to believe that each of us has a clone, an identical, at least in appearance, twin that lives in this other universe. However, there are differences as circumstances in our lives dictate to a great extent our behavior and the paths our lives must take, and those random acts decide who among us lives and who dies.

In my dreamed-of parallel universe, Robin is a woman of aging years. Her light chocolate-colored hair is only visible in photographs that were taken many years ago and while she was so young. The grey hair seems much thinner as she brushes it each morning, and she often wonders who the old woman seen in the mirror is. Where did the young girl with large bright eyes go? Her reflection in the cold glass of the mirror has died.

The years have slipped away so quickly and Robin now lives alone. It has been more than 293 weeks since the passing of her husband Stan. As the 46 years of their marriage passed, she admittedly took the time she spent with him for granted. Days turned into weeks and months and years and life was to be lived, and she thought Stan and the love they had for one another would last forever. But people are mortal and mortals don't live forever.

As was the custom and with courtesy in mind, Robin's son David placed a telephone call to his mother. Wishing her a happy 70th birthday, he asked about her health and well being. "I'm alright, I guess, but I had the strangest dream. I don't deny that your brother Rob died in 2006 and your father suffered the same fate in 2013. But the dream, that strangest of dreams, rudely awakened me from my sleep."

"Well, what was the dream about," David asked. "I can't explain much of it, but in that dream that interrupted my sleep, I saw Rob and your father alive."

"What's so strange about that," he asked.

"The strange part of the fantasy which still causes an eerie feeling to come over me is that they were alive and we, the two of us, had passed away. It's like the opposite of what really happened."

"Yeah, that is a peculiar dream."

"Yeah, Mom, that is a strange dream but I think I get it. It seems somehow fair that if there is another place, you know a place like this only just a little different, that Dad and Rob are alive, even if that means you and me are dead. It just seems like it should be that way. It seems to me that it's fair and sort of a way of evening things out."

"You know, David, I hadn't really thought about it like that. It does seem fair. I think about your father and Rob most often just before I fall asleep every night. I think that from now on I'll choose to believe that they are out there somewhere and, just before they close their eyes, they will be thinking about you and me."

"Same here, Mom."

Are the images in our dreams no more than fantasies summoned from the dark of night while we dare to sleep, or are they actually realities not yet discovered. Who among us can say?

Indebted to no one and during a warm summer's eve slumber, Robin left this universe on the 14th day of July in the year 2013. She was four and sixty years of age. Robin was far better than me; this I do not doubt. Therefore, it is only fitting that she has traveled to a better place, a place which lies beyond the far horizon. I suggest to you that as she slept her final sleep, she dreamt of her husband and love of forty-six years, Stan.

Rob and I have somehow avoided the obstacles life places in our paths, and we continue to take up space in this world. As for Robin and David, well they also continue to enjoy what life has to offer, however, they live in a parallel universe.

In the vast oceans of the two universes, the mundane and ordinary lives and predictable deaths of Robin, Stan, David and Rob caused not even the slightest of ripples. Their coming and leaving was barely noticeable and, even then, only by the few who knew them.

Would it be that I could find that often-mentioned but never found path, that wormhole that connects the two universes! If discovered, I would leave this very moment to reunite with the two who have left me, but I know that isn't possible.

I often question why it has come to pass that I have outlived those who have many years ago passed away. I wonder if those surplus years may be a blessing or a curse. I guess only that which is constant, the passage of time, will tell.

Alive and well in her universe, Robin is known to remark, "This universe seems so empty without Rob and Stan."

I find that this, the universe I live in, seems so very empty without David and Robin.

I now live in this, my universe, under a terrible and dark shadow. I have come to understand that all my efforts to divest myself of this darkened cloud have proven to be fruitless. Nevertheless, I harbor not even the slightest bit of animosity toward the darkened shape, as I understand that the shadow is merely doing that which shadows do. My prayers do however beg that a similar and terrible dark shadow does not torment Robin and David in the parallel universe in which they might dwell.

Some encumbered with a fatalistic nature believe that, should the two universes violate that thin membrane and come into contact with one another, both worlds would cease to exist. I have come to realize that some things seem to be regrettably unavoidable.

-- Stan Fine is a retired police officer and Verizon Security Department investigator who, after retiring in 2006, moved from Tampa, Fla., to Noel, Mo. Stan's connection to Noel can be traced back to his grandparents who lived most of their lives there. Stan began writing after the passing of his wife Robin in 2013. Opinions are those of the author.

Editorial on 04/04/2019

Print Headline: Life in a Parallel Universe

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