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The Roads Not Taken
Sara mulls the alternate paths her husband could have taken had he chosen another woman.

Courtesty of Sara Wilson
Sara Wilson and David Fernandez

Life is made up of choices. Itís made up of monumental intersections and sometimes just small little forks, but each turn in the road is significant in lifeís course. But donít look for a map to show you the way. Life is a river and the map is ever changing and time doesnít stand still long enough for consultation.

Iíve often thought of lifeís forks. How different my life would be if I hadnít moved to Paris after college to be an English Assistant for a year and if my friend, Mimi, hadnít encouraged me to stay a bit longer to work at Hard Rock Cafe for the summer. I would never have met David. That one simple decision sent my life careening down an entirely different path. And what would have happened if we had decided to stay in California and David had continued with his catering business there? Our whole New York City chapter and all the friends weíve made there would have been erased from our lives. And what if Davidís dad hadnít announced that he was opening a restaurant at the same time as our two layoffs? Perhaps we wouldnít have had the courage to hop continents and start a new life in Europe.

Since Iíve been in Spain, Iíve had front row seats to the different possible paths that Davidís life could have taken, and Iíve realized what a miracle it is that we ended up together and how slim the chance that we would ever meet at all really was. There were so many girls along the way, but there were three especially who could have drastically changed Davidís life and, consequently, mine as well.

There is Marissa, who we ran in to one evening while hanging out at Davidís dadís restaurant. She is married and has two kids now. David had a crush on her when he was little, but she didnít feel the same. If she had just liked him, in return, David could have been a dad by now, meaning that Davidís mom would have been a grandmother and peace would fall on earth.

There is Sole, who works in the kitchen of her familyís bar in the village where Davidís aunt and uncle live. The bar has been around forever and is a true family business. Soleís father and mother run it, her brother works in the front and she works in the back. And David had the chance to be part of it all, if he had just married her. Poor Sole was so unattractive growing up that her dad felt that he had to add an extra incentive into the marriage package and made it clear that whoever married his daughter would automatically enter into this prosperous family business. Sadly, no one, to this day, has been tempted enough by the offer and she remains unwed working in the family business. But if David had just said 'yes,' he would have had a VIP pass straight into a successful business and his entrepreneurial drive would have been satisfied.

And finally there is Raquel. We ran into her and her family at Davidís dadís restaurant. And even though David didnít recognize her and her family at first, they clearly remembered him. Calling him over, they reminded him of how he and Raquel used to play together at the age of three. She used to pretend to be Luisa, Davidís mom, while David used to pretend to be his father. Apparently, this fun playmate was significant in Davidís life because even later when we were telling Luisa about how we saw Raquel, she remembered her immediately and, to this day, still has a picture of the two of them side by sideóat the age of three. Well, Raquel must have been cute at three because at 31 she is gorgeous. If David had just continued to play that game a bit longer, he could now be with a Spanish-speaking top model.

But he didnít end up with Marissa, Sole or Raquel. He ended up with me. I havenít given him kids, I donít have a family business, and Iím not a top model. But even after we revisited the girls of Davidís past, he assured me that he wouldnít have chosen to be with anyone other than me. Knowing how much he would like to have kids, how much he would love to be part of a successful family business and how beautiful Raquel is, I took that as a real compliment.

Itís hard to know if weíre where we should be. Now that Davidís dadís restaurant, the main instigator in getting us over here, is closed, I wonder if Spain was the right path to take. But when I look back and see all that David and I have done and the places weíve lived and the experiences weíve had, I feel happy and extremely lucky in my life. I donít know where this fork leads, I donít know what lies at the end of this path, but I trust that, somehow, weíre right on course. And I look forwardóto what the future holds.

Sara Wilson is currently working as a freelance writer and lives in Torrevieja, Spain with her husband. She has kept a record of her adventures living abroad which you can find here or on her blog: http://sarawilson.wordpress.com. Contact her directly at wilson.sara@gmail.com.

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