“Somewhere in the distant regions of an infinite cosmos there might be a galaxy that looks exactly like the Milky Way, with a solar system that is very similar to ours; with a planet that is a doppelganger of the Earth, with a house that is indistinguishable from the house in which you live. This house is inhabited by someone who looks exactly like you, who is reading this book right now, and who imagines how, in a distant galaxy, you are reaching the end of this sentence right now.
And there is not only one galaxy. In an infinite universe, there are infinitely many. But even if we are not able to observe these distant regions, we can imagine them from fundamental physical considerations. If the cosmos is infinitely large, it will also harbor infinitely many parallel worlds, some of which are exactly the same as ours, while others are different from ours and many have no similarity whatsoever with it.”
Brian Green: The Hidden Reality, Chapter 2, page 22
German Edition 2012, Siedler Verlag, Munich.
“Destiny is not a matter of chance.
It is a matter of decision.”
William Jennings Bryan, American politician.
From his speech on 22 February 1899, Washington, D.C.
“If we imagine the quantum universe, we are faced with the possibility that our parallel egos, living in different quantum universes, may have exactly the same genetic code, which at the crucial points of life, in decisions about opportunities, guiding figures, and desires, have gone a different way, leading them towards other life histories and other destinies.”
Michio Kaku: Parallel Universes, page 464/465
German Edition 2005, Rowohlt Verlag.
Andromeda, May 2015, TV Program
The excitement in the studio was tremendous. Freya Morell was at the center of attention. It was her program, her idea and her presentation that was celebrated today. A one-time show, no one had thought possible. Freya’s idea to present the secret intergalactic, telepathic conversations with her astral sister on her television series had been dismissed as nonsense and rejected by the management a year ago. Today, they were all celebrating together. The TV bosses, director Charles Zach, producer Yves Barrington, Freya and the researchers from the Neurocore Institute, had made it possible to transform thoughts into words. Whether there was similar communication elsewhere in the universe, nobody knew. The study of intergalactic thought transmission was not part of the programme of the scientists on Sirrah, in the Andromeda galaxy, who were looking for life in space. It was not important for the TV people whether this kind of dialogue took place elsewhere in the universe. The only thing that mattered was the sensational fact that thought transmission did work, and that the team from TV New Venice was the first to make this fact public. The show was a bombshell. The audience was not sure whether it was sci-fi or reality. The phones in the County TV editorial office were running hot.
A difficult life situation three years earlier, had led to Freya Morell’s first contact with her twin sister on planet Earth, in the Milky Way. Today, Freya had revealed her secret, and she had invited her astral sister to her weekly TV show on love, and she spoke to her about life and love on planet Earth. Nobody, except for the astrophysicists, were seriously concerned with a possible life outside the Andromeda. It was a sensation that a woman had made a show that had turned everything known hitherto upside down. The hustle and the bustle in the studio just would not stop.
Freya was exhausted, the great tension of the past few days and weeks revealed itself. All she wanted to do was to leave inconspicuously and go home. She looked around for Yves Barrington, her producer and her friend. He was talking to some journalists with his face beaming. This show was the best he had produced for years. He basked in the journalists interest. Freya did not want to give interviews or to listen to and to answer questions. Yves had promised to protect her and do all the interviews himself. Unnoticed, she strolled to the studio exit, picked up her coat and bag in the dressing room and got into her SUV.
It only took her a quarter of an hour to get home. She was thinking about the last three years. A lot had happened. Frederick had left her, the twins had moved out two years ago, and Elisa, her youngest daughter, had done the same a year ago. The relationship with Yves had become difficult, even hollow. Her job was her only joy as was the connection to her stellar sister Freya. This relationship had become a firm anchor in her life. Tonight, after the show, Freya wanted to “speak” to her again. She wanted to share her success with her.
Zurich, May 2015
The evening was lukewarm and pleasant. As so often in the past three years, Freya Beck cuddled up in a light woolen blanket on the old wooden bench on the shore of the lake, pulled her legs up toward her chest, and supported her chin on her knee. She was thinking of the other Freya, her astral sister, who lived on Sirrah in the Andromeda, and who had contacted her in a curious way three years before. Frightened and scared, she had not known then how to react. Today her conversations were at their zenith. Due to a technical miracle she did not understand, intergalactic thought transmission was not only possible, but her thoughts could also be transformed into another language and broadcast on the planet Sirrah, in a television program about her stellar sister.
She loved their secret conversations, which were not actually conversations. The two women had never spoken to one another. Only their thoughts crossed from mind to mind, questions and answers, laughter and crying, stories about their husbands, their children, their work, their friends and their lovers. It was simply about everything that life had brought them and what the women loved to talk about. Freya heard the voice of her sister from the universe, in her head. It was pleasant only having to think what she otherwise would have had to put into words. Thoughts were faster than words.
Hello Freya, where are you? How was the show? Did you succeed and give the researchers a nasty shock? Get in touch soon. Tomorrow I will fly to Vienna. Maybe I will see my Frederick there.
Here I am. My thoughts are with you. Yes, perhaps you will see him. I wish you the best of luck and my thoughts are with you, my dear sister. Our program was a huge success. There will surely be consequences for me. The astrophysicists were actually alarmed. But I will not be available until tomorrow. It will still be calm during the night. What happens then, only time will show.
I am so happy for you, Freya. You are solid like gold to me. Do you even know how happy I am to have you? You are not only my astral twin you are also my best friend. I can no longer imagine life without our conversations. You have made my life magical for so many years. From beyond the universe, you contact me immediately when I think of you and now this cession. How do you do that? We have never spoken about it. You were always in the moment, there, with me.
Hmm, it is very simple. I feel you immediately. Your thoughts reach me right away. But today was a bit different. Before the show I was very nervous. The people from Neurocore had put a wafer-thin net, full of electrodes, onto my head, I was connected to several devices and then the TV show started. I presented the show as usual, I greeted the audience and then I explained what was going to happen today. At the same time, in front of the running cameras, I searched for you in my mind. You reacted immediately. They showed the EEG recordings of your answers, received by my brain and they were transformed into speech. It all worked out. You spoke wonderfully, little sister. Thank you, and a big hug to the Earth. Your photo almost knocked them all out. It came slowly, from top to bottom, on a screen, as if you had scanned it with your eyes. It developed during the show, in front of the viewers. We are incredibly alike. We have the same hair color, the same cut, the same eyes, the same nose, the same smile. We really are twins. And what a special pair of twins.
I am happy for you, Freya. What did Yves say about the success?
He tried to market it as much as he possibly could. He is the producer. Tomorrow morning the rerun will air. This could mean even higher viewer numbers. Who knows what else will happen? But back to your journey to Vienna tomorrow. I am curious, and very excited about the class reunion of your A level year. It would be nice if your Frederick also came to the reunion. It might well be that he is like my Frederick, just the two of us are similar. I think it will probably be like that. It is a cosmic law.
I hope that he will be there. I would really like to see him again, and I am a bit afraid too. I am going to tell you everything, down to the last detail. But I cannot or I will not imagine any more similarities in our lives. It would almost frighten me.
I am afraid that you must reckon with even more. The Milky Way and the Andromeda Nebula are not alone in the universe. We cannot know how many more Freyas or Fredericks live in other constellations. I am glad to have found you, Freya.
My mobile phone is ringing, do you hear it, or do you feel it? This is Richard. I will call it a day and get back to you as soon as I can. Take care of yourself, little sister.
Freya ended their mental conversation with a smile. Satisfied, she reached for her mobile phone, and pressed herself more strongly against the backrest, she pulled the blanket tighter, and pushed the green button on her iPhone.
“Darling, tomorrow you are flying to Vienna. I still need to hug you, can I come over for a cup of coffee?”
“Is it not too late? For coffee, I mean?”
“I will be with you in five minutes.”
It was the same as always. He was at her door in no time. He was the sweetest lover and as always, he was gone again. As the mistress of a married man, Freya followed these strange, forbidden, socially despised paths. By now, she was sure that his relationship with her was mending his marriage. It was clear to her that it was always the mistress who sooner or later would come out the loser in such triangle relationships. She was ashamed of her behavior, for she knew how much infidelity hurt. Nevertheless, she enjoyed meeting Richard time and again. In the three years that they had known one another, they had remained very discreet and they rarely had a night out. They had no mutual friends either. But they had wonderful conversations and their lovemaking was passionate. The physical contact was equivalent to the verbal contact.
Several times a week, Richard came to see her at her house by the lake, where nobody could see his parked car and where they were safe. They both enjoyed the time that they spent together. What they did not want was a scandal. She knew that she should part with him. To look elsewhere, to stay alone, to travel or, best of all, to go on an astral journey, and to finally break up with Richard. She had already tried, but in vain. Then he would look at her with the gaze of a faithful dog, and he would promise the usual, he would make magic in bed, and she would give in gladly. The time spent with him was pleasant, beautiful, comfortable and harmonious. With no other man in her life Freya had laughed, talked and loved as much as with Richard. In his presence she felt free, loved and secure. She knew that he was a stray. He loved women, and she was not his only extramarital acquaintance. But Freya also knew that she was responsible for her own life. It was not fate that directed her life. It was the decisions she made that led to the subsequent situations. She had decided to go to bed with Richard and it was clear to her that she should also make the next decision to get rid of him.
But the only thing that she wanted to do right now was to unlock the door for Richard, sink into his arms and to enjoy him.
Vienna, May 2015
Eva and Peter had reserved the Velvet Blue in the Le Méridien at the Opernring in Vienna. The big celebration, twenty-five years after graduating from the Akademisches Gymnasium, should take place in an appropriate setting. In May 1990, Freya and her classmates had finished their secondary school studies. With the first step into adulthood a lot had changed in their lives. Never again would they be safe in the familiar atmosphere of a classroom, where the twenty-eight teenagers had spent their days together for many years. None of them was aware of the close bond that they had with their schoolmates at the time. They were friends, colleagues, confidants and fellow students. It had been the time when they had experienced their first loves that had brought tender, innocent feelings; feelings that no one knew how to deal with. Everything was new and they had more or less shared everything together. It had been an exciting, prickly time, full of discoveries, their first disappointments, rivalries and hopes.
Much had changed in Freya’s life since her graduation twenty-five years before. She had lost sight of her classmates and they had gone their separate ways. They all had been looking for their own direction in life. Almost all of them had enrolled at various faculties in Vienna. The girls mainly chose to train to be teachers. The boys studied medicine, economics or they joined the technical school. Frederick Morell, her first love, went to Heidelberg to study physics, much to Freya’s disappointment.
For twenty-five years Freya had neither seen nor heard from him, but still she could not forget him.
She entered the Velvet Blue with great curiosity and excitement. Two women who sat at a table had put their heads together and they were giggling. Peter, the telecom director, approached Freya with a broad grin on his face and the obligatory air-kissing followed. Another man approached them. Finally, after twenty-five years she saw her school crush again. ‘Wow, what a good-looking man,’ Freya thought, and she smiled at Frederick.
“Hi, Freya, do you remember me?” he asked her.
“Frederick, of course I remember you. Where have you been all this time?” A warm feeling of togetherness flooded through her. She looked at him and her green eyes shone.
“Well, that is a long story. I will tell you later.”
The hall had filled up with former classmates. The closeness they had felt towards one another as teenagers was noticeable again. Although some of the men had less hair, and more of a belly, and the women had changed their hairstyles or their hair color, they all recognized one another immediately. Soon the atmosphere became warm and relaxed and the hall was filled with laughter.
Frederick sat next to Freya all evening, and his hand, typically dominant male, lay on the back of her chair. Time and again, he turned to her and his grey eyes rested on her face. Frankly, smiling gently, he had shown his interest in her.
“You are actually much more beautiful than I had imagined,” he whispered into her ear. “I am glad that you are here today. I hoped that you would come the moment that I read the invitation.”
Freya grinned. “I am happy too. I often thought about our schooldays, and about our dance lessons. Do you remember running across the dance floor to be the first to ask me for a dance? The last steps you did not walk or run. The last three meters you slithered on the soles of your shoes as if on ice. You always made it first. Do you remember?”
“Sure, there was always a battle going on between us guys about who should be your partner. Did you know that?”
“Hmm, I suspected it more than I knew.”
Freya let herself sink into a good-humored and slightly dreamy mood with Frederick so close beside her. The memories of her carefree youth, of her first love, of the last celebration after graduating from high school appeared in her mind’s eye. Those had been great times. She was happy to meet so many former friends, especially Frederick. She tried not to show her feelings, but in her joy to see him, she just could not forbid herself.
“If I had had more courage back then, you definitely would not live in Switzerland now,” Frederick whispered into her ear late that night, in front of her hotel. Was it a declaration of love after twenty-five years? Freya guessed that it was. She felt a comforting shiver as he held her in his arms and stroked her hair. For the very first time.