MULTIPLE CHOICE | ALEJANDRO ZAMBRA

“The day you were born was the happiest day of my life, but I was so nervous that I don’t know if happiness is really the best word to describe what I felt. I think it is my obligation to tell you, in spite of the absolute love I have always felt for you, in spite of how much you have brightened my life, and I assume your mother’s as well—I haven’t seen her in around ten years now, but I’m sure that for her as well you have been a constant source of happiness—in spite of all that, I have to tell you that during the eighteen years you’ve now been alive, I’ve never stopped wondering what my life would have been like if you had never been born.

It’s an overwhelming thought, an exit that leads to the darkest of nights, to the most complete blackness, but also to shadow and sometimes, slowly, toward something like a clearing in the woods. These fantasies are normal, but it’s not so common for parents to confess them. For example, over the years I have thought thousands of times that if you hadn’t been born I would have needed less money, or could have disappeared for weeks on end without worrying about anyone. I could have prolonged my youth for several more years. I could have even killed myself. I mean, the first consequence of your birth was that from then on, I could never kill myself.”

Alejandro Zambra | Multiple Choice