Matthew used to think love was as easy as 3.14159, but Linda was rapidly proving him wrong. He loved Linda, sure, just like he loved his dog Einstein, but he loved mathematics the most. Linda was a woman he met through his parents, and as of three(3) months ago, his wife. Einstein was a mutt he found at the animal shelter four(4) years ago, and also his best friend.

But math, math was something inherently part of him from the day he was born (5/6/78), math was found in his name and etched in the lines on his palms. Math was in the shapes around him, in the vectors he travelled from point A to point B. Math was even in Linda’s face, for it was near perfect according to the Golden Ratio (1.61803), and the moment his mother, desperate to find him a wife, introduced to him a woman with a completely symmetrical face, he knew she was The One(1).

Einstein had learned to respect his love for math, and even stayed by his side as a steadfast companion through long nights filled with tedious derivations. Linda was different though, because she was a woman and he soon realized, after countless failed math pickup lines and proposals in binary code, that math and science, while they were vital in understanding how the world worked, were absolutely useless when it came to the Study of a Woman's Heart.

Linda's heart, he knew, was just like his own in that it was composed of four(4) chambers, two(2) ventricles and two(2) atria, and it pumped blood to the rest of the body in a periodic cycle of contractions. On average, Linda’s heart beat at a rate of seventy(70) bpm, which meant that in one(1) hour, it beat forty-two hundred(4200) times. If asked, Matthew could easily model the in- and out- flow of blood from Linda's heart, or make predictions about her heart rate in five(5) hours given her blood pressure reading now. But love wasn't as easy as understanding just the mathematics behind a woman's heart, because there was this unknown variable called "feelings," and math failed to tell him how to interpret those.

"You've broken my heart," said Linda to him one(1) day, black mascara tears streaking down her cheeks. He blinked at her – the heart couldn’t break, could it? He was in the middle of constructing a new lemma, to help him form a proof for the Riemann Hypothesis, and he wanted to tell her to keep quiet and let him concentrate but he saw from the look on her face that this wasn't the time.

"I'm sorry," he said, pencil stilling in his hands.

"No, you're not," said Linda, and in all honesty, she was correct. "I didn't think when I married you that you'd devote more time to a field of study than to your own wife, but you've proven me wrong."

"I've proven many things wrong," he said, adjusting his glasses. She gawked at him.

"This is exactly the problem," she said, waving her hands about chaotically in a way he found positively(>0) infuriating. "You spend so much time thinking, dreaming, breathing math that you don't know how to do anything else. It's like you're on another plane, you don't understand me."

"Planes can intersect to form a line," he said.

"Ours are parallel."

Touché, he thought. "I need you, Linda." He was lying through his teeth and she knew it.

"You don't need me," she said. "You just need a pencil and paper and a new idea. I'm tired of you and your long nights of research and dissociation from humankind."

Matthew sighed. "So what are we going to do?"

"'We' aren't going to do anything, Matt. There is no 'we.' There's just u+i = u+i, and I'm cancelling myself out of that equation."

It was an impressive last line, he had to admit, and before he could form a reply she had one(1) foot out the door. Einstein gave a soft whine when the door slammed shut. Matthew shrugged in response. "Q.E.D."



Q.E.D. = "quod erat demonstrandum," which means "what was to be demonstrated." traditionally put at the end of mathematical (and philosophical) proofs when the original statement has been proven. in this case, the original statement is "love is not easy."

slightly condensed/edited version:

  • Ms._red
    You're quite welcome, Dhakshila!! Thank you for the kind remarks! Your enthusiasm make me happy. :-) I'm so glad you love my added ideas for your brilliant story. Others have already seen its potential. I'm surprised it hasn't become a short film already. Hopefully, it will get the proper adaptation it deserves with layers upon layers of math everywhere. <3
    Jul 17, 2015
  • Notaband-1704342
    This is one of my favorite pieces on hR! I'm so glad you enjoyed the voice-over.
    Feb 03, 2015
  • Itouch2_170
    I love this so much! I wrote my college application essays about physics and how all actions have an equation so seeing this was a total throw back but this obviously was so much better too:P.
    Jul 03, 2013
  • Fractaldust-1711398
    svirlee, thanks so much! very happy you liked this :)
    Jul 01, 2013
  • Ilia
    Awesome writing! Really enjoyed how clever, well executed this was.
    Jun 30, 2013
    by svirlee
  • Hellolindsayyyyyy-1584576
    I must admit math is my least favorite thing in this world, but I am a fan of writing, and this was such a good story I even googled what I didn't get. Haha =^)
    Kudos, Dhak, kudos! I love your smart talk!
    Dec 25, 2010
  • Y_a921b57a
    what is Q.E.D.?
    Sep 07, 2010
    by EvkaRox
  • Fractaldust-1711398
    Q.E.D. stands for the Latin phrase "quod erat demonstrandum," which means "that which was to be demonstrated." It is traditionally put at the end of proofs when the initial statement (in this case, that love is not easy as pi) has been proven. :)
    Sep 07, 2010
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