A Question Left Unanswered



They say that a physical entity does not exist until an observer, a conscious one, make a measurement. Prior to that, we can only guess, yet we never know the exact properties of the physical entity. As if the entity knows, and says hello to us a mere mortal with a conscious mind.

“Hey! getting lost in your own mind again?” said a long-haired lady sitting next to me while looking straight at my face. Her brown eyes appear to stare into my soul as if they knew I was lost in my train of thoughts.

“Oh sorry, Kara. I’m listening to you though. So I guess we still have five stops before we arrive there” I said to her, not fully lying, as I still could answer her previous question on when will we arrive at our destination.

“Glad to hear that! I was so sure that you were not paying attention” said Kara while smiling, her round eyeglasses appear to be slightly moved up along. “Thank you for accompanying me today in Amsterdam by the way”.

“Don’t mention it, my pleasure” I answered.

As the blue colored Tram bustles through the city of Amsterdam, I began to get lost in my own mind again. I’ve known Kara for too long to remember. We bumped into each other in this city after losing contact for three years. I suddenly remember those days a few years back when I could just talk to her about anything, mostly about ideas and dreams that I would not be able to talk with other people. Until three years ago we were separated by seven time-zones apart. We share similar goal and interest though, as we both are scientists.

I want her to be with me. I think I am in love with her.

But, does she feel the same? There are only two possibilities: yes or no.

When I was a boy, I used to think that it is possible to make some kind of device to predict someone’s feeling, or consciousness, or whatever it is you call it. After all, we are just a collection of dancing atoms, aren’t we? Only after a doctorate degree and countless of sleepless research night later do I understand the underlying trick of the universe. The universe will always hold a mystery in its core. Even a simple double-slit experiment held a mystery on how does exactly the universe work, as a particle in that experiment appears to be in both upper and lower slit, how could that be?

If she does feel the same, I could imagine our livelong exchange of ideas together. That overwhelming feeling of having the ability to conquer the world, solving any problem that this world needs to be solved. Our joint research together, that power duo this world needs.

If she does not feel the same, we would not meet again after this. The last tram stop would be the last time I see her. I would only be able to see her name in one of her published paper. We would go our separate ways and get lost in our own world.

It seems to me that she is in a superposition of loving me and not loving me. Asking her the question to be with me would collapse that into either one of two.

“Hey we arrived at our destination I think!” Kara said cheerfully as our tram stops. I was losing count on the number of stops, but it seems that this is the correct destination. “Well then, this is it” She continued saying.

Now it would be the time to either ask her or just let the superposition stays.

I previously submitted this fiction to Quantum Shorts 2017, a competition about writing a story about quantum mechanics, check their Twitter at @quantumshorts