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A Chemical Reaction
Dedicated to Meredith
Submitted by BJ
To a chemist, love is found only within the confines of a stable reaction, not at the whims of a beautiful girl with dark hair on the island of Hawaii. I was in the laboratory at the university, deconstructing my DNA only to put it back together again, but as I saw her sifting down the hall, mopping the floors like an angel, she broke my heart, and I could not put it back together as easily as the DNA.
And I scribbled in on the back of a lab report, handed it to her. She eyed me suspiciously, pushed the mop aside and opened it. It read:
"If you were an element, then you would be carbon, because that is my favorite. Because you are a non-metal, gaseous at room temperature, a poor conductor of electricity and yet, this is how you should always be. You're not like those other metals, all shining and malleable, like butter, as if with enough heat and pressure, I could turn you into something else completely. You're stalwart, neither here nor there, and unbending, even in different states. And you will never, never be a transition metal.
While noble, you are no noble gas. Because you do not have the valence shell capacity for it. You can never be filled, eight electrons is impossible for you, because you've always been one to give rather than receive, and your chemical reactions are splendors, not impeded by the octet rule you hold.
What you can do with oxygen astounds me, how you alone breathe life to the world, can heal the wounds that nature cannot fix. Without you, fossil fuels are futile, fatty acids are farcical and isotope versions of you are left for dreamers to deduce.
You are so versatile. Unlike the others, you have the uncanny ability to bond with yourself. But more importantly, unlike the others, perhaps you can also bond with me. And I promise you that we could be stronger than diamonds, more compromising than graphite, our covalent bonds unbreakable."
She did not speak English, and stared at me as if I were crazy. I ushered her into the lab, mixed chemicals.
"See? When you mix these, in equal parts…when you mix them together…look at the result…the…" I say, a madman, fumbling in the laboratory anxiously, hands shaking, reaching for beakers, throwing in the chemicals, mixing, waiting.
A glowing blue liquid envelops in the beaker, and I turn off the light and show it to her against the dark backdrop. "So beautiful together. We can be this," I say, tapping the beaker.
She stares at me, then smiles, and I reach for her hand and she takes it,a miracle.
Together, we walk down the sterile stairs to the beach, the reaction between us occurring spontaneously.