One of the most famous ideas in science, this declares that it is impossible to know all the physical attributes of a quantum particle or system simultaneously.

The first time Scott and Julie simultaneously met and did not meet in the quantum multiverse, his family had moved down the street when they were both six years old. If her cat had lived, Julie’s relationship with Scott would have lasted three play dates and ended when he called her a booger-face, sending her home in tears, never wanting to see him again.

However, as observed by you (the reader), her cat died. And so she spent the entire summer inside, moping and developing bookish tendencies until her father inevitably got a promotion and moved the family to a better part of town. As a result, the wave function of the multiverse collapsed into a configuration in which Julie and Scott did not meet at that time.

Later, when their velocities through life remained unclear, the position of Scott and Julie happened to be the same university where they antithetically met and did not meet two more times. One of these would have occurred with a group project in Introduction to Astrophysics and led to a semester-long adolescent relationship, which ended mutually when Scott lost interest and Julie realized that she could do better. However, as a result of your continued curiosity about Scott and Julie, Scott abandoned his Physics major to pursue a B.A. in Philosophy, and Julie remained single until her junior year.

The other undergraduate quantum rendezvous was a one-night stand. But then you read this paragraph, so Julie decided not to attend the party in favor of studying for her General Relativity final, and Scott ended the night drunkenly playing video games with his roommates. And, so, their passionate potentiality collapsed prematurely into nonexistence.

Through young adulthood, and in various overlapping superpositions in the multiverse, Scott and Julie met when he slid her a drink while bartending his way through a Ph.D. program, through a friend of hers at the R&D department, through dating websites, coffee shops, and quantum waves of furtive glances at different points in spacetime that each branched off into fates such as heartbreak, platonic friendship, children, tragic deaths, and, occasionally, simple lives spent growing old together.

However, any time you or any of Scott and Julie’s friends, family, or neighbors observed them, they found these photon-crossed lovers drowning their respective lonelinesses workaholically.

That is, until Julie made an important but under-appreciated contribution to the invention of the Quantum Disentangler™, a device that allows the user to choose among possibilities in the quantum multiverse. Before the patent was even finalized, Julie’s company chose to stumble upon the secret of immortality, the harnessing of cold fusion, three different methods of teleportation, and the cure for male-pattern baldness.

Having written his dissertation on the concept of fate as it applies to quantum physics, Scott rose to prominence in opposition to this technology. His unique argument was that if we human beings were able to choose among realities, then the universe would eventually be a mere reflection of us instead of an infinity of random mystery and wonder.

Despite the presence of the Quantum Disentangler, Scott and Julie continued their on-again-and-at-the-same-time-not-on-again relationships over the course of millennia.

Once, Julie was the head of an intergalactic corporation and Scott was a rebel leader who fell in love with her after taking her captive. At one point, Scott was a charismatic messiah figure and Julie was a government spy sent in to infiltrate his camp. And in another reality, Julie was an ascended ball of energy when she was approached by Scott, the cyborg extension of a planet-sized supercomputer attempting to understand the intricacies of the universe.

But small, almost unobservable events continued to happen, observing these wave functions out of existence.

Finally, when the dusk of entropy brought about the Second Thermodynamic Wars, every sentient life form in the universe was killed off, except for, randomly-enough, Scott and Julie.

And though their meeting on the last warm crater in the last galaxy was eons in the making, Scott opened with the corny line, “Do you believe in fate?”

Julie smiled and replied, “I believe that the universe is so random and each moment so unlikely, that if you look back at the events leading to any point in time, it will appear to be the product of pure, unfathomable fate.”

“I’m not asking about any moment,” Scott pressed on. “I’m asking about this moment.”

She shrugged contently. “There are so many possibilities that, if you keep on observing them, you will inevitably end up watching the universe fizzle out with any number of people in any number of ways.”

“So there’s an alternative wave function where I use this moment to convince you otherwise?” he observed hopefully.

She offered a Zen nod. “And there’s a reality in which I convince you to relax and just enjoy it with me.”

He paused, watching her in the waning light.

He posited, “Would me choosing to do that prove the existence of free will?”

She shrugged again and scooted over. When he sat down next to her, she rested her head on his shoulder, cuddling up for warmth as the last star set over the horizon.

THE END