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Quantum Entanglement

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She loves him, she loves him not. She loves him, she loves him not. She...

She holds them both at arm's length until she can make up her mind.

The black box is just like its name: dark, opaque, closed, mysterious. Things go in and things come out, but the process by which one becomes the other is a secret. A black box can be anything: an equation, a transistor... even a heart. Each action causes a reaction, each input creates an output, and we may never know why.

Stefan took her hiking. Damon took her to Georgia. Stefan eats rabbits for her (now). Damon eats her the pickles off her burgers. Stefan snapped Damon's neck for her. Damon staked Stefan's lungs for her. Stefan would have driven her off Wickery Bridge. Damon would have killed Jeremy. Stefan did kill Andie (and a swath of brown-eyed girls). Damon did kill Lexi (and Vicki and Abby and..). Stefan would die for her. Damon would kill for her.

At the end of the day, a relationship is just facts. It's a thousand details that come together and somehow gel into feelings. All these moments blur before Elena's eyes. As long as she doesn't look too closely, she doesn't have to know what she feels. All she knows is that it's only been a couple of years, but they both feel like forever.

In the mythology of quantum physics, there is a box. Hiding inside is a cat, a radioactive isotope, and a flask of an acidic gas. It's a coin toss whether or not the isotope decays, triggering the gas to release and killing the cat. So long as the box remains closed, we can't know the truth. The cat could be alive or dead. One could even say it's both alive AND dead, the state Schrodinger called quantum entanglement. Implausible, impossible, true... but why?

Every day, Elena is sure she loves Stefan. He remembers courting, and wants her to experience it too. He can't sing worth a damn, but he writes her poetry. He leaves pretty notes in her locker and kisses her cheek before class. He's the perfect gentleman again, for both their sakes.

Every night, Elena is sure she loves Damon. He's at her window, making sure she's home safe. He cracks a joke, and the laugh doesn't reach his eyes. He asks about her day, and brushes the hair behind her ear with a fingertip whenever he gets the chance. He's got his walls back up, for both their sakes.

Every morning, Elena wakes up crying.

Any airplane that leaves the ground carries a secret in its belly. The black box records everything: position in space and time, words spoken, buttons pushed, intended destinations... It remembers, long after the pilot forgets. In the event of a crash (kaboom), the black box is the survivor, the one with all the answers about who and what, when and why.

Katherine loved both of them (maybe). She toyed with their affections, used them for her own ends. She played them against each other, and they never healed. In the end, she was alone.

Elena loves both of them (maybe). She doesn't mean to toy with their affections, but she certainly does use them. She'd deny playing them against each other, but deep down she knows the truth. They're close to a truce now, and she's worried she'll break them- for good this time (kaboom).

In the end, Elena knows she'll be alone.