Giving up the art
Author: Ella

Chapter 17
Imaginary numbers

I lay my head on the table and yawned, feeling the cool evening breeze blow through the window grills. Turning, I looked out into the living room and at the heavy wooden door. It was shut tight and the house was soundless. I raised my arms and yawned again. Doing math was exhausting. So what if you are good at math? So what if you can do ten questions in a few minutes? What joy did that bring? I wish I found happiness in it. I wish I loved math like how Isabel loves to dance. I saw some resemblance in myself and cyrilla. I wish.

The numbers drowned me and made my head ache. I used to be scared of numbers that had more than three digits, yet with the beauty of a calculator, I did not mind numbers running to billions. I could not disagree that cyrilla’s amazing wooden violin with its graceful curves was not beautiful, but how much more grand was my calculator. It was ugly for sure; stark, shapeless buttons sticking out of a darkly coloured bow with a dull display screen. The only beautiful thing about it was how slim it was. I thought it was light enough, but it could be lighter. The calculator was an ingenious thing. I could never comprehend how such a compacted little box could store so much information and compute numbers from infinity, except for the occasional syntax error. I knew that the violin could produce beautiful sounds, but it was limited in its range. Yet the calculator had limitless possibilities. Math had limitless possibilities. For one, I oft so heard of imaginary numbers. Square root negative was imaginary, but it existed. My father would talk about math to me and I was fascinated. But I had no idea how imaginary numbers came to be. Or even what they are. They stress me out and I hate it when I am stuck in a question. You cannot possibly be stuck dancing or singing. How I wish I could be like Isabel and cyrilla for a day. Just to experience the exhilaration of standing on a stage, in front of a massive audience, and beam with such pride as I flaunt my talent. How it must feel like, I always wonder. One chance would suffice. Yet I knew full well that once is never enough. Isabel never quit dancing after having a chance on stage. In fact it made her go further and dance for larger and larger audiences. She seemed almost fearless there. Something I doubt I would ever achieve. I do not even have the chance to speak of.

tonight i would see isabel again on stage.


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