7 days of thinking, 13 days of preparation, and now it is at the final stage. You are solving the 5th and the last clue. It has been a day of odd surprises for you: a matching end to my oddly odd attempt to show my love for you and introduce you to my world.
You smile at me. I am lucky to have met you. In this world of possibilities where every step presents a different opportunity, what was the probability that I met you exactly there at precisely that moment? A chain of numbers runs in my head. I recognize some of them: even numbers, all united through the fact that they are all divisible by 2. Then there are the odd numbers. No pattern. No factor common to all of them; an infinite stream of prime numbers hidden in them. They are the language of randomness; the quantum probability distribution that brought us together and created the universe, the earth and life some millions of years ago. It is odd, but remarkably so. I smile back at you.
You have a tetrahedron, a cube, an octahedron and a dodecahedron on the table you are working: tokens which show that you have solved four clues so far. From the morning you have been running from room to room finding clues and riddles and solving them with your friend. You have revisited Wordsworth (whom I can quote from memory) from the long forgotten days of studying literature in grade 9; googled paintings that you did not know existed; found that apart from being my favorite element water can reveal messages written in secret inks; you have solved a mathematical chess puzzle and found my mother’s phone number and called her to find this one. Each clue led you to a polyhedron and the next clue.
You do not know at the moment but you will be getting the icosahedron next. You hate mathematics but allow me to show the beauty of mathematics to you. Did you know that this clue will be the last just because of the mathematical truth that only 5 regular polyhedra exist? That is odd, but true. I celebrate 5, from the secrecy of the pentagon to the spirituality of the pentacle. 5 is odd and special. That is why I prepared this puzzle of pentominos as the 5th clue.
You are reaching the end of the puzzle. I watch you. All the girls have admired me but you are the only one who tried to understand me. It was not easy being the odd one everywhere I go: at home, at school, even when I was hanging out with friends. I was not just odd, I was ‘the’ odd one; the (2k+1)th one. There were k people to my left, always studying, brainy, and addicted to comics, listening to classics and k people to my right, always in the rugby field, worried about their looks, addicted to movies, listening to hip hop. I was the one in the middle, first in the class yet never missing a chance sneak to the field to play rugby in a free period, always enjoying both the comic and the movie, debating furiously about both De Caprio in the ‘Inception’ and Bradley Cooper in ‘Hangover 3’, relaxing to orchestra music yet free-styling on the way. Both groups felt that I belonged with the other. I was odd; a threat to the precarious balance of Yin and Yang in the universe. But now I no longer feel like I have a split personality disorder. I am proud of what I am, proud of being odd.
You finish the puzzle and walk to where it leads. You walk to me. I give you the icosahedron. You smile with your eyes. I give you the red rose. I love you. I give you my presents: Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and Marshal Mathers II by Eminem. Happy birthday, darling! And welcome to my world. We are two now: even. But, love me as I love you and we will be 1: odd and unique, the building block of whole mathematical universe.
So, what’s so odd about odd numbers? What’s so odd about me?
We are interesting. We are special.