Theirs was barely a love story. And the attraction? Unfair. She was the Girl of Steel, and he was a magnet. She never bent, she never broke, but she couldn't let go of him. They met in the middle of a Chemistry exam: an alloy plus an object possessed of a magnetic field equaled true love. Neither were consulted about the affair they'd never stop having. They were merely equated, as romance tends to work.
It hurt the Girl of Steel's self-esteem. She was used to resisting, to withstanding, and at her favorite times, upholding. But this boy walked by and she instantly zipped to his side, and she never minded it. She minded that she didn't mind. She minded what others would think, too.
The world still needed her to build cars and skyscrapers and specific models of cans. They needed her for frying pans and satellites. There was not a country on the planet that didn't view her as a one-woman industry. Not a country on the planet that wouldn't judge the affair with this boy with his lopsided electrons.
He didn't see her as an industry. The magnet didn’t even see her as industrious; she got no work done around him. They looked into each others' eyes, studying the ripples in electron behavior, and watching countless hours of The Food Network. It was stuff the other major materials made fun of – the stuff she'd made fun of until that fated exam. The stuff she'd thought was cliché without having ever considered how clichés established.
He said that perhaps clichés were an industry. Was not all industry repetition?
That was trite, and she knew it, and she couldn't help liking it anyway. Not giggling, certainly not giggling like he did at her slights and insights. He was so enthusiastic, despite never having been asked to love her, to always be there, to, in his own way, always zip to her side, which, when she paid attention, she realized he did, being less massive than her. Sometimes bites of him chipped off on impact. The Girl of Steel collected those bits of him, and turned them into earrings, since they were clingy. He called her industrious. She called that trite, and she was right, and she didn't care, and that ambivalence bothered her, and she didn't care about that either.
Soon they went on public dates to every Friday exam at the lab, to see what other couples Science would pair up on paper. To see what else would come out the other side of equations. It was difficult to understand, and the magnet never really understood, but it felt nice. That was the Girl of Steel's reasoning, too, not that she ever said it. It was easier watching the inexplicable when the explicable didn't work. Love and the Friday exams were exasperating.