"This isn't the first love letter I've ever gotten..."
One of the less benign lies Charlie Eppes ever told his mother(the benign sort being things like his day in high school was fine, or later, that going to Princeton meant that he was surrounded by people who understood him) was that he had destroyed the letter that that math professor had sent when she had invited him to Santa Barbara. After his early-bird mother had gone to bed for the night, he had retrieved it from her office wastepaper basket and taken it to his room, hiding it under his box spring so Don wouldn't see it.Although, for once, his eagle-eyed brother had missed something, just because Charlie wasn't the kind of little brother to have much contraband.Charlie's skill with math had apparently affected this Dr. Smithers quite profoundly. Her stationery smelled faintly of perfume and was filled with the most florid compliments Charlie had ever gotten. Ever since, he has never understood the myth that mathematics is a cold discipline, unrelated to whatever powers the human heart. He would be less proud to say that, on that night his...nocturnal wanderings took on a new urgency, something to be replicated than chanced idly when he was half asleep. He would read the letter often that whole year when girls(especially the mysterious blonde and red-haired chattering ones who giggled) mostly treated him as a shortcut to the answer to number twelve.