Imagine you not only knew who you were going to fall in love with, but you knew how and when it was going to end. Would you still go through with it? Would you even have that choice? Doug and Judy can both see the future, they both see how they are going to meet and how it will go wrong. The only difference is that Judy sees the future as a series of choices and paths, of options and opportunities. Doug sees a single path, no choices, no escape. Can they both be right?
Doug knows how they will meet, how it will feel, how it will end – after six months and three days – what they will argue about, every detail. There is no room for deviation from his path, his fate is set and he lives it exactly as he knows it will happen. After all, what's the point in fighting what you know must happen. Judy sees choices, but that her relationship with him will be an important one if she makes those choices. She also sees that the relationship must end. But, if she can only introduce some variables, she can prove him wrong. Prove that the future isn't fixed, that things could end differently. But Doug only ever sees one future, one path, one outcome. He knows he will prove her wrong.
A beautifully subtle short story of two people with different curses. He never takes risks because, what's the point? She feels she has choices, but she can see the outcome of those choices before she makes them. His fatalistic nihilism is always going to clash with her more optimistic, opportunistic, outlook. Of course they disagree over their two opposing views of the future. But how can both views co-exist in the same world – can they both be true?