A Silent Affair

Looking out the window I saw a fresh layer of snow. With excitement building, I quickly dressed, gussied, and prepared for the first crunch of snow under my boot. I grabbed my book and headed out the door. A bright ray of sun welcomed me as I started the trek to my favorite bench in the park. Chickadees sang me a greeting in passing and I smiled back. Finally reaching my destination, I brushed off the powder and sat. Before opening my book I took in my surroundings. It was still early, but children were already making snowmen and starting epic snowball battles.

Grinning to myself I opened my book and began to read.

Before getting to the next chapter a man sat down next to me. I looked up and smile politely. He muttered a quick greeting then pulled out his own novel. We sat there reading in silence for an hour or so. Normally I would feel a bit awkward about not saying anything for so long but reading next to him felt oddly comforting. He stood up, gave me a quick grin, then walked away. Why did it feel like I’d just had the best conversation of my life? I shrugged off the slight chills I felt and made my way home, kicking myself for not even asking his name.

That night I dreamed about him. He sat there reading and grinning his beautiful grin.

When morning came, I pulled myself out of bed hoping to see him again. When I turned the corner and saw him sitting there, my stomach gave a little turn. I sat next to him and saw the same smile from my dream. We exchanged greetings once again then returned to our books.

He stood up to leave, turned and said,
“My name is Sean,”
then started walking away. I yelled to his retreating back,
“I’m Erin!”
Although turned around, I felt his smile. This continued for nearly a week until he finally spoke again.
“It’s awful cold out here! Do you want to get coffee with me?”
I accepted a bit too quickly which made him laugh. God he had a great laugh.

Ten years later I am back on the same bench with book in hand, ring on my finger, and the arm of that wonderful man around my shoulders.

A Silent Affair

Erin Flynn

Joined February 2008

  • Artist

Artist's Description

This is a short story based off of a quote by Albert Einstein:
“When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, it seems like two minutes. When you sit on a hot stove for two minutes, it seems like two hours that’s relativity.”
The first time I read this, I imagined a young woman in a snow-covered park with a hand knit cap and mittens to match reading her favorite book as children play around her. Before reading too far, a man sits next to her and opens his own book. Their eyes lock for no more than a second, but chills go up each of their spines. For days they continue their charade until one finally speaks to the other and they slowly begin to fall in love. All of this I get from a simple Einstein quote. My friend says she pictures a man sitting next to a stove and chatting with it, so apparently there are multiple interpretations.

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