• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 02

An Emotional Affair

I hadn't seen D in over three years. Catching up over coffee wasn't going to cover it, but it was enough. Of course, after talk of work and plans for the future (5-10 minutes), I had to tell D about her. Words leaking out of me as I focus on the windswept trying to make their way down the Strand. D held her cup with both hands, warm-hearted as she was.
     'You know what it was?', she said.
     'An emotional affair.'
     'What's that?'
     She gave a mini-eyeroll and asked if I wanted another coffee. I didn't.
     'An emotional affair is when two people have the ins and outs of an actual relationship but without any of the physical stuff. It's a deep type of love – the sort you might find in the workplace with two married people, or maybe when the man or the woman is already with someone. It's not cheating because there isn't any sex, but on an emotional level both you and she are bound together, sometimes even tighter than a relationship based just on sex.'
     I got up. I actually did need that cup of coffee. Standing at the counter, my back turned to D, I remembered what set me and her off in the first place. It was a line from Blaise Pascal that both of us remembered from our university days:
     The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me.
     I don't know how it came out in conversation, but it was the start of a relationship that lasted just over a year. Pascal could have been writing about outer space or the depths below, or maybe just the heart. But what did he know? Blaise Pascal died a virgin. I went back and handed D her drink. She had a slightly smug, cloying look on her face. People in relationships always have that look.


An Emotional Affair

     'So are you still seeing her?'
     I shook my head, 'I’m trying not to. But we still chat now and then.'
     'Is she the one who gets in touch?'
     I didn't want to say 'no,' so I didn’t answer.
     'Well you know,' D said, her eyes darting to and from the world outside. 'You just need to get out there. There's plenty more fish in the sea.'