The Swing (Bunin)

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The Swing
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A young man and woman confessed their love for each other during a summer evening, swinging on a swing and discussing their future together.

On a summer evening, a man was playing the piano when he heard a woman approaching. He began to sing a song about his admiration for her.

The Young Man — renowned painter; handsome; playful, romantic, and confident.

The woman, dressed in a blue sarafan with dark plaits and a coral necklace, entered the room and asked if the song was about her.

The Young Woman — wearing a blue sarafan and a coral necklace; suntanned face with blue eyes; beautiful, happy, and a bit uncertain.

The man confirmed it was and continued to sing. They joked about the man's resemblance to a famous painter and their plan to elope and seek forgiveness from the woman's grandfather.

Later, they were on a swing in the park, enjoying the evening breeze and the smell of food being prepared in the kitchen. The man teased the woman about being in love with him, to which she responded ambiguously. They sat on the swing, trying to control their heavy breathing, and the man quoted Dante, suggesting that love begins in the eyes and ends in the lips. He then asked if she agreed, to which she responded affirmatively.

Is the end in the lips? Yes…

As they walked back, the man wondered about their next steps and expressed his doubts about being a good husband. The woman suggested they should just let things be as they were, believing that their situation couldn't get any better.