Tiny Love Stories: ‘I Had to Take Your Picture’
Modern Love in miniature, featuring reader-submitted stories of no more than 100 words.
Turning Bitter Fruit Sweet
A blue dawn as I think about how life will proceed without 80-year-old me. How to make those dim vapors disperse? Eggs, coffee, a thin slice of toast and — dare I open a jar of my homemade marmalade? With the inordinate work to make the jam — slicing countless sour oranges into small pieces — I’ve always saved these jars to give to special people. But today, in a wild, life-affirming gesture, I open the preserves for myself. Sticky and runny, the marmalade acts as an elixir, melting away the trailing wisps of blue. — Marilyn Slutzky Zucker
Music From Myanmar
I was teaching English in Myanmar when we met, two years ago. Music connected us — afternoons strumming a cheap guitar as we tried to harmonize. I was learning Burmese. He covered our apartment in Post-it notes with each item’s Burmese name. This January, I returned home to Australia because my mother was sick. In February, when the military staged a coup in Myanmar, he said, “They stole our future.” I could feel his frustration and pain. But every night when we FaceTime, he smiles and joins his neighbors as they bang kitchenware in protest. A hopeful harmony. — Audric Co
For three days, Chris commuted six hours round trip from Virginia to his work in Pennsylvania so he could hold me as I mourned my father. Over the years, my father had done crazy drives for me, his steadfast help showing an unconditional love. Moving me from Virginia to Chicago, we talked so much we missed our exits. I thought the only people who would continue to love me that deeply were my mother and brother. But Chris did, and does. My father would be happy to know someone is still doing crazy drives for me. — Apurva Sisodia
A Stranger on the Subway
The subway roared into 14th Street. His hand was tucked in my pocket; mine held yellow tulips. It was a brisk March evening, but the tulips were sunny, his hand warm, and I felt like spring. Wrapped in the comfort of a full belly and heart, squished into subway seats, I talked to him about things I can’t remember now. “I had to take a picture,” a woman across the train said, waving her phone. “The way you’re looking at each other — I have chills.” I miss that woman, the people she photographed and the steadiness of those springtime flowers. — Kaitlyn Powers
See more Tiny Love Stories at nytimes.com/modernlove. Submit yours at nytimes.com/tinylovestories.
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