Tiny Love Stories: ‘Two Days Later, He Moved Into My Loft’

Modern Love in miniature, featuring reader-submitted stories of no more than 100 words.

Ready to Hug Me

Orphaned at 13, I thought about how I would never again play basketball with my father or talk about crushes on girls with my mother. But even then, living with my grandparents, I didn’t feel those expected activities were suitable for me. As time passed, I discovered who I really am but kept it secret. One family lunch in the Philippines, my aunt casually asked me when I would get a girlfriend in front of my grandfather. I bowed my head in shame. Surprisingly, he was all smiles and ready to hug me. His gay grandson is free, finally. — John Lorenz Santos

Pheromones and Fusion

I am a potter, mucking around in mud for work. At craft fairs, I rake in cash and meet men who like to shop. Once, this guy with a kind face hung around my booth, picking up each of my pots as if they were newborn babies. I learned he was a physics fanatic. Pottery pheromones buzzed between us. Two days later, he moved into my loft. Together, we’ve raised three babies. The pheromones have dwindled over the years, but Einstein might say this love is fusion, a binding so intense that it releases tremendous energy as two become one. — Judith Stiles

Now Sharing Clothes

While adjusting to new realities in March 2020, my spouse of 15 years began her gender transition. I wasn’t sure how to feel, how to share being Mom (she’s Mum), if I liked her new name (CJ), how to be romantic, how to desire, how to understand my own sexuality. After hormone therapy and a public announcement, CJ is still my person, still the one I love to pieces. It’s been an interesting road, especially when she steals from my side of the closet, but I can only imagine walking it with her true, happier self by my side. — Meg Ward

“Love, Dan”

“I love you. Love, Dan,” read the crumpled note on my first-grade desk, placed next to the ring Danny stole from his grandmother. In rural Illinois, I was the “chubby” shy girl. Danny was the popular “class clown” who performed for my smile. He loved me before — and after — my mother took me to Lynn’s Fit ‘n’ Trim to lose weight. Love letters blossomed into junior-high dates. But a plane accident ended Danny’s life at age 12. I spent my 13th birthday attending his wake. Twenty-five years later, I hold his grandmother’s ring close and remember him. — Ashley Jordan

See more Tiny Love Stories at nytimes.com/modernlove. Submit yours at nytimes.com/tinylovestories.

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