ARTS AND IDEAS
Tiny love stories
The Times’s Modern Love series is a weekly column, a book, a podcast — and now, in its 17th year, a television show — about relationships, feelings, betrayals and revelations. For Modern Love in miniature, readers write stories of no more than 100 words. Here are excerpts from three to start your day with. Submit your own here.
Would she recognize him? I worried that our daughter, Sadie, just 7 months old, would not recognize her father after his long deployment. So I wove him into her day, draping photographs of him inside her crib, video chatting with him as often as his work schedule and her nap routine allowed.
Months later, at the airport, our eyes met across the terminal. We raced to each other, my heart beating hard. Moments after we reunited, Sadie lunged from my hip into her father’s arms. — Peyton Roberts
Going off script. Being in an abusive relationship is like acting in a play with an erratic director. If you break character (say, hang out with friends or move a houseplant without asking), they will make you pay.
So, every day, you get up and improvise to the best of your ability, all in service of upholding their narrative and avoiding their wrath. Until, perhaps, you decide to find a partner who will write a story with you, not for you. — Drew Lindgren
What lingers. Long before her diagnosis, my reliably cheerful friend turned sour. Pessimism and frustration darkened her world. Eventually, as words eluded her and her thinking grew disorganized, the diagnosis came: early dementia. Terrifying, yes, but naming her condition set her free.
Now, when I visit her in her assisted-living apartment, a smile lights her face. Complex sentences are out of her reach. Instead, she pours out pure love — telling me I’m wonderful, beautiful and smart. Her son says her happiness lasts for hours after our visits. — Elise Gibson