Modern Love in miniature, featuring reader-submitted stories of no more than 100 words.
We Both See Bugs
I’ve always hated butterflies, which no one understands. “That’s sacrilegious against … against … nature!” they say. Everyone else seems to see butterflies as the best that Mother Earth has to offer: ephemeral beings gracing us troubled humans with their beauty. I see bugs. In fact, I’ve had a hard time seeing the beauty anywhere recently. Since my last breakup in 2020, things have been overwhelmingly gray. My recent first dates? Also gray. Then I met him. “I hate butterflies,” I said on our first date. A pause, then he agreed — with an expletive. My face spilled into a wide grin. Maybe things aren’t so gray after all. — Drew Hasson
An Ongoing Conversation
My father, Nanak, and I were bad at goodbyes. Whenever we parted, in person or on the phone, he’d chuckle and say, “I’ll talk to you.” In September 2018, we had a rushed conversation. I was in my Mumbai apartment, distracted by writing deadlines; he was in his New Delhi home, busy packing for a trip with my mother to Munich, her home city. This time, he signed off with “I’ll talk to you — from there.” A few hours later, my father died in his sleep. But he continues to talk to me. Every day. From there. From somewhere. — Selina Sheth
Strength to Try Again
After a year of remote learning on an iPad, our son was struggling with his penmanship. His future fourth-grade teacher had assigned an introductory “All About Me” worksheet. Looking at his sloppy scrawl, he burst into tears. Our recently adopted pandemic pup noticed, walked over to our son and laid on his legs. Our son took a deep breath and wrote in his best script: “I am crazy energetic, kind, and smart.” — Laura DeRose
A Bold Break
My marriage lasted just eight months. But Brian and I vowed to remain friends, so we decided to run the 10K we’d registered for before our divorce. After all, we’d been training and had filled out the entry form months before, happy to write that we were newlyweds running our first race as a married couple. On race day, at the starting line, the announcer said, “Welcome Rebecca and Brian, just married and ready for their first Bolder Boulder! Where are you? Raise your hands!” We sheepishly smiled, trying to keep it together. Then, we ran. Away. — Rebecca Broida Gart
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