Tiny Love Stories: ‘Knowing When to Let Go’

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

We Melt Together

I met Katie at the peak of Louisiana summer. Our first date, we shared beers at the park and swatted mosquitoes. Our second, it rained, and I watched Katie’s hair grow three times bigger in the humidity, like mine. The pandemic meant meeting outside. Outside meant heat, and heat meant the dissolution of any pretense. Now, a year later, we drive with windows down and take walks at noon. We often say our bodies melt together like chocolate. Most in Louisiana dread this weather, but we spend our days in love and in sun, melting closer together. — Sneha Yadlapati

Who He Really Was

People say a mother’s love is blind, but that’s not true. For six years, I saw Tristan’s desperation and heard his lies, but that wasn’t the truth of who my son was. That was the shadow of addiction. I also saw Tristan’s radiant grin, overflowing into a goofy belly laugh. I woke to his homemade cinnamon buns and the steaming cup of Earl Grey he made just for me. I felt his last hug as he said, “Love you, Mom.” Then, at age 21, he was gone. My love for Tristan wasn’t blind. It saw his soul. — Kathy Wagner

A Name for a New Family

When we met, they reminded us of the word, “machatunim.” Do other languages have a special word for your son- or daughter-in-law’s parents, or is it uniquely Yiddish? Our machatunim know many things we don’t: The meaning of Hebrew prayers we can only recite, when to kick and stomp while dancing the wedding hora, the traditional blessing to give your children on Shabbat. But all that really matters is that they knew how to raise a mensch. We love our daughter. She loves their son. Now we love him and our machatunim too. — Dian Seidel

Lesson in Love

I lost faith in love when I was 11, growing up closeted in a conservative California community. Then, at 19, I met Tyler. He was thoughtful and dependable, everything I wanted in a partner. Like an animation, my gray world suddenly became colorful; my feelings for him were vivid. But he was well off and definitely not gay, while I was gay and poor. Not meant to be together, just to complement each other’s lives. I still believe in love, but I now understand that love also means knowing when to let go. — Kevin Vo

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

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