Tiny Love Stories: ‘You Never Call Me Anymore’

Health & Wellbeing

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

August, 1990. Walking along the Northern Ireland coast, we pass picnicking families, teenagers making out and an older couple holding hands as they watch cargo ships inch across the horizon. We buy lemontops — white whippy ice cream topped with Day-Glo squeezes of tangy slush. Michael asks me to marry him in his Belfast accent that somehow makes me, a New Yorker, forget the figurative bomb scares and explosions of my parents’ bad marriage. I guess Michael and I have both lived through “the Troubles.” Ensuring my next mouthful is as sweet as it is tart, I tell him yes. — Susan Zelouf

“You never call me anymore,” I said to my mother. Four years ago, when I was in my first semester of college and she was newly divorced after 25 years of marriage, we talked every day. Our conversations about the politics of dorm living, or a bath for our family dog, could stretch for hours. Now our calls are less frequent, but I find joy in knowing that they’re also less needed. I have made friends who will be hard to leave after graduation, and my mother has met someone who loves her almost as much as I do. — Liv Coron

The first night at his apartment when he told me to take off my shoes, he became home to me. Korean American kinship. Our mothers were both born in Korea, our fathers in America, where we were raised. Almost instant understanding, like a perfect pair. Until the last night at my apartment, when he didn’t take off his shoes to stay, and I knew. My leg bounced as he broke my heart. I sometimes keep my shoes on at home now. Removing them is painful, reminding me of what we shared. I liked the way my shoes would lean on his. — Aeja Pinto


I wasn’t the thin daughter my Iranian mother wanted. The larger I got, the more disappointed she was. I hated her for that. One day, when I was 13, she seriously burned her hand. I was too broken to comfort her. I moved away, got married, had children and learned to love myself. Then I started to understand her. She was so young when she had me, so isolated and overwhelmed when she fled Iran. She thought her actions were love. We spent years talking about our regrets and grief, finding a way to love each other as imperfect women. — Rebecca Morrison

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

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