Tiny Love Stories: ‘I Was Right. Love Can Never Be Compared.’

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

Sometimes You Have to Say It Twice

“I’m so happy to be here with you,” Ugonna said, looking at me. I was stunned. After months apart during the pandemic, my best college friend and I had finally reunited. Sitting across from each other, eating comforting falafels as the cicadas chirped, Ugonna said it again, even more enthusiastically. I remember how easily I used to express my appreciation to friends at recess or to my mother pushing me in her grocery cart. When did I stop telling people I was so happy to be with them? “I’m so happy to be here with you too,” I said. — Khue Tran

Sweet Release

When our relationship ended, all I had left of him was his generic Metamucil, forgotten in my pantry. Dejected but still hopeful, I saved it for weeks. Curious, I finally tried it, the orange potion of his bedtime ritual. I waited for change — the gut and the brain, I’ve read, are linked — but nothing. Then I realized: My body had already been steady; I wasn’t blocked. Perhaps I didn’t need him or the magical health fiber in my life. Perhaps I already possessed the ability to release myself from pain, from heartache. — Justin Quarry

Jingling Us Out of Trouble

My sister, mother and I were driving with “Gam,” our surrogate grandmother, when our 1990 Accord conked out at an intersection in Santa Ana. Seven years old, I sat crying in the back seat, thinking, “We’re going to die right here!” As I thanked God for my great, albeit short, life, Gam got out and began directing traffic. She made huge sweeping motions, the giant bangles on her wrist jingling with joy. “I’ll take care of you, kids. We’ve got this!” That’s how it always was with Gam. Our guardian angel, ready to save us from any and all dangers. — Annika Olson

Addition, Not Competition

I ached for my Robert, the brilliant mathematician, the artist who made poetry with his camera lens. We used to say we were too in love to sleep. I missed our nights awake. After Robert was severely brain damaged in a cycling accident, I thought I would never find a love that compared to ours. And I was right. Love can never be compared. Exactly a year and day later, Ryan arrived at the grocery store, filling my life with light. Ryan knows I will always love my Robert and care for the Robert who survived. He loves me more for it. — Emily Dawson

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

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