Tiny Love Stories: ‘I Left Any Room She Entered’

You were a businessman seated next to me on a flight. I was a 19-year-old who had gotten an abortion three days before. I asked a flight attendant for a blanket but she said they didn’t have any. As my lip trembled from the news, you took off your suit jacket and draped it over my shoulders. I wept into the sleeves, finding strange comfort in the mature smell of your cologne. We didn’t speak for the duration of the short flight, but for those 60 minutes, I felt held. — Rachel Young

I was 15 and had been getting into “no good trouble” in New York, so my mother moved us back to Puerto Rico. I was hanging out with local teens in San Juan when a girl walked up to us, offering fresh fruit. I looked at her like love at first sight was real. She looked me up and down without smiling. I was lesbian. She was straight, devoutly Catholic and had a boyfriend. Only decades later, after I joined the Army and she got divorced, did our love bloom. It wasn’t a minute too soon. — Vic Alvarez

Four-year-old me doesn’t want to stand beside Satoru at this busy intersection in Victoria, B.C. Ever since my parents moved us from Tokyo, this grandpa, my favorite Ojiichan, seems different. So I scooch away, bit by bit. But then, my right foot falls into the crosswalk; I come perilously close to oncoming traffic. Ojiichan’s hand quickly envelops mine. He doesn’t yank, yell or even gasp. He just holds on. Safe again, I look up. Ojiichan returns a soft gaze through his black-rimmed glasses. And soon, a liquid tingle — love, as I now know it — springs from where our palms touch. — Rumi Tsuchihashi

I didn’t speak to my sister for four months when, at 15, she got her first boyfriend. We lived in the same house in Sydney, Australia, but I left any room she entered. I hadn’t had a boyfriend yet, although I was three years older. So consumed was I with my own ego and shame that I neglected to realize I was making my little sister carry my pain. She stoically soaked it up, forgiving me instantly when I invited her back into my life. A decade later, she remains my rock. I’m so sorry, Kate. I love you. — Grace Bird

Sumber: www.nytimes.com