Tiny Love Stories: ‘An Invitation to His Bed’

In his freshman year of high school, my brother Fred walked barefoot in a snowstorm in Massachusetts. Tensions at home were too high for him to consider shoes. I ran after him in a pair of sport mules. We walked – first with me, then arm in arm, and then finally back home. Twelve years later we were adults. My husband left me when I was already depressed. When I was sobbing in my car and unable to drive, my brother walked two miles to get in the passenger seat next to me. Some people are siblings; We are co-pilots. — Gwendolyn Coburn

“Good luck with everything, mate.” That was the final text from the man I thought would be my last love. Five words bent into a flint dagger. My eyes filled and my lips bubbled; Sweat soaked my shirt. Open and emptied, I stumbled down the stairs, knocked on my roommate Adhitya’s door, and asked for an invitation to his bedside, where he held me while I stifled heartbreak. He didn’t belittle my ex or remind me of my worth. He just snuggled me until my gagging subsided and kissed my cheek before I returned upstairs. A buddy. — Skyler Gordon

Two couples sit on a bench in Central Park to discuss adoption. One of the couples is seven months pregnant. They watch as a squirrel descends a tree and crosses the lawn. “What’s in his mouth?” one asks. “A baby squirrel,” I reply. We watch the squirrel climb another tree, hop down on its own, then climb the first tree and descend with another squirrel in tow. We sit in silent awe as the squirrel takes her babies to a new nest. Our daughter is now 16. — Pamela Big

Last year I asked my husband to do a gratitude challenge. Whenever we were grateful, we added a gratitude note to a jar. Matt took the task seriously; I less. I began to wonder if my gratitude gear was broken and became concerned. Is there anything worse than being married to an ungrateful man? This January, we reviewed the contents of the jar: a year’s worth of mostly Matt’s notes. “It’s fun,” he said. “It’s going to be our family tradition.” Apparently he hasn’t realized he’s married to a curmudgeon, or maybe it doesn’t bother him. Anyhow, I am grateful. — Christina Wyman

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