Tiny Love Stories: ‘We Gave Up, but Her Hair Didn’t’

By | July 15, 2020

The driving rain hit her train window and streamed two rows back across mine. The depth of her grief was impossible to contain within six feet of social distance. It spilled over. Too on edge to listen to music, I overheard her story unfold through phone calls as we crossed Connecticut: Early that morning, heart attack, her father won’t walk her down the aisle. I bore silent, masked witness to the heaviest moment of her life. On Amtrak 2167, I absorbed an ounce of her pain. Now, I will carry it for her, a stranger’s burden in a strange world. — Hannah Sands

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We lived in the same city, crossing paths at coffee shops, grocery stores and social gatherings for years. Both twice divorced with children, we felt our meeting was kismet. Yet, our relationship crumbled under the weight of our past pain. I scrutinized her affection, wanting her to express her care and commitment. She withdrew, cautious and needing time to trust. We gave up, but her hair didn’t. Strands of beautiful silver hair clung to my clothes, car, sheets. Mocking and reminding me of who I was losing. After many sessions of individual and couples counseling, we re-emerged, together. — Darrell Hill

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How much I would think about bodies. My body. My children’s bodies. The way they grow, stretch, scar and heal. Their softness and their strength. Through pregnancy, birth and recovery, I’ve become more forgiving toward my body, though it hasn’t always felt like mine. Its changes aren’t easy to accept, nor are the demands to share it so frequently. I marvel at my children, so awkward and elegant. Why are we drawn to embrace so often? Why does touch offer such comfort? I am not religious, but since becoming a mother, I have learned to worship. Our bodies are holy. — Kristan Hoffman

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I was in my living room, looking for my wallet so we could buy bagels for breakfast. He walked out of my bedroom to put on his shoes, left by the couch the night before. Mid-walk, he paused and looked at me, his face thoughtful, almost amused. “What?” I asked, suddenly self-conscious, unsure of what he saw. He closed the gap between us and kissed me. “Nothing,” he said gently, and proceeded to put on his shoes. Months after our break up, I find myself thinking of that moment. “What?” my roommate says with a curious expression. “Nothing,” I say. — Jenna Grande

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