Tiny Love Stories: ‘What Will You Miss if You Leave Him?’

I woke up with Nokiji’s arm around my waist. “I had another money dream,” he said, his brow furrowed. We were barely scattered by that year. Nokiji had dreams of lots of money. “Wanna borrow my dream?” I asked. He answered in formless form. I pressed my lips to her temple and told her about the beach where I grew up: to dig in the sand, rubbing their shells until they looked like bones, fritters and bars. – Enjoy. I kept whispering until her bra was smooth and her head was heavy in the furrow of my arm. – Serena Libardi

After witnessing the divorce of my parents, I swore that my life would be different. When I divorced in my late 30s, I saw a psychologist dealing with the crime of leaving my working lawyer’s husband and hurting our children. What will you miss if you leave him? he said. “I dined at the dining table,” I said. “But, how can you remember what you’ve never done?” I got a punch; We rarely shared family meals. “Have you missed as a child?” “Yes,” I replied, finally mourning myself over my past and present. – Kerry houston reightly

Sometimes the mind slips into dark places. One such day, I was in the kitchen, when my mind settled itself thinking what I had not achieved. Looking at the battle of career and motherhood, I wished I had more time for both. Being considered alone, I said, “What am I good at?” Behind me, quite unexpectedly and talkatively, without a moment’s hesitation, my 6-year-old piped in his precarious manner. “But mother, there will be no laughter without you.” Nate is now living on the opposite shore, about 33. Thankfully laughter still lights our way in the darkest days. – Nancy Rae

In the early 1970s, as a college freshman in Iowa, I met a man who was only interested in me as a friend. We played pinball (that’s the way I leaned into flippers) and watched movies. David was not much. Our own hearts are now filled with scars, stents and pacemakers, but also 48 years of love. – Bonnie Miller Rubin

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