Tiny Love Stories: ‘The Deceptively Sunny Day’


My best friend Maya is messy and stomps around our off-campus house. I’m neurotically clean and light on my feet. She works in private equity, investing in something called “digital infrastructure.” I’m getting a master’s degree in something called “social anthropology.” She’s a Manhattanite — “fifth generation,” she brags as we drive to her family’s upstate house. I’m from Orlando, Fla. — first (and likely last) generation. She’s tough; I’m a people-pleaser. When we fight, she wins. I hate the cliché, but I’m sure she would love it: Opposites attract. — Hamzah Jhaveri

During a call with British Airways, I watched our Goldendoodle step toward me and then collapse. “Oh God! I think our dog’s having a seizure,” I said, dropping the phone. Lacy trembled in my arms. “It’s OK, sweetheart,” I said over and over, like a mantra for both of us. Minutes passed. She continued to shake. We needed help. I reached for my phone, and that’s when I heard a polite British voice ask, “Everything all right?” Turns out, I wasn’t alone. The airline representative had quietly waited. Divided by an ocean, yet somehow still connected by our shared humanity. — Mindi Ellis

After a six-year struggle with ovarian cancer, it was clear Judy’s time was short. Heartsick, we left our home and moved into hospice together. As we sat looking out at the deceptively sunny day that would turn out to be Judy’s last, she sighed and said, “If I have to leave you, at least you’re young enough to start over and have another life.” Teary-eyed, I responded, “Thanks, honey, but I can’t imagine. You’re the perfect partner for me.” Ever the pragmatist, Judy touched my cheek and smiled. “It doesn’t always have to be perfect. Good could be enough.” Carrie Thorn

“Did you make that?” he asked, pointing to my thrifted knit hat. “Yes,” I lied, for some reason convinced the handsome stranger would be impressed by my fictional knitting abilities. During the next month, aided by my grandmother and the internet, I taught myself to knit. Each clumsily dropped stitch turned my lie into truth. Later, I confessed: The misshapen, pointed hat I gave him was actually the first hat I had ever knit. He just laughed. Nearing our 20th anniversary, the hat is tucked into a box of relics, a symbol of righted wrongs and love that lasts. — Kimberly Witt

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