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Tiny Love Stories: ‘She Was Scared He Would Forget Her’

Tiny Love Stories: ‘She Was Scared He Would Forget Her’

“Don’t waste your time. They’re not hiring,” said the inky-haired reporter taking a smoke break outside The Carthage Press. I applied anyway. Hired on the spot, I activated my journalism degree two desks east of the smoker. He wrote hard news; I wrote fluffy features. He was a Jewish Tunisian immigrant; I was a Baptist Ozarkian. He liked classical music; I liked hootenannies. Together, we found words that worked. Today, the 1884 Missouri newspaper is history, its building edited into apartments. The reporter and I celebrated our 46th anniversary. I’m glad he quit smoking. He’s glad I wasted my time. — Marti Attoun

My sister Marge died when my son was only 5. During those five years, when she was battling cancer, the two of them bonded over baseball. Once she confided that she was scared he would forget her. I’ve taken every opportunity to bring up Marge’s name, but didn’t know if it made any difference. Eight years later, my son is on the school baseball team. On the first day of the season, I told him how much Marge would have enjoyed watching him. In response, he showed me his bat, where he had written Marge’s name in thick, black marker. — Mary Girsch-Bock

Brad and I met at a bar in Atlanta. The drinks were cheap, the music loud, our conversation challenging. I’d just left work. He’d recently moved to town and hadn’t started his search for employment. We dated for three months. I broke it off because I “wasn’t ready,” and we moved easily into a platonic relationship, with occasional dinners, movies, phone calls. The holidays approached. He needed to escape his difficult roommate. I needed cash for Christmas presents and offered him my couch while he looked for another apartment. “You get two months,” I said. It’s been 32 years. — Rob Medley

“It’s just a cellphone plan,” I reminded myself. Strangely sad and guilt ridden, I had finally asked my more than agreeable 33-year-old daughter to pay separately for her phone service. Since my divorce 16 years prior, she and I had roamed, shared minutes and data. Now our plan remained the last tether in our old roles as mother and dependent daughter. She’s married, expecting a child of her own, established in her career. All signs it was high time. “I’ll miss you,” I texted her followed by a single-teared emoji. “I’ll miss you too, Mom.” — Laura Petiford

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