Our 5-year-old son, Luke.

He was a senior with electric blue eyes. I was a sophomore with a crush. Introductions turned into lunch, then into a college romance. We were untouchable. But nights squeezed into my dorm bed turned into breakups and “I can’t live without you” reunions. My senior year, two pink lines. He pawned his Martin guitar for a ring and sold his Jeep for a security deposit on a tiny Baltimore rowhouse. I walked across the graduation stage 6 months pregnant. None of it has been perfect. But you know what is? The way our little boy looks at us with the same blue eyes. — Elizabeth Mackey


The moment we met. I’m on the right. Alec is on the left.

We met in Munich during Oktoberfest. I had seen him the day I arrived, a handsome stranger exiting the train station. That night we matched on a dating app but didn’t connect. The next day, in a mass of beer drinkers dressed in traditional German clothes, I spotted him above the crowd, giving a toast atop a bench. We were wearing identical lederhosen. I pointed at him, slightly drunk, and said, “Hey you! Get down here!” As he jumped down, he said, “You found me!” I didn’t even know I was looking for him but, two years later, I still have him. — Ryan Leach


Me and Talula.

I met my cat, Talula, on a cold night in 2004 when I was too broke to take Amtrak and too sick to eat dinner. She had been hit by a car but saved by a friend. I was dying from anorexia. I took New Jersey Transit to Philadelphia to pick her up, and I kept her warm with a sweater and sang to her the whole ride home. In New York she slept on my head, sat on my lap and helped me recover. It took 14 years. — Rena Silverman


An instagram of his severed head.

When we met in December, he told me he couldn’t commit. In January, I told him I loved him. In March, he planted a sunflower in my New Orleans garden that dwarfed the other plants, stealing their sun. In July, I tore his 11-footer down, struggling to sever its massive roots. Victorious, I posed for a picture with his sunflower’s head. In September, he pulled up the picture over drinks. “That’s your sunflower,” I said. “I know,” he said. I meant to free myself, my garden, of him, but he’s still here on our one-year anniversary of not actually dating. — Marcelle Beaulieu


Before we set off.

Huddled several kilometers up Mount Fuji, on a journey harder than we anticipated, Jeff looked into my eyes, which were blurry from crying, and said, “I wonder how many American Express points it would take to have a helicopter pick us up.” Both of us exploded in laughter and tears. I dusted dirt off my body as he extended his hand and pulled me up. We continue up and down our mountain daily, in darkness and light, taking turns being the hand held out and the hand that needs lifting to keep moving forward. — Carrie Ferguson

For our December 25th column, we are inviting holiday-themed submissions. Go to and write “HOLIDAY” as the first word of your entry.
More Tiny Love Stories
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Tiny Love Stories: ‘She Expected Me to Run. I Stayed.’