tiny love stories i broke your heart you broke my rib

Tiny Love Stories: ‘I Broke Your Heart, You Broke My Rib’

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“Poor thing!” I said, picking up a succulent from its cracked pot and cradling it. I glanced up, wondering from which balcony it had fallen. Clearly, it was forgotten now. Just like me. (The night before, my date had forgotten that we were supposed to see a movie, hence my overgrown empathy for this small plant.) I removed one of my gloves, wrapped it around the succulent and walked home. I was unsure whether either of us would recover from being abandoned on a frigid night, but, as it turns out, it was nothing that time couldn’t heal. — Jessica Rempe

On Thanksgiving, there aren’t as many of us adults as there used to be. We hold places in our hearts for our deceased family members, those of the oldest generation. Now, our kids, who are far from being children anymore, outnumber us. They gather around the big table (the “adults’ table”), talking about celebrities in terms we know nothing about. We sit quietly at the small table (formerly the “kids’ table”), smiling to each other at the passage of time, in awe of how the tables have turned. Steve Patschke

I moved into the neighborhood after my son’s birth. Struggling with the isolation of being a new mother, I tried finding friends. I walked the tree-lined streets with my son, who didn’t look like me: he fair like his Kansan father, and I with olive skin and curly Persian hair. I reached out for a connection. But nothing sparked. I was drowning. Then I met Terry with her bright smile and big heart. She saw me, saved me. We shared times of sorrow and joy. Now, with my son college-bound, she’s still by my side as I let him go. — Rebecca Morrison

San Francisco, 1978: Paul rolls out from under a car at his auto shop; Chuck, there for a repair, is instantly smitten. They spend the summer camping, falling in love. Autumn arrives, Chuck ends it: “I’m 20, too young to settle down.” Paul’s devastated. 2010: They bump into each other at an R.V. park. In serious relationships, they reconnect as friends. Within six months, they’re both single. Chuck’s devastated: “I’m 54, who would want this?” Paul hugs him so tight that Chuck’s rib cracks. 2017: They get married. Chuck: “I broke your heart; you broke my rib. Call it even?” — Corey Gerard Lambert