Tiny Love Stories: ‘Never Forget Me’

Tiny Love Stories: ‘Never Forget Me’

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Black ink streaked Renny’s soggy poster, blurring the letters in “Black Lives Matter.” After a period of distance, we had reunited in his condo, making posters on top of the bed we used to share. It was raining that day in Toronto. Hundreds of feet sloshed in the puddles on Yonge Street. People chanted, “No justice, no peace.” Renny chanted with me. He will never understand what it is like to live in my skin. But that day, for that protest, he marched next to me. He marched for me. — Daniel Reale-Chin

When my mother walks, her left foot makes a popping sound. Every step is audible. It’s always been like that. She doesn’t know why or particularly mind. For me, the sound is like a ticking clock; my brain mostly tunes it out. But I’ve noticed it more since the pandemic started. What I’ve grown to love most about her popping foot is that it never stops. Pop, making dinner. Pop, walking the dogs. Pop, dancing in the kitchen. It never stops and she never stops. All it takes is hearing that pop to remember and appreciate all my mother does. — Connor Buckmaster


Sofia and I spent the summer of 2011 together — hearing the Creole Choir of Cuba, walking through History Park in San Jose, Calif., eating ceviche. I kept wondering: Are we good friends, or are we dating? I got my answer in a kiss. A year later, Sofia proposed. I didn’t say yes. I said, “What’s the point? It’s never going to be federally legal in the U.S.” We bet $5. In 2013, the Supreme Court granted federal recognition of same-sex marriages. “I guess I have to marry you,” I said. “Yes,” she said, “and you owe me $5.” — Andrea Temkin

She left me on a busy Hong Kong stairwell, not to die but to be found. It would take decades for me to receive her only message. Until then, I knew her as “a prostitute, uneducated, uncaring.” At least, that’s what my adoptive American mother said, ashamed and angry about her infertility. To learn the truth, it seemed, I’d have to be dying. The night before my breast cancer surgery at age 30, my adoptive mother finally showed me my biological mother’s words, notable for their elegant, intelligent Chinese script: “Never forget me; I will never forget you.” — Yvonne Liu

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