December 2, 2023

Within the eleventh summer time of my life, I befriended an area boy on Ocracoke Island. Tall, soft-spoken, with a mop of red-blonde hair that generally hid his blue eyes, he was one of many few individuals who confirmed me sweet-tempered kindness whereas my household dissolved into alcoholism. I keep in mind holding fingers, the whooping calls of tree frogs and humid, inky-black evenings on the ocean’s edge — bioluminescent sand sparking as we kicked it up. On the cusp of adolescence, I felt like a particle of sunshine, suspended in a love as platonic and mild because the moon these summer time nights. — Marie Koltchak

We met in January 1994 on a homosexual chat line. I wasn’t imagined to spend the evening. In April, I had a key to his house and we had our first struggle. After showering one evening, he stated he wanted antiperspirant. I supplied to get it. “No,” he barked. “You don’t must do issues for me.” He inhaled, his toes. “I’ve been advised I might be egocentric.” I hugged him. After his birthday in June, this egocentric man who acts selflessly, lastly had the braveness to look me within the eyes and say, “I like you.” — Paul Salkind

Harry and I celebrated seven years of marriage in an exquisite Grand Canyon cabin. Dressing for dinner, I requested him if he had scissors to snip a thread from my sweater. He rapidly pulled a pair from his toiletry package. “I’ve all the things in right here you possibly can probably need,” he declared. I challenged his hyperbole: “Oh yeah, do you might have a diamond ring?” (He had by no means given me a diamond ring.) He smiled, good-naturedly. At dinner, Harry descended to at least one knee, declared he’d marry me once more and offered the diamond ring that was stashed in his toiletry package. — Judith Karp

I see my Abuelita’s screened door swinging in my thoughts’s eye: daylight piercing by way of the mosquito web, the scent of heat tortillas within the air. Even at 4, I do know that Abuelita isn’t wealthy, not like my different, Italian grandmother. Now, over three a long time later, my Abuelita’s screened door inhabits my goals. I hear its fixed opening and shutting as a parade of aunts, uncles, cousins and chickens stream by way of. Abuelita’s residence in Honduras is my first residence, the house of my coronary heart, the one the place closing doorways by no means imply “goodbye,” however, fairly, “see you quickly.” — Cindy Lamothe

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