Tiny Love Stories: ‘It Wasn’t the Sex That Hurt, but the Lying’


“If you cry when I die, I’m going to haunt you,” Rick said. “You’re going to have to haunt me,” I replied. Months later, as I walked around the apartment we were supposed to share, I shouted, “Where are you, you bastard?” When Rick took his last breath, my heart crumpled. No romance between us. We barely hugged. “You’re a lovely couple,” people would say. “A couple of what?” we’d respond. We were best friends, often found sitting on the couch, laughing like idiots. “Rick, we’re stupid,” I’d say. He’d answer, “Yes, but we’re happy.” — Betty Adorno

I used to lift you overhead, laughter reverberating from your infant throat. “You’re going to be a party girl,” I cooed. Your childhood was no party though. Custody battles. Your other mother won. At age 10, you were returned to me. During your teen years, that party girl let loose. Defiance, slammed doors, a DUI. Finally, you asked for help. “My baby’s inside there,” I said, pointing to your heart. “Take care of her.” Five months sober now, you say, “Show me how.” Once, you had no patience for tender words. Today you drink them in. — Tzivia Gover

My husband, Joshua, and I have never cheated, but we’ve both been cheated on. When we met, we agreed: It wasn’t the sex that hurt, but the lying. So when Joshua told me that he was bisexual, I encouraged him to tell me if he met someone with whom he’d like to experiment. We met Tony in a performance of “The Rocky Horror Show.” We all played together onstage; then we started playing together offstage until things turned serious. Seven years later, we are a happy, faithful “throuple” (a trio as committed as a couple). — Briana McGuckin

My ex left me with two young children and a house in disrepair. I couldn’t face my children’s searching eyes and endless questions, but I could call an electrician. John appeared the next day. Sharing a ladder, we struggled to mount a ceiling fan in the waning light of a summer evening. It was then, John said, in seeing my belly peeking from my shirt, that he fell for me, our shadows dancing on the walls. Apparently, the entire house had to be rewired. John made the right connections and, 18 years later, the light remains. — April Silva


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