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Tiny Love Stories: “Her Dreams of Infidelity”

After a month of dating, Paul stood on the platform of the treehouse and declared: “You are my penultimate girl!” I asked, “What does this mean to you?” “You are my super, perfect girl,” he replied, raising his hands to the sky. A former Hollywood producer, Paul had a talent for grandiose gestures. On paper, we were perfect: two middle-aged Asian Americans who loved art and travel. But I couldn’t reflect his enthusiasm. “That’s not what it means,” I said, deciding that our time together was over. Paul’s misuse of the word “penultimate” freed me from the spell of “perfect.” — Amanda May Kim

My father opened the door of his apartment and held out a coffee mug. “What a beautiful cup!” he said. – You need to take it. I rolled my suitcase into the guest room. “Take a cup!” he said, following behind. I told him I didn’t need it. After three days of constantly offering a “cup”, which was actually a mug, I accepted. It was a thank you gift he received for donating money to a prominent LGBTQ organization. I never opened up to my father, but I finally realized that he knew me and was proud of me. — Lori Horwitz


For the past 20 years, I’ve been woken up by the occasional angry glare from my wife. “What happened?” I asked. It was Stella again! she answered, obviously offended. Oddly enough, her dreams of infidelity always included a woman named Stella who led me astray. I’ve always been loyal and didn’t know any Stells, but I promised to run away if I ever met one. Last week our son came home and mentioned the name of his new sweetheart, Stella. The secret of the dream is revealed: Stella pursued another man whom my wife loves so much, her son! — David Cook

Fifty years ago, the bitter alienation of our mothers divided us daughters. But after I expressed my sympathy for her mother’s death, my cousin sent me a sprig of aloe vera as a peace offering. Our common great-grandmother brought the original plant when she fled from Lithuania to America in 1920. She gave cuttings of the plant to her growing family. My mother’s section died. For a while it looked like the cutting my cousin sent me would also die, but then a green shoot blossomed. My cousin and I are reunited to celebrate; our branch of the family tree will be restored. — Melanie Chartoff

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