In the spirit of The New York Times’ “Modern Love” section and Recess’ bite-size love stories column, I asked Duke students and alumni to submit “Tiny Love Stories” told in 100 words or less.
Love wasn’t enough
You were lovely, even though you were just doing your job. You frowned slightly when I smiled, and you were lovelier still. I asked you if you had done something new to your hair, your clothes, but maybe it was just the way you held yourself. You told me flirting wouldn’t get me out of my parking ticket. Maybe so, but I still remember those stolen moments in the Parking and Transportation Office.
— Park Infine, senior
The best lunch of my life
The story goes like this: boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Boy is unsure of how girl feels about boy. Boy asks girl to FLUNCH chemistry professor with him. Boy meets girl at Divinity Cafe. The rest of the story is difficult for me to recall. I was so entranced by her during lunch and I don’t quite remember it. I think our chemistry professor asked us about pi bonds, but maybe it was sigma bonds. In any case, I just wanted to bond with her.
— Hugh Jenard, junior
AOC to U and Me
I’ve always wondered whether Alex O’Connell would ever notice me. When I learned that he ate in Krafthouse a lot, I started camping out there at all hours of the day. Eating there, studying there, having fun there. I always looked for him in his little corner booth, camped out with chicken tenders. One day he made eye contact with me. It was the best day of my life.
— Alexis Milife, sophomore
Love under the stars
We were the only two people sleeping in the tent that night. People were drinking outside, but we were huddled inside, trying to stay warm. I saw your breath in the air, clouds passing over darkness. I wondered what it would be like to feel that hot breath on my face. I asked you how you were feeling. And I’ll never forget those words you said next: “They did surgery on a grape.” It was cold that night. But you were so warm.
— Kay Ville, junior
Ten years ago
The sweet summer sun faded on us seven years ago. He was someone who really cared about his future. I was someone who went wherever I was told. The only thing we had in common that summer was PSAT camp and a mutual love that was never spoken. Many years later, we would have one more thing in common. We met again in front of Tandoor. I was shocked that he had chosen Duke—wasn’t it his safety? He was shocked that I had made it in. But that moment was the start of a beautiful relationship.
—Stan Dardized, first-year
Match made in Hell
I really thought that I was supposed to find love in college. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anyone that I really clicked with at Duke. But that’s how it is when you’re outspoken and you stand up for what you believe in—people are going to disagree. So after I left Duke, I thought that I would reserve my love for my career. But then I met her. She’s the one thing I love more than separating children from their families.
— Stephen Miller, Trinity ‘07
Monday Monday does not condone the actions of the burning dumpster fire that is Stephen Miller. If you want to share a tiny love story with Monday, please don’t because they are currently crying over a tub of ice cream and don’t really want to feel even worse about their romantic prospects right now. Okay? Okay.