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We asked you for bite-size stories about love. Here’s what you told us.

In the spirit of The New York Times’ adored “Modern Love” column, now an Amazon Prime television show, I invited Duke students and alumni to submit their own “Tiny Love Stories” told in 100 words or less. Here’s what they had to say:

Kissing Under the Milky Way

I discover the cute boy sitting next to me in my Neuro101 discussion is applying to the same DukeEngage program as me. I joke that I might kill him in his sleep to ensure I get a spot in the cohort. Instead, we both get a spot and I fall in love with him. We share our first kiss under the milky way in the middle of the desert. Then, we get married (for a DukeEngage cultural excursion). We were together for about 3 years. I hated Duke often, but I loved it because it brought me him. —Kelsey Graywill, Trinity ‘18


Hannah Miao

Opposites Attract

We kissed at a UNC bar — two Duke students alone in a sea of state-school fervor. It was a love story as old as time: Boy meets Girl, Girl talks to Boy, Boy and Girl hit it off. Then, of course, Girl turns out to be a lesbian, Boy is about as gay as one could possibly be, and they kiss in celebration of how little attraction they have for one another. The kiss held as much meaning as any straight kiss, but in the opposite direction. It cemented every desire to find our special someone, just not each other. —Yousuf Rehman, senior


Hannah Miao


Twin-Size Love

Love used to mean a lack of separation — snuggling under the comforters of a twin-size bed even as another sat less than two feet away. It meant sharing everything from school lunches to winter coats to our circle of friends. What I once thought was “love” was merely proximity. Love is complicated; it is leading separate lives and laughing or crying when we meet in the middle. But it is and always will be you, my twin sister, my inspiration, my safe haven, sitting on your own twin-size bed in your own room hundreds of miles away. —Vivian Yuan, junior


Hannah Miao


Moments Spent Waiting

When someone comes to Erwin Mill, you have to let them in the bay door. Every time she came over, I’d walk out to meet her, and our smiling faces would look at each other through the window. When I think back to that relationship, I think about those moments. About that door. Because there are the moments that you spend together, and then there are the moments that you spend waiting to be together. Everything we had started because I opened the bay door. And, ultimately, the reason it ended was because I opened the bay door. —Aditya Joshi, Trinity ‘17


Hannah Miao


Chicken Soup for the Soul

My best friend (who is a passionate vegetarian) went out of her way to buy me chicken soup from the deli when I was sick. —Emma van Bergen, first-year


Hannah Miao


A Mother’s Grace

I enrolled in Neuro223 like everyone else. Like everyone else, I sat in class fighting the urge to stop paying attention and look at memes. But as the course ended and my classmates moved on, the professor became one of the most important people in my life. Reeling from the death of my mom that semester, she became a place of refuge. We went for walks in the Gardens, picked blueberries and tried new breakfast places. When I graduated and moved away, she visited me. She’s loved me with a mother’s grace, and my life is fuller because of it. —Kara McGaughey, Trinity ‘17


Hannah Miao

Memories Etched in Gothic Stone

You were a student from a school halfway across the country who found his way to Duke for a summer job. I was a Blue Devil spending her summer in this swamp with nowhere in particular to go. We found each other after busy days, splashing in the cool waters of the Eno, strolling down Main Street in the not-so-cool evening air, reveling in the beauty of a Southern summer sunset. When summer drew to a close, you returned to your world, leaving me here with memories written in these Gothic stones of a sweet, yet fleeting, summer love. —Karen Zhao, senior


Hannah Miao

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