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100-word love stories

EN Photo by Julia Bonavita.

Tiny love stories submitted by FGCU students and alum.
Lauren Miceli, Senior 
“Do you like One Direction?” she asked during our lunch period. “Duh,” I responded, despite not caring for the band at all. I never really liked boy bands growing up. I gravitated toward women more often, with Taylor Swift being on top of the list, but I desperately wanted my best friend’s approval. Her excited smile was worth the white lie. “Who’s your favorite?” Her question caught me off guard. Looking at her light hair and blue eyes, I quickly said, “The blonde one, Niall.” That night I learned every One Direction song just to have another thing in common with her. 
Shania Bogner, Senior
It took her five minutes and one beautifully imperfect smile to stop my entire world from spinning. She wasted no time in seeing right through me, telling me who she saw and letting me know without words, just a simple look, that it was okay to be the real me. I had only dreamt of finding someone who could take the pressure away from who I always felt I had to be. She said, “You’re gay, right?” No one had to tell me I was going to fall madly in love with her. I already knew.
Serena Tartaglia, Junior
There are only so many “maybe next years.” You spent 21 Valentine’s Days watching the clock for February 15 to begin. You resign yourself to passively watching the romantic comedies on television because they’re secretly your favorite. You bury yourself in books where the girl finds her Prince Charming, and you live vicariously through them and their happiness even though you know you may never find that kind of love. You know you’ve always been the invisible type. You’ve waited for the right guy to walk into your life since you were 13. You feel like time is running out.
Lauren Miceli, Senior
Love at first sight usually only occurs in fairy tales, but I encountered it at the age of six. She had soft, golden hair and the cutest little nose. My parents didn’t want us playing together for very long, but I begged them to let her come back home with us. After an hour of pleading, they finally agreed. She broke my heart for the first time when I was 19. The seizures became more frequent. Her growing sickness became too obvious to overlook. As her life slipped away, I stroked her hair and held her paw one last time.  
Nina Mendes, Sophomore
We kept on driving. Eight more hours until we crossed over into Virginia, and then we would continue our journey up the East Coast. We switched shifts every time the gas tank needed a refill, but there were times you would do a double so that I could rest my eyes. Thank you for that. I couldn’t wait to show you the spots that hold such a special place in my heart. We would ride through the streets of my hometown, and I’d show you what growing up was like. Spoiler: It was pretty bleak until I met you.
Caroline Vives-Vietri, Alumni 
I love my dog more than anyone. It’s true. Curly brown fur, bushy tailed and bright brown eyes looking back at me. Always all ears and wagging tail when I walk through the door. She’ll never leave my side; she’s my Velcro dog. She takes up the whole bed with just a small space for me. Gee, thanks for sharing! Never a complaint unless it’s for more treats. But I thought I already fed you? Five pounds of please pick me up, where are you going? She is my brown-eyed girl, my best friend fur life and pawtner in crime. 
Brooke Stiles, Senior
For so long I mistreated you
I didn’t value or protect you
Nurture or love you
I disrespected you
Cut you
Squeezed you
Looked at you with disgust
It took so long for me to realize how important you are
And I’m sorry for that
I’m sorry for starving you of the love you deserve
For the days I wished you were someone else
And I want to thank you
For always being there
Even through everything I put you through
You stood by me
And carried me even through my darkest days
I understand this now
And I promise I will appreciate you
I will listen to you
Nourish and love you  
But most importantly, I will accept you for everything you are. 
From: me
To: my body

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