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English Publications

Short Stories

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Why Do I Love Thee?

Grace Chu

Thirty red roses for my 30th birthday, cards each month to mark the anniversary of the day we met, and voicemails to greet me each morning when I get to work. These are just some of the many romantic and thoughtful things that my boyfriend David has done for me. While these things are all special and very much appreciated, what he did for me over the last few months is the real reason I fell in love with him.

Since the fall of 2001, I have been juggling a full-time job and graduate school. For the first three semesters of my studies, I had taken two classes, which I found manageable. Therefore, I decided to challenge myself and take two more classes this past spring. I was confident that I could balance the full courseload and my job. Unfortunately, I was wrong. I found myself overwhelmed and overworked. I was up till two or three each night working on a paper or reading. I barely had any sleep. My productivity at work was also negatively affected. I found myself tired at work and falling behind on my projects. By the end of the semester, I was so burnt out that I often found myself breaking down in tears and snapping at family and friends.

I was so exhausted and discouraged at one point that I thought about dropping two of the classes and redoing them in the future. And, I would have if it had not been for David’s continuous encouragement and support. He called me each evening to give me reassuring words. He constantly told me that he was proud of me. He shared funny stories to make me laugh and relax. He helped me do research for my papers. But most importantly, when my enthusiasm and self-confidence disappeared, he held me in his arms, planted a kiss on my cheek, and told me that he loved me no matter what happened. David’s unconditional love and backing helped me persevere until the very end. And, not only that, I was able to get three As and an A minus.

This past semester was a grueling period, and I have vowed that I will never ever take four classes while working again. But, difficult times often provide us with important insight. For me, it was the fact that the most precious gifts that my boyfriend gives me are not flowers or cards but rather his love and belief in me. These things are what made me fall in love with David and why I will always love him!

- End -

About the author: a native New Yorker who lives in Whitestone, Queens. A Chinese descent, a graduate from Townsend Harris High School in Queens in 1991 and from Boston University in 1995. Currently working at the Teachers' Retirement System of the City of New York (TRS), enjoying freelance writing and doing community service.

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