Buck loves Sarah and Sarah loves Buck. They always hold hands, even in the cinema, which makes it hard to eat popcorn and drink at the same time. Buck and Sarah kiss each morning at the school gates and don’t care when their friends make ooooh noises. When Buck and Sarah argue, their fights are vicious and quick. When it’s over, they go back to holding hands and laugh as they try to remember what they argued about in the first place. Buck buys magazines for Sarah, ones of women dressed up in things he’ll never afford. Sarah buys Buck hot caramel sundaes and watches him suck the sauce off a plastic spoon. One Wednesday, Buck goes to the bike shed with the daughter of the man who teaches him football. Buck believes his dad when he tells him he’s too young to be tied down to just one girl. Buck kisses the new girl over and over and doesn’t enjoy it as much as he thought he would. On Friday, Sarah’s friend tells her what happened with Buck and the other girl in the bike shed. Sarah tells Buck he’s an asshole. Buck says he’s sorry and it was just a stupid mistake. Sarah says she’s worth more than that and didn’t their love mean anything. Buck says he didn’t enjoy it anyway, so can’t they just forget about it. Sarah tells him to go to hell, which makes Buck slam the wall with his fist. Buck’s knuckles crack and he realises it doesn’t hurt as much as knowing he’ll never hold Sarah’s hand again. Buck keeps punching till it hurts. Buck loves Sarah and Sarah loved Buck.
CLODAGH O’BRIEN writes flash fiction, short stories, and the occasional poem. Based in Dublin, she has been published in Litro, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, The Lonely Crowd, Literary Orphans and Thrice Fiction, amongst others. Her flash fiction placed third in the Bath Flash Fiction Award earlier this year and has been highly commended and shortlisted in many competitions. She likes to write in bed and realises there are too many books to read before she dies. You can find some of her work at www.clodaghobrien.com and she tweets @wordcurio