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Allie Boniface

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Schoolyard Love: Flash Fiction
By Allie Boniface
Monday, January 22, 2007

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A flash fiction piece that originated from a writing prompt...

I socked her.

Hard, right in the arm. Hard enough to bring tears to her eyes.

It was our noontime ritual, hers and mine, to see which one of us was tougher. Who’d blink first. Who’d flinch harder.

She looked me square in the eye. “Didn’t hurt.”


She shrugged and turned her back, thin ribs sticking out from that hot pink t-shirt she always wore. Her legs, longer than mine and skinnier and definitely smoother, tripped away across the playground.

“Didja ask her?”

My two best friends, Dougie and Sam, inched their way over from the slides, where they’d been watching.

“What’d she say, huh?”

I didn’t answer. My gaze slipped across the gravel to where she’d rejoined her friends, a knot of pale faces with blonde ponytails falling down their backs. Over her shoulder she glanced, a smile tugging at her lips, before she looped an arm around the girl beside her and leaned in for the whisper that meant Girl-Gossip. Laughter erupted seconds later, and my face burned.

“She didn’t say nothin.’” I stubbed my toe along the ground, dragging my brand new sneaker in the dirt until it turned black.

“Bet she turned you down.”

“I didn’t ask her yet, moron.” I stuffed one hand into my front pocket and felt the fibrous edge of the twenty-dollar bill Uncle Buck had given me for mowing the lawn last weekend.

Again the laughter came, and again I felt about two feet tall. But criminy, looking at Denise Reynolds on the playground that June day, watching the way her hair shone and her waist curved and her fingers drew patterns in the air when she talked, I thought I’d about die if she didn’t go to the movies with me.

Eleven years old, and I never again in my life felt more crushed by love than in that fifth-grade moment when I looked at the girl I would someday marry and watched the sun move across the back of her neck.

I could punch harder. I could run faster.

But she had all the power, and we both knew it.

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Reviewed by Tami Ryan 1/23/2007
This is excellent writing. Good work.

Reviewed by Guy Hogan 1/22/2007
A story of first real love. It brough a smile of recognition.

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