NEW LEAF, OLD STALK • by Sarah Hilary

You told me you loved me, very matter-of-fact. “Pass the bread? And by the way…”

You said you knew it was unrequited, which it was. You said it didn’t matter, but it did. The first move was always mine.

After the disaster that was Irene, I’d resolved to stop; no more broken hearts. I’m proud of my abstinence, a reformed heart-breaker. But you’ve made a resolution, too. Haven’t you?

Here you sit, devouring bread, a contented smile on your face.

I ordered oysters to be witty, but you’ve killed my appetite.

“I love you.”

Three little words and I’m impotent.

Sarah Hilary’s stories have been published in The Beat, Neon, SHINE, Bewildering Stories, Every Day Fiction, Velvet Mafia, MYTHOLOG, Heavy Glow, Twisted Tongue, Static Movement, Kaleidotrope and the Boston Literary Magazine. Her short story, On the line, was published in the Daunt Books 2006 anthology. She won the Litopia “Winter Kills” Contest in 2007. Sarah lives in the Cotswolds with her husband and young daughter.

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