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“But, what's the catch?” asked Amanda. Though she had been completely surprised by this turn of events, she wasn't about to forget her skepticism.

“No catch,” affirmed the hunched over old lady. Amanda didn't trust her. She didn't even know this lady's name or why she invited Amanda into her house.

But, she took the vial anyway. No harm in trying, she thought. The old woman nodded, turned, and walked deeper into her house, as Amanda, somewhat dumbfounded, waved goodbye softly and left through the door she came in. Her thoughts returned to Tom.

A guilty pleasure of hers was romance, ever since high school. Not to imply she had any experience in romance, at least not outside of her own head. Tom was a man in Amanda's history class who she had developed a crush on, despite knowing almost nothing about him. She was all too happy to leap at the chance to stop hating herself for never having liked anybody that much for years. It was a weakness of hers she hated, having been usually good about self-esteem with any other aspect of herself. However, now she had an answer that would fix the problem right away, she thought.

In their very next lecture, Amanda, having drunken what was in the vial the old woman gave her, began working up the courage to approach Tom. Self-doubt ran abound in her emotions, her mind desperately wandered, and she found herself thinking about what she knew about Tom and any times they had interacted, for planning purposes. Needless to say, she was no longer paying attention to how Columbus started the oppression of countless indigenous peoples.

“What do I know about this guy?” her mind asked itself. He seemed disinterested in the class lecture, all of the time. “Makes sense,” she thought, “It's a history class.” But, what if he never pays attention in class? What's his major? Is it a really tough one, like science or something? Does he pay attention in Organic Chemistry? Does he even care about his grades? “That'd be one fault against him, but I never put much stock into how people do in school.” She remembered that one time, she bumped into him while he was wearing earphones, and on his phone's screen was one of the worst pop songs in recent memory. Being quite a music enthusiast, Amanda was turned off by that, but like grades, it wouldn't be a dealbreaker. After all, Tom was really hot.

Finally, the lecture was ending. Feeling queasy from nervousness, Amanda got out of her seat and walked down to the row where Tom was also getting up. She began to take a breath to call to him, but was interrupted.

“So, party tonight?” one of Tom's friends asked him.

“You bet! We're gonna get fucked up!” he replied enthusiastically. “Fucked up,” thought Amanda. “That sounds like a guy who likes to get so drunk he pukes.” She was once again turned off a little, but undeterred.

Tom continued. “Oh, and also, I totally didn't pay attention to the lecture just now. Wanna tell me about it later?” Another turn-off confirmed. She was still not running.

“Sure, after some Call of Duty,” Tom's friend replied. Call of Duty. The crappy pop music equivalent of video games, of which Amanda was also an enthusiast. Turn-off number four, but she wasn't counting.

Finally, Tom and all his friends were finished talking and leaving their seats. Amanda walked up to him and gave a nervous hello.

“Oh, hey. What was your name ag--” Tom said, interrupted by Amanda suddenly jumping in for a kiss.

Amanda didn't feel much. She definitely liked kissing a hot guy, but there wasn't much there beyond that. When it was over, Tom looked very confused.

“What was that?” he asked.

Also confused (but for a different reason), Amanda replied, “Aren't you suddenly overcome with romantic feelings for me or something?”

“Not really. But if you want to go do something in private, I'm down,” said Tom, who was now aroused, as if he was used to girls who randomly kissed him and who actually rewarded requests like that. Slightly disgusted and disappointed, Amanda left without a word.

She walked back into the old lady's house, exclaiming, “It didn't work! You promised it would and it didn't!”

The old woman emerged from the darkness of her poorly lit home and said, “What didn't?” Her facial expression was completely innocent.

“The vial! You told me that if I meet the right person, then true love's first kiss (after drinking the potion) would make us instantly fall in love!” Amanda shouted, almost inappropriately loudly.

“Amanda,” the unnamed woman said with a coy smile, “You're telling me a fairy tale.” She didn't seem to remember what had happened at all.

Amanda rethought the instructions for the potion. She kept coming back to the phrase “true love's first kiss.” “What does 'true love' mean?” she wondered. “Soul mate?” But, if it had to be true love's first kiss, then the person she kissed would have to be someone she can really spend her life with. Tom didn't seem too bad, though. He had a few faults that she noticed in the span of about 10 minutes, but he was really hot. But it didn't work. Obviously, he wasn't a soul mate. There must have been things about him she didn't know that only would have surfaced later. Amanda was so used to all those fairy tales about true love's first kiss that always work out great, she never stopped to think, “What happens when the knight and the prince/princess aren't compatible?” Apparently, this was what happens.

“But how can I know when I've met someone like that?” she said aloud, by accident, in the street she was walking through. Blushing from self-consciousness, she realized, “I'll just have to get to know them first.” And now she knew that she had the courage to walk up to a possible soul mate and talk to them, after what was now the very funny—if a little unbelievable—story of her first kiss.
My re-debut into writing! I've been focusing on other things for years, but it's time to go back to my roots. I got it in my head to mock a certain fairy tale idea, and then it looks like I've apparently combined that idea with my own feelings about being "forever alone" to make a nice message.

Yes, it's true that I only named the main character Amanda so I could reference the end of the first Dresden Dolls album.
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March 23, 2014
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