**APRIL FOOLS CHAPTER**

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10| Love Potion

I'M not sure what got into me

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I'M not sure what got into me.

But I woke up from an evening nap (right after my class ended at 5, I zonked the fuck out back at the house) with an idea that I couldn't stop thinking about. It was in my dream that seemed to have only lasted so long before I woke up and it was nearly 9 o'clock pm. I got up and splashed cold water on my face to wake myself up and then looked in the mirror.

"Am I really doing this?"

"Are you really talking to yourself?" Matteo asked.

I jumped because he hadn't been there a second ago, but he was now sitting on the end of my bed watching me.

"Do you not knock?" I asked.

Matteo shrugged. "There's no need to knock when we're best friends. Now. Why are you talking to yourself in a mirror like a weirdo?"

I brushed a hand through my hair and shook it out. "I had a dream and now I can't shake it. And now I'm trying to decide if I should try to make that dream a reality."

"And let me guess, oh Theodore... It has to do with the Cunningham girl," Matteo said. He was already smirking. It was nearly impossible to keep things a secret from Matteo.

I walked out of the bathroom and moved to sit next to Matteo on the bed. He smelled like freshly smoked cigarettes and cardamom.

"Yes," I said, "and all I need you to do is give me my answer. Yes or no. Do I make another move at 9 pm on a random night, or do I just give up?"

I knew Ava would say no. I knew she would always say no. But there was still the littlest bit of hope inside of me. There was a tiny bit of optimism inside of me: a flower that could either blossom in perfect weather or crumple and dry up. It wasn't up to me because I wouldn't give up. It was all up to Ava and whether she would continuously (and forever) reject my efforts, or if she would give in little by little, let me in a bit more, and learn to appreciate my attempts to get her to like me.

"Do it," Matteo said.

"Really?"

"Fuck it!" he exclaimed, standing up. "Throw on your best cologne and make yourself even more dapper than usual. Wait! Hold that thought."

Matteo dashed out of the room and I listened to the sound of him thumping down the steps. His feet were hard and heavy on the flooring and I could hear him as if he were an entire group of elephants stomping around.

When he returned a minute later, he was holding a bottle in his hands. A perfume bottle, or so it seemed. He held it up and showed it to me, putting it on display. I could see the label: Love Potion.

I arched a brow. "Love potion?"

Matteo rolled his eyes and handed it to me. "It's not a real love potion. And don't drink it, Jesus! It's cologne. Spray 1 pump on each wrist, rub together, then one pump on your neck and rub it in. Oh, and then one spray on the hair for good measure."

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