Thanks to fanfiction, I had a very clear idea of love by the early age of 11. I wholeheartedly believed that my soulmate was nearby, possibly in my class and spent a majority of time trying to seduce said soulmate.
My soulmate would have a heightened awareness of my presence and find my irresistible, due to the way I smell, laugh, and possibly breathe. Even the particular way my clothes wrinkle. And my clothes wrinkled beautifully.
Sometimes, I would sit down with someone and talk to him. It didn’t matter what I said, I was sure that by the end of our encounter, he would be smitten with me.
Occasionally I’d throw in a lip-bite here and there as the bazooka of my arsenal.
Now, I didn’t just throw my seductive wiles out there aimlessly. If you thought that, shame on you; you should’ve known better, seeing how well-prepared I was up till now. I had a couple of targets chosen carefully to meet the criteria of a real man, according to the Hermione/Draco fanfictions I preferred: aloof, emotionally stunted, and generally loathed me.
There were many reasons for the hate requirement. First, it would make for the best kind of love story, one filled with angst, emotional rollercoasters and the hard, rough grip of
a fifth grader’s definition of passion. Second, I was sure that he hated me only for appearances and the fact that he hasn’t gotten to know me yet.
But until he realized I was his soulmate, I figured we’d fight with each other and be unnecessarily snarky. I went through all three years of junior high as a hyper-agressive WonderWoman without her sense of justice. I was proud when I gave one of my potential love matches a 3-inch scar on his shin from where I kicked him.
In junior high, I also put my hair up every day to invest in my big reveal. I was trying to make everyone forget what my beautiful self looked like with my hair down. And then, at some big moment some years later–preferably at a big dance with a double staircase entrance, wearing a yellow dress and holding the hands to a giant animal-like prince–they would see me with my hair down and then I’d have a hard time getting the guys off me.
Strangely, after all this trouble, I never met my soulmate! I became quite frantic–if I wasn’t able to find someone while I was 11, how was I supposed to meet anyone later on? I’m getting behind on the game! Some people in my fifth grade class already had steady girlfriends and boyfriends!
My day finally came one eventful day in 7th grade.
The big reveal.
It was everything a girl could dream of.
A few boys ganged up around my desk during passing period. Somehow, I knew this was it. My heart started pounding in my ears. This was my moment! But which one would it be? At this point, I’d be willing to take any of them.
“Why is your hair always up?”
Shyly, I shrugged, blushing demurely like a fanfiction heroine. The key here was to be alluring yet mysterious–this makes them want to know more about me and soon they would be caught in my web.
He reached over and took off the elastic on my ponytail. I acted horrified, throwing my hand up to catch my hair before it cascaded wonderfully down my shoulders, blinding them with my beauty. They needed to work for it a little more.
“Come on, let me see,” he insisted.
Well, what’s a girl supposed to do? Deny her soulmate? That’s ridiculous.
I took a deep breath, closed my eyes momentarily before releasing my hold on my hair.
A long pause. I heard Cinderella birds chirping, marriage bells, and a crowd.
The shrill sound of a bell screeched in my ears. Passing period had ended and they walked back to their seats.