"I still can't believe that Susie really dumped me for that jock." moaned Lee. "After all the fun and good times we had together, then ,right out of no where for no reason at all, she just tells me she doesn't want to go out with me or even see me anymore, and poof she's outta my life."
"Chill, Lee." said his best friend Randy. "Take it easy, you'll get over it. Trust me on this, bud, I know."
"Yeah, sure." replied Lee. "I remember watching you wander around here like some little lost puppy for couple of weeks after Amy dumped you. You were a real basket case for a while."
"And now I'm fine, more or less. And even though, I'm not sure I'm ready to jump into that old dating saddle again, I do know I have to get back up on that horse and risk getting thrown off again soon, or I might never risk the ride again. You know something, Lee. Its really too bad that I can't find a girl more like you. You know, one who's really easy to talk to and really interested in everything I say and willing to be my best friend for life."
"That's not too likely." Lee smiled. "Say Randy, if you'd like, I'll put on a dress so you can take me to dinner tonight. I really could use a free meal."
"I don't think so, bud. I'm not _that_ hard up." said Randy encouraged at seeing his friend smile for the first time in days. "I glad you're starting to feel better. Are you gonna be alright while I'm in class?"
"I'll be fine, Randy."
"You sure, now. I can always skip class." replied Randy in a worried tone. "I'm your friend. You know I'd do anything to help you with your problem."
"Yeah, I know, Randy. And I really appreciate it. But I'll be fine. Really." Lee smiled again. "Just go to class."
"Okay. But if you have any problems, have them page me and I'll get here as quick as I can."
"Yes, _mother_." he joked.
Randy smiled. Maybe his friend would be alright after all. Getting dumped by one girl, even one as pretty and popular as Susie, wasn't the end of the world. He'll get over her in time, he thought.
But if he was heading off for class, he'd better shake a leg. He certainly didn't want to late.
After Randy left for class, Lee decided to go out and wander around the campus. There were many interesting buildings and other things to see, but he'd never had the time to explore before.
Also, there was that unusual magic shop in the mall across the street. He'd heard lots of stories about strange things happening to the people who went there and almost as many stories about the old man who ran the shop, but Lee found most of them just to weird and farfetched to believe.
Lee smiled as he remembered the tale he'd heard concerning the Sigma Beta Beta sorority. If you believed what circulated through the rumor mill, then Sigma Beta Beta owed its very existence to the old man. Now that was downright really silly and totally unbelievable. Just what could one old man possibly have done to justify the spread of that kind of rumor with the sorority housing the hottest babes on campus.
Deep in thought and not paying attention to how long or where he wandered, Lee found himself in the mall, standing outside that odd magic shop. Determined to find out whatever truth he could about all the impossible stories, he went inside.
The little bell above the door tinkled as he entered. The old man behind the counter looked up. Was he actually wearing a bath robe?
"Hello, Lee." he said. "Welcome to Spells 'R Us."
"Do I know you?" asked Lee puzzled.
"No, we've never met, Lee." replied the old man. "But I can't begin to tell you how refreshing it is not to hear those famous words 'How'd you know my name?' uttered. I want to thank you for your originality. And before you ask and spoil the mood, I know because I just do. You see, I'm a wizard."
"Right." came Lee's skeptic reply.
"Really. And to prove it, I have a gift for you." The old man reached down and picked up a small pendant attached to a gold chain from the counter. He held it out to Lee. "This pendant will grant you one wish, Lee. Anything you want. Absolutely anything at all. All you have to do is hold it or, even better, wear it, say 'I wish', and then make your wish. The pendant will grant your wish by making whatever it was you wished for be as if it had always been the way you wished it to be. After it has granted your wish, the pendant will become your personal lucky charm. Nothing more, nothing less."
"And just how much is this wish-granting lucky charm going to cost me?" asked a still very skeptical Lee.
"It's a gift, Lee. Gifts are free." replied the old man. "It's just something I know you need right now." Once again he extended the pendant toward Lee. "Take it. I want you to have it. And if you have any difficulties with it, then you can always bring it back. What could be simpler."
"I guess." Lee took the pendant from the old man. He looked at it briefly, then put the golden chain over his head. "Thanks."
"Don't mention it." replied the old man. "Just use your wish wisely, Lee."
"Don't worry, I will."
"That's good. And a couple of other things before you leave, Lee. Don't believe all the stories you've heard about my shop and me. But don't disbelieve them either.
"Now I really hate to seem the ungracious host, Lee, but I'm expecting several wizards and witches to show up anytime now. They're in town for their annual convention this weekend. And believe me, it will be in your best interests if you aren't here when they arrive. Unlike me, most of them can be extremely unpredictable in their interactions with mere mortals like yourself."
"Yeah. Sure. Whatever you say." replied Lee slightly annoyed at the abrupt brush off. He turned quickly toward the door to leave.
"It's nothing personal, Lee." said the old man. "You've just caught me on a bad day. Come back anytime."
Sure, I will, thought Lee, as he left the store without saying another word.
As he left the shop, he saw Susie and that basketball player she'd dumped him for standing in line at movie theater. At that moment, jealously and anger almost overwhelmed him. Unwilling to make a scene that would make him look foolish in Susie's eyes, Lee had quietly snuck away. But he vowed he'd come back. And he'd bring a girl with him. One that would make Susie jealous enough to dump the jock and return to him.
But where could he find a girl like that?
Lee knew that none of the girls he knew would help him make Susie jealous. Most of them thought he was better off without her. Too bad, Randy's a guy, he thought. He knew he could always count on his best friend's help, but there was no way that Randy could dress up in girls' clothes and come even remotely close to appearing as a passable girl.
But wait just a minute.
The gears of Lee's mind ground silently as he walked home. What was it Randy had said earlier? Something about finding a girl like me to solve his problems. And didn't he also say he'd do anything to help me with my problem?
"You know, I wonder, if instead of me trying to seek out a girl like Randy," he mumbled, "I could just use my wish to make Randy into that girl. Or maybe, I could word my wish so that he'd be my girlfriend. Then, I wouldn't need Susie. And its not as if he'd ever notice anything different. From what the old man said about how the pendant fulfills wishes, Randy would be a girl because he would have always been girl. Damn, this could really work."
By the time, Lee arrived back at their dorm, he'd already decided on how he'd word his wish. Randy, who had returned from his class about an hour earlier, greeted his friend as he entered.
"You okay, Lee?" he asked.
"Just fine, Randy." replied Lee. He turned away from Randy and began walking toward the kitchen. Barely audible, he whispered "I wish my friend Randy were my girlfriend Randi."
Lee felt his pendant begin to heat against his chest. And for several moments his body tingled. He turned back to Randy, who appeared to be saying something he couldn't hear.
As Lee watched intently, the body of his best friend began to flow and reshape. Lee thought it was very strange that Randy, who was intently staring at him, did not recognize or seem to notice the changes happening to his body.
Randy's masculinity quickly faded as he shrank about four inches, his hips widened, and his waist narrowed. Lee was amazed as he watched Randy's hair turn light brown and flow quickly down to his newly narrowed waist. And Lee was just as amazed as he watched his breasts swell to a size that would make everyone in Sigma Beta Beta green with envy. There could be no confusing Randy with a boy now.
Suddenly Lee was confused. How could anyone think of Randi as a boy. Randi was a girl. Anyone who could confuse Randi with a boy either needed glasses, or a lot of psychological help.
But Lee's confusion and troubled thoughts quickly passed. They were no longer real. Randi was simply who she was, as well as who she had always been.
"You okay, Lee?" she asked.
"Just fine, Randi."
Randi noticed the pendant on the gold chain hanging around Lee's neck. "Lee?" she asked. "Where did you get that pendant you're wearing?"
"I got it today at Spells 'R Us. You know, that weird magic shop in the mall. The old man told me it was a good luck charm."
"Wow. That's just what the old man told me." said Randi. "I went down there after class today and the old man gave me one just like it. He said something about it being something I needed. But wasn't it supposed to do something else?"
"Now that you mention it." replied Lee. "I think it was. But I really can't remember what."
"Then I guess it couldn't have been very important."
"No. I guess not." agreed Lee.
"Why don't we get all dressed up and go the town, tonight." said Randi suddenly. "I think, it'll do us both a lot of good to get out of here for a while and have some fun. Maybe we'll get lucky. After all we both have our pendants."
"That sounds like a truly excellent idea to me." replied Lee. "There are a couple of people out there tonight, that I'd just love to run into."
"Oooh. Now that sounds really wicked." replied Randi as a devilish grin spread across her face. "And you know you can count on your best friend anytime, Leeanne."
And in the mall, in an unnoticed, by most patrons, little shop crowded with wizards and witches and other things that went bump in the night, an old man raised his glass.
"To friends." he toasted simply. "May they always be."