With her hands in her pockets she sighed. How many years had it been since she had been on her own? She had lost track of time just as she had for everything else. She was as hot headed as her fiery red hair, she was as adventurous as her emerald green eyes, and she was as all over the place just as her freckles were over her body and face. She was the fire that could either help or burn those around her.
While she hadn’t been dancing, she had attracted the attention of the people around her. She could care less about what they thought of her not dancing, but there was no one interesting enough to dance with or for. Didn’t help that all her friends had already left the party with their date for the night. Walking to the bathroom, she stopped in front of a large mirror, surprised to see something other than her reflection. There was someone else on the other side of it.
He kept his hands behind his back, a sigh empting his parted lips. He knew exactly how long he had been on his own; a total of four years and two months. Nothing was out of place nor forgotten, he needed to remember it all to keep sane. He was level headed as his dark brown hair that had been cut just above his eyebrows but was curly, as simple as his slanted brown eyes, and as empty as his blemish free face. He was the very ice that froze the people around him.
This party had been thrown by him to welcome his business partners to his country Korea. It wasn’t something that he wanted to do per say, but it was what his mother had wanted for him. He was just following in his now dead father’s footsteps, taking over the family business just as he would have wanted for his son. His son, however, had a different passion but would never rebel against his family unless necessary. Walking out of the room he made his way to his office, pretending that he was going to get something out of there.
In all honesty he wanted to get out of there and into a space where he hadn’t had to be so uptight. Walking into the office further he looked into the mirror, expecting to see himself but only to see the red haired girl staring right back at him.
The two watched each other from the their sides of the mirror, each with a different scenery behind them. Behind the woman was an empty bathroom wall. Behind the man lay a large, yet almost empty, business office. They looked at each other before looking behind them, observing the differences between the two before turning to one another again.
It was strange, despite not knowing Korean, she understood him.
When she answered him back in Scottish Gaelic, she could see the same surprise that she had before paint his features. The curiousness that glossed over both of their eyes as the reached up to touch the mirror, causing tiny ripples to run through it, almost as if were made of water. This didn’t stop them. He felt the need to move back, and once he had she had pushed forward and into his side of the mirror. She felt frozen, the room was much colder than it had been at her own party.
Looking back into the mirror, she found that she was no longer in her party clothing, but a formal gown that she knew she wasn’t rich enough to afford on her own. He tapped her shoulder and offered her a smile, his dimples showing through. Looking down she realized that he had his arm out for her to take, and being unsure of what else to do she took it.
“긴장. 다 괜찮을 것입니다.”
Relax. Everything’s okay.
How could she relax in such a setting? She felt like an outsider, yet he treated her as if she belonged there most of all. She followed his lead, daring not to step out of line. Everything was still freezing cold, she missed the warmth of her party. He led her back to the party and danced slowly with her to the soft sounds of the music.
It felt like there was no one other than them in the room, until other people came up to investigate the new person whom they had never seen before. After greeting a few people she lead him back to the mirror, wanting to show him her own lifestyle.
“Mo Cuir a-nis!”
My turn now!
He blinked, but once more a small smile had painted his face. He was willing to give her world a try like she had done his. The wide smile on her face made him want to follow her to the ends of the Earth. She walked through the glass with ease, the ripples surrounding her as she did so. Feeling panicked, he quickly followed after her, diving deep into the world that was hers.
The loud music that he couldn’t hear through the glass hit him full force, the vibrations of the bass thundering through his chest. Having the need to see if he changed too, he turned to look at himself. His suit disappeared only to be replaced in slightly tattered clothing that hugged him loosely. He wasn’t sure how he had gotten these kinds of clothing, his mother would never allow him to wear such a thing, but he was in awe of it all.
“이것은 당신이 어떻게 느 꼈는 지?”
Is this how you felt?
It was odd to be in a place that he had never known before, he wasn’t even sure if he was still in Korea. When she grabbed his hand to lead him out of the bathroom to the dance floor, he felt the heat of the room. It hadn’t even been a second before he started to sweat a little, but as she started dancing he couldn’t stop his body from joining her. He had not the slightest idea of what he was doing, not like she did, but that didn’t stop him from keeping up with her. Moments passed before he was burning, but she seemed perfectly fine.
It was hard to breath in the heat, and the smell of the people around him was nauseating. Gently, he took her hand and lead her back to the mirror where he stepped back into his office, placing his hands against the mirror where she could put hers. She did, only then did she feel the heat of herself while he felt his coldness.
“Tha mi ag iarraidh a bhith air a losgadh le thu…”
I want to be burning with you…
“당신과 함께 고정 하 고 싶어요…”
I want to be frozen with you…
It was then that they both realized that they had to make compromise in order for the two of them to learn to handle the temperature of the other.
“나와 함께 미지근한 수…”
“Be bhlàth còmhla rium….”
Be lukewarm with me…
When they both spoke the mirror began to ripple again, but this time it was more violent. The two teenagers didn’t feel threatened, instead, they kept their eyes on the other with smiles painting their features. The worlds behind them began to glow a blinding white, the people in the other rooms were seemingly clueless to the things happening in the other rooms. No screams or shouts of panic at the sudden light, they all just simply faded away, or was it the two who faded away? The glass shattered as the world around them began to shift and turn.
Still, they did not panic, instead they entangled their fingers and closed their eyes as they placed their foreheads together. Wind whisked around them, the smell of Earth and lush plant life brushed against their nose. The sound of birds and waterfalls caressed their ears, and the feeling of release wrapped around them like a blanket. Finally opening their eyes, they looked amongst themselves to find themselves in the mountains. Looking back at each other they no longer felt the surprise of seeing them dressed differently.
They dressed in all white clothing that was neither fit for a formal party, nor a wild party.
“My name is Iona.”
For some reason, here they spoke English, but all in all, they didn’t mind. The could speak a similar language now.
“Oh Hyeon Hwa”
They smiled at each other once again and she took his hand in hers.
“We’re no longer fire and ice, huh?”
“No, I suppose not. I believe we’re lukewarm now.”
Gently cupping her face with his free hand he pulled her towards him, giving her a soft kiss to which she happily kissed back. Wrapping her arms around his neck, he gently held her waist. Once they pulled away for air, Iona gave him a grin.
“Let’s be lukewarm for a little longer, then.”