Dive

3000 Worlds to JoyRene

Dive

World: #22

** "Umpah Umpah— learn to swim by getting drown first." **

 

Sooyoung is always been the ocean lover. She loves how the waters imitate the sky colours and the way it glistens as if showing its appreciation whenever the sun shares its magnificent rays. 

It's so free.

Free...

Freedom... 

She also wants that freedom just like how the water would occupy any spaces. She is not a literal prisoner, a caged child by her parents, nor someone who has some kind of health problem. She just feel envious to the people who could actually enjoy the waters as if it was part of their body. And Sooyoung could only daydream about riding the waves, swimming along with the water current, and diving deeply into the waters watching the world underneath.

Sooyoung's family is known for holding the title of great swimmers. Just like with her relatives and other family members, she inherited the love for the ocean, for waters. But unlike them, Sooyoung is the only member of the family who could not and will never achieved the same dream just like the rest of Park's. Not that she could not swim well, the genes from her ancestors just did not pass to her, thus, she does not have the ability to swim. It is kind of irony since her name is 'Sooyoung,' but she cannot swim.

Yes. She already took many lessons that she could actually memorized all what was taught and what was written. The only problem was her body. She just really cannot swim. She cannot float at all. She is bound to stay in the bench to cheer for her siblings whenever there is a swimming competition and overwatching her younger nephews whenever there is a family outing. Even a baby could swim. 

to be me...

Her built sand castle was taken away by the waves. Sooyoung sighs watching it be eaten by waters. Her mind is already occupied to feel dismay.

She stands up ignoring the loud cheers and laughs of the people playing in the body of water. She walks towards her parents' direction as she asks permission to stroll around the island.

"Don't get drown."

Sooyoung laughs at the statement told by her parents. Does her parents think that she is going to swim? She already gave up swimming since a long time ago. There is no need to remind her.

The more she walks away, the more she is finding peace. The direction she is being lead to become quieter as there is no people around anymore. The wind becomes prominent and the natural scent of the water becomes stronger too. She likes it.

Being swayed by the mood the scenery gives her, she hums a song, from a happy melody to a sad melody. Then she stops upon meeting her eyes with someone else. They stare at each other for a moment until Sooyoung finds herself bowing for an apology, embarassed.

Sooyoung looks up when she hears the soft voice of the stranger telling her that it is okay. She raises her head up and her eyes matches the stranger's. That's when she realizes that there is someone, a person, that could actually par with the ocean's perfect appearance. 

Sooyoung unconsciously approaches the stranger, but pauses mid track, the stranger stops her with a panic in her voice. Sooyoung looks at her in confusion and the stranger answers,

"Just don't come near me and go to your human companions."

Maybe strangers were called strangers because they are really strange.

Sooyoung nods, respecting the stranger's wish, but then her eyes caught drops of blood going towards the direction of the stranger hiding behind a big rock.

Sooyoung just cannot ignore it.

She approaches the stranger despite the warning tone. She ignores the stranger's plea as she finally reaches the location.  Yes. She really cannot ignore the stranger. And yes, she was wrong about using the term 'person' to the stranger because the moment she sets her eyes down to the stranger, her despair about swimming and her unrequited love for the ocean immediately replaces by surprise, a little bit fear, and amazement.

A head and an upper body of a female human and a tail of a fish— Sooyoung only read it during her childhood days in her Myths and Legends encyclopedia. She could not believe her eyes that mermaids are actually existing in the present days.

Her eyes widening and she cannot move. Her, witnessing a real mermaid before her eyes is just so hard to take for a seventeen years old teenager like her. Sooyoung tends to daydream, so she is confused whether it is real or not, but the splashes of water that landed on her bare skin made her realize that it is real.

Seeing the fear in the mermaid's face, Sooyoung sits down and does not do anything. She turns her body in front of the sparkling water as she waits for the mermaid's words, until finally the mermaid speaks,

"What are you aiming for?"

Sooyoung takes a deep breath and replies, "I want to help. And I could only help you if you let me." 

There is silence. Sooyoung just feel a soft touch on her arm. She looks to her side and sees the genuine expression of the mermaid. Sooyoung cannot help, but to admire in silence. Mermaids are really beautiful sea creatures.

"Help me." the mermaid says.

Sooyoung smiles and nods.

She scans the mermaid's body and she almost coughed in awkwardness seeing the stark upper body of the stranger. She shrugs away the thought and focuses her attention to the problem.

The mermaid has few cuts probably from some broken bottles since Sooyoung could actually some fragments of glasses. Her eyes set upon the mermaid's fin entraps in-between rocks. Probably, the real reason why the mermaid is stuck there.

With full strength, Sooyoung lifts the other rocks to free the mermaid's fin. Sooyoung expected the mermaid to run away, but it stays, still watching Sooyoung. 

Sooyoung grabs the handkerchief from her pocket. She soaks it with the water and crouches down beside the mermaid. She starts cleaning the mermaid's wounds. She pauses noticing how the mermaid flinches every time the handkerchief keeps in contact with the injury.

"Please, tell me if it hurts and I would stop." she says.

"It hurts, but I can manage."

Sooyoung continues in treating the mermaid until everything is finally okay. 

"Thank you." the mermaid says. 

"You're welcome." Sooyoung replies and waits for the mermaid to swim into the sea, but the mermaid just stares at her. She feels uncomfortable suddenly and she does not know if she should leave or not, so she decides to speak. "I uhh, you're not going home?"

The mermaid smiles and Sooyoung has to stop herself from smiling like an idiot. Now that she has a better view of the mermaid's appearance, she could actually confirm that mermaids have alluring appearance.

The mermaid has a long dark coloured wavy hair just like the waves of the sea covering some parts of her exposed torso, dark coloured eyes as deep as the ocean, pinkish red lips that looks livelier than human's lips painted with lipstick, fair and pearl-like skin that glows under the sunlight, and a golden tail that makes the overall appearance more magnificent.

"You're unusual." the mermaid says.

Sooyoung smiles shyly.

"You're not afraid of me?" the mermaid asks.

Sooyoung shakes her head. "How about you? You're not afraid of me?"

"Not anymore," the mermaid says. "What is your name?"

"My name is Sooyoung, which could mean 'swimming,' but I cannot swim." Sooyoung replies chuckling a bit to lighten up the mood. She is still in the process of realization about her situation, but her body already adjusted and feels natural about the existence of a mermaid, and her having a normal conversation with a supernatural sea creature.

"Do you want to swim?" the mermaid asks.

Sooyoung looks at the tantalizing body of water as she nods. "I've always wanted to swim, but I couldn't. I wasn't able to inherit my family's ability in swimming. I could only admire the ocean. Maybe I'll be just waiting for the day I could embrace the ocean for the first and last time." She turns her attention back to the mermaid. "How about you? What is your name?"

"I don't have a name." the mermaid replies who diverts her attention to the sea waves.

Then why did she ask my name?

"Species like us do not have a name like humans do."

Sooyoung nods. She thinks for a reply, but gets an idea instead. "Can I give you a name?" She already got a name in mind.

"You don't have to do that. After all, no one will call me that name." the mermaid replies still not looking at Sooyoung.

"It's not 'no one'. It's 'only one' and it would be me." Sooyoung says gaining back the attention of the mermaid.

"What would you name me?"

"The name 'Joohyun' suits you."

"Joohyun..." The mermaid repeats. "How will you able to call me this name if we're not going to see each other?"

"I don't have to see you just to call your name." Sooyoung replies.

The mermaid, named by Sooyoung as Joohyun, smiles. "Sooyoung," she calls. "Do you really want to swim?" she asks.

"Yes. I really want to dive without worry that I might not be able to reach the surface. Must be good to be a mermaid." She chuckles. "I wonder what does your world looks like."

"It's better for you to experience it yourself than relying to my description if I answer you. So, let me ask again, do you really want to swim?" Joohyun asks.

Sooyoung does not know what's going inside the mermaid's mind, but she still nods in response, shrugging the confusion and focusing in feeding her curiosity. 

Well...

She is being fed enough as the mermaid kisses her on the lips. The velvet lips of the mermaid taste sweet rather than being salty. The kiss is soft and light, but it magnetises Sooyoung. Closing her eyes, responding to her first kiss mermaid, she slowly feels the lack of oxygen. Of course, she is drowning from the good kiss, until—

She is literally drowning.

Her hand reaches to the surface trying to hold for something. She curses herself. The tears does not help at all as it adds to the volume of the water. 

She's dying...

She realizes that she is really dying. She remembers her past, her family, her friends, then her dream.

Maybe it's time to achieve her final wish.

She closes her eyes again and just let herself gets sink deeper and deeper while letting the water engulfs her completely.

Ahh this is what it feels like...

She smiles. 

For the first and last time...

It is only the first time and there is still next time.

She gasps for air, coughing simultaneously, as she hears familiar voices in worrying tone. She opens her eyes and sees her family and relatives looking relieved.

"W-What happened?"

"I told you not to get drown!" her mother scolds her.

"But I didn't—"

She could not remember anything. Her memory ended when she was singing. That's all, but she feels like something is missing.

***

After 7 years

 

"Unnie, stop swimming already and get your here! Ya hydrophilic stupid sister!" Yerim's yell echoes inside the pool area. Sooyoung, her older sister, is still swimming despite finishing laps that can be considered of that of an advance olympic swimmer.

Sooyoung, after the mysterious accident that happened to her, she became a great swimmer at no time. Her family was surprised and at the same felt happy because finally, the second eldest would not be going to feel out of place anymore. Nonetheless, Sooyoung chose not to become a swimmer athlete just like her siblings. This disappointed her parents, but they respected her decision since Sooyoung just loves the water and does not plan in turning this love into competition. She finally achieved the freedom in going with the flow of the water and being pressured is not her choice.

"Our dear sister will never get into a relationship because of her love for waters." Seulgi says, approaching their maknae.

"Unnie, tell her to get out of the pool. She's not listening to me."

Seulgi shakes her head smiling as she yells at Sooyoung. The latter immediately stops and Yerim gets pissed more.

"Is it time already?" Sooyoung finally gets out of the water. 

Yerim throws her the towel directly on her face making her groans.

"Hurry up Sooyoungphilic! The water won't be able to feed us." Yerim says crossing her arms.

"But it can satisfy us Submyerim." Sooyoung says grinning as the maknae glares from the nickname. She then looks at their eldest who is watching at them in amusement. "Sailgi-unnie, are we attending the Like Water event?"

Seulgi's face immediately puckers. "How many times do I have to tell you not to call me that?" She sighs. "And yes, we're going to attend my girlfriend's event."

"Can I bring my girlfriend too?" Yerim asks.

"Of course, you can. The more the merrier." Seulgi replies.

"Can I bring my foods limited for me only?" Sooyoung asks.

Yerim and Seulgi looks at each other and then starts walking away.

"Of course, Sooyoung. You can bring your food friends. You can date them, talk to them, and then eat them deliciously." Sooyoung replies to herself in sarcasm as she follows her siblings while complaining about being ignored.

 

***

 

Sooyoung cannot hide her smile upon settling her bare feet on the sand. It has been a long time since she went to the island. She was prohibited to go ever since the accident happened to her.

"Sooyoung, don't get drown!" Seulgi shouts at her.

"I won't, unnie!" she shouts back and begins in running against the natural cold wind of the island. 

She missed everything about the island. The sun, the sky, the sea, the rocks, and everything. It has been seven years and she has almost forgotten the view before, but seeing the blue waters still copying the colour of the sky and the way it glows like new again made Sooyoung conclude that nothing changed just like her love for the ocean.

There are many people around the area considering the big event yet the only view she focuses into is the sea view. 

Fortunately, Seungwan, her eldest sister's girlfriend was able to bring her team's Like Water project to the island. And since Seungwan and her team belongs to the SSYM company, Sooyoung has the valid reason to break the stigma created only for her.

Sooyoung starts building a sand castle and Yerim joins her as Saeron takes a picture of them, specifically Yerim.

Both of them competes in building the biggest sand castle they could make while bickering with each other and ruining each other's so-called masterpiece. As they gets serious and almost finished their works, a large wave destroyed their sand castles and no one wins.

"Yerim, tell Seulgi-unnie that I would be somewhere around this island and I won't be drowned."

"Yeah right! Go!"

Her dongsaeng shoves her away and she could only laugh.

"Don't get drown."

Sooyoung remembers her parents' warning. Somehow, it seems fresh to her.  She remembers that she gave up swimming since a long time ago, but unexpected event happened and now she can actually swim.

Maybe drowning is a good thing after all.

The more she walks away, the more she is finding peace. Deja vu... The direction she is being lead to become quieter as there are no people around anymore. The wind becomes prominent and the natural scent of the water becomes stronger too and somehow, there is something in her hippocampus that keeps on tickling her. She just does not know what is it.

Being swayed by the mood the scenery gives her, she hums a song. Deja vu... Then she stops upon meeting her eyes with someone else. They stare at each other for a moment until Sooyoung finds herself bowing for an apology, embarassed.

Deja vu...

Sooyoung looks up when she hears the soft voice of the stranger telling her that it is okay. She raises her head up and her eyes matches the stranger's. She seems familiar... That's when she feels her heart beat pumps hard. Her breathing hitches and she suddenly feels a slight pain in her head.

"Are you okay?" the stranger asks.

The question serves as a trigger for the weird reaction of her body to turn back to normal. Sooyoung nods and faces the stranger. Still, she could not remove the feeling that she knows the stranger standing in front of her.

"If you're feeling better, I shall excuse myself then."

Sooyoung just nods and watches the stranger walks away, but something within her controls her to stop the stranger from going away.

"Wait!" she says.

The stranger stops on her tracks and turns around.

"I'm Park Sooyoung. What is your name?"

The stranger smiles. "Joohyun, My name's Bae Joohyun."

 

***

 

Sooyoung just stays in their cottage after her meeting with the stranger named Joohyun. Her mind drifts for that certain identity and her subconscious clings to that certain name. She can feel connection despite their first meeting and the way the stranger smiled at her reminded her of someone she could not fully grasp.

"Unnie, our eldest wants you to meet the new employees and new members of Wan-unnie's team." Yerim tells her.

"New employees? Why am I not aware of this?" Sooyoung asks as she gets up from the bed.

Yerim rolls her eyes and crosses her arms. "You are aware. You just forgot because you are too in love with the waters and you literally approved them immediately without even looking at their profiles." 

Sooyoung grins apologetically and shows a peace sign. 

Both of them walks towards the location of the team where the event is going on and where there are loud music and cheers of the participants of the project.

"There you are, Sooyoungie." Seulgi says.

Sooyoung just nods with lack of interest showing on her face, but upon facing one of the new employees, she automatically becomes attentive.

"Joohyun?"

Some eyes settle to Sooyoung and some settle to Joohyun.

"You know each other already?" Seulgi asks.

Sooyoung nods. "I just met her a while back." she says, but deep down she feels like answering that she met her a long time ago.

"Then you should know that she's Wannie's sister." 

"What?" Sooyoung's eyes widen as she feels a nudge on her side. 

"That's what you get for only focusing to waters." Yerim tells her.

"And this is Jisoo, Jennie, Chaeyoung, and Lalisa. They are from overseas. Them, alongside with Joohyun are the backbone of the project. They did a lot."

Sooyoung welcomes them one by one. They talk with each other for a moment until Joohyun excuses herself. Sooyoung who is intrigued to Joohyun aslo excuses herself and follows the girl.

Sooyoung is aware that Joohyun is really beautiful, but she doesn't care about someone's appearance. No. It's not the appearance that makes her so curious about the girl. 

"I didn't know that you are Wan's sister." she says.

"We're not biologically related. Maybe that's explain the reason why only few people know about our relationship."  she replies.

Joohyun sits on the sand directly facing the sea. Sooyoung follows who sits a meter distance from her. They are far from the crowd and all they can hear is the waves crashing the big rocks. 

Deja vu...

Sooyoung could only stare at Joohyun. Her hair flowing like the waves, her eyes with the tiny rays  of sun allows Sooyoung to see its true colour hiding behind a dark pigment, her pinkish red lips, Sooyoung wonders if it is due to lipstick, her bare skin that shines like a pearl, and... Sooyoung subconsciously looks down to see Joohyun's lower body. There's no tail...

Tail...?

Sooyoung mentally slaps herself. Why would she think of tail? Something is really wrong with her.

"Is there something on my face?"

Sooyoung snaps back to reality as she shakes her head in hurry, blushing from being caught in the act, and telling her apology.

"You're cute." Joohyun comments chuckling.

"And you're beautiful." Sooyoung replies in honesty. She is always honest and confident, but the sudden change of Joohyun's expression made her feel anxious. "I meant it as a compliment, really, yeah and uhh... Sorry..."

"Why are you sorry?" Joohyun asks smiling. Sooyoung does not reply as Joohyun stands up and sits closer to Sooyoung. "I heard you got into an accident here." she ask changing the topic.

Sooyoung nods, not looking at Joohyun, as she reminisces her teenage memory. "My family found me drowning. It was a weird experience because I cannot remember what really happened and suddenly I became a good swimmer. You know that my name is Sooyoung, but back then I cannot swim."

"What did you feel when you can finally swim?"

"I was so happy. Until now, I am happy. It's funny, but I'm thankful for getting drown because I achieved two dreams of mine." Sooyoung replies.

"And what are those two?" Joohyun asks.

"The first one is to sink in deep waters. It means dying, but glad I'm still alive though." She chuckles. "The second one is to be able to swim." 

"You really love the waters, don't you?" Joohyun asks.

Sooyoung smiles. "I do. I tend to overthink a lot and the waters make me feel serene. I like how it touches my skin, suffocates my torso like I'm being enveloped in a tight hug, and the way it removes my worries." She looks at Joohyun. "How about you? Do you love the waters?"

Joohyun stares at her for moment before replying. "I did before." 

Sooyoung's smile slowly disappears. 

"The ocean was so jealous of me that it stole an important person away from me."

 

***

 

"Sailgi-unnie,"

Seulgi sighs as she faces Sooyoung. "Stop calling me that. And why are you still up? You need a lot of energy since we're going to swim for tomorrow's event."

"Is Wannie here?" Sooyoung asks.

Seulgi raises an eyebrow. "Why are you looking for her? She's already sleeping."

Sooyoung nods and goes to sit on the edge of Seulgi's bed. 

"What is it that you want to tell me?" Seulgi asks. 

"Do you know Joohyun all along?" Sooyoung asks.

"No. Seungwan just told me about her two years after we became official, then the girl with her friends applied to our company a year ago." Seulgi answers as she sits beside her sister. 

"Why didn't you introduce them earlier to me?" 

Seulgi rolls her eyes. "I did. You're just too obsessed with the pool, ocean, all the waters that you did not care about them in the slightest bit." 

Sooyoung remains silent feeling regret.

"Why are you asking me this anyway? Did Joohyun replaces the waters already?"

Sooyoung hisses as she lets her back hits the soft surface of the bed. "I just feel like I already met her before. I feel so familiar with her. I mean, she makes me feel differently like— how do I say this?"

"You like her."

"Yes. I like her— wait, NO! I don't like her. I mean I like her as a person, but not the like that I like her like you like Seungwan. She just triggered my curiosity. That's all." 

Seulgi grins from ear to ear, which made Sooyoung glares at her. 

"I can't believe you're finally becoming normal human being. My dongsaeng has a crush now." Seulgi teases making Sooyoung groans.

"I don't. I told you that I—"

"What's going on here?" Yerim interrupts.  She jumps on the bed, just beside Sooyoung.

"Our sister has a crush on Joohyun."

Yerim laughs. "I know."

Sooyoung getting teased by her siblings more decides to leave. It is still not that late. Seulgi is just so caring for them, more caring than their parents. 

Sooyoung decides to stroll the island. There are still many people around and some are conversing around a bonefire, some are playing guitar, the others are dancing, some just lying on the sand, and some are dating.

She walks to the direction where she usually goes. The more she goes further, the more silence takes over. Again, while humming a melody, she stops upon seeing a person sitting on a big rock. With the moon's light, Sooyoung sees its beautiful figure and— 

Golden tail...

She suddenly feels head ache. Her little noise makes the figure looks at her direction. 

"W-Wait!"

The figure already disappears.

 

***

 

"Are you nuts?! You know that the sea is more dangerous at night. It's not a swimming pool, Sooyoung!" Seulgi's voice echoes inside the cottage. She is scolding her dongsaeng who just swims throughout the night. If it is not because of Saeron who walks around during the dawn, Sooyoung may have swim until the sunlight comes out.

"I'm okay, unnie. Nothing happened to me and I can still move my limbs like I didn't swim at all." Sooyoung says. 

Seulgi sighs in frustration as Seungwan tries to calm her down. 

"I know that you've been blessed with great endurance, but that is not the point here. I am concern to you as your older sister. The water is bigger than you, Sooyoung. No matter how good you are in swimming, the water can still kill you."

"I'm sorry, unnie." Sooyoung bows in apology.

"As your punishment, you're not allowed to swim for a while." Seulgi says.

"But unnie—"

"What? Unnie what?" Seulgi says in threatening tone.

"How about the event for today?" 

"Yerim and I would be the only one to swim."

"What? That's unfair!"

Seulgi's face darkens more. "You think that's unfair? How about us who worries a lot about you? It's also unfair to us, to me. You know that I've been—" Seulgi sighs. "Nevermind... I will assign someone to monitor you."

"I'm already 25. I can take care of myself. I know how to—"

"Joohyun will going to monitor you."

Sooyoung becomes silent.

 

***

 

Sooyoung just continues to throw small rocks and shells she could pick to the water. She understands that she made a mistake, but she cannot understand why Seulgi is so overprotective of her. She is already in adult age yet she still needs to ask permission to her eldest sister. 

"The waters will gonna get mad at you." a soft voice says.

Sooyoung looks up on her side. Her eyes follow Joohyun who sits beside her.

"You don't have to go around with me, Joohyun. Don't worry, I'm not gonna swim. I'm obedient to Seulgi-unnie. Go and enjoy the event." Sooyoung tells her.

"I'm already enjoying the event." Joohyun says.

"You don't have to lie just to make me feel—"

"The event is you." 

"—better..." Sooyoung looks away hiding her reddening face.

Joohyun chuckles. "You're really cute. Now I know why Seulgi is so strict with you."

Sooyoung clicks her tongue. "She just wants to control me."

"You could say that, but she's just doing that because—"

"Afraid that I'm going to get drown again just like before and she would feel guilty because she feels responsible for me."

"That's not it, Sooyoung." 

"Then what?" Sooyoung turns her head to match Joohyun's eyes.

"She's just afraid that you might lose your life just like how she lost a friend before."

Sooyoung's forehead creases. "What do you mean? Whom did she lose?"

"Seungwan's father, Seulgi's coach before, as well as the person who adopts me." Joohyun answers. "Seulgi is lucky that she didn't lose her interest in waters because as for me, I felt like I lost everything. You know, drowning in water feels better than drowning in your own sadness." Joohyun reaches for Sooyoung's hand. "Do you want Seulgi to hate the waters you love so much?"

Sooyoung shakes her head, unable to speak from the sudden revelation. It is not detailed, but she has now the idea about Joohyun and Seulgi's meeting as well as the idea why Seulgi treats her that way.

"Then don't make her worry too much. If someone gifts you something, we should not overuse it. There's always a consequence if you meet the threshold." Joohyun squeezes her hand before releasing it. Sooyoung, however, grabs her hand and intertwines her fingers with her. Joohyun stares at her in curiosity.

"Your hand is so warm." Sooyoung says.

"Yours is cold." Joohyun replies. 

Sooyoung stands up gently pulling Joohyun to stand up too. 

"Let's go back." Sooyoung says.

"Okay." Joohyun smiles.

 

***

 

"I saw you holding hands with Joohyun-unnie. What's really happening between the two of you?" Yerim asks her unnie.

"Comfort?" 

Yerim snorts and slams herself to Sooyoung's body making the latter groans from the impact.

"Ya, you actually said that you feel connection with her. It's obvious that you like her. Eyes never lie and I'm not blind not to see that you always stare at her when she's around." Yerim says.

"That's because she looks familiar and something about her keeps on bugging me. She makes me curious." Sooyoung replies.

"The answer is so obvious. You really like her, idiot. Your interest with waters are now equal with your interest with her. You're just so ignorant in romance." Yerim responds.

Sooyoung sits up and then put her head on top of their maknae's stomach.

"Who cares about romance when the waters make me feel all sort of things. Also, I have you guys." Sooyoung says.

"Gosh. Are you planning to be single forever? C'mon, ask Joohyun-unnie to date you. After all, I know she's your type."

"She does not like the waters anymore."

"Then make her love it again."

"How?" Sooyoung asks sitting up. She stares at her dongsaeng who stares at her back.

"Gosh, unnie. You're definitely confessing that you actually like her. You're just so dumb."

Sooyoung glares at her.

"If you want her to love the waters again, show her what you see under the sea."

"Are you making fun of me?"

"Lol, I just used rhymed words."

"Tsk."

 

***

 

"Why do you always go here?" Joohyun asks Sooyoung.

Sooyoung who is sitting on the sand hugging her knees looks up. Joohyun is really monitoring her. Not that she hates it. She actually likes Joohyun's company. Despite the cold beauty, she is actually warm inside. Joohyun makes her feel at ease just like the waters.

"It's quiet here and the sound of waters is better than the loud music being played in the event." Sooyoung says. "How about you? I saw you the first time here too. You said that you don't love the waters, but why do you keep on staring at it?"

Joohyun sits beside her. "I'm just hurt because it reminds me of my past."

"You still love the waters?" Sooyoung asks.

Joohyun nods.

Sooyoung smiles, satisfy from the response. "By the way, can you tell me about yourself? Since we are friends now and always stuck with each other, should we talk about ourselves?" Sooyoung suggests. "I've already told you a lot about me. I think it's your turn."

"Just ask me what you want to know, Sooyoung." Joohyun smiles.

"Why is your name 'Bae Joohyun'?" 

Joohyun sighs. "I guess, I should really tell you the beginning."

Joohyun has been in Shon household ever since she was a child. She was discovered upon saving Seungwan from drowning during a certain accident in Seungwan's childhood. Irene was the name that was given by Seungwan to her. Since Seungwan and Irene became closer like actual siblings, Seungwan's parents who were too kind asked her to be a part of the family. She accepted it as she felt the love  from them for the first time. She was said to be abandoned, lived alone, and did not receive any kind of love from her parents.

The great life continued, but a certain accident happened to them. The boat where Seungwan's family was riding into back to the shore was destroyed by a storm and Seungwan's family got separated from one another. That time when Irene was able to go back home, she was greeted by the news that her foster father died. Because of that, she changed her name as it also serves as her redeeming point for her guilt of not having to save her foster father. 

"But why of all names you chose 'Joohyun'? Sooyoung asks.

"Because someone said that the name suit me." Joohyun replies.

"Who?"

"I will tell you next time." Joohyun smiles as she pats Sooyoung's head. The latter just looks away. "Is there anything else you want to ask?"

"Hmm..." Sooyoung pauses to think then she speaks, "Are you in a relationship? I know it's weird for me to ask, but my siblings keep on pushing me to you. They said that I like you."

Joohyun is surprised to hear it, but then she chuckles. "You're unusual. You're honesty is so innocent."

"Well, I just don't want any misunderstanding." Sooyoung replies.

"I'm single," Joohyun says. "but I'm willing to get into a relationship if it is you."

"W-What?!" Sooyoung flusters from the response. 

Joohyun laughs at her. "Kidding,"

"Don't joke like that. You're gonna get me killed with heart attack." Sooyoung sighs in relief, but her face cannot hide the disappointment.

Joohyun moves closer to her. She puts a hand on Sooyoung's neck and pulls her towards her. She plants a kiss on the latter's cheek.

"But I am serious if I say I like you."

 

***

 

The event was finished after five days and with those days, Sooyoung and Joohyun were stuck together because of Seulgi's order. However, thanks to that it became a way for them to deepen their friendship as to make them slowly falling for one another.

Sooyoung and Joohyun spent their time strolling, eating, watching the event, but most of the time conversing with one another to their secret place. They would be sitting on the sand, side by side while staring the waves meet the land, the sun rays making love with the waters and the bright sky witnessing everything.

In just a small time, Sooyoung came to like the feeling of falling. All the past years, she was either sinking into the deep waters because she cannot swim or going deeper into the water because of diving. However, meeting Joohyun, for her it was both. Either of the two, she likes the experience of falling in love and going deeper. She always wondered what was beneath the sea, now she wonders what is waiting for her when she goes deeper in love.

Over all, the Like Water event was successful. However, their way to home did not become successful. An unexpected storm came and blew some transportation away and that includes the sailboat where Sooyoung and the rest were riding.

Seulgi, Yerim and the rest were found and were okay. Only Joohyun and Sooyoung were not found...

 

...yet.

 

***

 

In a small and isolated island, a girl with the tail of a fish tries her best to revive some person under the moonlight.

"Come on, Sooyoung... Breathe..." 

She continues in performing CPR to the other girl lying unconscious on the sand. She continues in doing chest compression and gives rescue breath. 

"Sooyoung, please... Sooyoung, you need to breathe. Please..." 

And for the last time, finally, Sooyoung coughs out the salt water as she opens her eyes. She sees the moon first and then Joohyun. Despite the darkness, the moon's light is already enough for her to know that Joohyun is crying.

"Sooyoung, you're finally breathing..." Joohyun embraces her. "I'm so glad..."

And despite the darkness, the moon's light is already enough for her to know that Joohyun has that golden tail of a fish. That's when her forgotten memories all came back to her. That's also the time when she lost consciousness.

 

***

 

Sooyoung wakes up feeling a warm mass pressed against her body. She opens her eyes and sees Joohyun snuggles to her. 

She can remember everything now and even if Joohyun has a feet at the moment, Sooyoung finally knows the reason about her deep connection with Joohyun as well as the mystery about her ability to swim teasing her for the past seven years. 

She smiles.

What a small world...

She embraces Joohyun back. Her movement made the latter wakes up.

"Sooyoung...?"

"Yes. I'm okay, Joohyun." 

Both of them sits up. They are in a cave where Joohyun brought Sooyoung for a temporary shelter. 

"How about you? Do you feel fine?" Sooyoung asks her.

Joohyun nods.

Sooyoung stands up and walks out of the cave. Bright light accompanied with the scent of the sea greets her and she cannot hide her smile. It is an unusual reaction for someone who almost died.

She runs towards the sea until its water is already  hugging Sooyoung's waist. Sooyoung closes her eyes and then let herself falls backward creating  big splashes. 

"Sooyoung!" Joohyun shouts with a worry in her tone.

Sooyoung automatically rises from the water. She turns around to face Joohyun who is on land.

"Yes?"

"Come back here!" Joohyun tells her with a panic.

"Why?" Sooyoung asks in innocence, oblivious from the impact of her action. "Join me, Joohyun. The water is calming." she also says smiling.

Joohyun does not reply and remains standing on her position. Her face shows fear and thanks to this, Sooyoung finally notices and goes back to land.

"I'm here now. Stop showing that expression." Sooyoung says as she cups Joohyun's face and guide it to look at her. "Smile, okay? You're more beautiful when you smile."

Joohyun stares at her weirdly, but with a hint of concern. "Sooyoung, are you really okay?" Joohyun asks. "Do you recall what happened?"

Sooyoung gently pinches Joohyun's cheeks, still looking happy as she replies. "A storm crashes our boat. We all got separated. You saved everyone. However, you were not able to put me on an emergency boat on time since the rescue team finally came and you cannot have them see you in your mermaid form, so you made a choice to bring me to a small island—"

"W-What did you say?" Joohyun cuts with her eyes widening from a word used by Sooyoung. "What do you mean 'mermaid'?"

Sooyoung transfers her hands to Joohyun's head, pulling her closer towards her body, softly embracing her. "Glad you are using the name I gave you." 

Joohyun stiffens. 

"And thank you for granting my wish to swim as well as for saving everyone including myself. Thank you, Joohyun." 

Joohyun gradually returns the embrace, resting her head to Sooyoung's chest as she hears a loud heart beats accompanied with calm breathing. Slowly, her straight line lips curve.

"You're welcome." 

 

***

 

Sooyoung and Joohyun was still on the island. They could swim right away towards the shore near a town, but they chose to stay for a while, waiting for a rescue. They did not give their reasons to one another, but both knew that both of them wish to spend their time alone together. Surviving in the island was the least they could think of since they feel at ease having one another.

"Did you answer your question back then?" Joohyun asks her. She is sitting beside Sooyoung. Just like their habit, they are facing the sea again.

"About what?" Sooyoung asks.

"About how my world looks like." Joohyun replies.

Sooyoung stays silent for a moment thinking about her diving experiences and then she answers the question. "Your world is so vast, so free, like it has no limit. However, it was lonely. Despite the beautiful scenes, even if there are so many interesting things beneath the waters, even if you can swim freely, I just cannot brush off the feeling of being overwhelmed from being alone."

Joohyun smiles. "Now you know why a mermaid like me chose to live on land." She sighs. "You know, we are born differently from humans. We are developed inside our eggs, abandoned, and we live alone separately. I'm just lucky that I met kind people who made me feel secure despite being a distinct from them."

"I shall start giving Seungwan some presents everyday as a thanks for taking you in their home."

Joohyun chuckles. "Seulgi will be jealous." She then stands up. She offers her hand to Sooyoung who accepts it.

"Do you want to dive with me?" Joohyun asks.

Sooyoung's eyes sparkles in anticipation. She smiles and says, "Yes."

Joohyun begins to run pulling Sooyoung with her. Both are giggling until they reaches the water. Joohyun's feet transforms into a golden fish tail as Sooyoung watches in amazement and adoration.

"You're so beautiful." Sooyoung says cupping Joohyun's face.

"We agreed to dive into the water, not to dive into my eyes, Sooyoung." Joohyun says gently removing Sooyoung's hand from her face.

Sooyoung pouts as she nods obediently. 

"Are you ready?" Joohyun asks holding Sooyoung's hands.

"Yes," 

"One... Three... Five..."

Joohyun kisses Sooyoung on the lips. Sooyoung looks at her in surprise when she separates grinning.

"I thought we're going to dive? Why did you kiss me?" Sooyoung asks grinning back.

Joohyun wraps her arms around Sooyoung's body, pulls her closer to her as well as her face.

"Don't breathe." Joohyun says.

"Don't breathe? What? Why—"

Joohyun submerges under the sea with Sooyoung as their figures are gone on sight from the surface.

Holding with each other hands, Joohyun guides Sooyoung to explore underwater giving the temporary air, as the latter enjoying it the view with someone she...

Who is Joohyun to her?

Seeing her in her mermaid form, seeing her in her human form, what does she feel for Joohyun? They already kissed before. Both understand each other well. Both enjoy each other's company. Just who is Joohyun to her?

Everything about Joohyun, she likes it all. The way she smiles, laughs, gets mad, cries, looks lonely, talks, being silent, just staring at her— everything, she likes it all. But, is that all?

Who knows...?

Sooyoung tightens her grip to Joohyun's hand serving as a switch to make the mermaid pays her attention.

The light rays from the surface makes its way to Joohyun's face making her ethereal beauty more compelling and more magical that makes Sooyoung's body enter the full zone of activities. Her heart beats faster, she could feel the heat on her face despite the cold water as the intense eye contact makes her shiver instead.

Joohyun also knows the feeling. Despite being different from Sooyoung, the reaction to her body is similar to Sooyoung. As to as why when Sooyoung pulls her closer, she lets herself goes closer. Both of them cups each other's faces and together, they synchronize in communicating what they wanted to tell each other through a kiss as they sink deeper without caring about their separate worlds because at that moment, their hearts are already one.

"So you know about me all along?" Sooyoung asks.

Both of them are already in the land. Joohyun already transforms to her human form.

"Yes, but only when Seungwan and your sister started dating. She talks about you and Yerim a lot." Joohyun replies.

"I still can't believe that you are my sister's girlfriend's sister." Sooyoung comments as she let her back hit the sand. "If only I was interested to my sister's love life I could have met you sooner.

"But you met me sooner. You met me when you are still a teenager." Joohyun responds.

"But you erased my memories," Sooyoung says pouting.

Joohyun her head to Sooyoung's direction. She smiles, moving closer and leaning her body on top of the girl lying on the sand. 

"I didn't. I just hid it." Joohyun says as she leans her face closer to Sooyoung's until their forehead is touching one another and their eyes close.

"By kissing me?"

Joohyun chuckles. "Do you want me to erase your memories again?" 

"If losing memories mean kissing you, then I'm willing to lose my memories." Sooyoung answers.

Joohyun finally closes the distance. Her lips touch Sooyoung's. She slowly moves, taking her time to focus on the sensation of the contact. The response from Sooyoung beneath her adds to the intensity of her feelings, controlling her to deepen the kiss, while giving her the satisfaction as if everything is okay.

"Do you..." Joohyun breathes out, her lips still in close proximity with Sooyoung's. "Do you still remember me?"

Sooyoung smiles, wrapping a hand on Joohyun's nape and replies, "I think you need to kiss me more to erase my memories."

"I guess so." 

And they kiss again as if no one is watching them. Well...

 

 

...some people are watching them.

A sailboat is on the shore and on land few meters away from Sooyoung and Joohyun were Seulgi and Yerim gaping at them in surprise alongside with some rescue personnels.

"I feel like regretting from crying." Yerim says and Seulgi who has her eyes puffy and red could only nod as a response.

 

 

fin.


SOME NOTE:/

Hello!

I'm sorry that I don't usually interact, ask opinions, nor make a poll for concepts/requests. Honestly, I'm really shy. I usually just write for fun, then share 'em to ya as I take the comments/tweetsIread/IGpostsIsee into consideration in crafting the next story. It serves as my reply {ฅ^ω^ฅ} nyan~

Thank you for reading and for leaving comments ♡ Thank you for appreciating JoyRene stories ♡ Thought I was the only one shipping 'em here haha lmeow, hello fellas!

Thank you for loving Red Velvet.

Continue to love and support Red Velvet and their individual activities! We're going to Queendom soon. Take care~

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