Tea Leaves and Opal Necklaces


Match Twenty-Three: Twins:

-Im Soo-

The cracks are starting to appear on the mask. Im Soo used to be good at hiding his pain. But, this time was different. Something seems to be at stake here. The Korean boy couldn’t get his sister’s words out of his head. “You have to answer quickly before the Woman in Red is freed and kills us all. You would be better off if you came back with me.”

Come back with her and unite the houses? He dreamt of doing that since the 1950′s. This time, however didn’t feel right. The last time she asked him to come back, Im Soo locked himself in his room for days. His therapist had to talk him to come out over the phone. This time, he didn’t know if he could climb out of this. For now, Im Soo would have to pretend that everything was alright. He still smiles and jokes around with his classmates. But even they can see that something is wrong.

“Did something happen?” Jin-ho asked around lunchtime.

“Huh?” Im Soo asked.

“You seem distracted,” she said. “Is it your sister again?” The Korean boy was quick to shake his head.

“No,” he said. “Of course I’m fine. Why wouldn’t I be?” His classmate stared at him with a concerned look.

“Please don’t self-harm again,” she said. Her words made him jump.

“What?” he asked. Jin-ho grabbed him by the hand before he had a chance to pull back.

“Promise me!” she pleaded. Im Soo lowered his eyes.

“Alright,” he mumbled. His classmate breathed out.

“Do not go back to that time,” she said. “Do not go back there.” The Korean boy squeezed her hand.

“Can I tell you something?” he asked.

“What?” Jin-ho asked.

“Not here,” the Korean boy said. “Can we go into the gaming club room?”

“Okay,” she said. “Right now?”


“Alright.” Jin-ho followed him out of the classroom. The whole time, Im Soo looked like he was walking up to an execution. Jin-ho was an understanding person, but how would she take this? Mi-Soon’s own words sounded crazy even to him. How would they sound to someone outside of his and Doctor Ryom’s world?

“Jin-ho,” he spoke up.

“Yeah,” said. Im Soo clenched his fists at his sides.

“Do you promise not to freak out if I tell you what’s wrong?” he asked. Jin-ho gave him a strange look.

“Why would I do that?” she asked.

“My sister…” he said. “She seems to have strange ideas.”

“What kind of ideas?” his classmate asked. They came to the gaming room. Im Soo let her go inside first. He followed behind and closed the door behind him. The Korean boy looked down at his feet.

“Well…” he said. “My sister is thinks the world is going to end.” Jin-ho gave her a strange look.

“What?” she asked. Im Soo rubbed his forehead.

“I don’t know how to explain it,” he said. He took a deep breath. “It doesn’t make any sense at all.”

“Try me,” Jin-ho said.

“You sure?” her classmate asked.

“I am here for you,” she said. It hurt to hear her say that. She didn’t need to hear any of this. But, they were here now. Knowing his school friend, Jin-ho wouldn’t give up until he told her everything. Im Soo dropped his shoulders.

“Alright,” he said. The teenage boy broke down and told her everything.

It was a good thing he had Doctor Ryom on his side. But, something doesn’t seem right with her. This evening, Im Soo came by her apartment and knocked on the door. He drew in a deep breath as he waited. The Korean boy looked up when the door opened a crack. A tired eye peeked outside.

“Is it too late for me to be over?” Im Soo asked.

“No,” Ryom said in hoarse whisper. Her former patient raised his eyebrow.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

“Yes,” she whispered. Im Soo blinked uneasily. Instinct told him that something wasn’t right. Maybe he should turn around and leave. Im Soo turned when he heard the chain being removed. His jaw dropped when the door opened wide. Doctor Ryom looked like she was about to pass out. Her eyes had heavy bags under them. She trembled as she held onto the frame of the door. The doctor looked like she had lost so much weight. All of the color was drained from her face. Her long black hair looked so dry and about ready to fall out. Any trace of life that was in her eyes had died away.

“Doc?” Im Soo asked. She looked up at him as if she had just woken up from a bad dream.

“Oh,” she said. “Im Soo, it’s you.”

“What happened to you?” he asked. “You don’t look so well.”

“Oh,” she said again. “I’m fine. Come in.” Her former patient hesitated. He shoved his hands into his pockets.

“Thank you,” the Korean boy mumbled. He bowed his head and walked into the apartment. Doctor Ryom closed the door behind him. As he walked by her, Im Soo could feel that something wasn’t right.


She knows that they have to do this. On the surface, it looks like her home is looking for a war to start. But, that can be way further than the truth. They couldn’t speak it, however. Mi-Soon stood in the factory with her mind elsewhere.

“Mi-Soon! Mi-Soon! Mi-Soon!” a man’s voice yelled. The Korean girl lifted her head. A fellow factory worker stared her in the face.

“You okay?” he asked. The young girl nodded as she pressed her lips together.

“Yeah, yeah,” she said. “I’m fine.” The factory worker in his forties gave her a small smack on the head.

“This is for the greater good,” he reminded her. “You can’t be slacking off on us.” Mi-Soon slowly nodded.

“Right,” she said. She looked down at the wires in her gloved hands. Another bomb. Mi-Soon started to doubt that any of these were effective anymore. Her boss and the scientists in the factory all agreed. For close to a month, they have been hard at work. But, none of that mattered to Mi-Soon.

She still hadn’t gotten an answer from her brother. She wanted to save him from the coming End of Days. It was too late to save Japan, but she could still get South Korea back for protection. Why couldn’t he understand that?

“I’m doing this for you,” she would say every night. Mi-Soon looked at herself in the mirror. Part of her had been dead inside ever since she and her brother were separated. Many times she wanted to walk over next door and talk to him. But her boss wouldn’t allow it. Times had changed and he wouldn’t fit in with how they did things now. Im Soo had become too modern. Still, Mi-Soon wouldn’t give up on trying to reunite with her older brother. And then, the first gate opened.

To be honest, she was happy that the end was coming. Maybe, this could be the way that they finally get back together. Mi-Soon had wished and prayed for the chance to come. Now that it was here, Im Soo seemed more afraid of her than happy to unite. But, she wouldn’t give up. Mi-Soon knew that her words would have to reach him somehow. She would work on the rest of her siblings later, but her brother came first. After all, she was doing this for the greater good.

“I’m doing this for you,” Mi-Soon told herself again as she closed her eyes. Why did her boss let the rest of the world believe they were testing missile for a war? Trust her, it was easier that way.

-Brother and Sister-

They are forced to be tied together. Even separated, they can’t break the chain holding them together. She won’t let him go. Tonight would be no different.

Im Soo came home to find Mi-Soon sitting on his steps. He clenched his fists at his side. Her eyes perked up.

“You came,” she said. He wouldn’t look her in the eye.

“Hello, Mi-Soon,” Im Soo mumbled.

“Will you come with me?” she asked. Her brother looked away.

“Why now?” he asked. “Why do you want us to get back together now? I cried when you were taken away from me. Alfred and everyone else kept us apart.” Im Soo’s voice trembled as did his body.

“Why are you doing this to me now?” he asked.

“Because I’m trying to save you,” Mi-Soon said.

“Save me from what?!” her brother asked with his arms in the air. His sister stood up and walked over to him. She had such a strong grip when she pulled him into her arms. Something in her pretty little smile gave him the creeps.

“From the world ending,” his sister said.

“Why would it be ending?” Im Soo asked. The younger twin released him from her grasp.

“Let’s hope for your sake that you don’t have to find out,” she said. Mi-Soon wandered back over to her house. She looked over her shoulder.

“I will keep coming back until you decided to come back to me,” the younger twin said. Im Soo’s eyes widened as she disappeared into the house. A blade to his skin would probably feel good to his skin right now. The older twin shook his head and forced himself to go into his own house.


They can’t be together. But, she might have a point if this game goes any further. It may be too late to save Japan, but she still has a chance to save South Korea from the impending destruction of the world. Sadly, it would cost him his freedom, sanity, and happiness. Mi-Soon tries to hide her tears. Her boss told her not to cry. They were doing this for the greater good.

“I’m doing this for you,” she reminded herself in her darkened bedroom as she stared at her mirror. Tears began to form in her eyes.

“I am doing this for him!” she said again. She clenched her shaking fists. For one second, North Korea could’ve sworn she saw a demonic red face staring back as her, hissing one word at her.


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