Chapter 18 – Kiss the Heck Out of Me
I’m sure if I’m dreaming or not. After getting used to having soft brown hair, beautiful brown eyes, a perky nose and a cute little mouth, I wake up to find myself looking at myself in the mirror. Myself. Me. I. Myself. As in long black hair, darker brown eyes, a no less perky but slightly rounder nose and more luscious lips. No. I’m not looking at myself. Am I?
I almost scream when I look in the mirror in the morning. I am close to screaming but I realize that there is nothing to scream about. In fact, I ought to be cheering. I am elated to have my body back and the first person who comes to my mind is Yuri. Yuri. I have to call Yuri.
I’m banging on my door and yelling at the top of my voice. I’m that excited. I’m that ecstatic. If I got my body then Sica must have too!
I retrieve my spare key and open the door. There is no one in it. Where is Sica?
“Yuri, come on, pick up your phone.”
I’m calling Yuri as I drive to my place, feeling impatient to see her. I’m sure she’s back just like I am. Right?
“Yuri…why aren’t you picking up!”
I call for her again and again but there is no answer. Where is she?
I’m running around like a woman gone mad when I stop to think for a moment. If I’m running around looking for Sica, would she be doing the same? It suddenly occurs to me that I can call her so I reach for my phone that I hurriedly jammed in my pocket before running out. To my dismay, it’s as dead as a nail. Darn!
I run my fingers through my hair and try to think. I come to the conclusion that I should return to my apartment and wait for Sica. It won’t do for two people to be running around, clueless.
A short while later, I’m back in my apartment. I sit on the couch, waiting for Sica’s return and time seems to crawl by slower than a snail. I fidget and twiddle my thumbs but I’m too excited to sit still for long. I get up and go to my mirror. My lips are unable to suppress themselves and as soon as I see myself in the mirror, they split wide open into a massive grin. My abs! My dear beloved abs are mine again! I have missed them so!
I decide to change out of Sica’s clothes and back into mine. I had been too excited to even think about what I’m wearing but now that I’ve calmed down, I realize that Sica’s clothes are small for me.
With my t-shirt off, I stand in front of the mirror and scrutinize myself. My abs have lost their tone and I’m determined to whip them back into shape. I trace the diminishing line of my abs and resolve to restore it and define it even more. Yes, I will.
I hear the door opening and forget all about my abs as I dash out of the room. It’s Sica. I can’t wait to see her. Her eyes lock on mine and her hand freezes in mid-air, keys dangling from her fingers.
“Sica…” Some sort of squeak leaves my body. It doesn’t even sound like myself but I can think of is Sica. Sica. The real Sica. Sica in Sica’s body. “Sica!”
Her arms are open and before I know what hit me, our bodies collide and my arms fly around her most naturally.
I can hear her soft murmur in my ear and feel her lips moving against it. Her body, soft against mine. Her arms, tight around me. The world ceases to exist. It’s just us. The two of us. Standing together. At last.
“We’re back,” Sica’s voice is wobbly and I realize that she’s crying. I’m not worried though. I know that those are tears of joy. Relief. Good tears. Let them flow. My eyes are growing misty too. And we don’t let go for the longest time. Nothing can make us let go of each other again.
I almost groan when I hear the dull thud and see the cloud of rainbow sparkles that I’ve grown so accustomed to.
“Jessica! Yuri! You’ve switched back!”
Sica pulls away from me to set her eyes on our dear fairy friend who is scrambling back to her feet and grinning at us.
“We realized.” Sica is definitely back, I think with glee. Her sarcasm and prickly comments are back!
Hyoyeon is unaffected by her, however. Her enthusiasm is gushing like a tap that needs fixing.
“I’m out of trouble! Hee! Yay! Come! Dance with me!”
Hyoyeon grabs my hands and starts skipping round and round and round until I feel quite dizzy.
Hyoyeon stops and grins.
“What’s going on? How did we switch back?”
Both Sica and I are equally surprised to hear the said name.
“Isn’t Seulji out to get us into trouble?” Sica queries.
Hyoyeon nods, her grin no less radiant. “She didn’t mean to help us, but she did anyway.”
“What do you mean?” Sica demands to know while I stand and listen, stunned.
“Seulji wanted to make Yuri hers.”
“That much we know,” says Sica, dryly.
“She switched your personalities and she was going to switch your souls later on to make the transition complete.”
“I don’t understand,” I say, my mind struggling to catch up with Hyoyeon’s explanation.
“She’s been working on making you fall in love with her to experiment with the possibility of breeding with you.”
“What?!” I’m in shock.
“It’s something that she has been researching on for some time now. There’s a camp of fairies who worry that we will be extinct if we don’t take more measures to ensure the continuity of our kind and she’s one of them.”
My head hurts suddenly and I clutch my head, groaning.
“What’s wrong, Yuri?” Sica’s hands are around me immediately, cradling me.
I shake my head. “Everything. Seulji. Breeding. What?”
“Seulji can’t possibly just use Yuri like that, can she?”
Hyoyeon grimaces and nods her head. “Unfortunately, Seulji has been using under the wing techniques. She’s been doing it bit by bit so that it’s less noticeable but it’s out in the open now.
“Don’t you have wise fairies? Wouldn’t they have sensed it or something?”
“Wise fairies are just wise. They don’t actually have that much power in this sense. They aren’t all-knowing. Seulji is a problem that they didn’t see coming. With the body and personality switch, all she had left to do was the soul switch and she was going to modify it to tinker with Yuri’s emotions and heart before the soul switch was completed. Yuri would then be completely in love with Seulji if that had happened.”
I hug Sica even more tightly upon learning about Seulji’s plans for me. But I don’t understand something.
“Why me?” I ask. “Why does it have to be me?”
“She likes you, I guess. You do have a very nice personality. She probably thought that it’s easier to modify your heart than somebody else’s.”
“But how did Seulji help us?” Sica interjects.
Hyoyeon’s grin is at its widest now. “Personality switch.”
“Huh?” I squeak. “Isn’t the personality switch going to help her to modify my heart?”
“Ah, it’s a step in that direction but she forgot about the body switch spell breaker.”
“Oh my gosh. I think I get it now,” exclaims Sica as she sets her dancing eyes upon mine. “The personality switch helped us to understand each other better. We learnt how we would feel. We sympathized last night!”
Hyoyeon nods, her eyes sparkling. “Daddy told me about the spell reversal and here I am!”
“Sica,” I am overwhelmed into tears and the need to hug Sica is stronger than I’ve ever felt.
“Yuri…” Sica turns to me and smiles, her set of pearly whites gleaming as her eyes glisten. She’s as moved as I am.
We hug, arms locked around each other, bodies pressed so close that even air wouldn’t be able to pass through. A few tears roll down my cheeks and the sound of her sniffles tell me that she’s probably crying too.
I will remember this moment forever.
We sit in my apartment, waiting for the arrival of our friends. We texted them, asking them to come over so that we can share the good news with them. Hyoyeon has returned to her father’s side to find out what will happen to Seulji and we are all alone. Just Sica and I. Our normal selves, at last.
My arm is around Sica and her head is on my shoulder. I like the way we are. I like us very much. Something is very different between us. It’s as though we’ve conquered the world together and nothing can rock our boat anymore. I turn to Sica and smile at the sight of her shiny forehead. She has such beautiful skin and my lips make contact with her before I even realize what I’m doing.
I hear her soft sigh as my lips press on her so I move my lips down to her brows and kiss her again. Soft, tender kisses that relay my feelings to her. How glad I am that we’re back. How glad I am to have her with me. I kiss my way down to her nose and she tilts her head suddenly so that my lips land on her lips. Right at that instant, I’m reminded of what I said to her not so long ago…
“Sica, we’re gonna get out of this. And the first thing I’m gonna do is take you out on a fantastic date and kiss the heck out of you.”
My words resonate in my mind as my lips rove over hers. I wrap another arm around her and twist my body to meld my lips more tightly to hers.
“I said…I’ll…kiss…the heck…out of…you…” I whisper in between kisses and feel her lips curving up under mine.
“Kiss me…Yuri…the heck…out of me…”
And I oblige.
There’s been a paradigm shift. Now, as I lay my eyes on Sica, my heart warms and toes tingle. I can’t keep my hands off her. Her shoulder, waist, arm, anywhere at all. It’s almost as though I were afraid of losing her somehow. Or afraid that this is just a dream. A wonderful dream.
But it’s not. My fingers are interlaced with Sica’s as she explains everything to Yoona, Seohyun, Sooyoung and Sunny. I let her do the talking. All I want to do is touch her. Feel her. She’s sitting close to me and our arms are touching. It’s the most comforting feeling in the world and I don’t know what’s come over me. I don’t know what to call these feelings inside me. But boy, do they feel good.
Our friends congratulate us heartily, clearly relieved to know that our precarious situation has been defused. Then, we are left alone again after they leave.
“Let’s go on a date.”
Sica looks surprised. “Right now?”
I look around us, smile and gesture at the quiet apartment. “We’re done here. Let’s get on with what should have happened between us.”
At that, Sica’s beautiful face lights up and her lips curl up into a shy smile. I take that as a yes and take her hand in mine.
“Let’s go,” I whisper in her ear, my voice thick with feelings overrunning everywhere. And out we go, into the world together.
Seulji stands before her father and uncle, head hanging, eyes downcast. If she has a tail, it would be drooping between her legs. Hyoyeon knows how much trouble she is in. But she knows very well that Seulji would have something to back her up. She just knows. She doesn’t know how Seulji is going to get out of this one but she supposes it’s time to find out.