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through the looking glass

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𝐢 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐲, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐦𝐞. 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭’𝐬 𝐚𝐥𝐥.

𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐟𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐢.

              • 𝘯𝘦𝘭𝘭, 𝘩𝘢𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧 𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROLOGUE

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first time he sees them—her—Min Yoongi is six years old, playing the piano, or rather, trying to at his grandparents’ house. His grandmother is in the kitchen, cooking something that smells so delicious, it makes Yoongi’s stomach growl loudly. His grandfather is sitting on the sofa just across the room, moon curved glasses resting atop the slope of his nose and a soft smile on his face as he reads a book, listening to his attempt at playing.

 

After the fourteenth attempt at playing the notes in front of him, the difficulty in Baby Mine making his head swim, Yoongi frowns and is tempted to kick at the wood underneath him, all music be damned! No one could ever learn such a difficult song, Yoongi is sure of it. He thunks his head on the keys dramatically, the sound jarring enough to make him wince as he expects a reprimand from either grandparent.

 

None comes.

 

Instead, a figure appears by his side, and Yoongi straightens. His eyes glance back to his grandfather, but he is still focused on his book. He looks toward the kitchen, hears his grandmother humming to herself, then looks up to see an age-worn face staring down at him. Not old like his grandmother, but somehow Yoongi just knows she is weary. He blushes and shrinks into himself, shy at the stranger’s presence. She smiles softly at him, and points to the keys. “Here,” she says, her voice like a bell, kind enough that Yoongi feels himself relax just a little. He misses the way his grandfather’s head snaps up, eyes wide and heavy on the woman. She points to a key. “Start with E again, spread your fingers like this, E, G, then back to E . D, C, D . Perfect, Yoongi,” she demonstrates, and Yoongi mimics before following her instructions. After the fourth try, he starts to get it, smiling wide enough that his gums peek out, and he doesn’t feel so shy anymore. The woman beams proudly, pointing to the keys that come next as she sings softly. “Baby mine, don’t you cry,”

 

rest your head close to my heart, never to part, baby of mine…

 

“My sweet boy, Yoongi. My brave boy. You know I will always love you.”

 

When Yoongi finishes his first full part without mistakes, he feels so proud of himself he might burst, and turns to the woman, ready to be praised for his big achievement, but she’s gone. The smile slips from his face and his hands feel cold, chest tightening for an unknown reason, and his body shivering. She’s standing at the far end of the room now, and his grandfather is there, standing a respectable distance away, saying words he can’t quite hear. He shivers again and scoots the piano bench back, scared but unsure of what’s happening.

 

“It’s so bright.” She says.

 

Yoongi doesn’t see anything bright though. His grandfather only smiles, but it’s not a familiar one. It’s…sadder. Makes Yoongi feel funny. Unwell. “That’s what they say.” His grandfather responds. “Are you ready now, myeoneuri?”

 

“You’ll take care of him?” she questions softly. So soft. Like a whisper. “His father…he’s not...”

 

“You know I will.”

 

Yoongi’s stomach turns, and for once in his life, this home he’s always felt safe in, doesn’t feel like itself at all. He’s frightened.

 

“I’m ready.”

 

She’s gone as quick as she came. So fast, if he had blinked, Yoongi would’ve missed her. Like the quickness of sand slipping through your fingers, she’d disappeared, and Yoongi can’t fathom a proper reasoning. Not with his still growing mind and racing heart. His grandfather looks at him then, properly, and sighs. When he adjusts his frames and settles back down onto the couch, he pats the vacant floral cushion beside him. “Come here, boy.”

 

Despite his fear at…well, he’s not sure what he’s scared of right now. He can’t fully make sense of it. Yoongi crawls to sit beside his grandfather and waits patiently for him to speak.

 

“I didn’t want this for you, you know.” The old man sighs. “It’s a gift, yes, but cruel. It won’t be an easy thing to carry. It never will be.”

 

The word gift should bring Yoongi joy; an expectancy for something delightful, but instead, this gift—the word spoken so solemnly from his grandfather—only fills him with dread.