The First Hour

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Dialogue is now in Korean. Bold is in English.


Alexis's POV

I practically run off the plane, trying hard not to push my fellow passengers out of the way. I run to the bathroom and do my business after thirteen hours. The last three hours were horrible trying to hold it in, but there was no way I was going anywhere near that bathroom. I don't like going in public places, but airplane bathrooms and outhouses are a definite no.

I walk out and stretch my body. Working out the kinks from the flight. Ok, now, time to find my hotel. I take my phone off of airplane mode, and pull up directions to the hotel while grabbing my suitcase. I only brought one small suitcase. It is small enough to be considered a carry-on, so I don't have to pay extra. I get a sub from one of the shops and eat on the way to pickup, following the signs in Korean.

Making my way through the crowds, I manage to flag down a taxi. I put my luggage in the trunk, being very careful to not get run over by the traffic that is almost bumper to bumper.

Getting in the car, I tell the driver the address. He looks surprised by my Korean, and praises me. I talk to him about my plans, after sparking up conversation.

"Ah, a lot of people are coming here for the concert. I've driven a few foreigners, but none of them speak Korean as well as you." He compliments.

"Thank you, sir. My speaking is a bit rusty, though. I don't have many chances to practice it in America." I like to keep to myself, so I don't have many friends, never mind Korean ones. Elijah took a trip to South Korea for a week last year, but he travels for the sights and the experience. He doesn't know much more than, 'Where is the bathroom?'

"Nonsense. You will get the hang of it you're a smart girl. You're pretty too." I smile at his compliments. "Not as pretty as my Yuna, though."

"Is she your wife?"

He nods, "My soulmate." He states as if it is more important than his marriage.

I gasp. I see soulmates all the time, but no one has ever told me about it. They all look at each other as if they're the only people in the world and ignore anyone else, so I never hear about it. The older soulmates are more mature though, and even though they still look like that, there is a lot less PDA. They hold hands and peck each other on the lips in a more cherishing way instead of the tangle of hormones I always see at my college.

The driver looks to be in his late thirties. He was probably close to the cutoff age when the phenomenon happened. "What's it like to have a soulmate?" I ask him.

I see his eyes crinkle in the mirror, thinking about his soulmate. "How old are you, miss?"

"I'm nineteen."

"Ah, you'll find him soon. It's hard to describe in words, but once you get that bond, you'll feel it. I can tell you, that it's the best feeling in the world. Being near them makes everything better, and it only gets better as I get older."

I nod at his description, slightly smiling. "You're not that old sir."

He just laughs, "I guess I'm lucky in that way. If I were just two years older, I would never have met Yuna." He continues, "I remember, when we first met, it was electricity. Now miss, I'm not being figurative. When we made eye contact, there was visible electricity surrounding us. Let me tell you, sparks flew. They flew into one of the trees and set it on fire, they flew into that poor restaurant and zapped the power," his eyes look worried as if he is watching the scene, "all the bystanders looked like lions, with their hair spreading out."

I listen to his story in surprise. There are about a dozen bonds, and each pair (or group) of soulmates experiences one of the twelve. Most are harmless, but there are a few that can cause some damage. I never looked much into it other than the news.

"I hope yours won't be chaos like mine was, though." He finishes. "Well, here we are. You chose a nice hotel, I heard this one has great reviews." He snaps me out of my imagination. I try to play the scenario in my head, but it only results in me laughing at the thought of it.

"Thank you, sir. I'll try not to cause too many problems, but I can't really control it." I say as I get out of the taxi. I reference my bond.

I grab my suitcase from the trunk, before shutting it and walking around. The driver beckons me over before I can tell him goodbye. I walk to the window, slightly leaning down. He gives me his card, "If you ever need someone to drive you anywhere, just call me. I need a few more people to boast about my wife to. You've got a good head on you, respecting your elders like that."

I take his card, and wave goodbye. "I will. My name's Alexis, by the way." He nods and motions a farewell, driving off. I look at his card, Woon-Hyuk Taxi ###-###-####.

An hour in Korea, and I already made friends with a taxi driver who indirectly burned down a tree once. So far, so good.

I enter the glass doors, and walk up to the reception desk. Past the desk, is a dining area where breakfast and dinners are served. Directly across the desk, is a hallway that probably leads to other amenities and the elevators.

"I have a booking for Alexis Mayes." She looks confused when I tell her my name. She tries to pronounce it, but fails. "The name is in English, it's A... L... E...." I spell out my name. 

Luckily, she knows the English alphabet, and is able to find it. "I'm sorry, I should have spelled it in Hangul." I apologize.

She shakes her head. "No, it's fine, I'm just glad you can speak Korean, otherwise I would have to get my manager. My English isn't very good," she jokes. "You're room is 219, on the second floor."

I bow and thank her, after grabbing the keys to my room. I pass a well-sized gym, a lounge area, and an office room before reaching the elevators. I stop and press the button while looking around. A sign above me points in two different directions to rooms on the first floor, and apparently a pool.

The elevator doors open, and a few people come out while I go in. Honestly, I could have gone for a cheaper hotel, but I wanted to spoil myself after working hard for my money and grades. Only for my hotel though, I'll be a bit more frugal with other things.

This is my vacation, so I'll make the best out of this trip for the five days that I'm here. Yet, I'm too cheap to buy an army bomb for thirty dollars. Ironic, I know.

I step off the elevator and follow the arrow to my room. I'm glad they have physical keys here, I don't feel safe with a piece of plastic deciding if someone can come into my room or not. There's also a top and bottom lock, easing some of my worries.

Opening the door, I walk into the room. Immediately to my left, there is a kitchen. There is a little bar behind the sink and counter top where I can eat. To my right, is a closet with a hamper that I assume is for laundry. There doesn't seem to be a washer or dryer, so there's probably a laundry room somewhere in the hotel.

In front of me is a living area with one couch and two seats on either side. The couch faces a large TV. A little bit further, is a balcony. I leave my suitcase at the door and slide the glass doors to the balcony open. There's not much out here, but it's clean. I'm only on the second floor, so I don't have a spectacular view of the city, just some surrounding buildings.

I look down onto the road and see cars and pedestrians pass by on the busy street. Staring into the street, I let the sun warm my back for a few minutes before going back inside the examine the rest of the room.

A door at the end of the living area leads to a bedroom. A queen size bed lays in the middle, with an end table on each side. A landline sits on one table, while the other has a digital 24-hour clock. There is also a television in here, but it is smaller than the other one.

Connecting to the bedroom, is a master bathroom. The bathroom has to be bigger than the kitchen, with a large mirror above the sink and counter tops. There is a glass shower and a large bathtub on either side, and complimentary soaps and conditioners on the platform in the shower.

"Wow." Is all I can say.

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