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Taehyung learned young that he was at the mercy of fate. Much younger than anyone would’ve thought possible. It was a Tuesday morning, he had barely woken up, hadn’t even opened his eyes, but he was already doomed. Doomed and he didn’t even know it. Stretching his arms overhead, he started towards the bathroom as he ruffled his unruly bed head, only caring about his morning brew and the test he had in a couple of hours. Completely unaware.

Yawning as he crossed the threshold, he subconsciously spread toothpaste on his toothbrush and began brushing his teeth. He thought about the date he went on the night before, he thought about the laundry he had to do. Rinsing out his mouth and spitting into the sink, he looked into the mirror and sighed. Then, his heart stopped.

His hands started shaking, his brow broke out in a cold sweat, he was horrified. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing, he couldn’t comprehend that—that the dull grey paint of his bathroom was suddenly a warm color that he couldn’t name. It was a color he had never seen before and that could only mean one thing, and the thought alone made his stomach sink like a rock.

It can’t be. He clenched his jaw in frustration as he gripped the counter. I—I met my soulmate?

Soulmates, an oddity as old as time. The idea that when someone is born, they’re born lacking a piece of themselves. Born without the beauty and wonder that is the Spectrum, a term big business coined several decades ago. A word that simply refers to the ability to see every color the world has to offer. Something that comes to people only when they meet their soulmate.

Everyone is born only able to see a few colors, and what they might be varied from person to person. For instance, Taehyung could only see blue, green, purple, and brown. Everything else was just shades of grey. So he had no idea that his bathroom was painted yellow. Or that his lips were actually a shade of red tinted ever so slightly with a dash of pink.

There are several stages when it comes to seeing the full Spectrum. Stage one was the simplest, your natural state. You’re quizzed at a very young age and you learn what your vision is. Then you’re put in classrooms with other people who see the same colors that you do. It’s ingrained in your brain that there’s nothing more important in the world than colors.

Looking back, Taehyung resented it.

Stage two is the next step towards finding your other half. When you can suddenly see maybe one more color than you could before because you’re closer to your soulmate. Maybe it happens when you’re walking around town, maybe when you’re on vacation, it could happen anywhere. That’s why it’s usually encouraged that you get tested again once you start a new job or go to college. Some businesses and campuses had testing on site. That’s how important it is. Most people Taehyung’s age were currently in Stage two. Before the Tuesday when everything fell apart, he was still in stage one.

Stage three was the goal, when you randomly happen upon the one person you’re meant to share your life with and nothing is the same. Suddenly you can see colors that you never dreamed of. Even the colors you’ve been able to see all your life have a new vibrancy to them. That’s the last stage, or at least the only one that anyone wants to talk about.

Somehow, overnight, Taehyung went from stage one to stage three. And he had no idea how it was physically possible.

I didn’t leave the house at all yesterday. There’s no way that I could’ve met my soulmate. Taehyung reminded himself, his shoulders shaking in fear. What the hell is going on?

After that fateful morning, he read every book on the subject. His apartment was buried in mountains of research papers and essays. And he studied each in some attempt to figure out what went wrong. He called his parents, his friends, his professors, anyone who would listen to him. No one had anything to offer, no one had ever heard of anything like this happening before. The only thing that he was able to learn, was that he was completely and irrevocably doomed.

Eventually, he lost hope. He gave up. After weeks of searching for answers and finding none, he decided it was probably best to move on. He had to assume that he met his soulmate online or something. Apparently that counted in the eyes of Fate. All he knew was that it wouldn’t do him any good to continue obsessing over it. So he continued to live out his life. He went to school, he went to work, the world kept turning even if he was sure that his had stopped completely.

“Hey, Tae, can you cover the register for me?” Jeongguk asked one day at work. “I really need to piss.”

Glaring at Jeongguk out of the corner of his eye, Taehyung groaned. “Fine. But make it quick. And don’t you even think about calling Yoongi.”

A light blush dusted across Jeongguk’s cheeks. “I—I would never call him while I’m at work, that’s absolutely unheard of. I would never abandon you to—”

“Just go.” Taehyung rolled his eyes. “Make it quick, alright?”

Jeongguk offered him an appreciative smile. “Thank you so much Tae. I’ll be right back!”

Watching Jeongguk practically sprint to the break room, Taehyung shook his head. “He’s lucky he’s cute.”

Then, almost instantly, like Fate was just waiting on bated breath to screw him over some more, a sea of people poured into the coffee shop. It took only mere seconds for the previously dead shop to turn into the busiest joint on the block. Cursing underneath his breath, Taehyung tightened his apron and took up his post at the register, ready for anything and everything they had to throw at him.

Order after order, he had honestly never punched in so many drinks in a single shift. Half caff espressos, soy mochas with a shot of vanilla, skinny chai lattes with a pinch of cinnamon, everything was perfect down to the last letter. There wasn’t a coffee bean out of place. If Fate was going to keep throwing curveballs at him, he would thrive if only to spite it.

Taehyung was feeling good, confident, he was on a roll, half an hour passed and he didn’t receive a single complaint. He was on top of the world, king of his domain, nothing could stop him, but then he got that one customer. The one that just fucked everything up.

He had no idea what he wanted, asked about everything that he could’ve clearly read off the menu, carefully pulled out each bill from separate pockets, and held up the line for a solid five minutes. Through that whole shift, he was the only customer that Taehyung could remember.

Vanilla latte. Iced. Blueberry scone. Crooked tooth. Really nice lips.

When he left, Taehyung audibly sighed in relief and kept pushing through the rush. It got easier once Jeongguk came back from “the bathroom” and eventually things went back to normal. They laughed in disbelief when the last customer had been served, high fiving each other to celebrate their triumph. Then, Taehyung elbowed Jeongguk in the ribs.

“What the—ow!” Jeongguk exclaimed. “What was that for!”

“What do you think that was for? You have the worst timing imaginable Kook.” Taehyung scoffed with a smile. “The next time you dip to call your boy toy and I get hit with a rush like that, I’m sending him the song you wrote.”

Jeongguk’s eyes widened in shock. “You’re bluffing, please tell me you’re bluffing.”

“Nope.” Taehyung smirked. “So you better be on your best behavior Jeon Jeongguk.”

That night Taehyung trudged back to his apartment completely exhausted. Turning on the light, he fell onto his couch without even bothering to kick off his shoes. He pulled out his phone as he rolled onto his back and scrolled through the handful of texts from people he had foolishly given his number to. Each one was so eager for his attention, so determined to find their soulmate, and he didn’t have the heart to tell him that he already found his. Because the second they learned the “truth”, they were gone.

Fuck soulmates. Taehyung swore almost every night. Fuck everything about them.

Ever since he could see the full spectrum, he hadn’t gone on any successful dates. No one felt right stealing someone who was already “taken”, no matter how many times he explained that he wasn’t. No one cared about the truth, they only cared about the romantic bullshit they’d been reading about since they were practically in diapers. People honestly thought it was the sweetest thing in the world that he had to actually go out and find his soulmate. No one cared that he wasn’t even looking. It made him want to hurl.

When he was young, Taehyung was so enamored by the idea of soulmates. He loved that he could just happen upon the person who would complete his life and he’d know instantly. No guessing, no uncertainty, he’d be able to see it with his own eyes. Back in school he’d spend hours daydreaming about them, about how perfect they would be. How foolish he had been.

Now that he’s older, now that he learned from his mistakes, he hated them. He hated that he was born into a world where he was destined to be with someone else, he hated how society shoved it down your throats day and night. What he would give to live in one of his books, fictional worlds where soulmates are just a silly notion, a childish fantasy. Not the crushing reality he was forced to endure.

It was one thing to know for sure that someone wasn’t your soulmate, because you could still enjoy their company anyway. There’s a certain freedom in knowing that there was no way for a romance to last, that way you could just have fun and never worry about the future. And somehow when Taehyung’s fate had been sealed, everyone else forgot one simple fact: living without your soulmate isn’t the end of the world.

A whole year passed since that Tuesday when his life fell to pieces and Taehyung had almost forgotten what life was like before. He grew accustomed to the colors that were once foreign to him, he no longer laughed at the fact that an orange was both a fruit and a color in the middle of the supermarket. Things somehow became—normal. Something he never expected. He wasn’t miserable, he wasn’t lost, he didn’t feel like he was lacking in any way. Perhaps losing his soulmate wasn’t the calamity that everyone insisted it was.

 

My little Taengel

Hey sweetums! How are you doing? Just checking in because we haven’t heard from you in a while. Do you still enjoy your job? Are you getting enough sleep? You don’t want to sacrifice your health for your grades, so make sure you’re still eating healthy! Drink water, and don’t forget to exercise! Your body will thank you for it when you’re old like me!

Also, my co-worker sent me a link to this website that could really help you out. And don’t you dare turn your nose up at it, give it a chance! You never know what’ll happen if you never try anything new.

http://www.lostandfound.org

We love you! Stay healthy!

-Mom

P.S. Remember that box of your old video games that we lost when you moved? We found it! Your fathers been using it as a TV stand in the garage, of all things. We’ll send it to you right away!

When Taehyung opened that email from his mother, he didn’t really know what to think. He simply stared at his laptop screen while his fingers hovered over the touchpad, his mind a complete blank. Chewing on his lip, Taehyung couldn’t look away from the link that his mother sent to him. Something about it made him feel—anxious? Nervous? Excited? None of which made any sense to him because he had no idea what sort of page the link would take him to. He just knew that when he clicked it, there would be no turning back.

Reluctantly, he opened the link and was immediately prompted to create a username. Intrigued, he typed in “V”, and then he was asked to answer a series of questions like “what color is the circle”, “what color is the square”, “what color is this flower”. Answering them all correctly, he was eventually directed to a welcome screen.

 

Welcome to Lost and Found!

We are a not for profit organization dedicated to the search and recovery of soulmates! We’re sorry to hear that you don’t know who your soulmate is, but don’t worry, we’re here to help. Through our website there are hundreds of chatrooms from all over the world where people just like you are being matched up and getting one stop closer to their soulmate. Be sure click on whichever country you were living in or visiting when you first experienced the Spectrum! This way it’ll be easier for you to find each other!

Note: If you need a translator, there is a button in the lower left corner of each chatroom to request one. The wait time may vary, depending on which language you need translated. But our staff is growing every day! You will have a translator shortly!

Once you click on your country (if your country isn’t listed please email us and we’ll do our best to set it up for you) you’ll be automatically paired up with someone else until you can both verify that you’re not soulmates. So if we don’t have anyone for you just yet, don’t fret! We may be a new website, but we’re growing by the day! It won’t be long before you’re all paired up and well on your way!

Thank you for choosing Lost and Found! We hope you find your soulmate soon!

Of course it’s about my soulmate. Taehyung rolled his eyes, deciding to humor his mother by selecting the South Korea chatroom, ignoring the sudden eagerness he felt. Leaning back and crossing his arms, he watched a little bao bun jump up and down on the screen asking him to please wait. Luckily he didn’t have to wait long.

 

You have been paired with, Kiyutie!

20:18 Kiyutie: oh gosh
20:18 Kiyutie: finally!

Taehyung suppressed a chuckle.

20:18 V: is there not a lot of traffic thru here

20:18 Kiyutie: haha
20:18 Kiyutie: no 
20:18 Kiyutie: not really
20:19 Kiyutie: it’s been a couple of days

20:19 V: sorry to hear that

20:19 Kiyutie: yeah it sucks
20:19 Kiyutie: i’ve already been partnered like a dozen times
20:20 Kiyutie: no luck

20:21 V: well shit

20:21 Kiyutie: yeah
20:22 Kiyutie: i’d rather get it over and done with tho
20:22 Kiyutie: how long have you been able to see the spectrum?

20:22 V: about a year now

20:22 Kiyutie: yikes
20:22 Kiyutie: def not me

20:23 V: figured
20:24 V: its not like ive ever been lucky

20:24 Kiyutie: big mood
20:24 Kiyutie: well I hope you find them!

20:26 V: you too

Without waiting for a proper response, Taehyung clicked the bright red “not my soulmate ☹” button in the corner and was immediately tossed into another chatroom. Then he found himself clicking the button again moments later. And again, and again, and again. He wasn’t even shocked, at this point he had gotten used to the feeling of disappointment.

 

You have been paired with, MrMochi!

After this one I am going to bed. Taehyung groaned. Why am I even bothering with this crap?

22:02 V: hey

22:03 MrMochi: hey

22:03 V: wanna get this over with

22:04 MrMochi: yeah, I have class tomorrow

22:05 V: same
22:05 V: so how long

22:05 MrMochi: errr
22:06 MrMochi: about that
22:06 MrMochi: let’s try a different question

22:06 V: wait what

22:06 MrMochi: can’t answer that one
22:07 MrMochi: at least not accurately

22:07 V: what
22:08 V: y not

22:09 MrMochi: because I was blind until recently
22:09 MrMochi: by the time I could see I had already met them
22:09 MrMochi: I have no idea when
22:10 MrMochi: I have no idea who
22:10 MrMochi: literally could’ve been anyone
22:11 MrMochi: I’m #doomed

22:12 V: holy fck

22:12 MrMochi: yeah
22:12 MrMochi: not too happy about it

22:12 V: cant imagine why

22:13 MrMochi: haha
22:14 MrMochi: what about you?

22:16 V: whatcha mean

22:17 MrMochi: how long?

22:18 V: oh
22:18 V: its been around a year for me
22:18 V: just woke up with full spectrum
22:19 V: shit blows

22:19 MrMochi: nobody ever told us about this little mishap in school did they?

22:20 V: if they did i slept right thru that lesson

22:20 MrMochi: hahahaha!
22:20 MrMochi: same!

22:20 V: this sux
22:20 V: especially for you
22:21 V: want to just click the button and move along

22:21 MrMochi: that’s up to you
22:22 MrMochi: I’ve just been chatting to everyone who I’ve been paired with
22:22 MrMochi: no hopes of finding my soulmate
22:22 MrMochi: might as well meet some new people

22:23 V: y bother

22:24 MrMochi: because being alone sucks
22:25 MrMochi: and all my friends have found their soulmates so hanging out with them is rough

22:25 V: i guess thats tru

22:25 MrMochi: so you pick
22:26 MrMochi: if you’re dying to find your soulmate I’d recommend clicking the button
22:26 MrMochi: I won’t be offended

22:27 V: i mean
22:27 V: ive gotten so used to never finding them
22:27 V: and i honestly dont care anymor
22:28 V: my moms the one who linked me this site
22:28 V: im just humoring her at this point

22:28 MrMochi: isn’t it the worst?
22:28 MrMochi: mom and pops found true love
22:28 MrMochi: found their soulmates
22:29 MrMochi: and the thought of you never finding yours just breaks their heart?

22:30 V: its awful
22:31 V: and i dont have the heart to tell them that i dont care
22:31 V: bc fck soulmates

22:31 MrMochi: I can relate to that statement

22:31 V: haha
22:33 V: i guess ill stick around for a while

22:34 MrMochi: really? are you sure?

22:34 V: yeah y not
22:35 V: besides you seem pretty cool
22:35 V: theres worse people to talk to

22:35 MrMochi: lol thnx, I think
22:35 MrMochi: you’re not too bad yourself

22:36 V: sweet talker lol
22:37 V: but i really do have class in the morning
22:37 V: talk to you tomorrow?

22:38 MrMochi: that’d be great
22:38 MrMochi: night V

22:38 V: night mochi

Click.

 

You have been signed out of Lost and Found! Hope to see you again soon!

Sitting back in his chair, Taehyung sighed deeply, wondering what the hell just happened. He had been doing homework, not even thinking about his lost soulmate in the slightest, and Fate somehow dragged him back into the thick of it. He had moved on from his foolish search, he didn’t care anymore. So why couldn’t the universe and everyone else just let it go? Why did everyone care so much that he would never find “the one”?

Maybe his case was a blessing in disguise, maybe it was meant to teach him a powerful lesson. That sometimes there isn’t a plan for you, that sometimes things go wrong. That it isn’t healthy to be so afraid of never finding your soulmate that you never learn to live without them. Didn’t the fact that he was somehow happy regardless mean anything to anyone?

As Taehyung got himself ready for bed, he couldn’t stop thinking about Mochi. How unfortunate it must’ve been for them to be blind, then for them to regain their sight only to learn that they had already met their soulmate. Taehyung didn’t give a shit about his own situation, he’d gotten over it, but that didn’t mean he didn’t feel for others who shared his misfortune.

Before he really knew what he was doing, he was back in front of his computer pulling up the Lost and Found login screen.

What the hell? Taehyung shook his head in disbelief. I need to go to bed, not stay up all night on this stupid website.

Standing and turning off the light, Taehyung closed his laptop and practically threw himself onto his bed. He scrolled through his phone for a couple of minutes, hoping to find something mundane to distract his overactive mind. But no matter how many videos he watched, or what articles he read, he couldn’t stop thinking about Mochi. The one person who felt the way he did.

You know what? He thought as he crossed the room to his desk. Fuck this bullshit.

1:01 V: hey 
1:01 V: cant sleep 
1:02 V: you up?