You climbed up the side of Öraefajökull, one of Iceland’s many volcanoes. You were excited. You had been mountain-climbing just about everywhere in Europe, but this was the first time you were coming so close to a volcano.
To make it better, you were meeting someone there- your long-distance boyfriend, Emil Bondvik, who had been living with family in [hometown] and you had met at your high school.
When he left, you were upset, but kept contact, visiting as much as possible. You two had been on several trips around the world, climbing various mountains, but about a month ago, Emil told you he had some business to conduct back home in Iceland, so he went back and you continued to Mount Fuji in Japan.
You were exhilarated. You didn’t even feel the cold anymore, despite wearing only a moderate winter jacket. The excitement of being on a volcano, a volcano of all things, warmed you up at the mere thought.
You reached the peak, Hvannadalshnjúkur, which you still couldn’t pronounce, despite all the times Emil had attempted to teach you. You were nearing the top now, and when you saw a seemingly headless figure with a red jacket and a bird on his shoulder, you picked up the pace and moved more quickly.
As you drew closer, Emil’s white-haired head became more defined (though it was still hard to tell it apart from all the snow), and he smiled and waved at you, and the puffin on his shoulder flew off and joined you.
“Hey, keep movin’, small fry!” He yelled at you in an Italian accent. The puffin was so weird. He spoke like a gang boss, often interrupting everything Emil said, and you called him Guido, though Emil preferred to call him Mr. Stupid.
“Shut up! I’m going! God, let me admire the scenery a bit, Guido!” You replied to the bird in a bit of a snappish tone.
“Shut your face up!” The bird replied obnoxiously, causing you to groan. Somehow, while you two were in America, the bird had started telling ‘your face’ jokes, and now wouldn’t stop. “Hurry up, stupid! Icey’s waitin’ for you!”
The bird turned around and flew back to Emil, who was waiting patiently at the edge of a little cliff to pull you up.
You trudged dutifully up the snowy peak, finally grabbing Emil’s hand and letting him pull you up, though you fell on him in the process.
You beamed down at him. “Well, hello there!”
He smiled back, “Having fun?”
“You bet I am!” You climbed off him and sat down. “So, what’d you call me over to Iceland for, Emil?”
“To climb a volcano, of course,” He snorted, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. “Besides, if I invited you to my house, my brothers would be…exceptionally annoy-“
“Shut up, tough guy, and show her what you brought!” The puffin snapped, and Emil glared at him.
“You know what? I’m fairly sure Tino just went fishing. Why don’t you go get some?” He said irritably.
“Sounds like a good idea, tough guy!” The puffin took off without another word.
Emil sighed. “That stupid puffin…you know, I recorded a song once, and he totally hijacked the whole thing? Not cool.”
“Not cool at all,” You agreed, crossing your legs so you were sitting Indian-style. “So, what did you bring, Emil?”
He coughed, looking a little embarrassed. “A picnic.”
You smiled at him. “A picnic on a volcano! That’s…really romantic of you, Emil.” You couldn’t believe you just said something was romantic, but Emil looked relieved and inched closer to you, wrapping and arm around your waist tentatively.
“Glad to hear,” He murmured, grabbing the basket and opening it.
All of your favorite foods and his were there. You couldn’t help but wonder how he brought all this up a mountain. You dismissed the thought and enjoyed the day.
You noticed it getting darker. “Hey, Emil? Shouldn’t we probably leave?” You questioned.
He chuckled. “No, I have one more thing to show you.” He paused for a moment. “Hopefully.”
‘Hopefully?’ You thought, curious. What could he be talking about?
A few minutes passed, and suddenly you found out what he was waiting for. The Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, were shimmering and gleaming above your head like a cosmic ribbon, all imaginable colors swirling in its depths.
Emil smiled at your awestruck face, and squeezed your hand once to get your attention. You turned back to him. “Emil, this is amazing,” You whispered.
“I know,” He smiled and kissed you. “Ég elska þig.”
“Should I assume that means ‘I love you’?” You asked, smiling.
Emil just smiled and closed the distance between you again as answer.
Several minutes later, Guido came back. “Hey, lovebirds, quit smooching there’s a copter on the way to getchu.”
Emil threw some snow at the puffin. “Go away.”