It’s cold in the living room. The walls are white, barely decorated with anything but a few pictures and some cracks from where people bumped into the wall hard enough to make a dent. There’s a large television that stands on a wooden cabinet, with old DVDs and figures on the counters inside, some fallen over. It’s unclear if the television has been turned on in a while, but no one wants to move it, the heavy thing.
Yoobin clicks her spoon against the pale blue bowl, before digging into the hot porridge and putting in her mouth. She sits on the floor because the green couch is old and uncomfortable, she’ll never know why they bought it, stares into her reflection in the television. She can’t tell if it’s from the darkness of the screen, but she looks exhausted, bags under her eyes. She feels like she hasn’t slept in weeks, too overwhelmed with work, even when she’s not doing anything.
She slowly eats her porridge, sinking further and further into the floor, as she thinks about how much her bones hurt. She should start going for runs again, but as she takes more food into her mouth, the thought goes away.
She finishes, licking the remains of the spoon, and hitting the side of the bowl twice as she hears the door start to open. There are rattling keys, the cold winter air pushing in as Jiho walks in, buried deep into her scarf and hat. She sighs loudly as she unwraps the scarf from her neck and places it on the coat rack, sliding off her shoes.
Yoobin sucks on her spoon lightly. Jiho walks into the kitchen. She can hear the other woman picking through the fridge.
Yoobin uncrosses and crosses her legs again, gaze not moving from where she looks into the television screen. Jiho walks into the living room, holding a can of beer, and she sits on the old couch. It squeaks loudly. Yoobin feels Jiho’s knee press into her shoulders, and she leans her head to the side, resting on it. Jiho sips slowly on the beer, Yoobin places the bowl on the table in front of her, lifting up her head.
“We need to talk.”
Jiho hums as she nurses the beer, slowly drinking more of it. She’s listening, Yoobin can tell, can always tell.
“I want to break up.”
There’s no wide eyes, no gasp, no sudden jumping. Yoobin studies her face, curious, tired but curious. “I want to order food, I’m thinking about that chicken stop from down the road. Cheese flavored chicken is your favorite, right?”
Yoobin blinks, and Jiho takes her phone out of her pocket, her fingers flying away on the screen. Yoobin taps her own fingers on her knees and stands up slowly, her bones popping. Jiho looks up, still slowly sipping on her beer.
“Ler’s break up.”
Jiho stands up, to her full height, brushing her hair behind her ear. Then Jiho places her palms on Yoobin’s cheek, rubbing her thumb up and down her cheek slowly. Yoobin notices how warm her hands are, and places both of her hands on top of Jiho’s own.
“What did I tell you before,” Yoobin stays quiet at the question. “Hm?”
“That you weren’t going to give up on us.”
“That I wasn’t going to give up on us.”
Jiho grins slowly, tracing her thumb on her the bottom of Yoobin’s lips. “So, do you want to eat chicken or not?”
Yoobin stares into her eyes and listens to the soft lull of rain that started outside.
Yoobin remembers the color of the walls of the restaurant they were in when she met Jiho.
It was ten years ago, some sushi bar where the alcohol was too warm and the air condition was broken. Hyojung had brought her out to meet some of her friends from the animation team, and some other friends that Hyojung had mentioned.
Jiho had been sitting at the edge of the table, soy sauce dripping from the side of her mouth, tempura being placed in her mouth. “Hey everyone,” Hyojung calls out happily, already sliding into the booth, one of her friends giving her a high fave. “This is Binnie. Binnie, everyone!”
She remembers now, she used to call herself Binnie. It was an online name, from Twitter, and it just stuck with her until she used to introduce herself to everyone with this name. Jiho wipes the edge of her mouth with her index finger, licks it, and sticks her hand out. “It’s Jiho,” she grins as Hyojung is distracted with the conversation next to her, food placed in front of them.
“Binnie,” she told the other girl, shaking her hand back. There’s apart of her palm that gets covered in spit, but she doesn’t mind. Jiho’s nice, pretty, and laughs at Yoobin’s jokes.
That’s the last time Yoobin calls herself Binnie.
“My name is actually Yoobin,” Yoobin tells her once. Jiho is typing something on her computer, some manuscript for her boss. Jiho blinks at her, then she goes back to her writing, squeezing her thigh once.
“I had a feeling Binnie wasn’t your name.”
At dinner, Jiho sets up the chicken in the middle of the table. She opens the box and the smell fills the room, overwhelming her sense of smell. Jiho brings out a plastic plate, and plastic gloves, before picking one chicken up from the box and chewing.
Yoobin sits in the chair, pulling her knees up to her chest. She doesn’t put on the gloves, just gets her hands covered in sauce and cheese dust, and places it in her mouth.
They eat in silence, but slowly Jiho has been moving towards her, and before she knows it, Yoobin places her legs in Jiho’s lap. Jiho gives her an amused huff, sucking on the chicken bone, and Yoobin smiles.
They finish all the boxes, Yoobin’s fingers are sticky, and Jiho squeezes her thigh.
When Jiho brought her to her apartment, six years ago, the lights were a soft orange. Jiho had said her roommate like the feeling it created, and Yoobin laughed into her hands because they were both a little wine-tipsy. Her large cardigan is falling off of her shoulders, and Jiho runs her hands down Yoobin’s sides, smiling at her with all her teeth. She’s been holding onto Yoobin all night, even in the bar, when Yoobin was sitting in the stool, her hands in Yoobin’s back pockets.
“Your apartment is cute,” Yoobin whispers as Jiho holds her face, moving her thumbs in circles slow on her cheeks. “I like the fairy lights…” she trails off as Jiho presses their foreheads together.
“I am so in love with you,” Jiho whispers.
And then they’re kissing, slow. They enter a gentle sway as they kiss, Jiho slowly getting the cardigan off Yoobin, and Yoobin leans back and smiles at her. “You like the way I kiss, huh?”
Jiho kisses her again, just to make sure.
They share a bed. It’s warmer in the bedroom then it was the living room, and Jiho likes to sleep in large white shirts. Yoobin lays on top of the blankets, and Jiho shuts off the lights before she lies on top of Yoobin. There’s moonlight coming from the window, and it shines on Yoobin’s face. She brings her hand up to hold Jiho’s face, and Jiho bites the tip of her thumb softly.
“You really love me, huh?”
“Yep,” Jiho whispers. They stare at each other, moonlight shining in their room. Yoobin leans up and kisses her softly, once.
“You won’t give up on us, huh? Just like we promised.”
Jiho kisses her eyelids.
“Just like we promised.”
“Do you want to just do this, forever?”
Yoobin remembers this day. There was a movie that neither of them cared about playing, and Yoobin had her head in Jiho’s lap.
“Huh?” Yoobin voices rather dumbly. Jiho looks down at her.
“Just sit with me, watch movies with me, eat and kiss me? You want to do this forever?”
Yoobin blinks, and sits up, looking Jihoo in the eye for almost a minute. Then she says, “I’d like to try.”
And that was that.