Music Hyperlink: Would U, by Red Velvet.
Her voice was like a lighthouse in the sea of darkness. Like a firefly drawn to its mate, allured by light, falling for a siren’s song, Yena found her heart accelerating at the sound of Yuri’s voice. She wished it wasn’t a hallucination carved out by desire - and waited to hear it again.
“Yena?” It really was her, that throaty murmur when she tried to keep her voice hushed so as to not disturb their neighbours. Yena scooted closer to the balcony, nearly dangling herself off the edge as she tightly gripped the bars of the railing.
“I’m here, Yuri, I’m here.”
“Yena, where were you? I got your message just now and, well, you sounded off. What happened?”
Her message? Yena thought back to her what she had whispered in that pathetically small toilet cubicle. Her useless explanations and heartbroken search for a way out. “I thought,” Yena cleared her throat as she searched for the right words, “Juri had given me - us - a proposal. To stop the reporters from bothering you. At the time, that was my main concern, so I took up her offer without thinking about it too much. So we told the paparazzi we were dating. I know I should have told you, I just…"
“You must have had a good reason not to. I understand.” Well, not really, Yena thought. More like her just being dumb and selfish and all the wrong things that she always had been. "It can't be helped. But how are you feeling now? You sounded so sad."
"You still do."
Yena hurriedly wiped away the tears that were brimming in the corners of her eyes. “Is it really that obvious?” she asked, chuckling.
“Yeah.” A lengthy pause followed. Yena heard a quiet sigh from the balcony below. “I missed you.”
“I- Really? Why?”
A laugh. “Of course. Why wouldn’t I?”
Those two words sent Yena’s heart hammering against her ribs, threatening to force a giggle out. Slapping her hands over her face, she rolled around on her balcony, grinning madly as her cheeks turned a bright red. It could have been the beer, it could have been the events of tonight, but the words left her tongue before she could stop them. “Yuri, do you want to know something?”
“I missed you too. And I miss you because I really like you,” Yena announced, shouting her words into the wind. “I really, really like you, and I’ve liked you since you started singing all those weeks ago, and I liked you on that rainy day in the train station, and I liked you when we took that trip to Busan, and tonight I can’t help but like you even more because your voice and your presence are the only things that keep me going and I’ve been keeping this in my heart for a while because I didn’t know when was the right time to tell you this but I really really-”
A bang sounded on her front door and jolted her out of her dazed love admission. Confused, she scrambled to her feet, putting her beer can away as she made her way to the door. Beer clouded her vision and made her hands clumsy. The door handle slipped through her fingers as it swung open.
Standing there in loose pyjamas, sporting thick, rounded spectacles, her hair disheveled and face aflame, was Yuri. Yena’s breath caught in her throat. The corners of Yuri’s open mouth turned upwards as she whispered:
“I really like you too.”
Disbelieving laughter bubbled out of Yena like a fountain and infected Yuri. Soon, both of them were grinning at each other, giggling at how red each other’s faces had become. Yena calmed down for a moment, just enough to take Yuri into a warm embrace. She cradled Yuri’s head, pressed into her shoulder, feeling Yuri’s fingers grip the back of her dress.
And Yena felt breath return to her again.
“Your dress is beautiful, by the way,” Yuri commented as they lay down side-by-side on Yena’s balcony. Yena felt Yuri pinch at the fabric of her dress, rubbing it to ascertain what kind of material it was made from.
“It’s a couple thousand dollars, I think.”
“It’s what ?” Yuri nearly shrieked, quickly retracting her hand before she could damage it. Without thinking, Yena grabbed her hand mid-air and, holding it tightly, drew it back to her dress. Turning her head, she nearly burst out cackling at Yuri’s baffled face. Yuri’s eyes were bugging out of their sockets as she mouthed the words “a couple thousand dollars”.
“Yeah, don’t worry about it. I didn’t pay for it.” Tracing circles on the back of Yuri’s hand, Yena grinned like a fool. A successful fool, she thought to herself, one who finally got the girl of her dreams after weeks of angst, after a horrible night, after meeting her ex and being forced into an agreement that benefitted no one - after all that, being able to just lie down next to Yuri was a dream come true.
“Probably Juri, or her company, or something like that.” Yena shrugged as best as she could while lying down. “I mean, all this was planned by her, and the contract she gave said my company wouldn’t be too financially burdened by everything. So it should be all okay.”
“She must still love you, then,” Yuri commented wistfully.
“How did you know?”
“I mean, I don’t know about you, but if I hated you I’d make you pay for everything.” Yuri angled a look at Yena as she said so, one eyebrow raised as if stating the obvious. That was fair, Yena thought, nodding.
“I wish she didn’t, though. I wish she hadn’t come back and messed up our lives just because she ‘loved’ me,” Yena grumbled, making air quotes with her fingers. “If you really love someone, you wouldn’t try to interfere in their lives now that they’re happy.”
“Also true.” Lying in silence for a while, Yuri rolled over onto her side. Scooting closer, she brushed Yena’s hair away from where it covered her eyes. “Want to talk about it?”
Where should she start? Closing her eyes, Yena told Yuri everything. From when she first met Juri to when Juri left; from her heartbreak to hearing Yuri for the first time; from Juri’s return to tonight. It was a relief being able to talk it through, feel the weight lifted off her chest as she shared her story with someone who was willing to listen, someone who wanted to understand. Yuri listened quietly, not asking questions, not interrupting.
And when Yena finished her story, all Yuri did was shift just a little bit more to pull Yena into a hug. Yena felt herself melting in Yuri’s arms. She sighed in bliss as Yuri gently patted her head. “You’ve got me now,” Yuri whispered, her breath tickling Yena’s ear. “You’ve got me now.”
Nestled against Yuri’s chest, Yena could hear Yuri’s heart drumming out a quick beat. Hers, too, was beating too fast, and she willed herself to calm down. An impossible feat, really, considering their positions right now. Pulling away slightly, Yena met Yuri’s eyes.
She leaned in. Yuri’s eyes fluttered closed.
Their lips met.
Yena’s phone buzzed.
We need to talk. Meet me tomorrow in my office, 8am sharp.
It’s regarding Takahashi Juri.