What does it feel like to be young and free? Hyunjin didn’t have much time to experience all that. She only had five months to live. Not that she really wanted more. It wasn’t like her life was anything special. For most of her life, she had been battling with her disease. No doctor could figure out what it exactly was. When she had been eleven, she’d begun having attacks where she could not breathe. She’d been taken to the doctor but they’d been unable to help. When the attacks wouldn’t stop, her parents had took her to every possible doctor but no one was able to figure out what was wrong with Hyunjin. Nothing had appeared different from normal until she had turned nineteen.
The spring after her nineteenth birthday, the doctors had finally found evidence there was something actually wrong with Hyunjin. Her lungs had begun to slowly collapse. No one knew why but already in April, what the doctors had been able to tell was that she wouldn’t live to see next year. At the beginning of June, they’d given her five months to live. After that, her lungs would just collapse properly and she could not breathe anymore. They could have tried performing surgery on her but she was too tired of living with her disease for that. She was done with treatment. Her miserable, short life was ready to be finished already.
That summer she decided to finally live. Since she was eleven, she’d been trapped in her house, her parents always loitering around her to make sure she was alright. Now, she decided it was time for a change. She told her parents she was moving out. They tried to stop her but she was an adult so she could legally do what she wanted. Eventually, her parents gave in and bought her a nice, little apartment at the edge of Seoul. From there, she could go around as she wanted. No one was there to constantly supervise her or try to take care of her. She felt free.
She learnt to love going out on her own. She would take long walks around the neighborhood she lived in and sometimes she wandered even further. At night, if she felt up to it, she would hit the club. There was a quite small club called the Loonar Eclipse around the corner where she liked to visit. She never touched the alcohol, though. She’d just dance her heart all night. If she could. Some nights she would tire way too soon and had to go home early but most nights she went there, she was the last one to leave.
The Loonar Eclipse was where she met Jinsoul. She’d seen Jinsoul there the first night, in mid-June. Jinsoul was dancing with a brunette girl her height and a shorter blonde. Jinsoul herself had long, blonde hair that was usually curled. Her eyes were shaped so uniquely Hyunjin had never seen ones quite like them. She was the most beautiful girl Hyunjin had ever seen. Not that she had known that many girls in her life.
Jinsoul was never alone, though. Most of the nights she would stick with her two friends. Some nights she’d leave with some random girl. Hyunjin could never build up her courage to go talk to the blonde first. So, she simply just watched her dance every night she was there.
One night, when going to the restroom, Hyunjin was met with a surprise. Inside the stall she had opened the door to, was Jinsoul, with her brunette friend. Jinsoul’s arms were tracing up and down the brunette’s back and the brunette’s hands were hidden in Jinsoul’s hair. The brunette’s dress was down to her waist, her upper body only covered by her bra. They got surprised by the sound of the door opening and turned their heads to Hyunjin.
“I-I’m so sorry”, Hyunjin stuttered before she quickly closed the door again and ran back to the club. Oh, so that was why Jinsoul was always with the brunette. Not that Hyunjin had any right to be jealous of her.
A week later, in the beginning of July, Hyunjin finally had got herself together enough to go back to the Loonar Eclipse. She wore her favorite dress, a yellow sleeveless one. She walked alone in the warm summer night quietly. It took her only five minutes to arrive at the club. As soon as she opened the door, she could see Jinsoul.
She looked more beautiful than ever, at least in Hyunjin’s eyes. She was wearing a short, strapless black dress, dancing with her two friends, laughing. Hyunjin’s lips instantly curved to a smile. Oh, how could someone look so gorgeous?
She hit the floor herself. She danced alone, like always. This time she felt lonely, unlike usually. She kept thinking of Jinsoul. Jinsoul and the brunette.
Soon, Hyunjin started to feel dizzy. She felt the sensation of not being able to breathe start to arise but she didn’t want to go home yet so she dragged herself out of the dance floor and to the bar. There, she ordered herself a cherry coke.
She was paying no attention to her surroundings anymore. She stared at the bar counter while slowly sipping on her coke. Suddenly, she heard a thump and she raised her head in surprise. The bartender was standing right in front of her. A cocktail had been placed to her right. She blinked in a shock. “I-I didn’t order this,” she stuttered.
The bartender nodded her head to her right. “She did,” the bartender said. Hyunjin turned her head. Jinsoul was sitting at the other end of the counter, smirking at Hyunjin. Hyunjin blushed and quickly turned her head back to look at the bartender that was still standing in front of her. “W-wait, is there alcohol in this?”
The bartender scoffed. “Of course there is.” She smiled at Hyunjin quickly before turning her back to the girl and walking away with her pastel pink hair shining in the lights. Hyunjin was left to sit there in shock. The girl she’d been watching and secretly falling in love with for the past month had bought her a drink.
Cautiously, Hyunjin took a sip of the drink. The sweetness of it filled her mouth. Maybe alcohol wasn’t that bad after all, she was beginning to think but as soon as she swallowed the liquid, she felt her throat burn. She got chills down her whole body.
“Not used to alcohol, huh?” she heard a sweet voice behind her. She turned around on her stool quickly. Jinsoul was standing right in front of her. Hyunjin could feel her cheeks burning again.
“Eh,” Hyunjin collected herself and shrugged. Jinsoul was standing in front of her, talking to her. She couldn’t believe it was real yet.
Then Jinsoul did something unexpected. She sat herself in Hyunjin’s lap seductively. “I felt sad looking at you sitting here alone. A pretty girl like you deserves the company of someone equally pretty.” As she spoke, Jinsoul raised her hand to Hyunjin’s cheek and slowly slid it down. “I thought we could could have some fun together. I’m Jinsoul”
Hyunjin’s body was frozen to place. Yet, she felt like her whole body was on fire. She couldn’t breathe. Almost immediately she realized she actually couldn’t breathe. She was starting to have one of her attacks. “I’m Hyunjin,” she whispered. Jinsoul was still smirking at her. Hyunjin didn’t know what to do. Then an unexpected savior came to get Hyunjin out of the situation.
“Jinsoul! Leave the poor girl alone, she’s clearly uncomfortable. You should be flirting with someone your age anyway, not someone that’s barely legal,” Jinsoul’s brunette friend stormed in, followed by the blonde friend.
“Sooyoung, don’t be such a buzzkiller!” Jinsoul exclaimed as she got herself back to her feet. “It’s not like I’m that old, I just turned 23. And anyway, we were just having some fun, weren’t we?” she winked at Hyunjin. The girl could only nod, otherwise still feeling paralyzed.
Then Jinsoul was gone. She took the Sooyoung-girl’s hand and followed her to the crowd before Hyunjin could even blink. Jinsoul’s blonde friend quickly casted her an apologetic smile before following behind Jinsoul and Sooyoung.
That night Hyunjin didn’t get any sleep at all. Once she got out of the club, she spent ten minutes standing right outside, collecting herself from the attack. Gladly, it wasn’t that bad this time. It was probably triggered just by the shock Jinsoul had caused to her, not the disease spreading.
She walked home alone and fell to her bed right away. Yet, she never fell asleep. Her head was filled with thoughts of Jinsoul. Of course she’d known the blonde’s name already. She’d heard it on her first night at the club and never forgot about it. Still, the name felt more special now that the blonde had told it to Hyunjin herself.
For a while, it seemed like Jinsoul had forgotten about Hyunjin. She went to the club almost every night for the next two weeks but never once did Jinsoul try to talk to her. She was always with some other girl,usually Sooyoung. Finally, Hyunjin gave up hope and stopped visiting the club so often.
But then, one night in August she decided to go there again. She might have fallen in love with the place because of Jinsoul but she still loved it as it was and she was getting closer to her end all the time, she had no time to waste. It was constantly getting harder for her to breathe but at least she was still able to maintain a normal life, even if it sometimes hurt.
That night, a miracle happened. Jinsoul noticed Hyunjin as soon as she walked in. Her lips curved into a smirk as she noticed the cat-eyed girl. She started walking towards her. Hyunjin felt like she was in a dream. Slowly, through the crowd, they reached each other. Jinsoul’s arm reached behind Hyunjin’s back and pulled her closer. “Hi, cutie, I never got your name the other night,” she whisper-shouted to Hyunjin’s ear over the music.
“Hyunjin,” the shorter girl whisper-shouted back as she wrapped her arms around Jinsoul’s neck. She was feeling braver than usual that night. It was probably the whiskey she’d poured down her throat earlier. Ugh, had it burnt.
“Well, well, Hyunjin. Looks like you aren’t as shy as I took you for,” Jinsoul smirked again. “Wanna go somewhere more private?”
Hyunjin nodded and Jinsoul took her hand. She started pulling Hyunjin through the crowd. All the way to the restrooms, her thumb was tracing circles on Hyunjin’s palm. Once they were inside, Jinsoul’s lips were on Hyunjin’s. Hyunjin couldn’t tell who’d initiated the kiss. All she knew was that was drowning in Jinsoul’s lips which tasted like cherries.
Jinsoul’s hands traced their way up and down Hyunjin’s back. Like a question, they stopped at the zipper of her dress. As an answer, Hyunjin buried her hands in Jinsoul’s hair and pushed herself tighter against the taller girl. Jinsoul knew just what Hyunjin meant and it didn’t take her more than three seconds to unzip Hyunjin’s joke of a dress. Not much later the whole dress dropped to the floor. Thank god she’d decided to wear that dress that night.
Jinsoul had Hyunjin pushed against the wall. Hyunjin only had her underwear and heels on anymore. Jinsoul was still wearing her dress. She wouldn’t be for long, if it was up to Hyunjin.
The door to the restroom opened. This time Jinsoul had made sure to remember to lock the stall door as they got in. Still, another person entering brought down the mood a bit. Especially as the person spoke.
“Sometimes I really don’t get Jinsoul. One night she’s telling me maybe we shouldn’t sleep with other people and the next she gets off with some other girl. Like, is she thinking of my feelings at all?” It was Sooyoung. She wasn’t alone.
“Come on, Sooyoung, Jinsoul says all kinds of stuff when she’s drunk. I know you’ve liked her since high school but maybe you should just let go already,” the other person said.
Tension was growing in the stall. Hyunjin and Jinsoul weren’t all over each other anymore but rather listening to the exchange going on outside. Jinsoul was looking down now, obviously hurt hearing something she wasn’t supposed to. Hyunjin had no idea what to do.
“Hey, what’s that?” Sooyoung suddenly asked. Hyunjin watched in horror as two hands picked up her dress that had fallen halfly outside the door. She heard Sooyoung sigh. “Fuck, Jinsoul, must you always bring girls to the restrooms? That’s not very romantic.” She must have recognized Jinsoul’s shoes.
Jinsoul silently mouthed “fuck” before she pushed Hyunjin behind her and opened the door. Sooyoung was standing on the other side with Hyunjin’s dress in her hands, with a mocking look on her face. Their blonde friend was standing at the sinks, looking down, clearly uncomfortable.
“Please, Sooyoung”, Jinsoul pleaded, still covering Hyunjin. “Just give Hyunjin back her dress.”
“Whatever”, Sooyoung shrugged and handed Jinsoul the dress. Then she turned her head to face Hyunjin. “Well, I’d warn you but I guess you already heard everything you needed to.” Then she turned on her heels and started walking away.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know!” Jinsoul tried to shout after her but Sooyoung was already out of the restroom. Her blonde friend quickly looked at Jinsoul with sad eyes before running after Sooyoung.
Jinsoul handed Hyunjin back her dress who quickly zipped it on. “I guess I should go,” Jinsoul muttered, her eyes glued to the floor. She was clearly embarrassed.
Then Hyunjin did something she would’ve never thought she would. “I have a better idea,” she smirked to Jinsoul as she pushed past her and grabbed the blonde’s hand. “You wanna get out of here?” Jinsoul simply nodded with widened eyes.
Hyunjin quickly led Jinsoul out of the restroom and then, through the crowd to the exit. Through the dark streets of Seoul, she led the blonde to her small apartment. There, as soon as she closed the door behind them, she pushed Jinsoul against the door. Her lips crashed on Jinsoul’s. She still tasted like cherries.
Hyunjin’s dress was off her again in no time. Jinsoul’s dress was soon gone this time too. Their shoes had been kicked off right as they entered. Their heavy breaths mixed with each other as their hands traced the other’s body to every place they could.
It was time. Hyunjin took Jinsoul’s hand to hers again and pulled the girl behind her to her bedroom. As soon as they were in, Hyunjin pushed Jinsoul to the bed. She wanted this badly. She wanted to know how it felt like, at least once. It wasn’t love but maybe this was even better. At least, it felt like so in the moment. Hyunjin could barely breathe but for once in her life, she liked the feeling.
Jinsoul dropped down next to Hyunjin, breathing heavily. Hyunjin felt better than ever. Now she was one more experience richer.
“I liked that,” Jinsoul smiled as she turned to Hyunjin.
Hyunjin smiled back at the blonde as she also turned to her side to face Jinsoul. “Me too,” she said, giggling. She quickly calmed down and just stared into Jinsoul’s eyes.
“Was this your first time with a girl?” Jinsoul asked Hyunjin, suddenly getting serious.
“Yeah.. I mean, it was my first time with anyone,” Hyunjin explained, looking away from Jinsoul’s eyes. “Was it that obvious?”
“Well, not until we got to the bed but from then on… I knew you didn’t have much experience”, Jinsoul laughed.
“I’ve done a lot of other stuff, just never sex. I wanted to do it tonight, though.”
“Specifically tonight or…?”
“No, it wasn’t like a planned thing. But I’ve wanted to do it for a while, though.”
“Are you usually this chatty with your conquests?” Hyunjin asked, smirking.
Jinsoul smirked back. “Not unless I really like them and I really like you, Hyunjin, you know. That’s why I picked you. I’ve been watching you for the whole summer. You’re always so full of light, dancing by yourself. You seem so happy to just be dancing, to just be alive, you know.”
Hyunjin’s face fell. No, she didn’t want Jinsoul to like her. Sure, she’d had eyes only for Jinsoul the whole summer but if Jinsoul liked her, it would just be harder. She knew she couldn’t have Jinsoul. Not for real, anyway. Three months would never be enough so one night had to be it.
Jinsoul saw the change in Hyunjin’s mood. “Did I say something wrong?” she asked, now surprised.
“No, no… Please, hold me now,” Hyunjin whispered as she turned her back to Jinsoul. A few seconds later, she felt two arms wrapping around her. Jinsoul’s body heat surrounded her. She felt safe there right in that moment.
“Just be gone in the morning,” Hyunjin whispered as she fell asleep buried in Jinsoul’s arms.
Hyunjin felt cold. She was alone. She knew it before opening her eyes. Jinsoul was gone. As Hyunjin had asked for her to be.
Hyunjin opened her eyes to meet the rays of the morning sun shining through the window. She still felt cold even though she knew it wasn’t cold for real. Rather, she just felt empty but her brain made her think it was cold because that was a more reasonable thought.
Slowly, she got up and wandered to the kitchen. She didn’t feel like eating, though. Instead, she decided to go outside for a walk. It ended up being a longer walk she’d originally anticipated. It didn’t matter, she had nothing better to do.
For about three weeks she went on like this. Just walking through the days, barely alive. She never went back to the club again. Most of the time she stayed inside watching tv. She tried reading some books but never got through any. There was nothing to fill her life anymore now that she’d let Jinsoul go. She knew she wouldn’t be able to live on her own for long. The attacks had gotten more frequent even though she was now spending all her days doing nothing. Her ending was near.
One day in early September she was taking a walk a bit later than usual and a bit further away from home than usual. The leaves on the trees had already started to turn yellow, orange and red. It was still early in the autumn but it had gotten cold awfully early that year, already back in mid-August. Hyunjin didn’t mind the cold, though. She’d always loved the autumn. The world turned even more beautiful when it became filled with colors.
That day she’d felt a bit less tired than she had felt most days lately so she’d decided to spend some time in the chilly autumn air as she had used to enjoy it so much. It was making her feel refreshed. For the first time in weeks, she felt alive.
As she was turning at a corner, she saw a pair of very familiar eyes staring right at her. Then her eyes fell to the familiar blonde hair she’d once buried her hands in. She felt shaken to her core. Jinsoul.
The same shock was staring right back at her from Jinsoul’s eyes. “Hyunjin!” the older girl cried out. “I-I…” There was a new vulnerability in her Hyunjin hadn’t seen before.
“Hi, Jinsoul,” Hyunjin smiled, her heart breaking in her chest all over again. “Haven't seen you in a while.”
“Yeah, you never come by the club anymore. Did I scare you off?” Jinsoul asked seeming actually worried
“No, no, it's not that. Just haven't felt up to it, I guess.” Hyunjin shrugged
Jinsoul looked at her with curiosity in her eyes. “I was just heading to the café to study but if you want to come with to catch up, that would be cool.”
Hyunjin wanted to say no. She really did. But it was not what came out of her mouth. “Okay.” Like in trance, she followed Jinsoul to the café. There, she let Jinsoul order her a coffee. This, she had very much not planned.
“So, how you've been?” Jinsoul asked as they sat down to their table. Hyunjin shrugged. “Been better,” she answered honestly.
Jinsoul's face shrinked in worry. “Is something wrong?”
“No, just been tired,” Hyunjin shrugged. She didn't need Jinsoul worrying about her when they couldn't really ever be anything. “How about you? Anything new going on?” she asked quickly to get Jinsoul to take her piercing eyes off her.
It was Jinsoul's turn to shrug. “Nothing much. I actually haven't been to the club that much either, I've been busy since school started again. Homework and exams, you know. You probably have school yourself too. You're in college, right?”
Hyunjin looked down. She hadn't been to school in years. After elementary school, her parents had decided she shouldn't strain herself like that so she'd been homeschooled ever since. She’d finished middle school in two years, at age fourteen she'd then started her high school studies and finished them in two years, too. At sixteen she'd been ready to begin her college studies. She'd pleaded her parents to let her go to a real school but they hadn't given in so she'd started taking lessons online, studying to become… Well, she had never quite made the choice. She'd just taken as many courses as she could, trying to decide what to do in the future.
Then her lungs had started to collapse. She’d continued with her studies for the rest of the spring but then made the choice to just give up as she had no future to study for anymore.
“Uh, I don't go to school, actually,” Hyunjin said quietly, still looking down. “I’ve been homeschooled since middle school and I finished high school two years early, three and a half years ago. I took college classes online until the end of the spring semester but stopped when I moved here.”
“Wow. That's quite something. I'm in my fifth year of college now. I can't believe you're just a year behind even though you're so young!” Jinsoul chattered in a surprise. “But this was supposed to be about you, sorry. I’m sad to hear you quit. Was it for a specific reason?”
Hyunjin was still looking down, now wringing her hands in her lap. “I-I just didn’t know what I wanted so I decided to take a break.” She stuttered slightly. She'd never been a good liar.
Jinsoul nodded understandingly. “Ah, I get it. I always knew what I wanted. Straight from high school, I went to a college specifying in arts. I’m in the songwriting and composing department. My friends, or rather former friends now, Sooyoung and Jungeun, are in the dance department.”
Hyunjin felt her heart drop. “Wait, former friends?” Hyunjin’s head shot up.
Jinsoul looked down. “Well, you heard what Sooyoung said that night at the club. After that, we just couldn’t get back to what it was before and we couldn’t get any further in our relationship since I couldn’t get you out of my mind,” Jinsoul said rather timidly and looked Hyunjin shyly in the eyes. “Anyway, it was just too hard for her to hang out with me when I knew how she felt but couldn’t properly reciprocate her feelings. Hence, we decided to not talk to each other anymore. Jungeun kinda got stuck between us. I’ve known her since childhood but she and Sooyoung have to work with each every day so she had to pick her. We still sometimes hang out outside of school, though.” Jinsoul could see the worry in Hyunjin’s eyes so she quickly continued. “I still have friends at school, don’t worry. I mostly spend time with Haseul, she’s the same age as me. She’s studying to become a classical vocalist. Her friend, Jiwoo, often tags along, too. Jiwoo’s also in the vocalist department but she’s training to be a pop vocalist, rather than a classical one. She’s actually Jungeun’s girlfriend, I don’t know her that well, though, as they only started dating the year after Sooyoung and I graduated high school.”
Hyunjin blinked. She felt guilty. It was partially her fault Jinsoul had lost her friends. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to create such a mess for you.”
Jinsoul laughed nervously. “It’s fine, I know you didn’t. Friendships are just like that, no matter how strong they are, they can still break easily.” She shrugged. “You probably have friends yourself so you know friendships can be difficult.”
Expect the thing was, Hyunjin’s experience with friendships was very limited. She had had friends before, sure, but never very close ones. She’d had two close friends back when she still was in school. But when she was pulled out, she and Chaewon had just instantly fell out. With Heejin, they’d still kept in touch for a couple of years. But as they’d started seeing each other less and less, Heejin had needed to move on with her life. Chaewon had gotten a new best friend, Hyejoo, who eventually had taken Hyunjin’s spot in the small group. Hyunjin had finished middle school earlier and become more mature than her friends. Still, she had tried to maintain her friendship with Heejin but it had gotten harder as time went on. In high school, Heejin had started dating Hyejoo who by that time was going by Olivia Hye. Chaewon had got a girlfriend called Yerim. Hyunjin was fine with Chaewon getting a girlfriend and she’d wanted to be happy for Heejin, too, but she couldn’t. She’d been in love with Heejin since she was thirteen. Heejin had been her only friend so it had been easy to fall for her. Especially, when the girl had been Hyunjin’s first kiss.
As the flashbacks of her friendship with Heejin kept rising to Hyunjin’s mind, she slowly realized she did know what Jinsoul was talking about. She and Heejin were no longer friends. Heejin had not needed Hyunjin anymore and it had been easy to just distance herself from the girl. For two years, Hyunjin had been in no contact with Heejin. “I guess I know what you mean”, Hyunjin said quietly, looking down.
They both could feel the tension in the air. That was not how it was supposed to go. “Ah, so have you thought what you would like to do if you’d start school again? Maybe you’d like arts?” Jinsoul asked Hyunjin with a smirk forming on her face.
Hyunjin moved a strand of her hair behind her ear as she raised her face to look at Jinsoul. “Well, I’ve played piano since I was three and I’ve always loved to dance.” For a while Hyunjin let herself imagine how her life could be if she wasn’t ill. Oh, how good would her life be if Jinsoul was in it.
“You should try to enroll to my college next year.” Jinsoul was now truly smiling. Her smile was so beautiful. Hyunjin was going to miss it.
The younger girl forced a smile on her face before she spoke. “I would love to do that.” She meant every word. Jinsoul was smiling back at her, her face lighting up the whole room. It almost broke Hyunjin’s heart. “But wait, didn’t you come here to study?” Hyunjin suddenly remembered. Their coffees had become empty a long ago. “I should probably leave you to it.” She started getting up.
“Please don’t go!” Jinsol exclaimed. “I mean, the test isn’t until Wednesday and it’s only Sunday night so I’ll still have time to study later.” She took a deep breath. “Hyunjin, I meant it when I said I can’t stop thinking of you. You’re in my thoughts all the time. I think… I think I’m in love with you. I know it’s crazy, I don’t even know you that well but I have these feelings for you I’ve never had before and I’d really like to figure them out. With you.”
Hyunjin blinked in shock. Jinsoul was in love with her? No, she couldn’t be. That would just make things so much harder. “I-I...”, she stuttered. “I like you, too, but it’s… complicated. For real.” She couldn’t bring herself to look Jinsoul in the eyes.
“Okay. Just know I’m ready for complicated.” Jinsoul extended her hand to take Hyunjin’s in hers. “I just want you, no matter how crazy it sounds. But if you don’t want me, I’ll leave you alone. I promise. Just say you don’t want me and I’m gone.”
“But I do want you. I just-” Hyunjin never got to finish her sentence as JInsoul crashed her lips on Hyunjin’s. They both melted into the kiss. It felt right.
When they finally pulled away, they were left just staring each other in the eyes. “Jinsoul, I…” Hyunjin didn’t even know what she wanted to say. She just knew she couldn’t fight her feelings anymore. She had to have Jinsoul, even for a short while. “Do you want to come over?” Jinsoul nodded.
It felt just as good and right as the first time. Their heavy breaths mixed with each others’ in the dark. No words were needed. Desperately they held onto each other. Nothing could break this moment.
“Are you okay?” Jinsoul asked as she slid her arms around the younger girl. Hyunjin had her back turned to Jinsoul. She was shaking like she was crying. Which she was. She shook her head.
“Please just stay with me. Don’t be gone in the morning this time”, she whispered in the dark.
Jinsoul kissed her head and held her tighter to her chest. “I won’t.”
Hyunjin woke up surrounded by warmth, arms wrapped tightly around her. She smiled. Jinsoul was there. She hadn’t left this time.
“Good morning, Sleeping Beauty”, Jinsoul whispered to her ear. “It’s already 10:30.”
Hyunjin’s eyes widened. “Wait. It’s Monday. You should be at school.”
“It’s okay. You asked me to stay, so I did. I have perfect attendance record so taking one morning off is fine”, Jinsoul smiled into Hyunjin’s hair.
Hyunjin turned around to look at Jinsoul. “Still, you shouldn’t skip school for me. I’m not that important.”
Jinsoul looked at her like she was joking. “Of course you are. Now that I finally have you again, I’m never letting you go.” Hyunjin’s face fell.
“Jinsoul, there’s something you should know. If you really want to be with me, that’s it.”
Jinsoul looked at Hyunjin in a worry. “I’ve meant every word I’ve said to you. What is it?”
“I’m sick, Jinsoul. Actually, I’m dying,” Hyunjin explained, her eyes tearing up.
Jinsoul’s face crumbled. “What? You’re dying? Please tell me you’re joking.”
“I’m not. I’m actually dying. I only have two months left to live, I’m sorry.”
“Hey, you have nothing to be sorry for. It’s not your fault you’re sick.”
Hyunjin could not hold back the tears one bit anymore. She sat up and wrapped her arms around her legs. “I’m just sorry I can’t have longer with you. You’ve shown me this whole new world I really want to be a part of and it breaks my heart I can’t be a part of it. Even if I’ll be a part of it for a while, I don’t know how well I can be. My lungs are collapsing and it keeps getting more and more difficult for me to breathe each moment.”
Suddenly Hyunjin felt arms wrapping softly around her. “It’s okay, I’ll stay. Until the end. I promise,” Jinsoul reassured the younger girl. Hyunjin let herself melt in the blonde’s arms.
Jinsoul did stay. Every day, it kept getting harder for Hyunjin but Jinsoul was always there by her side. Hyunjin felt kind of bad for ruining Jinsoul’s perfect attendance record but she was thankful for Jinsoul’s presence.
Their moments together were magical. Most of their time was just spent hiding from the world in Hyunjin’s apartment but on her good days, they’d go to the park or the café. It felt perfect. But perfect couldn’t last forever and at the end of October, Hyunjin’s health started decreasing rapidly. She could barely get out of bed without breathing getting too difficult for her. She tried to stay strong for Jinsoul but knew she couldn’t keep it up for long. So finally she made her decision, without talking to Jinsoul.
“Jinsoul?” Hyunjin called the other girl one night. She was sitting on the sofa watching a movie while Jinsoul was studying at the kitchen table. “Come here.”
“What now, love?” Jinsoul asked as she got up from the table and walked over to the sofa. She sat down next to Hyunjin and wrapped her arms around the smaller girl. She quickly kissed her forehead and then looked her in the eyes.
“I’m moving back in with my parents,” Hyunjin decided to just drop the bomb. She couldn’t look Jinsoul in the eyes. “I’m sorry but I’m getting worse every day and I already feel bad for how much of your studies you’ve missed because of me. I need to be with my parents, now.”
Jinsoul cupped Hyunjin’s face with her hands and made the younger girl look her in the eyes. “It’s okay. I get it. I’m going to miss you but I knew I was never going to have you for long. You do what you have to do. I only ever wanted to make you happy but if you need your parents now, it’s okay. I’m just glad I could have you for this little eternity. I love you, Hyunjin.”
A relieved smile took over Hyunjin’s face. “I love you, too, Jinsoul”, she whispered before she slammed her lips on the other girl’s. The movie and the studying was forgotten and the kiss lead to dozen others that lead to them finding their way to Hyunjin’s bed for one last time. Jinsoul was as gentle as eve, not wanting to hurt Hyunjin any more.
Once Jinsoul woke up in the morning, Hyunjin was already gone. So was her stuff. On the kitchen table was one last note.
it has been an honour to be loved by you. I’m sorry I left you like this but I knew I could not deal with saying goodbye face to face. I asked my parents to pick me up at six. I know you hear nothing in your sleep so sneaking out was the easy part. The leaving was hard but you know I had to do it. Thank you for our little infinity.
I love you as much as it’s possible to love someone and more,