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angels in harajuku

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If there's something better than going on holiday, Cho Miyeon thinks, it's being spontaneously whisked away by her girlfriend for a romantic getaway in Tokyo. And just in time for Miyeon's birthday, too! 

 

To be fair, Miyeon's been expecting it since the start of the lunar new year. Or ever since Minnie had taken some of their leave to fly back to Thailand, visiting her family and meeting her friends, at least. Despite being asked many times, Miyeon then had adamantly refused to meet Minnie's family under these circumstances - these being, bringing an 'outsider' back to the family during these kinds of festive celebrations - as her presence will no doubt spark many a question among relatives. Minnie's been pretty open about their relationship, Miyeon's met the parents and one of two brothers already, but the extended family? Miyeon wasn't too sure about that yet. 

 

But she's digressing. What she means to say is that ever since Minnie went back home, The Thai girl's been talking nonstop about this fantastically fancy sushi restaurant that her family had brought her to. And then, thinking Miyeon had fallen asleep over their kakao call, had murmured something about a 'fun trip' or something or other. 

 

What she hadn't expected was being moved from her bed while she was still asleep. When she woke up this morning, she was in a private plane. 

 

No joke. An actual private jet, small and cosy with a bunch of amenities Miyeon has never seen in her lifetime and a gorgeous woman cuddled up beside her in this giant bed secured in a suite-like area. 

 

If you're wondering, yes, Miyeon was extremely surprised. And yes, she'd have definitely fallen off the bed if the love of her life wasn't clinging onto her arm with an iron grip. 

 

And no, Miyeon didn't have time to explore the whole plane. Not after Minnie's clever fingers decided to tease her and dissolve her into a sweaty, quivering mess. 

 

A few hours later and Miyeon finds herself under the blaring heat of Tokyo sun. Isn't it supposed to be winter? Why is the sun so bright? It's searing her eyeballs into puddles of goo. She snatches a pair of sunglasses right off Minnie's face (much to the other girl's consternation) and shoves them on, sighing in relief when vision returns to her. 

 

"Hey!" Minnie slaps Miyeon's shoulder. "That's mine, you butt!"

 

"Yeah well, your butt is mine and my butt is yours, so by the same logic, these sunglasses are also mine." 

 

Minnie pauses in the middle of Harajuku Station and stares at her for a good long minute. "Babe, sometimes I really wish I understand how your mind works." 

 

Laughing, Miyeon turns around to stick her tongue out at Minnie. Turning back, she promptly runs face-first into a metal pole conveniently labelled 'fire hydrant', white letters stark against chilli red. Minnie chuckles and pulls out another expensive, more stylish pair of sunglasses from her pocket. "You know," she remarks, "if you had asked nicely I would have given you this pair instead."

 

Rubbing her sore forehead and wincing, Miyeon glances over at the new pair of sunglasses that have made their debut. Her eyes widen. "Isn't that the one we saw at that boutique the last time…?" 

 

"Yeah." Minnie exchanges their sunglasses, perching the new ones on Miyeon's exquisite nose bridge. "Your birthday present."

 

"Oh." Miyeon blushes. Her eyes dart around before pulling Minnie towards her and planting a quick kiss on her lips. The pinkish tinge that blooms on Minnie's cheeks is absolutely delightful. God, she's just too cute. "I love you!" Miyeon exclaims. 

 

Minnie grins and takes Miyeon's hand, intertwining their fingers together. "I love you too." 

 

Harajuku is astounding. The neon signs and blaring music and the sea of people - it's actually so awesome. Miyeon spies a middle-aged Japanese lady in a leather jacket and heavy make-up screeching along to the radio on her shoulder. Her blonde hair tied up in pigtails bounce with her footsteps. She grins at every person who stops and stares, waving at cameras and phones as she twirls and tosses her hair. 

 

"She's exactly what I think you'll be like when you grow older," Minnie mutters to Miyeon. Miyeon has to agree. That's life goals right there, prancing down the street just a few meters away from her. 

 

They stop by for a crêpe at a famous stall - Angel's Heart - where Miyeon agonises over flavours for what feels like an eternity. She stares at Minnie's banana chocolate crêpe with its mountain of whipped cream and chocolate syrup, then opens her mouth wide. "Ahh."

 

"What."

 

"Ahh wahhn hum," Miyeon vocalises, mouth still open as she gazes pointedly at the crêpe in Minnie's hand. 

 

"Get your own." 

 

Miyeon frowns and harrumphs. She grabs Minnie's hand and yanks it towards herself, taking a bite before Minnie can stop her. "Oh my god, you're such a needy baby!" Minnie exclaims, pretending to be affronted. 

 

Miyeon smiles, all innocent, when Minnie uses a finger to wipe cream off a corner of her lips. The smile grows devilish when Minnie pops the finger into her mouth and sucks the cream off it. Minnie wiggles her eyebrows suggestively at Miyeon. 

 

That smirk on Minnie's face. Damn. Miyeon would so eat it right off her lips. If only they weren't in public. So she settles with hooking her fingers through the belt loops of Minnie's jeans and tugging the taller girl towards her, lips an inch apart, separated by a bated breath. 

 

Then Miyeon shouts in Minnie's face: "I AM BABY!" 

 

Still recoiling from the shock, Minnie gets her a creme brulee crêpe to shut her up. 

 

Their next stop is a pet cafe. Now, when people mention pet cafes, one would usually think of cat or puppy cafes. Not this one. Not when Miyeon finds herself sitting down in a corner with a tiny hedgehog curled up and dozing in her upturned palms. 

 

She's frozen. What can she do? She can't move lest the small ball of spikes and fur in her hands wakes up. She can't shout like she normally does. She can't even pick up her drink and take a sip. But she'd be damned if she forces her precious little hedgehog to wake up. 

 

Luckily Minnie is a girlfriend who can easily read Miyeon, feeding her when needed while snapping photos of Miyeon and her hedgehog with a camera given to her by their fans. She takes some with her phone, too, sending it to family and friends. 

 

Shuhua: lol y so awkward

Soojin: It's because she can't move. 

Soyeon: (read.)

Yuqi: Soyeon's too busy laughing at Miyeon-unnie's awkward pose to reply haha

 

And then, 

 

Mum: aww how cute! tell Miyeon to come back with you next time, we should introduce her to your grandparents!

 

That message from Minnie's mother makes Miyeon's face light up like a Christmas tree. "Next time," she promises. 

 

After the hedgehog cafe are more snacks, like colourful giant candy floss and cheesy churros and potatoes swirling like tornadoes on sticks. Then there's the souvenirs and the tourist shirts. Minnie and Miyeon buy couple shirts with sushi cats on them, and also one with a print of a shibe under a cherry blossom tree. 

 

True romanticism, Minnie decides, is a cute dog with a sakura petal perfectly balanced on its nose. 

 

By the time the sun is halfway to setting, the couple has arms full of shopping bags and stomachs filled to the point of bursting. All in all, a successful trip. 

 

The ride back to the hotel is more peaceful. Orange light filtering in through spotted windows, casting black shadows against a pink background. Miyeon leans her head on Minnie's shoulder and closes her eyes. Their fingers are loosely interlocked. 

 

"Had fun?" Minnie asks, voice gentle, swaying with the shifting of the train. 

 

"So much fun," Miyeon echoes. She sounds as if she's almost falling asleep - which she is, really, exhausted from using up all her energy to run around Harajuku. "Thank you, babe. For this trip."

 

"Anything for you." Minnie extracts herself from Miyeon. She cups Miyeon's face and brushes a thumb across her cheek. Her eyes are soft and sincere. "Anything for you at all." 

 

In this light, a pretty pink like cherry blossoms in winter, pink like Minnie's lipstick and pink like the colour of her own cheeks, Miyeon feels like she's in a dream. And if it is, she never wants to wake up. "I love you." 

 

Minnie leans in and presses a gentle kiss to Miyeon's lips. "I love you too, my Aphrodite. Happy birthday."