it’s another one of those days.
joy lies awake in her bed.
she doesn’t know how long it’s been, and frankly, she doesn’t care.
the sheets are soft against her back, but she knows that however soft they are she still won’t be able to go to sleep.
with a sigh, she closes her eyes for what seems like the millionth time, as if burying herself into the darkness, surrounding herself with it.
and she shifts so that she lies on her back now, her limbs splayed out on her (admittedly, quite tiny) bed, waiting for herself to just sleep.
the darkness- no, the nothingness- that she feels when her eyes are shut is comforting – and she wishes she could just let it draw her into its calm depths, feel herself be swallowed up by it and just sleep, feel nothing at all-
but it refuses, as if it’s disdained by the mere concept of drawing her into its sweet embrace.
joy lets out a murmur of annoyance, too tired to do anything further.
then again, when does the world ever let her sleep, huh?
defiant, she squeezes her eyes tightly shut, trying to imagine herself sinking into a body of water, and the more she sinks the more she’ll drift into sleep.
she knows it won’t work, but what’s the harm in trying?
and she imagines the pressure growing as she sinks, the water rippling against her skin, the feeling of herself slowly going deeper and deeper-
but her efforts are futile and she just won’t sink.
wish i had a sleeping pill with me.
or two, maybe.
the slight wind from the fan blows a couple strands of hair onto her face, and her nose wrinkles as she brushes it away with a slight groan.
she hates this.
it’s been happening for a while now.
at about 12am, she goes to bed, and she closes her eyes…
and then she (unwillingly) stays awake until 5am.
sometimes she just lies awake for the entire night.
just knock me out already.
no, seriously – she’d welcome a punch to the face if it would knock her unconscious.
it sounds like a dumb thing to think, but let’s be honest here – she’d do anything for… say, an hour of sleep.
wow, pathetic, her mind interjects, and she thinks back (yes, she gets so bored that she talks to herself now) you’re the one that won’t let me sleep.
…it is true, though.
her thoughts are interrupted by the sound of the doorknob turning, and she opens her eyes reluctantly, looking up.
and messy brown hair reveals itself through the door, bordering curious, almost childlike eyes.
“sooyoungie… are you awake?”
despite her situation, joy can’t help but smile.
“yeah,” she replies, yawning as she sits up in her bed. “what’s up?”
the younger girl hesitates. “i…”
“could i sleep with you tonight?”
okay, let’s be honest here.
joy can’t imagine how much effort the universe must have put in when they created kim yerim, her girlfriend.
because she’s unbelievably adorable.
she gestures to the younger girl to come closer, a smile on her face.
“but no funny business.”
“would never,” yeri murmurs, climbing onto the bed and nuzzling into the other girl’s chest.
and the older girl holds back a laugh – i forgot she’s short.
the bed sinks slightly under their combined weight, sheets shifting, and yeri’s hands clutch at the fabric of joy’s clothes as she snuggles into her girlfriend, as if she’s trying to hold on to her, as if she’s her lifeline.
joy places a comforting hand on the other girl’s shoulder, giving it a slight squeeze.
“what brings you here?”
the younger girl buries her head into joy’s chest, entwining her legs with her girlfriend’s, bringing their bodies closer together.
“yeah, that happens.”
the older girl’s hand travels to yeri’s face now, tucking a few stray hairs behind her ear, and she runs her fingers through her girlfriend’s hair.
then there’s another click.
and yeri opens her bleary eyes, lifting her head up slightly with a mumble of confusion and slight annoyance.
joy pauses in realisation.
“you didn’t close the door.”
her girlfriend, tired, closes her eyes and rests her head on joy’s chest once again.
and there’s a soft murmur from the girl in her arms, which joy can only assume is an apology muffled by the hazy mist of sleep.
joy pats the younger girl’s head lightly, and a soft whine of protest emanates from yeri (she assumes she’s trying to say “don’t treat me like a kid”) before she gives up and snuggles further into joy.
“the wind closed it for us anyway.”
yeri lets out a murmur as an answer, hands clutching softly at the older girl’s shirt.
joy can’t help but watch as her girlfriend’s angelic form falls asleep in her warm embrace, normally so full of energy and yet so fragile, so delicate, like a flower in the sun.
everyone’s gotta sleep, i guess.
she leans in, caressing yeri’s face with her open palm, and plants a kiss on the younger girl’s forehead.
and as her girlfriend’s breathing slows as she drifts into sleep, becoming more regular, joy can’t help but smile, love blooming in her heart.
i love you.
she’s still awake.
joy checks the time. 3am.
even with yeri in her arms, it makes sense that she still can’t go to sleep.
(because when does she ever?)
her girlfriend’s breath is warm on her skin, like a candle in the cold.
she welcomes the warmth, the rhythmic breathing almost like waves on a beach, ebbing and flowing.
it’s comforting, in a way.
the younger girl shifts, curling up a little more, as if burrowing deeper into joy’s embrace, and a few strands of her blonde hair fall over her face.
joy can’t help but smile as she tucks them back tenderly, her hand brushing over her girlfriend’s soft skin.
and yeri stirs, letting out a yawn.
i woke her up?
the younger girl stretches out, arms extending (and unintentionally punching joy’s pillow) as she does.
her eyes open slowly, another smaller yawn escaping her lips as she looks up from where she’s snuggled into (in other words, her girlfriend’s chest), and their eyes meet.
“you’re still awake?”
“yeah,” joy smiles warmly. “it happens.”
“what time is it?”
the younger girl looks up with curious eyes.
and joy can’t bear to tell her girlfriend that she’s been up for 3 hours since she came in.
she doesn’t need to know, i guess.
“uh…” her heart speeds up as she lies – she can’t help it. “1am.”
yeri studies her face quietly, then raises an eyebrow.
“you know i can tell when you’re lying, right?”
she turns around, reaching out to take the alarm clock from the bedside table, then glances at it- and when she turns back she’s staring pointedly at joy.
“i could literally hear your heart going nuts.”
i mean, it's you, after all.
still. i knew it couldn’t last.
joy shrugs, sitting up on the bed.
“it happens,” she says once again, reaching out to pat yeri on the head.
and the younger girl pouts once again, joy having to resist the urge to pinch her cheeks because she’s so unbelievably cute.
then yeri leans forward and wraps her arms around joy, pulling their bodies together, her round face squishing against the side of the older girl’s arm.
joy, startled, nearly jumps at the sudden skin-to-skin contact.
but, of course, she’s unable to resist the younger girl when her hands are encircling her waist and that adorable face is looking up at her with a look that still leaves her weak in the knees.
“turn around,” the younger girl repeats. “so i can cuddle you.”
yeri rests her head once again on joy’s shoulder (though they’re sitting up this time), her arms still wrapped around her girlfriend’s body.
and there’s a soft murmur from the younger girl, a complete contrast to her earlier demeanour.
“because maybe… if i cuddle you, you’ll go to sleep faster.”
and joy’s heart melts.
unable to resist that smile and those words, she shifts so that yeri’s head lies on her back now, her girlfriend’s arms still around her waist.
they lie down together, settling into the sheets, the younger girl’s head fitting perfectly into the crook of joy’s neck.
and even if the younger girl isn’t really tall enough to be the big spoon, joy’ll let her be what she wants for the night.
this time, it’s yeri who joy buries herself into, curling up in the younger girl’s arms.
the pillows sink under them as her girlfriend pulls her closer, planting a soft kiss and an “i love you” on her neck.
and the presence behind her is unbelievably reassuring and comforting, and joy knows she’ll be safe as long as the other girl’s with her like this.
she loves it.
as she melts into yeri's arms, a wave of tiredness washes over her, and when she closes her eyes she’s immediately pulled into the ocean of sleep.
she embraces it, sinking into its depths.
(it’s the first night in a long time that she’s falling asleep before 4am.)
and joy and yeri wander into dreamland, body to body, hand in hand.
it’s one of those nights again.
but maybe, this time, it won’t be the same.
and maybe she likes it like that.
and she knows, now.
she was ready- no, she had always been ready- to enter the darkness.
all she needed was a candle.