Sometimes, Son Hyejoo really hates her friends.
Okay, so she doesn’t really, but sometimes… she almost considers it.
Because her friends are dumb.
Exhibit A: When Yerim threw her entire stash of sweet potatoes into the microwave, aluminum foil wrapped and all. Their shared dorm hasn’t smelled the same since.
Exhibit B: When Jiwoo set her alarm to pm by accident three days in a row. She’s lucky she was born oozing cuteness and managed to convince all her professors to let her retake her finals.
Exhibit C: When Jinsol thought raising a baby shark in her bathtub would work. It didn’t.
Exhibit D: When Haseul brought the entire crew to the wrong airport to pick up Vivi. At least she paid for everyone’s food that night.
Exhibit E: When Chaewon set water on fire. Yeojin still hasn’t been able to replicate that no matter how many times she’s tried.
The list goes on. It’s probably novel-length at this point, the stupidity of twelve girls increasing exponentially when they’re in proximity of each other, and truth be told, Hyejoo herself takes up quite a few pages with her own bad decision making.
She’s sure she’s about to earn another entry with just one press of a button.
She hits send anyways.
hyejoo: hey can you guys help me ask chaewon out
Her phone starts vibrating nonstop not even a second after her text goes out, and she nearly drops it in her haste to turn off the wave of notifications. She already regrets this decision when five minutes pass and the group chat is still unreadable with all the endless “AAAAAHHHH”s being spammed.
Her phone dings suddenly, this time with a unique chime.
chaewon: i think jinsol finally lost all her marbles
chaewon: she suddenly started screeching at me and we’re in the LIBRARY
hyejoo: maybe she finally found out that you were the one who dumped out all her hair dye
chaewon: it was for her own good
chaewon: SHE GOT KICKED OUT
Hyejoo’s just about to laugh because deserve when there’s a loud knock on the door.
It’s not even really a knock, and that’s how Hyejoo knows it’s not Yerim missing her keys again. It’s more like a slam, and Hyejoo barely has time to guess the culprit correctly before the door flies open.
“I have a plan,” Hyunjin announces from the center of the doorway.
“You have a plan,” Hyejoo echoes from her spot on the couch.
“I have a plan,” Hyunjin nods. “It’s a foolproof plan.”
“It’s a foolproof plan…” Hyejoo narrows her eyes. “If it involves bread in any way, I don’t want it.”
“I don’t have a plan.”
She knows Hyunjin is so much more than her obsession for bread and aeonging, but sometimes… ugh . Where’s Hyunjin’s brain cell when you need her?
Right on cue, Heejin comes barreling through the doorway, crashing into Hyunjin’s arms.
“How did you get here so fast?” Heejin complains as she straightens up and moves to close the door that may or may not need a new set of hinges at this point. She ignores Hyunjin’s reply of ‘I’m on the track team’ and clears her throat. “Anyways… Hyejoo! I’m so proud of you!”
“I haven’t even done anything yet,” Hyejoo frowns.
“But you will!” Heejin looks ridiculously excited for some reason, and Hyejoo figures she’s responsible for at least ten percent of the unread group chat notifications. “Hyunjin and I have this wonderful idea–”
Heejin immediately turns to Hyunjin.
“What did you say to her?”
“Nothing!” Hyunjin shoots Hyejoo a sad frown. “She just said she doesn’t want a plan involving bread.”
Hyejoo tries not to snort when Heejin stares blankly at Hyunjin before letting out a huge sigh.
“Okay,” Heejin says patiently. “Let me tell you our actual plan.”
A distinct sense of doom starts creeping up Hyejoo’s spine when Heejin produces a notebook out of thin air and somehow flips to the right page in one try. It’s covered in graphs and charts and includes an entire block of miniscule text written around a random doodle of a cat.
“This better work,” Hyejoo says, eyeing the line labeled ‘CHAEWON’S AFFECTION’ that goes past the top of the page.
To be fair to Chaewon’s fellow 00-liners, their plan was surprisingly solid and made enough sense for Hyejoo to go with it. Things actually go pretty well at first, and Chaewon is more than happy to munch away on homemade tteokbokki even with three pairs of eyes on her.
“Why are you two still here?” Hyejoo hisses at Hyunjin and Heejin when Chaewon is briefly distracted by her phone. “Get out of my dorm!”
“We came up with the plan, let us enjoy it,” Heejin whispers back. “Now shh, she’s going to find the ring sooner or later.”
Hyejoo shakes off the prickling feeling at the back of her neck, more interested in Chaewon’s reaction when she inevitably comes across the little trinket Hyejoo got for her last week. It’s not exactly an expensive piece of jewelry (Hyejoo’s not dumb enough to put a diamond ring in food), but Hyejoo hopes it’ll convey her feelings all the same.
Except Chaewon keeps eating… keeps eating… keeps eating… and she still hasn’t found it by the time she reaches her last few pieces of tteokbokki.
Hyunjin turns to Hyejoo.
“You did put it in, right?”
“Of course I did,” Hyejoo snaps back.
“What are you guys talking about?” Chaewon asks from the other side of the table. “By the way, Hyejoo, thanks for the food. I really needed this.”
“N– No problem,” Hyejoo stutters. “Uh… How was it?”
“It was good!” Chaewon says, and normally Hyejoo would be more than content with appreciating how Chaewon’s smile lights up entire rooms, but right now there are more pressing concerns.
“Um…” Heejin’s worried smile is doing nothing to help Hyejoo’s nerves. “Were any of the tteokbokki, uh… crunchy today?”
“No?” Chaewon pops the last piece into her mouth. “Hyejoo’s tteokbokki is always perfect.”
“Well then,” Hyunjin says, smiling as though she had no part in any of this. “I’m glad you enjoyed that.”
Chaewon nods and grabs the mint green cup reserved for her personal use.
And then she starts choking.
Hyejoo immediately leaps out of her seat, practically flying to the other side of the table. Her save-your-soulmate instincts only take her so far though, and she panics upon realising she has no idea what to do once she reaches the poor girl.
She starts slapping Chaewon’s back. Violently.
It doesn’t seem to be helping at all, and Hyejoo is more than grateful when Hyunjin gently but firmly pulls her away so Heejin can apply the Heimlich maneuver. A tense few seconds later, Hyejoo can finally breathe as Chaewon takes several loud gasps of air.
“Let’s get you some water,” Heejin says soothingly, leading Chaewon to the kitchen.
“Water nearly killed me just now, Heej.”
Hyejoo sags into the couch upon hearing Chaewon’s quip, glad that the girl is fine enough to be joking. Hyunjin takes the seat next to her and starts patting Hyejoo’s shoulder awkwardly.
“Hm,” Hyunjin says. “Too bad you couldn’t do CPR.”
Hyejoo has never considered murdering someone so much before.
They never find the ring.
Hyejoo doesn’t know what possesses her to let Sooyoung and Jiwoo “help”.
Desperation and insanity, probably.
That, and the fact that those two have been virtually married since high school. Hyejoo wants that kind of… eternity for Chaewon and herself too, not that she’ll ever admit it to the couple sitting across her.
She drums her fingers on the table impatiently, waiting for the love birds to finish getting lost in each other’s eyes as they wait for their order to come. They see each other pretty much every single day, yet every time Sooyoung and Jiwoo meet somewhere, they have to go through this ridiculous ritual of acting like star-crossed lovers finally reuniting. Hyejoo’s used to it, if not needing to gag anymore counts as getting used to it.
Nevermind. Sooyoung just ran her thumb along Jiwoo’s lips and Hyejoo feels the urge to vomit creeping up her throat.
She coughs loudly.
“Oh, right!” Sooyoung exclaims as though she forgot Hyejoo was sitting there. “I forgot you were sitting there, Hyejoo. Why are you interrupting our date again?”
Jiwoo giggles, clearly amused by anything that comes out of Sooyoung’s mouth.
Hyejoo’s eye twitches.
“You two called me here,” she says as patiently as possible. “To talk about... Chaewon.”
“Ah, that’s right,” Sooyoung nods. “We are here to impart ancient knowledge with you.”
“Ancient gay knowledge,” Jiwoo clarifies as though that wasn’t apparent already.
“Go on,” Hyejoo says warily. That familiar bad feeling is back, but Hyejoo has learned her lesson; she’s only here to listen, not to spontaneously employ questionable tactics to win Chaewon’s heart.
“Listen carefully,” Sooyoung says seriously, and Hyejoo stops slouching to pay proper attention. “Chaewon is an important friend of ours, and I guess you kind of are too—” Hyejoo ignores that part. “—so it’s crucial that you get this right.”
“I know,” Hyejoo says, her eyes dropping to the table. “I really, really, really don’t want to screw things up with Chaewon.”
Jiwoo reaches over to ruffle her hair, and Hyejoo lets her this time.
“You’ll be fine,” the older girl coos. “Chaewonnie adores you—”
“She does?” Hyejoo tries to not smile too much at this news.
“Of course she does!” Jiwoo beams happily like a pair of overly bright headlights. “Which is why all you have to do is apply a bit of Sooyoung’s charm and you’ll get the girl!”
“I– Excuse me, I have to what?”
Sooyoung slams her hand on the table.
“Two words,” she says. “Pick up lines.”
And then she stands up.
“That’s three words,” she points out. “And I’m out of here.”
“Hey!” Sooyoung protests. “If it worked on Jiwoo, it’ll work on Chaewon.”
Hyejoo turns to the shortest in their current trio. “Are you two serious?”
Jiwoo nods enthusiastically, not put out at all by Hyejoo’s evident disbelief.
“Pick up lines work!” she says with her entire heart, and Hyejoo can’t help but feel like these two are truly meant for each other. “And if the pick up line Sooyoung used on me doesn’t do the trick, then just use the Jiwoo Love Method.”
“I don’t want to know,” Hyejoo says loudly.
Jiwoo tells her anyways.
“Just do this,” she says, and she turns to Sooyoung and stares.
And stares and stares and stares.
Hyejoo realizes what’s going on when Jiwoo starts batting her eyelashes at a speed she didn’t know was humanly possible. It’s quite terrifying, actually, and if there’s anyone capable of sending literal hearts with their eyes, it’s Kim Jiwoo. Hyejoo doesn’t want to hang around long enough to witness that, already at her weekly limit of the couple’s disgusting antics, and so she bails like she should have done twenty minutes ago.
She makes it out the restaurant doors just in time for the wet kissing noises to start.
So it turns out there’s someone in the world dumb enough to buy into Sooyoung and Jiwoo’s nonsense.
That someone is Son Hyejoo.
She spends the whole night agonizing over the issue, because on one hand it sounds absolutely ridiculous like something you’d peddle to lonely creeps on the internet, but on the other hand… it works . Sooyoung and Jiwoo are actual living, breathing, gaying proof of that.
Hyejoo groans into her hands.
The things she does for Park Chaewon.
Said girl is currently sitting across Hyejoo, looking as dazzling as ever even with a frown as she concentrates on the textbook in front of her. Her lower lip is jutting out adorably, and Hyejoo begrudgingly admits that okay, she kinda sorta gets why Sooyoung and Jiwoo like to stare so much.
Maybe this is her chance to implement the—ugh—Jiwoo Love Method.
Hyejoo tosses her own book aside (it’s impossible to concentrate on macroeconomics when Chaewon is right there anyways) and plants her elbows firmly on the library table. She carefully rests her chin on her entwined fingers… and she stares.
And stares and stares and stares .
Chaewon’s sixth sense must have picked up on Hyejoo’s heart eyes or something, for she suddenly looks up and tilts her head. Unfortunately for Hyejoo, it’s the ‘something’ judging by her next words.
“Is there something on my face?” Chaewon asks.
“No!” Hyejoo almost shouts. “Wait, I mean yes!” she corrects quickly, seeing the chance to dish out a compliment and seizing it.
“What is it?” Chaewon prompts when Hyejoo goes silent to gather her courage. She tilts her head even more, looking dangerously like a confused puppy, and Hyejoo has to force herself to not squeal at the sight lest she gets booted out the library like Jinsol.
Hyejoo takes a deep breath, focusing on one of her absolute favorite features of her best friend.
And then she rolls her eyes.
“Hyejoo, that was so lame,” she complains, leaning back in her chair and practically sliding under the table. “What are you, five?”
“Probably,” Hyejoo sighs instead of arguing back. She’s more preoccupied with how she could have butchered that so badly by missing so many important keywords such as pretty, wonderful, gorgeous, stunning, awe-inspiring… The possibilities were endless, and yet Hyejoo grasped exactly none of them.
Hyejoo glances at the smudged writing on her palm. It’s been sitting there for a while, taunting her, yet looking more and more appealing as a last resort.
It’s not like you can go downhill if you never went up, right? So Hyejoo goes for it.
“Chaewon,” she calls out.
Her friend lifts an immaculate eyebrow.
Hyejoo clears her throat.
“Are you gravity? Because you make my pants drop.”
The library is dead silent and it almost feels like everyone present decided to collectively listen in on Hyejoo making a fool of herself. It’s not actually true, thankfully, but Hyejoo can feel the mortification all the same as Chaewon simply stares blankly at her, unmoving.
And then she abruptly reaches across the table and places her hand on Hyejoo’s forehead.
If Hyejoo thought her prior embarrassment was enough to set her face on fire, it’s nothing compared to the way her entire soul has been lit aflame by Chaewon’s touch and how her face is so, so, so incredibly close, her eyes shining like stars as she gazes at Hyejoo.
“Are you sick?”
“Are you sick?” Chaewon repeats. “You’re acting really, really weird today.”
Hyejoo mentally moves Sooyoung past Hyunjin to the top of her list of Friends She Might Need To Kill For Sanity’s Sake.
“I’m fine,” she manages to croak out. “Just… Just tired of studying.”
Chaewon smiles at her sympathetically.
“Twenty more minutes and we can go to my place and chill?”
“Sure,” Hyejoo agrees easily. “I’ll make dinner.”
She actually winds up giving Chaewon dinner and a show when Sooyoung shows up unannounced. Granted, Chaewon does share her dorm with Jiwoo, but can you blame Hyejoo for attempting murder when Sooyoung has the audacity to steal her food?
Chaewon’s laughter as Sooyoung cowers on top of the fridge makes everything worth it.
They say that the third time’s the charm.
Hyejoo would like to believe in that, which is why she decidedly does not count the Ice Rink Incident as a proper attempt to ask Chaewon out.
It was going to be one, courtesy of Jinsol’s suggestion to take Chaewon on a fun and romantic outing, but to nobody’s surprise, that plan gets utterly derailed and Hyejoo knows exactly who to blame.
Her friends. All ten of them.
Chaewon doesn’t count because Hyejoo is still trying to attach “girl” in front of “friend” and besides, Chaewon can do no wrong in Hyejoo’s eyes.
Hyejoo decides that it’s mostly Jinsol and Jungeun’s fault this time. Jinsol for leaking their plans and Jungeun for… being Jungeun.
Hyejoo’s not-date with Chaewon starts out fine, with the two of them stepping out onto the ice with a noticeable gap in their ice skating skills. Hyejoo doesn’t mind at all; much like her height advantage over Chaewon, she considers her ice skating experience a boon since she gets to lead Chaewon around and have the shorter girl cling to her whenever she goes too fast.
She speeds up on purpose. Several times.
Chaewon’s sense of balance is actually surprisingly good though, and she picks up the general knack of skating pretty quickly. After not even an hour, she’s capable of skating on her own and decides to go for a bathroom break while Hyejoo remains on the ice.
And that’s when Hyejoo runs into Jungeun.
“What are you doing here?” are the first words out of Hyejoo’s mouth when she registers who she bumped into.
Jungeun crosses her arms.
“Am I not allowed to be here?”
Normally, Hyejoo would say she is, but there’s a… shifty look in Jungeun’s eyes, one that Hyejoo does not trust at all.
Even before she answers, Hyejoo figures out why.
“Yeojin, slow down!”
That voice is unmistakably Haseul’s, and Hyejoo doesn’t have to look too hard to find the poor girl being dragged across the entire rink by the youngest in their group. She thinks she spies Jinsol sitting on the ice somewhere behind Jungeun too, but before she can get a good look, Jungeun not-so-subtly moves to block her view.
“Nothing to see there,” Jungeun says casually.
Hyejoo narrows her eyes and skates to the right.
Jungeun skates to the right.
Hyejoo slides to the left.
Jungeun slides to the left.
Hyejoo moves back.
Jungeun moves back.
“Okay, stop!” Jungeun yells when Hyejoo does another hop. “What are we even doing?”
“I’m trying to see if that’s really our friends over there. I don’t know what you’re doing,” Hyejoo says, flipping her hair nonchalantly.
“Nobody’s here,” Jungeun says far too quickly. “It’s just you and me and… uh… Haseul and Yeojin. Nobody else. Absolutely nobody.”
Right on cue, a high speed chain of bodies holding hands cuts right in between them, and Hyejoo easily picks out Vivi leading Yerim, Hyunjin, Heejin, Jiwoo, and Sooyoung.
“You were saying?”
Jungeun sighs before changing strategies.
“We’re just here to support you,” she says with a smile that looks more like a grimace. “Y’know, moral support.”
“Uh huh,” Hyejoo nods. “I totally believe you.”
They both know she doesn’t.
“Just let us see,” Jungeun practically whines. “I promise we’ll try to keep out of your way. Just let us watch–”
“Hi, Jungeun! What are we watching?”
Now, Hyejoo would never curse Chaewon for showing up somewhere, but sometimes the girl just has really scary timing. Jungeun seems to agree, for her eyes are completely wide as she stammers for an excuse.
I am going to kill you, Hyejoo tries to tell her with her glare.
“W– We– We’re going to watch Hyejoo do a triple axel spin!” Jungeun blurts out.
I AM GOING TO KILL YOU, Hyejoo silently repeats as Chaewon asks, “Isn’t that really hard, even for Olympic figure skaters?”
“Yeah.” Jungeun forces out a laugh. “That’s why I was joking about watching Hyejoo do one. As a joke.”
She seems to be trying to tell Hyejoo something considering her somewhat... constipated expression and emphasis on the word ‘joke’.
Hyejoo decides to ignore the message.
“I’m doing it,” she announces.
“Oh, let me get my phone out,” Chaewon says a little too gleefully.
Jungeun glances rapidly between the two.
“Wait, you aren’t being serious, are you? Hyejoo, come back– Oh my god– HYEJOO, NO–”
Jungeun’s ensuing shriek is one for the records, and legend has it that a crack was formed on the ice rink that day. Hyejoo is unable to stop cackling as she skates back to her friends, extremely proud of her aborted fake takeoff.
“Are you trying to give me a heart attack?” Jungeun accuses as she clutches her chest.
“You should have seen your face!” Hyejoo snickers as she slings an arm around Chaewon’s shoulder for balance. “God, I should have recorded that.”
“I got you covered,” Chaewon smirks, and the two burst into fresh laughter when she hits the replay button.
The rest of their group soon make their way over (some more haphazardly than others), no doubt attracted by the noise. Chaewon is quickly whisked away by Yerim and Yeojin, her phone a hot commodity due to the video on it, and it doesn’t take Hyejoo too long to realize that today’s chance to do something, anything has vanished.
She doesn’t mind though. As much as she treasures the Chaewon she sees when they’re alone, Hyejoo also cherishes the Chaewon that comes out when they’re surrounded by their friends. Chaewon is laughing and screaming freely as she tries to race Hyunjin and is left in the dust, and she’s all smiles and giggles when she slows down to accompany poor Haseul.
She’s happy, and that’s more than enough for Hyejoo to forgive Jinsol for inviting the rest of their friends to the rink.
Still, Hyejoo laughs the loudest when they all line up for a group photo and Jinsol slips, turning into a veritable bowling ball as she knocks into everyone else.
There’s something to be said about the fact that it’s the youngest members of their group that come up with the most reasonable idea so far, relatively speaking.
The bar isn’t terribly high, but it’s still somewhat refreshing for Hyejoo to not have to question her choice of friends when Yerim and Yeojin sit down at the local cafe and present her with one word: poetry.
“Girls like poetry,” Yeojin says. “I’m girls. And Chaewon is a girl too.”
“I hadn’t noticed,” Hyejoo deadpans.
“Really though,” Yerim says excitedly. “What better way to convey your feelings than through your own words?”
“Right?” Yeojin nods, her head bobbing a little on the fast side. “Poetry can be meaningful and emotional.”
“And romantic,” Yerim adds, and Hyejoo politely ignores the pointed look she shares with Yeojin, not to mention their connected hands under the table.
Seriously, do they think they’re being subtle?
Hyejoo clears her throat.
“I like this idea,” she says slowly. “But there’s a really big problem with it.”
“What?” Yerim and Yeojin ask at the same time.
Yerim’s face immediately falls, and she’s just about to leap out of her seat to tackle Hyejoo in a hug when Hyejoo quickly raises her hand.
“I don’t mean it that way,” Hyejoo clarifies. “I’m not saying I’m a terrible person or something like that. I’m just saying, like… Do I look like a poet to you?”
“No,” Yeojin immediately answers before Yerim can shush her.
“Don’t say that!” Yerim pouts before turning back to Hyejoo. “Just try your best! I’m sure Chaewon would appreciate anything you’d write.”
“I hope you’re right,” she mutters before begrudgingly grabbing a spare napkin and pen.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
There’s no one better for Chaewon
Than the one and only Hyejoo
When even Yerim can’t come up with a compliment, Hyejoo knows she’s screwed. She wonders if it’s possible to just melt into a puddle, ooze out the door, and drop into the closest sewer where she can live out the rest of her shameful, non-poet days.
“This is… not quite what we had in mind,” Yerim says diplomatically.
“Yeah, this is bad,” she says plainly. “You really weren’t kidding about being the problem, huh?”
“Shut up,” Hyejoo grumbles. “I tried my best, okay?”
“Your best is pretty bad–”
“Yeojin!” Yerim scolds. “Don’t be mean. What she meant to say is–”
“Hyejoo? Is that you?”
The entire table freezes.
Hyejoo knows that voice. She hears it every day, she hears it every night, she hears it in her dreams, she hears it in her heart. She heard it last week when her conversation with Jungeun was interrupted, and it kind of feels like history is repeating itself.
Either way, Park Chaewon is here.
And Hyejoo panics.
She snatches her insult to poetry off the table in a flash even before she can figure out how best to dispose of it. Chaewon’s footsteps are getting closer and closer, almost like the ticking of a time bomb, and Hyejoo decides to just go with the first idea that pops into her head.
She stuffs the entire napkin into her mouth.
“Yerim told me she was coming here with Yeojin, but I didn’t know you were here too– Are you eating something?” Chaewon asks when she comes to a stop next to Hyejoo.
“Nn nnm.” Hyejoo shakes her head.
“Oh.” Chaewon blinks. “Nevermind then.”
Across the table, Yeojin has her head down, but her shoulders are shaking uncontrollably. Next to her, Yerim has the absolute most sorry smile Hyejoo has ever seen on her face, and at this point, Hyejoo just wants to die.
Her poem tastes like crap.
She surreptitiously tries to move it to the side of her mouth without it bulging out of her cheek like a hamster. It’s probably a poor attempt, but beggars can’t be choosers, and Hyejoo needs to leave .
“I gotta go,” she mumbles thickly through the tissue. “I’m meeting up with, nmm, Vivi in a bit.”
“Will I see you later?” she asks.
“Shoor– Sure,” Hyejoo nods before quickly grabbing her things and speed walking away.
“See you!” Yerim calls out from behind.
“Brush your teeth!” Yeojin yells.
As Hyejoo coughs pathetically into the nearest trash can out of the cafe’s line of sight, she vows to never write a single poem ever again.
haseul: Why don’t you just… ask her out? Like be straightforward?
haseul: … Lesbianforward?
hyejoo: no thanks
haseul: I know it’s scary but sometimes we have to be brave to make a change.
haseul: Isn’t that how we all became friends? By being brave enough?
hyejoo: you’re making too much sense bye
hyejoo: ………… thanks though
hyejoo: will you go out with me?
chaewon: it’s 3am omg
chaewon: but sure! where are we going
hyunjin: ouch lol
sooyoung: did i really raise this kid to be this blind
heejin: Oof. OOF.
haseul: Oh Hyejoo… I’m so sorry.
jungeun: you two are DUMB dumb
vivi: by red velvet
At some point, Hyejoo is forced to admit that maybe this just isn’t meant to be.
‘This’ referring to successfully asking Chaewon out with a plan, of course.
(Hyejoo refuses to entertain the idea that she and Chaewon aren’t meant to be, because, call her dramatic if you want, Hyejoo’s sure that if she’s not meant to be with Chaewon, then she’s not meant to be with anyone.)
Life has done an impressive job of throwing wrenches into every single attempt Hyejoo has made to date. A sunny afternoon picnic gets rained on, her acoustic performance in the music hall gets walked in on, and even Vivi’s suggestion to go with a classic bouquet of roses goes awry when Chaewon points out that it’s National Best Friends Day.
“Did you piss off a god or something?” Hyunjin asks with a completely straight face one day.
“Don’t worry,” Yeojin says. “We’ll fix you!”
Hyejoo is forced to avoid her and Sooyoung for an entire week while they try to exorcise her.
In the end, Hyejoo decides to go with the one plan that is downright impossible to foil: no plan at all.
She’s lounging on Chaewon’s bed when she decides on a whim that if unleashing a word vomit of her feelings right here, right now doesn’t work, then nothing will and she’ll just have to resort to following Chaewon around like a lovesick puppy for the rest of her days. There are worse fates out there, and if Chaewon’s kitchen catches on fire or something in the middle of Hyejoo’s confession, then maybe, maybe it just really isn’t meant to be.
She double checks to make sure that Chaewon is still at her desk just in case.
“Chaewon,” Hyejoo calls out. “I have something to tell you.”
The girl in question slowly lowers her Switch with an expression that clearly reads ‘this better be important’.
Hyejoo swallows nervously. Perhaps her timing isn’t the best but some things need to be said. Preferably before Jiwoo comes home with Sooyoung or Jungeun in tow.
“Listen, I–” Hyejoo clears her throat. “I… I like you.”
“What a coincidence,” Chaewon says slowly. “I like you too. That’s why we’re BFFs. Now shh, I have to catch a–”
“Not like that,” Hyejoo interrupts her. She’s not going to let their text conversation from a few weeks ago replay itself in person.
Chaewon lowers her Switch again, no doubt picking up on the desperation in Hyejoo’s tone. She pulls out her earbud, setting it aside to give Hyejoo her full attention.
“Go on,” she says cautiously.
Hyejoo flings herself off the proverbial cliff.
“I like you. Romantically. I like you a lot, actually. Romantically. I want to go on dates with you. Romantically. I’d like to be your stupid girlfriend. Romantically. Please go out with me. Romantically.”
It can’t get clearer than that, right?
“Oh,” Chaewon says. “Oh. Oh.”
She drops her precious Switch with a thud onto the carpet, and Hyejoo really doesn’t know if that’s a good sign or not especially when Chaewon suddenly buries her face in her hands.
“Oh my god. Oh my god. Hyejoo, oh my god.”
“Yeah,” Hyejoo nods, not sure what she’s agreeing with but going with it all the same.
Chaewon suddenly gasps.
“This is why you’ve been acting so weird lately!” she realizes, looking up to point a finger at the accused.
“Thanks,” Hyejoo says dryly. “Glad you noticed.”
Chaewon gasps again.
“That time you asked me to go out in the middle of the night…” Hyejoo tries not to laugh at the dawning horror that’s appearing on Chaewon’s adorable face. “Oh my god. I am so stupid.”
“Just a little, yeah.”
Chaewon smacks her.
“You’re stupid too,” she argues. “You said it yourself. You said you want to be my stupid girlfriend.”
“Huh,” Hyejoo frowns, rewinding back a few minutes. “I guess I did. Well? Can I?”
Chaewon crosses her arms, but there’s clearly a smile on her face that won’t go away no matter how hard she tries to force it down. “What if I say no?” she asks innocently.
Hyejoo narrows her eyes.
“I’m never letting you win in Smash ever again.”
Chaewon looks genuinely offended for a moment before she lets out a dramatic sigh.
“I guess I have no choice then,” she laments.
She throws herself at Hyejoo, knocking down the taller girl on her bed with a loud oof from both parties. There’s a light dusting of pink on her cheeks as she looks down at Hyejoo, one that Hyejoo knows is mirrored on her own face, and nobody knows whose heart is beating faster right now.
“For the record,” Chaewon says. “I’ve liked you since the day we met.”
Hyejoo’s question dies in her throat when she’s cut off by a pair of lips. All thoughts fly out of her head on an express ride to heaven, and Hyejoo’s sure there’s nothing more right than the way Chaewon fits so perfectly in her arms as she pulls her even closer.
They can talk later, Hyejoo decides.
They have all the time in the world to fall even more in love.
chaewon: GUESS WHO HAS A GF NOW
sooyoung: oh thank goodness i can finally die in peace
jiwoo: No dying!! We have to be there for their wedding!!!
jungeun: it happened? IT FINALLY HAPPENED???
yeojin: what am i supposed to do with all this holy water :/
jinsol: MYB YB
jinsol: MY BAYBI S
jinsol: MY BABY IS ALL GORWN UP NOW
yerim: omg jinsol please stop crying we’re in the middle of the library D:
yerim: but congrats!!! :DDDD
haseul: Congratulations! I’m so proud of you, Hyejoo!
hyunjin: yeojin give me the holy water
hyunjin: and congrats
heejin: I’m so happy for you guys OMG!
Vivi: by the way where’s hyejoo?
hyejoo: LIFE IS WONDERFUL LIFE IS GOOD I LOVE BEING ALIVE TRUE LOVE IS REAL
hyunjin: nvm yeojin use the holy water