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Better Days

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Soojin is walking around her neighborhood for hours. This is something she’s been doing a lot for the past few days. Once she got off her work, she’ll stroll aimlessly through the streets.

 

Today, however, she lost track of time.

 

Which is surprising since she is the type of person who likes order and plans everything. It is a trait that is both admired and despised by those who are close to her.

 

And one of them is her closest friend, Miyeon. They met when they were in high school. They were in the same class and eventually went to the same university. She is—unlike her — an easy going person despite being soft-spoken like her and once she got to know her, Miyeon stuck by her side ever since.

 

Well, right now, she isn’t sure anymore if Miyeon wants to talk to her for a very long time.

 

Miyeon always warns her that this will happen. That one day Soojin would lose the thing that is very important to her for something stupid. And that she will regret spending most of her life following the rules, trying to do what other people say was right without thinking that maybe there is something more than that.

 

Eventually, all those things happened. And Soojin just let it. To be left by the person she cared about the most is making it impossible for Soojin not to cry.

 

And tears were the last thing Soojin saw in Shuhua’s eyes. The same sad eyes that lightened up every time she’s around, those lovely pair of adoring eyes that warmed her up. But thinking about it now, only brings pain in her chest.

 

The moment Soojin met Shuhua, she already knew that the girl is special. It wasn’t hard to comprehend what she feels, when the younger girl smiles and directs every bit of affection she has on her. 

 

Those subtle touches and Shuhua’s simple way of taking care of her, made Soojin happy. But the fluttering in her chest wasn’t supposed to be there. This isn’t right, the words in her mind every single time she felt it. She is, or was, to follow her dreams and maybe marry a good man someday, like everything the society and her parents told her to do.

 

And Shuhua is a beautiful girl. She will go places, she’ll meet wonderful people. Some day, Soojin would be there with the rest of the people— who are in love with her art or the artist herself— in a fancy room waiting to see her films.

 

Soojin wants that for her. And letting her date a girl who works at a dance training centre downtown, who can barely afford to live on her own and who is older than her is not ideal.

 

So Soojin rejects every notion of them being together. It was so abrupt— as Miyeon said while glaring at her, cruel— that she was mad at herself. At some point, she wants to take it back, seeing how hurt Shuhua was, but it was already done.

 

Shuhua, who is in her mind every single waking moment, who won’t talk, let alone look at her. Soojin tried, really, to make things get back the way it was. But the furious comment that Miyeon spat, dissolved any idea of being by her side in the way Soojin can only offer.

 

Adding to her regrets, was asking one of their closest friends, Yuqi, who replied to her incessant texts with, “Of course, she’s not doing good. Don’t ever think about seeing her again.”

 

That was it, the last thing Soojin heard from the girl. 

 

And here Soojin was, her mind and body exhausted. The countless sleepless nights doesn’t help the growing migraine forming in her head. To top it all off, she can’t remember the last time she had a decent meal.

 

Now, Soojin is standing in an unfamiliar street with her stomach empty and her feet aching because of the stupid heels she decided to wear that morning.

 

As she looks around, she notices a flicker of light at the end of the street. And as she drags herself towards it, she sees a restaurant. There are no people inside and when she gets closer she notices that it is still open. Soojin wonders why a family restaurant like this is still open at this hour. But her question was forgotten, when she heard her stomach growls.

 

Once inside, a familiar feeling came crashing into her. She swears that she’s been here before, but it’s impossible since this is the first time she went to see this place. 

 

Her thoughts are interrupted when a friendly looking girl approaches her, with a big inviting smile. Seeing how she walks towards her confidently, Soojin knew instantly that she owns this place. 

 

When the girl stops in front of her and she stares, hard. Soojin is starting to feel a little creeped out, but then the girl hummed and seemed pleased. She grinned and asked, “What can I get for you?”

 

Soojin absolutely doesn't have any idea about this place so she just shrugs. “I don’t know. I mean, anything good really.”

 

With that, the girl went back to where she came from. And after a few minutes, she returns with the food. It doesn’t take a while, when Soojin starts digging in, if she wasn’t so hungry, she’ll probably tell the girl how good the food is.

 

The girl is rumbling over her while she eats and keeps telling her about how good food fixes everything and that maybe it will help her. But eventually left when she paid. She gives Soojin a mysterious smile as she exits the restaurant.

 

Soojin swears, that was one of the best meals and the most strange interaction she ever had.

 

It didn’t take long before she found her way back to her apartment. She can’t help but check her phone as she heads home.

 

No new messages

 

When she arrives at her place, she immediately jumps to her bed contemplating if she needs to freshen up. But still the neat freak she is, she drags herself up and does all her nightly routine before she lies down.

 

Soojin indeed feels tired. She is thankful because she feels drowsy already and can finally sleep after the past few days.

 

Before she closes her eyes, she wishes that tomorrow would be a better day.

 

 

 

Soojin can feel something tickling her ears. She keeps ignoring it, but then there’s a hot breath close to her face murmuring her name suddenly catches her attention. 

 

“Hey, Unnie. Are you still there?” A soft voice can be heard and a rustling sound beside her made Soojin open her eyes.

 

A girl with long black hair greeted her sight. And Soojin can’t help but giggle at how the girl in front of her is adorably frowning. And the pout, she didn’t know if she wanted to stare at it or kiss it gone.

 

“Ah, Jinjin-ah! Really! I’ve been telling you about my day and you start drifting off again.” Even with the mocking angry tone, she can see the lovely smile forming at the other girl’s feature.

 

Even when her mind is a little fuzzy, Soojin chuckles as she nuzzles closer to the girl, tucking her head just above the younger girl’s shoulder. She closes her eyes and she feels her shifting to be more comfortable, hugging her.

 

They stay wrapped around each other when Soojin looks up at the smaller girl who seems very peaceful, and kisses her softly. A smile plastered on her face as she sees Shuhua blushing.

 

“What was that for?” She asked, clearly surprised. 

 

“I just— I love you, Shuhua-ya.” Soojin murmurs with a gentle voice and snuggles clumsily back at Shuhua’s arms. Even without looking, she knows that the young girl is flushing.

 

Soojin pretends to feel offended, when Shuhua fails to answer her immediately. She perched up, though misses the warmth against her body, and pouts exaggeratedly. “Don’t you love me anymore, Shushu?”

 

Shuhua tried saying a word several times before laughing and then cupping Soojin’s cheeks and playfully squishing it. “You know the answer to that already, Unnie. It won’t change ever. I love you, too.”

 

Hearing those words, the older girl can’t help but shower Shuhua with kisses, making her do it more when she heard her giggling uncontrollably. Before pulling apart, she left one long kiss that took them both breathless.

 

“You know,” Soojin is still panting, gently brushing her finger at the younger girl’s face. “I should be the one reassuring you.”

 

“I told you, it’s fine. It doesn't matter, you are here now.” She encloses her with another hug. If people ask Soojin if she loves being touched before, she’d probably deny it, but being wrapped around the person she loves the most is the best feeling she ever had. Soojin knows she could stay like this forever.

 

 

 

And Soojin suddenly opens her eyes. She abruptly sits up, pats her shoulders down her waist. After that, she studied her surroundings making sure she’s truly awake, and when she saw the familiar room, she sighs.

 

The feeling of warmth in her entire body is still present, making her shiver. Controlling her trembling hands, she removes her blanket.

 

Soojin isn’t someone who freaks out easily on small things or to think about anything deeply, but that dream she had is making her crazy. She remembers every little detail like it happened, like it is a part of her memory.

 

It felt so real.

 

And Soojin can’t help but wonder if she wants it to be.