“If there’s a prize for rotten judgment….”
Yongsun jolted awake from her reverie while trying to practice for her upcoming special stage. She started up the Disney playlist to choose a suitable song. Her mind was set to do the Aladdin song, and the new version seemed to capture the hearts of the public. She liked it too, but her thought got interrupted when this particular song came on play
“…..try to keep it hidden, honey we can see right through you…….”
She rubbed her forehead gently. The song nudged her mind to go back three days ago when she was on her phone during a break, and somehow Wheein was the only one left behind with her.
They were practicing during one fine summer day in which heat and exhaustion seem to drain the energy of the ever so active group of women. A momentary silence engulfed the practice room before the younger girl opened her mouth, “Are you texting her? It’s only been like 5 minutes since they left the room. Hyejin is still hogging the snack section by now.”
Suffice to say, the question got Yongsun startled, “I was just checking my message…” She quickly moves her thumb to go back to the home screen. “Who am I supposed to text again?”
Wheein just scrunched her forehead in confusion, as if the answer could not be more blatant, “Byulyi unnie, uhh obviously?”
The leader could feel a sudden heat creeping to both of her cheeks, moving her head as if to deny her member’s statement, “Uhhh no, I mean it’s- well I’m not gonna text her. I swear!”
Wheein just laugh over the confusion and panicking painted across Yongsun’s face. “Okaay, I get it. It’s just lately you’ve been real fidgety every time Byulyi unnie leaves the room, or maybe it’s just my hunch.”
“Am I?” a soft murmur escaped Yongsun’s lips as she pondered on numerous occasions in which she and Byulyi were not together. It goes without saying at this point that they have become an inseparable entity, at least to those who really knew them, if one goes another follows. Yongsun gave it a good thought when this starts happening, wait scratch that, when she finally realized. Byulyi gravitated toward her, she gravitated toward Byulyi as if it beats the law of physics. Feelings are not one of her forte, she’s not one to dwell and act upon her feelings. Yet, she could not shake off her thought and the tingling sensation she felt within her body when the topic drift off to one particular woman.
Yongsun could not take it anymore. She’s dreading for this moment, ever since Wheein made that comment about her relationship with the rapper, she could not shake her thought to anything else. She wants know but at the same time she feels her cowardly feeling seeped in trying whisk her away from facing the truth. She kept biting her lower lips out of agitation while waiting for Byulyi to arrive at her apartment. She already bribed Yonghee with a dinner voucher in order to send her sister away for the night, trying to block every possible intrusion. Although, she had a feeling that her sister already knew what going to went down tonight.
The buzzing sound coming from the front door stopped her from watching the drama that she’s been following lately. Yongsun opened the door only to find an excited hamster-like woman holding two plastic bags in front of her face.
“I bought snacks.” Moon Byulyi stood there in all of her glory wearing her favorite bomber jacket with her hair being tied into a low pony tail. Without fails, she also put on her white baseball cap. Even with the face mask covering half of her face, Yongsun knew that Byulyi is smiling from ear to ear from the prospect of spending time together after such a long week. Silently, Yongsun is feeling some sort of pride that she’s one of that could make Byulyi smile like that.
Yongsun rolled her eyes although she finds it difficult to keep a stoic face in front of Byuyi. “You know the passcode already, I was watching the re-run of that drama series.” She faked a little pout out of annoyance and to tease the rapper (even when she’s sure Byulyi would always finds her cute in every situation).
“Want me to spoil the story instead?” Byulyi knew she’s pushing Yongsun’s buttons but what else she’s here for anyway if not to tease her.
“Aaaah don’t you dare.” Yongsun walked away, back to her living room all while covering both of her ears. She plopped herself down on the sofa, pressing play on the television remote to continue where she left off. “Have you eaten yet?”
Byulyi followed her suit, choosing to sit on the floor facing the table to open the barrage of food that she brought. “Nope, I had smoothies earlier, but that’s all. I’m starving.”
“I told you to lay it down with the diet and all. Our schedules are crazy next week.”
“It’s not the case. I just- well, it’s not right to eat my dinner alone.”
Yongsun just kept silent after hearing Byulyi’s remarks. It’s not like they always had dinner together, five days out of a week is not every day. Byulyi would always show up in front of her apartment every evening. Sometimes she would already be inside in the kitchen unpacking her share of food, weekend would be their ‘off’ days since the rapper would go back to her parents’ house. Yongsun would always think that it’s not an odd case. These arrangements between them are their ‘normal’ routine until someone actually pointed that out to her. Only then that the confusion started to seep into her mind.
She leaned forward, grabbing one of the chopsticks in an attempt to taste the blazing red stir-fried chicken in front of her. Yongsun chewed slowly, trying to ignore the spiciness that attacking her taste buds, head still full of thought on how to start the dreadful conversation she’s trying to have with Byulyi. “This is good.”
“Hnn, it’s from the usual place.”
She couldn’t take it anymore, and the quietness is killing her. She’s pretty sure Byulyi had no idea what she about to face soon. Yongsun is a headstrong woman, she’s going to try every way to get what she wants, including the answer to this strange predicament she put herself into.
“You know, couple of days ago I went to that craft center where we got the sunflower painting, and the staff there were asking why you’re not coming together with me.”
Byulyi kept her gaze toward the television. “Ah, really?”
Yongsun tried to push it further, determined to rouse a definite answer over this dilemma. “Yesterday Wheein even kinda guessed that I was texting you when you went out with Hyejin to buy snacks.”
“I was about to.”
Byulyi turns her head to look at the older woman, smiling a little over the Yongsun’s predictable answer before going back to watch the drama. “Well, I guess that’s what we get after all the shenanigans we did together Yong.”
“Yeah, perhaps.” Yongsun just snorted, remembering all the things they had done together. “Some even think that we’re together.”
It was like the universe has kindly stopped in motion for them. Byulyi putting her chopsticks on the side, she leaned backward trying to get a good look over Yongsun’s face. Her left hand coming up, resting atop of Yongsun’s knee.
“Are we not?”
Yongsun could feel a sudden heat crept up upon her face. Her brain suddenly stopped working as she’s trying to answer the sudden question. “Byul-ah what…”
Before Yongsun could manage to form a sentence, Byulyi continue, “Should we not be together?”
“I- I don’t know.”
“I want it”, Byulyi said. She kept herself silent for a few seconds, taking a deep breath before continuing, “But it’s not always easy. I keep telling myself just to shut it and don’t even give it a thought, but us doing almost everything together kind of drives me crazy. I want it to happen. To feel at ease while holding your hand, hugging you, and just smothered you in affection.”
Yongsun did not dare to move even for an inch as if she’s being tied down to listen to the answer that she’s been looking for. She keep her gaze down looking over Byulyi who is now returning her focus upon the television. Yongsun wants nothing else except to grab Byulyi’s face and showering her face with kisses but she’s not sure that they’re on that stage yet.
“But you never really tell that to me.”
“Because I’m afraid.” Byulyi paused herself, letting out a deep sigh as she tried to compose her words carefully. “I’m afraid that if I just hold you for one more time, I can’t stop myself anymore, and I will fall for you eventually.”
Yongsun didn’t say anything for a moment after hearing the answer. The room is quiet, too quiet even. It feels like she can hear their thoughts out loud, hearing their sadness and longing.
“Is that a bad thing?” Yongsun bit her own lips after asking that, afraid that if she keeps pushing, Byulyi will fell out. She didn’t want that, she wants her to be by her side.
“God no, it’s not like that. It would be a beautiful thing even, for me.”
“I keep telling myself to have patience. Every time you’re being too close to me, smiling to me, I feel happy, but bad thoughts always follow behind. I don’t want to talk about this yet because I’m afraid that we will lose whatever we had in the first place.”
All the time she was talking, Byulyi kept rubbing small circles with her thumb on top of Yongsun’s. In turns, the older woman could feel her hand gripping Byulyi’s a little bit tighter. They have expressed their affectionate feeling toward each other way beyond a mere hand holding but this time, she’s afraid to let go Byulyi’s hands. Yongsun could feel her eyes become a bit watery, her heart clenched tight and losing focus around her surroundings. Except for the dark brown eyes in front of her that are currently boring her soul.
“You think I will leave you then? If you ever confess?”
Byul let out a small chuckle, “Well Yong, you’re not the easiest person to read. I know you well, but at the same time, I also have no idea how to tell you about this. You got your thought piled up one against another, from work to other stuff. So I guess I just don’t want to put another burden on you, yet.”
“Moon Byulyi, I’ll let you know that I’ve had received love confessions before and don’t ever think I couldn’t handle it on top of everything, thank you very much.”
“But, that’s my favorite thing about you.”
“What is it?”
“That, if you let me, I will have the rest of my life figuring things about my favorite person in the universe, Kim Yongsun.”
Instantly, Yongsun could feel heat started spreading from her cheeks to her whole face. Damn it. She is doomed from the start, she should have known. Instantly, she grabbed Byulyi’s left arm signaling the younger woman to get up. Yongsun pushed her down the sofa, still keeping Byulyi’s arm on her hold, hoping that it would calm her down somehow.
“You’re being gross again, we could have the right moment and you just have to barge in with those cheap romance.”
Byulyi chuckled hearing the remarks. She moves her hand to backward to hug her lover, pressing a kiss on the side of Yongsun’s head. “Oh you better be prepared. It’s only a preface of what’s to come.”
“I hate you.” Yongsun snuggled closer, her head resting on Byulyi’s shoulder, feeling content and warm after understanding her real feelings toward the woman next to her.
“Perhaps, but then again, your love for me is bigger.”
Yongsun groaned when she walks into the practice room and spot Wheein comfortably sitting down the floor while fiddling with her phone. She could feel a headache coming right away, remembering that she’s kind of owe the younger girl in her relationship department. Yongsun could not believe how blinded she was, not realizing that her heart had already gotten all tied up with another certain group member. She dropped down next to Wheein with half of her body propped up against the wall behind them.
“You were right.”
Wheein shortly glances towards her unnie before turning her attention back to her phone. “I usually am, but what is this about?”
“About- it’s about her, Wheein-ah.”
“Unnie, you have to be more specific than that. Is it about Hyejin and the yoghurt she stole from you? Because I really have no idea about that, she did tell me that-“
Yongsun cut her off before Wheein could continue her rambling, “It’s about Byul.”
Once again, silence engulfed them and Yongsun thought this is getting ridiculous. This entire building is filled with people working solely on music, a quietness is the last thing she needs.
“Yeah, ‘oh’, and wipe that grin off your face. I already got fooled by my feelings, another from you and Hyejin would just wound me.”
“Well I’m not trying to rub it on your face, but we both kinda know already and I’m pretty sure we got a betting pool around the office about you and Byul unnie.”
“One of these days, I’m gonna file a complaint to HR about all this.”
Wheein just let out a little snort questioning the very existence of the said department. “Do we even have one in this company?”
The two women just laughed realizing the absurdity of their conversation. Yongsun could feel small tears forming in her eyes, she took a deep breath, feeling content with warmth emitting from her good friend after all that honest talk (she’s pretty sure Hyejin would also tease her to death then giving a bone-crushing hug later on).
“So what’s next then, you guys are together or what?”
Yongsun could feel her cheeks heating up when her relationship status being brought back into the focus. She’s not sure herself, after the whole ‘confession’ scene, things did not really change between both of them. It’s a usual routine with Byulyi coming over, having dinner together, movie night, and going on trips together. But, she knew that she felt more ease knowing that they both hold the same affectionate feelings toward each other and that’s enough, for now.
“I mean we don’t really go there yet, I know it’s kinda strange, but right now these ‘arrangement’ works best for us.” Yongsun rambled while playing with her jacket’s zipper, feeling nervous all of sudden when the question popped up.
Wheein gently pats the older womean’s shoulder in reassurance. “Don’t think about it that much unnie, whatever works best for both of you, little steps.”
“Yeah, little steps.”
Suddenly loud voices could be heard just outside the practice room. The whining belongs to Hyejin and the rumbling laughter coming from Byulyi. The leader of the group just chuckled softly upon hearing her teammates. She stands up in order to prepare for the upcoming dance practice, trying to get a nice warm-up beforehand, but stopped mid-way before turning into Wheein, “I guess we are just lucky to have each other.”
Wheein smiled softly after hearing her remarks, but quickly her grin came back, signaling that she could not stop teasing her leader. “Oh Yongsun unnie, you are a total sap.”