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tick tock

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Dahyun opens her eyes to a ceiling full of stars. She blinks disorientedly, staring blankly at the glow-in-the-dark stick-ons that she couldn’t recall being there the night before. She rubs her eyes, peering up at it with her palms still resting on her cheeks. Huh, she thinks to herself.

(Kim Dahyun has never been a morning person.)

Dahyun rolls onto her side and curls up, pulling her body pillow close to her chest and shutting her eyes once again. She lets herself lie there, face squished into the pillow, for a few minutes before groaning and stretching her limbs out. She twists back onto her back, opening her eyes and staring up at the stars on her ceiling.

She pushes away her confusion, because this is her room, her bed, her furniture. But she can’t for the life of her remember there being glow-in-the-dark stars on her ceiling. She reaches for her phone under her pillow, blinking a little confusedly at her lockscreen (a picture of Nayeon unnie blowing a kiss at the camera) before coming to the conclusion that the older girl had pulled another phone prank. Dahyun wasn’t her usual victim, but it’s happened before.

Then, Dahyun pulls up her calendar app first, to check her schedules for the day and the day after. She’s already mentally taking note of the anniversary party the girls had planned for tonight, just the nine of them indulging in an expensive dinner with champagne and perhaps karaoke after. It’s their tenth anniversary after all, and Dahyun’s been looking forward to the celebration for ages. They’re dropping a little celebratory music video filled with career highlights and little moments caught on camera, to a song written and composed by Jihyo unnie, and it’s one of her favourites. She’s always been the cheesiest member, after all.

But, weirdly, her calendar is empty of any schedules. Dahyun stares and stares and stares, unused to seeing the application not filled to the brim, let alone blank.

Crap, she thinks, my phone un-synced or something.

So, Dahyun switches to KakaoTalk, only to not be able to find any of her managers’ contacts. The girls are still there, but a lot of her work contacts are gone. In fact, her last message to Momo unnie had been weeks ago, which is weird because Dahyun can distinctly remember texting her about the group’s plans just the day before.

At this point, Dahyun’s sitting up on her bed, frowning deeply at her phone. She clicks out of KakaoTalk, switching to Bubble to at least greet the fans on their tenth anniversary, because time’s been ticking since she’d woken up and gotten greatly confused over everything. Dahyun had wanted to be one of the first members to talk with the fans on this special occasion.

Something is seriously wrong. She doesn’t have Bubble installed.

Dahyun swipes through her home screen a little panicked, eyes searching through each app, reading all their names in hopes that she’d merely lost Bubble within them (although she’d kept it on the bottom right, right next to the Spotify icon, for ease of access). She searches it on her phone, the only result being a suggestion to download it on the app store. Which means she didn’t have it installed. Which doesn’t make any sense. She'd sent a goodnight voice message right before she'd fallen asleep at around 2 in the morning. She knows she did this.

Dahyun gets out of bed, all sleepiness forgotten in the wake of her panic. She stops her panicked rushing the second she reaches the kitchen, seeing Nayeon seated at the counter spooning cereal into her mouth leisurely. The sight takes her aback slightly, because while the members are close, the ones living in the same building don’t tend to visit one another, used to spending most of their time together and thus choosing to spend any time they can get at home within their own apartments. While they do hang out, it’s never in the morning. Especially not when they have schedules lined up for the day.

“Unnie?” Dahyun says, conveying her confusion at the eldest member’s presence without actually saying it, “Where’s Tzuyu?”

Nayeon starts a little at her voice, turning to face her with wide eyes. She places her phone down quite hard onto the kitchen counter, screen-down, and raises an eyebrow at her, looking extremely confused.

(Dahyun feels like ??? personified at this point.)

"Did she say she was going to visit?" Nayeon asks, a hesitance present in her voice that Dahyun's never heard directed towards her since they'd gotten close during a trip to the sauna together once when they were trainees.

"Visit?" Dahyun asks, because how could Tzuyu visit her own roommate? She tilts her head in askance, feeling even more confused by how confused Nayeon is.

"Well, if not," the older woman says slowly, like she's spelling something out to a toddler who's just learnt a new word, "Then she must still be in Taiwan."

Dahyun continues to stare in befuddlement at Nayeon. Nayeon, in turn, begins to look concerned, "Are you okay?"

"I don't know," Dahyun says faintly. Her head is beginning to ache, she's never been this confused in her entire life. She slumps down onto their sofa, burying her face in her hands. The soft fabric is comforting, but Dahyun's pretty sure it had been leather the day before.

"Are we still celebrating our tenth anniversary?" Dahyun asks, not removing her face from her hands. Her mind is whirring, trying to make sense of everything.

There's a small pause before Nayeon replies quietly, "They didn't want to be involved in our drama again, remember?"

This makes Dahyun look up. There's a timidness to the older woman that Dahyun cannot comprehend, much like the sentence she just spoke. She's stood up from her stool and is simply standing at the side of the counter with her arms crossed, looking unsure. Her cereal sits abandoned on the counter. It's going to get soggy, Dahyun thinks, then she won't eat it anymore.

"Are we okay now?" Nayeon asks slowly, bottom lip tucking in between her teeth the second the question is asked. She's fidgeting, as always, but the palpable nervousness isn't quite a usual occurrence.

"What?" Dahyun huffs, kind of exasperated at this point at how nothing makes sense, and she isn't getting any answers, "Why would we not be okay?"

This, weirdly enough, seems to infuriate Nayeon. First, she squints at Dahyun with disbelieving eyes, then she scoffs and rolls her eyes. Her slightly timid demeanour is replaced with annoyance and Dahyun is so confused. She shifts backwards slightly on the sofa, the soft fabric feeling pleasant as she slid, as opposed to the slightly more rigid leather of the sofa in her memory.

Nayeon scowls at her, "Kim Dahyun, you broke up with me. Did you seriously forget?"