Bae Joohyun

Was Seungwan, Is Wendy
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Seungwan rolls up the passenger seat’s window and grips the steering wheel. She sits in silence with the engine of her car humming and stares straight ahead. 

She feels her heart beat in her chest. 

It should be a coincidence, right? There could be thousands of Joohyuns not only in Korea, but across the world. The person her mother was talking could’ve died a long time ago, either in a war or from an illness. 

But still, she feels troubled. She hadn’t heard that name in quite a while.

Miss Hwang claimed she didn’t know what Yeongweol meant and told her she’d have to find Joohyun herself. 

Seungwan finds herself thinking of the details of that day all over again. 

The blood, the fading turquoise eyes, the last uttered words. She feels a tight pain in her chest that makes her sigh waver. There’s no way someone could ever get used to the very sight of a loved one dying, and it’s hard on her because she still remembers the event vividly. 

She drives off with the syllables of Joohyun’s name on her lips. 

 

 

“Miss Hwang said she can’t get to us right away because she has something to take care of. I swear to God she’s tired of us. I can just tell. She’s gonna abandon us and never return ever again. I bet she’s off somewhere cackling at the fact that we’re still expecting her to come back,” Jinheung rambles. 

He’s taken off his jacket and made himself comfortable on the couch with the clothes he was wearing earlier on. 

Seungwan continues to chew on her chips absentmindedly as she stares at what’s on the TV screen. Her thoughts are somewhere else and she almost ignores what he says. 

“Must you always be paranoid? She’ll be back, don’t worry. If not, we’ll have to fight her.” 

Jinheung clicks his tongue at her. “And must you always say things to make my paranoia worse?” 

“It’s only the beginning of December, she’ll make it back on time for Christmas, I promise,” Seungwan assures him. 

Jinheung—she likes to call him Jin for short, has gotten overly paranoid and insecure for those around him, and understandably so. He was being hunted down at a young age and had to be guarded heavily when he became king, with her serving as his main guard. 

Though Wisps can feel the same emotions as humans, their brains are built in a way that keeps them from “breaking” too soon, because they live significantly longer than humans. And there is a lot they have to endure in their long lifetimes, so of course they need this advantage. 

Some Wisps grow tired of living for such a long time and disregard this psychological advantage, so they make reckless decisions that end up getting them killed. 

She hopes it doesn’t happen to Jinheung, or Miss Hwang. 

The older woman attempted to hide the pain she felt after Yeongweol’s death many times, but Seungwan could sense how much it affected her. Miss Hwang is strong, but there is only so much a being with human emotions can endure before they really start to fall into that pit of insanity. 

Seungwan is so afraid of it even though she’s slipped into it many times before. 

She knows Jinheung can control his anger and his urge to do reckless things, but she worries sometimes that he’ll break and really end up going insane, like Aera or Sunhwa. It’s a dark thought for such a casual conversation, but Seungwan wouldn’t know what to do when that day finally comes. 

“You’re hogging the chips, gimme some,” Jinheung snatches the bag of chips from Seungwan. 

“Hey, who do you think bought those? Yeah, me. You ought to be grateful I’m even sharing them with you,” Seungwan says and averts her attention back to the flashing TV. She pauses for a moment, trying to decide if she should tell him. 

“Say, Jin, remember that time I looked for that Joohyun person right after that day?” she asks. Jinheung stops chewing on the chips momentarily, looking back on the memory. 

“Uhh yeah. It was hopeless, you didn’t even know which Joohyun you were supposed to find.” 

“Yeah, could’ve been anyone. I wish she was more specific but she did have limited time, so,” Seungwan’s tone of voice falters. 

“Why do you bring it up though?” Jinheung questions, placing the chips down on the table in front of them. 

“Well, I uh, met a girl named Joohyun earlier today. Bae Joohyun.” 

“...And you think she’s the one? You don’t think the Joohyun Madam Son was talking about maybe died a long time ago?” 

Seungwan sighs and lays down to rest her head on the arm of the couch. “I don’t know. Probably just another girl with the same name.” 

Jinheung doesn’t respond for some seconds and only stares at the television screen before replying. 

“Even if she isn’t the one Madam Son was talking about, maybe you can make her your girlfriend?” he says with a sly smile and Seungwan laughs as a response. 

“No can do. She’ll end up wondering where I am in a few years anyway. Wouldn’t wanna hurt her.”

He crosses his arms and nods thoughtfully before shifting in his position to throw his long legs over her. 

“Hey get your long legs off!” 

“The way I see it, doing whatever you want once in a while instead of just thinking of other’s feelings wouldn’t hurt,” he says.  

She pushes his legs off of her. “Well being selfish is too easy of a way to live.” 

“You’re so stupid sometimes.” 

“Keep talking to me that way and we’ll see who’s stupid.” 

“Hey, I said sometimes.” 

“Whatever, brat.” 

 

 

 

Seungwan glides her brush across the once blank canvas after dipping it into the red paint set on the table beside her. Her hair is tied back so no strands will fall into the paint. 

There are a few other students in here with her and they don’t seem to mind her, but she notices them taking a few glances at her here and then. 

Art is one of the few things she’d never get tired of because of its endless possibilities, and other artists mind their own business while they’re making their art, so she appreciates that. 

She presses the brush against the canvas, creating a soft red splotch that is accompanied by many other warm colors that are blended by her expertise. 

After classes, she’d be free for the rest of the day, to her relief. She can’t wait to eat ice cream out in the freezing cold and get weird stares for it. 

 

 

After cleaning up her area, she grabs her backpack and walks out of the room, making sure to close the door with a gentle click. She walks down the hallway, humming a tune with her hands in the pockets of her blue jacket. 

As she reaches the exit and pushes open the door, she notices it’s starting to get dark outside. She doesn’t mind the cold but she wishes it would at least start snowing already, even though snow too can be inconvenient at times. After stepping outside, she walks down the stone steps and sees people rushing to their cars or walking around, talking and chatting. 

A familiar voice yelling out her English name makes her stop walking. She turns around to see Irene—Joohyun, running lightly towards her. 

“Oh hey! What’s up?” Seungwan greets as the other woman catches up.  

“I came to return the hat,” Joohyun says and holds out the blue beanie, which Seungwan look at. 

“Oh, you can keep it,” Seungwan takes the beanie to fit it back onto Joohyun’s head again. “You look better in it anyway.” 

Joohyun chuckles at the statement. “Well, thanks for the free hat.” 

Seungwan gives a smile and looks around before looking at Joohyun again. 

“Hey, do you have any plans? I don’t really know what to do after classes besides eat and sleep.” 

“You mean there are other things to do besides that?” Joohyun asks jokingly and Seungwan laughs. 

“I mean, we could go somewhere to warm ourselves up because your face is getting pretty-pretty red right now.” 

Joohyun looks away and tilts her head down to tuck her chin behind the collars of her black coat. 

“Yeah my face gets pretty red when it’s cold so...” she says with a quiet voice. 

Seungwan wonders if it’s a habit of Joohyun’s to hide behind her collars when she’s nervous. 

“Wanna go get coffee?” 

Joohyun looks at Seungwan with slightly wide eyes. 

“Coffee?” 

Seungwan bends her elbow and points at something behind her with her thumb over her shoulder. 

“Coffee. You know, brown, creamy, bitter, sweet, depending on how you like it?” 

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wenverland
Hi everybody! I’m graduating school this month so I can start working on finishing the next chapter soon! Thank you for all your patience ^^
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